“Is not ours an age of mislived lives, of unmanned men? Why?… Because Jesus Christ has disappeared. Wherever the people are true Christians, there are men to be found in large numbers, but everywhere and always, if Christianity wilts, the men wilt. Look closely, they are no longer men but shadows of men. Thus, what do you hear on all sides today? The world is dwindling away, for lack of men; the nations are perishing for scarcity of men, for the rareness of men…
“I believe: there are no men where there is no character; there is no character where there are no principles, doctrines, stands taken; there are no stands taken, no doctrines, no principles, where there is no religious faith and, consequently, no religion of society. Do what you will: only from God you will get men.” (Cardinal Louis-Edouard Pie, Bishop of Poitiers, Homily for Christmas 1871)
We are living in the age of wilted men. Men today are bereft of faith and reason, virtue and character, honor and dignity. Men are empty vessels because the enemy has emptied them of the Catholic Faith. Progressivism has cultivated limp daffodils where once were virile men. It has replaced man with a curious species whose voice has been reduced to whimpers and sobs, a character more fitted to caricature than living and fighting against a world surrendering to Satan.
The heroic Bishop of Poitiers, Card. Pie, said that we have “unmanned men” because Jesus Christ has disappeared. Christ has disappeared because He has been shown the door in our society and the Conciliar Church, the wicked institution that claims Catholicity but is instead the diabolical deception resulting from the evils of Vatican II and the progressivist assault preceding it.
C.S. Lewis wrote The Abolition of Man in 1943 during the slaughter of the Second War against Western Civilization. In the chapter, ‘Men without Chests,’ he presciently wrote this, still pertinent today:
“And all the time – such is the tragi-comedy of our situation – we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
With this brilliant text, C.S. Lewis met his peer Card. Pie.
In his work Revolution and Counter-Revolution, Prof. Plinio de Correa Oliveira said, “In times of great crisis there are two types of men: those who are overwhelmed by the crisis and those who rise up to resist the trend of events and so change the course of History.”
Our times call for manned men, men with chests, and those who rise to resist events to change the course of History. The Church needs men, the revitalized Church Militant on the move to resist and fight the enemies in the world. Instead, that revolutionary Conciliar Church promotes the Church Groveling, men overwhelmed by crisis, men who promote the crisis. It is a “church” of darkness, a “church” of unmanned men. We need the army of Church Militant to rise against the enemy’s occupation of our Church and society.
But before we return to this matter, let’s look at how we have descended to such a state where men are no longer men.
Feminism vs. patriarchal society
In the 1962 pamphlet What’s Become of Father? Catholic scholar John O’Brien reports that the “problem” of the father and his role was troublesome even then. We mistakenly think of the ‘50s and ‘60s nostalgically as “good” times for the Church, the family and men. He is wrong. The assault against all three was already in full swing.
O’Brien wrote: “Time was when father was the revered head of the household, to whom the children turned for guidance in all important decisions; he was respected for his wisdom and experience, and loved for his devotion to his family. No event in the home was complete without his presence.” Such a vaunted position in the natural order of the family drove the fringe element of feminism into a ravening rage.
These harridans screamed in the streets, sharpening their tongues and knives, then went after men with a vengeance. They hated the “patriarchal” society. They vowed to destroy it. With millions of dollars pumped into academic programs called “Women’s Studies” in the nation’s colleges and universities, feminists rose to dominance. These “studies” were funded in great measure by the Rockefeller Foundation.
With the rise of feminism and women in the workplace, many women lost their natural loving instincts. Consequently, the family fell into disarray, morals declined and birth rates plummeted.” O’Brien suggests this is the case because, even in 1962, “the child’s chief, if not his only parent, is the mother, while the father is relegated to the position of a mere breadwinner.” Since then the father has ceased even to be the breadwinner and has become merely an inconsequential oaf, as countless advertising spots remind us.
Already in the early 1960s, commentators remarked on the father’s haplessness. Dr. O’Brien cites research affirming how modern culture set the woman up as a beautiful powerhouse of sex appeal and dynamic capability, relegating the male to a position of ridicule as an awkward and hapless galoot.
Reflecting the feminist vision of the male, the popular soap operas of that time pictured men as “simple-minded, easily-bamboozled and fairly expendable oafs.” In the halcyon days of television sit coms in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, the trend toward oafishness began with Dick van Dyke’s character of Rob Petrie in The Dick van Dyke Show.
As society continued its unabated descent into filth and despair, more “fathers” appeared on the television horizon. Some fathers were still portrayed as adequate, The Andy Griffith Show and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father being two examples of note. But families were changing significantly with wives as co-breadwinners, usually in high powered jobs, like Claire Huxtable in The Cosby Show, where she was an attorney and he, Cliff Huxtable, a pediatrician working from the basement in his home.
The descent of the father continued with Home Improvement, showcasing Tim Allen as a ridiculous handy man wannabee who ran an unsuccessful cable network show. Allen was saved continually by his wife. If it were not for her, the show implied, Taylor and his three sons would be living in filth, reeking of perpetual body odor, wearing cardboard boxes for shoes and garbage bags as clothes.
In Home Improvement the mother’s true role as her husband’s helpmate and “sun of the family” has become a caricature. Men are seen as pigs that need women to clean them up and boss them around. That reinforces the twisted feminized view.
Anyone who watches sit coms today can see that this early tendency to present men as big boys and fools has continued and exacerbated without restraints.
There is no doubt that the great majority of modern men have been hermetically sealed in the baggie of feminism. Nearly all are too timid and fretful to break free to demand their natural authority as men and as heads of households.
Abandoning comforts and entering the battle
For the Church, true men are vital for her restoration. Sadly, even traditional Catholic men have been too inculturated by the filth of Progressivism. Men have become weak and ineffectual.
We must remember the words of Job, (7.i), “the life of man upon earth is a warfare.” We are seduced by comfort and consumption, beset by economic woes and the vagaries of antichrists in politics.
This is not the hour to abandon the Mystical Body of Christ to its enemies and run off to some solitary forest to avoid personal inconveniences. This is the hour to enter the battle with increased vigor, to re-conquer every inch of soil the enemies took and rebuild in that place the same sacred institution more militant, pure and glorious than ever, so that the Church will be ready to face, under the protection of Our Lady, all other possible enemies until the end times.
St. Bernard roused the men of his time to enlist in the Second Crusade with stirring words: “All you who hear me, make haste to calm the wrath of Heaven! Leave off imploring His goodness with futile lamentations or mortifying yourself with disciplines, but rather take up your invincible shields. The clamor of arms, the dangers, difficulties and fatigues of war, these are the penances that God imposes on you.”
We should pay heed to them in our continuing crusade to storm the captured citadel and free the imprisoned Truth. We Catholics can still be the great men needed for our times. We must go into the world, in all domains, to battle for Holy Church and her dignity. We must recapture that which has been taken, defend those assaulted, and restore to God His rights.
What a horrible thing it would be if we, as Catholic men, dropped our arms and fled the battlefield. Then, to end with the words of the heroic Card. Pie, “What a disappointment for mothers to realize that the male they gave birth to is not a man, and will never deserve to be called a man!” We are Catholic men or we are nothing.
A majestic Jesus with the halo of divinity and a well-defined Sacred Heart gives a clear blessing; To the right a worker-like Jesus without a defined halo and without a heart makes a gesture more like a “hello” than a blessing
Consider the true image of Christ Our Savior. Probably the most symbolically rich and accurate representation of Him, besides the Crucifix, is the image of the Sacred Heart, because the image of Our Lord with the Sacred Heart summarizes the whole theology of Redemption.
They pierced His Hands, His Feet and His Sacred Heart; the crown of thorns encircles the Heart, which burns with love for man. This was the price He paid, the sacrifice He made for our redemption. He offered Himself because of His burning love for us despite the fact we are ungrateful creatures who rebelled against our Creator. Think about it. He created us and then we nailed Him to a cross even though He was God and completely innocent of any guilt. So, the Sacred Heart encapsulates all this.
In the images of the Sacred Heart, He points to this symbolic font of love and mercy for us. The devotions to the Sacred Heart always suppose reparation for our sins. We are sinners, we must make reparation. Despite the promises from Our Lord and the fact that He paid an infinite price for our Redemption, we must make reparation. We should always do penance for our sins and make various kinds of reparation.
Now, consider the image of Our Lord representing the Divine Mercy. It is an imitation of the Sacred Heart without the heart. When you pay attention, you notice that in the image there is no heart. There are simply rays coming out of a point above His waist. This symbolizes the error of the Divine Mercy devotion. It preaches that we can expect an unconditional mercy with no price to be paid whatsoever, with no obligations whatsoever. This is not the message of Christ.
Christ is merciful. Time and time again, His mercy pardons our repeated sins in the Sacrament of Penance, always taking us back no matter how bad our sins are. And what happens in the Sacrament of Penance? The very name of the Sacrament tells us exactly what happens: to be effective the Sacrament supposes penance. Not only are you there at the Sacrament recognizing your full submission to the Church and your dependence on the Sacraments for forgiveness, but you walk out of the confessional with an imposed penance.
You are also often reminded from this pulpit that you must not only fulfill that penance, but you must continually do penance, your own penance. You don’t just say a decade of the Rosary and say, “Well, I’ve done my penance. Now, I can go merrily on my way.” You must always have the spirit of penance for your past sins; you must live with it.
The central error of the Divine Mercy is that it promises lots of spiritual rewards with no requirement of penance, no mention of reparation, no mention of any condition.
Unfortunately, this corresponds very much with what Pope John Paul II wrote in the Encyclical Dives in misericordia. I do not recommend reading it to any of you, except the most prepared, because it has many misleading things. It re-echoes this mercy with no price, gifts from heaven with no requirements, God’s mercy with no mention of penance or reparation for sin whatsoever.
Anticipating that encyclical Pope John Paul II already in 1978, the very first year of his pontificate, set in motion the canonization of Sr. Faustina and the institution of a Divine Mercy Sunday feast. As I said before, both Sr. Faustina’s writings and the very idea of having a Divine Mercy feast day had been prohibited and condemned by two previous Popes.
Pius XII … placed this devotion, including the apparitions and the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books).
Next, came other prohibitions made by Pope John XXIII. Twice in his pontificate, the Holy Office issued condemnations of the Divine Mercy writings.
Not once, but twice under Pope John XXIII, this particular devotion was condemned through the Holy Office. The first condemnation was in a plenary meeting held on November 19, 1958. The declaration from the Holy Office issued these three statements about this devotion:
- There is no evidence of the supernatural origin of these revelations….
- No feast of Divine Mercy should be instituted….
- It is forbidden to disseminate the images and writings propagating this devotion under the form received by Sr. Faustina.
Read more at:
Therefore, heresy is so-called from the Greek word meaning choice, by which each chooses according to his own will what he pleases to teach or believe. But we are not permitted to believe whatever we choose, nor to choose whatever someone else has believed. We have the Apostles of God as authorities, who did not themselves of their own will choose what they would believe, but faithfully transmitted to the nations the teaching received from Jesus Christ. So, even if an angel from heaven should preach otherwise, he shall be called anathema. – Bishop Saint Isidore of Seville, Spain
The letter below was written by St. Athanasius of Alexandria (296 AD – d. 2 May 373) to the early Christians of the 4th century who refused to accept the Arian heresy, Christians who had lost their Church buildings to the heretics, but Christians who kept the faith.
“May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises — but you have the apostolic faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the faith? The true faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in this struggle — the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the faith?
True, the premises are good when the apostolic faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …
You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the faith which has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and if an execrable jealously has tried to shake it in a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis.
No one, ever, will prevail against your faith, beloved brothers, and we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.
Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church but in reality they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.
Even if Catholics faithful to tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”
(Coll. Selecta SS. Eccl. Patrum. Caillu and Guillou, Vol. 32, pp 411-412)
“I shall not give the Church’s destroyers an easy conscience by handing over to them what belongs only to God, to the Faithful, to the Church of all time (1976)
We believe and accept our faith as the only true faith in the world. All this confusion ends up in compromises, which destroy the Church’s doctrines, for the misfortune of mankind and the church alike.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, interview, 1978)
“We know now with whom we have to deal. We know perfectly well that we are dealing with a “diabolical hand” which is located at Rome, and which is demanding, by obedience, the destruction of the Church! And this is why we have the right and the duty to refuse this obedience… I believe that I have the right to ask these gentlemen who present themselves in offices which were occupied by Cardinals… “Are you with the Catholic Church?” “Are you the Catholic Church?” “With whom am I dealing?” If I am dealing with someone who has a pact with Masonry, have I the right to speak with such a person? Have I the duty to listen to them and to obey them?” (Archbishop Lefebvre, 1978, Ordination Sermon, “Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre”, Vol. 2, p.209, Michael Davies)
I have preached and done what the Church has always taught. I have never changed what the Church said in the Council of Trent and at the First Vatican Council. So who has changed? It is the enemy, as Pope St. Pius X said, the enemy who is working within the Church because he wants the Church to be finished with her tradition.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Homily, Venice, April 7, 1980)
“Yes, I am a rebel. Yes, I am a dissident. Yes, I am disobedient to people like those Bugninis. For they have infiltrated themselves into the Church in order to destroy it. There is no other explanation.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Conference on the Infiltration of modernism in the Church, Montreal Canada, 1982)
We therefore choose to keep it and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organized and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience […] St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom we must always refer, goes so far in the “Summa Theological” as to ask whether the “fraternal correction” prescribed by Our Lord can be exercised towards our superiors. After having made all the appropriate distinctions he replies: “One can exercise fraternal correction towards superiors when it is a matter of faith.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, “Open Letter to Confused Catholics”, 1986)
You are working to dechristianize society and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them.” (Archbishop Lefebvre to Cardinal Ratzinger, 1987)
“The See of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome are being occupied by anti-Christs, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even in His Mystical Body here below… This is what has brought down upon our hearts persecution by the Rome of the anti-Christs. This Rome, Modernist and Liberal, is carrying on its work on the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord, as Assisi and the confirmation of the liberal theses of Vatican on Religious Liberty prove…” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Letter to the future Bishops, Aug 29, 1987)
“Rome has lost the Faith, my dear friends. Rome is in apostasy. These are not words in the air. It is the truth. Rome is in apostasy… They have left the Church… This is sure, sure, sure.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Retreat Conference, September 4, 1987)
The pope said that it was necessary to accept humanist ideas, that is was necessary to discuss such ideas; that it was necessary to have dialogs. At this stage, it is important to state that dialogs are contrary to the doctrines of the Catholic faith. Dialogs presuppose the coming together of two equal and opposing sides; therefore, in no way could (dialog) have anything to do with the Catholic faith. The Spotlight, a weekly newspaper in Washington, D.C., in its issue of July 18, 1988
“And we must not waver for one moment either in not being with those who are in the process of betraying us. Some people are always admiring the grass in the neighbor’s field. Instead of looking to their friends, to the Church’s defenders, to those fighting on the battlefield, they look to our enemies on the other side. “After all, we must be charitable, we must be kind, we must not be divisive, after all, they are celebrating the Tridentine Mass, they are not as bad as everyone says” —but THEY ARE BETRAYING US —betraying us! They are shaking hands with the Church’s destroyers. They are shaking hands with people holding modernist and liberal ideas condemned by the Church. So they are doing the devil’s work.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Address to his priests, Econe, 1990)
Auxilium Christianorum, ora pro nobis
Exsurge, Domine, nolite tardare, hereditatem tuam destruitur.
Come, O Lord, do not delay for your inheritance is being destroyed.
A link to Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing In The Catholic Church Since The Apostle’s Time by Fr. Peter Carota
Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod. When you were about to ascend to your Father, you committed the care, rule, and administration of the vineyard, an image of the triumphant church, to Peter, as the head and your vicar and his successors. The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.
Rise, Peter, and fulfill this pastoral office divinely entrusted to you as mentioned above.
Give heed to the cause of the holy Roman Church, mother of all churches and teacher of the faith, whom you by the order of God, have consecrated by your blood. Against the Roman Church, you warned, lying teachers are rising, introducing ruinous sects, and drawing upon themselves speedy doom. Their tongues are fire, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. They have bitter zeal, contention in their hearts, and boast and lie against the truth…
For although you have said that there must be heresies to test the faithful, still they must be destroyed at their very birth by your intercession and help, so they do not grow or wax strong like your wolves. Finally, let the whole church of the saints and the rest of the universal church arise. Some, putting aside her true interpretation of Sacred Scripture, are blinded in mind by the father of lies. Wise in their own eyes, according to the ancient practice of heretics, they interpret these same Scriptures otherwise than the Holy Spirit demands, inspired only by their own sense of ambition, and for the sake of popular acclaim, as the Apostle declares. In fact, they twist and adulterate the Scriptures. As a result, according to Jerome, “It is no longer the Gospel of Christ, but a man’s, or what is worse, the devil’s.”
Let all this holy Church of God, I say, arise, and with the blessed apostles intercede with almighty God to purge the errors of His sheep, to banish all heresies from the lands of the faithful, and be pleased to maintain the peace and unity of His holy Church.
Pope Leo X
Condemning The Errors Of Martin Luther
Bull issued June 15, 1520
In the 126th Psalm, King David warns us, “Unless the Lord builds the house: they labor in vain that build it.” Houses must be built on foundations that are slide-rule perfect, lest they tilt. King David’s teaching, of course, goes beyond houses. He means that without grace, whatever we do is in vain.
Philosophy is like this, and especially so. There must be no flaws, it must be perfect. In his Epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul’s words about philosophy are interesting in this regard:
“Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ” (2:8).
Writing about the mentality that overthrew the Middle Ages, Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira noted that by the 15th century, “The appetite of men for earthly pleasures [was] transformed into a burning desire. ” They were increasingly attracted to “a life filled with delights of fancy and the senses.”
The professor went on to say what happened when this mentality penetrated the intellectual sphere:
“This moral climate produced clear manifestations of pride, such as a taste for ostentatious and vain disputes, for inconsistent tricks of argument and for fatuous exhibitions of learning. It encouraged old philosophical tendencies, over which Scholasticism had already triumphed.”
Now then, it matters nothing whether it be “old philosophical tendencies” or new ones that lead men into error. Scholasticism’s foundation was slide-rule perfect, and therefore blocked the program of Progressivism. It had to go, and in the wake of Vatican II it was replaced with something new. Why, exactly, was Scholasticism perfect? And what, exactly, took its place?
It was perfect because it brought “harmony between the laws of being and the laws of thought. Objectivity of our knowledge in the light of being.”
Important words, these. When we examine a thing, we do so as it exists in being. The method of this examination must be divorced from the clutter of our subjective thoughts. Any method of inquiry that seeks the truth must place the object first, and this is exactly what Scholasticism does. For this reason Pope St. Pius X said that Catholicism cannot be understood scientifically without utilizing the major theses of St. Thomas Aquinas, the father of Scholasticism.
The philosophy of John Paul II, known as Phenomenology, replaced Thomism, and locked Catholics globally into the progressivist New Church. Its method directly violates the principle of placing the object first, by taking “consciousness as its starting point, as Descartes did.” This is a problem of vital concern, because “for knowledge to be objective it is essential that things, not thoughts, be known first.” Whereas, “phenomenology sees reality as essentially relative and subjective.”
Fr. Karol Wojtyla wrote his philosophical doctoral dissertation on Max Scheler, an associate of Edmund Husserl. About Husserl the following was written:
“Existentialism is a philosophical movement characterized by an emphasis on subjectivity. It was inspired mainly by the German philosophers Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. It, like the rest of the pus-filled growth on the back of philosophy called post-Modernism, should be disregarded by any philosophy that has a desire to know what is true and what is false.”
To repeat, a house built on a bad foundation will end up tilting. This means tearing the building down and beginning over. Phenomenology begins with self, which was the temptation of Lucifer. When God commanded adoration and reverence from the angelic realm, it caused a temptation for Lucifer, for he “was divided in his will between himself and the infallible truth of the Lord. Simply put, Lucifer violated the rule later codified by St. Thomas Aquinas, whereby focus on the object must be pure; it must not become entangled with self.
The house of God has been tilted for a long time. The progressivist New Church has to come down, its existentialist foundation has to be jack-hammered and buried in the hinterland.
Ninety years ago on July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima warned us that “several nations will be annihilated.” Perhaps the present foundation and its tilted house must wait until then to be removed. In the Reign of Mary, her children will return to consulting the slide-rule to check its calculations, returning the foundation of St. Thomas Aquinas to its rightful place in the Catholic Church.
¶ For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. – Gal:1:10
The great temptation for a Catholic, whether layman or churchman, is to allow himself to be attracted by the world and wish to become part of it, being accepted and admired.
We are not talking about the physical world created by God, which, like everything else He created, is very good. The world here is a moral entity opposed to God: “For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1Jn:2:16)
Thus, to give in to the temptation of the world is to cave in to the triple concupiscence, to adopt worldly wisdom and flee from the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which the world sees as “foolishness.”
The Impossible Quest of Catholic Liberals
Our Lord does not pray for this world, for it refused His light. Hence “the whole world is under the power of the evil one,” under Satan, “the prince of this world.”
Now then, “what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever,” the one who “loved darkness rather than the light”?
Therefore, it is impossible, as liberal Catholics claim, to remain Catholic while being admired by the world; and to have the consolation of the Faith along with the pomp and honors of the world.
“If the World Hates You”
Our Lord himself explained the reason for this impossibility as He warned the apostles:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘The servant is not greater than his master.’”
Thus, to wish to be part of the world is to stray from the right path and drive away from the truth; for only Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” It is to fall under the domination of the one who “is a liar and the father of lies.”
The Christian is called “into the world, to testify to the truth” not only through a flawless life but by fighting error and evil.
It is to lose the peace of Christ: “my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”
Confront the World and Combat its Malice
That does not mean that a Catholic must only flee from the world without fighting its malice: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.”
Instead, like his Savior, the Christian is called “into the world, to testify to the truth.”
This testimony must be given not only through a flawless life but by fighting error and evil.
That is why the Savior said: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.”
” For the word of God is living and effectual and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow: and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb:4:12)
The Voice of the World and the Voice of Christ
“There is no truth” in the prince of this world. “When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”
He not only employs direct lie, as when he seduced Eve, but also ambiguity and deceitful words: “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.”
The world accepts lies and ambiguity because “the whole world is under the power of the evil one.”
But those who belong to Christ do not allow themselves to be deceived: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Since He is the Incarnate Truth, his words are clear, tender toward the good and the repentant sinners, severe and even terrible to those hardened in evil: “You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires.”
The World in its Present Form Is Passing Away
Let us therefore not allow ourselves to be carried away by this world’s deceitful appearance. Its joy is false; it is “sorrow [that] produces death.” “For the world in its present form is passing away.” Eternity is the only thing that really counts, as “our citizenship is in heaven.”
Let us raise our eyes to Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Earth, and to her Divine Son. “I have conquered the world” He said, and He will give us the necessary strength to resist the snares and attractions of the world.
The world enslaves and takes away “the liberty of the glory of the children of God.” Only the truth liberates, whereas lie and sin enslave.
In this tragic situation we are going through, in which vice is glorified and virtue oppressed, lie and ambiguity have free rein while truth and the evangelical language of “yea, yea: no, no” are despised, let us ask the One Who said “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world,” that He give us the necessary strength to resist the snares and attractions of the world.
Let us not be as the liberal Catholics that want to serve God and the prince of this world: because “’No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
The Pope, The Franciscan Friars (And Sisters) Of The Immaculate And Vatican II
by Fr. Peter Carota
The pope and the Vatican are unfairly suppressing the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate because they have rediscovered traditional Catholicism, the Latin Mass and find obvious problems with Vatican II.
Almost every Catholic bishop, priest, religious and laity today disagree with some part of what is contained in the documents of Vatican II. What I am referring to, is that they would not go along with the conservative aspects of Vatican II’s teachings. Most would say they have moved beyond Vatican II to be in sync with the “modern world”.
This is well know by most of us traditional Catholics. One simple example would be that Latin is to be retained as the official language of the Catholic Church and that the Novus Ordo Mass was to be said in Latin, except where it was “pastorally” prudent to say it in the vernacular. In the document “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 36. 1, it states. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites. How many Catholics are in agreement with this? Maybe 3 % at the most.
When I was interviewed by Channel 12 News about Fr. Walker’s murder, I tried to help them understand that the Fraternity of St. Peter came out of the Society of St. Pius X and that Fr. Walker only offered the Latin Mass. I did this because my vocation is to spread love and respect for the Latin mass. In an article they wrote, they tried to explain what happened after Vatican II. One thing they said was that “The council also emphasized relationships with other religious groups and played down the teaching that the Catholic Church is the only means toward salvation, according to the Catholic Church.” az central, channel 12 news, The Arizona Republic.
I am explaining this so as to be able to understand what has happened with the Franciscan Friars (and now Sisters) of the Immaculate.
Anyone who loves God, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Bible, the saints, prayer, morals and the Catholic Church, instinctively knows that something went wrong in our church after Vatican II. Almost everyday, we see liturgical abuse and hear about sexual abuse. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. How you pray will effect how you believe, and that will effect how you live.
So the Franciscan Friars couldn’t help but see problems all over the Catholic world and began to seek answers and solutions. They had a traditional beginning with Fr. Stefano Manelli’s association with the traditional Padre Pio. And out of their love of God, Mary, the Catholic Church and truth, they arrived at the point of questioning some of what is covered in the documents of Vatican II.
Again, I want to emphasize that almost every Catholic living today challenges some aspect of Vatican II, (especially in that it is not progressive enough). All of these Catholics are accepted and many are in high places. But if you are on the other side of the “pew”, a traditional Catholic, you are condemned for not going along with Vatican II.
Quite a while ago, I purchased from the Friar’s publishing company, Casa Mariana Editrice, the book by Mons. Brunero Gherardini; “The Ecumenical Vatican Council II, A Much Needed Discussion.” It is a very hard book to read, but worth every effort. Gherardini simply asked Pope Benedict XVI for a deep theological and hermeneutic explanations for what clearly seems to be contradictions between Catholic tradition and the Vatican II documents. There are even many contradictions right in the documents themselves.
Then, once Pope Benedict allowed every priest to say the Latin Mass with the Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, thousands and thousands of Catholics, including priests, rediscovered the “treasure” of the Latin Mass. And as you all already know, and especially you priests, once you offer or assist at the Holy Latin Mass while at the same time offer or assist at the Novus Ordo Mass, the scales fall from you eyes and your spiritual blindness is healed.
The Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate are a clear example of how the Holy Spirit is working in the Church today. Their fruits of the Holy Spirit in their community are 1) a deep love for God and 2) Devotion to Mary, 3) a clear love of Catholic biblical morals, 4) love for the 2000 years of Catholic tradition, 5) many young vocations, 6) living poverty and 7) serving the poor.
The pope, the Vatican can suppress them. But they cannot and will not suppress the working of the Holy Spirit. Love for God, Mary, biblical morals and sacred liturgical rites can be suppressed, but never every destroyed. The spirit of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters comes from the life bursting out of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Once and for all, Jesus died, but can be killed no more and He now lives forever. We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics.
A full generation before Vatican II, the techniques this so‑called “pastoral” council recommended for updating the Church had already been perfected by Communists working in the Church in China. There it was shown how the dialoguing “study club” could be gradually transformed into the “parish council” which would take over the direction of the parish and eventually the entire diocese.
The following article was written by Mrs. Hertz some years before the alleged “fall of Communism” was heralded by the heroes of Glasnost and Perestroika. As Mrs. Hertz explains, Marx’ philosophy has always hinged on the fomentation of constant change and evolution. Today, Communism is not so much “dead” as it is evolving into its next stage. The following retrospective look at Communism as it manifested itself during the Cold War, therefore, is quite revealing, since the rapid downward spiral of our world and our Church into Godless chaos is a direct consequence of the triumph of atheism, the bedrock of Communism. Indeed, the “errors of Russia” have now spread throughout the entire world—the Orthodox schism has not diminished in the least and atheistic Communism thrives out in the open in the world’s most populated nation and, everywhere else, has morphed itself “doctrinally” and “philosophically” into the very soul of the New World Order. Mrs. Hertz’ article, then, is perhaps more timely today than it was when it was written some 25 years ago.
How do you get a cat to eat hot pepper? This question, a classic in Marxist training manuals, opens an exercise in revolutionary technique. The answer, to which the student is led by logic and common experience, explains how Communism has been able to take over a third of the world without serious opposition.
How does one get a cat to eat pepper, a condiment as unpalatable to him as Marxist doctrine is to healthy human nature? The first answer to present itself says the primer, is obvious: Force open the cat’s jaws and cram the pepper in.
Wrong, the student is told, because the cat’s willing cooperation is lacking. The second answer – to conceal the pepper in a tasty fish – is equally inadequate, because as soon as the cat detects the pepper he simply regurgitates it.
The correct answer: Sprinkle the pepper all over the cat’s mat. When he lies on it the pepper will cling to his fur and sting, so that he will soon be licking himself to get it off. This method assures perfect assimilation because (1) the cat is actually ingesting (2) entirely on his own initiative, (3) and a completely conditioned initiative at that, (4) pepper, which he hates.
Pius XI in effect described this cat‑and‑pepper ploy in his encyclical Divini Redemptorist, promulgated on the feast of St. Joseph, 1937: “The Communist takes advantage of the present world‑ wide economic crisis,” which he foments “to draw into the sphere of his influence even those sections of the populace which on principle reject all forms of materialism and terrorism . . . The preachers of Communism are also proficient in exploiting racial antagonism and political divisions .
It wields “a propaganda so truly diabolical that the world has perhaps never witnessed its like before. It is directed from one common center. It is shrewdly adapted to the varying conditions of diverse peoples. It has at its disposal vast financial resources, gigantic organizations, international congresses and countless trained workers. It makes use of pamphlets and reviews of cinema, theatre and radio, of schools and universities” – a list to which must now be added television and our very churches. “Little by little it penetrates into all classes of the people and even reaches the better‑minded groups of the community with the result that few are aware of the poison which increasingly pervades their minds and hearts.”
Thus works the mystery of iniquity in our time, sprinkling its pepper everywhere. By its own admission it employs a simple technique of temptation which the devil first used on Eve at the outset of the Revolution in Eden. He teaches his followers the same kind of spiritual judo, whereby opponents are led to use their own virtues and strength against themselves, just as the poor cat is drawn to eat pepper through his very distaste for it.
Fallen irretrievably from grace, Satan has only natural means at his disposal to effect super-natural destruction, but he uses these with transcendent craft. Although even in cases of possession he cannot act directly on the human will, he can solicit it in countless ways from the outside, courting its cooperation through its desire for good.
“I have gone round about the earth, and walked through it,” says he in the book of Job (2:2) exposing the source of his know‑how. His superior intelligence understands our earthly nature far better than we do, and he turns it against us with great skill. The richer our nature, the more he has to work with. Despite all her preternatural gifts, he captured Eve’s consent by appealing to her natural desires for what is “good to eat, and fair to the eyes and delightful to behold” (Gen. 3:6), later tempting the Son of Man in the same three ways in the desert, through what ascetical theology calls the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life. By weakening the will and disrupting the judgment, original sin has rendered our good appetites dangerous for us.
Well did St. Paul warn us that our battle here was not against mere flesh and blood, but against “the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Eph. 6:12), for throughout the ages Satan has taught his own techniques to his disciples. The Gospels reveal how, after his failure with our Lord in the desert, Satan inspired the Jews to continue the subversion he had begun. Inciting our Lord to revolution in the form of refusing Caesar’s taxes, they began adroitly by appealing to His integrity and love of justice: “Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou does not regard the person of men.” (Matt. 22:16).
Later, in the Acts of the Apostles, we see how judaizers carried the battle into the Church, for a time even subverting our first Pope. In the last century descendants of these Jews who rejected Christ – Marx, Engels, Heine, Lenin, Trotsky and their countless helpers then and now – have forged an instrument whereby every potential member of Christ’s kingdom can be tempted as was its Head. Popularly known as Communism, it actually constitutes a global temptation seeking to engulf the whole world in Satan’s revolution against God. Through the avenues of the three concupiscences the full force of our fallen nature can now be channeled and hurled against all mankind at once.
Communism may be properly called a Jewish heresy, for by its formal denial of an after life and the supernatural order, its crass materialism and blind faith in temporal Messianism, it is essentially a highly developed form of Saducceeism. The Gospels record conversions to Christianity among the Pharisees, but never from the Sadducees. Their heresy, now launched wholesale upon the world, would seem to be unto death.
“It exceeds in amplitude and violence anything yet experienced in the preceding persecutions launched against the Church,” said Pius XI. “Entire peoples find themselves in danger of falling back into a barbarism worse than that which oppressed the greater part of the world at the coming of the Redeemer.”
“How is it possible,” asks this Pope, “that such a system, long since rejected scientifically and now proved erroneous by experience, could spread so rapidly in all parts of the world?”
“The explanation,” he tells us, “lies in the fact that too few of us have been able to grasp the nature of Communism.”
Then too, as Fr. François Dufay points out in Etoile contre la Croix, we judge Communism much too leniently for the simple reason that communists are so much better than their doctrine. Recognizing in them qualities and virtues derived from natural law which remain in all of us despite the Fall, we attribute these to Communism. The reverse is true with Christians, who always look bad when judged against Christianity, a doctrine so sublime it can never be lived up to completely. Looking at Christians, we think Christianity defective; looking at communists, we find Communism not so bad.
“Brethren,” pleads St. Paul, “do not become children in mind, but in malice be children and in mind mature!” (I Cor. 14:20). There’s nothing Christian about being stupid. “Be wise as serpents,” commanded our Lord (Matt. 10:16).
Communism has been tragically underestimated by those who will not make the mental effort to understand it. For most, a communist is little more than an obnoxious organizer set on annoying us with strikes. Those who accept Pius XI’s word for it that it is “intrinsically perverse,” as often as not see it merely as some force which is out to deprive them of their hard‑earned property, even as they lick up its pepperiest propaganda.
In sober truth Communism provides a comprehensive explanation of all reality, geared to satisfy the most penetrating intellect. The proof is evident, it has won over some of the finest minds in the Church. No mere ideology, and least of all a political platform, Communism is a whole philosophy, a theology, a mystique. It has its Thomas Aquinases, its St. Pauls, its St. Johns of the Cross. For its “Redeemer” it proposes humanity itself! As our Lord predicted, it will be “many” who “will come in my name saying, I am the Christ… and they will lead many astray.” (Matt. 24:5).
Its historical development furthermore reveals a specifically anti‑Trinitarian, apocalyptic character which is even now coming to full term . Tempting man totally through the three concupiscences for food, glory and power as Satan did our Lord, it assaults in turn the three human faculties which constitute the divine Trinitarian image in the human soul, the intellect, the mind or “memory”, and the will. This interior trinity, by whose interchanges man lives as a human being, is analogous to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost in the Godhead.
Communism confronts us therefore with a “trinity” of its own: Marx, Lenin and Mao.
Accepted generally as the Father of Communism, Karl Marx plays the role of creator and source from which the whole movement flows. A theorist who took little active part in revolutionary events, he laid the main lines of a direct and deadly temptation aimed primarily at the intellect. To this faculty, which specifically reflects God the Father in man and is designed to feed on truth, Marx would offer stones for food. He proposed the satanic error called dialectic materialism, whose inexorable laws were to regulate all philosophy, sociology and economics.
To read Marx is to hear Satan’s boast in Isaias: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High!” (Is. 14:13‑14). He will explain everything.
As a temptation offered specifically to the intellect, dialectic materialism necessarily opposes the theological virtue of faith – without which no one may please God (Heb. 11:6). Pretending to enlighten man’s thinking, it will plunge him into darkness, for to accept its tenets is direct denial of God, inasmuch as these hold that human history is produced by blind forces existing in matter, and not by the direction of Divine Providence. In other words, matter created itself, eventually evolving to the point where it began to think, and became man. The Marxist definition of man – borrowed, incidentally, from Benjamin Franklin, whom Marx greatly admired – is an animal which thinks.
The reader is begged to bear patiently with the next few paragraphs, which may not make easy reading, but they are essential in explaining Communism as the end product of a long chain of false philosophies:
1. Marx’ notion of materialism as “dynamic” was actually an adaptation of the German philosopher Feuerbach’s “metaphysical” materialism, wherein Marx replaced God by science as revealer of the universe. With Marx, man no longer receives moral directives from a force outside the world, but from science, which arises from the world itself, and whose origin, nature and direction it gradually explains.
This means there can be no morality outside matter, and inasmuch as matter is obviously in constant flux, human acts can only vary along with it. Man need no longer get in tune with an arbitrary God and His commandments, but must align his actions to developing matter in a perpetual aggiornamento or “situation ethics.”
2. Marx’ dialectics were derived from Hegel, for whom a “world‑soul” engendered matter. By simply reversing the process, Marx postulated that matter in fact engendered spirit – incidentally also engendering Fr. Teilhard de Chardin’s “noosphere” and other related nonsense now basic reading in Moscow. It is true that Hegel identified reason and “idea,” thought and being, but with him the universal principle was still spiritual. Not so with Marx, for whom matter generates the idea.
Hegel furthermore taught that “idea” moves in three (now well‑publicized) sequences: thesis, anti‑thesis and synthesis, which Marx adopted into his system, but for him “idea” is always just matter.
3. Matter moving through these three sequences is dialectic materialism, the struggle matter goes through which produces spirit – and history. Materialism and dialectics are the two poles of the global heresy, with which the world is now so well peppered that Pope Paul VI, Bishop of Rome, has spoken even of the Church as “evolving.”
On dialectics hangs change, the constantly shifting relations of things in themselves and with others. For instance, an apple can be a bud, a flower, a green apple, a ripe apple, or rotten and distributing its seeds to make more apples. The apple is constantly “becoming.” When this principle, which occurs in matter, is applied to all nature and being, we have constant transition and movement, appearances and disappearances, in all orders of reality. Nothing can be definite or absolute, which means ultimately that nothing can be sacred, because it won’t stand still long enough!
For the Marxist this universal flux is governed by four so‑called “laws”:
1. Autodynamism, or constant, self‑generated change, whether in apples or men.
2. Inter‑dependence, whereby these changes act on one another, but with no closed cycles, because the movement is open‑ended, as in the apple which liberates its seeds. This produces the ascending spiral by which matter proceeds in time, constituting “progress.” (For the Marxist any change is always upward and for the better. )
3. Contradiction. Everything in itself contains its contrary, a principle of affirmation as well as negation: Life engenders death; death, life. The apple rots that new apples may come. This battle of contraries insures development.
4. Finally, there occurs in the process an explosive “leap”, whereby quantitative changes become qualitative, in the same way that oxygen and hydrogen together produce water, qualitatively different from is two constituents. The change is sudden, but long in preparation. Essentially this is the analogy Darwin and Lysenko applied falsely to biology.
A classic example offered is that of water being changed into vapor, or ice, depending on the quantity of heat present. The tendency of water to remain as it is—thesis. Its tendency to vaporize (or freeze)—anti‑thesis. These two contradictory internal forces render its equilibrium precarious, and it is made more precarious by temperature changes. Arrived at the rupture point where water boils (or freezes), a sudden “leap” occurs, and vapor (or ice)—synthesis.
All this may be true enough on the purely material plane, but when we apply these laws to higher forms, the error is monstrous. If matter is in fact first in the order of reality, then human thought becomes simply the result of qualitative changes in matter. As soon as the material brain evolved, matter began thinking, for according to Engels, the brain is “the organ which produces thought.” He would not deny that spirit exists, but that’s only matter understanding itself. The evolution we hear so much about is therefore only the history of the dialogue matter has been carrying on with itself throughout the ages, slowly rising from one stage to the next by means of sudden resolutions of its conflicts. Human intelligence is merely a threshold, the cosmos as we know it merely the stage matter has reached for the present.
Applying the four “laws” to human society spells disaster. Autodynamism accounts for the automatic progress of humanity from slavery to servitude to feudalism to bourgeoisie to capitalism and on to the socialism whereby the antithetical “proletariat” is now being produced. (This view of history is powerfully depicted in mosaics at the University of Mexico and the works of the Mexican communist artist Diego Rivera.)
Social phenomena are also inter‑dependent, economic conditions acting on social conditions and producing certain kinds of politics, religion, art, music, etc., each factor being both cause and effect. Contradiction comes into play because according to Marx social structures rest on the economic. Believing that economics depend entirely on the means of production being ever perfected by technology, Marx envisaged the “class struggle” as an inevitable disequilibrium between these new means and the social structures always left over from the preceding stage. Capitalism is doomed, not by its sins, but because its growing means of production pit a huge collective work force against privately held property. Those who possess the means of production are therefore “exploiters” of the “exploited” workers.
We must note here that in Communism, work occupies the place of love in Christ’s kingdom. Christianity teaches that man’s proper act is union with God, but for the communist it is work – not personal work, but the collective work which is the very essence of humanity generating itself. (Marx never speaks of persons, but only of individuals in the “masses”.) It is work, furthermore, which confers ultimate value on things, whereas for the Christian, value is estimated according to its usefulness in helping him get to God. Marxism is not concerned with utility at all in fixing values.
Sociologically speaking, the qualitative “leap” is: revolution, generated by the innate tensions which produce the next stage of society. Although Marxists will espouse “reforms” for tactical reasons, they hold that society as such cannot be reformed. It can only erupt into its next stage.
Unfortunately not all this reasoning is false. In “dialectic” for instance, the classical philosopher easily recognizes the hallowed concepts of “act” and “potency.” What makes Marxism heretical is its wholesale rejection of any and all transcendental factors, with its mechanical application of material analogies, true enough in their place, to higher planes of being. Dialectic, which accurately describes the painful tensions in a human being seeking his proper end, is merely a new word for a very old idea now being misapplied.
As Marx sees it, identity and the principle of contradiction in the classical sense are wholly eliminated. Where everything is in flux, any number of postulates can be “true.” There is only one absolute truth in Marxism, and that is that everything is relative. One would say a thing can’t both be and not be, but Marxism says yes: in that being is forever resolving its own contradictions by becoming. It never “is” anything.
Given such a doctrine, what laws can stand? What vows can bind? Even to study it seriously is to deform the intelligence created for truth. To put it in practice leads us to the works of Lenin
In accordance with his own teaching, Marx expected world progress through revolution to take place automatically. At most one only had to cooperate with the forces at work in matter. When Marx died, Nicolai Lenin, the man destined to play “Son” to Marx the Father in the blasphemous trinity, was only thirteen years old, but soon he would implement on the moral plane what Marx had laid out on the speculative. A keen intellectual, Lenin was also a man of action, who saw immediately that the dictatorship of the proletariat could never be established without help. Although he continued preaching Marx’ false theory, he had no scruples about acting counter to it in practice. In him Communism was made visible to the world and dwelt amongst us. Following him is the destruction of the theological virtue of hope, for through him and in him Communism pretends to give us here and now the substance of the things a Christian must hope for in the world to come. He offers “glory now”, directing the temptation to the human faculty we call “memory” in the theological sense, leading to despair.
A student of the military scientist Karl von Clausewitz, he had been particularly impressed by the latter’s dictum that, “War does not necessarily result from invasion, but from the defense which the invaded puts up against the invader,” like the cat against the pepper. Brilliantly transposing Clausewitz’ strategical theories from the strictly military plane to the revolutionary scene, he developed advanced techniques for leading whole nations to devour themselves in their frenzy to eliminate the evils infecting them. Systematically arousing hatred wherever it was to be found, he learned to aggravate it by ruthlessly pitting every possible “anti‑thesis” against its “thesis” in order to achieve the desired “synthesis” by the leap of revolution. The demonic forces he unleashed produced a chain reaction which resulted in terror and enslavement for millions.
With Lenin, hating became a science. His satanic inspiration can hardly be doubted. He is the very “brightness of his father’s glory,” the “image of his substance.”
He envisaged world revolution in three stages, now only too well known. In opposition to Trotsky, who envisioned simultaneous revolution in all countries at once, Lenin insisted on first establishing the dictatorship in one country in order to provide a solid base of operation from which worldwide revolution could then be directed. This turned out to be Russia, as our Lady came to tell us at the time.
Marcel Clement in Le Communisme Face à Dieu, says he regarded the Russian regime “as the master brain of an immense nervous system spread throughout the world and working everywhere under detailed orders at agitation and communist propaganda.” Eventually “diplomatic representation in every country, through diplomatic immunity, afforded a practically invulnerable center for transmitting instructions to each country. Around this center, the ideological, financial and police units, the use of the revolutionary elite and the proletarian masses, became a simple matter of organization. In a few years the network of world revolutionary organization was extended with extraordinary efficiency over the whole world.” This “cold war” outside the borders of Russia constituted the second stage of the Revolution. Its third stage, establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat over all humanity, is now imminent.
Son Lenin, more astute than Father Marx, was well aware that mere workers could not be depended on to carry out such a program, that little could be expected of these sheep beyond organizing labor unions clamoring for better pay and working conditions. He saw the necessity for carefully choosing and training highly disciplined professional revolutionaries who would be totally consecrated to the cause, and who would in fact function in the satanic state very much as do the religious orders in the Church.
For this purpose was formed the Communist “Party,” which is no party at all in the accepted political sense. Its primary duty is implementing the directives of the international body in accordance with the national problems of each particular nation. Its second duty is adult education on a massive scale, by means of any media to hand, whereby a whole country can be psychologically prepared to take part in the coming revolution. Whereas workers are to be as many and as visible as possible, party members are strictly limited in number, periodically “purged,” and work consistently behind fronts.
So much for the over‑all strategy. Its zigzag tactics as perfected by Lenin are quintessential chutzpah.
The dialectics begin with vocabulary. Intending to substitute in men’s minds a view of reality radically different from the one God has revealed in nature and in the Church, communists as often as possible use the same words we do. They speak of democracy, nationality, liberty, morality, peace, the state, etc., but for them these words have totally different and sometimes entirely opposite meanings. Thus they are able to express their true thought publicly all the while their opponents interpret the words according to the generally accepted sense. By the time the true sense appears, the doctrine has been ingested.
For instance, Lenin defined dictatorship as power limited by no law, resting on force alone. After it became a bad word under Hitler and Mussolini, communists began speaking of “popular democracy,” meaning dictatorship. In like manner, the word “human” which for a Christian necessarily embodies the notion of person, for a Marxist actually means non‑person, or even anti‑person, because for him a man is only individualized matter that thinks. The orthodox definition of “peace” is the tranquillity of order, but in communist lingo peace is merely the freedom to carry on the dialectical conflict. In other words, peace is actually war, the establishment of permanent, self‑perpetuating revolution. Nor is “science” human knowledge, the handmaid of revelation, but simply materialism, for the communist has no God, and science explains everything as matter explaining itself.
There is actually no common language between Communism and Christianity, but by pretending there is, Communism can plead for “dialogue.” So indispensable is dialogue to its offensive, that wherever it meets with real resistance, it is suspended temporarily so that it may be resumed safely later, for without this “service of the word” no conflict could be whipped up and exacerbated.
As St. James warned, “The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, defiling the whole body and setting on fire the course of our life, being itself set on fire by hell” (3:6). It is a matter of record that the Christians in China who were least corrupted by Communism were those to whom dialogue was repugnant. Taught by the devil who first used it on Eve, Marxists are trained to begin with orthodox interpretations of their doctrines. Dialogue once innocently begun leads to dialectic, dialectic to division, and division to death.
Never attacking religion on its own dogmatic ground, Communism sets out to destroy it as Cain did Abel, by inviting believers “into the field,” non‑religious ground where the battle is already lost. Proceeding almost exclusively on the moral, practical plane, Marxism first lures its victims to acts of which they have become doubtful, for instance, contraception. Once practiced, these are accepted, and eventually promoted.
Dialogue is rigged to produce dilemma from which the only escape always appears to be the Marxist solution. (Discussion of world population problems is a favorite introduction to the “necessity” of contraception.) By refusing dialogue at the outset as we would any other temptation, we refuse dilemma and all its consequences. The timid take refuge in the enemy’s ambiguous propositions to salve their consciences, being encouraged to accept Marxist theses in Christian dress which are later interpreted and executed in the full Marxist sense.
Post‑Vatican II developments are sufficient example of this master tactic whereby the dialectical struggle has been introduced into the Church herself. The only power on earth superior to Communism, she is being tempted at all levels to set her pace to the world, for she presents an insuperable obstacle to the Revolution.
The communist never lies or contradicts himself, because for him there is no absolute right or wrong. His Party, midwife of the Revolution, uses any means to accelerate delivery, espousing even reactionary causes if this will aggravate conflict. Lenin laid down as principle that “one must learn to work legally within the most reactionary organization.” Within these groups revolutionaries, always a minority, transmit party orders in the guise of their own personal opinions, harnessing as many non‑communists as possible to the work of the Revolution without their suspecting it.
Never openly preaching Communism, party members are adept at manipulating “peace” offensives, defending “motherhood” and “democracy,” encouraging “patriotism,” so as to neutralize and dismantle any real opposition. All the while, management is pitted against labor to produce the deadly wage vs. price cycle which will wreck the economy and destroy money itself through inflation. Conservatives are hurled against liberals, haves against have‑nots, black against white. In the women’s lib movement even the sexes are turned against each other to produce crisis in the family, basic cell of natural society. In the Church agents are found in traditionalist ranks as they are among the purveyors of the New Religion, promoting discord from both sides. This kind of super‑opportunism at work supporting all sides is incomprehensible to those who can’t see that the basic strategy never varies.
“The dictatorship of the proletariat,” said Lenin, “is a relentless battle, both bloody and unbloody, violent and peaceful, military and economic, pedagogical and administrative, against the forces and traditions of the old world.”
Marcel Clement, on whom this article has drawn heavily, calls Leninism “the methodical exteriorization of all conflicts, based on organized deception and incitement to envy and hatred. Christianity is the acceptance of the Cross, the light of Truth, the pardon of injuries. We are in a way at the eve of the great option. It’s the destiny of the world which is at stake.”
Communism, dedicated to such “exteriorization of conflict,” can never be reconciled with the Faith, which is founded precisely on interiorization of conflict as exemplified by Christ on the Cross, of whom the Psalmist had prophesied, “I bear in my bosom all the accusations of the nations!” (Ps. 88:51).
A full generation before Vatican II, the techniques this so‑called “pastoral” council recommended for updating the Church had already been perfected by Communists working in the Church in China. There it was shown how the dialoguing “study club” could be gradually transformed into the “parish council” which would take over the direction of the parish and eventually the entire diocese. Religious activities were systematically used as pretexts for disguised Marxist indoctrination or ecumenical meetings where real Catholics driven farther and farther “out into the field” were always outnumbered and finally excluded. This need not surprise us, for it was in China, with Mao Tse‑Tung, that Communism attained its Pentecost.
Chairman Mao plays the part of “Spirit” to Marx the Father and Lenin the Son in the satanic trinity. Proceeding from both, perfecting the thought of the one and the revolutionary strategy of the other, Mao’s cultural revolution means to achieve the satanic “sanctification” of the world by finishing touches from “the finger of the Father’s right hand.” There is an eminent congruity in that Mao rose, not from the world’s masculine west, but from its feminine east – woman being the ectype of the Holy Ghost according to the Fathers of the Church. And the Chinese have long been known as “the Jews of the orient.”
As we might expect, he addresses himself to the third power of the soul, the will. His specific temptation will therefore be against the permanent theological virtue of charity. By him humanity is to be led, not only to unbelief, or to despair, but to the consummate formal denial of God’s love which constitutes the unforgivable sin against the Holy Ghost.
Christian imperatives all reduce to one: Thou shalt love – first God, then one’s neighbor for His sake. As we have seen, being vowed to dialectical struggle, the Marxist’s imperative is actually: Thou shalt hate – and deliberately pits neighbor against neighbor. It is true the Christian also hates. He hates sin, but he loves persons. The Marxist also loves, but only humanity, and a kind of mystical, perfected humanity at that, existing only in the future. He hates persons in their actual state. The real “now generation” are the Christians, for they love now as well as in the future.
To effect radical reversal of Christian love, Mao brings to perfection the theories derived from Clausewitz by Lenin and later by Stalin. Developer of the concept of total war, Clausewitz had been guided by the principle that war is merely an extension of politics. He considered warfare as human activity rather than mere confrontation of physical forces, with victory not necessarily the result of greater numbers or physical strength. He taught that the enemy must therefore be weakened not only physically, but above all morally. Also he noted that the fight need not always be fought to a finish, but simply used as a way of bringing one’s adversary to the conference table.
As we saw, Lenin, reversing the thought of Clausewitz, saw politics as the extension of war. For him, peace was simply more and better war, but he didn’t neglect bloody terrorism when it suited his purpose. Compared to Mao, Lenin’s methods seem very crude, for when it comes to pervasive, indirect but relentless aggression, the oriental is matchless. With Mao Communism came into possession of refined psychological instruments so deadly accurate that the battle against God can now be carried not only into the heart of society, but into the human soul itself.
It is frightening to study in detail the campaign organized with such force and accuracy against the pagan Chinese, but especially against the Church. Although the Chinese Christians constituted hardly one percent of the total population, it is revealing that they received the lion’s share of attention from the Communist propaganda organs. Wherever she is found, the Church alone provides the opposition her enemy really fears.
Whereas Marx the Father attacked the juridical order by political revolution, and Lenin sapped the economic order by social revolution, Mao’s vast revolution against all existing culture is designed to liquidate the whole interior spiritual order of the human soul in order to reconstruct it on Marxist lines.
Gauging Marx’ superficiality even better than had Lenin, Mao contended that the most their methods could produce was a sort of consumer‑man conditioned to aspire merely to ever greater creature comforts – a prognostication only too willingly confirmed by both Plus XI and Pius XII
Mao’s truly pentecostal view of revolutionary man was that of a completely new creature, so free that he was liberated even of his entire past, his total human heritage. He saw that mere destruction of private property (on which personal human dignity is objectively based) could never of itself eradicate past culture from human consciousness. All of human memory would have to be blotted out in a new “baptism of the spirit” – of Chairman Mao.
Understanding the power of obsession, he advocates a total change of surroundings before addressing the intellect. Slogans, ideas, posters, radio, songs, dance, theatre, movies, study clubs, schools, demonstrations, lectures, meetings, all become tools for the systematic destruction of the past.
By its very nature behaviorist, Communism has always believed that man will automatically change if his environment can be changed, but Mao has refined such crudity. For him “class” and the class struggle are not found outside man, but inside him, and that is where he looks for it. He has developed what amounts to a whole program ordered to the production of the diabolic virtues, through a diametric reversal of the evangelical counsels.
In the name of “poverty” all the trappings of the past, whether Shakespeare or classical Chinese drama, miniskirts, Mah Jong, are forbidden to 700,000,000 people. Austerity is demanded of all in a land where students must work like coolies and coolies must become students. A Chinese Communist must be denuded of everything. His only possessions are the thought and will of those who command him, for his “obedience” must be total, expected in the internal forum of his conscience as well as in the external, governing not only his acts, but his most intimate thoughts, in private as in public. Nor is “chastity” overlooked, for young Maoists are expected to defer marriage until the age of thirty if they marry at all, in deference to the exigencies of the Revolution. Man’s noblest instincts have been harnessed: As one militant explained, “Several generations will have to be sacrificed before Communism triumphs. These generations are ours: Neither I nor my son, nor even my grandson will see this victory. That doesn’t matter, we are nothing; our job is to prepare a better future for those who will succeed us.”
(It might be asked here, “But what of the Jew Marcuse and the sexual revolution?” These seem contrary at first glance, but they are actually mirror images of Mao and his spiritual regime, achieving the same ends by reverse methods, playing Molinos to his Jansen. By one or the other means whole populations can and are being rendered hostile to their established government and to themselves in the diabolic pentecost whose corrupting fire and flame are even now seeking to consecrate the whole world to the “man of sin.”)
Needless to say, behind all the paraphernalia for destroying man’s past there lurks only the satanic desire to obliterate his religion, which Communism has always maintained is of his own manufacture, a form of thumb‑sucking which makes him dependent on illusion and alienates him from himself. Marx called religion “man’s self‑consciousness before he has found himself – or when he has lost himself,” a “super‑structure” in society designed to console the exploited in the class struggle, an “opiate for the people.”
For Mao religion isn’t even that, but merely a relic of the past. “No more martyrs” is now official policy. Christians are never convicted on religious grounds, but only for impeding the Revolution.
In the name of Marx, Communism denies God the Father, who created heaven and earth out of nothing and who personally directs its every event, whose eye is on the sparrow, and without whose consent not a hair falls from our heads. Communism says it was matter, and not God’s Word, which became man. In the name of Lenin is denied this very Word, God the Son who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” and outside whom there is nothing that was made. In the name of Mao it denies God the Holy Ghost, of whom the Son promised, “He will teach you all things” (John 14:26).
Aping the divine Persons in the Most Blessed Trinity, these three satanic personifications act in the Party as one throughout the world. There is still much work for them to do, for integral, perfected Communism exists nowhere yet, not even in China or Russia, which at best are still in the socialist stage. In so‑called communist countries, the government merely governs, all the while favoring the Party, which is the only direct agent of the communization which goes on internally over a long period of years. It keeps the dialectic ferment active in many “outmoded” structures which are allowed to persist until the new ones can be forged. This is happening now within the Catholic Church, which is being subjected to the same dialectics as other social categories. Like other holdovers, it will be allowed to subsist for a time, but transformed, its dogmatic content replaced by Marxism, its apostolate by Leninism and its interior life of grace by Maoism.
When Mao died on September 8, 1976, he joined Marx and Lenin definitively in their niche in history. The Satanic “trinity” is now complete. Despite any specious “revisionism” to the contrary, it is set from now on to spread error throughout the world with unimaginable coherence – as our Lady warned would happen if mankind does not fall to its knees.
What is the defense against this creeping horror?
Once we have thoroughly understood its tactics, the only possible defense is the one proposed by Pius XI: “No one . . . may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever!” no matter how innocent this may appear. He warned how communists, “without receding an inch from their subversive principles, invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so‑called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church.”
In the face of this warning, the “pastoral” Vatican II laid down in its declaration on Christian Education: “Cooperation is the order of the day.” In its decree on the Missions: Catholics “should cooperate in a brotherly spirit with other Christians, with non‑Christians, and with members of international organizations” with a view to “building up of the earthly city” – in the Lord! In the decree on the Church in the Modern World: “It is very much to be desired that Catholics, in order to fulfill their role properly in the international community, will seek to cooperate actively and in a positive manner both with their separated brethren who together with them profess the Gospel of charity, and with all men thirsting for true peace,” communists in no way excluded. The Council refused a petition to condemn Communism.
The choice lies before all, for the temptation is now global indeed: Apostasy or death? Not a question of saving human life, but of saving the Faith. “Every other enterprise,” said Pius XI, “however attractive or helpful, must yield before the vital need of protecting the very foundation of the Faith and of Christian civilization.”
Fr. Dufay, who witnessed the battle at close quarters in China, says to lose no time in preparing the Church of the Catacombs: “Take as principle that normal exterior life – liturgy, teaching, apostolate – should continue as far as possible. But, at the same time, prepare Christians to preserve their essential religious life in the absence of priests, worship and Sacraments . . . Prepare memory aids on the dogmas of necessary means, marriage without clergy, perfect contrition, assistance to the dying, Baptism, child education, etc., and place these leaflets in safe places…
“It would be good if trustworthy priests of high caliber were to set themselves to living the life of the people. They need profound dogmatic and spiritual formation, especially on the theology of the Church, the meaning and value of persecution and suffering, and should be steeped in the remembrance of the great saints and martyrs of the past. Thus armed, the Christian faith will use its bad times for growth in charity,” making the most of the service Communism will render it by purifying and detaching it from all that is not God here below. And again, “Actually it’s solitaries who must be found and trained, in other words, Christians capable of living their faith all alone, amid the strongest pressures, the most painful happenings and the most forbidding of deserts.”
The Counter‑revolution began in Eden with the Revolution itself, for there on the spot God told the serpent, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed” (Gen. 3:15). Centuries later, when the battle was approaching a climax in Russia in 1917, this “woman” appeared on earth at Fatima to warn that “the errors of Russia” would overflow the whole world unless supernatural means were marshalled against them.
Of necessity the “errors of Russia” can be overcome only by supernatural force, because there are no natural means superior to them. Given the impairment of nature by original sin, there are no natural means which are even proportioned to these “errors”. Certainly no material weapons can destroy Communism’s battlements, let alone shoot down its ideas. No political position can withstand it. No mere strategy can outwit it that is not rooted in grace.
The defeat of Communism will be effected by prayer and penance, in the name of Him who before His Passion said, “In the world you will have affliction. But take courage, I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33). It is not the dictatorship of the proletariat which is “inevitable,” but the triumph of the Church!
Samuel S. Leibowitz was a criminal lawyer for 21 years, and a judge for 16 years in the Brooklyn criminal court system. In the 1950’s, the crimes of juveniles had reached a critical stage, and Leibowitz began to criticize the “solutions” of the welfare state in dealing with the crisis. They were ignoring the cause of the crimes, and only treating the effects of juvenile offenses: “making teen-age curfews and more playgrounds, punishing parents for their teenager’s crimes, getting more social workers, setting up a federal delinquency bureau, establishing psychiatric committees to research the adolescent psyche.”
The Judge ascertained that the Western country with the lowest rate of juvenile crime was Italy. Intrigued, he resolved to ferret out the reason for this first-hand, so he traveled there and spent weeks in various Italian cities, talking with police commissioners, school superintendents, mayors, etc. And he found the answer: the youth in Italy respected authority, which began in the home. A fortiori, it began with respecting the father’s authority. Even in the poorest families, the father was respected by the wife and children as its head. He formulated this finding into the words, stating: “Nine words that can stop juvenile delinquency: Put father back at the head of the family.” Now, let us fast-forward to the 21st century.
The progressivist Hierarchy and clergy of New Church not only do not recognize the simple truth discovered by the Judge, but with their easy-annulment policy, have for all purposes declared war against the family itself. Indeed, by 2002 the Bishops were granting 50,000 marriage annulments annually.
This vicious onslaught against the Sacrament of Marriage and the spiritual and social need for stable families is nothing less than diabolical. It has been said that the French Revolution of 1789 ushered in more revolutions. It left Europeans with a tendency to anarchism or – to use an expression of Fromkin – following Nietzsche, in a mood to “smash things”.
It can be said that the Revolution of Vatican II, is also a consequence of the French Revolution, still worse than that of 1789. It has smashed everything of the once sacred Catholic past. Once the Nietzschian fist smashes a family, it is never the same, it’s impossible. Once broken, it’s very nature has been changed.
Deirdre and her husband, a gifted medical doctor, were married for 28 years with three children. He applied for, and received, an annulment from the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston. These Bishops pretended with “a moral certainty” that there was never a marriage to begin with because at the time of the marriage, there was “lack of due discretion” on the part of the husband.
Making a simple analysis of the Tribunal’s decision, here is how the wife reports the sentence of the Tribunal:
“In September of 1965, this man, 31-years-old, of above average intelligence, non-psychotic, non-coerced, from a normal family background, suffered from some disorder that either made him unable to understand what marriage entailed or unable to fulfill its obligations. This disorder apparently continued undetected for 38 years and unknowingly prevented them from ever experiencing a true marriage even though they became parents and raised three children, and he was a successful physician as well.”
Because Deirdre’s husband married again soon after the annulment, she asked this final question:
“Let us grant for a moment that [the Tribunal was] correct. Why then let a person of such defective judgment remarry eight weeks later in the Catholic Church?
One could hardly be called sarcastic today if he accused today’s Hierarchy of believing the martyrdom of St. Thomas More, who died because he refused to grant the King an improper annulment, had no meaning, that it was nothing but futile act of ostentatious pageantry. However, as if the annulment scandal is not bad enough, add to it the fact that a parish priest of today “can expect that about 97% to 99% of his newlyweds will be using unnatural methods of birth control.”
The English philosopher Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Judge Leibowitz began his investigation of juvenile crime because he realized it was the effects of crime that were being treated, not the cause. He was a good man who did something.
Can we say that our Catholic Hierarchy is made of good men doing nothing? I think it is more than that. They are leaders of souls who are doing untold evil at every level because they have adopted a cesspool-caldron of progressivist ideas, with which they direct the faithful. One evidence we can see that our Shepherds have turned into wolves is the permissions they have granted for countless annulments or, better saying, Catholic divorces.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, says the maxim. Rousseau’s philosophy echoed this when he said, “The sole duty of man is to follow in everything the inclination of his heart.” The leaders of New Church must certainly agree with Rousseau. Their hearts are turned toward accomplishing their progressivist agenda.
The youth world, he said, has changed “radically,” but the church “is still offering what it has been offering for the past 500 years.”
The Vatican’s culture ministry warned Thursday that the Catholic church risks losing future generations if it doesn’t learn how to understand young people, their language and their culture.
The Pontifical Council for Culture invited sociologists, Web experts and theologians to a three-day, closed-door event Feb. 6-9 aimed at studying “emerging youth cultures.”
According to a working paper released ahead of the meeting, the church risks “offering answers to questions that are not there” if it doesn’t learn “the cultural reality of young people.”
A study released in October by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life showed that young people are increasingly disconnected from religion, with one in three Americans aged 18-29 describing themselves as religiously unaffiliated.
Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca, undersecretary of the Vatican’s culture department, said in an interview that the church’s youth problem is not just “quantitative” — evidenced by a decline in key indicators, such as baptisms and church attendance — but also “qualitative.”
The youth world, he said, has changed “radically,” but the church “is still offering what it has been offering for the past 500 years.”
“We keep on giving the same answers but the way questions are posed is now totally different.”
Even if youth culture is often marked by individualism, superficiality and hedonism, the council’s president, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, said during a Thursday press conference that its “diversity” is “not only negative” but “contains surprising seeds of fruitfulness and authenticity.”
In his effort to understand young people’s language and feelings, Ravasi confessed to listening to a CD by the late British pop singer Amy Winehouse, noting that “a quest for meaning emerges even from her distraught music and lyrics.”
In a first for a Vatican meeting, the event will be opened by a rock concert by Italian Christian rock band The Sun.
Participants, mostly bishops and Catholic lay leaders, will also hear from young Catholic activists from countries such as Indonesia and Madagascar, while American blogger Pia de Solenni will speak on the “emotional alphabet” of young generations.
“Even so then, at this present time also, there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace” – Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans (11:5)
I recently found myself standing before an old Catholic church and school building in the middle of New York. The abandoned structures were fairly typical of scores of churches and schools financed by immigrant dimes and nickels in the northeastern United States during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century.
If I’d looked around a little more I probably would have been able to figure out which nearby building had once housed the convent in which the teaching nuns had lived. The impressive stone facade of the church, along with the red-brick school building, was obviously built to withstand the test of time. The immigrant Catholics who’d raised these towering steeples were certainly not rich. But they understood they were housing the Real Presence of our Lord, and thus sacrificed a great deal to make it happen.
Sadly, many of these Catholic complexes, built in urban neighborhoods, have long since been turned into apartments or community centers or simply shuttered. Those that remain open could be much needed oases of light in a desert of urban blight, but, alas, are locked most of the time, their campuses hauntingly silent.
I closed my eyes and imagined the energy and activity that once defined these places a hundred years ago: the children of immigrant Irish or Italians, dressed neatly in school uniforms, Baltimore Catechisms in hand, in the tow of young nuns in full habit or chasing after good-natured priests in cassocks. I can hear the children’s laughter and the bells ringing, and smell the incense lingering over the holy sacrifices offered daily. I can see and hear and feel the lives of my forefathers that once bustled in this now-dead place. These men actually made things in America. They used their hands and toiled for long hours, six days a week. Their wives made due with little, despite considerable hardship and suffering.
While our culture today points to the “Greatest Generation” as that comprised of good guys, loyal wives and wise-cracking World War II soldiers, I would humbly submit that the previous century’s immigrants who eked out a hardscrabble existence in a country that neither valued or appreciated them, raised large families in chronic poverty and persevered in building their faith— may well be more deserving of the accolade. The sacrifices they expended are literally carved into the brick and mortar of their churches and schools that still stand, if empty, today.
So, what went wrong?
In the century that separates us from the hope and optimism of the Christian people who laid the cornerstones for these buildings, something dreadful happened.
Like almost anyone born after the Second Vatican Council, I am a “convert” to Tradition. I was born in 1971, the high-water mark of optimism following the Council. The new Pentecost was in full bloom. No change was off-limits, even to that which had been previously considered unchangeable. The very foundations of Holy Mother Church shook from the tremors of novelty and transformation. The new theology was all the rage, even if it was boring, bland and modern. To see the physical manifestations of this theology, one need look no further than the churches built in the early 1970s. Even architecturally, the human element of the Church was running from everything that had come before.
Like almost all of my generation, I spent most of my life completely ignorant of the fact that traditional Catholicism existed. Like the prisoners in Plato’s cave, we genuinely believed that the shadows of Catholic reality – existing in new and heretofore unrecognizable forms – were the real thing. We did not know that the priest used to face the altar during Mass, for example, or that the prayers were once offered in an ancient tongue. We never knew that priestly vestments were anything other than those polyester bed-sheets, or that Communion was distributed in any other manner but in the hand and to folks dressed in Led Zeppelin tee-shirts and ripped jeans.
The things that I now love so much about the Faith are the same things of which my generation had been kept utterly ignorant. We’d been robbed of our birthright and given a modernist mess of pottage in its place. Are we angry about that? You bet!
Even long after my re-version to the Catholic Faith, after years of reading the Church Fathers and the Lives of the Saints, I still did not know about the real thing. Re-version to the modern Church can be a confusing experience. I had read of great men and women of faith who were ready to sacrifice their lives for our Lord, but what I encountered in reality was modern Catholics who seemed to be going through the motions. My enthusiasm ran into the strong headwinds of aging hippie priests who told me the Church I was reading about didn’t exist anymore. My RCIA teacher informed me that “purgatory” is a doctrine on the way out and artificial birth control is not wrong so long as I didn’t believe it was wrong for me.
It was almost as if there was a conspiracy of silence by the vast majority of Catholics about how things used to be. The very meaning of what it meant to be Catholic had been radically altered, but nobody told us. It is only by the grace of God that a few of us managed to discover a whole new world of traditional Catholicism. When I first participated in the old Mass—when I first heard Gregorian Chant—I understood that this Catholicism of old – the constant and changeless Catholicism – was precisely what I’d been missing my whole life. I also understood why men and women from previous generations had suffered so much at the thought of losing it. I was grateful to God when I discovered that authentic Catholicism was being preserved by the spiritual equivalent of the survivors of a nuclear war. In the midst of an utterly broken and immoral society, men and women of good will were preserving the soul of the Catholic Faith.
So, there I was, standing before an example of the old Catholic church that can be found in any New York neighborhood, pockmarked by urban rot. I began visualizing what once was, while lamenting what has been so tragically lost. A thought occurred to me just then: Maybe we’re all living a nightmare. Maybe we will wake up tomorrow to see reality as it should be and as it once was. In our churches perhaps we’ll again see the ancient liturgy of our fathers offered in all its glory once again. Our schools will teem with wide-eyed children taught by faithful sisters. Convents and monasteries will again be filled with holy men and women storming the gates of heaven with their prayers and sacrifices for the world. Our bishops will fearlessly proclaim the unique salvific power of our Lord and his one true Church. They will educate Catholics and non-Catholics alike on the social kingship of our Lord and the Catholic vision of social order. Our seminaries will be filled with devout young men anxious to offer their lives for the greater glory of God. Orthodox Catholic colleges will educate young people in mind and soul in the greatest traditions of the Church’s intellectual life, and these young men and women will again become the seedbeds of a society based on faithful Catholic families and vocations.
Large families centered on faith will become the norm again as they always were – with mothers raising their little ones, fathers supporting them by hard work. The Church’s missionary work will be reignited as Protestantism continues to collapse, resulting in numerous adult baptisms again becoming a regular Easter occurrence. Our Church will again lead the way against divorce, abortion, obscenity and contraception.
Yes, I can see it: I can see a bright, vibrant society. It happened before; it could happen again. But first we must face the hard facts. We live in a world where every single measure of Catholic life is in abject decline. Instead of life, we see death. Instead of vibrancy, we see decay. Every day we’re made to witness the diabolic assault against our Lord’s holy priesthood that shakes Holy Mother Church to her very core. Bankrupt dioceses, shuttered schools, and empty seminaries tell the real story—it’s been a disastrous fifty years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council!
Standing before that venerable old church building, I was reminded of It’s a Wonderful Life. In that fabled film, George Bailey is provided the opportunity to see the value of his life through a vision of how the world would have been had he never been born. The homey town of Bedford Falls is thus transformed into the seedy, shameful Pottersville—a dark place much like the whole modern world today. The moral of the film is that the good we do in life, however seemingly insignificant, reverberates over time to change the world. The vision of a locked church and a padlocked school reminded me that we’re all living in a spiritual Pottersville, almost as if the Catholic Church had never been born.
It is hard to meet an intelligent, Mass-going Catholic today who still denies the Church is in crisis. Most recognize the decline but still refuse to lay blame at the feet of those who had the audacity to arrogate to themselves the power to change virtually every aspect of the Church’s identify in less than a generation. What took millennia to organically grow through rites and rituals and ideas and Tradition –while nurtured by the hands of saints – was deemed anachronistic by an imperious generation of churchmen who thought they knew better. In time, when the age of novelty is far passed, our descendants will no doubt marvel that these men got away with it.
But even today with the wreckage of Catholic life so evident, and a “cause and effect” of that wreckage so obvious, many good Catholics recoil at the notion that the changes brought about by the Council are the cause. They seem to miss the forest for the trees. Instead of an honest appraisal of the reality around them, they cling to the idea that if only the Council were implemented correctly things would get better; or if the new Mass were only celebrated reverently the liturgical crisis would end. But if we look at the crisis in the Church as a whole, the problem is clearly not one of execution, but rather of principles.
What is the use of quibbling over whether a more honest translation of the new Mass will cure its many ills when the fruits of the whole experiment have proven so disastrous! I stood before that shuttered Catholic church because the liturgy for which it was built ceased being offered there, and the clear Catholic doctrine that used to be preached from its pulpit is no more. This was not a mistake made on the margins; rather, it was a wholesale change in direction with cataclysmic effects. We took the wrong path, and when one takes the wrong path and realizes it the only solution is to turn around. There is no other choice. Indeed, a remnant in the Church is doing exactly that right now, working their way back to the right path and begging shepherds and fellow sheep to do the same.
They say we are experiencing springtime in the Church, and indeed we are. But not the springtime promised or anticipated. Springtime is necessarily a period of rebirth – and we are witnessing the rebirth of the Church in the most unlikely of places. It is not happening at ordinary Catholic parishes. It certainly is not happening at meetings of regional conferences of bishops. It is happening, however, on the dining room tables of home-schooled families. It is happening at afternoon Masses offered in inconvenient places according to the ancient form. It is happening among large families that reject artificial birth control and its surrogate— “natural family planning”. It is happening among teenaged girls wearing veils in churches. It is happening with young priests discovering the fullness of their priesthood in the old Mass. It is happening among fathers who embrace their role as head of the household and single providers. It is happening among mothers who once again are the hearts of Christian homes. It is happening among families that pray the rosary together. Simply stated, it is happening among those who view the traditional Faith as the single most important part of their lives. It is happening, and, to the extent that any of us are a part of it, we can take heart in knowing that the revolution has failed. God will not be mocked much longer.
Instead of the Orwellian “springtime” that was as manufactured as the liturgy upon which it was based, the real “springtime” is an organic movement of the faithful who are coalescing around the ancient traditions of Christianity. And as miniscule as it may seem at the moment it is growing, and it is growing at a time when the world thought it long dead and buried. Like the mustard seed of the first century, the Christian men and women of the remnant of faithful Catholics are again at work in the vineyard.
So while we may live in Pottersville for the moment, it won’t be forever and all hope is certainly not lost. Rebuilding Christian civilization is going to be difficult and it’s going to take time but, Deo Gratias, it has already begun.
And my people, upon whom my name is called, being converted, shall make supplication to me, and seek out my face, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land. 2Chr:7:14
In our time more than ever before, the chief strength of the wicked lies in the cowardice and weakness of good men… All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics. Oh! If I might ask the Divine Redeemer, as the prophet Zachary did in spirit: What are those wounds in the midst of Thy hands? The answer would not be doubtful: With these was I wounded in the house of them that loved Me. I was wounded by My friends, who did nothing to defend Me, and who, on every occasion, made themselves the accomplices of My adversaries. ~Pope St. Pius X, Discourse at the Beatification of St. Joan of Arc, Dec. 13, 1908
Although he again lost Protestant voters to his GOP opponent, Obama held onto his advantages among Catholic and Jewish voters. He won 70 percent of the Jewish vote, down from 78 percent in 2008, and he won Catholic voters 50 percent to 47 percent. Romney carried Protestant voters by a 13-point margin, 56 percent to 43 percent. (Source: Politico)
Fr. Augustín Fuentes was the Mexican priest named vice-postulator of the cause of beatification for Francisco and Jacinta. In the interview Sr. Lucy said that Our Lady told her: “The last means that God will give to the world for its salvation are the Holy Rosary and My Immaculate Heart.”
This important conversation of December 26, 1957 was the last public interview of Sr. Lucy. After it, permission was refused for any other interviews and she was effectively silenced and completely hidden away for the next several decades.
Another very jovial Sr. Lucy appeared 10 years later in 1967 during Paul VI’s visit to Fatima. This Sr. Lucy, square-faced, cheerful and robust – incredibly different from the oval faced, sad and pale Sr. Lucy who spoke to Fr. Fuentes – was seen more regularly starting in 1982, after John Paul II’s visit to Fatima. [See our Two Sister Lucys’ analysis]
These are the authentic words of her 1957 conversation with Fr. Fuentes, which came from the records of the official archivist of Fatima, Fr. Joaquín María Alonso, CMF. Fr. Alonso spoke with Sr. Lucy and publicly testified that her statements to Fr. Fuentes in 1957 were genuine and true.
This text is from his book, La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fátima sin Mitos [The Truth about the Secret of Fatima without Myths ]. The text has the approval and imprimatur of Archbishop Sánchez of Santa Cruz, Mexico.
What follows is the literal translation of Fr. Fuentes’ text reporting what he heard “from the lips of” the seer of Fatima.
Interview of December 26, 1957
Speaking to the sisters of Motherhouse of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Mexico on May 22, 1958, Fr. Fuentes said, “I want to tell you the last conversation I had with her [Sister Lucy], which was on December 26 of last year. It was in the convent, where I found her very sad, pale and drawn.”
He then proceeded to read Sister’s Lucy’s words to him at the December 26, 1957, interview:
“Father, the Blessed Virgin is very sad because no one has paid attention to her Message, neither the good nor the bad. The good, because they continue on the road of goodness, but without paying mind to this Message. The bad, because of their sins, do not see God’s chastisement already falling on them presently; they also continue on their path of badness, ignoring the Message. But, Father, you must believe me that God is going to punish the world and chastise it in a tremendous way.
“The chastisement from Heaven is imminent. The year 1960 is on us, and then what will happen? It will be very sad for everyone, and far from a happy thing if the world does not pray and do penance before then. I cannot give more details, because it is still a secret. By the will of the Blessed Virgin, only the Holy Father and the Bishop of Fatima can know the secret. Both have chosen, however, not to open it in order not to be influenced by it. (1)
“This is the third part of the Message of Our Lady, which still remains secret until 1960. Tell them, Father, that the Blessed Virgin said repeatedly – to my cousins Francisco and Jacinta as well as to me – that many nations would disappear from the face of the earth, that Russia would be the instrument of chastisement from Heaven for the whole world if the conversion of that poor Nation is not obtained beforehand. …”
A decisive battle with the devil
Sr. Lucy also told me:
“Father, the Devil is fighting a decisive battle against the Virgin and, as you know, what most offends God and what will gain him the greatest number of souls in the shortest time is to gain the souls consecrated to God. For this also leaves unprotected the field of the laity and the Devil can more easily seize them.
”Also, Father, tell them that my cousins Francisco and Jacinta made sacrifices because they always saw the Blessed Virgin was very sad in all her apparitions. She never smiled at us. This anguish that we saw in her, caused by offenses to God and the chastisements that threaten sinners, penetrated our souls. And being children, we did not know what measures to devise except to pray and make sacrifices. …”
We cannot wait for Rome to speak
Referring to the vision of Hell that Our Lady showed her and Jacinta and Francisco, she said:
“For this reason, Father, it is my mission not just to tell about the material punishments that will certainly come over the earth if the world does not pray and do penance. No, my mission is to tell everyone the imminent danger we are in of losing our souls for all eternity if we remain fixed in sin.
“Father, we should not wait for a call to the world from Rome on the part of the Holy Father to do penance. Nor should we wait for a call for penance to come from the Bishops in our Dioceses, nor from our Religious Congregations. No, Our Lord has often used these means, and the world has not paid heed. So, now each one of us must begin to reform himself spiritually. Each one has to save not only his own soul, but also all the souls that God has placed on his pathway.
Two last remedies to save the world
“Father, the Blessed Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but I understood this for three reasons:
“The first is because she told me that the Devil is engaging in a battle with the Virgin, a decisive battle. It is a final battle where one party will be victorious and the other will suffer defeat. So, from now on, we are either with God or we are with the Devil; there is no middle ground.
“The second reason is because she told me, as well as my cousins, that God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And, being the last remedies, that is to say, they are the final ones, means that there will be no others.
“And the third, because in the plans of the Divine Providence, when God is going to chastise the world He always first exhausts all other remedies. When He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever, then, as we say in our imperfect way of talking, with a certain fear He presents us the last means of salvation, His Blessed Mother.
If we despise and reject this last means, Heaven will no longer pardon us, because we will have committed a sin that the Gospel calls a sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin consists in openly rejecting – with full knowledge and will – the salvation that is put in our hands.
“Also, since Our Lord is a very good Son, He will not permit that we offend and despise His Blessed Mother. We have as obvious testimony the history of different centuries where Our Lord has shown us with terrible examples how He has always defended the honor of His Blessed Mother.
“Prayer and sacrifice are the two means to save the world. As for the Holy Rosary, Father, in these last times in which we are living, the Blessed Virgin has given a new efficacy to the praying of the Holy Rosary. This in such a way that there is no problem that cannot be resolved by praying the Rosary, no matter how difficult it is – be it temporal or above all spiritual – in the spiritual life of each of us or the lives of our families, be they our families in the world or Religious Communities, or even in the lives of peoples and nations.
“I repeat, there is no problem, as difficult as it may be, that we cannot resolve at this time by praying the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves, sanctify ourselves, console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.
“Then, there is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Most Holy Mother, holding her as the seat of mercy, goodness and pardon and the sure door to enter Heaven. This is the first part of the Message referring to Our Lady of Fatima, and the second part, which is briefer but no less important, refers to the Holy Father.”
1. In 1943, the Bishop of Fatima José Correia da Silva authorized Sister Lucia to write down the Third Secret during her bout with pleurisy, which threatened her life. On June 17, 1944, this document was officially placed in his hands. When Sister Lucia gave the letter to Bishop da Silva, she told him that he could read it, but he refused. Instead, he ordered the sealed document to be kept in the safe of the Episcopal Curia. Pope Pius XII also chose not to read the message, and left it in the care of Bishop da Silva until 1957, when the sealed envelope was sent to Rome at his request.
Fr. George Rutler was kind enough to share his latest parish bulletin concerning the recent HHS mandate with the Cardinal Newman Society.
Our many fellow Catholics now enchained for the Faith of our Fathers in such places as China, Syria, and Egypt are, as Father Faber’s hymn says, “in heart and conscience free.” But what happens when a government tries to chain the conscience itself?
A few weeks ago, in a remarkably unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the attempt of the present Administration in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC to restrict religious freedom. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the Administration’s argument that the First Amendment does not guarantee the right of religious organization to choose its leaders, was an “extreme” infringement of the free exercise clause.
Undeterred, and menacingly on the cusp of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued an “interim final rule” which requires all private health plans, including those of Catholic hospitals and schools, to include coverage of prescription contraceptives, female sterilization procedures, and abortion counseling.
For a while, various Catholic leaders had hoped that they might reach an understanding with the Administration, and some even felt more at peace with the president’s assurances. But “peace for our time” only lasts until Poland is invaded. Cardinal Mahony, whom no one would fault for intransigence, now says, “I cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on the freedom of conscience than this ruling today. This decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic Community can muster.” Our own archbishop said, “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”
At the time of the last presidential election, some may have thought that I overstated things in finding parallels with the dystopian world described in Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World, in which Julian Felsenburgh makes eugenics “a sacred duty.”
Since our Lord did not humiliate the frightened apostles by saying “I told you so” when he rose from the dead, I shall not say “I told you so” to any who underestimated the plottings of social engineers whose audacity is only an audacity of despair.
Blessed John Henry Newman, in Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects, cited the prediction of an eighteenth-century Protestant bishop and scientist, Samuel Horsley:
“The Church of God on earth will be greatly reduced, as we may well imagine, in its apparent numbers, in the times of Antichrist, by the open desertion of the powers of the world. This desertion will begin in a professed indifference to any particular form of Christianity, under the pretense of universal toleration; which toleration will proceed from no true spirit of charity and forbearance, but from a design to undermine Christianity, by multiplying and encouraging sectaries… For governments will pretend an indifference to all, and will give a protection in preference to none.”
Islamic mosques are being built more often in France than Roman Catholic churches, and there now are more practicing Muslims in the country than practicing Catholics.
Nearly 150 new mosques currently are under construction in France, home to the biggest Muslim community in Europe. The mosque-building projects are at various stages of completion, according to Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the Muslim Council of France (CFCM), who provided the data in an August 2 interview with the French radio station RTL.
The total number of mosques in France has already doubled to more than 2,000 during just the past ten years, according to a research report “Constructing Mosques: The Governance of Islam in France and the Netherlands.” France’s most prominent Muslim leader, Dalil Boubakeur, who is rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, recently called for the number of mosques in the country to be doubled again – to 4,000 – to meet growing demand.
By contrast, the Roman Catholic Church in France has built only 20 new churches during the past decade, and has formally closed more than 60 churches, many of which are destined to become mosques, according to research conducted by La Croix, a Roman Catholic daily newspaper based in Paris.
Although 64% of the French population (or 41.6 million of France’s 65 million inhabitants) identifies itself as Roman Catholic, only 4.5% (or 1.9 million) of those actually are practicing Catholics, according to the French Institute of Public Opinion (or Ifop, as it is usually called).
By way of comparison, 75% (or 4.5 million) of the estimated 6 million mostly ethnic North African and sub-Saharan Muslims in France identify themselves as “believers” and 41% (or 2.5 million) say they are “practicing” Muslims, according to an in-depth research report on Islam in France published by Ifop on August 1. The report also says that more than 70% of the Muslims in France say they will be observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in 2011.
Taken together, the research data provides empirical evidence that Islam is well on its way to overtaking Roman Catholicism as the dominant religion in France.
As their numbers grow, Muslims in France are becoming far more assertive than ever before. A case in point: Muslim groups in France are now asking the Roman Catholic Church for permission to use its empty churches as a way to solve the traffic problems caused by thousands of Muslims who pray in the streets.
In a March 11 communiqué addressed to the Church of France, the National Federation of the Great Mosque of Paris, the Council of Democratic Muslims of France and a Muslim activist group called Collectif Banlieues Respect called on the Catholic Church – in a spirit of inter-religious solidarity, of course – to make its empty churches available to Muslims for Friday prayers, so that Muslims do not have to “pray in the streets” and be “held hostage to politics.”
Every Friday, thousands of Muslims in Paris and other French cities close off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, close down local businesses and trap non-Muslim residents in their homes and offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for midday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of “Allah Akbar” via loudspeakers in the streets.
The weekly spectacles, which have been documented by dozens of videos posted on Youtube.com ( here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), have provoked anger and disbelief. But despite many public complaints, local authorities have declined to intervene because they are afraid of sparking riots.
The issue of illegal street prayers was catapulted to the top of the national political agenda in France in December 2010, when Marine Le Pen, the charismatic new leader of the far-right National Front party, denounced them as an “occupation without tanks or soldiers.”
During a gathering in the east central French city of Lyon on December 10, Le Pen compared Muslims praying in the streets to Nazi occupation. She said: “For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it is about occupation, then we could also talk about it [Muslim prayers in the streets], because that is occupation of territory. It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of districts in which religious laws apply. It is an occupation. There are of course no tanks, there are no soldiers but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents.”
Many French voters agree. In fact, the issue of Muslim street prayers – and the broader question of the role of Islam in French society – has become a major issue ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. According to a survey by Ifop for the France-Soir newspaper, nearly 40% of French voters agree with Len Pen’s views that Muslim prayer in the streets resembles an occupation. Another opinion poll published by Le Parisien newspaper shows that voters view Le Pen, who has criss-crossed the country arguing that France has been invaded by Muslims and betrayed by its elite, as the candidate best suited to deal with the growing problem of runaway Muslim immigration.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose popularity was at 25% in July – worse than any predecessor less than a year ahead of a re-election bid, according to the TNS-Sofres polling group – has been spooked by Le Pen’s advance in the opinion polls. He now seems determined not to allow Le Pen to monopolize the issue of Islam in France.
Sarkozy recently called Muslim prayers in the street “unacceptable” and said that the street cannot be allowed to become “an extension of the mosque.” He also warned that the overflow of Muslim faithful on to the streets at prayer time when mosques are packed to capacity risks undermining the French secular tradition separating state and religion.
Interior Minister Claude Guéant on August 8 told Muslims who have been praying on the streets of Paris that they should utilize a disused barracks instead. “Praying in the street is something that is not acceptable,” Guéant said. “It has to stop.”
Meanwhile, France ushered in Ramadan by inaugurating a new mega-mosque for 2,000 worshipers in Strasbourg, where the Muslim population has reached 15%. Construction also continues apace of a new mega-mosque in Marseille, France’s second-largest city where the Muslim population has reached 25% (or 250,000). The Grand Mosque – which at more than 8,300 square meters (92,000 square feet) will accommodate up to 7,000 worshippers in a vast prayer hall – is designed to be the biggest and most potent symbol of Islam’s place in modern France.
Boubakeur, of the Grande Mosque of Paris, says the construction of even more mosques – paid for by French taxpayers – would ease the “pressure, frustration and the sense of injustice” felt by many French Muslims. “Open a mosque and you close a prison,” says Boubakeur.
But Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has implied that the construction of mosques and minarets actually is part of a strategy for the Islamization of Europe. Publicly repeating the words of a 1912 poem written by the Turkish nationalist poet Ziya Gökalp, Erdogan said: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.”
Reflecting on the retreat of Catholicism and the rise of Islam in France, Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini, an Italian Franciscan who heads the Izmir archdiocese in Turkey, and who has lived in the Islamic world for more than 40 years, has recounted a conversation he once had with a Muslim leader, who told him: “Thanks to your democratic laws, we will invade you. Thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you.”
From the November 2007 issue of Catholic Family News
By John Vennari
The Church of the Holy Trinity opened at Fatima on October 12, the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. It is a project conceived and completed by Shrine Rector Luciano Guerra, the man who permitted Hindus to worship at the Catholic altar at Fatima in 2004.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone presided over the building’s consecration, blessing the new church accompanied by an altar girl at his side who carried the holy water.
I traveled to Fatima to witness the event, and to take a good look at the new structure now open to the public. It is a stark monstrosity with no soul. I snapped many photos, a small portion of which are included in the photo report in this issue.
` In a certain sense, the place needs little commentary. Most who look on it recognize its gargantuan hideousness. The Catholic soul gazing on it is shaken to his inmost being, and whispers prayers of reparation that a building so grotesque could be presented to God and to the Catholic world as a church at the very spot sanctified by Our Lady’s visitations 90 years ago.
The new building is billed as the fourth largest church in the world, following behind the more Catholic structures of St. Peters in Rome, Our Lady of Aparecida Shrine in Brazil, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast.
The architecture is primarily functional and thus thoroughly modern. The main purpose in the building’s design is for easy movement of the large crowds that flock to Fatima each year. The building seats 9000 people, has a center wide enough for three SUVs to roll side-by-side down the main aisle, and has no columns so as not to obstruct live television broadcasts. As in movie theaters, the floor slopes down from back to front.
The round, windowless exterior looks more like a maximum security prison or a whale aquarium than anything remotely Catholic. The large concrete walls that run across the center and jut out from the back give the appearance of something from an outer-space film. The building could be called “Intergalactic Center for Peace among the Planets” with no questioned asked.
The building’s cavernous interior is stark and cold, the spiritual equivalent to a walk-in freezer. Apart from the large crucifix, grotesquely topped with a Neanderthal face of Our Lord, the building could pass for something from the United Nations. The absence of windows augments its ugliness.
Behind the crucifix is a large mosaic of “The Heavenly Jerusalem” composed of artwork that is modern but not as offensive as the rest of the building.
The Blessed Sacrament is kept in some far-off area that is either impossible to find or closed to the public. There is no sanctuary lamp. A priest of my acquaintance searched the hall for 15 minutes and never found a tabernacle. I asked another priest wandering around inside where is the tabernacle. “I have no idea” he said half-laughing at the absurdity of it all.
Then there’s the “Tall Cross” — a steel-monstrosity of a crucifix that soars 110 feet in the air next to the new temple. It looks as if it was made with melted steel girders.
The Shrine commissioned modern German artist Robert Schad to design the cross within the iconography of the new Church of the Holy Trinity. According to the August 30 Jornal de Notícias, Schad was selected because of his persistence with Rector Guerra and the support of the basilica’s architect, the Greek Orthodox Alexandros Tombazis.
Schad described his work of art thus: “It is a crucifix turned towards the 21st century, showing a heartfelt stylized Christ which pays tribute to all the world’s cultures… the simplicity of the work also has something sensual.”
Newspaper accounts of the building’s cost vary between 85 to 99 millions dollars. The church was supposed to open May 13 th, but numerous delays prevented its opening until October.
The ecumenical intent of the building appears obvious. Cardinal Saraiva Martins said on Portuguese television that the new basilica is Fatima for the 21st Century and a sign of inculturation, putting the Church right in the middle of modern culture.
Bishop Antonio Marto, the Bishop of Lierra-Fatima, said in mid-2006 that the new basilica at Fatima will not be an ecumenical temple, but qualified that the identity of Fatima allows space for universal and interreligious dialogue.
In other words, the church at Fatima will not be an interreligious shrine, but a Catholic shrine where ecumenical activity occasionally occurs.
The structure of the new building speaks the voice of ecumenism. The 1993 Directory for the Application of the Principle and Norms of Ecumenism, quoted many times in CFN, encourages numerous interreligious activities that have always been condemned by the Church as grave sins against the Faith.
One of the proposals in this Directory is to construct a single church to be owned and used by Catholics and non-Catholics [#138]. In these ecumenical churches, the Blessed Sacrament should be placed in a separate room so as not to offend the sensibilities of non-believers [#139]
Likewise, Cardinal Kasper’s newly-released booklet, Handbook for Spiritual Ecumenism, recommends various ways that the proposals of the Ecumenical Directory be put into practice.
The Cardinal makes special mention of how Marian shrines must become ecumenical: Pay due attention, in national and international sanctuaries dedicated to the Virgin Mary, to the presence and pastoral needs of those visitors who belong to other Churches and Ecclesial communities by making available appropriate prayers or meditations, along with the use of appropriate liturgical signs and symbols. (pp. 34-35).
The new basilica of Fatima seems to have followed the Ecumenical Directory in the absence of a public tabernacle or sanctuary lamp, and in keeping the Blessed Sacrament in a remote area impossible to find. There can be no doubt that the basilica would have been designed according to the ecumenical imperatives of Cardinal Kasper, since the Cardinal’s Handbook was result of proceedings from a 2003 Plenary Session at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The points in his booklet would be known to Church officials for many years.
Along the same lines, the Fourth European Conference of Directors of Pilgrimages and Rectors was held in September 2004 at the Marian Shrine in Kevelear, Germany. The conference was promoted by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. The meeting’s purpose was to advance the practice of ecumenism in Catholics shrines and pilgrimages throughout Europe (see CFN, Sept, 2006).
Fatima Rector Luciano Guerra spoke at the Kevelear conference, which was attended by Catholics, Schismatic Orthodox, Anglicans and Evangelical Protestants. Here, Guerra boasted of his ecumenical endeavors at Fatima.
Every year for the last four years, said Guerra, we received the visit of a group of Anglican priests normally accompanied by a bishop. They stay several days in Fatima, taking part in some of the celebrations and even in the Eucharist, but without concelebrating or communicating [receiving communion]. The Shrine makes available to them the interior chapels of the lodging houses, so that they may celebrate their own rites. Already this year  the Anglican Archdeaconry of Gibraltar held its Synod in one of the lodging houses of the Shrine.
Rector Guerra, being thoroughly ecumenical, and no doubt being aware of Cardinal Kasper’s push to open Marian Shrines to the ecumenical dimension, would have designed the new church to serve the new interfaith orientation rather than the Catholic Faith of all time.
Thus it is clear the new basilica at Fatima is a monument to the diabolic disorientation of neo-modernism and ecumenism. This explains why there is nothing Catholic about its construction. This explains why there is nothing holy in its appearance. This explains why the average Catholic who still has the sensus fidei gapes at the building as something from another planet.
Even the poor Portuguese people are perplexed, despite their humble temperament to keep their misgivings to themselves. One woman I spoke with at Fatima told me she went around asking Portuguese pilgrims what they thought of the new building. Each of them replied with a shrug of the shoulders, hardly a 90-million-dollar response.
On October 11, 1962, two days before the 45th anniversary of the final apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun, Pope John XXIII addressed the opening session of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John was pleased to announce to the assembled bishops that the calling of this Council “was completely unexpected, like a flash of heavenly light, shedding sweetness in eyes and hearts.”1
What is more, this unexpectedly-called Council would make no effort to condemn any of the errors threatening the Church and the world, including communism, because “Nowadays … the spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than the arms of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by issuing condemnations.2 Considering that Pius XII had issued scathing condemnations of communism and neo-modernism, along with interdicts and automatic excommunications reserved to the Apostolic See, by “nowadays” Pope John presumably meant the four years which had elapsed since his predecessor’s death.
The “flash of heavenly light” which impelled Pope John to call his Council had occurred during a stroll in the Vatican gardens at the end of 1958, when he experienced “the first sudden bringing up in our hearts and lips of the simple words: ‘ecumenical council’ “. On January 25, 1959, Pope John announced his sudden inspiration to the Sacred College of Cardinals. Their reaction was stunned silence.3
Eight months after he had committed himself and the Church to the Council, Pope John would read the Third Secret of Fatima those 23 lines on a piece of notebook paper in the handwriting of Sister Lucia dos Santos, the last surviving seer of Our Lady’s apparitions at the Cova da Iria in 1917. The first two “secrets” had already been disclosed to the world in 1942 in the form of Sister Lucy’s memoirs, but Sister Lucy had entrusted the sealed text of the Third Secret to the bishop of Fatima-Leiria, who could have disclosed it at any time. By 1957, however, the sealed envelope had found its way to the Vatican where it was kept in a wooden safe in the papal apartments of Pius XII. It is generally supposed that Pius XII had not read The Third Secret before he died in 1958.
Sister Lucy had made the Bishop of Fatima-Leiria promise that the Secret would be read to the world at her death, but in no event later than 1960, “because Our Lady wishes it so.” As Sister Lucy would later explain to Cardinal Ottaviani and Canon Barthas (a renowned Fatima expert), Our Lady told her that the Secret must be disclosed by 1960 “because it will be clearer.” In 1946 Cardinal Cerejeira, the Patriarch of Portugal, publicly promised that the Secret “will be opened in 1960.” Rome voiced no objection. On the contrary, Cardinals Ottaviani and Tisserant publicly echoed the promise of Cardinal Cerejeira, as did numerous other Church authorities over the years.4 There was even an American television show entitled “Zero 1960”, which took its theme from the universally expected disclosure of the Secret. Produced by the once-militant Blue Army, the show was so popular it received a “star” rating in The New York Times.5
And so, as 1959 drew to a close, Catholics around the world waited eagerly for the imminent completion of the Message of Fatima. The Marian devotion which had flourished during the reign of Pius XII reached new heights in anticipation. But it was not to be. On February 8, 1960, the faithful received the devastating news: Acting through the double blind of a Portuguese press agency, anonymous “Vatican sources” let it be known that the Third Secret would not be disclosed that year and “would probably remain, forever, under absolute seal.”6
Obviously humiliated, Cardinal Cerejeira publicly declared: “I affirm categorically that I was not consulted.” The Blue Army’s spokesman at the time, John Haffert, would later express the mourning of the faithful:
“1960 came and went and the Pope to whom the Secret had been entrusted did not make it public. He did not even make known the fact that he had opened it. The silence from Rome lay heavily on all of us. People began to murmur that Fatima must have been a fake, that there was no secret, that the 1960 secret was a ‘hoax’ [By 1964] the effect of the long silence concerning the 1960 Secret still seemed to hang over us like a pall.”7
The Secret carried to earth by the Blessed Virgin Mary had been buried by those to whom it was entrusted. The Message of Fatima would remain incomplete. Two years after Pope John had read the Secret and placed it “under absolute seal”, the Second Vatican Council convened. The liberal media of the day were abuzz with rumors of great changes about to occur in the Church. The Council, with its unprecedented non-Catholic “observers” and its strangely ambiguous documents, did not disappoint them. As for the Council’s implementation, it would exceed their wildest dreams.
The Writing Down of the Secret
Bishop da Silva was greatly afraid that Sister Lucia dos Santos who had been ill for several months, would die at the convent in Tuy, Spain that October in 1943. In the days before antibiotics a case of pleurisy could easily become a terminal illness. If she died now, she would have left undone a task of immense importance.
In 1941 Sister Lucy had written her third and fourth memoirs, committing to writing the first two parts of the great Secret of Fatima, which she had already conveyed in substance in a note to Pius XII. We know well the first two parts of the Secret Our Lady disclosed to the seers:
“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved. The war [World War I] is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one [World War II] will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI [who had not yet been elected]. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given to you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.”
“To prevent this, I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.”
We know also that every prophecy contained in the first two parts of the Secret (except for the annihilation of nations) has been fulfilled. And that the predicted punishments are still being suffered by the Church and the world. Of course, there would have been little reason to doubt that the prophecies were true, for Sister Lucy had been granted by Heaven a singular prophetic credential: No one in the history of the world, not even Moses, has ever correctly predicted the precise date and time of a public miracle except for a little girl named Lucia dos Santos. Some 70,000 people, atheists included, had seen the Miracle of the Sun at the very time and place Our Lady had told Lucy it would occur. To suggest that God would waste this unprecedented credential on an unreliable witness would be little short of blasphemy.
Given the divine corroboration of Sister Lucy’s testimony, there could be no question that the great Secret of Fatima would be assimilated into the life and patrimony of the Church. And so, to this day we practice the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays, and our Rosaries include the very prayer Our Lady had dictated to Sister Lucy just after the second part of the Secret was concluded: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, and save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need.”
But what of the third part of the great Secret, the part which has come to be called, in itself, “the Third Secret of Fatima”? In her third memoir Sister Lucy has made it clear that “the secret is made up of three parts, two of which I am going to reveal.” In her fourth memoir she restated the first two parts, leaving out once again “that part of the Secret which I am not permitted to reveal at present.” Yet in the fourth memoir Sister Lucy did reveal one additional fragment of the Secret which had not appeared in the third memoir: Before the “O my Jesus”, and after the end of the second part of the Secret, we find this curious sentence, obviously deprived of its context –
“Em Portugal se conservera sempre o doguema da f‚.” – “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved.”
The first two parts of the Secret say nothing about the loss of dogma anywhere in the world, so why this reference to the preservation of dogma in Portugal? Does the Third Secret warn us, then, of a loss of dogma throughout the rest of the world?
As Sister Lucy’s ordinary, Bishop da Silva undoubtedly perceived his obligation to insure that she did not die without disclosing the remainder of that great Secret which had already so greatly affected the life of the Church and the course of human history. This was no mere exercise in reminiscence; it was a grave duty to the Church and the world. What if she died?
In September of 1944, Bishop da Silva suggested that Sister Lucy write down the text of what we now refer to as the Third Secret, but she said that she could not take that responsibility upon herself without a formal, written order. Even when the order was given a month later, the seer who had written freely of wars, famines, persecutions and the annihilation of nations, could not commit to paper a prophecy that was evidently far more disturbing to her than these events. She, who had lived a life of obedience to her superiors, literally could not make her hand move across the paper. She attributed this paralysis to a preternatural cause.8
Finally, on January 2, 1944, Sister Lucy was able to write down the text of the Secret in the chapel at the convent of Tuy. According to the account of Canon Martins dos Reis, she was able to proceed only “after Our Lady appeared to her to tell her to write the famous secret … in conformity with what had been asked of her.”9
On January 9, 1944, Sister Lucy wrote to Bishop da Silva to tell him that the Third Secret of Fatima had been written down and placed in a sealed envelope. On June 17, 1944, the envelope was delivered to Bishop da Silva, by Sister Lucy’s bishop confessor in Tuy. The five month delay had resulted from Sister Lucy’s unwillingness to entrust the envelope to anyone but a bishop not even a priest would do. Bishop da Sliva offered to forward the envelope to the Holy Office. Rome rejected the offer. The burden of the Secret would remain on Bishop da Silva, who made the famous promise to Lucy that the envelope would be unsealed and the Secret revealed not later than 1960.
After an urgent interrogation of Sister Lucy by Cardinal Ottaviani in May 1955, the Holy Office rescinded its earlier rejection of the text of the Third Secret and requested it be delivered to Rome by the Nuncio in Lisbon. Just before the envelope was brought to the Nuncio, Bishop da Silva’s auxiliary, Bishop Venancio, held it up to the light: He could clearly discern the 23 lines in Sister Lucy’s handwriting which comprise one of the greatest mysteries in the history of the modern world. By the spring of 1957 the Third Secret of Fatima had been delivered to the Vatican.
The Spreading of Russia’s Errors
The years between the writing of the Third Secret and its transmission to Rome were, of course, one long fulfillment of Our Lady’s warning that Russia would “spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer …”
At Yalta, in February 1945, Roosevelt delivered the Catholic peoples of Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Ukraine into the hands of the Bolsheviks, in return for Stalin’s worthless promises of respect for religious freedom. Stalin then proceeded to butcher, torture, starve to death and imprison tens of millions of Catholics. The Greek Catholic Church was destroyed by its forcible transplantation into the KGB-controlled Orthodox Church, which simply appropriated to itself Catholic parishes and cathedrals after the Catholic clergy had been killed or imprisoned. The Orthodox hierarchy itself had been reduced from 50,000 priests and bishops to a mere 500 KGB spy-clerics.
At Potsdam, in July and August of 1945, after having ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and the Catholic city of Nagasaki, Truman gifted Stalin with Manchuria and North Korea down to the 38th parallel, opening the way for Mao Tse Tung and the Cultural Revolution, with its 30 million additional victims. Mao defeated Chiang Kai-shek with the abandoned Japanese weapons Stalin had obligingly stockpiled and left behind for his Red Chinese comrades.
While the Third Secret remained in its sealed envelope, the errors of Russia swiftly infected the whole world. By the beginning of the reign of John XXIII in 1958, one-third of mankind had been enslaved by communism, as the rest of the world dallied with socialism, its cousin, and began succumbing to the regime of contraception and abortion first spawned in Soviet Russia. Abortion alone, among Russia’s errors, would claim the lives of 600 million innocent children around the world, and more than 38 million in America casulaties far vaster than those suffered by all the armies in all the wars in history; vaster than even the casualties of indigenous Russian and Chinese Communism combined.
In his encyclical Divini Redemptoris, Pius XI had denounced communism as “intrinsically perverse” and warned that “no one who would save Christian civilization and the social order may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.” On June 13, 1949, Pius XII reaffirmed the Church’s implacable opposition to communism by decreeing through the Holy Office that those who joined or aided communists in any way, or even read communist literature, would be denied the sacraments; and that those who profess the doctrine of the communists “incur, by the law itself, as apostates from the Catholic faith, excommunication especially reserved to the Holy See.” With the whole world infected by communism, would these condemnations hold fast? Or was it possible that the errors of Russia would spread even into the human elements of the Church herself?
On December 4, 1957, Bishop da Silva died. On October 9, 1958, Pius XII died, apparently without having read the Third Secret, which had remained locked away in a small wooden safe in his papal apartments.
In 1960, Pope John read and then suppressed the Secret, consigning it a drawer in his writing desk. No sooner had the drawer closed, than the Church’s opposition to the errors of Russia began to soften. And then things began to go terribly wrong within the Church Herself wrong in ways which had never been seen in Her entire history.
The opening session of the Second Vatican Council was attended by two “observers” from the Russian Orthodox spy-church: Vitali Borovoy and Vladimir Kotlyarov. Their attendance had been secured at the cost of the Vatican’s incredible promise that the Council would refrain from any condemnation of communism. The “Vatican-Moscow Agreement” had been reached in secret at Metz, France, after negotiations between the Russian Orthodox Metropolitan, Nikodim, a KGB agent, and Cardinal Tisserant.10
The Vatican-Moscow Agreement was the personal initiative of John XXIII, at the suggestion of Cardinal Montini, who would later become Pope Paul VI and preside over the remainder of Pope John’s Council. When he was still a Monsignor, Montini was suddenly dismissed from his position as Pro-Secretary of State under Pius XII and sent off to be Archbishop of Milan. This sacking of Montini by promotion-removal occurred after Pope Pius had been presented with documentary proof that Montini had undertaken clandestine diplomatic relations with the Soviets without the Pope’s knowledge.11 The vans which contained Montini’s possessions were searched by Vatican officials before they departed for Milan.12
The future Pope’s sudden dismissal capped a career of secretive disobedience to papal directives. In the 1930’s, for example, had hoarded in his apartment and given out to trusted friends copies of Karl Adam’s quasi-heretical book The Spirit of Catholicism, which had been banned in Rome.13 His admiring biographer, Peter Hebblethwaite, notes that “When theologians were being condemned in the early 1950s, they would always get a friendly reception from [Montini] in the Vatican and a shrug of the shoulders at the latest Ottaviani incident.”14 Ottaviani was then the Prefect of Pius XII’s Holy Office. He is always cast as the great villain in the liberals’ fable of the post-conciliar “renewal”, and Montini as the great hero, who kept the fires of liberty burning during the Dark Age of pre-conciliar “persecutions”.
In removing Montini to Milan, Pius XII had declined to make him a Cardinal, although Milan was traditionally a cardinalate See. Pius thereby kept Montini out of the line of Papal succession. But Montini would be the first Cardinal created by John XXIII, who upon his election joked that he was keeping the Chair of Peter warm for Montini.
Two months before his death in 1963, Pope John issued his encyclical Pacem in terris, which undermined the entire teaching of his predecessors condemning any involvement of the faithful with communism. Drawing a novel distinction between evil ideologies and the historical movement they spawn, Pacem in terris suggested that one could licitly join the Communist movements in various countries without necessarily subscribing to communism’s condemned principles: “Who can deny that there are in those movements, in so far as they conform to the dictates of right reason and are interpreters of the lawful aspirations of the human person, contain elements that are positive and deserving of approval?”15 In other words, one could participate in a Communist movement so long as one did not become a Communist!
But what of the teaching of Pope Pius XI in Divini Redemptoris? Pope John’s predecessor had warned Catholics to shun precisely those Communist-influenced movements which have “elements that are positive”:
“In the beginning, Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity, but very soon it realized that it was thus alienating people. It has therefore, changed its tactics and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery in various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that are in themselves good and attractive … Under various names that do not suggest Communism … [t]hey try perfidiously to worm their way even into professedly Catholic and religious organizations … [t]hey invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity; and at times make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church … See to it, faithful brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived.”
The warning of Pius XI was only one of a series of papal warnings by Pius IX, Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII which, by some strange process of forgetfulness, the Popes after 1960 no longer seemed to recall: warnings against modernism, against Communism, against the false doctrine of “religious liberty” for all sects, against any Catholic participation in the “ecumenical movement”, against tampering with the Sacred Liturgy.
Shortly before the promulgation of Pacem in terris, Pope John allowed himself to be photographed shaking the hand of Nikita Krushchev’s son-in-law, Alexi Adjubei, in the Vatican. Before the meeting took place, Pope John had worried about its effect on Italian politics, but he proceeded anyway.16 In the Italian elections of 1963, the Italian Communist Party gained a million votes, and the Christian Democrats suffered a corresponding reversal.17
John XXIII and Paul VI would preside over a Council that would teach us that we must read “the signs of the times”. But the Council itself would ignore the greatest sign of evil in the world which surrounded it, doing so under a secret agreement with the very perpetrators of that evil. The Council would also ignore perhaps the greatest of the “signs of the times” in our century: the Message of Fatima, including that portion of it which had been suppressed by Pope John only two years before.
“Disastrous Conditions of Humanity”
From the perspective of Fatima what occurred during and after the Second Vatican Council should have been no surprise. Indeed, Pope Pius XII had predicted it with eerie prophetic accuracy, in light of the Message of Fatima:
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith and Her liturgy. A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God … In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalen, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask ‘Where have they taken Him’ “18
Surely “the Virgin’s Messages to Lucy of Fatima” had figured in Pius XII’s decision not to proceed with his own plans for an ecumenical council. Inded, the Pope’s own emissaries, including Cardinal Ottaviani, had interrogated Sister Lucy in 1955, before plans for a council were scrapped. Had she told them of the Third Secret? Perhaps, too, His Holiness was mindful of the famous advice of the great Cardinal Manning (quoting Cardinal Pallavicini) that “to convoke a General Council, except when absolutely necessary, is to tempt God.”
Pope Pius must also have pondered whether, at his advanced age, he would be able to control the very forces within the Church which his predecessor, Pope St. Pius X, had labored so mightily to contain. It was Pius XII himself who had canonized his great predecessor. Following in Pius X’s footsteps, he had condemned the neo-modernists in Humani generis. He knew, as Pius X knew, that modernists were still at work “almost in the very veins and heart of the Church”, and that although a modernist might “bow his head for a moment” when rebuked, “it was soon uplifted more arrogantly than ever”.19 Would not a Council improvidently called by an aged Pope, therefore, be an invitation to precisely what Pius XII feared “the suicide of altering the Faith and Her liturgy”?
Even a cursory reader of the great encyclicals of the pre-conciliar age will notice that the alarm expressed by Pius XII was part of a veritable Magisterium of admonition developed in the pronouncements of the great 19th and 20th Century Popes, until John XXIII. Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII were of one voice in warning that the world’s embrace of the false principles of modernity was bringing civilization to its ruin, and that the Church herself was threatened as never before by what Pius X had described in Pascendi as the “partisans of error”.
In his inaugural encyclical, E Supremi, issued fourteen years before the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, Pius X sounded perhaps the most dramatic warning of impending calamity for the Church and the world:
“We felt a sort of terror considering the disastrous conditions of humanity at the present hour. Can we ignore such a profound and grave evil, which at this moment much more than in the past is working away at its very marrow and leading it to its ruin? … Truly whoever ponders these things must necessarily and firmly fear whether such a perversion of minds is not the sign of announcing, and the beginning of the last times … So great is the audacity with which religion is mocked everywhere, and the dogmas of the faith are fought against … [M]an, with unspeakable temerity, has usurped the place of the Creator, lifting himself above everything that bears the name of God.”
Pius XII would echo this theme of an unprecedented deterioration in the state of the world in his letter of February 11, 1949: “We are overwhelmed with sadness and anguish, seeing that the wickedness of perverse men has reached a degree of impiety that is unbelievable and absolutely unknown in other times.”20
John XXIII did not share the alarm of his predecessors. On the contrary, in a world vastly more depraved than the one observed by Pius X, Pope John was somehow hugely optimistic. Indeed, it is reported that upon reading the Third Secret with the aid of a Portuguese translator, he had declared: “This does not concern the years of my pontificate.”21 In his opening address to the Council, Pope John expressed positive annoyance with those who “say that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse … We feel we must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world was at hand.” So much for Pope St. Pius X!
The Second Vatican Council would proceed, with Pope John euphorically exclaiming that “it rises in the Church like daybreak, a forerunner of a most splendid light. It is now only dawn.” In the darkness of Pope John’s desk drawer, the Third Secret of Fatima lay hidden from the world.
Each year groups of supposed Chinese priests and sisters are granted visas to come to the United States to study in Maryknoll formation programs. Their studies completed, they return to their Communist country to allegedly spread the faith and initiate works of charity, educating the young and helping the sick. American Dioceses across our country are encouraged to donate to these “good” initiatives that by all accounts represent an opening of China to the Catholic Church and the Western world. Propaganda for “growing the Catholic Church in China” can be found even in the literature and websites of conservative organizations.
In fact, these religious who call themselves Catholic are not. They are part of the Chinese Patriotic Association (PA), the Communist State controlled “Catholic Church,” the only one with the right to exist.
For example, Sister Johanna came to St. John’s School of Theology in Minnesota to study, but she is quick to tell anyone who asks that she continues to be a member of the St. Joseph Convent of Beijing, a diocesan community of the Patriotic Association. In effect, her vow of obedience is pledged to the Chinese government, and not to the Catholic Church.
In the late 1950s, when the Catholic Church was suppressed, the Communist government formed the PA and required Catholics to disavow allegiance to the Pope and the “Church of Rome.” Chinese authorities have kept this “Catholic Church” of its own making – the PA – under its thumb.
Those millions of Catholics who refused to break ties with Rome and accept the government-run church worship clandestinely in the Underground Catholic Church, the authentic Church in China. Its Prelates, religious and members have faced persecution, imprisonment and even death.
Catholic money supporting Communism
The US Catholic China Bureau, founded in 1989 at the initiative of the Maryknoll Society and the Jesuits, has the full support and affirmation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Today it represents a whole cross section of Catholic religious orders, organizations and scholars. Under directives from our US Bishops, parishes are encouraged to fund raise and send money to the “Church in China” for its various projects. For example, the Catholic China Bureau hosts conferences, sends missionaries and study tours to China, sponsors lectures in the U.S. as well as visits to the Communist country.
The collaboration and networking is all done with the Patriotic Association, which the US Bishops and Catholic China Bureau call “the Catholic Church” in China. There is no support for the Underground Catholic Church, only for the government-directed Patriotic Association.
It is the PA bishops who choose students for the study programs in the US. It is the PA churches and clergy that host the American visitors. I know one woman who came back from one of these study programs raving about the growth and openness of the Church in China. She was unaware that the Patriotic Association was an organ of the Communist government, which had carefully overseen the details of her trip so she would have that ‘good experience.’
Why are the American Bishops promoting the Patriotic Association, accepting it as the Catholic Church in China? In their 2010 program update, the American Bishops explained they are taking their inspiration and guidance in its programs “from the many communiqués of late Pope John Paul II” and the “expressed pastoral concern” of Pope Benedict XVI in his 2007 Letter to the Church in China. These messages, they explain, “continually call for respectful dialogue and mutual forbearance forgiveness” in the quest “to foster reconciliation and unity.”
In the name of this false unity, the authentic underground Church has been set aside, and the Communist PA is being wooed and supported.
What the post-conciliar Popes and US Bishops claim is that working with the Patriotic Association clergy and religious is the best way “to expose them to the Universal Church” and hasten the day of reconciliation. According to this theory, engaging in dialogue with the Patriotic Association Church would be the most expedient route to return China to Catholicism.
What such a policy demands, however, are concessions rather than resistance to the errors of Communism. There are the gravest dangers to the faith in such strategy.
No teaching on property
Public institutions exert a profound influence over the normal man, who accepts them as normal and follows their orientation in his way of thinking and acting. Knowing this, the Communist State in China imposes its agenda on all society, especially in the important areas of property and family. How can a Catholic accept the denial of private property, abortion, the one-child policy, to name just a few policies than directly transgress Catholic doctrine and morals?
The PA bishops and clergy are obligated by the Communist government to not preach the whole Catholic doctrine and to support – or at least close their eyes to – these errors in order to maintain their good relationship with the government. What happens is that both they and the faithful become deformed by those errors and consequently do not profess the Catholic Faith in its fullness.
Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira correctly predicted the results of such policy in his groundbreaking work, The Church and the Communist State, the Impossible Coexistence. In it, he points out that nothing is more valuable to Communism than this kind of pact that existed in the satellite countries of the USSR, and still exists today in China, where the Vatican accepts the bishops of the Patriotic Church. What kind of Catholics does such a policy produce?
He responds: “New generations of ill-prepared and lukewarm Catholics will arise, perhaps reciting the Credo with their lips, but with their minds and their hearts saturated with all the errors of Communism. In short, they will be Catholics only in appearance and on the surface, and Communists in the most profound and authentic layers of their mentality. After two or three generations formed in such a co-existence, what would be left of Catholicism in these people?”
This applies fully to the so-called Catholic members of the PA. We see the sad results of these concessions today. For example, the three priests and convent of 80 sisters in the large PA parish of the Sacred Heart in the Jiln Province have no problem reconciling Communism and Catholicism. Ignoring Church teaching on private property and family, they comply with the dictates of the Communist government and teach the Bible, administer the sacraments and provide social services.
Acknowledging the separation that exists between the “official” and underground priests, its pastor Fr. Wang asserts that the underground priests and bishops should come out and join the ”recognized” Patriotic church “because it operates as freely as any other institution in China.”
He goes on to criticize the Underground Church for not becoming Communists, “They (the underground Church) are too proud. They should realize that it is now OK to join us” (“Christmas in Jilin,” The Boston Pilot online, January 7, 2011).
In this priest’s mind, what separates the two churches – one faithful to Christ and the Papacy, the other to the Communist government – is a simple matter of pride, not doctrine or fidelity to Rome. We see that adhesion to the PA slogan “Love the Motherland, love the Church” – which demands obedience first to the government – has generated “Catholics” who are reconciled with the errors of an atheist and materialist Communism.
I believe we have a moral obligation not to contribute in any way to these ongoing diocesan-approved programs that are promoting the Patriotic Association and ignoring the Catholic Underground Church. I know of only one organization that exclusively supports the latter, the Cardinal Kung Foundation. I hope it will follow on the good path of its founder, the courageous Cardinal Kung, who would not betray the Catholic Church by joining the false PA.
“That ‘church,’” he affirmed, “was set up by the Chinese Communists to destroy the Roman Catholic Church in China,” and he lamented that it had been embraced “by so many Roman Catholic religious and institutions at the expense of the blood of their own brothers and sisters in the underground Church.” Unfortunately, this embrace today includes not only Bishops, but also the post-conciliar Popes.