Dietrich von Hildebrand on Pope Francis
by Joseph Shaw
Well done, good and faithful servant . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord. __ Mt.25:21,23
As Christians we are all aware of our Lord Jesus Christ being, fully human and fully divine; two natures in One Divine Person. As such, He is a prototype and the absolute Perfection of the Church and the Christian Soul.
The Mystical Body of Christ (the Church more properly understood) is both a human and Divine institution and thereby, in essence, Christ among us. The Divine aspects of the Church are in constant tension with the fallen human nature aspect and seems far from submitting to the Divine nature: but She still remains actively involved in the attempt to do so, offering forgiveness and mercy, nourishment and wisdom.
As we enter Lent on this Ash Wednesday, we might take time to see how this same tension is our own internal struggle as well and that this Spiritual Battle that we are constantly engaged is a result of the Faith to which we have assented; to deny ourselves, take up our cross and to follow Him.
The saints have been very clear on the battle that we face individually in the Christian spiritual life. We too have carnal appetites and desires which vie for ascendency and control over our bodies while the soul, and its Divine attributes restored after Baptism, is seeking to master and bring this fallen state, including our concupiscence, under control of the Divine – the Holy Spirit given us in this Sacrament.
Christ has shown us the way and He gave us a Church to teach us the way and yet humanity, with the after effects of our fallen human nature, rebels and tries to throw off the yoke of the Church and is reluctant to follow the Spirit of the Church and all that has been given to aid us in our quest for the real freedom we desperately need; from the grip of this world and all our disordered appetites. For we should now count them as nothing.
Though I am dismayed at the carnal side of the human for being stronger than we would like, it is not because we have not been given means to counteract and defeat this menace. Many will not make the effort, others will try and then fail but some will find the peace, joy and freedom that is accorded to those who have given up everything and will do whatever it takes to possess the Pearl of Great Price. So our Faith, Hope and Love must give us encouragement in this struggle.
Christ, is the template and the perfection of the human person; for the Divine nature ruled His human nature and thus it was purified and was holy and without sin. The other two:,the Church and the individual human soul, are also called to the same transformation in Christ: through the pursuit of holiness – so that we too might be likened to Christ.
Our success lies primarily on our abandonment to Divine Providence and the daily toil to suppress our worldly appetites whilst keeping our eyes constantly on our Lord Jesus Christ. Should we be willing to let God transform our personal life we can aid the Church in achieving the same transformation which will attract and win over more adherents to the Way of Life that God has intended for our true happiness. Many more souls might then find their way to God.
Eastern religions fascinated me, as they did for most of my peers during the 60’s hippy revolution. While it may have been a fad for most and kitschy for some others, it turned out to be the pathway that led me back to Christ. I was rather bored and put-off by pious talk and saw nothing of a radical spiritual change in the Christians that I had come to know. So I was rather enamored with the dedication of the Eastern mystics and their lifelong goal centered on surrender of self to gain enlightenment. That type of self-sacrifice and practice that permeated their every living moment fascinated me. They were not of this world which seemed a proper response to a greater and higher reality. They abandoned all for their goal: family, friends, comfort, riches and power. Their incessant prayers and meditations were a way of life that superseded this world and thus they treated it as if it were nothing but a dream: maya. There was however a dark, hidden power that seemed to resonate with humans: the spiritual power that come with enlightenment. The books were full of miraculous deeds and superhuman feats whether real or imagined and thus full of an ungodly lure to self that was often overlooked as a stumbling block to true self abandonment. Spiritual pride, it seems, is a problem for all religions but it is a staple in the East as well. It is a religion that sees a need to conquer emotions and rid the mind of any non-tranquil reaction to which one might be subjected (a false tranquility, perhaps) but not centered on Christ and His love. I also was also put off by what seemed to be an annihilation of self, as a drop of water dissolved into an ocean. So Eastern religions served as a template for my ideal of dedication and seriousness in the development of the human spiritual life and the goal of reaching some kind of perfection in terms of virtue and truth but there were problems in a great many areas which I could not overcome or shake. But they seemed to, at the very least, make a heroic attempt to truly seek that which is more real than this world and far more important as well.
So I had been raised a Protestant and even went so far as joining the Presbyterian Church while in high school. But I was soon bored and disillusioned as to the intensity of this experience and found that there was no real experience of being a Christian in a radical and goal driven sense. It was all just a group hug and fellowship and some words about Christian living, which in my mind at least, most didn’t or couldn’t abide with in any serious manner. So like most impetuous teens, I quit going to church and fell away from all of Christianity but nevertheless sought to understand a purpose to my life and something worth living for and dedicating myself to in a radical sense. I looked to philosophy and found it complicated and unhelpful as there were as many philosophies as there were philosophers. It seemed to be a crap shoot and nothing but an intellectual exercise or distraction: an intellectual distraction that could consume your life without any real hope of a happy and sure end. Then I stumbled into the East and found that there were people who actually lived according to an end that they had discovered or at least believed in and lived it in a radical way. It was rather exhilarating until I suddenly understood that the Western mind just cannot wrap itself around Eastern thought easily and also found that, as with all spiritualities, there were many dangerous aspects looming in their religion that seemed more like the occult than a true spiritual life founded in Truth. And yet, the Eastern religions had endeared themselves to several Western ‘saints’ that they had discovered and revered as well. One of those was St. John of the Cross. Reading this most illustrious saint was a great help for me; and a Grace I attribute to God and the working of the Holy Spirit, present from my infant baptism and found through a chance recommendation by Buddhists of all people. I’m sure this would have scandalized St. John of the Cross had he though that would ever be. God does work in mysterious ways, however.
It was the reading of St. John of the Cross that broke down my previous barriers to Christianity. I found in him a dedicated monastic, a man who lived a radical life of self-abandonment to Christ and a man who sought intimate union with God with a single-mindedness I had not witnessed in Christianity before. He was a seeker and by all accounts he was a finder as well. That he was a Catholic did not deter me in the least. For I found within his writings a love and a purpose that I never knew existed in Christianity. So a journey began in my soul to unravel what Catholics truly believe and to see if people of the mold of a St. John of the Cross still walked among us and might actually be sought out and found. It was a fascinating, joyful study and spiritually it was almost overwhelming. Where I felt lost in Eastern mysticism, I found myself at home with the thoughts and the prayer life of a St. John of the Cross. It opened up scripture to me and gave it new meaning and gave me new insights. It revealed Christ as my All and presented Him as the goal Whom I needed to surrender myself with all my love, all my heart and all my energy. It opened up the possibility of transforming myself in Christ to become what God wanted us to be: perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Not that the journey and dedication were not rigorous and demanding of our time and energy but that the glimmer of a possibility of such a possibility that God’s Grace could transform a man’s soul and that this seemed to witnessed over and over again was for me a light of incredible brightness. It drew me like a moth to a candle on a dark night. Christianity was real. Transformation in Christ was real. God was the end for which we were made. And eternal joy and happiness was a condition of being in His presence for an indescribable eternal moment; an annihilation of the old man in the process of being led, and perfected by surrendering their will to God’s. There was no need to believe that this world was a mere dream (which I was unable to do anyhow); as I can believe what I truly see and feel. There was no need to aim to discover that I am god myself and just did not know it, or in reincarnation or in a long procession of good and bad karma. All these concepts were unacceptable in my Western mind and therefore I could not wrap my mind around them (thanks be to God); and now I had no reason to try. I had a found a map for my life that I could actually read.
The circle was closed; the travel was from East to West and I am to this day, thoroughly assured that Eastern religions are false religions and happy to have made my way to Catholicism through that tiny mystical gate. Indeed, by recognizing what was good in the East led me to see what was Truly Good in the Great Religion of the West, Christianity. I am most happy to be at home in Rome, having crossed the Tiber, and I have no reason to ever take another journey or detour in this spiritual life. This path is well worn and is the path of countless saints (and sinners of course), but most of all it resonates with the very center of my being. It is the place where my soul finds its nourishment and its rest.
By Fr. Jean, OFMcap and printed originally in the May 1999 issue of The Angelus magazine.
Padre Pio (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968) was beatified on May 2, 1999, by Pope John Paul II. He is the only priest known to have received the full stigmata. He never celebrated the Novus Ordo Missae.
The final year of this dying, decaying century will see the beatification of Padre Pio, the holy monk whom God sent as a sign for our age. For, while everyone wants to make us believe in a new “charismatic” Church, strangely we do not find there any wonderworking saints like the ones we meet throughout the Church’s history starting with Pentecost. Padre Pio seems to close the procession of their number, doing so magnificently, being the only priest to have borne the stigmata of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Much has been written about Padre Pio — more than 600 works, it seems — and the authors always stress the extraordinary side of his life: not only his particular charisms (reading souls, healing, raising people from the dead, bilocating, ecstasies, exuding perfume, prophesying, etc.), but also the incredible sufferings which he endured from his earliest childhood, the persecutions undergone from some churchmen and even brothers in religion, as well as his two great charitable works: the founding of the House of Suffering, and prayer groups.
In short, they present him to us as a “saint” more to be admired than imitated, so that, ultimately, we miss the most interesting lessons to be learned from this life, and the practical applications that could transform our own. We shall try, therefore, however imperfectly, to set forth a few of these lessons, hoping that we shall all be able to profit from them, and that the Padre, from high heaven, will himself succor us, as he has promised to all those who would like to become his “spiritual children.”
At the dawn of this life totally sacrificed to God and to souls, there is to be found a pious, poor and numerous family, where the abnegation of each member softens and transforms the harsh realities of daily life. Here we see confirmed the saying of Bishop de Segur that it is in families where the spirit of sacrifice is lacking that vocations are most at risk. Baptized the day after his birth — a grace for which he was grateful all his life — Padre Pio was christened Francesco, presage of his Franciscan vocation, which was to be discovered on the occasion of a visit from a Capuchin monk begging food for the convent. Even so, his vocation was not decided without struggle:
I felt two forces clashing within me, tearing my heart: the world wanted me for itself, and God called me to a new life. It would be impossible to describe this martyrdom. The mere memory of the battle that took place within me freezes the very blood in my veins…
He was not yet 16 years old when he entered the novitiate. Above the door of the cloister, as a welcome, he read the sign: “Do penance or perish.” The daily rule of life included very many prayers, enough work, and little reading, being restricted especially to the study of the Rule and the Constitutions.
Brother Pio made himself conspicuous by the abundance of the tears he shed during the morning period of mental prayer, which in Capuchin houses is consecrated to the meditation of the Passion; tears so abundant that it was necessary to spread a towel in front of him on the floor of the choir. As with St. Francis, it was to this loving and compassionate contemplation of Jesus crucified that he was to owe the grace to receive later on the painful stigmata in his body. Even so, as he confided to his spiritual director, Fr. Agostino: “In comparison to what I suffer in my flesh, the spiritual combats that I endure are much worse.”
It would seem that God expects the just to expiate in a special way, by means of temptation, the public sins of their contemporaries. At a time when psychoanalysis, with its knack for explaining away guilt and sin, was gaining sway, Padre Pio — like the little Theresa — had to undergo an almost unbearable crisis of scruples, which tormented him for three long years. Then after the storm came the night, a night of the soul which lasted for dozens of years, with only occasional glimmers of light:
I live in a perpetual night… I find myself troubled by everything, and I do not know if I act well or ill. I can see that it is not a scruple: but the doubt I feel about whether or not I am pleasing the Lord crushes me. And this anxiety recurs to me everywhere: at the altar, in the confessional, everywhere!
It is with the thought of his mystical experiences in mind that his maxims should be meditated:
Love is more beautiful in the company of fear, because it is in this way that it becomes stronger.
The more one loves God, the less one feels it!
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus opposed to the proud rationalism of her day the little way of spiritual childhood, but she also expiated it by terrible temptations against faith. Her cry, “I will believe!” is well known. Padre Pio also experience violent and prolonged temptations against faith, as his letters to Fr. Agostino testify:
Blasphemies cross my mind incessantly, and even more so false ideas, ideas of infidelity and unbelief. I feel my soul transfixed at every instant of my life, it kills me… My faith is upheld only by a constant effort of my will against every kind of human persuasion. My faith is only the fruit of the continual efforts that I exact of myself. And all of this, Father, is not something that happens a few times a day, but it is continuous… Father, how difficult it is to believe!
What precious lessons for us, should we, for example, be surprised at finding ourselves tempted to such a degree.
Padre Pio overcame these terrible trials by following what had been taught him in the novitiate: perseverance in prayer, mortification of the senses, unshakable fidelity to the demands of one’s duty of state, and, finally, perfect obedience to the priest in charge of his soul. His painfully acquired experience allowed him to draw to himself souls desirous of perfection, and to be demanding.
To the souls he directed, he gave a five-point rule: weekly confession, daily communion and spiritual reading, examination of conscience each evening and mental prayer twice a day. As for the recitation of the rosary, it is so necessary it goes without saying….
Confession is the soul’s bath. You must go at least once a week. I do not want souls to stay away from confession more than a week. Even a clean and unoccupied room gathers dust; return after a week and you will see that it needs dusting again!
To those who declare themselves unworthy to receive holy Communion, he answers:
It is quite true, we are not worthy of such a gift. However, to approach the Blessed Sacrament in a state of mortal sin is one thing, and to be unworthy, quite another. All of us are unworthy, but it is He who invites us. It is He who desires it. Let us humble ourselves and receive Him with a heart contrite and full of love.
To another, who told him that the daily examination of conscience seemed useless, since his conscience showed him clearly at each action whether it was good or bad, he replied:
That is true enough. But every experienced merchant in this world not only keeps track throughout the day of whether he has lost or gained on each sale. In the evening, he does the bookkeeping for the day to determine what he should do on the morrow. It follows that it is indispensable to make a rigorous examination of conscience, brief but lucid, every night.
The harm that comes to souls from the lack of reading holy books makes me shudder… What power spiritual reading has to lead to a change of course, and to make even worldly people enter into the way of perfection.
When Padre Pio was condemned to not exercise any ministry, he spent his free time, not in reading newspapers — “the Devil’s gospel” — but in reading books of doctrine, history and spirituality. Despite this, he would still say: “One looks for God in books, but finds Him in prayer.”
His counsels for mental prayer are simple:
If you do not succeed in meditating well, do not give up doing your duty. If the distractions are numerous, do not be discouraged; do the meditation of patience, and you will still profit. Decide upon the length of your meditation, and do not leave your place before finishing, even if you have to be crucified… Why do you worry so much because you do not know how to meditate as you would like? Meditation is a means to attaining God, but it is not a goal in itself. Meditation aims at the love of God and neighbor. Love God with all your soul without reserve, and love your neighbor as yourself, and you will have accomplished half of your meditation.
The same holds for assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: it is more concerned with making acts (of contrition, faith, love…) than with intellectual reflections or considerations. To someone asking whether it is necessary to follow the Mass in a missal, Padre Pio answered that only the priest needs a missal. According to him, the best way to attend the Holy Sacrifice is by uniting oneself to the Virgin of Sorrows at the foot of the cross, in compassion and love. It is only in paradise, he assures his interlocutor, that we will learn of all the benefits that we received by assisting at holy Mass.
Padre Pio, who was so affable and pleasant in his relations with people, could become severe and inflexible when the honor of God was at stake, especially in church.
The whispering of the faithful would be authoritatively cut off by the Father, who would openly glare at anyone who failed to maintain a prayerful posture… If someone remained standing, even if it was because there were no places left in the pews, he would peremptorily invite him to kneel in order to participate worthily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Not even an inattentive choirboy would be spared: “My child, if you want to go to hell, you don’t need my signature.”
The post-war fashions fell under the same censure:
Padre Pio, seated in his open confessional, all year round would ascertain that the women and girls who confessed to him were wearing skirts not too short. He would even cause tears to be shed when someone who had been waiting in line for hours would be turned away because of an offending hemline… Then some kind souls would step forward and offer help. In a corner, they would unsew the hem, or else lend the penitent a coat. Finally, sometimes the Father would allow the humiliated penitent to go to confession.
One day his spiritual director reproached him for his harsh conduct. He replied: “I could obey you, but each time it is Jesus who tells me how I am to deal with people.” His severe manner, then, was inspired from above, uniquely for the honor of God and the salvation of souls.
Women who satisfy their vanity in their dress can never put on the life of Jesus Christ; moreover they even lose the ornaments of their soul as soon as this idol enters into their heart.
And let no one reproach him for lack of charity:
I beg you not to criticize me by invoking charity, because the greatest charity is to deliver souls held fast by Satan in order to win them over to Christ.
He was a model of respect and submission towards his religious and ecclesiastical superiors, especially during the time when he was persecuted. Nonetheless, he could not remain silent over a deviation that was baneful to the Church. Even before the end of the Council, in February 1965, someone announced to him that soon he would have to celebrate the Mass according to a new rite, ad experimentum, in the vernacular, which had been devised by a conciliar liturgical commission in order to respond to the aspirations of modern man. Immediately, even before seeing the text, he wrote to Paul VI to ask him to be dispensed from the liturgical experiment, and to be able to continue to celebrate the Mass of St. Pius V. When Cardinal Bacci came to see him in order to bring the authorization, Padre Pio let a complaint escape in the presence of the Pope’s messenger: “For pity sake, end the Council quickly.”
The same year, during the conciliar euphoria that was promising a new springtime to the Church, he confided to one of his spiritual sons: “In this time of darkness, let us pray. Let us do penance for the elect“; and especially for the one who has to be their shepherd here below: All his life, he immolated himself for the reigning pope, whose photograph was among the rare images that decorated his cell.
There are other scenes from his life that are full of meaning, for example, his reactions to the aggiornamento the religious orders concocted in the wake of Vatican II. (The citations here are taken from a book bearing an imprimatur):
In 1966, the Father General [of the Franciscans] came to Rome prior to the special Chapter on the Constitutions in order to ask Padre Pio for his prayers and benedictions. He met Padre Pio in the cloister. “Padre, I came to recommend to your prayers the special chapter for the new Constitutions…” He had scarcely gotten the words “special Chapter“…”new Constitutions” out of his mouth when Padre Pio made a violent gesture and cried out: “That is all nothing but destructive nonsense.” “But Padre, after all, there is the younger generation to take into account… the youth evolve after their own fashion… there are new demands…” “The only thing missing is mind and heart, that’s all, understanding and love.” Then he proceeded to his cell, did a half-turn, and pointed his finger, saying: “We must not denature ourselves, we must not denature ourselves! At the Lord’s judgment, St. Francis will not recognize us as his sons!“
A year later, the same scene was repeated for the aggiornamento of the Capuchins:
One day, some confreres were discussing with the Father Definiteur General [The counselor or adviser to the general or provincial of a religious order —Ed.] the problems in the Order, when Padre Pio, taking a shocked attitude, cried out, with a distant look in his eye: “What in the world are you up to in Rome? What are you scheming? You even want to change the Rule of St. Francis!” The Definiteur replied: “Padre, changes are being proposed because the youth don’t want to have anything to do with the tonsure, the habit, bare feet….“
Chase them out! Chase them out! What can you be saying? Is it they who are doing St. Francis a favor by taking the habit and following his way of life, or rather, isn’t it St. Francis who is offering them a great gift?
If we consider that Padre Pio was a veritable alter Christus, that his entire person, body and soul, was as perfectly conformed as possible to that of Jesus Christ, his stark refusal to accept the Novus Ordo and the aggiornamentoshould be for us a lesson to learn. It is also noteworthy that the good Lord desired to recall His faithful servant just before they were implacably imposed on the Church and the Capuchin Order. Noteworthy, too, is the fact that Katarina Tangari, one of Padre Pio’s most privileged spiritual daughters, so admirably supported the priests [of the SSPX] of Econe until her death, one year after the episcopal consecrations of 1988. [as was Don Francesco Putti, founder of the Disciples of the Cenacle and the international publication,SiSiNoNo].
Padre Pio was even less obliging towards the prevailing social and political order, or rather, disorder (in 1966): “the confusion of ideas and the reign of thieves.” He prophesied that the Communists would come to power, “by surprise, without firing a shot… It will happen overnight.”
This should not surprise us, since the requests of our Lady of Fatima have not been listened to. He even told Bishop Piccinelli, that the red flag will fly over the Vatican, “but that will pass.” Here again, his conclusion rejoins that of the Queen of Prophets: “But in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” The means by which this prophesy will come to pass, we know: by the divine power; but it must be prompted by the two great powers in man’s hands: prayer and penance. This is the lesson which our Lady wanted to remind us of at the beginning of this century: God wants to save the world by devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and there is no problem, material or spiritual, national or international, that cannot be solved by the holy rosary and our sacrifices.
This is also the last lesson that Padre Pio wanted to leave us by his example, and especially by his “prayer groups,” which he established throughout the world. “He was never without a rosary, there was even one under his pillow. During the day he recited several dozens of rosaries.” A few hours before he died, as those around him urged him to speak a few more words, all he could say was: “Love the Blessed Virgin and make her loved. Always say the rosary!“
The imminent elevation of Venerable Padre Pio is certainly going to arouse in many souls both curiosity and admiration. We could take advantage of the opportunity to remind them of these few lessons, if indeed we know how to put them into practice ourselves, in the merciful love of the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Translation by Angelus Press of an article that appeared in the Letter to the Friends of St. Francis, publication of the Capuchin Fathers of St. Francis Monastery, Morgon, France, a traditional community which supports the work of Archbishop Lefebvre.
Presently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is meeting in Baltimore (thanks, KFD). Timothy Cardinal Dolan, outgoing President of the USCCB, on behalf of the Conference, welcomed Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio (essentially, the Holy Father’s “ambassador” to the U.S.), to deliver an address to the assembly yesterday evening. You can read the full text of Archbishop Vigano’s address here. It’s interesting.
John Paul I and Cardinal Wojtyla, 1978
There’s a quote in the Nuncio’s address that caught my attention, given by Cardinal Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) in an address during the Eucharistic Congress in 1976 for the Bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He said:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously…”
That was nearly forty years ago. We can continue to pretend that the world isn’t afflicted by something…. very dark…. We can continue to believe that the instant times are notdifferent than times before…. but JPII makes our denials seem all the more…. ridiculous.
We must become like barnacles and firmly attach ourselves to the Rock, lest we get swept away by rising tides. Jesus says that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Rock. He doesn’t say that all Christians will be saved. So long as we are the Rock, and the Rock is us, we are safe!
By Patrick J Buchanan — (November 14, 2013)
“Pope Francis doesn’t want cultural warriors; he doesn’t want ideologues,” said Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash.:
“The nuncio said the Holy Father wants bishops with pastoral sensitivity, shepherds who know the smell of the sheep.”
Bishop Cupich was conveying instructions the papal nuncio had delivered from Rome to guide U.S. bishops in choosing a new leader.
“[A] garrulous evangelist comfortable in front of a camera, [who] led the bishops in their high-profile confrontation with the Obama administration over a provision in the health care mandate that requires most employers to have insurance that covers contraceptives for employees.”
That mandate also requires employers to cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations.
Yet here is further confirmation His Holiness seeks to move the Catholic Church to a stance of non-belligerence, if not neutrality, in the culture war for the soul of the West.
There is a small problem with neutrality. As Trotsky observed, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” For the church to absent itself from the culture war is to not to end that war, but to lose it.
What would that entail? Can we not already see?
In America, the family has disintegrated. Forty percent of working-class white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53 percent of Hispanic children, and 73 percent of black children. Kids from broken homes are many times more likely to drop out of school, take drugs, join gangs, commit crimes, end up in prison, lose their souls, and produce yet another generation of lost souls.
Goodstein quotes the Holy Father as listing among the “most serious of the evils” today “youth unemployment.” And he calls upon Catholics not to be “obsessed” with abortion or same-sex marriage.
But is teenage unemployment really a graver moral evil than the slaughter of 3,500 unborn every day in a land we used to call “God’s Country”?
Papal encyclicals like Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno have much to teach about social justice in an industrial society.
But what is the special expertise of the church in coping with teenage unemployment? Has the Curia done good scholarly work on the economic impact of the minimum wage?
The cultural revolution preached by Marxist Antonio Gramsci is continuing its “long march” through the institutions of the West and succeeding where the violent revolutions of Lenin and Mao failed.
It is effecting a transvaluation of all values. And it is not interested in a truce with the church of Pope Francis, but a triumph over that church which it reviles as the great enemy in its struggle.
Indeed, after decades of culture war waged against Christianity, the Vatican might consider the state of the Faith.
Our civilization is being de-Christianized. Popular culture is a running sewer. Promiscuity and pornography are pandemic. In Europe, the churches empty out as the mosques fill up. In America, Bible reading and prayer are outlawed in schools, as Christian displays are purged from public squares. Officially, Christmas and Easter do not exist.
The pope, says Goodstein, refers to proselytizing as “solemn nonsense.” But to proselytize is to convert nonbelievers.
And when Christ admonished his apostles, “Go forth and teach all nations,” and ten of his twelve were martyred doing so, were they not engaged in the Church’s true commission — to bring souls to Christ.
Pope Francis comes out of the Jesuits.
Hence, one wonders: Did those legendary Jesuits like St. Isaac Jogues and the North American Martyrs make a mistake proselytizing and baptizing, when they could have been working on youth unemployment among the Mohawks?
An Italian atheist quotes the pope as saying, “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil,” and everyone should “follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them.”
Does this not reflect the moral relativism of Prince Hamlet when he said to Rosencrantz, “there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so?” Yet, is it not the church’s mission to differentiate good and evil and condemn the latter?
“Who am I to judge,” Pope Francis says of homosexuals.
Well, he is pope. And even the lowliest parish priest has to deliver moral judgments in a confessional.
“[S]ince he became pope,” writes Goodstein, Francis’ “approval numbers are skyrocketing. Even atheists are applauding.”
Especially the atheists, one imagines.
While Pope Francis has not altered any Catholic doctrines in his interviews and disquisitions, he is sowing seeds of confusion among the faithful, a high price to pay, even for “skyrocketing” poll numbers.
If memory serves, the Lord said, “Feed my sheep,” not “get the smell of the sheep.” And he did not mean soup kitchens, but more importantly the spiritual food essential for eternal life.
But then those were different Jesuits. And that was long ago.
The one about how WE ARE THE GOLD
Originally penned and posted on February 29, ARSH 2012. The next day Western Rifle Shooters Association reprinted it in full (everyone has full reprint permission – I’m not writing this stuff to exercise my fingers, I’m writing it to be read), and the following comment showed up on the WRSA thread. I found it quite humbling. Hopefully it encourages folks to read this piece, despite its length.
“Part 3 of 3 is the most profound insight on why we are where we are in this allegedly Representative Republic that I have encountered in 40 years of deep reading on history and economics. In this day of shallow education and shortened attention spans, I never expected to come across anything like the profound insight and clarity she put forth here. I submit that the above paragraphs are nothing less than the Unified Field Theory of Western Civilization. One of the Founding Fathers said that the system of government they had put together would only work for ‘a moral and religious people. They will utterly fail for any other’. In a few paragraphs, Ann just explained to us why that is so. Yes, it’s depressing, and the successfully and designed outcome of an amoral state education system. Well done Ann. -Trivium Pursuit”
Read more here: via The one about how WE ARE THE GOLD | Barnhardt.
by Joseph Shaw
FATHER ROBERT BARRON
In 1961, Arendt went to Jerusalem as a correspondent for the New Yorker magazine to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi colonel accused of masterminding the transportation of millions of Jews to the death camps. Arendt was herself a Jew who had managed to escape from Nazi Germany and who had been, years before, something of an ardent Zionist. But she had since grown suspicious of the Israeli state, seeing it as un-self-critical and indifferent to the legitimate concerns of the Palestinians. I think it is fair to say, therefore, that she came to the trial with a complicated set of assumptions and a good deal of conflicting feelings.
As the trial unfolded, Arendt was massively put off by what she saw as the grandstanding of the prosecutors. Their irresponsible, even clownish, antics were, she concluded, the public face of the Israeli state, which had determined to make of the Eichmann proceedings a show trial. But what struck her most of all was Eichmann himself. Sequestered in a glass box for his own protection, squinting behind owlish spectacles, screwing up his mouth in an odd, nervous tic, trading in homespun expressions, pleading that he was just a middle-level bureaucrat following orders, Eichmann was neither impressive nor frightening nor sinister.
Arendt never doubted that Eichmann was guilty of great wickedness, but she saw the Nazi functionary as the very incarnation of what she famously called “the banality of evil.” One of the distinctive marks of this banality Arendt characterized as Gedankenlosigkeit, which could be superficially rendered in English as “thoughtlessness,” but which carries more accurately the sense of “the inability to think.” Eichmann couldn’t rise above his own petty concerns about his career and he couldn’t begin to “think” along with another, to see what he was doing from the standpoint of his victims. This very Gedankenlosigkeit is what enabled him to say, probably with honesty, that he didn’t feel as though he had committed any crimes.
The film to which I referred at the outset very effectively portrays the firestorm of protest that followed Arendt’s account of the Eichmann trial. Many Jews, both in Israel and America, thought by characterizing Eichmann the way she did, she had exonerated him and effectively blamed his victims. I won’t descend into the complexity of that argument, which rages to some degree to the present day. But I will say that I believe Arendt’s critics missed the rather profound metaphysical significance of what the philosopher was saying about the Nazi bureaucrat. In a text written during the heat of bitter controversy surrounding her book, Arendt tried to explain in greater detail what she meant by calling evil banal: “Good can be radical; evil can never be radical, it can only be extreme, for it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension, yet — and this is its horror! — it can spread like a fungus over the surface of the earth and lay waste the entire world.”
|The great moral lesson — articulated by both Augustine and Hannah Arendt — is that we must refuse to be beguiled by the glittering banality of wickedness and we must consistently choose the substance over the shadow.
The young Hannah Arendt had written her doctoral dissertation under the great German philosopher Karl Jaspers, and the topic of her work was the concept of love in the writings of St. Augustine. One of the most significant intellectual breakthroughs of Augustine’s life was the insight that evil is not something substantial, but rather a type of non-being, a lack of some perfection that ought to be present. Thus, a cancer is evil in the measure that it compromises the proper functioning of a bodily organ, and a sin is evil in the measure that it represents a distortion or twisting of a rightly functioning will. Accordingly, evil does not stand over and against the good as a kind of co-equal metaphysical force, as the Manichees would have it. Rather, it is invariably parasitic upon the good, existing only as a sort of shadow.
J.R.R. Tolkien gave visual expression to this Augustinian notion in his portrayal of the Nazgul inThe Lord of the Rings. Those terrible and terrifying threats, flying through the air on fearsome beasts, are revealed, once their capes and hoods are pulled away, to be precisely nothing, emptiness. And this is exactly why, to return to Arendt’s description, evil can never be radical. It can never sink down into the roots of being; it can never stand on its own; it has no integrity, no real depth or substance. To be sure, it can be extreme and it can, as Arendt’s image suggests, spread far and wide, doing enormous damage. But it can never truly be. And this is why, when it shows up in raw form, it looks, not like Goethe’s Mephistopheles or Milton’s Satan, but rather like a little twerp in a glass box.
Occasionally, in the course of the liturgical year, Catholics are asked to renew their baptismal promises. One of the questions, to which the answer “I do” is expected, is this: “Do you reject the glamor of evil and refuse to be mastered by sin?” Evil can never truly be beautiful, for beauty is a property of being; it can only be “glamorous” or superficially attractive. The great moral lesson — articulated by both Augustine and Hannah Arendt — is that we must refuse to be beguiled by the glittering banality of wickedness and we must consistently choose the substance over the shadow.
NB: While I disagree with Dreher’s decision to leave the Catholic Church, I sure understand how he got to that point and I have to agree with a great deal of what he says about the squishy, formless pabulum Catholics have been fed for decades. Dreher, offering a salutary warning, also makes a connection between the destructive “spirit of Vatican II” and its potential replacement, a “spirit of Francis”.
|The Asado-Yerba Mate-Gaucho Mass
(“Missa Crioula“) in Southern Brazil
A good deal of our current malaise, both in the Church and in society more broadly, can be attributed—I think—to a certain disregard for history. In terms of contemporary history, this disregard might be more accurately called amnesia, but equally that might be to give too much credit to those who do not account for the past—as if theirs is a merely passive act. No, I think the problem is worse than that. The problem is much more conscious, deliberate, and even vandalistic. This is in spite of the fact that, to the credit of a few in the media, there have been some recent acknowledgments of the importance of history, not least in relation to Syria and the Middle East, but also in relation to the Church Herself. …
The Defense Rests
The Bizarre Case of Catholic Answers Live vs. “Radical Traditionalists”
Peter Crenshaw POSTED: 9/17/13
On May 31st, Catholic Answers Live radio host Patrick Coffin and apologist Tim Staples launched a two-hour attack on “radical traditionalism” which I responded to here. Apparently, the overall response to the show was not favorable. In a July 12th blog post entitled “Meet the Mad-Trads” host Patrick Coffin described the reaction as follows:
We found ourselves on the business end of a nasty backlash. Of all the hot-button issues we’ve tackled head-on with me behind the mic (start the list with abortion, sexual sin, feminism, and homosexuality) no previous topic generated the kind of vitriol from (some) listeners. 
Coffin then exposed the “vitriol” by posting excerpts from e-mails he received after the show. Some examples are as follows:
“Amazing! Wow! I am deeply disappointed by this apparent arrogance.”
“That show was an embarrassment to all Catholics.”
“I was extremely annoyed with the . . . program criticizing the “radical traditionalists,” which is a reference that in and of itself makes no sense whatsoever” (sic).
“I finally turned the radio off in disgust.”
“To treat anyone in such a manner—much less our fellow Catholics—is a serious failure in justice and charity, and I seriously doubt you would indulge in this kind of careless and misleading attack on any other group.”
Read more via REMNANT E-EDITION | E-EDITIO.
Spiritual Retreat by Father William Casey CPM
Some years ago the theologian Fr. Jonathan Robinson wrote a commentary on the modern experience of the Sacred liturgy and entitled it, The Mass and Modernity: Walking to Heaven Backward. It is a compelling image of so much of what is wrong with the celebration of the Liturgy in many parishes today.
While Fr. Robinson certainly had the celebration of Mass “facing the people” in mind, his concerns are broader than that.
Indeed, we have the strange modern concept of the “closed circle” in so many modern conceptions of the Mass.Too often we are tediously self-referential and anthropocentric. So much of modern liturgy includes long lists of congratulatory references, both done by, but also expected of the celebrant.
The Devirilization of the Liturgy in the Novus Ordo Mass
June 5, 1944
The correspondence between Cardinal Heenan of Westminster and Evelyn Waugh before the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Mass is well known, in which Waugh issues a crie de coeur about the post-Conciliar liturgy and finds a sympathetic, if ineffectual, ear in the Cardinal. What is not as well known is Cardinal Heenan’s comment to the Synod of Bishops in Rome after the experimental Mass, Missa Normativa, was presented for the first time in 1967 to a select number of bishops. This essay was inspired by the following words of Cardinal Heenan to the assembled bishops:
At home, it is not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly to Mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday we would soon be left with a congregation of women and children.
How strange to think that man who is far estranged from our creator is instructed by our Lord to address the Creator God as Father or Abba (affectionate name like daddy). It is a revelation that was only hinted at in the Old Testament:
Do you thus repay the Lord,
O foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
who made you and established you? __ Deuteronomy 32:6
But our Lord, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Son of God has bid us pray, Our Father Who art in Heaven . . .
Until that time we were as orphans in the spiritual realm. Just one thing among all the things that were created by His mighty hand. That he had a special plan and special love for man we knew and yet knew not why: for he had promised a savior and had given us His Law through Moses to make us aware of what the nature of sin was and how easily we fall prey to its lure when we use nothing but our free will and our rational minds. Guilty of sin we awaited this Messiah to rescue us from the sin we were accused of by the Law of Moses.
By God’s Grace we were sent a Savior Who bore to us the message that we were meant to be other sons of God by adoption and that He was all too ready to suffer and die an ignominious death to atone for our every sin. That we could die to our sins and be raised up to life with Him and be with our Lord and Savior, likened as brothers and sisters in the spiritual world was the promise of the Grace contained in His new invitation to be Baptized into this Heavenly family. By what good and meritorious work did we deserve such attention and such a loving invitation?
For God loved us without reservation and had made us in His image and likeness and by this love and care has given us the gift of Human Dignity that no man and no society can ever strip from us. That our own Lord would become incarnate of a created woman and take to Himself the fullness of our human nature together with His Divine Nature is both an honor and a frightening condemnation of how sinfully we have besmirched and sullied our nature: especially after receiving this verification of the dignity and magnitude of what our humanity was meant to be and to what end God has made us. He made us for Himself, just as sure as our natural parents had made us for themselves. And His unconditional Love is superior to the best father and mother that we might encounter in the natural world. A burden of love has been thrust on our shoulders and the depth of the Commandment in the Old Law to love, honor and obey our fathers and mothers is but a shadow of what is commanded of us in relation to the True Father and Mother. To love them as did Christ, our Eldest Brother in everything but sin, is our challenge and our duty as sons and daughters of God.
So when Christ, from the agony of the Cross, gives His mother Mary to John, who was the only Apostle present to represent the Church, and likewise announces that John, and thereby the Church, is now a son of Mary, our orphaned souls have been adopted in entirety. We have a heavenly family and are no longer simply members of a human family on earth. We have the spirit of adoption into the Supernatural world and Divine Family that endures forever: God our Father, Mary our Mother, Christ our Brother and Savior and their abiding Love of the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. Where Satan is present as our accuser, the Holy Spirit is there to oppose Him and Christ is there to intercede on our behalf. And our Mother has a superabundance of a natural mother’s love. She is an advocate for us that begs with Christ to intercede on our behalf and to plead Her Son’s Sacrifice to the Father.
Once we were natural beings with natural parents and brothers and sisters. Now our souls, that were abandoned as orphans, are beckoned to a Holy Family that wishes to adopt our souls into communion with the Communion of Saints and with the Triune God. Together with them we reach the potential that God had intended and we consummate the love that God had for us from all time.
A Lecture Addressed to the
Theological Students’ Association
by Father Jay Scott Newman, J.C.L.
Assistant Professor of Canon Law
18 April 2001
In his De Praescriptione Haereticorum, Tertullian famously asked with derision, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?”, meaning “What has philosophy to do with theology?” I begin with this reminder because, although I am here to address the Theological Students’ Association, I am not a theologian; I a canon lawyer. And some among you may well ask with derision, “What has canon law to do with theology?” It’s a fair question, so before I explore the topic at hand today, I need briefly to digress and establish something of a lingua franca for our discussion.
Because she is a human society, the Church has had law, and therefore lawyers, since her foundation, but canon law as a distinct science and course of study did not emerge until the twelfth century. Canonists reckon the Italian monk Gratian as the Pater scientiae canonicae because his work provided a systematic and logical ordering of 1000 years of lawmaking. The Decretum Gratiani, completed around the year 1140, remained an indispensable touchstone for all canonists in the Western Church until the promulgation of the first Code of Canon Law in 1917. Now, you might suppose that after nearly nine centuries of doing this thing called canon law, there would be common agreement among canonists about just what their discipline is. You might suppose so, but you’d be wrong.
Among canonists today, there are some fundamental disagreements about the nature and method of their discipline, with two of the major proposals being — for lack of more precise terms — legal positivism and juridic theology. I am not here today to describe this disagreement, let alone to resolve the dispute. But to make intelligible much of what will follow in my remarks, I must explain that I hold canon law to be a truly theological discipline and therefore to have a theological method and object. Within the one science of sacred theology we commonly acknowledge many divisions: dogmatic theology, moral theology, biblical theology, and so forth. To these, I submit, must be added juridic theology-that is, canon law understood as a theological discipline with a specifically juridic character, vocabulary, and purpose.
One of the reasons why there is disagreement among canonists about the nature of their discipline is that there is often a tension between theological language and juridic language, or to put it otherwise, making laws out of theological truths is not simple. And yet, there must be an organic connection between the two if the law of the Code is to be truly the law of the Church. Pope John Paul II addressed this point in the 1983 Apostolic Constitution Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, by which he promulgated the present Code of Canon Law. The pope writes:
“As the Church’s principal legislative document founded on the juridical-legislative heritage of revelation and tradition, the Code is to be regarded as an indispensable instrument to ensure order both in individual and in social life … the Code … fully corresponds to the nature of the Church, especially as it is proposed by the teaching of the Second Vatican Council…. Indeed, in a certain sense this new Code could be understood as a great effort to translate this same conciliar doctrine and ecclesiology into canonical language.”
Bishop tells hostile crowd at gay marriage debate: my secretary was murdered by a gay activist
BY JOHN-HENRY WESTEN
Wed Jun 05, 2013 17:43 ESTComments ()Tags: Gay Marriage, Homosexuality, Thomas Paprocki
PHOENIX, June 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In what is being acknowledged even by liberal Catholics as a courageous move, Springfield, IL Bishop Thomas Paprocki debated dissident nun Sr. Jeannine Gramick on the topic of gay “marriage” before a decidedly gay-friendly crowd on Friday. In a shocking revelation in his opening remarks, the bishop told the crowd that his former secretary was brutally murdered by a gay activist simply for suggesting that he change his lifestyle.
Heckling and insults from the crowd and were expected and received as the bishop laid out the argument in favor of traditional marriage, after which he concluded, “some of you may be sneering, and I might be lucky if you said you were willing to hear me again on this topic some other time… In the end, I hope that at least a few of you will agree with my remarks.”
Bishop Thomas Paprocki
The Jesuit alumni of Arizona, which organized the event, called it “Two Catholic Views on Marriage,” but in his remarks Bishop Paprocki was quick to point out that was a misnomer. “I corrected that, since there is only one authentic Catholic view,” said the bishop. “There are two views being presented here tonight by two people who are baptized Catholics, but only one of those views, the one I will present, is consistent with Catholic teaching, while the other view clearly dissents from Catholic teaching.”
Most Rev. Fulton Sheen
Christ and Peter
Psychology reveals that the human body, when it reaches a certain growth, begins to be conscious of itself. A moment comes when the child no longer says: “Baby wants”… but “I want”.
The Church as the Body of Christ revealed its heavenly consciousness when Christ complained to Paul who persecuted the Church: “Why do you persecute Me”. The earthly consciousness of that same Mystical Body was reached in Peter, the only person in all Scripture with whom God so associated Himself as to say “we”. The occasion was the paying of the tax. The Lord, as if he were putting His arm around Peter, said “In order that WE may not scandalize”. What a unity of the headship of heaven and earth! What a conscious unity of the Body of Christ, Christ and Peter.
The Pope’s Burden
But this intuitive awareness of headship in Peter and his present successor, Paul VI, makes each Pontiff also the most vulnerable man in all the world. To be vulnerable is to be accessible to every attack, worry and anxiety which happens to the Church in every area of the earth. As Paul VI told me: “I often find, in my letters and reports when I read them at night, a thorn. When I go to bed they have woven themselves together into a crown of thorns”. This unshielded and exposed personality makes the Pontiff like a solitary tree on a mountain top, exposed to all the blasts of the four winds. The father and mother of a family suffer for their children; the priest bears the wounds of his parishioners, but into that chalice held by the Vicar of Christ seeps all the sorrows, such as those caused by disciples: “some walk with Him no more”, or who leave the Eucharistic Banquet and “go out into the night”. It is in these moments the Pastoral heart is most pierced.
“Is it so, O Christ in heaven, that the highest suffer most…. That the mark of rank in nature is capacity for pain, That the anguish of the inner makes the sweetness of the strain?”
The agony in Gethsemane in some way becomes the agony of the Pontificate and to both there is dipped a common cup which the Father gives.
For that reason, it is not just our theology, our tradition and our faith which makes us pledge our loyalty to him; it is also our sympathy, a compassion so great that the world, if it looked closely, might see but one common tear falling down pontifical checks.
It is his Voice to which we listen—for there is something special in it, as there was in the voice of Peter. St. Luke who recounts the scene in the outer court of Annas and Caiphas, as well as the scene of Peter knocking at the door of John Mark, makes Peter twice identifiable by his Voice. In both instances, it was a servant who recognized the Voice and each one refused to be negated in certitude that it was the Voice of Peter, for both “constantly reaffirmed”.
The background of the story is Peter’s miraculous escape from prison when his life was threatened by King Herod. He goes to the house of John Mark where the faithful of the Church are gathered in prayer. Present were John Mark, his mother, Mary; and her brother-in-law, Barnabas, and the servant Rhoda.
Rhoda answered the knocking; she recognized Peter’s voice who called to her, but did not open the door. Rather she ran and told everyone that Peter was at the door. Their response was twofold: either she was “mad” or else it was an apparition. A practical man, probably Barnabas, suggested that they give up liturgy for service and go and see if it was Peter.
Peter’s Voice Today
Does not this scene fit our modern times, when those who should be foremost in recognizing the voice of Peter, like the liturgical center of John Mark, and the disciples like Barnabas, are slow to do so, whereas the simple laity not only recognize it but insist upon its authenticity.
Now, as then, there are those in the house of John Mark who think that the voice is all apparition, that it is something out of the past, unreal and mythical or of another world.
Then there are those who when the simple people insist that it is the Voice of Peter, say that they are “crazy” or “mad”, and need to have their theological heads examined.
These two kinds of incredulity were manifested toward the Divinity of Our Lord. When the disciples were rowing in the darkness of a storm Jesus came walking on the waters, but they thought that He was a “ghost”. At another time because of His zeal, His own relatives thought Him “mad”.
But while the inner circle in the house of John Mark dialogued about the unsecularity of the voice and abused the simple for believing in it, Peter “continued knocking”.
The quality of Peter’s character is persistence. He was a fisherman and he knew patience and hope. But here it happens that he who knocks is the doorkeeper—the one who has the keys and is trying, as it were, TO GET INTO HIS CHURCH AND TO HIS PEOPLE. That knocking is no different from the knock of the Apocalypse where Christ affirms: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”.
The Voice of Christ
That Voice is no different than the Voice of Christ: “He that heareth you, heareth Me”. And if we heed it not, do we not fall back into that anonymous authority of “they”—”They say”, “They no longer believe that”—Who are “They”? In the Holy Father, the Voice is personal and with joy we heed it echoing from Peter the day the Eucharist was announced: “Lord, to whom shall we go. Thou alone hast the Words of Eternal Life”.
Thou art Peter
We reaffirm our allegiance to the Voice of Peter in Paul VI, for we know that we share in Christ’s prayer for His Church only to the extent that we are united with Peter. In order to get the full flavor of the words of Our Lord, we use the second person singular:
“Simon, Simon, Satan demanded to have you (the plural i.e. that is you My disciples, My Church), that he might sift you (again the plural) like wheat. But I have prayed for thee (singular—i.e. for Peter) that thy faith fail not; and when thou have turned back to Me (after My Resurrection) that thou (Peter) shall strengthen thy brethren”.
In these days when Satan has been given a long rope, we want above all things to share in the PRAYER OF CHRIST for the preservation of faith. But we know that we can do this only through our union with Peter. To Peter, and now to Paul VI, we look for the never failing faith, for the assurance that neither the pillars of the Church, nor its inferior parts will ever be severed from the Church’s structure. With Ambrose we repeat: “Where Peter is, there is the Church”. God grant that we will not keep him “knocking”.
Weekly Edition in English
11 April 1968, page 7
By: Msgr. Charles Pope
As we have discussed on this blog before, the Western World seems to have embarked on a (failed) experiment, testing whether a culture can exist without a shared cultus. That, is to say whether a true and unifying vision that we call culture can really exist at all without something above and beyond it, which unifies it and to which it must answer.
Unfortunately the word “cult” has strongly negative connotations in English, referring to extremist forms of religious association. But the Latin word cultus refers to devotion and/or religious adoration to God or to a body of religious beliefs and vision. As such, it serves as the basis for culture and makes up the very heart of that word.
In America, and to some extent parts Europe, the cultus did not have to be so specific that it admitted only of a strict sectarian quality. It was enough that we had a basic agreement on the biblical vision of God and a general assent to what has been called the Judeo-Christian vision.
But having largely shed this premise, our culture has broken down into a series of increasingly isolated and warring sectors which have no real basis even for simple discussion, let alone some significant agreement.
In fact, many now refer to our culture as an “anti-culture” given the iconclastic shredding of most of what was once considered sacred and inviolable. Almost nothing in our “culture” has withstood the efforts of those who recklessly tear down and exultantly destroy any vestige of anything they consider to limit their freedom or raise doubts about their behavior. In a way, to the cultural iconoclasts, everything must go. And while it is true that individuals may possess this iconoclasm to a greater or lesser degree, collectively, the devastation is vast, and shows no signs of stopping.
I would like to comments on excerpts of an article recently published over at the American Conservative by Rod Dreher entitled: Sex After Christianity. In that article he details some of demise of culture that we have discussed here as well. He focuses especially on how and why the recasting of sex has been the pulling of the linchpin in culture. And while he focuses on the issue of same sex unions and how we have gotten here, since we have discussed that issue a lot already, I will here excerpt the sections of his article on the wider question of culture. But I do encourage you to read the whole article as it sheds a lot of light on the bizarre celebration of same-sex attraction in our culture and where it has come from and where it will lead.
A Look at Some Biblical Texts in Opposition to Contraception
By: Msgr. Charles Pope
In the following post I seek to lay out a few of the biblical texts related to the Church teaching against contraception. This is not a post intended to give a full defense of the teaching against contraception. I have done that elsewhere, e.g. HERE & HERE & HERE
This post is intended only to set for the kind of biblical logic and background for the teaching which comes to us from antiquity. In fact, no Christian denomination prior to 1930 ever taught the contraception was anything but sinful. The first denomination to depart from this received teaching was the Anglicans, who at the 1930 Lambeth conference set aside more than 5000 years of Jewish and Christian wisdom and embraced the modern contraceptive notion that there is no necessary connection between procreation and sex. One by one the other Protestant denominations fell, such that today, only Catholic and Orthodox Christians, as well as some Orthodox Jews, are left holding the light of ancient antiquity.
Is the Church a thermometer or a thermostat? In other words are we called merely to reflect the temperature (thermometer), or are we called to set the temperature (thermostat)? Many are deeply confused as to the role of the Church in the modern world, think we ought simply to reflect the mores of current times, rather than to prophetically announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Yes, there are many insist that the Church needs to “get with the times……Update her teachings….Be more modern in her thinking, teachings and structures.” She needs to “Listen more to young people and speak their language and share their vision.”
Put more in a hostile way, the Church “needs to abandon her medieval ways, cease being hostile, judgmental, intolerant, bigoted, sexist, homophobic, hateful etc (and the usual list of modern accusations that reflect more the accuser’s personal issues than the Church).
Papal Infallibility was defined as a dogma of the Faith, in the year 1870, during the First Vatican Council. While most people have heard of this dogma, few understand its true meaning and limitations. It is not uncommon to find non-Catholics who believe the dogma extends to the moral actions of a pope, in such a way, that he is said to be incapable of sin (impeccability).
Most Catholics realize that the scope of infallibility is limited to papal teachings on matters of faith and morals, but they often err by extending it beyond its boundaries; understanding infallibility as if it were a habitual active charism that prevents a pope from erring when he speaks on the subject of faith or morals. This misunderstanding on the part of Catholics in recent decades has resulted in two opposite errors.
On the one hand, we have those who erroneously believe that whatever a pope says, regardless of how novel it is and how far it deviates from Tradition, must be accepted as an infallible truth, since “the pope is infallible”. On the other hand, there are some who see apparent errors in the documents of Vatican II and believe that Papal Infallibility would prevent a true pope from ratifying such documents. In both cases, the error is a result of extending Papal Infallibility beyond the limits determined by the Church.
Before proceeding, it should be noted that the purpose of this article is not to assert that Catholics are only bound to accept what has been infallibly defined by a pope or ecumenical council. The late Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton referred to this error, which was condemned by Pius IX (1), as minimism. Catholics must give assent to all that the Church teaches, either by virtue of a solemn pronouncement or by the teaching of the ordinary and universal Magisterium. Yet at the same time, Catholics are not bound to give assent to novelties and apparent errors, even if such novelties or apparent errors come from a pope who is not exercising his infallibility. In the chaos that has followed the Second Vatican Council, it is necessary that the faithful have a correct understanding Papal Infallibility, as well as its limitations, lest the understandably confused or scandalized Catholic be led into error in one direction or the other.
Interestingly, in Confessions (page 131), Father Greeley made some rather keen observations about a certain segment of the clergy — observations that proved all too accurate a decade-and-a-half later.
Fast forward to 1999, when Furthermore! was released. One of the most troubling passages Father Greeley ever wrote — and he’s written plenty of them over the years — is on page 80. It’s something that has essentially flown under the radar (ahem) of the mainstream media.
Check out the sentence beginning, “But even in Chicago, the ring of predators…”; then check out the footnote, which begins, “They are a dangerous group…” Notice his assertion, “They know that I have in safekeeping information which would implicate them. I am more of a threat to them dead than alive.”
That passage and footnote caught the eye of Stephen Brady, founder ofRoman Catholic Faithful, Inc., and Catholic attorney Sheila Parkhill. Both investigated Father Greeley’s claims, with Mrs. Parkhill calling on Father Greeley (in 2004) to reveal the “information” he claims to have “in safekeeping” — for the sake of justice.
To date, he has remained mum on the matter.
Perhaps he will take this “information” with him to the grave.
I hope not.
© Matt C. Abbott
The resignation of Pope Benedict is causing a series of large explosions along the way to the new conclave to replace the burnt-out reformer Pope. Some of us have been desperately waiting for many years for the power and influence of an extremely damaging homosexual mafia within the Catholic clergy to be exposed and dealt with. It appears this might finally be happening in a very dramatic fashion thanks to Benedict in the last few days of his pontificate.
Italian media reports on the details of a Benedict-ordered internal investigation on the Vatileaks scandal, if true, are astounding. The reports appear to confirm what LifeSiteNews and many others have been incessantly warning about for years only to be constantly dismissed as being overly negative, divisive and sensationalist.
Deny, deny, deny has been the standard response and many good priests and laity and even bishops have been subjected to ridicule and ruthless treatment for daring to try to expose the scandals and criminal or otherwise highly immoral actions of homosexuals in parishes, orders, chanceries and even the Vatican itself.
At the same time as this Vatican controversy is raging, the English translation of another report, this time by a Polish priest, on the wide extent and influence of homosexual clergy has just been released. With the Pope against the homoheresy by Fr. Dariusz Oko, reveals the global phenomena of a “huge homosexual underground in the Church”.
LifeSiteNews has been aware of this for many years, although not its full extent. We have been convinced, from our own experiences, that it is a vastly larger cancer within the Church than most realize. Trying to get the good bishops and cardinals to do something about it has been very difficult because of fear of the powerful network of influence of the gay clergy and their ruthless bullying of anyone, including bishops and cardinals, who causes them trouble. They tend to gain a lot of control over Church agencies, clergy and staff appointments and Church media, making it difficult to expose and expel them.
The Michael Voris Church Militant TV Vortex program for today The New Pope & Homoheresy does an excellent job of addressing this issue. I can assure LifeSiteNews readers that most that Voris states in this video is confirmed by our own experiences.
You want to know why there has been very poor and inconsistent support for the life and family movements for many years from Catholic Church leaders? The powerful homosexual subculture in the church has, in the opinion of many in the know, been a main cause of that puzzling and crippling phenomenon.
Fr. Dariusz Oko, Ph.D.
For several weeks now Poland has witnessed a heated discussion on the “huge homosexual underground in the Church”, provoked by the most recent book by Fr. Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski entitled Chodzi mi tylko o prawdę(Truth Is All That Matters). Some deny any such underground exists, and put forward theses profoundly inconsistent with the teaching of the Church, both being at odds with truth. The problem is serious to the extent I feel I must join in the discussion as well, because I also care about truth, and first of all about good, the fundamental well- being of man and of the Church – the basic community in which he lives.
Any discussion should have as its starting point the basic, axiomatic assumption that any one of us can know with certainty only a part, and that part is likely to be partially wrong. That should result in any opinions being presented with humility, and the arguments of partners or opponents being listened to with attention. That way we may best benefit from the parts of knowledge each of us has, and correct them. They will always remain only parts, but they will be bigger and purified from errors to a greater extent. That is the blessing of an honest dialogue, and it is in this spirit that I want to proceed.
My feeling of duty to take a stance results from my involvement in the philosophical criticism of homosexual ideology and homosexual propaganda (abbreviated to homoideology and homopropaganda), which I have dealt with for several years now to the order and with encouragement from many cardinals and bishops. In doing that, I have accumulated what is probably the biggest Polish collection of writings on the topic, one of the largest collections of data. This has been accomplished with the help of many friends and allies, both lay people and clergymen, university professors and practicing physicians, as well as a large number of people I had not known before, but who, encouraged by the opinions I have expressed and having read my articles, wished to add to and correct my knowledge. Thus, I have received news, results of scientific studies, and official documents from both around Poland and various regions of the world, particularly the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Holland and Italy, and, first of all, from the Holy See. I began my work as a struggle against a deadly, external threat to Christianity, but then gradually discovered that the division is not that simple. The enemy is not only outside the Church, but within it as well, sometimes perfectly camouflaged, like the Trojan Horse. We are dealing not only with the problem of a homoideology and a homolobby outside the Church, but with an analogous problem within it as well, where homoideology takes the form of a homoheresy. One does not even need to study the archives of the Institute of National Remembrance, which is only one of many sources. These facts are self-evident also in those countries which have not heard of any such Institute at all. It is enough to collect reliable information from lay and Catholic media concerning the recent years, and add to it the knowledge of human nature, some logical thinking, put two and two together and study documents which present the Church’s response to these facts.
A GLOBAL PHENOMENON
We should first expose the common lie presented by the media.
They keep talking about paedophilia among clergymen, while it is most often the case that the problem is ephebophilia, which is a perversion consisting in adult homosexual men being attracted not to children, but to pubescent and adolescent boys. It is a typical deviation related to homosexuality. Basic knowledge about that reality includes the fact that more than 80 percent of cases involving sexual abuse by clergymen reported in the U.S.A. were cases of ephebophilia, not paedophilia! That fact has been carefully hidden and ignored, as it reveals particularly well the hypocrisy of the homolobby in both the world and the Church. It is all the more important that it be exposed.
In other countries, the situation is similar, it is therefore important to note that scandals involving sexual abuse which have shaken the global Church were mostly the work of homosexual clergymen. The Church has paid a very painful price for the tremendous offences which have been exposed, losing much of its credibility. This has caused dramatic difficulties both in spiritual and material terms in many dioceses, monasteries and seminars, with churches becoming empty in entire provinces of the Church. It is estimated that the Church in the U.S.A. has had to pay more than one and a half billion dollars in damages so far. None of that would have been possible without the existence of a significant underground, of which prosecutors usually reveal only a small part, the tip of the iceberg.
The scandals have also involved those holding the highest offices. In Poland, for instance, Archbishop Juliusz Paetz was dismissed from his office as Bishop of Poznań in 2002. In Ireland, so similar to Poland in spiritual and historical terms, so Catholic, several bishops have been removed from office in the recent years, including John Magee, Bishop of the Diocese of Cloyne, dismissed in 2010 on the grounds of covering up the offences of paedophilia and ephebophilia committed by 19 priests in his diocese. Before that, Fathers Paetz and Magee had worked together in Vatican for many years as part of the closest, most influential associates of the last three Popes.
The lengths to which militant homosexuals in cassocks can go can be observed in the behaviour of the particularly “liberal” and “open-minded” Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who ruled the diocese of Milwaukee, U.S.A., in the years 1977-2002. He openly admitted to being gay and to having had many partners in life. Throughout the term of his office – for 25 years – he continuously opposed the Pope and the Holy See on many issues, particularly criticizing and rejecting the teaching of the Magisterium on homosexuality. He supported and protected active gays in his diocese, helping them avoid liability for sexual offences they repeatedly committed. At leaving his office, he defrauded about a half million dollars to support his ex-partner.
One of the most influential people in the Church of his time, Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legion of Christ, turned out to be bisexual and to have perpetrated serious sexual offences against many members and underage students in his own congregation, including even his own son…
All four went entirely unpunished for a long time, despite many complaints and charges against them sent to Rome for years. Only direct contact with the Pope or publications in the media finally helped. Otherwise, everything was blocked at lower levels of local or by the Vatican hierarchy. It was similar in many other cases. For instance, several years passed before Bishops Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa in California (1999), Juan Carlos Maccarone of Santiago del Estero in Argentina (2005), Georg Müller of Trondheim and Oslo in Norway (2009), Raymond John Lahey of Antigonish in Canada (2009), Roger Vangheluw of Bruges, in Belgium (2010), John C. Favalora of Miami (2010) and Anthony J. O’Connell of Palm Beach in Florida (2010) were removed from office for active engagement in[, or cover-up of,] homosexual paedophilia or ephebophilia. Similar steps had to be taken with respect to many other bishops who concealed or covered up such offences. The same applied to many, sometimes very influential priests. Not only the number of serious sexual offences proves the power of that underground, but also – to an ever greater extent – the degree to which the process of selecting candidate bishops has been disturbed, who were allowed to make a great “career” in the Church despite their having perpetrated such offences, despite leading a double life. This is further confirmed by the efficiency with which such cases were covered up and concealed, the often insurmountable blockade of all attempts made within the Church to protect the wronged, to strive for elementary truth and justice. It has been so difficult at times to take appropriate, self-evident measures against homosexuals, so many strange difficulties have arisen, and even any success in that area is limited, partial and temporary. We witness a terrible phenomenon – it turns out the comfort of homosexual offenders is more important than the fate of children and youth, the fate of the whole Church. If that was done deliberately, that would be high treason, the Church would be guilty of betraying the youth!
This can also be seen in the fear and confusion of the clergy, particularly in certain dioceses and congregations, when faced with that topic – they escape into silence, unable to articulate even elementary statements on the teaching of the Church on the subject. What are they afraid of? Where does that fear in entire groups of mature, adult men come from? And where do the neuroses, heart diseases and other complaints come from in priests who nevertheless try to oppose such phenomena, especially to protect children and youth? They must be afraid of some influential lobby which wields its power and which they may fall into disfavour with.
In order for such evil to be concealed and tolerated, it is necessary that the right people hold key positions, and that not only a homolobby, but a homoclique or a homomafia is created. Indeed, that is what the present Polish Minister of Justice, Jarosław Gowin, called that group when referring to the scandal of homosexual abuses perpetrated by priests in the Diocese of Płock, the offences of molestation against young people and seminarians, and the covering up of such facts. He said that when he intervened in the Church in the case of Archbishop Paetz, he had the impression he was dealing with a mafia, brutally negating even the most obvious principles and facts.
Similar references to mafia have recently been made by F. Charles Scicluna, the main person responsible for sorting out such cases in the Church, a “prosecutor” in the Disciplinary Section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He spoke during the symposium entitled “Towards Healing and Renewal” held in February 2012 in Rome, devoted to the problem of sexual abuse in the Church. On behalf of Benedict XVI, he strongly condemned not only the perpetrators, but also their superiors in the Church who covered up their deeds, and called for a strong opposition to such behaviour, open cooperation with the police, taking the path of cleansing set out by the Holy See. The more organized offenders are successful in protecting their own interests, the more successful they are in bringing harm to others and in destroying the credibility of the Church. This way, a powerful impulse towards dechristianization comes forward from within the Church itself.
A particularly valuable comment in the discussion has been made by F. Professor Józef Augustyn SJ, who said: “The problem, in my opinion, is not “in them” but in our reaction “to them”. How do we, ordinary priests and superiors, react to their behaviour? Do we yield to fear, step back, call for silence, pretend the problem does not exist? Or do we face the problem, are explicit about it, take away their influential positions, remove them from their offices? They should not work in seminars or hold any important positions. If the homosexual lobby exists and has anything to say in the structures of the Church, it is because we give in, withdraw, pretend, and so on. …
The Holy See … has given us a clear sign, a direction on how
such problems should be solved. Concealing the behaviour of dishonest persons, which will sooner or later be exposed anyway, destroys the authority of the Church. The faithful spontaneously ask about the reliability of a community which tolerates such arrangements. If we make an a priori assumption that no lobby of homosexual priests has ever existed, exists now or will exist in the future, we actually support the phenomenon. The homosexual lobby of the clergy get off scot-free and become a serious threat”.
THE FORMATION MECHANISM OF THE HOMO- COMMUNITY
As can be seen from the above examples, that lobby must have been allowed to have its way for a long time for such a situation to have been (and still be) possible. But the normal majority should not be intimidated by a disturbed minority. It is therefore necessary to understand the mechanism allowing that lobby to become so influential.
Everything begins with the fact that it is much more difficult for a seminarian with homosexual tendencies or an established homosexual orientation to become a decent priest. On the one hand, priesthood may appear attractive, seeming an ideal biotope, since he can stay here in his preferred manly company without the need to explain the absence of women in his life. On the contrary, this is, after all, seen as a great sacrifice for the Heavenly Kingdom, giving up the greatest value of marriage (even though he is not marriageable anyway). The situation appears to be very comfortable. Consequently, if no requirements are made of such young men, in particular congregations or dioceses there may be many times more of them than in the world on the average, i.e. many times more than 1.5 percent. Their exact number will depend on how dominating the position they have already achieved is, and how much other clergymen are intimidated or unaware of the significance of the problem.
On the other hand, homosexuality is a wound on the personality which may impair many other functions. Such impairments include distorted relationships with other men, women and children; the habit of constantly pretending, hiding something important in their lives; the pattern of playing a game which prevents honest, deep, emotionally fair relationships with peers and tutors. It also hampers proper understanding and respect for the nature of femininity and marriage as the mystery of the love between a man and a woman. Besides, if a homosexual feel similar desires towards men as a man who is undisturbed in that regard feels towards women, these desires will be constantly aroused in him by the permanent, close presence of the objects of his desire. He finds himself in a situation analogous to that of a normal man who were to live for several years (or for the whole life) under one roof, using the same dormitory and common bathrooms with many attractive women. The likelihood of maintaining chastity in such a situation would rapidly decline. We should respect and try to understand our homosexual brothers to the same extent we respect and try to understand any human being. They often do their best, try, and some of them succeed, live a decent or even a holy life. Objectively, however, it is much, much harder for them, and so they fail much more often.
If, however, they are unable to control their tendencies, and succeed in passing through the sieves of seminarian control, real trouble begins in priesthood or monastic life. They no longer benefit from the presence and control of their supervisors, their freedom is much greater. If they yield to temptation and go down the road of active homosexuality, their situation becomes desperate. On the one hand, they administer the sacraments, celebrate the Holy Mass every day, deal with the holiest of holy objects; and on the other hand they keep doing the exact opposite, that which is particularly deplorable. This way they “become immune” to that which is higher, that which is holy, their moral life yields to atrophy, going steadily downhill towards the fall. The more of that which is higher dies in them, the more room there is for that which is lower – the desire for material, sensual things – money, power, career, lust and sex. They can hardly be helped, since the highest means of formation, faith and grace have failed. They know well, however, that they may be exposed and embarrassed, so they shield one another by offering mutual support. They build informal relationships reminding of a clique or even mafia, aim at holding particularly those positions which offer power and money. When they achieve a decision-making position, they try to promote and advance mostly those whose nature is similar to theirs, or at least who are known to be too weak to oppose them. This way, leading positions in the Church may be held by people suffering from deep internal wounds, hardly displaying the spiritual level expected of their office; people who have given themselves away to hypocrisy and are especially prone to blackmailing by the enemies of Christianity. People who never “speak from the heart”, never revealing it for fear of being brought to shame. Instead, they repeat what they have learned by heart, copy that which has been said by others. Often an atmosphere of hypocrisy and lifelessness can be sensed around them. Pharisaism in its pure form. Even if they do not actively practice homosexuality, as a rule they try to shield and promote even those who do, with much solidarity, ready to “dig in their heels” together with them. This way they prefer their own well-being to the well- being of the community, according to the rule which says: “Let the Church be disgraced, ridiculed and humiliated, as long as myself and “mine” are well-set for life, as long as there is always enough to satisfy us”. “Omertà” in its pure form. This way, however, they may actually achieve a dominating position in many areas of church hierarchy, become a “backroom elite” which actually has tremendous power in deciding about important nominations and the whole life of the Church. Indeed, they may even prove to be too powerful for honest, well-meaning bishops.
The situation then becomes quite desperate for other priests. New clerical students may, for instance, include the younger partners of such homo-priests. When the vice-chancellor or another superior tries to remove them, they may end up being removed themselves instead of the homo-seminarians. Or, when a vicar tries to protect youth from the parish priest who molests them, it is the vicar and not the parish priest that is disciplined, ostracized and moved elsewhere. He goes through an ordeal for courageously fulfilling his fundamental duty. He may even be blackmailed, humiliated and slandered in the parish or among other priests as a victim of an organized campaign. And when a priest or a religious is molested by a peer or a superior and applies for help and protection to a higher instance, he often finds the office occupied by an even more ardent homosexual.
Along the road, members of the homo-clique can achieve such positions and influence that they come to believe they have extraordinary powers and will go unpunished forever. Their life often becomes a diabolic caricature of priesthood, just like homosexual relationships are a caricature of marriage. As can be learned from the media, for instance, they act like homosexual addicts, becoming more and more unbridled, resorting to violence. They start to molest and abuse even minors. A grievous wrong may result, including murder and suicide.
I learned about Bishop Paetz by accident, from a seminarian who told me, all trembling from emotions and terror, about his having been molested by his own ordinary. He was at a brink of losing faith as well as mental and spiritual integrity. It was not an easy job to convince him that one man is not the whole Church, that such case is yet another reason to become a priest so that something as wonderful as that is not left in the hands of such people. I have heard many similar stories from priests from Łomża and Poznań (where he served as an ordinary) I met during national and international academic symposia. Our interventions at various levels of Church hierarchy were of no avail, however; we encountered a wall that could not be overcome, even in a case as self-evident as that. In the case of a vicar or a catechist, a small part of such revelations would be enough to cause some reaction. In that case, a tremendous commotion in the media and reaching the Pope himself was necessary.
To quote F. Józef Augustyn once again: “The Church does not generate homosexuality, but falls victim to dishonest men with homosexual tendencies, who take advantage of its structures to follow their lowest instincts. Active homosexual priests are masters of camouflage. They are often exposed by accident. … The real threat to the Church are cynical homosexual priests who take advantage of their functions on their own behalf, sometimes in an extraordinarily devious way. Such situations cause great suffering to the Church, the priestly community, the superiors. The problem is indeed a very difficult one.”
THE STRUGGLE OF BENEDICT XVI
Benedict XVI has come to know that type of clergymen well during his long years of work in Vatican. He has repeatedly stressed how shocked he was to learn the extent of the plague of homosexual abuses in the Church, the size of that underground and the terrible damage caused to youth and the Church as a whole. He recalls: “Yes, it is a great crisis, we have to say that. It was upsetting for all of us. Suddenly so much filth. It was really almost like the crater of a volcano, out of which suddenly a tremendous cloud of filth came, darkening and soiling everything, so that above all the priesthood suddenly seemed to be a place of shame and every priest was under the suspicion of being one like that too.” It was mostly about such clergymen that he referred to while still a Cardinal during the famous Way of the Cross at the Colosseum in 2005, shortly before the death of John Paul II and his own election as Pope: “Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? … how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self- complacency! … We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25)”. The Pope also said: “The greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church”. He knew what task was awaiting him, and taking office on April 24, 2005, said: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves”.
The greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church.
And that is why he took resolute and fast action as Pope. He made cleansing the Church from homosexual abuse and preventing its reoccurrence in the future one of the priorities of his pontificate. He removed compromised clergymen from their offices with much energy. In the very first months following his election, still in 2005, he had an instruction issued to strictly forbid ordaining untreated homosexuals. The instruction was preceded by a letter sent from the Holy See to bishops around the world, ordering that priests with homosexual tendencies be immediately removed from any educational functions at seminars. A letter from the Congregation for Catholic Education issued in 2008 prohibited their admission to seminars. It says explicitly they may only be admitted after they have been permanently healed. These principles were confirmed in 2010 by a Note from the Vicariate of Rome for the Successor of Saint Peter – a standard for the entire Church. A model to be followed in such cases was also provided by the Pope’s pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland, also in 2010, on serious sins against defenceless children. Just like the current President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, carried out a successful, model inspection in the former East Germany, his fellow countryman in the Vatican has been carrying out a thorough, honest, Christian cleansing of the Church. The Pope is also trying not to allow for a similar disaster to happen again in the future by strictly prohibiting the ordaining of homosexually- oriented persons, by preventing the rebirth of that community.
That should be stressed, because in the Polish Church the issue of the relationship between homosexuality and priesthood has been underestimated. It appears that the breakthrough in that matter accomplished by Benedict XVI and the Holy See is not sufficiently understood here. Its results could be summarized as follows:
1) instead of a division into active and passive homosexuality, in his official documents the Holy Father introduces a division into temporary homosexual tendencies which occur during puberty, and tendencies which have become deeply rooted. Both forms are an obstacle which precludes holy orders, so the requirements is not merely (usually temporary) freedom from active homosexuality. 2) Homosexuality is irreconcilable with priestly vocation. Consequently, it is strictly forbidden not only to ordain men having any homosexual tendencies (be it temporary), but even to admit them in seminars. 3) Temporary homosexual tendencies must be cured even before admission to the first year of studies or the novitiate. 4) Seminars and monasteries, presbyteries and diocesan curias must be completely free from any forms of homosexuality. 5) Men with homosexual tendencies who have already been ordained as deacons, priests or bishops remain to be validly ordained, but are called to keep all commandments given by God and the Church. Just like other priests, they should live in purity and desist from any activities harmful to man and the Church, in particular from any rebellion against the Holy Father and the Holy See, or any mafia-like activities. 6) Clergymen who suffer from such disorders are strongly encouraged to immediately commence appropriate therapy.
In Benedict XVI’s Light of the World of 2010, we find as an afterword a very important passage about homosexuality and priesthood. These words of the Holy Father are, in a way, a comment on the earlier documents of the Holy See. It seems he is speaking “from the heart”, and is quite explicit:
“Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into priesthood who don’t want to get married anyway. For, in the end, their attitude toward man and woman is somehow distorted, off centre, and, in any case, is not within the direction of creation of which we have spoken.
The Congregation for Education issued a decision a few years ago to the effect that homosexual candidates cannot become priests because their sexual orientation estranges them from the proper sense of paternity, from the intrinsic nature of priestly being. The selection of candidates to the priesthood must therefore be very careful. The greatest attention is needed here in order to prevent the intrusion of this kind of ambiguity and to head off a situation where the celibacy of priests would practically end up being identified with the tendency to homosexuality”.
The importance of the matter for the Pope and the Holy See is emphasized by the fact that despite a great shortage of priests and new vocations in Western Europe and America, the Church does not want to admit such candidates in its seminars; the grave abuses of homosexual clergymen have already caused too much evil, too many disasters, and have cost too much.
HOMOHERESY IN THE CHURCH
Not everyone wants to accept the above rules. There is resistance to what is taught by the Pope. The homosexual community in the Church defends itself and is on the attack. It also needs an intellectual tool, a justification, and that is why homoideology takes in their minds, words and writings the form of homoheresy. The most open revolt against the Pope and the Church is headed by some Jesuits in the United States, who openly oppose them and announce that despite the above decisions, they will keep admitting homosexually-oriented seminarians, who are, indeed, especially welcome. They have a long tradition in that vein, for years being the mainstay of homoideology and homoheresy. They take many views of the heretical moral theologian, ex-priest Charles Curran, for their own. They are also under the overwhelming influence of their former fellow friar, F. John McNeill SJ, who founded the pro-homosexual movement called Dignity, and published a book entitled The Church and the Homosexual, where he explicitly rejects the teaching of the Church and adopts homoideology. The book was given an imprimatur by his provincial from New York, and has been republished several times despite being banned by the Vatican. This way, it has become a homosexual bible for many American Jesuits. McNeill seems to mean more for them than Jesus or Saint Paul, much less the Pope. The Theological Studies and America papers they publish still uphold and promote pro-homosexual ideas.
Consequently, it is estimated they have achieved the highest saturation with homosexuals, way above 30 percent. Gays feel more comfortable with them than ever, while other priests find the specific atmosphere less and less bearable.
It appears as though the Jesuits have replaced their traditional, fourth vow of obedience to the Pope with a fourth vow of arch- disobedience. We should not be particularly surprised or shocked, though, knowing that the clergy is submitted to all influences of their times, including the worst ones. If they are intellectually or morally weak, they are not only subject, but succumb to them. That is one of the basic sources of heresy in the Church, which has already seen so many of them that needed to be exposed and overcome so many times. In the age of fascist ideologies and Marxism, we also had fascist priests and Marxist priests in the Church. Now that the extreme leftists promote homoideology in turn, we naturally have homoideologist, and sometimes even homoheretic priests in the Church.
In Poland, their best known representative is F. Jacek Prusak, SJ, who had been trained by American Jesuits, after all. For eight years now he has taken on the role of a spokesman of the homolobby in the Church, fighting uncompromisingly to defend its interests. His vocabulary and his arguments sometimes seem to be literal quotations from handbooks on homoideology, copied from gay websites. His writings suffer from numerous defects both as to the contents and to logic, but their main goal is always the same: the ultimate apology of homosexuality in general, and homosexual priesthood in particular – no matter how much manipulation is needed to achieve that goal. Whenever a priest or a lay person talks about what the Church teaches on homosexuality, when they defend and explain it and call for it to be followed, they should expect an immediate, brutal attack from Father Prusak – sometimes even on the pages of particularly anti-Christian papers. In this great struggle fought by the Church against homoideology, he explicitly takes sides with the enemy and excels in it. He was once supported by Father Tadeusz Bartoś OP, even though in a much less aggressive way. Since F. Bartoś left priesthood and his congregation in 2007, he has remained alone in that role. He is the tried-and-tested commentator for the media particularly hostile to the Church in that regard. In 2005, right after the instruction prohibiting the ordaining of homosexuals was announced, F. J. Prusak published a devastating criticism in a paper whose editors are known for their fanatic propagation of homoideology. Similarly, in his article entitled The Lavender History of the Church, precisely contravening the statements of the Magisterium quoted above, he claims that homosexual orientation does not preclude a candidate for priesthood. He questions the existence of a homolobby in the Church, even though he and his activities are particularly convincing evidence to the contrary. Thus, he continues in the long line of priests who presented views contrary to the teaching of the Church, for which they were promoted in leftist, antichristian media, e.g. F. Michał Czajkowski, ex-Jesuit Stanisław Obirek, and ex-Dominican Tadeusz Bartoś.
One can easily see that, comparing his opinions with those expressed by the Pope quoted above and the documents of the Church mentioned here. One cannot allow, however, for a homoideologist priest to continue his attacks on the teaching of the Church and on the priests and lay people who defend that teaching, for homoideological minority to dominate the normal majority. The way in which Father J. Prusak opposes the Holy Father is inadmissible and scandalous.
The way Father Jacek Prusak opposes the Holy Father is inadmissible and scandalous.
This is about the very existence of the Church. Ideology and manipulation must be nipped in the bud, for if more clergymen like Father Prusak appear, it may be too late. The Church may destroy itself from within – just as has already been the case in many places in the West. A Church which contradicts itself, rejects its own teaching, becomes useless and dies – like the Church in Holland. Anything that is self-contradictory is bound to disappear.
Bad theology is deadly dangerous. An incompetent theologian may reduce faith, theology and philosophy to psychology, may infect the organism of the Church with viruses of the enemy’s sick ideas, may pick up and pass on somebody else’s illnesses. That was, for example, the case with the ex-priest Eugene Drewmann, who began as a professor of dogmatic theology in Paderborn, and through a reduction of theology to psychology ended up with New Age and Buddhism. For him, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung became more important than Jesus and Saint Paul. The consequences were already waiting around the corner. If such theories are allowed to spread, their consequences may be destructive for the entire Church – as it was in Holland. It was there that the sick theology of Edward Schillebeecks contributed to the disintegration and near destruction of the Church which was once so full of life. Within a dozen or so years, it almost made it disappear. It was like a mine planted under a building. We should defend ourselves with all resolution against such “Dutch theology”. This is about the Church’s to be or not to be. If homolobbyists are allowed to act freely, in a dozen or so years they may destroy entire congregations and dioceses – like in the USA, where the priestly vocation is more and more now called a gay profession (particularly with reference to American Jesuits), or like in Ireland, where men are hesitant about joining the emptying seminaries for fear of being suspected of suffering from some disorders.
In the USA, the priestly vocation is more and more often now called gay profession.
In Ireland, men are hesitant about joining the emptying seminaries for fear of being suspected of suffering from some disorders.
The situation is a bit like that in the beginning of the Reformation, when entire countries and nations left the Church, and when one of the fundamental reasons for that state of affairs was the unprecedented decline in morality and libertinism of some clergymen, including Pope Alexander VI himself. Just like the Council of Trent tried to save the Church first of all through repentance and discipline, Benedict XVI tries to save it by limiting the size and the influence of the homolobby within the Church. This shows his prophetic and scientific genius, and emphasizes his importance as one of the greatest theologians of our time, capable of participating in spiritual warfare. This can be seen particularly in a longer perspective, when we think about how many other theologians flirted with fashionable ideologies, or even succumbed to them. As theologian and bishop, Ratzinger was always high- principled and made excellent, accurate decisions. He never came under such illusions, never went either into “newspaper theology” or “postmodern theology” with their utmost irresponsibility, making it is easy to put forward claims which profoundly contradict Christianity. Now, he has nothing to be ashamed about. And yet, it is for that accuracy of opinion that he is so vehemently opposed, or even hated by some in the Church, especially by members of the homolobby which represents the very centre of internal opposition against the Pope. The greatness of Benedict XVI can also be seen in the way he suffers all that, peaceful, trustful and patient, when he humbly remains silent in reply to the most primitive attacks – from those who are “in the same camp”. He does not defend himself, what he cares about is first of all Christ and the wellbeing of man. He is a great scientist and a faithful witness to the Revelation. He is indeed not only the most outstanding intellectual, but also a “good shepherd who does not abandon the sheep or run away when he sees the wolf coming, but lays down his life for the sheep” (cf. John 10;12.15).
He cannot do it all by himself, however. He needs each and everyone of us. He needs support and healthy preaching in every local Church. It is a matter of remaining faithful to one’ s conscience: defending the truth of salvation, no matter how much it should cost us. In this context the greatness and holiness of the Church can be seen particularly well. Homoideology seems to be so powerful and is being as aggressively promoted as Marxism or fascism used to be in the past. Its victory seems unavoidable to many (just like with those other ideologies). In that situation, it is first of all the Church that openly defends elementary truth, defends that which is reasonable. When the demons of ideology rage, faith must, paradoxically, become a special guardian and defender of reason. The Church has survived through difficulties and heresies greater than this. That which is absurd must ultimately collapse, exhaust and devour itself. One cannot live in contradiction forever. We cannot always live against reason, against nature, against commandments, just like we cannot stand on our head forever. We must finally either repent or fall.
The greatness of the Catholic Church is revealed also in that it can admit to being wrong, acknowledge the faults of its members, apologize for them, embark on the road of repentance and cleansing. Other communities are capable of doing that to a much lesser extent, even though their faults are much greater. The media, which could at times be called CHC – Centres of Hatred against Christianity, present the situation as though that was the main or the only problem of the Catholic Church, as though ephebophiles were only found among priests and every priest should be suspected of the same thing. Exactly in the same way Catholic clergy was presented by Goebbels’ propaganda in the times of Hitler, with the same methods of generalization applied to individual cases. Honest journalists, however, say: “We can see the Catholic Church is the only institution to be doing anything with paedophilia. The paedophilia which is a common problem in all communities and educational institutions”.
One could ask, then, when will journalists start investigating the scale of the problem among themselves, including the owners of the newspapers they work for, among those who set the tone for manipulations and witch-hunts in the media? It may be hard – as for example in Belgium or Lithuania, where even people at the topmost levels in the hierarchy of various authorities are involved in paedophilia. But where is the courage and enthusiasm of those journalists who have been so willing to attack the Church? Reliable studies show that the problem is the least widespread in the Catholic Church. Why, then, it is the only thing we hear? According to researchers, only one for a thousand cases of pedo- or ephebophilia is related to the sphere of the Catholic Church, in the USA only one to five Catholic priests are involved in that problem per ten thousand people. Statistically, much greater risk exists e.g. with married Protestant clergymen or teachers, particularly sports teachers.
There is no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia. Statistically, much greater risk exists e.g. with married Protestant clergymen or teachers, particularly sports teachers.
It is not celibacy, then, that is to blame here, contrary to what is sometimes suggested. This has been pointed out, among others, by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who said that “many psychologists and psychiatrists have proved that there is no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia, while many others have shown that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia”. He also points to the fact that “80 percent of paedophiles convicted in the USA are homosexuals. Among priests convicted for paedophilia, they represent 90 percent”. These data show that “the Catholic Church has had a problem with homosexuals rather than paedophiles”. He is backed up by Itrovigne Massimo, an Italian sociologist, who reminds us that “there is no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia, as there are more paedophiles among married clergymen than among Catholic priests … . In the USA, nearly one thousand priests have been charged with sexual abuse against minors, and only about fifty were found guilty. Meanwhile, there were as many as six thousand sports teachers and coaches, most of them married, convicted for the same abuse”.
Is that not a perfect scoop for the media? Why do they hardly talk about it? It appears their intentions are not so much to protect children and youth as to destroy the Church. If their intentions were honest, they would first strike at those who commit the greatest number of such crimes. But their shortage of “just men” is much greater than here, however, they lack people who would be willing to do something about the problem, to take the risk. Such incidents among those who are “one of us” are covered up and justified much more than was the case in the Church (e.g. the behaviour of Roman Polanski in Hollywood in 1978, which apparently was a standard in that community then). They seem to be saying: “if this is done by ‘one of us’, we will not lift a finger, let the children be tormented, we do not care, as long as we are fine”. Here is the hypocrisy and cynicism of the “brave” journalists and their employers.
It is important to understand the reasons for which the Church has been unable to deal with the problem of the homolobby for so long. It is not only about the influences of the homolobby itself, where complaints about one homosexual wearing a cassock end up on the desk of another, then in the dustbin or, worse even, in the hands of the wrongdoer himself – so that he can freely take revenge on his victims. It is not only the evil kind of group solidarity, defending those who are “one of us”, no matter how guilty they are.
There is yet another reason, and that is ignorance, failure to understand the weight of the problem. For a normal priest, it is inconceivable for such terrible evil to be taking place behind his back. Moreover, decent, well-meaning clergymen are usually burdened with so much work they feel unable to deal with yet another problem. Who would want to deal with such filth, unless they were forced to, anyway? That is why until a really huge scandal erupts, people tend to act like “it’s rickety, it’s wobbly, but at least it’s moving”. After all, we are at times dealing here with criminal activity, and the Church is not the police, it does not have the tools necessary to deal with organized crime. If a priest has caused a car accident or committed an economic crime, he must first be dealt with by the police or the prosecutor, not the bishop or provincial. And acts of paedophilia and ephebophilia belong to the most serious offences against the bodies, psyche and souls of children and youth. What a great disturbance in clergymen who repeatedly do things like that for a moment’s pleasure! They ruin the lives of their neighbours. It was first of all about paedophiles and ephebophiles that Jesus said: “Woe to you”. He said that for anyone who “causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (cf. Matthew 18:6-11 and Luke 17:1-2). Such abuse is the most abominable, terrible harm for a normal boy, it is like killing his soul. Sometimes the victim of an ephebophile is unable to get over such an abuse for his entire life, to trust others, to respect himself or to obey any moral norms. If such brutal evil is done by a clergyman, the issue becomes even more painful, because harm is inflicted by the one who has preached beautiful ideas, whom the boy trusted, from whom he had the right to expect all that is good and noble. Abused boys then say: “I will never go to church anymore”, “all priests are bastards”. Sometimes, they loose faith altogether or join some sect, and sometimes they really never come back to the Church. Even though they used to be part of the young group closest to the priest, particularly involved in their religion, most of them coming from families of believers; they used to be altar boys, lectors, went to summer camps, retreats, pilgrimages, they were the treasure and future of the Church. The ardent work of a multitude of decent parents, religious sisters, catechists, priests, bishops, is destroyed by the crimes of a group of vile men. In that situation, those wronged may be helped especially if defended by another priest. That is the most effective way of restoring their trust in the Church, to have another priest defend the victim from a perverted fellow priest, and take them to the police. That is faithfulness to man and to Christ. It is necessary, because an act of paedophilia or ephebophilia is usually one in a whole series, and needs to be stopped immediately.
In such matter, there is no room for hesitation, no matter how much there is to risk, no matter whom we might fall into disfavour with, no matter what there is to lose. Just like a father has the duty to die to defend his child if necessary, so a priest has the duty to die to defend each and every one of the little ones, who are God’s children. In Poland, the situation is particularly dangerous because some elderly gays and ephebophiles in cassocks may have connections with the former Security Service and other special services. Many secret collaborators recruited from them, since they were especially prone to blackmail. Sometimes, they are still blackmailed today. If their vile acts are exposed, the officers of such services will have nothing to blackmail them with, and thus their source of regular income will run dry. That is why a priest who stands up in defence of youth and opposes an influential paedophile or ephebophile may undergo an ordeal. He may find himself standing up against not only the homomafia in the local Church, but also the old structures of special services. And they are proficient in maltreating and murdering clergymen, as was the case not so long ago not only with Blessed F. Jerzy Popiełuszko, but also with F. Zych, F. Niedzielak, F. Suchowolec, and others.
Therefore, the homomafia in the Church must be dealt with in a very professional way – we must act like a prosecutor or an officer in the battlefield. We must be aware that the other party may have become internally degenerated by decades of living in sin and hypocrisy, that they may have gone downhill to the level of ordinary criminals, that they are prepared to do even the worst things, both in words and acts, to defend their interests and position.
We must be prepared, and not be surprised even if we are insulted with the worst curses, if we are accused of the worst things, for it is “out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks” (cf. Matthew 12:34). Someone who has committed great iniquities for dozens of years is ready to do things at least equally vile to conceal evil and avoid responsibility. It is much easier to lie and say they have not done anything wrong than to beat or kill someone.
It is important that we find a possibly large group of people of goodwill to protect us and support what we do. That group should include clergymen, as high in the hierarchy as possible, experts in various fields, archive records specialists, lawyers, policemen, journalists, and as may believers as possible. It is good to exchange information, documents, evidence. The global network of the homolobbies and homomafias must be counterbalanced by a network of honest people. An excellent tool that can be used here is the Internet, which makes it possible to create a global community of people concerned about the fate of the Church, who have resolved to oppose homoideology and homoheresy. The more we know, the more we can do. We need to remember that in these matters we are like “sheep sent among wolves”, and so we must be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). We must have the courage to stand up against evildoers, as Christ had the courage to stand up against the Pharisees of his times. We cannot build our lives on sweet illusions, for only “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32), and that is why “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
The global network of homolobbies and homomafias must be counterbalanced by a global network of decent people.
All interventions should be made with utmost respect and love for every person, including the abusers. The essence of Christianity is reflected in the will to save everyone, and the worst criminals are especially at risk of losing both their earthly and their eternal life, so they need an especially abundant portion of concern and prayer. The greatness and beauty of Christianity resides also in the fact that Abel here should try not only to save himself, but everybody else too, including Cain.
LOVE AND TRUTH OF THE CHURCH
In our struggle for the Church of Jesus Christ, we must not be misled by arguments like: “The Church is our mother, and one must not say bad things about one’s mother”. Such words are often heard from those who have hurt their mother the most, who have made her seriously ill, and now refuse to begin the treatment. If the best mother of all is sick, to treat her effectively we need the best possible tools and the best, most accurate diagnosis possible. Thus, we must know about the illness and talk about it. If the Church in Poland is now heading for harder times, if it must prepare itself for persecution, if it must resist and fight, its organism must be healthy and strong, and any gangrene must be removed. President Joachim Hauck said that in the former East Germany the process of cleansing and compensation was opposed most strongly by those who had the most to weigh on their conscience, who had hurt their brothers and sisters the most, who betrayed them the most.
Similar charges of disloyalty could be brought against the Evangelists themselves, because they reported on the betrayal of Judas, Peter’s denial of Jesus, his being rebuked by Jesus, on Thomas’s incredulity, on the careerism of James and John. One might ask why they did not hide that shameful truth – especially in the times of the initial weakness of the first Church, in the times of the first bloody persecutions, when both the Apostles and other Christians were being killed, one by one? And in the end, similar charges could be brought against Lord Jesus himself – why did he criticize the Pharisees so radically, why did he publicly expose their inequity, their falsehood, their hypocrisy and lies? He was, after all, attacking the religious and national elites of his time, the public form of a religion as valuable, as deserving as that of the Chosen People. And not only did the Evangelists write it all down, but then they described the way priests, Sadducees and Pharisees dealt with Jesus during the Passover. This way greatly undermining the highest religious and moral authorities of their nation – and all of that was done during the dark night of Roman occupation!
It was indeed the public fight against the social structures of sin, against Pharisees, that was one of the most important areas of Christ’s activity. We should follow in his footsteps as well – in his courage, in his determination to fight against evil, in the precision of his arguments in exposing evildoers. Whatever Christ did is a model to be followed in any age. But we need knowledge to make sure our struggle against evil is effective. And so, remembering to “recognize them by their fruit” (cf. Matthew 7:16), based on the publicly known events of the last quarter of the century, the reaction of the Holy See and the documents it issued, we must clearly, explicitly and resolvedly say: yes, there is a strong homosexual underground in the Church (just like in many other places), which – depending on the degree of involvement of its members, depending on their words and deeds – may be referred to as homoheresy, homolobby, homoclique or even homomafia. Such circles in the Church strongly oppose truth, morality and Revelation, cooperate with the enemies of the Church, incite a revolt against the Peter of our times, the Holy See and the entire Church. Members of that lobby in the Church are a relatively small group, but often hold key positions (which they are very anxious to achieve), create a close network of relationships and support one another, which is what makes them dangerous. They are dangerous especially to the youth, who are threatened by sexual abuse. They are dangerous to themselves, as, more and more hardened in evil, they may finally “die in their sins” (John 8:23), as Christ warned. They are dangerous to honest lay people and clergymen who oppose them. Finally, they are dangerous to the Church at large, because when their iniquities are finally exposed, when they become a topic for media coverage, the faith of millions of people is weakened or destroyed. Many say then: “No, in a Church like that there is no place either for me, or my children or grandchildren”. And so, homosexual depravers and abusers scandalize millions of people, putting a huge obstacle on their road to faith, to Christ, to salvation. And all of that just for several dozen years of a comfortable life of sin. Can there be a greater sin? The Church has been created as the most wonderful, most beautiful community of love and kindness, of believers living in peace with the Lord and with one another. We must not allow our greatest treasure to be destroyed. Let us be confident and peaceful. Normal, honest people are the overwhelming majority. They only need to be properly informed, mobilized and unified in action.
It was indeed the public fight against the social structures of sin, against the Pharisees, that was one of the most important areas of Christ’s activity.
Every truth, even that which is the most difficult, should lead us to work for the better, to struggle for the wellbeing of man and the Church. Despite all sin and weakness, the best, the most beautiful thing we have is the Church. Evil, including homosexual evil, is present to a much greater degree outside the Church, in other communities. Those who criticize us are often like hypocrites who cannot see “the plank in their own eye” (cf. Matthew 7:1-5). That is why the Church is now hated so much and attacked with such vehemence – because its very existence is a constant prick of conscience, a constant admonition for those who live in sins which are much, much greater than those of some people in the Church. Let us keep the right proportions. There have always been and will most likely be baptized people in the Church who live like Cain or Judas, but we must not condemn Abel because of Cain, or reject the other eleven Apostles and Christ himself because of Judas. That would be a fundamental mistake, Judas represents only about 8% of the Twelve Apostles. But neither should we allow Judas to dominate and rule in the Church. His influence must not be greater than that of John or Paul. It is the Peter of our times that is the most important person in the Church, and he should be listened to. Benedict XVI is a great gift of the Providence, just like his honourable predecessor, John Paul II. Let us stand together on Benedict XVI’s side, just as we would have stood on the side of Blessed John Paul the Great. They were such a wonderful, wise and courageous duet of apostles. They agreed and supported each other so much – also on this matter.
To say “I am leaving the Church because it is too evil for me, and too sinful” is to say that apparently “I am too good for it”, to say, in a way, that “I am a better, a more valuable person than Mother Theresa, or even Our Lady or Lord Jesus himself”, since for them that Church is good enough to stay in, to love and protect.
The Church is like the people who make it up, and that is why it is always sinful, but always holy as well. Among more then a billion of its members, there are thousands of people who commit vile and base acts, but there are also hundreds of millions of Catholic men and women who are honest and holy. More than half of them are women – persons who are particularly sensitive to the well-being of man, to the fate of children and youth, to pure love. There are hundreds of millions of people who take up the great effort of work, marriage, family, bearing and rearing children. There are thousands of missionary men and women (more than two thousand from Poland alone) who devote all of their lives in the most difficult conditions, the greatest poverty. There are about 700,000 religious sisters who try to live their lives as unsparingly and evangelically as they can. There is Mother Theresa and several thousand of her sisters. To say “I am leaving the Church because it is too evil for me, and too sinful” is to say that apparently “I am too good for it”, to say, in a way, that “I am a better, a more valuable person than Mother Theresa, or even Our Lady or Lord Jesus himself”, since for them that Church is good enough to stay in, to love and protect. For it is that Church that has the most of God in it, and thus the most of truth, goodness and beauty. That is why being part of it and growing in it, one may reach the topmost heights of Christianity and humanity – like Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, like Blessed John Paul the Great, like Benedict XVI – the most beautiful people of our times.
We are all invited to become holy in the Church of Lord Jesus Christ through grace and our own work – no matter at which phase of development and what place in the Church we are in now. All we need to do is “arise and go” (John 14:31).
Krakow, Easter, April 8, 2012
F. Dariusz Oko, born in 1960 in Oswiecim, was ordained in 1985, and is a priest in the Archdiocese of Krakow He is an Assistant Professor at Pontifical University John Paul II in Krakow.
The article was also published in the German journal “Theologisches”. Cf. D. Oko, Mit dem Papst gegen Homohäresie, “Theologisches” 9/10 (2012) pp. 403-426.
It was immediately translated into Czech and broadcast in July 2001 in a series of Wednesday programmes (July 4, 11, 18, 25 and 31) by the Czech Section of the Vatican Radio.
[Translated by Małgorzata Wójcik - adapted, where necessary, by Rorate Caeli]
 Cf. F. T. Isakowicz-Zaleski, Chodzi mi tylko o prawdę [Truth Is All That Matters].Warszawa 2012, pp. 114-119.
 Cf. F. J. Prusak, Lawendowa historia Kościoła [A Lavender History of the Church], „Rzeczpospolita”, 26 March 2012.
 In fulfilling that task, I have published a number of papers and articles: Dziesięć argumentów przeciw [Ten Arguments Against], “Gazeta Wyborcza” 28-29.05.2005, pp. 27 and 28; Godne ubolewania wypaczenie [A Lamentable Perversion], “Tygodnik Powszechny” 27 (2921) 2005, p. 6; Śmieci nie można zamiatać pod dywan [Rubbish Must Not Be Swept Under the Carpet], “Rzeczpospolita” 54 (7651) 5.03.2007, p. 3; W tej walce trzeba zaryzykować wszystko [In This Battle We Must Risk It All], “Rzeczpospolita” 18.05.2007, p. 8A; Zmaganie z głębi wiary [A Struggle From Within the Depths of Faith], An interview with Katarzyna Strączek and Janusz Poniewierski, “Znak” 11 (630) 2007, pp. 16-33; O czym można dyskutować na uniwersytecie [What Can Be Discussed at University], “Rzeczpospolita” 8.05.2009, pp. 2; Dezorientacja prawa [A Legal State of Confusion], a statement made together with the
Ombudsman Janusz Kochanowski in an article by Przemysław Kucharczyk, “Gość Niedzielny” 24.05.2009 (56) 21, pp. 38-39; Na celowniku homolobbystów [At the Homolobby’ s Gunpoint], a conversation with Bartłomiej Radziejewski, “Fronda” 51 (2009), pp. 188-208; Homoseksualizm nie jest normą [Homosexuality is Not the Norm], an interview with Bogumił Łoziński, “Gość Niedzielny” 13.09.2009 (56) 37, pp. 36-37; Dwugłos wobec homoideologii [A Duet On Homoideology], “Miłujcie się!” 4 (2009), pp. 38-41; Non possumus. Kościół wobec homoideologii [Non Possumus. The Church and Homoideology], in: T. Mazan, K. Mazela, M. Walaszczyk (ed.), Rodzina wiosną dla Europy i świata. Wybór tekstów z IV Światowego Kongresu Rodzin 11-13 maja, Warszawa 2007 [The Family is the Spring of Europe and the World. Selected Papers Presented at the 4th World Congress of Families, 11-13 May 2007, Warsaw], Łomianki 2008, pp. 355-361; parallel: Homoideologia? Non possumus! [Homoideololgy? Non Possumus!], “Głos dla życia” 4 (87) 07/08 2007, pp. 12-14; „Non possumus.” Kościół wobec Homoideologii [Non Possumus. The Church and Homoideology], “Materiały Homiletyczne” 236 (2007), pp. 5-19; Kościół wobec homoideologii [The Church and Homoideology], “Miłujcie się!”, Part I, 1 (2009), pp. 40-43, Part II, 2(2009), pp. 41-44.
 A real mine of knowledge on the subject is found in the fundamental document of the Bishops’ Conference of the United States, a very reliable report drawn up on the basis of thorough studies carried out in all US dioceses: The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholics Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002, New York 2004, known as thee John Jay Report 2004. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and- action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual- Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States- 1950-2002.pdf. See also R. Dreher, The Gay Question, “National Review”, 22 April 2002, and R.J. Neuhaus, Rozejm roku 2005? [The Truce of 2005?], “First Things. Edycja Polska” No. 1, Fall 2006, pp. 13-19, 18.
 George Weigel describes that situation and the fault of clergymen particularly well in his book Odwaga bycia katolikiem [The Courage to Be Catholic], transl. J. Franczak, Kraków 2005.
 Cf. D. Michalski, The Price of Priest Pederasty, “Crisis”, October 2001, pp. 15-19.
 It is so typical that even though the Church found Bishop Paetz guilty – for otherwise such rare a sanction as removal from office would not have been applied to him, the priests who contributed to it, who had the courage to defend the seminarians, have been persecuted ever since. It is suspected that one of the reasons for the apostasy (apart from an attempt at building a theology on poor philosophy) of F. Tomasz Więcławski, once a famous, honest and admired professor of theology, was confrontation with that kind of evil in the Church. Cf. W. Cieśla, Pokuta [Penance], http://religia.onet.pl/publicystyka,6/pokuta,35716, page1.html.
 J. Gowin said that on March 5, 2007 on Jan Pospieszalski’s programme “Warto rozmawiać” on TVP2 concerning the homosexual scandal in the Diocese of Płock. Cf. A. Adamkowski, Dwaj duchowni do prokuratury [Two Clergymen Brought for Prosecution], „Gazeta Wyborcza” March 3, 2007.  Cf. T. Bielecki, Kościół zmaga się z pedofilią. Nie hołdujmy zasadzie omerta! [The Church Has Been Struggling with Paedophilia. Let’s Not Follow the Principle of Omerta!], “Gazeta Wyborcza” 11.02.2012.
 Cf. J. Augustyn, Bez oskarżeń i uogólnień [Without Charges and Generalizations], an interview by T. Królak about homosexuality among priests for the Catholic News Agency of March 23, 2012: http://ekai.pl/wydarzenia/temat_dnia/x52614/bez-oskarzen-i-uogolnien/? print=1
 F. Hans Zollner SJ, Dean of the Institute of Psychology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, says that “in lay circles … the number of molested girls is greater than boys. Why is that? It certainly points to a higher percentage of persons with homosexual tendencies or orientation in those church communities in which numerous cases of paedophilia with a homosexual tinge occurred than in the society in general”. (F. J. Augustyn SJ, Kościelna omerta [Omerta in the Church], an interview with F. Hans Zollner SJ, transl. by F. B. Steczek SJ, “Rzeczpospolita”, 19.04.2012).
 This also partially explains why the representatives of both groups sometimes display so much mediocrity, both in moral and intellectual terms. And yet, it is of such immense importance whether the Church is led by such bishops as Wojtyła, Wyszyński, Nagy, Jaworski, Nossol, Nowak, Pietraszko and Małysiak, or such as Paetz, Magee or Weakland.
 For instance, when he became the Archbishop of Warsaw, Archbishop Jozef Glemp, the Primate of Poland, said: “When I came to this diocese, I was surprised to see how strong the homosexual lobby is in the Church.” Cf. the blog of F. Wojciech Lemański: http://natemat.pl/5729,ks-lemanski-juz- prymas-glemp-mowil-o-silnym-lobby-homoseksualnym. Another Polish cardinal said: “The most difficult job is dealing with the gay lobby”.
 The mechanism of formation with such „homo-cliques” and „homo- mafias”, the mutual, monstrous “pulling one another up” is in fact sociologically quite typical for “uniform” services, employing almost exclusively men who remain in a strong hierarchal relationship of subordination. Similar problems are encountered in the army, the police and the prison system. It is destructive for any human community – when decisions about taking up tasks of particular importance are made based primarily on homosexual orientation, instead of professional competence, dedication and performance at work. It is also a fundamental injustice, discrimination of the normal majority.
 J. Augustyn, Bez oskarżeń i uogólnień, op.cit.
 Benedict XVI, Light of the World. The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times], a conversation with Peter Seewald, transl. by Michael J. Miller and Adrian J. Walker, San Francisco 2010, p. 23.
 Benedict XVI, Light of the World, op. cit., pp. 27.
 Ibid., p. 20.
 The document being referred to is: Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders, Rome 2005. Cf. a commentary on the document by G. Mansini, L. J. Welch, W posłuszeństwie Chrystusowi [In Conformity to Christ], “First Things. Edycja polska” 1, Fall 2006, pp. 10-12. It is a particularly apt analysis of the nature of Christ’s priesthood as contrasted with the homosexual approach.  The document being referred to is: Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation f Candidates for the Priesthood, Rome 2008.
 Cf. Nota del Vicariato in merito all’articolo di “Panorama”, pubblicato il 23 luglio 2010, Rome 2010. The Note is a response to an article in the Italian „Panorama” which, together with films posted on the Internet, shows the sexual lasciviousness and cynicism of homo-priests working in the Vatican. Cf. http://blog.panorama.it/italia/2010/07/22/le-notti-brave-dei- preti-gay-una-grande-inchiesta-in-edicola-venerdi-con-panorama/
 Cf. Benedict XVI, Light of the World, op. cit. pp. 189ff.
 The resolve with which Benedict XVI fights against the plague of paedophilia and ephebophilia in the Church, and the extent to which he applies the “no tolerance” rule to them is reflected in a list of what he has done about the matter. It can be found in Italian at http://paparatzinger5blografaella.blogspot.com/2011/10/le-decisioni- elesempio-di-papa.html, and http://benedettoxvielencospeciali.blogspot.com/2009/11/chiesa-e-pedofilia- la-tolleranza-zero.html, and in German at http://www.katch.net/detail/php?id=33076.
 As regards these decisions, it would be a good idea now to prepare an account of their implementation in Poland; how faithful have we been to the Pope and the Holy See in that regard? After all, we have more than 100 seminars, we could organize a symposium to share our experiences. We could ask, for instance: What is the procedure of admission to seminars in Poland? What is the procedure with regard to sexual tendencies? Do candidates sign some kind of a statement on the matter, or are they properly examined by a psychologist as provided for in the Vatican document of 2008? What is the scale of the problem in Polish seminars? Where are candidates with temporary homosexual tendencies sent who want to have them treated before they are admitted to a seminar? Do we need a national centre offering special therapy? How has the instruction of the Holy See of 2005 been implemented, saying that all homosexual vice-chancellors and educators should be removed? An important help in dealing with that problem can be found in: Richard Cross, Ph.D. (With research data from Daniel Thoma, Ph. D.), The Collapse of Ascetical Discipline and Clerical Misconduct: Sex and Prayer, “Linacre Quarterly”, vol. 73, Februry 2006, No. 1, pp. 1-114.
 Benedict XVI, Light of the World, op. cit., pp. 152f.
 Cf. for instance statements on the matter by two Jesuit provincials in the United States, F. John Whitney SJ from Oregon, and F. Gerald Chojnacki SJ from New York, published also in Polish papers: M. Gadziński, Gej to nie ksiądz [A Gay is No Priest], “Gazeta Wyborcza”, 1-2.10.2005, p.
2. Homosexual propaganda in the German church is illustrated particularly well by the example of the Dominican monastery in Braunschweig. Cf. : http://www.dominikaner-braunschweig.de/Kloster/Homosex/Homosex.html.  Cf. J. McNeill, The Church and the Homosexual, Kansas City 1976.  Cf. R. J. Neuhaus, Rozejm roku 2005? [The Truce of 2005?], op. cit., p. 15.
 Cf. e.g.. J. Prusak, Miłość czy potencja [Love or Potency], ”Tygodnik Powszechny” 24.10.2004; Manifest teologiczny [Theological Manifest], ”Tygodnik Powszechny” 16.12.2005; Inni inaczej. O prawie homoseksualistów do bycia zrozumianymi [Challenged Otherwise. On the Right of Homosexuals to be Understood] ”Tygodnik Powszechny” 25 (2919) 2005, pp. 1 and 7; Norma i kultura [Norm and Culture], ”Tygodnik Powszechny”, 31.01.2012. What is perfidious, dangerous and deceptive in F. Prusak’s efforts is that he tries to make the impression as though he alone in the Church best understood and properly accepted homosexuals. The truth is, however, that only helping them face the truth and providing them with therapeutic assistance in overcoming their tendencies is what can help them. This is what is done by those who actually work for their benefit.
 Cf. J. Prusak, Inni inaczej, op. cit. and id., Zgadzamy się nie zgadzać [We Agree Not to Agree], ”Tygodnik Powszechny” 27 (2921) 2005, p. 6; Homofobia Camerona niebezpieczna, także dla Kościoła [Cameron’ s Homophobia Is Dangerous, Also for the Church], an interview with K. Wiśniewska, ”Gazeta Wyborcza” 19.05.2009; O homoseksualizmie przed Mszą [On Homosexuality Before Mass], an interview with R . Kowalski, ”Gazeta Wyborcza” 28.08.2009; J. Prusak, Lawendowa historia Kościoła [A Lavender History of the Church], Rzeczpospolita 26.03.2012, s. 3. Cf. also F. T. Bartoś OP, Kościół gejów nie odrzuca [The Church Does Not Reject Gays], ”Gazeta Wyborcza” 11-12.06.2005, p. 4 and id., Homoseksualizm w publicznej debacie [Homosexuality in the Public Debate], ”Gazeta Wyborcza” 25-26.06.2005, p. 29.
 Cf. K. Wiśniewska in an interview with F. J. Prusak, Instrukcja ma luki [The Instruction Has Gaps], ”Gazeta Wyborcza” 30.11.2005, p. 11.
 Cf. F. Jacek Prusak SJ, Lawendowa historia Kościoła [A Lavender History of the Church], op. cit. p. 3.
 Cf. D. Oko, Wokół sprawy Drewermanna [Around Drewermann’s Case], (together with J. Bagrowicz), “Ateneum Kapłańskie” 4 (500) 1992, pp. 102- 114; Sprawa Drewermanna czyli “Luter dwudziestego wieku” [Drewermann’s Case, or the Luther of the Twentieth Century], ”Tygodnik Powszechny” 51 (2267) 1992; Fałszywy prorok. W odpowiedzi Tadeuszowi Zatorskiemu [False Prophet. In Reply to Tadeusz Zatorski], ”Tygodnik Powszechny” 7 (2275) 1993.
 F. J. Augustyn SJ, Kościelna omerta [Omerta in the Church], op. cit.  Cf. Benedict XVI, Light of the World, op. cit., p. 30.
 P. Kowalczuk, Watykan: nie zawinił celibat [Vatican: Celibacy Was Not To Blame], ”Rzeczpospolita” 14.04.2010. After the Roman symposium “Towards Healing and Renewal”, a delegate from Poland, Bishop Marian Rojek from Przemyśl, pointed out that „as far sexual abuse of minors in the U.S.A. is concerned, 0.05 percent of all cases involves clergymen …. Studies conducted in Italy show similar percentages. In Germany, in turn, 210.000 cases of abuse against minors were reported from 1995 until the middle of 2012. In that context, only 94 cases were related to the Catholic Church. Which means one in every two thousand cases of harassment in Germany involves a clergyman”. That is why the Church “will not remain silent about the distortion of the overall picture of paedophilia in the world” (M. Majewski, Prawda i miłość lekarstwem na nadużycia [Abuse Can Be Healed With Truth and Love], an interview with Bishop Marian Rojek, “Uważam Rze”, 20.02.2012, pp. 60-62, 61.) Cf. F. D. Kowalczyk, Mówić prawdę o pedofilii [Speak the Truth About Paedophilia], “Gość Niedzielny”, 19.12.2012, pp. 28ff.
 It should be added here that the failure to discipline clergymen who live an indecent life, particularly if they hold important positions, is part of a greater problem in the Church, it is a weakness and a sin that is structural in nature. A similar failure to react can be observed if a Bishop gives in to alcoholism, or starts to act like a fanatic campaigner for a political party. It may go on like that for decades, when the comfort of one clergyman is put before the spiritual welfare of millions of the faithful, when for the comfort of one person a whole multitude of people is exposed to the risk of weakening or losing their faith in the face of such terrible depravity. The same applies to parish priests having concubines. Even though these facts are publicly known, the wrongdoers do not even try to hide them too much, nothing changes. Sometimes, their superiors excuse themselves saying there is no indisputable proof. And yet, a great majority of personnel decisions are not taken based on detailed proceedings in court, but based on common knowledge, that which is generally known about a particular person (especially if that knowledge is confirmed by a number of reliable people). In any case, there is clearly an urgent need for developing institutions which are concerned with the discipline of religious life. We need many more people like F. Charles Scicluna and such offices as his. A Church which makes such high demands on the world, must first and foremost demand of herself and meet them. She may not let herself be exposed to ridicule. The sources of an evil that is so great cannot be tolerated for that long – especially seeing that it is taking an ever greater toll. The Peter of our time, Benedict XVI, says that one of the fundamental sources of the sea of iniquity which has flooded the Church of Ireland was abandoning the penal functions of Canon Law, because “Thus the awareness that punishment can be an act of love ceased to exist. This led to an odd darkening of the mind, even in very good people.” (Benedict XVI, Light of the World, op. cit., p. 26.)
 When helping the victims of sexual abuse, one should secure evidence, make sure the victim is examined by a physician, immediately record live the testimony of the victim and any witnesses. It is important, because sometimes even those most wronged withdraw their testimonies – because of shame, opportunism, fear of the abuser and his allies on whom they may be dependant or to whom they may be subordinated in many ways. Criminal cases should be reported to the police and the prosecutor, not only to Church authorities. In other cases, an attempt should first be made at solving them within the local Church. If the local situation is very bad, help should be sought from the Holy See, but making sure the request is received by the right, trusted person – one of the best persons here being F. Charles Scicluna. He should be written in Italian or in English, and it is worthwhile checking he actually received the documents. He will know what to do about the problem. One should remember that any sexual contacts with minors under 15 years of age are punishable and indictable offences in light of the Polish Criminal Code. In Canon Law, the age limit is even higher. Any abuse inflicted on a minor under 18 years of age by a clergyman must be reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
 It should be emphasized that not every clergyman with such tendencies belongs to these communities, some of them suffer very much seeing their brothers act that way.
 Cf. the document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of 2003 Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognitions to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, where John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger in one voice point out that “all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions” (Section 10), and criticize the ideology behind such attempts. Cf. also John Paul II, Pamięć i tożsamość [Memory and Identity], Kraków 2005, p. 20. Blessed John Paul the Great repeatedly condemned homosexuality, calling it a “deviated behaviour, inconsistent with God’s intention” (1994), a “lamentable perversion” (1999); he also said that “homosexual acts are contrary to the laws of nature” (2005).
Posted on 23 February 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
You know that I am now calling Fishwrap (aka National catholic Reporter) the National Schismatic Reporter.
This is in from LifeSiteNews:
by Patrick B. Craine
COLORADO SPRINGS, Feb. 22, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Colorado bishop is supporting the local bishop in his call for the National Catholic Reporter to drop the name “Catholic.”
Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview this week that the national paper is “an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.” [oorah!]
In January, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, where NCR’s offices are located, published a column reminding the paper and the faithful that NCR has been forbidden from using the name “Catholic” since 1968.
“I believe exactly what [Bishop Finn is] saying,” said Sheridan. “That is a big deal for me…I don’t understand why some of these publications use the word Catholic when in some of their editorial stances they stand absolutely opposed to Church dogma.”
Even if the paper continues to defy the bishop, he continued, churches should “absolutely not” make it available to parishioners on their magazine racks.
Nevertheless, the paper has remained defiant. “NCR is proud to call itself a Catholic publication,” wrote Thomas Fox, the paper’s publisher, on January 27th. “We report and comment on church matters including official teachings. We also report and comment on those who call into question some of these official teachings.” [Note the code language... "official" teachings. For the NSR there is the "official" church, which they can ignore or diss as they will, and there is the, what to call it, "groovy" church of Chicago-style voting on doctrine, etc.]
Fox also pointed out that NCR is a member of the Catholic Press Association, which is approved by the Catholic Church.
The National Schismatic Reporter… journal of record for schismatics and heretics.
Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Sheridan!
When George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four, the novel describing a dystopia of mass stupidity and surveillance, he wasn’t making a prediction. He was describing what he actually saw in England. His protagonist, Winston Smith, works at the Ministry of Truth, whose enterprise is to engage in massive lying, altering history by sending documents down the Memory Hole, where they will be lost forever. One of his colleagues, Syme, is a linguist with a passionate love for Newspeak, the official language of the regime. The purpose of Newspeak is to deracinate language so badly that crimethought, the doubleplusungood rebellion of mind against the regime, will be impossible. No one will be able to think of crimes, because nobody will be able to think.
Orwell modeled his Ministry of Truth after the British Broadcasting Corporation, where he worked.
We veil that which is HOLY.
Okay, so what do we veil? Or, what are we SUPPOSED to veil? At this point, you poor people stuck in the Novus Ordo are just going to have to trust me.
The Tabernacle is veiled. The Tabernacle physically contains Our Lord in the Eucharist, therefore the Tabernacle is obviously holy. In fact, it is the Holy of Holies. (The Communist-homosexualist infiltrators stopped veiling the Tabernacle – heck they tried to get rid of it altogether in many parishes, because they don’t want you to know or believe that He is physically there.)
The Chalice is veiled. The Chalice is the container in which the Precious Blood is consecrated and reposes. Therefore, the Chalice is obviously holy. (Again, Novus Ordo people have probably never seen a Chalice veil. It’s all part of the satanic plan to desacralize the Mass and convince the people that the Mass and Eucharist are “a symbolic meal” and “no big deal”.)
And, what else is to be veiled?
Why? Because women are the vessels and containers of life in their wombs. And, as we discussed, women reflect the vulnerability and responsiveness of Our Lord upon the altar at the consecration of the Eucharist. The Church has always taught, from day one, that women are to be veiled so that men will be reminded of the HOLY DIGNITY of women, and so that the women themselves will remember and live their lives in accordance with their own dignity.
And these stupid lesbian nuns shriek and bellow that veiling is DEGRADING. They are so far gone all you can do is pity them in their utter insanity.
Now the tie-in with the priest leaning down and putting his elbows on the altar, reflecting the marital embrace. When a husband is engaging in the marital embrace with his wife in the proper physical position (yes, face-to-face, with the husband above is the proper conjugal position – anything else is disordered at best, and gravely sinful at worst), the husband is VEILING HIS WIFE’S BODY WITH HIS OWN BODY.
When the priest puts his elbows down on the altar at the consecration, the priest is literally VEILING OUR LORD’S BODY WITH HIS OWN BODY. And remember, the Mass is the GREATER reality, and the marital embrace of husband and wife is the LESSER reality pointing mankind to Our Lord and the Mass.
Could this all be any more achingly beautiful? Seriously.
Top Image: Veiled Tabernacle
Bottom Left: Chalice Veil
Bottom Right: Veiled Woman in Prayer at Mass
Hat Tip on this piece to “Fr. Formaggio”.
The essence of masculinity is INITIATION.
The essence of femininity is RESPONSE.
In all aspects of life, from sociology to courtship to sexual intercourse itself, men are vocationally the initiators – or at least they SHOULD BE. Men lead. Men make decisions. Men command armies and wage war. Men initiate courtship. Men are the head of the household. Even the male anatomy is initiatory. The man introduces his body into that of his wife.
Females are the receptors and responders in human existence. Females listen, and respond. Females follow. Females render assistance and are responsive helpmates. Females respond, in the affirmative or the negative, to the courtship advances of men. Females receive the love of their husbands and respond by submitting themselves to their husbands. The female anatomy is a physical receptacle for the body of her husband, which then returns to him from the same physical space the fruit of their mutual love – a child.
God the Father gives Himself fully to God the Son. God the Son fully receives the love of God the Father and then fully returns it. This intercourse of infinite love being perpetually given, received and returned yields a third – God the Holy Ghost. Thus, God, in His infinite capacity as both INITIATOR and RECEIVER/RESPONDER within Himself, clearly contains BOTH masculine and feminine nature. God isn’t like men and women. Men and women are like God – created in His image, both male and female.
So why do we call God “He” exclusively? Because in the God-man relationship, God is the INITIATOR and mankind is the RESPONDER. The relative disproportion here is so great that it can be said to be practically infinite. God created and perpetuates in existence the entire universe JUST SO MAN CAN EXIST. God became incarnate JUST SO THE BROKEN RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD AND MAN COULD BE RESTORED. God died on the Cross JUST SO HIS LOVE FOR MAN COULD BE MANIFESTED TO THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE EXTENT. God comes to us in the Eucharist SO THAT WE NEED NEVER BE SEPARATED FROM HIM. Initiation, initiation, initiation.
Every man’s life is nothing more than responding to desperate, pleading love overtures and nuptial initiation of God. We either say yes, or we say no. And like the Gentleman He is, He never coerces. He is there, infinitely powerful, infinitely virile and infinitely reaching out to us, but at the same time infinitely meek (meekness is power under control, remember), infinitely gentle and patiently persistent in His advances.
BUT, there is exactly ONE MOMENT wherein God, so utterly consumed and infinitely condescending in His love for mankind, actually goes so far as to permit man to take the role of initiator (masculine), and God Himself voluntarily, for just a moment, RESPONDS TO THE INITIATING ACT OF MAN. Yes, God makes His feminine nature manifest before mankind. That moment of total condescension of God to man is in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, specifically at the moment of consecration of the Host and the Chalice.
In the traditional, pre-Vatican II rites, such as the Tridentine, Ambrosian, and Byzantine rites, at the moment of consecration, when the priest, in an act of masculine initiation, is calling God to the altar, both at the consecration of the Host and at the consecration of the Chalice, the priest MUST bend over the altar, stare intently at the Host or the Chalice, and rest his elbows on the altar. In this posture, and this posture only, does the priest then say the words that actually effect the change of the bread and the wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
I was received into the Church at Easter 2007 in a Novus Ordo parish. I found and attended a Tridentine Mass for the first time in July of 2008. At the first Tridentine Mass I attended I was lost had my nose in the missal and missed the consecration. I didn’t see it. I was looking down, and only looked up at the elevation when the server rang the bell. At the SECOND Tridentine Mass I attended, I resolved to LOOK and SEE the Mass and not worry so much about the missal that Sunday. When I saw the priest bend over and put his elbows down on the altar, hoo boy, I was never looking back. By the grace of God I instantly recognized what was happening, and a whole lot of Catholic theology fell squarely into place.
Sex between a husband and wife is so incredibly important, so incredibly beautiful and so incredibly sacred not solely because it is the means of creating new life, but first because it is the mystical image of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, of God’s infinite love for man. It is one of the most important ways by which humankind can understand the Trinity, and understand the mystical union between God and His Church, and between God and men as individuals.
Oh, and do you now see why the priest must, must, must be a man? In order for this moment of loving condescension of God to man to happen, the human initiator must be a man, leaning over and atop his God who responds and lays in perfect receptivity upon the altar. There must always be that contrast, that juxtaposition of masculine and feminine. If God is going to condescend all the way to the feminine in that moment, then there cannot be a female at the altar, because a woman cannot be the image of the masculine, no matter how tight she wears her crewcut, or how butch her comportment.
Do you think I’m making this up? Take a look at this picture. This is the Baldachin over the Papal Altar at St. Peter’s Basilica. Many large basilicas and cathedrals built before the Church was infiltrated in the 20th century have baldachins. Do you know what a baldachin is? A baldachin is a bed canopy. And sure enough, there it is, right over the Altar – the marriage bed of God and man.
Finally, to the idiots who read me just because they hate me so much. I delayed writing this piece for YEARS because of you. I would think to myself, “I can’t talk about that, because if some Jimmy Swaggart-cultist drooling mouth-breather reads it, he’ll say that I said that Catholicism is a sex cult or some slack-jawed imbecility like that.” Well, I’m done letting the slack-jawed mouth-breathers dictate the level of discourse. I’m sick of having to not discuss lofty ideas because we all have to pander to the lowest common denominator, which in this culture is about as low as humanity can possibly go. How would I feel if someone said to me, “I have some incredible information that could potentially change your life and make the difference between heaven and hell for you, but I can’t tell you because a stupid person might overhear and misunderstand it.” If that was the standard, the world would be silent.
Nope. No more. You stupid people, by all means, send me as much hate mail as you would like. Tell me what a nympho-pervert, or an under-sexed harpy I am. Go ahead. I’ll cherish every one.
To the priest and seminarian readers, put your elbows down, gentlemen, and take good care of Him up there.
And you MUST explain this to people. Like the Ethiopian with St. Philip, how will they ever know unless someone explains it to them? Stop being afraid and TELL THEM.
Here is an instructional video showing the details of the consecration in the Tridentine Rite, just so you can clearly see it.
By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — After the December 14 Newtown, Conn., school massacre, liberally inclined Washington Post writer Melinda Henneberger, a Catholic, said the left is correct that guns kill people. But who of any persuasion would doubt that? Guns, that is, plus human evil intent.
Henneberger wrote, “If gunsalone — or even guns plus lousy treatment options — were the entire problem, why were no little red schoolhouses fired on in the Wild West, where everyone was armed and mental illness completely untreated?”
Moral codes have been ejected faster than spent cartridges.
When does it become impermissable for a self-governing people to pass laws that will ensure the survival of the things they love? When they no longer command a majority of the electorate? Is that the standard? Certainly among people of democratic disposition, it is a constitutional given that any time a plurality of voters take charge, they are more or less at liberty to set aside whatever arrangements were in place before they assumed control.
In other words, that massive tectonic shift in the culture we’ve been witnessing over these past fifty years, is about to be given formal and official sanction from the political process. All the awfulness of the culture, as it were, will sooner or later be codified into law.
Isn’t this what the debate over Gay Rights is finally about? It is not a civil liberties issue; the proponents of gay marriage are not preoccupied with matters of fairness. What they are determined on is nothing less than the destruction of the traditional family, which is an institution whose very survival depends on the maintenance of marriage as men and women have practiced it for thousands of years. Now that the popular culture is no longer on board with this, it is seen as a burden that increasingly nobody wants to bear.
Many a modern preacher is far less concerned with preaching Christ and Him crucified than he is with his popularity with his congregation. A want of intellectual backbone makes him straddle the ox of truth and the ass of nonsense…Fulton J. Sheen
America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance. It is not. It is suffering from tolerance: tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so much overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broad-minded. The man who can make up his mind in an orderly way, as a man might make up his bed, is called a bigot; but a man who cannot make up his mind, any more than he can make up for lost time, is called tolerant and broad-minded.
A bigoted man is one who refuses to accept a reason for anything; a broad-minded man is one who will accept anything for a reason—providing it is not a good reason. It is true that there is a demand for precision, exactness, and definiteness, but it is only for precision in scientific measurement, not in logic. The breakdown that has produced this natural broad-mindedness is mental, not moral. The evidence for this statement is threefold: the tendency to settle issues not by arguments but by words, the unqualified willingness to accept the authority of anyone on the subject of religion, and lastly the love of novelty.
The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is one rooted in what philosophers call natural law, but also illuminated by divine revelation. This means that the Church understands her teaching to be grounded in those truths that unaided human reason can affirm about the nature and purpose of human sexuality, but that what God has revealed in both Sacred Scripture and Tradition on the matter provides additional light.
How can we not think, in this context, of the task of a Bishop in our own time? The humility of faith, of sharing the faith of the Church of every age, will constantly be in conflict with the prevailing wisdom of those who cling to what seems certain. Anyone who lives and proclaims the faith of the Church is on many points out of step with the prevalent way of thinking, even in our own day. Today’s regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs. Therefore the courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a Bishop today. He must be courageous. And this courage or forcefulness does not consist in striking out or in acting aggressively, but rather in allowing oneself to be struck and to be steadfast before the principles of the prevalent way of thinking. The courage to stand firm in the truth is unavoidably demanded of those whom the Lord sends like sheep among wolves. “Those who fear the Lord will not be timid”, says the Book of Sirach (34:16). The fear of God frees us from the fear of men. It liberates.
Only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; between “chance or the dance”. At death we find out which vision is true: does it all go down the drain in the end, or are all the loose threads finally tied together into a gloriously perfect tapestry? Do the tangled paths through the forest of life lead to the golden castle or over the cliff and into the abyss? Is death a door or a hole?
To medieval Christendom, it was the world beyond the world that made all the difference in the world to this world. The Heaven beyond the sun made the earth “under the sun” something more than “vanity of vanities”. Earth was Heaven’s womb, Heaven’s nursery, Heaven’s dress rehearsal. Heaven was the meaning of the earth. Nietzsche had not yet popularized the serpent’s tempting alternative: “You are the meaning of the earth.” Kant had not yet disseminated “the poison of subjectivism” by his “Copernican revolution in philosophy”, in which the human mind does not discover truth but makes it, like the divine mind. Descartes had not yet replaced the divine I AM with the human “I think, therefore I am” as the “Archimedean point“, had not yet replaced theocentrism with anthropocentrism. Medieval man was still his Father’s child, however prodigal, and his world was meaningful because it was “my Father’s world” and he believed his Father’s promise to take him home after death.
The sub-title of J. Budziszewski’s 2009 book, The Line Through the Heart, reads as follows: “Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction.” The initial dedicatory citation in the book, from which the book derives its title, is a memorable one from Alexander Solzhenitsyn. It reads: “The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” Needless to say, this sentence is soul-wrenching. It compels us all to stop blaming external causes and systems for the conditions of our souls and of our society. This insight is but a graphic adaption of Plato’s affirmation that the disorders of our polities are first found in the disorders of our own souls. These disorders are not our subjective “feelings” about what ought to be if we were given what we wanted but standards first found in the reality of things that remain valid and have their defined consequences whether we ignore them or not.
What particularly struck me in reading Budziszewski’s book, however, was his attention to natural law as itself a sign of contradiction. He went into what has always been a murky moral area, namely, why is it so difficult to recognize and act on the truth of things? We might, at first sight, think that it is a rather simple problem. Show me the truth and I will change my ways! But it does not really work that way. One might say that our public order is today a massive refusal to accept the truth of human nature itself. We ultimately are forced to justify this doing what we want by denying that there is a human nature to conform ourselves to.
It occurs that our capacity to converse and to set forth arguments for the truth are often hindered today on account of many factors. One of those factors is a paradoxical relationship between a kind of skepticism and and exaggerated insistence on absolute proof that results. The fact is, absolute certitude in our human condition is rare, and to insist on it is usually unreasonable. This of course does not mean that firm certitude cannot be had in many matters as well as lesser degrees that remain a firm confidence as to the facts in a matter.
On Monday there was posted a reflection on the nature of thinking (Here)and argumentation and there was a promise of a follow-up. Herein is an attempt at that follow-through. First a quick review of Monday’s post:
We can distinguish two types of argumentation: Deductive and inductive.
(www.RemnantNewspaper.com) On the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, the aging conciliar diehards in the Vatican apparatus, desperate to shore up the Council’s crumbling legacy, have dared to revive and advance at breakneck speed the long dead cause for the “beatification” of Paul VI. John Paul II initiated the cause at the diocesan level in 1993, but it failed to advance any further for reasons that should be obvious. (Among the many less obvious reasons was Montini’s dismissal from the Vatican Secretariat State by Pius XII in 1954 on account of his compromising secret correspondence with Russian and other communist officials in defiance of a papal ban on relations with communist governments.)
This is the sign of the Church always, the Sign of Blood
Seven years were my people without my presence;
Seven years of misery and pain.
Seven years a mendicant on foreign charity I lingered abroad:
Seven years is no brevity.
I shall not get those seven years back again.
Never again, you must make no doubt,
Shall the sea run between the shepherd and his fold.
It is not I who insult the King,
And there is higher than I or the King.
It is not I, Becket from Cheapside,
It is not against me, Becket, that you strive.
It is not Becket who pronounces doom,
I am here.
No traitor to the King.
I am a priest,
Ready to suffer with my blood.
This is the sign of the Church always,
The sign of blood.
His blood given to buy my life,
My blood given to pay for His death.
My death for His death.
For my Lord I am now ready to die,
That His Church may have peace and liberty.
Our yearly post in honor of Saint Thomas Becket.
Posted by New Catholic at 12/29/2012 02:00:00 AM
In the last several months I’ve been discussing the problems Catholics face dealing with public life today. The recent election underlined some of them. The bishops and others made their pitch about threats to the family and the freedom of the Church, the Democrats stood firm, and most Americans—including most self-identified Catholics—voted for the Democrats. Not only does the world care very little for Catholic concerns, but it seems that Catholics acting as citizens care little for them as well.
“No more let sins and sorrows grow, / Nor thorns infest the ground; / He comes to make His blessings flow / Far as the curse is found, / Far as the curse is found.”Like many other carols, this rarely sung verse of “Joy to the World” leads us into the profound mystery of the Christmas feast. In the little child whose birth we celebrate, we gaze on the face of our champion in a struggle that could not be won without him. Listen to St. Leo the Great:
For unless [Christ] the new man, by being made in the likeness of sinful humanity, had taken on himself the nature of our first parents, unless he had stooped to be one in substance with his mother while sharing the Father’s substance and, being alone free from sin, united our nature to his, the whole human race would still be held captive under the dominion of Satan. (Epistle 31, 3; LH vol.1, 321)
There is a Scripture reading proclaimed at the Christmas Liturgy that usually gets overlooked. And yet it should elicit considerable reflection since it is proclaimed at the Christmas Midnight Mass, one of the Church’s most prominent Liturgies. It is from the Letter to Titus in the Second Chapter. I would like to reproduce it in full and then give some commentary following.
The grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of our great God
and savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14