Although we are less only hours away from the beginning of the Christmas season, which starts with First Vespers tonight, Monday, December 24, 2018, it is not inappropriate to offer a brief commentary on the rise of paganism in our world today that declined, although not without a struggle, in the years and centuries after the Incarnation, Nativity, Hidden Years, Public Ministry, Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and then the beginning of Holy Mother Church’s missionary work of evangelization on Pentecost Sunday.
We see the rise of paganism right here in the United States of America, which is entirely unsurprising as the heresy of “religious liberty” that made it possible for Catholics to practice their faith in a pluralist nation has also made it possible for paganism and outright satanism and witchcraft to gain a respected place in what some “neoconservative” Catholics within the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism have called the “public square.” A Catholicism that is not militant its opposition to religious and philosophical errors simply is not Catholicism as untold millions of martyrs have shed their blood rather than burn even one grain of incense to false ideas, false religions, idols or other “movements” that have risen to try to take the place of the true Faith as the “glue” that holds the world together.
Conciliarism’s “official reconciliation” with the “world” has meant a total surrender to every false religion and to almost every false “‘ism” extant in the world today.
To wit, whereas the Catholic Church stood as the uncompromising foe of all forms of paganism, the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism bow their knees in pagan temples and sing the praises of those who believe in nothing other than a projection of their own beliefs onto some kind of deity. Countless are the examples of the conciliar “popes,” including the supposed “restorer of tradition,” Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who have personally esteemed the symbols and books of pagan vanities, thus showing themselves to be serial violators of the First and Second Commandments and veritable Anti-Apostles and prophets of Antichrist.
Ratzinger/Benedict’s own much-vaunted “hermeneutic of continuity” is nothing other than an attempt to make mutability an attribute of God, Who is immutable, and Jorge Mario Bergoglio shamelessly projects every single one of his own heretical and ideological predilection onto the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost. Bergoglio’s shamelessness is such that he has no compunction whatsoever about appointing pagans and pantheists to various positions, including the so-called “Pontifical” Academy for Life and the Pontifical Academy for the Sciences:
December 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Professor Marie-Jo Thiel, a new member of the revamped Pontifical Academy for Life, recently said that the Church's teaching on sexuality and family should be thoroughly reconsidered. She pointed to Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia as having given Catholics more freedom.
The Church’s teachings on sexuality have been a “complete failure,” she said. Thiel rejects the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can never be approved. She also firmly rejects the Church’s ban on contraception.
As Katholisch.de reported: "Additionally, she rejected magisterial statements, according to which homosexual acts are [in her own words] 'pathological and always sinful.'" Katholisch.de also reported that Thiel criticized "opponents of Francis" who claimed that homosexuality was pathological and who cited Benedict XVI for evidence.
Professor Thiel made her comments at an event at the Catholic Academy in Freiburg, Germany, according to Katholisch.de, the German bishops’ news website. She was speaking in her capacity as the President of the European Society of Catholic Theology. Thiel is a French medical doctor and theologian and currently teaches theology at the University of Strasbourg, France.
According to the report, Thiel claimed that one should comprehensively reconsider the Church’s teaching on sexuality and the family. Pope Francis, she added, has given new impulses with his document Amoris Laetitia and thus offered more freedom. These opportunities should now be used. Additionally, there is much scope for regional initiatives, she explained, without always immediately looking for a solution that is applicable for the Universal Church. It is about a “wholesome decentralization,” as Pope Francis called it.
Thus, Thiel rejects a “universalistic intransigence” and proposes an attitude that fosters much more the sense of self-determination and the individual conscience, according to Katholisch.de. The theologian added that it is time for the Church to end her “reign over body and souls.”
A Christian morality, Professor Thiel continued, has to be guided by the principle of mercy: “The forgiveness which we received in love and in the faith liberates us and thus leads us to a path of return.”
Speaking about the ongoing sex abuse crisis in the Church, Thiel claimed that it shows “the failure of the heretofore sexual morality” of the Church. The crimes of “sexual abuse of power and conscience” (in the words of the German report) have been committed by those who were meant to live out the Church's morality in an exemplary manner. Thus, she added, the clerical sexual offenders destroy “the [Church’s] entire teaching edifice of the sexual and family ethics and thereby undermine both the absolutist and authoritarian norms, as well as the centralized and obscure structures of power and their inherent possibilities of obfuscation.”
The theologian also decidedly turned against the Church’s ban on contraception. “Is there any inner connection between a sexual union and procreation in nature?” she asked. “No!”
Thiel also spoke about what she considers the “culpable naivëté” of the Church when bishops argue that the use of condoms has contributed to moral decay and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
In 2017, Pope Francis named Thiel a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV), a term that will last five years. Another newly appointed member of the PAV is Father Maurizio Chiodi who, at the end of 2017, said that there are some circumstances that “require” contraception.
At the end of 2016, Pope Francis dismissed all members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, among them the Catholic philosopher and famous critic of Amoris Laetitia Professor Josef Seifert. Seifert subsequently founded, together with other former faithful members of the PAV, a new academy in defense of traditional Catholic moral teaching, called the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family (JAHLF). Seifert also publicly criticized the views of Father Chiodi, saying, “Chiodi’s position constitutes an unequivocal defense of the consequentialist and proportionalist ethics that attacked Humanae Vitae from the first day of its publication on, and not only took issue with its teaching that contraception is intrinsically wrong, but [also] claimed that there are no intrinsically evil acts at all.” (Pontifical Academy for Life Member Questions Catholic teaching on Sodomy and Contraception.)
A "complete failure" for whom?
Not for the true God of Divine Revelation, He Who gave us the Ten Commandments, He Who is the Author of the Natural Law, He Who has always guided Holy Mother Church's pronouncements on Faith and Morals infallibly.
A "complete failure" in the eyes of those who want to sin and/or enable or excuse those who refuse to reform their lives.
Ignoring Professor Josef Seifert’s defense of Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria/Paul the Sick’s Humanae Vitae, July 25, 1968, which is a revolutionary document that overthrew the ends proper to marriage and introduced a variety of excuses for married couples to avoid having children by natural means, the fact that Mary-Jo Thiel and “Father” Maurizio Chiodi enjoy the confidence of Jorge Mario Bergoglio demonstrates once again that the currently presiding apostate of the counterfeit church of conciliarism is using others as his “canaries” to see how far he can go in advancing his revolutionary agenda of theological and moral relativism. Mary-Jo Thiel, Maurizio Chiodi and Jorge Mario Bergoglio do not believe that the true God of Divine Revelation, the Most Holy Trinity, has revealed anything definitively and that it is up to each succeeding generation to determine how to define Faith and Morals in the context of their contemporary circumstances. These pagans have no regard at all for dogmatic declarations on any matter, including on the doctrine of the Faith itself as summarized by the Fathers of the [First] Vatican Council on April 24, 1870 (see Appendix A below). Such pagans would scoff at the prayer that believing Catholics pray every morning upon arising:
O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God, in three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost: I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen. (The Act of Faith.)
For the likes of Angelo Roncalli, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, Albino Luciani, Karol Josef Wojtyla, Joseph Alois Ratzinger, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Mary Jo-Thiel and Maurizio Chiodi to be correct, God had done nothing but deceive Holy Mother Church until the dawning of the conciliar “Age of Aquarius,” if you will. Heretics always they are on a mission to “find” what God has revealed without accepting the simple fact summarized by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, that the Catholic Church gives her children a doctrine that is clearly understood and very secure in its meaning:
But the Only-begotten Son of God, when He commanded His representatives to teach all nations, obliged all men to give credence to whatever was made known to them by "witnesses preordained by God," and also confirmed His command with this sanction: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned." These two commands of Christ, which must be fulfilled, the one, namely, to teach, and the other to believe, cannot even be understood, unless the Church proposes a complete and easily understood teaching, and is immune when it thus teaches from all danger of erring. In this matter, those also turn aside from the right path, who think that the deposit of truth such laborious trouble, and with such lengthy study and discussion, that a man's life would hardly suffice to find and take possession of it; as if the most merciful God had spoken through the prophets and His Only-begotten Son merely in order that a few, and those stricken in years, should learn what He had revealed through them, and not that He might inculcate a doctrine of faith and morals, by which man should be guided through the whole course of his moral life. (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.)
There is nothing imprecise or exact about the truths contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith, which is why our true popes have spoken in measured terms and written with great precision. None of our true popes were incessant babblers as is the current universal public face of apostasy, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is preparing the way to yield on contraception and, in “extraordinary” cases, you understand, even surgical abortion. Doubt my word? None other than Reinard “Cardinal” Marx says that his “pope” is, as if we did not know this before now, “flexible” on matters of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, including sodomy and its related vices (see Reinard Marx Says Jorge is very flexible when it comes to Catholic Morality.) The late, great Frank Kelly, who was the founder of Virginia Right to Life, which has no relation to the ever-compromising tool of the fake, phony, fraud "pro-life" Republican National Committee named the "National Right to Life Committee, had a word for men such as Reinard Marx: "Swineherd."
Relativists believe that nothing is absolutely true, and they are absolute in their conviction that nothing is absolutely true. Relativists are thus absolutists who believe dogmatically in their promotion of relativism and positively evangelical in their effort to impose relativism upon Catholics, doing so blasphemously in the name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself. Relativists must believe that nothing is false except Catholicism as it has been taught from Pentecost Sunday to the time that the corpulent glutton named Angelo Roncalli usurped the Throne of Saint Peter on October 28, 1958, the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, and they have a special affinity with those in believe in false religions and with those who believe in no religion at all, including Communism.
Bergoglio, of course, made his peace with Communism in his youth and is never more at home than he is when meeting with Communist dictators and thugs (see, for example, “He Speaks Like A Leftist"). His recent “reconciliation” with the murderous Communist thugs of Red China was nothing other than a total sellout of the faithful Catholics in the underground church, who have been persecuted even before the creation of the rump “Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association” in 1957, and a total capitulation to the demands of the Chicom dictators (see Bergoglio the Red Surrenders Faithful Catholics to Their Persecutors and Neville Bergoglio's Appeasement of the Chicom Monsters).
There is a not-so-funny reality about Communists, however, that Bergoglio chooses to ignore: agreements they make mean nothing after the ink is dry. Xi Jinping is hellbent on eliminating the “seditious” influence of all religions, including the true one, Catholicism, and the voice of “Pope Francis,” who thunders about “climate change” and the “evil” done by men such as “Archbishop” Carol Mario Vigano (who has done much evil in his life prior to his justified criticism of the president of the conciliar assembly: Opus Dei’s Role in the Vigano Affair.)
Beijing (AsiaNews) - A nunnery in the city of Qiqihar (Gannan County, Heilongjiang Province) was semi-destroyed by law enforcement agencies. This morning, the bishop of the diocese, Msgr. Wei Jingyi, said that the nuns were able to convince the authorities to save a part of the building used as a chapel and as a residence. Other parts have been destroyed.
The demolition began two nights ago. At about 11 pm, the police entered the convent and ordered the nuns to leave in an hour. At Qiqihar the temperature in the evening drops to below zero. Meanwhile, some policemen and workers began to destroy window frames, doors, etc. The nuns had received the eviction notice in the morning and had managed to warn Msgr. Wei.
Demolition work continued throughout the day yesterday, while the bishop, some priests and faithful of the diocese tried to dialogue with the authorities to find a solution and a compromise. The nuns sent messages asking for prayers and support, along with videos showing the progress of the destruction.
According to the government, the whole building is an illegal construction and in addition it houses illegal religious gatherings. The community of nuns is in fact part of the underground community; the same bishop Wei Jingyi is not recognized by the government, although he has good relations with the authorities.
Some faithful point out that instead of seeking compromise, the police came with the immediate intention of destroying everything. They suspect the operation is designed to put pressure on the underground community to register under the government.
This morning, Msgr. Wei announced that "the problem is solved" and that the sisters have found another place to live. Only a part of the semi-destroyed building will remain the property of the nuns. (Half of Religious Sisters' Convent Destroyed by Peace-Loving, Tolerant Chicom Police.)
“Bishop” Wei Jingyi’s pronouncement that the “problem is solved” ignores the fact that the Chicom authorities are using pressure to enforce the “agreement” that Bergoglio made with them on September 22, 2018, the Feast of Saint Thomas of Villanova and the Commemoration of Saint Maurice and his Companions. Bergoglio, who has plenty to say in support of George Soros’s “open borders,” climate control as an excuse to increase government power and decrease legitimate human liberties, “palliative care” and other evils, will say as much about the destruction of half of the convent in the city of Qiqihar as he has about other evils perpetrated by Communist regimes. What is that? Nothing, of course, nothing at all.
For his part, however, Xi Jinping is deadly serious about crushing all opposition to Communism in order to bring back the “good old days” of Mao Zedong, particularly as regards the necessity, as Xi sees it, of fostering his own cult of personality and making all religions, including Catholicism, the tool of Chinese Communism, which is atheistic of its nature:
Facing deepening tensions abroad and anxieties at home, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, delivered an unabashed defense of his policies on Tuesday, using a key anniversary to argue that his recipe of guided growth under strong Communist Party control must not waver.
Mr. Xi made his case to some 3,000 officials and guests gathered in the imposing Great Hall of the People in Beijing to commemorate 40 years since China embarked on far-reaching economic changes after decades of upheaval and malaise under Mao Zedong.
The resonant date had inspired expectations among some analysts and investors that Mr. Xi would give clearer priorities to counter economic headwinds and trade tensions that have flared with the United States. But he offered none, referring only obliquely to the economic and diplomatic challenges confronting China.
Instead, he used the meeting, broadcast live on Chinese television, to stress that only the party’s dominance would allow China to continue its stunning transformation into the decades ahead. The first lesson from 40 years of reform, he said, was the need to maintain party leadership “over all tasks.”
Mr. Xi called for revitalizing Marxist-Leninist doctrine, a reflection of the party’s fears that it could lose its grip over a younger, increasingly wired and well-traveled generation. “Let contemporary Chinese Marxism shine even more brilliant rays of truth,” he said.
According to Julian B. Gewirtz, a scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard, who watched the speech while visiting Beijing, “This was a speech about the party more than anything else.” (Xi Jinping Says Communism and Nothing Else must prevail in the Prison Land Known as Red China.)
Part of “revitalizing Marxist-Leninist doctrine” for Xi Jinping is to crack down on Protestant “pastors” (see Red China Cracks Down on Religion) and upon Catholics who are outside of the rump church that supports the Chicoms’ “population control” policies, which still include forced abortions in many instances:
XINJIANG, China, December 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Chinese Government, operating under the Two-Child Policy, has forcibly aborted a woman’s third child, according to NPR and Radio Free Europe reports.
The woman, an ethnic Kazakh, was a widow with two children, living in the Xinjiang region. She married a Kazakh citizen, living in Kazakhstan, across the border. She was told that, in order to cancel her Chinese citizenship to become a citizen of Kazakhstan, she would need to return to China.
On this return trip, Chinese cadres invited her to the hospital for a “health check-up.” They discovered that she was pregnant and demanded an abortion, because this third pregnancy violated the Two-Child policy – even though she told them, “my husband is a Kazakh citizen and I am carrying a Kazakh citizen.”
When she resisted the abortion, they threatened that her brother “would suffer the consequences.” She knew this meant he would be detained in an internment camp. To protect her brother she agreed to the abortion.
After the abortion, the police took her brother to the internment camp anyway.
The fact that forced abortion continues under China’s Two-Child Policy is further documented in the Population Control section of the 2018 Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Report, which states that regulations “include provisions that require couples to be married to have children and limit them to bearing two children...Officials reportedly continued to enforce compliance with family planning policies using methods including heavy fines, job termination, detention, and abortion.”
Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated: “The forced abortion of this woman’s third pregnancy is an outrage. It proves that the Chinese Communist Party still functions as womb police. When China instituted the Two-Child Policy, it announced that it had ‘abandoned’ the One-Child Policy, implying that the Chinese government had ceased all coercive population control. I immediately stated that single women and third pregnancies could still be aborted under the new rule.”
“To avert demographic disaster,” Littlejohn continued, “China has stated that it is considering letting all couples have as many children as they want. This would be a great step in the right direction, but it would still leave open the forcible abortion of single women. The new rule should state that all women can have as many children as they want.” (Red China forcxibly Aborts Third Baby of a Single Woman.)
What does this matter to Jorge Mario Bergoglio?
“Pope Francis” has made his deal with the Chicoms, who are satisfied that the supposed “pope” will give them no problem as they continue their crackdown on anyone who does not toe the Marxist-Leninist-with-a-Chinese-face that that is the sine qua non for social advancement in a country held hostage by the forces of evil since May 1, 1949.
After all, Bergoglio believes that it is only the Catholic Church of the “past,” meaning the Catholic Church, which is not the same thing as her counterfeit ape, the counterfeit church of conciliarism, that has done “evil” in the past, which is why he has been using every opportunity in the past six years, nine months, eleven days to disparage the true Catholic Faith and anyone and everyone who holds to even vestigial remnants in a corrupted form within such things as the so-called Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Make no mistake about it, good readers, the Communism of Red China is our future. It will be imposed not by armed force as the Red Chinese have their fifth columns already in place in universities, “think tanks,” the media and even amongst members of the United States Congress whose stock portfolios are heavily invested in multinational corporations who make handsome profits from the sweat of virtual slave-laborers working in inhumane and unsafe conditions, to say nothing of how Chinese “investors” have bought up farms, factories and even prime real estate properties throughout the United States of America or how so much of the national debt is owed to Chinese interests.
The rise of a “soft, democratic” Communism in the West is already happening by means of the rise of paganism, witchcraft and outright satanism, including the placement of a satanic sculpture in the Illinois statehouse in Springfield, Illinois:
In the Illinois Capitol rotunda this month, several traditions are being celebrated. There's a Nativity scene for Christmas, a menorah for Hanukkah, and then something a little different: an arm holding an apple, with a snake coiled around it.
It's a gift from the Chicago branch of The Satanic Temple. Called "Snaketivity," the work also has a sign that reads "Knowledge Is The Greatest Gift."
Nearby stands a sign in which the state offers a civics lesson — and explains it didn't have much of a choice:
"The State of Illinois is required by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to allow temporary, public displays in the state capitol so long as these displays are not paid for by taxpayer dollars. Because the first floor of the Capitol Rotunda is a public place, state officials cannot legally censor the content of speech or displays. The United States Supreme Court has held that public officials may legally impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions regarding displays and speeches, but no regulation can be based on the content of the speech."
llinois Secretary of State spokesman Dave Druker told The State Journal-Record the temple has the same rights as religious organizations. "This recognizes that."
The Satanic Temple calls itself a "non-theistic organization" in its application to install the display.
In a GoFundMe campaign to raise $1,500 for the display, the group explains its mission: "The Satanic Temple—Chicago will no longer allow one religious perspective to dominate the discourse in the Illinois State Capitol rotunda during the holiday season. ... Please consider what you may do to help us bring Satan to Springfield!"
The group has installed similar displays in other states in recent years. A more snake-prominent version of the display has been a part of the holiday scene on the lawn of the Michigan Capitol. Outside the Arkansas State Capitol in August, the temple presented a statue of a goat-headed creature named Baphomet, flanked by two children looking up at him, to protest a display of the Ten Commandments. (Satanic Sculpture Installed at Illinois Statehouse Just in time for Christmas.)
The "knowledge" that the adversary has to offer led Adam and Eve into Original Sin and wounded human nature, leaving even the souls of baptized with its vestigial after-effects, namely, the darkened intellect, the weakened will and the overthrow of our higher rational faculties in favor of our lower sensual passions. Original Sin is the remote cause of all human problems bar none, and its effects were felt even in the elements of the earth itself as the delicate balance God established during Creation was rent asunder by man's prideful rebellion against Him at the tempter's urging to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil from which God Himself had instructed him to refrain from ending.
Worshipers of the devil are really an ignorant lot as the master of lies and prince of darkness has been in Springfield, Illinois—and in every other state capitol building as well as the Capitol in Washington, District of Columbia, from the outset. The adversary must wind up with “equal time” when men and their nations fall prey to the tempter’s lie of “religious liberty” that leads in due course to open worship of all that it is evil and to the suppression of the true Faith in a manner worthy of what Joseph Stalin did in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and what Xi Jinping is doing at this time.
Has Jorge Mario Bergoglio protested these displays of the adversary?
Well, some of his “bishops” have done so from time to time. He has not done so.
No, Bergoglio is too busy comparing, however obliquely “Archbishop” Carlo Mario Vigano to the “great accuser” to be concerned about the openly display of devil worship or, for that matter, the rise of witchcraft and other occult practices (Withcraft Moves Into the Mainstream as Christianity Declinese in the void that has been left by the false doctrines and sacramentally barren liturgical rites of the counterfeit church of conciliarism that helped to expedite the triumph, albeit temporary, of the forces of darkness in a world where men have as little room in the “inns of their hearts” today as there was room for the Holy Family at the inn in the City of David, Bethlehem, this very night, December 24.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his band of revolutionaries are enablers of every “ ‘ism” except Catholicism.
Take heart, however, as, to call to mind the words of Pope Leo XIII when dealing with the lords of the world in his own day, these “forgettable men” will be vanquished by the Blessed Mother of the little Baby Who was born in a cradle in a stable in a cave in Bethlehem at Midnight and in the piercing cold. He Who was warmed by the breath of the animals in the stable and the tender caresses of his Immaculate Mother, Our Lady, gave her to us to be our Mother as she stood so valiantly beneath His Holy Cross, and He sent her to Fatima one hundred one years ago to institute devotion to her Immaculate Heart and to renew devotion to her Most Holy Rosary as the two final remedies that must be used to stop the spread of the errors of Russia.
This is certainly an hour of darkness in human history as boldness of the Chinese Communists and the shameless rise of paganism in nations that were once proudly Catholic and in those lands, such as the United States of America, founded on the lie that men can know personal happiness and social order absent an open adoration of Christ the King and a due submission in all that appertains to the good of souls to His Sacred Deposit of Faith as He has entrusted It exclusively to His Catholic Church for Its infallible explication and eternal safekeeping.
We must, therefore, intensify our own devotion to Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary and to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, praying in reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world so that the time will come when a true pope will be restored to the Throne of Saint Peter and that he will fulfill her Fatima Request for the collegial consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart with all of the world’s true bishops.
We may not be alive when this occurs. However, we can certainly plant a few seeds for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by our patient endurance of our daily crosses in the performance of the duties allotted to us by our state-in-life as we seek to offer up everything we have and everything that we are required to suffer in a spirit of joyful equanimity as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We should take our encouragement from the following words that Our Lady spoke to the Venerable Mary of Agreda as recorded in The New English Edition of Mystical City of God:
My daughter, the silence which the soul must maintain when the invisible enemies advance with their specious reasonings does not prevent it from commanding them with imperious authority in the name of the Most High in order to silence them, turn them away, and confound them. Therefore I desire this to be thy prudent behavior on the occasions when they persecute thee, for there are no other weapons so powerful against the malice of the dragon than for the human creature to show himself as imperious and superior in the faith which he has as a child of his true Father who is in heaven (Mt. 6:9), from whom he receives that virtue and confidence against the dragon. The cause of this persecution of Lucifer is because all of his care after he fell from heaven is in turning souls away from their Creator and in sowing discord (Mt. 13:25) between the heavenly Father and his adopted children, and between the spouse and the Bridegroom of souls. Whenever he perceives anyone is united with his Creator and in living communion with his head Christ, he tries to surpass himself in his furious attempts at persecuting him; his envy arouses the utmost exertion of his deceitfulness and malice for his destruction. But as soon as he sees he cannot succeed in his attempts, because the soul takes refuge in the unfailing and unassailable protection of the Most High (Ps. 17:3), he weakens in his attempts and begins to writhe in exquisite torments. If the soul thus strengthened with the authority of the truth of God despises and casts him out, there is no creeping worm or ant so weak as that giant of iniquitous pride.
373. By this most true doctrine thou must comfort and strengthen thyself when according to the decree of the Almighty thou dost encounter tribulations and art surrounded by the sorrows of death (Ib. 5) in temptations such as I have suffered, for they give thy Spouse the best occasion of verifying thy fidelity by experience. Therefore love must not be satisfied with mere protestations of affection without looking for more valuable fruit, for the desire which costs nothing is not a sufficient proof of love in a soul, nor of his proper esteem of the good which he pretends to hold dear and love. If thou dost desire to give such a demonstration of love and please thy Spouse, the greatest way shall be that when thou art the most afflicted and forsaken by human aid, thou show thyself more invincible and confident in thy Lord and God, and hope in Him against hope if necessary (Rom. 4:18), for He neither slumbers nor sleeps who calls Himself the protection of Israel (Ps. 120:4). In due time He shall command the waves and the wind and restore tranquility (Mt. 8:26).
374. Thou must be much more wary, my daughter, in the beginning of the temptations, for then there is greater danger lest the soul, yielding to the concupiscible or the irascible passions by which the light of reason is obscured and darkened, allows itself to be thrown into confusion. As soon as the demon notices such a state of mind he will raise a whirlwind of dust in the faculties. His fierceness is so immeasurable and implacable that it will then increase in fury. He will add flame to flame, thinking the soul has no one to defend and rescue him from his hands (Ps. 70:11). With the force of his temptations increases also the danger of failing in the necessary resistance, since the soul has begun to yield in the very beginning. All this I make known to thee so thou mayest fear the danger of being remiss in guarding against the first approaches of the demon; do not incur this danger in what is so important. Thou must continue in the even tenor of thy duties in every temptation. Keeping up the sweet and devout union with the Lord, and preserving thy prudent and loving dealings with thy neighbor, thou must forestall by prayer and by restraint of thy feelings the disorder which the enemy seeks to bring about in thy soul. (New English Edition of The Mystical City of God, Book Three: The Incarnation, Chapter XXVIII .)
May we prepare for the celebration of the Nativity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by refusing to be agitated by the distractions of a world gone mad.
The Prince of Peace has been born for us.
Let us remember that no soul can be at peace when it is at war with Him by means of unrepentant sin and/or an open rhetorical rebellion against all that He has revealed to us.
May Our Lady help us to be at peace with her Divine Son this Christmas and every day of our lives by making efficacious use of the Sacrament of Penance to reform our lives and to live always as befits redeemed creatures who desire to be ready at all times to meet Him, Christ the King, at the fearful moment of the Particular Judgment.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of Divine Providence, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
The Catholic Church's Condemnation of the Evolution of Dogma
For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward
- not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence,
- but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.
Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.
God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth.
The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either: the dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the mind of the church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions of reason.
Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false. . . .
3. If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from that which the church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.
And so in the performance of our supreme pastoral office, we beseech for the love of Jesus Christ and we command, by the authority of him who is also our God and saviour, all faithful Christians, especially those in authority or who have the duty of teaching, that they contribute their zeal and labour to the warding off and elimination of these errors from the church and to the spreading of the light of the pure faith.
But since it is not enough to avoid the contamination of heresy unless those errors are carefully shunned which approach it in greater or less degree, we warn all of their duty to observe the constitutions and decrees in which such wrong opinions, though not expressly mentioned in this document, have been banned and forbidden by this holy see. (Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session III, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4, On Faith and Reason, April 24, 1870. SESSION 3 : 24 April 1.)
Hence it is quite impossible [the Modernists assert] to maintain that they [dogmatic statements] absolutely contain the truth: for, in so far as they are symbols, they are the images of truth, and so must be adapted to the religious sense in its relation to man; and as instruments, they are the vehicles of truth, and must therefore in their turn be adapted to man in his relation to the religious sense. But the object of the religious sense, as something contained in the absolute, possesses an infinite variety of aspects, of which now one, now another, may present itself. In like manner he who believes can avail himself of varying conditions. Consequently, the formulas which we call dogma must be subject to these vicissitudes, and are, therefore, liable to change. Thus the way is open to the intrinsic evolution of dogma. Here we have an immense structure of sophisms which ruin and wreck all religion.
It is thus, Venerable Brethren, that for the Modernists, whether as authors or propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor, indeed, are they without forerunners in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our predecessor Pius IX wrote: 'These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts.' On the subject of revelation and dogma in particular, the doctrine of the Modernists offers nothing new. We find it condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX, where it is enunciated in these terms: ''Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the progress of human reason'; and condemned still more solemnly in the Vatican Council: ''The doctrine of the faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human intelligences to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that sense of the sacred dogmas is to be perpetually retained which our Holy Mother the Church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth.' Nor is the development of our knowledge, even concerning the faith, barred by this pronouncement; on the contrary, it is supported and maintained. For the same Council continues: 'Let intelligence and science and wisdom, therefore, increase and progress abundantly and vigorously in individuals, and in the mass, in the believer and in the whole Church, throughout the ages and the centuries -- but only in its own kind, that is, according to the same dogma, the same sense, the same acceptation.' (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. . . .
Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.
I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. (The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910; see also Nothing Stable, Nothing Secure.)
In theology some want to reduce to a minimum the meaning of dogmas; and to free dogma itself from terminology long established in the Church and from philosophical concepts held by Catholic teachers, to bring about a return in the explanation of Catholic doctrine to the way of speaking used in Holy Scripture and by the Fathers of the Church. They cherish the hope that when dogma is stripped of the elements which they hold to be extrinsic to divine revelation, it will compare advantageously with the dogmatic opinions of those who are separated from the unity of the Church and that in this way they will gradually arrive at a mutual assimilation of Catholic dogma with the tenets of the dissidents.
Moreover they assert that when Catholic doctrine has been reduced to this condition, a way will be found to satisfy modern needs, that will permit of dogma being expressed also by the concepts of modern philosophy, whether of immanentism or idealism or existentialism or any other system. Some more audacious affirm that this can and must be done, because they hold that the mysteries of faith are never expressed by truly adequate concepts but only by approximate and ever changeable notions, in which the truth is to some extent expressed, but is necessarily distorted. Wherefore they do not consider it absurd, but altogether necessary, that theology should substitute new concepts in place of the old ones in keeping with the various philosophies which in the course of time it uses as its instruments, so that it should give human expression to divine truths in various ways which are even somewhat opposed, but still equivalent, as they say. They add that the history of dogmas consists in the reporting of the various forms in which revealed truth has been clothed, forms that have succeeded one another in accordance with the different teachings and opinions that have arisen over the course of the centuries.
It is evident from what We have already said, that such tentatives not only lead to what they call dogmatic relativism, but that they actually contain it. The contempt of doctrine commonly taught and of the terms in which it is expressed strongly favor it. Everyone is aware that the terminology employed in the schools and even that used by the Teaching Authority of the Church itself is capable of being perfected and polished; and we know also that the Church itself has not always used the same terms in the same way. It is also manifest that the Church cannot be bound to every system of philosophy that has existed for a short space of time. Nevertheless, the things that have been composed through common effort by Catholic teachers over the course of the centuries to bring about some understanding of dogma are certainly not based on any such weak foundation. These things are based on principles and notions deduced from a true knowledge of created things. In the process of deducing, this knowledge, like a star, gave enlightenment to the human mind through the Church. Hence it is not astonishing that some of these notions have not only been used by the Oecumenical Councils, but even sanctioned by them, so that it is wrong to depart from them.
Unfortunately these advocates of novelty easily pass from despising scholastic theology to the neglect of and even contempt for the Teaching Authority of the Church itself, which gives such authoritative approval to scholastic theology. This Teaching Authority is represented by them as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle in the way of science. Some non Catholics consider it as an unjust restraint preventing some more qualified theologians from reforming their subject. And although this sacred Office of Teacher in matters of faith and morals must be the proximate and universal criterion of truth for all theologians, since to it has been entrusted by Christ Our Lord the whole deposit of faith -- Sacred Scripture and divine Tradition -- to be preserved, guarded and interpreted, still the duty that is incumbent on the faithful to flee also those errors which more or less approach heresy, and accordingly "to keep also the constitutions and decrees by which such evil opinions are proscribed and forbidden by the Holy See," is sometimes as little known as if it did not exist.What is expounded in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the nature and constitution of the Church, is deliberately and habitually neglected by some with the idea of giving force to a certain vague notion which they profess to have found in the ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks. The Popes, they assert, do not wish to pass judgment on what is a matter of dispute among theologians, so recourse must be had to the early sources, and the recent constitutions and decrees of the Teaching Church must be explained from the writings of the ancients. (Pope Pius XII,Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)
Pope Pius XII's Specific Condemnation of the "New Theology's" Disparagement of the Scholastic Method
27. Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian faith.
28. These and like errors, it is clear, have crept in among certain of Our sons who are deceived by imprudent zeal for souls or by false science. To them We are compelled with grief to repeat once again truths already well known, and to point out with solicitude clear errors and dangers of error.
29. It is well known how highly the Church regards human reason, for it falls to reason to demonstrate with certainty the existence of God, personal and one; to prove beyond doubt from divine signs the very foundations of the Christian faith; to express properly the law which the Creator has imprinted in the hearts of men; and finally to attain to some notion, indeed a very fruitful notion, of mysteries But reason can perform these functions safely and well, only when properly trained, that is, when imbued with that sound philosophy which has long been, as it were, a patrimony handed down by earlier Christian ages, and which moreover possesses an authority of even higher order, since the Teaching Authority of the Church, in the light of divine revelation itself, has weighed its fundamental tenets, which have been elaborated and defined little by little by men of great genius. For this philosophy, acknowledged and accepted by the Church, safeguards the genuine validity of human knowledge, the unshakable metaphysical principles of sufficient reason, causality, and finality, and finally the mind's ability to attain certain and unchangeable truth.
30. Of course this philosophy deals with much that neither directly nor indirectly touches faith or morals, and which consequently the Church leaves to the free discussion of experts. But this does not hold for many other things, especially those principles and fundamental tenets to which We have just referred. However, even in these fundamental questions, we may clothe our philosophy in a more convenient and richer dress, make it more vigorous with a more effective terminology, divest it of certain scholastic aids found less useful, prudently enrich it with the fruits of progress of the human mind. But never may we overthrow it, or contaminate it with false principles, or regard it as a great, but obsolete, relic. For truth and its philosophic expression cannot change from day to day, least of all where there is question of self-evident principles of the human mind or of those propositions which are supported by the wisdom of the ages and by divine revelation. Whatever new truth the sincere human mind is able to find, certainly cannot be opposed to truth already acquired, since God, the highest Truth, has created and guides the human intellect, not that it may daily oppose new truths to rightly established ones, but rather that, having eliminated errors which may have crept in, it may build truth upon truth in the same order and structure that exist in reality, the source of truth. Let no Christian therefore, whether philosopher or theologian, embrace eagerly and lightly whatever novelty happens to be thought up from day to day, but rather let him weigh it with painstaking care and a balanced judgment, lest he lose or corrupt the truth he already has, with grave danger and damage to his faith.
31. If one considers all this well, he will easily see why the Church demands that future priests be instructed in philosophy "according to the method, doctrine, and principles of the Angelic Doctor," since, as we well know from the experience of centuries, the method of Aquinas is singularly preeminent both for teaching students and for bringing truth to light; his doctrine is in harmony with divine revelation, and is most effective both for safeguarding the foundation of the faith, and for reaping, safely and usefully, the fruits of sound progress.
32. How deplorable it is then that this philosophy, received and honored by the Church, is scorned by some, who shamelessly call it outmoded in form and rationalistic, as they say, in its method of thought. They say that this philosophy upholds the erroneous notion that there can be a metaphysic that is absolutely true; whereas in fact, they say, reality, especially transcendent reality, cannot better be expressed than by disparate teachings, which mutually complete each other, although they are in a way mutually opposed. Our traditional philosophy, then, with its clear exposition and solution of questions, its accurate definition of terms, its clear-cut distinctions, can be, they concede, useful as a preparation for scholastic theology, a preparation quite in accord with medieval mentality; but this philosophy hardly offers a method of philosophizing suited to the needs of our modern culture. They allege, finally, that our perennial philosophy is only a philosophy of immutable essences, while the contemporary mind must look to the existence of things and to life, which is ever in flux. While scorning our philosophy, they extol other philosophies of all kinds, ancient and modern, oriental and occidental, by which they seem to imply that any kind of philosophy or theory, with a few additions and corrections if need be, can be reconciled with Catholic dogma. No Catholic can doubt how false this is, especially where there is question of those fictitious theories they call immanentism, or idealism, or materialism, whether historic or dialectic, or even existentialism, whether atheistic or simply the type that denies the validity of the reason in the field of metaphysics.
33. Finally, they reproach this philosophy taught in our schools for regarding only the intellect in the process of cognition, while neglecting the function of the will and the emotions. This is simply not true. Never has Christian philosophy denied the usefulness and efficacy of good dispositions of soul for perceiving and embracing moral and religious truths. In fact, it has always taught that the lack of these dispositions of good will can be the reason why the intellect, influenced by the passions and evil inclinations, can be so obscured that it cannot see clearly. Indeed St. Thomas holds that the intellect can in some way perceive higher goods of the moral order, whether natural or supernatural, inasmuch as it experiences a certain "connaturality" with these goods, whether this "connaturality" be purely natural, or the result of grace; and it is clear how much even this somewhat obscure perception can help the reason in its investigations. However it is one thing to admit the power of the dispositions of the will in helping reason to gain a more certain and firm knowledge of moral truths; it is quite another thing to say, as these innovators do, indiscriminately mingling cognition and act of will, that the appetitive and affective faculties have a certain power of understanding, and that man, since he cannot by using his reason decide with certainty what is true and is to be accepted, turns to his will, by which he freely chooses among opposite opinions.
34. It is not surprising that these new opinions endanger the two philosophical sciences which by their very nature are closely connected with the doctrine of faith, that is, theodicy and ethics; they hold that the function of these two sciences is not to prove with certitude anything about God or any other transcendental being, but rather to show that the truths which faith teaches about a personal God and about His precepts, are perfectly consistent with the necessities of life and are therefore to be accepted by all, in order to avoid despair and to attain eternal salvation. All these opinions and affirmations are openly contrary to the documents of Our Predecessors Leo XIII and Pius X, and cannot be reconciled with the decrees of the Vatican Council. It would indeed be unnecessary to deplore these aberrations from the truth, if all, even in the field of philosophy, directed their attention with the proper reverence to the Teaching Authority of the Church, which by divine institution has the mission not only to guard and interpret the deposit of divinely revealed truth, but also to keep watch over the philosophical sciences themselves, in order that Catholic dogmas may suffer no harm because of erroneous opinions. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)