Continuing to Beatify Their Own
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Fresh from the travesty of the "beatification" of the late Father Antonio Rosmini, who had forty of his theological propositions condemned by the Holy Office under Pope Leo XIII in 1887 only to have that condemnation "overturned" by means of the Hegelian/Modernist illogic of the then Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger in 2001, the Americanist Edward "Cardinal" Egan, the conciliar "archbishop" of New York, has started the process to "beatify" one of the chief apologists and progenitors of Americanism itself, the late Father Isaac Thomas Hecker, the founder of the Paulist Fathers. Such a "beatification" by the counterfeit church of conciliarism would be another slap in the face to Pope Leo XIII, whose condemnation of Americanism was rendered clearly and resoundingly in his Apostolical Letter, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, to the Americanist Archbishop of Baltimore, James Cardinal Gibbons, on January 22, 1899.
Americanism is one of the chief cornerstones of conciliiarism, helping to provide the foundation, along with other currents, to be sure, that had emanated from Europe, for the conciliarist error of the nature of dogmatic truth (that it should be adapted to the "spirit of the times"), for the conciliarist notion of "religious liberty" that had been condemned as a heresy by Pope Pius VII in Post Tam Diuturnas, April 29, 1814 (and condemned by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832, and Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864), for the conciliarist abandonment of the good of souls represented by false ecumenism, for the conciliarist embrace of the separation of Church and State that was condemned by pope after pope as an absolute falsehood, including Pope Saint Pius X's firm and unequivocal condemnation found in Paragraph Three of Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.
Pope Leo XIII prophetically condemned Americanism in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae as violating the notion of dogmatic truth as defined by the [First] Vatican Council and as representing an attempt to appeal to those outside of the Catholic Church by attempting to water down the expression of doctrines:
The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The Vatican Council says concerning this point: "For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them." -Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv.
We cannot consider as altogether blameless the silence which purposely leads to the omission or neglect of some of the principles of Christian doctrine, for all the principles come from the same Author and Master, "the Only Begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father."-John i, I8. They are adapted to all times and all nations, as is clearly seen from the words of our Lord to His apostles: "Going, therefore, teach all nations; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all days, even to the end of the world."-Matt. xxviii, 19. Concerning this point the Vatican Council says: "All those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed."-Const. de fide, Chapter iii.
Let it be far from anyone's mind to suppress for any reason any doctrine that has been handed down. Such a policy would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than to bring in those who differ. There is nothing closer to our heart than to have those who are separated from the fold of Christ return to it, but in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ.
This is indeed a prophetic roadmap of how Americanism would lead to the entire ethos of conciliarism, which contend that certain dogmas of the Faith may be understood in a novel way so as to satisfy the demands of the Protestants and Orthodox and even the Jews. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II's Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995, wrote that the offic of Petrine Primacy could be understood in a way that would be amenable to the Protestants and to the Orthodox.
Whatever relates to the unity of all Christian communities clearly forms part of the concerns of the primacy. As Bishop of Rome I am fully aware, as I have reaffirmed in the present Encyclical Letter, that Christ ardently desires the full and visible communion of all those Communities in which, by virtue of God's faithfulness, his Spirit dwells. I am convinced that I have a particular responsibility in this regard, above all in acknowledging the ecumenical aspirations of the majority of the Christian Communities and in heeding the request made of me to find a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation. For a whole millennium Christians were united in "a brotherly fraternal communion of faith and sacramental life ... If disagreements in belief and discipline arose among them, the Roman See acted by common consent as moderator".
In this way the primacy exercised its office of unity. When addressing the Ecumenical Patriarch His Holiness Dimitrios I, I acknowledged my awareness that "for a great variety of reasons, and against the will of all concerned, what should have been a service sometimes manifested itself in a very different light. But ... it is out of a desire to obey the will of Christ truly that I recognize that as Bishop of Rome I am called to exercise that ministry ... I insistently pray the Holy Spirit to shine his light upon us, enlightening all the Pastors and theologians of our Churches, that we may seek—together, of course—the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned".
This is an immense task, which we cannot refuse and which I cannot carry out by myself. Could not the real but imperfect communion existing between us persuade Church leaders and their theologians to engage with me in a patient and fraternal dialogue on this subject, a dialogue in which, leaving useless controversies behind, we could listen to one another, keeping before us only the will of Christ for his Church and allowing ourselves to be deeply moved by his plea "that they may all be one ... so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (Jn 17:21)?
This very notion, which is the conciliar antithesis of Pope Pius XII's Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, was reiterated recently in The Ravenna Document, which proposed a framework for examining the question of Papal Primacy:
It remains for the question of the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of all the Churches to be studied in greater depth. What is the specific function of the bishop of the “first see” in an ecclesiology of koinonia and in view of what we have said on conciliarity and authority in the present text? How should the teaching of the first and second Vatican councils on the universal primacy be understood and lived in the light of the ecclesial practice of the first millennium? These are crucial questions for our dialogue and for our hopes of restoring full communion between us.
We, the members of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, are convinced that the above statement on ecclesial communion, conciliarity and authority represents positive and significant progress in our dialogue, and that it provides a firm basis for future discussion of the question of primacy at the universal level in the Church. We are conscious that many difficult questions remain to be clarified, but we hope that, sustained by the prayer of Jesus “That they may all be one … so that the world may believe” (Jn 17, 21), and in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we can build upon the agreement already reached. Reaffirming and confessing “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4, 5), we give glory to God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has gathered us together. (The Ravenna Document.)
Accept the notion that everything in the Faith is negotiable and subject to reinterpretation in light of the "spirit of the times" and/or the need to appeal to "modern man" and one enters into a bottomless abyss of error from which there is no escape. Apostasy is the only possible result.
Indeed, how many Catholics in the United States of America, having accepted the Americanist notions of Church and State so uncritically, view the Church through the eyes of the world rather than the world through the eyes of the true Faith? "Things" in the world change. Congress and state legislatures "change" laws. Why can't the Church "change" "rules" over the course of time. Thus was introduced as a result of the false, naturalistic, anti-Incarnational, religiously indifferentist and semi-Pelagian Protestant and Judeo-Masonic principles at the foundation of the American civil state a concept of relativism and positivism and endless "change" as normative and the expectation that the egalitarian spirit of democracy would determine the precise parameters of "change" at any given time.
Pope Leo XIII, writing in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, explained that Catholics in the United States of America were in a more dangerous situation than at any other point in the history of the Church. That is, the dangers that faced Catholics prior to the founding of the United States of America were, for the most part, admitting exceptions here and there, overt, not subtle. The Jews persecuted the first Catholics overtly and relentlessly. The Roman Emperors did so at various times with varying degrees of intensity between 67 A.D. and 313 A.D. Pagans in missionary lands did so throughout the course of the First Millennium at various points. Mohammedans began to persecute the Church starting in the Seventh Century, reaching as far north as Tours, France, before they were defeated by Charles Martel in the year 732 A.D. The Orthodox are still persecuting Catholics in Russia and the former republics of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Protestant Revolutionaries on the mainland in Europe and in the British Isles were overt and manifest in their persecution of Holy Mother Church and her children. So were the French Revolutionaries and the Freemasons who warred against the Papal States in Italy and who waged the Kulturkampf in Otto von Bismarck's united Germany after the end of the Franco-Prussian War and who killed Catholics by the thousands in Our Lady's beloved country, Mexico.
An enemy who is overt can be identified and resisted, producing martyrs to inspire the Church Militant on earth for centuries to come.
Ever seeking to ruin souls, however, the devil laid up quite a trap for Catholics in the United States of America. After two and one-half centuries of persecution in the British Isles--and on the mainland of Europe, Catholics in the United States of America found themselves in a situation where they were "tolerated," thus convincing them that they could live in peace with their Protestant and unbelieving neighbors, who would recognize that they, the Catholics, had the "right" to worship as they pleased. After all, there was enough residual Catholicism in some of the founding principles, it was reasoned, to "reconcile" the novel ones with the Church's perennial teaching. What could be dangerous in adapting the Faith to a brand new situation, one that had never occurred in the history of the world before, a situation where the national or central governing authority recognized no particular religion as its official religion and granted "freedom of religion," which also meant "freedom from religion," as the basis by which individuals of different religious beliefs and of no such beliefs at all could work together in harmony as "brothers" for the common temporal good without introducing the "divisive" elements represented by denominational religion and arguments about points of doctrine that are, after all, best left to discussion and debate? Shouldn't the Church be open to such a new situation?
Obviously, conciliarism believes so. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has praised the American founding principles when he was the "prefect" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, doing so as well in his infamous Christmas address to the conciliar curia on December 22, 2005:
In the meantime, however, the modern age had also experienced developments. People came to realize that the American Revolution was offering a model of a modern State that differed from the theoretical model with radical tendencies that had emerged during the second phase of the French Revolution.
Alas, the differences between the American and the French Revolutions were ones of degree, not kind. The American Revolution instituted the first government in the history of the world that recognized no religion as the official religion of the civil state. Even the pagans of yore had some form of worship, some form of pietas that bound them together. Pagan worship was, of course, and remains false worship. Even pagans and barbarians understood that the civil community has a positive obligation to conduct a public liturgy, that is to say, to manifest a public worship of something above itself. The American Revolution tolerated a divergence of "opinion" about religion, being open to a generic Judeo-Masonic expression of religion and empty, hollow references to "God" that had no relationship whatsoever to the true God and to the Deposit of Faith that He had revealed exclusively to the true Church for the instruction and sanctification and salvation of men unto eternity. The French Revolution imposed an anti-Theistic state that actively persecuted the true Church and imposed a state religion that worshiped the naturalistic tenets its leading lights believed were the means to "liberty, equality and fraternity." Different tactics, same goals.
To live within the subtle dangers of the American experience, however, is to lower one's guard as one projects into the American founding principles a perfect and absolute compatibility with the Faith and thus with the eternal good of souls. One is thus not able or willing to recognize the dangers of how he is being coopted on a daily basis into accepting the degeneration of the culture and the degree to which he is making a false religion out of the demigod of nationalism, a false idol, which has nothing to do with authentic patriotism, which wills the good of one's country, the ultimate expression of which is her Catholicization in every aspect of her national life. It is a short step from there to judge Holy Mother Church by the false standards of the world.
Pope Leo XIII saw all of this in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae:
But, beloved son, in this present matter of which we are speaking, there is even a greater danger and a more manifest opposition to Catholic doctrine and discipline in that opinion of the lovers of novelty, according to which they hold such liberty should be allowed in the Church, that her supervision and watchfulness being in some sense lessened, allowance be granted the faithful, each one to follow out more freely the leading of his own mind and the trend of his own proper activity. They are of opinion that such liberty has its counterpart in the newly given civil freedom which is now the right and the foundation of almost every secular state.
In the apostolic letters concerning the constitution of states, addressed by us to the bishops of the whole Church, we discussed this point at length; and there set forth the difference existing between the Church, which is a divine society, and all other social human organizations which depend simply on free will and choice of men.
In other words, to accept uncritically the naturalistic notions of the American founding is to open oneself up to the belief that there should be "liberty" within the Church to discuss "new" things (women's ordination, a married priesthood, divorce and remarriage without a decree of nullity, contraception, abortion, perverse and natural sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, etc.). It is also to open oneself up to reject the hierarchical nature of the Church herself.
That is, a belief in American individualism and egalitarianism, which of which are false naturalistic principles having nothing to do with the Faith (the first individualist and egalitarian was Lucifer, after all), leads one down the path of the layman seeking equality in the sanctuary with the ordained priest, of the abolition of Communion rails, of standing for the reception of what purports to be Holy Communion, of the use of vulgar tongues, subject to all manner of change and misinterpretation and deconstruction and positivism, in the Sacred Liturgy, of the rejection of the magisterial authority of the Catholic Church as binding upon one's conscience at all times and in all things. And the rejection of the magisterial authority of the Catholic Church leads one open to adopting Protestant Pentecostalism as the means by which one "knows" about God, deluding himself into thinking that God the Holy Ghost is leading him individually on a new path that deviates from the one prescribed by the Catholic Church. There is thus a direct path from Americanism to the "Catholic Charismatic Renewal" of conciliarism--and all of the other "movements" that have sprung up like weeds in the past forty-three years since the close of the "Second" Vatican Council.
Pope Leo XIII, writing in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, explained how Americanism is connected with an individual's rejection of the Church's infallible teaching authority and of her very sanctifying offices, which are indispensable for the right ordering and sanctification of souls:
Coming now to speak of the conclusions which have been deduced from the above opinions, and for them, we readily believe there was no thought of wrong or guile, yet the things themselves certainly merit some degree of suspicion. First, all external guidance is set aside for those souls who are striving after Christian perfection as being superfluous or indeed, not useful in any sense -the contention being that the Holy Spirit pours richer and more abundant graces than formerly upon the souls of the faithful, so that without human intervention He teaches and guides them by some hidden instinct of His own. Yet it is the sign of no small over-confidence to desire to measure and determine the mode of the Divine communication to mankind, since it wholly depends upon His own good pleasure, and He is a most generous dispenser 'of his own gifts. "The Spirit breatheth whereso He listeth." -- John iii, 8.
"And to each one of us grace is given according to the measure of the giving of Christ." -- Eph. iv, 7.
And shall any one who recalls the history of the apostles, the faith of the nascent church, the trials and deaths of the martyrs- and, above all, those olden times, so fruitful in saints-dare to measure our age with these, or affirm that they received less of the divine outpouring from the Spirit of Holiness? Not to dwell upon this point, there is no one who calls in question the truth that the Holy Spirit does work by a secret descent into the souls of the just and that He stirs them alike by warnings and impulses, since unless this were the case all outward defense and authority would be unavailing. "For if any persuades himself that he can give assent to saving, that is, to gospel truth when proclaimed, without any illumination of the Holy Spirit, who give's unto all sweetness both to assent and to hold, such an one is deceived by a heretical spirit."-From the Second Council of Orange, Canon 7.
Moreover, as experience shows, these monitions and impulses of the Holy Spirit are for the most part felt through the medium of the aid and light of an external teaching authority. To quote St. Augustine. "He (the Holy Spirit) co-operates to the fruit gathered from the good trees, since He externally waters and cultivates them by the outward ministry of men, and yet of Himself bestows the inward increase."-De Gratia Christi, Chapter xix. This, indeed, belongs to the ordinary law of God's loving providence that as He has decreed that men for the most part shall be saved by the ministry also of men, so has He wished that those whom He calls to the higher planes of holiness should be led thereto by men; hence St. Chrysostom declares we are taught of God through the instrumentality of men.-Homily I in Inscrib. Altar. Of this a striking example is given us in the very first days of the Church.
For though Saul, intent upon blood and slaughter, had heard the voice of our Lord Himself and had asked, "What dost Thou wish me to do?" yet he was bidden to enter Damascus and search for Ananias. Acts ix: "Enter the city and it shall be there told to thee what thou must do."
Nor can we leave out of consideration the truth that those who are striving after perfection, since by that fact they walk in no beaten or well-known path, are the most liable to stray, and hence have greater need than others of a teacher and guide. Such guidance has ever obtained in the Church; it has been the universal teaching of those who throughout the ages have been eminent for wisdom and sanctity-and hence to reject it would be to commit one's self to a belief at once rash and dangerous.
A thorough consideration of this point, in the supposition that no exterior guide is granted such souls, will make us see the difficulty of locating or determining the direction and application of that more abundant influx of the Holy Spirit so greatly extolled by innovators To practice virtue there is absolute need of the assistance of the Holy Spirit, yet we find those who are fond of novelty giving an unwarranted importance to the natural virtues, as though they better responded to the customs and necessities of the times and that having these as his outfit man becomes more ready to act and more strenous in action. It is not easy to understand how persons possessed of Christian wisdom can either prefer natural to supernatural virtues or attribute to them a greater efficacy and fruifulness. Can it be that nature conjoined with grace is weaker than when left to herself?
To accept the spirit of Father Isaac Thomas Hecker's Americanism, which was shared by many, although far from all of the American bishops of the Nineteenth Century, is to open oneself up to embracing the false belief that natural virtue alone is sufficient to build the "just society," that men can sustain themselves in natural virtues by their power throughout the course of their lifetimes without having belief in, access to and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace. Pope Leo XIII condemned this semi-Pelagian notion in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae and in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900:
Can it be that those men illustrious for sanctity, whom the Church distinguishes and openly pays homage to, were deficient, came short in the order of nature and its endowments, because they excelled in Christian strength? And although it be allowed at times to wonder at acts worthy of admiration which are the outcome of natural virtue-is there anyone at all endowed simply with an outfit of natural virtue? Is there any one not tried by mental anxiety, and this in no light degree? Yet ever to master such, as also to preserve in its entirety the law of the natural order, requires an assistance from on high These single notable acts to which we have alluded will frequently upon a closer investigation be found to exhibit the appearance rather than the reality of virtue. Grant that it is virtue, unless we would "run in vain" and be unmindful of that eternal bliss which a good God in his mercy has destined for us, of what avail are natural virtues unless seconded by the gift of divine grace? Hence St. Augustine well says: "Wonderful is the strength, and swift the course, but outside the true path." For as the nature of man, owing to the primal fault, is inclined to evil and dishonor, yet by the help of grace is raised up, is borne along with a new greatness and strength, so, too, virtue, which is not the product of nature alone, but of grace also, is made fruitful unto everlasting life and takes on a more strong and abiding character. (Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, January 22, 1899.)
God alone is Life. All other beings partake of life, but are not life. Christ, from all eternity and by His very nature, is "the Life," just as He is the Truth, because He is God of God. From Him, as from its most sacred source, all life pervades and ever will pervade creation. Whatever is, is by Him; whatever lives, lives by Him. For by the Word "all things were made; and without Him was made nothing that was made." This is true of the natural life; but, as We have sufficiently indicated above, we have a much higher and better life, won for us by Christ's mercy, that is to say, "the life of grace," whose happy consummation is "the life of glory," to which all our thoughts and actions ought to be directed. The whole object of Christian doctrine and morality is that "we being dead to sin, should live to justice" (I Peter ii., 24)-that is, to virtue and holiness. In this consists the moral life, with the certain hope of a happy eternity. This justice, in order to be advantageous to salvation, is nourished by Christian faith. "The just man liveth by faith" (Galatians iii., II). "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews xi., 6). Consequently Jesus Christ, the creator and preserver of faith, also preserves and nourishes our moral life. This He does chiefly by the ministry of His Church. To Her, in His wise and merciful counsel, He has entrusted certain agencies which engender the supernatural life, protect it, and revive it if it should fail. This generative and conservative power of the virtues that make for salvation is therefore lost, whenever morality is dissociated from divine faith. A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them all and keep them inviolate through life-and even this is impossible without the aid of the grace of our Redeemer-still it is vain for anyone without faith to promise himself eternal salvation. "If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth" john xv., 6). "He that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi., 16). We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime. (Pope Leo XIII, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900.)
Many Americanists across the ecclesiastical divide, including those in the sedevacantist camp, sad to say, are completely infect with the belief that it is "good enough" to address social evils in a naturalistic and/or interdenominational manner, that it is neither necessary nor advisable to attempt to convince others that Catholicism and it alone is the one and only foundation of personal and social order.
Moreover, to accept the Americanist heresy is to convince oneself that we are saved by "action," that prayer does "nothing"--or perhaps very little--to "change" things in the "real" world. This false belief is at the essence of everything Americanist, especially as pertains to commerce and politics. It tenets were expressed perfectly by the boastful, self-redemptive thirty-third degree Mason named Theodore Roosevelt through his life (1858-1919), including a speech he gave at, of all places, mind you, The Sorbonne, in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910, one year, one month and nineteen days after he ceded the Presidency of the United States of America to his handpicked successor, the thirty-third degree Mason named William Howard Taft of Cincinnati, Ohio, against whom he, Theodore Roosevelt, would wage a bitter, pitched battle for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1912 and then against Taft in the general election that year, which is how the United States of America was visited with the horror that was the anti-Catholic bigot named Thomas Woodrow Wilson as its president:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride of slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength. It is war-worn Hotspur, spent with hard fighting, he of the many errors and valiant end, over whose memory we love to linger, not over the memory of the young lord who "but for the vile guns would have been a valiant soldier." (Theodore Roosevelt, "The Man in the Arena," April 23, 1910, The Sorbonne, Paris, France.Theodore Roosevelt's Speeches.)
How many even traditionally-minded Catholics believe that prayer is "doing nothing," that it is the "action" of partisan politics by which we change the nature, although nothing ever changes, save for the worse, a topic that will be explored again in the next piece on this site, one in which I will provide quotations from various leaders of "movements" in the past that proposed to "change" the country but wound up failing miserably as they were all premised on false, naturalistic principles. Is "prayer" doing nothing? Is to be cloistered a "useless" exercise? Is it true that the interior life of the soul involves "passive" virtue while those involved in the business of the world are engaged in "active" virtue? This is what Americanists, Catholic and non-Catholic alike contend. Their false beliefs were eviscerated by Pope Leo XIII in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae:
This overesteem of natural virtue finds a method of expression in assuming to divide all virtues in active and passive, and it is alleged that whereas passive virtues found better place in past times, our age is to be characterized by the active. That such a division and distinction cannot be maintained is patent-for there is not, nor can there be, merely passive virtue. "Virtue," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "designates the perfection of some faculty, but end of such faculty is an act, and an act of virtue is naught else than the good use of free will," acting, that is to say, under the grace of God if the act be one of supernatural virtue.
He alone could wish that some Christian virtues be adapted to certain times and different ones for other times who is unmindful of the apostle's words: "That those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be made conformable to the image of His Son."- Romans viii, 29. Christ is the teacher and the exemplar of all sanctity, and to His standard must all those conform who wish for eternal life. Nor does Christ know any change as the ages pass, "for He is yesterday and to-day and the same forever."-Hebrews xiii, 8. To the men of all ages was the precept given: "Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart."-Matt. xi, 29.
To every age has He been made manifest to us as obedient even unto death; in every age the apostle's dictum has its force: "Those who are Christ's have crucified their flesh with its vices and concupiscences." Would to God that more nowadays practiced these virtues in the degree of the saints of past times, who in humility, obedience and self-restraint were powerful "in word and in deed" -to the great advantage not only of religion, but of the state and the public welfare.
From this disregard of the - angelical virtues, erroneously styled passive, the step was a short one to a contempt of the religious life which has in some degree taken hold of minds. That such a value is generally held by the upholders of new views, we infer from certain statements concerning the vows which religious orders take. They say vows are alien to the spirit of our times, in that they limit the bounds of human liberty; that they are more suitable to weak than to strong minds; that so far from making for human perfection and the good of human organization, they are hurtful to both; but that this is as false as possible from the practice and the doctrine of the Church is clear, since she has always given the very highest approval to the religious method of life; nor without good cause, for those who under the divine call have freely embraced that state of life did not content themselves with the observance of precepts, but, going forward to the evangelical counsels, showed themselves ready and valiant soldiers of Christ. Shall we judge this to be a characteristic of weak minds, or shall we say that it is useless or hurtful to a more perfect state of life?
Those who so bind themselves by the vows of religion, far from having suffered a loss of liberty, enjoy that fuller and freer kind, that liberty, namely, by which Christ hath made us free. And this further view of theirs, namely, that the religious life is either entirely useless or of little service to the Church, besides being injurious to the religious orders cannot be the opinion of anyone who has read the annals of the Church. Did not your country, the United States, derive the beginnings both of faith and of culture from the children of these religious families? to one of whom but very lately, a thing greatly to your praise, you have decreed that a statue be publicly erected. And even at the present time wherever the religious families are found, how speedy and yet how fruitful a harvest of good works do they not bring forth! How very many leave home and seek strange lands to impart the truth of the gospel and to widen the bounds of civilization; and this they do with the greatest cheerfulness amid manifold dangers! Out of their number not less, indeed, than from the rest of the clergy, the Christian world finds the preachers of God's word, the directors of conscience, the teachers of youth and the Church itself the examples of all sanctity.
Nor should any difference of praise be made between those who follow the active state of life and those others who, charmed with solitude, give themselves to prayer and bodily mortification. And how much, indeed, of good report these have merited, and do merit, is known surely to all who do not forget that the "continual prayer of the just man" avails to placate and to bring down the blessings of heaven when to such prayers bodily mortification is added.
But if there be those who prefer to form one body without the obligation of the vows let them pursue such a course. It is not new in the Church, nor in any wise censurable. Let them be careful, however, not to set forth such a state above that of religious orders. But rather, since mankind are more disposed at the present time to indulge themselves in pleasures, let those be held in greater esteem "who having left all things have followed Christ."
Indeed, we have no idea how our own souls, no less those of others, are assisted by those in the cloistered life who devote themselves to the very hard work of overcoming their fallen human natures and cooperating with the graces won for us by the shedding of every single drop of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, to pray intently for the spiritual and temporal needs of souls in the Church Militant for the release of the Poor Souls in the Church Suffering in Purgatory. We are very much dependent upon the prayers and the good works performed by those who have "left all things" to follow Our Lord.
That Edward "Cardinal" Egan should be promoting the canonization of a man responsible of promoting a heresy is completely unsurprising. This former henchman of the corrupt John Cardinal Cody, who died while serving as the conciliar Archbishop of Chicago (he was a validly consecrated bishop), has called pro-abortion politicians "his friends" and said the following in 2001 when asked in Albany, New York, about the pro-abortion stance of then Governor George E. Pataki, a Catholic:
Recently Cardinal Egan met privately with Pataki in Albany and came out saying that he had not discussed the issue of abortion with the governor. His Eminence said he looked forward to the “happy day” when Pataki would review his pro-abortion position. However, he stressed that Pataki was exercising his right as an American to be “pro-choice.” Only a few days later, Cardinal Egan warmly embraced Giuliani at New York’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, whose grand marshal was a pro-abortion Catholic politician from Staten Island.
“His right as an American?” The heresy of Americanism thus continues to influence the minds of highly intelligent princes of the Church. No one has the right to do evil. Human beings have the free will to choose between good and evil. However, we are only morally free to choose the good. No one has the “right” to choose to do that which is wrong. There is a distinction between having the authority to do something and having the ability to do it.
As I noted in “Get a Grip on Reality” in January, words have meaning. A Catholic — especially one who is a cardinal and is known to be a serious man of the mind — has the obligation to make all of the necessary distinctions required by Catholic moral theology. It is a grave dereliction of duty to speak in sloppy, Americanist terms that reaffirm the belief of ignorant people (Catholic and non-Catholic alike) that one really does have a “right” to support abortion. No one has the right to sin. And abortion is one of the four crimes that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. (The other three are the sin of Sodom, defrauding a widow, and withholding the wages from a day laborer.)
Words and actions speak very loudly. The average Catholic sees the warm reception accorded Giuliani, who doesn’t even make a pretense of opposing partial-birth abortion, and the affirmation that Pataki has a “right” to support baby-killing. Why should a pro-abortion Catholic in the pew reassess his uncritical acceptance of our culture of death when a Cardinal Archbishop of a major metropolitan see fails to communicate the fact that abortion is a grave crime against both the Church and the State? Why should a woman who is suffering the effects of post-abortion syndrome consider reconciling herself to the Father through the Son in Spirit and in Truth in the Sacrament of Penance when a Cardinal Archbishop speaks of support for abortion as being an exercise of an American “right”? Does not Cardinal Egan see that a woman can easily come to the conclusion that she was (or is) justified in seeking an abortion, if it is a matter of American rights? How can it not be a “right” for a woman to choose to have an abortion if Pataki has the “right” to choose to support it? (Nothing But an American Right. This was written in 2001, five years before I came to realize that those who had defected from the Faith could not hold ecclesiastical office legitimately. )
The man whom "Cardinal" Egan, who has been pretty vicious with priests seeking to offer the Mass of Tradition exclusively (something, of course, that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI explained in his accompanying letter to Summorum Pontificum, July 7, 2007, a priest could not do--he has to offer the "ordinary form of the Roman Rite," that is, the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service), Father Isaac Thomas Hecker, had ideas that were condemned by a true Sovereign Pontiff, a fact that means nothing to any self-respecting conciliarist. Hecker's defiance of the Holy Faith by his embrace of the naturalistic principles of Americanism led fully Catholic priests and bishops in France to rise up to defend the integrity of the Social Reign of Christ the King.
Monsignor Henri Delassus's Americanism and the Anti-Christian Conspiracy, available from Catholic Action Resource Center, demonstrated that the spirit of Father Isaac Thomas Hecker and other Americanists fit very well into the goals of Talmudic Judaism to undermine the Faith of individual Catholics so that their first loyalties would be to the false concepts of Modernity, including Americanism, and then to their Church, which, if all went according to the plan, would itself one day "adopt" the false concepts of Modernity and make its "peace" with the revolutions of 1776 and 1789:
How so? Fr. Hecker tells us: "A call is made to men who possess this new synthesis of truth who are able to solve the problems of eliminating antagonisms, of being reconciled with the need of our era; of men who will take hold of all the aspirations of modern genius effected by science, of social activity, of politics, of spirituality (accordingly, spirituality itself would be called upon to defend the Church and to procure her universal triumph), of religion, and of the transformation of everything by means of the defense and universal triumph for the Church" (The Life of Fr. Hecker.) (Monsignor Henri Delassus, Americanism and the Anti-Christian Conspiracy, translated by Mr. Daniel Leonardi and published by Mr. Hugh Akins of Catholic Action Resources Center, Orlando, Florida, October, 2007--first printing in France, 1899, p. 2.)
The following passages from Monsignor Delassus' book provide evidence that the leading Americanists sounded just like Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI in their embrace of the separation of Church and State and the accommodations that must be made to the "modern" world:
"American Catholicism" is not, in the thought of is promoters, a way of thinking and of practicing Catholicism solely in the contingent and changing things that would be common to the United States, in accordance with the particular conditions that are found on American soil. If this had been so, we would not have believed it incumbent upon us to be concerned with it.
No, their pretension is to speak to the entire universe: "The ear of the world is open to our thinking, if we know what to say to them," Msgr. [Bishop of Richmond, John] Keane had written to the Congress of Brussels. Andin fact they are speaking, and their word has not been without echo upon each part of France. If, at least, they had not put into the ear of the world anything other than what the Church leaves to our free discussion; but, no, as we shall see, we shall come to understand that their words are more or less imposed upon that which belongs to the very fundamentals of the Catholic faith.
The Abbot Klein had said in the preface he gave to The Life of Fr. Hecker: "His [Fr. Hecker's] unique and original work is to have shown the profound harmonies joining the new state of the human spirit to the true Christianity." "The American ideas that he recommended are, he knew, those which GOD wanted all civilized people of our time to be at home with ..."
"The times are solemn," Msgr. Ireland had said, in his discourse, The Church and the Age. "At such an epoch of history ... the desire to know is intense ... The ambition of the spirit, fired up by the marvelous success in every field of human knowledge ... The human heart lets itself go to the strangest ideals ... Something new! Such is the ordered word of humanity, and to renew all things is its firm resolution.
"The moment is opportune for men of talent and character among the children of the Church of God. Today the routine of old times is dead; today the ordinary means lead to the decrepitude of the aged; the crisis demands something new, something extraordinary; and it is upon this condition that the Church shall record the greatest of victories in the greatest of historical ages" (Discourse given in the Cathedral of Baltimore, October 18, 1893, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Episcopal consecration of Cardinal Gibbons.) (Monsignor Delassus, pp. 9-10.)
Here is a roadmap to the "Second" Vatican Council and to the Novus Ordo itself. Americanism is restless, never satisfied with "tradition," always eager to "act," always desirous of that which is "new" (or novel), that which is full of "energy" and "dynamism," convinced of the human ability to "solve" problems and to create the "better" world. Americanism is a roadmap to both Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humane. It is a roadmap to the ruin of the Faith of millions and a major contributing factor in the worsening of the moral state of man in the world. Americanism is a lie from the devil.
To return to the text of Monsignor Delassus:
The article from Romanus (in The Contemporary Review), that one could read in its entirety in the book of Abbot Klein, Fr. Hecker, Is He a Saint?, is, as the author of that book observes, the SUM of the ideas of Americanism ...
In clear terms [it says there]: GOD is the author of error as He is of truth; the first precedes the second, and the second is born of the first providentially. It is the effect of the great law of evolution that rules everything in the world, and to which religion is subjected as all the rest.
Could the Christian faith be more profoundly attacked, more radically destroyed? ...
It would not take too much to prove blamable by these words, in the expression that they are presented throughout the democracies, that they are anything but children of the doctrine of evolution. That is, when the Americanists from here [Europe] and over there [America] speak to us of the future, of "the new future of the Church" and of its "marching ahead," and of its "new phase" and "of the times that are beginning," etc., etc. ...
There had been in the Congress of Religion in Chicago, a discourse given by one of the leaders in Americanism, and which was entitled The Final Religion, The Ultimate Religion. In that speech, it had been said: "The religions consist of systems for the regular or irregular fulfillment of this great goal; the union of man with God." It is impossible to better describe the way and the end of religious evolution. But this end, the one that is to be watched out for, is not any different than that to which the United Israelite Alliance has directed its own efforts.
In the Fortnightly, on The Life of Fr, Hecker, Abbot Klein explains to his readers, how that book more suitably makes clear "the present evolution of humanity" and the nature "of studies and reforms that the new conditions of the world, at once well contain, imposes, without possible resistance, upon all those who would promote the INTERIOR ADVANCEMENT and the EXTERIOR EXPANSION of Christianity ..."
These novel ways, do they keep in their novelty the necessary moral uprightness? This is what it is reasonable to doubt.
"I want," Fr. Hecker said, "to open the door of the Church to the rationalists; they seem to me to be shut in on themselves. I sense that I am the pioneer to open the way. I am myself threading my way as in contraband [smuggling, interloping]" (The Life of Fr. Hecker).
Father Hecker was a pioneer all right. A pioneer in the ruin of souls and in helping to bring about the apostasies of the "Second" Vatican Council.
We must take comfort, therefore, in seeking to defend the Social Reign of Christ the King as the consecrated slaves of Mary our Immaculate Queen even though most Catholics around us in the United States of America are Americanists to the core, some going so far to be possessed of a demonic spirit of arrogance against the immutable teaching authority of the Church as it pertains to Church-State relations. Once again, I direct your attention to these wonderful words contained in Selected Writings of Cardinal Pie of Poitiers, available form Catholic Action Resource Center, translated by Mr. Daniel Leonardi (please click on the link for ordering information for this book and that of Monsignor Henri Delassus's Americanism and the Anti-Christian Conspiracy), based upon Father Theotime de St. Just's The King of Christ, According to Cardinal Pie of Poitiers.
The social reign of the Heart of Jesus is God in His place in the reason, in the conscience, in the heart and in the public life of man; the social reign of Satan, is God excluded from religion, from the conscience, from the heart and from the public life of man; it is humanity laicized and adoring itself.
"There is no middle ground; one must choose. The liberals, the liberals who say to themselves that they are and believe themselves to be Catholic, do not want to choose; they repudiate the social reign of the Heart of Jesus, they accept the social reign of Satan. Despite their verbal protestations, their work is founded on Freemasonry; they are of the party of Satan against the Heart of Jesus" (Canon Gaudeau, La Maison actuelle de Sainte Marguerite Marie, p. 25, de St. Just, pg. 201.) [Selected Writings of Cardinal Pie of Poitiers, Catholic Action Resource Center, Orlando, Florida, October, 2007, pp. 5-8.]
"If Jesus Christ," proclaims Msgr. Pie in a magnificent pastoral instruction, "if Jesus Christ Who is our light whereby we are drawn out of the seat of darkness and from the shadow of death, and Who has given to the world the treasure of truth and grace, if He has not enriched the world, I mean to say the social and political world itself, from the great evils which prevail in the heart of paganism, then it is to say that the work of Jesus Christ is not a divine work. Even more so: if the Gospel which would save men is incapable of procuring the actual progress of peoples, if the revealed light which is profitable to individuals is detrimental to society at large, if the scepter of Christ, sweet and beneficial to souls, and perhaps to families, is harmful and unacceptable for cities and empires; in other words, if Jesus Christ to whom the Prophets had promised and to Whom His Father had given the nations as a heritage, is not able to exercise His authority over them for it would be to their detriment and temporal disadvantage, it would have to be concluded that Jesus Christ is not God". . . .
"To say Jesus Christ is the God of individuals and of families, but not the God of peoples and of societies, is to say that He is not God. To say that Christianity is the law of individual man and is not the law of collective man, is to say that Christianity is not divine. To say that the Church is the judge of private morality, but has nothing to do with public and political morality, is to say that the Church is not divine."
In fine, Cardinal Pie insists:
"Christianity would not be divine if it were to have existence within individuals but not with regard to societies."
Fr. de St. Just asks, in conclusion:
"Could it be proven in clearer terms that social atheism conduces to individualistic atheism?"Selected Writings of Cardinal Pie of Poitiers, Catholic Action Resource Center, Orlando, Florida, October, 2007, p 22.]
Pope Leo XIII put the matter in no uncertain terms when he explained in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae the inevitable result to which Americanism pointed:
But if this is to be so understood that the doctrines which have been adverted to above are not only indicated, but exalted, there can be no manner of doubt that our venerable brethren, the bishops of America, would be the first to repudiate and condemn it as being most injurious to themselves and to their country. For it would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and would have the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world.
Americanism hath wrought not only a Church in America different from what it was in the rest of the world in the Nineteenth Century. Americanism hath help to wrought a counterfeit church made in large measure, although far from exclusively, upon its own corrupt and heretical premises. Souls have been devastated as a result. National order itself has been rendered asunder as most baptized Catholics participate in a culture of eternal death quite merrily and as they look to partisan politics as the means by which "solutions" will be found to problems that have their remote cause in Original Sin and their proximate causes in the Actual Sins of men and the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King effected by the Protestant Revolt, the rise of Judeo-Masonry and the rise of a cacophony of naturalistic movements and "philosophies" and revolutions that have enthroned the pride of fallen man as the basis of social life.
Conciliarism may have yet another patron "saint" to join the likes of Antonio Rosmini and quite probably Karol Wojtyla and any number of others. Father Isaac Thomas Hecker, the founder of a religious order that was corrupted by Americanism from the beginning and became further corrupted by its promotion in the Twentieth Century of perverse sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments ("freedom of conscience," you understand), is just one of a long line of soul-destroyers admired by the conciliarists as they spit upon true popes such as Pope Leo XIII and Saint Pius X in order to "reconcile" themselves to the false spirit of an anti-Incarnational world.
Our Lady is our refuge for us sinners in this terrible sea of apostasy and betrayal. We know that the Church is divinely founded and maintained. We know that the jaws of Hell will never prevail against her. This does not mean that the devil is not going to win a few battles in our own daily lives and in the larger life of the Church Militant on earth. The final victory, however, belongs to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We must never forget this fact. While we must be concerned about the problems of the present moment, we must recognize as well that Our Lord has redeemed this moment in time and means to bring good out of the complete mess that we find ourselves in at the beginning of the Twenty-first Century.
Consecrated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary with homes that are Enthroned to these Twin Hearts of matchless love, clinging to our true shepherds in the catacombs where no concessions are made to conciliarism or to its false shepherds, spending time on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, accusing ourselves weekly in the Sacred Tribunal Penance, making sure to live penitentially, especially during this season of Lent, may we consider it our singular privilege to plant a few seeds for the restoration of the Catholic City, that is, of Christendom.
The Apostles did not know if there would be a first Christendom. We do not know if there will be a second one. Like the Apostles, however, we must do our work each day without looking for results and without ever being discouraged by hardships or failures or criticism or humiliations or rejections by family members and friends, remembering always that Our Lord and Our Lady, aided by the Patron of the Universal Church and the Protector of the Faithful, Saint Joseph, are with us and that there is nothing--as in absolutely nothing--that we can suffer in this life that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother to suffer as our Redemption was wrought for us during the Paschal Triduum.
Our goal must be singular: to do the work we are required to do here to save our souls by adhering to everything taught by the Catholic Church and maintaining ourselves in states of Sanctifying Grace so that we can be ready at all times to face the moment of our Particular Judgments and to be received into the loving hands of Our Lady, the Queen of Mercy, at the hour of our deaths as she presents us to her Divine Son as her own.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.