Dancing to the Tune of Herod and Herodias
Thomas A. Droleskey
Saint John the Baptist prepared the way by his preaching for Our Lord to begin His Public Ministry. Saint John leaped for joy in the womb of his mother, Saint Elizabeth, when he heard the voice of Our Lady, being freed from Original Sin at that very moment. The sanctification of Saint John at the moment of Our Lady's Visitation thus prepared him to see things clearly as the last of the Old Testament Prophets, the bridge between the Old Testament and the New Testament. As the Precursor of the God-Man Himself, Saint John the Baptist knew that he, who has unworthy to unfasten the straps of His Cousin's sandals, had to decrease while Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ once the latter's Public Ministry had begun.
Each of us must let Our Lord increase in us as we decrease. That is, each of us must die to self in order to see Our Lord in all others and to be Our Lord for all others. We need Saint John the Baptist's help in this regard. Just as he, who had been purified in his mother's womb, prepared the way for the coming of Our Lord to assume His Public Ministry by means of his preaching along the banks of the Jordan River so can his prayers from Heaven assist us in preparing the way for the coming of Our Lord into our souls by means of Sanctifying Grace, especially in the Sacrament of Penance in the confessional and the Sacrament of the Eucharist at Holy Communion. We must be as willing as Saint John the Baptist to decrease--to the point of losing our heads--so that Our Lord can increase in us by means of Sanctifying Grace and by means of our own interior dispositions to become like Him in all things at all times.
Saint John the Baptist minced no words in his preaching with the high and the mighty, whether they were the Pharisees or those who held political office, such as Herod the Tetrarch, the son of King Herod the Great who had sought to kill the newborn Baby Jesus and thus forced the Holy Family to flee into Egypt until his death. Saint John the Baptist wanted only to please God, not the rich and powerful of this world. He wanted to call all men to repentance, not to reaffirm them in their sins and false beliefs. He was, therefore, faithful to the spirit of the previous Prophets of the Old Testament and a model of the missionary work of the Apostles and those who followed them in the work of the New and Eternal Covenant instituted by Our Lord at the Last Supper and ratified by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross on Good Friday.
Herod the Tetrarch knew that Saint John the Baptist was correct, that it was a sin for him to live with his brother's wife while he was alive. Herod had a conscience. Herod the Tetrarch's conscience, however, gave way to his desire to please Herodias and the daughter after whom he lusted, his own niece, Salome:
For Herod feared John, knowing him to be a just and holy man: and kept him, and when he heard him, did many things: and he heard him willingly.
And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of the same Herodias had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod, and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he swore to her: Whatsoever thou shalt ask I will give thee, though it be the half of my kingdom. Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, What shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist. And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist.
And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her:But sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish. And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish: and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother. Which his disciples hearing came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. And the apostles coming together unto Jesus, related to him all things that they had done and taught. (Mk. 6. 20-30)
Holy Mother Church has been blessed over the centuries with numerous imitators of Saint John the Baptist, men and women who proclaimed the truths of the Divine Redeemer before kings and potentates without regard for what it would cost them. Consider these two examples, contained in Father A. J. O'Reilly's The Martyrs of the Coliseum:
Yet the Capitol, the triumphal arch of Severus, the Coliseum and Meta Sudans are like fixed stars amid this everchanging mass of ruins. Seventeen hundred years ago they bore the names as the do now, although one of the great old romans raised from the dust in which he has slept for centuries would scarcely recognise, in the remnants that stand, the majestic structures that were familiar to his eyes in the days of their magnificence. Near these monuments many a brave Christian found his crown. Amongst them was the martyr who is connected in history with the Meta Sudans.
“We have found this man powerful and eloquent in speech, teaching the people that the worship of our gods is vain, saying that they have but an imaginary existence; he belongs to some strange sect they call Christians."
Thus spoke some rude soldiers as they presented to the Prefect of the city a young noble citizen, with hands bound behind his back.
“Who are you or whence do you come?" asked the Prefect, Hermogenes, with a menacing frown.
“I am a Roman citizen of noble birth; if you wish my carnal name, I am called Restitutus, but in the profession of my faith I am Christian."
“Have you not heard the orders of the Prince?"
“What have they commanded?" asked Restitutus mildly.
“That all who will not sacrifice to the omnipotent gods should be punished by various and terrible tortures," said the Prefect, becoming excited, and watching the noble youth impatiently, in the hopes he had already terrified him into submission.
“I know the command of my Emperor," boldly replied the Christian, "whoever will deny Him will perish in eternal torments."
“Cease to speak thus," cried the President, "but come hither and sacrifice to the revered deities, that are the guardians of the Empire, and you will be a friend of Caesar; otherwise, you shall feel the weight of our indignation, and shall be tortured with fire."
“I am prepared," Restitutus mildly but bravely replied, "to offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord Jesus Christ." (Father A. J. O'Reilly, The Martyrs of the Coliseum, Published originally in 1885 by D. and J. Sadlier and Company and republished in 1987 TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 378-379.)
Father O’Reilly continued the narrative from the Acts of the Martyrs after a brief commentary on Restitutus’s willingness to suffer for the Holy Faith:
The intrepid reply of the martyr roused the tyranny of the Prefect, and he ordered his mouth to be beaten with stones; but he did not feel any pain, God by a miracle had deadened the sense of feeling.
“What do you expect to gain by this obstinacy?" asked the President.
“For the love and fear of my Lord Jesus Christ, I have despised the Court (militiam intra palatium), and now I wish only to serve in an everlasting warfare a celestial King."
“But," rejoined the President, "in consideration of your youth and beauty, approach and sacrifice to the gods, that you may receive the reward of great dignity and power."
Restitutus replied: "In serving the true God of Heaven I have not lost nor demeaned my dignity; the dignities, the honours of the earth, fade like the things of the earth–as are gone the flowers of summer and the snows of winter, so have passed the glory and worldly dignity of our ancestors–but that profession which takes its nobility from an eternal source is like it in its eternal duration."
Truly the martyr spoke with a sublime appreciation of the eternal character of the Christian’s warfare. The Prefect who had made him suffer for his faith has long since passed into oblivion, notwithstanding the wealth and power that shone around him in the giddy hour of his reign. He is not known now except in the infamy of his cruelty, which is recorded by sacred writers in handing to posterity and eternal fame the noble youth who had despised even the splendours of the Pagan Court, and wisely chosen the eternal dignity of the Christian warfare.” ( (Father A. J. O'Reilly, The Martyrs of the Coliseum, Published originally in 1885 by D. and J. Sadlier and Company and republished in 1987 TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 379-381.)
The examples of this sort of fidelity to the spirit exemplified by Saint John the Baptist before Herod and Herodias are countless. The Church's martyrology is replete with men and women who stood fast before the rich and the powerful to bear a faithful, courageous witness to the truths of the Catholic Church and how they bind all men in all circumstances at all times.
Saint Thomas a Becket would not do the bidding of King Henry II.
Saints John Fisher and Thomas More and the other English Martyrs, both under Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, would not do the bidding of the English Protestant revolutionaries.
Saint John Nepumocene would not reveal the confession of the queen to King Wenceslaus IV.
Countless numbers of men and women gave their lives in defense of the Faith in the French Revolution.
Countless numbers of men and women gave their lives in defense of the Faith in Ireland in the wake of the English Protestant Revolution.
Countless numbers of men and women gave their lives in defense of the Faith in Mexico in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, including Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J., who would not yield to the the threats of the Masonic revolutionaries in Mexico in 1927, exclaiming "Viva Cristo Rey" as the bullets pierced his flesh on November 23 of that year. (See (see Then, Now and Always: Viva Cristo Rey!, part one, Then, Now and Always: Viva Cristo Rey!, part two, Then, Now and Always: Viva Cristo Rey!, part three, Then, Now And Always: Viva Cristo Rey!, part four and Then, Now And Always: Viva Cristo Rey!, part five.)
Countless numbers of men and women gave their lives in defense of the Faith at the hands of the Nazis and the Soviets.
The late Ignatius Cardinal Kung would not yield to the tortures of the Red Chinese Communists in 1956, pronouncing the words, "Long live Christ the King! Long live the Pope!" at a dog track stadium in Shanghai before he was taken away for over thirty years of imprisonment.
On September 8, 1955, the press around the world reported in shock the
overnight arrest of Bishop Kung along with more than 200 priests and Church
leaders in Shanghai. Months after his arrest, he was taken out to a mob
"struggle session" in the old Dog Racing stadium in Shanghai. Thousands were
ordered to attend and to hear the Bishop's public confession of his "crimes."
With his hands tied behind his back, wearing a Chinese pajama suit, the 5-foot
tall bishop was pushed forward to the microphone to confess. To the shock of
the security police, they heard a righteous loud cry of "Long live Christ the
King, Long live the Pope" from the Bishop. The crowd responded immediately,
"Long live Christ the King, Long live Bishop Kung". Bishop Kung was quickly
dragged away to the police car and disappeared from the world until he was
brought to trial in 1960. Bishop Kung was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The night before he was brought to trial, the Chief Prosecutor asked once
again for his cooperation to lead the independent church movement and to
establish the Chinese Patriotic Association. His answer was: "I am a Roman
Catholic Bishop. If I denounce the Holy Father, not only would I not be a
Bishop, I would not even be a Catholic. You can cut off my head, but you can
never take away my duties." (Biography of Bishop Ignatius Kung.)
While there have been a few prelates now and again in the history of the United States who have stood up to the unjust exercise of civil power, the sad reality of our situation in this country is that, as Mrs. Randy Engel relates time and again in The Rite of Sodomy, is that our prelates have surrendered to the dictates of the rich and the powerful, as Francis Cardinal Spellman did throughout his corrupt clerical career, doing so in a pernicious way in 1960 as he undermined the efforts of bishops in Puerto Rico to oppose a population control program in that Commonwealth (see Understanding a Cesspool of Corruption).
One other vignette, among the many stories of betrayal found in Mrs. Engel's book, demonstrates the well-documented willingness of the American bishops to do the bidding of the anti-Catholic leftists in the Democrat Party in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
Describing the scene when Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, the Holy See's Secretary of State, was visiting the United States in 1936, Mrs. Engel wrote:
The cardinal's immediate entourage included Spellman's devoted friends Sister Pascalina and Count Galeazzi. The threesome drew up the cardinal-diplomat's social agenda that was used to disguise the real reason for Pacelli's visit to the United States, a secret meeting with President Roosevelt in Hyde Park, N.Y., to resolve several pressing political and diplomatic issues. First, came the matter of appointing an American ambassador to the Vatican. Second, the silence of Father Charles Coughlin, the famous "Radio Priest" of the shrine of the Little Flower Church in Royal Oaks, Mich., one of Roosevelt's most vocal and effective critics. Subsequent events suggest that th issue of Vatican-Soviet relations was also discussed. Bishop Spellman [then an Auxiliary Bishop of Boston] had already met with the President at Hyde Park on September 28 to lay the groundwork for Pacelli's diplomatic mission.
Spellman's public itinerary for Pacelli included visits to Inisfada, the Brady's sumptuous estate on Long Island, and Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. South Bend, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Paul, Cincinnati, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. Patrick Cardinal Hayes of New York was left out in the cold.
While in Boston, Pacelli's entourage visited Auxiliary Bishop Spellman's beautiful palatial residence in Whitman. Sr. Pascalina wondered where the money came from to build such an edifice. Once inside, the nun wandered to the first floor bathroom that Spellman had designed himself. It was done in Venetian black marble with lilac fixtures and ceiling-to-floor mirrors throughout. Pascalina asked Spellman the meaning of it all, and when she received no reply from him, she wagged her finger at him and said, "Naughty, naughty, Bishop Spellman!" The nun did not know how close she was to the truth.
By the time Pacelli left for Rome in early November, the problem of Father Charles Coughlin had been resolved to President Roosevelt's satisfaction. The "Radio Priest" quit the airways on November 8 and returned to his life as a pastor. The question of U.S. formal representation at the Holy See remained open. And Bishop Francis J. Spellman had become a household name. (pp. 640-641)
Father Charles Coughlin's tongue was not cut out as happened in the case of Saint John Nepumocene. However, he was silenced just as though his tongue had been cut off. Silenced as a result of the efforts of church officials, including Cardinal Pacelli, sad to note, to please a thirty-third degree Mason by the name of Franklin Roosevelt. What the Talmudic Jews could not effect, the silencing of Father Coughlin, was accomplished by a cardinal and a bishop eager to please a wicked man who desired to foment a "voluntary" sterilization program upon the Puerto Rican people.
Richard Cardinal Cushing, the enablers of the Kennedys, danced to the tune of Herod and Herodias throughout his own corrupt clerical career of Americanism. He refused in 1965 to oppose efforts by a young state legislator named Michael S. Dukakis to repeal the Commonwealth of Massachusetts's laws against the distribution of birth control pills and devices:
"Early in the summer of 1965, the Massachusetts legislature took up a proposal to repeal the state's Birth Control law, which barred the use of contraceptives. . . . In a state where Catholics constituted a voting majority, and dominated the legislature, the prospects for repeal appeared remote. Then on June 22, Cardinal Cushing appeared on a local radio program, 'An Afternoon with Haywood Vincent,' and effectively scuttled the opposition. Cardinal Cushing announced: 'My position in this matter is that birth control in accordance with artificial means is immoral, and not permissible. But this is Catholic teaching. I am also convinced that I should not impose my position upon those of other faiths'. Warming to the subject, the cardinal told his radio audience that 'I could not in conscience approve the legislation' that had been proposed. However, he quickly added, 'I will make no effort to impose my opinion upon others.' So there it was: the 'personally opposed' argument, in fully developed form, enunciated by a Prince of the Church nearly 40 years ago! Notice how the unvarying teaching of the Catholic Church, which condemned artificial contraception as an offense against natural law, is reduced here to a matter of the cardinal's personal belief. And notice how he makes no effort to persuade legislators with the force of his arguments; any such effort is condemned in advance as a bid to 'impose' his opinion. Cardinal Cushing conceded that in the past, Catholic leaders had opposed any effort to alter the Birth Control law. 'But my thinking has changed on that matter,' he reported, 'for the simple reason that I do not see where I have an obligation to impose my religious beliefs on people who just do not accept the same faith as I do'. . . . Before the end of his fateful radio broadcast, Cardinal Cushing gave his advice to the Catholic members of the Massachusetts legislature: 'If your constituents want this legislation, vote for it. You represent them. You don't represent the Catholic Church.' Dozens of Catholic legislators did vote for the bill, and the Birth Control law was abolished. Perhaps more important in the long run, the 'personally opposed' politician had his rationale." (Catholic World News, 2004, quoted in Restoring Christ as the King of All Nations.)
"I do not see where I have an obligation to impose my religious beliefs on people who just do not accept the same faith as I do"? If that is not proof positive of the direct, harmful influence of the Americanist spirit upon the life of the Church in the United States of American, then I am at a loss as to what will convince otherwise sound traditional Catholics that such a harmful influence has existed from the beginning and will continue to wreak havoc in this country as long as the Social Reign of Christ the King is not proclaimed as an absolute imperative for the right ordering of men and their societies.
Pope Leo XIII's Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, reminded Catholics that we cannot be one thing in private and yet another in public:
Hence, lest concord be broken by rash charges, let this be understood by all, that the integrity of Catholic faith cannot be reconciled with opinions verging on naturalism or rationalism, the essence of which is utterly to do away with Christian institutions and to install in society the supremacy of man to the exclusion of God. Further, it is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private life and another in public, respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it; for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point nor in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue.
(Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
Pope Leo XIII also spelled out the necessity of Catholics opposing state-sponsored evils, making this very clear in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
But with what bitterness and in how many guises war has been waged against the Church it would be ill-timed now to urge. From the fact that it has been vouchsafed to human reason to snatch from nature, through the investigations of science, many of her treasured secrets and to apply them befittingly to the divers requirements of life, men have become possessed with so arrogant a sense of their own powers as already to consider themselves able to banish from social life the authority and empire of God. Led away by this delusion, they make over to human nature the dominion of which they think God has been despoiled; from nature, they maintain, we must seek the principle and rule of all truth; from nature, they aver, alone spring, and to it should be referred, all the duties that religious feeling prompts. Hence, they deny all revelation from on high, and all fealty due to the Christian teaching of morals as well as all obedience to the Church, and they go so far as to deny her power of making laws and exercising every other kind of right, even disallowing the Church any place among the civil institutions of the commonweal. These men aspire unjustly, and with their might strive, to gain control over public affairs and lay hands on the rudder of the State, in order that the legislation may the more easily be adapted to these principles, and the morals of the people influenced in accordance with them. Whence it comes to pass that in many countries Catholicism is either openly assailed or else secretly interfered with, full impunity being granted to the most pernicious doctrines, while the public profession of Christian truth is shackled oftentimes with manifold constraints.
Under such evil circumstances therefore, each one is bound in conscience to watch over himself, taking all means possible to preserve the faith inviolate in the depths of his soul, avoiding all risks, and arming himself on all occasions, especially against the various specious sophisms rife among non-believers. In order to safeguard this virtue of faith in its integrity, We declare it to be very profitable and consistent with the requirements of the time, that each one, according to the measure of his capacity and intelligence, should make a deep study of Christian doctrine, and imbue his mind with as perfect a knowledge as may be of those matters that are interwoven with religion and lie within the range of reason. And as it is necessary that faith should not only abide untarnished in the soul, but should grow with ever painstaking increase, the suppliant and humble entreaty of the apostles ought constantly to be addressed to God: "Increase our faith.''
But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: "Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.'' To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world." Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.
The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent. (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)
Spellman and Cushing, each in their own ways, laid the groundwork that would be employed by Senators Edward Moore Kennedy and Joseph Biden in the immediate aftermath of Roe v. Wade. Spellman's and Cushing's "can't impose my opinion" on others line was further refined and developed by then United States Representative Hugh Leo Carey (D-Brooklyn, New York) when he ran for Governor of the State of New York in 1974. And it was Carey who convinced a forty-two year old attorney from Brooklyn—a man who had stated in his failed campaign to win the Democratic Party nomination for lieutenant governor that year that he would have voted against the law that permitted baby-killing in the first trimester in New York in 1970—to adopt the "personally opposed to abortion but can't impose my morality" line when he ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of the City of New York in 1977.
That man was Mario Matthew Cuomo, who actually did say in a televised debate in Albany, New York, in August of 1974 that he would have voted against the 1970 law permitting baby-killing in New York if he had been a member of the state legislature then. (Interestingly, Carey repented of his pro-abortion views in 1990, although he continued to support pro-abortion candidates until the time of his death on Cuomo has yet to do so, and his son, Andrew Mark Cuomo, is even more militant pro-abortion and pro-perversity than he had been while in office). Cushing's legacy can be seen today in the person of United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry (People's Republic of Massachusetts), who is as yet an unrepentant support of abortion and who received what purported to be Holy Communion at the staging of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service on the occasion of the installation of Donald Wuerl as conciliarism's successor to Theodore Cardinal McCarrick as the conciliar "archbishop" Washington, District of Columbia on May 8, 2011, the Feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel.
Many, although certainly not all, American bishops danced to the tune of Herod and Herodias from the very foundation of this nation. A nation that is founded on the lies of Protestantism and Freemasonry is going to prove harmful to the right ordering of men and their societies as long as Catholics, starting with bishops and priests, do not recognize the imperative to place themselves and their country under the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Queen. We must always keep in mind two key passages of Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei, which contain words that are either true or untrue of their very nature:
1) "To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the power of making laws, from the training of youth, from domestic society, is a grave and fatal error." (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
Is this statement true? Is this statement universally and eternally true? If it is, then it applies to the United States of America and its whole governmental system, explaining why Pope Leo XIII was so worried about the influence of the Americanist ethos upon all Catholics, including bishops and priests. A country that excludes the true Church from its organic documents is doomed to disorder and chaos. Doomed.
2) "To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God."
(Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
Is this statement true? Is this statement universally and eternally true? If it is, then it applies quite specifically to the false and terminal nature of the founding of this nation. Has not religious indifferentism—or the Judeo-Masonic variant thereof that contends that anything to do with "God" is a matter of personal opinion and best left to private discussion while we find some common ground as brothers to build social order and international peace—been at the very root of the problems of modernity? Is not a specific and categorical rejection of the absolute necessity of belief in the Incarnation and Our Lord's Redemptive Act on the wood of the Cross, to say nothing of the entirety of the Deposit of Faith He has entrusted solely to the Catholic Church, fatal to any and all civil societies?
Saint John the Baptist teaches us that we are not to dance to the tunes of Herod and Herodias. We are not to worship before the false god of the American Constitution. We are not to deify the Protestants and Masons who wrote that document. We are not to keep silent about our Catholic Faith in the public realm. We are not to seek worldly positions that demand of us silence about the Holy Faith in exchange for their acquisition and retention. We must have the courage and the eloquence of the martyrs, starting with Saint John the Baptist himself, in resisting the Herods and Heriodiases of our own day, thus openly defending the fullness of the Catholic Faith as the only basis for personal and social order. Our Lord really did mean it when he said:
For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? (Matthew 16: 26)
How sad it is to note, therefore, that most of the world's bishops in the conciliar structures today, including the members of the thoroughly misnamed United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have more in common with Herod the Tetrarch and with the enemies of the Faith over the centuries than they do with Saint John the Baptist and with their own predecessors, the Apostles and their successors in the episcopate. Most of the conciliar "bishops" in the United States of America, for example, believe that it is inopportune, imprudent, unpastoral or otherwise bad form to boldly proclaim truths in order to defend the integrity of the Holy Faith, including the integrity of what they think is the Most Blessed Sacrament, a result of the sacramentally barren nature of the conciliar liturgical rites and of its apostate doctrines. Thus we find men who think themselves to be Successors of the Apostles tripping all over themselves to curry favor with the rich and powerful.
No, this is not a new phenomenon, to be sure. There were plenty of examples of bishops who did the bidding of corrupt rulers in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, many more who did so in the aftermath of the Protestant Revolt (men who held their tongues in the fear that a rebuke to a public official might lose a particular country to the forces of Protestantism, as Father Fahey notes so well in The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World.).
What is new, however, is that the counterfeit church of conciliarism's very false theology and invalid liturgical rites embrace a false spirit of an "opening up to the world", thus feeding the natural tendency of human beings to refrain from doing that which is difficult, especially as it pertains to the defense of the Faith and the proper formation of souls unto eternity, in order to maintain peace and a sense of "respectability." A whole legion of men who dance to the tunes of Herod and Herodias in the conciliar hierarchy, therefore, has thus been created by the very ambiance of the counterfeit religion created by conciliarism in the past fifty-five years. These dancers to the tunes of Herod and Herodias are men who enable by silence and by public praise public officials who are at war with everything contained in the Deposit of Faith and thus everything that is necessary for the right ordering of souls and of societies.
Bishops must be willing to lose their heads to defend the truths of the Holy Faith.
So must we, obviously.
Bishops, however, have a special obligation by virtue of their possessing the fullness of the priesthood to bear a visible, courageous witness to the Holy Faith so as to inspire and embolden the faithful themselves to do so in every aspect of their own lives. Upon their immortal souls rests the eternal salvation of everyone who lives within the boundaries of their episcopal jurisdiction, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. If they do not see in Saint John the Baptist and the Apostles and the martyrs who came from the ranks of the episcopate and the priesthood their own examples and models of how to deal firmly with public scandal and with laws that are at variance with the laws of God and the rights of His Holy Church, then they are likely to be numbered in history among the largely anonymous vipers who went along with Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer in England four hundred seventy-eight years ago, to say nothing of those American bishops who did the bidding of their American paymasters while turning a blind eye to the pleas of the Cristeros in the Mexico, who were being rounded up and massacred. Many faithful bishops and priests were crucified on telephone and telegraph poles (and/or strung to the telephone or telegraph wires themselves).
Saint John the Baptist did not curry favor with the rich and the powerful. He did not seek an "opening" up to the spirit of the world. He sought to confront evil and to denounce it as he called sinners, including those among the high and the mighty, to repentance. With a very few exceptions, his like is not to be found in the conciliar structures today. The "bishops" in the conciliar structures have made their accommodation with the "spirit of the world" and are more likely to denounce say, an "evil" sedevacantist than they are a William Jefferson Blythe Clinton or a George Walker Bush (how many of these "bishops" denounced the Food and Drug Administration's decision in 2006 to permit over-the-counter sales of the abortifacient "Plan B" contraceptive?). Indeed, there are some conciliar "bishops" in the United States of America have kept pretty mute about Barack Hussein Obama's "mandate" that all employers, including religious institutions, provide health-insurance coverage for "family planning services." Many conciliar American "bishops" are, truth be told, complete supporters of Barack Hussein Obama and his administration filled to the rafters with pro-aborts. After all, they are concerned about the "poor" just as Jorge Mario Bergoglio is. right?
Let us never forget that the conciliar "bishops" who dance to the dune of Herod and Herodias in our time, such as the now-retired Roger "Cardinal Mahony, are merely the immediate successors of the late John Cardinal Dearden, in whose Archdiocese of Detroit Call to Action started, and the late Joseph "Cardinal" Bernardin, who invented the "consistent ethic of life" (seamless garment) to provide a cover for Catholics to vote for pro-abortion Catholic politicians with impunity. Even those more recent exemplars of dancing to the tunes of Herod and Herodias are but the mere inheritors of the sad legacy of Francis Cardinal Spellman and Richard Cardinal Cushing and John Carroll and John Ireland and Martin J. Spalding and John Lancaster Spalding and James Cardinal Gibbons, among many others, Americanists and accommodationists each and every single one of them. The legacy of Americanism, as has been pointed out time and time again on this site, has indeed led to the apostasy of conciliarism.
Suffice it for our present purposes to re-state the simple truth that the Incarnation matters. The Redemption matters. The Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entrusted to the true Church matters. Sanctifying Grace matters in the souls of individual believers. Its absence from large numbers of souls of citizens in a pluralistic country consigns that country to all manner of decadence and violence, both physical and spiritual. It is only Our Lady, the Patroness of this country under the title of her Immaculate Conception and the Patroness of the Americans under her title as Our Lady of Guadalupe, who can save us from the false belief that it is possible to organize ourselves individually and collectively without publicly acknowledging her Son as our King and herself as our loving Queen.
We must pray to Our Lady that conciliarism, which has indeed danced to the tune of Herod and Herodias as it has opened itself up to the "world," will be sent into the dustbin of history sooner rather than later, that we will be sent a pope who will indeed obey her Fatima Message and thus restore Tradition in the Church and Christendom in the world. As the consecrated slaves o Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, to which we have paid such homage and devotion in this month of August that is now drawing to a close, may we persevere in our Rosaries and acts of penance and mortification and almsgiving so that we, like Saint John the Baptist before us, will be ready to lose our heads, quite literally if need be, rather than submit to the falsehoods of anyone, whether ecclesiastical or civil, who wants to extract from us obedience to them rather than to God Himself as He has revealed Himself solely through the Catholic Church.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, 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.
Saint Sabina, pray for us.