Thomas A. Droleskey
Americanism, as a species of naturalism and an essential cornerstone and building block of Modernism, played a major role in destroying the sensus Catholicus of ordinary Catholics long before the dawning of the age of conciliarism with the "election" of Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII on October 28, 1958, as the first in the reign of antipopes who have conducted their own spiritual reign of terror that has resulted in a further deconstruction of the sensus Catholicus on the part of most Catholics throughout the world in the past fifty-one years. That is, most Catholics in the United States of America even prior to the revolutions wrought by the "Second" Vatican Council accepted the false, naturalistic, religiously indifferentist, anti-Incarnational and semi-Pelagian principles of the American founding as perfectly compatible with, if not an perfect expression of, our Catholic Faith (for my most recent treatment of Americanism, see
As Incoherent as the Founding Itself).
Thus it is that the theological underbelly of Catholics in the United States of America was softened by the time that the the conciliarists began to attack the Faith during the false "pontificate" of Roncalli/John XXIII. Having grown accustomed to the emotionalism and sentimentality of a country steeped in one naturalist lie after another, many, although not all, Catholics in this country prior to the "Second" Vatican Council were at "peace" with a rather blithe acceptance of at least a practical spirit of religious indifferentism by believing that it really didn't make much of a difference what their neighbors believed as long as they were "good" people. It was also the case that most Catholics in the years prior to the "Second" Vatican Council were merry, happy and uncritical participants in almost every aspect of the popular culture without thinking too terribly much about the harm that was being promoted by the lords of the entertainment industry, most of whom were people who denied the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Yes, the Legion of Decency and the American bishops did keep the motion picture industry somewhat in check for about twenty years, from the time of the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s. Most Catholics did indeed refuse to go to motion pictures condemned by the Legion of Decency. This is all very true. Unfortunately, however, Catholics in the 1920s and 1930s and 1940s had gotten into the habit of going to see movies and sporting events as their spent most of their nights listening to the radio, immersing themselves more and more in a world of naturalism as network television programming debuted in the late-1940s. Many Catholics in the United States of America, including yours truly (!), became captives of network television programming, organizing their lives around their favorite shows, oblivious to the fact that even the inoffensive programming of the 1950s was harmful in that it reinforced the naturalism of everyday American life, particularly as it reinforced the belief that "we" are more or less self-redemptive, that "we" can solve whatever problems that come our way without belief in, access to or cooperation with Sanctifying Grace, which is of the essence of semi-Pelagianism. And even I Love Lucy had a social agenda as Lucille Ricardo pranced around her apartment in slacks, helping to convince many Catholic women to wear masculine attire on a regular basis.
The passivity engendered by the television watching of the 1950s emboldened network programmers to "push the envelope" in the 1960s as occult/New Age themes were promoted in the wrapping of "comedy" (Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, My Mother the Car). The bigot Archie Bunker became the foil of "traditional" values in All in the Family as producer Norman Lear used the fictional Bunker as the means to promote one nefarious "cause" after another, including perversity.
Indeed, the (the ninth episode of the first season of All in the Family, "Judging Books By Covers," featured character actor Philip Carey as the hero of Bunker's high school football team who came out of the "closet," much to Bunker's dismay. Lear also used the All in the Family spin-off, Maude, to promote abortion as that program's title character, Maude Findlay, played by the late Beatrice Arthur, decided to kill the baby she was carrying at age forty-seven. That two-part episode of Maude, "Maude's Dilemma," broadcast on November 14 and 21, 1972, just days after the American Broadcasting Company had aired a groundbreaking made-for-television motion picture, That Certain Summer, on November 1, 1972, that featured actors Hal Holbrook and Martin Sheen playing characters who were in "love" with each other.
It was just five years later, in 1977, that the same American Broadcasting Company debuted a weekly television series, Three's Company, featuring a man who pretended to be steeped in perversity so that he could cohabit in the same apartment with two single women to whom he was not related, thus helping to mainstream cohabitation as "no big deal." The ensuing thirty-two years have seen the televising of all manner of straight-forward, undisguised evil on both the broadcast and cable networks. Michael Dunn, the primetime programming director for the Columbia Broadcasting Company from 1963 to 1970, predicted after he was replaced by Fred Silverman that there would be full exposure of human bodies on network television programs within several decades, a prediction that, sadly, proved to be all to accurate.
The FOX Network, which was started by the "papally"-knighted thirty-third degree Freemason, Rupert Murdoch, has been a particular aggressive in its promotion of coarse, lewd, obscene, vile, vulgar, crude and even blasphemous programming. Large numbers of Catholics have accepted this descent into barbarism as they have invited the devil himself into their living rooms and bedrooms and kitchens night after night after night by means of the cultural tabernacle, the television, around which so many millions upon millions of people organize their lives and upon which so many millions upon millions depend t know what to "think" or, more accurately, how to "feel" about moral issues.
Pope after pope tried to warn Catholics of the simple truth that the effort to use popular culture to promote licentiousness was one of the chief aims of Judeo-Masonry. Pope Leo XIII was very explicit about the effort of Freemasons and other naturalists to use the means of mass communications then extant in 1884 (theatrical productions, dime-store novels, magazines) to entice the young and old alike into lives of immorality:
Wherefore we see that men are publicly tempted by the many allurements of pleasure; that there are journals and pamphlets with neither moderation nor shame; that stage-plays are remarkable for license; that designs for works of art are shamelessly sought in the laws of a so-called verism; that the contrivances of a soft and delicate life are most carefully devised; and that all the blandishments of pleasure are diligently sought out by which virtue may be lulled to sleep. Wickedly, also, but at the same time quite consistently, do those act who do away with the expectation of the joys of heaven, and bring down all happiness to the level of mortality, and, as it were, sink it in the earth. Of what We have said the following fact, astonishing not so much in itself as in its open expression, may serve as a confirmation. For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring. (Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884.)
Pope Pius XI warned parents to protect their children from the means of mass communication, which by 1929 included the motion picture, that would lead them into the near occasions of sin and thus into lives of sin itself:
More than ever nowadays an extended and careful vigilance is necessary, inasmuch as the dangers of moral and religious shipwreck are greater for inexperienced youth. Especially is this true of impious and immoral books, often diabolically circulated at low prices; of the cinema, which multiplies every kind of exhibition; and now also of the radio, which facilitates every kind of communications. These most powerful means of publicity, which can be of great utility for instruction and education when directed by sound principles, are only too often used as an incentive to evil passions and greed for gain. St. Augustine deplored the passion for the shows of the circus which possessed even some Christians of his time, and he dramatically narrates the infatuation for them, fortunately only temporary, of his disciple and friend Alipius. How often today must parents and educators bewail the corruption of youth brought about by the modern theater and the vile book! (Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1930.)
Pope Pius XI used Vigilanti Cura, June 29, 1936, to explain that the motion picture, which, like any form of communication, can be used for good or for evil, contained particular dangers as the minds of men are numbed by images and sounds that are intended to make ordinarily palatable scenes that extol vice so that they will become desensitized to said vice to such an extent that they will think little of participating in evil acts after those acts have been portrayed so sympathetically in the cinema:
There is no need to point out the fact that millions of people go to the motion pictures every day; that motion picture theatres are being opened in ever increasing number in civilized and semi-civilized countries; that the motion picture has become the most popular form of diversion which is offered for the leisure hours not only of the rich but of all classes of society.
At the same time, there does not exist today a means of influencing the masses more potent than the cinema. The reason for this is to be sought for in the very nature of the pictures projected upon the screen, in the popularity of motion picture plays, and in the circumstances which accompany them.
The power of the motion picture consists in this, that it speaks by means of vivid and concrete imagery which the mind takes in with enjoyment and without fatigue. Even the crudest and most primitive minds which have neither the capacity nor the desire to make the efforts necessary for abstraction or deductive reasoning are captivated by the cinema. In place of the effort which reading or listening demands, there is the continued pleasure of a succession of concrete and, so to speak, living pictures.
This power is still greater in the talking picture for the reason that interpretation becomes even easier and the charm of music is added to the action of the drama. Dances and variety acts which are sometimes introduced between the films serve to increase the stimulation of the passions.
It must be Elevated
Since then the cinema is in reality a sort of object lesson which, for good or for evil, teaches the majority of men more effectively than abstract reasoning, it must be elevated to conformity with the aims of a Christian conscience and saved from depraving and demoralizing effects.
Everyone knows what damage is done to the soul by bad motion pictures. They are occasions of sin; they seduce young people along the ways of evil by glorifying the passions; they show life under a false light; they cloud ideals; they destroy pure love, respect for marriage, affection for the family. They are capable also of creating prejudices among individuals and misunderstandings among nations, among social classes, among entire races.
On the other hand, good motion pictures are capable of exercising a profoundly moral influence upon those who see them. In addition to affording recreation, they are able to arouse noble ideals of life, to communicate valuable conceptions, to impart a better knowledge of the history and the beauties of the Fatherland and of other countries, to present truth and virtue under attractive forms, to create, or at least to favour understanding among nations, social classes, and races, to champion the cause of justice, to give new life to the claims of virtue, and to contribute positively to the genesis of a just social order in the world.
It Speaks not to Individuals but to Multitudes
These considerations take on greater seriousness from the fact that the cinema speaks not to individuals but to multitudes, and that it does so in circumstances of time and place and surroundings which are most apt to arouse unusual enthusiasm for the good as well as for the bad and to conduce to that collective exaltation which, as experience teaches us, may assume the most morbid forms.
The motion picture is viewed by people who are seated in a dark theatre and whose faculties, mental, physical, and often spiritual, are relaxed. One does not need to go far in search of these theatres: they are close to the home, to the church, and to the school and they thus bring the cinema into the very centre of popular life.
Moreover, stories and actions are presented, through the cinema, by men and women whose natural gifts are increased by training and embellished by every known art, in a manner which may possibly become an additional source of corruption, especially to the young. Further, the motion picture has enlisted in its service luxurious appointments, pleasing music, the vigour of realism, every form of whim and fancy. For this very reason, it attracts and fascinates particularly the young, the adolescent, and even the child. Thus at the very age when the moral sense is being formed and when the notions and sentiments of justice and rectitude, of duty and obligation and of ideals of life are being developed, the motion picture with its direct propaganda assumes a position of commanding influence.
It is unfortunate that, in the present state of affairs, this influence is frequently exerted for evil. So much so that when one thinks of the havoc wrought in the souls of youth and of childhood, of the loss of innocence so often suffered in the motion picture theatres, there comes to mind the terrible condemnation pronounced by Our Lord upon the corrupters of little ones: "whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones who believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone be hanged about his neck and that he be drowned in the depths of the sea".
Pope Pius XI's warnings about he evils inherent in motion picture productions seventy-three years ago are even more relevant today. Unfortunately, however, the Legion of Decency has been replaced by an office within the bureaucracy of the conciliar "bishops" of the United States of America whose chief reviewer has praised motion pictures that exalt various forms of immorality, including the infamous Brokeback Mountain, which was praised also by the nefarious conciliar "archbishop" of San Francisco, George Niederauer. Catholics attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism have lost the direction that is needed to protect their immortal souls as their "shepherds," such as they are, do not, at least for the most part, speak out against the vile nature of television programming and motion picture productions.
Only on very, very rare occasions do conciliar "shepherds issue warnings to their sheep to refrain from subsidizing productions that promote sin and contain endless blasphemies against the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Can any one of us imagine Our Lord Himself plucking down whatever amount of money that it now costs to attend the showing of a motion picture to have his holy ears and eyes polluted by images and sounds that promote the very thing, sin, that caused Him to suffer once in time during His Passion and Death to listen passively as His Holy Name and that of His Most Blessed Mother are taken in vain repeatedly?
Then again, the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service is in and of itself a blasphemous offense against the honor and glory of God and against the integrity of the Deposit of Faith. It has become in many parts of the world, including many parts of the United States of America, nothing other than a liturgical stage show replete with bizarre antics that come straight from the devil and are designed to lead souls to Hell for all eternity. The soft underbelly created by Americanism made Catholics all too receptive for the profanations of conciliarism, especially as they are expressed liturgically in the Novus Ordo service.
This is what I wrote just about two years ago in Neglected Naturalists:
This has all changed, partly as a result of cultural forces and partly as a result of conciliarism's embrace of the world. How can Catholics resist the pressures of the world when they are told from the pulpit by "priests" in perfectly good canonical standing in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism that they can watch television programs and motion pictures that blaspheme Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother, that contain the crudest vulgarities and profanities imaginable, that display immorality favorably and in the most graphic of details, that, in other words, promote the very thing that caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and which caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be pierce through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow: sin? Catholic have been told by many of their conciliar "clergy" to plunge into the world, to dress like everyone else, even at what purports to be an offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Ah, herein lies the rub: the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service has enshrined the spirit of the world in the name of many false slogans (Aggiornamento, inculturation of the Gospel). A "liturgy" that becomes an egalitarian, worldly spectacle, incorporation "rock music" and other bizarre elements. is going to reaffirm people in their immersion in the world. Those who resist the world will be deemed Jansenists or Manicheans or simply crazy traditionalists who don't like to have "fun." The Novus Ordo has ended the resistance that Catholics once had to at least some elements of the popular culture that is so steeped in naturalism. The situation is so bad that a "priest" in Waco, Texas, last year appeared at a local Hooter's restaurant to bless its opening! Not a thing happened to this "priest." Not a thing. How can Catholics in the conciliar structures be expected to stay out of places of immodesty and wretched "music" when their "priests" bless the joints?
The madness of incorporating elements from pagan religions and cultures into the Novus Ordo service, a madness that Saint Hyacinth would have sought to cure by calling the demons out of the conciliar churches, is so out of control that Mr. Barry Ahern, who is from Nova Scotia (Acadia), Canada, told us recently the the Indians of Acadia had to "learn" from Hollywood how to dance and pray like their pagan ancestors, having forgotten all of this false, diabolical worship over the centuries as they practiced something called the Catholic Faith in the context of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. These Indians of Acadia (and elsewhere) had to learn the long forgotten pagan ceremonies in order to incorporate them into the Novus Ordo, one of the two forms of the "one" Roman Rite, right? (Where have some people put their Catholic brains? Two forms of the one Roman Rite? Kind of makes you think that Joseph Ratzinger has sprayed some traditionally-minded Catholics with Professor Pepperwinkle's patented Anti-Memory spray from The Adventures of Superman.)
Joseph Ratzinger himself said that the "Second" Vatican Council had not only made a "reconciliation with the principles of 1789" but that it represented an end to the "ghetto mentality" of Catholics separating themselves from the world, a veritable razing of the bastions, as he wrote in Principles of Catholic Theology. Behold the rotten fruit of plunging ourselves into the world, of razing the bastions of the Church, something that Pope Pius VIII warned about quite specifically in Traditi Humilitati Nostrae, May 24, 1829:
Although God may console Us with you, We are nonetheless sad. This is due to the numberless errors and the teachings of perverse doctrines which, no longer secretly and clandestinely but openly and vigorously, attack the Catholic faith. You know how evil men have raised the standard of revolt against religion through philosophy (of which they proclaim themselves doctors) and through empty fallacies devised according to natural reason. In the first place, the Roman See is assailed and the bonds of unity are, every day, being severed. The authority of the Church is weakened and the protectors of things sacred are snatched away and held in contempt. The holy precepts are despised, the celebration of divine offices is ridiculed, and the worship of God is cursed by the sinner. All things which concern religion are relegated to the fables of old women and the superstitions of priests. Truly lions have roared in Israel. With tears We say: "Truly they have conspired against the Lord and against His Christ." Truly the impious have said: "Raze it, raze it down to its foundations."
It should come as no surprise at all, therefore, that Gian Maria Vian's L'Osservatore Romano, which has praised The Beatles, Barack Hussein Obama and John Calvin all in a space of but eight months, has endorsed the latest entry in the Harry Potter motion picture series based on the diabolical novels written by J.K. Rowling:
The Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, has given a warm review to "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,'' praising the film for its “clear line of demarcation between good and evil, making clear that good is right, and that in some cases this involves hard work and sacrifices.”
It must be said that much of the past Christian criticism over the Potter series has come from evangelical Protestants, who have focused on its positive representation of sorcery and witchcraft. But the Catholic Church has produced its share of Potter critics, including not only a Wakefield priest who pulled Potter books from his parish school library, but also the current pope, Benedict XVI, who in 2003 (before he was pope) wrote a supportive letter to a critic of the Potter series, declaring, "It is good that you enlighten us on the Harry Potter matter, for these are subtle, barely perceptible seductions, and precisely because of that they have a profound effect and can corrupt the Christian faith in souls even before it (faith) is able to properly grow."
There has also been plenty of support for the Potter series from Christian writers -- Catholic and Protestant -- who have focused, as the current Vatican review does, on the series's depiction of the battle of good versus evil, and on Harry's clear sense of morality. The Vatican paper itself even ran a pair of dueling analyses of Potter last year, although the critique, saying that the Potter books promote "a grave lie,'' got much of the attention.
The current enthusiastic review in the Vatican newspaper of the latest Potter film may represent a change in attitude toward popular culture -- the paper also gave a surprisingly sympathetic review to "Angels and Demons" earlier this year. Or it might simply reflect an overall change in tone, or even significance, of the newspaper, which was long viewed as a semi-official voice of the church, but which has come under increasing criticism from the Catholic right for its warm coverage of President Obama. The Catholic World News says the review is "continuing an editorial trend that has bewildered many readers and roused many critics.''
The Times of London has a field day with the Vatican rave, running a story with the headline, "Not so immoral after all,'' and listing other "religious conversions" beginning with the church's change in position about whether the earth revolves around the sun. (Vatican gives thumbs up to Harry Potter; see also Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince praised by Vatican - Telegraph.)
Leaving geocentrism aside for discussion at another time, this article from the Boston Globe certainly demonstrates the extent to which those who are already immersed in the culture welcome an endorsement from the conciliar Vatican's semi-official newspaper of the newest Harry Potter motion picture. How can any Catholic parent attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of concilairism tell their children that they cannot go to this new motion picture when it has received an endorsement from L'Osservatore Romano?
Such Catholic parents have had their parental authority and their sensus Catholicus undermined by the conciliar Vatican's semi-official newspaper, much in the same manner as right-thinking Catholic parents who have yet to find their way out of the conciliar structures have their efforts to enforce modesty of dress and decency of speech undermined time and time again by conciliar presbyters and religious women and men and by lay teachers in formerly Catholic schools now in conciliar captivity. Indeed, conflicts have been generated very frequently between children and their parents over what they learn in the conciliar schools and how they are expected to behave at home.
Some of the conflicts have pitted spouses against each other as one parent sees the danger of the popular culture and the other parent, egged on by conciliar presbyters and now by L'Osservatore Romano, wants his or her children to dress immodestly and speak indecently and listen to "rock" music and to associate with children who are immersed in the culture as everyone sits down and sells their soul to the tabernacle of death that is the television. Forty years of conciliarism's embrace of the world and almost everything in it has resulted in at least two generations of Catholics being formed almost exclusively by the popular culture rather than by the truths of Faith, including any knowledge at about--and even less interest in learning anything about--the lives of the saints. This is all truly diabolical.
Dr. Marian T. Horvat explained in simple and very understandable terms the particular harm caused by the Harry Potter novels and motion pictures:
Magic is presented as a funny thing, a game. Spells are “cool.” Books are being published on the subject, such as Spells of Teenage Witches, described by its author as “a self-help book for young people.” A witch and officer of the Pagan Federation wrote The Young Witches Handbook, which includes spells for passing school exams or attracting a partner. Apparently there is no reason for concern. No one talks about the fact that what starts as silly spells can lead to spiritual and psychological damage, and even demonic obsession or possession.
What is most dangerous about the Harry Potter novels? It is precisely this: they don’t appear dangerous. Harry Potter and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and everything is fine. The author takes very serious matters that the Catholic Church has always condemned and cautioned her children to stay far away from – magic, charms, spells, sorcery, palm-reading, Ouija boards, etc. – and treats them in a trivial, and even jesting fashion. In today’s climate, charged with invitations to experiment with the occult, it is too much to open the door even an inch to the Prince of Darkness, “who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls.” Books that make sorcery and spells and charms seem so amusing and harmless are deceitful. At best, they certainly encourage children to take a smilingly tolerant New Age view of witchcraft. In my view, already that is too much.
Non liceat Christianis to even dabble in magic or sorcery, says St. Thomas Aquinas: “Man has not been entrusted with power over the demons to employ them to whatsoever purpose he will. On the contrary, it is appointed that he should wage war against the demons. Hence in no way is it lawful for man to make use of the demons’ help by compacts - either tacit or express” (II-II; q. 96, a. 3).I find it lamentable that the exorcism was taken out of the Baptismal ritual, and almost criminal that the St. Michael the Archangel prayer, which used to be recited after every Mass, has been eliminated after Novus Ordo Masses. And I think there will be many mea culpas to be made by those sophisticated parents who find critiques like this of the Harry Potter series “just too serious,” even when the author herself is warning them that her works will become increasingly dark and potentially disturbing. (Harry Potter and the Problem of Good and Evil by Marian Horvat)
A parent in the conciliar structures who attempts to use Dr. Horvat's article (and one by Michael D. O'Brien,
The Trouble of Harry Potter - Harry Potter and the Paganization of Children's Culture) now has to contend with the enthusiastic endorsement of Harry Potter by L'Osservatore Romano, which is also known as
L'Osservatore Del Naturalista and
L'Osservatore del Calvinista. A responsible Catholic parent, however, will make sure that his child will be shielded, as far as is humanly possible in cooperation 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 that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, from the rot of the popular culture and from any and all contagion by conciliarism that has made its "reconciliation" with many aspects of that popular culture. A responsible Catholic parent teaches his children to live like the saints, who abhorred anything and everything that detracted from the soul's advance to God, which is why listening to at least one of His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan's masterful sermons on the lives of the saints each day is a great family activity (see the Saints category at Traditional Catholic Sermons). We have learned so much from these sermons ourselves.
Although the false "pontiff," Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, criticized Harry Potter in a letter to a critic of the novel and motion pictures when he was the conciliar prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he will not say anything to contradict L'Osservatore Romano's endorsement of the new Harry Potter motion picture. Why not? Because Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, as a progenitor and apologist of the "Second" Vatican Council, sees no particular problem with a general embrace of the popular culture as it exists at this time and is content to leave others under him to comment on this or that motion picture or other social phenomenon.
It must be remembered also that Ratzinger/Benedict, the man who has offended the Most Holy Trinity repeatedly and grievously as he has esteemed the symbols of false religions and praised their places of false worship and their nonexistent ability to "contribute" to the building of a "better" world, personally endorsed The Nativity Story, a blasphemous motion picture that denied the doctrinal effects of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception by portraying her as a sulky, moody and rebellious teenaged girl (see Easy for Blasphemers to Endorse Blasphemy and Conciliarism's Blindness Inducing Acid). What's the big deal about L'Osservatore Romano endorsing the new Harry Potter motion picture when the false "pontiff" himself can endorse a motion picture that blasphemes Our Lady by denying the doctrinal effects of the gift of perfect integrity that was hers as a result of her Immaculate Conception that denies her Divine Maternity?
As I have pointed out in a number of recent articles, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI believes that even alleged theologians who are steeped in one error after another, including those who are Arians by denying the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, deserve to be called Christians. A man who believes such lunacy can certainly sit at his piano and pound away a few classic tunes as his own semi-official newspaper invites Catholics to turn their souls over to the devil by going to the new Harry Potter motion picture. Ratzinger/Benedict's penchant for finding "meaning" in "substitute" forms of the Faith was critiqued in a Si, Si, No, No article ten years ago:
Up to the very end of his conference, Card. Ratzinger resolutely continues on this road of agnosticism and now logically comes to the most disastrous of conclusions. He writes:
In conclusion, as we contemplate our present-day religious situation, of which I have tried to throw some light on some of its elements, we may well marvel at the fact that, after all, people still continue believing in a Christian manner, not only according to Hick's, Knitter's as well as others' substitute ways or forms, but also according to that full and joyous Faith found in the New Testament of the Church of all time.
So, there it is: For Card. Ratzinger, "Hick, Knitter, and others" who deny the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Church, His sacraments, and, in short, all of Christianity, continue "despite everything" "believing in a Christian manner," even though they do so using "substitute forms of belief"! Here, the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith leaves us wondering indeed, just what it is he means by "believing in a Christian manner."
Moreover, once the "preambula fidei" have been eliminated, that "full and joyous Faith of the Church of all time" which seems [for Card. Ratzinger] to be no different from modern-day apostasies other than by its style and total character, is utterly lacking in any rational credibility in comparison with and in relation to what he refers to as "substitute ways or forms" of faith. "How is it," Card. Ratzinger wonders, "in fact, that the Faith [the one of all time] still has a chance of success?" Answer:
I would say that it is because it finds a correspondence in man's nature…..There is, in man, an insatiable desire for the infinite. None of the answers we have sought is sufficient [but must we take his own word for it, or must we go through the exercise of experiencing all religions?]. God alone [but Whom, according to Card. Ratzinger, human reason cannot prove to be truly God], Who made Himself finite in order to shatter the bonds of our own finitude and bring us to the dimension of His infinity [...and not to redeem us from the slavery of sin?] is able to meet all the needs of our human existence.
According to this, it is therefore not objective motives based on history and reason, and thus the truth of Christianity, but only a subjective appreciation which brings us to "see" that it [Christianity] is able to satisfy the profound needs of human nature and which would explain the "success" [modernists would say the "vitality"] of the "faith" ["of all time" or in its "substitute forms," it is of but little importance]. Such, however, is not at all Catholic doctrine: this is simply modernist apologetics (cf. Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi), based on their affirmed impossibility of grasping metaphysical knowledge (or agnosticism or skepticism), which Card. Ratzinger seemed to want to shun in the first part of his address.
Now we are in a position to better understand why Card. Ratzinger has such a wide-open concept of "theology" and of "faith" that he includes everything: theology as well as heresies, faith and apostasy. On that road of denial of the human reason's ability of attaining metaphysical knowledge, a road which he continues to follow, he lacks the "means of discerning the difference between faith and non-faith" (R. Amerio, op. cit., p.340) and, consequently, theology from pseudo-theology, truth from heresy:
All theologies are nullified, because all are regarded as equivalent; the heart or kernel of religion is located in feelings or experiences, as the Modernists held at the beginning of this century (Amerio, op. cit., p.542).
We cannot see how this position of Card. Ratzinger can escape that solemn condemnation proclaimed at Vatican I: "If anyone says...that men must be brought to the Faith solely by their own personal interior experience...let him be anathema" (DB 1812). (Cardinal Ratzinger)
As sinners who have much for which to make reparation before we die, we must pray for the conversion of those who are responsible for spreading these egregious lies in the name of the Catholic Church. It is with a broken heart that sons and daughters of the Catholic Church who, despite their own sins and failings, dearly love God as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church must oppose the lies of the conciliar revolutionaries. And it is with a broken heart that sons and daughters of the Catholic Church who have been convinced that heretics cannot hold ecclesiastical office legitimately and who themselves make no concessions to conciliarism or its false shepherds look at the many missed opportunities for cooperation among fully traditional Catholics in this time of apostasy and betrayal. Oh, we need cooperation more than ever now as we focus single-mindedly on the ones who have pitted believing Catholic against believing Catholic, namely, the conciliar revolutionaries themselves, starting with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and his minions at L'Osservatore Romano, minions who will probably be fawning all over Caesar Obamus, who has just praised the "influence" of the late Joseph "Cardinal" Bernardin on his life, when he meets with the false "pontiff" this week.
We must be willing to suffer with joy and gladness and equanimity all of the sufferings and calumnies that come our way, perhaps even from those in our own families and those with whom we have been associated in the past. We must accept all manner of sufferings as the price of our own sins, considering it to be a great privilege to be castigated and scorned and misunderstood by anyone and everyone, starting with those who seek to defend the false "pontiff," Ratzinger/Benedict despite his many defections from the Catholic Faith and the many offenses he has given personally as Benedict XVI to the honor and majesty and glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
We must always remember these words of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori concerning the necessity of eschewing human respect in order to embrace the truths of the Faith and to defend what is right and just when it is being attack by heretics, especially as the honor and glory and majesty of God are being profaned:
Be attentive. Brethren, if we wish to save our souls, we must overcome human respect, and bear the little confusion which may arise from the scoffs of the enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ. "For there is a shame that bringeth sin, and there is a shame that bringeth glory and grace"-Eccl., iv. 25. If we do not suffer this confusion with patience, it will lead us into the pit of sin; but, if we submit to it for God's sake, it will obtain for us the divine grace here, and great glory hereafter. "As," says St. Gregory, "bashfulness is laudable in evil, so it is reprehensible in good"--hom. x., in Ezech.
But some of you will say: I attend to my own affairs; I wish to save my soul; why should I be persecuted? But there is no remedy; it is impossible to serve God, and not be persecuted. "The wicked loathe them that are in the right way"--Prov., xxix. 27. Sinners cannot bear the sight of the man who lives according to the Gospel, because his life is a continual censure on their disorderly conduct; and therefore they say: "Let us lie in wait for the just; because he is not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law"--Wis., ii. 12. The proud man, who seeks revenge for every insult he receives, would wish that all should avenge the offences that may be offered to him. The avaricious, who grow rich by injustice, wish that all should imitate their fraudulent practices. The drunkard wishes to see others indulge like himself, in intoxication. The immoral, who boast of their impurities, and can scarcely utter a word which does not savour of obscenity, desire that all should act and speak as they do; and those who do not imitate their conduct, they regard as mean, clownish, and intractable--as men without honour and without education. "They are of the world; therefore of the world they speak"--I. John., iv. 5. Worldlings can speak no other language than that of the world. Oh! how great is their poverty and blindness! Sin has blinded them, and therefore they speak profanely. "These things they thought, and were deceived; for their own malice blinded them"--Wis., ii, 21. . . .
Wicked friends come to you and say: "What extravagancies are those in which you indulge? Why do you not act like others? Say to them in answer: My conduct is not opposed to that of all men; there are others who lead a holy life. They are indeed few; but I will follow their example; for the Gospel says: "Many are called, but few are chosen"--Matt., xx. 16. "If", says St. John Climacus, "you wish to be saved with the few, live like the few". But, they will add, do you not see that all murmur against you. and condemn your manner of living? Let your answer be: It is enough for me, that God does not censure my conduct. Is it not better to obey God than to obey men? Such was the answer of St. Peter and St. John to the Jewish priests: "If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge yet"--Acts, iv. 19. If they ask you how you can bear an insult? or who, after submitting to it, can you appear among your equals? answer them by saying, that you are a Christian, and that it is enough for you to appear well in the eyes of God. Such should be your answer to all these satellites of Satan: you must despise all their maxims and reproaches. And when it is necessary to reprove those who make little of God's law, you must take courage and correct them publicly. "Then that sin, reprove before all"--I. Tim., v. 20. And when there is question of the divine honour, we should not be frightened by the dignity of the man who offends God; let us say to him openly: This is sinful; it cannot be done. Let us imitate the Baptist, who reproved King Herod for living his brother's wife and said to him: "It is not lawful for thee to have her"--Matt., xiv. 4. Men indeed shall regard us as fools, and turn us into derision; but, on the day of judgment they shall acknowledge that they have been foolish, and we have shall have the glory of being numbered among the saints. They shall say: "These are they whom we had some time in derision. . . . . We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour. Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints"--Wis., v. 3, 4, 5. (Sixth Sunday After Easter: On Human Respect.)
The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was celebrated yesterday, Thursday, July 16, 2009. Although the feast has come and gone, perhaps it would be good to continue to pray this Novena for the needs of Holy Mother Church and for the conversion of our country and the world to the Social Reign of Christ the King that was overthrown by the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Judeo-Masonry and by concilairism's embrace of the errors of Modernity and Modernism:
O, beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, Splendor of Heaven, holy and singular, Who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a Pure Virgin, assist me in this necessity.
O, Star of the Sea, help and protect me. Show me that Thou art my Mother.
O, Mary, conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to Thee.
Mother and Ornament of Carmel, pray for us. Virgin, Flower of Carmel, pray for us.
Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, pray for us.
Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, our Patron, pray for us.
O, Sweet Heart of Mary, be our Salvation.
We must also remember Our Lady's words to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City on December 12, 1531:
Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God. . . . Here I will show and offer my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows and will remedy and alleviate their suffering, necessities and misfortunes. . . . Listen and let it penetrate into your heart. . . . Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. So not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?
No, dear Blessed Mother. We have you. There is nothing else we need as you pray for us to your Divine Son now, and at the hour our deaths. There is nothing else we need other than for you to pray for us to remain faithful to your Divine Son without making any concessions or compromises at all to the figures of Antichrist in the counterfeit church of conciliarism or in the realm of politics and civil government. Help us to plant a few seeds for the Triumph of your Immaculate Heart as the fruit of the perfect fulfillment of your Fatima Message.
This is the situation that God has known from all eternity would befall us in our own lives at this time of salvation history. The graces won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady are sufficient for us to prosper under the crosses, whether personal or social or ecclesiastical, that we are asked to bear now. Let us lift high the Cross in our lives, thankful for each and every cross that is sent our way, understanding that the all merciful Redeemer Who shed His Most Precious Blood to redeem us wants us to plant a few seeds for the restoration of His Social Reign on earth as the fruit of the Triumph of His Most Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart. We must enfold ourselves in the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary with perfect confidence.
And today, on which is celebrated principally the Feast of Saint Alexius, we meditate on the martyrdom of the Sixteen Carmelite Sisters of Compiegne, France (whose story is appended below) who chose death rather than to compromise one little bit with the French Revolution. We must prefer death, even the white martyrdom of calumny and rejection and ostracism, than compromise one little bit with the anti-Incarnational revolutions of Modernity that have produced a culture steeped in the glorification of sin and the revolutions of Modernism that have made their "reconciliation" with Modernity in order ot escape from what Joseph Ratzinger has called a "ghetto mentality."
Let us continue to participate in His Excellency Bishop Robert McKenna's fifteen Saturdays' Rosary Crusade that has now begun. Let us also remember these words of Our Lady, who hates all heresies, to Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers to which Bishop McKenna has belonged for fifty-eight years, fifty-one of them as a priest:
"One day, through the Rosary and Scapular I will save the world."
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, 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.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Alexius, pray for us.
The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Appendix A: The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne
The French Revolution reveals the titanic struggle between good and evil. During the terror, over 40,000 Frenchmen were executed just for holding fast to the Catholic Faith and objecting to the worst excesses of the Committee of Public Safety. The blood lost in the years of 1792-1794 staggers the imagination even in the retelling and the campaign against the Church was as diabolical as it was cruel.
Contemplative religious communities had been among the first targets of the fury of the French Revolution against the Catholic Church. Less than a year from May 1789 when the Revolution began with the meeting of the Estates-General, these communities had been required by law to disband. But many of them continued in being, in hiding. Among these were the community of the Carmelite nuns of Compiegne, in northeastern France not far from Paris - the fifty-third convent in France of the Carmelite sisters who followed the reform of St. Teresa of Avila, founded in 1641, noted throughout its history for fidelity and fervor. Their convent was raided in August 1790, all the property of the sisters was seized by the government, and they were forced to discard their habits and leave their house. They divided into four groups which found lodging in four different houses all near the same church in Compiegne, and for several years they were to a large extent able to continue their religious life in secret. But the intensified surveillance and searches of the “Great Terror” revealed their secret, and in June 1794 most of them were arrested and imprisoned.
They had expected this; indeed, they had prayed for it. At some time during the summer of 1792, very likely just after the events of August 10 of that year that marked the descent into the true deeps of the Revolution, their prioress, Madeleine Lidoine, whose name in religion was Teresa in honor of the founder of their order, by all accounts a charming perceptive, and highly intelligent woman, had foreseen much of what was to come. At Easter of 1792, she told her community that, while looking through the archives she had found the account of a dream a Carmelite had in 1693. In that dream, the Sister saw the whole Community, with the exception of 2 or 3 Sisters, in glory and called to follow the Lamb. In the mind of the Prioress, this mean martyrdom and might well be a prophetic announcement of their fate.
Mother Teresa had said to her sisters: “Having meditated much on this subject, I have thought of making an act of consecration by which the Community would offer itself as a sacrifice to appease the anger of God, so that the divine peace of His Dear Son would be brought into the world, returned to the Church and the state.” The sisters discussed her proposal and all agreed to it but the two oldest, who were hesitant. But when the news of the September massacres came, mingling glorious martyrdom with apostasy, these two sisters made their choice, joining their commitment to that of the rest of the community. All made their offering; it was to be accepted.
After their lodgings were invaded again in June, their devotional objects shattered and their tabernacle trampled underfoot by a Revolutionary who told them that their place of worship should be transformed into a dog kennel, the Carmelite sisters were taken to the Conciergerie prison, where so many of the leading victims of the guillotine had been held during their last days on earth. There they composed a canticle for their martyrdom, to be sung to the familiar tune of the Marseillaise. The original still exists, written in pencil and given to one of their fellow prisoners, a lay woman who survived.
Give over our hearts to joy, the day of glory has arrived,
Far from us all weakness, seeing the standard come;
We prepare for the victory, we all march to the true conquest,
Under the flag of the dying God we run, we all seek the glory;
Rekindle our ardor, our bodies are the Lord’s,
We climb, we climb the scaffold and give ourselves back to the Victor.
O happiness ever desired for Catholics of France, To follow the wondrous road
Already marked out so often by the martyrs toward their suffering,
After Jesus with the King, we show our faith to Christians,
We adore a God of justice; as the fervent priest, the constant faithful,
Seal, seal with all their blood faith in the dying God....
Holy Virgin, our model, August queen of martyrs, deign to strengthen our zeal
And purify our desires, protect France even yet, help; us mount to Heaven,
Make us feel even in these places, the effects of your power. Sustain your children,
Submissive, obedient, dying, dying with Jesus and in our King believing.
On July 17 the sixteen sisters were brought before Fouquier-Tinville. All cases were now being disposed of within twenty-four hours as Robespierre had wished; theirs was no exception. They were charged with having received arms for the émigrés; their prioress, Sister Teresa, answered by holding up a crucifix. “Here are the only arms that we have ever had in our house.” They were charged with possessing an altar-cloth with designs honoring the old monarchy (perhaps the fleur-de-lis) and were asked to deny any attachment to the royal family. Sister Teresa responded: “If that is a crime, we are all guilty of it; you can never tear out of our hearts the attachment for Louis XVI and his family. Your laws cannot prohibit feeling; they cannot extend their empire to the affections of the soul; God alone has the right to judge them.” They were charged with corresponding with priests forced to leave the country because they would not take the constitutional oath; they freely admitted this. Finally they were charged with the catchall indictment by which any serious Catholic in France could be guillotined during the Terror: “fanaticism.” Sister Henriette, who had been Gabrielle de Croissy, challenged Fouguier-Tinvile to his face: “Citizen, it is your duty to respond to the request of one condemned; I call upon you to answer us and to tell us just what you mean by the word ‘fanatic.’” “I mean,” snapped the Public Prosecutor of the Terror, “your attachment to your childish beliefs and your silly religious practices.” “Let us rejoice, my dear Mother and Sisters, in the joy of the Lord,” said Sister Henriette, “that we shall die for our holy religion, our faith, our confidence in the Holy Roman Catholic Church.”
While in prison, they asked and were granted permission to wash their clothes. As they had only one set of lay clothes, they put on their religious habit and set to the task. Providentially, the revolutionaries picked that “wash day” for their transfer to Paris. As their clothes were soaking wet, the Carmelites left for Paris wearing their “outlawed” religious habit. They celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in prison, wondering whether they would die that day.
It was only the next day they went to the guillotine. The journey in the carts took more than an hour. All the way the Carmelite sisters sang: the “Miserere,” “Salve Regina,” and “Te Deum.” Beholding them, a total silence fell on the raucous, brutal crowd, most of them cheapened and hardened by day after day of the spectacle of public slaughter. At the foot of the towering killing machine, their eyes raised to Heaven, the sisters sang “Veni Creator Spiritus.” One by one, they renewed their religious vows. They pardoned their executioners. One observer cried out: “Look at them and see if they do not have the air of angels! By my faith, if these women did not all go straight to Paradise, then no one is there!”
Sister Teresa, their prioress, requested and obtained permission to go last under the knife. The youngest, Sister Constance, went first. She climbed the steps of the guillotine “With the air of a queen going to receive her crown,” singing Laudate Dominum omnes gentes, “all peoples praise the Lord.” She placed her head in the position for death without allowing the executioner to touch her. Each sister followed her example, those remaining singing likewise with each, until only the prioress was left, holding in her hand a small figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The killing of each martyr required about two minutes. It was about eight o’clock in the evening, still bright at midsummer. During the whole time the profound silence of the crowd about the guillotine endured unbroken.
Two years before when the horror began, the Carmelite community at Compiegne had offered itself as a holocaust, that peace might be restored to France and the Church. The return of full peace was still twenty-one years in the future. But the Reign of Terror had only ten days left to run. Years of war, oppression and persecution were yet to come, but the mass official killing in the public squares of Paris was about to end. The Cross had vanquished the guillotine.
These sixteen holy Carmelite nuns have all been beatified by our Holy Father, the Pope, (Pope St. Pius X, 27 May 1906) which is the last step before canonization. Blessed Carmelites of Compiegne, pray for us!