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April 7, 2004


Fallen man is prone to many faults. Pride is one of the seven deadly or capital sins that are part of fallen human nature. Each of us suffers from this deadly sin to a greater or lesser extent, which is why we must combat it by embracing the humiliations that come our way and giving those to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. As I noted on Passion Sunday in "To Forgive as We Are Forgiven," we must be content until the Last Day for those who misunderstand us and/or who misrepresent us to see the rectitude of our intentions. It is a sign of spiritual maturity and total trust in Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother to accept humiliations with the same silence that Our Lord accepted them during His fearful Passion and Death, events that we call to mind in a special way in the next three days during the Paschal Triduum. It may take fifty or sixty years or more for pride to be beaten out of us by the events of our lives. The fruit of a growth in genuine humility (which recognizes any gifts we have been have been bestowed upon us gratuitously by God and can be taken away by Him when He wills to do so without a moment's notice) is a firmer reliance upon the Providence of God, recognizing that we must view all things in the world through the eyes of the true Faith and that we accomplish nothing that is good and thus beneficial to our salvation without having belief in, access to and cooperation with sanctifying and actual grace.

Men who do not view the world through the eyes of the true Faith come to believe, quite pridefully, that their cleverness or their intelligence can engineer a better world. This has been the underlying foundation of much of modern science and technology, most of which has been divorced from all reference to the true Faith and has thus been used in monstrous ways to undermine belief in man's First Cause and Last End, the Blessed Trinity. As Pope Pius XI noted in his first encyclical letter, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, issued in December of 1922 in the immediate aftermath of the disaster known as World War I, proud men believe that they can engineer world peace without any reference to Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the Deposit of Faith He has entrusted to the Church He Himself created upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. Such proud men come to believe, therefore, in the ability of bombs and machines to effect acceptable military solutions to geopolitical problems and thus prevent future wars while promoting the "values" that are alleged to represent social progress. The failure of these "efforts" to improve the world despite the carnage of the Twentieth Century has done nothing to deter those who hold public office in our own country from continuing to believe in the falsehood that man can by his own devices (wars, conferences, treaties) build a more secure world.

The needless deaths of our military service personnel and of our civilians in Iraq in the last thirteen months have not in the slightest added to American national security or to world peace. Taking nothing away from the courage of those who have served and the sacrifices they have made to answer their nation's call to service, those who have sent them into battle suffer from the same kind of pride that afflicted the leaders of nations prior to the onset of the Great War (World War I) in August of 1914. Deluded by the same sort of religious fervor for the false god of democracy as Woodrow Wilson, who sought to make a war born of nationalism into a veritable crusade for American democracy as being salvific for the ills of Europe and the world, American policy makers of both major political parties in one presidential administration after another have sent American men into battle situations in the past fifteen years (Panama, the first Gulf War, Somalia, Haiti, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq) in the quest to engage in social engineering to advance American "values," which are said to be the means by which nations become stable and thus grow socially and economically. This delusional belief is founded in a rejection of a necessity of referencing all things in a nation's life to the Person of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself through His true Church for the right ordering of men individually and nations collectively. As I have noted in so many pieces over the years, this view, born of Protestantism and Freemasonry, is what is responsible for all of the problems of modernity, bar none.

When men believe that they can engineer by various means (statism, science, eugenics, genetic engineering, political ideology, war, treaties, international organizations) the conditions necessary for a just world then it is easy for them to come to believe that man is more or less self-redemptive, that religious belief is merely a matter of opinion that ought not to get in the way of sound public policy domestically and ways to assure a peaceful world internationally. Combined with the various components of the expediency of Machiavellian realpolitik, such a view of the world leads men like President George W. Bush, who is not, shall we say, a particularly well-read student of actual history, to mouth words written for him by others about the essentially "good" natures of false religions. President Bush has said very repeatedly that "Islam is a religion of peace" and that its "peaceful teachings" have been "profaned" by extremists. This is false. It amazes me that any Catholic, traditional or otherwise, can sit by and let such a falsehood be uttered without a word of criticism or rebuttal. Mohammedism is a false religion that is founded and maintained in violence. What is happening, therefore, in Iraq at present is not the anomaly of "extremists" Mohammedan clerics; it is the natural expression of Mohammedism itself. You see, if you don't believe that there is one true religion, then you have to make peace with all religions and with those who profess no religion at all, something that has been done, sadly, by the entire Vatican apparatus in the past forty-five years, which has only added more confusion to the world situation than would be the case otherwise.

As man is made to worship something about him, however, the void caused by the rejection of the true Church by the modern nation-state winds up deifying the nation-state itself and all of its self-made and self-perpetuating mythologies, which are promulgated by various means of propaganda. Thus, it is considered to be "unpatriotic" to even question, no less criticize, the government's policies. The true concept of patriotism, which wills the good of one's nation (the ultimate expression of which is her Catholicization under the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen), is thus supplanted by a blind, fascistic nationalism. In the case of our own country, you see, the false gods of democracy and liberty as ultimate ends in and of themselves divorced from the social teaching of the Catholic Church and the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law become necessary to evangelize with religious fervor, especially in far off distant lands that have not seen the "light" of our own. (One of the ironies in the Iraq conflict is that we claim to be promoting "freedom" there while those who dissent from the Bush administration's policies are viewed with suspicion as traitors, sometimes being subjected to caricature by popular media personalities as dupes of the left and ingrates for all of the "blessings" of this nation. As we promote American values in Iraq, photographs of the coffins of our dead service personnel are censored from the view of the American public. Then again, this is nothing new in American history. The mythology of the moral superiority of our people and our system has been part and parcel of the American way since her founding, as I pointed out in a piece on the Seattle Catholic [www.seattlecatholic.com] last year, "To See the World Always Through the Eyes of the True Faith," which is still in the archive section of that web site.)

Once this type of religious fervor takes hold in the mind set of a country and of its reflexive apologists, then other countries must be viewed through the lens of the "true" faith, which is in our instance the "American" way. How dare anyone in Iraq not see things our way? How dare anyone there view our troops as occupiers rather than liberators? How dare anyone in Iraq question the enlightenment of American values and the American way of doing things? It cannot possibly be the case that at least a few of those resisting our troops at present simply hate the West in general and Christianity in particularly, seeing this country, erroneously, as the representative of the religion they hate. It cannot possibly be the case that our ethnocentrism and our lack of understanding the world through the lens of Catholicism dooms all of our political and military efforts at home and abroad precisely because they are founded in the false principles of modernity.

Dr. Aleksandr Solzhentisyn spoke about the natural aspect of the West's ethnocentricity in his 1978 Harvard University commencement address:

"But the persisting blindness of superiority continues to hold the belief that all the vast regions of our planet should develop and mature to the level of contemporary Western systems, the best in theory and the most attractive in practice; that all those other worlds are but temporarily prevented (by wicked leaders or by severe crises or by their own barbarity and incomprehension) from pursuing Western pluralistic democracy and adopting the Western way of life. Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in that direction. But in fact such a conception is a fruit of Western incomprehension of the essence of other worlds, a result of mistakenly measuring them all with a Western yardstick. The real picture of our planet's development bears little resemblance to all this."

The sheer military superiority of American forces will be able to quell the current outbreak of hostilities in Iraq. However, our military forces will have to put out these fires repeatedly for as long as they are there. The problem is not simply one Shiite Mohammedan cleric and his followers in one part of Iraq or Sunni Mohammedans and their Baathist allies in another part of the country. The problem in Iraq at present is a resentment of what is considered to be by a fair number of Iraqis as an uncalled for invasion of their nation that they want to see come to an end. Just as the Israelis are never going to solve their Palestinian problem by assassinating one terrorist leader after another, so is it the case that the sheer force of American military superiority is not going to stop outbreaks of violence against our troops and a possible civil war after they are withdrawn at some point. (And just as a total aside, would someone want to tell me why the supposedly "pro-family" Bush Administration has retained the Clinton Administration policy of placing women in combat?)

The Mohammedans who are resisting the American forces in Iraq at present are steeped in a slavery to the Devil as a result of Original Sin. They are thus as prone as the leaders of Israel, who are themselves slaves to the Devil by means of Original Sin, to respond violently to injustices, whether real or imagined. There is no military solution to any of this. There is no political solution to any of this. We cannot force the people of Iraq to become good, pluralistic Americans. And even if we could bring this about by the force of economic and cultural influences, that would not be a good thing for the people of Iraq. The only solution to all of the problems in the Middle East is for Holy Mother Church to recover her own patrimony and to seek the conversion of all non-Catholics there, Jews and Mohammedans and Zionist Masons alike. No, this will not be a guarantee of peace. However, it is the necessary precondition of people from different nations who will engage in disputes as a result of fallen human nature as brothers in Christ who have been redeemed by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.

Pope Pius XII put it this way in his first encyclical letter, Ad Summi Pontificatus, issued on October 10, 1939:

"The denial of the fundamentals of morality had its origin, in Europe, in the abandonment of that Christian teaching of which the Chair of Peter is the depository and exponent. That teaching had once given spiritual cohesion to a Europe which, educated, ennobled and civilized by the Cross, had reached such a degree of civil progress as to become the teacher of other peoples, of other continents. But, cut off from the infallible teaching authority of the Church, not a few separated brethren have gone so far as to overthrow the central dogma of Christianity, the Divinity of the Savior, and have hastened thereby the progress of spiritual decay.

"The Holy Gospel narrates that when Jesus was crucified 'there was darkness over the whole earth' (Matthew xxvii. 45); a terrifying symbol of what happened and what still happens spiritually wherever incredulity, blind and proud of itself, has succeeded in excluding Christ from modern life, especially from public life, and has undermined faith in God as well as faith in Christ. The consequence is that the moral values by which in other times public and private conduct was gauged have fallen into disuse; and the much vaunted civilization of society, which has made ever more rapid progress, withdrawing man, the family and the State from the beneficent and regenerating effects of the idea of God and the teaching of the Church, has caused to reappear, in regions in which for many centuries shone the splendors of Christian civilization, in a manner ever clearer, ever more distinct, ever more distressing, the signs of a corrupt and corrupting paganism: "There was darkness when they crucified Jesus" (Roman Breviary, Good Friday, Response Five).

"Many perhaps, while abandoning the teaching of Christ, were not fully conscious of being led astray by a mirage of glittering phrases, which proclaimed such estrangement as an escape from the slavery in which they were before held; nor did they then foresee the bitter consequences of bartering the truth that sets free, for error which enslaves. They did not realize that, in renouncing the infinitely wise and paternal laws of God, and the unifying and elevating doctrines of Christ's love, they were resigning themselves to the whim of a poor, fickle human wisdom; they spoke of progress, when they were going back; of being raised, when they groveled; of arriving at man's estate, when they stooped to servility. They did not perceive the inability of all human effort to replace the law of Christ by anything equal to it; 'they became vain in their thoughts' (Romans i. 21).

" With the weakening of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, and the darkening in men's minds of the light of moral principles, there disappeared the indispensable foundation of the stability and quiet of that internal and external, private and public order, which alone can support and safeguard the prosperity of States.

" It is true that even when Europe had a cohesion of brotherhood through identical ideals gathered from Christian preaching, she was not free from divisions, convulsions and wars which laid her waste; but perhaps they never felt the intense pessimism of today as to the possibility of settling them, for they had then an effective moral sense of the just and of the unjust, of the lawful and of the unlawful, which, by restraining outbreaks of passion, left the way open to an honorable settlement. In Our days, on the contrary, dissensions come not only from the surge of rebellious passion, but also from a deep spiritual crisis which has overthrown the sound principles of private and public morality."

I have no solution to offer the Bush Administration for the mess that it has created in Iraq by starting a war founded in deliberate deception and/or wishful thinking about the existence of Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" and the level of threat thus posed to this country. As Catholic and as an American, I am praying fervently to Our Lady that some pope will actually consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, the fruit of which will be her reign as our Queen and of her Divine Son as King of both ourselves and our nations. I do have a suggestion to offer to President Bush and Vice President Cheney and their pro-abortion colleagues (Condoleeza Rice, Andrew Card, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, who happens to be a thirty-third degree Mason, by the way): convert to the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation. Start spending time before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer. Start praying Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. Stop the spread of the weapons of mass destruction in this country by declaring war of all legalized baby-killing without any exception whatsoever. Stop funding Planned Parenthood and related organizations in this country and around the world. Stop exporting pornography in newly "liberated" lands. Stop calling "Islam a religion of peace." Stop believing in the myths of the superiority of this nation, which must submit itself to the Social Reign of Christ the King as it should be exercised by the true Church. If you want to make this country more secure from attacks from terrorists, then make those in their mothers' wombs completely and totally secure from attacks under cover of American law. If you want to wage a war on terrorism, then start by arresting and prosecuting those who terrorize the preborn and those who undermine the innocence and the purity of the young in our classrooms and in our popular culture. If you want to know more about the problems of the world and the utter futility of your own current efforts, consult Pope Pius XI's Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio below:

"The belligerents of yesterday have laid down their arms but on the heels of this act we encounter new horrors and new threats of war in the Near East. The conditions in many sections of these devastated regions have been greatly aggravated by famine, epidemics, and the laying waste of the land, all of which have not failed to take their toll of victims without number, especially among the aged, women and innocent children. In what has been so justly called the immense theater of the World War, the old rivalries between nations have not ceased to exert their influence, rivalries at times hidden under the manipulations of politics or concealed beneath the fluctuations of finance, but openly appearing in the press, in reviews and magazines of every type, and even penetrating into institutions devoted to the cultivation of the arts and sciences, spots where otherwise the atmosphere of quiet and peace would reign supreme. . . . Peace indeed was signed in solemn conclave between the belligerents of the late War. This peace, however, was only written into treaties. It was not received into the hearts of men, who still cherish the desire to fight one another and to continue to menace in a most serious manner the quiet and stability of civil society. Unfortunately the law of violence held sway so long that it has weakened and almost obliterated all traces of those natural feelings of love and mercy which the law of Christian charity has done so much to encourage. Nor has this illusory peace, written only on paper, served as yet to reawaken similar noble sentiments in the souls of men. On the contrary, there has been born a spirit of violence and of hatred which, because it has been indulged in for so long, has become almost second nature in many men. There has followed the blind rule of the inferior parts of the soul over the superior, that rule of the lower elements 'fighting against the law of the mind,' which St. Paul grieved over. (Rom. vii, 23)"

Men never learn, believing that their treaties and military machinery can will there to be the results they desire. Pope Pius XI knew otherwise. His solution for the problems of his day as applicable in our day as they were in 1922 as it is eternal and universal:

"When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.

"There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.

"It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.

"It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in

authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.

"It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ--"the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace." (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, 1922.)

One of the tragedies of the last forty years is that the Church herself has ignored, if not rejected, the wisdom of Pope Pius XI's Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio. Thus silencing her own voice, the Church has made it more possible for ill-formed and ill-informed men such as George W. Bush to use positivism with abandon to try to build a structure of peace without acknowledging the sovereignty of Christ the King and the necessity of being totally consecrated to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. The only path to true peace and security, that provided by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, runs through Our Lady's Immaculate Heart. Anyone who contends otherwise, no matter how strongly they make their assertions and no matter how many tons of bombs they drop, is bound to fail in their social engineering at home and their nation-building abroad, thus throwing the world ever more into fits of violence and confusion.

As we pray for our leaders to be converted to the true Faith and to embrace the path of peace that runs through Our Lady's Immaculate Heart to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we must point out to all political leaders in the world that it is either Christ or chaos in our own personal lives and in the lives of men and their nations. There can be no peace without Christ. None. Anywhere. At any time.

Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.

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