To the Point of Their Deaths
Thomas A. Droleskey
Although late on the Feast of the North American Martyrs, this reflection is a reiteration of the simple fact that the entire patrimony of the Catholic Church was centered on the work of converting all men and all nations to her maternal bosom. We have been eyewitnesses to a stunning betrayal of that mission by the conciliar church, which is fully content to let human beings wander through their earthly pilgrimage without making any effort convert them to the true means of salvation that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. It is no longer considered prudent or necessary to actively "proselytize" Protestants or the Orthodox, to say nothing of the Jews. The conciliar church thus demonstrates itself as defiant of the very purposes for which Our Lord shed His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and contemptuous of the missionary zeal for souls exhibited by Catholics from Pentecost Sunday to the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.
Just as Our Lord did not shed His own Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross to no end—and just as the first martyrs of the Church did not shed their blood for idle purposes, so is it the case that the North American martyrs shed their blood in the northern reaches of North America so that it could be consecrated to the Social Kingship of the One Whose Precious Blood had incorporated them as members of the true Church and which was made incarnate by Saint Isaac Jogues. the only priest among the three Jesuits killed on the grounds of Auriesville between 1642 and 1646, every time he offered the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.
That is, the North American martyrs came to this land of savage fury to bring it the Gospel of Our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Their impulse in doing so was no exercise in mere human sentimentality. No, the men martyred at Auriesville to be faithful to the command that Our Lord had given the Eleven before He Ascended to the Father's right hand in glory on Ascension Thursday:
And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing them they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Mt. 28: 16-20)
The North American Martyrs knew that not only individual human beings, but all nations must recognize in Our Lord and Savior their Lord and King, as Pope Saint Pius X noted in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906, Pope Pius XI reminded us in 1925 in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925. The North American martyrs wanted every aspect of life in the Americas to be permeated with the fullness of the splendor of Truth Incarnate. They desired that family life and social life reflect the standard of the Holy Cross, and that that same standard be lifted high as the basis of all social order.
Our mission as Catholics is to be faithful to all that Our Lord has revealed to us through Holy Mother Church, not to give sway to the pull of religious indifferentism, masquerading itself under one of the fundamental errors of our day: ecumenism. Our Lord has given us both Sanctifying and Actual Grace as the means to realize that fidelity. However, the pull of the spirit of the world, the flesh, and the Devil are quite strong. The Devil and his minions seek to convince us that it is all right to make little concessions here and there to the spirit of the world and to show "other religions" that the Catholic Church has no "special claim" to make on them, that it is not necessary for infidels (such as the Jews and Mohammedans) and heretics (such as Protestants) and schismatics and heretics (such as the Orthodox) to convert to the true Faith to be saved. It is no one other than the devil himself who wants us to believe that one can be a Catholic while carrying around within us just a little bit of the infection of this world and its ephemeral allurements. It is the devil who wants us to believe that the "needs" of the "modern age" require us to refuse to seek with urgency the conversion of others to the Catholic Faith so as to be "sensitive" to the needs of name of religious "diversity" without blaspheming God or His holy martyrs.
The North American Martyrs, however, embraced the totality of the Faith without compromise. They came here to drive the devil and his minions out of this land and its inhabitants. They came here because they loved God, and their love of the Blessed Trinity impelled them to seek the salvation of souls in this newly discovered land. Everything they did was motivated by a profound love of the will of Father, attempting to imitate the Son by offering up everything they had, including their own lives, to the Father in Spirit and in Truth. They wanted the native peoples who lived here—as well as all others who would settle here from the far corners of the Earth in the future—to view themselves, their lives, and the world through the eyes of the true Faith. They want us to do so in our own day.
The North American Martyrs teach us to be faithful to the apostolic obligations imposed upon us by means of our baptism and confirmation, and to proclaim with steadfast courage the truths of Our Lord and His true Church no matter what it costs us at home and/or in society. This lesson has been lost in our own era as a result of the novelties of ecumenism and religious liberty, reaffirming people in false religions while at the some time fostering social conditions that result in further disorder and violence as men are deprived of the truths of the Catholic Faith and left to starve without the benefits of the supernatural helps provided their immortal souls in the sacraments entrusted exclusively to Holy Mother Church.
The North American Martyrs saw in the native peoples here the Divine impress. Each person they sought to convert, no matter how hostile he or she was to their efforts, had an immortal soul created by God. The North American Martyrs never lost sight of that fact, even after undergoing the most unspeakable types of torture. They knew that they, erring sinners in constant need of God’s mercy, were being given the opportunity to offer up their own sufferings in union with Our Lord’s Sacrifice on the wood of the Holy Cross, a sacrifice which the priests among them represented in an unbloody manner while offering Holy Mass: the Immemorial Mass of Tradition and none other. They had the obligation to give to their own torturers the same forgiveness that was offered to them so generously by the Incarnation of Divine Mercy as He asked His Father to forgive His executioners, namely, each one of us. The North American Martyrs knew that there was nothing that they could suffer, including all of the tortures which are so well documented in the accounts of what took place here, which was the equal of what one of their own venial sins, no less any mortal sins they may have committed, did to Our Lord in His Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Holy Cross. Who were they, therefore, to withhold from others the same mercy and forgiveness that had been extended to them from the throne of Grace which is the Cross, and which was administered unto their immortal souls each time they frequented the hospital of Divine Mercy, the confessional? They recognized that it was a fundamental act of Charity to preach the Gospel full and entire, challenging all people with the standard of the Holy Cross to convert to the Catholic Faith without delay.
Mercilessness and savagery characterize all barbaric peoples. They characterize our Judeo-Masonic, indifferentist society today. Preborn children, the unfit, the elderly, and the useless must be slaughtered under the cover of law. Those of us who attempt to raise high the standard of the Holy Cross in our own lives and in the life of our society must be figuratively aborted and/or euthanized by the invocation of slogans designed to denounce us as extremists or zealots or bigots or intolerantly judgmental religious fanatics. Barbarism, not the mercy of Our Lord, characterizes the land in which we live today. The North American Martyrs came here so that this land would know the mercy of Our Lord, not a continuation of the hardness of heart which would make them martyrs at Auriesville, not a continuation on that site of false religions that are the tools of the devil himself.
The North American Martyrs knew that authentic love is an act of the will. Authentic love wills the good of another, and the ultimate good of each person is the salvation of his immortal soul. They knew that we love no one authentically if we do or say anything, either by omission or commission, which interferes with his salvation. They showed forth the compassion of Our Lord for erring sinners, but they did not reaffirm people in attitudes or behavior or beliefs that were at odds with that which was in accord with the salvation of their immortal souls. Our Lord told the woman caught in adultery to “Go, and now sin no more.” He did not reaffirm her in her sins. He understood her human weakness, as He understands ours. But He wanted her—and us—to recognize that His grace makes it possible for us to scale the heights of personal sanctity, the necessary precondition for order in our own lives and hence that of our society. Thus, we do not show "love" to one in a false religion by reaffirming him in that which is injurious to his salvation.
It was the hope of the North American martyrs that the land upon which they were willing to—and in fact did—shed their blood would be populated by Catholics ever vigilant to build up the Kingdom of God in their own souls and in the world. They knew that this goal is founded on the twin pillars of Eucharistic piety and deep and true devotion to the Mother of God. No apostolic effort can bear any fruit, either here or hereafter, if it is not founded on an abiding love for the Lord we receive in Holy Communion, Who also beckons us to keep company with Him in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. If we want to spend all eternity with Our Lord, it is a very efficacious thing to start spending some time with Him now—over and above that which we spend in Holy Mass—to make reparation for our sins, to give God the adoration that is His due, to thank Him for what we have been given, and to petition Him for our needs, especially that we remain faithful to the task of converting that Masonic land of ours to the true faith. Do Jews believe in this? Of course not. Do we have the obligation to help them to believe this? Of course we do!
There would be no Eucharist, however, indeed, there would have been no Redemptive Act on the wood of the Cross had it not been for Our Lady. The North American martyrs were tenderly devoted to Our Lady. The very name of the Shrine on the grounds where Saints Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil and Jean Lalonde shed their blood reflects this: the Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs. Saint Isaac Jogues and companions knew that her maternal patronage was an absolute necessity for their work to bear fruit, indeed, for them to remain faithful in the midst of the tortures that would come their way. For they understood that no human being ever suffered the way that Our Lady had suffered. Her Immaculate Heart, having been preserved from all stain of Original and actual sin, was in perfect communion with the Sacred Heart of Her Divine Son, Which Sacred Heart was formed in the tabernacle of her own immaculate and virginal womb. She was in total communion with the suffering of Her Son on the wood of the Holy Cross. As the Mother given to us by Our Lord as He was dying His death on the Cross to reconcile us to the Father, she is in communion with our suffering. And the North American Martyrs wanted us, their successors in this land, to do and to say only that which Our Lady wants us to do and say as disciples of Son she enfleshed by the power of the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation.
That is, part of the radicality to which we are called as Catholics means never to grieve Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Think about it: one of the things that brings most young children to tears is the thought that they caused their mother grief. Seeing the pained expression of their mother causes a child who possesses an innocence of heart and soul to cry tears of sorrow, begging his mother to forgive him his transgression. In like manner, we must be ever mindful, as were the North American Martyrs, of our obligation not to grieve our Blessed Mother, not only avoiding sin itself but also by avoiding the near occasions of sin—and by avoiding giving scandal to others, which might encourage them to sin, including the surrender of holy grounds to the very religion that was superseded by the New and Eternal Covenant instituted by her Divine Son at the Last Supper and ratified on the wood of His Holy Cross. Our Lady, whose apparition to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico in 1531 resulted in the conversion of over nine million indigenous peoples of Latin America to the Catholic church, wants all people in this world to be Catholics. It grieves her Immaculate Heart to see the people for whom her Divine Son shed His Most Precious Blood steeped in the darkness of errors and unbelief.
Father Pierre Jean De Smet Continued the Work of the North American Martyrs in the West
The work of the conversion of souls of the Indians in North America prompted Father Pierre Jean De Smet to leave his native Belgium, much against the wishes of his parents, to follow in the missionary footsteps of his fellow Jesuits, the North American Martyrs. Although Father De Smet was not called to lay down his life as a blood martyr for the Faith, he gave of himself tirelessly, walking frequently on foot, as Saint Hyacinth (Compare and Contrast) had done in Central and Eastern Europe in the Thirteenth Century, to seek out the lost sheep who had never heard of Our Lord and His true Church, the Catholic Church. Much unlike Benedict XVI and his fellow conciliarists, Father De Smet did not want to take any chances with souls. Father De Smet was no believer in "universal salvation." Neither were the Black Robes who had preceded him to this continent by two centuries. A passage from The Life of Father De Smet, written by Father E. Laveille, S.J., proves this important point:
The American Missions, from their very beginnings, attracted great numbers from the Society of Jesus. Jesuits were the early explorers of New France and given to it its first martyrs. "The history of their labors," says a Protestant writer, "is connected with the origin of every celebrated town in the annals of French America: not a cape was turned, nor a river entered, but a Jesuit led the way." While Fathers Jogues, de Brebeuf, and Lalemant shed their blood upon the shores of the St. Lawrence, Father Marquette in a bark canoe explored the course of the Mississippi as far as the Arkansas.
Father De Smet was inspired by these examples of missionary zeal. Father Laveille describes the Belgian Jesuit's extraordinary zeal for souls:
The day came when the Catholic families of St. Louis in default of a college sent their children to this mission school. At first the scholastics of Florissant taught the young Indians, and Father De Smet was at the head of this department. After the "third year," however, he seems to have been left quite alone. No human motive could have persuaded him to seek this particular phase of the work, for those who know the idleness, the unsteadiness, and the revolting filth of the Indians, know also that constant contact with these gross natures requires a heroic charity of which God alone can judge the price. But nothing deterred this man, who upon his arrival in St. Louis, wrote to his father: "To suffer and die for the salvation of souls is the sole ambition of a true missionary."
What, may I be so bold as to ask, has changed? Who on earth, including a putative pontiff or an alleged council, has the authority to change the command Our Lord gave to the Apostles to seek to convert souls until the end of time? It appears as though the logic of conciliarism is such that the only people who are "outside" of the Church are "radical" traditionalists and/or sedevacantists, people who believe in everything, including Our Lord's institution of the papacy, mind you, contained in the Deposit of Faith and who worship as Catholics of the Roman Rite have always worshiped. Everyone else is "in" except those deemed to be "schismatic" for adhering to supposedly "outdated" notions such as the simple Catholic truth that the Church was instituted to sanctify and save souls, that the Catholic Church is alone the sole means of teaching and sanctification that God Himself has instituted. Father De Smet would be deemed a "schismatic" today for not engaging in "interreligious dialogue," for believing that he had to proselytize the Indians so as to save their immortal souls.
Not content with his work in Florissant, Missouri, Father De Smet wanted to head out to the far reaches of the West:
On January 26, 1838, he wrote to the Carmelites of Termonde: "New priests are to be added to the Potawatomi Mission, and my Superior, Father Verhaegen, gives me hope that I will be sent. How happy I would be could I spend myself for the salvation of so many souls, who are lost because they have never known the truth! My good Sisters, I beg you to pray for this intention. Implore the divine Pastor to deign to look upon the most unworthy of His servants, who longs to work for His glory. I tremble when I think of the great qualities an apostolate to the Indian demands. We must make men before making Christians, and such work requires unlimited patience and solid virtue, and you know what I am. Nevertheless, I am not discouraged. God's strength is greater than my weakness, and He can bring forth from stones children of Abraham."
Zeal for the salvation of souls and profound humility (God could not resist his supplications) were the distinguishing traits of our missionary, and a few weeks later he was appointed to the Potawatomi Mission. Father De Smet left St. Louis May 10th, Father Verrydt and Brother Mazelli joining him at Leavenworth. In going up the Missouri he greatly admired the vast river, dotted with its many islands; the villages that rose one above the other on its banks, the towering rocks, the caves, the forests, and the immense prairies, all of which lent infinite variety to the aspect. But the scenic beauty failed to render agreeable a journey fraught with many dangers.
"I would rather cross the ocean," he writes, "than ascend the Missouri River. The current is so swift that in order to get up the river the boat must be heavily loaded and the steam at full pressure. Hence, the traveler is in imminent danger of being shot up into the air by an explosion, and coming down perhaps in bits. Added to this, we run upon sand-bars every day--a dangerous proceeding. Lastly, the river bristles with snags which tear a boat open, and are the terror of pilots and travelers. More than once we were in great peril from them."
Crowds of Indians came to the landing to greet the missionaries, and whenever the boat stopped for fuel the priests went ashore to visit the different villages. The chief of the Iowas, an old pupil of Father De Smet's at Florissant, wished to keep him with his tribe. An Indian convert, eighty-four years of age, prepared himself for death by confession, shedding, meanwhile, tears of repentance. everywhere they were most cordially received.
Who, precisely, did Roger Schutz, the Protestant syncretist who was placed in Heaven by Benedict XVI last year, make his confession to on a regular basis? Ah, I forgot. "Brother" Roger never converted. He is in Heaven, though. Why in the world should Father De Smet have left the comforts of Belgium if the Indians of North America could be saved without being converted to the true Church? Well, the answer, as readers of this site now, is that Father De Smet took seriously the consistent, defined, dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the necessity of seeking with urgency the conversion of souls to her maternal bosom. This teaching his well summarized in the words of Pope Eugene IV in the Papal Bull Cantate Domino, issued in 1441 during the Council of Florence:
It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.
Father De Smet worked tirelessly for souls, baptizing countless numbers of Indians and spending much time in instructing them in the Holy Faith:
Many of these baptized died saintly deaths. A girl twelve years of age exclaimed at the moment of death: "How beautiful! How beautiful! I see the heavens opening and the Mother of God is calling me to come!" Then turning to those about her she said: "heed what the Black Robes tell you, for they speak the truth; they will come and in this place erect a house of prayer.
Enemies of Catholicism vainly endeavored to sow dissension and distrust, by insinuating that the missionaries had no intention of returning. "You are mistaken," replied Big Face. "I know our Father; his tongue does not lie. He said, 'I will return,' and return he will."
Father De Smet traveled to the Northwest to minister to the Coeur d'Alenes Indians:
Formerly the Coeur d'Alenes were considered the most barbarous and degraded of the mountain tribes; they adored animals, and lived in complete ignorance of God, the souls, and a future life. even the precepts of natural law were but vaguely understood and pretty generally offended against in practice. About 1830, an Iroquois Catholic, it is supposed, taught them the first elements of Christianity. Shortly after this date, the tribe suffered the ravages of a violent epidemic. When the plague was at its height, a dying man heard a voice saying: "Leave your idols, adore Jesus Christ, and you will be cured." He obeyed, and was restored to health. Then, making a tour of the camp, the restored man related what had taken place and entreated his stricken brethren to follow his example. They did so and all likewise were cured. This event produced a profound impression on the Coeur d'Alenes, but without a priest to further instruct them, a few of the tribe returned to the worship of idols; the conduct of many, however, since the revelation of the true God, had remained irreproachable.
Such was the condition of the Coeur d'Alenes when Father De Smet visited the tribe in 1842: "I was conducted in triumph to the lodge of the chief," he tells us, "and there, as in every other Indian camp, the calumet was brought forth. After it had been handed around several times and smoked in solemn silence the chief addressed me in the following words:
"'Black Robe, welcome to our country. Long have we desired to see you and be enlightened by your words. Our fathers worshiped the earth and the sun. I remember directly the day we first heard of the one and only true God. since then it is to Him we have addressed our prayers and supplications, and yet we are much to be pitied. We do not know the teachings of the Great Spirit, and we sit in darkness. But now I hope you have come to bring us light. I have finished. Speak, Black Robe! Every ear is open and eager to hear your words.
"During the two hours in which I spoke to them of salvation and the end of man, absolute silence and stillness reigned. The sun was just setting, and I recited the prayer I had some days before translated into their tongue. Refreshments were then offered, consisting of scraps of dried meat, a black moss cake that tasted like soap, and a glass river water, all of which were as nectar and ambrosia to a man who had not tasted food since sunrise. The chiefs expressing a desire to hear me again, I continued to instruct the tribe until far into the night, pausing every half-hour to hand around the calumet and give time for reflection. During these pauses the chiefs conversed about what they had just heard, explaining it to their subordinates.
"Upon awakening in the morning I found my tent invaded by Indians who had slipped in before dawn. Getting up at once, I knelt down, the Indians following my example, and together we offered our day and our hearts to God. 'Black Robe,' said the chief, 'we came here early this morning to watch you and imitate you. Your prayer is good, and we wish to adopt it. But you will stay here only two nights, and we have no one to teach it to us.' I rang the bell for morning prayers, and promised the chief they all would know the prayer before my departure."
Then it was that Father De Smet laid down the method that would henceforth be used for teaching the tribes their prayers. He assembled the Indians, ranging the children in a circle, with instructions to keep the same place at every reunion. Then each one was made to learn a phrase of the prayer by heart. Two children repeated the Hail Mary, seven the Our Father, ten the Commandments, and twelve the Apostles' Creed. After repeating to each child his particular phrase until he knew it by heart, the missionary then made them recite the phrases each in turn. This made a continued prayer, which the tribe listened to night and morning. After a few days one of the chiefs knew all the prayers by heart, and from that time he recited them for the tribe.
Two days after his arrival at the Coeur d'Alene camp, Father De Smet baptized the children, the sick, and the old men and women of the tribe. It seemed as though God had only kept these last on earth to accord them this supreme favor. In listening to their expressions of joy and gratitude one seemed to hear again Simeon's praises to the Lord.
Torn with regret, the missionary took leave of his new Christians, promising to send them a priest to complete their instruction. "Never has a visit to the Indians given me so much consolation, and nowhere have I seen such mistakable proof of true conversion, not even excepting the Flatheads in 1840." The future but confirmed his judgment, for the Coeur d'Alenes remained the most industrious and Christian of the mountain tribes.
Understanding the lies of Protestantism, which is no means of salvation whatsoever, Father De Smet sought to battle for souls against the heretical sects of Luther's and Calvin's and Cranmer's and Wesley's progeny, who were endeavoring to do the devil's work by snatching the souls of the Indians for their own false religions:
As far back as 1834, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans swarmed into Oregon, each denomination establishing its own churches. The zeal of the Catholic missionaries accomplished prodigies in an effort to combat the work of these sects. Catholic churches were erected at Vancouver, Willamette, and at Cowhite. Christian piety being revived, Canadian trappers were rescued from the disorders of a life of adventure; and the Indian was not forgotten.
In order to teach the tribes Father De Smet retraced his steps and went up the Columbia to Walla Walla and Colville. But what were two priests in the vat work of converting a population of 200,000 souls, scattered over an area aggregating nine hundred miles in length and six hundred miles in width?
Hearing that Father De Smet, with five other missionaries, had arrived in the mountains, Father Blanchet hastened to acquaint him with the conditions existing in Oregon: "You can readily see," he says, in concluding his letter, "how timely the arrival of one of your Fathers and a lay Brother would be. In my opinion, this place is where the religious foundations in this part of the country should be laid: a college, a convent, and schools are an absolute necessity. This is the battle-ground, here we must conquer, and here the first large mission should be established. From central posts missionaries could visit the outlying posts, distributing the Bread of life to infidels still plunged in the darkness of death."
Does this zeal for souls characterize or contradict the ethos of conciliarism? Anyone who can claim that the mandate given by Our Lord to the Apostles on Ascension Thursday can be changed is no "centrist" or "realist." Anyone who can claim that there no longer remains an urgent necessity to convert Protestants and Jews and the Orthodox and Mohammedans and all others, including Hindus and Buddhists, to the true Faith is an enemy of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, a veritable blasphemer who contends that God and His truths are immutable and that His Holy Church is not the one and only means of human salvation.
Conciliarists Spit on the North American Martyrs and Father De Smet and Our Lady of Guadalupe as They Deconstruct the History of the Church to Suit Their Own Purposes
The witness of the martyrs who have shed their blood throughout the history of the Church--and the witness of missionaries such as Father De Smet who spent themselves as "white martyrs" for the Faith--to attempt to convert souls to her maternal bosom means nothing to most conciliarists, interested as they are in "interreligious dialogue" as they specifically eschewing "proselytism" as "unacceptable." Two passages from a document issued three months ago by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People amply demonstrates this point:
The ‘new evangelisation’ is a Catholic pastoral process of formation whereby the Gospel is discovered and shared through listening and dialogue – rather than through the manipulations of proselytism.
The statement calls for a mutual process of acceptance and integration, claiming: “While it is necessary to welcome Muslim immigrants with respect for their religious freedom, it is likewise indispensable for them to respect the cultural and religious identity of the host societies.”
Were the Apostles and all of the missionaries of the Church prior to 1958, including the North American Martyrs and priests such as Father Pierre Jean De Smet, "manipulators of proselytism"? Do the delusional, insane nitwits who wrote this document believe, as Benedict XVI and Vienna's Christoph Cardinal Schonborn do, that Mohammedanism can ever be in the least bit open to the conciliarist heresy of religious freedom? Alas, this is what happens when the the authentic patrimony of the Catholic Faith is abandoned in a rush in favor of novelty. The sensus Catholicus is replaced by an insane sense of one's own ability to create "structures" and "paradigms" to deal with allegedly "new" situations facing the world. This is nothing other than the recrudescence of semi-Pelagianism, the belief that man is more or less self-redemptive and that he can on his own powers start the work of saving himself and the world without a prevenient grace. Semi-Pelagianism is only one of the multifaceted and inter-related heresies that constitute the synthesis of all heresies, Modernism, that is at the heart of conciliarism.
The "new evangelization" is at odds with these words of the first pope, Saint Peter, himself:
For we have not by following artificial fables, made known to you the power, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness. For he received from God the Father, honour and glory: this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount. And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation. (2 Pt. 1: 16-20)
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their riotousnesses, through whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their perdition slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment: And spared not the original world, but preserved Noe, the eighth person, the preacher of justice, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. (2 Pt. 2: 1-5)
Pope Gregory XVI, one of those "preconciliar" popes who are viewed, in practical terms, as anti-popes by the conciliarists, smashed the whole ethos of the"new evangelization" and Dignitatis Humane and Gaudium et Spes to smithereens in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832:
Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that "there is one God, one faith, one baptism" may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that "those who are not with Christ are against Him," and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore "without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate." Let them hear Jerome who, while the Church was torn into three parts by schism, tells us that whenever someone tried to persuade him to join his group he always exclaimed: "He who is for the See of Peter is for me."A schismatic flatters himself falsely if he asserts that he, too, has been washed in the waters of regeneration. Indeed Augustine would reply to such a man: "The branch has the same form when it has been cut off from the vine; but of what profit for it is the form, if it does not live from the root?"
This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.
Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though mall in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again.
How interesting it is, once again, as I pointed out in Communion With Novelty? a few months ago now, that conciliarists and those traditional Catholics who serve as the apologists for the Modernist heresy of Americanism ignore the wisdom of Mirari Vos, repeating over and over again, as though they are trying to convince themselves of something that they know is not true, that there are some advantages accruing to the true Faith as a result of permitting false religions to proselytize their beliefs publicly as a guaranteed "civil right." With Saint Augustine, however, we must, as Catholics, think and say, "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error." And it is precisely the death of the souls of infidels that is guaranteed when Catholics believe that it is not necessary to directly engage them in the very proselytizing efforts begun by the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday. Saint Vincent Ferrer preached and won converts to the Faith from Judaism and Mohammedanism. Does any Catholic want to assert with a straight face that the graces won for us on Calvary by the shedding of every single drop of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood is not as efficacious now as it was in the late-Fourteenth and early-Fifteenth Centuries? The North American Martyrs and missionaries such as Father De Smet believed with all of their might in the ability of the graces won for us on Calvary and that flow us to through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of all graces, to effect miracles of conversion beyond all telling.
Pope Leo XIII put it this way in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
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. Now, faith, as a virtue, is a great boon of divine grace and goodness; nevertheless, the objects themselves to which faith is to be applied are scarcely known in any other way than through the hearing. "How shall they believe Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Faith then cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."Since, then, faith is necessary for salvation, it follows that the word of Christ must be preached. The office, indeed, of preaching, that is, of teaching, lies by divine right in the province of the pastors, namely, of the bishops whom "the Holy Spirit has placed to rule the Church of God.'' It belongs, above all, to the Roman Pontiff, vicar of Jesus Christ, established as head of the universal Church, teacher of all that pertains to morals and faith.
No one, however, must entertain the notion that private individuals are prevented from taking some active part in this duty of teaching, especially those on whom God has bestowed gifts of mind with the strong wish of rendering themselves useful. These, so often as circumstances demand, may take upon themselves, not, indeed, the office of the pastor, but the task of communicating to others what they have themselves received, becoming, as it were, living echoes of their masters in the faith. Such co-operation on the part of the laity has seemed to the Fathers of the Vatican Council so opportune and fruitful of good that they thought well to invite it. "All faithful Christians, but those chiefly who are in a prominent position, or engaged in teaching, we entreat, by the compassion of Jesus Christ, and enjoin by the authority of the same God and Savior, that they bring aid to ward off and eliminate these errors from holy Church, and contribute their zealous help in spreading abroad the light of undefiled faith.'' Let each one, therefore, bear in mind that he both can and should, so far as may be, preach the Catholic faith by the authority of his example, and by open and constant profession of the obligations it imposes. In respect, consequently, to the duties that bind us to God and the Church, it should be borne earnestly in mind that in propagating Christian truth and warding off errors the zeal of the laity should, as far as possible, be brought actively into play.
Pope Leo XIII understood that the Faith must be preached. Converts must be sought. It is a sin against the Supernatural Acts of Charity not to instruct the ignorant or to admonish the sinner. Alas, the conciliarist ethos believes that "dialogue," which is really a euphemism for a belief in the dialectical principle of the clash of ideas and beliefs, rejects the plain, certain statement of absolute truths as "insensitive" to the consciences of unbelievers. Saint Peter might as well stayed in the Upper Room on Pentecost Sunday if he had been possessed of the conciliarist mind.
Pope Pius IX's first encyclical letter, Qui Pluribus, November 9, 1846, dealt directly with one of the chief errors of the "new thinkers" and thus of conciliarism itself, that is due deference being paid to "human progress" in the teaching of the Catholic Faith:
It is with no less deceit, venerable brothers, that other enemies of divine revelation, with reckless and sacrilegious effrontery, want to import the doctrine of human progress into the Catholic religion. They extol it with the highest praise, as if religion itself were not of God but the work of men, or a philosophical discovery which can be perfected by human means. The charge which Tertullian justly made against the philosophers of his own time "who brought forward a Stoic and a Platonic and a Dialectical Christianity" can very aptly apply to those men who rave so pitiably. Our holy religion was not invented by human reason, but was most mercifully revealed by God; therefore, one can quite easily understand that religion itself acquires all its power from the authority of God who made the revelation, and that it can never be arrived at or perfected by human reason. In order not to be deceived and go astray in a matter of such great importance, human reason should indeed carefully investigate the fact of divine revelation. Having done this, one would be definitely convinced that God has spoken and therefore would show Him national obedience, as the Apostle very wisely teaches. For who can possibly not know that all faith should be given to the words of God and that it is in the fullest agreement with reason itself to accept and strongly support doctrines which it has determined to have been revealed by God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived?
Please re-read earlier postings of mine (including A Patron Saint for Conciliarism?) that contained excerpts from Father Regis Scanlon's devastating critique of the Hegelian mindset of Hans Urs von Balthasar that is at the heart of Benedict XVI's work of claiming that unprecedented novelties can be seen as part of the Church's living tradition." No development in the Church can contradict anything that preceded it. Conciliarism, however, lives in its own delusional world, divorced from the sensus Catholicus as it goes about, to use the phrase of a priest who writes under a pseudonym, exalting a veritable "ecclesiogenesis," that is, the springing forth of a brand new church, a brand new religion, out of nothing.
Saint Irenaeus fought Gnosticism with fierceness. A disciple of Saint Polycarp, who was a disciple of Saint John the Beloved, Saint Irenaeus had met some of the great Catholic figures of the Second Century, including Saint Justin Martyr. Irenaeus, who became the Bishop of Lyons, became a martyr himself, never flinching well before his martyrdom to defend the Faith in all circumstances, doing so particularly in his masterful work, Against Heresies. Consider this passage from Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year:
The loss of faith being the most radical and the deepest of all causes of estrangement from God, it is not surprising to observe the horror which heresy inspired in these days, when union with God was the one treasure longed for by all conditions and ages of life. The name Irenaeus signifies peace; and justifying this beautiful name, his condescending charity once led the Roman Pontiff himself to withhold the thunders he was on the point of hurling: the question at issue was one of no small importance--it was the celebration of Easter. Nevertheless, Irenaeus himself relates with regard to his master Polycarp, how when being asked by the heretic Marcion if he knew him, he replied: 'I know thee to be the first-born of Satan.' He also tells us that St. John, hearing that Cerinthus was in the same public edifice into which he had just entered, fled precipitately, for fear, as he said, that because of this enemy of truth the wall of the great building would crumble down upon them all; 'so great,' remarks the bishop of Lyons, 'was the fear the apostles and their disciples had of communicating, even by word, with any one of those who altered truth.'
None of us, unless we believe in the heresy of semi-Pelagianism, is going to turn the tide of conciliarism back by our own power, by our own words, whether spoken or written. Oh, we must do what we can to help souls to see the truth. Absolutely. We must not delude ourselves into thinking that there is some grand "strategy" to reclaim the Church at this point in her history. There is none, at least none of our own doing, that is. We are facing an apostasy of preternatural dimensions. Men who fall into this description, contained in Pope Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum, December 8, 1896, hold ecclesiastical office in the conciliar structures:
The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. "There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition" (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore :, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. "No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic" (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88).
To propose, as conciliarism does, that there are "Christian churches" outside of the Catholic Church that are authentic means of salvation for their adherents--and to propose that "unity," one of the Four Marks of the Catholic Church, does not exist at present--is be "cut off from Catholic unity." It is the conciliarists, not sedevacantists, you see, who are outside of Catholic unity. Conciliarists do indeed spit in the face of the witness of the North American Martyrs and of missionaries such as Father Pierre Jean De Smet, rendering Our Lady's apparition at Guadalupe as fit only for pious devotions and having no relevance to the necessity of converting souls to the Catholic Church in our own day.
No, Our Lady is going to have to intervene to do what the late William C. Koneazny said she would do: throw the bums out, which will happen when some pope actually consecrates Russia to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with all of the world's bishops. Tradition will be restored in the Church and Christendom, yes, the Social Reign of Christ the King, will be restored in the world.
In the midst of all of this, however, we have to focus first and foremost on the salvation of our own immortal souls, which means that we must be Catholics who engage in the exercise of daily mental prayer, of assisting daily, where possible, at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition outside of the conciliar structures, of praying the family Rosary (all fifteen decades if at all possible), of getting to Confession on a weekly basis, of reading Scripture daily, of reading about the lives of the saints, especially at meal times, of fleeing from everything to do with conciliarism and from the popular culture from which it takes its driving force and seeks such a diabolical "reconciliation." The situation we face in the Church is beyond any of our "powers" to resolve. We must know what the situation is. We must trust in Our Lady as the consecrated slaves of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart without ever growing discouraged. We must combat errors where and when we can. However, we must understand, ultimately, that what matters most is the salvation of our souls, which will be wrought in large measure by how well we bear charitably with those around us within the catacombs, to say nothing of how well and sincerely we pray for the conversion of those fomenting, whether in good conscience or maliciously, the errors of the present moment.
Flying unto the patronage of Our Lady and her chaste spouse, Saint Joseph, may we take flight to save our souls and embrace with all of our hearts and souls the authentic patrimony of the Catholic Church without any concession to conciliarism and its counterfeit religion whatsoever. The North American Martyrs defended the Faith for the good of souls to the point of their deaths. So must we.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Jean Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gregory Lalemant, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint Irenaeus, pray for us.
Saints Cosmas and Damian, pray for us.
Saint Wenceslaus, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.
A Prayer in Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.
Merciful Jesus, I consecrate myself today and always to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I implore, that I may ever love Thee more and more.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the Holy Souls in Purgatory