Zealous for Converts After All
Thomas A. Droleskey
One of the themes that I have emphasized rather consistently in the past twenty years, yes, even during my "conservative" days at The Wanderer, is the fact that the era begun with the "Second" Vatican Council represented a sharp departure from the the Catholic Church's past in several areas, particularly in the seeking of converts to the true Faith. No honest Catholic can deny that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI discouraged what has been termed disparagingly as "proselytism" among Protestants, Jews and the Orthodox. This means, of course, that those who belong to these particular false religions are more or less assured of their salvation. If this is not the case, you see, then the conciliarists would be seeking the conversion of those who belonged to these (and other) false religions with the same sense of urgency that impelled the Apostles and each of the Catholic Church's great missionaries (including Saint Patrick, Saint Boniface, Saint Dominic, Saint Hyacinth, Saint Vincent Ferrer, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Peter Canisius, Saint Francis de Sales, Saint Josaphat, Saint Francis Solano, Saint Turibius, the North America Martyrs, Blessed Rose Philippine Duchesne, Fathers Junipero Serra and Pierre Jean De Smet, just to name a scant few) to seek out the lost sheep that Our Lord wants united with Him in His One Sheepfold that is the Catholic Church.
As I noted a few days ago in
Caring Not for the Souls Who Have Been Betrayed, very few "priests" in the conciliar structures are seeking out the lost sheep, admitting that there are some Legion of Mary chapters and Parish Visitor Sisters who are trying to do this within the limitations imposed by the ethos of conciliarism. Indeed, I have spoken personally with "priests" who belong to the counterfeit church of conciliarism who insist that it is not in their "job description" (their phrase, not mine) to go "door to door" in their parish boundaries to seek out fallen away Catholics and those who are outside of the Catholic Church entirely. Gone from the minds of most of these "priests" is the sensus Catholicus possessed by the recently deceased Father Daniel Johnson, the pastor of Saint Mary's by the Sea Church in Huntington Beach, California, for twenty-five years (from 1979 to 2004), to recognize that a parish pastor has the obligation to see to it that the Gospel is preached to everyone in his parish boundaries and that efforts are made to seek out the lost sheep. Conciliarism has robbed most, although not all, of the "priests" in its structures of a pastor's actual pastoral responsibilities to each and every person, Catholic and non-Catholic, within his parish's boundaries.
Sad are the tales that I have learned first-hand over the years from men and women who have knocked on the doors of diocesan parish rectories seeking old-fashioned convert instruction in the truths of the Catholic Faith to be met with diffidence on the part of "priests," some of who were indeed validly ordained, and consecrated religious. Indeed, I cannot count the number of stories that have been told to me by people who were told by some official parish representative, be it a "priest" or a consecrated religious or some parish lay functionary, that there was either no need of them converting to the Catholic Faith or that they had to wait for the next "Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults" class to convene before they could undertake any "instruction" (and many, although not all, "RCIA" programs feature mis-education in the Faith, leading many possible converts to quit altogether, although there are instances of some of these finding their way by means of Our Lady's graces to the fullness of the authentic Catholic Faith in the catacombs).
This diffidence in the face of lost sheep who take the trouble to seek out the "shepherds" who are supposed to be seeking them seems to make little impression upon many of the apologists for the conciliar "popes" and conciliarism's false "ecumenism" and "inter-religious dialogue. So what if so many billions of souls on the face of this earth are left to spend their entire lives by living materialistically and hedonistically? So what if people are actually reaffirmed in an adherence to false religions by some representative, be it a "pope" or a "cardinal" or a "bishop" or a "priest" or a "consecrated religious," of the counterfeit church of conciliarism? Defenders of all things conciliar will say that this is not a betrayal of the mission Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave to the Apostles before He Ascended to the Father's right hand in glory on Ascension Thursday. This is, these defenders assert positivistically, just a different "pastoral approach" that is "just as good' as the one that preceded it, thus obscuring the plain truth that the Catholic Church has never given the impression that there is not an urgency to seek converts to her maternal bosom.
The principle of non-contradiction, which is held in contempt by the Modernists in the counterfeit church of conciliarism who are steeped in the absurd world of Hegelian contradiction, paradox and clash, teaches us that it cannot be truth changes. Truth, even on the natural level, is immutable. God is the author of all truth, natural and supernatural. He is immutable. So are each of His truths. It cannot be, therefore, that these plain words of Pope Pius IX, contained in Iam Vos Omnes, September 13, 1868, are true and that conciliarism's rejection of them are also true:
Sustained therefore by this hope, solicitous and urged by the charity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who offered His life for the salvation of all the race of men, it is not possible for us to pass by the occasion of the future Council without turning Our paternal and Apostolic word again to all those who, even if they acknowledge Jesus Christ the Redeemer and boast of the name of Christian, do not profess the totality of the true faith of Christ and are not in the communion of the Catholic Church. This being the case, we propose with all zeal and Charity to admonish, exhort, and beseech them for this reason to seriously consider and reflect whether the way in which they continue is that which is indicated by that same Christ the Lord: which is the way that leads to eternal life.
Nobody will certainly be able to doubt or deny that this Jesus Christ, to the end that the fruits of His Redemption might be applied to all the race of men, has built here on earth, upon Peter, the only Church, which is one, holy, catholic and apostolic; and that He has conferred upon her the power necessary to preserve whole and inviolate the deposit of faith; to transmit this same faith to all peoples, tribes, and nations; to call [elect] to unity in this Mystical Body, through baptism, all men, for the purpose of preserving in them, and perfecting, that new life of grace, without which no one can merit and obtain eternal life; wherefore this Church, which constitutes the Mystical Body, will persist and prosper in her own stable and indefectible nature until the end of the ages, and offer to all Her sons the means of salvation.
Whoever thus gives proper attention and reflection to the situation which surrounds the various religious societies, divided amongst themselves and separated from the Catholic Church - which, without interruption, from the time of Christ the Lord and of His Apostles, by means of her legitimate sacred Shepherds, has always exercised, and exercises still, the divine power conferred upon Her by the Lord - it will be easy to convince [them] that in none of these societies, and not even in all of them taken together, can in some way be seen the one and Catholic Church which Christ the Lord built, constituted, and willed to exist. Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity. It follows that such societies, lacking that living authority established by God, which instructs men in the things of the faith and in the discipline of the customs, directing and governing them in all that concerns eternal salvation, they continuously mutate in their doctrines without that mobility and the instability they find one end. Everyone therefore can easily comprehend and fully reckon that this is absolutely in contrast with the Church instituted by Christ the Lord, in which the truth must always remain constant and never subject to change whatsoever, deposited as if it were into a warehouse, entrusted to be guarded perfectly whole. To this purpose, it has received the promise of the perpetual presence and the aid of the Holy Spirit. No one then ignores that from these dissentions [disagreements] in doctrines and opinions derive social divisions, which find their origin in these innumerable communions and which are always and increasingly diffused with grave damage[s] to the Christian and civil society.
Therefore, whoever recognizes that religion is the foundation of human society must be moved to confess what great violence has been wrought in civil society by the discrepancy of principles and the division of religious societies which fight amongst themselves, and with what force the refusal of the authority willed by God for governing the convictions of the intellect of men through the direction of the actions of men, as much in private life as in social life, has provoked, promoted and fed the lamentable of the things and of the times which agitate and plague [afflict] in this way nearly all peoples.
It is for this reason that so many who do not share “the communion and the truth of the Catholic Church” must make use of the occasion of the Council, by the means of the Catholic Church, which received in Her bosom their ancestors, proposes [further] demonstration of profound unity and of firm vital force; hear the requirements [demands] of her heart, they must engage themselves to leave this state that does not guarantee for them the security of salvation. She does not hesitate to raise to the Lord of mercy most fervent prayers to tear down of the walls of division, to dissipate the haze of errors, and lead them back within holy Mother Church, where their Ancestors found salutary pastures of life; where, in an exclusive way, is conserved and transmitted whole the doctrine of Jesus Christ and wherein is dispensed the mysteries of heavenly grace.
It is therefore by force of the right of Our supreme Apostolic ministry, entrusted to us by the same Christ the Lord, which, having to carry out with [supreme] participation all the duties of the good Shepherd and to follow and embrace with paternal love all the men of the world, we send this Letter of Ours to all the Christians from whom We are separated, with which we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten to return to the one fold of Christ; we desire in fact from the depths of the heart their salvation in Christ Jesus, and we fear having to render an account one day to Him, Our Judge, if, through some possibility, we have not pointed out and prepared the way for them to attain eternal salvation. In all Our prayers and supplications, with thankfulness, day and night we never omit to ask for them, with humble insistence, from the eternal Shepherd of souls the abundance of goods and heavenly graces. And since, if also, we fulfill in the earth the office of vicar, with all our heart we await with open arms the return of the wayward sons to the Catholic Church, in order to receive them with infinite fondness into the house of the Heavenly Father and to enrich them with its inexhaustible treasures. By our greatest wish for the return to the truth and the communion with the Catholic Church, upon which depends not only the salvation of all of them, but above all also of the whole Christian society: the entire world in fact cannot enjoy true peace if it is not of one fold and one shepherd.
While there may be some pastors and curates in the conciliar structures who believe this privately and who chafe at the constraints under which they must discharge their pastoral duties, which should be a sign to them that they are in the wrong place and are in need of leaving the false church and seeking out true Holy Orders from true bishops in the catacombs, most of the pastors and curates in the counterfeit church of conciliarism believe that the words of Pope Pius IX quoted above simply no longer apply. "Things" have changed. It cannot be, for example, that these words from Pope Eugene IV's Cantate Domino, 1442, actually mean what they say:
The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic Law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time (the promulgation of the Gospel) observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors. . .
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.
Although most pastors and curates in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism have not thought the matter through by an explicit adherence to the Modernist paradigm of the "evolution of dogma" according to the needs of "modern" man, it is indeed this Modernist paradigm that causes them to be so casual in dismissing dogmatic statements and decrees that, whether or not they realize, actually bind their consciences and that they have to the duty to defend, not reflexively deny and disparage. It is the case (and this is coming from one who has been in two seminaries and has worked in a chancery office and spent lots of time visiting diocesan parish rectories in my "conservative" days) that most pastors and curates would have nothing to say when confronted with the following dogmatic statement from the [First] Vatican Council, preferring to "chow down" on their meal or surf on the internet rather than ponder the obvious contradiction between this statement and the ethos of conciliarism:
Hence, that meaning of the sacred dogmata is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be an abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.... If anyone says that it is possible that at some given time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmata propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has always understood and understands: let him be anathema.
It is obvious to anyone who is not blinded by the insane exercise of trying to defend the indefensible that conciliarism's refusal to seek converts cannot be reconciled with the Catholic Church's urgent desire to do so. Does Almighty God really want us to be diffident about the souls who are outside of the bosom of Holy Mother Church? Does He really want us to "respect" the "traditions" of Protestantism, for example, as Joseph Ratzinger wrote in Principles of Catholic Theology and as Father Raniero Cantalamessa preaches on Good Friday in the Basilica of Saint Peter in the very presence of Karol Wojtyla? Has the Catholic Church lost its "right" to seek the conversion of the Jews, as Father Cantalamessa said in 2005? Does God look favorably upon the Balamand Agreement that forbade Catholics from seeking members of the various schismatic and heretical sects of Orthodoxy to convert to the true Faith? Is God pleased by the quiescent acceptance of conciliarism's refusal to seek out the lost sheep on the part of pastors and curates who are afraid to "make waves" and suffer fatal consequences to their career (demotion, not being considered for some promotion, loss of salary, benefits, pension, perhaps even their "good standing")?
This theft of the sensus Catholicus has not only left parish pastors and curates bereft of any sense of responsibility to fallen away Catholics and to non-Catholics. Most of the conciliar "bishops" are fervent champions of false ecumenism and the novelty of inter-religious "dialogue" (something that, for example, Saint Patrick did not practice with the Druid chieftains in Ireland or that Saint Boniface practiced amongst the Germans or that Saint Vincent Ferrer practiced when seeking the conversion of Jews and Mohammedans in the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the Fourteenth and the beginning of the Fifteenth Centuries). They would be aghast to learn that the Catholic Church has taught perennially that a diocesan bishop has the solemn responsibility to care for the spiritual needs of everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic, within his diocesan boundaries. Indeed, most conciliar "bishops" would recoil at such a thought, choosing to believe that they are far more "enlightened" than the old "triumphalism" of the Catholic past, adopting, at least for all intents and purposes, a de facto submission to the heresy of "universal salvation."
There is a sense, however, in which the conciliarists are zealous for converts. Conciliarists are zealous for converts to conciliarism. This zeal to propagandize the novelties and errors and heresies of conciliarism extends to silencing traditionally-minded Catholics still within the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism from uttering a word of criticism about the doctrinal integrity or sacramental validity of the Novus Ordo Missae. This zeal to propagandize the novelties and errors and heresies of the conciliarism includes requiring traditionally-minded Catholics still within the structures of the counterfeit church to bend their minds in an Hegelian manner in order to accept such things as the new ecclesiology and ecumenism and religious liberty and the separation of Church and State and episcopal collegiality and the 1983 Code of Canon Law (which permits what purports to be Holy Communion to be administered to non-Catholics in some circumstances) in "light of tradition." As noted in yesterday's commentary,
One Little Morsel, the possibly forthcoming "motu proprio" "liberating" the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition will insist that Catholics who assist at "approved" "Tridentine" Masses adhere to the "Second" Vatican Council's decrees and the actions and statements of the postconciliar "popes." Thus it is that traditionally-minded Catholics will have to keep their mouths shut about the putative elimination of the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews (and, according to some reports, the possible elimination of the prayer for the conversion of infidels and pagans). Oh, yes, conciliarists have quite a zeal to convert others to its wretched ethos.
The zeal of conciliarists to seek converts to conciliarism extends not only to traditionally-minded Catholics. Mohammedans are a special object of concern in this regard to the conciliarists, which is why Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI made his appeal in Germany last year to the Mohammedans to engage in "inter-religious dialogue" and to accept "religious freedom," something that the Mohammedans have no intention of doing. They believe in their false religion. They reject the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They reject the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity. The persecution of Catholics in Iraq at present, for example, is what comes so very naturally to Mohammedans, whose souls are captive to the devil by means of Original Sin. Mohammedans are not interested in "religious freedom."
Undaunted, however, Cormac "Cardinal" Murphy-O'Connor, the conciliar archbishop of Westminster, England, who is, incidentally, opposing the "liberation" of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition (something that, as mentioned yesterday, plays right into Joseph Ratzinger's desire to garner support from traditionally-minded Catholic by having them rallying around the "papal flag" as "bad" "bishops" oppose the "motu"), gave an address to the "Muslim Council of Wales"
in Cardiff, Wales, on July 9, 2007, in which he repeated the plea to Mohammedans to embrace "religious freedom," thereby being able to more effectively fight the influence of secularism by working collaboratively with members of other religions:
A second thing we could undertake together to improve the state of tomorrow's world for our children is to work for genuine freedom of religion. I have already mentioned that many British Muslims feel misrepresented or at least misunderstood in our media and in public opinion. You are not the only ones, but unfortunately in the present moment much more is being said about Islam than about Christianity or other religions. More than this, there are times when we may all feel that we are not exactly muzzled or silenced, but we are most certainly not free to express our deeply held convictions, sometimes simply for reasons linked to so-called political correctness. I think there are ways we can work with those who form public opinion to solve many of these problems, and I am certain that we should do this together. At the Catholic Church's most recent major council, the second Vatican Council, which took place in the 1960s, many observers were very surprised that the Council's declaration on religious freedom was not a plea for religious freedom for Catholics, but for everybody. Religious freedom is seen as a natural right of every human being, to be respected by every government.
People often seem surprised to hear that this is Catholic teaching, and they delve into history to prove that the Catholic Church has not always given the best example of respect for people's rights in the religious sphere. It would be foolish and churlish to claim there have not been shocking failures in this regard in the past, but here we are looking to the future and the world in which tomorrow's children will grow up. It would be equally inaccurate to ignore the fact that there are places where Christians are not allowed to practice their religion openly, or at all. On June 21, 1995, John Paul II sent a greeting to those present at the opening of the beautiful mosque that now overlooks the city of Rome. This is what he said:
"A grand mosque is being inaugurated today. This event is an eloquent sign of the religious freedom recognized here for every believer. And it is significant that in Rome, the center of Christianity and the See of Peter's successor, Muslims should have their own place to worship with full respect for their freedom of conscience. On a significant occasion like this, it is unfortunately necessary to point out that in some Islamic countries similar signs of the recognition of religious freedom are lacking. And yet the world, on the threshold of the third millennium, is waiting for these signs! Religious freedom has now become part of many international documents and is one of the pillars of contemporary society. While I am pleased that Muslims can gather in prayer in the new Roman mosque, I earnestly hope that the rights of Christians and of all believers freely to express their own faith will be recognized in every corner of the earth."
We prove that we believe in religious freedom when we are prepared to speak up for other people's right to exercise it, and not just our own. If we can learn to act together in favor of religious freedom for all, we shall certainly influence tomorrow's world for the better. . . .
I want to conclude my talk this evening with something John Paul II said in January 2001, when the new ambassador of the Republic of Iran to the Holy See presented his letters of credence to the Holy Father. I think it sums up much of what I have been saying:
"In the dialogue between cultures, men and women of good will realize that there are values that are common to all cultures because they are rooted in the very nature of the human person -- values which express humanity's most authentic and distinctive features: the value of solidarity and peace; the value of education; the value of forgiveness and reconciliation; the value of life itself."
I believe those are values that bring us very close indeed. Thank you!
Anyone who thinks that Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Pius XI or Pius XII would have spoken in such glowing terms of the "right" of adherents of a false religion to "contribute" to the betterment of the world is insane. The consistent, perennial teaching of the Catholic Church is a complete and manifest rejection of the "injurious babbling" represented by conciliarism's zealous propagation of the heresy of religious liberty. Pope Pius IX, quoting an epistle from Pope Saint Leo the Great, used those exact words to describe religious liberty in Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864:
For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling."
Moreover, "Cardinal" Murphy O'Connor's apologia pro conciliarism to the Mohammedans repeats the shopworn canards about "human dignity" and contained in Gaudium et Spes, December 7, 1965, and repeated in the most strenuous of terms by Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger, both of whose false "pontificates" have been characterized also by a belief that secularism can be fought by inter-denominational efforts, a madness that was specifically condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
The same applies to the notion of Fraternity which they found on the love of common interest or, beyond all philosophies and religions, on the mere notion of humanity, thus embracing with an equal love and tolerance all human beings and their miseries, whether these are intellectual, moral, or physical and temporal. But Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged, but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. Catholic doctrine further tells us that love for our neighbor flows from our love for God, Who is Father to all, and goal of the whole human family; and in Jesus Christ whose members we are, to the point that in doing good to others we are doing good to Jesus Christ Himself. Any other kind of love is sheer illusion, sterile and fleeting.
Indeed, we have the human experience of pagan and secular societies of ages past to show that concern for common interests or affinities of nature weigh very little against the passions and wild desires of the heart. No, Venerable Brethren, there is no genuine fraternity outside Christian charity. Through the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ Our Saviour, Christian charity embraces all men, comforts all, and leads all to the same faith and same heavenly happiness.
By separating fraternity from Christian charity thus understood, Democracy, far from being a progress, would mean a disastrous step backwards for civilization. If, as We desire with all Our heart, the highest possible peak of well being for society and its members is to be attained through fraternity or, as it is also called, universal solidarity, all minds must be united in the knowledge of Truth, all wills united in morality, and all hearts in the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ. But this union is attainable only by Catholic charity, and that is why Catholic charity alone can lead the people in the march of progress towards the ideal civilization.
Finally, at the root of all their fallacies on social questions, lie the false hopes of Sillonists on human dignity. According to them, Man will be a man truly worthy of the name only when he has acquired a strong, enlightened, and independent consciousness, able to do without a master, obeying only himself, and able to assume the most demanding responsibilities without faltering. Such are the big words by which human pride is exalted, like a dream carrying Man away without light, without guidance, and without help into the realm of illusion in which he will be destroyed by his errors and passions whilst awaiting the glorious day of his full consciousness. And that great day, when will it come? Unless human nature can be changed, which is not within the power of the Sillonists, will that day ever come? Did the Saints who brought human dignity to its highest point, possess that kind of dignity? And what of the lowly of this earth who are unable to raise so high but are content to plow their furrow modestly at the level where Providence placed them? They who are diligently discharging their duties with Christian humility, obedience, and patience, are they not also worthy of being called men? Will not Our Lord take them one day out of their obscurity and place them in heaven amongst the princes of His people? . . . .
Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. The new Sillonists cannot pretend that they are merely working on “the ground of practical realities” where differences of belief do not matter. Their leader is so conscious of the influence which the convictions of the mind have upon the result of the action, that he invites them, whatever religion they may belong to, “to provide on the ground of practical realities, the proof of the excellence of their personal convictions.” And with good reason: indeed, all practical results reflect the nature of one’s religious convictions, just as the limbs of a man down to his finger-tips, owe their very shape to the principle of life that dwells in his body.
This being said, what must be thought of the promiscuity in which young Catholics will be caught up with heterodox and unbelieving folk in a work of this nature? Is it not a thousand-fold more dangerous for them than a neutral association? What are we to think of this appeal to all the heterodox, and to all the unbelievers, to prove the excellence of their convictions in the social sphere in a sort of apologetic contest? Has not this contest lasted for nineteen centuries in conditions less dangerous for the faith of Catholics? And was it not all to the credit of the Catholic Church? What are we to think of this respect for all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that they may have more and more abundant sources of fresh forces? What are we to think of an association in which all religions and even Free-Thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom? For the Sillonists who, in public lectures and elsewhere, proudly proclaim their personal faith, certainly do not intend to silence others nor do they intend to prevent a Protestant from asserting his Protestantism, and the skeptic from affirming his skepticism. Finally, what are we to think of a Catholic who, on entering his study group, leaves his Catholicism outside the door so as not to alarm his comrades who, “dreaming of disinterested social action, are not inclined to make it serve the triumph of interests, coteries and even convictions whatever they may be”? Such is the profession of faith of the New Democratic Committee for Social Action which has taken over the main objective of the previous organization and which, they say, “breaking the double meaning which surround the Greater Sillon both in reactionary and anti-clerical circles”, is now open to all men “who respect moral and religious forces and who are convinced that no genuine social emancipation is possible without the leaven of generous idealism.”
Alas! yes, the double meaning has been broken: the social action of the Sillon is no longer Catholic. The Sillonist, as such, does not work for a coterie, and “the Church”, he says, “cannot in any sense benefit from the sympathies that his action may stimulate.” A strange situation, indeed! They fear lest the Church should profit for a selfish and interested end by the social action of the Sillon, as if everything that benefited the Church did not benefit the whole human race! A curious reversal of notions! The Church might benefit from social action! As if the greatest economists had not recognized and proved that it is social action alone which, if serious and fruitful, must benefit the Church! But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, "the reign of love and justice" with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them - their religious and philosophical convictions, and so long as they share what unites them - a "generous idealism and moral forces drawn from whence they can" When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which are necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace - the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made man - when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.
We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God". - "We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind."
And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer.
We know only too well the dark workshops in which are elaborated these mischievous doctrines which ought not to seduce clear-thinking minds. The leaders of the Sillon have not been able to guard against these doctrines. The exaltation of their sentiments, the undiscriminating good-will of their hearts, their philosophical mysticism, mixed with a measure of illuminism, have carried them away towards another Gospel which they thought was the true Gospel of Our Savior. To such an extent that they speak of Our Lord Jesus Christ with a familiarity supremely disrespectful, and that - their ideal being akin to that of the Revolution - they fear not to draw between the Gospel and the Revolution blasphemous comparisons for which the excuse cannot be made that they are due to some confused and over-hasty composition.
We wish to draw your attention, Venerable Brethren, to this distortion of the Gospel and to the sacred character of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God and man, prevailing within the Sillon and elsewhere. As soon as the social question is being approached, it is the fashion in some quarters to first put aside the divinity of Jesus Christ, and then to mention only His unlimited clemency, His compassion for all human miseries, and His pressing exhortations to the love of our neighbor and to the brotherhood of men. True, Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. But for the realization of this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept His doctrine, that we must practice virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance of Peter and his successors. Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them. Whilst He called to Himself in order to comfort them, those who toiled and suffered, it was not to preach to them the jealousy of a chimerical equality. Whilst He lifted up the lowly, it was not to instill in them the sentiment of a dignity independent from, and rebellious against, the duty of obedience. Whilst His heart overflowed with gentleness for the souls of good-will, He could also arm Himself with holy indignation against the profaners of the House of God, against the wretched men who scandalized the little ones, against the authorities who crush the people with the weight of heavy burdens without putting out a hand to lift them. He was as strong as he was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven: the royal way of the Cross. These are teachings that it would be wrong to apply only to one's personal life in order to win eternal salvation; these are eminently social teachings, and they show in Our Lord Jesus Christ something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism.
No, the path to the "better" world does not run through the condemned heresy of "religious liberty" or can be achieved by means of "interdenominational" efforts to oppose secularism. The statement below, penned by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, is either eternally true or it is not. If it is, you see, those who do not believe it demonstrate a "full, active and conscious" rebellion against a simple papal reiteration of a simple truth of the Catholic Faith:
We know well that they flatter themselves with the idea of raising human dignity and the discredited condition of the working class. We know that they wish to render just and perfect the labor laws and the relations between employers and employees, thus causing a more complete justice and a greater measure of charity to prevail upon earth, and causing also a profound and fruitful transformation in society by which mankind would make an undreamed-of progress. Certainly, We do not blame these efforts; they would be excellent in every respect if the Sillonist did not forget that a person’s progress consists in developing his natural abilities by fresh motivations; that it consists also in permitting these motivations to operate within the frame of, and in conformity with, the laws of human nature. But, on the contrary, by ignoring the laws governing human nature and by breaking the bounds within which they operate, the human person is lead, not toward progress, but towards death. This, nevertheless, is what they want to do with human society; they dream of changing its natural and traditional foundations; they dream of a Future City built on different principles, and they dare to proclaim these more fruitful and more beneficial than the principles upon which the present Christian City rests.
No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. omnia instaurare in Christo.
Anyone who thinks that conciliarists have any zeal for rebuilding the Catholic City is living in a fantasy world. Conciliarism is premised upon an acceptance of pluralism and religious liberty, not upon the conversion of all men and all nations to the Social Reign of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen.
As Jacinta Marto noted to Sister Mary of the Purification in the orphanage in Lisbon, Portugal, to which she was sent shortly before her death, God has willed that the path to world peace run exclusively through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother, a devotion that is not at all mentioned by the conciliarists in their zeal to convert all men, including traditionally-minded Catholics and Mohammedans, to their interdenominational view of the world that is part and parcel of the One World Church prophesied by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique.We must, however, be faithful to Our Lady's Fatima Message no matter how much it is ignored, deconstructed, revised or denigrated by the conciliarists. It is Our Lady's Fatima Message the path to world peace. It is also the path out of the mess wrought by conciliarism.
We must pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, offering each one freely to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as her consecrated slaves. The Rosary has vanquished heresies in the past. It has converted the most hardened of sinners. Consider these words of Saint Louis de Montfort, contained in The Secret of the Rosary (Montfort Publications, twenty-third printing, 1984):
I beg of you [addressing priests at first] to beware of thinking of the Rosary as something of little importance--as do ignorant people and even several great but proud scholars. Far from being insignificant, the Rosary is a priceless treasure which is inspired by God.
Almighty God has given it to you because He wants you to use it as a means to convert the most hardened sinners and the most obstinate heretics. He has attached to it grace in this life and glory in the next. The saints have said it faithfully and the Popes have endorsed it. . . .
[Addressing Sinners] Poor men and women who are sinners, I, a greater sinner than you, wish to give you this rose--a crimson one, because the Precious Blood of Our Lord has fallen upon it. Please God that it will bring true fragrance into your lives--but above all may it save you from the danger that you are in. Every day unbelievers and unrepentant sinners cry: "Let us crown ourselves with roses." But our cry should be: "Let us crown ourselves with roses of the Most Holy Rosary."
How different are theirs from ours! their roses are pleasure of the flesh, worldly honors and passing riches which wilt and decay in no time, but ours, which are the Our Father and the Holy Mary which we have said devoutly over and over again and to which we have added good penitential acts, will never wilt or die and they will be just as exquisite thousands of years from now as they are today.
On the contrary, sinners' roses only look like roses, while in point of fact they are cruel thorns which prick them during life by giving them pangs of conscience, at their death they pierce them with bitter regret and still worse, in eternity, they turn to burning shafts of anger and despair. But if our roses have thorns, they are the thorns of Jesus Christ Who changes them into roses. If our roses prick us, it is only for a short time--and only in order to cure the illness of our sins and to save our souls.
So by all means we should eagerly crown ourselves with these roses from heaven, and recite the entire Rosary every day, that is to say three Rosaries each of five decades which are like three little wreaths or crowns of flowers; and there are two reasons for doing this: First of all is to honor at the three crowns of Jesus and Mary--Jesus' crown of grace at the time of His Incarnation, His crown of thorns during His passion and His crown of glory in Heaven, and of course the three-fold crown which the Most Blessed Trinity gave Mary in heaven.
Secondly, we should do this so that we ourselves may receive three crowns from Jesus and Mary. The first is a crown of merit during our lifetime, the second, a crown of peace at our death, and the third, a crown of glory in heaven.
If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, "you shall receive a never fading crown of glory." Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or alter you will be converted and will amend your life and save your souls, if--and mark well what I say--if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.
Our love of the Rosary, which comforts the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, will help to effect the conversion of the conciliarists and bring about an end to conciliarism. May our zeal for the conversion of all souls to the immutable truths of the Catholic Faith be ever enflamed by a love for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Most Pure Heart of Mary, seeking to offer these Twin Hearts of matchless love some measure of reparation and consolation for our own many sins and for those of others. May we place our total confidence, therefore, in Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary to bring all men to the font of Divine Mercy that is the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was formed out of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that our sins pierced through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow.
This period of apostasy and betrayal will pass. May our Rosaries and acts of penance and mortification and almsgiving and fasting, offered to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, help to bring about the restoration of the Catholic City throughout the world, a City wherein all hearts, consecrated to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, will exclaim with burning love:
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Ephrem the Deacon, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
Saint Basil the Great, 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 Philip Neri, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saints Monica, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.
Saint Antony of the Desert, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Damian, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
Juan Diego, 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.