Do You Believe in the Apostles' Creed?
Thomas A. Droleskey
Do you believe in the Apostles' Creed? Those who do had better count on one thing in the not-too-distant future: overt harassment and possibly even imprisonment on the grounds of intolerance and bigotry.
What some of us, wrongly, as it turned out, feared would result from a Bill Clinton presidency in 1992 is coming true in the administration of his successor, who is the son of his predecessor. That is, President George W. Bush has authorized more invasions of the privacy of ordinary American citizens than any of his predecessors combined. The use of the coercive power of the state has increased dramatically since the events of September 11, 2001, without any real increase in the security of this country (indeed, our border with Mexico is a sieve through which is passing countless numbers of Mohammedans intent on doing us no good at all). There will come a time in the near future when some presidential administration, perhaps this one or perhaps another, is going to use the sophisticated means of data collection on ordinary citizens established under George W. Bush to question them closely about their beliefs. The Roman Emperors, who had their own system of informants, many of the them Jews of the Diaspora, to persecute Catholics, to be sure, could not have dreamed of a system as comprehensive and draconian as has been developed in a supposedly "free" country by a supposedly "conservative chief executive.
In truth, of course, all manner of the questioning of belief is done all of the time in practically every single aspect of our culture. The mere mention of the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is forbidden in some places in the military chaplaincy program. Corporations regularly screen prospective employees about their sensitivity to issues of "diversity," particularly as it concerns the "rights" of those who pervert the Sixth and Ninth Commandments. People who do wind up being hired must go through ideological brainwashing programs on a regular basis in order to retain their positions or have any chance for promotion. Educational institutions regularly screen out candidates with records that are considered to be politically incorrect (and, believe me, I know all about this one from thirty years of experience). Indeed, the famed Soviet dissident and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn saw this clearly in his famous commencement address, "A World Split Apart," delivered at Harvard University on June 8, 1978:
Without any censorship in the West, fashionable trends of thought and ideas are fastidiously separated from those that are not fashionable, and the latter, without ever being forbidden have little chance of finding their way into periodicals or books or being heard in colleges. Your scholars are free in the legal sense, but they are hemmed in by the idols of the prevailing fad. There is no open violence, as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to accommodate mass standards frequently prevents the most independent-minded persons from contributing to public life and gives rise to dangerous herd instincts that block dangerous herd development.
In America, I have received letters from highly intelligent persons - maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but the country cannot hear him because the media will not provide him with a forum. This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, to a blindness which is perilous in our dynamic era.
Freedom? It is an illusion. There can be no authentic freedom for the individual or for the state that is not founded in the Kingship of Jesus Christ as it must be exercised by the Catholic Church, which is why all of the novel language of the conciliar popes about "international solidarity" and "religious liberty" aids and abets the spread of objective evils and encourages armed hostilities within and among nations. Pope Pius XI put it this way in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio:
Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future, to the making impossible of war in the future. For the Church teaches (she alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority) that not only our acts as individuals but also as groups and as nations must conform to the eternal law of God. In fact, it is much more important that the acts of a nation follow God's law, since on the nation rests a much greater responsibility for the consequences of its acts than on the individual.
When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.
There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.
It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.
It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.
It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace.
This language was rejected by the Second Vatican Council, especially in Gaudium et Spes. An appeal to "modern man," condemned by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis in 1950, has characterized the appeals of popes and bishops for "peace." There is no call for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King as the penultimate fruit of the fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message. Indeed, there is no talk of Our Lady's Fatima Message at all as the anniversary of her first apparition to Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Sister Lucia dos Santos is transformed into a celebration of the life of the late Pope John Paul II. And the man who sits on the Throne of Saint Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, who has contempt for the way in which the social doctrine of the Church was reiterated by popes in the Nineteenth Century, played a major role in the deconstruction of the Third Secret Family (along with Angelo Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State). One of the most important books of the past decade, The Devil's Final Battle, chronicled this deconstruction, making the Fatima Message appear to be irrelevant as its "time" has passed.
Has the time for the Fatima Message passed? Have the anti-Incarnational, statist errors of Russia ceased to spread in the world? Hardly. The growth in the coercive power of the state in the supposedly "free" world since the end of World War II is one of the proofs of the spread of the errors of Russia that Our Lady had warned us about in Fatima starting eighty-nine years ago today, May 13, 1917. The errors of Russia have spread rapidly since the collapse of overt Bolshevism in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on December 25, 1991. Communism, though, is alive and well in Russia and most of the former republics of the old Soviet Union. I mean, who is Vladimir Putin? The former head of the KGB, that's all. He hates political dissent. He loves spying on his country's citizens.
George W. Bush hates dissent. He loves spying on his country's citizens. There will come a time when certain strains of thought and belief will be legally proscribed. This may not come in the Bush II administration. Count on this, though, it is going to come, and George W. Bush will have paved the way for it if he does not implement it himself. Criticism of the government? A crime. Seeking the conversion of souls to the Catholic Church. A crime. Public criticism of perversion? A crime. Proclamation of the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in public? A crime. Speaking out against corporate usury as a violation of the Seventh Commandment? A crime. Speaking out against blasphemies committed by the motion picture and related "entertainment" industries? A crime. Defending the inviolability of innocent human life? A crime. Far-fetched? Think again, ladies and gentlemen. Think again.
Tyrants have sought to silence Catholics from the very birth of the Church on Pentecost Sunday, starting with the thugs who composed the Sanhedrin. Roman Emperors and the kings of barbaric tribes tried with all of their might to get Catholics to deny the Faith during the early part First Millennium. Mohammedans have tried to do so from the Seventh Century to this very day. Protestants and Freemasons and social revolutionaries have tried to do so with varying degrees of ferocity since 1517. The names of these perpetrators have ranged from Nero to Trajan to Diocletian to Mohammed to Luther to Henry to Cranmer to Calvin to Cromwell to Danton to Robespierre to Garibaldi and Bismarck to Lenin to Hitler to Mao to Ho to Castro to Ortega and to all of the petty little men and women, many of them apostate Catholics, who have served in our own government in the past thirty to forty years, ever eager to sell out the Faith for their thirty pieces of silver of popularity and political power.
Tyrants never learn their lessons. Inspired by the adversary, who hates God and who hates us because our souls made in the image and likeness of God, new generations of tyrants arise to try to silence the voice of Catholics. This is why the accommodation of the Church in her human elements to the spirit of the world has made it more possible for the witches' brew of forces that has been coalescing and mutating and re-coalescing since the Sixteenth Century to be victorious in all aspects of the popular culture of most of the countries in the so-called "developed" world. The Church in her human elements has lost her ability to denounce the criminals of Modernity because she has been infiltrated by Modernists, men who are ashamed to speak in the clear, unambiguous language used by the Popes of Tradition, including the language used by Pope Pius XI in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio on December 23, 1922. The devil and his minions grow bolder when Catholics, including popes and bishops and priests, begin to speak with the voice of the world.
Pope Leo XIII put it his way in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world." Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.
Pope Pius XI sounded a similar theme in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925:
We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
The enemy also becomes bolder in his attacks when those of us who want to see Tradition restored in the Church and the Social Reign of Christ the King restored become so focused on fighting each other, sometimes quite nastily, that we lose sight of the fact that adversary's minions are monitoring our words and actions. There will come a day when all of us will be rounded up without distinction to the traditionalist "camp" in which we associate ourselves. It won't matter to the statists and their Catholic collaborators (who will quite happily serve the role of the Jewish collaborators in the early days of the Third Reich) whether we are indultarians or members of the Society of Saint Pius X or sedevacantists. Oh, no, anyone who believes in the Social Reign of Christ the King will be seen as an enemy of the State, a veritable incarnation of David Koresh (aka Wayne Howell) or Timothy McVeigh. People who cannot presently stand one another--and who hurl the most vile insults at each other--may very well find themselves in the same jail cell awaiting execution just because they believe in the Apostles' Creed and Christ the King.
Even this, though, is not without precedent. Saint Hippolytus spent a good deal of his life as an antipope, believing that the several popes in Rome had countenanced heresy and/or were too weak on heretics. Thus, he had himself proclaimed pope after the death of Pope Saint Zephyrinus, thereby opposing three successive popes, Callistus, Urban, and Pontian. As Our Lord would have it, however, Pontian and Hippolytus were sent into exile together on the island of Sardinia by Emperor Maximinus in the year 235 A.D. The two former adversaries, Pontian and Hippolytus, were reconciled to each other during their captivity, which ended in their deaths. This should remind us, one and all, that those who believe in the Apostles' Creed but differ from us about the nature and the extent of the problems facing the Church in her human elements are not the problem we face today. We face hatred from the political and economic and cultural tyrants of Modernity on the one hand and from the tyrants of Modernism in the Church on the other.
We will have our differences with our fellow traditional Catholics, to be sure. We must always recognize, however, the devil's minions in the world will make no distinction amongst us at all. Truly believing Catholics are the worst threat to tyrants. (Not so with quisling Catholics who have bought into, whether wittingly or unwittingly, the "the joys of the world" as being compatible with the Faith.) Revolutionaries have always recognized this to be the case. They recognize it today, which is why we must understand that Modernism's obeisance to the altar of Modernity should be the focus of our attention, not the sideshow of the different ways in which our fellow traditional Catholics have reacted to the incredible series of events of the past forty to fifty years. (I mean, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is cooperating with the pro-contraception, pro-abortion World Council of Churches to try to devise a universal code of conduct to supervise the process of religious conversions so as to not disparage any other religions? This is from Christ? Yes, I will do an article on this at some point in the next week or so. But, seriously, how in the world can any Catholic say that such an effort is of God or does not reflect poorly on the reigning pontiff who has authorized it?)
The enemies of the Faith know that anyone who professes traditional Catholicism is, at the very least, a potential enemy of the Revolution, an enemy of the "right" of the civil state to wipe out any expression of Catholicism from the midst of popular culture. Although I am tempted to point out numerous examples of who among the warring tribes of traditionalism could be paired up in prison by the statists in a repetition of the experience of Saints Pontian and Hippolytus, I will leave it to your own imaginations to conjure up pairings of people today who don't speak to each or who don't regard each other highly. Pontian and Hippolytus, despite their many differences, were ready to die for the Faith as it had been handed down to them from the Apostles. Do we really think that those who differ from us within the traditional movement are not as ready to die for the Faith today as were Pontian and Hippolytus in the Third Century?
Our only hope in the midst of these troubling times, ladies and gentlemen, is Our Lady of Fatima. We must cling to her. We must do our part to fulfill her Fatima Message in our own daily lives, trusting her with the same childlike simplicity and joy of Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia. We must do penance for our own sins and for those of the whole world. We must pray, pray, pray, for the conversion of sinners. And we must pray for the consecration of Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by a pope with all of the world's bishops (something that has not been done). The fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message will bring about the end of the spread of the errors of Russia, which are the errors of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church. Tradition will be restored in the Church and Christendom in the world.
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 Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Robert Bellarmine, pray for us.
Saints Pontian and Hippolytus, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, 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 Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, 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 Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.