Freedom to Assemble with the Enemies of Christ
Thomas A. Droleskey
Our Lord became Incarnate in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb to save us erring sinners. He walked amongst sinners during His life here on earth. He ate with publicly known sinners, causing scandal over and over again to the Pharisees. He healed a servant of a Roman centurion, whose legions were not exactly a welcomed presence among the Jews. Our Lord, though, did not consort with our fellow sinners during His lifetime simply to be a "nice guy." He did not consort with publicly known sinners to reaffirm them in their sins. He came to convert them to belief in Him and to make them followers of the Church He would found upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. He came to tell people that they had to reform their lives and to sin no more. He came to make it possible for us sinners to pass through the Gates of Heaven that He re-opened by His death on the wood of the Holy Cross so that we could share with Him an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise.
We spend our lives here on earth consorting with our fellow sinners, starting in our own families as children. Those of us who went to schools in our youth were schooled with our fellow sinners. Even those who are home-schooled are taught with their fellow sinners. We shop with our fellow sinners. We drive the roads with our fellow sinners. We work with our fellow sinners. Each of us is a sinner. As Saint John the Evangelist notes in his first Epistle:
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 Jn. 1:10)
It is, however, one thing to be sorry and to seek out the Mercy of Our Lord in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance. It is quite another to persist in sin unrepentantly, worse yet to promote it under cover of law and in every aspect of our popular culture. There are times, therefore, that we are called to take precautions against permitting those steeped in unrepentant sins--or in attitudes not consonant with living out the fullness of the Catholic life--from influencing ourselves and our children.
That is, recognizing that we are sinners and that we spend our lives with our fellow sinners does not mean, however, that we can be indifferent about sin in our own lives or in the lives of those God places in our life's journey. Recognizing that we are sinners and that we spend our lives with our fellow sinners does not mean that there we do not have to be careful about our associations. Those who are steeped in lives of unrepentant sin pose great dangers for ourselves and our children. While we pray for them and recognize that we could fall into such a life of iniquity quite easily, there are times when we have to make decisions that go against the grain of human respect (seeking the approval and the respect of others) and against the temptation to surrender to false compassion and sentimentality. There are times when we have practice what is called colloquially "tough love" and seek to separate ourselves from people whose influences in our lives and those of our children could be detrimental over the course of time. Although there is the temptation to think that our "good example" will win over people who are steeped in unrepentant sins--and who are therefore surrounded by demons who would just love to have the opportunity to influence us, it is far easier for us to be influenced by bad behavior than it is for our good example to change a hardened sinner.
Saint John himself, who taught that our love for God and our brothers is premised upon keeping His Commandments, which are not burdensome, wrote in his second Epistle:
Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. For he that saith unto him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works. (2 John 1: 9-11)
We pray and we fast for our relatives and friends and associates and acquaintances. We do not give them a chance to corrupt our children's souls. We give them Miraculous Medals (or hide them in their homes). We give them Green Scapulars and pray "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death" for the person or people to whom we have then them. We have Masses said for them. We remember them in our Rosaries. We will their good, the ultimate expression of which is the salvation of their souls as members of the Catholic Church. We cannot, however, let those whose unrepentant moral decisions or whose style of dress or speech or immersion in the things of this passing world exert any influence on our lives. And those of us who understand the necessity of the totality of the Church's authentic Tradition for the sanctification and salvation of our souls must take measures to make sure that otherwise wonderful people who are hostile to Tradition, as opposed to being at least open to our talking about it, will not exert influences over our children. Tough stuff. I know.
Indeed, this is a subject about which one will get different advice from different priests, to be sure. Even some very good priests will say to "keep the channels of grace" open, which is more or less a way of saying that we should just get along without saying anything controversial, thereby wasting our time and theirs and subject our souls to grave dangers. We can keep the channel of graces of open by means of prayer--and by means of written communications, what the ancients used to call "letter writing," which can often, although not always, be more effective than face-to-face communications. Then there are the priests who take the firm stand taken by Saint John the Evangelist in his second Epistle quoted above.
For example, an elderly Jesuit priest, who looked for all the world like Father John A. Hardon, at Saint James Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, which was then in the process of being wreckovated, said the following in a sermon during a noon-time Mass in May of 2000:
It is sometimes the case that the most loving thing we can do for another person is turn our back on him.
Our love for God as He has revealed Himself exclusively through His true Church means that we must be so attached to Him that we are ready to detach ourselves from anything and anyone and any place that can in the slightest deter us from making our way home to Him by walking the rocky road that leads to the Narrow Gate of Heaven itself. A good confessor or spiritual director who understands the dangers of a particular situation is the person to guide Catholics as they make these decisions, which are difficult and at times very difficult to discern, in their own lives.
No general statement of principle in this regard fits all circumstances perfectly. The reflection offered here is meant to apply principally in those instances of hardened, unrepentant sinners and in instances where others around us are immersed in the culture and/or opposed to Tradition so much so as to be genuine threats to our own souls and those of our children. Special care must be taken with casual acquaintances, such as non-Catholic or poorly catechized Catholics, whose lives are so steeped with error that just one word may rob our children of their innocence for the rest of their developmental years and make them curious about things that are spiritually suicidal for themselves and others.
The care to be used in associating with friends and relatives and acquaintances applies doubly in matters of our social associations. The Popes of Tradition have been very clear on this point: believing Catholics must associate with other believing Catholics in their social associations. No secular group can accomplish anything for the betterment of human beings. You read that right. No secular group can accomplish anything for the betterment of human beings and the world in which they live. And secular groups that permit the sworn enemies of Our Lord and His Holy Church, such as Freemasons, to belong to them are simply not at all worthy of a Catholic's time, attention or financial support. Indeed, such groups must be shunned. Entirely and without exception. The prohibition in the case of social associations, as contrasted with the difficulties of personal relationships that are contingent upon a number of factors to be presented before a solid traditional Catholic priest (one who does not offer the Novus Ordo Missae at all), is absolute.
Pope Leo XIII noted this when discussing the influence of the Freemasons, responsible for the overthrow of the Papal States, in Italy. Writing in Custodi Di Quella Fede, issued on December 8, 1892, Pope Leo warned:
The road is very short from religious to social ruin. The heart of man is no longer raised to heavenly hopes and loves; capable and needing the infinite, it throws itself insatiably on the goods of this earth. Inevitably there is a perpetual struggle of avid passions to enjoy, become rich, and rise. Then we encounter a large and inexhaustible source of grudges, discords, corruptions, and crimes. In our Italy there was no lack of moral and social disorders before the present events -- but what a sorrowful spectacle we see in our days! That loving respect which forms domestic harmony is substantially diminished; paternal authority is too often unrecognized by children and parents alike. Disagreements are frequent, divorce common. Civil discords and resentful anger between the various orders increase every day in the cities. New generations which grew up in a spirit of misunderstood freedom are unleashed in the cities, generations which do not respect anything from above or below. The cities teem with incitements to vice, precocious crimes, and public scandals. The state should be content with the high and noble office of recognizing, protecting, and helping divine and human rights in their harmonious universality. Now, however, the state believes itself almost a judge and disowns these rights or restricts them at will. Finally, the general social order is undermined at its foundations. Books and journals, schools and universities, clubs and theaters, monuments and political discourse, photographs and the fine arts, everything conspires to pervert minds and corrupt hearts. Meanwhile the oppressed and suffering people tremble and the anarchic sects arouse themselves. The working classes raise their heads and go to swell the ranks of socialism, communism, and anarchy. Characters exhaust themselves and many souls, no longer knowing how to suffer nobly nor how to redeem themselves manfully, take their lives with cowardly suicide. . . .
In a matter of such importance and where the seduction is so easy in these times, it is urgent that the Christian watch himself from the beginning. He should fear the least danger, avoid every occasion, and take the greatest precautions. Use all the prudence of the serpent, while keeping in your heart the simplicity of the dove, according to the evangelical counsel. Fathers and mothers should be wary of inviting strangers into their homes or admitting them to domestic intimacy, at least insofar as their faith is not sufficiently known. They should try to first ascertain that an astute recruiter of the sect does not hide himself in the guise of a friend, teacher, doctor or other benefactor. Oh, in how many families has the wolf penetrated in sheep's clothing!
It is beautiful to see the varied groups which arise everywhere today in every order of social life: worker groups, groups of mutual aid and social security, organizations to promote science, arts, letters, and other similar things. When they are inspired by a good moral and religious spirit, these groups certainly prove to be useful and proper. But because the masonic poison has penetrated and continues to penetrate here also, especially here, any groups that remove themselves from religious influence should be generally suspect. They can easily be directed and more or less dominated by masons, becoming the sowing ground and the apprenticeship of the sect in addition to providing assistance to it.
Women should not join philanthropic societies whose nature and purpose are not well-known without first seeking advice from wise and experienced people. That talkative philanthropy which is opposed to Christian charity with such pomp is often the passport for masonic business.
Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God
Every Christian should shun books and journals which distill the poison of impiety and which stir up the fire of unrestrained desires or sensual passions. Groups and reading clubs where the masonic spirit stalks its prey should be likewise shunned.
In addition, since we are dealing with a sect which has pervaded everything, it is not enough to remain on the defensive. We must courageously go out into the battlefield and confront it. That is what you will do, beloved children, opposing press to press, school to school, organization to organization, congress to congress, action to action.
Masonry has taken control of the public schools, leaving private schools, paternal schools, and those directed by zealous ecclesiastics and religious of both sexes to compete in the education of Christian youth. Christian parents especially should not entrust the education of their children to uncertain schools. Masonry has confiscated the inheritance of public charity; fill the void, then, with the treasure of private relief. It has placed pious works in the hands of its followers, so you should entrust those that depend on you to Catholic institutions. It opens and maintains houses of vice, leaving you to do what is possible to open and maintain shelters for honesty in danger. An anti-Christian press in religious and secular matters militates at its expense, so that your effort and money are required by the Catholic press. Masonry establishes societies of mutual help and credit unions for its partisans; you should do the same not only for your brothers but for all the indigent. This will show that true and sincere charity is the daughter of the One who makes the sun to rise and the rain to fall on the just man and sinner alike.
No group or political party that permits Freemasons to join is worthy of our Catholic attention. No good can come from such an effort as it is not founded in Catholic truth and does not seek to direct man to his Last End through the true Church. To believe otherwise is to believe in the pluralist lie of "freedom of association" that is enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Pope Leo XIII and his successor, Pope Saint Pius X, said this in no uncertain terms.
Pope Leo wrote the following in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900:
This generative and conservative power of the virtues that make for salvation is therefore lost, whenever morality is dissociated from divine faith. A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them all and keep them inviolate through life-and even this is impossible without the aid of the grace of our Redeemer-still it is vain for anyone without faith to promise himself eternal salvation. "If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth" john xv., 6). "He that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi., 16). We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime.
Pope Saint Pius X reiterated that exact point 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?
Anyone who believes that his secular group or political party is going to help improve the world is a fool. Any Catholic who believes this is steeped in grave errors that run contrary to the entirety of the Deposit of Faith. I have been using the following phrase for the past fifteen years. I repeat it all of the time. I will repeat it until I die. We cannot fight secularism and all of its attendant evils with secularism. We can only fight secularism and all of its attendant evils with Catholicism.
It is with this in mind that a brief comment must be made about Thomas Monaghan's initial desire to create a Catholic community around the new campus of Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida, that would have banned contraception and pornographic magazines and pornographic cable channels. Monaghan, who is a major contributor to Opus Dei, an organization that specializes in soaking the unsuspecting rich in order to promote itself (in the name of "sanctifying daily life") and to keep Catholics silent about the errors of conciliarism and about the true state of the Church in her human elements at present, has changed his mind, saying that the ban of the evils mentioned above would apply to the university and not to the town of Ave Maria. "I don't have a vision for the town," Monaghan was quoted in one press report as saying, apologizing for having "mis-spoken" about his original plans.
Here is where the see the errors of Modernity and the Modernist errors that shape conciliarism, including the Novus Ordo Missae, converge to diabolically disorient the minds of men who want to do good with the means that God has made it possible for them to make over the years. Poor Mr. Monaghan wants to good with his money. He has been shaped in an ethos of American pluralism that contends it is simply part of the "American way" for error to have its place in society under the slogans contained in the First Amendment (freedom of speech, freedom of press, free exercise of religion, freedom of assembly). And he is reaffirmed in this cultural error by apologists for pluralism and "healthy secularity" within the Church. Ave Maria University is going to be a hodgepodge of everything that is wrong in the Church today, everything that Christopher A. Ferrara has noted so well in EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong, everything that winds up immersing the minds of Catholics in the errors of Modernism and all of its variations, including Americanism. Ave Maria, Florida, is just going to be another secular community in the secular, Judeo-Masonic world that is the United States of America.
Mr. Monaghan has probably never considered the following passage from Pope Leo XIII's Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, that states decisively and irrefutably that the State is acting against its own interests, no less against God's laws, when it permits that which is evil to be brought temptingly before the eye of man:
So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from life, from laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action.
How is Thomas Monaghan to know this? I am sure that no priest in Opus Dei has ever instructed him in anything that could be construed as contradicting conciliarism's embrace of the secular state and all of "its" alleged rights rather than the rights of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen. Such is the absolute absurdity of the world in which we live, though, that a community, Kiryas Joel, of Hasidic Jews was permitted to be formed in Orange County of the State of New York, in 1979 but a community formed according to Catholic principles is said by Catholics to be a violation of the principles of pluralism.
The madness does not stop with our own country. No, sadly, Pope Benedict XVI recently encouraged Mohammedans to respect "religious liberty" in their own countries. Just as Americanists believe that the solution to the problems of the world is the spread of American principles of "democracy" and "freedom," so do the scions of conciliarism believe that religious liberty, which had its birth here in the United States of America, will solve "tensions" among those who belong to different religions. The Americanists and the conciliarists both have it wrong. The problems of the world are ameliorated by the spread of the true Faith, which eradicates adherence to the false religions that have the origin from the devil and have as their aim to make warfare upon the true Faith with great ferocity. The saint we commemorated yesterday, Saint Patrick, did not engage in inter-religious dialogue. He wanted Ireland to be Catholic, completely and utterly. The saint we commemorate today, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, did battle with error inside of the Church. Neither Saint Patrick nor Saint Cyril of Jerusalem believed that Catholics consorted with the enemies of Christ the King to produce "social peace and harmony among peoples" that can only be brought about in and through the work of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His true Church.
The Diabolical Disorientation produced by Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church will cease once Russia is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by a pope with all of the world's bishops. Until that time, we must protect ourselves from all influences, whether personal or social, that can in the least make us susceptible to believing that there is anything good that can be accomplished by consorting with open enemies of Our Lord and His Holy Church. While we, who are frequently the enemies of Our Lord by means of our sins, pray for the conversion of all men, we must remember the Charity begins at home and that we must insure that the integrity of the Faith is safeguarded in the bosoms of our homes so that our children will themselves grow up to be champions of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen, not participants in the pluralist lies of freedom and religious indifferentism.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Patrick, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Saint Edward the Confessor, pray for us.
Saint Louis IX, King of France, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Henry, pray for us.
Saint Stephen of Hungary, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, pray for us.
Saint Padre Pio, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
The North American Martyrs, pray for us.
Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Blessed Junipero Serra, pray for us.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
A Prayer Request
Today is the twenty-fourth anniversary of my mother's death, at Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, at 9:20 p.m. I would ask you in your charity to remember once again the soul of Norma Florence Red Fox Droleskey. Please also remember the soul of my late father, Albert Henry Martin Droleskey, who was very devastated following my mother's death. Thank you.