In Full Communion With the Golden Calf
by Thomas A. Droleskey
And the people seeing that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, gathering together against Aaron, said: Arise, make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has befallen him. And Aaron said to them: Take the golden earrings from the ears of your wives, and your sons and daughters, and bring them to me. And the people did what he had commanded, bringing the earrings to Aaron. And when he had received them, he fashioned them by founders' work, and made of them a molten calf. And they said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it, and made proclamation by a crier's voice, saying: Tomorrow is the solemnity of the Lord.
And rising in the morning, they offered holocausts, and peace victims, and the people sat down to eat, and drink, and they rose up to play.
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Go, get thee down: thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, hath sinned. They have quickly strayed from the way which thou didst shew them: and they have made to themselves a molten calf, and have adored it, and sacrificing victims to it, have said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt. And again the Lord said to Moses: See that this people is stiffnecked: Let me alone, that my wrath may be kindled against them, and that I may destroy them, and I will make of thee a great nation.
But Moses besought the Lord his God, saying: Why, O Lord, is thy indignation kindled against thy people, whom thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, with great power, and with a mighty hand? Let not the Egyptians say, I beseech thee: He craftily brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains, and destroy them from the earth: let thy anger cease, and be appeased upon the wickedness of thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou sworest by thy own self, saying: I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven: and this whole land that I have spoken of, I will give to you seed, and you shall possess it for ever. And the Lord was appeased from doing the evil which he had spoken against his people. And Moses returned from the mount, carrying the two tables of the testimony in his hand, written on both sides,
And made by the work of God: the writing also of God was graven in the tables. And Josue hearing the noise of the people shouting, said to Moses: The noise of battle is heard in the camp. But he answered: It is not the cry of men encouraging to fight, nor the shout of men compelling to flee: but I hear the voice of singers. And when he came nigh to the camp, he saw the calf, and the dances: and being very angry, he threw the tables out of his hand, and broke them at the foot of the mount: And laying hold of the calf which they had made, he burnt it, and beat it to powder, which he strowed into water, and gave thereof to the children of Israel to drink.
And he said to Aaron: What has this people done to thee, that thou shouldst bring upon them a most heinous sin? And he answered him: Let not my lord be offended: for thou knowest this people, that they are prone to evil. They said to me: Make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, who brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is befallen him. And I said to them: Which of you hath any gold? and they took and brought it to me: and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out. And when Moses saw that the people were naked, (for Aaron had stripped them by occasion of the shame of the filth, and had set them naked among their enemies,) (Exodus 32: 1-25)
God sees our own nakedness, that is the nakedness of our souls as we worship the molten calves of popular culture. God sees our own nakedness as we make merry when there is so many sins for which to make reparation, starting with our own. God sees our own nakedness as we are content to have the Immemorial Mass of Tradition offered to us and to participate actively in a culture that comes from the devil and is designed to lead us to Hell for all eternity.
For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also. The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome. But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be! No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?
Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?
Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. (Mt. 6: 21-34)
"You cannot serve God and mammon." The "mammon" of which Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke is more than money or other forms of material wealth. The "mammon" of which Our Lord spoke involves an inordinate love of the things of this passing world, which leads one into making compromises, perhaps little by little, with the prevailing ethos of cultural pluralism and religious indifferent that are but the logical consequence of the triumph of naturalism in the past 500 years since the Protestant Revolt ushered in a period of continuous, unremitting warfare against Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen. We are called to be detached from, not immersed into, the world in order that we might indeed store up treasures for the world that is to come.
As I have written in a number of articles in the past few years, I know all about compromises with the culture. Although my late parents had many good instincts on the natural level, including their aversion to all forms of "rock" music, which they discussed very openly at the dinner table in the early-1950s, something that made a lasting impression upon me, the household in which I grew up in the 1950s and early 1960s in Great Neck, New York, was not a Catholic one. That is, my family's daily life did not revolve around the liturgical life of the Church or a consideration of the lives of the saints. Oh, no. Television, then in its infancy and so seemingly innocuous, reigned supreme in our lives. Once again, permit me a little discourse on this subject.
The devil knows how to tempt us with something that is in and of itself morally neutral, that is, the technology of televising images over the airwaves or by means of cables or satellite transmissions, in order to captivate us into lives of passivity. Indolence is one of the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin upon fallen human nature. We are prone by our fallen natures to be lazy, passive, inert. Television, which could be used in a Catholic world to transmit things that redound truly to the salvation of souls, came of age in the United States of America, a country which was never Catholic and whose popular culture, such as it is, has never been directed to the ultimate good of souls. Thus, television programming appealed in the 1950s to the basic ethos of Judeo-Masonry, the lowest common denominator, producing programs that, while avoiding obscenity and indecency, dealt with human problems on a purely naturalistic level, convincing people that they could resolve their problems on their own, certainly without any reliance whatsoever upon Sanctifying Grace. I mean, folks, you didn't see the Cleavers or the Andersons or Riccardos or the Mertzes or the Stones praying the Rosary, did you? (Give David Selznik credit: he did work the praying of the Rosary in the O'Hara household in a scene of Gone With the Wind. Even this, though, was quite calculated. Although the Rosary scene was indeed depicted in Margaret Mitchell's novel, Selznik, a Jew, knew that including it in the movie would overcome some Catholic opposition to Clark Gable's closing line, which was "pushing the envelope" at the time.)
The naturalistic basis of American television programming in the 1950s was a mirror image of the naturalism extant in American popular culture, wherein most Americans, including most Catholic Americans, went about their daily business of being merrily immersed in the world, believing that there was no conflict between such an immersion and their own Last End, the possession of the Beatific Vision in Heaven for all eternity, for which they had been created by God. The mirror image of American popular culture provided by television in the 1950s reversed itself, again, little by little, in the 1960s as culture began to be transformed by television programming, which started to push the occult (Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, My Mother the Car, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) and the ghoulish (The Munsters, The Addams Family) without so much as a peep from most viewers. Americans, who had begun to organize their evenings around radio programming in the 1920s and 1930s, now organized their evenings around television, which became the great catechist and evangelizer of a culture of eternal death.
Needless to say, of course, the advent of the 1970s spawned propagandizing in behalf of outright immorality. Normal Lear used All in the Family to promote various immoral causes, including recognition of those steeped in lives of perversion (casting the masculine Philip Carey as a high school classmate of Carroll O'Connor's Archie Bunker who was revealed to be a sodomite). Lear, the founder of People for the American Way, the Judeo-Masonic "answer" to Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, used an episode from Maude in its first season, 1972-1973, to promote abortion. Hal Holbrook and Martin Sheen starred as sodomite "lovers" in That Certain Summer, a made-for-television motion picture written by Richard Levinson and William Link, the duo that created Columbo, that was broadcast by the American Broadcasting Company in 1972.
Television producers become bolder as the 1970s rolled along. John Ritter and Suzanne Sommers and Joyce DeWitt helped to popularize the scandal of a single man, posing as a homosexual, living in the same apartment as two unmarried women in Three's Company. And on and on and to the present state of filth and debauchery and slime and indecency that passes for "entertainment," much of which mocks the Catholic Faith and is produced, as several recent commentaries on the Mel Gibson incident have noted, by fully sober and conscious individuals, Jewish naturalists, who hate the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and who know that Catholics will enable them by continuing to patronize their evil productions and the advertisers who sponsor them.
Ah, Jewish naturalists and others, including the Mormons, people who hate Our Lady and disparage her Most Holy Rosary (yes, the Mormons who are pretty much in charge of that Americanist organization known as the John Birch Society), would have no hold at all over popular culture unless Catholics had not become accustomed in the Nineteenth Century to believing that the "American" way was synonymous with the "Catholic" way, that the United States was indeed a "God-fearing" nation and that its pursuit of material wealth and its conquest and brutalizing of other peoples (see, for example, the wretched brutality William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt visited upon the Catholic Philippines and the full-throated American support of the Woodrow Wilson administration for the slaughter of Catholics in Mexico by the Masonic revolutionaries there) was perfectly compatible with the Catholic Faith. After all, the United States was "special." We had to worship at the altar of its plaster saints (isn't Teddy Roosevelt, the mass murder of Catholic Filipinos, emblazoned upon Mount Rushmore with that hater of Catholicism, Thomas Jefferson, and that expansionist of the power of the Federal government, American Lincoln?) while devotion to the men and women who did the work of the true citizens of Heaven and of the particular countries in which they found themselves, the saints, was downplayed, if not denigrated long before Fathers Ferdinando Antonelli, O.F.M., and Annibale Bugnini, C.M., began their work of "de-cluttering" the calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the 1950s.
Although some scholars content themselves with an understanding of the history of Catholics in this nation that is derived from a review of scholarly journals of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries to convince themselves that a lively intellectual life among the better-educated Catholics was a sign of the vitality of the Faith in this country at that time, the actual truth of the matter is that Catholics were indeed being coopted by the popular culture. Pope Leo XIII noted this quite tellingly in Testem Benevolentiae, January 22, 1899, explaining that Catholics in the United States were in a greater danger of being coopted by the subtle influences of pluralism than by the overt attacks against Catholics by the enemies of the Faith in in the past (the Jews, the Roman emperors and barbarian kings, the Protestant revolutionaries, the scions of Freemasonry, the French and Mexican and Italian revolutionaries):
But, beloved son, in this present matter of which we are speaking, there is even a greater danger and a more manifest opposition to Catholic doctrine and discipline in that opinion of the lovers of novelty, according to which they hold such liberty should be allowed in the Church, that her supervision and watchfulness being in some sense lessened, allowance be granted the faithful, each one to follow out more freely the leading of his own mind and the trend of his own proper activity. They are of opinion that such liberty has its counterpart in the newly given civil freedom which is now the right and the foundation of almost every secular state.
Pope Leo XIII understood that Catholics would come to view the Church through the eyes of the world rather than view the world through the eyes of the true Faith if their bishops did not strongly resist the prevailing ethos of pluralism and sought to urge them to refuse to be swept away by the diabolical influences of naturalism (including Calvinist capitalism and the materialism that it breeds, pluralism, religious indifferentism, egalitarianism, libertarianism, the "rush" of partisan politics, nationalism, utilitarianism, positivism, moral relativism). As we know only too well, Catholics were engulfed more and more in the Twentieth Century by the currents of naturalism, led by their bishops who enabled anti-Catholic politicians (Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt) at every turn, going so far as to silence the courageous Father Charles Coughlin, who denounced the real enemies of the Church and the world by name. Catholic bishops continued to enable fully pro-abortion politicians throughout the latter part of the Twentieth Century and do so today in the Twenty-first Century. Does anyone remember the nefarious Joseph Cardinal Bernardin's "consistent ethic of life," which was designed to provide a theological cover for pro-abortion leftist Catholic politicians to continue to receive the votes of their Catholic enablers, including many of the "Call to Action" bishops themselves?
Not atypical at all were my late paternal grandparents, blue collar Catholics born in the ninth decade of the Nineteenth Century, and their friends, each of whom were Catholics from blue collar, working-class backgrounds. None of these people, whom I met as a young boy, ever--and I mean ever--discussed the Faith. None. Each of these people talked about movies or radio or television or sports or politics. They had been thoroughly Americanized. Never once, for example, did my paternal grandfather, Edward Martin Droleskey, a first generation Polish-American whose father, John Jacob Droleski (yes, someone changed the spelling of the name at some point), walked four miles to Mass every day until two weeks prior to his death in 1949 at the age of ninety-seven, ever discuss such great Polish saints as Saint Stanislaus or Saint Hyacinth or Saint Hedwig. His mind was on other things, I am afraid. And his wife, my paternal grandmother, Adrienne Delfausse Droleskey, batted hardly an eyelash when her own brother, Albert, after whom my father was named, abandoned the Faith in order to "fit in" as a Congregationalist in tony Rockville Centre after he had "made it" as a toy broker in the 1920s. No, the "American way" is, after all, live and let live. These people were not at all atypical of the influence of the American culture on Catholics.
Without doubt, of course, there were many Catholic bishops and priests and members of the laity in the late-Nineteenth and early-Twentieth Centuries who saw the problems of the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic foundation of American cultural life and who sought to resist it as best as they could in their own lives. It is also true that even those Catholics who were swept up by the currents of popular culture (radio, motion pictures, sports, politics, bad books and magazines) during this era at least practiced the Faith as best as they could and assisted at Mass every Sunday and on each of the Holy Days of Obligation. They had a "sporting chance," shall we say, to save their souls as members of the true Church. The Immemorial Mass of Tradition conveyed the splendor of the majesty of God, Whose immutability was reflected in the fixed nature of the liturgical rubrics, providing Catholics with a sure sense of security in a world that sought to rob them of the Faith so as to lead them into Hell.
Conciliarism Opens the Floodgates of Hell to the World
Conciliarism helped to usher in an unprecedented era in the history of the Church, one in which the average Catholic would be led to believe by his shepherds that it was possible and desirable for us to "learn" from the adherents of false religions, whose "beliefs" were said to be able to contribute to the "betterment" of nations and the world. There was no need, therefore, for a Catholic to eschew popular culture when the very ethos of the "official" structures of the Church extolled pluralism and the necessity of adapting the Gospel message so that it could "meet" culture where it was, the so-called "inculturation of the Gospel."
Pope Leo XIII noted in Testem Benevolentiae that the Church has adapted her message to suit the needs of various times and circumstances. She does not change her message, however, to make it appear as though an effort to win souls for the true Church and to win entire cultures for the Catholic Faith is opposed to "human dignity." Indeed, the accommodation to the spirit of the world represented by the Second Vatican Council is an eerie echo of the illegal and condemned Synod of Pistoia. Consider these words from Pope Pius VI's Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1794:
“[The ancient doctors of the Church] knew the capacity of innovators in the art of deception. In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, they sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith which is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation. This manner of dissimulating and lying is vicious, regardless of the circumstances under which it is used. For very good reasons it can never be tolerated in a synod of which the principal glory consists above all in teaching the truth with clarity and excluding all danger of error.
Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.
It is as if the innovators pretended that they always intended to present the alternative passages, especially to those of simple faith who eventually come to know only some part of the conclusions of such discussions which are published in the common language for everyone's use. Or again, as if the same faithful had the ability on examining such documents to judge such matters for themselves without getting confused and avoiding all risk of error. It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor Saint Celestine who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity. Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.
In order to expose such snares, something which becomes necessary with a certain frequency in every century, no other method is required than the following: Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements which disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to Catholic truth is camoflauged.
Such is the case with the Second Vatican Council's Gaudium et Spes, which declares the Church's openness to the "evolutionary" processes at work in culture, implying that culture can develop to the betterment of man and the world in which he lives without submitting itself in all of its aspects to the Catholic Faith without any exception whatsoever. Here is a key passage that reflects this approach, one that is in line with the illegal Synod of Pistoia and not the authentic patrimony of the Catholic Church:
The circumstances of the life of modern man have been so profoundly
changed in their social and cultural aspects, that we can speak of a new
age of human history. New ways are open, therefore, for the perfection
and the further extension of culture. These ways have been prepared by
the enormous growth of natural, human and social sciences, by technical
progress, and advances in developing and organizing means whereby men can
communicate with one another. Hence the culture of today possesses
particular characteristics: sciences which are called exact greatly
develop critical judgment; the more recent psychological studies more
profoundly explain human activity; historical studies make it much easier
to see things in their mutable and evolutionary aspects; customs and
usages are becoming more and more uniform; industrialization,
urbanization, and other causes which promote community living create a
mass-culture from which are born new ways of thinking, acting and making
use of leisure. The increase of commerce between the various nations and
human groups opens more widely to all the treasures of different
civilizations and thus little by little, there develops a more universal
form of human culture, which better promotes and expresses the unity of
the human race to the degree that it preserves the particular aspects of
the different civilizations.
From day to day, in every group or nation, there is an increase in
the number of men and women who are conscious that they themselves are
the authors and the artisans of the culture of their community.
Throughout the whole world there is a mounting increase in the sense of
autonomy as well as of responsibility. This is of paramount importance
for the spiritual and moral maturity of the human race. This becomes more
clear if we consider the unification of the world and the duty which is
imposed upon us, that we build a better world based upon truth and
justice. Thus we are witnesses of the birth of a new humanism, one in
which man is defined first of all by this responsibility to his brothers
and to history.
A new humanism? Man is not defined first of all by a responsibility ot his "brothers and to history." He is defined first of all by His responsibility to God to save his soul as a member of the Catholic Church. The entirety of social order depends upon the state of individual souls. The state of individual souls depends upon the indwelling of the very inner life of the Most Blessed Trinity, Sanctifying Grace, within them, equipping them to see the world clearly through the eyes of the Catholic Faith and to choose wisely in accord with the Deposit of Faith that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man has entrusted solely to the Catholic Church. The very concept of a "new humanism" was condemned categorically by one pope after another prior to Angelo Roncalli's accession to power in 1958.
Pope Saint Pius X, reiterating the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church (not a merely "pastoral approach" that could become outdated over the course of time), stated that it was not possible for adherents of false religions (or of no religious belief at all) to devise "solutions" for the betterment of society. Writing in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910, the sainted pontiff noted (please reflect on these words very carefully as they apply to the apostasy that is represented by the entire approach of conciliarism):
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". . . .
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.
The Holy Ghost is immutable. He does not say one thing in 1910 and another in 1965. The conciliarists and their apologists play a very dangerous game, blasphemous of its very rotten nature, when they assert that the teaching of popes such as Gregory XVI and Pius IX and Leo XIII and Saint Pius X and Pius XI do not bind their successors. Ignoring the simple fact that these pontiffs were merely affirming truths that the Church had taught always and everywhere and had been believed by everyone, the conciliarists open themselves up to the logical conclusion that what has been and continues to be "taught" by conciliar popes can be "repealed" at some point in the future. In their rush to justify the novelties and errors of the present age conciliarists and their apologists must ignore the plain-spoken reiteration of Catholic truths by all popes prior to 1958. It is simply a truth that every aspect of popular culture needs to be Catholicized. Anyone who believes otherwise is doing the bidding of the adversary, who wants to see the Church surrender to culture rather than having Christ the King reign triumphantly over every aspect of culture.
Although the conciliar church's shepherds opposed various evils in popular culture, they did so according to mostly naturalistic reasons in an attempt to appeal to those outside of the Catholic Church to forge together a "common bond of brotherhood" in the "civilization of love." The "world" has paid no attention to this novel accommodation to the spirit of Modern as it has proceeded on its path of attacking Church with all of its demonic fury. Where are the good fruits of the conciliar church's adoption of the naturalistic, inter-denominational approach to the "world" and "culture"? The very spirit of naturalism condemned by the Church so clearly in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries--and critiqued so well by Father Denis Fahey in his various books--has become the modus vivendi of conciliarism, producing disastrous consequences in the lives of souls and thus in the lives of nations and of the world itself.
Conciliarism's contempt for the wisdom of the preconciliar popes is matched only by its contempt for the binding nature of the truths defended by the Church's dogmatic councils, which have been consigned to the Orwellian memory hole as almost entirely irrelevant to the "needs" of "modern" man. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, writing in his 1982 book Principles of Catholic Theology, admitted this exact bias:
Not every valid council in the history of the Church has been a fruitful one; in the last analysis, many of them have been just a waste of time. (page 378, Principles of Catholic Theology, 1987 English translation, Ignatius Press)
When was the last time in the history of the Catholic Church that a man headed for the papacy ever said such a thing about the Church's dogmatic councils? This indicates that Joseph Ratzinger does not consider himself bound by those dogmatic propositions he does not like and that he can manipulate the meaning of others to conform to his own Hegelian concept of "living tradition." Can any priest who has left the conciliar structures and suffered the imposition of unjust sanctions for doing so not agree, at the very least, that this contempt for the dogmatic councils of the Catholic Church by a then reigning curial cardinal is without precedent and indicative of a thoroughly non-Catholic mind? It is not clear that Joseph Ratzinger, a progenitor and a son of the Second Vatican Council and of its novel approach to "the world." does not want what the Church has always striven for: the conversion of all men and nations to the Catholic Faith?
Catholics Caught in the Deluge
Already influenced by the pull of popular culture before the "reforms" of the Second Vatican Council, Catholics around the world, especially here in the United States of America, plunged headlong into the new "freedoms" they were afforded by the conciliarist ethos. Chapel veils were no longer required for women to enter a Catholic church. Women could wear slacks to Mass, to say nothing of indecent attire. Men could dress like slobs. Talking proliferated in church before, during and after Mass. The Mass, which is supposed to be a refuge of the world by communicating clearly that it is both the unbloody representation of the Sacrifice of Calvary and a foretaste of eternal glories, became a celebration of the world and all of its perversity. Man became the center of attention, starting with how the priest commences the Novus Ordo Missae, addressing the congregation, not God. The horror of "rock music" became a staple in "youth Masses" and was featured aplenty in Papal "Masses" during the pontificate of the late John Paul II. Pagan festivals and rites that were obliterated by Catholic missionaries--and by the Mother of God herself--over the centuries as offensive to God and His First Commandment become incorporated into the offering of what purported to "Masses" in order to accommodate the spirit of the "inculturation" of the Gospel. It is no wonder, therefore, why millions of Catholics have left the practice of the Faith to live as pagans as they celebrate the glories of the modern world so extolled in Gaudium et Spes.
What is very sad, however, is the fact that many traditional Catholics of all stripes (indult, Society of Saint Pius X, independent chapels, sedevacantist chapels) believe that all they need to do to escape from the ethos of conciliarism is to assist at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. While this is a good and quite necessary starting point it is not all that we need to do. As we live in a decidedly anti-Catholic culture, we must, as far as is humanly possible, withdraw from all voluntary activities and associations, both personal and professional, that can in any way put our own souls and those of our children in jeopardy.
Yes, we live in the midst of an imperfect world. We must do business in this imperfect world. We have to go places and to do things in this imperfect world. Granted. Our Lord has placed us here at this point in salvation history to be a leaven in the world. Absolutely. We have an obligation, therefore, to pass out Miraculous Medals and Green Scapulars to the people we meet and to exhort, as best we can according to the nature of the circumstances in which we find ourselves at any given moment, those who have fallen from the practice of the Faith to return and to seek the conversion of those who are outside of the true Church.
While it is true that the Catholics of the first centuries of the Church lived in cultural circumstances quite similar to our own today, it is also true that these Catholics sought to distance themselves as much as they could from the world. They did not go to the pagan spectacles until they were dragged there to be the center of attention as they were torn to pieces by wild animals on "center stage." The Catholics of the first centuries of the Church did not give participate in the "bread and circuses" that were designed to make people "happy" in this passing life. The Catholics of the first centuries of the Church concentrated on getting themselves home to Heaven as members of the true Church who lived in perilous times, knowing that the next round of persecutions might be an emperor's fiat away from requiring them to shed their own blood for the Holy Faith.
Why is it, therefore, that we excuse ourselves so lightly as we participate merrily in this culture of eternal death, spending money to support the naturalistic, Judeo-Masonic purveyors of evil who control every lever of our popular culture without exception?
Why do we want to go to a professional or collegiate sporting event that features"rock" music and horrible visual images and the vulgarities being shouted by other "fans"? Why do we want to subject our own souls, no less those of our children, whose innocence we must guard jealously, to such a pollution of our immortal souls?
Yes, I made my compromises in this regard for far too long. I will pay a heavy price for having done so. Becoming a father and being pushed over the edge by the advertising of a certain product at Shea Stadium for years ago, I walked out of the place that had opened in an age of relative innocence and vowed never to return. Although I miss the beauty of the game of baseball and the camaraderie of the folks who made their living in the stands as ushers or vendors, I am not going back. How can I place my daughter in such jeopardy? The foulest images are displayed on the giant television screen. The most terrible, ear-splitting music is played constantly. How can we be so blithe about the "secular religion" that has become professional and collegiate sports to suspend our sensus Catholicus to enjoy the bread and circuses of our own day?
Why do we want to patronize, either by ourselves or with our children, any motion picture theater? All right, The Passion of the Christ was an exception. Apart from that, however, why do we want to support Hollywood, no less accustom our children to the naturalistic, at best, and overtly demonic, at worst, influences that emanate from the devil's playground?
Why go to "theme parks" that feature "rock" music and demonic visual images as part and parcel of their "appeal" to the public? Why would we want to support the activities of the Walt Disney Company at any time for any reason?
Why do we permit ourselves and our children to be subjected to anything to do with television or video games? Why? What possible benefit is there for the salvation of one's immortal soul in doing so?
Why do we accommodate ourselves to the prevailing trends in popular fashion, such as that is, you understand? Who says it is acceptable for a woman or a girl to wear pants at any time, yes, especially in the house, or to wear sleeveless dresses, yes, even in the summer? Did Our Lady do so? Why is it acceptable for you? Who says that it is acceptable for a man or a boy to go around bare-shirted or to wear shorts at any time other than for some gymnastic exercise? Who says that the standards of "modesty" must change to suit the "needs" of "modern" man? Any Catholic going to the Immemorial Mass of Tradition might as well go over to the Novus Ordo Missae if that is his mentality. Modesty is modesty. One standard fits all men in all ages in all parts of the world.
Who says that we can take ourselves and our children to "water parks" and beaches in the summer so as to "beat the heat," subjecting ourselves and our children to the gross immodesty and indecency displayed there? Does Our Lady say we can put our souls in jeopardy by doing so? Is this the message she gave Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos at the Cova da Iria in Fatima in 1917? Is it? If not, who says that we are exempt?
Who says that we can listen to "rock" music, whose very beat is designed to agitate and to disturb the soul? For the adults among you, please secure a copy of Michael Matt's The Gods of Wasteland (Remnant Bookstore) and consider it carefully. Destroy any and all "rock" vinyl records, tapes and compact discs. Do not give them away. Destroy them. There is a place where that music will be played for all eternity, and it is not called Heaven.
Who says that it is all right for us to mutilate our appearances by dying our hair or wearing a toupee or a wig? Who are we trying to kid? God, Who has numbered every hair on our heads and Who has willed that whatever hair we have left change its color over time as part of the aging process? It is especially silly for a priest, of all people, to wear a toupee, thus conveying to his people that vanity is not sin but a virtue. Why surrender to the vain dictates of culture?
Who says that we can be indifferent to the harmful influences on our children of relatives and friends and neighbors and associates who are hostile to the Faith, who do not mind their speech, who play anything and everything imaginable on television, who tempt our children with bad music and beliefs that can take our children away from the practice of the Catholic Faith over the course of time?
Who says that we can suspend our adherence to the Faith in order to maintain our career success? Who says that we can refuse to speak about Our Lady's Fatima Message in public when we are given a platform to discuss the issues of the day? Who says that we can join organizations that refuse to recognize that the whole of world peace has been entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Who says that we can be indifferent to the conversion of this nation to Catholicism by professing publicly that it is some shopworn political ideology of philosophy, not the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, that holds the "answers" to social problems?
If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we have made many compromises with the spirit of the world. If we want to get to Heaven and if we want to help our children to do so, we must understand that we are called to be Catholic in everything, and that a Catholic cannot make voluntary compromises with the world, especially a world that is anti-Catholic of its very foundational principles, which rest on the belief that man can be indifferent to the Incarnation and to the Deposit of Faith that God has entrusted solely to the Catholic Church and yet know personal peace and social order. Although I have written on this subject much before, I want to make an appeal to each and every traditional Catholic who reads these words: make no provision for the world and its pleasures. This is a time of penance and mortification, not of a merry abandonment to "pleasures" that are impediments to our own sanctification and can indeed lead to our eternal perdition. Culture must be restored to Catholicism.
This is what Pope Leo XIII wrote in A Review of His Pontificate, 1902:
So society in its foolhardy effort to escape from God has rejected the Divine order and Revelation; and it is thus withdrawn from the salutary efficacy of Christianity which is manifestly the most solid guarantee of order, the strongest bond of fraternity, and the inexhaustible source of all public and private virtue. This sacrilegious divorce has resulted in bringing about the trouble which now disturbs the world. Hence it is the pale of the Church which this lost society must re-enter, if it wishes to recover its well-being, its repose, and its salvation.
Just as Christianity cannot penetrate into the soul without making it better, so it cannot enter into public life without establishing order. With the idea of a God Who governs all, Who is infinitely wise, good, and just, the idea of duty seizes upon the consciences of men. It assuages sorrow, it calms hatred, it engenders heroes. If it has transformed pagan society--and that transformation was a veritable resurrection--for barbarism disappeared in proportion as Christianity extended its sway, so, after the terrible shocks which unbelief has given to the world in our days, it will be able to put that world again on the true road, and bring back to order the States and peoples of modern times. But the return of Christianity will not be efficacious and complete if it does not restore the world to a sincere love of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the Catholic Church Christianity is Incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and which has for Its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Savior, the daughter and the heiress of His Redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of Its blood, and strong in the Divine Assistance and of that immortality which has been promised It, It makes no terms with error but remains faithful to the commands which It has received, to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time, and to protect It in Its inviolable integrity. Legitimate dispenser of the Teachings of the Gospel It does not reveal Itself only as the consoler and Redeemer of souls, but It is still more the internal source of Justice and Charity, and the Propagator as well as the Guardian of True Liberty, and of that equality which alone is possible here below. In applying the doctrine of its Divine Founder, It maintains a wise equilibrium and marks the True Limits between the rights and privileges of society. The equality which it proclaims does not destroy the distinction between the different social classes It keeps them intact, as nature itself demands, in order to oppose the anarchy of reason emancipated from Faith, and abandoned to its own devices. The liberty which it gives in no wise conflicts with the rights of Truth, because those rights are superior to the demands of liberty. Not does it infringe upon the rights of Justice, because those rights are superior to the claims of mere numbers or power. Nor does it assail the rights of God because they are superior to the rights of humanity.
Anyone who thinks that this is not a reiteration of the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church is a fool. Conciliarism is at odds with this teaching. Draw the logical conclusion.Witness the results in the midst of the world of conciliarism's utter and complete contempt for this teaching of simple, old-fashioned Catholicism.
Yes, there are many legitimate ways to enjoy ourselves in this passing world. There are zoos and aquaria and botanical gardens and parks and carousels (featuring actual, old-fashioned pipe-organ music) and miniature golf and scores of other legitimate pleasures. One must exercise prudence as to when to go to such places. However, there are many ways to enjoy the world that God has given us without having to immerse oneself voluntarily in the rot of a culture that is based upon the naturalistic, anti-Incarnational principles of Modernity. And, most important of all, we can learn how to enjoy the beauty of visiting Catholic shrines dedicated to Our Lady and the other saints, looking upon such pilgrimages as opportunities given us by God to have a little foretaste of eternal glories in the midst of the world.
Although I will be quoting more extensively from Mary Fabyan Windeatt's Saint Hyacinth of Poland (published originally under the title of Northern Lights: Saint Hyacinth of Poland and His Companions, by Sheed and Ward in 1945 and re-printed by TAN Books and Publishers in 1993) on the Feast of Saint Hyacinth in four days, it is useful to consider the following passage in light of how many traditional Catholics immerse themselves so merrily in the world without even a second thought as to the harm that they are doing to their immortal souls.
Just consider these moving words:
But on the feast of Saint Dominic all realized that Hyacinth's days were numbered. Apart from the fact that he was worn out with thirty-seven years of missionary labors, he no loner cared to live. Indeed, his one great desire was to die as quickly as possible.
"Any why? Because our good Father has had a glimpse of Heaven!" the Prior told the community in awed tones. "He's seen a little of the reward awaiting those who do God's Will, and now even the finest things in life are no more than dust and ashes."
"Tell us about the wonderful vision, Father," urged the Novice Master. "It will do us all good."
So the Prior began. He explained how one day recently Father Hyacinth, as he was concluding the Holy Sacrifice, had found himself in the center of a bright ray of light. It had streamed down upon him from some mysterious source above the altar, and as he looked up, he had been amazed to find that hundreds of angels and saints were also enfolded in the strange glow. Suddenly there was an even greater radiance, and Heaven itself opened before him. Then the saints and angels divided and ranged themselves in two lines, facing one another. At the end of the glittering passageway was a golden throne.
"Our Lady was seated on the throne," said the Prior reverently, "and Our Lord stood beside her. The air was filled with the most beautiful music as the saints and angels joined in praise of Mother and Son. Then suddenly the perfect harmony died away. All was silence, and Our Lord placed a splendid crown upon His Mother's head. It seemed to be made of flowers and stars."
The community listened in breathless amazement as the Prior described the scene which followed. With a smile the Blessed Virgin had taken the glittering crown from her own head and presented it to Hyacinth.
"This is for you," she had said, "the symbol of eternal life." And as she finished speaking, the saints and angels resumed their heavenly song, their faces shining with such light and happiness that Hyacinth could hardly bear to look upon them. Indeed, only one thought filled his mind. He wanted to finish his earthly work at once, so that he might be numbered among these blessed ones for all eternity.
As the days passed the priests and lay Brothers of Holy Trinity went about their duties in deep thought. Father Hyacinth's vision of Heaven, as related by the Prior, had made an enormous impression upon them, and now even the smallest task was seen in a new light. Its faithful accomplishment was nothing more than a coin wherewith to purchase everlasting joys.
"Of course, we've always known that this was so," said one young priest slowly. "The trouble is, we've never thought about it enough. But now--well, I'm happy to say that I can't get the idea out of my mind."
"Yes," put in another. "And that crown of flowers and stars is far more than it seems. It's only a sign, and a very small sign, too, of all the joys possessed by the blessed in Heaven.
His companion nodded. "I know. Why, if we spent our whole lives in listing the good tidings God has provided for those who serve Him faithfully, in this world, we'd have only a few poor samples." (Saint Hyacinth of Poland, pp. 179-182)
Why do we seek communion with the molten, golden calf when we should be aspiring for the joys described above?
May Our Lady of Good Success help us to fly unto her patronage as the consecrated slaves of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, praying the Rosary faithfully as we keep her Divine Son company in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, eschewing the ethos of the world and the worldly ethos of conciliarism entirely in order to enjoy the glories of Heaven with her and with all of the angels and the saints.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, 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 John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us.
Saints Hippolytus and Cassian, pray for us.
Saints Tiburtius and Susanna, pray for us. .
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, the great foe of naturalism in all of its forms and the great advocate of the Immaculata, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.