Remembering Us When
Thomas A. Droleskey
It is frequently the case that those Catholics who grow in their understanding of and commitment to the Holy Faith suffer the most from their family members and other close friends as they do so. Family members and friends become mystified and bewildered when people they knew to be worldly or sinful or profane change their ways and are no longer attracted as much to the pleasures of this passing world, no longer interested in engaging in profane, worldly conversations, no longer desirous of "company" for the sake of "company" as they endeavor to grow more and more in friendship with Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. To prefer God and His Divine Revelation, which He has entrusted exclusively to His Catholic Church for Its infallible explication and eternal safekeeping, to creatures and created things is considered to be a sort of "mental disease" by worldlings.
There comes a time when one's growth in the Faith will cause fissures even with his closest relatives and longtime friends. Empty conversations full of banal talk and/or open contempt for First and Last Things no longer become easy to bear for a person who is growing in the Faith and thus in His love for the God Who has made possible this growth by means of the graces He won for him by the shedding of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flows into his soul through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces. A person whose immortal soul growing in grace and who is attempting to make reparation for his past sins wants to spend his remaining time on earth with those who will help him get to Heaven, not those who can drag him back down into the snares of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
This desire to separate oneself from those who are either not serious about the Faith or who are abjectly hostile to It is seen by worldlings to be demonstrative of a spirit of "righteousness" or haughty "superiority" or simple hypocrisy. After all, our closest relatives (parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, various in-laws) and friends find it hard to fathom that a former attitude of lukewarmness about the Faith has been replaced by fervor.
"I remember when you told bad jokes."
"I remember when you didn't go to Mass so regularly."
"I remember when you wasted your time on what you now call 'worldly' pleasures."
"I remember when you didn't pray the Rosary every day." "I remember when you dressed in a manner you now call 'immodest.'" "I remember when you used to defend the Novus Ordo?"
"I remember when you weren't a sedevacantist and told others not to go to sedevacantist chapels."
"I remember when you did little else than watch television all day long." "You're going to tell me that I've got to change when you've been doing for most of your life what I am doing now?" "You've never been so perfect, have you?" "Where do you get off telling me what to believe and how to live?"
Great efforts are thus made by worldly relatives and friends to "convert" those who have descended into what they think is the "madness" of "religious zealotry" back into the ways of the world so that the pleasures of "old times" can be restored.
Such has ever been the case in the history of the Church.
Numerous saints had to give up human contact with their closest relatives and friends in order to grow in the Faith. The saints who had to give up human contact with their closest relatives and friends recognized that no one and nothing could interfere with their love of God as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church.
Saint Paul the Apostle had quite a rough time of it from his fellow Pharisees when he converted to the true Faith. Saint Augustine made some enemies when he quit his life of sin. Some of Alphonse Ratisbonne's Jewish relatives were not real happy with his conversion to Catholicism. To be hated or misunderstood by one's relatives is nothing unusual in the life of the Church. Indeed, it is quite common, if not even ordinarily the case, in situations where non-Catholics have converted to the Faith or as baptized Catholics have grown more fervent and observant in Its practice.
Saint Barbara, whose feast was commemorated two days ago on the Feast of Saint Peter Chrysologus, Saturday, December 4, 2010, was willing to run the displeasure of her own father for her embrace of the Faith. Her father turned her over to the civil authorities for becoming a Catholic, being assigned by the judge who tried and convicted her with the "duty" of beheading her. Saint Barbara loved God, her Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, more than she loved any creature, including her father. This was considered "madness" then. It is considered "madness" now. Love God more than creatures? Prefer to sever ties with loved ones and friends rather than to engage in even the appearance of indifference to the Faith?
Although many in the counterfeit church of conciliarism consider Saint Barbara's life to be but a "legend," the Roman Breviary, which was guided by the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, in its composition, gives a detailed account of her life, especially concerning how she preferred death to the favor of her own father. Could Holy Mother Church have been wrong for long about her life? No, which is why her example is so important to us as we, despite our sins and failings, attempt to remain steadfast in the Faith despite the opposition and mockery of our our family members and friends:
Barbara, a virgin of Nicomedia, the daughter of Discorus, a nobleman but a superstitious pagan, came readily, by the assistance of divine grace, from the contemplation of the visible things of creation to the knowledge of the invisible. Wherefore she devoted herself to God alone and to the things of God. Her father, desirous to preserve her from all danger of insult, to which he feared her great beauty might expose her, shut her up in a tower. There the pious virgin passed her days in meditation and prayer, studying to please God. alone, whom she had chosen as her Spouse. She courageously rejected several offers of marriage, which were made to her, through her father, by rich nobles. But her father hoped that, by separating himself by a long absence from his child, her intentions would easily change. He first ordered that a bath should be built for her in the tower, so that she might want for nothing; and then he set out on a journey into distant countries.
During her father's absence, Barbara ordered that to the two windows already in the tower a third should be added in honour of the blessed Trinity; and that on the edge of the bath the sign of the most holy cross should be drawn. When Discorus returned home, and saw these changes, and was told their meaning, he become so incensed against his daughter, that he went in search of her with a naked sword in his hand, and, but for the protection of God, he would have cruelly murdered her. Barbara had taken to flight: an immense rock opened before her, and she found a path by which she reached the top of a mountain, and there she his herself in a cave. Not long after, however, she was discovered by her unnatural father, who savagely kicked and struck her, and dragging her by the hair over the sharp rocks, and rugged ways, he handed her over to the governor Marcian, that he might punish her. He, therefore, having used every means to shake her constancy, and finding that all was in vain, gave orders for her to be stripped and scourged with thongs, to have her wounds scraped with potsherds, and then to be dragged to prison. There Christ, surrounded by an immense light, appeared to her, strengthened her in a divine manner for the sufferings she was yet to endure. A matron, named Jualiana, who witnessed this, was converted to the faith, and became her companion in martyrdom.
At length Barbara had her body torn with iron hooks, her sides burnt with torches, and her head bruised with mallets. During these tortures she consoled her companion, and exhorted her to fight manfully to the last. Both of them had their breasts cut off, were dragged naked through the streets, and beheaded. The head of Barbara was cut off by her own father, who in his excess of wickedness had hardened his heart thus far. But his ferocious cruelty was not long left unpunished, for instantly, and on the very sport, he was truck dead by lightning." (The Roman Breviary, quoted in Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year, Volume 1, pp. 327-329.)
And we think we have it bad with our relatives and friends? Saint Barbara was willing to run the risk of rejection by her father for love of the true God. Can we do any less in our lives if it is considered necessary to separate ourselves for a time for those who unbelief and/or persistence in states of unrepentant sins are a threat to our souls and to those of our children?
Such a relinquishing of human contact, so little understood and much caricatured by the world, does not mean an end of concern for one's relatives and friends. Worldlings will never understand that the prayers and sacrifices offered for them by the relatives who they think have gone "mad" are far more important for the sanctification and salvation of their own immortal souls than could be accomplished by any "physical" contact. Worldlings will well up with bitterness and accuse their "excessively" religious relatives and friends of all manner of things when they are told that it is better for everyone involved that contacts that draw one away from God and His true Church are harmful for everyone involved.
We must follow the path of sanctity, not the path of the world, the flesh and the devil. We cannot take chances with our own immortal souls or those of others. This does not mean that we, sinners who are in need of making much reparation for our sins before we die, are one whit better than those from whom spiritual prudence dictates we must be estranged in this passing, mortal vale of tears. It simply means that to be earnest about our path to Heaven we must do anything to jeopardize the pursuit of our Last End. Although this simple Catholic truth should be part and parcel of our sensus Catholicus, most Catholics are so enveloped in the sentimentality and irrationality of naturalism that to even consider the possibility of being physically separated from non-practicing or non-Catholic relatives and friends must be dismissed as something is "harsh" and even opposed to the Charity of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
An article published over two years ago now by Dr. Marian Therese Horvat,
The Nature of True Friendship, reviewed a few salient points in this regard. Here is a brief excerpt from Dr. Horvat's article, which I recommend to be read in its entirety:
I’m sure a modern dissertation on friendship would tend to agree with Jan’s daughter. But I don’t put much stock in modern theories, which justify all kinds of abominations, e.g. homosexuality, cohabitation, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, feminism, and so on. The list is endless, and we are always instructed that we must be indulgent and tolerant should a “friend” adopt such positions, that the real friend accepts the person “as he is.”
Fueled by the ecumenical spirit of Vatican II, which counsels openness, dialogue and communion with persons of false religions and sects, more and more Catholics are adopting this position regarding friendship. Doctrine isn’t important. Only a charity based on feelings matters.
For my answer, let me turn to a traditional and much securer source. In 1150, Abbot Aelred of Rievaulx, a Cistercian monastery in Yorkshire, answered the same question posed by a monk called Yves: What is true friendship? His answer is the famous treatise Spiritual Friendship, (1) three chapters written in a dialogue form examines the relationship between friendship and the love of God.
The renowned Abbot’s sources are Scriptures, the writings of the Fathers – with St. Augustine a clear favorite – and great works of Antiquity such as Cicero’s De Amicitia [About Friendship]. Abbot Aelred’s credentials are the highest: in 1467 he was raised to the honor of the altars; his feast day is celebrated by the Cistercian Order on January 12.
Permit me to take the liberty of following the format of this beautiful treatise, formulating questions for you, my good friend Jan, with St. Aelred responding to you. There will be some adaptations: for example, in the 12th century when he lived, there were no Protestants, so I will apply his statements to our present day situation.
Is friendship with non-Catholics possible?
Jan: Is it possible for a Catholic to have true friendship with someone who is not Catholic?
St. Aelred: First, we must know what true friendship is. Let us take Cicero’s definition as a starting point: Friendship is agreement on matters human and divine with charity and good will (De Amicitia). This is only a starting point because we Catholics differ from the pagans in essential matters. The friendship that exists among us must begin in Christ, continue in Christ, and be perfected in Christ. True friendship cannot exist among those who live without Christ.(2)
You may argue that your Protestant friends accept Christ and, therefore, could be true friends. I believe not. Since harmony in thinking on “things divine” must exist among those who claim the illustrious name of friends, only persons who share the full Catholic Faith can be accounted as true friends. Indeed, only by accepting the same dogmas can they be of one mind and avoid daily controversies and quarrels regarding faith. Further, one will support the other in the practice of virtue – with the aim of continuing the earthly friendship in Heaven.
Can one be friends with an impenitent sinner?
Jan: My daughter says she has “friends” who are homosexual. Is this possible?
St. Aelred: True friends must have a shared love of virtue. As far as he can, one friend tries to cure the defects he observes in the other. For the love of God, he may endure such defects with the aim of correcting them. But he can never approve - tacitly or explicitly - the vices or sins of another.
If a homosexual does not want to change his sinful situation, this principle applies to him: For he that loves iniquity does not love but hates his own soul (Ps. 10:6). So, he does not love his own soul and for that reason will never be capable of a true friendship. Therefore, those who affectionately approve each other’s vices are not real friends, but accomplices in the practice of evil. Their relation is a distorted image of friendship that is not supported by truth. (3)
Regarding this relation that defiled persons profess for each other based on a likeness in evil, St. Alfred considered it unworthy of the name of friendship. (4) . . .
Finally, consider that Christ himself set up a definite limit for friendship when he said: Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends (Jn 15:15). Now, since the life of the soul is of far greater excellence than that of the body, no one should do anything to a friend that would bring about the death of the soul. (8)
That is, we cannot accept in a friend either sin or a false creed - since both separate the soul from God and the soul from eternal life.
Principles that do not change
St. Aelred’s principles on a true friendship – which he calls spiritual friendship because the true friend is concerned more about the soul than the body of the person he cares for – are timeless. They can be applied to all times and places. Therefore, the modern world should bend to them, which is what Church teaching did until the foul winds of Vatican II blew in, bringing with them adaptation to the modern world.
Before, Catholics were always taught that there was no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Therefore it behooved them to do everything possible to bring the ones they loved into the one fold of Christ.
The fountain and source of friendship is love of neighbor. And the solid foundation for this love is the love of God and the Catholic Church. Whatever is built on that foundation must conform to it and will last forever. This is, according to St. Alfred, the simple formula for true friendship.
The Saint has much more to say about friendship. He describes how a friend should first to be selected, next tested, finally admitted, and from then on treated as a friend deserves. (The Nature of True Friendship.)
Yes, Dr. Horvat's article contains truths that most Catholics have never heard and that most would believe are too "harsh" or have become "irrelevant" in our "pluralistic" world. And while it remains true, as I have noted in various articles in the past, that one must seek solid pastoral direction in these matters from a true bishop or a true priest who makes no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent "legitimacy" of its false shepherd about how to deal with those who show themselves to be friends and enablers of heretics and schismatics and perverts and other open supporters of sin, it is first of all important to recognize the general principles outlined by Saint Aelred as true in and of themselves.
True, it takes time to interiorize these truths and to act upon them in cooperation with the graces sent to us by Our Lady. I had to come to a realization over the course of time in the 1980s and 1990s that friendships not founded in the Faith had to fade away insofar as physical contact was concerned. This gradual process of recognizing the impropriety of false friendships was but a prelude to becoming a father and taking measures to assure, as far as is humanly possible, that my daughter is not going to be influenced on a regular basis by any relative or friend who is not attempting to practice the Holy Faith and/or who is so abjectly hostile to the Faith so that little (and perhaps even large) seeds of unbelief will be planted in her immortal soul by words or scandalous dress or behavior. This has not made me too very popular in certain quarters. A Catholic must, however, take all reasonable measures to insure that the bad example of others does not corrupt his own soul or that of his children. It is far, far easier for bad example to corrupt the innocent than it is for good example to convert those steeped in unbelief or immorality, especially when those convinced that "good example" will win the day never say anything to express their disapproval of unbelief or immorality out of fear of "offending" others or of appearing "uncharitable."
I mean, what can you really discuss on a regular basis with someone who believes that a woman has a right to kill her preborn child under cover of law? The weather? What can you really discuss on a regular basis with someone who is convinced the the doctrinal and liturgical revolutions wrought by the "Second" Vatican Council is the working of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, and who is not all disturbed by a false "pontiff's" esteeming of the symbols of false religions? Baseball? God does not desire us to spend our days in endless conflict with others. It is tough enough to get to Heaven as result of our own faults and failings. We do not need to make matters worse by spending our days in conflict and anger with those around us. We can do more good for those from whom we are now estranged as a result of our growth in the Faith and/or our understanding of the ecclesiastical situation by having Masses said for them and by remembering them in our Rosaries than we can by seeking to give them "information" and arguing with them all of the time.
Bishop George Hay's The Laws of God Forbidding All Communication in Religion With Those of a False Religion explained how firm we must be in avoiding a close "friendship" with those steeped in false religions:
Q. What are those laws which prohibit this in general?
A. They are principally these following:
(1) The first is grounded upon the light in which all false religions are considered in the Holy Scripture; for there we are assured that they arise from false teachers, who are called seducers of the people, ravenous wolves, false prophets, who speak perverse things: that they are anti-Christs, and enemies of the cross of Christ; that, departing from the true faith of Christ, they give heed to the spirits of error; that their doctrines are the doctrines of devils, speaking lies; that their ways are pernicious, their heresies damnable, and the like. In consequence of which, this general command of avoiding all communication with them in religion is given by the apostle: "Bear not the yoke together with unbelievers; for what participation hath justice with injustice? or what fellowship hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbelievers? or what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God." (2 Cor. 6:14)
Now it is the true religion of Jesus Christ, the true doctrine of His gospel, which is justice and light; all false doctrines are injustice and darkness; it is by our holy faith that we belong to Christ, and are temples of the living God; all false religions flow from the father of lies, and make those who embrace them unbelievers; therefore all participation, all fellowship, all communication with false religions, is here expressly forbidden by the Word of God. We have seen above that we are obliged to love the persons of those who are engaged in false religions, to wish them well, and to do them good; but here we are expressly forbidden all communication in their religion — that is, in their false tenets, and worship. Hence the learned and pious English divines who published at Rheims their translation of the New Testament, in their note upon this passage, say: "Generally, here is forbidden conversation and dealing with unbelievers in prayers, or meetings at their schismatical service, or other divine office whatsoever; which the apostle here uttereth in more particular terms, that Christian people may take the better heed of it."
(2) The next general command to avoid all religious communication with those who are heretics, or have a false religion, is this, — "A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, AVOID; knowing that he that is such a one is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment." (Tit. 3:10)
Here we see another general command to avoid all such — that is, to flee from them, to have no communication with them. But in what are we commanded to flee from them? Not as to their persons, or the necessary communications of society; for then, as the same holy apostle says upon a similar occasion, "You must needs go out of the world."  Cor. 5:10) Not as to the offices of Christian charity; for these we are commanded by Christ himself, in the person of the good Samaritan, to give to all mankind, whatever their religion be: therefore, in the most restricted and limited sense which the words can bear, the thing in which we are commanded to avoid them is in all matters of religion; in that in which they themselves are subverted and sin; in things relating to God and His service. In these they err, in these they are subverted, in these they are condemned; therefore in these we must avoid them.
Hence the pious translators of the Rheims New Testament, in their note on this text, say, "Heretics, therefore, must not wonder if we warn all Catholics, by the words of the apostle in this place, to take heed of them, and to shun their preachings, books, and conventicles."
(3) A third general command on this subject is manifestly included in this zealous injunction of the apostle: "We charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received from us." (2 Thes. 3:6)
In this passage, all the different sects of false religions are particularly pointed out; for, however they may differ in other respects they generally agree in this, of rejecting apostolical traditions handed down to us by the Church of Christ; all such the apostle here charges us, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to avoid — to withdraw ourselves from them. Now it is evident that the most limited sense in which this command, so warmly laid on us by the apostle, can be taken, is to withdraw ourselves from them in everything relating to religion, — from their sacraments, prayers, preachings, religious meetings, and the like. It is in these things that they "do not walk according to the tradition received from the apostles". In these things, then, we are here commanded, in the name of Christ Himself, "to withdraw ourselves from them".
Seeing, therefore, that the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of this holy apostle, has so often, and in such strong terms, forbidden all manner of fellowship in religion with those who are out of His holy Church, let us not be deceived by the specious but vain sophistry of cunning men, who lie in wait to deceive; let us not offend our God, by transgressing these His express commands, by joining in the prayers or going to the meetings of such as are separated from His holy Church, lest He should withdraw His holy grace from US, and as we expose ourselves to the danger, leave us to perish in it.
Let us hear and follow the advice and command of the same holy apostle: "As therefore ye have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk ye in Him; rooted and built up in Him, and confirmed in the faith; as also ye have learned, abounding in Him in thanksgiving. Beware lest any man impose upon you by philosophy and vain deceit according to the tradition of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ." (Col. 2:6) Wherefore, to all those arguments which may be brought from human, worldly, or interested motives, to induce us to join in or to partake of any religious duty with those of a false religion, though in appearance only, we ought to oppose this one, — "God has expressly forbidden it, therefore no human power can make it lawful."
That is, we are bear ourselves kindly to others. We are to perform the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy for them. We cannot, however, plunge ourselves uncritically on a regular basis in relationships that are detrimental to our immortal souls and thus offensive to God Himself. That so few Catholics understand this today is but one of the logical consequences of the whole spirit of conciliarism, which is at odds with Saint Augustine's admonition, quoted by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832, that the "death of the soul is worse than the freedom of error." The only ones who are in "error" according to the lords of conciliarism are those who hold to the belief that dogmatic formulae do not change and must be taught in exactly the same way as they had been taught from time immemorial.
It is easy to develop a false, sentimentally-based "love" for others that winds up enabling our closest relatives and friends in lives of unrepentant sin when we do not have a true love for God that proceeds from knowing Him as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church. This is what has happened throughout the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, starting with the false "pontiffs" themselves who have taught Catholics as of yet trapped by the ape of Catholicism that is conciliarism that is it not necessary to seek with urgency the conversion of non-Catholics to the true Faith.
What other message is sent when a putative Vicar of Christ is seen praising the voodoo witch doctor or when a conciliar "pontiff" enters into a synagogue or a mosque to treat these dens of iniquity as "holy" and worthy of respect and veneration? Most Catholics in the past forty years or so have been "taught" by the visual images they have seen of the conciliar "pontiffs" treating the non-ordained "clergy" of non-Catholic religions, including those who deny the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as co-equals with themselves. This cannot help but to lead to a total emasculation of the sensus Catholicus among ordinary Catholics and to the embrace of every false current imaginable as being compatible with the interior life of the soul. (See, for example,
Words and Actions Without Consequences.)
How can ordinary Catholics yet attached to the conciliar structures develop a real love for God and for their neighbors as He has revealed Himself through His true Church when scandal after scandal is committed on a daily basis by the conciliar authorities? What is an ordinary Catholic who is malformed in the Faith as a result of the influences of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service and the doctrinal revolution of conciliarism to think when a pro-abortion Catholic, Cherie Blair, the wife of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, who "converted" structures in 2007 despite the fact that he, like his wife, supports the mystical dismemberment of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the persons of innocent preborn children in their mothers' wombs, is invited to speak at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum?
"Conservative" Catholics attached as of yet to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism "protested" Cherie Blair's speech in 2008 to the students at The Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, The Angelicum, an event that must be grieving the founder of the Order of Preachers, Saint Dominic de Guzman. By what stretch of logic, however, can a false "church" that believes in the dissemination of theological and philosophical errors as a matter of a "civil right" that derives from God Himself oppose a presentation on "women's rights" made by one who is in perfectly "good standing" canonically in its structures?
This is the elegy of praise given to the pro-abortion Cherie Blair that was found on website for the conference sponsored by The Angelicum on Friday, December 12, 2008, which is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Americas:
Cherie Blair was born in Bury in 1954 but moved when very young to Liverpool where she grew up. The first member of her family to go to university, she studied law at the London School of Economics. Called to the Bar in 1976, she became a Queens Counsel in 1995 and is a founder member of Matrix Chambers. She sits as a part-time judge, as Recorders are known, and is also an accredited mediator. Her fellow trainee at her first chambers was Tony Blair. The couple married in 1980 and have four children - the youngest, Leo, being the first child born to a serving Prime Minister for over a century.
As well as fighting for human rights in her professional career, Cherie Blair is an active campaigner on equality and human rights issues. She has spoken across the world on both issues and also on the need for improved work/life balance for both women and men. Mrs Blair is closely involved with over 20 charities with a special emphasis on those working with women, with children, and with those based on Merseyside. She is Honorary Vice President of Barnados, President of the Loomba Trust, Ambassador for Scope and and Patron of a number of charities, including Breast Cancer Care. She was an Ambassador for London 2012. Cherie Blair has been a member of the Labour Party since she was 16. Mrs Blair recently published her autobiography: 'Speaking for Myself ' Little, Brown 2008
*Chancellor Emeritus and Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University
* Governor and Honorary Fellow of the LSE and the Open University (DUniv.Open 1999)
* LLD (Hons) University of Liverpool (2003); Hon.DLitt UMIST (2003), LLD (Hons) University of Westminster.
* Doctor of Laws honoris causa, Roehampton University (2008) for her contribution to human rights.
* Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and a Fellow of the International Society of Lawyers for Public Service.
* Member of the Global Task Force for UNICEF.
* Arbitrator for ACAS.
* Freeman of the City of London. Publications:
* The Goldfish Bowl (with Cate Haste), Chatto & Windus 2004
* The Negligence Liability of Public Authorities (with Dan Squires), OUP 2006
* Speaking for Myself, Little, Brown 2008 (http://www.scienze-politiche.org/ENG/htnl/relengcb.html.)
This is not an "aberration" for the counterfeit church of conciliarism. This is standard operating procedure. Those who invite the likes of Cherie Blair to speak at Catholic universities, no less one that was founded by the Order of Preachers, which was founded by Saint Dominic de Guzman to fight the Albigensian heresy, do not know Who God is or what He has revealed to His true Church. Such people have no horror or detestation of sin or any realization of how sin caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer during His Passion and Death and caused those Seven Swords of Sorrow to be pierced through and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Such people have lost the Faith, which is one of the reasons why it is so difficult for ordinary Catholics to stand up to their relatives and friends who are pulling them in the direction of sin and worldliness.
One conciliar "monsignor," Ignacio Barreiro, the head of the Rome office of Human Life International, called upon Catholics, especially those from the United Kingdom, to express their "concerns and perplexity" over Cherie Blair's invitation two years ago. He was serious, mind you! "Concerns and perplexity"? There is nothing to be perplexed about. Far from being "surprising" that a pro-abortion figure is permitted to speak at a Catholic university under the control of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, as "Monsignor" Barreiro, said in 2008 in his statement about this scandal, it is quite common and very much an ordinary thing for pro-aborts to speak at former Catholic universities and colleges and to receive various honorary degrees. Surprising? No, this is par for the course in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
Similarly, how is it possible, humanly speaking, for the average Catholic in the conciliar structures to call to correction a relative or a friend who is steeped in unrepentant sins against nature in violation of the Sixth to Ninth Commandments when a personal appointee of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, George Niederauer, the conciliar "archbishop" of San Francisco, California repeatedly makes excuses of one sort or another for those steeped in these vile sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance? What kind of Catholic, no less one who is a "bishop" in the conciliar structures, tries to make it appear as though advocates of "marriage" between persons engaged in such perversity are not themselves perverted?
Niederauer wrote a column, dated December 1, 2008, in which he tried to balance support for California's Proposition 8 with "respect" for those who opposed it, meaning those steeped in unrepentant acts of perversion, noting the following at the end of his column:
Members of churches who supported Proposition 8 sincerely believe that defining marriage as only between a man and a woman is one such issue. They see marriage and the family as the basic building blocks of human society, existing before government and not created by it. Marriage is for us the ideal relationship between a man and woman, in which, through their unique sexual complementarity, the spouses offer themselves to God as co-creators of new human persons, a father and mother giving them life and enabling them to thrive in the family setting.
Are there many instances in which this ideal fails to be realized? Of course there are. Single parents, grandparents, foster parents and others deserve praise and support for their courage, sacrifice and devotion in raising the children for whom they are responsible. Still, the proponents of Proposition 8 subscribe to a definition of marriage that recognizes and protects its potential to create and nurture new human life, not merely a contract for the benefit of a relationship between adults.
Whatever others may say, the proponents of Proposition 8 supported it as a defense of the traditional understanding and definition of marriage, not as an attack on any group, or as an attempt to deprive others of their civil rights. The fact remains that, under California law, after the passage of Proposition 8, same [gender] couples who register as domestic partners will continue to have “the same rights, protections and benefits” as married couples. Proposition 8 simply recognizes that there is a difference between traditional marriage and a same [gender] partnership.
What is the way forward for all of us together? Even though we supporters of Proposition 8 did not intend to hurt or offend our opponents, still many of them, especially in the gay community, feel hurt and offended. What is to be done?
Tolerance, respect, and trust are always two-way streets, and tolerance respect and trust often do not include agreement, or even approval. We need to be able to disagree without being disagreeable. We need to stop talking as if we are experts on the real motives of people with whom we have never even spoken. We need to stop hurling names like “bigot” and “pervert” at each other. And we need to stop it now.
For our part, we churchgoers need to speak and act out of the truth that all people are God’s children and are unconditionally loved by God. While we argue among ourselves, the people who need our help with hunger, unemployment, homelessness and other problems wait for us to turn together toward them. More particularly, we Catholics in the Archdiocese of San Francisco need to minister to the needs of all Catholics in this local Church. Whoever they are, and whatever their circumstances, their spiritual and pastoral rights should be respected, together with their membership in the Church. In that spirit, with God’s grace and much prayer, perhaps we can all move forward together. (San Francisco Sentinel)
In other words, Catholics can oppose a perverted notion of "marriage" while at the same time extolling "domestic partnerships" wherein those steeped in lives of unrepentant sin that offend God and harm their own immortal souls which have been redeemed by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross can enjoy "the same rights, protections and benefits" as married couples. I defy anyone to cite a single Father of the Catholic Church who would ever contend that the civil state has any right at all to confer upon those steeped in illicit and immoral relationships any special "status" whatsoever.
Indeed, the opposite it true, as Pope Pius XI made clear in Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930:
Armed with these principles, some men go so far as to concoct new species of unions, suited, as they say, to the present temper of men and the times, which various new forms of matrimony they presume to label "temporary," "experimental," and "companionate." These offer all the indulgence of matrimony and its rights without, however, the indissoluble bond, and without offspring, unless later the parties alter their cohabitation into a matrimony in the full sense of the law.
Indeed there are some who desire and insist that these practices be legitimatized by the law or, at least, excused by their general acceptance among the people. They do not seem even to suspect that these proposals partake of nothing of the modern "culture" in which they glory so much, but are simply hateful abominations which beyond all question reduce our truly cultured nations to the barbarous standards of savage peoples.
George Niederauer, who gave what purported be Holy Communion in October of 2007 to a group of costumed practitioners of perversion and transvestitism in a travesty of a Novus Ordo stage show held at the epicenter of support for the agenda of perverted evils in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Most Holy Redeemer Church (whose "rainbow-friendly" pastor, Father Steve Meriwether, was the conciliar chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Francisco under one "Archbishop" William Levada, who was instrumental in picking his schoolmate from Saint John's Seminary in Camarillo, California, and his beach-house co-owner George Niederauer, to be his "successor" after Ratzinger/Benedict promoted him, Levada, to succeed himself as "prefect" of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Conciliar Faith), would consider Pope Pius XI's use of the phrase "hateful abominations" to be indicative of "intolerance" and "disrespect." Yet it is he, Niederauer, who is very tolerant of sins against God as he extols people who are unrepentantly steeped in one Mortal Sin against nature after another as "members" of the Church who have "spiritual" and "pastoral" rights.
No one who is steeped in unrepentant Mortal Sins has any pastoral "rights" to have his perverse inclinations dealt with in any other manner than to exhort him to reform his life in cooperation with Sanctifying Grace as his fellow Catholics for him to be humble enough to make this conversion and to persevere in it. Sinful inclinations of any kind, whether natural or unnatural, are never the foundation of human self-identity. Never. Under any circumstances. There is no such thing as a "gay community." Those steeped in unrepentant, perverse sins against nature are only a collection of unrepentant sinners who are in need of our prayers for their conversion back to the true Faith before they die. They have no "pastoral" or "civil" rights to have their perverse inclinations respected or protected by canonical or civil law.
Niederauer also fails to realize that each of the problems he wants to address ("hunger, unemployment, homelessness") is the result of human sins. The way to address these problems, as well as to, say, stop the daily carnage of the preborn under cover of civil law that is aided and abetted by one of Niederauer's own subjects, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who remains in perfectly "good standing" in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, is to seek the conversion of those steeped in sins, especially those sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. Niederauer is incapable of seeing this as he is blinded by emotionalism and sentimentality that are at the foundation of the falsehoods of Modernity and Modernism that make it so difficult for the average Catholic to see any inherent danger in having their children associate freely and regularly with relatives who are themselves steeped in lives of unbelief and/or unrepentant sins of one kind or another.
Each of us is a sinner. Behold! It is a sinner who writes these articles, a man who has much for which to make reparation before he dies.
It is one thing, however, to sin and to be sorry as one seeks out the ineffable Mercy of the Divine Redeemer in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance from a true bishop or a true priest who acts in persona Christi as an alter Christus as he administers unto our souls the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. It is quite another to persist in sin unrepentantly, worse yet to revel in one's sins, to base one's identity upon sinful acts or inclinations, to seek to protect one's sinful behavior under cover of civil law and/or to promote it in every aspect of popular culture.
How in the world, humanly speaking, can ordinary Catholics yet attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism withstand the strong currents of sentimentality and emotionalism and irrationality extant in the world when conciliar "shepherds" esteem false religions and as they make it appear as though those steeped in unrepentant Mortal Sins have "pastoral right" as their base inclinations are "respected' and "tolerated."
How in the world, humanly speaking, can ordinary Catholics yet attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism withstand the strong currents of sentimentality when those in the employ of this false church continue to praise motion pictures that heroize practitioners of perversity (as as happened repeatedly as the film reviewers for the United States Conference of Conciliar Bishops have issued favorably reviews of such propaganda pieces as Brokeback Mountain and Milk, a motion picture that lionizes the life of the murdered Harvey Milk, who was described in the review as a "gay rights activist")? There can be no true love of God in the souls of those who do not have a horror and detestation of sin in their own lives and a deep desire to lead others who are steeped in unrepentant sins back into states of Sanctifying Grace.
Yes, those of our family members who "remember us when" we were not as strong in our Faith or as good or as observant in Its practice as we should have been will consider us odd and even "bigoted" and "intolerant" and "uncharitable" and even "mean" if we take measures to protect ourselves and our children from being pulled back into the world by means of their influences. Although we pray for those who think these things about us to have a change of heart, we cannot be worried about what they think as we must always remember that the intentions of all hearts and the circumstances of all lives will be made manifest perfectly only at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead on the Last Day. Those who have died in a state of Sanctifying Grace will be reconciled one to the other as the difficulties encountered in this passing, mortal vale of tears will be seen clearly in light of the Mercy and the Justice of God Himself.
In the meantime, however, we must cleave as always only to those true bishops and priests who make no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of false shepherds who are content to stand still as pro-aborts maintain their "good standing" in their false church and are invited to speak to future priests and seminary professors and who are not repulsed by the public promotion of sins of any kind, including those against nature, under cover of law and in every aspect of popular culture. We are no better than anyone else. However, we must prove our friendship for God by our detestation of sin in our own lives and our absolute refusal to approve it in the lives of others. We cannot be true friends of God in a false church that reaffirms sinners in their sins and thus confuses good, well-meaning Catholics in the process.
Saint Nicholas, whose feast we celebrate today, recognized that the heretic Arius was not a true friend of God and slapped him in the face at the Council of Nicea. Imagine what George Niederauer or Joseph Ratzinger would think of such "intemperate" behavior, huh? Saint Nicholas was a bishop of profound Charity, but that Charity was founded on a love for God as He had revealed Himself to us through His true Church founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. There can be no true love of God founded on a support for or an indifference to sin or to theological errors. It is this true Charity that we must have for all others, being willing to take whatever measures, undertaken after spiritual counsel offered by a true bishop or a true priest, considered necessary to protect ourselves and our children from the seeds of unbelief or needless confusion or scandal that could produce a harvest of sin and indifference later in life.
Saint Nicholas suffered much for his Faith in his younger days at the tail end of the era of persecutions that ended with the Edict of Milan, issued by the Emperor Constantine in the year 313 A.D. He defended the Faith without compromise at the Council of Nicea. He performed numerous miracles during his life to give honor and glory to the Most Holy Trinity. We must be willing to suffer much for the Faith and to defend It in the midst of our families, being confident that whatever merit we earn for being calumniated by our closest relatives and friends for our refusal to compromise with the errors of Modernity or Modernism will be used by the Immaculate Heart of Mary to serve the interests of her Divine Son's Most Sacred Heart.
May we make our own this prayer composed by Dom Prosper Gueranger in honor of Saint Nicholas as we prefer the love of God to all human respect, being willing to suffer humiliation from those who remember us when our belief or our fervor was not edifying and who cannot accept the fact that we have amended our lives and/or grown in the Faith:
Holy pontiff Nicholas, how great is thy glory in God's Church! Thou didst confess the name of Jesus before the proconsuls of the world's empire and suffer persecution for His name's sake; afterwards thou wast witness to the wonderful workings of God, when He restored peace to His Church; and a short time after this again, thou dist open thy lips, in the assembly of the three hundred and eighteen fathers, to confess with supreme authority the Divinity of our Saviour Jesus Christ, for whose sake so many millions of martyrs had already shed their blood. Receive the devout felicitations of the Christian people throughout the universe, who thrill with joy when the think of thy glorious merits. Help us by thy prayers during these days when we are preparing for the coming of Him, whom thou didst proclaim to be consubstantial with the Father. Vouchsafe to assist our faith and to obtain fresh fervor to our love. Thou now beholdest face to face that Word by whom all things were made and redeemed; beseech Him to permit our unworthiness to approach Him. Be thou our intercessor with Him. Thou hast taught us to now Him as the sovereign and eternal God; teach us also to love Him as the supreme benefactor of the children of Adam. It was that tender compassion for the sufferings of they fellow-men, which made all thy miracles to be so many acts of kindness: cease not, now that thou art in the company of the angels, to have pity on us and to succour our miseries.
Stir up and increase the faith of mankind in the Saviour whom the Lord hath sent them. May this be one of the fruits of thy prayers, that the divine Word may be no longer unknown and forgotten in this world, which He has redeemed with His Blood. Ask for the pastors of the Church that spirit of charity, which shone so brilliantly in thee; that spirit which makes them like their divine Master, and wins them the hearts of their people.
Remember, too, O holy pontiff, that Church of the east which still loves thee so fervently. When thou wast on this earth, God gave thee power to raise the dead to life; pray now, that the true life, which consists in faith and unity, may return once more and animate that body which schism has robbed of its soul. By thy supplications, obtain of God that the sacrifice of the Lamb, who is soon to visit us, may be again and soon celebrated under the cupolas of St. Sophia. May the sanctuaries of Kiev and Moscow became resanctified by the return of the people to unity. May the pride of the crescent be humbled into submission to the cross, and the schismatic be brought to acknowledge the power of the keys of St. Peter' that thus there may be henceforth neither Scythian, nor barbarian, but one fold under one Shepherd.
May each Rosary we pray help us to bear more willing the sufferings of the present moment that have divided families and caused so much misunderstanding will be replaced by the true love of God in the souls of those who now calumniate us, a true love of God that will help us reject the blandishments of the world and to look forward to that happy eternal "day" when we will remember not the difficulties of the moment but the Mercies of the Divine Redeemer and the prayers His Most Blessed Mother that made possible a blessed reunion in the glory of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for all eternity.
Our Lady of the Rosary, us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas, pray for us.
Saint Ambrose, pray for us.
Saint Barbara, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
A Brief Update
It has been some time since I have provided on update on Sharon's health, which turn a took for the worse, humanly speaking, when she began in the middle of August what turned out to be a nearly three month period of intense suffering and pain caused by what was called by a medical doctor and two different chiropractors the "worst case" of sciatica that is possible for a person to have.
Sharon has improved a great deal, thanks be to the prayers of so many of our friends and those who read this site. She rested as she had to rest. She underwent her chiropractic treatments on a regular basis. She offered up everything that she suffered, intense as it was, with true joy to the good God for the opportunity to give him honor and glory through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am continuing to do many of the household chores, including preparing Lucy's breakfast and lunch on school days prior to our dropping her off at school and assisting at Holy Mass, although Sharon has resumed a good deal of her normal schedule and the selfless work that she undertakes day in and day out for our family. We thank you for your prayers over the course of the past nearly four months.
My own health, which was so bad in July and August, has improved. Fatigue continues despite having lost ninety-seven pounds since February 17, 2010. As a priest who was once a friend of ours noted, "It's rest in peace, not now." The weight loss has certainly helped my health, and it is now my task to cooperate with the graces that Our Lady sends me to maintain it without committing the sins of gluttony that I outlined in
There Is No Shortcut to Cure This Condition: A Catholic Man's Lifelong Battle of the Bulge.
Speaking of my e-book, several readers have asked if the book is going to appear in print form. This is a matter that I want to address with the dwindling readership of this site.
As most readers should be able to recognize, there are very few venues in which books bearing my name can be sold. This is for my chastisement and humiliation as I seek to make reparation for my many sins. Deo gratias! None of the stands that I take on this site are made to make my work "marketable."
Indeed, much of what I have written have closed door upon door, including in my own chosen field of the teaching of political science at the college/university level. And the lion's share of those who read these articles have made it abundantly clear over the years that they have no intention at all of providing even a two to five dollar monthly non-tax-deductible financial gift to support my work, thus making it possible to pay the fixed monthly expenses that I have outlined on the Donations without having to get to the point at which we found ourselves last Wednesday evening, December 1, 2010, when we had thirty dollars cash money to our names. This is all within the Providence of God, Whose Most Blessed Mother always comes to our rescue in these situations as happened almost overnight last Wednesday as a few of our regular donors came through with unexpected gifts that pulled us back from the "cliff," so to speak. (And we are always very, very grateful to those who come to our rescue time and time and time again.)
Thus it is that the printing of my e-book is one that cannot be undertaken unless enough readers of this site want to purchase it, thereby making it possible to inform our printer, a kind and most cooperative man who is willing to print the new book, that we have a sufficient number of pre-orders so as to guarantee payment for the book's first-run printing. A quote for the print job will be provided to me in a few days. I am, therefore, "polling" this "vast" readership to determine how many copies interested readers would be willing to purchase.
The book is relatively short, eighty-five pages in length. It contains humor and nostalgia and, of course, is thoroughly Catholic from beginning to end. Although it is unlikely to be printed in time for Christmas, if it is printed at all, that is, it would make a very nice gift for relatives and friends (that is, those relatives and friends that are speaking to you!).
Let me know with a short e-mail at DrThomasADroleskey@gmail.com. I simply won't undertake the printing of the book unless the printing of the initial run can be covered by pre-orders. Mind you, I am not asking for any money right now as the price of the book in printed form depends upon its printing cost to us. I am only asking interested readers to let me know how many copies that they would be willing to order if the book is printed. Those who are not interested do not have to send any e-mail as my time to respond to e-mails continues to be very limited given my duties of state and the work that is necessary to produce the articles that appear on this site.
We pray for the readers of this site every day, and I thank you once again for your prayers for Sharon's recovery from her severe case of sciatica.
With prayers in Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen,
Thomas A. Droleskey