Smoking or Non-Smoking?
Thomas A. Droleskey
The bumper sticker of a very fine traditional priest in the Midwest reads: "Eternity: Smoking or Non-Smoking?" From the way things within the Church in her human elements are degenerating in a seemingly out of control fashion, it appears that a lot of members of the hierarchy and the priesthood do not really consider it a possibility that they could lose their souls for all eternity. winding up realizing the terrible loss of the Beatific Vision of the Blessed Trinity and suffering the pains of hellfire without end. Many of these bishops and priests speak and act as though everyone, including themselves, is assured of their salvation, thereby sinning against the Holy Ghost by means of Presumption. The path from Martin Luther to Hans Urs von Balthasar took a little over four centuries to complete. The path from von Balthasar to total chaos has taken mere decades.
We have witnessed in recent days the admission of Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, that he had asked the Holy See to delay the release of the largely symbolic document dealing with the banning of men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" to the priesthood. Here is what His Eminence told Cathleen Falsani, a reporter for the Chicago Sun Times:
"We asked them not not to publish it, but to delay it -- to wait -- otherwise it would color the visitations," George says. The problem, in his view, was that the document would be released in the midst of official Vatican 'visitations' to U.S. seminaries to check, among other things, for 'homosexual culture' on campus.
"The document itself goes back almost 10 years. The visitations grew out of the discussions in April 2002 between the [American] cardinals and the [Vatican] curia," about the sexual abuse crisis in the United States. "We said, 'If you do this, it will be taken as a commentary on the visitations and we'll get into this whole business that the gay community is so sensitive to of, 'You're blaming us for the pedophilia.'"
The Vatican's response to his pleas? Tough noogies, basically.
"Their response was, 'Well, we're sorry about that, but this is a universal document. It's not directed at the United States. It's directed to the whole church. So we're gonna do it.' They have their own schedule," George says matter-of-factly.
A Prince of the Church, an active cardinal-elector of the College of Cardinals, says publicly that he is concerned about the "gay community" being blamed for the scandal of perverted priests that erupted into public view as a result of decades-long efforts by bishops and their chancery factotums to protect and promote these perverts. The study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York has proved beyond any question that most of the abuse cases involved teenagers, not children. The problem, therefore, was not pedophilia. The scandals that have shaken the Faith of the weak and made the Church a mockery in the eyes of unbelievers were caused by predatory homosexual priests, most of whom were protected over and over again by bishops, some of them homosexuals themselves, who were prone not only to dismiss the serious nature of the mental disorder represented by any kind of unnatural activity against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, but to mandate all manner of programs to "sensitize" children in Catholic schools and religious education programs to the homosexualist agenda in the name of "diversity," "tolerance, and "AIDS Awareness." Cardinal George is simply unwilling to admit that there has been and continues to be the recruitment and promotion of perverted men into the priesthood and the episcopate in this country and around the world.
The fear of offending people steeped in unrepentant acts of perversity against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments is just part and parcel of the rejection of the Church's authentic Tradition in the postconciliar era. Researcher Randy Engel, the President of the U.S. Coalition for Life, wrote about Saint Peter Damien's firm denunciation of perverted priests for Catholic Family News in 2002:
Among St. Peter Damian's most famous writings is his lengthy treatise, Letter 31, the Book of Gomorrah [Liber Gomorrhianus], containing the most extensive treatment and condemnation by any Church Father of clerical pederasty and homosexual practices.  His manly discourse on the vice of sodomy in general and clerical homosexuality and pederasty in particular, is written in a plain and forthright style that makes it quite readable and easy to understand.
In keeping with traditional Church teachings handed down from the time of the Apostles he holds that all homosexual acts are crimes against Nature and therefore crimes against God Who is the author of Nature.
It is also refreshing to find an ecclesiastic whose first and primary concern in the matter of clerical sexual immorality is for God's interests, not man's, especially with regard to homosexuality in clerical ranks. Also, his special condemnation of pederastic crimes by clergy against young boys and men [including those preparing for holy orders] made over nine hundred years ago, certainly tends to undermine the excuse of many American bishops and Cardinals who claim that they initially lacked specific knowledge and psychological insights by which to assess the seriousness of clerical pederastic crimes.
Upon a first reading of the Book of Gomorrah I think the average Catholic would find himself in a state of shock at the severity of Damian's condemnation of clerical sodomical practices as well as the severe penalties that he asks Pope Leo IX to attach to such practices.
Part of this reaction, as J. Wilhelm asserts with regard to modern Catholics' adverse reaction to the severity of medieval penalties [including capital punishment for heresy], can be attributed to the fact that we live in an age that has "less regard for the purity of the faith."  Many Catholics have simply lost a sense of sin. It does not seem to matter if an overt effete homosexual cleric "camps" it out on the altar while administering heretical rites for an Ash Wednesday service. Like those watching Hilaire Belloc's new barbarians at the gate, parishioners smile. They are titillated. They find him 'amusing'. 
Also, many Catholics today have little, if any, knowledge of how the early Church Fathers dealt with the issue of homosexuality, including pederasty, in clerical ranks.
Take, for example, the spiritual and physical penalties declared by the 4th Century architect of Eastern monasticism, St. Basil of Cesarea [322-379 AD], for the cleric or monk caught making sexual advances [kissing] or sexually molesting young boys or men. The convicted offender was to be whipped in public, deprived of his tonsure [head shaven], bound in chains and imprisoned for six months, after which he was to be contained in a separate cell and ordered to undergo severe penances and prayer vigils to expedite his sins under the watchful eye of an elder spiritual brother. His diet was that of water and barley bread-----the fodder of animals. Outside his cell, while engaged in manual labor and moving about the monastery, the pederast monk was to be always monitored by two fellow monks to insure that he never again had any contact with young men or boys. 
I find it necessary to ask, has the Holy See fallen into such a state of dissolution that it can no longer profess, much less protect, God's interests in this matter and defend the sanctity of Holy Orders from the pollution of the sodomites?
One wonders how many homosexuals and pederasts would be lining up at Bernard Cardinal Law's or any other American prelates, seminary door if they knew that such a harsh fate awaited them if they were found guilty of even attempting much less carrying out the sexual seduction and molestation of minor boys and young men?
And speaking of seminaries, I might mention the papal ruling of St. Siricius, a contemporary of St. Basil, who ordered that "vessels of vice," that is known sodomists, including those who had fulfIlled their penance, were forbidden from seeking entrance to the clerical state. 
Considering that the Book of Gomorrah was written in 1049 A.D. it borders on the miraculous to note how many of Damian's insights can be applIed to the current pederast and homosexual debacle here in the United States and abroad, including the Vatican. His treatise certainly stands as a masterful refutation of contemporary homosexual apologists who claim that the early Fathers of the Church did not understand the nature or dynamics of homosexuality. Rather, as Damian's work demonstrates, the degradation of human nature as exemplified by sodomical acts is a universal phenomenon that transcends time, place and culture.
One of the main points of the Book of Gomorrah, is the author's insistence on the responsibility of the bishop or superior of a religious order to curb and eradicate the vice from their ranks.  He minces no words in his condemnation of those prelates who refuse or fail to take a strong hand in dealing with clerical sodomical practices either because of moral indifferentism or the inability to face up to a distasteful and potentially scandalous situation. 
Other issues tackled by St. Peter Damian which have a particular relevance today are:
The problems of homosexual bishops or heads of religious orders who engage their "spiritual sons" in acts of sodomy.
The sacrilegious use of the Sacraments by homosexual clerics and religious.
The special problems for the Church related to the seduction of youths by clerical pederasts, and
The problem of overtly lax canons and penances for clerical and religious offenders that make a mockery of the seriously sinful nature of homosexual acts.
The Motivation for a Treatise on Sodomy
When the humble monk and future Saint, Peter Damian, presented his Letter 31, the Book of Gomorrah, to Pope Leo IX in 1049, he made it clear that his first and overriding concern was for the salvation of souls. While the work is addressed specifically to the Holy Father, its distribution was intended for the universal Church, most especially the bishops of secular clergy and superiors of religious orders.
In his introduction, the holy writer makes clear that the Divine calling of the Apostolic See makes its primary consideration "the' welfare of souls". Therefore, he pleads with the Holy Father to take action against "a certain abominable and most shameful vice," which he identifies forthrightly as "the befouling cancer of sodomy," that is ravaging both the souls of the clergy and the flock of Christ in his region, before God unleashes His just wrath on the people.  Recognizing how nauseating the very mention of the word sodomy must be to the Pope, he nevertheless asks with blunt frankness:
". . . if a physician is appalled by the contagion of the plague, who is likely to wield the cautery? If he grows squeamish when he is about to apply the cure, who will restore health to stricken hearts?" 
There is much graphic material in Mrs. Engel's powerful two-part essay. Suffice it to say that the approach of Cardinal George, a scion of the Second Vatican Council, is decidedly different than Saint Peter Damien's no-nonsense approach, which he proposed to be taken solely for the good of souls.
Consider, for example, the case of the morally corrupt and perverted Daniel Leo Ryan, the Bishop of Springfield in Illinois between 1983 and 1999, whose perverted activities were brought to public light by Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., President Stephen G. Brady in 1997. Mr. Brady sought repeatedly to get the Vatican to act removal Ryan as a threat to souls. Prior to the holding of a press conference in January of 1998 at which an affidavit of an admitted male prostitute, Frank Bergen, then in jail, Mr. Brady received a telephone call from none other than Francis Cardinal George to implore him to cancel the press conference.
According to Mr. Brady, Cardinal George promised a "relationship with the hierarchy" if Roman Catholic Faithful canceled the press conference and kept quiet about the Bishop Ryan matter. Steve Brady reiterated to me in a message and a phone conversation on Thursday, January 26, 2006, that Cardinal George had told him, without guaranteeing him anything, that something might be done about Ryan if Mr. Brady kept his mouth shut, which Brady refused to do. Cardinal George went on to warn Brady that "you'd be stuck with Ryan" if the press conference proceeded as planned because the Vatican "would not deal through the press. This prompted Steve Brady to ask the following question to the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago:
You mean to tell me, Your Eminence, that rather than deal with embarrassment you would leave this homosexual predator in a position of authority to destroy souls?
Cardinal George, who refused to stop the pro-abortion Al Sharpton from delivering the homily at Saint Sabina's Church in Chicago, Illinois, on February 9, 2003 (please see my article about that outrage,
A Futile Gesture) said nothing in response to Steve Brady's excellent question, proving that the fear of bad publicity trumps the eternal welfare of souls almost every time in the agenda of the scions of conciliarism. It is a travesty that Cardinal George was not concerned about the good of souls. It is a further travesty that His Eminence was willing to let a man steeped in alcoholism and perversion to remain a bishop in good standing for so long. I have news for you, Cardinal George: the Apostles never feared bad publicity. They proclaimed the truth out of love for the Divine Redeemer, understanding that the good of souls required them to be faithful to everything Our Lord had revealed to them, yes, even if this meant giving up their lives, which all of them save for Saint John the Evangelist did.
Cardinal George, do you really think Saint Paul was concerned about "bad press" when he wrote the following words in his Epistle to the Romans?
Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use against which is their nature.
And in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.
And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.
Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them. (Romans 1: 24-32)
As we know, however, the cover-up of perverted bishops and priests went--and continues to go do this very day--far, far beyond Daniel Leo Ryan. What mattered to the bishops and their high-powered teams of attorneys was continuing the cover-up so as to avoid the bad publicity that would be generated if the extent of the efforts to protect perverted priests become more widely known by the general public. There was no concern for souls, just a concern to continue protected perverted priests and a desire not to pay any financial damages to the victims of men whose very presence in the priesthood was a scandal of unspeakable proportions. How many souls have been lost to the Faith as a result of the "sensitivities" shown to the "gay community" is something that we will not known until the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead.
If you think about it, however, there is a perfect congruity between the protection and promotion of bishops and priests steeped in perversity and the Holy See's discouragement of making converts to the Catholic Faith from Protestantism or Judaism. If souls are assured of their salvation as a result of the Hans Urs von Balthasar's error of Universal Salvation, then there is really nothing that can adversely affect the good of souls. So what if a person of weak faith leaves the Catholic Church as a result of the scandals involving perverted priests? He's saved, right? No need to worry. So what if a possible convert is discouraged from entering the Church. He's saved, right? No need to worry. What matters most is good press and being held in high regard by non-Catholics. Gone are the days when bishops took seriously the following words of Our Lord:
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake (Mt. 5: 11)
Well, as should be very evident by now, a lack of concern for defined Catholic doctrine about the salvation of souls is also at the heart of ecumenism and efforts by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to declare that the souls of unbaptized babies go to Heaven. The Preacher of the Papal Household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., Cap., has been in the vanguard of both efforts, as I have noted in a number of recent commentaries on this site. Father Cantalamessa, who wants to see the traditional teaching on Limbo eliminated, has a long history of re-defining the Faith along terms totally compatible with Protestantism.
Father Cantalamessa said in his Good Friday "homily" in 2002 that God positively wills the existence of non-Catholic religions. Press reports at the time carried the following description of the Papal Preacher's remarks:
“Christ is more concerned that all people should be saved than that they should know who is their savior,” he told a large congregation March 29 in St. Peter’s Basilica. He said other religions “are not merely tolerated by God but positively willed by him as expressions of the inexhaustible richness of his grace and his will for everyone to be saved.”
John Vennari of Catholic Family News handled this quite adroitly in an article that was noted on this site recently. Father Lawrence C. Smith wrote the following about that now infamous 2002 homily delivered by Father Cantalamessa in front of Pope John Paul II:
The notion propounded by the papal preacher, one can only hope without the papal imprimatur, that God “positively wills” other religions smacks of syncretism, indifferentism, and primitive Calvinism. Ascribing to God the creation of the fullness of revealed truth within Catholicism and creeds whose errors fall short thereof, reduces Him to the status of a child incapable of making up his mind about what he wants for Christmas. It inflates the purely human inventions of false religions such that man’s fervid imagination is made coequal with the divine Will expressed by Christ on the Cross. This idea insults God by making Him the author of error, and insults man by claiming he is incapable of knowing truth from error. Justice is denied both God and man.
God is thus deprived of His majesty as the all good creator of all that is good. Man is deprived of his dignity as cooperator with God and instead is made God’s rival – a rival author of salvation. This is a role more appropriate to Satan than to the creature made in the image and likeness of God.
Either eternal life is “to know the one true God and Jesus Christ Whom He sent” (John 17:3); and “there is no other Name by which men can be saved” (Acts 4:12); and “if [we] deny [Christ] before men, [He] will deny [us] before God” (Matthew 10:33); or Jesus is just “one of several ways to salvation”.
God does not reveal truth and error. He does not reveal truth mixed with error. Our Lord does not reveal that He is truth disguised as error.
Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life!” (John 14:6) Matthew 16:16-19, John 8:31-58, Revelation 22:16, and the unanimous Tradition and authentic Magisterium of the Church make it abundantly clear that “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!” (Philippians 2:11) As Jesus Himself teaches us, “The Lord is God; Him alone shall you worship” (Matthew 4:10). One can not offer God the worship He desires in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24) if one denies Jesus Christ who is Truth incarnate (cf. John 1:1-18). This Jesus, His truth, and the one Church who is the instrument of Truth is “the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8)
Well, Father Cantalamessa has reaffirmed his belief that Infant Baptism is not necessary for the souls of infants to see the Beatific Vision. A recent report carried by Zenit stated this very clearly:
Some readers have said that they are perplexed by my affirmation that unbaptized children will not go to limbo but to heaven, which I expressed in my recent commentary on the Gospel of the feast of Christ's Baptism, published by ZENIT News. This gives me the opportunity to clarify the reasons for my affirmation.
Jesus instituted the sacraments as ordinary means to salvation. They are ordinarily necessary and people who can receive them and refuse are accountable before God. But God didn't bind himself to these means. Also of the Eucharist Jesus says: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man you shall not have life" (John 6:53), but this doesn't mean that anyone who has never received the Eucharist is not saved.
Baptism of desire and the feast of the Holy Innocents are confirmations of this. Some may counter that Jesus is involved in the death of Innocents who died because of him, which is not always the case of unbaptized babies. True, but also of what is done to the least of his brothers Jesus says: "You have done it to me" (Matthew 25:40).
The doctrine of limbo has never been defined as dogma by the Church; it was a theological hypothesis mostly depending on St. Augustine's doctrine of original sin and was abandoned in practice long ago and theology too now dismisses it.
We should take seriously the truth of God's universal will for salvation ("God wants everybody to be saved," 1 Timothy 2:4), and also the truth that "Jesus died for all." The following text of the Catechism of the Catholic Church seems to hold exactly the same position:
"As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,' allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism" (CCC, 1261).
I don't think that to affirm that unbaptized babies are saved will encourage abortion. People who neglect Church doctrine on abortion are scarcely concerned about other doctrines of the same Church. Even if there were grounds for such a fear, the abuse of a doctrine should never prevent us from holding it.
I must confess that the mere idea of a God eternally depriving an innocent creature of his vision simply because another person has sinned, or because of an accidental miscarriage, makes me shudder … and I am sure would make any unbeliever happy to stay away from the Christian faith. If hell consists essentially in the deprivation of God, limbo is hell!
Anyone who has a modicum of sense can see that Father Cantalamessa believes in the error of Universal Salvation. He disparages the plain words of Our Lord concerning two sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist, and he ignores as completely irrelevant all of the dogmatic statements of the Church concerning Baptism. Not content with this, though, Father Cantalamessa, that one man wrecking crew of the exponents of the "New Theology," dismisses the existence of Limbo as a theological hypothesis that depended mostly "on St. Augustine's doctrine of original sin and was abandoned in practice long ago and theology too now dismisses it." Got that. Sorry, Saint Augustine. A believer in Protestant Pentecostalism knows more than you. He knows more than all of the dogmatic councils of the Church. He knows more than canonized saints, including Pope Saint Pius X, who said in 1905:
Children who die without being baptized go to limbo, where they don't enjoy God, but don't suffer either because whilst carrying the original sin...they don't deserve paradise but neither do they deserve hell or purgatory.
No, Pope Saint Pius X was not proclaiming Limbo solemnly as a doctrine. He was merely affirming the constant tradition of the Church. Father Cantalamessa must believe that 1905 was "long ago," that a new "enlightenment" has dawned upon the theologians immersed in the "new theology" of Karl Rahner, Henri de Lubac, von Balthasar, et al. Father Cantalamessa has the further unmitigated gall to deny the plain Catholic dogma concerning the fact that unbaptized souls are dead to grace as a result of Original Sin. This might make him "shudder." However, it is apparent that the dogmatic declarations of the Council of Trent make him shudder. In other words, Catholicism makes Father Cantalamessa shudder.
This passage from Father Brian Harrison's recent treatise on Limbo is quite relevant to rebut Father Cantalamessa's belief that a soul could be deprived of the Beatific Vision just "because another person has sinned:"
Also highly pertinent is the Council of Trent’s teaching on justification – infallible at least by virtue of the universal and ordinary magisterium. First, the Council defines “justification” so as deliberately to include the remission of original sin in children (not just of both original and mortal sin in adults): it is said to be “the conversion from that state in which man is born as a son of the first Adam to the state of grace and “adoption as children of God” [Rom. 8: 15]” (translatio ab eo statu, in quo homo nascitur filius primi Adae, in statum gratiae et “adoptionis filiorum” [Rom. 8, 15]”). Then, the Fathers of Trent go on immediately to affirm that this justification “cannot take place without the washing of regeneration [baptism] or the desire for it” (sine lavacro regenerationis aut eius voto fieri non potest – D 796 = DS 1524, my translation and emphasis). How, then, could unbaptized infants, incapable of any desire for baptism, be justified? Are we to suppose that God miraculously ‘fast-forwards’ the mental development of these infants (and gravely retarded persons) in the instant before death, following this up with a special illumination so as to render them capable of an at least implicit desire for baptism? But miracles cannot be gratuitously postulated, so we could never be sure, in the absence of any revealed truth in Scripture or Tradition, that this is in fact what God does. And even supposing He does, this would still not guarantee the salvation of such infants. For on reaching the use of reason, they would also attain the use of free will, and hence be capable, under the burden of original sin, of rejecting, as well as accepting, the actual grace offered for their justification. Indeed, even on the still more gratuitous hypothesis that God offers renders these infants capable of such a choice after death, the same would apply. So, no matter where we look for ‘wiggle room’, the Council of Trent prevents us from attaining any certainty that infants dying without baptism can be saved
The case against Father Cantalamessa has been made for nearly two millennia. He would have been condemned as a heretic by the Council of Trent for his syncretist views. Pope Saint Pius X would have labeled him in the Modernist camp. He is an active enemy of the Deposit of Faith.
When you come right down to it, though,. Father Cantalamessa is simply doing the work of his boss, Pope Benedict XVI, who does not believe in Limbo himself, and who is bound and determined, it appears, to re-define the entirety of the Catholic Faith along the lines of Hans Urs von Balthasar's motto that "only love is credible."
What is love, though? Love is an act of the will. God's love for us is an act of His Divine Will. It is not empty sentimentality. God's will for each man in this vale of tears is that he become joined to Him through the Catholic Church and to persist to the point of his dying breath in a state of sanctifying grace so that he might be able to possess the glory of His own Beatific Vision for all eternity. God gives us free will to choose to follow Him home to Heaven through the Catholic Church or to follow the smooth and wide road that leads to perdition. Indeed, He so loves our free will that He will permit us to choose the loss of His Beatific Vision for all eternity than to impose Himself upon us involuntarily. God is love. Yes. He is also Justice. The Justice of God demands, yes, demands, that the souls of those who died in states of final impenitence will go to Hell for all eternity.
None of this matters, though, to Pope Benedict XVI, whose first encyclical letter will be the subject of an article I will prepare for the February 15 issue of The Remnant. Suffice it for present purposes, however, to note that all of the Holy Father's discussion about God's love is not directed to seeking the conversion of those outside of the Faith to the Church's own motherly bosom. Oh, no, the Holy Father makes it appear as though the Church was too stern in the past, that she did not emphasize God's love enough. This is nothing other than one of old and shopworn lies of Protestantism and Modernism. It is a smear on all of the Successors of Saint Peter prior to 1958.
Pope Benedict XVI is already tying his concept of God's love to the ecumenical movement. He said the following on January 25, 2006, shortly after the release of his encyclical letter, Deus Caritas Est:
God is love. On this solid rock is founded the whole of the Church's faith. In particular, on it is based the patient search for full communion among all of Christ's disciples.
Patient search for "full communion?" You see, by ignoring Pope Pius IX's Iam Vos Omnes and Pope Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum and Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos, Pope Benedict is saying that the popes of the past who sought the return of Protestants to the Catholic Church did not fully understand God's love. He, who said that the Protestant syncretist Roger Schutz had attained "eternal joy" following his murder last August, is saying that it is not "loving" to demand the return of heretics to the one Sheepfold of Christ. Go tell that to Saint Francis de Sales, who sought to convert Protestants to the Catholic Church. Saint Francis de Sales, whose feast day is this Sunday, January 29, 2006, explained precisely where Protestantism leads: to the denial of the plain words in Sacred Scripture, which is one of the hallmarks of both Protestantism and its Catholic mutation, Modernism:
The imagination must have great power over Huguenot understandings, since it persuades them so absolutely of this grand absurdity, that the Scriptures are easy to everybody, and that everybody can understand them. It is true that to bring forth vulgar translations with honour it was necessary to speak in this manner; but tell me the truth, do you think that the case really runs so? Do you find them so easy, do you understand them so well? If you think you do, I admire your credulity, which goes not only beyond experience, but is contrary to what you see and feel. If it is true that the Scripture is so easy to understand, what is the use of so many commentaries made by your ministers, what is the object of so many harmonies, what is the good of so many schools of Theology ? here is need of no more, say you, than the doctrine of the pure word of God in the Church. But where is this word of God? In the Scripture? And Scripture-is it some secret thing ? No-you say not to the faithful. Why, then, these interpreters and these preachers? If you are faithful, you will understand the Scriptures as well as they do; send them off to unbelievers, and simply keep some deacons to give you the morsel of bread and pour out the wine of your supper. If you can feed yourselves in the field of the Scripture, what do you want , with pastors? Some young innocent, some mere child who is able to read, will do just as well. But whence comes this continual and irreconcilable discord which there is among you, brethren in Luther, over these words, This is my body, and on Justification ? Certainly S. Peter is not of your thinking, who assures us in his 2nd Epistle (iii.16) that in the letters of S. Paul there are certain points hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as also the other Scripture to their own Perdition. The eunuch who was treasurer-general, of Ethiopia was certainly faithful (Acts viii) since he came to adore in the Temple of Jerusalem; he was reading Isaias ; he quite understood the words, since he asked of what prophet that which he had read was to be understood ; yet still he had not the understanding nor the spirit of them, as he himself confessed: How can I, unless some one shows me? Not only does he not understand, but he confesses that he has not the power unless he is taught. And we shall see some washerwoman boast of understanding the Scripture as well as S. Bernard did! Do you not know the spirit of discord ? It is necessary to convince oneself that the Scripture is easy in order that everybody may drab it about, some one way, some another, that each one may be a master in it, and that it may serve everybody's opinions and fancies. Certainly David held it to be far from easy when he said (Ps. Cxviii. 73) Give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments If they have left you the Epistle of S. Jerome to Paulinus in the preface of your bibles, read it, for it treats this point expressly. S. Augustine speaks of it in a thousand places, but particularly in his Confessions. In the 119th Epistle he confesses that there is much more in the Scripture of which he is ignorant than there is of what he knows. Origen and S. Jerome, the former in his preface on the Canticles, the latter in his on Ezechiel say that it was not permitted to the Jews before the age of thirty to read the three first chapters of Genesis, the commencement and the end of Ezechiel, or the Canticle of Canticles, on account of the depth of the difficulties therein, in which few persons can swim without being submerged. And now, everybody talks of them, everybody criticizes them, everybody knows all about them.
And how great the profanation of the Scriptures is in this way nobody could sufficiently believe who had not seen it. As for me, I will say what I know, and I lie not. I have seen a person in good society who, when one objected to an expression of hers the sentence of Our Lord (Luke vi: 29) To him that striketh thee on the one cheek offer also the other,-immediately explained it in this sense: that as to encourage a child who studies well we lay our hand lightly with little pats upon his cheek to excite him to do better, so Our Lord meant to say be so grateful to one who may find you doing right and who may caress you for it that he may take occasion another time to treat you still better and to caress or fondle you on both sides. Is not that a fine meaning and a precious ? But the reason was even better,-that to understand this text otherwise would be against nature, and that while we must interpret Scripture by Scripture, we find in Scripture that Our Lord did not do so when the servant struck him: this is the fruit of your translated theology. An honest man, and one who in my opinion would not lie, has related to me that he heard a minister of this country, treating of the Nativity of Our Lord, assert that he was not born in a crib, and expound the text (which is express on the other side) figuratively, saying: Our Lord also says that he is the vine, yet for all that he is not one; in the same way, although it is said that he is born in a crib, yet born there he is not, but in some honorable place which in comparison with his greatness might be called a crib. The character of this interpretation leads me still more to believe the man who told me, for being simple and unable to read he could hardly have made it up. It is a most curious thing to see how this pretended enlightenment causes the Holy Scripture to be profaned. Is it not doing what God says in Ezechiel (xxxiv. 18): Was it not enough for you to feed upon good pastures; but you must also tread down with your feet the residue of the pastures?
Too bad for Saint Francis de Sales that he lived "so long ago" before he could realize the wisdom of Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar, whose work would have saved him the inconvenience of preaching to people about the necessity of returning to the Catholic Church in order to save their souls. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are face to face with a stark rejection of the work of the saints, which work is no longer considered relevant or appropriate in our "sophisticated" age.
Oh, it's actually worse than all of this. Pope Benedict XVI's crusade to reshape the Church in the image of von Balthasar is such that he used his first encyclical letter to put a formal papal imprimatur on his long-held view that the confessionally Catholic state is a thing of the past that the Church does not believe it to be advisable or necessary to recapture for the good of souls and for the welfare of states. These are the Holy Father's exact words from Deus Caritas Est:
The church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible.
She cannot and must not replace the state.
Yes, the Church and State have respective functions. The Church in no way has ever taught that she can or must replace the state. What she has taught from time immemorial, however, is something that Pope Benedict XVI completely rejects: that the civil state must be subordinated to the Church's exercise of the Social Reign of Christ the King, principally through her Indirect Power of Teaching and Preaching, for the good of souls and thus for the common good of society. The Catholic Church is not merely "one actor among many" in the pluralist society. She is the Mystical Bride of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She has been entrusted with the welfare of souls and with the direction of nations. Consider the words of the following popes (yes, I know, from a long time ago:
Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, 1832:
Nor can We predict happier times for religion and government from the plans of those who desire vehemently to separate the Church from the state, and to break the mutual concord between temporal authority and the priesthood. It is certain that that concord which always was favorable and beneficial for the sacred and the civil order is feared by the shameless lovers of liberty.
Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, 1864:
For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity,"2 viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;"3 and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling."
And, since where religion has been removed from civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, and the place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied by material force, thence it appears why it is that some, utterly neglecting and disregarding the surest principles of sound reason, dare to proclaim that "the people's will, manifested by what is called public opinion or in some other way, constitutes a supreme law, free from all divine and human control; and that in the political order accomplished facts, from the very circumstance that they are accomplished, have the force of right." But who, does not see and clearly perceive that human society, when set loose from the bonds of religion and true justice, can have, in truth, no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amassing wealth, and that (society under such circumstances) follows no other law in its actions, except the unchastened desire of ministering to its own pleasure and interests? For this reason, men of the kind pursue with bitter hatred the Religious Orders, although these have deserved extremely well of Christendom, civilization and literature, and cry out that the same have no legitimate reason for being permitted to exist; and thus (these evil men) applaud the calumnies of heretics. For, as Pius VI, Our Predecessor, taught most wisely, "the abolition of regulars is injurious to that state in which the Evangelical counsels are openly professed; it is injurious to a method of life praised in the Church as agreeable to Apostolic doctrine; it is injurious to the illustrious founders, themselves, whom we venerate on our altars, who did not establish these societies but by God's inspiration."5 And (these wretches) also impiously declare that permission should be refused to citizens and to the Church, "whereby they may openly give alms for the sake of Christian charity"; and that the law should be abrogated "whereby on certain fixed days servile works are prohibited because of God's worship;" and on the most deceptive pretext that the said permission and law are opposed to the principles of the best public economy. Moreover, not content with removing religion from public society, they wish to banish it also from private families. For, teaching and professing the most fatal error of "Communism and Socialism," they assert that "domestic society or the family derives the whole principle of its existence from the civil law alone; and, consequently, that on civil law alone depend all rights of parents over their children, and especially that of providing for education." By which impious opinions and machinations these most deceitful men chiefly aim at this result, viz., that the salutary teaching and influence of the Catholic Church may be entirely banished from the instruction and education of youth, and that the tender and flexible minds of young men may be infected and depraved by every most pernicious error and vice. For all who have endeavored to throw into confusion things both sacred and secular, and to subvert the right order of society, and to abolish all rights, human and divine, have always (as we above hinted) devoted all their nefarious schemes, devices and efforts, to deceiving and depraving incautious youth and have placed all their hope in its corruption. For which reason they never cease by every wicked method to assail the clergy, both secular and regular, from whom (as the surest monuments of history conspicuously attest), so many great advantages have abundantly flowed to Christianity, civilization and literature, and to proclaim that "the clergy, as being hostile to the true and beneficial advance of science and civilization, should be removed from the whole charge and duty of instructing and educating youth."
Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, 1884:
Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place.
That these doctrines are equally acceptable to the Freemasons, and that they would wish to constitute States according to this example and model, is too well known to require proof. For some time past they have openly endeavored to bring this about with all their strength and resources; and in this they prepare the way for not a few bolder men who are hurrying on even to worse things, in their endeavor to obtain equality and community of all goods by the destruction of every distinction of rank and property.
Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei, 1885:
As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For, men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, no less than individuals, owes gratitude to God who gave it being and maintains it and whose everbounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice-not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion -- it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, would hold in honor the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favor religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule. For one and all are we destined by our birth and adoption to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavor should be directed. Since, then, upon this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence, civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the wellbeing of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man with God.
Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate.
For the only-begotten Son of God established on earth a society which is called the Church, and to it He handed over the exalted and divine office which He had received from His Father, to be continued through the ages to come. "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you." "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."Consequently, as Jesus Christ came into the world that men "might have life and have it more abundantly," so also has the Church for its aim and end the eternal salvation of souls, and hence it is so constituted as to open wide its arms to all mankind, unhampered by any limit of either time or place. "Preach ye the Gospel to every creature. . . .
To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.
So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from life, from laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action.
There are many other papal quotes that could be cited. Many of those have been cited in numerous articles on this site. However, for present purposes, I want to point out that the plain words of Pope Leo XIII, which merely reiterate the consistent, immutable magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church, contradict in no uncertain terms the Modernism of Pope Benedict XVI's embrace of Martin Luther's specific and categorical endorsement of the separation of Church and State. Pope Leo XIII said: "To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from life, from laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error." Pope Benedict XVI dissents from this immutable teaching, agreeing with Luther, who wrote:
Assuredly, a prince can be a Christian, but it is not as a Christian that he ought to govern. As a ruler, he is not called a Christian, but a prince. The man is Christian, but his function does not concern his religion.
And quite contrary to Pope Benedict XVI's assertion in Deus Caritas Est that the Church is not to direct the building of the just society, Pope Leo XIII pointed out in Immortale Dei and Libertas (1888) that it was precisely the Catholic Church that built the just, although imperfect, society, of Christendom.
Writing in Immortale Dei, Pope Leo XIII explained the glories of Christendom and how they were rent asunder by the novelties of Protestantism that are so in favor in the Vatican these days:
There was once a time when States were governed by the philosophy of the Gospel. Then it was that the power and divine virtue of Christian wisdom had diffused itself throughout the laws, institutions, and morals of the people, permeating all ranks and relations of civil society. Then, too, the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, established firmly in befitting dignity, flourished everywhere, by the favor of princes and the legitimate protection of magistrates; and Church and State were happily united in concord and friendly interchange of good offices. The State, constituted in this wise, bore fruits important beyond all expectation, whose remembrance is still, and always will be, in renown, witnessed to as they are by countless proofs which can never be blotted out or ever obscured by any craft of any enemies. Christian Europe has subdued barbarous nations, and changed them from a savage to a civilized condition, from superstition to true worship. It victoriously rolled back the tide of Mohammedan conquest; retained the headship of civilization; stood forth in the front rank as the leader and teacher of all, in every branch of national culture; bestowed on the world the gift of true and many-sided liberty; and most wisely founded very numerous institutions for the solace of human suffering. And if we inquire how it was able to bring about so altered a condition of things, the answer is -- beyond all question, in large measure, through religion, under whose auspices so many great undertakings were set on foot, through whose aid they were brought to completion.
A similar state of things would certainly have continued had the agreement of the two powers been lasting. More important results even might have been justly looked for, had obedience waited upon the authority, teaching, and counsels of the Church, and had this submission been specially marked by greater and more unswerving loyalty. For that should be regarded in the light of an ever-changeless law which Ivo of Chartres wrote to Pope Paschal II: "When kingdom and priesthood are at one, in complete accord, the world is well ruled, and the Church flourishes, and brings forth abundant fruit. But when they are at variance, not only smaller interests prosper not, but even things of greatest moment fall into deplorable decay."
But that harmful and deplorable passion for innovation which was aroused in the sixteenth century threw first of all into confusion the Christian religion, and next, by natural sequence, invaded the precincts of philosophy, whence it spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountain-head, burst forth all those later tenets of unbridled license which, in the midst of the terrible upheavals of the last century, were wildly conceived and boldly proclaimed as the principles and foundation of that new conception of law which was not merely previously unknown, but was at variance on many points with not only the Christian, but even the natural law.
The same pope said that it is the Catholic Church alone that is the true guardian and guarantor of justice and authentic liberty in Christ, as he noted in Libertas:
These precepts of the truest and highest teaching, made known to us by the light of reason itself, the Church, instructed by the example and doctrine of her divine Author, has ever propagated and asserted; for she has made them the measure of her office and of her teaching to the Christian nations. As to morals, the laws of the Gospel not only immeasurably surpass the wisdom of the heathen, but are an invitation and an introduction to a state of holiness unknown to the ancients; and bringing man nearer to God, they make him at once the possessor of a more perfect liberty. Thus, the powerful influence of the Church has ever been manifested in the custody and protection of the civil and political liberty of the people. The enumeration of its merits in this respect does not belong to our present purpose. It is sufficient to recall the fact that slavery, that old reproach of the heathen nations, was mainly abolished by the beneficent efforts of the Church. The impartiality of the law and the true brotherhood of man were first asserted by Jesus Christ; and His apostles re-echoed His voice when they declared that in future there was to be neither Jew or Gentile, nor barbarian, nor Scythian, but all were brothers in Christ. So powerful, so conspicuous, in this respect is the influence of the Church that experience abundantly testifies how savage customs are longer possible in any land where she has once set her foot; but that gentleness speedily takes the place of cruelty, and the light of truth quickly dispels the darkness of barbarism. Nor has the Church been less lavish in the benefits she has conferred on civilized nations in every age, either by resisting the tyranny of the wicked, or by protecting the innocent and helpless from injury, or, finally, by using her influence in the support of any form of government which commended itself to the citizens at home, because of its justice, or was feared by their enemies without, because of its power.”
Pope Pius XI put the matter bluntly his first encyclical letter, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, 1922:
Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the "true spirit of brotherly love" (St. Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, i, 30) and by raising the public estimation of the value and dignity of the individual's soul help thereby to lift us even unto God.
Finally, the Church is able to set both public and private life on the road to righteousness by demanding that everything and all men become obedient to God "Who beholdeth the heart," to His commands, to His laws, to His sanctions. If the teachings of the Church could only penetrate in some such manner as We have described the inner recesses of the consciences of mankind, be they rulers or be they subjects, all eventually would be so apprised of their personal and civic duties and their mutual responsibilities that in a short time "Christ would be all, and in all." (Colossians iii, 11)
Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future, to the making impossible of war in the future. For the Church teaches (she alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority) that not only our acts as individuals but also as groups and as nations must conform to the eternal law of God. In fact, it is much more important that the acts of a nation follow God's law, since on the nation rests a much greater responsibility for the consequences of its acts than on the individual.
When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.
There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.
These clear, unambiguously Catholic words cannot be reconciled with the novelties of the ethos of conciliarism that has been championed for so long by Pope Benedict XV, who refuses to believe that the graces won for us on Calvary by the shedding of every single drop of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood are as powerful now to effect a new Christendom as they were during the Church's first millennium. As an Hegelian, the Holy Father believes that "history just moves on" to its next stage. Christendom is over. That's that. Well, Pope Benedict's Hegelianism, itself a product of Modernity's Revolution against the immutability of Catholic truth, is indeed at odds with the entire patrimony of the Church, especially as evidence by the stalwart defense of Christendom by popes from Gregory XVI through Pius XI.
Indeed, we see in all of these matters (a fear of bad press, a protection of perverted bishops and priests, a rejection of the necessity of infant baptism, ecumenism, the rejection of the Social Reign of Christ the King) a convergence of all of the rotten fruit wrought by conciliarism. We are, humanly speaking, spiraling in a free fall.
In the midst of this unprecedented attempt to Protestantize the Catholic Faith, we must cling as never before to Our Lady, to whose Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart we must be totally consecrated. Each of our own sins wounded Our Lord in His Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Holy Cross and they wound His Mystical Body, the Church, today. We must make every effort on a daily basis to scale the heights of sanctity with joy as the totally consecrated slaves of Our Lady, trusting that she will see us through these unprecedented times so that we might be able to plant a few seeds by the graces that flow forth from her hands, won for us by her Divine Son, for and end to this madness by the proper consecration of Russia to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by a pope with all of the world's bishops. Planting a few seeds in this regard might help us avoid the "smoking" section, shall we say, when we breathe our last.
Remember, we never give into despair. We must never grow embittered. We must denounce error and resist falsehood while praying very fervently for those who are in error and who propagate falsehood. What we are experiencing at present is all part of the Diabolical Disorientation that Sister Lucia said decades ago would multiply if the Consecration of Russia was not done. We know that Our Lady's Immaculate Heart will triumph in the end. Tradition will be restored in the Church. Christendom will be restored in the world. Thus, we cling to her, beseeching her through her Most Holy Rosary to do penance for our sins, to live penitentially in Holy Poverty, and to spend time on our knees before her Divine Son's Real Presence, trusting that she means to use us in some small way to help effect a world where every priest in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church will offer only the Mass of Tradition and where all hearts will exclaim proudly and with true love, "Viva Cristo Rey!"
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint Timothy, pray for us.
Saint Polycarp, pray for us.
Saint John Chrysostum, pray for us.
Saint Peter Nolasco, pray for us.
Saint Francis de Sales, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint Rita, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.