What are we to Make of Francis and Friends?
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
(“except in certain circumstances ...”)
He has mandated a “correction”
of the Lord's Prayer itself — which is the
only formulated prayer given by Jesus Christ to His
Apostles and followers in the entire New Testament — to accord
with prevailing pastoral sensitivity and theological clarity
from a “stylistic viewpoint” —
although Francis knows nothing of Greek.
Religion is of
secondary or tertiary importance. We must never attempt
to bring Christianity or Jesus Christ to pagans — who have their
own gods of nature. That is the now the forbidden practice of
“proselytism”; conversion, as a matter of course,
is thus frowned upon and discouraged as a form of western religious
imperialism. They have their own Shamans, after all, and Animism
provides a plethora of gods. Why preach the Gospel when “capitalistic
western industrial and agricultural extractivism” is the only
perceptible evil? Heaven? It is here ... in the “Amazonian
Face” — from which we must learn!
The Baying of Wolves
Oh … yes … one more lesson: if it hasn't occurred to you yet: Vatican II was a psychedelic farce and the Woodstock “bishops” are still feeding psilocybin mushrooms to the few seminarians left.
Many Catholics know the Holy Roman Catholic Church that existed for 2000 years, and understand that is indispensible to salvation: they know it as the now-despised Church before the blasphemous Council of Vatican II — but this is absolutely frightful: they cannot find it, and do not know where it is or where it has gone. It is no longer in Rome. It does not exist in their cities and towns. There are half a dozen claimants to retaining the one, true, holy Catholic Faith that the Second Vatican Council repudiated in favor of the world. Which one is true? Are any true? And if not, WHERE HAS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH GONE AND WHERE CAN WE FIND HER?
Christ is faithful unto the consummation of time — but His Bride, the Church, is now altogether elusive.
Since Vatican II the Sheepfold has been torn down and its gates are in ruins. The sheep are astray and cannot find their pasture. They hear no voice they recognize 2 — only the baying of wolves.
The Lesson to be Learned
Beneath the photograph of Francis appear the conspirators who machinated his election to the Seat of Saint Peter, from left to right:
Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium, Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Italy, Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of England and Wales, Cardinal Achille Silvestrini of Italy, Bishop Ivo Fürer of Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, Archbishop Alois Kothgasser of Austria, and Cardinal Lubomyr Husar of Ukraine — et alia.
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Comments? Write us: email@example.com
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke
Cardinal Janis Pujats
Archbishop Tomash Peta
Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga
Bishop Athanasius Schneider
There is a Hell and those who go there suffer for eternity
Church teaching can never contradict what was previous Church teaching
Muslims do not offer to God the same supernatural worship as do Christians
Ecumenism intends that non-Catholics enter the Catholic Church
God does not will the diversity of religions
No one has a natural right to choose the moral evil of sin
Anyone in a state of grace has the God-given strength to live a moral life
Intrinsically evil actions such as abortion or euthanasia are wrong in all circumstances
Sexual acts are only moral within a valid marriage and when open to life
Christ is truly, really and substantially present in the Eucharist
Prior to receiving Holy Communion all mortal sins must be confessed in number and kind
Holy Communion can't be given to those living in a public state of objectively grave sin
Holy Communion can't be given to those who reject the Catholic faith
Only men can be ordained priests
Much of the credit for this appalling state
of affairs goes to Francis who has defiled the Seat of Peter;
and virtually all of it to the heretical Second
Vatican Council (really, how tiresome novelty becomes after
60 years!). Only one (perhaps more) truth should be added to
these, for it is in dire need of repeating:
The Mass is a Sacrifice! It is not a luncheon or good fellowship. It is a SACRIFICE!
Most Catholics do not understand, or fail to grasp the fact that the Mass is “the Most Holy SACRIFICE of the Mass”. They had never been taught this absolutely central mystery, this most vital tenet of Catholicism — apart from which Catholicism is incomprehensible. Why? It is a fair question. The answer is as simple as the question is fair: No one told them. Not their CCD teachers, nor did they learn it from their glossy, expensive, and utterly useless CCD books, and most sadly, not even from their priests. It is the Third Rail of Ecumenism: touch it and you perish. It is too Catholic, too un-ecumenical, too redolent of the Catholic Church of two millennia — and to hold that this is true, of course, means that your Protestant, Jewish, or Muslim neighbor is wrong in disagreeing with this Catholic dogma. “Disagreement” is expunged from the Ecumenical Lexicon, for disagreement foments rational discussion, and is understood as (inexplicably) engendering “hostility”. In fact, the word “wrong” has no place in the Ecumenical Lexicon either. We are all right even when our propositions are contradictory. This is called Ecumenism. It is also known as illogical, or the Hegelian Wonderland where all utterly intractable contradictions are “reconciled”.
Why, we ask, (apart from reference to the curious
absence of the definite article concerning
table) is the sacrificial nature of the Mass either unrecognized
or so widely misunderstood? We have already provided two reasons
(Francis and Friends — and Vatican II) but the third is less
obvious because we have been exposed to the banality of it for
over half a century: The presence of “a table”
and the absence of “an altar.” You have your luncheon
at a table. You sacrifice at an altar. What could be clearer?
Protestants have “tables” and “communal meals” — Catholics witness and participate in the most sublime sacrifice in history — every Sunday and at every Mass! The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross re-presented as though Calvary were right there before them — which it is!
That, too, is why some “liturgical novelties” are so offensive — even blasphemous: one does not:
strum a guitar
bang on a drum
play a flute
break the “monotony of sacred silence” with incessant piano strains more appropriate to a lounge.
“sing” miserable pop music
perform “liturgical dances”
show off ones instrumental skills or (presumed) vocal talent
Think of it: when
we commit any of these obscenities,
we subject Christ on the Cross to them:
our laughter, our absurd skits, and
— and of all things blasphemous — our APPLAUSE
... we vigorously clap our hands as Christ suffers and dies
on the Cross!
In an adaptation of one of the protestant “Old Plantation Hymns” — popular in today's Catholic Church, “Were you there when they Crucified my Lord?”, we must ask — and you must seriously answer this: “Were you there” ... would you do these things? Laugh? Applaud? Make jokes. Emphasize your vocal mastery? Bang on your drum? Play a piano? Rehearse with a flute? Discuss mundane things with the person next to you?
Well? Would you ...?
This is Calvary, people! Not the Hard Rock Café! You would do well to recognize your venue.
In other words back to what was, is, and ever will be genuinely Catholic for all time.
We do not have the time to enumerate all that is uniquely and distinguishably Catholic that has been jettisoned since Vatican II in an effort to make the Catholic Church a member in good standing with the 349 members of the Protestant World Council of Churches. It would be too long and too depressing.
We have lost so, so much of what is Catholic — at Mass, in our lives, in our devotions, in the way of continuity with the thousands of Saints and Martyrs who preceded 1964 and the Second Vatican Council.
Under Francis, it appears that all things are negotiable, all things are on the table — nothing is certain, even “the most cherished beliefs” that, Cardinal Cupich (close advisor to Francis) tells us we must be prepared to abandon.
Perhaps to Francis ... and Cupich ... and so many, many other weak-kneed, invertebrate, cardinals, bishops, priests, “theologians” and “ecumenists”. But not to these four men (vir) who appear to be the only 4 pillars preventing the collapse of Catholicism altogether as a distinguishable religion among many that have made their peace (and place) with the world at the cost of Communion with Christ through the Communion of Saints and their rejection of perpetual and indefeasible doctrines and dogmas of Holy Mother the Catholic Church for 2000 years:
Not Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, not Bishop Athanasius Schneider, nor Cardinal Janis Pujats, or Archbishop Tomash Peta.
And definitely not me!
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
July 3, 2019
Comments? Write us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Script: We are not asserting that Francis is not the pope elected by the 120 cardinal electors on 13 March 2013. Whether he was legitimately elected, or elected through collusion by a group of disaffected prelates who secretly met in St. Gallen, Switzerland to overthrow pope Benedict and have “their Man” (Cardinal Jorge Bergolglio, now Pope Francis) installed — much as Cardinal Godfried Danneels proudly proclaimed — is something we are likely never to know. We must choose the most charitable interpretation and presume, despite the bluster of Danneels, that Francis is, in fact, legitimately the Pope — I refrain, however, from calling him “Our Holy Father”.
It is certainly at least by God's permissive will that he reigns as pontiff. In other words, God permits it for reasons we cannot determine — but permitting it is not to actively will it. He may have permitted the evil collusion of men to their own evil ends — for a good far beyond our comprehension. This is not actively willing the evil they perpetrate, anymore than allowing oneself to be struck is wishing oneself to be struck. We may permit the present and temporary evil in order to obtain a good that far exceeds the temporary evil (read Christ's Sermon on the Mount: St. Matthew chapters 5-7)
It nevertheless remains that, as more than one writer has observed, “we deserve this pope”; our perverse, willful, utterly secular and evil generation warrants such a man, bred in this evil generation and nurtured on its permissiveness and perversity. He is the man for our times, and God, it appears to me, has justly afflicted him upon us, for his agenda increasingly seems to be that of the world — not God's.“Nescitis quia amicitia huius mundi inimica est Dei?” — Do you not know that the friendship of the this world is the enemy of God? (Saint James 4.4)
Can YOU distinguish between the Church and the Municipal Social Services?
of Discernment and Accompaniment in Sin”
is the venue pre-eminent where people
noun — not a verb) —
while the rest of us
to one another or
you must understand, is to pretend that one is learned
in a subject of which one knows little or nothing, but
nevertheless wishes to be accounted among the intelligentsia
— who, presumably, use such absurd terms (e.g.
you like to dialogue about what you did today?”)
while the rest of unenlightened mankind witlessly settles
with each other”.
The notion of
to pretentious liberal
circles, the social sciences,
feminism and the homosexual lobby — which are invariably
gender fluidity and a looming environmental catastrophe
etched in oddly indiscernible “carbon footprints”.
How can the quaint notion of the salvation
of souls possibly compete with this present patriarchal
oppression and impending disaster?
Under Francis the Church
is principally concerned with
with other religious traditions it esteems
than Catholicism, and it seeks to acquire — even
to incorporate — their aboriginal wisdom, especially
as it flows from the Amazon basin — wisdom of which
the Church stands in urgent need since the wisdom of
Christ is apparently deficient and stands in dire need
of rehabilitation through more primitive sources.
The real evangel
of Francis’s “Church of Surprise” is to promote
a social and material agenda unmistakably deriving
from the leftist, elitist, liberal,
academic, “intellectual” and wealthy
strata of a purely secular society from which
God is banished as an impediment to the fulfillment
of every inflection of perversion and sin.
The “post-Conciliar Church”
is merely the façade of a spurious ecclesiastical
organ acting within a much broader social and political
context. It has become a temporal functionary
— contrived through Vatican II — to reiterate prevailing
secular social agenda — but in the subtle terms
of a sacralized redaction of what is ultimately a profane
Lenin wrote “The State
and Revolution” in an attempt to legitimize what
was essentially a Socialist coup. Perhaps Francis
will — in virtue of his uniquely acquired “personal
magisterium” — write a similar document aptly entitled“The
Church and Revolution” and to a similar end, devastating
the Church much as Lenin had devastated Russia. Lenin
argued the following: “While the State exists
there can be no freedom; when there is freedom
there will be no State.” Francis need only substitute
a noun: “While the Church exists there can be
no freedom; when there is freedom there
will be no Church.” While Marx spoke of the
away of the state”
as the triumph of Communism, Francis understands it
as the “withering
away of the Church”
— and the triumph of Modernism! Total indifference and
Comrade Francis strives precisely to this end.
¿No es así ... camarada?
II was an absolute calamity
that culminated in ecclesiastical suicide
and the final triumph of the Second Protestant Revolt
(which was never a “Reformation”) in 1962 that finally
abolished Catholicism, pronouncing its ancient dogma
and doctrines — especially those that accord with, or
derive from, the Sacred Deposit of Faith and
Sacred Tradition — utterly extraneous — the mere
vestiges of a presumed medieval superstition which was
once and for all expunged by the
That this was achieved through the complicity
of the “Council Fathers” themselves — most of whom ceased
being “Catholic” long before the “Council” — is the
most superficial intimation of what was to follow.
The Church is no longer contrary to the world. It is not even distinct from it, but exists as a pseudo-moral facet of what might be described as a purely synthetic Quadraplex consisting of a social facet, a political facet, an economic facet — together with this spurious moral facet — which simply endorses — by reflecting — the secular agenda of other three, contributing of itself nothing distinct and uniquely substantive — which is to say that it has become merely a redundant and ultimately tiresome iteration of Humanism.
This is not the Holy Catholic Church — which remains unblemished by the corruption of the post-Vatican II “Conciliar Church”, the mere simulacrum of what that fraudulent council, in its conceit, believed it has abolished — but which remains, much to its dismay, vibrant and growing — most especially — and most telling — among the young. (1 Saint John 2.13)
Key to images above:
|Saint Bernadette Church in Banlay, France||Social Services for Workers in the Port of Naples Italy||Saint Mary of the Angels, Los Angeles|
|Centro Municipal de Servicios Sociales de Móstoles, Madrid||
Church Saint Peter in Firminy, France
|Chapel, Sancho-Madridejos, Valleaceron, Spain|
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
Comments? Write us: email@example.com
— and any conceivable answer to it — is the most
compelling argument against any speculative proposition
that could logically lend itself to the project of what
we have come to understand as “ecumenism” (a word first
coined in 1948) — the novel and ultimately implausible notion that was the principal motivation behind the convocation of the Second Vatican Council. It is an unavoidable question that is absolutely unanswerable in terms consistent with the entirely specious — or better yet, factitious — “ecumenical” project:
Why do we — indeed,
how could we — maintain the
indispensability of the Holy Catholic
Church — in other words, on what grounds do we maintain
that it is necessary — rather than merely redundant and
ultimately superfluous — if any and every other
religion is the sufficient means to the salvation of souls
and the attainment of Heaven?
Francis — the pre-eminent product and culmination of Vatican II — recently and finally made this clear — indeed even signed a document with one of Islam’s Grand Imams declaring that:
“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings,” … “This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept.”
Two years earlier he had emphasized this radical insistence on ecumenism through a different tack, the absolutely clear terms of which by now we are all familiar:
“It is not licit that you convince them of your faith; proselytism is the strongest poison against the ecumenical path.” 1
It is not the proclamation of the Gospel and the conversion of souls to Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church that is paramount — and mandated by Christ when He told His Apostles “Go therefore and teach all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (St. Matthew 28.19-20) — but the heretical program of Ecumenism that is central to Christianity.
Why, then, was
for Christ to die on the Cross — if “any
to bring man to God, offers salvation, and ultimately leads
men to Heaven?
The answer to this question had apparently been peripheral to the “Council Fathers” and the answer to it still eludes the sophistic casuistry of Catholic and Protestant theologians alike, as it had in their collaborative construction of the Council and the documents that emerged from it.
At first the heresy of ecumenism was confined to nominally “Christian denominations” — but as the many ineluctable contradictions unfolded, it increasingly and necessarily moved beyond Christianity to encompass all religions — and no religion at all.
Let us be as forthright as possible: why — for what possible reason — was it necessary for Jesus Christ to suffer and die on the Cross … if — if — there was another way, another religion, in fact any religion that suffices (including that of the Canaanite god Moloch who required child sacrifice, and the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli — who also required human sacrifice), to say nothing of the Trimurti of the Hindus, Allah of the Muslims, Mormonism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Gnosticism, etc. or, in fact, no religion at all as Francis’s argument implies?
Absurdity may, in fact, be a prerogative
of Francis’s fabricated “god of surprises”
— but it is not the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob; not the God revealed in His Incarnate Son, and certainly
not the God worshipped in the Catholic Church.
If it was not necessary for Christ to die on the Cross to redeem man from his sins and so open Heaven to men — then His immolation on Calvary was purely gratuitous. He suffered and died needlessly. God the Father capriciously and wantonly crucified His Only-Begotten Son. The Crucifixion was pointless, and the agony of His Mother of no consequence. This is the necessary conclusion to the spurious attempt to both initiate and implement all that is inherently irreconcilable in the disastrous project of “ecumenism”. Any other religion would have been sufficient without Christ and the Cross.
As a postscript I suggest that you not attempt to use the “ut unum sint” (“that they may be one” ) citation from Holy Scripture. There are too many citations to the contrary. Christ was clearly speaking of His Apostles:
“And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name whom Thou has given me; that they may be one, as We also are. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy name. Those whom Thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled.” (Saint John 17.11-12)
If you argue that the revelation of God is a gradually evolving and on-going process, a continual “up-dating” of His most holy will so that He, Who created the world, can keep pace with the times and man’s “evolving consciousness”— then Jesus is not the final Word of God after all:
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrews 1.1-2)
The revelation of God was completed in His
Son, and ended upon the death of the last Apostle, Saint
This is long-established Catholic Doctrine.
But now, we are to believe, God is going to speak through Francis and abolish this doctrine by revealing that Christianity (Catholicism) is not the only way to the Father despite what Christ Himself said:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by Me.” (Saint John 14.6)
Francis’s proclamation — without precedent in Catholic history — is nothing less than a betrayal of Christ, the Teachings of Christ’s Church, the Sacred Deposit of Faith and is a grievous wound in our Holy Mother the Church whom he has also betrayed. It
And if this is not heresy (specifically the heresy of Indifferentism) then nothing qualifies for the definition.
The second reason is not a crime against God and holy religion — it is much more mundane, but no less powerful: It is an affront to Logic — specifically the Law of Non-Contradiction. Simply stated it is the Law that cannot consistently prescind from Reason (and Logic) which maintains that contradictory beliefs and doctrines cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time — and that to maintain the legitimacy of such a contradiction against the unimpeachable canons of reason and logic results in absurdity — it is to dispute the proposition that nonsense makes sense.
This is particularly true as it relates to Catholic dogma:
To maintain that the Holy Eucharist
IS the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ
— and that it is ALSO simply a “memorial” or “communal
meal” or “symbolic” and that it has no such substantial
species as maintained by Catholic Church —
is irreconcilably contradictory. Both cannot be true
of the same species, in the same sense, at the same
time. In short, The Eucharist cannot both be
and not be the real Body
and Blood of Jesus Christ. It is or it is not. What
is more, if it is not, then nothing of necessity
can be predicated of it relative to the salvation of
the immortal soul: the Eucharist and, therefore the
Holy Mass, is inconsequential to salvation. Why offer
Mass? Why attend Mass? If it is not necessary to the
final disposition of the soul, then any
rite, ritual, or symbol (or none at all) suffices to
attaining eternal happiness in Heaven: witchcraft, sorcery,
and necromancy are equally efficacious, to say nothing
of other “religions” which hold themselves to be indispensible
to salvation: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism
— and, perversely enough, Satanism and Atheism.
Mary, the Mother of God (Jesus Christ) is either Immaculate (free of Original Sin and Actual Sin) and a Virgin before she bore Christ in her womb, while He was in her womb, and remained a perpetual virgin her entire life on earth. This is Catholic dogma, the belief in which is incumbent upon every Catholic. Nearly every Protestant sect — not to mention nearly every other religion in the world — deny this. Either Mary was and is Immaculate and Virgin — or she is not. But she cannot be held to be both.
In fact, most Catholic dogma — whether it is concerning the divinity of Christ, Baptism, Penance, etc. — is denied (implicitly or explicitly) by most of “the 47,000 [Protestant] denominations which the Center for Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which is evangelical Protestant, estimates that there are.” 2 Once again, this does not include “non-Christian” religions that are too many to enumerate here. To maintain that “Ecumenism” can reconcile all the conflicting deities, religious beliefs, observances, and practices of every religious denomination — “Christian and non-Christian” — is absurd. Simply put God is not Vishnu. The so-called “Ecumenical endeavor” of the post-Conciliar Church is, in the end, a repudiation of the Catholic Church — and the Logic with which She was consistent for the 2000 years preceding Vatican II. Rejecting the notions of “the salvation of the soul” and “conversion to Christ and His Church” to the end of attaining to Heaven has been systematically supplanted by something no less insipid than the “Brotherhood of Man” (oh, yes — “and no religion, too” — Imagine, by the Beatles).
What a sorry trade!
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
June 1, 2019
WHAT Faith ...?
and of WHOSE Fathers?
no more frightening, and perhaps no more ominously portentous
words are spoken in all the Gospels,
in fact, in the entire New Testament — perhaps even in the
entirety of Sacred Scripture itself — words that become
increasingly fraught with significance with every passing
generation. Indeed, we must wonder if they are, in fact,
spoken of this generation ...
or of one soon — very soon, to come.
As with so many of Christ’s teachings, the troubling question Christ puts to us in asking if He will so much as find Faith upon His return is too often and too deftly explained away — especially by the overwhelming number of liberal theologians and bishops who have proliferated and multiplied since 1962 — which is to say, by “the learned and the wise”. It would appear that either Christ does not know what He is saying, or we do not know what He is saying — although we all agree that He said something that sounds suspiciously clear.
These are twelve words, however, to which we must pay careful attention, perhaps more now than at any other time in Church history.
However reluctant we are to take Christ at His word — which becomes increasingly inconvenient to us — we must recognize that Jesus never spoke idly: His words, His teachings — and yes, His Commandments — were always uttered to one explicit end: the salvation of souls — attaining to Heaven and everlasting happiness and to avoiding Hell and eternal misery. The Jewish religious authorities — “the learned” of His own time — had scornfully dismissed Christ’s warning that not so much as stone would remain standing in the great Temple 1 ... the very Temple within which, 70 years later, these words were fulfilled when Rome laid waste in days what took 46 years to build.
We tend to view such alarming statements
made by Jesus — and there are many — with the same scorn
and disdain today.
A mere fifty years ago we ourselves would have instinctively replied “Of course He will find faith! There simply must be some deeper, some obscure and less evident meaning to this that we do not presently understand — and what He appears to be saying, He is not really saying at all. Surely the “learned” of our own day can deftly explain the answer to this troubling question. In the end, they will conclude, Jesus is really asking something entirely different from what He appears to be asking and that it has nothing to do with our very real defection from the Faith.”
is likely that many Jews of Jesus’
time — both the learned and the unlearned — had replied
in much the same way. In fact, they did. 2
In other words, to us, our faith, the Faith of the Catholic Church for two millennia, could no sooner disappear than ... well, the stones of the great Temple 2000 years ago!
If, however, we take a careful inventory of our present and undeniably dismal and increasingly scandalous situation in the Church — especially as it has unfolded in the last five decades — Jesus does not quite appear as ... “perplexing” ... as so many apparently make Him to be.
Has the Faith — the Catholic Faith — indeed, has Christianity
itself, flourished in the last 50
years, or has it withered?
Are vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life
growing or dwindling?
Are Catholics (are Christians in general) having
more children or are they having
Are Missionary efforts, to the end of (dare we say it?)
as mandated by Christ 2 encouraged
as intrinsic to Catholicism — or are they discouraged
as impolite, obtrusive, culturally imperialistic and
inherently inimical to the
spirit of Vatican II”
— especially as interpreted by Pope Francis for
is solemn nonsense”,
to use his own words?
Is it really the case that
to Christ and His Church is actively discouraged
— that especially under Pope Francis it is no
longer understood as a holy and inherently necessary
endeavor — rather than being disdained,
even dismissed, as
and culturally incorrect”
— indeed, has it really come to this: that promoting
our Catholic Faith as Christ has commanded us to, been
all but forbidden by Francis
coterie of feckless and disaffected cardinals and bishops?
Is our understanding of the Catholic Church, as an absolutely unique institution indispensable to the ordinary means of salvation, emphasized as urgently today (if it is emphasized at all) as it was a hundred years ago? Fifty years ago? Indeed, is the concept itself of the singularity and indispensability of the Holy Catholic Church authentically deemed a dogma and a viable concept any longer?
For all our insolence and equivocation, we know the answers, and we are uncomfortable with them, for they fly in the face of Christ and all that He taught — to say nothing of Sacred Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the Sacred Deposit of the Faith entrusted to the Catholic Church by God Himself.
question takes on a greater sense of urgency, for the sheep
are scattered and confused as never before. The papacy
of Francis has been disastrous for the Church. Why? Because
he has taken Vatican II to its logical conclusion: the irrelevance
of the Church.
Where is the Shepherd? Who is earnestly addressing this spiritual malaise and religious decay, the indolence and dereliction of the vast majority of American and European bishops who appear far more eager for secular plaudits than the now quaint and discredited notion of “the salvation of souls.” Pope Francis has effectively declared this mandate defunct in favor of the rehabilitation — and sometimes transformation — of bodies, societies, economies, and the environment. That the passing material environment of man is infinitely less important than the eternal abode of his soul often appears to elude Francis. Indeed, it appears to elude most Catholics whose mantra increasingly coincides with the world’s: Social activism! ... not interior conversion away from this world and to Christ.
Shame! Shame on us! By our silence, our fear of being disparaged by “other Catholics” for the sake of Christ, we condone this travesty — are complicit in it ... even promote it! What will motivate us to recognize, and to redress, this frightful and ultimately deadly state of affairs?
There are, after all, other contenders in this world for the souls of men ... seen and unseen! As our own wick smolders, others blaze! The burning Crescent of Islam, poised like a scimitar, and every bit as deadly, glows and grows in the east, and with it, not an ethnic, but a Religious Cleansing to which the world remains indifferent — an expunging of every vestige of Christianity in partibus infidelium. Even the European Union will no longer tolerate the inclusion of its indissoluble Christian heritage within its Constitution. Not only does it thoroughly repudiate its own Christian cultural heritage — it prohibits it — even banishes it!
Surely, then, in our effort to remedy this impending state of dissolution, we will first turn to our bishops, since they are, preeminently, the “Teachers and Guardians of the Faith”. But more often than not — much more often than not — in the well-appointed office at the end of the corridor we do not find a shepherd of souls but a deeply sequestered, occasionally avuncular, and predictably remote ... “administrator”.
Relegating his prime responsibility as Teacher and Promoter of the Faith ... to others, in the form of Lay committees and subcommittees largely “chaired” by liberal Catholics more concerned with social issues than the salvation of souls, are we confident that the patrimony of our faith will somehow percolate through this strata of already contaminated soil and reach our children authentically and intact? Is our fear mitigated ... or further exacerbated ... by our bishops’ resolute lack of diligence in being attentive to what Catholic colleges and theologians in their own dioceses are really teaching — and who are teaching the teachers ... who, in turn, are teaching our children?
Do you think that your bishop actually — that is to say, cognitively — is aware of, or even concerned with — what the teachers themselves are actually teaching?
Not in this diocese. Not in Boston. In fact, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley routinely fetes, praises, and holds up as exemplary the clueless “Catechists” who churn out our children to the Sacrament of Confirmation — with no clue whatever of that in which they are being confirmed. By comparison, even the dismal failure of our public schools in Boston must be deemed a stunning success.
most of us — especially in the Archdiocese of Boston, but
no less elsewhere — the answer is, as they say, a
it is a universally resounding
Most of us find, to our growing dismay and deepening cynicism,
that our Bishops appear to have
things to do ... than to communicate the Faith to the faithful
... especially the children.
Really, we beg the question: if no one teaches the teachers — who, then, teaches the children? If they are not brought the faith by those to whom it has been entrusted — the bishops, the episcopacy — who will bring it to them?
Will they — how can they — acquire the Faith ... if no one brings it to them? Saint Paul is very clear about this:
|“How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent ...?” (Romans 10.14-15)|
yourself candidly: do you know more ...
or less ... of your Catholic faith than
your children? Very likely more — although, in all honesty,
it is probably little. You politely assent to the now quaint
Catholic notion that
are the primary teachers of their children”,
but knowing little of your own Faith, you simply shell out
$50.00 per child and pan off this grave responsibility
to others of whom you know nothing, and who themselves largely
know nothing of the faith they presume to teach.
You go through the motions as careless of what your children
are taught in their 10 years of
as your Bishop is of what the teachers teach. 10 years later,
and $500 poorer per child, you scratch your head and wonder
why Johnny still does not know God, and why Judy never goes
to Mass — and yet we have agreed that you know more than
your children ...
What, then, we must ask — with growing apprehension — will your children teach their children ...?
What will they — who know even less than you — teach those who know nothing?
momentum, as we see, is inexorable — until it culminates
in total ignorance: every generation knows less
of their faith than the generation preceding it. It
is, in the end, the devolution from doctrine to legend,
from legend to fiction, and from fiction to myth.
That is not just a poor, but a stultifying and ultimately deadly patrimony.
This default — at every level — in transmitting the authentic Catholic faith intact ... leaves Jesus question suddenly very real.
|“Recently, a Gallup poll was taken on Catholic attitudes toward Holy Communion. The poll showed serious confusion among Catholics about one of the most basic beliefs of the Church. Only 30 percent of those surveyed believe they are actually receiving the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.” 4|
problem is more than mathematical, as we have seen; it is
exponential. 70% of Catholics do not possess this
most fundamental, this most essential understanding
of the core article of genuine Catholic doctrine: that
you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood,
you have no life in you.”
It is not just a matter of the greatest concern, but nothing less than a matter of the gravest dereliction that most Catholics do not realize — do not know — that the very Mass itself is an abbreviation of “The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”, and that it is really a Sacrifice, the actual re-enactment of Calvary before their very eyes!
This failure of understanding ... culminates in a failure in Faith. It possesses, in significant ways, the remorseless characteristics of mathematical certainties. Not understanding, grasping — having never been taught — the most elementary features of the faith, how can they be understood to possess what they have not acquired, and how can they transmit, pass on, what they do not possess? It is inescapable.
Prognostication, of course, is for fools.
But the words of Christ are certainties that will come to pass.
“Weep not for Me, but for your children”, 5 Christ told the sorrowing women on the road to Calvary.
Jesus’ question, then — “When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on earth?”, is not a “rhetorical question” at all; it is a question fraught with enormous significance ... the frightful answer to which appears to be unfolding before our very eyes — but that is if you take Christ at His word — and given Jesus’ track record on things yet to come, we would do well and wisely to give pause for more than thought.
Are you worried now ...? Not nearly enough.
And this is all the more frightening still.
Boston Catholic Journal
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1 Saint Matthew 24.1
2 Saint John 2.19
3 Matthew 28:19
Saint Luke 23.28
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Saturday July 20th in the Year of Grace
Time after Pentecost
The same day, the birthday of St. Flavian II,
bishop of Antioch, and St. Elias, bishop of Jerusalem. They were
driven into exile by Emperor Anastasius for their defense of the Council
of Chalcedon, and there they went victoriously to the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.
By J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore
THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official and accredited record, on the pages of which are set forth in simple and brief, but impressive words, the glorious deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in all ages of the Church; of the illustrious Heroes and Heroines of the Cross, whom her solemn verdict has beatified or canonized. In making up this long roll of honor, the Church has been actuated by that instinctive wisdom with which the Spirit of God, who abides in her and teaches her all truth, has endowed her, and which permeates through and guides all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ, without spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious and undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley of tears, and to abide with her forever. She is one with Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject to Him in all things; she loves what He loves, she teaches and practices what He commands.
If the world has its “Legions of Honor”, why should not also the Church of the Living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth? If men who have been stained with blood, and women who have been tainted with vice, have had their memory consecrated in prose and in verse, and monuments erected to their memory, because they exhibited extraordinary talents, achieved great success, or were, to a greater or less extent, benefactors of their race in the temporal order, which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example, have overcome themselves, risen superior to and trampled upon the world, have aspired, in all their thoughts, words, and actions, to a heavenly crown, and have moreover labored with disinterested zeal and self-forgetting love for the good of their fellow-men, have their memories likewise consecrated and embalmed in the minds and hearts of the people of God? If time have its heroes, why should not eternity; if man, why should not God? “Thy friends, O Lord, are exceedingly honored; their principality is exceedingly exalted.” Whom His Father so dearly loved, the world crucified; whom the world neglects, despises, and crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth, with jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for ages on ages.
The wisdom of the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated. The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models. Christ lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through them. They were the living temples of the Holy Ghost, in whose mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His wisdom and grace. They were in life consecrated human exemplars of divine excellence and perfection. Their example still appeals to our minds and to our hearts, more eloquently even than did their words to the men of their own generation, while they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct with sanctity, and through them they continue to breathe forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality into which they have entered still lingers in their bones, and seems to breathe in their mortal remains. As many an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush to the cannon's mouth by reading the exploits of earthly heroes, so many a generous Christian soul has been fired with heavenly ardor, and been impelled to rush to the crown of martyrdom, by reading the lives and heroic achievements of the Saints and Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent appeal, is more potent in its influence on the human heart and conduct than are words in their most eloquent utterances.
The Church knows and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with whom she is replenished ; and hence she sets forth, with holy joy and exultant hope, her bright and ever-increasing Calendar of Sanctity of just men and women made perfect and rendered glorious, under her unearthly and sublime teachings. In reading this roll of consecrated holiness, our instinctive conclusion is, precisely that which the great soul of St. Augustine reached at the very crisis of his life, the moment of his conversion “If other men like me have attained to such sanctity, why not I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and dead in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and glorious mansion already prepared for me in heaven? Shall all the gifts, which God has lavished upon me, be ingloriously spent and foolishly wasted, in the petty contest for this world's evanescent honors and riches, while the poor and contemned lay up treasures in heaven, and secure the prize of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends of God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?”
It is a consoling evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this country to find the Martyrology here published, for the first time, in English, and thereby made accessible, in its rich treasures of Sanctity, to all classes of our population. It will prove highly edifying and useful, not only to the members of our numerous religious Communities of both sexes, but also to the laity generally. Every day has here its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely a Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied, who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith and with great profit, the brief page of each day's models of Holiness. These belong to all classes and callings of life; from the throne to the hovel, from the Pontiff to the lowest cleric, from the philosopher to the peasant, from the busy walks of life to the dreary wastes of the desert.
Let all, then, procure and read daily the appropriate portions of this Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal will console us in affliction, will animate us in despondency, will make our souls glow with the love of God in coldness, and will lift up our minds and hearts from this dull and ever-changing earth to the bright and everlasting mansions prepared for us in Heaven!
Imprimatur, J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland 1916
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Pope Saint Pius X
“I shall spare myself neither care nor labor nor
Totally Faithful to the Sacred Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non
negasti Nomen Meum”
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