Category Archives: Fundamental Theology

Truths & Duties: A Catholic Political Catechism, Part II

 

What is said in the video, above, in Italian, I repeat here in English.

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As I explained in the Introduction to this Catechism on Catholic Politics, Catholics have a duty to participate in politics. In this second part, I want to  list the truths of our holy Faith and the truths of natural political philosophy, which motivate and guide and explain the duty of Catholics to take an active and leading role in the political life of their nations.

Principles of our Holy Faith

  1. God has created the world. But not just any god. Our God. Our God has created everything, for His honor and glory.  Since God has created everything, His is the sovereignty over everything. Since He is our God, it is our responsibility to care for and rule over all creation and lead it back unto His honor and glory.
  2. God has created man.  And not just any god. Our God has created mankind. Our God has created us. He has created each man for His honor and glory.  And hence it is the responsibility of every man to seek Him and live in this world in accord with His will. Thus, our responsibility for creation means also a responsibility to care for all men, believers or not.
  3. Our God made man to His own likeness and similitude. Each man. This means that the dignity of the individual human being is greater than the dignity of any other earthly creature and thus greater than anything man can make with his own hands, whether that be the State or a robot or any thing. It also means that the individual, being made in the likeness of the One God Who is unique, represents and embodies his dignity as an individual, and not just as a member of any collective or as a mere human being. This means that he is the fundamental context of all duty and right. It also means that in politics, we Catholics must respect individuals as individuals, and not just as creatures or humans, but as persons made in the image and likeness of God. This also means that each of us has been made to share in a community of truth, justice and life, both in this world and in the world to come. Hence all politics must aim at the preservation, defense and service of truth, justice and life.
  4. Our God created the human family. Thus Catholic politics must serve and benefit the family as the fundamental institution of human existence and human society, and as the fundamental unit of political life.
  5. God created man and woman that they might accomplish His will which is to be fruitful and fill the earth and rule over all the living things of the land, sea and air. Thus, the family is prior and takes precedence to all of the environment and creation. And it must be protected, preserved, defended and supported, for the future of the nation, culture, society and economy.
  6. However, our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned and fell. And hence it is that now without God we cannot attain our end or fulfill the duties He has given us in the way He wants us to. For this reason, in politics, we Catholics must recognize that the State cannot save mankind, that there are problems which no law can solve perfectly or completely, and that there are many problems which no law can solve in any way, as the root of the problem transcends the physical and material and human world.
  7. But the Son of God, Jesus Christ, became man and died on the Cross to redeem us. Hence, the Divine Plan that all come to know God through Jesus Christ is the preeminent solution to all human problems which transcend nature and mankind. Hence it is that Catholics in politics need to protect the mission of the Church and the freedom of Catholics to live their faith in all parts of society, for their liberty to do so is the very hope and salvation of the whole body politic.
  8. Only Catholics who have passed from death to life, from sin to salvation in Baptism and by the practice of their faith can have the spiritual requisites and capacities to act in politics in a way which is free from sin and which can liberate the whole of society from the sins and vices which sprout up out of the sin of Adam and Even. By grace and faith, Catholics alone can fulfill the Divine plan for mankind, and hence the Divine Plan for man in society and politics.
  9. Hence, it is a solemn and grave duty for every Catholic who is faithful to bring this world and the family back to God and into the right order with all things.
  10. And this is what it means to be a faithful Catholic in politics. This is also what Catholic politics means.

Principles of Christian Political Philosophy

  1. The word politics comes from the Greek for city, “polis”. And this is not just a truth of etymology, this is a truth of human society. Because the first public society is the city in which the human family lives and exists and works and worships and buys and sells etc.. Thus there is no true politics which does not benefit the city. And every political ideology which subordinates the good of the local community to some other purpose, is fundamentally politically exploitive.
  2. God alone is God. The State cannot be God, nor has it the rights of God. Therefore the State cannot demand of individuals as much or more than what God asks of them.
  3. The corrollary is that law cannot save mankind and hence cannot save society. For that reason there has to be a limit to legislation, norms, decrees, regulations, and there always has to be recognized as more important individual human responsibility and initiative.
  4. God alone is sovereign, and since He has made each man in His image and likeness, His sovereignty is served by individual responsibility. And thus it is that the State cannot claim an authority above God, nor an authority which represses individual human dignity or responsibility.
  5. Since society needs law and order, and since only by the Christian dispensation can each individual have in himself the spiritual means of keeping law and observing order, the Christian by his religion is bound gravely to come to the assistance of the public order, since no one else can do so fully or perfectly as he can.
  6. Our God is Truth. Thus truth itself must be at the center and focus of all Catholic political thought and action.
  7. Every truth directs man to God Who is Truth, just as every window opens up to show the view of a portion of heaven.
  8. Every truth is the foundation or point of reference for every just law, and there can be no justice or law apart from truth. Hence Catholics must militate for laws founded upon truth and oppose all errors and misconceptions as principles of law.
  9. Since the French Revolution the Catholic Order has been shattered. Now every secularist seeks some portion of that order, fixing his gaze on some partial truth. The politics which arise in a secular mindset therefore are incomplete and are incapable of being compatible with one another, because they reject the whole vision of the truth which is contained only in the Catholic approach to politics.
  10. Hence, Catholics in politics need to support and promote every just cause founded on the truth, reintegrating them as friends of one another and opposing the instrumentalization of partial truth against integral truth.
  11. A Catholic Political party by its very nature must oppose therefore every political ideology, since political ideologies are created in the minds of men with limited visions of reality, of humanity, of life, and are aimed and the special interests of one group and not that of the whole of society.

Catholic Politics must put into practice and define itself by these truths of the Faith and of political philosophy, and by doing so, can easily win back its nation for sanity, humanity, life, prosperity and above all Jesus Christ.

 

O Clergy realize how great is the act of Apostasy which you are about to commit this Easter!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

When Our Lord Jesus Christ was about to Ascend to His Father, He commissioned the Apostles and Disciples who were clergy, to go make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that He had commanded them.

Bishops and priests and deacons show that they are Christians by obeying this great Mandate, which is called the Great Commission or the Great Commandment.

But there is another voice which asks Catholic priests to act differently. It is an impish voice. It knows how to recite a litany of excuses.

But all with one purpose.

That you do not listen to the Voice of Jesus Christ.

Apostasy is a strong word. It means abandonment.

Apostasy from Christ means abandoning Christ. It does not require that intellectually you no longer think of Him, just only that you no longer fulfill what He asks of you.

In 1987 years, Easter has always been celebrated by the whole Church together, Clergy with the faithful.

As the Catholic Faith teaches, the time after the Resurrection until the end of the world is only a short time. It will only go on so long. God the Father is waiting for the elect to come to Him. He made this world for His Son and His Son’s disciples. When the last are no more, when there are no longer those who want to serve His Son in this world, He will then have no more use for creation.

So think well what you are about to do, or rather, to NOT do, this Easter, this Sacred Tridduum!

To separate the Faithful from the Mass, from Jesus, is like tearing the Mystical Body of Christ away from Christ.

There is only one voice I know of, that wants that.

___________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is of the impish figure of Lucifer, from the Move, The Passion of the Christ, by Mel Gibson.

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Only the one who holds the Petrine Munus can confirm the Bishops in the Faith

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

One of the primary and constant themes of the preaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ was that we should judge things according to the truth. And the truth regards not only what can be seen, but what cannot be seen, but inferred from looking at the facts with faith.

And He put us to the extreme test by what He did and suffered. Because if you only allowed yourself to be amazed at His miracles and to admire His teaching, His Passion was so much the utter contradiction of worldly logic, that mere human admiration would be shattered.

The other extreme test He put us to was to have faith that He was the Bread of Life come down from Heaven, and thus that He is truly, really and substantially there in the Blessed Sacrament. The eyes see bread and wine, but with faith, they see the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many ask me what is going on in the Church right now, and I have written an essay about this before. But now I want to approach the same problem from a different point of view.

The Vicar of the Christ Who ascended into Heaven

When Christ was about to ascend into Heaven, He said some truly marvelous words:  All power in Heaven and Earth has been given to Me (Matthew 28:18 according to the Vulgate). This passage is often translated with the word, “authority”, not “power”, which if understood badly, as it often is, is understood to refer only to legal authority. But the Greek says, πᾶσα ἐξουσία, means the power to act. It is not just the right to act.

These words are tremendous because of their implication. Christ Our Lord, is not only God, but wields the Divine Power in all its fullness even as Man.

The import for us is that this God become Man is the author of the office of Saint Peter. Peter is not just the Vicar of Christ on earth. Peter is the Vicar of the Christ Who ascended into Heaven and wields all power to act, in Heaven and Earth.

This can be seen in the history of the Church. We Roman Catholics often boast about the Roman Church being superior to the other Apostolic Churches or more fecund in spreading the faith or having saints. We speak often as if this is because of the superiority of Western Civilization or of the Roman Culture, legal system, or philosophical or theological sciences in the West.

The Vicar of the Christ with all power to act

But the mystical truth is quiet other. It is not us, nor the work of our hands, it is the Office of Peter. For the Successors of Saint Peter hold the office of the Vicar of Christ. and not only of any Christ, but of Christ with all the power to act.

The man who in truth has this office, by his mere existence and our communion, with him, merits for us grace to act. He does not merit this by being a good pope or a bad pope, though if he be a good pope he manifests this more.  No he merits it in a higher sense, because the Office of St. Peter has this instrumentality in the order of grace by its very nature as the Vicarship or Vice-Roy of Christ Jesus, Who has all power to act.

In this way, the last words of Our Lord on Earth, were a profound catechesis on the the nature of the Church and the order of grace. Our Lord was promising, by these words, that those who remained in communion with His Vicar, Saint Peter and his successors, would have the grace to accomplish His Final and Greatest Commandment: Go make disciples of every nation, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things which I commanded you!

The Petrine munus cannot be hidden

It follows then, that you cannot hide the effects of the Papal Office. You cannot bury them in your sins or wipe out its force by your personal defects. It exists and is empowered on a divine level, the human cannot overwhelm it.  This is because as Vicar of the One who has all power to act, there is no greater instrument in all the cosmos to mediate that active power, than the Office of Peter.

And thus, all of us who are in communion with the true Successor of Saint Peter will have the graces to accomplish the will of God, not because we merit it for our personal good works, but because we obtain it by being in and remaining in communion with the Vicar of Our Lord and Savior.

Likewise, if you are not the true successor of Saint Peter you cannot hide it. It will be evident in the immorality, blasphemies, idolatries, loss of faith, loss of every virtue and finally total abandonment of the divine ministry. You can see that in the cult of Palmar, Spain, who claim to have the true pope, but whose popes leave office and marry women.

desolation

Interpret the signs of the times!

Likewise, if the man you follow as Pope is ordering you not to be a Bishop, not to be a priest, not to believe, not to pray, not to frequent the sacraments, not to have devotion, not to practice virtue, not to be chaste, not the resist the world, the flesh or the devil, in short, not to be a Christian…

Then I say you need to discern the signs of the times.  Christ Jesus did not say, All power to not act in Heaven and Earth has been given to Me.

Thus, the conclusion is inescapable. You’re mistaken. The one you think has the petrine munus, does not have it, because if he did, he would have the power to act and communicate this power to all the Bishops and clergy in communion with him. But it has been 7 years that he and they have been in formal schism with the one who does have that power, and now, their spiritual batteries have run down, and are dead. And the lights of the Church, that is the Sacraments, have gone out.

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Two grave errors of Canon Peters in the Corona Panic

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Big Lie becomes the premise which the small minded will never question, and what his mind consequently thinks or judges on that basis will be utterly corrupted.

A case in point is Canon Peter’s opinions on Sacraments during the Corona Panic, as expressed in his post entitled, Canonical deep breath time. Canon Peter’s accepts all 3 Big Lies which I recently listed: that the Church in conforming Her pastoral practice to modern times does not risk damaging the traditio fidei, that Pope Benedict in renouncing the ministerium renounced the office of the  papacy, and that the Coronavirus is 340 times more deadly than the common cold.

So consequently, do not expect Canon Peters to be any more accurate about canonical or sacramental questions than a man with 1/340th of the IQ of a normal person, or 1/340th of the eyesight of a normal person, or 1/340th of the memory of a normal person. We should not compare persons to cellphones, but no one would want to use a cellphone with 1/340th capacity.

I bluster in words, of course. Because the problem is much worse than a 340x reduction.

Because when you accept any false premise, all your conclusions are 100% false.

So now I will address Canon Peter’s false conclusions and show what the truth is:

First Canon Peters says:

1. Do not assume that some wrong, even stupid, policies being announced by various levels of Church government are necessarily canonically illegal policies. Christ, who foresaw COVID19, nevertheless gave considerable authority to his Church, specifically to his bishops and popes, to formulate how the Church would carry on his mission in these days. People should be very wary of concluding that a given a local Church policy is canonically illegal and can therefore simply be disregarded.

Here is your classical positivist. Throw the book of the Gospels in the trash, shut up, and presume like a good Catholic under the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler than your local Fuhrer is probably acting lawfully. Don’t even dare think that other considerations make that presumption invalid!  — But that is not Catholicism. That is clericalism.

Catholicism is this: the Faith trumps obedience to a visible superior, so when a Bishop dumps the Gospel in the trashcan and acts contrary to the Gospel, the presumption that he is acting legally can be dumped likewise in the trashcan!

Next Canon Peters writes:

Consider, e.g., that for most of Church history the institution of “territorial interdict”, whereby Church authority could shut down access to sacraments for the innocent as well as the guilty in whole countries, was practiced. See most recently 1917 CIC 2268-2277. There were, of course, efforts over the centuries to mitigate the impact of territorial interdicts on the innocent but, in its heyday, though criticized on prudential grounds, interdicts were not attacked as illegal in themselves nor as somehow outside of the Church’s authority to implement. Today, what amounts to territorial interdicts are being imposed (rightly or wrongly, in terms of medical advice) as a way to protect the innocent. Even if such policies are wrong-headed (as some seem to me) that does not necessarily mean they are canonically illegal.

What Canon Peters fails to mention, is that like every canonical penalty, interdicts have to be motivated by some injustice.  That a prince rebels against the Church did merit an interdict against his principality! But that the faithful in what they perceive to be a life-and-death situation want to receive the Sacraments is not an injustice! Nay, it is their divine right! When any penalty is not motivated by injustice, then it is invalidly imposed per se and ipso iure. So there is no question at all that it is legal.

Canon Peter also fails to explain to you, quite conveniently, that an interdict loosed you form all bonds of obedience to your Prince so that you could and should disobey him! But what the Bishops are doing is punishing an entire territory for the fault of no one, and demanding you continue to obey your unjust leaders! This is the complete opposite moral and legal case!

Thus it is a complete and diabolical shell game, Canon Peter’s is playing here. And that is also clericalism of the most depraved kind: to justify the denial of sacraments to 100s of millions of Catholics!

Then Canon Peter’s goes off the deep end, saying:

2. The use of communication devices (e.g., cell-phones, video devices) in sacramental Confession has been an interest of mine for some time and I published a peer-reviewed series of three articles exploring the validity and liceity of such practices.* While I far prefer such matters to be debated in the calm of academe some points apparently need to be made now. …

I won’t quote the theological dribble which follows under n. 2. But suffice it to say that Canon Peters does not know the first thing about Sacramental theology, which requires that for a Sacrament to be valid that it be a sign which is communicated. And here ”’communicated” is the Latin word for shared among persons in the presence of one another. The notion of communication via wires and radio waves etc., that is remotely, is an analogy, it is not the reality of communion. The voice you hear on the TV or cellphone is NOT the voice of a human being, it is the semblance of the voice created by merely inanimate instruments which cannot in the sacramental sense produce an act of personal communion. Remote communication is only the sharing of information, it cannot be or produce the real communion of persons. We are men, after all, not Angels, communion for human beings requires physical proximity of human bodies.

For that reason, no Sacrament can be valid which is done through phones or radios or tv. It is ontologically impossible, just as it is ontologically impossible that two persons by means of such things be physically proximate to commune in the sharing of anything.

In conclusion…

But since the truth is that Pope Benedict XVI has not ordered any Bishop to suspend the Sacraments or close the Churches, and since Coronavirus is not even as deadly as the winter flu to healthy persons, there is absolutely no reason for Canon Peters to try to start figuring out how to solve the problems which result from accept the Big Lies opposed to those 2 truths.

Here we have the classic example of the Pharisee. Straining gnats but swallowing camels. That is, straining canonical problems but ignoring the Big Truths that Benedict is still the pope and that all medical statistics show the Wuhan virus is not a plague.

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There is a lot more behind the rejection of Pope Benedict XVI, than meets the eye

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

One of the things which has caused more speculation and dismay among the faithful, in the last 7 years, is the apparent ignorance of every canonical, doctrinal, moral and sacramental deviation in the Church by the worlds Bishops and by the Cardinals of the Roman Church.

Indeed, as anyone who can read can see immediately, that Pope Benedict XVI renounced the ministry but the Code of Canon Law requires a renunciation of munus, means that his renunciation is prima facie invalid, doubtful and not to be accepted.

Wherever I go, and to whomever I speak, who does not get a salary from the Church or hold an office in any ecclesiastical institution, when I point that out, they all agree with me. An idiot can understand it.

But the Cardinals and Bishops and so many priests — AT LEAST IN PUBLIC — do not want to understand it nor show that they understand it.

According to the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, there is only one power capable of preventing the human intellect from seeing the truth of things, according to their essences: the human will. Only if your will intervenes and stops the act of the intellect, can you pretend that ministerium means munus, that they are not different and that renouncing the one is renouncing the other. This is because the intellect naturally distinguishes things which are different.

Saint Thomas calls this intervention of the will an act of violence, because it is contrary to the nature of the intellect not to think and recognize things for what they are.

The spirit which inclines the Cardinals and Bishops to act is becoming more and more clear. We ignored the obvious expression of it in the days immediately following Feb. 11, 2013: the glee to see Benedict go.

In a recent email exchange of a friend with a priest, on the topic of Benedict’s renunciation, the priest responded:  THANK GOD HE IS GONE!

He did not specify which god he was thanking.

With the rituals in the Vatican Gardens and at the Vatican adoring Pachamama, at which Cardinal Sarah and numerous Bishops and priests ares said to have been present with Cardinal Bergoglio, we can see more clearly what spirit is behind that glee.

Amoris Laetitia, Laudato Si’, and Querida Amazonia also show what spirit is.  But it is shown more clearly to those who do not read long documents, in this, that the Bishops are ordering the cessation of the Mass and Sacraments for all the faithful in diocese after diocese.

This is complete apostasy. If you do not want to call it apostasy, then I think you are doing violence to your intellect.

Discerning spirits

If we take a look back on the last 60 years in the Church, we can see distinctive indications of this spirit. The elimination of the mention of the Devil, Hell, Damnation, the immorality of the Soul, the Judgment of the soul after death.

Many of us lamented these deficiencies in the Aggiornamento as a secular trend. But I think that judgement was superficial. There is nothing in this wold which is secular. It is either of God, or of the Devil.

And men who do not chose God, are held fast in bondage by the lord of darkness.

The whole purpose that the Son of God descended from Heaven was to liberate us from the power of Satan. His public ministry was a ministry of exorcism and healing those who were afflicted with disease and death, signs and effects of bondage.

The denial of His miracles and His exorcisms and His preaching against Hell and damnation, and its causes, disbelief and immorality, all had a purpose.

And there is no spirit which hates the liberation from damnation, sin, immorality and bondage to the Devil but one.

And if you cannot name that spirit, then I think you are also doing violence to your intellect.

That spirit is the true Lord of Bergoglio. That is the true god he serves. That is why he will not bend his knee to the true Incarnate God. And that is why both he is demanding the abolition of the Holy Sacrifice and why the Bishops are readily complying without question.

They won’t say so in public, because that is how devils work. The Saints call the Holy Angels spirit of light. The devils are called spirits of darkness. You do not see what they do, because they are all about omitting the right things to be done. And it is hard to notice what is not there.

____________

CREDITS: The Featured Image above is a photo by Br. Bugnolo of a wooden carved confessional, here at Rome, featuring an image of Our Lord healing the sick and raising Lazarus from the dead.

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The Heresy of Pantheism at the root of Modernism & the present Church crisis

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Pantheism is the false belief that everything is God, or more precisely, that God is incarnate in everything.

As an error, it is an absurdity. It arises in the East in the Indus Valley in the ages before Christ and it is the core principle of Hinduism.

But it is also the consequential philosophical position of German nominalism.

Nominalism is an error introduced into Europe in the high middle ages by the Arabic philosopher Averroes. It spread rapidly at the University of Paris and thence to all of Europe, especially to the faculty of Tubingen. It was popular among secular logicians who, following Peter Abelard, thought they could carve out a place in Catholic society where they were not obliged by the faith to live moral lives.

Nominalism was condemned by both Saint Thomas of Aquinas, whose feast is celebrated today, at Aquinas and Priverno, Italy, and by Saint Bonaventure of Bagnoregio.

Nominalism ends up in pantheism, because nominalists deny that any particular word names anything particular or idea in a definitive way. For the nominalist, another word can just as easily name what is named.

Infecting Germany for centuries before the rise of Modernism, Nominalism became the favorite position of Modernists, who believe that there is not God and thus that religious sentiments are the true reality behind all religions. All religions are equal and are willed by religious sentiment. Modernists still speak of God, but they mean religious sentiment when they say God.

As one permanent Deacon explained to me, here in Italy, most of the clergy do not think there is anything named by the word, God. For them, God is a word.

You can see, therefore, the difficulty a Modernist will have when confronting the fact that Pope Benedict XVI renounced the ministerium and the Code of Canon Law says a pope must renounce the munus, if he wants to un-pope himself.

To them words have no fixed meaning, so whatever word you want to use, out of religious sentiment, is just as good and just as approved by God — which for them is the code word for religious sentiment.

You can see that the Bishops are modernists in that they are responding to the Corona Virus as if God is not in the Eucharist and that the waters of Lourdes have no miraculous connection to the God of all Healing and Grace.

This is why they wont even give you a response or audience when you ask to speak about the Renunciation. Questions and problems of this kind never enter into their heads.

This is why, just as the Lord punished the Jews of old for apostasy, with plague, so now the Lord sends the Corona Virus to punish the wicked clergy for their atheism.

For just as God incarnated once, and can incarnate not again, so every specific word has a specific meaning. This is the error also behind the subsistit in, in the “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church”, passed at Vatican II, on Sept. 17, 1964.

The Church of Christ susbsists as the Catholic Church, She doe snot subsist in the Catholic Church. The latter means She can subsist in several Churches. That is false. It is denied by the Incarnation of the Son of God. But it is affirmed by pantheism and modernism.

That is why all those who insist that Bergoglio is the pope are not Trad Inc. or traditional Catholics, they are Modernist Inc. and modernists, even if they say the Old Mass with all the rubrical perfection that has ever or could ever be achieved, in all possible universes.

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CREDITS:  The Featured Image is a screen shot of the search results of Google Image search for pantheism, and is used here in accord with fair use standards for editorial commentary. While the results have many interesting graphics, many of them are from occult sources and contain various errors or unseemly images, which are not recommended.

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The Difference between the Church and a restaurant

IS THE DIFFERENCE  BETWEEN CATHOLICISM AND MODERNISM

The Miraculous Crucifix of Ferla, Sicily
The Miraculous Crucifix of Ferla, Sicily

Editorial:  I heard the most absurd thing today. A journalist was interviewing the new Roman Catholic Bishop, recently appointed by Pope Francis; and the report ended by quoting the Bishop, that he was working to make the Church what it used to be, “a happy place to be” (sic)!

When I was on pilgrimage in France in the winter of 2004, I had the opportunity to beg a ride from a Catholic layman, whose name I do not remember, who after sometime began spontaneously to talk to me of his sorrow concerning the horrible state of morals into which the Catholic Church in France had fallen in recent decades. I asked him, to what he attributed the primary cause of this decline.  He said to me, “Its the bishops! I cannot understand why Rome is appointing the worst of men to be our Bishops!” Then he “confessed” his personal sense of guilt, in having spoken thus, because he considers that as a good catholic, one should not think like that, and asked me what I thought.

I was completely honest with him: I said, “You are telling me nothing different than what the laity tell me wherever I go, whether in North America or in Europe: they all say, the problem is the Bishops; even clergy lament to me, saying, “Where on earth did they find such a man to be the bishop of such and such a diocese?”

It is remarkable, even more so, when the individuals nominated do not even understand the very nature of the Church.  The Church, it should be obvious to anyone who has read the Gospel, is not a restaurant: a happy place to be; which must sell Herself like a commercial operation, pandering to each and every opportunistic proposal or desire of its patrons.

The Church is Christ’s mystical Bride, which He founded and redeemed by His Most Bloody Passion and Death, as the Ark of Salvation for all who want to be rescued from their own perdition, merited by their personal sins and/or the sin of Adam.  The Crucifixion of Our Lord is not a source of entertainment, except for the wicked headed to perdition: for the faithful it is a most serious, grave and sorrowful thing to remember.

Hence it is, that to make of the Liturgy or a church, a “happy place to be” is tantamount to overturning the entire Catholic religion in that place. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, yes, a “Sacrifice”, not a “celebration”. To make it the latter is not to participate in it. To approach and celebrate with the former, is to authentically celebrate.

Let us not delude ourselves: to be at mass in the latter spirit, is to spiritually adulterate the mass, is to spiritually abuse Christ, making of His most Bitter Sufferings, the occasion of my own personal enjoyment, entertainment, satisfaction. That is nothing short of perverse sadism at the highest theological level.

The Church, indeed, every Church, is a place where man rejects sin, purges himself with mortification and penance, receives the reconciliation merited by Christ’s horrible Passion and Death, is nourished by the most perfect participation in that Sacrifice, which is a humbly, contrite, penitential participation in the Sacrifice by a worthy communion and a life lived in the same spirit, in fidelity to the unchanging perennial Faith, taught by Christ, received by the Apostles, handed down in Sacred Tradition.

The trick of the Modernists has been to make us change the words we use to express our Faith, so as to make of forgetful of what the Catholic Faith is all about; and to substitute in its place the sticky-sweet terminology and philosophy of the world: of hedonism, in which personal satisfaction is placed before all other things.

Perhaps, that is why the Bishop who was interviewed by this journalist is so overweight as to no longer even have a neckline.

Why Stability in the One True Faith is important

“The whole principle of our doctrines has taken root from the Lord of the Heavens above” (St. John Chrysostom, Homily 1, “On Isaias”).

On the occasion of receiving the Doctorate in Sacred Theology, at the University of Paris, in 1252, St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, one of the two primary Doctors of the Church, gave a historical sermon on the Magisterial Authority of Jesus Christ, which remains, to this day, one of the most eloquent and theologically complete exposition of the Catholic Faith on the topic.  In what is now commonly referred to as n. 15, of that Sermon, the Seraphic Doctor has this to say:

From the aforesaid, therefore, there appears, the order by which and the author by whom one arrives at Wisdom. — For the order is, to begin from the stability of the Faith and proceeds through the serenity of reason, to arrive at the savoriness of contemplation; which Christ hinted at, when He said: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And in this manner is fulfilled that verse of Proverbs 4:6: The path of the just as a splendid light goes forth and grows even unto the perfect day. To this order did the Saints hold, attentive as they were to that verse of Isaiah, according to the other translation: Unless you will have believed, you will not understand. This order the philosophers ignore, who neglecting the Faith and totally founding themselves on reason, could in no manner arrive at contemplation; because, as St. Augustine says in the first book On the Trinity, « the sickly keenness of the human mind is not fixed in such an excellent light, unless it be cleansed through the justice of the Faith ».

From time immemorial, it has been an intrinsic and infallible truth of the Catholic Faith, that by faith is a man-made pleasing to God,* a faith founded upon the assent of the mind to revealed truth, accompanied by an act of repentance from all wickedness.  It is St. Paul, himself, who taught us that without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6).  And in this dogmatic teaching of the Apostle of the Gentiles, one can easily discern a profound commentary on the words of Our Lord and Master:  God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

Worshiping God in truth, requires, obviously, first of all, that man knows the truth regarding God; and this truth is the truth God has revealed about Himself, partially in the writings and teachings of the Prophets of the Old Testament, fully in the self-revelation of Himself when He became Man, known to faith and history as Christ Jesus, faithfully and clearly in the teachings of the Apostles, of whom we have the letters of St. Paul, St. Peter, St. James, St. Jude, and St. John, and the Gospels of the Evangelists, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and, again, St. John.

Down through the ages, in the fulfillment of the words of Christ, Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against Her. (Matthew 16:18), and, again, I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may never fail, and so that when you are converted, you may strengthen your brethren. (Luke 22:31), the Roman Pontiffs have at times used their divinely conferred authority, to strengthen the whole Church in the Faith of Christ, that is, the faith which Christ taught.  They did this in letters, at councils, and in promulgating decrees and other documents, wherein they specified with precise terminology, what is to believed, and what is not to be believed, so that the faith of all Christians might find stability and unity in the profession of the same authentic doctrine which Christ taught and which He handed down and willed to be kept, through the Apostles, in the Catholic Church, until the tend of time.

Stability in the faith, therefore, is nothing to be ashamed about; rather it is something of which every faithful Catholic should glory, knowing as he does that this is a necessary blessing, without which a man founders in a sea of error, especially in those times of life or in those ages in which the fallen spirits wage more openly their war against the righteous.

Stability in the One True Faith, without which it is impossible to be saved, requires, consequently a loyalty to the One True Faith, which was given by Christ and passed from the Apostles in the Church, through the Magisterium, faithfully, unchanged, for tewnty centuries.  Hence, fidelity to Christ requires that every Catholic hold fast to this historic deposit, and that thus, if in any aspect of the life of the Church, there has been a falling away from this Holy Faith, that he dedicate himself to restoring what was lost in practice.

Lost in practice, because in truth, the Church has never lost Her Faith, regardless of how many clergy, religious, or even Bishops, might abandon it or its practice. Lost in pratice, not in the whole Church, but in many members of Her, because the Holy Spirit is always at work inspiring some members to keep what He Himself wishes restored in the Church, even if the vast majority have forgotten or abandoned His inspirations and handiwork.

Hence it is a good and holy thing to be a restorationist, in this sense; and those who say otherwise, have been deceived by the world, the flesh, or the Devil.

But faithfulness, does not mean legalism.  A legalist sees only laws, and not the truths upon which they are founded, or the end for which they were instituted.  A legalist, for example, who is faithful to Vatican II, might forget that it was merely a pastoral council, that it intended above all the salvation of souls and the conversion of the world to Christ.  A legalist who remains loyal to the Council but forgets these greater truths, might insist upon the Council even to the destruction of the faith, of the salvation of souls, or to driving away souls from the Church; or worse, to confirming the enemies of Christ in their hatred for the Faith.

A VICE DIRECTLY CONTRARY TO STABILITY IN THE FAITH

Directly contrary to the stability with which the Catholic believer is blessed, is the vice and curse of impulsiveness.

Impulsiveness is that vice of consenting to violent movements of passion, emotion, feeling or sentiment, which assail a man from within his own soul.  A man poorly trained in the use of his reason, easily falls to such movements, confusing the movement for a free act which comes from himself; and giving himself up to it, such that he considers it an inspiration in the general sense of a worthwhile thought; or worse, an inspiration in the specific sense, as something from God.

In truth, many such violent movements come from the effects of original sin in the soul and body; still others come from the fallen spirits which are ever afoot to harm souls. Such movements are more frequent in souls beholden to some sinful and vicious preoccupation with things, with some sort of idolatrous devotion to wordly values or goals. They are most frequent in souls which glory in their own impulsiveness, or who think that such impulsiveness comes from God, which last stage of this vice is the worst of all, since no one in good conscience can escape noticing, that the God of Truth is a God of order, not disorder, peace non violence.

Impulsiveness occurs when a man does not submit his reason and judgement to faith; fails to examine his conscience, omits humility which would cover his mind with a suspicion about such instantaneous outbursts.  Since a humble man knows that of himself he is nothing but dung and capable of evil; he knows well that instantaneous violent movements within him, DO NOT COME FROM GOD.  He eschews impulsiveness, as a vice which leads to imprudent destructive action.

If a man, however, is stable in the One True Faith, he has a stable norm for mortifying his inner self; and from this comes the strength of will and reason to recognize impulsiveness for what it is, a vice, and to combat it with humility, self-reflection, and self-criticism.

In this way, as St. Augustine says, Faith leads to the purification of the mind and heart; and in this way the light which has come to us in Baptism, the light of faith, grows from the faintest dawn to the full day of holiness (Proverbs 4:6).

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*  When we say, that a man is made pleasing to God by faith, we speak of “faith” as a theological virtue and in regard to the order of instrumental causality, since, obviously, it is God who by giving us faith as a free gift, justifies us; that is God works faith in those whom He calls to salvation, and by faith conforms the mind of the believer to His own mind.  Justification, however, is thus not by faith alone, as Luther taught, because there is necessary for justification, that (1) a man be disposed to accept God’s teaching and the movements of the Holy Spirit in his soul, (2) that hear the word of God preached to him, (3) that he believe the Gospel message contained therein and all that Christ and the Apostles and Prophets taught, (4) that He love the God who has thus revealed Himself, (5) that he hope in fulfillment of what God has promised in Christ Jesus’ Resurrection and teaching, (5) that he purposefully and firmly resolve to accept Baptism in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, and in particular (6) do so in penance of all his sins and vices, because a man who believes without repentance, has believed in vain. After Baptism, if a man sins, he has the blessing of the help of Christ Jesus offered in the Sacrament of Confession, which Christ taught and instructed the Apostles to give to repentant sinners, when He said: Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them, whose sins you hold bound, are held bound! He who hears you, hears Me; and he who rejects you, rejects Me! The 12 Apostles in ordaining Bishops and priests established the Catholic Hierarchy, which extends down through time to our day, and which forms that 1 true Church which is known to men as the Catholic Church.