Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mark Mallett: Manipulator?

Several days ago Mark Mallett, who claims to receive special revelations from Heaven, asserted that those who are concerned about Pope Francis and his words and actions or who ask difficult questions are motivated by a demonic spirit of suspicion.  See here.

Mr. Mallett was so upset that some Catholics have concerns that he made the claim that if Francis were an anti-Pope, it would mean the Gates of Hell had prevailed against the Church.  I refuted that asinine claim by noting that the Church has had more than 30 anti-popes.

Now Mr. Mallett has written: "Tonight, the words came to me.... "Even if an anti-pope were to someday take the seat of Peter, I would not fear or be anxious, because my Lord is still building the house."

(And Francis is not.)"

Recognizing that his first attempt at manipulation failed, now Mr. Mallett is saying that even if Francis were an anti-pope, it would not be a matter for concern.  Wait a minute, I thought it meant the Gates of Hell had prevailed?

These voices Mr. Mallett is hearing, are they from Heaven or are they merely the result of an active imagination and a super-sized ego?

When cornered, claim to hear voices which indicate you are right.

How convenient!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Is Pope Francis' "God of Surprises" simply the Prince of this world?

Father John Hunwicke writes, "The Holy Father has criticised  the fault of 'wanting to close oneself within the written word, and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises; within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve'. (He went on to make balancing criticisms of other and contrary attitudes.)

When the first wave of Ordinariate clergy were being 'formed' at Allen Hall, our teaching was solidly, insistently, based upon the Conciliar and post-Conciliar Magisterium. This meant the written words of Vatican II and, mainly, the Magisterial documents of our recently canonised S John Paul II. Written documents like Veritatis splendor and Familiaris consortio. Is the Holy Father now telling us that we ought not to be 'closed within' such written words? Heaven help us; it's only a couple of years since we learned all that stuff from expensive written texts provided for our education by funds which, I think I understood, the English Bishops generously made available! Making a bonfire of them seems a bit premature!

Of course, those written words did not represent the end of the Magisterium. There must be development! But, surely, any developments cannot just ignore or rubbish the teaching of those documents? S Vincent of Lerins and B John Henry Newman analysed the difference between change and development. A human foetus cannot develop into an octopus, nor an acorn into a lemon tree..."

I have heard it suggested that rhetoric like the Holy Father's is a danger to his own authority, rather like cutting off the branch that one is sitting on. If the magisterial documents, the written words of a predecessor are now of negligible consequence, how, people wonder, is his own authority any greater? When Pope Francis issues some written words which he desires to be seen as having Magisterial authority, what would be his answer to the naughty little boy who said "Ah, Holy Father, I'm not going to close myself within your written word. Give me the God of Surprises any day..." See here.

It is intrinsic to the Catholic religion, that before one can become a member, he must satisfy himself that the answers to all questions of faith or morals are contained in a Deposit of Faith which has been revealed by God and entrusted to a Custodian established by God Himself and endowed with infallible protection against any change or error.  There are many who consider themselves to be "Catholic" even as they reject the Church's teaching while striving to erect a church in their own image and likeness.  One such deluded soul left a comment at this Blog accusing Catholic bloggers who are faithful to the Church's Magisterium of representing "a Puritan sect" anxious to "excommunicate" other Catholics.

This sophomoric soul should reflect very carefully on the words of Pope Paul VI, in a discourse given to a general audience on September 1, 1971: "...He who thinks he can remain a Christian by his own efforts, deserting the institutional bonds of the visible and hierarchical Church, or who imagines he can remain faithful to the mind of Christ by fashioning for himself a Church conceived according to his own ideas, is on the wrong track, and deceives himself.  He compromises and perhaps ruptures, and makes others rupture, real communion with the People of God, losing the pledge of its promises."

The Church is a communion of persons with the Living God, brought about by the Lord Jesus in the Holy Spirit. And, as Pope John Paul II teaches in Christifideles Laici, No. 64, "..an awareness of a commonly shared Christian dignity, an ecclesial consciousness brings a sense of belonging to the mystery of the Church as Communion. This is a basic and undeniable aspect of the life and mission of the Church. For one and all, the earnest prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper, 'That all may be one' (Jn 17: 21), ought to become daily a required and undeniable program of life and action."

When we understand what is meant by the Church's communion, the words of Pope Benedict XVI make perfect sense: "..In order to remain in unity with the crucified and risen Lord, the practical sign of juridical unity, 'remaining in the teaching of the apostles' is indispensable." (Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith: The Church as Communion, p. 69, Ignatius Press).  But the false prophets of the "new morality," which is neither new nor morality, continue to insist that we are now living in a new era in which men have "come of age."  These mental and moral midgets, anxious to baptize abortion, homosexuality, contraception and a host of other evils, argue that there is now before us a new way, an easy way of following God which permits all things in the name of "love."

As these sons and daughters of Hell raise their angry voices against the Church, demanding that she "update" her teaching so that it will be more palatable for "modern man," the Church reminds us all in her authoritative voice that, "They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a 'bodily' manner and not 'in his heart.' All the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged." (Lumen Gentium, No. 14).

If Francis is taking his direction from a "God of surprises" who is telling him to change doctrine, I've got news for him: this "god" is the Prince of this world, he who surprised Eve and assured her that there was a better way" than God's Way.

And we all know where that led.

Pope Francis believes the Church needs to mature to better approach man "come of age."  Related reading here.











Saturday, October 25, 2014

He will deceive even some of the elect

Mark Mallett has a new post defending Pope Francis and asserting that a "spirit of suspicion," a demonic spirit, is focusing on Francis. Mark says that if it were true that Francis were an anti-Pope, that would mean that the gates of Hell had prevailed against the Church.

This is nonsense. The Church, pay attention here folks, has already had more than THIRTY ANTI-POPES! Are you shocked?

If so, it is because you are ignorant of Church history:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/ANTIPOPE.TXT

It was Pope Paul VI who said, back in 1977, "There is a great uneasiness, at this time, in the world and in the Church, and that which is in question is the faith. It so happens now that I repeat to myself the obscure phrase of Jesus in the Gospel of St. Luke: 'When the Son of Man returns, will He still find faith on the earth?' It so happens that there are books coming out in which the faith is in retreat on some important points, that the episcopates are remaining silent and these books are not looked upon as strange. This, to me, is strange. I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging.."

And this was 35 years ago when, compared with today, things were far better. Pope Paul VI also said, "What strikes me, when I think of the Catholic world, is that within Catholicism, there seems sometimes to predominate a non-Catholic way of thinking, and it can happen that this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism, will tomorrow become the stronger. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be." (The Secret Paul VI, by Jean Guitton).

It was Fulton J. Sheen who wrote, "The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himsel as "I am Who am," and the Devil as "I am who am not."

    Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first "red." Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as "the Prince of this world," whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect--and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect.
 

The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves. . . .

    . . . The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion--one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God's.

    In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . . .
    . . . But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.

(Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25)

    The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves. . . .

    . . . The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion--one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God's.

    In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a
counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . . .
    . . . But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism."

(Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Before he became Pope, Francis downplayed the necessity of Holy Mass?


"The Man who would one day be Pope Francis had come to hold a service far from the grandeur of the great cathedral of Buenos Aires. He had travelled – taking the subway train and then the bus – to arrive in one of the shanty-towns, which Argentines call villas miserias – misery villages. He had picked his way down crooked and chaotic alleyways, criss-crossed with water pipes and dangling electricity cables, along which open sewers ran as malodorous streams when the rain came. There, amid ramshackle houses of crudely- cemented terracotta breezeblock, he fell into conversation with the middle-aged mother.

She told him of life in an impoverished slum, terrorised by gangs peddling paco – the cheap chemical waste product left over from processing the cocaine sent to Europe and the United States, or sold to the affluent middle classes of the Argentinian capital. Dealers mix the residue with kerosene, rat poison or even crushed glass and sell it for a dollar a hit to the people of the slums. So addictive is the drug that one day’s free supply is enough to get hooked, creating a short-lived high followed by an intense craving, paranoia and hallucination. The dealers target the children of the poor and adolescents who hang around because there is no work to be had.


The woman looked at the prince of the Church and apologised to him for the fact that her son, amidst all that, had stopped going to Mass. The man, who as Pope was to take the name of Francis – the great saint of the poor – looked into her eyes as though she were the only person in his world. “But is he a good kid?” the priest asked.

“Oh, yes, Father Jorge,” she replied, eschewing the grander titles of the cardinal archbishop. “Well,” pronounced the prelate, “that’s what matters.” See here.

It goes without saying that such is pure nonsense. As Manuel Garrido, O.S.B. explains:

"The moral obligation to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice on Sundays dates from the very beginning of Christianity, although it did not become a definite law of the Church until the fourth century. The meaning, the scope and the application of this law have been the subject of much research and study, not to mention considerable controversy, in the years following the Second Vatican Council. The matter can be studied from the vertical point of view, in that there exists the obligation to worship God, and also from the horizontal viewpoint, which involves all the anthropological aspects of every shade and hue. Both of these approaches are legitimate and easily lead to a solution, so long as they are integrated, and the conclusions drawn from each are given their proper place in the scale of values. But trouble begins when the proponents of one approach refuse to recognize the validity of the other. And here, as in so many other manifestations of the Church's discipline, the strength of our faith is all-important, and so is the regulating of all our acts by a truly religious conscience. Something similar happens in hospitals and schools, or in any institution with a set of rules that must be followed. Typical is a fixed schedule for meals, which people with a good appetite find no difficulty in obeying, while those with poor appetites regard it as an imposition to be avoided.
The obligation to attend Sunday Mass exists. It is a commandment of the Church which binds under the penalty of grave sin. It exists for a specific reason and should be known and loved, so that the soul feels a need to fulfill it. The fact that it is a law helps to create a religious consciousness of this need, which, in turn, makes it easier to fulfill the obligation.

Although they refer to another subject, the following words of Msgr. Escriva de Belaguer sum up admirably what I am trying to say: "In direct opposition to the faith which we find a mistaken interpretation of freedom, a freedom with no end in sight, with no objective standards, without law, without responsibility; in a word licentiousness. This unfortunately, is what some people propose, and it is nothing but an excuse to attack the faith." ("Friends of God", no. 32) Like any other society, the Church has her own laws, which should be followed in the light of her proper aims, especially when it is a matter with some bearing on the third Commandment. In order to appreciate a law and fulfill it conscientiously and enthusiastically, it is first necessary to know it properly.

The Day Of The Lord

The Second Vatican Council reminds us that "apostolic tradition of the Church is, from the very day of the resurrection of Christ, to celebrate the Pasch every eight days, on the day which is called the day of the Lord" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium", 106). Modern scientific investigation also proves that this custom is from the time of the apostles.

The first mention of this is to be found in Sacred Scripture is in St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians, written in the year 57. The Apostle refers "to the first day of the week" (16, 1-2) as the most appropriate for the collection for the poorer communities. About two years later the Acts of the Apostles tell of the celebration of the eucharist in Troas: "on the first day of the week" (20, 7-8). Here we are given to understand that the celebration takes place in the evening or the night of the day before. This custom was observed in the Church until the last century and has been restored since the Council. From the foregoing it is clear that in Greece, Galatia, Bithynia, and consequently in Palestine and Syria, during the first half of the first century, the celebration of the eucharist on the first day of the week was a common establishment among Christian communities.

We first hear of this day being referred to as the Lord's day in the Apocalypse of St. John, 1, 9-10: "I was in the spirit on the Lord's Day". In Latin it is called "Dominica" or "Dies Dominicus", a name which is retained in the Latin languages: "domingo, domenica, dimanche, domineca", etc.; while in the Germanic languages the pagan name is retained "dies solis" (sonntag, Sunday), in Russia it is called "voskresenie," after the resurrection of the Lord; the Armenians call it "haruthjan" and "deruni," which means "the Lord's Day."

In Didache, 14, I the Sunday celebration seems obligatory: "On Sundays, get together and break the bread and give thanks, confessing your sins in order that your sacrifice may be pure." This testimony pertains to the second half of the first century. In the second century, St. Justin, writing to a pagan, gives us a striking description of Holy Mass being celebrated every Sunday, referred to by him as "dies solis"; and he goes on to explain that those who live in towns and villages attend this sacred assembly ("Apologia" I, 67). During the same period we have Dionisius of Corinth speaking of the first day of the week as a "holy day" ("PG", 20, 388). From here on we can find numerous descriptions of the Sunday eucharistic celebration and also of the Christians' obligation of participating in the same."

In Luke 18:19, Jesus responds to a young man who calls Him "Good Master,":

"Why dost thou call me good? None is good but God alone."

Apparently these words are lost on Francis.  As are these words from Jesus related in John 6:53:


“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you."

And some insist that orthodox Catholics have nothing to worry about? Really?

Who's kidding who?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Rosary: Spiritual weapon for men

At any time, and especially during dark days of spiritual warfare such as those we are living through, Catholic men must pray the Rosary for support.  This prayer is critical for both men and women.  But this excellent article explains why it is so necessary for men.

“God has established not just one enmity but ‘enmities’, and not only between Mary and Satan but between her race and his race. That is, God has put enmities, antipathies and hatreds between the true children and servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love and no sympathy for each other. The children of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the world, - for they are all one and the same - have always persecuted and will persecute more than ever in the future those who belong to the Blessed Virgin, just as Cain of old persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob. These are the types of the wicked and of the just. But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will unmask his serpent's cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws.

But Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God's graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ.” (Treatise On True Devotion To The Blessed Virgin, 54).

I have always viewed the sling which David used to slay Goliath as a harbinger, a sort of figure or sign pointing to the Holy Rosary which would be given to the faithful by Our Lady and by which they would “crush the head of Satan” – “the very seat of his pride” as Montfort puts it. We read in 1 Samuel 17:

“With his shield-bearer marching before him, the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David. When he had sized David up, and seen that he was youthful and ruddy, and handsome in appearance, he held him in contempt. The Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?’ Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods and said to him, ‘Come here to me, and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.’ David answered him: ‘You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the Lord shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he shall deliver you into our hands’…David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell prostrate on the ground. Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone..” (1 Samuel 17: 41-47, 49-50).

The Devil is the adversary of faithful Christians. And, like Goliath, he seems to cast a big shadow. But when we approach him on the battlefield [“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens,” Eph 6:12] we have our own sling as a weapon – the Holy Rosary. And every bead, every Hail Mary prayerfully recited, is hurled as a weapon against the Devil’s head, the seat of his pride. Therefore, Montfort exhorts us, “So arm yourself with the arms of God, with the holy Rosary, and you will crush the devil’s head and stand firm in the face of all his temptations. That is why even a pair of rosary beads is so terrible to the devil, and why the saints have used them to fetter him and drive him from the bodies of those who were possessed.” (The Secret of the Holy Rosary, 85).
Related reading here.

Related article here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More confusion from Pope Francis as the Diabolical Disorientation spreads


"So often [people ask]: 'But do you believe?': 'Yes! Yes! '; 'What do you believe in?'; 'In God!'; 'But what is God for you?'; 'God, God'. But God does not exist: Do not be shocked! So God does not exist! There is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, they are persons, they are not some vague idea in the clouds ... This God spray does not exist!" - Pope Francis; See here.


In his powerful classic entitled, "The Flight from God," the eminent Swiss philosopher Max Picard writes: "In every age man has been in flight from God. What distinguishes the Flight to-day from every other flight is this: once Faith was the universal, and prior to the individual; there was an objective world of Faith, while the Flight was only accomplished subjectively, within the individual man. It came into being through the individual man's separating himself from the world of Faith by an act of decision. A man who wanted to flee had first to make his own flight. The opposite is true to-day. The objective and external world of Faith is no more; it is Faith which has to be remade moment by moment through the individual's act of decision, that is to say, through the individual's cutting himself off from the world of the Flight. For to-day it is no longer Faith which exists as an objective world, but rather the Flight; for every situation into which man comes is from the beginning, without his making it so, plainly a situation of flight, since everything in this world exists only in the form of the Flight." (The Flight from God, Gateway Editions, 1951, pp.1-2).

Picard goes on to explain in this critically important work that, "The man of the Flight cannot bear the feeling that there is one thing and one thing only: the Flight. He needs something wholly other, something, now threatening, now friendly, which is above him, like a heaven beneath which he can make his journey...This is Art...The very existence of Art in a sphere of its own already means that it is 'wholly other,' and from the beginning it is other than reality itself. The strange thing about Art is that a work of art is indeed made by man, but that once it is made it stands there independently of man. This gives it a semblance of otherness." (The Flight from God, pp. 138-139).

This is of the utmost importance for "modern man" as he flees from his God Who is Wholly Other. Nature abhors a vacuum after all. And so, in his flight from the Divine Other, man in the flight substitutes "Art" for the Divine Being as the Wholly Other." Picard explains that the cinema "..is the perfect Flight" and that here is where "men may learn how best to flee." For this reason, "..cinemas are everywhere erected, examples of the Flight. The figures on the screen are fashioned only for the Flight, they are disembodied. Like one in a hurry who drops his luggage, the figures have laid down their bodily substance somewhere in the background, while they themselves make off in the foreground of the screen, outlines only of their bodies. Sometimes they are still for a moment, looking backwards fearfully, as if there was one who pursued them. Alas, it is only a game, they do but pretend to be afraid. No one can reach them, these things without being. And now, as if they want to fool the one who pursues them, they move more slowly, they even translate a movement which ought o be fast into a slow one; they demonstrate slowness in the Flight, so sure are they that nothing can reach them, these things without being. Here in the cinema it is as if there were no more men, as if the real men were somewhere in safety, had for long been in safety, and as if these shadows had been left behind simply to flee in place of the real men. They only pretend to be in flight and even the men who sit in front of the screen in order to gaze at the shadows there seem nothing but dummies, arranged to complete the illusion,while the real men have long since departed." (pp. 8-9).

Dr. Von Hildebrand was right when he said that, "Modern man has lost that consciousness of being a creature which even the pagan possessed, and he lives in the illusion that by his own powers he can transform the world into a terrestrial paradise." (The New Tower of Babel, Sophia Institute Press, 1994, p. 21).

Having decided against God, "modern man" has embraced the Flight. This flight from the Divine Other has led to the decline of man's confidence in the powers of human reason to attain reality and truth. Man in the Flight has concluded today that all truth is relative. In the same way that Pilate asked Our Lord, "What is truth?" and hastened in his flight to the judgment-hall without waiting for an answer (John 18:38), so "modern man," in his embrace of relativism, joins the flight without any thought of inquiring for the truth. Instead, he settles for illusion, rejecting the permanent authority of truth as founded by the Divine Other in reality, reason and revelation while setting himself up as the autonomous source of all truth:"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675).

The Antichrist is behind the Flight, urging "modern man" to hasten in his Flight and not to look back. How will this Flight end? In the words of Romano Guardini:"One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence without Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed. His arguments will be so impressive, supported by means of such tremendous power - violent and diplomatic, material and intellectual - that to reject them will result in almost insurmountable scandal, and everyone whose eyes are not opened by grace will be lost. Then it will be clear what the Christian essence really is: that which stems not from the world, but from the heart of God; victory of grace over the world; redemption of the world, for her true essence is not to be found in herself, but in God, from whom she has received it. When God becomes all in all, the world will finally burst into flower." (The Lord, p. 513).

Are we not approaching the Reign of Antichrist? "Modern man" strives to build a godless world where he is subject to no one but himself. Having eliminated God from this world, "modern man" deifies and absolutizes himself. Having rejected his place as a creature dependent upon God, "modern man" is moving, "..not toward divinity, but toward dehumanizing, toward the destruction of being itself through through the destruction of truth. The Jacobin variant of the idea of liberation...is a rebellion against being human in itself, rebellion against truth, and that is why it leads people - as Sartre percipiently observed - into a self-contradictory existence that we call hell." (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance, p. 248).





Sunday, October 19, 2014

Father Brian O'Toole engages in legalism

Father Brian O'Toole on left
Most of you are aware of the controversy caused by a Synod document (which has since been rewritten because of its flawed theology) which made the asinine claim that we should "accept and value" the homosexual orientation and not simply the homosexual person.  I explained here why this load of bovine scatology is unacceptable.

Father Brian O'Toole, the "Pastor" of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Gardner, Massachusetts, disagrees.  This intellectual giant and lover of souls assured the laity in attendance at the 10:30 AM Mass at Sacred Heart Parish (also in Gardner-  the parishes have merged) that Pope Francis is only trying to be more "pastoral" and implied that opposition to the original draft of the Synod document in question is rooted in Pharisaism, in hypocrisy.  He used the word "legalism." Fr. O'Toole implied that orthodox Catholics who actually accept Our Lord's exhortation to, "Go and sin no more," are legalistic in the same way that the Pharisees were with their 613 "rules" (he mistakenly put the number at 618.

Ironically, it is Father O'Toole who has succumbed to legalism without realizing it.

Dr. Germain Grisez, in a talk entitled "Legalism, Moral Truth and Pastoral Practice" given at a 1990 symposium held in Philadelphia, had this to say:

"Theologians and pastors who dissent from received Catholic teaching think they are rejecting legalism because they set aside what they think are mere rules in favor of what they feel are more reasonable standards. Their views are thoroughly imbued with legalism, however. For dissenters think of valid moral norms as rules formulated to protect relevant values. Some even make their legalism explicit by denying that there is any necessary connection between moral goodness (which they restrict to the transcendental level of a love with no specific content) and right action (which they isolate at the categorical level of inner-worldly behavior). But whether their legalism is explicit or not, all the dissenters hold that specific moral norms admit exceptions whenever, all things considered, making an exception seems the best - or least bad - thing to do. Most dissenters also think that specific moral norms that were valid in times past can be inappropriate today, and so they regard the Church's contested moral teachings as outdated rules that the Church should change."


Dr. Grisez reminded his listeners at the Philadelphia symposium that, "During the twentieth century, pastoral treatment of repetitious sins through weakness - especially masturbation, homosexual behavior, premarital sex play and contraception within marriage - grew increasingly mild. Pastors correctly recognized that weakness and immaturity can lessen such sins’ malice. Thinking legalistically, they did not pay enough attention to the sins’ inherent badness and harmfulness, and they developed the idea that people can freely choose to do something that they regard as a grave matter without committing a mortal sin. This idea presupposes that in making choices people are not responsible precisely for choosing what they choose. That presupposition makes sense within a legalistic framework, because lawgivers can take into account mitigating factors and limit legal culpability. But it makes no sense for morality correctly understood, because moral responsibility in itself is not something attached to moral acts but simply is moral agents’ self-determination in making free choices. Repetitious sinners through weakness also were handicapped by their own legalism. Not seeing the inherent badness of their sins, they felt that they were only violating inscrutable rules. When temptation grew strong, they had little motive to resist, especially because they could easily go to confession and have the violation fixed. Beginning on Saturday they were holy; by Friday they were again sinners. This cyclic sanctity robbed many people’s lives of Christian dynamism and contributed to the dry rot in the Church that became manifest in the 1960s, when the waves of sexual permissiveness battered her."

Dr. Grisez then went on to explain that, "Pastors free of legalism will teach the faithful how sin makes moral requirements seem to be alien impositions, help them see through this illusion, and encourage them to look forward to and experience the freedom of God’s children, who rejoice in the fruit of the Spirit and no longer experience the constraint of law..They will explain that while one sometimes must choose contrary to positive laws and cannot always meet their requirements, one always can choose in truth and abide in love. They will acknowledge the paradox of freedom - that we seem unable to resist freely choosing to sin - the paradox that Saint Paul neatly formulates: ‘I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate’ (Romans 7:15). But they also will proclaim the liberating power of grace, and help the faithful learn by experience that when one comes to understand the inherent evil of sin and intrinsic beauty of goodness, enjoys the support of a community of faith whose members bear one another’s burdens, begs God for His help, and confidently expects it, then the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead raises him from his sins, and he discovers that with the Spirit’s grace one can consistently resist sin and choose life."

I nominate Father Brian O'Toole for this year's Walter Duranty Award.
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