Saturday, December 20, 2014

The "Francis Effect" is not rooted in fact....

There are many Catholics who have gushed with excitement over what they referred to as "The Francis Effect."  We were told that finally we had a "pope of the people" and that Catholics were returning to the Church because of this.

I found such statements to be offensive to the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI and the memory of Saint Pope John Paul II. Not to mention all of the truly outstanding popes of the modern era and throughout the Church's history. Now of course we have the statistical data which highlights the fact that the "Francis Effect" was nothing more than wishful thinking.

From the Pew Forum:

"Pew Research surveys conducted over the past year found no change in the share of U.S. adults who identify as Catholic, or in self-reported rates of Mass attendance."

Patrick Buchanan writes, “The 1950s were America’s Catholic moment.  The moral authority of the Pope and America’s bishops was never higher.  Long lines formed outside confessionals on Saturdays.  It was standing room only at Sunday Mass [the same Mass now disparaged by the progressives today].  Fr. Patrick Peyton’s Rosary Crusade (‘The family that prays together stays together’) drew huge crowds.  The most visible prelate was Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, whose television ratings bested those of Milton Berle.  ‘He’s got better writers than I do,’ quipped Berle.  Notre Dame’s legendary gridiron teams had millions of ‘subway alumni.’  Four out of five Catholics cast their votes in 1960 for John F. Kennedy, who became our first Catholic president...Half a century on [since Vatican II], the disaster is manifest.  The robust and confident Church of 1958 no longer exists.  Catholic colleges and universities remain Catholic in name only.  Parochial schools are closing as rapidly as they opened in the 1950s.  The number of nuns, priests, and seminarians have fallen dramatically.  Mass attendance is a third of what it was [broader participation?].  From the former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to vice president Joe Biden, Catholic politicians openly support abortion on demand...

Four decades after Vatican II, a quarter century into the pontificate of John Paul II, Kenneth C. Jones of St. Louis pulled together a slim volume of statistics demonstrating that the fears traditionalists who warned that the council was courting catastrophe had been justified.  And they exposed as naive those who insisted that the council would revitalize the faith, reconcile Catholicism with modernity, and make the Church more appealing to our secular world.  Here are Jones statistics on the decline and fall:

Clergy.  While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000 between 1930 and 1965, between 1965 and 2002 that number fell to 45,000 and is on course to sink to 31,000 in 2020, when more than half of all Catholic priests will be over the age of seventy.

Ordinations.  In 1965, 1,575 priests were ordained.  In 2002, the figure was 450.

Parishes.  In 1965, only 1 percent of parishes were without a priest.  In 2002, 15 percent, or 3,000 parishes, were without priests.

Seminarians.  Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians fell from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of more than 90 percent.  Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries operating at the end of Vatican II have closed.

Nuns.  In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns.  By 2002, that number was down to 75,000 and their average age was 68.  By 2009, their numbers had fallen to 60,000, a loss of two-thirds in four and a half decades.

Teaching Nuns.  In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns.  Today, there are 8,200.

Jesuits.  In 1965, 3,559 young men were studying to become Jesuit priests.  In 2,000, the figure was 389.

Christian Brothers.  The situation here is even more dire.  Their ranks have shrunk by two-thirds, while the number of seminarians has fallen by 99 percent.  In 1965, there were 912 seminarians in the Christian Brothers.  In 2,000, there were seven.

Religious Orders.  The number of young men studying to become Franciscan and Redemptorist priests fell from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000.  For many religious orders in America the end is in sight.

Diocesan High Schools.  Almost half of these high schools operating in the United States in 1965 had closed by 2002, and student enrollment had fallen from 700,000 to 386,000.

Parochial Schools.  In 1965, there were 4.5 million children in parish grammar schools.  By 2000, the number had plunged to 1.9 million.  In the first decade of this century, the number dropped again, to 1.5 million, a loss of two-thirds of Catholic parochial school enrollment since Vatican II - in a country whose population grew in that period by over 100 million.

In 2007, after interviewing 35,000 people for its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, the Pew Forum confirmed what Jones had reported.  Since Vatican II, the Catholic Church in America had undergone a decline to rival what happened in some northern European countries during the Reformation.  By 2007:

One in three Catholics reared in the faith had left the Church.

One in ten American adults was a fallen-away Catholic.

Catholics remained 24 percent of the U.S. population only because of immigration.  Forty-six percent of all immigrants are Catholics.  As Irish, German, Italian, and Polish Catholics leave the Church or die, the pews fill up with Mexicans, Central Americans, Filipinos, and Vietnamese.  Were it not for immigrants, Catholics would have fallen from a fourth of the population to 18.4 percent, or less than one fifth...

Catholic losses have been ‘staggering,’ writes Fr. Joseph Sirba, ‘if one excludes immigrants and converts from the calculations, the Catholic Church has lost to other religions or to no religion at all 35.4 percent - or more than one-third - of the 64,131,750 of its native-born members....

The Catholics who remain in the Church are not nearly as firm in the faith or devout as their parents were.  The institutional shrinkage mirrors a spreading disbelief in doctrines that define the faith....Where a 1958 Gallup poll revealed that three of every four Catholics attended Mass on Sundays, a recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that one in four Catholics attend Sunday Mass today.”

Is this the “broader and richer participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Church” that Vatican II was said to have accomplished?

Shall the lying stop now?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pope Francis, Cuba and the emerging World Socialist State

Writing for the Acton Institute, Joe Carter explains that, "The U.S. began imposing sanctions against Cuba after Fidel Castro seized power in 1959, nationalized the economy, and stole more than $1 billion in American assets on the island.

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba broke off in 1961 as tensions between the two nations increased after Cuba signed a trade agreement with the Soviet Union. Even though the Cold War ended, not much has changed in the relationship between Cuba and the U.S."

Why is it that even though Cuba hasn't changed at all and is as repressive a regime as ever that Pope Francis worked with President Barack Obama to rescind sanctions against Cuba which have been in place for more than fifty years?  Why the secret meetings at the Vatican behind closed doors?

The forces behind the Socialist Society will not be deterred. They are determined to destroy the old society in order to build an atheistic society on its ashes. Archbishop Fulton Sheen writes, "Dostoyevsky, who understood atheism better than Nietzsche and who saw it coming in his own beloved land, knew that atheism had to be associated with the destruction of the old society. There was some suggestion that an overplanned or socialistic society had to be the prelude of an atheistic society. As he made one of his characters say: 'If Aloysha had not believed in God, he would have become a socialist.'

For the man-god to grow in age and wisdom, two conditions must be fulfilled. The heavens must be emptied, and man must be secularized. Both will be achieved by turning freedom into license. Men will be asked to give up God because His Commandments 'enslave' and because our will often runs counter to His. When finally everyone has his own will and does whatever he pleases, then there will be a chaos due to the conflict of egotisms.

It will then be necessary for Big Brother, or the state, to organize this chaos into a closed socialist society and the formulas given by the character, Shigalev, the theorist of the Communism to come: 'Having set out from unlimited freedom, I have ended up with unlimited despotism.' What Dostoyevsky was predicting through his characters, Nietzsche was saying through his philosophy. As he put it: 'I heralded the coming of the tragic era. We must be prepared for a long succession of demolitions, devastations, and upheavals...There will be wars such as the world has never seen. Europe will soon be enveloped in darkness. We shall watch the rising of the black tide.' And in another work, he wrote: 'A catastrophe is at hand. A catastrophe whose name I know*, whose name I shall not tell...Then all the earth will writhe in convulsions.'" (Fulton Sheen, essay entitled "The Death of God"). * John 5:43.

Years ago Father Malachi Martin, in his excellent work entitled, "The Jesuits: The Society of Jesus and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church," noted that: "In reality, Liberation Theology is a quicker-than-the-eye transformation of a spiritual warfare into a sociopolitical struggle; and - if need be - into an armed revolutionary warfare against capitalism.  It is a transformation hinted at by Teilhard [Pere Teilhard  Dr Chardin, S.J.] in his theory of man endeavoring to evolve to the Omega Point by achieving complete' hominization' so that he could pass over into the 'Ultra-Human.' Indeed, Liberation Theologians were the ones who finally succeeded in giving all those airy concepts of Teilhard Dr Chardin a practical meaning." (The Jesuits, p. 312).

For these "New theologians," [and Pope Francis the Jesuit approves of them and has lived and moved in their circles], "Sin is not primarily personal; it is social and almost exclusively the injustice and oppressions due to capitalism.  Mary the Virgin is the Mother of a revolutionary Jesus - indeed of all revolutionaries seeking to overthrow Capitalism.  The Kingdom of God is the socialist state from which capitalist oppression has been eliminated.  Priesthood is either the service given by an individual [the priest] who builds up socialism, or it is the 'people of God's as it worships according to its likes...the New 'theological' lexicon not only justifies but mandates the use of any means - including armed violence, torture, violator human rights, deceptions, and deep alliances with professedly atheistic and antireligious forces such as the USSR [at the time, although her demise is more pretense than reality, see Golitsyn's New Lies for Old and The Perestroika Deception] and Castro's Cuba - in order to achieve the 'evolution' of Marxism and its promise of material success." (The Jesuits, p. 312).

Socialists are uniting within and without the Church to defeat their entrenched foe.  See here.

Related reading here.

Cuba's human rights abuses.  See here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pope Francis and the Eucharistic fast...

In a review of Michael S. Rose's book entitled, "Goodbye, Good Men," Rev. Robert J. Johansen noted that, "There is too much evidence of the abuse of authority in certain dioceses and seminaries to dismiss Rose’s claims as baseless. It is still the case, even in a seminary with a reputation for orthodoxy such as St. Charles, that seminarians would not openly admit to members of the formation committee that they attended a licit (under the Ecclesia Dei indult) Tridentine liturgy for fear of being branded a “reactionary” and hounded out. I know many priests and seminarians who were subjected to harassment similar to that which Rose describes. I personally was turned away by a Midwestern seminary in the mid-1980’s for being “rigid”, “doctrinaire”, and “lacking in pastoral sensitivity.” These terms are recognized “code words” for describing seminarians and candidates who are loyal to Church teaching and discipline, and are attached to traditional forms of piety and devotion. The genius of using such terms is that they do have a legitimate use: There really is such a thing as being rigid or inflexible; there really are priests who lack sensitivity to people’s needs or situations. By co-opting and re-defining such words, those who wished to advance their own agenda were able to masquerade as agents of the Church. Rose is correct in identifying the existence of these people and their agenda and the damage they caused." See here.

"Rigid," "doctrinaire," "lacking in pastoral sensitivity," these are indeed code words used by liberals who are Catholic in name only and for whom the Church's precepts are merely "man-made rules." How significant then that Pope Francis should employ the code-word "rigid" to denounce Catholic priests who favored the Eucharistic fast, going so far as to compare them with Pharisees. See here.

Pope Francis is on the wrong track. Pope John Paul II, in his Letter to all the Bishops of the Church on the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist (Dominicae Cenae) says that: "..our Catholic communities certainly do not lack people who could participate in Eucharistic Communion and do not, even though they have no serious sin on their conscience as an obstacle. To tell the truth, this attitude, which in some people is linked with an exaggerated severity, has changed in the present century, though it is still to be found here and there. In fact what one finds most often is not so much a feeling of unworthiness as a certain lack of interior willingness, if one may use this expression, a lack of Eucharistic 'hunger' and 'thirst,' which is also a sign of lack of adequate sensitivity towards the great sacrament of love and a lack of understanding of its nature." (No. 11).

But His Holiness then addresses a more serious problem and one which is much more prevalent today [one which Pope Francis seemingly has no problem with]:

"However, we also find in recent years another phenomenon. Sometimes, indeed quite frequently, everybody participating in the eucharistic assembly goes to Communion; and on some such occasions, as experienced pastors confirm, there has not been due care to approach the sacrament of Penance so as to purify one's conscience. This can of course mean that those approaching the Lord's table find nothing on their conscience, according to the objective law of God, to keep them from this sublime and joyful act of being sacramentally united with Christ. But there can also be, at least at times, another idea behind this: the life of our communities to lose the good quality of sensitiveness of Christian conscience, guided solely by respect for Christ, who, when He is received in the Eucharist, should find in the heart of each of us a worthy abode. This question is closely linked not only with the practice of the sacrament of Penance but also with a correct sense of responsibility for the whole deposit of moral teaching and for the precise distinction between good and evil, a distinction which then becomes for each person sharing in the Eucharist the basis for a correct judgment of self to be made in the depths of the personal conscience. St. Paul's words, 'Let a man examine himself,' are well known; this judgment is an indispensable condition for a personal decision whether to approach Eucharistic Communion or to abstain." (No. 11).

The worthy reception of Holy Communion requires a clear conscience. Because of this, someone in the state of mortal sin is not eligible to receive: "Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1415).

Not long ago, Fr. Catoir, hardly a model of Catholic scholarship or even common sense and good judgment [he has this in common with Francis apparently], wrote, "For centuries, the fear of eternal damnation, even for petty offenses, was taught in the name of religion. George Carlin, the late comedian, abandoned his faith because he saw the absurdity of believing in a God who would send you to hell for all eternity for eating meat on Friday. Many Catholics left the Church for the same reason. Winning them back will take a massive re-education process."

But as Dr. Germain Grisez explains, "Traditionally, the eucharistic fast, required by the Church for the sake of reverence, was considered a grave responsibility which did not admit of parvity. Now, since the requirement is more easily fulfilled, its violation is even harder to excuse...someone who deliberately disregards the eucharistic fast out of irreverence for Jesus or contempt for the Church's law plainly is guilty of grave sin. And, knowing that the fast has been broken , whether by accident or on purpose, in a significant way, anyone as reverent and obedient as he or she should be, will not receive Holy Communion except for a reason sufficient to justify an exception to the Church's law (see CMP. 11.G. 6-7)."

Did George Carlin really leave the Church because he had a problem with the Church's traditional teaching regarding the Eucharistic fast or might not there have been other factors involved in his decision to abandon the Church of Christ? I seem to recall a troubled man who had serious personal problems and who celebrated the use of profanity with a levity which was just disturbing.

Pope John Paul II, in the same Dominicae Cenae, No. 7 writes, "I have already drawn attention to the close link between the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of the Eucharist. It is not only that Penance leads to the Eucharist, but that the Eucharist also leads to Penance. For when we realize who it is that we receive in Eucharistic communion, there springs up in us almost spontaneously a sense of unworthiness, together with sorrow for our sins and an interior need for purification.."

This is not "rigidity." It's reverence. I would have thought Francis would know the difference. How disappointing that he doesn't.

Yes, the Pharisees were rigid when they chided the Apostles for not washing their hands before eating a common meal. But when we approach Our Eucharistic Jesus, we are not preparing for an ordinary meal. We are about to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Reverence is not rigidity. The so-called "rigidity" of the Catholic Church before Vatican II produced saints such as the Little Flower and Padre Pio.

We watered down the Eucharistic fast. We watered down liturgical rubrics and liturgical music. Reverence was jettisoned, labeled as "rigidity." Now even doctrine is being assailed.

Is the Church better off now than it was in Fulton Sheen's time? If you think so, I have news for you: You're insane.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A simple exorcism for priests or laity

A Simple Exorcism for Priests or Laity Prayer Against Satan and the Rebellious Angels

Published by Order of His Holiness Pope Leo XIII.

The following is a simple exorcism prayer that can be said by priests or laity. The term "exorcism" does NOT always denote a solemn exorcism involving a person possessed by the devil. In general, the term denotes prayers to "curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm." As St. Peter had written in Holy Scripture, "your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour." (1 St.Peter 5,8)

The Holy Father exhorts priests to say this prayer as often as possible, as a simple exorcism to curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm. The faithful also may say it in their own name, for the same purpose, as any approved prayer. Its use is recommended whenever action of the devil is suspected, causing malice in men, violent temptations and even storms and various calamities. It could be used as a solemn exorcism (an official and public ceremony, in Latin), to expel the devil. It would then be said by a priest, in the name of the Church and only with a Bishop's permission.

Say Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly Armies, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in "our battle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" (Eph., 6,12). Come to the assistance of men whom God has created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Holy Church venerates thee as her guardian and protector; to thee, the Lord has entrusted the souls of the redeemed to be led into heaven. Pray therefore the God of Peace to crush Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive and do injury to the Church. Offer our prayers to the Most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us; take hold of "the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan," bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit ... "that he may no longer seduce the nations" (Apoc. 20, 2-3).


In the Name of Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and all the Saints. (and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry)*, we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of the devil. * Lay people omit the parenthesis above. Psalm 67 God arises; His enemies are scattered and those who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire, so the wicked perish at the presence of God. V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, flee bands of enemies. R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the offspring of David, hath conquered. V. May Thy mercy, Lord, descend upon us. R. As great as our hope in Thee. (The crosses (+) below indicate a blessing to be given if a priest recites the Exorcism; if a lay person recites it, they indicate the Sign of the Cross to be made silently by that person.) We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies and sects. In the Name and by the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ, + may you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls made to the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb. (+ = Make the sign of the cross each time) Most cunning serpent, you shall no more dare to deceive the human race, persecute the Church, torment God's elect and sift them as wheat. + The Most High God commands you, + He with whom, in your great insolence, you still claim to be equal. "God who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2,4). God the Father commands you. + God the Son commands you. + God the Holy Ghost commands you. + Christ, God's Word made flesh, commands you; + He who to save our race outdone through your envy, "humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death" (Phil.2,8); He who has built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her, because He will dwell with Her "all days even to the end of the world" (Matt. 28,20). The sacred Sign of the Cross commands you, + as does also the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith. + The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you; + she who by her humility and from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception crushed your proud head. The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of the other Apostles commands you. + The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you. + Thus, cursed dragon, and you, diabolical legions, we adjure you by the living God, + by the true God, + by the holy God, + by the God "who so loved the world that He gave up His only Son, that every soul believing in Him might not perish but have life everlasting" (St.John 3, 16); stop deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal damnation; stop harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Be gone, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man's salvation. Give place to Christ in Whom you have found none of your works; give place to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God; tremble and flee when we invoke the Holy and terrible Name of Jesus, this Name which causes hell to tremble, this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of heaven are humbly submissive, this Name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of Hosts. V. O Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto Thee. V. May the Lord be with thee. R. And with thy spirit. Let us pray. God of heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work: because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of Whose reign there shall be no end, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we beseech Thee to deliver us by Thy power from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies and their furious wickedness. Deign, O Lord, to grant us Thy powerful protection and to keep us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen. From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord. That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty: We beseech Thee to hear us. That Thou may crush down all enemies of Thy Church: We beseech Thee to hear us. (Holy water is sprinkled in the place where we may be.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Satanic Society: "Penis Crucifix" being offered for Christmas

As noted here,Tom Ford, a designer and self-styled "provocateur," has created a penis crucifix for the Christmas season.

When one of the world's leading exorcists, Father Gabriele Amorth, was asked how one can tell if someone is possessed, he replied, "By their aversion to the sacrament and all things sacred." One of the clearest signs of demonic possession is a hatred for the Eucharist or the crucifix.

And isn't this precisely what we are witnessing today?  As our world immerses itself more and more in sin, the numbers if demon-possessed multiply exponentially.

Back in December of 2009, little Jalen Cromwell of Taunton, Massachusetts, was forced to undergo psychological evaluations for drawing a stick figure of the crucified Jesus. And, in England,  electrician Colin Atkinson's palm cross was deemed "insensitive." And he was fired from his job. And remember when the White House asked Georgetown University to cover the IHS monogram (a symbol of Jesus' holy name) at Gaston Hall where Obama was scheduled to deliver a speech?

Noticing a trend?

There are numerous other examples of this growing hostility toward the cross or the crucifix.  In his treatise on ascetical and mystical theology, The Very Reverend Adolphe Tanquerey, S.S., D.D., explains that, "The Sacramentals and blessed objects are also efficacious remedies [for possession and diabolical temptation] because of the prayers said by the Church when blessing them...The Crucifix, the Sign of the Cross, and especially genuine relics of the True Cross are terrifying to the devil who was vanquished by the Cross: 'That the one who conquered by a tree should himself be likewise conquered by the Tree.'  For the same reason the Evil Spirit dreads the invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus, which, on the Master's Own promise, possesses a wondrous power for putting the devil to flight." (The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology, p. 724, citing the Preface for the Feast of the Holy Cross, Tan Books).

Antichrist will reveal himself within the context of an atheistic, materialistic society which has lost its faith in God and which is prepared to fall down and worship man.  The Antichrist will not tolerate the Cross or Christian symbols.  In his Life of Christ (Image Books, 1977, p. 10), Archbishop Fulton John Sheen wrote, "We do know that at the end of time, when the great conflict between the forces of good and evil takes place, Satan will appear without the Cross, as the Great Philanthropist and Social Reformer to become the final temptation of mankind." Indeed, Paul Henri-Spaak, who served as Belgian Prime Minister and gained international prominence in 1945 when he was elected chairman of the first session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, had called for such a "Great Philanthropist and Social Reformer": "We do not want another committee, we have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and be he God or the Devil, we will receive him."

Saint Paul assures us that this man of iniquity will seek to displace God and to be worshipped himself.  Robert Hugh Benson, in his classic The Lord of the World (a most prophetic work) describes the humanitarian religion of Antichrist as one which will replace Christian symbols such as the Crucifix with its own symbols:

"Humanitarianism is a religion devoid of the supernatural.  It is developing a ritual under freemasonry; it has a creed, 'God is man'; and the rest.  It has, therefore, a real food of a sort to offer religious cravings: it idealizes, and yet makes no demands upon the spiritual faculties.  Then, they have the use of all the churches except ours, and of all the Cathedrals; and they are beginning at last to encourage sentiment.  Then they may display their symbols and we may not..."

Symbols are powerful because they convey meaning.  Which is why we are experiencing a push to strip Christian symbols from the public square.  While Colin Atkinson came under fire for his palm cross and Jalen Cromwell was forced to undergo psychological evaluations because of his hand-drawn Crucifix, Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ," which depicts a Crucifix submerged in a glass of Serrano's own urine mixed with cow's blood, is considered by some to be a "work of art" and received $15,000 from the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts.  Serrano's supporters have argued that the "Piss Christ" represents an issue of artistic freedom and freedom of speech.

We are in the midst of a spiritual war.  And things are about to get uglier.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Franklin Graham: America glorifying sin

Writing for the Christian Post, Melissa Barnhart notes that, "The Rev. Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritans Purse, says the government's attacks against Christianity and bans on traditional Christmas themes while society glorifies sin is 'like little children shaking their fist at Almighty God.'

'What's happening is we're glorifying sin, we're lifting up sin. And it's like little children shaking their fist at Almighty God,' Graham told Fox News host Megyn Kelly during a Wednesday segment of 'The Kelly File.'

Speaking about atheists and secularists' actions to ban celebrations of Christmas in schools and government buildings, Kelly commented on American Atheists' 'skip church' billboard ad campaign, which The Christian Post has reported on. She also cited the city of Pittsburg's previous plan to rename the Christmas holidays 'sparkle days' and the ban on poinsettias at a Minnesota court house, among others.

'It's all over the country,' Graham asserted. 'You have the secularists and the humanists who are wanting to deny that Jesus ever existed. And they want to take His name off of everything.'" See here.

In his classic work entitled "Trojan Horse in the City of God," Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote that, "Incessantly we hear today the self-satisfied slogan, 'Man has finally come of age.' Yet there are so many features of the present epoch - the dethronement of truth by historical relativism, the fetishization of science, the devastation of our lives as a result of the laboratory view, and many others - that make it more than doubtful that modern man has really and truly come of age. There is, moreover, something inherently self-deceptive in the very idea. It is a characteristic symptom of immaturity to feel oneself more mature and independent than men of previous times, to forget what one owes the past, and, in a kind of adolescent self-assertion, to refuse any assistance. One need only recall Dostoyevsky's masterly description of the puberty crisis - Kolya Krassotkin in The Brothers Karamazov, Hypolit in The Idiot, the hero of The Adolescent - to grasp the special immaturity of the man who is convinced of his superior maturity, who thinks that in him humanity has in a unique way come of age, who is dominated by one preoccupation - to show his independence. His ludicrous smallness is manifest as he looks down on everything passed on through tradition, even the most timeless values. The illusion of an historic coming of age is not the exclusive possession of our epoch. In the period of the so-called Enlightenment, man also felt themselves to have come of age and looked down on former times as periods of darkness and immaturity. This illusion is a recurring phenomenon in social history and it bears a striking resemblance to the puberty crisis in the life of the individual person. But the contemporary assertion that whereas this perennial boast was never before justified, it is now really true makes its self-serving character all the more clear.One of the many indications of the intellectual and moral immaturity of the present age is the fact that the percentage of worthless books and articles that captivate the minds of intellectuals seems greater today than in any other time in history." (pp.143-144).

This illusion of man having "come of age" is a characteristic of psychological, spiritual and intellectual immaturity. It is also at the core of atheistic humanism. For atheistic humanism advances the notion, rooted in adolescent pride and rebellion, that the human race has reached a leap of advancement, a new stage of development and enlightenment in which man must abandon any notion of divine authority and rely only upon himself to build a utopia here on earth. A utopia where there are no dogmas, no permanent truths, no objective principles or fixed concepts. In the words of Harvey Cox, "Religion is in a sense the neurosis of culture; secularization corresponds to maturation, for it signifies the emancipation of man first from religion and then from metaphysical control." (The Secular City).

This is America's brand of atheism. It is represented in mythology by Prometheus challenging the old gods and stealing fiery power from them to bring man on earth a freedom from divine authority, liberation from childish beliefs and sexual taboos so that man come of age may create for himself a temporal utopia of plenty and a society of peace. This atheism was advanced in 1933 in The New Humanist magazine in a document entitled the "Humanist Manifesto I," by a group of 34 "liberal humanists." However, forty years later The Humanist magazine published "Humanist Manifesto II." This was necessary because the foolish optimism of the "liberal humanists" regarding the natural goodness of man was utterly demolished by the sheer brutality and horror of the Second World War. Not to mention the savage and evil systems of Nazism, Fascism and Communism.

The adolescent rebellion from God which is atheistic humanism continues. It has not learned anything from the harsh realities of history. It refuses to. And this refusal will only lead to more such disasters in the future for mankind. For as George Santayana reminded us, "Those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it." Already we are witnessing the brutality of an atheistic humanism which declares its "love for humankind" even as it approves of the worst form of child abuse - abortion - as well as euthanasia and all varieties of sexual experimentation and immoral "lifestyles" such as fornication and homosexuality. And when those who believe in objective truth and morality object, as did those who opposed same-sex "marriage" in California, Churches were attacked and Christians and Mormons were subjected to violence and intimidation - all in the name of "love" and "freedom."

A violent persecution is coming against Christians.  Militant atheists are poised to kill.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

For the Church charity is everything; For the Worcester Diocese, some aren't deserving

According to a concluding statement at the end of last month's Synod, “Christ wanted his Church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone,” without leaving anyone out. Hence bishops are called to “accompany couples and families and care for their personal and social wounds.” See here.

The Worcester Diocese apparently disagrees.  For I have expressed my interest in discerning a vocation to the priesthood but have been excluded from such a discernment process.  See here.

And when I tried to volunteer at the parish level or have a Mass said for my father, I was put off.  This is not charity. This is hatred and violence.

In his Encyclical Letter Caritas In Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI wrote, Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36- 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches (cf. 1 Jn 4:8, 16) and as I recalled in my first Encyclical Letter, “God is love” (Deus Caritas Est): everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it. Love is God's greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope."

The Worcester Diocese is not thriving.  In fact, it is gradually disintegrating.  Parishes are closing.  Many are deserting the Church.  They sense the lack of commitment toward authentic charity.  Many just don't feel welcome.

The Diocese of Worcester is betraying love.  It operates as more of a private clique where a few individuals determine who is welcome at the table and who is not.  Who gets the sacraments and who does not.  Who gets to apply for the priesthood and who doesn't. Who may participate in the life of a parish and who may not.

Saint Gregory the Great said that, "The proof of love is in the works.  Where love exists, it works great things.  But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist."

Too bad Bishop McManus doesn't reflect on that.

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