Monday, May 05, 2014

Bishop Michael Campbell wants Deacon Nick Donnelly to preach the truth in love; But what is the Bishop's definition of love?


It was John Henry Cardinal Newman who wrote, "What is Satan's device in this day?...He has taken the brighter side of the Gospel - its tidings of comfort, its precepts of love; all darker, deeper views of man's condition and prospects being comparitively forgotten. This is the religion natural to a civilized age, and well has Satan dressed and completed it into an idol of the Truth...Religion is pleasant and easy; benevolence is the chief virtue; intolerance, bigotry, excess of zeal, are the first of sins." (Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. 1, sermon 24).

Dr. von Hildebrand notes how, "burning zeal for the truth, for God, for Christ and His holy Church, is looked on as fanatical, intolerant, and incompatible with charity. Of this burning holy zeal, which every true Christian necessarily possesses, Newman says: 'Now I fear we lack altogether....firmness, manliness, godly severity. We are ever-tender in dealing with sin and sinners. We are deficient in the jealous custody of the revealed Truths which Christ has left us. We allow men to speak against the Church, its ordinances, or its teaching, without remonstrating with them. We do not separate from heretics, nay, we object to the word as if uncharitable....' In the saints we find..union of burning zeal and triumphant love of neighbor - one has only to think of the Apostles, of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John, or of St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, St. Francis de Sales, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, and countless others....But today we find a twofold evil: harmlessness and loss of holy fear, as well as loss of burning zeal for supernatural things..."

We congratulate ourselves on how "civilized" we've become. How tolerant. But we forget that lukewarness is the Devil in disguise. Do we hate sin and error? If not, then we do not really love God. Our love of God is a sham, a counterfeit, a fraud. It is not without reason that God will say to the lukewarm: "I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth." (Revelation 3: 16).

Which will we embrace: a harmless religion which makes no demands (a natural religion which prepares the way for the Man of Sin) or a supernatural faith which unites burning zeal for truth with love of neighbor? Do we even understand what charity consists of? If not, we should reflect very carefully on 1822 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Natural religion, harmless religion, is the religion of Antichrist. This is the seduction of our time: we are overwhelmed by a culture which exhorts us to be "reasonable." To be "tolerant." But, as Pope Benedict XVI writes (in his book Jesus of Nazareth): "If we had to choose today, would Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary, the son of the Father, have a chance? Do we really know Jesus at all? Do we understand him? Do we not perhaps have to make an effort, today as always, to get to know him all over again? The tempter is not so crude as to suggest to us directly that we should worship the devil. He merely suggests that we opt for the reasonable decision, that we choose to give priority to a planned and thoroughly organized world, where God may have his place as a private concern but must not interfere in our essential purposes..." (p. 41).
"Be reasonable," our culture says: "Don't rock the boat, what do you care if a woman wants to have an abortion? After all, that's her affair. You should stop being so fanatical and intolerant. You believe life is sacred? Good, but keep your beliefs in your Church." And: "Why shouldn't people of the same sex be married? Stop denying them their civil rights. You are being judgmental. After all, God is love."
The Pope has said it. The Devil merely suggests that we opt for the reasonable decision. But we do so at the price of apostasy.

Recently, Bishop Michael Campbell, writing about Deacon Nick Donnelly and his Protect the Pope website, said that, "On several occasions, I asked Deacon Nick, through my staff, for Protect the Pope to continue its good work in promoting and teaching the Catholic Faith, but to be careful not to take on individuals in the Church of opposing views through ad hominem and personal challenges. Unfortunately, this was not taken on board. Consequently, as a last resort, on 3 March 2014 and in a personal meeting with Deacon Nick Donnelly, I requested, as his Diocesan Ordinary, that Deacon Nick ‘pause’ all posting on the Protect the Pope website so as to allow for a period of prayer and reflection upon his position as an ordained cleric with regards to Protect the Pope and his own duties towards unity, truth and charity. The fact that this decision and our personal dialogue was made public on the Protect the Pope site and then misinterpreted by third parties is a matter of great regret. In fact, new posts continued on the site after this date – the site being handed over and administered/moderated in this period by Deacon Nick’s wife Martina...I am certainly aware of the need of the Church and the Diocese of Lancaster to engage positively with the new media, social media, blogs, and the internet for the sake of spreading the Gospel to the people of our age. Indeed, our Diocese has a good track record of such engagement in reaching out to a much wider audience through our active use of the new communication technologies. I have a weekly blog myself.

I am, of course, also conscious, that no bishop can ever ‘close down’ or supress blogs and websites – such a claim would be absurd. Bishops can and must, however, be faithful to their apostolic duty to preserve the unity of the Church in the service of the Truth. They must ensure that ordained clergy under their care serve that unity in close communion with them and through the gift of their public office: preaching the Truth always – but always in love." See here.

As I said in a previous post, it is ironic that Bishop Michael Campbell should express concerns over preaching the truth in love.  What is love for Bishop Campbell?  Father Felix Sarda Y Salvany, in his classic work entitled Liberalism is a Sin, reminds us that, "The Catechism of the Council of Trent, that popular and most authoritative epitome of Catholic theology, gives us the most complete and succinct definition of charity; it is full of wisdom and philosophy.  Charity is a supernatural virtue which induces us to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves, and this not just in any way, but for the love of God and in obedience to His law.  And now, what is it to love?  Amare est velle bonum, replies the philosopher.  'To love is to wish good to him whom we love.'  To whom does charity command us to wish good?  To our neighbor, that is to say, not to this or that man only, but to everyone.  What is that good which true love wishes?  First of all supernatural good, then goods of the natural order which are not incompatible with it.  All this is included in the phrase 'for the love of God.'  It follows, therefore, that we can love our neighbor when displeasing him, when opposing him...If it is shown that in displeasing or offending our neighbor we act for his good, it is evident that we love him, even when opposing or crossing him.  The physician cauterizing his patient or cutting off his gangrened limb may nonetheless love himWhen we correct the wicked by restraining or by punishing them, we do nonetheless love them.  This is charity - and perfect charity." (pp. 92, 93).

The new Catechism of the Catholic Church (see 1822), promulgated by Pope John Paul II, gives us the same definition of charity.  While Deacon Nick Donnelly has shown us such authentic charity, his superiors have not.  As another Vicar of Christ once said, "All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics."  Apparently the sort of Catholic Bishop Campbell would prefer .  Nevertheless, as my Latin professor used to repeat so often, "Si palam res est, repetition injuria non est" - To say what everybody knows is no injury.

Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that the laity (as with the ordained) possess the right - an absolute right - to expect and demand both sound doctrine (see Veritatis Splendor, No. 113) and good example on the part of the clergy and Church leaders.  And, if this is not given to them, they have the right to press for the reform and the removal of corrupt elements.

Pope John XXIII taught us in his Encyclical Letter Ad Petri Cathedram: On Truth, Unity and Peace: "Anyone who consciously and wantonly attacks known truth, who arms himself with falsehood in his speech, his writings, or his conduct in order to attract and win over less learned men and to shape the inexperienced and impressionable minds of the young to his own way of thinking, takes advantage of the inexperience and innocence of others and engages in an altogether despicable business." (No. 11).

And what should our response to such a "despicable business" be? Our Beloved Holy Father Pope John XXIII again provides an answer:

" long as we are journeying in exile over this earth, our peace and happiness will be imperfect. For such peace is not completely untroubled and serene; it is active, not calm and motionless. In short, this is a peace that is ever at war. It wars with every sort of error, including that which falsely wears the face of truth; it struggles against the enticements of vice, against those enemies of the soul, of whatever description, who can weaken, blemish, or destroy our innocence or Catholic faith." (No. 93).

This was Pope John XXIII's approach.  This was his teaching.  And last weekend Good Pope John was raised to the altars of the Church.

Does Bishop Campbell consider himself wiser than this Saint?  What is the Bishop's definition of love?  Does his definition put God first?  If not, why not?  In Acts 13: 10, 11, we read that Saint Paul, addressing Elymas the Magician, said: "You son of the devil, you enemy of all that is right, full of every sort of deceit and fraud. Will you not stop twisting the straight paths of [the] Lord? Even now the hand of the Lord is upon you. You will be blind, and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately a dark mist fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand."

Was Saint Paul lacking charity?  Was he not preaching the truth in love?

Bishop Campbell?



Simon said...

I guess Bishop Campbell wants us to pat people like Terence Weldon on the back and wink at them as they promote sodomy while implying that the Lord Jesus was a homosexual Himself.

Odd......just odd!

Peter S said...

What I don't understand is Bishop Campbell's claim that he did not shut down the blog yet his order to Deacon Nick to cease posting and for nobody else to post on the site does just that. Am I missing something? Hardly. Audacious I think.

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