A Brief Review

Five years ago today, Rorate Caeli marked the revolutionary election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy with a remarkable headline, “The Horror!” The ensuing years have indeed brought so much horror that many now have slipped into that apathy which overtakes victims of communist brainwashing in “re-education” camps.  The latest assault involves the pending canonization of Paul VI.

There is much discussion about the announced canonization of Pope Paul VI. Is this canonization infallible? If so, what does it mean? Often, the discussion misses the point entirely,  proving the disorientation so prevalent today. Before discussing the canonization of Paul VI which will be the crowning triumph of Pope Bergoglio’s Reformation, let’s review his papacy thus far.

It was on February 14, 2014, almost a year after this Pope’s election, that we reposted, “History, Fatima and the Bishop of Rome”, an article by Professor Roberto de Mattei  from Rorate Caeli. Radio Maria had  fired Dr. de Mattei for that article, thereby ironically proving the Professor’s point. Today, we will cite a few quotes from Dr. de Mattei’s article which have proven  prescient:

The events succeed one another more quickly. The latin ‘motus in fine velocior’ is commonly used to indicate the faster passing of the time at the end of an historical period. The multiplication of events, in fact, shortens the course of time, which in itself does not exist outside of the things that flow. Time, says Aristotle, is the measure of movement (Physics, IV, 219 b). More precisely we define it as the duration of changeable things. God is eternal precisely because He is immutable: every moment has its cause in Him, but nothing in Him changes. The more one distances himself from God the more chaos, produced by the change, increases.

February 11 marked the start of an acceleration of time, which is the consequence of a movement which is becoming vertiginous. We are living through an historical hour which is not necessarily the end of times, but certainly the end of a civilization and the termination of an epoch in the life of the Church.

Note, if you will, there is an easy to overlook item above that quote in the article.

“Homosexual marriage, being claimed by all the great international organisations and by almost all of the western governments, contradicts head-on, not only the faith of the Church, but the very natural and divine law which is written in the heart of every man.”

Dr. de Mattei then states that the point of this worldwide effort to assert homosexual marriage “rights” is the negation of the right of Christians;  “Christianos esse non licet: the blasphemous cry which was made by Nero and Voltaire, re-echoes in the world today, whilst Jorge Mario Bergoglio is chosen by the worldly magazines as man of the year.”

And now, four years after Dr. de Mattei’s article, we see that the Bergoglian agenda to destabilize the faith has found no more effective instrument than the vice of sodomy which has flourished under his reign.  Eponymous Flower (Link)  recently broke the story of the 1,200 page dossier of male prostitute Francesco Mangiacapra and lately Lifesite News  has featured it. See Doug Mainwaring’s article here. Mr.  Mangiacapra opined of his sodomite clerics,

“Their behavior is, in many cases, a result of the impunity that the high hierarchy of the Church has made habitual, that unjust tolerance that feeds the idea that it is possible to separate that which is lived from that which is professed, as typical of those who have a schizophrenic, double morality.”

This habitual impunity of the hierarchy of the Church which has accelerated under this pope, shows that Pope Francis condones and even encourages this sin, so scandalous to the faithful. But then, perhaps that is the point of it . . .  This past July the homosexual orgy in the Vatican forced even the head-in-the-sand Catholic press to take notice, but Jorge Mario Bergoglio treated the news with the same disdain he showed for the four Cardinals and their “Dubia”.  In fact, the scandal of a cocaine fueled homosexual orgy in the Vatican did not dampen this pope’s enthusiasm for sodomite priests;  he subsequently appointed the pro-homosexual Jesuit James Martin to a high profile position at the Vatican.

Last July we discussed the Cocopalmerio scandal in four posts,  recapped below:

On July 8, 2017: “Locusts, Smoke and Cocopalmerio, Oh My!” In which we discussed Apocalypse 9, asserting that:

“Paul VI was the Fallen Star to whom the key to hell had been given. The Fallen Star was given a key, with which he opened the bottomless pit. The smoke of the pit arose, darkening the sun, and out of the smoke came locusts. The darkness of the sun is a spiritual disorientation, thus, another reference to the conciliar church. The locusts could not harm any green thing, but only harm “men who have not the sign of God on their foreheads”.

“And now, the latest scandal, for which we have to thank his Eminence Cardinal Cocopalmerio and his secretary,  Msgr. Luigi Capozzi,  but ultimately Pope Francis, who promotes and sustains all the corruption.  Although Capozzi was arrested by the Vatican police some  two months ago, when they found him so high on cocaine that he had to be treated at a Vatican clinic, and although the homosexual orgy which he was hosting took place in what was officially space belonging to Cardinal Cocopalmerio, not one statement condemning this disgusting behavior has been made by the Bergoglian Vatican. It is the silence of a rotting corpse.

“What is clear, or should be,  from the above is that the locusts exemplify the effeminate occupiers of the Vatican since Vatican II invited the vermin in. There is virtually no vice, be it homosexuality, usurious greed for money, or lust for worldly power that has not been blatantly flaunted by these ruthless men.”

In the next post, “July 10, 2017“,  we discussed the significance of the habitual vice of impurity among the clergy in destroying souls. As Sister Lucia reminded us,  The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell… The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence. This will be clearer very soon, perhaps.

The third post was July 12: “The Seraphic Virgin and the Diabolical Prelates” . In summary: In Chapter 124 of St. Catherine’s Dialogue, the Lord God discourses on how unnatural sin reigns among His ministers.

“But they act in a contrary way, for they come full of impurity to this mystery. … committing that accursed sin against nature, and as blind and fools with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are. It is not only that this sin stinks before Me, Who am the Supreme and Eternal Truth, it does indeed displease Me so much and I hold it in such abomination that for it alone I buried five cities by a Divine judgment, My Divine justice being no longer able to endure it.

This sin not only displeases Me as I have said, but also the devils whom these wretches have made their masters . . . because their nature was originally angelic, and their angelic nature causes them to loathe the sight of the actual commission of this enormous sin. . .

See, therefore, dearest daughter, how abominable this sin is to Me in every creature. . . Thou couldest never understand how much more this sin displeases Me in them than in men of the world and private persons practising continence, of whom I have spoken to you . . .

 I say to thee that on account of their inflated pride and lasciviousness they see and understand nothing but the shell of the letter, and that they receive without any profit, because the taste of their soul is not rightly ordered, but rather corrupted with self-love and pride, and their reins are full of impurity; for they desire to fulfill their disordinate delights, committing their sins publicly and without shame; and in addition to all this, so full are they of greed and avarice that they also commit usury which I have forbidden. Miserable indeed will those be who commit it.

Then on July 15, we posted “My Brother’s Keeper“.

“The fact that Msgr. Capozzi partied in regal splendor in the same apartment that Cardinal Ratzinger lived in when he was head of the Congregation for the  Doctrine of the Faith, and drove a luxury car with the very prized Vatican plates, making him immune from police searches (while he smuggled cocaine into the Vatican!)  proves that he was highly regarded by powerful Vatican personages.  Without that indulgent support of a Prince of the Church, Capozzi could not have had his orgies, or the flat, or the luxury car he used for drug smuggling.  Thus, whether or not Pope Francis admits it, this scandal is laid at his humble feet. It would be a serious mistake to disregard the importance of this episode.”

Since those four articles were published in July, 2017, we have had Pope Francis blaspheme Our Lady at Fatima on her 100th anniversary (see here), followed by his insulting memorial stamp suppressing the Blessed Virgin at her Son’s Crucifixion, replacing her with the enemy of the Church, Martin Luther,  and the year was ended by the disgusting homoerotic “Nativity Display” which scandalized so many faithful Catholics to the delight of the enemies of the Church.

Now, in 2018, we are seeing the intensity stepped up even more as Pope Francis  (sensing his end is near?) pushes for the canonization of the pathetic Paul VI of whom we wrote,

Bergoglio’s Vatican Celebrates the Fallen Star

“Paul VI was the Fallen Star to whom the key to hell had been given.. .  a key with which he opened the bottomless pit. The smoke of the pit arose, darkening the sun, and out of the smoke came locusts. The darkness of the sun is a spiritual disorientation,  and thus another reference to the conciliar church. The locusts could not harm any green thing, but only harm “men who have not the sign of God on their foreheads”.

That is, those who have blotted out the sign of God by choosing to live in habitual grave sin, such as the effeminate crowd now occupying  the Bergoglian hierarchy., which now will have its own patron saint.

We must stop looking at all these incidents as unrelated events! They constitute the agenda of this Pope and those who put him in the See of Peter, that is, Danneels and the rest of the St. Gallen/Lavender Mafia.

God willing, we will write more soon. And then perhaps, some rest.

Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

Purification and Presentation, 2018

Today, which is also a First Friday,  we offer a new post to commemorate one of the oldest feasts in the Church, the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple.

The feast of the Purification of Mary is also the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, and both rites were observed in order to fulfill Mosaic Law; that is to say, this venerable old feast is all about obedience! The obedience of Mary, the most pure and perfect example of God’s creation humbly submitting to the ancient Mosaic Law of purification, and the Divine Infant, truly God as well as truly man, submitting in utmost humility to the Mosaic Law, consecrating God to God as it were.

As we consider the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Divine Child in the Temple, we note that it is in their actions, that is to say, in their choices, that we learn the essential truths of our faith and begin to grasp the significance of the choices we ourselves are required to make. For humility demands obedience, and wherever we see true obedience, there is humility in action.

It was a common sight in those days to see proud young fathers and mothers present their first born sons in the great Temple of Jerusalem. There was perhaps, little to distinguish the Holy Family as they brought in their infant Son, wending their way through the throng of devout Jews. However, in stark contrast to the other women  offering their sons, Mary’s consecration of Jesus under the Old Law was to be consummated on the altar of the Cross, the turning point in salvation history, fulfilling the Old Law and beginning the New Law. Thus, Mary’s offering was, on this day, nothing less than the obedient acceptance of the complete oblation of the Sacred Victim, her beloved Son.

For God so loved His creation that in order to save men from their sins, He spared not even His own beloved Son but delivered Him up to save us all, as St. Paul reminds us. God’s justice demanded that the Blessed Virgin Mary know in full every aspect of the sacrifice that was demanded of her innocent Son. This was, as St. Francis de Sales reminds us, so that “together with the sacrifice of the life of the Son, the heart of the mother might be sacrificed also. … although Mary, from the moment she was made mother of Jesus, gave her consent to His death, yet the Lord wished her on this day to make in the Temple a solemn sacrifice of herself, by offering solemnly her Son, and sacrificing to the divine justice His precious life.”

“This child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted.”

As we consider the scene, we note Simeon’s great sorrow; for although  God had promised him that he should not die before seeing Christ the Saviour, he now realized the immense suffering which these two innocents would have to endure. Thus it was with an immeasurable sorrow that Simeon addressed the most Blessed Virgin Mary,  “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

At the moment when the priest Simeon mentioned the sword and the sign of contradiction, which were prophetical of the passion and death of the Lord, the Child bowed His head, signifying His acceptance of Simeon’s prophecy as the sentence of the eternal Father pronounced by His minister. All this the loving Mother noticed and understood. She felt the sorrow predicted by Simeon and was wounded by the sword, of which She had thus been warned. As in a mirror her spirit was made to see all the mysteries included in this prophecy; how her most holy Son was to be the stone of stumbling (1),  the perdition of the unbelievers, and the salvation of the faithful; the fall of the synagogue and the establishment of the Church among the heathens; She foresaw the triumph to be gained over the devils and over death, but also that a great price was to be paid for it, namely her Son’s frightful agony and death on the Cross. She foresaw the boundless opposition and contradiction, which the Lord Jesus was to sustain both personally and in His Church (2). At the same time she also saw the glory and excellence of the predestined souls.

For Mary kept all this in her Immaculate Heart, bearing within her soul such a profound sorrow that no human can ever fathom. The saints assure us that ever after, each glance at this divine, innocent and most lovable Son yielded the most intense pangs of sorrow. St. Francis de Sales explains further,

Thus, Mary not only offered her Son to death that day in the Temple, but was offering Him up at every moment of her life; for she revealed to St. Bridget that this grief which St. Simeon announced to her, never left her heart till she was assumed into heaven. Hence St. Anselm says: ‘Oh Lady, I cannot believe, that with such a sorrow thou would have been able to live one moment, if God Himself, who gives life, had not strengthened thee by His divine power.’ And St. Bernard affirms, speaking of the great sorrow that Mary endured on this day, that hence forth she suffered a living death, bearing a grief more cruel than death. She lived, dying at every moment, because grief for the death of her beloved Jesus was at every moment assailing her.

What lesson can we draw from this Mystery of the Presentation? If we are to be truly Mary’s children, living our consecrations to her, then we must accept with equanimity the sorrows and sufferings given to us; not only those we ourselves endure but also those we behold suffered by the Bride of Christ, that is, the Church. The Immaculate Virgin offered up her sufferings united with those of her Divine Son and Saviour. She was silent before Herod, and she was silent as Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin,  and before Pilate. This is not to say she was indifferent. Not at all. Indeed, Mary held all of this, every brutality and indignity suffered by her beloved Son was held in her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart. We her children, can do no less, nor should we seek to do more. For as a loving child, in obedience to the Mother, models his behaviour on hers, we attend to all our Saviour’s sufferings, we do not turn away, but abide with Him in sorrowful love with Mary our Mother, offering all in reparation.

Now the above essay should not be construed as the encouragement of what Dr. Roberto de Mattei rightfully condemns as minimalism, that is the willful neglect of our duty to confront the errors in the Church. In her Message of Fatima, our most Blessed Mother has providentially given us the means for increasing sanctifying grace in our lives to nourish our souls and provide us with the spiritual weapons for this great battle for the Church, for souls, Now this battle requires that we confront the enemy at every  opportunity.  Dr. de Mattei reported on the case of a priest using his pulpit at Mass to scandalize the congregation by denying the Credo and the priest in another area that advised the faithful of their obligation to stand up and counter this public apostasy of the faith.  Have you considered what you would do in such a situation?

I must admit, on the three occasions when I observed offenses against the faith during a diocesan TLM, (all in the same diocese, but in different churches) I just got up and walked out. For a timid person, it was a bit of a stretch, but I did do my best to explain to others why I will no longer attend Mass there. The result was not exactly stellar,  just one family followed suit, but they are a beautiful family, five souls now attending a Society Chapel exclusively. And we never tire of working and praying for more!

One effective form of action is to become informed and then spread the word, about the anti-life agenda of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. I suggest Michael Hichborn’s post on the Lepanto Institute site, LINK. The amount of money being raked in by these corrupt wolves in shepherd’s clothing is astounding.  Speaking out on this to other Catholics whenever possible is not only a good way to serve the Truth, it is an opportunity for penance, as we all no doubt know!

Today, the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary continues to suffer as the current occupiers of the Vatican, filled with passionate intensity continue their war to eclipse the true Church, Christ’s Pure and Holy Bride, with the Luciferian Church of Man. So many souls are swept away in this maelstrom!

Please, renew your consecration this day! And don’t forget tomorrow is First Saturday of Reparation!

Footnotes

(1) In this phrase we note the terrible sorrow of Mary for all the chosen souls who turn from the truth and are lost forever. Many of whom are her own children who chose to disobey.

(2) Even as  those first “Chosen People”, the race of Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother, rejected His saving grace, so also the Church today rejects His grace. This is to complete the cycle. And even as Jerusalem was destroyed for its perfidious rejection, so also we shall see the parallel in our own day.

For our accustomed post on the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, see here.

The above post quotes and paraphrases articles by Saint Francis de Sales  (available on Kindle by Catholic Way) and Venerable Mother Maria de Agreda (Mystical City, Veritatis Splendor Pub.).  Both are on Kindle.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

The Darkness and the Light

“…The same preternatural impulse moves the homicidal fury of Islam and the suicidal nihilism of the West. The prince of darkness, being unable to make himself God, wants to destroy everything of God as well as everything resembling Christian Civilization. Without this diabolic infestation it is difficult to understand what is happening in the world.”  (Dr. de Mattei)

Today, we revisit a post from 2015 in which we quote from Professor Roberto de Mattei’s article on the Christians murdered by anti-Christian terrorists and the pathological self-hatred of the leaders of the West.

This subject is even more important to us in view of the efforts of Pope Francis to continue to push for increasing anti-Christian invasion under the guise of “immigration”  throughout what once was Christendom.

The darkness comes …

The Darkness Comes

Of the many voices attempting to interpret the Message of Fatima in these times of gathering darkness, perhaps Roberto de Mattei’s is the clearest. From Rorate Caeli:

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
April 8, 2015

The stars of 148 new martyrs are shining brightly in the firmament of the Church. The young Christian victims of Islam, last Holy Thursday in Kenya, must not be pitied, but envied as they were given the immense grace of martyrdom.

They are martyrs inasmuch as they were Christians killed by Allah’s soldiers. What makes a martyr such, is not the violent death in itself, but the fact that it was inflicted in hatred of the Christian Faith. It is not death itself that makes the martyr, says St. Augustine but that their suffering and death be ordered to the truth. Not all of the victims of a persecution may be called martyrs, [but] only those who meet death at the hands of killers who hate the Faith.

We need to have the courage to name the killers. Silence continues on the events that have been going on for some time now: a systematic, planetary Islamic persecution against Christians. After the episodes in Kenya, Pope Francis read this beautiful prayer: “In Your face – struck [spat upon and disfigured], we see our sin, in You we see our brothers and sisters, persecuted, decapitated and crucified for their faith in You, before our very eyes and often with our complicit silence.”

Antonio Socci, who has often denounced the “complicit silence” of the highest ecclesiastical authorities, writes in Libero: “We are waiting for Pope Francis, from that [Vatican] window, with all of the prestige he enjoys in the media, to awaken the powerful of the earth, mobilize his diplomacy and let everyone hear the cries of grief and pain from the persecuted Christians; may he indicate continuous prayers from the entire Church, may he launch a great humanitarian initiative for these persecuted Christians.”

We need to acknowledge that there is a war of religion in act against Jesus Christ and His Church, fought in the name of the Koran’s Surah which says: “Kill the infidels wherever you find them. This is the recompense for the unbelievers.” (2,191). This war was not waged by Christians, but has been taken up against them. Why don’t the Western governments fight it? The answer is that the West shares the same hate the persecutors have against their own Christian roots.

Continue reading “The Darkness and the Light”

The Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2016

“I desire very ardently the propagation of the cult and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, because this Heart is the magnet which draws souls to Me, the fire which makes the rays of My light and My love beam out over the earth, and the inexhaustible well causing the living water of My mercy to gush over the earth.”

(Communication of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Lucia, in her Letter to Bp. Gurza May 27, 1943)

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
https://www.returntofatima.org
Immaculate heart of Mary, inexhaustible well of mercy!

 

Today, on the octave of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we honor Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, in obedience to the will of Christ Himself. Why does Our Lord so desire that we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

The Church tells us that Mary conceived the Word of God in her pure heart before she conceived Him in her womb. Indeed, it is with this beautiful truth that we open our rosaries each day! It was in Mary’s pure and perfect heart that our salvation began. And it is through her heart, please God, we will enter heaven. By offering us the Immaculate Heart of His Virgin Mother, Our Lord is tenderly offering us the sure way to be united with Him forever in heaven. 

When Lucia, speaking for the little shepherds, asked Our Lady to take them to Heaven, Our Lady replied,

“Yes, Jacinta and Francisco, I will take them soon, but you shall remain here for a certain time. Jesus wishes to use you to make me known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Then, to Lucia’s plaintive plea, “Am I to be left here all alone?”, she responded with a solemn promise, “No, my daughter, you suffer a great deal. Do not be discouraged, I will never abandon you! My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge, and the way which will lead you to God.”

Over twenty years later, Lucia confided in her confessor, Father Aparicio that Our Lady’s promise had indeed been her consolation.

“The Immaculate Heart of Mary is my refuge, especially in the most difficult hours. There, I am always secure. It is the heart of the best of mothers; it is always attentive and it watches over the least of its children. How this certainty encourages and strengthens me! In her I find strength and consolation. This Immaculate Heart is the channel by which God makes the multitude of His graces gush into my soul. Help me to be grateful to her and to correspond to such great mercies.”

These two most loving Hearts knew that for Our Lady to enter into the foul arena of world events would mean most certain insults and scorn. And yet, her two overpowering loves drove her to this extreme; love for her divine Son, and love for her children, purchased at such great price.  

Continue reading “The Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2016”

Mary, Queen of our hearts, pray for us!

Let’s swim against the tide today, and honor Mary as the Church once honored her, as Queen, for today is the feast of the Queenship of Mary. In her litany, she is honored with the title of Queen 13 times, but following the disobedience of John XXIII, true devotion to Mary as Queen gradually ebbed away.

Dr. Roberto de Mattei’s, “The Second Vatican Council, an unwritten story” has many well documented examples of the expressed intentions of the Council Fathers to minimize the role of Mary in order to promote ecumenism. He references Congar, Rahner, Laurentin, Frings and others, but perhaps the most telling quote was the one from Pope John XXIII when he was Patriarch of Venice.

In a letter of 22 April, 1954, he wrote of Mary,

Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of heaven, Queen of our hearts.

“Jesus dying said to John: Behold your Mother – this is sufficient for the faith and for the liturgy. The rest may be edifying (and it is mostly) and for many pious and devout souls, moving; but for many, many more, even if they are well-inclined towards the Catholic Church – it is irritating – and as we say these days – counter-productive”.

Amazing. Devotion to Mary is “irritating”? Really? And Pope Francis must agree with Roncalli, since he canonized him!

Father Dominic Bourmand’s One Hundred Years of Modernism explains that much of the downgrading of devotion to Mary was at the instigation of one theologian, Fr. Karl Rahner, who was the personal theologian of German Cardinal Konig. Rahner had already run afoul of the Holy Office by protesting the Assumption of Mary and even the Virginal Maternity! But poor Pope John XXIII, in the darkness of his disobedience, overrode all opposition and approved Rahner’s participation along with other questionable “experts” such as Congar. Schillebeeckz, Kung, Ratzinger and Chenu.

After the Council, Pope John Paul II who is always glorified in “conservative” Catholic circles as “The Marian Pope”, even had a hand in dethroning Mary. On May 29, 1996, Pope John Paul II, citing Genesis 3,15 said,

“We have already had the occasion to point out that this version does not correspond to the Hebrew text, according to which it is not the woman but rather her [seed], her descendant, who was to crush the head of the serpent. This text attributes the victory over Satan not to Mary but to her Son.” (Bourmand, “One Hundred Years of Modernism”)

Father Bourmand correctly points out that

“The Pope knew that his interpretation went against the unanimous tradition of the Fathers and very particularly against the dogmatic bull of Pius XII defining the Assumption.”

Continue reading “Mary, Queen of our hearts, pray for us!”

The Fog of War

Post updated, see bottom of post re rumors about Pope Benedict.

Cognitive dissonance and diabolical disorientation. When truth is treason and faith is … heresy?

What are we to think of these times? We have sodomite prelates masquerading as profound theologians, and two manifestly separate individuals who we are assured constitute together one papal office.

The latest tempest has been regarding the possibility of a “Papal Diarchy” or as the Remnant’s Chris Jackson termed it, the “Two-Headed Pope”.  As elsewhere noted, Antonio Socci and Vittorio Messori wrote on this in early 2014. Our previous posts regarding this subject were “The Suffering Pope?”  in February 2014  and  “Abomination”  in July, 2014. However, the last post we had on the subject was Professor Roberto de Mattei’s rebuttal in Sandro Magister’s site Chiesa, which we cross-posted in  “One Pope”  in September, 2014.

The two popes ?
“Poor Holy Father, we must pray for him!” (Blessed Jacinta)

In that post, Dr. de Mattei rebuts Fr. Stefano Violi and Professor Valerio Gigliotti, both progressivists who have publicly supported the institutionalization of the “Pope Emeritus”, that is the concept that the Petrine ministry may be separated into two functions, one spiritual and one administrative.  Dr. de Mattei writes of the positions of Violi and Gigliotti regarding Pope Benedict’s resignation:

“His powers,” Violi writes, “seem to him insufficient for the administration of the ‘munus,’ not for the ‘munus’ itself.” Proof of the spiritual essence of the “munus” is taken as having been expressed in the following words of the “Declaratio” of Benedict XVI:

“I am well aware that this ministry (munus), due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out (exequendum) not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.”

In this passage, according to Violi, Benedict XVI distinguishes not only between “munus” and “executio muneris,” but also between an administrative-ministerial “executio,” carried out in actions and words (“agendo et loquendo”), and an “executio” that is expressed with prayer and suffering (“orando et patiendo”). Benedict XVI is seen as having were announced the active exercise of the ministry, but not the office, the “munus” of the papacy: “The object of the irrevocable resignation is in fact the ‘executio muneris’ through action and word (‘agendo et loquendo’), not the ‘munus’ entrusted to him once and for all.”

Gigliotti also maintains that Benedict XVI, in ceasing to be supreme pontiff, has taken on a new juridical and personal status.

The split between the traditional attribute of “potestas” and the new one of “servitium,” between the juridical and spiritual dimensions of the papacy, is claimed to have opened the way “to a new mystical dimension of service to the people of God in communion and charity.” The “plenitudo potestatis” would be left behind for a “plenitudo caritatis” of the pope emeritus: a third status “with respect both to the condition prior to elevation to the see of Peter and to that of the supreme leadership of the Church: it is the ‘third embodiment of the pope,’ that of operative continuity in the service of the Church through the contemplative way.” * * *

Continue reading “The Fog of War”

The Coming of Christ

Updated, 4:30 p.m. 23 December, 2015

The Coming of Christ

 And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. (Isaias 11)
And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. (Isaias 11)

Archbishop Fulton Sheen, in his Life of Christ, asserts that if God were to send His Son as Savior of the world, the least He would do is to announce His birth and the details surrounding His birth; after all, even auto makers announce their new models and diplomats, when arriving in a country, provide papers, produced beforehand that announce their coming.

We know of numerous prophecies in the centuries before Christ’s birth, prophecies of many other cultures which foretold of the coming of Christ. For instance:

Continue reading “The Coming of Christ”

Questioning the Pope

Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio, until now, his most revolutionary act of government yet, will not come into effect until December 8th 2015. Is it illegitimate to ask the Synod to question this matrimonial reform and that a group of “zealous” (zelanti) cardinals ask for its abrogation? (Dr. Roberto de Mattei)

In an article titled, “Catholic Divorce: Can zealous Bishops and Cardinals question the Annulment Reform and ask for its abrogation?” Dr. de Mattei gets right to the point of the present crisis in the Holy See. Thanks to Rorate Caeli.

 

Roberto de Mattei

 Can the governing acts of the Pope be questioned?

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
September 18, 2015

Sandro Magister (see here) has documented the vulnus inflicted on Christian matrimony by Pope Francis’ two Motu Proprio with an in-depth article, which adds to Antonio Socci’s comments in “Libero” (see here), Paolo Pasqualucci’s on “Chiesa e Post Concilio” (see here in Italian), and to my article in Corrispondenza Romana (see here). Confirmation that there is an atmosphere of deep unease in the Vatican has come from the other side from the news service “Die Zeit” of September 10th, concerning the dossier that is apparently circulating in the Vatican against the marriage annulment procedures of Pope Francis.

At this point a delicate problem is now placed before many consciences. Whatever judgment we have about the Motu Proprio, it is [nonetheless] presented as an act of personal and direct government by the Supreme Pontiff. Yet, can a Pope be mistaken in the promulgation of ecclesiastical laws? Further, if there is dissent, is it not however respectful to have an attitude of silence in his regard?

The answer comes to us from the doctrine and history of the Church. Many times actually, it has happened that Popes have been mistaken in their political, pastoral and even magisterial acts, without in any way undermining the dogma of the Roman Primate’s infallibility. The resistance of the faithful to these erroneous acts, and in some instances illegitimate by some Supreme Pontiffs, has always been of benefit to the life of the Church.

Without going too far back into the past, I’d like to focus on an event of two centuries ago. The pontificate of Pius VII (Gregorio Chiaramonti: 1800-1823), like his predecessor’s Pius VI, went through periods of grievous tension and bitter struggles between the Holy See and Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Emperor. Pius VII, signed a concordat with Napoleon on July 5th 1801, thinking [that by doing so] he was bringing an end to the era of the French Revolution, but Bonaparte proved very quickly that his real intention was to form a national church subordinate to his power. On December 2nd 1804, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor (by his own hands) and a few years later invaded Rome again, annexing the Pontifical States to France. The Pope was imprisoned and transferred to Grenoble and then to Savona (1809-1812).

The conflict increased with the Emperor’s second marriage. Napoleon had married Josephine Beauharnais on December 2nd 1804. On the eve of the coronation, the Empress threw herself at the feet of Pius VII and confessed that her union with the Emperor had been only through a civil marriage. The Pope then made it known to Napoleon that he would not have proceeded with the coronation until after the religious marriage. The marriage was hastily celebrated at night by Cardinal Fesch, Napoleon’s uncle. Josephine, however, did not give any heirs to Napoleon and her origins were too humble for one who wanted to rule Europe by forming alliances with its sovereigns.

The Emperor then decided to have his marriage annulled in order to marry Maria Luisa of Austria, daughter of the most important European sovereign. In 1810, a senatus consultus dissolved the civil marriage and immediately after, the diocesan tribunal of Paris delivered a judgment of nullity on Napoleon and Josephine’s religious marriage. The Holy See did not recognize this declaration of nullity, emitted by obliging prelates, and, on April 2nd 1810, when the Emperor entered the Chapel of the Louvre for his second marriage, to Maria Luisa, he found the places assigned to thirteen Cardinals invited to the ceremony, empty. The Emperor treated them as rebels and enemies of the State, since with this act they had wanted to express their conviction that his first marriage could only be dissolved by the Pope. For this, the thirteen cardinals were condemned to abandon immediately their religious garments and insignia and dress as ordinary priests: from this [comes] the name “black cardinals” or “the zealous” (zelanti) in contrast with the “red” who were loyal to Napoleon and in favor of his marriage.

.Pius VII wavered between the two tendencies, but on January 25th 1813, worn out by the fight, signed a Treatise between the Holy See and the Emperor where he undersigned some conditions incompatible with Catholic Doctrine. The document, known as “the Concordat of Fontainebleau” (the text can be found in the Enchiridion dei Concordati. Two Centuries of Church-State Relations, EDB, Bologna 2003, nn. 44-55) in fact, accepted the principle of the Holy See’s submission to the French national authority, placing, effectively, the Church in the hands of the Emperor.

This act, which was done publicly by the Pope as Head of the Catholic Church, was immediately judged by contemporary Catholics as catastrophic and is still considered such by Church historians. Father Ilario Rinieri who dedicated three volumes to the study of the relations between Pius VII and Napoleon writes that the Fontainebleau Concordat “was as ruinous for the sovereignty of the Roman Pontiff as it was for the Apostolic See” (Napoleon and Pius VII (1804-1813). Historical Reports on unpublished documents from the Vatican Archives. Unione Tipografico- Publisher, Turin 1906, vol. III, p. 323), adding: “Why had the Holy Father Pius VII allowed himself to be induced to sign a treatise which contained conditions so ruinous? An occurrence, in which the explanation goes beyond the laws of history”. (ibid, p. 325)

“The sense of foreboding and the dreadful effects that the publication of this Concordat produced are indescribable”, recalls Cardinal Bartholomew Pacca (1756-1844), in his Historical Memoirs (Ghiringhello and Vaccarino, Rome 1836, vol. I, p. 190).There was no scarcity of those who had accepted the Concordat enthusiastically, as well as those, while criticizing it privately, did not dare express themselves publicly, out of servility or bad theological Catholic doctrine. Cardinal Pacca, Pro-Secretary of State to Pius VII, belonged instead to that group of Cardinals, who, after having tried in vain to dissuade the Pope from signing the document, declared that: “there was no other remedy for the scandal given to Catholicism and to the very grave evils that the implementation of that Concordat would have brought on the Church, than an immediate retraction and general annulment of it entirely on the part of the Pope; and they attached the well-known example in Church history of Paschal II. (Historical Memoirs, vol. II, p.88).

The retraction arrived. Confronted with the protests from the “zealous” Cardinals, Pius VII, with great humility, realized his error and, on March 24, signed a letter to Napoleon in which we find these words: “Of that document, even if signed by Us, we will say to Your Majesty the same thing that was said to our Predecessor Paschal II in a similar case of a declaration signed by him containing a concession in favor of Henry V, of which his conscience had reason to repent, that is, “as We recognize that declaration as a bad deed, so We confess it as a bad deed, and with the help of the Lord, We desire that it be amended immediately so that no damage to the Church and no detriment to Our soul result from it”. (Enchiridion cit. n. 45, pp. 16-21).

Knowledge of the retraction by the Pope didn’t arrive right away in Italy – only the matter on the signing of the Concordat. Consequently, Venerable Pio Brunone Lanteri (1759-1830), who lead the movement “Amicizie Cattoliche” (Catholic Friendships) immediately composed a letter of strong criticism about the Pope’s act, and among other things, he wrote: “I will be told that the Holy Father can do anything, ‘quodcumque solveris, quodcumque ligaveris etc.’, this is true, but he can do nothing against the Divine Constitution of the Church; he is the Vicar of God, but he is not God, neither can he destroy the work of God” (Writings and Archival Documents, II, Polemics-Apologetics, Edition Lanteri, Rome-Fermo 2002, p. 1024 (pp. 1019-1037)) The Venerable Lanteri, who was a strenuous defender of the rights of the Papacy, admitted the possibility of resisting a Pontiff in the case of error, knowing well that the power of the Pope is supreme, but not unlimited and arbitrary.

The Pope like any other faithful Catholic must respect the Divine and Natural Law, of which he, by divine mandate, is the guardian. He cannot change the rule of faith nor the Divine constitution of the Church ( for example: the Seven Sacraments) just as any temporal sovereign cannot change the fundamental laws of the kingdom, since, as Bossuet recalls, in violating them « all the foundations of the earth are shaken » (Sal. 81, 5) (Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Politique tirée des propres paroles de l’Ecriture Sainte, Droz, Geneva, 1967 (1709), p. 28).the zelati

No one could accuse Cardinal Pacca of excessively strong language or Pio Brunone Lanteri of lacking attachment to the Papacy. The concordats, like motu proprio, apostolic constitutions, encylicals, bulls and briefs are all legislative acts which express the Pontiff’s will, but they are not infallible, unless the Pontiff, in promulgating them, intends to define points of doctrine or morality in a binding manner for every Catholic. (Cfr. R. Naz, Lois ecclésiastique, in Dictionnaire de Théologie catholique, vol. VI, col. 635-677).

Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio on the nullity of matrimony, is an act of government which can be questioned and removed by a subsequent act of government. Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of July 7th 2007 on the traditional liturgy was debated and strongly criticized (see for example, the comparison of two voices, Andrea Grillo – Pietro De Marco. Ecclesia universa o introversa. Debate on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, Edition San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo (MI) 2013).

Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio, until now, his most revolutionary act of government yet, will not come into effect until December 8th 2015. Is it illegitimate to ask the Synod to question this matrimonial reform and that a group of “zealous” (zelanti) cardinals ask for its abrogation?

As I read Dr. de Mattei’s account of the zelati confronting Pope Pius VII and causing him to repent his actions, It struck me how much we have lost in the withering blast of the Vatican II “Springtime”. How many Bishops and Cardinals do you believe will stand up to Pope Francis’ error? Will there be any?

To those who are solidly informed about the true message of Fatima, it is clear that all this horrid apostasy and chaos has resulted from the failure of Church prelates, especially the Popes, to obey the Mother of God. Disobedience to the command of God always results in a blindness of heart and presages a fall into even greater depths of iniquity, such as the Bergoglio/Kasper faction’s affirmation of the so-called values and qualities of sodomites. Common sense should tell us clearly that this time the Church can only be saved through the intervention of God, through Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix. Our Lord chose to be our Savior through the humility and obedience of Mary. He chose to take on our human flesh and blood through her, by means of which He wrought our salvation.

And He will save the Church through her Immaculate Heart. Only by Mary’s intervention can this horrendous evil be cast out and the Church restored. And so we take up our rosaries once again and trust in her, who promises us that  whatever we ask through our rosaries will not be denied, and in the end, “My Immaculate Heart will triumph”.

The Darkness Comes

“…The same preternatural impulse moves the homicidal fury of Islam and the suicidal nihilism of the West. The prince of darkness, being unable to make himself God, wants to destroy everything of God as well as everything resembling Christian Civilization. Without this diabolic infestation it is difficult to understand what is happening in the world.” (Dr. de Mattei)

 The Darkness Cometh

The following is a repost from last April. At that time, there were not as many Catholic voices raised in warning about the coming storm of Islamic persecution of Christians. Now, many are noting and speaking up.  Of the many voices attempting to interpret the Message of Fatima in these times of gathering darkness, perhaps Roberto de Mattei’s is the clearest. From Rorate Caeli:

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
April 8, 2015

The stars of 148 new martyrs are shining brightly in the firmament of the Church. The young Christian victims of Islam, last Holy Thursday in Kenya, must not be pitied, but envied as they were given the immense grace of martyrdom.

They are martyrs inasmuch as they were Christians killed by Allah’s soldiers. What makes a martyr such, is not the violent death in itself, but the fact that it was inflicted in hatred of the Christian Faith. It is not death itself that makes the martyr, says St. Augustine but that their suffering and death be ordered to the truth. Not all of the victims of a persecution may be called martyrs, [but] only those who meet death at the hands of killers who hate the Faith.

We need to have the courage to name the killers. Silence continues on the events that have been going on for some time now: a systematic, planetary Islamic persecution against Christians. After the episodes in Kenya, Pope Francis read this beautiful prayer: “In Your face – struck [spat upon and disfigured], we see our sin, in You we see our brothers and sisters, persecuted, decapitated and crucified for their faith in You, before our very eyes and often with our complicit silence.”

Antonio Socci, who has often denounced the “complicit silence” of the highest ecclesiastical authorities, writes in Libero: “We are waiting for Pope Francis, from that [Vatican] window, with all of the prestige he enjoys in the media, to awaken the powerful of the earth, mobilize his diplomacy and let everyone hear the cries of grief and pain from the persecuted Christians; may he indicate continuous prayers from the entire Church, may he launch a great humanitarian initiative for these persecuted Christians.”

We need to acknowledge that there is a war of religion in act against Jesus Christ and His Church, fought in the name of the Koran’s Surah which says: “Kill the infidels wherever you find them. This is the recompense for the unbelievers.” (2,191). This war was not waged by Christians, but has been taken up against them. Why don’t the Western governments fight it? The answer is that the West shares the same hate the persecutors have against their own Christian roots.

Western secularism not only … persecutes and ridicules those who defend the natural Christian order of things, but it also practices mass genocide. Monsignor Luc Ravel, Bishop of the French military forces, affirmed:

“We find ourselves having to choose which side to be on; we find ourselves arming against manifest evil without taking a position against the [more] devious kind. The Christian senses that he is caught in a pincer between two ideologies: on the one hand, one that makes a caricature of God which ends up despising man; on the other hand, the manipulation of man which ends up despising God. On the one side, there are the declared and identified adversaries: the terrorists of the bomb, the vindicators of the prophet; on the other side, there are the undeclared but well-known adversaries: the terrorists of thought, promoters of secularism and idolaters of the Republic. In which camp are Christians to be placed? We don’t want to be taken hostage by the Muslims. But we don’t even want to be taken hostage by the conformists either. The Islamic ideology has murdered 17 victims in France. But the ideology of the conformist has 200 thousand victims each year in the wombs of their mothers. Abortion intended as a fundamental “right” is a weapon of mass-destruction.”

The hate the West nurtures for the Church and Christian Civilization is the hate for its own soul and identity. “The West’s self-hate – wrote Benedict XVI – can be considered only as something pathological” : the West is open to and full of comprehension for outside values, “but it no longer loves itself; it now only sees what is shameful and destructive in its history, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure.”

Today the West rejects the values upon which it built its identity and simply chooses the destructive heredity of the Enlightenment, Marxism and Freudism. The gender theory represents the latest intellectual passage of the mind’s disassociation from reality which turns into a pathological hate for human nature itself. Andrea Lubitz by crashing his Airbus into the Alps with 150 passengers, is the expression of this spirit of self-destruction. Suicide is an extreme but coherent expression of the depressed West: a state of mind where the soul sinks into nullity, after losing all reason to live. When absolute relativism is professed one is only self-fulfilled in death.

The slaughter in Garissa is not a “senseless brutality”,  just like the German pilot’s suicide is not an act of pure madness. These destructive or self destructive acts, have their own aberrant logic. The depression of the apostates from Christianity corresponds to the exaltation of the fanatics of Allah: the equilibrium in the world was broken when it turned its back on Christian principles. And the same preternatural impulse moves the homicidal fury of Islam and the suicidal nihilism of the West. The prince of darkness, being unable to make himself God, wants to destroy everything of God as well as everything resembling Christian Civilization. Without this diabolic infestation it is difficult to understand what is happening in the world. And without an Angelic intervention it is impossible to combat a battle which had its first action at the moment of creation, when the Angelic front was divided into two forces perennially in opposition throughout the history of the created universe.

The message of Fatima sees Our Lady preceded and accompanied by Angels. And those who have read the Third Secret will remember the tragic vision of a great cross where at its foot the Pope is also killed : “Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.” As it was at the very beginning of Christianity, the blood of Christians is the seed of rebirth in history and of victory in eternity.

Do not forget, at Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary said she would return again, that is to say, there is another visit of the the Immaculate Mother of God. This will be her victorious moment when Islam will be converted and the Church will be restored, the darkness dispelled!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, we place our trust in thee, our shelter from the storm.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, return in triumph, restore the Faith!
St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle!

Dr. de Mattei: The Battle Is Underway

We cannot hide from the fact that a battle is underway. Cardinals, bishops, priests, lay people, men of letters and ordinary faithful, are called to assume their responsibilities and to be witnesses of the faith. Today one can and one must be a witness of the truth of the Gospel of Christ, not only in far-flung parts of the world where a violent persecution has been unleashed against Christians, but also in the centre of the world, in the very heart of a Synod in which not the physical life of Christians will be under attack but the living word of Jesus Christ, the source of life for souls in society and in the Church.

Thanks to Voice of the Family presents this post by Dr. Roberto de Mattei. Please forward to others, but be sure to include the link to Voice of the Family.

Family from the II Vatican Council to the Synod on the Family

Rome – 8 May 2015 Roberto de Mattei

The past helps us to understand the present. If we want to understand the causes of the current cultural and moral crisis, we need to go back at least half a century to the beginning of the 1960s.

In the first half of the twentieth century, Europe had experienced two terrible world wars and the horrors of Communist and National Socialist totalitarianism. Families paid for this in blood but the family remained a strong social and moral bulwark.

Marriage was the indissoluble bond between a man and a woman, directed towards the formation of a stable family. Adultery was a sin which was socially frowned upon. It was even mentioned in the penal code. The great majority of women were virgins when they got married. They dreamed of starting a family and they had a strong sense of modesty and a spirit of sacrifice.

It would not be right, however, to idealise the situation. If everything had been perfect then it would not have changed so quickly. Hypocrisy was widespread: official respect for the family hid the reality of practices which tended towards free love. It was this gap between professed morality and actual practice which prepared the ground for the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

The great change occurred in 1968. 1968 was a cultural revolution which went deeper than any political revolution. It presented itself as a revolution in domestic affairs which aimed to “liberate” the instincts of the individual and of the masses from the yoke of centuries of culture and civilisation.

The slogans of 1968 expressed a radical hatred of the family, which was accused of being the means for the transmission of those values which opposed the communist social revolution. It was said that the workers were revolutionaries in the factory and reactionaries in the family. The revolution had to be transferred from the factory to the family. 1968 was the attempt to bring the concept of revolution out of the socio-political domain into the domain of private life, that is from society to man himself.

In the years of the student revolution, Agnes Heller, the most famous disciple of the Hungarian communist, György Lukacs, published a book with the significant title “The sociology of daily life” in which she affirmed that in 1968, “It was neither political systems nor economic arrangements which changed, but instead the way of life. From this came the sexual revolution and the change in educational systems.” Sexual revolution and the change in educational systems: family and school, the two pillars on which education is based, were the principal victims of 1968. In those years the works of the Austrian psychoanalyst, Wilhelm Reich, were widely disseminated: he presented the family as the repressive social institution par excellence and claimed that “the core of happiness lies in sexual happiness.”

Sexual liberation was the weapon used to destroy the family. 19th century Romanticism had fought reason in the name of sentiment. The revolution of 1968 fought reason in the name of the sexual instincts. The first step was the introduction of divorce, the second was the separation of the concept of marriage from the concept of starting a family. Sexual liberation was embodied in the feminist movement. Women demanded their social role and put themselves in the place of the proletariat as an actor of revolution.

In May 1960, the contraceptive pill, Enovid, came onto the market in the United States. It was produced by a doctor, Gregory Pinkus, thanks to massive financial support from Margaret Sanger and Katharine McCormack, the two apostles of contraception, abortion and eugenics. The pill became the instrument par excellence of sexual liberation.

What was the attitude of the Catholic Church towards the 1968 Revolution?
We can find an answer to this question by looking at what happened before, during and after the Second Vatican Council, the 21st Council of the Church, which took place between 1962 and 1965.

According to the teaching of the Church, marriage is an institution which is one and indissoluble, instituted by God for the propagation of the human race. Its primary purpose is procreation, which is not a purely biological act but which also includes the natural and supernatural education of children. The secondary purposes of marriage are the mutual help the spouses give one another and the remedy of concupiscence. Chastity, within and outside marriage, was considered to be a Christian value: sexual union outside the sacrament of marriage is a grave sin.

Until the 1960s, all Church moralists taught this doctrine and all pastors and confessors referred to it as expressed in the encyclicals Arcanum of Leo XIII and Casti connubi of Pius XI, and in the teaching of Pius XII in numerous speeches given to married persons, doctors and to the Roman Rota.

But in the 1950s and 1960s, a process began by which traditional morality was subverted. The protagonists of the change were theologians like the German Jesuit Josef Fuchs (1912 – 2005), a professor at the Gregorian University, and above all the German Redemptorist, Bernard Häring (1912-1998), professor at the Alphonsian Academy. They applied to moral theory the theses of the nouvelle théologie which had only recently been condemned by Pius XII in his encyclical, Humani generis. This nouvelle théologie, a product of modernism, believed in the principle of the evolution of dogma. The new moralists extended this principle to the moral domain, denying the existence of an absolute and immutable natural law.

The key point of the innovators was and remains the substitution of the concept of nature with the concept of person. According to classical philosophy, man, before becoming a person who is the holder of rights and duties, has his own nature, a human nature which distinguishes him from animals and angels. To say that there exists such a thing as human nature is therefore to say that there exists an objective and immutable natural order which precedes our birth and transcends us. This order presupposes a law, natural law, which is not external to man but which is instead written into his very heart.

Moral personalism, influenced not only by existentialism but also by evolutionist theories, propagated by Teilhard de Chardin, turned this traditional doctrine on its head. A moral code rooted in natural law was replaced by an evolutionary ethic based on the subjective choice of the person. This re-foundation of morality on the person, rather than on the objective reality of nature, meant giving a dominant role to human conscience. If the person precedes nature, then it is based on its own self-awareness and will. The moral rule is no longer objective and rational but affective, personal and existential. Individual conscience becomes the sovereign norm of morality. Conjugal morality constituted, and continues to constitute, the privileged area in which this new anthropology is deployed.

On 9 October 1958, Pius XII died. On 25 January 1959, only three months after his election to the throne of Peter, Giovanni XXIII announced the opening of the Second Vatican Council. This caused a great deal of surprise but the groundwork for the Council was undertaken scrupulously and carefully by means of a pre-preparatory phase of one year and a preparatory phase of two years.

In the spring of 1960, the consilia et vota were collected, that is the 2,150 responses received from bishops, from all over the world, who had been asked about the subjects to be raised at the forthcoming assembly. This material was handed over to ten committees appointed by the Pope who worked under the supervision of Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office. In 1962, the first seven schemes for the Council’s constitutions were submitted to the Pope. These documents, on which ten committees had worked for three years, gathered together the best of 20th century theology. They were texts which went to the very heart of the problems of the age, and they did so in a clear and persuasive language. Giovanni XXIII studied them attentively and made annotations in his own hand: “On all the schemes,” records Mgr. Vicenzio Fagiolo, “the same expressions are often repeated in the margins – ‘Good’, ‘Excellent’.” The Pope approved these drafts and on 13 July, three months before the Council opened, he ordered that they be sent to all the Council Fathers as the basis for the discussions in the general congregations.

One of the most important schemes was called “Draft of a Dogmatic Constitution on Chastity, Marriage, the Family and Virginity.” The authors believed rightly that it was not possible to discuss marriage without discussing chastity.

The draft reaffirmed not only the principle of the unity and indissolubility of marriage but also the principle of the hierarchy of the aims of marriage. The text stipulated that, “The primary end of marriage is only the procreation and education of children, even if a particular marriage is not fruitful” (Section 11). “The other objective ends of marriage, which arise from the nature of marriage itself but are secondary, are the mutual help and solace of the spouses in the communion of domestic life and what is called the remedy for concupiscence.” Among the errors condemned in the document are (Section 14) “the theories by which, in an inversion of the right order of values, the primary purpose of marriage is esteemed less than biological and personal values and conjugal love, in the objective order itself, is proclaimed to be the primary purpose.”

In the second chapter, devoted to the rights, obligations and virtues proper to Christian marriage, the draft – in line with the traditional Augustinian doctrine of the three goods – distinguishes between the “bonum prolis”, the Good of Children, the “bonum fidei”, the Good of Fidelity, and the “bonum sacramenti”, the Good of the Sacrament. From the bonum prolis derives the right and the duty of spouses to procreate, but artificial fertilisation is prohibited as is the use of contraception, therapeutic abortion and any other manner of terminating a pregnancy.

From the Good of the Sacrament derives the indissolubility of marriage. As the document emphasises, “Those who are deceitfully and invalidly married against the laws of the Church are rightly considered as public sinners, and the Church has the right publicly to declare them to be publicly sinning and to inflict canonical penalties upon them.” (Section 19). Civil divorce is condemned (section 20), free love (section 22) and the position is proclaimed mistaken “which maintains that a marriage can be declared invalid or dissolved solely because of a failure of love.”

In the third party, finally, sacred virginity is praised. The document recalls the condemnation of “those who dare to maintain that the marital state is to be preferred to the state of virginity or celibacy” (section 38). Christian parents are invited to foster sacred vocations by “prayer, purity of life, and veneration for the priestly and religious state.”

Giovanni XXIII was convinced that the Council, being pastoral, would conclude very quickly. When Mgr Pericle Felici, secretary of the Council, presented him with the draft documents for the Council, Pope Roncalli commented enthusiastically, “The Council is done, we can conclude by Christmas!”6 In reality, by Christmas of that year all the drafts approved by Giovanni XXIII had been rejected by the assembly. The Second Vatican Council was to last not three months but three years.

What happened? A group of Council Fathers from Central Europe and Latin America, who had the principal representatives of the “nouvelle théologie” as their experts, had decided to reject the schemes prepared by the Roman commissions because they thought them too traditional.

Vatican II was officially opened on 11 October 1962. On 13 October, the first general congregation was inaugurated. But at the opening of the session, there was an unexpected and dramatic turn of events. The role of bishops’ conferences, which had not been foreseen in the rules of procedure, was given official sanction. The bishops’ conferences were guided not so much by the bishops who belonged to them, but instead more by their experts, theologians, many of whom had been condemned by Pius XII and who were preparing to play a decisive role in the Council.

The schemes approved by Giovanni XXIII were excellent working drafts. They could certainly have been improved but they did not deserve to be turned upside down and re-written. Yet this is what happened. The schemes were thrown into the bin and revised in a completely different spirit and length. The draft on marriage underwent a tormented revision.

The original draft on marriage and the family was absorbed into a text which was initially called Scheme 17, later Scheme 13, before being entitled Gaudium et Spes.

Father Bernard Häring, who had been appointed an expert of the Council and then secretary of the Commission on the modern world, was one of the primary architects of this document. Father Häring and the other authors of Gaudium et spes were mainly interested in the problem of birth control.

A colleague of Pinkus, the medic John Rock, in a book which was widely discussed, The Time Has Come, argued that the Catholic Church needed to adopt a new approach towards the issue of birth control.7 These arguments found favour with the new moralists and with Council Fathers from the progressive minority. These people rejected the teaching of the Church, according to which the use of contraceptives is a grave sin, and they called instead for the Church to accept the pill. Within the halls of the Council a decisive battle was waged between the progressive and traditional minorities. This battle went beyond the pill to include the ends of marriage. At issue was the very basis of natural law itself.

The speech which caused the greatest sensation was that of Cardinal Leo Suenens, Archbishop of Brussels, on 29 October 1964, who referred to birth control with these vehement words: “It could be that we have accentuated the words of Holy Scripture, ‘Go forth and multiply’, to the extent that the other divine words have been overshadowed, ‘The two will become one flesh’. Let us follow the progress of science. I implore you, brothers: let us avoid a new trail of Galileo. One is enough for the Church.

These words caused indignation among those Council Fathers who remained faithful to the teaching of the Church. They disconcerted Paul VI who decided to delete the issue of birth control from Gaudium et Spes, reserving discussion of it to the committee which Giovanni XXIII had created in 1963, on the advice of Suenens.

After long discussions, the pastoral constitution, Gaudium et Spes, was approved on 7 December 1965, by 2,309 votes in favour and 75 against. Only paragraphs 47 to 52 deal with marriage and the family, far less space than that given to the issue in the original draft. The most surprising aspect of Gaudium et spes, however, is the lack of any presentation of the traditional order of the ends of marriage, the primary and the secondary. In paragraph 48 it is said that in marriage an intima communitas vitae et amoris coniugalis is created between the spouses. The institution of marriage, therefore, is defined without any reference to children and only as an intimate community of conjugal life. Moreover, in the succeeding paragraphs, conjugal love is discussed first (paragraph 49) and procreation second (paragraph 50).

The document avoided reaffirming the hierarchy of the ends of marriage. Like many other texts, it is an ambiguous document because it refuses to define a hierarchy of ends: it thereby leaves open the possibility that doctrine can be inverted. Moreover, logic teaches that two different values cannot be absolutely equal to one another. In case of a conflict, one or other of the equated values is bound to prevail. The majority of Council Fathers voted for the document intending that the primary end of marriage would remain procreation, based on the objective nature of the institution of marriage. The progressive Fathers, on the other hand, understood that equating the two ends meant denying the primacy of procreation. They also understood the implicit claim that conjugal love has primacy, based not on nature but on the person. It was this interpretation which prevailed in the post-conciliar period.

The Second Vatican Council concluded on 8 December 1965. However, the committee on birth control, which had been set up by Giovanni XXIII and confirmed in existence by Paul VI, continued its work. Towards the end of June 1966 it presented its conclusions to the Pope. Public opinion widely believed that Paul VI had changed the traditional doctrine of the Church under pressure from the feminist movement. Almost everywhere, family planning was presented as a necessity in the modern world and the contraceptive pill as an instrument of women’s “liberation”. Between 1966 and 1968, Paul VI seemed to waver before taking a tormented and belaboured decision. Finally, on 25 July 1968, the Pope promulgated the encyclical, Humanae Vitae. In this document, and in spite of the opinion of the majority of experts he consulted, Paul VI reaffirmed the condemnation of artificial contraception.

A few days later, on 30 July 1968, under the headline “Against the encyclical of Pope Paul,” the New York Times published an appeal signed by more than 200 theologians which called on Catholics to disobey Paul VI’s encyclical. The main promoter of the text, Don Charles Curran, a theologian at the Catholic University of America, had been a pupil of Father Häring.

A group of protagonists of the Council who were against Paul VI’s encyclical, including the cardinals Suenens, Alfrink, Heenan, Döpfner and König, met in the German city of Essen to coordinate their opposition to Humanae Vitae. On 9 September 1968, during the Katholikentag, a resolution was voted by an overwhelming majority calling for the encyclical to be revised. This was something which had never happened before in the long and tormented history of the Church. The exceptional fact is that open dissent from the Pope, and from the traditional doctrine of the Church, did not come only from theologians and priests, but even from some episcopates, including the Belgian, headed by the cardinal primate Leo Suenens, and the German, chaired by Cardinal Julius August Döpfner.

The origins of the dissent by the German episcopate in recent months lie in this event.
Paul VI was traumatised by this dissent as it came from some of the people who had been closest to him in the Council. In the ten years after Humanae vitae, he did not publish any further encyclical, after having published seven between 1964 and 1968. The Vatican did not oppose the cultural revolution of 1968 but instead compromised with it. It was especially priests from the North who were involved in the contestation of 1968, above all those who as chaplains had come into close contact with the world of universities: the Faculty of Sociology at the University of Trent is a case in point.

As a result, the post-conciliar period did not follow the instructions of Humanae Vitae, but instead those of Cardinal Suenens and the dissident theologians.

In universities and pontifical seminaries, Father Häring’s views, and those of his disciples, came to predominate. Even today he is considered to be “the father of modern moral theology”. The new moralists argued that it was necessary to move from a biologist and physicist conception of morality to an open and evolutionary ethic. They replaced the objectivity of natural law with the will of the “person” immersed in “situational ethics”. Since sex constitutes an integral part of the person, they argued for the role of sexuality, defined as “a primary function of personal growth”, and quoted Gaudium et spes (No. 24), according to which it is only in a relationship of dialogue with others that the human person achieves fulfilment.

The encyclical, Veritatis Splendor, of John Paul II reaffirmed the existence of the natural law and of moral absolutes. But in practice, situational ethics and the ethics of the lesser evil prevailed. Pontifical teachings were disobeyed and today contraception is widely used by Catholic couples with the support of confessors, moralists, bishops and even bishops’ conferences. After contraception, abortion, extra-marital cohabitation and homosexuality spread among Catholics. These were often justified by theologians and bishops who argued for the need for a new pastoral approach, brought up to date and adaptable to circumstances. No less a body than the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, which took place in 2014, seemed to welcome the arguments of Cardinal Kasper, according to which doctrine had to adapt to practices which were common among Christians in matters of sexual morality, rather than rectifying their behaviour according the immutable natural and divine law.

This is the result of a moral relativism which comes from a long time ago and whose origins it is necessary to recall.

If the primary end of marriage is not procreation, then marriage’s highest expression lies in the love between the spouses. But the love of spouses comes from an act of will and an act of will can decree the purpose of it. If morality is not rooted in nature, but instead in the person, then the relationship between the spouses prevails over the objective good of the family. And if it is claimed that the interpersonal relationship has primacy, it is inevitable that the same principle will be extended to extra-marital relationships including homosexual ones.

The original draft of Vatican II, so imprudently abandoned, reminds us that marriage and the family are not realities subject to historical evolution. They are natural realities which are regulated by immutable laws. This means that every attempt to destroy them is destined to fail because every man who is born, and every generation which arises, carries with it the need for a family. And the greater the crisis within society, the greater this need for the family.

The historian, Alberto Melloni, in a recent paper entitled Love without an end, love without ends, is consistent when he launches an unprecedented attack against the family. Melloni is the most famous exponent of the Bologna school, the follower of Giuseppe Alberigo. In order to stop this attack, one would need courageously to open a debate on the Second Vatican Council, or at least to discuss some of its documents, starting with Gaudium et spes, distinguishing what is pastoral from what is doctrinal, what is in conformity with tradition and what claims to innovate, what must be believed and what can be rejected. Progress consists also in such critical re- examinations of the past.

We cannot hide from the fact that a battle is underway. Cardinals, bishops, priests, lay people, men of letters and ordinary faithful, are called to assume their responsibilities and to be witnesses of the faith. Today one can and one must be a witness of the truth of the Gospel of Christ, not only in far-flung parts of the world where a violent persecution has been unleashed against Christians, but also in the centre of the world, in the very heart of a Synod in which not the physical life of Christians will be under attack but the living word of Jesus Christ, the source of life for souls in society and in the Church.

The Synod is devoted not to theological issues but to a moral one which concerns the daily life of many Christians. What do we expect from this Synod, as Catholics? We expect that the Synod dispel confusion. It can do this only by reviving the notions of good and evil, notions which have been extinguished from the souls of the faithful.

It is essential to know with certainty what is just and what is unjust, what can be done and what cannot be done, what forms of behaviour are just, and what are mistaken.

We expect that the rules of Catholic morality will be recalled in such a way as to direct our behaviour. We expect that errors will be condemned, and that their catastrophic consequences for souls and society will be demonstrated. It is necessary to explain that divorce is illicit, that it has ruinous consequences for the family and that, above all, it leads to the perdition of souls. It is necessary to recall that it is not licit for remarried divorced people to accede to the sacraments of the Church if they do not remove the root cause of their sinful situation.

To demonstrate error helps to illuminate truth. The greater our revulsion against evil, the greater will be our love for the good. This good needs to be illustrated by speaking of the value of virginity, chastity and continence.

A Synod devoted to family which attacks natural law, which pays no attention to the primary end of marriage, which draws a veil of silence over sin, and which does not promote the value of chastity both within and outside of marriage, is condemned to pastoral failure. Above all, it risks disowning the principles of Catholic morals.

 

Immaculate heart of Mary, Queen of the Church pray for us!

Remember, Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

Viva Cristo Rey!