The Gathering Darkness

“…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.”

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. The following post comes to us, as always, thanks to Rorate Caeli, is by far the best. 

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.

The martyrs of the University campus in Garissa, join the countless legions of witnesses to the Faith that have been massacred over the last two centuries by the persecutors of the Church. The first genocide of modern times was conducted by the French Revolution. At least 438 religious, nuns and simple lay folk are already venerated as “blessed” and for the other 591 the processes are now in course for the recognition of their martyrdom “in odium fidei”. We can add the Spanish Civil War’s holocaust to this (1936-1939) where 1,512 were beatified and 11 canonized, but the number of victims at the hands of the anarchists and communists is in the tens of thousands.

On October 13th 2013 at Tarragona in Catalonia, 522 people killed in hatred of the Faith, before and during the religious war in Spain, were beatified. It was a ceremony with the greatest number of Beatified – 522 – and surpassed the one held in Rome, in St. Peter’s Square on October 27th 2007. Their names are added to the innumerable martyrs of communism, secularism and now by Islam, in countries all over the world.

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.”

The appeal appears to have been picked up by Ernesto Galli della Loggia who proposed to the Italian government, from “Il Corriere della Sera” of April 5th , a fundraising project directed at all Italians and all of the Nation’s public and private institutions, to raise the funds necessary for a large dispatch of goods to help the persecuted Christians. All of this however is not enough, when there is a war raging. 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 processes, 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.

[A Rorate translation by contributor Francesca Romana]

Christ and the Antichrist in the Synod

In July, 2013, after just a few short months of the reign of Pope Francis, we published an article by historian Dr. Roberto de Mattei. The whole article can be found here. In order to help us understand the crisis the Church faces under Pope Francis, Professor de Mattei recounted the situation the Church faced in the early 16th century. At that time, the Church was in an extremely weakened state and,

Humanism, with its immoral hedonism, had infected the Roman Curia and even the Pontiffs themselves. Against this corruption there emerged Martin Luther’s Protestant pseudo-reform.” Describing the corruption, Dr. Mattei quotes from papal historian Ludwig von Pastor, “…the mass of abuses…deformed the Roman Curia and nearly the whole Church…”

Dr. de Mattei quoted from Pope Adrian VI’s Address in January, 1523,

“Holy Scripture declares aloud that the sins of the people are the outcome of the sins of the priesthood; therefore, as Chrysostom declares, when our Savior wished to cleanse the city of Jerusalem of its sickness, He went first to the Temple to punish the sins of the priests before those of others, like a good physician who heals a disease at it roots.”

“It is not surprising that the malady has crept down from the head to the members, from the Popes to the hierarchy. We all, prelates and clergy, have gone astray from the right way, and for long there is none that has done good; no, not one. To God, therefore, we must give all the glory and humble ourselves before Him; each one of us must consider how he has fallen and be more ready to judge himself than to be judged by God in the day of His wrath. Therefore, in our name, give promises that we shall use all diligence to reform before all things the Roman Curia, whence, perhaps, all these evils have had their origin; thus healing will begin at the source of sickness. We deem this to be all the more our duty, as the whole world is longing for such reform. … We desire to wield our power not as seeking dominion or means for enriching our kindred, but in order to restore to Christ’s bride, the Church, her former beauty, to give help to the oppressed, to uplift men of virtue and learning, above all, to do all that beseems a good shepherd and a successor of the blessed Peter.”

Dr. de Mattei continues,

“Adrian VI’s words help us to understand how the crisis in the Church today can have its origins in the doctrinal and moral failings of the men of the Church in the half century which followed the Second Vatican Council. The Church is indefectible but her members, even the supreme ecclesiastical authorities, can make mistakes. They should be ready to recognize their faults, including publicly.”

And so, with the historical perspective of the last great crisis the church faced, let us examine the grave situation we now face with the Bergoglio and Kasper agenda for the October Synod. Recently, Alessandro Gnocchi writes within the context of Pope Bergoglio’s openly declared determination to reform the Church “irreversibly”. The following excerpts are from Gnocchi’s recent post for La Riscossa Cristiana, reposted by Rorate Caeli. For the complete article, entitled, “The Next Synod is a Battle between Christ and the Antichrist: On whose side will you stand?”, see here.

"The Next Synod is a Battle between Christ and the Antichrist: On whose side will you stand?" Gnocchi
“The Next Synod is a Battle between Christ and the Antichrist: On whose side will you stand?” Gnocchi

After first pointing out the complicity of what he aptly terms, “cattolichetti”, or catholic-lite (neo-catholics), Gnocchi notes,

“The Church of the last decades has functioned, or rather malfunctioned, by actually anchoring herself to a will to be the friend of Caesar. She has been weak to the point of losing blood on the ground of doctrine and morality. She has shown herself to be aggressive and unsparing in her repression and negation of every legitimate opinion that has the intent of reaffirming the doctrinal and moral truths. The result is to silence those whose intent is to defend her and to give free reign to those whose intent is to destroy her. This methodology is highly praised and is put into practice from the very top down to the parish church.”

 Gnocchi says of the cattolichetti in this situation,

“by persisting in colluding and cooperating with the world, they have dulled their spiritual sense to the point where they are not able to comprehend the gravity of the times in which we live. They take delight in idealistic political plans of action, while what is really going on is a war between Christ and the Antichrist on a scale never seen before, where the survival of the Catholic faith is at stake. I repeat: we are in a battle to preserve the Catholic faith, and all the battles being fought on various fronts, even those that are so important like moral truth, are only the terrain of confrontation in a war that is much deeper, involving metaphysics and religion. The most important thing in play is faith. But faith is preserved whole and intact or it is lost. You cannot preserve just parts of it according to taste or expediency.  …  whatever accommodation, even one that is conceived as done for the good or perhaps using the moth-eaten concept of the “less bad”, represents an accommodation of the faith: a betrayal of Christ in favor of the Antichrist. The world of today does not need a law that is a little less bad than another because, as the lite Catholics say, “it is better to do something, even if it is not perfect, than to do nothing”. We are not fighting a battle to give something less bad to the world, but to remain faithful to Christ and His teaching, and only He can save the world.

Gnocchi concludes,

“This is what has made the Synod on the Family … so dramatic an event and will make the next one even more so. What happened and will happen, will be not only a face-off between two different schools of thought, but the face-off between those who intend to preserve the Catholic faith as a whole and those who want to change it. In a few words, even if we are talking about bishops, cardinals and the Pope and therefore my words may appear to you to be harsh, even there we are dealing with the battle between Christ and the Antichrist. It remains only for us to choose which side to stand on.

As many other Catholics have observed recently, in addition to carrying out the commands of personal sanctity urged by Our Lady of Fatima, we need to know our faith, keep informed on the attacks of our faith, awaken other Catholics to the dangers, and of course, do all with charity, keeping in mind Who it is that we serve.

If we want to save the Church, (and we must, for that is why we are here!) we must make reparation as well as pray for the purging and restoration of the Church. The restoration begins with us.

Pray the rosary and confound the devil!

Viva Cristo Rey!

~ evensong ~

Motus in fine velocior

The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the subsequent papacy of Francis has resulted in a train of events comparable to an avalanche or tsunami causing upheaval and confusion in its wake. In a post nearly a year ago, I quoted Dr. Roberto de Mattei regarding this phenomenon:

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. If at the end of this epoch, the clergy and lay Catholics do not take their responsibility very seriously, there will inevitably be realised that fate which the visionary of Fatima saw unveiled before her own eyes:

“And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father.’ Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious were going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. 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.”

Professor de Mattei’s reference to a prophecy of Fatima is significant, and we will return to it later. In the above quote, Dr. de Mattei observed, “The more one distances himself from God the more chaos, produced by the change, increases.” Then consider for a moment, the chaotic rapidity of the events since last February, when that remark was made. In just the past few weeks, we have seen Cardinals closest to Pope Francis reveal that he (Francis) was behind the agenda of last October’s Synod on Marriage and the Family, (see here), that he intends to change the Catholic Church “irreversibly” (see here), and that dogma can and should change (see here). In a recent article, John Vennari quotes from a pro-Francis book by Paul Valelly, speaking of Pope Francis’ policy of giving Holy Communion to people who are living in adulterous relations, “Bergoglio never altered his doctrinal orthodoxy on such matters but he did not allow dogma to overrule the priority of pastoral concern.” Vallely then quotes Buenos Aires ‘slum’ priest Father Juan Isasmendi, who said “He [Bergoglio] was never rigid about the small and stupid stuff, (sic)  because he was interested in something deeper.” And so, to Pope bergoglio, dogma is “small and stupid”? Really?

The rapidity of events initiated by Pope Francis and his faction (Kasper, Marx, Baldisseri, Maradiaga) calls forth a response from the few faithful prelates who are attempting to stand firm in defense of the dogma of the faith. Cardinal Burke appears to be leading the resistance but there are also a few others, among them, most recently is the brave voice of his Excellency Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga, bishop emeritus of the diocese of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Rotate (here) reports on the good Archbishop’s recent Open Letter in which he writes:

“the voice of my conscience will not allow me to remain silent, while the work of God is being slandered.  … Some Nuncios have become propagators of liberalism and modernism. …However, during the reign of the last holy Popes one could observe in the Church the greatest disorder concerning the purity of the doctrine and the sacredness of the liturgy, in which Jesus Christ is not paid the visible honour which he is due. In not a few Bishop’s Conferences the best bishops are “persona non grata”. Where are apologists of our days, who would announce to men in a clear and comprehensible manner the threat of the risk of loss of faith and salvation?”

“It will not be superfluous to remind my brothers in the episcopacy of an affirmation made by an Italian masonic lodge (see here) from the year 1820: “Our work is a work of a hundred years. Let us leave the elder people and let us go to the youth. The seminarians will become priests with our liberal ideas. …  liberal bishops, who will work in the entourage of the Pope, will propose to him in the task of governing the Church such thoughts and ideas which are advantageous for us and the Pope will implement them into life”. This intention of the Freemasons is being implemented more and more openly, …  with the connivance of false witnesses who occupy some high hierarchical office in the Church. It is not without reason that Blessed Paul VI said: “The spirit of Satan penetrated through a crack inside the Church”. I think that this crack has become in our days quite wide and the devil uses all forces in order to subvert the Church of Christ. To avoid this, it is necessary to return to the precise and clear proclamation of the Gospel on all levels of ecclesiastical ministry, for the Church possesses all power and grace which Christ gave to her …  The Church cannot adapt herself to the spirit of this world, but must transform the world to the spirit of Christ.”

Another good Archbishop who has been outspoken in defense of the perennial teaching of the Faith is Bishop Athanasius Schneider, also of Kazakhstan, who is to give a talk in Washington D.C. soon. Let us pray for them all, for it becomes more and more likely that we may be participating in the closing of the 2,000 year-long era of the Faith. Perhaps, we may yet see, the unfolding of a prophecy described in a little known apparition (see here) of Sister Lucia of Fatima, as revealed by Antonio Socci:

At around 4 p.m. on January 3, 1944, in the chapel of the convent, before the Tabernacle, Lucia asked Jesus to make known His will: ‘I then felt a friendly hand, maternal and affectionate, touch my shoulder.’

Sister Lucia of Fatima
Sister Lucia of Fatima

And the Mother of God said to her: ‘be at peace, and write what I have commanded you, but not, however, that which has been given to you to understand its meaning’, intending to allude to the meaning of the vision which the Virgin herself had revealed.

Immediately afterward, said Sister Lucia, ‘I felt my spirit inundated by a mystery of light that is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of a lance like a flame that is detached, touches the axis of the earth, and it trembles: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers, the clouds, exceed their boundaries, inundating and dragging with them, in a vortex, houses and people in a number that cannot be counted. It is the purification of the world from the sin in which it is immersed. Hatred, ambition, provoke the destructive war. After I felt my racing heart, in my spirit a soft voice said: ‘In time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. In eternity, Heaven!’ This word ‘Heaven’ filled my heart with peace and happiness in such a way that, almost without being aware of it, I kept repeating to myself for a long time: Heaven, Heaven.”

The vision clearly points to a coming purification of the world and confirms earlier visions in which it is foretold that in the course of the chastisement, entire nations will be destroyed. This deeply mystical vision confirms the need for us to observe all things which have been commanded to us, in devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Christ our King. Stand firm in the Faith, and pray the Rosary, offering reparation always. Watch and pray, be ready for the Bridegroom.

†  Remember, pray the Rosary and confound the devil and all 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.

†  Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

†  St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests!

†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

~  by evensong, for love of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies!

The Crucifixion of Christ is a Scandal to Islam

From Rorate today, Professor Roberto de Mattei gives a clear and powerful voice to the truth:

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 14, 2015

Marcher contre la Terreur, “March against Terror”, was the title which “Le Monde” the “Corriere della Sera” and the major Western newspapers used to present the grand, secularist demonstration of January 11th. Never has there been a slogan more hypocritical than this one, imposed by the mass-media as a reaction to the massacre in Paris on January 7th. What sense is there in speaking about Terror without adding the adjective “Islamic”? The attack on the editorial staff at “Charlie Hebdo” was carried out to the yell of “Allah akbar!”  vindicating Mohamed, insulted by the caricatures and behind the terrorists’ kalashnikof there is a precise vision of the world: the Muslim one.

It is only now that Western secret services are beginning to take seriously the threats by Abdu Muhamad al Adnani published in a multi-lingual communiqué spread widely on September 21st 2014 by the on-line daily “The Long War Journal”. “We will conquer Rome, we will break its crucifixes, we will make slaves of the women, with the permission of Allah, the Exalted One”, the spokesman of “the Islamic State” declared to his followers and he didn’t simply replicate the extermination of the “infidels” wherever they may be, but also indicated the procedures: “Place explosives in their streets. Attack their bases, irrupt into their homes. Cut off their heads. So that they don’t feel safe anywhere! If you can’t find the explosive or the ammunitions single out the American infidels, the French infidels or any of their allies: smash their craniums with a rock, kill them with a knife, run them over with your cars, hurl them into mid-air, suffocate them or poison them.”

We have been deluded into thinking that the war in course is not that declared by Islam on the West, but a war that is being fought inside the Muslim world itself and the only way of saving ourselves is to help moderate Islam to defeat fundamentalist Islam, as was written in the “Corriere della Sera” on January 11th by Sergio Romano, an observer, who is even considered intelligent as well. The most repeated slogan in France is to avoid the “amalgam” , that is, the identification of moderate Islam with radical Islam. However the common aim of all of Islam is the conquest of the West and of the world. Those who don’t share this objective are not moderates, but simply not good Muslims.

Peaceful Muslims

The differences, if any, do not concern the ends, but the means: the Muslims of Al Qaeda and of Isis have embraced the Leninist way of violent action, while the Muslim Brothers use the Gramscian weapon of intellectual hegemony. The mosques are the propelling center of that cultural war which Bat Ye’or defines as ‘soft-jihad’, while with the term ‘hard-jihad’ he defines the military war to terrorize and annihilate the enemy. The choice of the means can be discussed and certainly it is inside Islam, but there is concordance on the final objective: the extension into the world of the sharia’a – the law of the Koran.

Islam, in any case, is a noun which can be translated as “submission”. Submission in order to avoid The Terror and the future European scenario imagined by the novelist Michel Houellebecq in his latest book, precipitously withdrawn from French book-shops. No to Terror means for our statesmen, no to the violent submission of the jihadists, yes to a peaceful submission, which is carrying the West sweetly into a condition of dhimmitude.

Religion of Peace

The West says it is disposed to accept Islam “with a human face”, but in reality, what it refuses in Islam is not just the violence, but also its religious absolutism. For the West there is the license to kill in the name of moral relativism, but not in the name of absolute values. Yet abortion is systematically practiced in every Western country and not one of the Heads of State who marched in Paris against The Terror, has ever condemned it. But what is abortion if it is not the legalization of The Terror, The Terror of the State, promoted, encouraged and justified? What right do Western leaders have to demonstrate against Terror?

In “La Repubblica” of January 13th 2015, while the former leader of Lotta Continua*, Adriano Sofri, is celebrating Europe’s rebirth under the Bastille, the post-modern philosopher, Julia Kristeva, so dear to Cardinal Ravasi, affirms that “the people of the Enlightment have saved Europe”, and that “faced with the peril they were running, liberty, equality and brotherhood have ceased being abstract concepts, by becoming incarnate in millions of people.” However, who invented The Terror if not Republican France and used it to annihilate all opponents of the French Revolution? The ideology and the praxis of terrorism appeared for the first time in history with the French Revolution, for the most part starting on September 5th 1793, when “The Terror” was made an everyday affair by the Convention and became an essential part of the revolutionary system.

The first genocide in history, at the Vendee, was perpetrated in the name of the Republican ideals of liberty, equality and brotherhood. Communism which claimed to complete the process of secularization inaugurated by the French Revolution, activated the standardization of Terror at a planetary level, causing, in less than seventy years, more than 200 million deaths. So, what is Islamic terrorism if it isn’t the contamination of the “philosophy of the Koran” with the Marxist- Enlightment practices imported by the West?

From its very foundation, “Charlie Hebdo” has been a newspaper wherein satire was placed at the service of a philosophy of libertarian life, the roots of it being imbedded in the anti-Christian ideas of the Enlightment. The French, satirical newspaper became famous because of its caricature of Mohammed, but its disgusting, blasphemous vignettes to vindicate homosexual unions should not be forgotten. The editors of “Charlie Hebdo” can be considered an extreme but coherent expression of the relativist culture now widespread in the entire West, in the same way as the terrorists who slaughtered them can be considered an extreme but coherent expression of the hate against the West by the entire, vast Islamic world.

Those who claim the existence of Absolute and Objective Truth are put on the same level as the fundamentalist Muslims by the neo-enlightened. We never compare relativism with Islamism, since both are associated with fanaticism. Fanaticism is not the affirmation of truth, but the intellectual and emotional imbalance that is begotten of departing from the truth.Further, there is only one truth wherein the world may find peace, which is tranquility of order: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in Whom all things must be ordered in Heaven and on earth, so that the peace of Christ is achieved through the Reign of Christ indicated as the ideal of every Christian by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quas Primas of December 11th 1925.

Islam cannot be fought in the name of the Enlightment and even less so by relativism. The only thing that can oppose it, is the natural and Divine law, denied radically by both relativism and Islam. For this reason we are raising the Crucifix which secularism and Islamism reject and we are making of it a banner of life and action. St. Paul said “We preach Christ Crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumbling-block and unto the Gentiles foolishness”(I Cor. 1, v.23).

We would like to repeat: “We preach Christ Crucified, a stumbling-block to the Muslims and foolishness to the Secularists.”

________________
*Lotta Continua (“continuous struggle”) was a far left extra-parliamentary organization in Italy (1969)

[A Rorate translation by Contributor Francesca Romana.]

Although the article is posted in its entirety, the emphasis is mine. Thank God for the voice of truth raised loudly and clearly amid the senseless clamor of progressivists!

Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

Viva Christo Rey!

Francis and the Future of the Church

Thanks to Rorate for posting the latest from Dr. Roberto de Mattei regarding Pope Francis and the future of the Church.

Heading Towards the 2015 Synod

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
October 22, 2014

«Das Drama geht weiter!» (The show will go on) said Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich, Bavaria in an interview to “La Repubblica” of October 20th 2014. The show is the Bishops’ Synod that witnessed an unexpected turn of events take place in the Hall. The Relatio post disceptationem presented on the 13th October, despite the rehashing it underwent, didn’t obtain the expected majority of two-thirds on two crucial points: the admittance of the divorced and remarried to Communion and the opening up to homosexual couples, attesting 104 in favour, 74 not in favour on the first point and 118 for, 62 against, on the second. In spite of the evident débâcle, Cardinal Marx, one of the most passionate exponents on the progressive wing, said he was satisfied, since revolutionary processes are done in successive stages. On some themes, he explained, “we took two steps forwards and then one backwards”. The retreat, nonetheless, was forced by a much wider resistance from the Synod Fathers than what had been envisaged. In order to understand the significance of the event, we may recall, that at the Second Vatican Council, regardless of the bitter debate in the Hall, the most contested documents, like Dignitatis Humanae and Nostra Aetate, were approved by 2,308 votes against 70 in the first, and 2,221 against 88 in the second. If then it was a majority consensus, today the split is evident.

The Church today is a battlefield, as it has been many times since Nicaea to Vatican II, where there have always been clashes, not between conservatives and progressives, but between Catholics who don’t want to touch an iota of the Divine deposit and those who want to introduce novelties to this deposit. Pope Francis’ sentence “God is not afraid of novelty” should be understood in a different sense than what the Pontiff intended: it may simply mean that God is not afraid of the “innovators”; he destroys their works and assigns the task of defeating them to the defenders of the unchangeable Magisterium of the Church.

In the field of faith and morality, every exception introduces a rule and every new rule opens the door to a normative system that overturns the old one. Novelty has a revolutionary importance which should be caught at the embryonic stage. In an interview to “Catholic News Service” Cardinal George Pell, defined the request for Communion to the divorced and remarried as a Trojan Horse which opens the way for the recognition of homosexual unions. The number of divorced and remarried who ask to receive Communion is, in reality, irrelevant. What is at stake is something else: it is the acceptance of homosexuality on the part of the Church – considered not as sin or disordered tendency, but as a positive “tension” towards the good, worthy of pastoral care and juridical protection.

Cardinals Marx and Schönborn have been very clear regarding this and the assistant secretary of the Synod, Monsignor Bruno Forte, student of the Tubingen heretical school, carried out their wishes, revealing himself as the author of the most indecent passages in the first Relatio. The great majority of the Synod Fathers rejected the scandalous paragraphs, but what doctrine does not admit is admitted in praxis, waiting for sanction at the next Synod. For many lay, priests and bishops, homosexuality may be practiced, even if not accepted by law, because it does not signify grave sin. This is linked to the question of extra-marital cohabitation. If sexuality outside of marriage is not a grave sin, but a positive value provided that it is expressed in a stable and sincere way, it deserves a blessing from the priest and legalization by the State. If it is a value, it is also a right, and if sexuality exists as a right, the step from cohabitation of the divorced to homosexual marriage is inevitable.

The doctrinal Magisterium of the Church, which has never varied in the span of two thousand years, teaches that the practice of homosexuality is to be considered a vice against nature, which causes not only the eternal damnation of individuals, but the moral ruin of society as well. Saint Augustine in “The Confessions” sums up the thought of the Fathers: “Sins against nature, therefore, like the sin of Sodom, are abominable and deserve punishment whenever and wherever they are committed. If all nations committed them, all alike would be held guilty of the same charge in God’s law”. (The Confessions, c. III, p. 8).

Over the centuries the Pastors of the Church have gathered and passed on this perennial teaching. So Christian morality has, without reserve, always condemned homosexuality and established that this vice cannot expect at all to be legalized by juridical order, nor promoted by political power. When the European Parliament voted its first resolution in favour of pseudo-homosexual–marriage in 1994, in his address of February 20th John Paul II reiterated that: “the juridical approval of homosexual practice is not morally admissible […]With this resolution the European Parliament was asked to legitimize a moral disorder. Parliament wrongfully conferred an institutional value to deviant behavior which is not in conformity with the plan of God. […] Forgetting the words of Christ – ‘The truth shall set you free’ (John, 8,32) – they have attempted to suggest to the inhabitants of our continent, that moral evil, deviation and a type of slavery are a way to freedom, falsifying the essence of the family itself.”

A crack in this doctrinal edifice opened on the 28th July 2013, when, on his return flight from Brazil, Pope Francis pronounced the explosive words: “Who am I to judge!” and from then on they were destined to justify any transgression. Judgment, with its resulting definition of truths and condemnation of errors, is the jurisdiction par excellence of the Vicar of Christ, supreme guardian and judge [in matters] of faith and morality. Citing Francis’ words, some bishops and cardinals, inside and outside the Synod Hall, asked for the recognition of the positive aspects of unnatural unions.

However, if one of the gravest of sins ceases to be such, the concept of sin itself fails and the Lutheran idea of mercy which had been anathematized by the Council of Trent reappears. In the Justification Canons promulgated on January 13th 1547, we find: “If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy (Canon 12); “that Christ Jesus was given of God to men, as a redeemer in whom to trust, and not also as a legislator whom to obey” (Canon 21); “that there is no mortal sin but that of infidelity” (Canon27); “let him be anathema”.

We are dealing here with theological themes that have social repercussions which even lay people have the right and duty to face, as it is not only the Synod of 2015 that approaches, but also the year 2017, the fifth centenary of Luther’s Revolution and the first centenary of the Fatima Apparitions.

What is now underway is not the playful show that Cardinal Marx implied, but an arduous battle which involves both Heaven and earth. The last acts will be dramatic, but the epilogue will certainly be triumphant, according to the Divine promise confirmed by Our Lady at the Cova da Iria in 1917.

May the Immaculate, deign to bestow continuous purity of thought and action to all those in the heat of the battle and who defend the integrity of the Catholic Faith with courage.

[Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]

The Sense of Sin Cancelled

This is the post I have been looking for. At last, word from Professor Roberto de Mattei regarding this Synod. Thanks to Rorate Caeli.

Erdö’s Relatio cancels sin and the natural law in an instant

Roberto de Mattei
Il Foglio
October 15, 2014

The sense of sin cancelled; the idea of good and evil abolished; Natural Law suppressed; any positive reference to the value of virginity and chastity abandoned. With the report presented on October 13, 2014 to the Synod on the Family by Cardinal Pèter Erdö, the sexual revolution has now officially invaded the Church, with devastating consequences to souls and society itself.

The Relatio post disceptationem drawn up by Cardinal Erdö is the synopsis of the first week of the Synod’s work and it is this that will orient its conclusions. The first part of the document, attempts to impose (in the language of the worst kind of 1968er) the “anthropological-cultural change” in society as a “challenge” for the Church. Faced with a picture from polygamy to African “marriage in stages” we now have “the praxis of cohabitation” in western society; the report notes the existence of “a widespread desire for family”. No element of moral evaluation is present.

To the threat of individualism and individualist egoism, the text compares the positive aspect of “relationality” considered a good thing in itself, especially when it aims at being transformed into a stable relationship (nn. 9-10). The Church forgoes voicing judgments on values, but “[offers] a meaningful word of hope ”(n.11). So a new astounding moral principle is affirmed: the “law of gradualness” which allows for the appreciation of the positive elements in all situations, till now, defined by the Church as sinful. Evil and sin really don’t exist. Only “imperfect forms of the good” exist (n.18) according to a doctrine of the “levels of communion” attributed to the Second Vatican Council. “Realizing the need, therefore, for spiritual discernment with regard to cohabitation, civil marriages and divorced and remarried persons, it is the task of the Church to recognize those seeds of the Word that have spread beyond its visible and sacramental boundaries.”

The question of the divorced and remarried is the pretext which allows for a principal that dismantles two thousand years of Catholic faith. Following Gaudium et Spes “the Church turns with respect towards those who are part of Her life in an incomplete and imperfect way, appreciating more the positive values that they preserve, rather than the limits and faults” (ivi). Which means that any type of moral condemnation fails, since any sin whatever constitutes an imperfect form of the good and an incomplete way of being part of the Church. “In this respect, a new dimension of today’s family pastoral consists of accepting the reality of civil marriage and also cohabitation, taking into account the due differences.” (n.22) And this especially “when a union reaches a notable level of stability through a public bond, is characterized by deep affection, responsibility with regard to offspring, and capacity to withstand tests” (ivi).

With this the doctrine of the Church has been turned upside down according to which the stabilizing of sin, through a civil marriage constitutes a sin graver than an occasional and fleeting sexual union, since the latter allows for less difficulty in a return to the right path.

“A new sensitivity in today’s pastoral consists in grasping the positive reality of civil weddings and, having pointed out our differences, of cohabitation (n.36). So the new pastoral practice then, entails being silent about evil, renouncing the conversion of the sinner and accepting the status quo as irreversible. These are what the report calls “courageous pastoral choices” (n.40). The courage, it seems, is not in opposing evil but in adapting to it. The passages dedicated to the acceptance of homosexual people are those that appeared the most scandalous, but they are the logical coherence of the principles exposed here. Even the man in the street understands that if it’s possible for the divorced and remarried to receive the Sacraments, then everything else is permitted, starting from homosexual pseudo-marriage.

Marco Politi in “Il Fatto” (October 14), stressed that never, ever, had a sentence of this sort been found in an official document from the ecclesiastical hierarchy: “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community”.  Followed by a question to the bishops of the whole world: “are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?“ (n.50). Although not comparing unions between the same sexes to marriage between a man and woman, the Church proposes to: “elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension” (n.51). “Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.” (n.52). No moral objection was made on the adoption of children by homosexual couples: all that was said was, “the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.” (ivi). At the press conference, Monsignor Bruno Forte even hoped for “a codification of rights that would be guaranteed to people living in homosexual unions.

The fulminating words of St. Paul: “neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers: nor the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor railers nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians chapt. 6 v 9)  have no meaning for the ‘jugglers’ of the new pan-sexual morality. For them you need to accept the positive reality of what was once a sin that “cried to heaven for vengeance” (Catechism St. Pius X). The “morality of prohibition” needs to be substituted by dialogue and mercy and the slogan of ‘68, “forbidden, to forbid”  is now updated with the pastoral formula to which “nothing can be condemned”. Not only two commandments fall, the sixth and the ninth, which forbid impure thoughts and acts outside of marriage, but the idea of an objective natural and divine order summed up in the Decalogue, disappears. Acts intrinsically illicit, truth and moral values, for which one must be disposed to give even their life for (n. 51 and n.94),    (as defined in the encyclical Veritatis Splendor) no longer exist. It is not only Veritatis Splendor and the recent statement from the Congregation of the Faith in matters of sexual morality, that are in the dock, but also the Council of Trent itself, which dogmatically formulated the nature of the Seven Sacraments, starting with the Eucharist and Matrimony.

It all started in October 2013, when Pope Francis, after having announced the call for the two synods on the family, the ordinary and extraordinary, promoted a “Questionnaire” directed to the bishops of the world. The distorted use of the survey and questionnaires is well-known.

Public opinion thinks that just because a choice is made by the majority of people, it must be the right one. And the surveys attribute to the majority of the people opinions already predetermined by the manipulators of the consensus. The questionnaire wanted by Pope Francis dealt with the most burning issues from contraception to communion for the divorced, cohabitation and “matrimony” between homosexuals, more with an indicative aim than an informative one. The first response published by the German Episcopal Conference on February 3 (“Il Regno Documenti” 5 (2014), pp 16-172) was clearly made public in order to condition the preparations for the Synod and above all to offer Cardinal Kasper the sociological basis which he needed for his report at the Consistory Pope Francis had entrusted to him.

What emerged was in fact the explicit rejection by German Catholics of “the affirmations from the Church on pre-matrimonial sexual relationships, homosexuality, the divorced and remarried, and birth control (p.163). “The responses which came from the dioceses – it was repeated – give us a glimpse of the great distance between the baptized and official doctrine, especially regarding pre-matrimonial cohabitation, birth control and homosexuality” (p. 172). This distance was not presented as an estrangement by the Catholics themselves from the Magisterium of the Church, but as the Church’s incapacity to understand and comply with the times. Cardinal Kasper in his report to the Consistory on February 20 would define that distance as an “abyss” that the Church would have had to fill by adapting to the praxis of immorality.

According to one of Kasper’s followers, a priest from Genoa , Giovanni Cereti, famous for a tendentious study on divorce in the primitive Church, the questionnaire was promoted by Pope Francis to avoid the debate taking place “in secret rooms” (Il Regno-Attualità”,6 (2014).p.158). Yet if it is true that the Pope wanted the discussion carried out in a transparent manner, it is difficult to understand the decision of holding the Extraordinary Consistory in February and then the Synod in October behind closed doors. The only text we knew about, thanks to “Il Foglio”, was Cardinal Kasper’s report. Afterwards, regarding the work – complete silence.

In his Diary of the Council, on November 10, 1962, Father Chenu notes this sentence by Father Giuseppe Dossetti, one of the main strategists on the progressive front: “The winning battle is run in dealing with the procedure. I have always won in this way.” In assemblies the decisional process does not belong to the majority, but to the minority which controls the procedure. Democracy doesn’t exist in political society and even less so in religion. Democracy in the Church, observed the philosopher, Marcel De Corte, is ecclesiastic Caesarism, the worst of all the regimes. In this synod’s proceedings the existence of this ecclesiastic Caesarism is demonstrated by the atmosphere of heavy censorship which has accompanied it until now.

The most alert Vatican reporters, such as Sandro Magister and Marco Tosatti have highlighted that in this Synod (differently from previous ones) a veto was put on the Synod Fathers and their interventions. Magister, recalling the distinction made by Benedict XVI between the “real” Second Vatican Council and the “virtual” which superimposed it, spoke of: “a split between the real synod and the virtual synod, the latter built up by the media through its systematic overemphasis on the things favoured by the “spirit” of the times. Today, however, it is actually the texts of the Synod that stand out for their destructive power, with no possible distortion from the mass-media who truly showed their amazement at the explosive effect of Cardinal Erdò’s Relatio.

Naturally this document has no magisterial value whatsoever. It is also legitimate to doubt that it reflects the true thought of the Synod Fathers. The Relatio, however, prefigures the Relatio Synodi, the concluding document of the bishops’ assembly.

The real problem now that is posed, is the one of resistance, mentioned in the book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ, by Cardinals Brandmuller, Burke, Caffarra, De Paolis and Mueller (Cantagalli 2014). Cardinal Burke in his interview to Alessandro Gnocchi in Il Foglio of October 14, stated that eventual changes to doctrine or the practice of the Church coming from the Pope would be unacceptable, “since the Pontiff is the Vicar of Christ on earth and is therefore the first servant of the truth of the faith. Knowing the teachings of Christ, I cannot see how it is possible to deviate from this teaching with a doctrinal declaration or a pastoral praxis which ignore the truth.”

The bishops and cardinals, even more than the ordinary faithful, find themselves faced with a terrible drama of conscience, very much graver than the one the English martyrs had to face in the XVI century. Then, in fact it was about disobeying the highest civil authority, King Henry VIII, who, because of his divorce, opened a schism with the Roman Church. Today however, the resistance goes against the highest religious authority should they deviate from the perennial teaching of the Church. And the ones who are called to resist are not disobedient Catholics or dissenters, but actually those that most profoundly venerate the Papal institution. At the time of Henry VIII, the ones who resisted were consigned to the secular arm, which destined them for decapitation or dismemberment. The modern secular arm applies moral lynching, through psychological pressure from the mass-media on public opinion. The outcome is often the psychological and physical collapse of the victims, a crisis of identity, the loss of a vocation and the faith – unless one is able to exercise the heroic virtue of fortitude with the help of grace.

To resist means, in the final analysis, to reaffirm the integral coherence of one’s own life with the immutable Truth of Jesus Christ, by toppling the theses of those who would like to dissolve the eternal Truth into the precariousness of life experiences.

Our Lady of Fatima pray for us!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, intercede for us!

~ evensong ~

Dr. Mattei on the Synod

Rorate Caeli has just posted Professor Roberto de Mattei’s article on the upcoming Synod on Marriage and the Family.

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/10/synod-and-truth-understanding-in-depth.html

Just time for a cut and paste, with a few highlights; sorry but no time to comment.

Roberto de Mattei
Il Foglio
October 1, 2014
The upcoming Synod of Bishops has been preceded by a rumpus in the media which attaches to it a historical significance greater than its ecclesiastical importance as merely a consultative assembly in the Church. Some are complaining about the theological war the Synod promises to be, but the history of all the Episcopal meetings in the Church (such is the etymological significance of the term “synod” and its synonym “council”) has been made up of theological conflicts and bitter debates on errors and divisions that have threatened the Christian community since its beginnings.
Today the subject of communion for the divorced [and remarried] is only the vector of a discussion that focuses on rather complex doctrinal concepts, such as human nature and the natural law. This debate seems to translate, on the anthropological level, the Trinitarian and Christological speculations which shook up the Church from the Council of Nicaea (325) to the Council of Chalcedon (451). At that time, discussions were held to determine the nature of the Most Holy Trinity, Who is one God in Three Persons and to define in Jesus Christ the Person of the Word, Who subsists in two natures, the Divine and the human. The Council of Nicaea’s adoption of the Greek term homoousios, which was translated in Latin to consubstantialis and, after the Council of Chalcedon with the words “of the same nature” of the Divine substance, to affirm the perfect equality of the Word and the Father, marks a never-to be-forgotten date in the history of Christianity and concludes an era of disorientation, confusion and drama of consciences similar to the one we are [currently] immersed in.

In those years the Church was divided between the “right” of St. Athanasius and the “left” of Arius’ followers, (the definition is by the historian of the Councils, Karl Joseph von Hefele). Between the two poles the third “party” of semi-Arians wavered, themselves divided into various factions. The term homoiousios, which means “of similar substance” was set against the Nicean homoousios, which means “of the same substance”. This is not a question of nitpicking. In the seemingly minimal difference between these two words, there lies an abyss: on the one hand, Identity with God, on the other a certain analogy or resemblance which makes of Jesus Christ an ordinary man.

The best historical reconstruction of this period is the one by Cardinal John Henry Newman, The Arians of the Fourth Century (tr.It. Jaca Book, Milano, 1981) an in-depth study which brings to light the culpability of the clergy and the courage of “the common people” in maintaining the orthodoxy of the Faith. Athanasius, as a deacon and champion of orthodoxy, afterwards a bishop, was forced as many as five times to leave his diocese, to walk the way of exile.

In 357, Pope Liberius excommunicated him and two years after the Councils of Rimini and Seleucia, which constituted a sort of great Ecumenical Council, representative of the West and the East, abandoned the Nicene term “consubstantial” and established an equivocal middle way, between St. Athanasius and the Arians. It was at that time St. Jerome coined the expression according to which “The whole world groaned and was amazed to find itself Arian”.

Athanasius and the defenders of the orthodox Faith were accused of being stuck obstinately on words and of being quarrelsome and intolerant. These are the same accusations made today against those, inside and outside the Synod Hall, who want to raise a voice of uncompromising firmness in defense of the Church’s doctrine on Christian Marriage, like the five Cardinals (Burke, Brandmuller, Caffarra, De Paolis and Muller), who after having expressed themselves individually, gathered together their statements in defense of the family in a book which by now has become a manifesto: Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church, just published by Cantagalli of Siena, Another fundamental text, Divorced “Remarried”, also owes its publication to Cantagalli. The praxis of the primitive Church, by the Jesuit Henri Couzel,

The writers in the “Corriere della Sera” and “La Repubblica” have been rending their garments at the “theological row” now in progress. On September 8, Pope Francis himself, urged newly nominated Bishops “not to waste energy in contrasts and clashes”, forgetting that he had personally assumed the responsibility of the clashes when he entrusted the job of opening the Synod “dances” to Cardinal Walter Kasper. As Sandro Magister noted, it was actually Kasper with his report on February 20, 2014, (made available by “Il Foglio”), who started the hostility that triggered off the doctrinal debate, thus becoming, far from his intentions, the standard-bearer of a party. The oft-times reiterated formula by the German Cardinal is: what has to change is not the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage, but pastoral [praxis] for the divorced and remarried. This has in itself a devastating significance and is the expression of a theological concept tainted at its roots.

So as to understand Kasper’s thought, we need to go back to one of his first works, perhaps the main one, “The Absolute in History in the last Philosophy of Schelling, published in 1965 and translated by Jaca Book in 1986. In fact, Walter Kasper belongs to the school of Tubinga, which, as he writes in this study, “started a renewal in theology and in all of German Catholicism with the encounter of Schelling and Hegel” (p.53). The metaphysics are Schelling’s (1775-1854), “a solitary giant” (p.90), whose Gnostic and pantheistic character the German theologian tries in vain to free himself of. In his last work Philosophie der Offenbarung (The Philosophy of Revelation), in 1854, Schelling opposes historical dogmatic Christianity. “Schelling – Kasper comments – doesn’t envision the relationship between the natural and the supernatural in a static, metaphysical and extratemporal way, but rather in a dynamic and historical one. The essentiality of Christian Revelation is really this, that it is history.” (p.206).

Also for Kasper Christianity, before being doctrine, is history, or “praxis”. In his most famous work, Jesus The Christ, (Queriniana, Brescia 1974), he develops his Christology in a historical key which is derived from The Philosophy of Revelation by the German Idealist. The Trinitarian concept by Schelling is the one of the Sabellian and Modalist heretics, the forerunners of Arianism. The three Divine Persons are reduced to three “modes of subsistence” of a one person-nature (Modalism), while the essence of the Trinity is realised in the manifesting of “Itself” to the world. Christ is not the intermediary between God and man, but the historical realization of the Divinity in the Trinitarian process.

Coherent with the Christology and ecclesiology of Kasper. The Church is, first and foremost, “pneuma” “Sacrament of the Spirit”, a definition for the German Cardinal that “corrects” the juridical one by Pius XII in Mystici Corporis (The Church, Place of the Spirit, Queriniana, Brescia 1980, p. 91). The Holy Spirit’s field of action does not coincide in fact, as Tradition wills, with the one of the Roman Catholic Church, but extends to a vaster ecumenical reality, the “Church of Christ” which the Catholic Church is part of.

According to Kasper, the Decree of Vatican II on Ecumenism presses for recognition that the one Church of Christ is not limited to the Catholic Church, but is shared with separate churches and ecclesial communities (ivi, p.94). The Catholic Church is “where there is no selective Gospel”, but everything is expanded in an all-encompassing manner, in time and space (The Catholic Church – Essence, Reality, Mission, Queriniana, Brescia 2012, p. 289). The mission of the Church is to “ step out of Herself” to regain a dimension that renders her truly universal. Eugenio Scalfari, who is acting like a third Pope,(i.e. after the Pope emeritus and the one reigning), even if ignorant in theology, confers the same idea to Pope Francis, asserting, that for him, the missionary Church is the one that “has to step out of Herself and go into the world” by implementing Christianity in history (“La Repubblica”, September 21, 2014).

These theories are reflected in Kasper’s moral theology, according to which, the experience of the encounter with Christ dissolves the law, or better, the law is a hindrance which man must free himself of to encounter the mercy of Christ. In his pantheistic philosophy, Schelling absorbs evil into God. Kasper absorbs evil into the mystery of the Cross, in which he sees the denial of traditional metaphysics and of the natural law which proceeds from it. “For Schelling the passage of negative philosophy to positive philosophy is at the same time[a]passage from the law to the Gospel” (The Absolute in History, p.178), writes the German Cardinal, who sees in turn the passage from the law to the Gospel in the primacy of pastoral praxis over abstract doctrine.

From this point of view, Cardinal Kasper’s moral doctrine is at least implicitly, Antinomianist. Antinomianism is a term coined by Luther against his opponent of the left, Johann Agricola (1494-1568), but dates back to the antique and medieval heresies indicating the rejection of the Old Testament and its laws, [which were]thought of as mere constriction and restriction, in contrast to the New Testament, i.e. to the new economy of Grace and freedom. More generally Antinomianism means the rejection of the natural moral law which has its root in the rejection of the idea of nature. For the Christian Antinomianists there is no law because there is no universal objective human nature. The consequences are the vanishing of the sense of sin, the denial of absolute morality, and the sexual Revolution inside the Church.

Within this perspective it is understandable how Cardinal Kasper in his recent book, which appeared in German in 2012 and was then translated into Italian for the fellows at Queriniana in 2013, (Mercy. The Fundamental Concept of the Gospel – The Key to life), proposes to break with the traditional equilibrium between justice and mercy, making of the latter, (which goes against tradition), the principal attribute of God. However, as Father Serafino Lanzetta observed in an excellent analysis of his volume, published at www.chiesa, “mercy perfects and completes justice but does not annul it; it presupposes it, otherwise it would not in itself have any reason to exist.” The disappearance of justice and the law makes the concept of sin and the mystery of evil incomprehensible, save for the reintegrating of them into a theosophical and Gnostic standpoint.

We find this error again in the Lutheran postulate of “only mercy”. The mediation of reason and of nature being abolished, for Luther the only way to rise to God is in “trusting faith” which has its preamble not in rational metaphysics, from which it must be totally freed, but in a sentiment of profound desperation, which has in turn its typical object in the “mercy” of God, instead of the truths revealed by Him. This principal, as Silvana Seidel Menchi demonstrated in Erasmus in Italy 1520-1580 (Bollati Boringhieri, Turin 1987), is developed in the heretical literature of the 16th Century thanks also to the influence of Erasmus’ treatise, De immense Dei misercordia (1524), which opened up the gates of heaven to “men of good will” (ivi, pp.143-167). In the sects originating from Erasmus and Luther which made up the extreme left of the Protestant Reformation, the 4th century anti-Trinitarian errors reappeared: Arianism, Modalism, Sabellianism, [all] based on the rejection or distortion of the idea of nature.

The only penitential path possible to experience the embrace of Divine Mercy is the rejection of sin in which we are immersed, and in the recognition of a Divine Law to respect and love. This law is rooted in human nature and is engraved in the heart of every man “by the finger of the Creator, Himself” (Rm 2, 14-15). It constitutes the supreme judgment of every action and of human events in their totality, that is, in history.

The term nature is not abstract. Human nature is the essence of man, that is what he is before being a person. Man is a person, a holder of inalienable rights, because he has a soul. And he has a soul given that, unlike any other living being, he has a rational nature. Natural is not what originates from the instincts and desires of man, but what corresponds to the rules of reason, which must in turn, conform itself to an objective order and immutable principles. The natural law is rational and immutable,[thus]because it is immutable inasmuch as it is spiritual, it is the nature of man. All individuals of the same nature act or should act in the same manner, since the natural law is written in the nature not of this or that man, but in human nature regarded in itself, in its permanence and stability.

Cardinal Kasper does not believe in a universal and absolute natural law. In Instrumentum laboris, the official Vatican document which prepares the ground for the Synod in October, this repudiation of the natural law is clearly in evidence, even if presented in a sociological key more than a theological one. “The concept of natural law today turns out to be, in different cultural contexts, highly problematic, if not completely incomprehensible. (n.21) – he says – also since “Today, in not only the West but increasingly every part of the world, scientific research poses a serious challenge to the concept of nature. Evolution, biology and neuroscience, when confronted with the traditional idea of the natural law, conclude that it is not “scientific.” According to Kasper’s program, the spirit of the Gospel whose values need to be communicated “in a comprehensible way to the man of today” contrasts the natural law. Which therefore renders necessary “that more emphasis be placed on the role of the Word of God as a privileged instrument in the conception of married life and the family, and recommend greater reference to the Bible, its language and narratives. In this regard, respondents propose bringing the issue to public discussion and developing the idea of biblical inspiration and the “order in creation,” which could permit a re-reading of the concept of the natural law in a more meaningful manner in today’s world. (…)The recommendation was also made to engage young people directly in these matters.” (n.30).

The inevitable consequences of this new idea of morality which the Synod Fathers will have to discuss, are outlined by Vito Mancuso, in “La Repubblica” of the 18th September. The natural law “is far too heavy a burden to carry”; we need therefore to focus on a deep journey of renewal in the matters of sexual ethics” which should result in the “subsequent necessary openness: yes to contraception; yes to premarital relations; yes to the recognition of homosexual couples.”

In the face of this catastrophic itinerary heading towards immoralism, why be surprised that five Cardinals have published a book in defense of traditional morality and that other cardinals, bishops and theologians have supported them in this position? Against those who are calling for a new doctrinal and pastoral discipline, Cardinal Pell wrote, “an insurmountable barrier” is being raised, based on “the almost complete unanimity on this matter which Catholic history has given the proof of for two thousand years. (Preface, Juan Pérez-Soba, Stephen Kampowski, Oltre la proposta di Kasper,(Beyond Kasper’s Proposal) Cantagalli, Siena 2014, p. 7).

It is to be hoped that it will be a free and open encounter, without the imposition of rules from on high that falsify the stakes. The stakes are not just a simple diversity in opinions, but the clarification of the Church’s mission. It is to be hoped as well, that the faithful prelates of Tradition will not be intimidated and will be able to bear patiently with the mass-media’s violence, and even the unjust and intense ecclesial censuring which they might have to endure.

“The best song is still ours” (p.8) writes Cardinal Pell, and Athanasius is still a model for our times and for all of those who don’t shrink back from the righteous battle in defense of the truth.

[Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]

 

Please continue to pray the Rosary!

One Pope

In an earlier post, “The Suffering Pope”, I spoke of the never before seen situation of two men exercising the office of Pope. Benedict XVI is still retaining the title of Pope “Emeritus” and various theologians and church experts have referred to the “indelible mark” of the papacy. That seemed reasonable to me, as well as very confusing about how the office could be divided between two persons, each claiming to exercise a portion of the office. I am no more knowledgable than my readers, most of us are learning this as we go and looking to those wiser than we are for guidance.

Sandro Magister has recently reposted Professor Roberto de Mattei’s latest article on the complex subject of the true nature of the papacy. Dr. de Mattei has clarified this confusing situation. The entire article is worth reading at Magister’s site:

ONE AND ONE ALONE IS POPE by Roberto de Mattei

Among the multiple and multifaceted statements of Pope Francis in recent days there is one that deserves to be evaluated in its entire scope.

During the press conference held on August 18, 2014 on board the plane that was bringing him back to Italy after his voyage to Korea, the pope said among other things:

 “I think that a Pope emeritus should not be an exception; after so many centuries, this is our first Pope emeritus. […] Seventy years ago bishops emeritus were an exception; they didn’t exist. Today bishops emeritus are an institution. I think that a ‘Pope emeritus’ has already become an institution. Why? Because our span of life increases and at a certain age we no longer have the ability to govern well because our body is weary; our health may be good but we don’t have the ability to deal with all the problems of a government like that of the Church. I believe that Pope Benedict XVI took this step which de facto instituted Popes emeriti. I repeat, perhaps some theologian will tell you that it isn’t right, but that’s what I think. Time will tell if it is right or wrong, we shall see. You can ask me: ‘What if one day you don’t feel prepared to go on?’. I would do the same, I would do the same! I will pray hard over it, but I would do the same thing. [Benedict] opened a door which is institutional, not exceptional.”

The institutionalization of the figure of pope emeritus would therefore seem to be a fait accompli.

Some Catholic writers, like Antonio Socci, Vittorio Messori, and Fr. Ariel Levi di Gualdo, have stressed the problem raised by this unprecedented situation, which seems to accredit the existence of a pontifical “diarchy.” A revolutionary break with the theological and juridical tradition of the Church par adoxically made precisely by the pope of the “hermeneutic of reform in continuity.”

It is no coincidence that the “school of Bologna,” which has always distinguished itself by its opposition to Benedict XVI, greeted with satisfaction his resignation from the pontificate, not only because it removed an unwelcome pope from the scene, but precisely because of that “reform of the papacy” which he is seen as having inaugurated with the decision to take the title of pope emeritus.

The “continuist” hermeneutic of Benedict XVI has thus been overturned with a gesture of strong discontinuity, historical and theological.

The historical discontinuity arises from the rarity of the abdication of a pope, in two thousand years of Church history. But the theological discontinuity consists precisely in the intention to institutionalize the figure of pope emeritus. ***

The first who hastened to provide a theoretical justification for the innovation were above all authors in the progressive vein. Like Fr. Stefano Violi, a professor of canon law at the theological faculty of Emilia Romagna, with the essay “The resignation of Benedict XVI between history, law, and conscience” (“Rivista teologica di Lugano”, XVIII, 2, 2013, pp. 155-166). And like Valerio Gigliotti, a professor of European law at the University of Torino, with the concluding chapter of his book “La tiara deposta. La rinuncia al papato nella storia del diritto e della Chiesa [Tiara down: The resignation of the papacy in the history of law and of the Church]” (Leo S. Olschki, Florence, 2013, pp. 387-432).

According to Violi, in the “Declaratio” with which he announced his abdication on February 11, 2013, Benedict XVI distinguishes the Petrine ministry, “munus,” with an eminently spiritual essence, from its administration or exercise.

“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.” * * *

In my judgment, the admirers of Benedict XVI must resist the temptation to endorse these ideas in order to turn them to their advantage.

Among Catholics of conservative orientation, in fact, some are already beginning to murmur that, in the case of a worsening of the religious crisis under way, the existence of two popes would make it possible to oppose pope emeritus Benedict XVI to pope in earnest Francis.

This is a position different from that of the sedevacantists, but it is characterized by the same theological weakness.

In times of crisis one must not look to men, who are frail and fleeting creatures, but to the unshakable institutions and principles of the Church. The papacy, in which the Catholic Church is concentrated in many ways, is founded on a theology whose pillars must be recovered. There is above all one point that must not be ignored. The common doctrine of the Church has always distinguished between the power of orders and the power of jurisdiction. The former is received through the sacraments, the latter by divine mission, in the case of the pope, or by canonical mission in the case of the bishops and priests. The power of jurisdiction stems directly from Peter, who received it immediately from Jesus Christ; all others in the Church receive it from Christ through his vicar, “ut sit unitas in corpore apostolico” (St. Thomas Aquinas, “Ad Gentes” IV c. 7).

The pope is therefore not a superbishop, nor is he the endpoint of a sacramental line that goes from the ordinary priest, through the bishop, up to the supreme pontiff. The episcopate constitutes the sacramental fullness of orders, and therefore no higher character than that of bishop can be imparted. As bishop, the pope is equal to all the other bishops.

What sets the pope above every other bishop is the divine mission that has been handed down from Peter to each of his successors, not by heredity but through an election legitimately carried out and freely accepted. In fact, the one who rises to the pontifical see could be an ordinary priest, or even a layman, who would be consecrated bishop after his election but is pope not from the moment of episcopal consecration, but in the act in which he accepts the pontificate.

The primacy of the pope is not sacramental, but juridical. It consists in the full power to feed, support, and govern the whole Church, meaning the supreme, ordinary, immediate, universal jurisdiction independent of all other earthly authority (art. 3 of the dogmatic constitution of Vatican Council I “Pastor Aeternus”).

In a word, the pope is the one who has the supreme power of jurisdiction, the “plenitudo potestatis,” because he governs the Church. And this is why the successor of Peter is first pope and then bishop of Rome. He is bishop of Rome in that he is pope, and not pope in that he is bishop of Rome.

The pope ordinarily leaves his office with death, but his power of jurisdiction is not indelible and inalienable. In the supreme governance of the Church there in fact exist the “exceptional cases” that theologians have studied, like heresy, physical and moral infirmity, resignation (cf. my article “Vicar of Christ. The primacy of Peter between normality and exception,” Fede e Cultura, Verona, 2013, pp. 106-138).

* * *

The case of resignation was examined above all after the abdication of the pontificate by Celestine V, pope from August 29 to December 13 of 1294. On that occasion a theological debate was opened between those who maintained that the resignation was invalid and those who upheld its juridical and theological foundation.

Among the many voices that were raised to reiterate the common doctrine of the Church must be remembered those of Giles of Viterbo (1243-1316), author of the concise treatise “De renunciatione papae,” and of his disciple Augustine Trionfi of Viterbo, who left us an imposing “Summa de potestate ecclesiastica,” which deals with the problem of the resignation (q. IV) and removal of the pope (q. V). Both Augustinians, but pupils of Thomas Aquinas, they are remembered as fully orthodox authors, among the most fervent supporters of the pontiff’s primacy of jurisdiction against the claims of the king of France and of the emperor of Germany at the time.

In the footsteps of the Angelic Doctor (Summa Theologica, 2-2ae, q. 39, a. 3), they illustrate the distinction between “potestas ordinis” and “potestas iurisdictionis.” The first, which stems from the sacrament of orders, presents an indelible character and is not subject to resignation. The second has a juridical nature and, not bearing the imprint of the indelible character proper to sacred orders, is subject to loss in the case of heresy, resignation, or removal. Giles reiterates the difference between “cessio” and “depositio,” the supreme pontiff not being subject to the second of these except in the case of grave and persistent heresy. The decisive proof of the fact that the “potestas papalis” does not impart an indelible character is the fact that “if this were not so, there could be no apostolic succession as long as a heretical pope remained alive” (Gigliotti, p. 250).

This doctrine, which has also been the common practice of the Church for twenty centuries, can be considered one of divine law, and as such unchangeable.

Vatican Council II did not explicitly reject the concept of “potestas,” but set it aside, replacing it with an equivocal new concept, that of “munus.” Art. 21 of “Lumen Gentium” then seems to teach that episcopal consecration confers not only the fullness of orders, but also the office of teaching and governing, whereas in the whole history of the Church the act of episcopal consecration has been distinguished from that of appointment, or of the conferral of the canonical mission.

This ambiguity is consistent with the ecclesiology of the theologians of the Council and postcouncil (Congar, Ratzinger, de Lubac, Balthasar, Rahner, Schillebeeckx…) who presumed to reduce the mission of the Church to a sacramental function, scaling down his juridical aspects.

The theologian Joseph Ratzinger, for example, although not sharing Hans Küng’s conception of a charismatic and de-institutionalized Church, distanced himself from tradition when he saw in the primacy of Peter the fullness of the apostolic ministry, linking the ministerial character to the sacramental (J.Auer-J. Ratzinger, “La Chiesa universale sacramento di salvezza”, Cittadella, Assisi, 1988).

* * *

This sacramental and non-juridical conception of the Church is emerging today in the figure of pope emeritus.

If the pope who resigns from the pontificate retains the title of emeritus, that means that to some extent he remains pope. It is clear, in fact, that in the definition the noun prevails over the adjective. But why is he still pope after the abdication? The only explanation possible is that the pontifical election has imparted an indelible character, which he does not lose with the resignation. The abdication would presuppose in this case the cessation of the exercise of power, but not the disappearance of the pontifical character. This indelible character attributed the pope could be explained in its turn only by an ecclesiological vision that would subordinate the juridical dimension of the pontificate to the sacramental.

It is possible that Benedict XVI shares this position, presented by Violi and Gigliotti in their essays, but the eventuality that he may have made the notion of the sacramental nature of the papacy his own does not mean that it is true. There does not exist, except in the imagination of some theologians, a spiritual papacy distinct from the juridical papacy. If the pope is, by definition, the one who governs the Church, in resigning governance he resigns from the papacy. The papacy is not a spiritual or sacramental condition, but an “office,” or indeed an institution.

The tradition and practice of the Church clearly affirm that there is one and only one pope, and his power is indivisible in its unity. Bringing into doubt the monarchical principle that rules the Church would mean subjecting the Mystical Body to an intolerable laceration. What distinguishes the Catholic Church from every other church or religion is precisely the existence of a unifying principle embodied in a person and directly instituted by God.

The distinction between governance and the exercise of governance, inapplicable to the pontifical office, could if anything be applied to understand the difference between Jesus Christ, who governs the Church invisibly, and his vicar, who exercises visible governance by divine delegation.

The Church has only one head and founder, Jesus Christ. The pope is the vicar of Jesus Christ, Man-God, but unlike the founder of the Church, who is perfect in his two human and divine natures, the Roman pontiff is a solely human person, devoid of the characteristics of the divinity.

Today we tend to divinize, to absolutize, what is human in the Church, ecclesiastical persons, and instead to humanize, to relativize, what is divine in the Church: its faith, its sacraments, its tradition. This error gives rise to grave consequences also on the psychological and spiritual level.

The pope is a human creature, although he is imbued with a divine mission. Impeccability has not been attributed to him, and infallibility is a charism that can be exercised only under precise conditions. He can err from the political point of view, from the pastoral point of view, and even from the doctrinal point of view, when he does not express himself “ex cathedra” and when he does not present the perennial and unchangeable magisterium of the Church. This does not change the fact that the pope must be given the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a man, and that one should nurture an authentic devotion to his person, as the saints have always done.

One may debate the intentions of Benedict XVI and his ecclesiology, but what is certain is that there can be only one pope at a time and that this pope, in the absence of proof to the contrary, is Francis, legitimately elected on March 13, 2013.

Pope Francis can be criticized, even severely, with due respect, but he must be considered the supreme pontiff until his death or until his eventual loss of the pontificate.

Benedict XVI has renounced not a part of the pontificate, but the whole papacy, and Francis is not a part-time pope, but entirely the pope.

How he exercises his power is, naturally, another discussion. But even in this case theology and the “sensus fidei” offer us instruments for resolving all the theological and canonical problems that may arise in the future.

The bolded parts were added by me, the ellipses were in Magister’s post. Thus, if I understand rightly, what we have is not a papal diarchy, but another disorientation which comes from the false ecclesiology of Vatican II. As Mattei points out, “Benedict XVI has renounced not a part of the pontificate, but the whole papacy, and Francis is not a part-time pope, but entirely the pope.” Here, Professor de Mattei is stating clearly that this attempt by Pope Benedict to institute an entirely post-Vatican II understanding of the papacy in the office of Pope Emeritus is not to be and there is only one Pope, Francis.

And so the spiritual chastisement under Pope Francis continues apace, can the material one be far behind?

Therefore, all the more reason to pray, pray pray for our poor Church.

History, Fatima and the Bishop of Rome

Professor Roberto de Mattei has been fired from Radio Maria for the following article. The action taken by Father Livio Fanzaga is exquisite proof of the the truth of Professor de Mattei’s observations. This article is from the Lepanto Foundation by way of Rorate Caeli. The emphasis is mine; please check out Rorate for full information on this momentous event.

Motus in fine velocior

by Roberto de Mattei [Feb. 12. 2014]

February 11, 2013, is a date which has entered history. It was on that day that Benedict XVI communicated to an assembly of astonished cardinals his decision to renounce the pontificate. The announcement was received “like lightning in a serene sky,” according to the words addressed to the Pope by the cardinal deacon Angelo Sodano, and the image of lightning which, that very day, had struck the Basilica of St. Peter, spread throughout the world.  Continue reading “History, Fatima and the Bishop of Rome”

Consecrate 2014 to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The following is reposted from the Lepanto Foundation. Professor Roberto de Mattei is undoubtedly the foremost defender of Catholic liturgy and dogma in the world today. With his genius for putting today’s events in the context of history, Dr. Mattei helps us understand the unfolding of the great chastisement which continues apace. The bolded portions are my emphasis.

Entrusting 2014 to Mary, the Queen of History

        (by Roberto de Mattei) At the break of dawn of January 1, 1914, Europe was immersed in the tranquil opulence of the Belle Époque and still trusted in the brilliant progress of humanity.  The Twentieth Century had begun steeped in the naive presumption that original sin was a myth and that the evils and errors which afflict man because of his fallen nature had been eradicated forever. Who could have imagined that the year 1914 would have been the start of an era of death and destruction on a worldwide scale?

And yet less than one week after the murder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, which took place on June 28, the nations of Europe rushed into a terrible war.  From 1914 to 1918 the flower of European youth fought and died in fratricidal combat.  Almost nine million men went missing from the roll call at the end of this global conflagration.  It was during the war that the modern form of communism, which had grown out of the socialist movements of the previous century, burst forth into political history in Russia to spread its errors throughout the world.

Appearing in Fatima on the 13th of May 1917, the very year of the Communist Revolution in Russia, Our Lady provided the key to interpreting what was happening in those turbulent times and what would happen as the century moved ahead: it concerned a chastisement for the sins of humanity.  Two years later, but still unaware of the great revelations that had been vouchsafed the three little shepherds of  Cova da Iria, a great Catholic author, Mgr. Henri Delassus, wrote a profound book entitled Les pourquoi de la première guerre mondiale (1919) that similarly argued that every war constitutes a punishment for the sins of the belligerent nations.  War is an act of justice, he explained, but also an act of supreme mercy, because by means of the suffering it induces, it opens sinful hearts to the truth and goodness from which men have strayed.  Continue reading “Consecrate 2014 to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”