The Angel of Fatima’s Prayer

We have just 73 days until the final Synod Against Marriage and the Eucharist. The Bergoglio/Kasper Agenda is nothing less than to initiate irreversible change in these two sacraments, which are the bedrock of our faith. The Angel’s prayer, what we often call here the Forgotten Prayer of Fatima is a most valuable remedy for the affront to Our Lord in His Sacrament of Love.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests, save our Church!
Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests, save our Church!

Recall, 

The children, while praying, looked up to see St. Michael holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Sacred Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice.

Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside them and had them repeat three times:

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ present in all the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

Then, rising, he took the Chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to Lucia, and shared the Blood from the Chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so:

“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”

Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with them, three times more, the same Eucharistic prayer, “Most Holy Trinity…”, and then disappeared.

This happened in 1916. “Make reparation for the horrible outrages of ungrateful men upon the Lord Our God!”  How much more appropriate is that to today’s Church 99 years later! How all the angels and saints in Heaven must grieve over the arrogant indifference, the outrages perpetrated on the Most Blessed Sacrament today.

Continue reading “The Angel of Fatima’s Prayer”

Hegelian Third Way Update

Would you like to retain the Blessed Sacrament in your own home, in order to have Eucharistic Adoration at your convenience? Are you a faithful Catholic, adhering to all the commands of the faith, completely committed to living a life consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, observing the faith meticulously?

Well, that lets you out, chump! That honor and privilege is only for those on the proposed Third Way, the Ordo Penitentium. Read on…

Jesus, sweet prisoner of love! I adore Thee in the Blessed Sacrament.
Jesus, sweet prisoner of love! I adore Thee in the Blessed Sacrament.

Sandro Magister has posted another article by the French Dominican theologian Thomas Michelet, fancifully entitled, “The Synod. The Preparatory Document’s Arabian Phoenix”. In his introduction, Magister remarks about the Ordo Penitentium, “Everybody says there is one, what it is nobody knows. It is the “penitential way” to communion for the divorced and remarried.” He is referring to the Arabian Phoenix, Cosi fan tutte.

Michelet begins by noting that the Instrumentum Laboris, in  ¶123 asserts that, “a great number agree that a journey of reconciliation or penance, under the auspices of the local bishop, might be undertaken by those who are divorced and civilly remarried, who find themselves in irreversible situations.” Taking note of the obvious, that there is no factual basis provided for this “great number (who) agree”, Michelet decries the statement’s imprecision and warns that the lack of precision could open the way to a variety of pastoral practices.

“(T)he indefiniteness of the proposal conceals a true and profound dispute that threatens to last for a long time, even in the final proposals of the next synod if there is not greater precision. There would be the risk of a declaration of principle on the doctrinal level that would not be discussed by anyone, but would then open the way to the most highly varied pastoral practices that would in fact involve very different doctrines. After a few years, we would find ourselves facing the fait accompli of these practices and of the doctrinal change that they imply and that they would have brought into common acceptance.

“According to some commentators, there has been a move from the idea of an “all or nothing,” of an immediate admission or a persistent refusal of access for the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist, to what could seem like a “third way”:  the idea of an admission conditional on the completion of a penitential journey, on which everyone finally seems to be in agreement. Great, but concretely, what sort of process would this be? What would be its specific steps? …

Note, the application of Hegelian dialectics; thesis (refusal of access), antithesis (immediate admission) then resolved by the synthesis or “third way”. With the stage set, Michelet then proceeds to his second hypothesis.

“This second hypothesis – that of maintaining the current discipline – is therefore the only one that seems conceivable to us, granting that one wishes to be faithful to the Word of Christ. Does this mean that we are talking about an absolute rejection of any change with respect to the present situation? Not necessarily. Even in fidelity, there is always the possibility of a new development, of a “surprise of the Holy Spirit.”

In this, we see our humble Pontiff’s God of surprises. But wait, it gets better.

“First of all, there are various ways of presenting the matter. Either as a door that is closed and the rejection of any way of salvation, or rather as a pilgrimage in which the one who undertakes a journey of happiness is already on the right path, even if he is not able to conform immediately to all the aspects of life in the Spirit according to the Gospel. This second way of acting, which should be decisively preferred, in fact consists in integrating the law of incrementalism presented by Pope John Paul II in “Familiaris Consortio” no. 84, without creating confusion with its inverse figure, that of incrementalism of the law (which would be the first hypothesis of which we just spoke).

Note the false dichotomy between a closed door, rejecting salvation for the poor sinner who “finds himself” in this deplorable state (seemingly through no fault), and a merciful way of a penitential “pilgrimage, a journey of happiness”. Who could resist!

“Moreover, it remains to be acknowledged that some pastoral practices faithful to this teaching of Pope John Paul II have already been established since that time, demonstrating that they can give good fruits of grace. For example, it has happened that some “divorced and remarried” couples have manifested, in making the decision not to receive communion anymore, such faith and such profound respect for the Eucharist that the bishop has allowed them to keep the real presence in their homes, in order to nourish their journey of conversion through Eucharistic adoration.

In the foregoing paragraph, Michelet states that these people, by “making the decision not to receive communion anymore”, are thereby allowed (by an unnamed bishop) to have the Most Holy Eucharist in their homes. No   mention of turning away from their sinful life, but just because they refrain from unworthy reception of the Eucharist. Amazing! A monstrous sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament to reward people who refuse to amend their lives. Michelet blithely continues,

“In order to move forward along this line of innovative fidelity defined by Pope John Paul II, we ourselves have made the proposal of an updating of the “ordo pænitentium,” the restoration of this ancient order of penitents of Christian antiquity that long survived in tandem with the current form of the sacrament of penance. This “ordo” could find renewed interest, because it took place over a long period of time and in stages marked by liturgical celebrations. It was considered sacramental right from the stage of the imposition of ashes, not only in the final stage of absolution. It also had the advantage of demonstrating well that the sinner was not excluded from the Church, because he was part of an “ordo,” and was therefore on the contrary urged to nourish himself on the Church’s treasury of graces in listening to the Word of God and participating in its life of prayer. Just as the emergence from the regime of Christendom procured the grace of the rebirth of adult baptism, it could also lead to the rebirth of these orders of penitents in what was most evangelical about them, without reviving, obviously, the excesses that were not connected to their essence. Thus the penitent would have a prophetic mission to accomplish in the Church: that of urging greater respect for the Eucharist and greater consideration of one’s sins.

Note the skillful use of, “the restoration of this ancient order of penitents of Christian antiquity”. That should surely bring in the support of those rigid traditionalists, so intransigent in their taste for the old fashions! Michelet began his article by sounding like a staunch defender of orthodoxy and ends by proposing the sacrilege of giving the Blessed Sacrament to obstinate sinners as a reward for their not receiving Holy Communion sacrilegiously. In what parallel universe is this faithful to the Magisterium? Oh, I forgot, it is “innovative fidelity”!

I leave it to those who are more learned decipher for us the sentence, “Just as the emergence from the regime of Christendom procured the grace of the rebirth of adult baptism, it could also lead to the rebirth of these orders of penitents in what was most evangelical about them, …” Love to hear your thoughts on that!

In 1916, 99 years ago, St. Michael the Archangel taught the shepherd children to make reparation to the Blessed Sacrament. It seemed puzzling at that time, since the most Blessed sacrament was universally throughout the Church adored and glorified. Indeed, in those days, there was no dearth of respectful Eucharistic Adoration in all the world, carried out devoutly by obedient and chaste Catholics. But reparation was needed precisely because at this time, a church of opposition would propose sacrilege in the name of mercy.

If you read this blog regularly, you know by heart the prayer which we call, the Forgotten Prayer of Fatima. Please renew your efforts to pray it and to spread its devotion.

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ present in the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary, restore the faith!

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

Cardinal Manning and the Final Synod

Cardinal Manning (1808-1892) was an Anglican convert. Ordained just ten weeks after entering the Church, he became Archbishop of Westminster and then Cardinal. Manning was a strong supporter of the doctrine of infallibility in the First Vatican Council in contrast to Cardinal Newman. In “The Present Crisis in the Holy See”, Cardinal Manning warned of a grave crisis facing the Church. The book’s four chapters, “The Progress of the Mystery of Iniquity, the Antichrist, What Holds Back the Antichrist  and The Apostasy of Rome“, are a solemn warning to the Church for these times.

“The Church of God will … lie bleeding at the feet of the powers of this world.”

Early in his book, Cardinal Manning states that the three notes of the Apostasy are schism, heresy and denial of the Incarnation, and concludes that all the heresies from the beginning are but the continuous development and expansion of the one “mystery of iniquity” which from the beginning wars against the mystery of the faith. Likening the heresies which have afflicted the Church to diseases, he remarks:

“To name no more than these,— Gnosticism, Arianism, and, above all, Protestantism, have generated each a multitude of subordinate and affiliated heresies. But it is Protestantism which, above all others, bears the three notes of the inspired writers in the greatest breadth and evidence. Other heresies have opposed parts and details of the Christian faith and Church; but Protestantism, taken in its historical complex, as we now are able, with the retrospect of three hundred years, to measure it, reaching from the religion of Luther, Calvin, and Cranmer at the one end, so the Rationalism and Pantheism of England and Germany at the other, is of all the most formal, detailed and commensurate antagonist of Christianity.

“I do not mean that it has as yet attained its full development, for we shall see reasons to believe that it (protestant heresy) is still pregnant with a darker future; but even as “the mystery of iniquity” has already worked, no other antagonist (than Protestantism) has as yet gone so deep in undermining the faith of the Christian world.”

Cardinal Manning thus foresaw that even in 1861, the protestant heresy was  “still pregnant with a darker future”. And so it was. We have seen that after the Second Vatican Council, the heresy of modernism (in which protestantism subsists) advanced even into the highest echelons of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Manning then observed two consequences of the heretical movements of the mystery of iniquity. The first of these is the rise of nationalism and the second is the deification of man, which has become rampant since Vatican II.

Manning explains that while heresy in the individual dissolves the unity of the incarnation, heresy in a nation (think here of the Germans under Kasper/Marx) dissolves the unity in the Church. “This process of national defection which began openly with the Protestant reformation, is running its course.” Collegiality is the further stage of this nationalism and will be used by the revolutionaries in the Church to advance their agenda after the final Synod in October.

Regarding the deification of man, Cardinal Manning cites as examples the pantheism of German philosophers such as Schelling, Hegel and Hillebrand and the positivism of Comte. He concludes,

“It will be observed that both Pantheism and Positivism alike end in the deification of man: they are a boundless egotism and an apotheosis of human pride.”

And both these noxious heresies animate the universal religion of man promoted by the United Nations and its most enthusiastic spokesperson, our humble pontiff.

Continue reading “Cardinal Manning and the Final Synod”

Slouching Towards the Final Synod

There is yet more evidence that the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda is proceeding apace with its plans to irreversibly change the doctrine and practice of the Church on marriage and the Holy Eucharist.

Sandro Magister has published a paper by that wretched man, Guido Innocenzo Gargano, a Camaldolese monk, former prior of the Roman monastery of San Gregorio al Celio, professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Urbaniana University. In it, Gargano uses the typical modernist sophisms in an attempt to convince us that if Jesus were a synod Father, He would grant divorce “for hardness of heart” as Moses did, for Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the law [of Moses] but to fulfill it.”

What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder
What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder

 

Magister praises Gargano’s essay as brilliant and describes him as a “famous biblicist and patrologist”, but in his attempts to subvert the clear and equivocal word of God, he seems more like a run-of-the-mill modernist revolutionary, bent on corrupting the faith of Catholics.

Gargano states that when Jesus was asked, “Is it licit or illicit?”, regarding a man divorcing his wife, “Jesus responds serenely, according to the gospel of Matthew: “What is written in the book of Genesis?” From this point, Gargano proceeds by tortuous reasoning which eventually arranges to conclude that: Continue reading “Slouching Towards the Final Synod”

The Sillon, the Synod and Laudato Si

The preponderance of requests we receive in our correspondence is for more teaching from good, solid Popes of the past in order to counteract the toxic waste of current “serene theology” coming from the Bergoglio/Kasperites.

Below, we offer a few excerpts from Pope St. Pius X’s great encyclical Notre Charge Apostolique in 1910. The entire encyclical can be accessed at Papal Encyclicals Online and is well worth downloading and adding to your resources if you haven’t already done so.

Notre Charge Apostolique “Our Apostolic Mandate”
Given by Pope Pius X to the French Bishops
August 15, 1910

“Our Apostolic Mandate requires from Us that We watch over the purity of the Faith and the integrity of Catholic discipline. It requires from Us that We protect the faithful from evil and error; especially so when evil and error are presented in dynamic language which, concealing vague notions and ambiguous expressions with emotional and high-sounding words, is likely to set ablaze the hearts of men in pursuit of ideals which, whilst attractive, are nonetheless nefarious. Such were not so long ago the doctrines of the so-called philosophers of the 18th century, the doctrines of the Revolution and Liberalism which have been so often condemned; such are even today the theories of the Sillon which, under the glowing appearance of generosity, are all too often wanting in clarity, logic and truth. These theories do not belong to the Catholic or, for that matter, to the French Spirit.”

He then notes, “alarming trends within the Sillon; the Sillon was losing its way.” Despite their enthusiasm and self confidence,

“… they were not adequately equipped with historical knowledge, sound philosophy, and solid theology to tackle without danger the difficult social problems in which their work and their inclinations were involving them. They were not sufficiently equipped to be on their guard against the penetration of liberal and Protestant concepts on doctrine and obedience.”

The Holy Father accuses the Sillon of,” … ignoring the laws governing human nature and … breaking the bounds within which they operate, the human person is lead, not toward progress, but towards death. This, nevertheless, is what they want to do with human society; they dream of changing its natural and traditional foundations; they dream of a Future City built on different principles, and they dare to proclaim these more fruitful and more beneficial than the principles upon which the present Christian City rests.”

“No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker – the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. OMNIA INSTAURARE IN CHRISTO.”

“To sum up, such is the theory, one could say the dream of the Sillon; and that is what its teaching aims at, what it calls the democratic education of the people, that is, raising to its maximum the conscience and civic responsibility of every one, from which will result economic and political Democracy and the reign of JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY.

“This brief explanation, Venerable Brethren, will show you clearly how much reason We have to say that the Sillon opposes doctrine to doctrine, that it seeks to build its City on a theory contrary to Catholic truth, and that falsifies the basis and essential notions which regulate social relations in any human society.”

“There was a time when the Sillon, as such, was truly Catholic. It recognized but one moral force – Catholicism; and the Sillonists were wont to proclaim that Democracy would have to be Catholic or would not exist at all. A time came when they changed their minds. They left to each one his religion or his philosophy. They ceased to call themselves Catholics and, for the formula “Democracy will be Catholic” they substituted “Democracy will not be anti-Catholic”, any more than it will be anti-Jewish or anti-Buddhist.”

“But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, “the reign of love and justice” with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them – their religious and philosophical convictions, and so long as they share what unites them – a “generous idealism and moral forces drawn from whence they can” When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which are necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace – the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made man – when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.”

 “We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the “Kingdom of God”. – “We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind.”

 “And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer.”

 “We know only too well the dark workshops in which are elaborated these mischievous doctrines which ought not to seduce clear-thinking minds. The leaders of the Sillon have not been able to guard against these doctrines. The exaltation of their sentiments, the undiscriminating good-will of their hearts, their philosophical mysticism, mixed with a measure of illuminism, have carried them away towards another Gospel which they thought was the true Gospel of Our Savior. To such an extent that they speak of Our Lord Jesus Christ with a familiarity supremely disrespectful, and that – their ideal being akin to that of the Revolution – they fear not to draw between the Gospel and the Revolution blasphemous comparisons for which the excuse cannot be made that they are due to some confused and over-hasty composition.”

 “We wish to draw your attention, Venerable Brethren, to this distortion of the Gospel and to the sacred character of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God and man, prevailing within the Sillon and elsewhere. As soon as the social question is being approached, it is the fashion in some quarters to first put aside the divinity of Jesus Christ, and then to mention only His unlimited clemency, His compassion for all human miseries, and His pressing exhortations to the love of our neighbor and to the brotherhood of men. True, Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. But for the realization of this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept His doctrine, that we must practice virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance of Peter and his successors. Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them. Whilst He called to Himself in order to comfort them, those who toiled and suffered, it was not to preach to them the jealousy of a chimerical equality. Whilst He lifted up the lowly, it was not to instill in them the sentiment of a dignity independent from, and rebellious against, the duty of obedience. Whilst His heart overflowed with gentleness for the souls of good-will, He could also arm Himself with holy indignation against the profaners of the House of God, against the wretched men who scandalized the little ones, against the authorities who crush the people with the weight of heavy burdens without putting out a hand to lift them. He was as strong as he was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven: the royal way of the Cross. These are teachings that it would be wrong to apply only to one’s personal life in order to win eternal salvation; these are eminently social teachings, and they show in Our Lord Jesus Christ something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism.”

” As for you, Venerable Brethren, carry on diligently with the work of the Saviour of men by emulating His gentleness and His strength. Minister to every misery; let no sorrow escape your pastoral solicitude; let no lament find you indifferent. But, on the other hand, preach fearlessly their duties to the powerful and to the lowly; it is your function to form the conscience of the people and of the public authorities. The social question will be much nearer a solution when all those concerned, less demanding as regards their respective rights, shall fulfill their duties more exactingly.”

“Let them be convinced that the social question and social science did not arise only yesterday; that the Church and the State, at all times and in happy concert, have raised up fruitful organizations to this end; that the Church, which has never betrayed the happiness of the people by consenting to dubious alliances, does not have to free herself from the past; that all that is needed is to take up again, with the help of the true workers for a social restoration, the organisms which the Revolution shattered, and to adapt them, in the same Christian spirit that inspired them, to the new environment arising from the material development of today’s society. Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists.”

 

I hope you will download the encyclical and take some time with it. When you do, perhaps you will be struck with how pathetic the post Conciliar Church has become! How much we have lost! There is infinite grace available from our merciful Father through the Immaculata to those who simply ask for it through their rosaries and Masses. We are here, at this very moment of the Passion of the Bride of Christ, in order to bear true witness to the blasphemies, the outrages, the indifferences that afflict our poor Church. We can only do that by being informed, armed with the true dogmas of the faith, and living every moment of this spiritual battle armed with our consecration to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, offering all up for their triumph and for the conversion of sinners.

Please, pray the Rosary to confound satan and his minions within and without the Church!

St. Hermenegild’s Message for the Synod

The Triumph of St. Hermenegild, A message for the Synod
The Triumph of St. Hermenegild, A message for the Synod

“You are a slave of the devil because you have a false faith, you’re not Catholic! And I will not receive Holy Communion from sacrilegious hands!”

St. Hermenegild was a Visigoth Prince matyred for the faith in 585. He was put to death by his father, the Arian King Leovigild for holding firm to the Catholic faith. His father cast him into a dungeon and after several months, sent an Arian Bishop to him on Easter Sunday to offer him a pardon if he would accept Communion from him. By his firm refusal to yield his faith to heresy, even to his father’s heresy, he earned a martyr’s crown.

A few years ago, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais gave a sermon on St. Hermenegild:

“I spoke this morning to the children about Saint Hermenegild. He was a young martyr, seventeen years old, who lived in the sixth century. He was Catholic, but his father was a heretic, an Arian. He was supposed to inherit the throne of Spain, but his father, furious that his son was a Catholic, forbade him the throne and sentenced him to prison.

“Hermenegild – whom we celebrate on April 13th, was in prison for several months as Easter approached. He wanted to receive Communion, Holy Communion for Easter. His father was thinking the same thing and sent him a bishop carrying Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! What a joy for Hermenegild to be able to make his Easter communion! Except that when the bishop entered the prison cell, he presented himself thus: “I am the Bishop of Huesca, I am an Arian and I bring you Holy Communion!” “I am Arian,” that is to say “I am a heretic, I’m not Catholic.”

“It was a bishop who was not Catholic, dear faithful, who brought Holy Communion to Hermenegild. What did Hermenegild do? What would you have done in his place? Would you still have accepted to receive Holy Communion? In order to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, is it not worth making some compromises, receiving even from unworthy hands the Lord Jesus? This bishop celebrated Mass validly though he did not believe that Jesus is God, because that was the Arian religion. He did not even believe that Jesus was God! But we do think he could validly celebrate Mass and he was bringing Jesus in the Eucharist!

“Well, in the twinkling of an eye, inspired by one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost – whom we are celebrating today − the gift of Counsel, he said: “No. I will not receive communion from your sacrilegious hands! As for me, I am in chains but I am free to work my salvation. You, my lord, are free but you are a slave of the devil because you have a false faith, you’re not Catholic! And I will not receive Holy Communion from sacrilegious hands!”

“What an example for us, my dear faithful! All the beautiful gifts coming from Rome, we are not prepared to accept them without examination, without considering the circumstances in which this gift would be made. We demand to be able to maintain our public and entire profession of the Catholic Faith. We cannot receive poisoned gifts that would condemn us to compromise with Modernism. This is the example of Saint Hermenegild, inspired by the Holy Ghost.”

When the Arian heresy swept throughout Christendom, and nearly destroyed the Church, the remnant remained steadfast, even to martyrdom and their prayers and sacrifices eventually achieved the extirpation of the evil heresy of Arianism.

Modernism, the synthesis of all heresies is the current counterpart to the ancient evil of Arianism; and now under the grim assault of our arch-modernist pope, we are facing an even greater threat to the faith. Unlike past times, today’s Church is not only beset by a pernicious heresy, it is permeated with a debilitating corruption in both the laity and the consecrated life. Now, the Church is so constituted that those who are blessed with the faith are charged with helping those who are failing in their faith.

Therefore, we are responsible for our wayward priests, prelates and even our Pope. We owe them our prayers and penances, but we also owe them the truth. There is not time nor strength to cite all the appropriate texts in support of recalling to the faith those who have fallen into error.

But there is fast approaching a time, when after our prayers and penances, after our remonstrations, we must do as St. Hermenegild did. If October’s Synod results in debasement of the Holy Eucharist to reception for unrepentant sinners, thus corrupting the doctrine and practices of the faith, we may be called to leave our comfortable places in the institutional Church, we may yet have to say with Athanasius, “They have the churches, but we have the faith.” With the Holy Family, we may yet have to withdraw to the desert, to Egypt, until this onslaught of heresy plays out and God once again restores the Church.

St. Joseph had to leave the visible structure of his faith in order to save the faith. With his help, we must preserve the faithful remnant.

“[14] Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?

[16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: [18] And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”(2 Cor, 6, 14-18)

Bergoglio/Kasper faction intend to change the Church irreversibly. Think on these things as the final Synod looms ever larger on the horizon.

NOTE: This post belongs to evensong at Return to Fatima.  I am not in any way associated with the person who takes my articles without permission.

Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

Viva Cristo Rey!

Fatima, St. Joseph and the Family

“We saw, beside the sun, Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world with gestures which they made with their hands in the form of a cross.”
(Sister Lucia of Fatima)

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!
St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

 

This little noted event tells us so much! Even as the miracle of the sun is occurring, St. Joseph appears, holding the Child Jesus and both bless the world. This reminds us that God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, entrusted the Child Jesus to St. Joseph. Indeed, God’s wisdom entrusted the Holy Family to the quiet man, and now, at Fatima, he is revealed to us, to bless us in this time prefigured by the miracle of the sun.

At the miracle of the sun, the earth stood firm while the sun moved erratically. How can this be? And yet it happened. How can the Church, established by Christ become so erratic as it is today, under Pope Francis? How do we reconcile that the gates of hell will not prevail and the Holy Ghost will always guide her, with what we now see? St. Joseph solved a similar conundrum and he stands ready to help us now.

Matthew 1, 18-25 tells of Joseph’s dilemma and its resolution. His example of humility and steadfastness is precisely the example for us today. Faithful Catholics are torn today between the temptation to abandon the church, or to go along with the errors of the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda.

What did Joseph do when faced with an unsolvable dilemma? He turned to God in prayer and stayed with it until God gave him light. He didn’t become his own God, or in today’s terms, his own pope. Neither did he accept the unthinkable option that somehow Mary had broken her vow, but that false mercy was required on his part to simply accept unfaithfulness. That would be the spiritual sloth of today’s catholics, who simply go along to get along, and welcome unrepentant vice into the church. “Who am I to judge?”

If the Lord God entrusted the Ark of the Covenant to the keeping of St. Joseph, can we not also turn in confidence to him, secure in the knowledge that he will teach us the humility and patience to stand firm in the faith until these erratic and uncertain times are over and the Blessed Virgin clears the smoke of Satan from the Church?

In the Bible, we see that in obedience to God, St. Joseph took the child Jesus and the Blessed Virgin to Egypt in order to save them from murderous Herod. Now, Egypt was a country similar in many ways to our modern post-Christian societies, very much in the control of the Lord of the World. And yet St. Joseph kept them safe. And now he stands ready to help faithful priests guard their flocks. He helps Catholic fathers protect their families.

In 2008, Cardinal Caffara related a correspondence he had with Sister Lucia of Fatima. In her letter she said that, “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” “Don’t be afraid”, she added, because “anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.” And then she concluded:  “however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.”

Certainly, the Fatima vision of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus blessing us, in conjunction with Sister Lucia’s remarks to Cardinal Caffara, should give us consolation today. There is another bit of information on this subject. Solange Hertz, in her book, The Sixth Trumpet, tells us that Sister Lucia, when asked about the Third Secret confirmed that it is about Apocalypse Chapter 12. Mrs. Hertz posits that Apocalypse 12:14 may apply to us in these times.

“And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” In the mystical language of St. John in the Apocalypse, “the woman” refers to the Church, but also to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Mary is inseparably bound to the Church and St. Joseph is the Guardian of both. In Hertz’ view, the Holy Family’s sojourn in Egypt prefigures this passage, and indicates that St. Joseph is given to us in these dire times to strengthen and defend us, and to bring us safely home again.

Whatever the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda serves up at October’s Synod, we know that the Immaculate Virgin Mary has already crushed satan’s head, and in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Our job is to stand firm in the faith, and St. Joseph is our sure unfailing defender.

St. Joseph defender of the family, defender of the faith, we entrust our families and our faith to thee!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, intercede for us!

 

The Strategy of the Enemy of the Human Race

In preparations for the final Synod, Professor Edouard Ade, Secretary General of the Catholic University of Western Africa presented a talk to the heads of Africa’s Episcopal Conferences recently. He pointed out that the strategy of the enemy of the human race consists of opening loopholes that can be expanded later, naturally while affirming in words that there is no intention to change anything about doctrine.

This just in, an encouraging event in Africa, from Sandro Magister:

Synod. Africa’s Hour
The presidents of the continent’s episcopal conferences have met in Accra. With Robert Sarah and four other cardinals. Unanimous in opposing “the strategy of the Enemy of the human race” on divorce and homosexual unions

by Sandro Magister

ROME, June 15, 2015 – They were five cardinals and forty-five bishops from as many African countries who met in Accra, the capital of Ghana, from June 8-11. All in the clear light of day, not almost in secret like some of their colleagues from Germany, France, and Switzerland, who had gathered a few days before at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

But while at the Gregorian the objective was changing the Church’s stance on divorce and homosexuality, in Accra the push was in the other direction.

The marching route was indicated from the very first remarks by Guinean cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the congregation for divine worship:

– “not to be afraid of reiterating the teaching of Christ on marriage”;
– “to speak at the synod with clarity and with just one voice, in filial love of the Church.”
– “to protect the family from all the ideologies that want to destroy it, and therefore also from the national and international policies that impede the promotion of positive values.”

On this marching route there has been complete consensus. In addition to Sarah, the other African cardinals present were Christian Tumi of Cameroon, John Njue of Kenya, Polycarp Pengo of Tanzania, and Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel of Ethiopia, this last created by Pope Francis at the last consistory.

Organized by the symposium of episcopal conferences of Africa and Madagascar, the title of the meeting was “The family in Africa. What experiences and what contributions for the 14th ordinary assembly of the synod of bishops?”

To respond to the question in the title, on the first day the participants held a discussion on the basis of four thematic introductions, splitting up afterward into working groups, and on the following day on the basis of five more outlines of discussion.

One of these, entitled “The expectations of the synod,” was read to those present by the theologian and anthropologist Edouard Ade, secretary general of the Catholic University of Western Africa, with campuses in Cotonou, Benin and Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Professor Ade’s talk focused on what he called “the strategy of the Enemy of the human race.”

Given that the maximum objectives of the blessing of second marriages and of homosexual couples appear to be out of reach, this “strategy” would consist of opening loopholes that could be expanded later, naturally while affirming in words that there is no intention to change anything about doctrine.

These loopholes would be, for example, the “particular cases” illustrated by the innovators, knowing very well that they would by no means remain isolated cases.

Another clever stratagem would be that of presenting the changes as a solution “of balance” between the impatience, on one side, of those who would like divorce and homosexual marriage right away, and on the other the rigorism devoid of mercy of the discipline of the Catholic Church on marriage.

Yet another loophole would be that, already in use in many places, of giving communion to the divorced and remarried and to all couples outside of marriage, without even waiting for any decision on this matter on the part of the synod and the pope.

Moreover, Professor Ade warned against the “Trojan horses” adopted by the innovators, like that of always attributing a positive value to all relationships of life in common outside of marriage, or that of considering indissolubility as an “ideal” that cannot always be attained by everyone, or yet again of the use of new language that ends up changing the reality.

Ade’s talk was highly appreciated by the bishops and cardinals present. So much so that there are traces of it in the final statement, where it says that “we must begin from the faith, reaffirm it and live it for the sake of evangelizing cultures in depth,” taking care not to adopt or legitimize “the language of the movements that are fighting for the destruction of the family.”

In a major six-page interview released during these same days in France in the magazine “Famille Chrétienne,” Cardinal Sarah said among other things:

“At the synod next October we will address, I hope, the question of marriage in an entirely positive manner, seeking to promote the family and the values that it bears. The African bishops will act to support that which God asks of man concerning the family, and to receive that which the Church has always taught.”

And again:

“Why should we think that only the Western vision of man, of the world, of society is good, just, universal? The Church must fight to say no to this new colonization.”

The title of the interview as it appears on the newsstand states:

> Le cardinal Sarah: “Qu’on nous écoute ou pas, nous parlerons”

“Whether we are listened to or not, we will speak.”

The meeting in Accra is proof that the coalition of African bishops will be a real player at the synod. As never before.

And that, my friends is what we all must do! In love and in faith, we must serve God first, never losing sight of the fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the true head of the Church and He will not let it fail!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death!

Viva Cristo Rey!

Cardinal Sarah: The Problem is Faith

“We are deceiving people when we talk of mercy without knowing what the word means. The Lord forgives sins, but only if we repent of them”. Cardinal Sarah.

This post is so absolutely refreshing in its honesty and its adherence to the magisterium, we post in its entirety and simply say, Thank God for Cardinal Sarah and all our other wonderful prelates and priests who stand by the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ! From Rorate Caeli:

CARDINAL SARAH: DON’T DECEIVE PEOPLE WITH THE WORD “MERCY” GOD FORGIVES SINS ONLY IF WE REPENT OF THEM

Matteo Matzuzzi
Il Timone
May 30, 2015

“If the Eucharist is considered [simply] a meal we share in and that nobody can be excluded from it, then the sense of Mystery is lost”. So says Cardinal Robert Sarah, the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, in an intervention given at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for the Studies on Marriage and the Family, at his presentation of: “The Family – a work in progress”, a compilation of essays published by Cantagalli, in view of the upcoming Synod in October. A compilation intent on stimulating a discussion which touches on the “hot issues” of homosexuality, sexuality, divorce, in-vitro-fertilization, euthanasia and celibacy. Three volumes make up the collection, two of which are written by professors of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute: “The Eucharist and divorce: does the doctrine change?” by José Granados (who has also been nominated consultant to the Synod of Bishops) and “Different Families: imperfect expressions of the same ideal?” by Stephan Kampowski. The third, “What does Jesus think of the divorced and remarried?” is the work of Luis Sanchez Navarro, Ordinary of the New Testament at San Damaso University in Madrid. Il Foglio had anticipated ample extracts of Professors Granados and Sanchez’s books on April 15th of this year.

“The West – said Cardinal Sarah, in an ‘off the cuff’ response to some questions posed to him from the auditorium – is adapting to its own illusions”. The main problem, the prelate noted several times, is faith. (Il Foglio anticipated this last March 13th in a long extract from the book ”Dieu ou rien” published in France by Fayard). “If you consider that the word “faith” is no longer mentioned even in the Rite of Baptism, when the parents are questioned about what they ask of the Church of God for their child, the significance of the problem is very clear”, added the Cardinal who also blamed the teaching of Catechism today, “The children do drawings and don’t learn anything – they don’t go to Mass.”

Contrast Traditional Rite of Baptism with Novus Ordo Rite of Paul VI.
Contrast Traditional Rite of Baptism with Novus Ordo Rite of Paul VI.

[The new rite and the most vacuous and obvious response in the history of the liturgy (which, as always, is optional and replaceable, even by ‘faith’).]

Regarding the upcoming Synod, an invitation came from Cardinal Sarah [for us] to have no illusions about epochal changes: “People think that there will be a revolution, but this cannot happen. Doctrine belongs to no-one, it is Christ’s alone”. After last October’s meeting, noted the Cardinal in his presentation of the three volumes, “it was clear that the real crux of the matter was not only the question of the divorced and remarried”, but “whether the doctrine of the Church is to be considered an unreachable ideal – an impossibility, which would therefore necessitate adapting to a downward trend to propose it to present-day society. If this is the situation, we need a clarification as to whether the Gospel is the good news for man or a useless burden no longer viable”. The riches of Catholicism – he added – “cannot be revealed through ideas dictated by a kind of pragmatism and some mutual feelings in common. Revelation shows humanity the way to wholeness and happiness. Ignoring this fact would mean affirming the need to re-think the very foundations of the redeeming action of the Church itself, which is accomplished through the Sacraments.”

The problem is also those “priests and bishops” who contribute to “contradicting the word of Christ” by their own words. And this said Cardinal Sarah, “is extremely grave”. To permit at some diocesan levels what has not yet been authorized by the Synod (the allusion was to the practices followed in many situations of centre-north Europe) is to “profane Christ”. It is of little worth invoking mercy: “We are deceiving people when we talk of mercy without knowing what the word means. The Lord forgives sins, but only if we repent of them”. The divisions that were seen last October, “…were all from the West. In Africa, we have remained steadfast, as there have been many people in that continent who have lost their lives for the faith.”

The Cardinal launched an appeal against those members of the clergy who use imprecise language:  “It is wrong for the Church to use the vocabulary of the United Nations. We have our own vocabulary.”  He then wanted to make a clarification on one of the maxims that has become very popular since 2013 i.e. the one about ‘going out to into the peripheries’. A correct intention, obviously, but on one condition: “It’s easy to go out into the peripheries, but it depends on whether we are taking Christ [to them]. Today it is more courageous to be with Christ on the Cross which means martyrdom. Our duty is to go against the mainstream” as regards the fashions of the time, and “what the world is saying”. And besides, “if the Church stops preaching the Gospel, it is finished. It can do so with present day fashions, but with firmness.”

And lastly, a note on the decline of priestly vocations in the world: “The question is not that there are few priests, inasmuch as whether these priests are true priests for Christ.”

Cardinal Sarah has the gift of speaking in terse sentences dense with the truth, aphorisms that sum things up so succinctly, they need no further explanation nor comments. So we will simply thank our dear Lord for this reassurance that He does provide us with good shepherds if we trust in Him!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us and especially for our priests and prelates!

Viva Cristo Rey!

Dr. de Mattei: The Battle Is Underway

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

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

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

Rome – 8 May 2015 Roberto de Mattei

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Remember, Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

Viva Cristo Rey!