THREE DATES TO REMEMBER: 1517, 1717, 1917! WHAT’S WITH THE 17TH YEAR ???? WILL 2017 BE ANOTHER DISATEROUS YEAR ???

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De Mattei: Shedding Light on Today’s Crisis

Italian historian Roberto de Mattei, whose columns we bring you here first in English each week, was stateside in Washington, D.C. last night. Below are his prepared remarks, well worth a read.

RORATE CAELI

Roberto de Mattei

The Cosmos Club – Washington.

March 27th 2017

Anniversaries in 2017

As in the lives of men, anniversaries are also celebrated in the lives of peoples. And 2017 is full of anniversaries; not all anniversaries however, merit a cake with candles.

The most talked about anniversary has been Martin Luther’s. Five hundred years have passed since October 31st 1517 when Luther nailed his 95 theses on the great door of Wittenberg Cathedral. An action which would set in motion the so-called Protestant Reformation and mark the end of Medieval Christendom.

Two centuries later, on June 29th 1717, The Grand Lodge of London was founded. This event is considered the birth of Modern Freemasonry, which in turn, is directly connected to the French Revolution. The Masonic Lodges in effect, were the intellectual, operative laboratories in which the Revolution of 1789 was hatched.

On October 26th or November 7th 1917, depending whether the Gregorian or the Julian calendars are adopted, the Lenin and Trotsky Bolshevik Party occupied the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Thus, the Russian Revolution entered history and has yet to leave it.

1517, 1717, 1917, then, are three symbolic dates, three events that are part of a single process. Pius XII, in his speech to the men of Catholic Action on October 12th 1952, summed it up like this: “Christ yes, Church no; (the Protestant Revolution against the Church); then: God yes, Christ no; (the Masonic Revolution against the central mysteries of Christianity); finally the impious cry: God is dead; rather: God has never existed (the atheistic Communist Revolution). And here – Pius XII concludes –  is the attempt to build the structure of the world upon foundations that We do not hesitate in pointing out as, the principals responsible for the danger that threatens mankind”.

 

Three stages of a single process which is now reaching its pinnacle. The Church called it Revolution, with a capital R, to describe its metaphysical essence and historical, centuries-old significance.

Yet, this year there is a fourth anniversary which, till now, has been discussed very little. 2017 is also the first centenary of the Fatima apparitions and it is in light of the Fatima message that I propose to examine the three revolutions that are commemorated this year.

 

Some principals to remember

 

The first element to emphasize is that we are speaking here about historical facts.

 

The apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, between May 13th and October 13th 1917, are an objective historical fact, not a subjective religious experience of Our Lady appearing to the three little shepherds.

Historians imbued by rationalism, including many Catholic ones, would like to expel all that is supernatural from history – miracles, revelations and heavenly messages – consigning them to the private sphere of the faith. However, these miracles, these apparitions and these messages, when they are authentic, are part of history, in the same way as war and peace and all that happens in history and which history records.

The Fatima apparitions were events that happened in a precise place at a particular moment in history. Events verified by thousands of witnesses and a thorough canonical investigation, which ended in 1930. Six Popes in the 20th century publically acknowledged the Fatima apparitions, even if none of them fully complied with the requests. Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI visited the sanctuary as Popes, while John XXIII and John Paul I went there when they were still Cardinals, Roncalli and Luciani.  Pius XII, sent his delegate, Cardinal Aloisi Masella. All of them honoured Fatima.

But the message of Fatima represents a historical event for another reason: it is a private revelation not only for the spiritual good of those who received it – the three little shepherds – but for all of humanity.

The Church makes a distinction between public Revelation and private revelations. The public Revelation of the Church ended with the death of the last Evangelist, St. John.  However, St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that revelations and heavenly prophecies continue even after the conclusion of public Revelation, not to complete or propose new doctrine, but to direct the behaviour of men in conforming to it[1]. Sometimes private revelations are reserved for the spiritual perfection of those who receive these supernatural gifts. At other times, as in the case of the Sacred Heart Messages to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, they are directed to the good of the Church and all of society. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is at the centre of the Paray-le-Monial revelations and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is at the centre of those from Fatima. Fatima and Paray-le-Monial are private revelations for all of mankind. They have the characteristics of great “spiritual direction” which the Lord offers us to guide the behaviour of men at certain times in history

A third principle arises from the fact that some private revelations, like Fatima, are reserved not for the good of single individuals but for the whole of society, in a determined historical period. Private revelations help us to interpret the historical times we live in, but the times we live in help us, in turn, to understand more deeply the significance of the revelations. There is a reversibility. If it is true that Divine words project light in the darkest ages of history, the opposite is also true:  the course of historical events, helps us to understand the meaning, at times obscure, of prophecies and revelations. In the centenary of the Fatima apparitions, it is necessary then to read Our Lady’s words in light of what happened during the last century, a ravaged century[2], to make sure that the light of this message illuminates with greater clarity the darkness of the times we are now living in.

The Russian Revolution of 1917

The historical background in which the Fatima apparitions took place is that of a terrible war, historically called “The Great War”: the war between 1914 and 1918 which saw more than nine million victims in Europe alone.  A holocaust of blood, defined, in that same year 1917, by Pope Benedict XV as a “useless massacre”[3]. A useful massacre only to the anti-Christian Revolution that saw in the war the chance “to republicanize Europe“[4] and to complete the goals of the French Revolution.

The war overturned the political order that had been in force in Europe since 1815: that of the Congress of Vienna, which saw a Holy Alliance between the Empires of Austria and Russia against the liberal Revolution. The troops of the Hapsburg Empire and those of the Germans, lined up on the eastern front, contributed to the collapse of the Czarist Empire.

On April 3rd 1917, a month before the apparitions, the head of the Bolshevik sect, Vladimir Ilic Lenin (1870-1924), until then in exile in Zurich[5], returned to Russia in a sealed train-wagon made available by the German Joint Chief of Staff, who wanted to make Russian fall into complete chaos.  Lenin set fire to Russia. However, the end never justifies the means and the chaos swept through not only Russia, but the entire world.

The same year, on January 13, 1917, another Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky and his family crossed the Atlantic Ocean and landed in New York. Antony Sutton put a good question: “How did Trotsky, who knew only German and Russian survive in capitalist America?“[6]. What is certain is that American President Woodrow Wilson provided Trotsky with a passport to return to Russia to “carry forward” the revolution[7]. In August an American Red Cross Mission, made up of lawyers and financiers, arrived in Petrograd. The mission was in fact a mission of Wall Street financiers to influence and pave the way for control, through either Kerensky or the Bolsheviks revolutionaries, of the Russian markets and resources [8].

There was then a convergence of interests among the German military and American financiers. This cloaks the origins of the Russian Revolution in a certain mystery.

The Russian Revolution, started by Lenin was carried out in two stages: the first was the so-called February Revolution, which led to the abdication of the Czar and the instauration of a liberal-democratic republic, under the leadership of Alexander Kerensky (1881-1970).

The second stage was the October Revolution, which brought about the fall of Kerensky and the instauration of Lenin and Trotsky’s Communist regime. There then opened up a killing season of no historical precedent.

The Russian Revolution, like the French Revolution, was the work of a minority, and was carried out with surprising rapidity, without anyone being quite aware of what was happening. John Reed, an American journalist and socialist, who took part in the Revolution, wrote a book entitled: “Ten Days that Shook the World”, in which he describes the atmosphere of those days efficaciously:

Superficially all was quiet; hundreds of thousands of people retired at a prudent hour, got up early, and went to work. In Petrograd the street-cars were running, the stores and restaurants open, theatres going, an exhibition of paintings advertised…. All the complex routine of common life-humdrum even in war-time-proceeded as usual. Nothing is so astounding as the vitality of the social organism-how it persists, feeding itself, clothing itself, amusing itself, in the face of the worst calamities….”[9].

Fatima 1917

The Russian Revolution was not only a historical event, it was a philosophical event. In his theses on Feuerbach (1845), Karl Marx sustains that the task of the philosopher is not that of interpreting the world, but of transforming it[10]. The revolutionary has to demonstrate in praxis, the potency and efficacy of his thought. Lenin in achieving power, performed a philosophical act because he didn’t theorize it, but brought the Revolution about. In a manner of speaking, Marx and Engel’s Socialism, thanks to Lenin, became ‘incarnate’ in history. The Russian Revolution appears then like a diabolical parody of the Mystery of the Incarnation.  Jesus, by His becoming incarnate, wanted to open up the gates of Heaven to men: the Marxist Revolution, closed the gates of Heaven in order to make of the Earth its impossible paradise. It was an eruption of the demonic into history.

However, Heaven responded with an eruption of the sacred upon the earth. At the other end of Europe, during those same months, something else was taking place:

On May 13th 1917, at the Cova de Iria – an isolated place of rocks and olive trees, near the village of Fatima in Portugal “a lady dressed all in white, more brilliant then the sun, shedding rays of light, clear and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water, pierced by the burning rays of the sun” appeared to three children who were watching over their sheep, Francesco, Jacinta Marto and their little cousin Lucia dos Santos. This Lady revealed Herself as the Mother of God, entrusted with a message for mankind as She had done before in Paris, at Rue du Bac in 1838 and at Lourdes in 1858. Our Lady gave an appointment to the three shepherd-children for the 13th  of every subsequent month until October.  There were six apparitions. The last apparition ended with  a great atmospheric miracle, a miraculous seal from Heaven. “The dance of the sun”, witnessed by thousands of people who were able to describe it in great detail and which was seen even from 40 kilometres away[11].

From that moment on, the history of Fatima and Russia has been intertwined together.

The history of the 20th century, until our days, has seen the struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness. The first nourish themselves on what we might call the spirit of Fatima; the second on the spirit of the Prince of Darkness, which, in the twentieth century was manifested above all under the form of Communism and its metamorphoses.

The Secret of Fatima

Prior to being a place Fatima is a message.

The message revealed by Our Lady at Fatima contains three parts, called secrets,  which form an organic, coherent whole. The first is a terrifying vision of hell into which the souls of sinners precipitate; the mercy of the Immaculate Heart of Mary counters this punishment [and is] the supreme remedy offered by God to humanity for the salvation of souls.

The second part involves a dramatic historical alternative: peace – fruit of the conversion of the world and the fulfilment of Our Lady’s requests, or a terrible chastisement would await mankind if it remained obstinate in its sinful ways. Russia would be the instrument of this chastisement.

The third part, divulged by the Holy See in June 2000, expands on the tragedy in the life of the Church, offering a vision of a Pope and bishops, religious and laity struck dead by persecutors. Discussions that have opened up in recent years about this “Third Secret” risk however in obscuring the prophetic force of the Message’s central part, summed up in two decisive sentences:  Russia “will scatter her errors throughout the world” and “in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”.

Russia will scatter its errors throughout the world

Russia will scatter her errors throughout the world”. The term errors is precise: the error is the denial of the truth. Truth then, exists and there is only one truth: that which is preserved and diffused by the Catholic Church. Russia’s errors are those of an ideology which opposes the natural and Christian order, by denying God, religion, the family and private property. This complex of errors has a name: Communism and has in Russia its universal centre of diffusion.

Too often Communism has been identified with a purely political regime, neglecting its ideological dimension, whereas it’s precisely its doctrinal dimension that Our Lady highlights.

 

The anti-Communism of the 20th century has often been limited by identifying only the Communism of the Soviet tanks or the Gulags, which are certainly an expression of Communism, but they are not its heart. Pius XI, emphasized the ideologically perverse nature of Communism.

For the first time in history – stated Pius XI in his encyclical Divini Redemptoris of March 19th 1937 — we are witnessing a struggle, cold-blooded in purpose and mapped out to the least detail, between man and all that is called God.” (2 Thess. 1,4)”.

Many anti-Communists have neglected this aspect, under the illusion of arriving at a possible compromise with a “humanitarian” Communism, purified of any violence. They have not understood the intrinsic ideological malice in Communism.  What are the origins of this ideological malice? The Communists themselves sum up their errors in the formula of dialectic materialism: the universe is matter in evolution and Hegelian dialectic is the soul of this evolution. This philosophical, pantheistic vision has its political expression in a classless society.  Social and political egalitarianism derives from metaphysical egalitarianism, which not only denies the distinction between God and man, but by divinizing matter, denies every distinction between men and created things.

The genealogy of errors

Errors do not spring up from nowhere. Russia’s errors, like all errors, sprung forth from previous errors and they, in turn, generate further errors. In order to fully understand their nature, we need to ask where these errors came from and where they are taking us.

Communism’s base text is The Manifesto of the Communist Party, published by Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) in February 1848. This text was commissioned to Marx and Engels by The League of the Just, a Communist group devoted to the ultra-Jacobin ideas of Gracchus Babeuf (1760-1797). Among the direct precursors of Socialism, Engels counts, alongside the Jacobins, also the Anabaptists, the “levellers” of the English Revolution and the philosophers of the Enlightenment in the 18th century[12].

The Anabaptists represent the far-left of the Protestant Revolution, what the historian George Hunston Williams (1914-2000) described as the radical Reformation, opposed to the magisterial Reformation of Luther and Calvin[13]. In reality, it was not about opposition, but development: what characterizes all Revolutions is that their potentialities are contained in their genetic instant and the principles at the roots of Anabaptism originate from the impetus, that Luther,from the very beginning had impressed on the religious Revolution of the 16th century.

Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira (1908-1995) observed that:

Like cataclysms, evil passions have an immense power-but only to destroy. In the first instant of its great explosions, this power already has the potential for all the virulence it will manifest in its worst excesses. In the first denials of Protestantism, for example, the anarchic yearnings of communism were already implicit. While Luther was, from the viewpoint of his explicit formulations, no more than Luther, all the tendencies, state of soul, and imponderables of the Lutheran explosion already bore within them, authentically and fully, even though implicitly, the spirit of Voltaire and Robespierre and of Marx and Lenin.”[14]

We need to emphasize a second point here.  It is true that “Ideas have consequences”[15], but not all consequences are coherent with the intentions.  A German philosopher, Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), coined the expression “”heterogony of ends“(Heterogonie der Zwecke,) to describe the contradictions that often exist between the intentions of man and the consequences of his actions. This heterogony of ends is typical of all utopias, which in denying reality, are doomed to be contradicted by it.

Luther, for example, theorized faith alone, denying any value to human reason. Yet, at the same time, he denied the Church’s authority, in the name of Sola Scriptura, interpreted according to the principle of free examination. The Italian Anabaptists, who go by the name of Socinians, because they follow the ideas of the Sienese heretics, Lelio (1525-1562) and Fausto Socino (1539-1604), ascribe a primary role to reason, thus demolishing the very texts of Holy Scripture with their criticism.

Socinianism is a form of radical Protestantism which moved from Italy to Poland, where it flourished between the 16th and 17th centuries; it then migrated to Holland and from Holland it reached England at the time of the English Revolution. Socinianism is a point of passage among religious sects of the Anabaptist types in the 17th and 18th centuries, along with the philosophical sects of a Masonic structure in the 18th century.  In the “lay temple” of social virtues –  the Masonic Lodge –  the cult of a new ethic freed from the bonds of all dogma and religious morality, was practiced.

The relationships between Socinianism and Freemasonry can be followed through the figure of John Toland (1670-1722), author of a work entitled Pantheisticon (1720 –  in which he illustrates the doctrine and the organisation of a society of “sodales socratici”, which were presented as centres not only for philosophical and political discussion, but also for an esoteric introduction to Pantheism and  proposed to their members the realization of an egalitarian republic, free of every form of “religious superstition”[16].  Pantheism and egalitarianism are always connected.

In 1723, after the foundation of the Grand Lodge, a Presbyterian clergyman, James Anderson published The Constitutions of the Free-Masons. This work was reprinted in Philadelphia in 1734 by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who was that year elected Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania. In December 1776, Franklin was dispatched to France as commissioner for the United States. During his stay in France, Benjamin Franklin was active as a Freemason, serving as Venerable Master of the Lodge Les Neufs Soeurs. The foundation of the Grand Orient in 1773 marked the beginning of a new phase: a political campaign outside the lodges.  Freemasons controlled the elections of March-April 1789 in France and a bloc was formed in the third state that was led by Masonry. Among the associates of the French lodge, was Count Mirabeau (1749-1791), a former French ambassador in Berlin, orator and statesman, who in early 1791 would be elected president of the National Assembly.

The Librarian of Congress, historian James H. Billington writes: “Mirabeau pioneered in applying the evocative language of traditional religion to the new political institutions of revolutionary France. As early as May 10, 1789, he wrote to the constituents who had elected him to the Third Estate that the purpose of the Estates-General was not to reform but “to regenerate” the nation. He subsequently called the National Assembly “the inviolable priesthood of national policy,” the Declaration of the Rights of Man “a political gospel,” and the Constitution of 1791 a new religion “for which the people are ready to die” [17].

Mirabeau was a member of the Illuminati of Bavaria, a secret society founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, a professor of Canon Law at Ingolstadt University in Germany. The two prime source books for our knowledge of Adam Weishaupt’s Illuminati conspiracy are professor John Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy, first published in 1798, and the Abbé Augustine Barruel’s four-volume study, Memoirs illustrating the History of Jacobinism, published in 1799. I recommend these books. The purpose of the Order was to destroy all religions, overthrow all governments and abolish private property.

The Russian Revolution did not arise spontaneously, but was the outcome of a process going way back. The Communist theorist, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), sums up this revolutionary process in the formula “the philosophy of praxis”.  “The philosophy of praxis is the crowning point of this entire movement; (…) it corresponds to the nexus Protestant Reformation plus French Revolution. It is a philosophy which is also a politics, and a politics which is also a philosophy”[18].

The Revolution betrayed

However, a false philosophy, when it is politicized – that is –  when it is carried out in the praxis – always betrays its premises. Only the truth is coherent with itself. Error is always contradictory. In this sense, the Revolution can only establish itself if it betrays itself. As in every Revolution, also the Communist October Revolution was a Revolution betrayed. The debate between Stalin and Trotsky is eloquent. Trotsky accuses Stalin of having betrayed the Revolution. Stalin responds that the praxis, that is the conquest and preservation of power, demonstrates the truth of his thought. Both were right and both were wrong. Those who fight the truth, fight themselves.

What is certain is that in the 20th century there are no other crimes comparable to Communism for the temporal space in which it spread, for the territories it embraced, for the quality of hate that it was able to secrete. But these crimes are consequences of errors. After the collapse of the Soviet Union these errors were as if released from the wrapping that contained them, to propagate like ideological miasma over the entire West, under the form of cultural and moral relativism.

The relativism today professed and lived in the West is rooted in the theories of materialism and Marxist evolutionism; in other words, on the denial of any spiritual reality and any stable and permanent element in man and society.

Antonio Gramsci is the theorist behind this cultural Revolution which transforms the dictatorship of the proletariat into the dictatorship of relativism.  The task of Communism, for Gramsci, is to bring to the people that integral secularism, which the Enlightenment had reserved to a restricted élite. On the social level, this atheistic secularism is actuated, according to the words of the Italian communist, by means of a “complete secularisation of all life and all customs connected to it”, that is, through an absolute secularisation of social life, which will allow for the Communist “praxis” to extirpate in depth the social roots of religion. The new Europe with no roots, which has expelled every reference to Christianity from its founding Treatise, has fully realized the Gramscian plan for the secularisation of society.

We need to acknowledge the fact that the Fatima prophecy, in which Russia would have scattered Her errors throughout the world, has been fulfilled. The fall of the Iron Curtain made the diffusion of these errors unstoppable. The decomposition of Communism has putrefied the West. Anti-Communism, for its part, has vanished, because “very few have been able to penetrate the true nature of Communism” as Pius XI had warned in Divini Redemptoris.  Nowadays, one feels almost embarrassed to say they are anti-Communist. This is Communism’s great victory: that it is has gone down without shedding a drop of blood, without being put on trial, without an ideological indictment, which would condemn its memory.

Vladimir Bukovsky, in his Judgment in Moscow wrote:

Any event in our lives, even if it is of small significance, comes under the scrutiny of some commission or other. Especially if people have been killed. A plane crash, a railroad disaster, an industrial accident – and experts argue, conduct analyses, seek to determine the degree of guilt (…) even of governments if they had the slightest connection with what occurred.(…) Yet here we have a conflict (…) which affected practically every country in the world, cost scores of millions in lives and hundreds of billions in dollars, and – as has so often been claimed – almost brought about global destruction, which is not being examined by a single country or international organization.
 
Is it so surprising that alongside our willingness to examine every accident, we refuse to investigate the greatest catastrophe of our time? For in our heart of hearts we already know the conclusions such an investigation would yield, as any sane person knows full well when he has entered into collusion with evil. Even if the intellect provides specious logical and outwardly acceptable excuses, the voice of conscience whispers that our fall began from the moment we agreed to “peaceful coexistence” with evil.”[19]

Unfortunately the Catholic Church has promoted, and is promoting, this “peaceful coexistence” with evil.

The Communist dictator, Fidel Castro, when he died on November 26th 2016, received praise from the entire West, and even from the Catholic Church. Pope Francis, the seventh successor to Pius XI, in an interview given to Eugenio Scalfari compared Communism to Christianity and affirmed that inequalities are “the greatest evil that exists in the world”[20]. Yet, the essence of Communism lies precisely in the suppression of any form of social differences and the religious expression of this egalitarianism is the ecumenical equalization of all religions, just as its philosophical expression is ecological pantheism.

Pope Bergoglio recently received in the Vatican the exponents of the so-called “popular movements”, representatives of the new Marx-Ecologist left  and expressed his liking for the pro-Marxist regimes of the Castro brothers in Cuba, Chàvez and Maduro in Venezuela, Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and José Mujica in Uruguay.

Cardinal Zen, the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong and China’s highest-ranking prelate, in an interview accuses Pope Francis of “selling out” Chinese Catholics by striking a deal with the Communist government[21].

The errors of Communism have not only been scattered throughout the world, but have penetrated into the temple of God, like the smoke of Satan enveloping and suffocating the Mystical Body of Christ.

The Smoke of Satan in the Church

And it is not only this.  At Fatima, Our Lady showed the three little shepherds the terrifying vision of hell where the souls of poor sinners go and it was revealed to Jacinta it was the sin against purity that leads most souls to hell. Who could possibly have imagined one hundred years later, that the public profession of impurity would have been added to the immense number of impure sins that are committed, under the form of sexual liberation and the introduction of extramarital unions, even homosexual, into the laws of the most important nations of the West?

And who could have ever imagined that a pontifical document, Pope Francis’ post-synod Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia made public on April 8th 2016, would endorse adultery? The Divine and natural law does not admit exceptions. Those who theorize the exception destroy the rule.

In one of the “dubia” formulated by the Cardinals to the Pope we read: “After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin?”

The fact that today a doubt of this sort can be presented to the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, indicates how very grave and deep the crisis the Church is immersed in, is.

Cardinal Kasper and other pastors and theologians, have stated that the Church must adapt its evangelical message to the praxis of the times. But the primacy of praxis over doctrine is the heart of Marx-Leninism. And if Marx stated that the task of philosophers is not to know the world, but to transform it, today many theologians and pastors retain that the task of theologians is not that of spreading the Truth, but to re-interpret it in praxis.  We need not then reform the habits of Christians in order to bring them back to Gospel teachings, but adapt the Gospel to the heteropraxis of Christians.

In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph

The antidote to the dictatorship of relativism is the doctrinal and moral purity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It will be Our Lady and not men, who will destroy the errors that threaten us. Heaven, though, has asked for mankind’s concrete collaboration.

Our Lady states that the conditions to avoid chastisement are: a public and solemn act of the consecration of Russia  to Her Immaculate Heart, done by the Pope, in union with all the bishops of the world and the practice of reparatory Communion on the first Saturdays of the month.

The Ecumenical Council Vatican II would have been a great opportunity to fulfil Our Lady’s requests. In 1965, 510 archbishops and bishops from 78 countries signed a petition in which they asked the Pope in union with the Council Fathers, to consecrate the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and in a special way Russia and the other nations dominated by Communism. Paul VI however, paid no heed to the request.

Pius XII and John Paul II made partial acts of consecration to Russia or to the world, fruitful, not lacking in effects, but incomplete.

Benedict XVI on May 12th 2010, in the Chapel of the Apparitions, raised a prayer of entrustment to Our Lady, asking for the liberation: “of every danger threatening us”. But also this act was incomplete.

Those devoted to Fatima hoped in something more from Pope Francis, compared to his predecessors, but were disappointed.  In his Marian act of October 2013, the Pope did not mention the Immaculate Heart nor the world, nor the Church, let alone Russia. Pope Francis will go to Fatima this coming 13th of May. What will he say and do there?

Today the consecration of Russia has still not been done, the practice of reparatory Communion on the First Saturdays is not being spread; and above all the atmosphere in which we are immersed is a spirit of degenerate hedonism, in the satisfaction of every pleasure and desire, outside the moral laws. Who could claim then, that the prophecy of Fatima has been fulfilled and that the great events preannounced by Our Lady in 1917 are behind us?

Our Lady, at Fatima, did not only ask the hierarchy of the Church for public acts. Along with these necessary actions there has to be a profound spirit of interior conversion and penance, as we are reminded in the Third Secret, in the triple call of the Angel to do penance.

Penance signifies above all repentance, a spirit of contrition, which makes us aware of the gravity of sins committed by us and others, and which makes us detest them with all our hearts. Penance signifies a doctrinal and moral revision of all the errors embraced in the last century by Western society. The Fatima message reminds us explicitly that the alternative to penance is a terrifying punishment which threatens mankind.

For the world to avoid this punishment it must change its spirit, but it cannot do so if it won’t recognize the enormity of the sins that are committed, starting with the introduction of mass-murder and homosexual unions into laws. Both these cases are sins directly against God, Creator of nature: sins, as the Catechism teaches,  that cry out to Heaven for vengeance; in other words, they incur a great chastisement.

Without repentance the chastisement cannot be held back. Without reference to this chastisement, the message of Fatima is emptied of its deep significance.

Penance signifies repentance; penance signifies detestation and hate for sin: the hate for sin must impel us to fight it and when the sin is public, it must impel us into public action, to combat the roots and consequences of the evil in society. For this the call to penance in the Fatima message is also a call to combat the errors which are corrupting the whole of society today.

The Fatima message is not only an anti-Communist message;  it is also an anti-liberal and anti-Lutheran message as the errors of Russia descend from the errors of the French Revolution and Protestantism. They are the errors of the anti-Christian Revolution, which the Catholic Counter-Revolution opposes.  As Count de Maistre states, this is not a Revolution in the opposite way, but is the opposite of the Revolution in all its political, cultural and religious aspects[22].

Fatima directly opposes 1917, 1717 and 1517. We won’t be celebrating any of these dates.

Allow me to recall a revelation from Our Lady at Fatima which we learned about only a few years ago; exactly in 2013 when the Carmel of Coimbra published the volume Um Caminho sob  o olhar de Maria.

Around four o’clock in the afternoon on January 3rd 1944, in the convent chapel of Tuy, in front of the Tabernacle, Our Lady urged Sister Lucia to write the text of the Third Secret and Sister Lucia recounts:

“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 touch the axis of the earth and it trembles: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers and 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 heart racing and in my spirit a soft voice that 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!!”[23].

Our Lady reminds us that a dreadful chastisement threatens mankind and that profession of the Catholic faith in its entirety is necessary in the dramatic age we  are living in. One Faith, one Baptism and one Church.  We need not then leave the Church, but turn back to Her and live and die in Her, since outside the Church there is no salvation. Outside Her doors there is only the inconsolable abyss of hell. The alternative remains that between Heaven and Hell, which have their own foretastes on this earth. Hell for the nations is: atheistic, anarchistic, egalitarian society. Paradise for the nations is: austere, hierarchical, sacred, Christian Civilization.

We conquest Heaven on earth by fighting in defence of the true Church, so often abandoned by Churchmen.

And the final exclamation: “Heaven! Heaven!” seems to refer to the dramatic choice between Heaven, the place where souls that are saved reach eternal happiness, and hell, the place where the damned undergo sufferings for all eternity.

Those who want to escape death, in time and eternity, have only one path before them: to fight against the disorders in the modern world, to affirm, in their lives and in society, the perennial principles of the natural and Christian order. This was the path chosen by many saints who should be our models, such as St. Maximilian  Kolbe (1894-1941).

On October 17th 1917, on the eve of the Russian Revolution and without knowing anything about the apparitions at Fatima, the young Polish Franciscan founded the Militia of the Immaculate to combat Freemasonry which was celebrating the 200th anniversary of the constitution of London’s Grand Lodge with blasphemous parades through the streets of Rome. St. Maximilian Kolbe is one of the saints who prophesised the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, which is also the Reign of Mary announced by many privileged souls, is nothing other than the triumph in history of the natural and Christian order, preserved by the Church. Our Lady announced this triumph as the final outcome of a long trial, of tragic days of penance and struggle, but also of immense trust in Her promise.

Let us turn to Her then, in this Centenary of Her apparitions, asking Her, to make haste, this moment, making of ourselves an instrument, in our times, for Her victory against the Revolution: super Revolutionem victoria in diebus nostris, which is equivalent to saying:

In the end Her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana

 

[1] St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, 174, 6 ad 3.

[2] Robert Conquest, Reflections on a ravaged Century, W. W. Norton & Company, New York 2001.

[3]  Benedict XV, Letter of 1 August 1917, in AAS IX (1917) p.421-423.

[4] Ferenc Fejtő Requiem pour un empire défuntLieu Commun, Paris 1988, pp. 308, 311

[5] Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Lenin in Zurich, Book Club Associates, London 1976.

[6] Anthony Sutton,Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution,  Arlington House, New Rochelle  1974, p. 22

[7] Sutton,op. cit., p. 25

[8] Sutton,op. cit., pp. 86-88

[9] John Reed,Ten Days that Shook the World, Boni and Liveright, New York 1919, p. 112

[10]Tesi su Feuerbach, tr. it. in Feuerbach-Marx-Engels,Materialismo dialettico e materialismo storico, a cura di Cornelio Fabro, La Scuola, Brescia 1962, pp. 81-86

[11]Martins dos Reis,O Milagre do Sol e o Segredo de Fátima, Ed. Salesianas, Porto, 1966

[12] Frederick Engels, The Development of Socialism. From Utopia to Science, 1878,  tr. tr. it. Editori Riuniti, Roma 1958, pp. 15-17.

[13] George H. Williams, The Radical Reformation, Westminster Press, Philadelphia 1962

[14] Plinio Correa de Oliveira,Revolution and Counter-Revolution, The American TFP, Hanover, PA, 2002, p. 25

[15] Richard M. Weaver, Ideas have consequences, The University of Chicago Press, Chigago & London 2013.

[16] Margaret C. Jacob, The Newtonians and the English Revolution, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1976

[17] James H. Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, Basic Books 1980, pp. 19-20.

[18]Antonio Gramsci,Quaderni dal Carcere, [Prison Notebooks] edizione critica dell’Istituto Gramsci, by Valentino Gerratana, Einaudi, Torino 1975, vol. III, p. 1860

[19] Vladimir Bukovsky, Gli archivi segreti di Mosca, tr. it., Spirali, Milano 1999, pp. 62, 65.

[20] La Repubblica, November 11th 2016.

[21]LifeSiteNews  22nd February 2017.

[22] Joseph de Maistre, Considérations sur la France, cap. X, 3, in Œuvres complètes, Vitte, Lyon-Paris 1924, t. I, p. 157

[23] Carmelo de Coimbra,Um Caminho sob  o olhar de Maria, Ediçoes Carmelo, Coimbra 2012, p. 267

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Posted by Adfero. at 3/29/2017 12:21:00 PM

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DID CARDINAL THEODORE McCARRICK INCUR EXCOMMUNICATIO LATAE SENTENTIAE UNDER UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS ???

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Universi Dominici Gregis #80 seems to have been violated by Cardinal McCarrick. After the election, he admits to being influenced by an “external” person, who suggested that he “push Bergoglio” prior to the election. McCarrick then admits to indirectly pushing Bergoglio during pre-conclave presentations. See:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3iaBLqt8vg

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CONCERNING CHARLIE JOHNSTON

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On Charlie Johnston

Jesus Walking on Water by Michael D. O’Brien

THERE is an underlying theme I try to weave throughout all the aspects of my ministry: Be not afraid! For it carries within it the seeds of both reality and hope:

We cannot hide the fact that many threatening clouds are gathering on the horizon. We must not, however, lose heart, rather we must keep the flame of hope alive in our hearts… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Catholic News Agency, January 15th, 2009

In terms of my writing apostolate, I have spent the past 12 years striving to help you face this gathering Storm precisely in order that you may not be not afraid. I have spoken about the uncomfortable realities of our times rather than pretending that everything is flowers and rainbows. And I have spoken over and over again about God’s plan, a future of hope for the Church after the trials which she now faces. I have not ignored the labor pains while at the same time reminding you of the New Birth coming, as understood in the voice of Tradition. [1] As we read in today’s Psalm:

God is for us a refuge and strength, a helper close at hand, in time of distress: so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea, even though its waters rage and foam, even though the mountains be shaken by its waves… The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold. (Psalm 46)

SHAKEN CONFIDENCE

In the past two years, the “mountains” of confidence have been toppled in some as one alleged prediction after another has failed to come to pass by certain “seers” and “visionaries.” [2] One such prediction was by an American, Charlie Johnston, who said that, according to his “angel”, the next president of the United States would not come through the normal electoral process and that Obama would remain in power. For my part, I have explicitly warned my readers against banking too much on specific predictions like these, including Charlie’s (see On Discernment of the Details). God’s mercy is fluid and, like a good father, He does not treat us according to our sins, especially when we repent. That can change the course of the future in an instant. Still, if a seer feels in good conscience that God is asking them to make such predictions public, then that’s their business; it’s between them, their spiritual director, and God (and they must also be responsible for the fallout, either way). However, make no mistake: the negative fallout from these sometimes rash predictions affects every one of us in the Church who are trying to promote the authentic revelations that Our Lord and Lady want us to hear in these times. In that regard, I wholeheartedly agree with Archbishop Rino Fisichella who said,

Confronting the subject of prophecy today is rather like looking at wreckage after a shipwreck. —”Prophecy” in Dictionary of Fundamental Theology, p. 788

All this said, I have been asked by some readers to clarify my position on Charlie since I not only mentioned him a few times in my writings, but appeared on the same stage with him at an event in Covington, LA in 2015. People have automatically assumed that, as such, I must therefore endorse his prophecies. Rather, what I endorse is the teaching of St. Paul:

Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. (1 Thess 5:20-21)

 

OF “THE STORM”

Charlie’s spiritual director, a priest in good standing, suggested that he contact me three years ago because we were both speaking of a coming “Storm”. This is, after all, what Pope Benedict said above, as well as St. John Paul II:

It is precisely at the end of the second millennium that immense, threatening clouds converge on the horizon of all humanity and darkness descends upon human souls. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, from a speech, December, 1983; www.vatican.va

In the approved revelations of Elizabeth Kindelmann and the writings of Fr. Gobbi, which bear the Imprimatur, they also speak of a coming “Storm” upon humanity. Nothing new here, really. So I agreed with Charlie’s statement that a great “Storm” is coming.

But how that “Storm” unfolds is another matter. At the conference in Covington, I specifically stated that I could not endorse Charlie’s prophecies [3] but that I appreciated his spirit and faithfulness to Sacred Tradition. It was also very interesting to have an open Q & A with those at the Covington event where we shared our respective viewpoints. In Charlie’s own words:

One need not agree with all—or even most—of my supernatural claims to welcome me as a fellow worker in the vineyard. Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. That is the sum of my message. All else is explanatory detail. — “My New Pilgrimage”, August 2nd, 2015; from The Next Right Step

In this case, prediction of the future is of secondary importance. What is essential is the actualization of the definitive Revelation. —Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI), Message of Fatima, Theological Commentary, www.vatican.va

 

CLARIFICATIONS

All this said, last May, I began to see that many were still assuming that I endorsed everything Charlie was saying. I might point out, however, that I have shared the podium with several alleged mystics and seers over the years, but none who were condemned by their local ordinary or who taught anything contrary to the Catholic faith. A few years back, I also shared the stage with Michael Coren, a Catholic convert and author who has subsequently apostasized. I think most people understand that I am not responsible for what others say and do simply because I spoke at the same event as them.

Nonetheless, last May in Fear, Fire, and the Rescue?, I pointed out the Archbishop of Denver’s preliminary assessment of Charlie’s messages and his statement that…

…the archdiocese encourages [souls] to seek their security in Jesus Christ, the Sacraments, and the Scriptures. —Archbishop Sam Aquila, statement from the Archdiocese of Denver, March 1st, 2016; www.archden.org

At the same time, I felt obligated to address the significant differences that were emerging between my writings and Charlie’s. In The Coming JudgmentI noted the Archbishop’s warning for “prudence and caution” regarding Charlie’s alleged prophecies, and went on further to reiterate the eschatological vision of the Church Father’s that differs from what Charlie and some other mainstream eschatologists are proposing. In Is Jesus Really Coming?, I pulled together what is a “prophetic consensus” of 2000 years of Tradition and modern prophecy that paints an unmistakable picture of the horizon.

Since Charlie’s failed prediction, the Archdiocese of Denver issued another statement:

The events of 2016/17 have shown that Mr. Johnston’s alleged visions were not accurate and the Archdiocese urges the faithful not to condone or support further attempts to reinterpret them as valid. —Archdiocese of Denver, Press Release, Feb. 15th, 2017; archden.org

That is my position too, of course, and hopefully every faithful Catholics’. Again, I draw my readers’ attention to the wisdom of St. Hannibal:

How many contradictions we see between Saint Brigitte, Mary of Agreda, Catherine Emmerich, etc. We cannot consider the revelations and the locutions as words of Scripture. Some of them must be omitted, and others explained in a right, prudent meaning. —St. Hannibal Maria di Francia, letter to Bishop Liviero of Città di Castello, 1925 (emphasis mine)

…people cannot deal with private revelations as if they were 

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WHAT IS FRATERNAL CORRECTION?

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What is Fraternal Correction?

 

“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all: If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews.”        [Douay-Rheims bible translation, Galatians 2:14]

By John J. Arechiga

March 28, 2017

 

John J. Aréchiga is known to me to be a researcher of exceptional ability. For some time I have read the results of his research and at my urging he has agreed to allow me to publish several of his essays. This essay addresses a matter of critical importance to the Roman Catholic Church at this moment in its history. I publish this essay in the hope that it will contribute to the efforts of persons in the Church in authority who have the power to find solutions to the problems that currently afflict the Church.

+Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi

 

There is a time and place for fraternal correction – and you have to wonder whether this moment in history, this moment in time, is in need of fraternal correction.

The issue is not sedevacantism, schism, or the indefectibility of the Church. The issue is fraternal correction of scandalous Catholic Modernists. To what end fraternal correction? Preferably return of the prodigal sons – else excommunication.

What is fraternal correction? It is “Brother reproving a brother.” It usually involves a serious fault, either unknown as to gravity by the offender or hoped to be corrected by such admonition. It is an exercise of fraternal charity when commendably done. It should never be exercised merely for the sake of the offended, but mainly to help the offender or benefit a third party. In some religious communities it is a recognized form of fostering humility and a valuable aid to growing in Christian perfection.       [Essentially Verbatim: Father John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary, page 219]

 

You will find the basis for fraternal correction in scripture; in Summa Theologica, the principal doctrinal synthesis in Catholic theology; in an Apostolic Constitution; in the code of canon law; and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

 

“But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee: take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church (emphasis supplied). And if he will not hear the church: let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed also in heaven.”                                                    (Douay-Rheims, New Testament, Saint Matthew 18: 15-18)

“Augustine says in his Rule: “Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.” But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected (emphasis supplied).”                                                                                                                                       (Summa Theologica, II-II, Question 33, Article 4)

“We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff (emphasis supplied), who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fullness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith (emphasis supplied). Remembering also that, where danger is greater, it must more fully and more diligently be counteracted, We have been concerned lest false prophets or others, even if they have only secular jurisdiction, should wretchedly ensnare the souls of the simple, and drag with them into perdition, destruction and damnation countless peoples committed to their care and rule, either in spiritual or in temporal matters; and We have been concerned also lest it may befall Us to see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, in the holy place. In view of this, Our desire has been to fulfil our Pastoral duty, insofar as, with the help of God, We are able, so as to arrest the foxes who are occupying themselves in the destruction of the vineyard of the Lord and to keep the wolves from the sheepfolds, lest We seem to be dumb watchdogs that cannot bark and lest We perish with the wicked husbandman and be compared with the hireling.”                                                                   (Cum Ex Apostolic Officio, paragraph 1)

“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they [Christian faithful] possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful (emphasis supplied), without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”                                              [1983 CIC 212 §3]

 

“The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction (emphasis supplied); it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: “Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.”                                                                                    [CCC 1829]

Before moving on it is very important to note that the quote from Cum Ex Apostolic Officio focuses on contradicting the pope – fraternal correction – and has nothing to do with sedevacantism, schism, or the indefectibility of the Church. Moving on…

Tell the Church? Who or what is the Church? Broadly defined, it is the faithful of the whole world. Since the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church has been defined as a union of human beings who are united by the profession of the same Christian faith, and by participation of and in the same sacraments under the direction of their lawful pastors, especially of the representative of Christ on earth, the Bishop of Rome. Each element in this definition is meant to exclude all others from actual and vital membership in the Catholic Church, namely apostates and heretics who do not profess the same Christian faith, non-Christians who do not receive the same Sacraments, and schismatics who are not submissive to the Church’s lawful pastors under the Bishop of Rome.         [Essentially Verbatim: Father John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary, page 105]

Arguably, any lay person, religious, priest, bishop, archbishop, or cardinal may raise the issue of fraternal correction:

Whoever raises the issue of fraternal correction must proceed carefully – and take one or two more with him, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.

The initial approach to the witnesses must be in strict confidence – to avoid scandal, especially scandal of the weak.

The scope of today’s issues requires far more than two or three witnesses. There is a time and place for fraternal correction – and you have to wonder whether this moment in history, this moment in time, is in need of fraternal correction.Fraternal correction is always the avenue of first recourse – even when considering contemporary controversial issues such as the Dubia and the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis).  To what end fraternal correction? Preferably return of the prodigal sons – else excommunication.  That being said, it is written in the Old Testament prophecy of Isaias:

“And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I. Send me.”                                                                                         (Douay-Rheims, Old Testament, Isaias 6:8)

Today we must ask who will go first, who will raise the issue of fraternal correction, who will say:

“Lo, here am I. Send me.” Speak now or forever hold your peace!

 

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ELECTION OF FRANCIS PURSUANT TO UNIVERSI DOMINCI GREGIS

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Francis blessing a statue of Martin Luther in the Vatican

 

Election of Pope Francis Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis

“My people have been a lost flock: their shepherds have caused them to go astray and have made them wander in the mountains. They have gone from the mountain to the hill: they have forgotten their resting place.” (Douay-Rheims translation, Old Testament, Jeremiah 50:6)

“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [i.e., Christian Faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” (1983 CIC 212 §3)

By John J. Aréchiga 27 March 2017

 

John J. Aréchiga is known to me to be a researcher of exceptional ability. For some time I have read the results of his research and at my urging he has agreed to allow me to publish several of his essays. This essay addresses a matter of critical importance to the Roman Catholic Church at this moment in its history. I publish this essay in the hope that it will contribute to the efforts of persons in the Church in authority who have the power to find solutions to the problems that currently afflict the Church.

+Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi

The March 13, 2013, papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is arguably a high point in an ongoing MODERNIST conspiracy and this commentary will establish that Bergoglio’s (Pope Francis) papal election is invalid.

On March 12, 2013, the Papal conclave of 2013 convened to elect a pope to succeed Benedict XVI – following the resignation of Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013.

 

On March 13, 2013, the College of Cardinals elected Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ, an Argentine cardinal and Archbishop of Buenos Aires as pontiff. He selected the name of Francis.

Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) celebrated his inauguration on March 19, 2013, and installed as Bishop of Rome on April 7, 2013.

The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law, Canon 160, makes clear that only an apostolic constitution governs the election of the Roman Pontiff.

“The election of the Roman Pontiff is guided SOLELY (emphasis supplied) by the constitution of [Pope] Pius X Vacante Sede Apostolica of December 1904; in other ecclesiastical elections, the prescriptions of the canons that follow are to be observed [as well as] those special ones, if there are any, that are established for individual offices.”

In this regard, The 1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law, Canon 349, is consistent with the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law. In pertinent part:

“The cardinals of the Holy Roman Church constitute a special college which provides for the election of the Roman Pontiff according to the norm of special [not canonical] law [Apostolic constitution].”

On February 22, 1996, His Holiness John Paul II, Supreme Pontiff, published Universi Dominici Gregis, Apostolic Constitution, On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff. Pope John Paul II declared abrogated all Constitutions and Orders issued in this regard by the Roman Pontiffs, and at the same time declared completely null and void anything done by any person, whatever his authority, knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to Universi Dominici Gregis.

The election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was therefore pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Apostolic Constitution, On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff, Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on February 22, 1996, by His Holiness John Paul II, Supreme Pontiff.

That being said, it is very important to note that this author is NOT a canon lawyer. The author used English translations of both the 1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law and the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law to develop this commentary.

In moving forward one must first understand the relevance of Universi Dominici Gregis before discussing relevant allegations and arguments.

 

Promulgation of Universi Dominici Gregis

In promulgating Universi Dominici Gregis His Holiness Pope John Paul II wrote:

“Wherefore, after mature reflection and following the example of my Predecessors, I lay down and prescribe these norms and I order that no one shall presume to contest the present Constitution and anything contained herein for any reason whatsoever (emphasis supplied). This Constitution is to be completely observed by all, notwithstanding any disposition to the contrary, even if worthy of special mention. It is to be fully and integrally implemented and is to serve as a guide for all to whom it refers. As determined above, I hereby declare abrogated all Constitutions and Orders issued in this regard by the Roman Pontiffs, and at the same time I declare completely null and void anything done by any person, whatever his authority, knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution (emphasis supplied). Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 22 February, the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle, in the year 1996, the eighteenth of my Pontificate. [Universi Dominici Gregis, Promulgation].”

An Apostolic Constitution, absent specific reference to a specific canon, takes precedence over canon law. Therefore, Canon Law did not have any bearing on the papal conclave election.

Interjecting canon law into the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) only serves to distract, confuse, and obfuscate relevant criteria: Universi Dominici Gregis.

Powers of the College of Cardinals during the Vacancy of the Apostolic See

In promulgating Universi Dominici Gregis His Holiness Pope John Paul II made clear the powers of the College of Cardinals during the vacancy of the Holy See, and the election of the Roman Pontiff. Paragraphs 4-6 state:

“During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, laws issued by the Roman Pontiffs can in no way be corrected or modified, nor can anything be added or subtracted, nor a dispensation be given even from a part of them, especially with regard to the procedures governing the election of the Supreme Pontiff. Indeed, should anything be done or even attempted against this prescription, by my supreme authority I declare it null and void (emphasis supplied).” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 4]

 

“Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution, or concerning the manner of putting them into effect, I decree that all power of issuing a judgment in this regard belongs to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points. I also establish that should it be necessary to discuss these or other similar questions, except the act of election, it suffices that the majority of the Cardinals present should concur in the same opinion.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5]

“In the same way, should there be a problem which, in the view of the majority of the assembled Cardinals, cannot be postponed until another time, the College of Cardinals may act according to the majority opinion.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 6]

Arguably, Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5, also rendered Normas Nonnullas superfluous, unnecessary, and moot.

Determining Validity of the Papal Election

A valid papal election depended on the compliance with Universi Dominici Gregis, Apostolic Constitution on the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff.

“Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76]

“I decree that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself must be observed in full (emphasis supplied), even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff, in accordance with the provisions of Canon 333 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law and Canon 44 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 77]

Universi Dominici Gregis paragraph 76 essentially references the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff as prescribed by paragraphs 78-86; paragraph 77 emphasizes that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of

 

the election itself must be observed in full, even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff.

In pertinent part Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, states: “The [Papal] election is for this very reason null and void”

As written, “for this very reason” refers to “election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed.”

As written, “the [Papal] election” infers there was an election – and that the Church moved on.

In pertinent part Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, also states: “Without any need for a declaration on the matter;”

As written, there is no need for adjudication by anyone. This includes the Magisterium and the College of Cardinals. This is both a logical and critical concept. It would be illogical to take the evidence of an invalid papal election to the invalidly elected pope or his appointees. It would also be a conflict of interest to take the evidence of an invalid papal election to the invalidly elected pope or his appointees.

The inference is that all that is required is for one or more responsible parties step forward with evidence that the papal election took place in a way other than that prescribed in Universi Dominici Gregis. This includes members of the laity.

In pertinent part Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, also states: “Consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”

As written, paragraph 76 infers that an invalidly elected pope does not speak infallibly on matters of Church faith and doctrine; cannot convene Church councils, synods, etc.; cannot lawfully reassign, appoint, or consecrate bishops, archbishops, or cardinals; cannot lawfully reorganize or restructure the Roman Rota; etc.

As written, paragraph 76 infers it may be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, even decades, before it is discovered “the election” took place in a way other than that prescribed by Universi Dominici Gregis.

 

As written, paragraph 76 infers it may be days, weeks, months, years, even decades, before it is discovered “the election” took place in violation of the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff as prescribed by Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraphs 78-86.

Given the preceding discussion of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraphs 76 and 77, it is very important to note that paragraphs 76 and 77 were not addressed by Pope Benedict XVI’s February 22, 2013, Apostolic Letter, in the form of a Motu Proprio, that addressed specific issues concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff.

Given the preceding discussion of Universi Dominici Gregis, Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff, it is also very important to note that paragraphs 78-86 were not addressed by Pope Benedict XVI’s February 22, 2013, Apostolic Letter, in the form of a Motu Proprio, that addressed specific issues concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff.

It bears repeating: A valid papal election depended on the compliance with Universi Dominici Gregis, Apostolic Constitution on the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff.

“Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76]

“I decree that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself must be observed in full, even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff, in accordance with the provisions of Canon 333 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law and Canon 44 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 77]

Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff

The Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff are enumerated in Universi Dominici Gregis, Part II, The Election of the Roman Pontiff,

 

Chapter VI, Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff, paragraphs 78-86. These are the “conditions laid down” referenced by paragraph 76:

“Confirming the prescriptions of my Predecessors, I likewise forbid anyone, even if he is a Cardinal, during the Pope’s lifetime and without having consulted him, to make plans concerning the election of his successor, or to promise votes, or to make decisions in this regard in private gatherings.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 79] Arguably, this is a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor.

“In the same way, I wish to confirm the provisions made by my Predecessors for the purpose of excluding any external interference in the election of the Supreme Pontiff…. I intend this prohibition to include all possible forms of interference, opposition and suggestion whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree, or any individual or group, might attempt to exercise influence on the election of the Pope (emphasis supplied).” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 80] Arguably, this is a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor.

In pertinent part: “The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it…. It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81] Arguably, this is a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor.

“I likewise forbid the Cardinals before the election to enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate. These promises too, should any in fact be made, even under oath, I also declare null and void.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 82] Arguably, this is a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor.

In pertinent part: “With the same insistence shown by my Predecessors, I earnestly exhort the Cardinal electors not to allow themselves to be guided, in choosing the Pope, by friendship or aversion, or to be

 

influenced by favour or personal relationships towards anyone, or to be constrained by the interference of persons in authority or by pressure groups, by the suggestions of the mass media, or by force, fear or the pursuit of popularity (emphasis supplied).” [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 83]

Arguably, these “matters to be observed or avoided in the election of the Roman Pontiff” are a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor:

Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, and to the extent there is credible evidence, “should the conditions laid down here [paragraphs 78-86] not be observed, the [papal] election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”

Relevant Allegations and Arguments

In recent days, weeks, and months allegations have surfaced that the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, Part II, The Election of the Roman Pontiff, Chapter VI, Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff, paragraphs 78-86. For example:

  1. October 1, 2015, Kindle eBook published Cardinal Godfried Danneels authorized biography; and published the hardcover edition in Dutch on September 22, 2015.

    The authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels is documentary evidence. Pertinent parts of the authorized biography focus on the matters to be observed or avoided in the election of the Roman pontiff, (paragraphs 78-86).

  2. In a September 23, 2015, article Karim Schelkens, co-author of Cardinal Danneels authorized biography, reportedly said: “The election of Bergoglio was prepared in Sankt-Gallen, without doubt….”

    Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, during Pope Benedict XVI’s lifetime and without having consulted him, made plans (conspired) concerning the election of his successor, in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 79.

    Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, conspired, individually and as a group, to exercise influence on members of the College of Cardinals regarding the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal

 

Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 80.

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, formed a pact, agreement, promise or other commitment (i.e., conspired) which obliged them to give their vote to Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81.

  1. On September 24, 2015, the National Catholic Register published an article about Cardinal Godfried Danneels authorized biography that suggested the violation of “Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff”– and [arguably] compromised the election of Pope Francis.
  2. On September 24, 2015 Father John (“Z”) Zuhlsdorf commented on the National Catholic Register’s article about the authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels. Father Zuhlsdorf essentially confirmed that Cardinal Danneels acknowledges the existence of a “mafia” club that bore the name of St. Gallen; that the group wanted a drastic reform of the Church (“to make it “much more modern”); and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it [the Church].
  3. On September 25, 2015, Life Site News published an article (Cardinal Danneels admits being part of clerical ‘Mafia’ that plotted Francis’ election) about the authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels.

    Reportedly, Cardinal Godfried Danneels publicly and good-humoredly admitted he was a regular member of a secret pressure group of Churchmen that met in the Swiss town of Sankt-Gallen.

    Reportedly, Cardinal Godfried Danneels said that [the official report discreetly labeled “the Sankt-Gallen group” by its members as “the Mafia” and that they aimed to counter the growing influence of Cardinal Ratzinger under the pontificate of Saint John Paul II.

    Reportedly, “The election of Bergoglio was prepared in Sankt-Gallen, without doubt. And the main lines of the program the Pope [Francis] is carrying out remain those that [Cardinal] Danneels and Co [Company] discussed more than ten years ago.”

    Reportedly, “They wanted Church reform, they wanted to bring the Church closer to the hearts of people; they moved forward by stages,” commented Mettepenningen. “At the beginning of the year 2000, when John Paul II’s end was becoming more foreseeable, they thought more strategically about what was

 

going to happen to the Church after John Paul II. When Cardinal Silvestrini joined the group it took on a more tactical and strategic character.”

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, during Pope Benedict XVI’s lifetime and without having consulted him, made plans (conspired) concerning the election of his successor, in violation Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 79.

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, conspired, individually and as a group, to exercise influence on the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 80.

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, formed a pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind (conspired) which obliged them to give their vote to Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81.

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, over a period of ten years, entered into stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 82.

  1. A September 23, 2015, short online video, in Flemish, featuring Cardinal Godfried Danneels, appears to corroborate both the September 24, 2015, National Catholic Register article and the September 25, 2015, Life Site News article.

    A literal English translation of the text immediately below the video reads: “A new official biography gives more insight into the life of Cardinal Danneels. Tells the Cardinal that he was in a secret club of cardinals which opposed Joseph Ratzinger. He calls it a mafia club and bore the name of St. Gallen. It wanted a drastic reform of the Church, much more modern and current Pope Francis to the head. That is ultimately successful.”

  2. On September 26, 2015, Father John Zuhlsdorf (“Father Z”) inquired about the validity Pope Francis’ election.
  3. On September 29, 2015, Life Site News published an article that further substantiates the existence of the “shadow council” referenced in Cardinal Godfried Danneels authorized biography. Swiss bishops essentially confirmed the existence of Cardinal Danneels’ ‘mafia’ against Benedict XVI.

 

9. On September 29, 2015, Life Site News published a second article that further substantiates the existence of the “shadow council” referenced in Cardinal Godfried Danneels authorized biography. The article references the release of a new book, by German bishops, about the controversial ‘Shadow Council’ in Rome.

In this context it is important to understand that Canon law, albeit inapplicable to papal elections, provides for and defines an extrajudicial confession: “A confession, whether in writing or orally, that is made outside the trial to the adversary himself or to others is called extrajudicial: it is for the judge having admitted to the trial and weighing the circumstances of all things, to decide what is to be made of it.” [1917 CIC 1753] [See also 1983 CIC 1537]

Why is it important to understand that Canon law, albeit inapplicable to papal elections, defines and provides for an extrajudicial confession? Arguably, the authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels and the September 23, 2015, short online video, in Flemish, featuring Cardinal Godfried Danneels, are extrajudicial confessions.

Are these extrajudicial confessions credible? Yes. Recent reports (May 25, 2015) of a recent private (“shadow council”) meeting are consistent with the extrajudicial confessions. Recall that on May 25, 2015, a private meeting, reportedly held at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Jesuit University under the Holy See, convened by the presidents of the German, Swiss, and French bishops’ conferences, in anticipation of the Synod on the Family slated for October. Reportedly, the meeting’s objective was to push for modernist changes in “pastoral practice” as regards Communion for the divorced and “remarried,” as well as the welcoming of Catholics living in “stable” same- sex unions.

Arguably, given the above referenced extrajudicial confessions, articles, interviews, and videos, there is cause to conclude that the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was in violation of Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff, paragraphs 78-86. Arguably:

In private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, during Pope Benedict XVI’s lifetime and without having consulted him, made plans (conspired) concerning the election of his successor, in violation [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 79]

In private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, conspired, individually and as a group, to exercise influence on the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 80.

 

In private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, formed a pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind (conspired) which obliged them to give their vote to Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81.

The Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, in private gatherings before the election, probably entered into stipulations; committing to a common accord and certain course of action should Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) be elevated to the Pontificate – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 82. Many of the previously enumerated allegations relevant to Canon Law evidence this.

Arguably, the Sankt-Gallen Group- and others- allowed their mutual friendships, aversions, personal relationships, pressure groups, interference of persons in authority, suggestions by the mass media, force, fear, and/or popularity- to choose Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 83. Many of the previously enumerated allegations relevant to Canon Law also evidence this.

There are undertones of braggadocio arrogance throughout the allegations; it is as if there is no fear of repercussion.

That being said, and to the extent there is credible evidence of these allegations, the 2013 papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, therefore INVALID.

Counterarguments

Laity Have No Standing On Issue Of Papal Election – At the risk of being redundant: Some might incorrectly argue that the Christian Faithful (i.e., laity) have no standing with regard to whether the 2013 papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was valid. Their argument fails to take into consideration relevant canon law:

“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [i.e., Christian Faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” [1983 CIC 212 §3]

 

Issues We Must Avoid – Some, out of fear of failure, might incorrectly argue that the chaos produced by invalidation of a papal election would bring more spiritual

harm than good; that we must avoid certain issues at all costs: Excommunication, Sedevacantism, Schism, and the Indefectibility of the Church. Fear of failure is often associated with a mindset: Playing not to lose. This brings to mind a familiar saying: “Winning isn’t everything; it is the only thing.” That being said, the stakes are high. We are playing for eternal life. Winners go to heaven and losers go to hell.

Have faith! We have nothing to fear but fear itself. It is Christ’s Church – and the powers of death shall not prevail against it (Douay-Rheims Bible, Matthew 16:18).

A Matter of Priorities – Some will incorrectly argue we have a pope. That is not the issue. The primary issue is whether a valid election occurred. The relevance of secondary and collateral issues – Dubia, fraternal correction (Matthew 18:15-18), Excommunication, Sedevacantism, Schism, Indefectibility of the Church, etc., is predicated on whether we have a validly elected pope.

We Must Be Patient – Some might incorrectly argue that we must give the recent Dubia and fraternal correction (Matthew 18:15-18) time to resolve the many recent doctrinal and moral conflicts. History tells us this course of action may take years and years – and even then we still may not have an answer. In the interim we will lose many souls to Lucifer. Time is therefore of the essence. We must put ALL the issues on the table – including the validity of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – or we must also assume responsibility for the delay and responsibility for the many souls we will lose to Lucifer.

The underlying issue is scandal – especially scandal of the weak. We remain just as responsible as the person(s) causing scandal if we do not pursue fraternal correction consistent with our knowledge and abilities. Our souls depend on whether we are part of the problem or part of the solution.

Argument Lacks Foundation – Some will incorrectly counter by asserting that the argument (invalid papal election) lacks the deeper vision that the Church is a divine institution. They might incorrectly argue, for example, that:

“Your thesis (invalid papal election) cannot be convincingly sustained, because it lacks the foundation. Your approach is too human and lacks the deeper vision of the fact, that the Church is ultimately a Divine institution, of course she is also a human, a juridical reality with the importance of Canon or positive law. In the discussed theme of the alleged invalid election of Pope Francis, the positive, human law (Universi Dominici Gregis) becomes the absolute criterion.”

 

The preceding does not take into consideration that the Roman Catholic Church is Christ’s Church (Matthew 16:18) and that Christ set the example for us. It was so bad during Christ’s public life that Christ found it necessary to drive the money-changers out of the temple:

“And they came to Jerusalem. And when he was entered into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the chairs of them that sold doves. And he suffered not that any man should carry a vessel through the temple; And he taught, saying to them: Is it not written, My house shall be called the house of prayer to all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves. Which when the chief priests and the scribes had heard, they sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because the whole multitude was in admiration at his doctrine. And when evening was come, he went forth out of the city.” [Douay Rheims, Mark 11:15-19; see also Matthew 21:10-14, Luke 19:45-48, and John 2:13-16]

The argument (invalid election) has a vision that focuses on the example that Christ set for us.

Straw Man Argument – Some will incorrectly counter with a straw man argument. They might incorrectly argue, for example, that:

“Let us imagine the following hypothetical and maybe exceptional scenario: before a conclave there is a real danger that a completely liberal candidate would be elected as pope even though under scrupulous observance of the electoral law and this candidate would bring an immense damage to the Church, but a group of good cardinals in order to save the Church from such a catastrophe, would undertake some steps, which would be formally contrary to the human papal law of the election (and therefore with invalidating character), in order to elect a notorious holy, strong and orthodox candidate, and in deed that candidate will be elected pope. This new Pope (juridical maybe elected invalidly) would save the Church from a real disaster, and he will issue then strong doctrinal statements, restore the dignity of the liturgy, restore the doctrinal chaos, appoint new saintly and orthodox bishops and cardinals. Would you start a campaign and discussion in order declare such a Pope an invalid Pope, even though he will renew the Church with his holy life and with his strong and wise government, rescuing thereby the Church

 

from the domination of liberal bishops and cardinals, who were appointed by his former validly elected predecessor?”

A “straw man” is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man”. The typical straw man argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition through the covert replacement of it with a different proposition (i.e. “stand up a straw man”) and the subsequent refutation of that false argument (“knock down a straw man”) instead of the opponent’s proposition. This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged emotional issues where a fiery “battle” and the defeat of an “enemy” may be more valued than critical thinking or understanding both sides of the issue. [Essentially Verbatim: Wikipedia, online article about Straw man]

The above cited straw man argument does not refute or defeat the proposition that the March 13, 2013, papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was invalid.

Sedevacantism – Some will incorrectly argue that questioning the validity of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is an act of sedevacantism. Sedevacantism is the position, held by a minority of traditionalist Catholics that the alleged present occupant of the Holy See is not truly pope due to the mainstream church’s espousal of the heresy of modernism and that, for lack of a valid pope, the Holy See has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. Questioning the validity of a specific papal election of Bergoglio (Pope Francis) has nothing to do with whether the Holy See has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. There was an actual vacancy of the Holy See (i.e., resignation of Pope Benedict XVI) at the time of the papal election. The issue is not Sedevacantism, but whether or not the College of Cardinals followed or violated Universi Dominici Gregis. Clearly, the evidence and corroborated facts indicate that a significant number of cardinals violated the norms listed in Universi Dominici Gregis.

Normas Nonnullas – Some will incorrectly argue that Pope Benedict XVI’s Normas Nonnullas, On Certain Modifications to the Norms Governing the Election of the Roman Pontiff, was a factor in the election of his (Benedict XVI’s) successor.

Normas Nonnullas is of no value. Pope Benedict XVI promulgated it on February 22, 2013, only six days before his resignation on February 28, 2013, and in anticipation of his resignation. When Pope Benedict XVI published Normas Nonnullas (February 22, 2013) the Apostolic See was, (for all intents and purposes), vacant pending the official resignation of Pope Benedict XVI six days later (February 28, 2013). Recall that, while the Apostolic See was vacant, anything done “with regard to the procedures governing

the election of the Supreme Pontiff” no value pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 4.

Normas Nonnullas is also a moot point. Normas Nonnullas may have referenced quite a few paragraphs in Universi Dominici Gregis – but it did not abrogate or otherwise reference the Universi Dominici Gregis paragraphs critical to determining the validity of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis); it did not abrogate or otherwise reference Universi Dominici Gregis paragraphs 76-77 or paragraphs 78-86.

Finally, one can also argue that Pope Benedict XVI published Normas Nonnullas (six days before his resignation) so that he might influence the selection of his replacement. This issue is outside the scope of this commentary.

Relevance of Universi Dominici Gregis Paragraphs 76 and 77 – Some will incorrectly argue that Universi Dominici Gregis paragraphs 76-77 do not apply to paragraphs 78-86 (The Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff). Simply stated, there would be no need for paragraphs 78-86 if it were not for paragraphs 76-77 – and vice versa. The Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff (paragraphs 78-86) are central to determining whether the papal election is null and void without any need for a declaration on the matter (paragraph 76).

The conditions laid down referenced by paragraph 76 are the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff pursuant to paragraphs 78-86.

The dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself referenced by paragraph 77 are also the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff pursuant to paragraphs 78-86.

Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI – Some say that “behind the scenes” coercion came into play with Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation. This issue is outside the scope of this commentary. The focus of this commentary is whether the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was valid.

Conclusion

To the extent there is credible evidence of the above referenced allegations, the 2013 papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is INVALID pursuant to paragraph 76 of Universi Dominici Gregis.

 

Recall that paragraph 76 infers it may be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, even decades, before it is discovered “the election” took place in a way other than that prescribed by Universi Dominici Gregis;

Also recall that paragraph 76 infers it may be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, even decades, before it is discovered “the election” took place in violation of the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff as prescribed by Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraphs 78-86.

To whom do we look for resolution? The College of Cardinals. Recall that in Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, in pertinent part, wrote: “Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution (emphasis supplied), or concerning the manner of putting them into effect, I decree that all power of issuing a judgment in this regard belongs to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points.”

Clearly, the issue is not sedevacantism, schism, or the indefectibility of the Church. The primary issue is fraternal correction (Matthew 18:15-18) of scandalous Catholic Modernists – prodigal sons – that elected Pope Francis. To what end fraternal correction? Preferably return of the prodigal sons – else excommunication.

Therefore, the proper ecclesiastical authorities must expeditiously investigate and adjudicate the allegations subject to Canon Law before the College of Cardinals takes up the issue of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis).

Why? Expeditious canonical investigation and adjudication will root out and identify those Cardinals – prodigal sons – that must recuse themselves when the College of Cardinals takes up the issue of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis).

Parting Thought

It is written in the Old Testament prophecy of Isaias:

“And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I. Send me.” (Douay-Rheims, Old Testament, Isaias 6:8)

 

Today we must ask who will go forward, who will also raise the issue of the election of Pope Francis Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis. Who of you will say:

“Lo, here am I. Send me.” Speak now or forever hold your peace!

Election of Pope Francis Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis

“My people have been a lost flock: their shepherds have caused them to go astray and have made them wander in the mountains. They have gone from the mountain to the hill: they have forgotten their resting place.” (Douay-Rheims translation, Old Testament, Jeremiah 50:6)

“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [i.e., Christian Faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” (1983 CIC 212 §3)

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EVANGELIZING THE GORILLA: TRADITIONAL CONTINUING CATHOLIC EDUCATION

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Evangelizing the Gorilla: Traditional Continuing Catholic Education

“For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned into fables.” [Holy Bible, Douay-Rheims translation, New Testament, 2 Timothy 4:3-4]

By John J. Aréchiga 26 March 2017

 

John J. Aréchiga is known to me to be a researcher of exceptional ability. For some time I have read the results of his research and at my urging he has agreed to allow me to publish several of his essays. This essay addresses a matter of critical importance to the Roman Catholic Church at this moment in its history. I publish this essay in the hope that it will contribute to the efforts of persons in the Church in authority who have the power to find solutions to the problems that currently afflict the Church.

+Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi

 

 

Text and tweet no more – read, and read, and read some more.

If marginally catechized modernist cafeteria Catholics are a 900-Pound Gorilla, then we must evangelize the gorilla. It is called Traditional Continuing Catholic Education.

Hopefully you have opted for the interim solution – reading the Baltimore Catechism Four. Hopefully you will read it from cover to cover before opting for a more formal objective oriented catechesis course of instruction. If so, you are on the Traditional Continuing Catholic Education fast track.

 

Traditional Continuing Catholic Education presumes you are, as a minimum, a marginally catechized confirmed Roman Catholic; that you have received the Sacrament of the Apostolate (i.e., the sacrament of Confirmation).

That being said, Traditional Continuing Catholic Education is a long-term solution designed to fraternally correct (Matthew 18:15-18) marginally catechized modernist cafeteria Catholics and to help traditionally catechized Roman Catholics grow in their faith – and defend it.

Traditional Continuing Catholic Education needs to be implemented posthaste. Why? It is a time consuming process and there is an urgent need to bring marginally catechized modernist cafeteria Catholics back to the fullness of their Catholic faith – so they can in turn catechize the younger generation. Traditionally catechized Roman Catholics will also benefit from a program of Traditional Continuing Catholic Education.

That being said, understand that Fidei Depositum is a modernist 1992 Apostolic Constitution “on the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church prepared following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.” Fidei Depositum, in the last paragraph of its introduction, states:

“Following the renewal of the Liturgy and the new codification of the canon law of the Latin Church and that of the Oriental Catholic Churches, this catechism will make a very important contribution to that work of renewing the whole life of the Church, as desired and begun by the Second Vatican Council.” [1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 3]

Arguably, the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church is a modernist catechism. Will future historians refer to the 1992/1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church as the modernist Catechism of the Second Vatican Council? Proceed carefully with the selection of your catechism of choice…

It can also be argued that the 1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law is a modernist code of canon law. In promulgating the 1983 Code of Canon Law (1983 CIC) Pope John Paul II wrote in pertinent part:

“From this there are derived certain fundamental criteria which should govern the entire new Code, both in the sphere of its specific matter and also in the language connected with it. It could indeed be said that from this there is derived that note of complementarity which the Code [1983 CIC] presents in relation to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, in particular with reference to the two constitutions, the dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium and the pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes.” [1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law, page xxx]

“Hence it follows that what constitutes the substantial newness of the Second Vatican Council, in line with the legislative tradition of the Church, especially in regard to ecclesiology, constitutes likewise the newness of the new Code.” [1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law, page xxx]

“If, therefore, the Second Vatican Council has drawn from the treasury of Tradition elements both old and new, and the new consists precisely in the elements which we have enumerated, then it is clear that the Code also should reflect the same note of fidelity in newness and of newness in fidelity, and conform itself to that in its own field and in its particular way of expressing itself.” [1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law, page xxxi]

Will future historians refer to the 1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law as the modernist Canon Law of the Second Vatican Council? Proceed carefully with your reading and research of relevant canon law…

We must carefully distance ourselves from the Catechism of the Second Vatican Council and the Canon Law of the Second Vatican Council – until such time that we are sufficiently catechized to recognize, and defend against, modernist ploys.

That being said, Traditional Continuing Catholic Education is a lifelong, prayerful, and parallel three-track process. Most of us tend to focus on the most important track – prayerful catechesis – to the exclusion of the other two tracks: the contemporary operating tempo of our Roman Catholic Church and the contemporary operating tempo of the secular world in which we live.

Why is Traditional Continuing Catholic Education a parallel three-track process? In Fidei Depositum, an Apostolic Constitution on the publication of the modernist Catechism of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope John Paul II wrote:

“A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition in the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers, Doctors and saints of the Church, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help to illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past (emphasis supplied).”

 

We will borrow from the modernists and predicate our second and third tracks on the last sentence of the preceding Fidei Depositum quote: “It should also help to illumine with the light of faith the new [ecclesial and secular] situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past.”

Fidei Depositum also mitigates the need for a separate track dedicated to the study of Sacred Scripture: “A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture….”

That being said, it should also be emphasized that prayer is not, of itself, a fourth track – it is an essential and integral part of the three-track process. Prayer, by definition, is essentially the voluntary response to the awareness of God’s presence. This response may be an acknowledgement of God’s greatness and of a person’s total dependence on him (adoration), or gratitude for his benefits to oneself and others (thanksgiving), or sorrow for sins committed and begging for mercy (expiation), or asking for graces needed (petition), or affection for God, who is all good (love).

Without prayer there can be no meaningful catechesis, no meaningful understanding of the contemporary operating tempo of our Roman Catholic Church, and no meaningful understanding of the contemporary operating tempo of the secular world in which we live.

Prayerful catechesis is clearly the critical track in the three-track Traditional Continuing Catholic Education process. Catechesis, by definition, is that form of ecclesiastical action that leads both communities and individual members of the faithful to maturity of faith. Because of the varied circumstances and multiple needs, catechetical activity takes on various forms.

That being said, recall that the movement away from catechism-based education is one reason that the flame of righteousness that once roared from our pulpits has been reduced to a flicker – and why we have so many marginally catechized Catholics.

Recall that the traditional four-volume Baltimore Catechism was the de facto standard Catholic school text in the United States from 1885 to the late 1960s – and it is still in print. More importantly, it is a particularly interesting choice for today’s tech savvy students because it is now available as a free eBook (Amazon.com, Project Guttenberg, etc.) that can be read on most popular eBook readers (Kindle, Nook, etc.), personal computers, I-Pads, Smartphones, etc. An inexpensive ($2.99) Baltimore Catechism Flash Cards (Illustrated) is also available in eBook format. The eBooks and flash cards can also be projected on a large screen for everyone to read and discuss.

Baltimore Catechism No. 1: The 33 lessons contained in this volume present the basics of the Catholic faith in a manner suitable for first communicants through fifth graders.

Baltimore Catechism No. 2: The 37 lessons contained in this volume present the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith in a manner suitable for sixth through ninth graders and those preparing for Confirmation.

Baltimore Catechism No. 3: The lessons contained in this volume are intended for students who have received their Confirmation and/or high schoolers. It includes additional questions, definitions, examples, and applications that build upon the content of the original Baltimore Catechism (No. 2).

Baltimore Catechism No. 4: This volume is an Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism can be used as a reference work, or as a teacher’s manual for the original Baltimore Catechisms. It is often used as an advanced textbook. Its explanations of many little known questions pertaining to the Catholic Faith are designed to reward the questioning reader.

The Preface (Baltimore Catechism No. 4) explains the book may also be used as a textbook or catechism for more advanced classes; that the complete list of numbered questions on the explanations (at the end of the book) makes it very useful for that purpose.

Recall that the traditional Baltimore Catechism remained in use in nearly all Catholic schools until the 1960’s (post Second Vatican Council) when many schools and diocese quietly started moving away from catechism-based education.

Consideration should therefore be given to reintroducing the traditional four volume Baltimore Catechism as the catechism of choice for Traditional

 

Continuing Catholic Education. That being said, on November 16, 2015, His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke reminisced:

“I remember when I was going to elementary school, we had the Baltimore Catechism and we were taught about marriage from the first years of school. Then as we got older, we got the second and third edition and it got more substantial, but it was always the same in building and growing.”

It will be a daunting challenge to reintroduce traditional catechesis. Introducing Traditional Continuing Catholic Education will be an even more daunting challenge. Recall that the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism has effectively entrenched the movement away from catechism- based education. Moving on…

Traditional Continuing Catholic Education will require competent traditional church authority to develop and implement a unique objective oriented Catechism course of instruction. For example:

  •   Basic Course: The basic course presumes the student has received the Sacrament of the Apostolate (i.e., the sacrament of Confirmation). The objective of the basic course is to reestablish a foundation for further catechesis – by reaffirming traditional Catholic doctrine associated with preparation for the sacraments of Penance, Holy Communion, and Confirmation.The Baltimore Catechism Four is the text of choice because of its explanations of many little known questions pertaining to the Catholic Faith. Also recall that the Preface (Baltimore Catechism Four) explains the book may also be used as a textbook or catechism for more advanced classes; that the complete list of numbered questions on the explanations (at the end of the book) makes it very useful for that purpose.

    Competent traditional church authority will have to develop a syllabus (i.e., program, curriculum, course outline, program of study) for this basic course.

  •   Intermediate Course: The objective of the intermediate course is to reestablish a foundation for further catechesis – by reaffirming traditional Catholic doctrine associated with the essentials of our traditional Catholic faith: Salvation History, the Apostles’ Creed, the Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Seven Sacraments, and the Lord’s Prayer. 

The Baltimore Catechism Four is again the text of choice. Again recall that the Preface (Baltimore Catechism Four) explains the book may also be used as a textbook or catechism for more advanced classes; that the complete list of numbered questions on the explanations (at the end of the book) makes it very useful for that purpose.

Competent traditional church authority will also have to develop a syllabus for this intermediate course.

  •   Advanced Course: The objective of the advanced course is to further reestablish a foundation for teaching traditional catechesis and for defending your faith – by focusing on teaching the Catholic faith; what we believe; the channels of grace; Christian morality; and Prayer.The Baltimore Catechism Three is the text of choice because it includes additional questions, definitions, examples, and applications that build upon the content of the original Baltimore Catechism Four.

    Competent traditional church authority will also have to develop a syllabus for this advanced course.

  •   Basic Apologetics Course: The objective of the basic apologetics course is to learn how to research doctrinal issues using both reference books and the internet.Recommended reference books include, but are not limited to, Denzinger’s The Sources of Catholic Dogma, The 1917 Pio- Benedictine Code of Canon Law, the Douay-Rheims bible translation, A Textual Concordance of the Holy Scriptures, and Father John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary. Secondary reference books include, but are not limited to The 1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law and the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church. The secondary references, albeit tainted by the Second Vatican Council, include footnotes that will often assist us in researching relevant issues.

    Competent traditional church authority will also have to develop a syllabus for this course.

  •   Advanced Apologetics Course: The objective of the advanced apologetics course is to identify and understand contrarian modernist doctrine – so that we can defend against it. 

Recommended reading includes, but is not limited to:

o Quo Primum – Apostolic Constitution promulgating the 1570 edition of the Roman Missal, issued by Pope Saint Pius V on July 14, 1570.

o Sanctissimnus Dominus – Decree of the Holy Office, Condemning Sixty-five Propositions Which Favored Laxism in Moral Theology; issued by Pope Innocent XI on March 4, 1679. [For details see Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, DS 1151-1215]

o Lamentabili Sane – Pope Pius X Syllabus Condemning the Errors of the Modernists, issued July 3, 1907

o Pascendi Dominici Gregis – Encyclical, On the Doctrine of the Modernists, issued by Pope Pius X on September 8, 1907.

o Sacrorum antistitum – Comprehensive Oath Against Modernism, promulgated by Pope Pius X on September 1, 1910.

o Sacrfosanctum Concilium – Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963.

o Sacram Liturgiam – Pope Paul VI Apostolic Letter, decreed certain prescriptions of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy (Sacrfosanctum Concilium), issued Motu Proprio on January 25, 1964.

o Inter Oecumenici – Instructions On Implementing the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, given by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on September 26, 1964 and to be faithfully observed by all concerned effective March 7, 1965.

o Profession of the Faith – Profession of Faith, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on July 17, 1967. [replaced Pope Saint Pius X’s comprehensive September 1, 1910, Oath Against Modernism]

o Providentissima Mater Ecclesia –Apostolic Constitution, Promulgation of Pope Pius X’s Codification of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope Benedict XV on May 25, 1917. [Code of canon law is also known as 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law.]

 

o Facile Conicere – Allocution, Reference “Yet, as Pope Paul VI declared, these revisions are not to contradict the Roman Rite, since “what is Roman is the foundation of our Catholicity,” Referenced by Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary, definition of Roman Rite, page 472], given by Pope Paul VI on October 14, 1968.

o Missale Romanum, Apostolic Constitution on New Roman Missal issued by his Holiness Pope Paul VI on April 3, 1969.

o The Ottavani Intervention (hyperlinked to EWTN) Letter from Cardinal Ottavani to Pope Paul VI, Critical Study of the New Order of Mass, September 5, 1969.

o Ministeria Quaedam –Pope Paul VI Apostolic Letter, On First Tonsure, Minor Orders, and the Subdiaconate, given Motu Proprio on August 15, 1972, and effective January 1, 1973.

o Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, Apostolic Constitution, For the Promulgation of the New Code of Canon Law, published by Pope John Paul II on January 25, 1983. [New code of canon law is also known as The 1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law.]

o Fidei Depositum – Apostolic Constitution, On the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church Prepared Following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, published by Pope John Paul II on October 11, 1992. [New catechism is also known as the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church.]

o Universi Dominici Gregis – Apostolic Constitution, On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff, given by Pope John Paul II on February 22, 1996.

Competent traditional church authority will also have to develop a syllabus for this advanced course.

Adults – especially parents – are in particular need of Traditional Continuing Catholic Education. Why? Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.

 

Does the fact that we are baptized Roman Catholics, go to confession once a year, and go to mass on Sunday qualify us to catechize our children? Probably not any more than sitting in the church pew qualifies us to preach, say mass, and hear confession.

That being said, who catechized us? Are we candidates for adult catechesis? More importantly, what are the qualifications of those teaching Catholic Catechism to our children and grandchildren? What are the qualifications of those teaching Catholic Catechism at our Catholic colleges and universities, Catholic high schools, and Catholic parochial schools?

Our catechist had the best of intentions. Our children’s and grandchildren’s catechist had the best of intentions. The issue is their qualifications. There are good parishes with trained catechists – but there are also many modernist parishes with well-intentioned minimally trained volunteer modernist catechists.

It all goes back to the education and training of our catechists. If it is to be, it is up to you…

There is also more to Traditional Continuing Catholic Education than just prayerful catechesis. Two other tracks parallel catechesis. The second track focuses on the contemporary operating tempo of our Roman Catholic Church. The third track focuses on the contemporary operating tempo of the secular world in which we live.

Why is it important that we study the contemporary operating tempo of our Roman Catholic Church and the secular world in which we live? Because in paragraph two of Fidei Depositum we were charged with illumining with the light of faith the new [ecclesial and secular] situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past. Because the underlying issue is the church militant – struggling with sin and temptation. Because the underlying issue is moral decadence and spiritual warfare. We cannot establish a defensive perimeter, or engage our enemy, without knowing who or what threatens our Roman Catholic faith. Before proceeding down these two tracks, it should be understood that our purpose is not to find ways to criticize individuals but to illuminate weaknesses that can be addressed and improved.

Before proceeding down the second and third tracks we must also understand and accept that we will probably encounter situations that challenge our respect and loyalty to both ecclesiastic and secular offices and, more often than not, to the incumbents.

 

We must therefore understand the fundamental difference between an ecclesiastical office (E.g., Pope, Cardinal, Archbishop, Bishop, Priest, Deacon, etc.) and its incumbent. We must also understand the fundamental difference between a secular office (E.g., President, Vice President, Senator, Representative, Governor, Mayor, Councilman, etc.) and its incumbent.

All of us, without exception, should always show the utmost respect and loyalty to the office – be it ecclesiastical or secular. With this in mind we must not forget that the incumbent is a human being whose human actions, by virtue of free will, are morally imputable. There is therefore a rebuttable presumption that the actions of the incumbent – a human being – are morally good and acceptable. Until proven otherwise, we all owe the incumbent, without exception, the same respect and loyalty accorded his office.

Absent morally good and acceptable human action, we must still respect and remain loyal to the incumbent’s office – while working charitably to show the incumbent the error of their way. Recall:

“But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee: take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church: let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed also in heaven.” [Douay-Rheims translation, Matthew 18: 15-18]

In scripture it is also written:

“I say to you that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.” [Douay-Rheims translation, Luke 15:7]

Our purpose is not to criticize. Our purpose is not to beat the drums of doom and gloom. Our purpose is to illuminate and understand the scope of the problem and become a part of the solution. Our purpose is to charitably bring one or more persons back into the fold…

“The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion….” [1994 CCC, paragraph 1829]

With this in mind, we need to develop the two other Continuing Catholic Education tracks. Both require reading contemporary books and articles in an effort to understand the contemporary operating tempo – the good, the bad, and the ugly – of the Roman Catholic Church and the secular world. Our emphasis should be on contemporary and discerning what is good or bad. It is time we investigate history and learn what is really at stake at this moment in time.

Recall that the second track of continuing Catholic education focuses on the contemporary operating tempo of our Roman Catholic Church. Where will we learn about the contemporary operating tempo of our Roman Catholic Church? By making time to read often controversial books like:

  •   The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America by David Carlin. Reviewer Russell Shaw wrote: “If you are looking for a cheerful, upbeat account of the present state and future prospects of American Catholicism, avoid David Carlin’s The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America like the plague. But if you want a deadly serious examination of a desperate situation, this is essential reading.”
  •   The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church by George Weigel. Reviewer James Likoudis wrote: “Readers will find his analysis of the deep-seated causes of the crisis— whose ramifications have affected all sectors of Catholic life—comprehensive and compelling. “At the bottom of the bottom line,” he [Weigel] observes, “every crisis in the Church is a crisis of fidelity.” Starkly put, it has been infidelity to Church teaching on the part of bishops, priests, religious, and laity that has led to the current crisis of clergy sexual abuse, fueled by an alarming “culture of dissent” that has developed in the Church since the revolt against Humanae Vitae in 1968.”
  •   Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic Church by Michael S. Rose. Reviewer Rev. Robert J. Johansen, M.A., wrote:
  • “Rose [Catholic sociologist and author] describes an environment in many Catholic seminaries during the 70’s and 80’s which encouraged dissent and disobedience, as well as moral and doctrinal laxity. In these seminaries, Rose writes, those responsible for recruitment and admissions actively sought out men who supported the “progressive” or liberal Catholic agenda: abolition of priestly celibacy, ordination of women, acceptance of the gay lifestyle, and liturgical experimentation. Those few men with more traditional views who got intothese seminaries were subjected to harassment and attempts at re- indoctrination. Rose describes an atmosphere in which expressions of reverence such as genuflection or kneeling were derided, and traditional devotions such as the rosary received scorn and hostility.”

 Priest: Portraits of Ten Good Men Serving the Church Today by Michael S. Rose. The author is fair and balanced. In Goodbye, Good Men the author focused on the dark side. In this book the author focuses on the bright side. Enough said.

There is a vast difference between being a baptized Catholic and a faithful to the magisterium Catholic.

The third track of continuing Catholic education focuses on the contemporary operating tempo of the secular world in which we live. Again recall that our purpose is to investigate history and learn what is really at stake at this moment in time.

Where will we learn about the contemporary operating tempo of the secular world in which we live? By making time to read contemporary and often controversial books like:

  •   Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul D. Alinsky. The author starts by recognizing Lucifer as the very first radical and then tells us that he wrote the book for the Have-Nots – so that they may take it away from those that have. On the outside back cover the book’s publisher does not hesitate to link author Alinsky with both Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In this book the word Catholic appears 11 times, the word priest appears 8 times, the word bishop appears 6 times, the word cardinal appears once, and the word Lucifer appears once. Some of the context seems innocuous. Some of the context, however, is quite poignant and very relevant to the contemporary Catholic Church in the United States of America.
  •   Revellie for Radicals by Saul D. Alinsky. This is the prequel to Rules for Radicals – where Alinsky introduces us to “Big Butch.” In this book the word Catholic appears 37 times, the word priest appears 26 times, and the word bishop appears 2 times. Some of the context is quite poignant and very relevant to the contemporary Catholic Church in the United States of America.
  •   The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party by David Horowitz and Richard Poe. The book makes it clear that Hillary Clinton’s radicalism is deep-rooted and fundamental, bearing the clear imprint of her early mentor Saul Alinsky [page 56]. The book tells us that:

o Hillary met Alinsky through a leftwing church group to which she belonged in high school and they stayed in close touch until Alinsky’s death [page 56].

o Hillary’s 1969 senior thesis at Wellesley College was a 75-page salute to Alinsky. It contained excerpts of his forthcoming book, Rules for Radicals, which he had allowed Hillary to read before the book’s publication in 1971 [page 56].

o Upon graduation from Wellesley College, Alinsky offered Hillary a full-time organizer job with his Industrial Areas Foundation. Hillary declined only because Yale Law School seemed to offer a superior path for infiltrating the Establishment [page 56].

o Hillary’s efforts to cultivate a “moderate” or “centrist” public image faithfully reflect Alinsky’s teaching [page 56].

 The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists by Aaron Klein (with Brenda J. Elliott). The authors expose just how dangerous Barack Obama really is as America’s president and commander in chief.

There is a vast difference between being a baptized Catholic, a doctrinally correct Catholic, and a well-informed traditional Catholic.

Given the number of books on these two lists, you are probably wondering where to start. Simple. Finish the book you are reading and then alternate the lists. Start at the top of each list and work your way to the bottom of the list. Do not worry – you will find other contemporary books to read as you work your way through the lists. Traditional Continuing Catholic Education is an ongoing – lifelong – prayerful process.

This lifelong, prayerful, and parallel three-track process – Traditional Continuing Catholic Education – will qualify us to catechize our children, family, and friends. We will also be better prepared to struggle with moral decadence, sin, and temptation. We will also be better prepared to engage Lucifer in spiritual warfare. We will better understand when and where to establish a defensive perimeter and when or where to engage our spiritual enemy.

 

By now you are probably pulling your hair out and saying nonsense – the hell with this – I do not have time to do all of this. You cannot seem to find an hour a day in your very busy schedule.

Not a problem. You are blessed with free will. You make time to do those things that are important to you. The Lord will assess your priorities – both earthly and spiritual – when you knock on the pearly gates…

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HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT – Cycle A

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The Blind Leading the Blind by Pieter Brueghel

HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF

LENT

Cycle A

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida

O God,

Who through your Word 

reconcile the human race to yourself

in a wonderful way,

grant, we pray,

that with prompt devotion and eager faith

the Christian people may hasten

toward the solemn celebrations to come.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ,

your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity

of the Holy Spirit,

one God,
for ever and ever.

Amen

(Collect)

“I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Those words taken from today’s Gospel have always seemed to me to be some of the most important words in the whole Gospel of our Lord and they have always instilled in me a small amount of fear and now more than ever. I have recently begun to experience ARED, age-related macular degeneration.

Those words, however, do not refer to physical blindness but rather to spiritual blindness which is far worse than physical blindness.

Those words are a call to genuine humility before God which is harder to achieve than fighting physical blindness.

It is in the nature of man to glory in the fact that unlike all other creatures on earth, man is made in the image and likeness of God.

How are we made in the image and likeness of God?  God does not have a body!  God is not substance is pure spirit, not matter; we are matter and spirit.

We are made in the image and likeness of God in that we have an intellect which can discover the inner essence of things and we have a will which enables us to choose freely with regard to the things we know.

Our faith is based on the revelation of Jesus Christ and the testimony of his apostles as handed down to us through the Fathers of the Church of the first three centuries of the life of the Church.

Our intellect causes us to seek understanding of what it is that we believe.  We should engage in this seeking of understanding guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the solemn teaching of popes and councils helped by philosophers and theologians. But sometimes we do not accept such guidance and ‘go it alone.’  That can be dangerous to our faith.

This is where humility comes in.  It seems to be natural for men and women throughout the history of the Church to let pride interfere with their understanding of the faith.  Some genius in the Middle Ages gave us this marvelous bit of advice:

It is better to get your head into heaven than to get heaven into your head !!!

That saying warns us that it is impossible to know everything about God and therefore with humility admit that you cannot know everything about God and concentrate on getting your head into heaven by obeying the precepts of the Lord and follow the way he described for you in his Gospel.

Intellectual pride is the curse of the over-educated person.  My guess is that there are more Doctors of Theology in hell than any other group of educated persons.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that I am anti-intellectual; on the contrary I have great respect for people who use their god-given brains to understand what it is that they accept on faith.

 Intellectual pride is a huge problem  Pride was the cause of the fall of Lucifer who thought himself equal to God and therefore not obligated to serve God.

Intellectual pride is at the root of many of the problems that now create a crisis in the Roman Catholic Church.

Men like Cardinals Kasper, Marx, et al have reasoned themselves into heterodoxy.  They claim “We see” and their pride blinds them to their spiritual blindness.

The antidote to their blindness is to apply the healing mud of humility to the eyes of their intellect and admit that the words spoken by Jesus Christ in the Gospel mean what they say and are not open to the kind of interpretation that robs them of their obvious meaning.

If we look for evidence that God favors humility in humans we have only to recall the pattern of God’s selection of individuals to be his prophets, men who spoke for God  telling people what God wanted people to hear.

God never chose intellectual giants to be his prophets.  Beginning with his choice of David to be his King and Psalmist God chose the weakest, the least likely to succeed to be his prophets.  Jeremiah, Isaiah, et al were all men whom others would have judged as least likely to succeed.  God put words in their mouths and they revealed God’s truth to others.

God surely chose the least likely to succeed so that it would be plain to all that it was God speaking through his prophet and not the prophet speaking on his own rhetorical ability or wisdom

The final words of today’s Gospel should strike fear in the hearts of all who boast of having a modern up-to-date understanding of Gospel as it applies to 21st Century society:

“Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard Jesus say ‘I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind’ and they said to him, ‘Surely we are not also blind, are we?’ and Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains”

Be humble, admit that you do not know everything.  There are two books you should consult frequently to help you remain humble: the Catholic Bible and  the Cathechism of the Catholic Church.  Both are available in very inexpensive editions from Amazon.com.

Buy they, read them, let them be your guide as your intellect seeks to understand what you believe through faith.

Cardinals Kasper, Marx and friends are the blind leading the blind.  Do not follow them!!!

O God,

Eternal Father,

help us to achieve true intellectual humility

in our search for understanding of what we believe.

Grant that we always see with 20/20 vision the path that your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to us.

Grant that we will always seek to do your will rather than “doing it my way” with regard to our daily actions.

If we are becoming spiritually blind apply the healing ‘mud’ of your grace to the eyes of our soul that I may see clearly.

This I ask through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God,

forever and ever.

Amen!

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THE FORMAL CORRECTION MAY YET COME, BE PATIENT

Cardinal Burke Speaks on the “Formal Correction”

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Last night at Saint Raymond of Peñafort parish in Springfield, Virginia, Cardinal Raymond Burke gave a talk in which he addressed questions about the long-awaited “formal correction” promised by the Four Cardinals in the event that Pope Francis does not respond to the dubia submitted to him last September and made public in November.

Before the video (courtesy of Andrew Guernsey) begins, the pastor of the parish, Fr. John De Celles, asked about the dubia:

Fr. De Celles: There are a lot of rumors circulating about the dubia, which you and four other esteemed cardinals sent to the Holy Father about divorce, marriage, and communion and the likeDo you know if there will be a response to the dubia from our Holy Father or from the CDF?

Cardinal Burke: I sincerely hope that there will be because these are fundamental questions that are honestly raised by the text of the apostolic…the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. And until these questions are answered, there continues to spread a very harmful confusion in the Church and one of the fundamental questions is in regards to the truth that there are some kinds that are always and everywhere wrong – what we call intrinsically evil acts – and so, we cardinals are, will continue to insist that we hear a response to these honest questions.

After rejecting the idea that the dubia are disrespectful or arrogant, and asserting that this is the traditional method of seeking clarification from the pope on the Church’s constant teaching, Burke addressed why, when there was no response after the initial submission of the dubia – and after the cardinals were told by the CDF that there would be no response – they made the dubia public.

The video below begins part way into the answer to the question, so we are providing the transcript of the full audio of that section before the video, which begins at “we have these questions”:

Cardinal Burke: We judged it necessary to make public the question[s] [of the dubia] because so many of the faithful were approaching us, saying, having these questions and saying well, what’s the wrong, we have these questions and it seems like, that none of the cardinals who have a great responsibility to assist the holy father has these questions and  so…we published them, and that also was done with great respect.

Fr. De Celles: If there is no response, will, what will your response be, the Four Cardinals?

Cardinal Burke: Then we simply will have to correct the situation, again, in a respectful way, that simply can say that, to draw the response to the questions from the constant teachings of the Church and to make that known for the good of souls.

You can see a video of the full talk on the LifeSiteNews Facebook page here.

Several days ago, one of our readers, Marie Pruden, posted a comment in which she recounted her own experience with Cardinal Burke when he visited California earlier this month:

Cardinal Burke was in Oakland, California last Sunday, March 19, where he celebrated a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Margaret Mary’s Church early in the afternoon, after which he blessed a newly-opened clinic of the Knights of Malta.

Later he held a public reception at Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light before celebrating a solemn Benediction. It was at the reception line that I got to speak with the Cardinal briefly. Here’s how it went:

I genuflected as he blessed me and I kissed his ring. Standing up, I held on to his hand and asked, “Eminence, are you pushing through with the formal public correction on the errors of Amoris Laetitia?”

Before I could even finish my question came his answer, “Don’t worry about it. We’re looking into it. We’re working on it.”

I had wanted to ask a follow-up question but there’s a line behind me and it was time to go down to the church for Benediction.

From the little answer he gave, it feels like his group of four Cardinals hasn’t really given up on the Dubia. [emphasis added]

She expounded, in a later comment:

I went to the reception purposely to ask Cardinal Burke the question.

[…]

I’m Filipino and am very conscious of my accent and my verb tense and prepositions, so I had to make my question as short and as clearly stated as possible. That was probably why the Cardinal didn’t wait for me to finish my sentence. He was anticipating it. Perhaps other people ahead of me had asked the same question.

With the addition of the video, her eyewitness account adds further credibility to the notion that the formal correction is most certainly not off the table, and may in fact be anticipated at some point in the future.

With this latest video of Cardinal Burke saying that the formal correction may yet come — but with no deadline attached — it would seem that most likely nothing has transpired yet. Amoris Laetitia was a year old as of March 19, 2017 (the official date of its signing) but will not have its first anniversary as a public document until April 8. This means that a year after the release of this document that has caused, in Cardinal Burke’s own words, “a very harmful confusion in the Church”, we are still waiting for an official defense of the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage, family, Catholic sexual ethics, and sacramental discipline.

And while it is reasonable to conclude that such an action, insofar as it is almost unprecedented, would take careful study and caution in its execution, the pace, in relation to current events, is practically glacial. Further, we are forced to wonder what, if any, effect such a correction would have. Would it change anything, or would it simply be an objection, on the record, to what appears to be a blatant and unrepentant miscarriage of Church teaching on the part of the pope and a growing number of bishops and cardinals? Would, in other words, such a correction actually have any teeth?

Further, we are left to wonder what is being done to address the many other troubling and possibly heretical statements from Pope Francis, some of which we cataloged in our article on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of his election?

While it is a Maxim of Catholic thought that the Church moves slowly, even timelessly, because she deals in eternal truths, it is nonetheless undeniable that the damage that is being done by Pope Francis and his allies exceeds by an exponential factor the efforts to reign in and correct that damage through official ecclesiastical channels.

Souls are at stake. We do not have the luxury of time, and admonitions that these things must simply be ignored as we put our faith in Christ’s promises ring painfully hollow when every day the faithful watch people they know and love being led astray, or discouraged to the brink of despair.

In Luke 18:8, Our Blessed Lord famously asked if, when He returned, he would find faith on the earth. At the present moment, one is forced to wonder if that question applies equally to the end of this pontificate.

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REJOICE, AGAIN I SAY REJOICE; NOT LIKE THE GODLESS DO BUT AS THE GODFULL DO

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FROM THE PASTOR
March 26, 2017

by Fr. George W. Rutler

Laetare Sunday is a relaxation from what, in our culture, are usually the not-too-rigorous rigors of this penitential season. Thoughts of the Heavenly Jerusalem occasioned the hymn “Jerusalem the Golden.” Ours is a translation by the Victorian classicist, John Mason Neale. The hymn is the fourth part of a poem by Bernard of Cluny in the twelfth century. He had dedicated it to the Abbot Peter the Venerable who oversaw the operation of nearly two thousand monasteries nurturing the revival of European civilization. In his attempt to better understand the twisted zeal of the Saracen Muslims who were massacring Christian pilgrims, Abbot Peter translated into Latin the Koran and various Arabic astronomical texts.

“Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest . . . I know not, O I know not, what joys await us there, What radiancy of glory, what bliss beyond compare.” The imagery, based on the divine Revelation of Saint John, is light years removed from the materialist Paradise envisioned in the Koran, with its rivers of wine to make up for earthly abstinence, and the free use of women.

Mistaken ideas of Paradise are rooted in rejection of the mystery by which Christ conquers death by the victory of the Cross. The one consistency in such heresies is the typical resentment of the Cross. A friend of mine who is a priest has bravely gone to Iraq to assist the persecuted Christians there. Along with pictures of bombed Christian towns and burned churches, is the evidence that “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18) have destroyed every image of the Cross. To drive home the point, the graves of Christians have been desecrated, bodies exhumed, and coffins left littering the ground.

In Mosul in 2007, a 35-year-old Chaldean Catholic priest and three sub-deacons refused to renounce Christ and were martyred. Father Ragheed Ghanni had been secretary to Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who promoted many good works for the local people, including an orphanage for handicapped children. Both had studied in Rome at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum), where I did my theology with the kind and bright Dominicans. A year later, the Archbishop, having opposed the imposition of Shariah law, was martyred.

For years, it was politically incorrect in our own country to publicize these sufferings. The same university students who retreat to psychoanalysis when they hear views contrary to their own, act as though the genocide in the Middle East did not exist. Christians in the Middle East must feel betrayed to hear comfortable clerics in the West speak glibly of “dialogue” with their persecutors. Ignorance is not innocence, and naiveté is not knowledge. But Laetare Sunday now is enriched by the heavenly help of modern witnesses who embraced the Cross:

“They stand those halls of Zion, all jubilant with song, And bright with many an angel, and all the martyr throng.”
 

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HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD

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HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida

O God,

who willed that your Word

should take on the reality of human flesh

in the womb of the Virgin Mary,

grant, we pray,

that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man,

may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity

of the Holy Spirit,

one God,

for ever and ever.

Amen !!!

The spoken word can be powerful.

The spoken word can produce marvelous effects.

Magicians throughout history have worked their magic after an invoctation, such as,

“open sesame”

“abra cadabra”

“alakazam”

“hocus pocus dominus”

“presto”

“shazam”

]

Craig Conley, a scholar of magic,

writes that the magic words used by magicians may originate from “pseudo-Latin phrases, nonsense syllables, or esoteric terms from religious antiquity,”

but that what they have in common is “language as an instrument of creation.”

Words can create, but words can also destroy.

Children used to recite the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones my break my bones, but names can never hurt me!”

That is not true!

When I was in grade school I got into school ground fights and the bruises I received have long been forgotten, but some of the names I was called hurt and I have never forgotten the hurt they inflicted on me.  

When a criminal hears the judge pronounce the sentence of death as punishment for the crime the criminal already begins to feel deadly effects of that sentence.

Of all the words that we humans can speak that produce amazing good effects, 

none can compare with the words the priest says as he celebrates a sacrament:

“I baptize you……”

“Be sealed with the Holy Spirit….”

“I absolve from your sins….”

“I now pronounce you man and wife…”

“Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”

“Be healed…..”

and most important of all:

“Hoc est enim corpus meum…

“This is my body…this is my blood”

It is by the power of Christ that those words produce miraculous effects.

But of all the words that humans can speak and have spoken, even the words that a priest says when he celebrates the Eucharist, none can equal the importance of the words spoken by a teenage girl in Israel.

When Mary said these words: 

“May it be done to me according to your word!

time stood still for a moment and when the clock starter ticking again the world was in 

“Anno Domini” the Lord’s time.

You know the story of how Mary was betrothed to Joseph but not yet married to him.  Betrothal is no longer common.

Betrothal is more than engagement.

The implications of a pregnancy while betrothed must have been frightening to

Mary.  It made her subject to be stoned, for adultery, according to Jewish law 

But such was her trust in God that she did not hesitate to give her consent.

The words of Mary’s response to the Angel were infinitely greater than the word even of the priest at the consecration of the Mass because her words gave the human nature to the Second Person of the Trinity, now present in our time as Jesus Christ.

A good test of one’s trust in God during the remainder of Lent is to reflect on the occasions in your life when human respect, what others might think of you, prevented you from saying or doing something good that the Holy Spirit was prompting you to say or do.

I can testify that there have been several occasions when I felt the strong impulse to do a good deed for another but failed to do it out of fear what others would think of me.  That was not the case with Mary.

Almighty God,

Eternal Father,

give us the grace to imitate our 

Blessed Mother 

in placing all our trust in you without hesitation.

 She, without hesitation and without calculating the cost in human respect that would be hers in freely giving her “yes” to the Angel Gabriel became a model for all of us to place our trust in you.

This we ask through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you union with the Holy Spirit, 

One God.

Amen! 

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