Saint Thomas Aquinas

Friday, August 29, 2014

How To Avoid Hell! New Catholic Resource Website

There is a new website that you want to pass around called 'How to Avoid Hell.' Pass it around!



From the webpage...
"After spending many years reading Catholic books, watching videos and listening to talks I feel called to make a website that contains all of the best resources on living a life dedicated to Christ, and avoiding hell. At this point in time many people are being deceived and are living their lives in dedication to themselves and the evil one. Our Lord said plainly, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it." This site is aimed at making the narrow gate a little wider for those living in today's corrupt culture. The Catholic Church is the only Church established by Jesus Christ and is the only gate that leads to heaven. Enjoy the many articles, videos, lectures and linked resources, and may God bless and keep you always!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Help Save The Latin Mass In NYC- Keep Holy Innocents Open!

The Archdiocese of NY, headed by Cardinal Dolan, seeks to close a masterpiece of Catholic architecture that is thriving by offering the Latin Mass. Watch this video and sign the petition. There is a war going on for the soul of the Church. Here is your chance to step into the fight.
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

'Intrumentum Laboris' Battle Lines Drawn: The Natural Law Is Under Fire



"The office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord's flock has especially this duty assigned to it by Christ, namely, to guard with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body; for, owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking "men speaking perverse things" (Acts xx. 30), "vain talkers and seducers" (Tit. i. 10), "erring and driving into error" (2 Tim. iii. 13). Still it must be confessed that the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ has in these last days increased exceedingly, who are striving, by arts, entirely new and full of subtlety, to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, if they can, to overthrow utterly Christ's kingdom itself. Wherefore We may no longer be silent, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be attributed to forgetfulness of Our office."

Concerning the modernists...

"They recognize that the three chief difficulties for them are scholastic philosophy, the authority of the fathers and tradition, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war."

(Pascendi Dominici Gregis) Pope Pius X given at St. Peter's, Rome, on the 8th day of September, 1907

So we find ourselves one hundred and seven years later, and St. Pius X appears to have been a prophet since we have reaped the whirlwind he said we would if his directions were not followed. We have been silent! If you have read the Catholic news sites you should have seen that a new document has made its way to the Vatican website. It is called, 'Instrumentum Laboris'. This new document contains the results of the world's synod of bishops as to the state of the Catholic Church and the challenges it faces in the modern world. It also gives us some of their proposed "remedies". The document specifically addresses the issue of marriage, the family and evangelization in the modern world. Although there are many troubling statements in the document, there is a very serious proposal concerning the Natural Law that we should be very concerned with. There is huge battle coming down the line within the Church which if lost, can have very dire consequences. It can change the way we teach and understand the Natural Law.

Although the modernists have made inroads over the past 50 years or so in distorting Church doctrine, dogma and liturgical practices, it has not had much luck in making headway against the Natural Law. It has been ignored yes, but the real assault has yet to be made. The very fact the Church not only proclaims God's voice concerning Divine Revelation, it also proclaims God's voice concerning creation and the Natural Law as well. This is emphatically stated for example in even modern Church documents such as 'Persona Humana' which states, “Furthermore, Christ instituted His Church as "the pillar and bulwark of truth. With the Holy Spirit's assistance, she ceaselessly preserves and transmits without error the truths of the moral order, and she authentically interprets not only the revealed positive law but "also . . . those principles of the moral order which have their origin in human nature itself"[7] and which concern man's full development and sanctification. Now in fact the Church throughout her history has always considered a certain number of precepts of the natural law as having an absolute and immutable value, and in their transgression she has seen a contradiction of the teaching and spirit of the Gospel.”

Faithful Catholics understand that the Natural Law cannot be changed, updated, modified or evolved. There is no philosophical framework that can be substituted for the scholastic method when it comes to explaining and teaching it. We should remember that Pope Pius IX condemned the following idea in his syllabus of errors, "The method and principles which have served the doctors of scholasticism when treating of theology no longer correspond with the exigencies of our time or the progress of science." For that reason also Latin has been traditionally used to teach and define concepts concerning the Natural Law along with the Thomistic paradigm. St Pius X tells us, "In the first place, with regard to studies, We will and ordain that scholastic philosophy be made the basis of the sacred sciences. It goes without saying that if anything is met with among the scholastic doctors which may be regarded as an excess of subtlety, or which is altogether destitute of probability, We have no desire whatever to propose it for the imitation of present generations (Leo XIII. Enc. Aeterni Patris). And let it be clearly understood above all things that the scholastic philosophy We prescribe is that which the Angelic Doctor has bequeathed to us..." Pope Pius X clealry understood what was at stake here.

With this in mind, there is only one way to understand the following terms in regard to the Natural Law: Act, potentiality, form, substance, matter, formal cause, final cause, teleology etc. The Natural Law has been defined and explained by these Aristotelian terms for centuries and they cannot be improved upon by other philosophical concepts or language. Even before St. Pius X's time, the Aristotelian Thomistic model has been the target for modern philosophers and theologians. For a general understanding of what has gone on over the centuries regarding philosophy and the war to destroy Aristotelian concepts, you really should read Dr. Edward Feser's book titled, 'The Last Superstition.' If you do not know what is in his book, you are seriously at a handicap when it comes to understanding the war on truth, reality, and the Natural Law. I know I keep promoting this book, but it is really that good. Buy it and study it.



All of this being said, this new document gives us a preview of where this council in October is heading in regards to the marriage questions that have been making headlines since Pope Francis took office. With the problematic statements of men such as Cardinal Kasper and others being floated about, many in the Church are now testing the waters to see if indeed the Natural Law can finally be hijacked by the modernists. Thankfully there has been some open objection to these ideas, Cardinal Mueller who is the head of the CDF and Cardinal Burke who is also in Rome, are two that come to mind. Aside from a few voices, the rest of the church crowd is running down the wrong road, including most Catholics who call themselves "orthodox." In fact, these are the ones you have to worried about. The open modernist heretics are easy to spot. Now however you have many well meaning catechists, theologians and popular apologists who are slowly leading many people into the mine field of modernism. That is a subject for another time. Let us not be distracted further from the immediate issue at hand.

The part of the new document that I want to point everyone's attention to is the part which concerns the Natural Law. Paragraphs 21-30 point out supposed problems with the Natural Law in the modern world, and it gives a few proposals on how to solve them. For one, the bishops apparently see problems with how the people of the world understand the Natural Law. For example, in paragraph 21 the document says, "In a vast majority of responses and observations, the concept of natural law today turns out to be, in different cultural contexts, highly problematic, if not completely incomprehensible." Really, you don't say? Maybe it is because none of the bishops have taught it in 50 years, maybe thats why! No, it is the modern culture's problem, not theirs. Its not that they completely dismissed over 100 years of papal statements telling them to teach Saint Thomas! It would not be "incomprehensible if they actually explained it. The document continues, "Many bishops' conferences, in many different places, say that, although the spousal aspect of the relationship between man and woman might be generally accepted as an experiential reality, this idea is not interpreted according to a universally given law. Very few responses and observations demonstrated an adequate, popular understanding of the natural law." Again, who's fault is that?

The documents continues on now giving us the sob story over new scientific discoveries, which as we know does nothing, absolutely nothing to detract or negate the Natural Law. "Today, in not only the West but increasingly every part of the world, scientific research poses a serious challenge to the concept of nature. Evolution, biology and neuroscience, when confronted with the traditional idea of the natural law, conclude that it is not “scientific." If anyone thinks this is problematic, then they do not understand the Natural Law. Science if anything has proven that the Natural Law concept is the only rational explanation of how the human mind comes into conformity with reality. It is then applicable to everyone at all times and all places and will never displaced by scientific discoveries. The natural sciences themselves can never have dominion over the Natural Law since the Natural Law is above that of the natural sciences.

Paragraph 25 through 29 point out some legitimate problems in the Church concerning the Natural Law. That there are problems concerning people's understanding, or being aware of the concept of the Natural Law is not surprising. That is what happens again when you do not teach something and subvert it for 5 or more decades. But the bishops synod's proposal to remedy these problems are what are extremely alarming and should concern us. Instead of trying to correct the problem by returning the Thomistic "traditional" model that every Pope up until John XIII called for, they instead now look to employ the same methods that got us all in this situation in the first place. Lets modernize everything! Change the language, reread everything and redefine it! Great idea!

Paragraph 30 proposes, "The language traditionally used in explaining the term “natural law” should be improved so that the values of the Gospel can be communicated to people today in a more intelligible manner." The word improved here should be substituted for change! How are they going to improve anything when they have no clue as to what the Natural Law is in the first place? They do not want to improve anything. What language are they even referring to? They going to try and get rid of the scholastic terms and framework that are needed to explain the Natural Law in the only intelligible manner possible. You cannot "improve" upon the "traditional" "language."

Why not use the same modern watered down language and ideas that were used to distort the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the rest of the Sacraments? It will do wonders to understanding marriage and the Natural Law! If you are asking yourself that question, you have got it right! In the document they explicitly tell us what they want to do! "...this proposal insists on using language which is accessible to all, such as the language of symbols utilized during the liturgy. The recommendation was also made to engage young people directly in these matters." This is certainly a recipe for disaster! You cannot use symbols as substitutes for complex concepts. Why don't we just all go back to using hieroglyphs instead of written text? Anytime these moderns get their hands on anything, they destroy it. I can promise you the same will happen once they overhaul the language concerning the Natural Law. They are going to change the entire framework, not simply improve the language. Notice how they specified that the language is the one "traditionally" used, that they want to do away with! This includes Latin and the entire scholastic system. This simply cannot be done, and the faithful should be crying out as loud as possible that it not be done!

The final proposal is also an incredibly horrifying one, "...respondents propose bringing the issue to public discussion and developing the idea of biblical inspiration and the “order in creation,” which could permit a re-reading of the concept of the natural law in a more meaningful manner in today’s world..." Do we not see how they have reread the Bible over the past 50 years or more? They have already destroyed any meaningful understanding of the Scriptures for most people, and now they are going to use more of the same methods to "reread" the Natural Law? These proposals should be taken notice of. Of course I will have people come by the blog and say the document does not hold any real weight, which is of course true. But just because it has no "official" weight not mean that it is not forecasting what is coming down the pipe that can result in tangible horrific results.

Can we allow such proposals to overhaul the Natural Law go unchallenged? Who could permit such suggestions to be taken seriously? In the past no one would have thought many of the things that have happened in the Church could have happened, and yet the faithful sat back and let it happen. Well, these proposals are on the Vatican website for all to see. Some may say I am making too much of this, but I do not think so. This is a very serious matter. Am I the only one who thinks it is a bad idea to start making changes to the "traditional" language and "improving" it to appeal to the "modern world"? Pass this post around and let us make sure that we make it clear to the Vatican that the faithful will not accept an overhaul of the Natural Law we will not accept a new language, a new "rereading" of Scripture and we will not accept anything less than the Thomistic language and principles that explain the Natural Law so clearly and beautifully! Let us head the words of St Pius X in 'Doctoris Angelici'.

"The chief doctrines of St. Thomas' philosophy cannot be regarded as mere opinions—which anyone might discuss pro and con, but rather as a foundation on which all science of both natural and divine things rests. If they are taken away, or perverted in any way, then this necessarily follows: that the students of sacred studies will not perceive even the meaning of those words whereby the divinely revealed dogmas are uttered by the teaching of the Church."

Don't kid yourself, the storm is coming!












Sunday, July 27, 2014

Do We Need a “Reformed” Papacy? The Story of Pope St. Agapetus

Do We Need a “Reformed” Papacy? The Story of Pope St. Agapetus




Since the election of Pope John XXIII the papacy has certainly taken on a different character than his predecessors had. Beginning with the Second Vatican Council we see a laxity in how the Church is governed. The effectiveness of how the faith is taught and how effective the errors of the world are addressed is at a clear low point in the modern era of the Church. We hear today of rumors that Pope Francis wants to “reform” the papacy and appeal more to the Orthodox for example, for sake of unity. So we may be well to consider today the necessity of papal reform.

So we ask the question, is the papacy in need of reform? I would immediately answer in the affirmative, but I must qualify what type of reform I would like to see. My reform would not have anything to do with minimizing the role of the Holy Father when it comes to jurisdiction or being the unifying chair of the Church as Vatican I infallibly defined. Nor would it be handing over the majority of Church affairs to local bishops conferences and synods as Pope Francis has reportedly alluded to. Some would indeed like to see the role of the pope minimized to appeal to heretics and schismatics outside of the Church. What is really needed however is a stronger presence of the papacy in the Church with a harkening back prior papal pontificates before John XXIII. 

Though modernist scholars would like you to believe that the papacy had no real influence in the early Church and that the Eastern Church supposedly led an autonomous existence uninfluenced by Rome, there is nothing further from the truth.  Most people think the papacy held no power in the Church until Pope Leo III's crowning of Charlemagne in 800. They also claim the real papal power and authority only developed with pontificate of Pope Gregory VII. Modern historians claim that the East did not call upon the pope for matters of jurisdictional controversy. It is with this mentality that many people in the Church today think that we can simply roll back the clock on the papacy, ignore the defined dogmas of Vatican I and the Orthodox would just run back to us with open arms. But for those who have actually studied the history of the papacy, this nothing but a pipe dream.

I will use one particular example of the role of the papacy back in the golden age of Constantinople where the East supposedly reigned unhindered by the papacy. We will get in our imaginary time machines and go back to the year 535 where the great and powerful Justinian and Theodora ruled the Roman Empire from Constantinople. Justinian would indeed be the last great unifying emperor of the Roman Empire making every effort to clean up the mess in the West by reconquering large parts of the Italian peninsula from foreign invaders. We also see the workings a wonderful Pope, which most Catholics probably have never heard of, Pope St. Agapetus I. His pontificate only lasted from May 4th 535 to April 17th 536, and certainly this time period is only a blip on the papal radar screen. But his pontificate gives us a snapshot of the pope’s role and method of solving problems in the Church at the time, especially in relation to the East. 

When emperor Justinian learned of the election of Pope Agapetus, he immediately sent a written profession of faith to the Pope. This is an interesting fact, being that most of the Orthodox today would say the pope only held a primacy of honor and not any real authority in the Church. Yet not only did Justinian send a profession of faith to the newly elected pope, he also sent a request dealing with the Arian heretics in the East seeking to be reinstated in the Church. Justinian did not know how to deal with the influx of ecclesiastical Arian heretics who wanted to return to the Church in the hierarchy. Justinian wanted to allow certain reconciled heretics to return to their offices in the Church in the East, so he petitioned the pope to solve this issue.

Emperor Justinian as depicted in San Vitale, Ravenna.


The pope sent a letter to Justinian accepting his profession of faith while preferring to send legates to address the other question, since canon law at the time generally forbid heretics to enter into orders.  There was also a general council being held in Carthage dealing with this same question, and the pope was also asked to address the council. The council asked the pontiff if it were allowed to confer orders on those who had been baptized by Arians. Pope Agapetus responded and denied the reinstatement of the Arian bishops. He also said that converts were not to be admitted to Holy Orders lest they corrupt the entire priesthood. This is how serious previous popes took the Catholic faith. Pope Agapetus, unlike the lax attitude of the popes of our day, he left nothing to chance when it came to the teaching of the faith. Unlike our time where ignorant Protestant converts can come into the Church and immediately start teaching the Catholic faith without any litmus test, past popes would have had none of this. 

This particular controversy however is not the end of this great pope dealing with the East. In his short reign he would pack his bags and borrow money to travel east to meet Justinian in a dispute concerning the stamping out of the Gothic domination in Italy. The East's most glorious general, Belisarius had taken the imperial fleet and anchored it off the coast of Sicily with intention of taking parts of the Italian peninsula back from the Goths. This however meant certain death for those in power at the time. So they petitioned the pope and Constantinople for a sum of money and to be allowed a peaceful exit. Pope Agapetus, a very humble and poor servant of God wanted to travel to settle the dispute, but had no means of wealth to make such a journey. He had to borrow money in order to make the trip east, even putting some of the treasures of St. Peter's up for collateral. Such was his desire to solve these issues. 

St Agapetus arrived in the gem of the East, Constantinople on Feb 2nd of 536. Upon arrival he found there was further trouble, being that a Eutychian bishop named Anthimus had been allowed to serve as bishop of Trezbizond. Pope Agapetus would have nothing to do with him despite the empress Theodora’s and Justian's insistence to the contrary. Anthimus was given an opportunity to sign the confession of faith, which he denied, and the Pope himself deposed him. St Agapetus withstood Justinian to his face, and Justinian once again gave St Agapetus his confession of faith. At the same time the Church in Alexandria petitioned the pope to further stem the Eutychian heresy. As a result, St. Agapetus planned to call a council to solve the problem. In the meantime he tried to negotiate with Justinian as to how Belasrius should deal with the problem in Italy. Just before the council could be held to deal with the Alexandrian controversy, Pope Agapetus died unexpectedly on April 17th 536. 

With so much on his plate there was great anguish among the faithful in Constantinople. Contrary to what modern Orthodox clergy would have us think, the faithful in Constantinople were not upset at the presence of St. Agapetus, in fact it was quite the contrary. An eyewitness in Constantinople says that “It was a festive day for him… but a season of deep mourning for us. Never were such obsequies celebrated for pope or emperor. Not all the public squares, nor the porticoes, nor the housetops could contain the vast crowds that thronged around the funeral car. Constantinople now saw all her subjects within her city walls.” His body was transported back to Rome where they were laid in the basilica of St. Peter’s.

Where is Pope Francis leading us? 

This little history lesson gives an important perspective on what the reform of the papacy should mean for us today. The laxity in which the modern popes operate by today is certainly in need of reform. The pope is indeed the supreme pontiff of the Church both East and West, and he should prudently act as such. As we can see with St Agapetus, there was no laxity in his resolve that the faith be taught without error and that no compromise should be given to those outside the Church concerning doctrine, dogma, faith and morals. What we are seeing now in the operations of the papacy is in my opinion a failure to teach the Catholic faith clearly and with a firm confidence as to its authenticity. When was the last time you heard a pope demand a bishop to sign a declaration of faith or be deposed? If we roll the clock up to the more recent pontificate of Pope St. Pius X we indeed see much of the same character of a Pope St. Agapetus. All clergy under Pius X were required to sign the Oath Against Modernism. This of course was done away with after Vatican II, much to the detriment of the faith.

So we find ourselves in need of a reform yes, but a reform of different sorts than is being called for by many in the Church today. We cannot continue in the lackadaisical approach, which John XIII began with his pontificate. Unity is not won by compromise of the Catholic faith. The Orthodox must come back to the same disposition they had back in the time of Pope St. Agapetus, sign a Catholic confession of faith, and only then will unity be restored.

Source: A General History of the Catholic Church Vol II- M. Labbe J. E. Darras


Thoughts On Truth, Life, Right Reason and the Existence of God


Thoughts On Truth, Life, Right Reason and the Existence of God


Every human being who is in his right mind desires to know truth. They have an attraction to knowing and understanding the world around them. This is an innate human characteristic that is part of each and every one of us. What separates us from one another are those who choose to accept the truths they find themselves surrounded by and those who choose to create their own subjective, deluded “realities.”

Reality is recognition of the world and our being in conjunction with it as objectively perceived through the senses. Our intellect separates us from the rest of the animals that coexist with us. What our intellect allows us to do is reflect on our lives and our thoughts so that we can objectively understand our actions and our purpose of existence. Objective reality as understood in the traditional model of Aristotle and further developed by highly virtuous men such as Thomas Aquinas leads man to the most deepest understanding of himself in the context of society, and society’s natural end. This of course directly leads us to a relationship with man’s objective end, God Almighty.

Modern society would have you believe that there are no absolutes, an absurdity that leaves a deluge of moral decay in its wake. The sliding scale of “morality” that is objectively no morality at all, pervades the mind of the average person today and is a most pernicious error that has eroded the fabric of society. It leads to the idea that there are no universal laws of nature, and that there really is no purpose or directed end to anything. For example, marriage today is no longer viewed as a unifying act, which weaves a necessary thread required to produce a healthy society. Instead marriage is now nothing more than a legal contract between two persons for mere legal benefits gained through a secular government. This idea arrives from the absurdity of such philosophical charlatans as Thomas Hobbes who whole-heartedly rejected the idea of universals and teleology in general and replaced them with subjective social contracts.

Thomas Hobbes, madcap philosopher who denied universals. 
 Purpose is something built into everything we experience throughout our lives. Ultimately all of our actions follow a desired purpose or end. We eat so that our bodies may be nourished, and the pleasure of eating is ordered towards that end, that of survival. Yes, we may indeed eat when we are not hungry, but that does prove that eating is a subjective habit. Eating when we are not hungry explains more of a disordered appetite. Hence that we sometimes eat when we are stressed or merely to enjoy the taste of a particular food may not be intrinsically disordered to the point of immorality, it indicates a propensity towards self indulgence, which is objectively less virtuous in character than one disposed to eating only when hungry or to nourish the body. Of course there is nothing wrong with the added benefits of enjoying the flavor of the food or the company of family of friends at a meal. But it cannot be denied that the objective end of eating is so that one can maintain his or her health and life.

Order and nature is readily apparent in our lives and we work within the framework of an assumption that there is order and purpose to the things we do. We go to work so that we can trade our time and talents for a roof over our heads and food on our tables. We learn so that we can be of more value to those around us whether it be friends, family or the general society around us. When those in society begin to tear down order and purpose, their actions ultimately lead to chaos and disorder, which is where we largely find ourselves today.

Society has not improved, as the progressives would have us think. Yes we have technologically improved to the point of having a higher and more comfortable standard of living, but that in and of itself is no indication of a general improvement of society. We can live in a big house with 4 televisions, an iPad and 3 computers, and still be the most corrupt people on the planet. As objective teleological thought has been traded for subjective materialistic thought, society has become divided and torn asunder. Children are no longer valued and abortion on demand has become the law of the land. The child in the womb today has no right to life. This is largely based on a materialistic view of the moderns who equate human beings to all other animals, denying the potentiality of human beings. By denying matter, form and the objective universals of nature, their sliding moral code foolishly brings them to the conclusion that an infant has no more value than any other animal. Hence as Peter Singer and other madcap philosophers have come to justify, parents should be able to kill their children up until the age of 2, at which time they perceive them as then having more “value” than that of an ape or monkey. One has to wonder if Peter Singer would call the police if he saw his next door neighbor out in his backyard butchering his or her infant with a kitchen knife. Perhaps he would bring over the garbage bag to help him dispose of the poor child.

Rational men however see through this charade. The mental gymnastics needed to subvert the objective nature of man are not rational at all. Act and potentiality is done away with and replaced with mere subjective personal rights answerable to no one but themselves. Ironically this leads the subjective skeptic to a world of materialism, which justifies actions based on mere social contracts of what is acceptable in the time and place they find themselves in. For the materialist everything is in a state of flux and evolution. While the slavery trade from Africa was perfectly acceptable many years ago for many people in the US, the US evolved rather than abandoning an objectively immoral enterprise. This same mentality is now used to justify abortion on demand. While abortion was not accepted by our forefathers, evolution of morality has now advanced to the point where we now understand abortion to be a "right." This of course is sheer nonsense. 

Yes it is a person, and that innocent person has a right to life!

As we know in the US most states had outlawed abortion in most forms because it was generally accepted as being against human nature to kill one’s offspring. This should be readily apparent to a thinking man, but as we know, most men are not thinking men. Yes, thinking men are indeed a rare breed. Objectively it is immoral to take an innocent human beings life no matter where it happens to be physically located. Modern liberal maniacs claim that this choice of whether the kid lives or dies is entirely up to the mother, protected by “privacy” laws. For them this is evolution or progress charted on their sliding scale of “morality.” For thinking men it is not a just law that allows women to kill their offspring as a convenience for enjoying sexual pleasure. This also leads us back to another objective immoral act which cannot be covered in detail here which is the sexual act outside of the idea of man and women in marriage. 



As we search throughout our lives to find truth, we will ultimately, if we are committed, come to find Truth itself, which is God Almighty. This is where true logic and right reason ultimately lead us. This fact also brings us to the understanding that a good society is not one where religion is completely divorced from government, for government is nothing other than a slice of the human population which makes up society in general. Since all men should be right thinking and properly ordered towards reason and hence towards God, religion cannot legitimately be separated from the state. Father James Gillis in the 1940s on Catholic radio emphatically told his listeners it was a “psychological blunder” to separate religion from the state. Yet we find ourselves living this “psychological blunder” today. Chaos reigns in society today and these enlightened “unbelievers” find themselves on all sorts of medications to help them cope with their delusional subjective ideological concepts. In short, confusion reigns when objective reality is denied and God is ultimately abandoned for the whims of men. Human nature is ultimately denied when objectivity and universals are denied. It is akin to trying to separate the earth from the atmosphere.

Antidepressant use is skyrocketing in our "progressive" age. 

One way the skeptics try and justify denying these things is that they appeal to injustices of the past and foolishly blame them on religion. The fact that many immoral people lived in an age where Christianity was largely accepted does not prove that Christianity is in itself to be done away with anymore than sleep should be avoided because many people die in bed. However one can objectively prove that more advancement of society came to fruition when true Christianity was once widely accepted and lived out in society. Like sleep nourishes the body and without it we would die, scholastic Christianity inspired universities and advancements in science and law leading to a finer order of society. The Catholic society which prevailed in the middle ages which was for the most part in accord with the natural law has not been improved on in past secular ages, and in fact what progressives view as progress has been a regress back to the stone age of morality. We should not avoid Christianity any more than we should avoid a good nights sleep, and while we would die if it were not for sleep, we will also ultimately die if we avoid living according to right reason and the laws of God.

Many people die in their sleep, therefore I will not sleep!

The reason many people have chosen to deny reality is that it ultimately leaves them with the idea of being accountable to God and their fellow man for their actions. They understand that deep down many of their actions are not righteous or virtuous, so they medicate themselves into a dull, dark closed mind in which they can try and live without the turmoil that torments them day and night. As we live through this age of godless skepticism, those who have the fortitude to continue their search for truth and live by it will find themselves swimming upstream, or as one dear friend of mine says, “We are aliens in a foreign land. We are trying to get into a stadium door with thousands going in the other direction.” For those of us who will not capitulate to the modern errors of madcap men who seek to banish God and objective truth from society, we can turn to only to one place of refuge. We turn to God almighty and the one true Church He has given us, the Catholic Church. This also means we must turn to the time tested philosophical thinking of Aristotelian Thomism, which also leads us to seeing God. It also properly orients us to understanding reality and properly ordering our actions which are ordered towards a proper end. 

Read this book!



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crusade Magazine- Divorce and Romanticism

There are some great articles in this month's Crusade magazine.

"Romanticism by its very essence and its very definition is made of illusions, of whims, of uncontrolled passions, and hypothetical affections for people who only exist in dream worlds."



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness: Bishop Athansius Schneider

In recent times we are aghast at what many bishops and priests say and do throughout the Church. It is however unfortunate that we do not take enough time to recognize those bishops who do speak out against many of the atrocities going on in the Church. Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan is one of the true warriors in the Church that is willing to speak up. His recent interview which focuses on abuses in the Mass is worth reading and passing along to your fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. His book on Holy Communion is also worth having in your library. There is a light shining in the darkness!


 


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Friends of Saint Gemma Galgani

For those of you who want to learn more about your great sister in heaven, Saint Gemma Galgani, visit this site. There is a ton of information on there about her as well as an E-book on her life. Saint Gemma pray for us! Enjoy!

Born: March 12, 1878 
Extraordinary Mystical Experiences begin: 1898 
Miraculous Cure: Friday, March 3, 1899 -1st Friday of the month (Sacred Heart devotion) 
Received Stigmata: June 8, 1899 -Vigil of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 
Died: Holy Saturday, April 11, 1903 
Beatified: May 14, 1933 by Pope Pius XI 
Canonized: May 2, 1940 by Pope Pius XII 
Patron Saint of Students, Pharmacists, Paratroopers and Parachutists, loss of parents, those suffering back injury or back pain, those suffering with headaches/migraines, those struggling with temptations to impurity and those seeking purity of heart. 
Feast Day: April 11th (or May 16th for those in the Passionist Congregation).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Wake of Vatican II in Light of Pope John XXIII's Opening Address

The second Vatican Council and what has happened in its wake is a hotly controversial topic in and outside the Church. Since its close in 1965 few today understand Vatican II and what Pope John XIII really intended it to accomplish. As the old story goes, Pope John XXIII wanted to allow some fresh air into the Church. This fresh air consisted in some very controversial actions on his part. For example, it is no secret that he personally allowed non-Catholic observers into the Council. He also certainly had a radically different outlook on the Church and the world than his predecessors. The consequences of Vatican II must be understood according to actual history rather than by those in the Church today who wish for an outcome that has yet to take place.



The Second Vatican Council is more than just a collection of 26 documents. The Council fomented a unique attitude and ideology that has penetrated throughout the Church in its wake. An Ecumenical Council's effects are quite apparent in looking at prior Councils such as Trent. Not only do we have the documents of Trent, but we also have the attitude that the Council carried into the Church in her wake which can be verified historically. Trent for example among other things, generated a rich understanding of the Sacraments and further explained the Church's ecclesiology in the face of the horrific Protestant heresy. I think that it is fascinating to compare what actually happened after the Second Vatican Council to what Pope John XIII wished to happen, in light of his opening speech in 1962 when he began the Council.

John XXIII opened the Council saying,
"Illuminated by the light of this Council, the Church -- we confidently trust -- will become greater in spiritual riches and gaining the strength of new energies therefrom, she will look to the future without fear. In fact, by bringing herself up to date where required, and by the wise organization of mutual co-operation, the Church will make men, families, and peoples really turn their minds to heavenly things." 
John XXIII viewed that people in the world would by the efforts of the Council turn to God, and that the Council would develop spiritual riches throughout the Church. There is no doubt in my mind that the Council, its documents and liturgical changes that came after, have not accomplished this in the Church thus far. The vast exodus from the Church since the Council proves this fact. Mass attendance is at an all time low for Catholics throughout the world where Catholicism once flourished. The Catholic faith is little understood by Catholics, and catechesis under the new RCIA programs are largely disastrous. The same dismal track record carries over into the Church's failure to move souls to God. We see a general reversal of what followed Trent.

It is no secret that Pope John XXIII held contrary opinions as to how his predecessors had viewed the Church and the "modern" world. The Popes prior to Pope John XXIII all lamented the escalation of immorality all around them, and tried to combat the evils of the world. For example Pope Pius X wrote in his encyclical 'E Supremi' in 1903 the following,
"We were terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today. For who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is -- apostasy from God..."




Pius X was not alone in his assessment, and every pope from Pius IX (1846) through Pius XII (1958) shared similar opinions on the modern world and its propensity to perpetuate gross evil. Did all of these popes hold the wrong opinion for over 100 years? What is baffling however is that in 1962 when John XXIII took office and convened the Council, things had only escalated throughout the world in regard to this, "deep-rooted malady." Pope Pius X probably would have shrieked in horror if he could see what would follow 60 years after he wrote his encyclical. Yet for John XXIII there was nothing to be worried about.

John XXIII drastically departed from his predecessors in his opening speech,
"In the daily exercise of our pastoral office, we sometimes have to listen, much to our regret, to voices of persons who, though burning with zeal, are not endowed with too much sense of discretion or measure. In these modern times they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin. They say that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse, and they behave as though they had learned nothing from history, which is, none the less, the teacher of life. They behave as though at the time of former Councils everything was a full triumph for the Christian idea and life and for proper religious liberty. We feel we must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand." 
What is readily apparent to any honest man living today is that all of his predecessors were right and he was wrong. This radical change in attitude towards the evil in the world certainly shaped the attitude of the Church towards the world during and after the Council. This naive happy go lucky polyannish tune which Pope John opened the Council with, has unfortunately been playing in the Church since 1962. It is like being stuck in an elevator for 60 years, essentially falling asleep while listening to Barry Manilow. This sickening slumber has been to the detriment of the Church's mission to combat the evils of its age. It seems those "prophets of gloom" seem to have been in tune to what was going on in the world and what was going to happen if the Church ceased to be vocal against the sinful world.

As the speech progresses we see more of what John XXIII had in mind for the Council. "The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously." Again we see that this was also a colossal failure. The documents of the Council have had an extremely limited value in deepening our understanding of the deposit of Christian doctrine, if any. Instead of promoting the scholastic Thomistic theology which John XXIII's predecessors had all called for to defend the Church from modernism, Pope John allowed many theologians who were hostile to St Thomas' theology to gain a foothold in drafting the new documents. As we know, these documents eventually replaced the originals prepared prior to the Council that were prepared using Thomistic scholarship. As a result, instead of the Church deepening its understanding of Sacred Doctrine, building the city of God upon strong foundations, we became a village of useful idiots building the city of man.



Saint Thomas' theology was either hi-jacked, misrepresented, or completely dismissed during and after the Council. For example new theologians such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, who became popular after the Council, butchered Saint Thomas. Balthasar took many of his ideas from a Jesuit misfit theologian by the name of Erich Przywara and combined it with ideas from Karl Barth, and the delusional Adrienne von Speyr, who criticized the Angelic Doctor after having one of her alleged "visions". In the alleged vision Christ supposedly told her how deficient St. Thomas was in his spirituality! She criticized Aquinas' intellect, "Wherever possible he always contemplates things that fit in with the work he is doing at the time. Here, too, he is the one who leads God, as it were, rather than allowing himself to be led by God. he lacks a certain magnanimity." I think that anyone who would think that God almighty would put down one of the greatest Saints in the history of the Church in a vision is out of their mind! But this is the general mentality that von Balthasar also had towards the great Saint, often thinking that his theology was superior to the dry scholasticism of the past. Likewise, Congar and many others who were out of favor before the Council have been lauded as theological geniuses since the Council. Sadly Congar had his hands in many of the documents during the Council.

In practice most people in the Church since the time of the Council have departed from any traditional sense of Catholic doctrine, dogma, or practice, and yet Pope John XXIII did make the following comment in his speech.
"In order, however, that this doctrine may influence the numerous fields of human activity, with reference to individuals, to families, and to social life, it is necessary first of all that the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers. But at the same time she must ever look to the present, to the new conditions and new forms of life introduced into the modern world, which have opened new avenues to the Catholic apostolate." 
It seems that the first principle he addressed concerning the patrimony of the Fathers was never truly adopted by the spirit of the Council, and the second principle which lauded new conditions and forms of the modern world became the anthem of Vatican II. The modern world and its modernist mentality has negatively infiltrated the Church over the past 60 years causing great damage. We have only to look at the pathetic misfits who pass themselves off as "theologians" today like the charlatan Cardinal Walter Kasper. Kasper would not have passed as a practicing Catholic, let alone a Cardinal under John XXIII's predecessors. He would have been branded a heretic, and rightly so. Yet, look at the platform he has been given today. Amazingly even "orthodox" Catholics are taking his heretical thoughts on marriage and ecumenism seriously because of the platform he has been given by recent popes. That is another article for another day, but my point being, we have on a great scale departed from the truth received from the Fathers. None of the Fathers would have taken Kasper's heretical ideas on marriage seriously in the past. Rather than holding fast to the Fathers, we are instead looking to the modern world for answers.

Following on this thought we look again to John XXIII's words,
The manner in which sacred doctrine is spread, this having been established, it becomes clear how much is expected from the Council in regard to doctrine. That is, the Twenty-first Ecumenical Council, which will draw upon the effective and important wealth of juridical, liturgical, apostolic, and administrative experiences, wishes to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion, which throughout twenty centuries, notwithstanding difficulties and contrasts, has become the common patrimony of men.
Again we must look at reality and what actually took place after the Council. Distortion is the name of the theological tune of our age. The theological patrimony handed on to us concerning the liturgy for example, has been distorted since the Council. Many of the Sacraments including Baptism and Confirmation have also been distorted. The doctrine of original sin is now often distorted under titles such as "the sin of the world", downplaying or ignoring the actual sins committed by Adam and Eve which caused the fall of the human race. Adam and Eve never really existed, claim many of today's "orthodox" theologians! Of course this undermines the nature and need for baptism, but who is worried about such things today? Whats with all of this red tape? John XXIII's idea on this "pure and integral" transmission has never taken place under the banner of the Council in any tangible form in the Church. Yes, the truth is intact and is being passed on, but it is in spite of Vatican II, not because of it.

In my opinion. the Council documents set a poor example for theologians. They are the most poorly written documents in the history of the Church's Ecumenical Councils. Likewise many of the encyclicals and other documents penned today are poorly executed and written in a manner which leaves much up for discussion due to a lack of clarity. Many of the books written today by Catholic "theologians" are more like spending an evening fluffing up the pillow on your bed rather than using it to get a good nights sleep. They just don't amount to anything meaningful.

The next part of John XXIII's speech allows us to view Vatican II in a different light than all of the Ecumenical Councils that came before it. This is extremely important as to the nature of the Council. It was never intended to be a super dogmatic council that defined anything. Yet, for 90% of the practicing Catholics today, the Church started with Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council. This is an egregious error that must be addressed. Almost all of the Catholic authors today spend their time dredging over the same Vatican II documents as if they can stand on their own. Pope John points out that the Council was not called to address any one doctrine or to defend a teaching of the Church. It was not called to define anything or bind anyone to something different doctrinally than what came before it. Yet few "experts" today haven't a clue as what the encyclicals written prior to John XXIII had to say. It is important to quote this part of the speech at length.
Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries.The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. 
For this a Council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.
It seems clear that Pope John XXIII did not intend to change or obscure any teaching of the Church, but he desired to try and experiment with how Church teaching should be taught in the modern world. What he had in mind for these new approaches is not made clear in this speech, but he did emphasize that the Council was to be "predominantly pastoral in character." Again, it seems that this pastoral approach, if we are going to measure its success with any standard rule, was a miserable debacle. There has been no mass conversion to the Church since Vatican II. Our understanding of the faith did not progress, but regressed. Even at the most "conservative" Catholic colleges such as Steubenville, there has been a poisoning of the well by promoting crippled theology and new philosophical systems which have helped to slowly erode doctrines of the Church.


For example, Protestant mentality is now heralded as part of Catholic patrimony due to the popularity of a few Protestant converts. Every effort is made now to applaud deficient Protestant ideas while trying to synthesize Catholicism with them This has moved many Catholics to adhere to man centered ideas, which has its root in the errors of Protestantism. For example man has become the center of the Mass instead of God. Eucharistic adoration has in many places become an emotional hootenanny rather than proper worship due to God. Worshipping God in many Catholic universities and parishes has now taken on the irreverence of the pretended "Reformers." It is all about what we can get out of going to Mass rather than the worship we owe to God Almighty. The liturgical experts that were put in charge to concoct the new Mass of Paul VI like Bugnini, were frauds hiding behind their "pastoral" felt banners hanging from the ceilings of wreckovated churches. This "pastoral" path has left the Mass in a butchered state where the sacrificial elements of the Mass have been buried and replaced by a horizontal style of community worship.




As we progress through Pope John's opening speech, again we see a departure from his predecessors in regard to the present day calamities. He feels no need to correct any of the dangerous errors terrorizing society.
At the outset of the Second Vatican Council, it is evident, as always, that the truth of the Lord will remain forever. We see, in fact, as one age succeeds another, that the opinions of men follow one another and exclude each other. And often errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun. The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She consider that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations.
Not, certainly, that there is a lack of fallacious teaching, opinions, and dangerous concepts to be guarded against an dissipated. But these are so obviously in contrast with the right norm of honesty, and have produced such lethal fruits that by now it would seem that men of themselves are inclined to condemn them, particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law or place excessive confidence in technical progress and a well-being based exclusively on the comforts of life. They are ever more deeply convinced of the paramount dignity of the human person and of his perfection as well as of the duties which that implies. Even more important, experience has taught men that violence inflicted on others, the might of arms, and political domination, are of no help at all in finding a happy solution to the grave problems which afflict them.
Over the past 60 years now we have seen that the so called "medicine of mercy" approach has not faired well for the Church. As any parent should well know, one cannot be a good parent by avoiding condemning the erroneous actions of their children. Yes you can teach, but you must also prudently rebuke. This is however exactly the approach that has been taken since the Council. Error does not fix itself, and society must be guided and corrected by the Church for order to be maintained. Not only has the world suffered, but heresy and error have since been openly proclaimed throughout the Church by men in the highest positions, without one word uttered in opposition by anyone! Pope John seemed to naively think that man had learned its lesson, that violence and error were a thing of the past, and that the errors of society were going to magically disappear into a puff of smoke. Instead of these noxious errors dissipating like the smoke ring from the mouth of Humphrey Bogart into the night air, we are now living under the stench of a heretical smog so thick that it blots out the sun! It has almost choked out any goodness left on the planet. I know, I sound like one of those "prophets of doom." Certainly we have seen no "happy solution" to what ails society since the Council. This expectation of Pope John XXIII turned out to be a pipe dream. Does this mean I am an eternal pessimist? No, I just think it is time to do what Pope John's predecessors told us to do.



Pope John XIII continues his speech with another grandiose idea concerning the unity of Christians.
The Church's solicitude to promote and defend truth derives from the fact that, according to the plan of God, who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (l Tim. 2:4), men without the assistance of the whole of revealed doctrine cannot reach a complete and firm unity of minds, with which are associated true peace and eternal salvation. 
Unfortunately, the entire Christian family has not yet fully attained this visible unity in truth. The Catholic Church, therefore, considers it her duty to work actively so that there may be fulfilled the great mystery of that unity, which Jesus Christ invoked with fervent prayer from His heavenly Father on the eve of His sacrifice. She rejoices in peace, knowing well that she is intimately associated with that prayer, and then exults greatly at seeing that invocation extend its efficacy with salutary fruit, even among those who are outside her fold.
The Pope also had high hopes here. But rather than pursuing the conversion of those outside the Church to achieve unity, the last 60 years has been more of an act of justifying those outside the Church to remain outside the Church. The call for those outside the Catholic fold to come into it has been largely ignored on a wide scale. Again Cardinal Kasper comes to mind, for he was once the head of ecumenism in the Church. The 2000 year call for the conversion of those still practicing the Jewish faith has been largely done away with. Now it is almost a sin for a Catholic to call out to the people of the Jewish community to convert to Christ and His Church. Theologians like Kapser have invented new definitions for ecumenism and evangelization, and have thus muddied the waters concerning the state of those living outside the Catholic faith.

Finally Pope John XXIII called the Church to unite itself with the Saints and to have the "wisdom of deliberation." As we know, many of the original ideas and theological underpinnings of the original documents were done away with and replaced by the deliberation of theologians who were previously censured under the reign of prior popes! Take for example Yves Congar, who cried and whined like a spoiled brat when he was removed from his teaching office in 1953 by the Dominicans, and was forbidden to teach or lecture at all in 1956 for his dangerous theological ideas. He unfortunately became a big influence during the Council and often recalled his past censures as being redeemed by the Council. He wrote in his diary that the Council...
"...put an end to what may be described as the inflexibility of the system. We take 'system; to mean a coherent set of codified teachings, casuistically-specified rules of procedure, a detailed and very hierarchic organization, means of control and surveillance, rubrics regulating worship- all this the legacy of scholasticism, the Counter-Reformation and the Catholic restoration of the nineteenth century, subjected to an effective Roman discipline. It will be recalled that Pius XII is supposed to have said: 'I will be the last Pope to keep all this going.' Indeed, John XXIII, a priest of classic piety, gave a completely different image to the papacy."
There was much optimism by Pope John XXIII on how the Council would be carried out.
We might say that heaven and earth are united in the holding of the Council -- the saints of heaven to protect our work, the faithful of the earth continuing in prayer to the Lord, and you, seconding the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order that the work of all may correspond to the modern expectations and needs of the various peoples of the world.
This requires of you serenity of mind, brotherly concord moderation in proposals, dignity in discussion, and wisdom of deliberation.
I do not think it is hard to see that much of what John XXIII desired for the Council never came to fruition. Perhaps much of what happened with the liturgy and other changes that came after the Council he had never intended. I do not think it is harsh to say that some of the contrary ideas he had to his predecessors helped to unleash the disastrous tidal wave of heresy, apostasy and sloth that followed in the Councils wake. Again, I do not think it was his intention to lead us to the state we find ourselves in today. His call for the Church to head in an entirely new direction than his predecessors, did not have the positive results he had hoped to achieve. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. We are where we are, not where John XXIII said we would be as a result of the Council. The real question is how are we going to get to the promised land. At this point the Vatican II route looks like a dead end. It may be time to look back a bit further in time than to Pope John XXIII for some answers. In looking back then we may be able to actually move forward.