Thursday, July 19, 2012

Persecution and Martyrdom of the Catholic Church in America

I have stated on this blog more than once that the Catholic Church in America is headed for some very tumultuous times of persecution, and I feel very firmly that the Church itself will be forced to go underground as it will be outlawed by the United States government.  Michael Voris, formerly and now, just did an excellent Vortex episode in which he spells out the dangers to the Catholic Church in America in great detail and why we are headed there. Below is the video from the Vortex.  I have also copied the script below, which I think bears a close reading (with my own comments, of course)

Catholic or Patriot?

Hello everyone and welcome to The Vortex where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed. I’m Michael Voris coming to you the heart of Catholicism .. Rome .. St. Peter’s Square.  
All over the world .. at least the western world .. there is a growing unease that soon and very soon .. Catholics may have to make a choice between their Catholic faith and their country. Between their faith and their patriotism. As Providence plays out .. it would appear that center stage of this tragedy is the United States of America. All the stars are aligning against the Church and don’t let lawsuits filed by the bishops and Catholic colleges fool you.

The clouds are gathering quickly and darkening for the Church in the US. The American civilization has launched a culture war against faithful Catholics .. just as Otto von Bismarck did in the mid to late 19th century in Germany .. and the French government in the 18th century and the English government did in the 16th and 17th centuries. Martyrs were born of those oppressive and tyrannical governments. And martyrs will be born of the American government’s tyranny.  [This is not hyperbole.  This is real.  The Church will be labeled by our government as an evil organization that promotes hatred and bigotry, and there will be violence against Catholics.  And sad to say, some of that very persecution will come from those who call themselves "Catholic."]

This is a burned out church in Indonesia.
Is this what we will be seeing soon in the USA?
When will Catholics wake up and realize that what is working behind the scenes is a battle between Heaven and Hell .. between St. Michael and Lucifer. [And might I add, between Satan and the Queen of the angels and of heaven and earth - Mary, who is Satan's most hated enemy.]  Satan .. being defeated in eternity .. still retains his angelic powers to wage war against the Church in time. And until time comes to an end and human history has played itself out .. Satan will continue to assail the Church .. personally established by Our Blessed Lord on St. Peter .. whom he renamed .. Rock.  

Mary crushing the serpent
Once again .. the bastard destroyer has seized hold of the powers of the state and is bringing them to bear on the faithful. [Take note - Satan is waging war on the faithful, not on "faux" Catholics.]  There are still unresolved matters left to be worked out .. details really .. in Obama’s diabolical health care law. But at the White House .. Obama and Catholic traitors are in full scale advance .. putting in place their view of the world in which the Catholic Church has no part .. the authentic Catholic Church that is. One day .. and soon .. Catholics in America .. who have been lulled into a false notion that you can be both a good American and a good Catholic .. are going to have to choose between their Church and their country.

We have reached this point for many reasons .. but one that cannot be overlooked is how Church leadership rushed headlong and continues to do so .. into a vision that a government which promotes a vast array of evil can AT THE SAME TIME .. be reasoned with to reach consensus on other questions of morality.  
When a man named Obama stood at center stage of the US Catholic world in May 2009 and declared to raucous cheers from Notre Dame graduates, parents and faculty .. that common ground needed to be reached on questions of abortion and freedom of conscience .. he was lying through his teeth and he knew it. He used the softened up Catholic mind .. the Church of Nice .. to present a soft side of evil .. a side designed to be swallowed hook line and sinker by spineless and delusional leaders who TO THIS DAY .. still actively promote some of his legislation .. suffering under an ignorant and less than fully informed understanding of Catholic social doctrine.  [I think that Michael Voris is actually being kind here, giving the benefit of the doubt to these leaders that they actually don't know they are making a pact with the devil.  I'm not sure I would be that kind.]

These enemies of the faith .. like Obama .. but certainly not just him .. Pelosi .. Biden Kennedy and hundreds of others come to mind .. these enemies of the faith have been allowed to carry out their assaults against the common good of the culture PRECISELY because so many Catholic bishops and lay staff around the country for decades now have refused to stare down evil and call it out for what it is. They have refused to decry a law because it is intrinsically evil .. meaning rotten to the core JUST BECAUSE of WHAT IT IS.

Even now .. this ridiculous idea of challenging the health care contraception mandate because it infringes on religious freedom is patently absurd. The law is evil .. NOT JUST UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Who cares if it’s unconstitutional?!? It’s evil because it promotes an evil; namely contraception. That’s why the law is bad – not because it may (OR MAY NOT) violate some arcane clause in a 200+ year old document that only means what a majority of nine judges say it means.  [The Fortnight of Freedom was wrong and even laughable because it was about the wrong issue.  As Michael Voris says, this is not about freedom or the constitution, this is about good versus evil.]

This obfuscates the issue. It's not about
freedom - this is about good versus evil,
and the bishops will never win until they admit this fact.
Here’s the reality .. whether most bishops say it clearly or not.  American Catholics will soon be facing a decision whether to cooperate with the state or stand by their faith and pay the consequences. We have come to this because too many leaders have betrayed their high calling to preach unabashedly and untiringly the unalterable truths of Christ. And even now .. they still refuse to make pubic profession of their full guilt and do something about it.  [This is one of the most important statements Catholics today, especially in the United States, can hear.  We must be prepared to literally lay down our lives for what we believe in, because that time is coming, and very soon.]

So it is now up to the laity .. the few who may still have some touchstone to the faith to stand before judges and courts and bureaucrats and pay the price for Christ. Catholics in America may soon have to discover another way to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave .. something America has not been since it unleashed the slaughter of tens of millions of pre-born fellow citizens. Make no mistake .. the diabolical has control of the halls of government and is waiting for the opportunity to reveal itself fully.

At the rate things are progressing .. we shouldn’t have to wait too long. Its time to prepare ourselves my fellow Catholics. Immerse yourself in the faith, the sacraments, mind and soul so that when your time comes to choose .. you will choose the way of martyrdom .. however it comes to you and me. GOD Love you, I’m Michael Voris

We are living in the most serious of times, when it is not only a matter of physical life and death, but of even more importance, our eternity.  As Michael Voris said, we need to immerse ourselves in the Catholic faith, partake of the sacraments as often as possible, LEARN what our faith teaches so we can stand up to those who wish to destroy us.  The Catholic Church is the ark of salvation to the world, we are the only place that truth and life can be found.  We must turn to our Lord and to our Lady for the strength to survive the evil assault that we are now experiencing, and the much greater assault that awaits us in the near future. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

SSPX Has Reached Agreement - With Itself

On this Feast Day of our Lady of Mt. Carmel, there is a most interesting interview published on the Society of St. Pius X's website with Bishop Fellay of the SSPX.  Bishop Fellay is basically telling us that after meeting together, they are now in complete agreement with how they are going to move forward with the Vatican's offer of reconciliation.  But the interview stops short of telling us what that agreement is.  Bishop Fellay says they will soon "convey to Rome the position of the Chapter, which has been the occasion to specify our road map insisting upon the conservation of our identity, the only efficacious means to help the Church to restore Christendom."   

I took at look at Father Z's website to see what he had to say about this interview, and was surprised at the rather condemnatory tone his posting took.  He seems to feel there is little hope that there will be a reconciliation, and puts all of the blame on the SSPX.  I will put his comments in blue, and mine are in red

Interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay on the occasion of the General Chapter (July 16, 2012)


Doctrinal mutism is not the answer to the “silent apostasy”

DICI : How did the General Chapter go? How was the mood of the meeting?

Bishop Fellay : It took place in a rather hot atmosphere, since July is a particularly hot month in the Valais! But in a very busy schedule, where the members of the Chapter were able to freely exchange ideas, as it befits such a working meeting.

DICI : Were you able to discuss the relations with Rome? Were there any forbidden questions? The dissensions manifested within the SSPX these last moths, have they calm down?

Bishop Fellay : That makes for quite a few questions! Regarding Rome, we went to the very heart of the issues, and all the capitularies were able to study the complete file. Nothing was left aside and there were no taboos among us. It was my duty to exhibit with detail all the documentation exchanged with the Vatican, something which was rendered difficult by the obnoxious climate of recent months. This made it possible for us to conduct direct discussions which have cleared out the doubts and dissipated any misunderstandings, resulting in peace and unity of hearts, which of course is something to rejoice about.

DICI : How do you foresee the relations with Rome after this Chapter?

Bishop Fellay : All ambiguity has now been resolved among us. Very soon we will convey to Rome the position of the Chapter, which has been the occasion to specify our road map insisting upon the conservation of our identity, the only efficacious means to help the Church to restore Christendom.  [It should be noted that the SSPX has no doctrinal division with Rome.  They are insistent that they be allowed to adhere to the traditional teaching of the Church prior to Vatican II, and my own personal opinion, which of course means nothing, is that there can be nothing wrong with that.  The Catholic Church is in crisis and has been for the last 40 years.  We need to go back to tradition.]   As I told you recently, “if we want to make fruitful the treasure of Tradition for the benefit of souls, we must both speak and act” (cf.
interview of 8 June 2012, DICI #256). We cannot keep silent when facing the rampant loss of faith, the staggering fall of the number of vocations, and the decrease of religious practice. We cannot refrain from speaking when confronted with the “silent apostasy” and its causes. Doctrinal mutism is not the answer to this “silent apostasy” which even John Paul II denounced already in 2003.  [No one who is being honest can deny the truth of this statement.  Vocations are in serious decline and as I have posted on this blog, the majority of Catholics barely even know their religion, much less practice it.]
Our approach is inspired not only by the doctrinal firmness of Archbishop Lefebvre but also by his pastoral charity. The Church has always considered that the best testimony to the truth is to be found in the early Christians’ unity built in prayer and charity. They had “but one heart and one soul,” as we read in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. Acts 4, 32). Such a common ideal is also our watchword, Cor Unum being the name of the internal bulletin of the SSPX. Hence we distance ourselves resolutely from all those who have tried to take advantage of the situation in order to drive a wedge turning Society members against each other. Such a spirit does not come from God.

DICI : What are your thoughts on the appointment of Archbishop Mueller as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Bishop Fellay : It is nobody’s secret that the former bishop of Regensburg, where our seminary of Zaitzkofen is located, does not like us. After the courageous action of Benedict XVI on our behalf, in 2009, he refused to cooperate and treated us like if we were lepers! He is the one who stated that our seminary should be closed and that our students should go to the seminaries of their dioceses of origin, adding bluntly that “the four bishops of the SSPX should resign”! (cf. interview with Zeit Online, 8 May 2009). 
For us what is more important and more alarming is his leading role at the head of the Congregation for the Faith, which must defend the Faith with the proper mission of fighting doctrinal errors and heresy. Numerous writings of Bishop Mueller on the real transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, on the dogma of Our Lady’s virginity, on the need of conversion of non-Catholics to the Catholic Church… are questionable, to say the least! There is no doubt that these texts would have been in the past the object of an intervention of the Holy Office, which now is the very Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith presided by him.  [Bishop Fellay's comments are confirmed by an article from "Other issues raised by these Vatican conservatives—who sent out e-mails all over the place (don’t you love it? Vatican conspiracy in the digital age) suggesting that Archbishop Müller is not a man of “secure doctrine”—were his views on the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Eucharist (he has apparently suggested we shouldn’t use the term “body and blood of Christ” to describe the consecrated elements – so what DO we call them?), and ecumenism (last October, he apparently declared that Protestants are “already part of the Church” founded by Christ.)"  However, Father Z's comment to Bishop Fellay is "I don't buy that."  Maybe Father Z needs to do a little investigation before he makes such statements.]

DICI : How do you see the future of the SSPX? In the midst of its fight for the Church’s Tradition, will the SSPX keep to the same knife’s edge?

Bishop Fellay : More than ever we must maintain the knife’s edge traced by our venerated founder. [Father Z writes:  "But, dear Bishop Fellay, will the SSPX do that in clear unity with the Roman Pontiff or from the margin?"  That is a very fair question from Father Z, but I think the answer can be found in this interview.] It is not easy to keep, yet absolutely vital for the Church and the treasure of its Tradition. We are Catholic, we recognise the pope and the bishops, [Father Z writes here:  "
Recognize, but don't submit to. "  which I think is a very unfair statement on Father Z's part.  He is implying something that Bishop Fellay is not saying, as  can be seen in the following statements] but above all else we must keep intact the Faith, source of God’s grace. Therefore we must avoid all that may endanger the Faith, without trying to become a replacement for the Church, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman. Far from us the idea of establishing a parallel Church, of exercising a parallel magisterium!  [Father Z goes off on an entirely different subject by interjecting:  "Tell that to the Magisterium of Nuns!  Instead of recognzing this statement as one of submission to the Magesterium of the Church on the part of Bishop Fellay, Father Z attempts to divert our attention elsewhere]
This was well explained by Archbishop Lefebvre more than thirty years ago: he did not wish to hand down anything else but what he himself had received from the Church of two millennia.  [This is a most positive statement from Bishop Fellay which Father Z completely ignores.  Bishop Fellay is saying he wants to be in complete union with the Church, but will reject that which is not according to the 2000 year tradition of the church.]   This is what we want also, following his lead, so that we may effectively help “to restore all things in Christ.” It is not us who will break with Rome, the Eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth [here Father Z interjects:  Sigh. "Eternal Rome". There's your "hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity" in another guise. Again, a very unfair statement from Father Z considering how many who still call themselves Catholic have broken with Rome on such issues as contraception, abortion, and even allowing the use of the Latin Mass, as I reported a few days ago on my blog.  I can only once more state that the SSPX has never been in doctrinal conflict with Rome].   Nevertheless, it would be unrealistic to deny that there is a modernist and liberal influence in the Church since the Second Vatican Council and its subsequent reforms. [Anyone who would deny this statement is not living in the real world.]  In a word, we maintain the faith in the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and in the Church founded upon Peter, but we refuse all which contributes to the “self-demolition of the Church” acknowledged by Paul VI himself since 1968. May Our Lady, Mother of the Church, hasten the day of its authentic restoration!  [Father Z's comment to this is:  "May she hasten your submission so that you can raise the roof and do your work within clear unity!"  I think Father Z is completely missing the point here.  The Church is in desperate need of restoration.  Our Blessed Mother is the one who destroys all heresies, she is the one who crushes the head of the serpent, and she is the one who will bring restoration to the Church. That is why Bishop Fellay specifically said, "May our Lady, Mother of the Church, hasten the day of its authentic restoration."  It upsets me greatly that someone like Father Z, who presents himself as a traditional Catholic, does not see this.]
Father Z does not take into account that there can be little doubt that the SSPX has been in deep prayer over this matter.  They took the bold step of excluding Bishop Williamson from their talks because they felt he was more disruptive than helpful.  I personally will be very surprised if the SSPX does not come into union with the Vatican.  I think Bishop Fellay has made it very clear that he wishes this to happen, but he wants complete assurance that he will not be forced to accept and participate in practices that go against Catholic tradition.  As we are told by the Apostle Paul, whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  At the same time, if Bishop Fellay truly believes in the authority of the Magesterium as he says he does and does not wish to be a "parallel Magesterium", he must come back to Rome.  Like the rest of us, Bishop Fellay must deal with the "smoke of Satan" that has entered the Church and not run away from it anymore. 

I think we'll all know the answer in the next few days. 

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Pray for Us

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I am reading a book at the moment entitled "End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life" by Fr. Charles Arminjon and published in the 1880's.  St. Therese of Liseux read this book when she was 14 years old and said that it changed her life.  The first section of the book deals with the end of the world and the Anti Christ.  The next section deals with the resurrection of the body.  At one point, Fr. Arminjon discusses our inability to judge one another, and that we are often misled by each other.  From the book:
Most men, even the wisest and most enlightened, are easily outwitted and deceived by others. They do not discern the innermost depths of souls, and cannot reach what is secret and interior in them; hence, it happens that they generally form their judgments on appearances, on what is visible and exterior. Again, it follows that good men are often treated with undeserved severity, that they are unappreciated and injured in their reputation. On the other hand, the wickedness of a large number of men remains unknown, they everywhere enjoy public esteem and trust, and the world accords them that consideration and praise which is due to the just alone. So a judgment is necessary that exposes every pretense, unmasks all hypocrisy, and lays bare hidden ruses and all false and base virtues.

In our world today, things are often not as they seem.   Certainly that is true in movies and entertainment, where nothing is real except the heartache and misery that is the lives of far too many in that industry.  Politicians are always deceiving us, pretending to be something they're not, keeping their true nature hidden, as in the case of former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, who presented himself as a fine upstanding young man when the truth was, while he was in his congressional office, he was exchanging pornographic text messages and tweets with young women despite the fact that he was a married man.  He is only one of literally hundreds of politicians down through the decades who were not the person they presented to their constituents.  We think of President Bill Clinton and his affair with a young intern in the oval office, or Gov. Elliot Spitzer of New York who fought against "corruption" as he saw it, yet at the same time was deeply involved in using prostitutes and even using government resources to procure their services.  The list is never ending.

We are all guilty of hypocrisy to one degree or another.  It is a part of the fallen human condition.  We even lie to ourselves in refusing to look honestly at who and what we are.  That is one of the reasons why Examination of Conscience and the Sacrament of Confession are so important.  We use God's Law and the teachings of the Church as a mirror and hold this up to ourselves.  Anything in us that is not in conformity to God's Law and the teachings of the church is sin.  We do not go by the standards of what the world defines as "good", because that will lead us off the track every time.

The readings from today's Traditional Latin Mass, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, put the fear of God into me and made me realize just how easy it is to deceive others and even ourselves as to our true spiritual condition.  We must be fighting every moment against our fallen nature and never let pride enter in.  Pride is the most poisonous spiritual weapon in Satan's arsenal.  Pride means we start looking at ourselves and saying, you know, I'm not so bad.  In fact, I'm pretty good.  Pride is the original sin of Satan when he said, "Non Serviam" (I will not serve).  Pride is saying to God, I don't need you, I can do this on my own.  We may actually fool ourselves and others into believing we are something we aren't, but we are not fooling our Creator, and someday we will have to come to terms before the throne of Christ with who and what we truly are and face the sin we refused to acknowledge during our time on this earth. 

Below is the Epistle for the Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

Rom. 6 : 19-23 - Brethren: I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
To be a part of the sinful world around us means to  be in servitude to Satan.  Satan lures us in by appealing to our pride and desire to feel good about ourselves, and he will give immediate satisfaction in following him.  With Christ's way, as he told us, "narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and few there be who find it."  We must always remember the sin we came out of and the deadness of soul that we experienced before receiving the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

The gospel is Matthew 7:15-21
At that time: Jesus spake unto his disciples: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
The words that pierced my heart are "Not every one that saith until me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."  We must never assume we have it made and that we are on the sure road to heaven.  As a very wise priest once said to me, Satan is rarely in the problem.  He is almost always in the solution.  Satan doesn't care what your problem is.  His tactic is to lead you to the wrong solution, and one very wrong solution is to think that while still here on this earth, we are assured of our place in heaven.  Be always mindful of your fallen human nature, which will be with you until the day that you die.  Constantly cry out to our Lord and to our Blessed Mother to keep you on that straight and narrow path which leads to heaven.  Don't ever think for one moment that you can make it on your own strength.  As the Apostle Paul said, "Pray without ceasing."  (I Thes. 5:17)

From the Breviary Readings today:

A Homily by St. Hilary the Bishop

The Lord warneth us that we must rate the worth of flattering words and seeming meekness, by the fruits which they that manifest such things bring forth in their works ; in other words, that we should look, in order to see what a man is, not at his professions, but at his deeds. For there are many whose sheep's clothing is but a disguise of wolfish ravening. And so the Lord asketh : Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. In which words the Lord teacheth us that men are a like case ; evil men bring not forth good fruits, and hereby are we to know them. Lip-service alone winneth not the kingdom of heaven, nor is everyone that saith unto Christ, Lord, Lord, an heir thereof.

What use is there in thus calling the Lord by his title Lord? Would he not be Lord of all the same, whether or not we called him so? What holiness is there in this ascription of a name, when the true way to enter into the kingdom of heaven is to do the will of our Father, who is in heaven? Saith the Lord Christ : Many will say to me in that day : Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy Name? Already here doth the Lord rebuke the deceit of the false prophets, and the feigning of the hypocrites, who take glory to themselves because of the power of their words, or their prophesying in teaching, or their casting out of devils, or such-like mighty works.
Because of all these things they promise unto themselves the kingdom of heaven, as though in their words and works any good thing were their own and not rather the mighty working of that God upon whom they call; for it is reading that bringeth knowledge of doctrine, and the Name of Christ that driveth out devils. That which is needed on our part to win that blessed eternity, that of our own which we must give, is to will to do right, to turn away from all evil. to obey with our whole heart the commandments laid on us from heaven, and so to become the friends of God. It should be ours, rather to do God's will, than to boast of God's power. And we must put off from us, and thrust away, such as are by their wicked works already estranged from his friendship.

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