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Sunday 6 May 2012

Socialism Wins in France

Hollande 51.9% Sarkozy 48.1%

As France goes, so goes Europe.

Do Catholics realize that this is a disaster for France and for Europe? This is a turning point.

Part Six on Deus Caritas Est

Continuing the discussion on Deus Caritas Est, I am reminded that just in the past few days, the Pope asked for a review of Caritas, the umbrella Catholic charity, as some of the things being supported are not in keeping with the teachings of the Church. I am glad that the Pope finally decided to have this interior review. 

In conformity with the episcopal structure of the Church, the Bishops, as successors of the Apostles, are charged with primary responsibility for carrying out in the particular Churches the programme set forth in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. 2:42-44): today as in the past, the Church as God's family must be a place where help is given and received, and at the same time, a place where people are also prepared to serve those outside her confines who are in need of help. In the rite of episcopal ordination, prior to the act of consecration itself, the candidate must respond to several questions which express the essential elements of his office and recall the duties of his future ministry. He promises expressly to be, in the Lord's name, welcoming and merciful to the poor and to all those in need of consolation and assistance.[31] The Code of Canon Law, in the canons on the ministry of the Bishop, does not expressly mention charity as a specific sector of episcopal activity, but speaks in general terms of the Bishop's responsibility for coordinating the different works of the apostolate with due regard for their proper character.[32] Recently, however, the Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops explored more specifically the duty of charity as a responsibility incumbent upon the whole Church and upon each Bishop in his Diocese,[33] and it emphasized that the exercise of charity is an action of the Church as such, and that, like the ministry of Word and Sacrament, it too has been an essential part of her mission from the very beginning.[34]

The emphasis on the role of the bishops is also key. In some countries, the bishops' conferences are very involved in fantastic ways in charitable activities. One hopes that these same bishops do not play footsy with either Liberation Theology, or socialism, or Marxism in their efforts to help the poor and displaced. Unfortunately, in too many dioceses, the bishops and individual priests have confused social welfare with charity, or socialism with caritas. Only the Church, through and in and with the Love of Christ can truly meet the needs of the entire person, the real individual, body and soul.

to be continued....

On Baptism again and again and again.....

OK, back to the necessity of Baptism. Today, a person in my parish noted that it was not necessary to get babies baptized who were seriously ill in the hospital, (are you ready for this?) because one could not have a baptismal party for the family. I cannot stress too much that Pelagianism is a heresy gaining popularity  here in England.

Pelagius supposedly said, and his ideas were condemned soundly at the Council of Carthage in 418, that humans could merit heaven and gain salvation without baptism. His emphasis was on human will power choosing good over evil and thus meriting heaven. My little friend in Ireland a few months ago insisted that she would go to heaven, "just by being good." It is not that simple. I hope she is baptized, as she wants to go to heaven. I hope she is a practicing Catholic.

Obviously, these ideas are contrary to the teachings of Christ and His Church. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except any one be born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Douay Rheims. John 3:5. This is not the doctrine of Supertradmum but of Jesus Christ, True God and True Man.

Basically Pelagianism denies that the human soul is flawed and lost through Original Sin.  Pelagianism denies the efficacy of baptism, sanctifying grace, and the life of the infuse virtues.  Pelagianism denies the need for Christ to die for our sins on the Cross, the need for atonement. Here is a snippet from the online Catholic Encyclopedia.  Much of this will sound familiar to you, as it does me, as I here these ideas almost daily.

During his sojourn in Rome he composed several works: "De fide Trinitatis libri III", now lost, but extolled by Gennadius as "indispensable reading matter for students"; "Eclogarum ex divinis Scripturisliber unus", in the main collection of Bible passages based on Cyprian's "Testimoniorum libri III", of which St. Augustine has preserved a number of fragments; "Commentarii in epistolas S. Pauli", elaborated no doubt before the destruction of Rome by Alaric (410) and known to St. Augustine in 412. Zimmer (loc. cit.) deserves credit for having rediscovered in this commentary on St. Paul the original work of Pelagius, which had, in the course of time, been attributed to St. Jerome (P.L., XXX, 645-902). A closer examination of this work, so suddenly become famous, brought to light the fact that it contained the fundamental ideas which the Church afterwards condemned as "Pelagian heresy". In it Pelagius denied the primitive state in paradise and original sin (cf. P.L., XXX, 678, "Insaniunt, qui de Adam per traducem asserunt ad nos venire peccatum"), insisted on the naturalness ofconcupiscence and the death of the body, and ascribed the actual existence and universality of sin to the bad example which Adam set by his first sin. As all his ideas were chiefly rooted in the old, paganphilosophy, especially in the popular system of the Stoics, rather than in Christianity, he regarded themoral strength of man's will (liberum arbitrium), when steeled by asceticism, as sufficient in itself to desire and to attain the loftiest ideal of virtue. The value of Christ's redemption was, in his opinion, limited mainly to instruction (doctrina) and example (exemplum), which the Saviour threw into the balance as a counterweight against Adam's wicked example, so that nature retains the ability to conquer sin and to gain eternal life even without the aid of grace. By justification we are indeed cleansed of our personal sins through faith alone (loc. cit., 663, "per solam fidem justificat Deus impium convertendum"), but this pardon (gratia remissionis) implies no interior renovation of sanctification of the soul

I am not taking out the blue links, but these probably will not work unless you are on the website linked here.

I have come to the conclusion that the bad catechesis of forty years and the influence of the Anglican Church, which is heavily Pelagian, has affected Catholics. This must be stopped, as the stupidity of passing up a baptism for a baby who is critically ill and waiting until he is released from the hospital cannot be acceptable to any real Catholic. All this is connected to a need for an understanding of baptism....sound familiar? Read my post a few days ago and this past winter on the same subject.

We cannot deny Original Sin and the state of the soul without grace. Another heretic, Caelestius, believed that if one only followed the Ten Commandments, that was sufficient for salvation. Sorry, folks. Here are the eight ideas clarified n the condemnation of Pelagianism,  listed in the Catholic Encyclopedia. 
  1. Death did not come to Adam from a physical necessity, but through sin.
  2. New-born children must be baptized on account of original sin.
  3. Justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins.
  4. The grace of Christ not only discloses the knowledge of God's commandments, but also imparts strength to will and execute them.
  5. Without God's grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform goodworks.
  6. Not out of humility, but in truth must we confess ourselves to be sinners.
  7. The saints refer the petition of the Our Father, "Forgive us our trespasses", not only to others, but also to themselves.
  8. The saints pronounce the same supplication not from mere humility, but from truthfulness.
  9. Some codices containing a ninth canon (Denzinger, loc. cit., note 3): Children dying without baptism do not go to a "middle place" (medius locus), since the non reception of baptism excludes both from the "kingdom of heaven" and from "eternal life".
The first eight are articles of our faith and we must believe these, in order to be in keeping with the Teaching Magisterium. According to this text, two pupils of Pelagius brought the heresy to England-Agricola and Fastidius. We are fighting this heresy still here.

People, it is only through Baptism, in the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, that we are saved. We must be baptized In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

If we withhold baptism from our children, it is child abuse of the worst kind-denying the children eternal life.

And, may I add a nice summary of St. Augustine's arguments against this heresy from R. Scott Clark at
  • Human nature was created blameless, without vitium. All sin and weakness is ex originali peccato. (13)
  • The threat of punishment upon the first disobedience entailed bodily & spiritual death. (14)
  • Adam's sin is transmitted from him to all humans through natural descent. (15)
  • The reason infants are baptized, is to wash away original sin. (16.
  • Just as sin is propagated (traducere) by natural descent, grace is infused .(17)
  • Romans 5.12 teaches that in quo all sinned. (A misreading of the Greek here as as a locative rather than a causal phrase?) In this he may have followed "Ambrosiaster." (18)
  • Original sin is to be distinguished from actual sin. Original sin is not just the first actual sin. It is corporate in nature. Therefore we are born to condemnation. We sin in actu because we are sinners, in Adam. (19)
  • After baptism, the guilt of original sin is removed, but concupiscentia (spark of sin, yearning of lower appetites) remains. (20)
  • The result of Adam's sin is that humanity is now massa damnitionis or massa peccatorum et impiorum corporately and individually. (21.
  • The result of original sin is spiritual and physical death. (22)
  • Therefore grace is, in the nature of the case, "free" and unmerited.
  • God justly condemns those who have not heard the gospel because all have sinned in Adam.

Part Five: Caritas vs. Socialism

Continuing the examination of how the Church combats socialism, one can see a movement from eros to agape to caritas. The State does not need to step into the realm of personal relationships. Here is the Pope on the issue. I have to admit that one does not see love in the Church at the extent that the Pope describes it, but I have seen this in the past, many years ago when I was in a community. But, the parish life is more fragmented and not all Catholics have a personal, loving relationship with Christ.

We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces: she is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something which often is even more necessary than material support. In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live “by bread alone” (Mt4:4; cf. Dt 8:3)—a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.

This section delineates the battle between materialism and the spiritual life. This fact alone, of the difference between the true materialist view of politics, history and government, and the Catholic care of the spiritual life, separates us from the true socialist.

The doctrine of the Church never pits poor against rich, but invites all into a loving relationship of brother and sister, joined in caritas. 

What concerns me most about certain generations in the States, is the quietism or the non-involvement in politics which is the responsibility of the lay person. A lay person who does not get involved, is not only apathetic, but ignoring the duty to teach and inform public life. Another section follows:

As citizens of the State, they are called to take part in public life in a personal capacity. So they cannot relinquish their participation “in the many different economic, social, legislative, administrative and cultural areas, which are intended to promote organically and institutionally the common good.”[21] The mission of the lay faithful is therefore to configure social life correctly, respecting its legitimate autonomy and cooperating with other citizens according to their respective competences and fulfilling their own responsibility.[22] Even if the specific expressions of ecclesial charity can never be confused with the activity of the State, it still remains true that charity must animate the entire lives of the lay faithful and therefore also their political activity, lived as “social charity”.[23]
The Church's charitable organizations, on the other hand, constitute an opus proprium, a task agreeable to her, in which she does not cooperate collaterally, but acts as a subject with direct responsibility, doing what corresponds to her nature. The Church can never be exempted from practising charity as an organized activity of believers, and on the other hand, there will never be a situation where the charity of er jach individual Christian is unnecessary, because in addition to justice man needs, and will always need, love.

Among some people who are Catholic, a cynicism has seeped into their consciousness regarding political involvement. Now, not all people are called to be involved at intenese levels of activity, but studying the political stands of those for whom one votes, would be the minimum gesture. But, we are called to more than that. We are called a charity which speaks to the State and teaches it. Obviously, in situations as in America today with the great negative challenge to religious liberty, and the abortion laws, one group which must stand united against such evil is the Catholic Church on the local and national levels. St. Paul's description and the description of the early Churches in both the Acts and Revelation reveal complex organizations which cared for all those in need, including widows. This has fallen away in our times as unnecessary, "let the State do it." As we know, St. Benedict brought a revolution in caritas, with the schools and hospitals, which grew up in every country in Europe and the Middle East, and eventually the New World, because of the vision of charity in the Church.

In the Catholic Church, and also in the other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, new forms of charitable activity have arisen, while other, older ones have taken on new life and energy. In these new forms, it is often possible to establish a fruitful link between evangelization and works of charity. Here I would clearly reaffirm what my great predecessor John Paul II wrote in his Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis [28] when he asserted the readiness of the Catholic Church to cooperate with the charitable agencies of these Churches and Communities, since we all have the same fundamental motivation and look towards the same goal: a true humanism, which acknowledges that man is made in the image of God and wants to help him to live in a way consonant with that dignity. His Encyclical Ut Unum Sint emphasized that the building of a better world requires Christians to speak with a united voice in working to inculcate “respect for the rights and needs of everyone, especially the poor, the lowly and the defenceless.” [29] Here I would like to express my satisfaction that this appeal has found a wide resonance in numerous initiatives throughout the world.

We need to as we say in the Midwest, "get down and dirty" involved in whatever it takes to secure and extend freedoms. I use this platform for such issues as abortion, and the horror of honor killings, among other issues facing our jusdicial system in the States. Catholics ignore issues at their own peril.

Socialism lulls one into thinking that the State will always be on the side of the "little guy". This is a great lie, and as the Christian knows, we are all little in the eyes of God and class warfare is an evil heresy.  To be continued...