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Saturday 12 January 2013

Bravo, Brave Priests and Bishops

I have just read through the list of signatures of the British priests and bishops who have signed the petition against same sex civil marriage and for traditional, natural law marriage, between a man and a woman. I was proud to see the vocation director for Arundel and Brighton on the list, plus some other excellent priests I know. God bless them all, and may the Pope look at this list, as we have some empty bishoprics. The best of the new Ordinariate priests have signed as well. See today's TELEGRAPH.

The English Church

Well, it is not really, but it is the only church in Valletta with an English Mass. St. Barbara's also has Adoration on Fridays and yesterday, Christ in the Eucharist was surrounded by poinsettias. Lovely.

This is an old church. Like so many others, kneeling is not for the faint of heart. Many churches in Malta demand that one kneels on the floor, as at the Co-Cathedral, or on old wooden and dirty, rough kneelers.

One gets used to it.

Black skirts are not a good idea for wearing to St. Barbara's I discovered in 2011.

This church is on Republic Street, where many of the shops are, and the front of the Palace, or ministry buildings of this capitol.

St. Aelred

One of my favourite saints is St. Aelred. He was a gentle soul and has some of the best writings on friendship. I reread his writings, among other things, while in the monastery. I shall write more about him later. His writings are part of a long poem I intend to put on this blog at some time. Happy Feast of St. Aelred!

A repeated post--a timely warning

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Cradle of Modernist Heresies

In 1983, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, who was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now Pope Benedict XVI, issued a document under the name of the Declaration on Masonic Associations.  The link is on the name.

In that document, the long history of the condemnation of Freemasonry by the Church, since 1738, was reiterated and clearly defined. The original condemnation of Clement XII, In eminenti apostolatus specula  was upheld.

Since that time, I have had many Catholics, in the United States and in Europe claim that the Church had removed the automatic excommunication on a Catholic who joined the Masons. This is not and has never been so. One has to understand that the Church's condemnation of Masonry is based not merely on the fact that it is a secret organization, but that it upholds several Modernist heresies. Firstly, Cardinal Ratizinger wrote that:

Therefore the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.
He went on to state that no bishop had any right to change this. It is interesting that the SSPX press, Angelus Press, has one of the best books on the evils and pitfalls of Masonry. One can find ithere. However, I want to concentrate on a few of the Modernist heresies found in Freemasonry.
The first is indifferentism. This heresy proclaims that all religions are the same and that religion has no place in the public life of a nation or people.Mirari Vos  On Liberalism and Religious Indifferentism written in 1832 by Gregory XVI is a forgotten document of the Church.
Indifferentism leads to a relativism about religion, stating that all are either the same, or so subjective as to mean only what a person sincerely believes. This pluralism leads to another aspect that because all religions are relative and the same, these beliefs have no role in the public life, cannot affect politics, or governmental decisions. Of course, as the Catholic Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, this heresy is condemned as contrary to both Revelation and Tradition. Indifferentism leads to a denial of the supernatural, as if all beliefs are equal or subjective, there is no hierarchy, no Revelation from God. Also denied in this heresy would be dogma, for the same reasons. It is interesting that in the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1907, itself peppered with some Modernist heresies, that this statement from Newman is quoted in the section on indifferentism
No truth, however sacred, can stand against it (the Catholic Church) in the long run; and hence it is that in the Pagan world, when our Lord came, the last traces of the religious knowledge of former times were all but disappearing from those portions of the world in which the intellect had been active and had a career" (Apologia, chap. v). 

The second heresy of many in Masonry is eirenism.This is what I call the forgotten heresy. 

The condemnation of eirenism is found in Pope Pius XII's encyclical, Humani Generis. This great work condemns existentialism, historicism (Gramsci watch), immanentism and other isms. The point of eirenism is, in the words of the Pope: setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attacks of atheism, but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma. And as in former times some questioned whether the traditional apologetics That branch of the science of theology which explains the reasons for the Church's existence and doctrine of the Church did not constitute an obstacle rather than a help to the winning of souls for Christ, so today some are presumptuous enough to question seriously whether theology and theological methods, such as with the approval of ecclesiastical authority are found in our schools, should not only be perfected, but also completely reformed, in order to promote the more efficacious propagation throughout the world among men of every culture and religious opinion.

This heresy clearly seeks after a type of syncretism, a religion of unity, wherein divisions vanish and people come together to worship some sort of agreed upon god. I would venture to say that eirenism leads directly to Worship of the State.

This is the atmosphere of religion and philosophy in the United States at this very moment. The State declares that there is no religious right to conscience, thereby setting up its own standards for so-called moral or ethical behavior. To use an example, abortion is ok because a Supreme Court decision determined it was so, and because further legislation supports it. The State has substituted itself for the Church in matters of conscience. 

Wake up, American Catholics. So, the heresies sleeping in Masonry have awakened and taken over the mind-set of the nation's leaders. Simple and neat.

What is happening and has happened in Catholic education, wherein schools are rebelling against the Teaching Magisterium (look here in California today, this minute) is a direct result of the concepts of eirenism. Schools and other facilities play down differences for the sake of community unity to the detriment of Catholic Teaching. 

It is too late to change this huge momentum, hidden in Masonry by choice, and held in some minds by lethargy and laziness. To take the easiest way out, to placate, to be politically correct is eirenism

The greatest heresy in Masonry is immanentism, which destroys the Revelation of God as Trinity, replacing Him with a vague, abstract presence found in the world. Pope Pius X condemned this in  Pascendi Dominici Gregis.

As Catholics, we do not have much time to read all of these documents, but what is happening today in America, with the attack on the Church from the present administration concerning freedom of religion and freedom on conscience is an attack prophesied by all the documents above. If Church leaders knew their own teaching, they would have seen this coming, or even better, stopped these idealistic heresies from fomenting in the people in the pews. And, as laymen, we only have ourselves to blame if we find ourselves marginalize, persecuted, imprisoned, martyred. See my post below on the stages of persecution and the ideologies which push these heresies. The one I have left for this posting is Freemasonry, which seems to hold many of the Modernist heresies and is able to produce these in the market place as goods.

As one can tell, I taught a history of ideas, history of encyclicals, history of heresies. Nothing has changed in 2012 which was not there in 1732 or earlier. Sadly, the revisionist historians within the Catholic Church look like they have won the day. I honestly feel that we are in the times of Arianism, the greatest heresy which rocked and split the Church. However, the Church prevailed, and will, as Christ promised until the end of time. But, the Lord did not assure us it would be a large, powerful, or influential Church. Perhaps the words of one of the Desert Fathers are applicable. I think, but I am not sure, it was Abba Pambo.

"When asked by a young monk if they were of the greatest generation because they saw and cast out devils, and prayed, fasted, and converted  and healed people, the Abba answered. 'No, we are not the greatest generation. We have obvious power. The next generation will see Christ establish His Kingdom among the Nations, and there will be unity for awhile. But, the greatest generation is the one, which under great persecution, will survive. They are the greatest and the last.'"

Why Gramsci Hated the Church

In his letters from prison, Gramsci has many notes on the Catholic Church.

He hated the Church and saw it as the only, real threat to Marxism.


Here is a mini-list of ten ideals of the professional radical. There are more:

1) The Church teaches and believes that man is not merely material, but has an immortal soul. Therefore, any political system rooted in the here and now, in the material, is not based on reality. Ergo, the Church is wrong and superstitious and Marxism is correct in promulgating materialistic principles. He hates any idea of the eternal world impinging on the material.

2) The Church is still the great influence in Italian society, albeit, by 2013, not as much as in Gramsci's day. This influence, according to Gramsci, keeps the poor under the thumb of tyrannical priests. He somehow forgets that the Church was responsible for education, hospitals, culture. However, he is not interested in Christian culture and wants the State to take over charity until it is abolished by a complete socialist system. Hey, this is happening even in America.

He hates top down rule. Except for the need to control the proletariat......

3)  He does not (I use present tense as his writings live on) believe in absolutes: morality, truth, sublime mysticism, prayer, the afterlife. How sad. To him, absolutism of any type keeps humans from progressing. This, to me, is a weakness in his thinking. No soul, no vision.

4) The Church saw, in the great Popes of the 19th Century and the condemnation of modernism, the connection between modernism and the culture wars of Gramsci. He admits that the Church is the only institution which "gets" the culture wars fomented by the communists. This is a weakness of the Church today in America and Europe. Priests and bishops do NOT see the connection between modernists heresies (do a search on my blog) and communism. Duh.

5) He wants history to be in the hands of people, not God. Our God is a God of History, the Incarnate One, Jesus Christ, Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. If God creates and enters history, the hegemony of people is, well, a dead idea from the start.

6)  Gramsci truly believes in the "I will not serve" pride of the greatest fallen angel. He does not want man, generically, to serve any one. Oops, he does want people to serve the State!

7) The philosophical concept of the human is vastly different in the Teaching of the Church and communism.
The Church teaches that each individual has a personal spiritual destiny, a unique soul, and the chance to be an heir of Heaven and a son or daughter of God. The Gramscians see individuals as both, ironically, having free will and in charge of their own destiny BUT only with the tyrannical "help" of the State.

8) The Church Militant is awake and aware of any encroachment to the Kingdom of God. A Kingdom of Men cannot supplant God's work, and Gramsci can see the power of that belief. Faith of any kind is THE threat to communism. He wants to supplant one elite for another.

9) He believes that a political self-conciousness is the first step to self-consciousness. Why? This is a weak link in his thinking, as political activity is merely the extension of the human desire for control and order in their society, not in their interior life.  The interior life is superior to the exterior, but Gramsci cannot see this. OK for an aetheist....

10) He hates the strong, mass movements of the Church-Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, as threatening the independence of human beings by supposedly imposing ideals on a stupid, simple populace. He sees the power of these movements.

Well, if one does not believe in one's own eternal soul, or Heaven or Hell, or the Seen God, Christ,  Who shows us the Unseen Father, these ideas could make sense.

But, they do not . As the first premise is wrong, bad thinking, illogical.

Sadly, Gramsci's ideals have succeeded, especially among Jesuits, whom he hates. Liberation Theology is only one way this Order has collapsed into the Gramsci camp.

Read, study, pray, Catholic.

The Next Church in my Pilgrimage

The  Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Valletta on Republic street, just a bit from St. Barbara's is the first baroque church built in Valletta.

The Mass there is always crowded and the church is a great place to pray. There are many side altars, as most Valletta churches have, and some phenomenal art work. There are five Masses a day there, which is a great blessing. Also, on Sunday mornings, there is always Confession. If one is going to the Co-Cathedral for Mass, one can pop into St. Francis's Church first for Confession. I have several friends who do that.

The Franciscans have been very important in Malta, and I am happy to say that I saw one dressed in his complete habit walking in Valletta. He could have been from outside of Malta, but he reminded me of the great heritage of the Franciscans here.

I did not have time to visit more of my beloved churches in Malta. But, I hope you enjoyed this little pilgrimage.

Here is a painting by an English artist, Mark Satchwill depicting both St. Paul and St. Francis over Malta. His website is below the painting.


I went to an adoration chapel this morning. There were two ladies who talked loudly the entire time. One had a cell phone which went off and she proceeded to talk on it. This all happened in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance.

I went up to the two women once and pointed out that Jesus was present in the Monstrance and would they please stop talking.

They did not.

I am truly, truly shocked.

I stayed there for an hour, as I thought Christ was suffering again in the Garden of Gethsemane when His disciples fell asleep. These women are asleep.

They do not know God.

I prayed for them. And, when I left, I thought is there no place in the world where there is silence before God in His humble, vulnerable state, the Eucharist?

Yesterday, at Mass, two women in the front pew talked until the Consecration. One man got up and "shhhed" them, but they did not stop talking. The priest continued and said nothing.

Why is this happening? These are Maltese, not tourists. These are Catholics, not Protestants.


The Church of the Circumcision

One of my favourite churches in Malta, in Valletta, is the Church of the Circumcision. I love the statue of Our Lord just taken down from the Cross in one of the side altars.

Also, I love the painting of the first rendering of the Sacred Heart by Batoni, a copy from the Gesu and one of several in Malta, including one at Our Lady of Victories mentioned yesterday. I have written about this painting before on this blog.

There are also some letters of St. Ignatius of Loyola in this church. It is called the Jesuit Church, but the Jesuits are no longer there.

I also love the two small shrines of St. Pius X and the Holy Face of Jesus.

The Adoration Chapel, my tour continued

The Franciscans Sisters of the Heart of Jesus serve the Adoration Chapel usually called the House of Adoration, a small place of quiet in Valletta. I lived for months within blocks of it and only discovered it at the end of my stay in 2011.

Again, it is so small, but such a wonderful place to worship Christ in the Eucharist. When I visited yesterday, I felt like I was coming home.

The poinsettias are still on the altar.

This order of nuns takes care of the elderly and those with mental conditions. God bless them for this ministry and the all day Adoration.