Author Archives: Steven C.

About Steven C.

A young traditional Catholic man fighting for Holy Mother Church!

Bp. Salvador Lazo: The Diocesan Bishop who again found Tradition

Since Vatican II, there have been many prelates in the “official” Church who have recognized many symptoms of this present great crisis.  As Abp. Lefebvre noted, a few bishops and cardinals would privately encourage him to keep doing his work.  There are also a few prelates today who appear to show great potential for Tradition(e.g. Bp. Athanasius Schneider).  However, there has not yet been the case of a Bishop who has fully returned to Tradition after having previously worked under the auspices of the Novus Ordo.  That is, except for Bp. Salvador Lazo of the Philippines.

I notice that besides a fond remembrance of Bp. Lazo’s memory amongst many Traditional clergy and faithful, his courageous stand is not often as documented as I believe it should be.  There is little written about him besides the SSPX sources provided in this post.  Our hope for posting about this great Bishop is for others to know more about him and be encouraged by his stand.

Bp. Lazo piously performed his duties as a parish priest and bishop for over forty years in his diocese.  He told of how very little of what was going on at the Council was known to the immediate dioceses.  Although the priests in the diocese were wondering about the Novus Ordo Missae when it was introduced, their ecclesiastical superiors simply stated that “Rome had spoken”.  After Bp. Lazo’s retirement, a group of catechists visited him from the nearest SSPX priory.  After a lively conversation, the group left some reading materials for the Bishop.  Bp. Lazo was delighted to see the selections since they had answered his long-found suspicion over Vatican II.  By reading books about the Kingship of Christ and the nature of Freemasonry, as well as the great encyclicals written by the previous Traditional Popes; the Bishop realized that the Freemasons had successfully infiltrated the true Church of Christ.  Vatican II was the greatest means to advance their agenda.  After realizing the errors of Vatican II and the New mass, Bp. Lazo affiliated himself with the SSPX and participated in religious ceremonies with the other four SSPX bishops.  His support for Tradition was full and entire for the rest of his life and his presence and good spirit were always most assuring for those fighting for the true Faith.

We invite our readers to read the Bishop’s wonderful full autobiography: http://archives.sspx.org/bishop_salvador_lazo/my_return_to_the_traditional_mass_part_1.htm

In 1998, Bp. Lazo penned the following the Declaration of Faith to Pope John Paul II.  How refreshing it is to see a Bishop defend Tradition so emphatically and charitably!  May all of the Bishops of the world follow his lead in embracing the sacred beauty and fullness of Tradition.  And may the memory of Bishop Salvador Lazo be always cherished and admired forever!  May he rest in peace with Our Lord and Our Lady.

 

To His Holiness POPE JOHN PAUL II Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of Vatican City.

Ascension Thursday
May 21, 1998

Most Holy Father,

On the tenth anniversary of the consecration of the four Catholic bishops by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for the survival of the Catholic Faith, by the grace of God, I declare that I am Roman Catholic. My religion was founded by Jesus Christ when he said to Peter:

Thou art Peter and upon this Rock, I will build my Church. (Mt. 16:18)

Holy Father, my Credo is the Apostles’ Creed. The deposit of Faith came from Jesus Christ and was completed at the death of the last Apostle. It was entrusted to the Roman Catholic Church to serve as a guide for the salvation of souls to the end of time.

St. Paul instructed Timothy: “O Timothy, keep the deposit.” (I Tim. 6:20), the deposit of Faith!

Holy Father, it seems that St. Paul is telling me:

Keep the deposit… the deposit that is entrusted to you, not discovered by you. You received it: you did not draw it from your resources. It is not the fruit of any personal understanding but of teaching. It is not personal use, but it belongs to public tradition. It does not come from you, but it has come to you. With respect to it, you cannot act as an author, but only a simple keeper. You are not its initiator but its disciple. It is not for you to direct it, but your duty to follow it. (St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium, No. 21).

The Holy Council of Vatican I teaches that

the doctrine of Faith that God has revealed, was not proposed to the minds of men as a philosophical discovery to be perfected, but as the divine deposit, entrusted to the Spouse of Christ that she might faithfully keep it and infallibly define it. Consequently, the meaning of the Sacred Dogmas which must always be preserved is that which our Holy Mother the Church has determined. Never is it permissible to depart from this in the name of a deeper understanding. (Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius, Dz. 1800).

The Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter, not that they might make known new doctrine by His Revelation but rather that, with His assistance, they mighty religiously guard and faithfully explain the Revelation or deposit of Faith that was handed down through the Apostles. (Vatican I,  Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Æternus Dz. 1836)

Moreover, “the power of the pope is not unlimited; not only can he not change anything which is of divine institution (to suppress episcopal jurisdiction, for instance), but he is to build and not to destroy (cf. II Cor. 10, 8); he is enjoined, through natural law, not to sow confusion in the flock of Christ” (Dict. De Théol. Cath., II, col. 2039-2040).

St. Paul too confirmed the Faith of his converts: “But though we or an angel from heaven preach a Gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” (Gal. 1:8)

As a Catholic bishop, briefly, this is my stand on the post-Conciliar reforms of the Second Vatican Council. If the Conciliar reforms are according to the will of Jesus Christ, then, I will gladly cooperate in their implementation. But if the Conciliar reforms are planned for the destruction of the Catholic Religion founded by Jesus Christ, then, I refuse to give my cooperation.

Holy Father, in 1969, a communication from Rome was received in San Fernando Diocese of La Union. It said the Tridentine Latin Mass was to be suppressed and the Novus Ordo Missae was to be implemented. There was no reason given. Since the order came from Rome it was obeyed without any protest (Roma locuta est, causa finita est).

I retired in 1993, 23 years after my episcopal consecration. Since my retirement, I discovered the real reason for the illegal suppression of the traditional Latin Mass. The ancient Mass was an obstacle to the introduction of ecumenism. The Catholic Mass contained Catholic dogmas, which Protestants denied. To achieve unity with Protestant sects, the Tridentine Latin Mass had to be scrapped, being replaced by the Novus Ordo Missae.

The Novus Ordo Missae was a concoction of Monsignor Annibale Bugnini, a freemason. Six Protestant ministers helped Monsignor Bugnini in fabricating it. The innovators saw to it that no Catholic dogmas fully and replaced them with very ambiguous Protestantizing and heretical things. They even changed the form of the consecration given by Jesus Christ. With these modifications, the new rite of the Mass became more Protestant than Catholic.

The Protestants maintain that the Mass is a mere meal, a mere communion, a mere banquet, a memorial. The Council of Trent emphasized the reality of the sacrifice of the Mass, which is an unbloody renewal of the bloody sacrifice of Christ on Mount Calvary. “He, therefore, our god and Lord, though He was about to offer Himself once to God the Father upon the altar of the Cross… offered to God the Father His own body and blood under the species of bread and wine… at the last supper on the night He was betrayed, so that He might leave to His beloved Spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as nature of man demands), whereby that bloody sacrifice once to be completed on the Cross might be represented…” (Dz 938). The Mass is also as a consequence a communion to the sacrifice previously celebrated: a banquet where one eats the immolated Victim of the sacrifice. But if there is no sacrifice there is no communion with it. Mass is first and foremost a sacrifice and secondly a communion or a meal.

It is also noted that in the Novus Ordo Missae, Christ’s Real Eucharistic Presence is implicitly denied. The same observation is also true concerning the Church’s doctrine of Transubstantiation.

Connected with this, in the Novus Ordo Missae, the priest has been demoted from a priest who offers a sacrifice to one who merely presides over the assembly. Now he is the president of the assembly. For this role he faces the people. In the Traditional Mass, the priest, on the contrary, faces the tabernacle and the altar where Christ is.

After having known those mutations, I decided to stop saying the New Rite of Mass, which I was saying for more than twenty-seven in obedience to ecclesiastical superiors. I returned to the Tridentine Latin Mass because it is the Mass instituted by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper which is the unbloody renewal of the bloody sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Mount Calvary. This Mass of all times has sanctified the lives of millions down the centuries.

Holy Father, with all the respect I have for you and for the Holy See of St. Peter, I cannot follow your own teaching of the “universal salvation”, it contradicts Sacred Scripture.

Holy Father, are all men going to be saved? Jesus Christ wanted all men to be redeemed. In fact, He died for us all. Still, not all men are going to be saved because not all men fulfill all the necessary conditions in order to be numbered among the elects of God in Heaven.

Before Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, He entrusted to His Apostles the duty of preaching the Gospel to every creature. His instructions already hinted that all souls were not going to be saved. He said: “Go into the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mk. 16:15-16).

St. Paul supported this in his instruction to his converts: “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the Kingdom of God? Do not err, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterous, nor the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners shall possess the Kingdom of God.” (I Cor. 6:9-10)

Holy Father, should we respect false religions? Jesus Christ founded only one Church in which one can find eternal salvation. This is the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. When He gave all the doctrines and all the truths needed to be saved Christ did not say: “Respect all false religions.” In fact, the Son of God was crucified on the cross because He did not compromise His teaching.

In 1910, in his letter “Our Apostolic Mandate”, Pope St. Pius X warned that the interdenominational spirit is part of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for a one world church. Pope Leo XIII warned that to “treat all religions alike… is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic Religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions (Encyclical Humanum Genus). The process is this: FROM CATHOLICISM TO PROTESTANTISM; FROM PROTESTANTISM TO MODERNISM; FROM MODERNISM TO ATHEISM.

Ecumenism, as practiced today, flies in the face of traditional Catholic doctrine and practices. It places the one true Religion established by Our Lord on the same base level with false, man-made religions —something that popes throughout the centuries absolutely forbade Catholics to do: “It is clear that the Apostolic See can by no means take part in these (ecumenical) assemblies, nor is it in any way lawful for Catholics to give to such enterprises their encouragement or support” (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos).

I am for eternal Rome, the Rome of Ss. Peter and Paul. I do not follow Masonic Rome. Pope Leo XIII condemned Freemasonry in his encyclical Humanum Genus in 1884.

Neither do I accept modernist Rome. Pope St. Pius X also condemned modernism in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis in 1907.

I do not serve the Rome that is controlled by Freemasons who are the agents of Lucifer, the Prince of devils.

But I support the Rome that leads the Catholic Church faithfully to do the will of Jesus Christ —the glorification of the most Holy and Triune God —God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.

I consider myself fortunate because in this present crisis of the Catholic Church I received the grace to have returned to the Church that adheres to Catholic Tradition. Thank God, I am again saying the traditional Latin Mass —the Mass instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper, the Mass of my ordination.

May the Blessed Mother Mary, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, my patron saint, St. Michael and my Guardian Angel assist me to remain faithful to the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ for the salvation of men.

May I obtain the grace to remain and die in the bosom of the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church that adheres to the ancient traditions and be always a faithful priest and bishop of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Most respectfully,

+ Salvador L. Lazo, D.D.
Bishop Emeritus San Fernando Diocese of La Union
Philippines

~ Steven C.

Four years of Pope Francis’ Pontificate: SSPX Press Release

Pope

From DICI:

On the occasion of the anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, the mainstream press has dedicated several articles to a status report on his first four years on the throne of Saint Peter. Rather than quote these incidental commentaries, it seems to us more helpful to reprint certain analyses that have appeared in recent months. Coming from very different perspectives, their authors all agree on the fact that a deep division in the Church is setting in.

During the sermon that he gave in Poland on March 3, 2017 (see our article here), Bp. Bernard Fellay declared: “There are many contradictions, there is a battle between the bishops, among the cardinals, this is a new situation…. Rome is no longer united, but divided.” The Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X is only confirming what the Pope reportedly said on his own, according to the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel on December 27, 2016:

“According to his own agenda, Francis no longer has much time to change things in the Church, for he himself said that he thought that his pontificate would last only four to five years, and that deadline has almost arrived. The Pope’s critics, in the Vatican and outside the Vatican, must nevertheless be prepared for other surprises. In his inner circle, Francis allegedly said about himself:We must not rule out the possibility that I will go down in history as the one who divided the Catholic Church.’”

de facto schism

On January 20, 2017, the Italian Vatican-watcher Marco Tosatti commented on an article by the German journalist Guido Horst that had appeared in the Tagespost on January 10.

Guido Horst, columnist for the German Catholic newspaper Tagespost, does not mince words in a short article on the state of the Church after Amoris laetitia. “A de facto schism,” he writes. If memory serves us, this term was already used in the recent past by the Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Athanasius Schneider.

The fact that at the same time the newspaper run by the Secretariat of the Italian Episcopal Conference, L’Avvenire, dedicates an article to saying, on the contrary, that in reality everything is going well, and wonders, “who knows what it will take to put an end to a debate that seems absurd to more and more Catholics?”, is an indication of a division that is widening every day, instead of diminishing.

But let us read what Horst writes, in his article entitled: “A de facto schism”. He interprets the statements made by Cardinal Müller as a confirmation that “there will be no answer to these questions from Francis, in particular to the dubia of the four cardinals.”

But the answer has already come from Malta, Horst adds. When the two bishops from that island “instruct the pastors of the little insular State that each divorced-and-remarried person can decide for himself with God to receive Communion, this clearly means that each local church can do what it wants. The split is getting deeper. Florence against Rome, Poland against Argentina, Malta against Milan. This is what is called a de facto schism….”

The problem, Horst asserts, is that the Pope is mute. “The Pope is silent about the letter from the cardinals, and thus he indirectly refuses to make a clear statement about how the disputed paragraphs of Amoris laetitia should be read in the light of the statements of previous popes.” And of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we might add. Thus “Rome is no longer an authority that brings clarity, but rather a calm observer silently watching how and how soon the unity of the Church’s pastoral ministry falls to pieces.” And the individual priests who are ultimately subject to all the pressures “are left alone”.

These are harsh words, particularly because they come from someone who certainly cannot be categorized as an opponent or critic of the current pontificate (Guido Horst contributes to the Tagespost, a liberal Catholic newspaper, and to the official website of the German Bishops’ Conference – Editor’s note.) Likewise, the commentary by Björn Odendahl on the German bishops’ website, Katholisch.de, is certainly in favor of the Pope; in it he deplores, as a progressive, the Pope’s silence: “In a way,” he writes, “the conservatives are right: the Pope’s words are not clear enough. He ought to speak up and quickly put an end to these developments that are harming the Church.”

In our opinion it is not very likely that he will do so, thus allowing the Church to undergo a division on a central topic like the Eucharist and Jesus’ words on marriage, a division that is probably unprecedented in modern times.

We think that he will not do it, because what he said to Archbishop Bruno Fort in April 2016 (to be precise, on May 3, 2016, during a conference on Amoris laetitia in which he presented what follows as a “jest” by the Pope. – Editor’s note) seems to us very eloquent. During the Synod, the Pope allegedly confided to him: “If we speak explicitly about Communion for the divorced-and-remarried, you have no idea what a mess those guys will make for us. Well, then, let’s not talk about it directly; do it in such a way that the premises are there, and afterwards I will be the one to draw the conclusions.”

Abp Forte was Special Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, the author of the controversial “interim report” that was disowned by the President of the Assembly, Cardinal Erdö, and to a large extent was not accepted by the working groups of the Synod. And Abp. Forte commented (on this attitude of the Pope): “Typical of a Jesuit.” He added that the Apostolic Exhortation “is not a new doctrine, but the merciful application of the perennial teaching.”

If the anecdote reported by Abp. Forte is true, and there is no reason to doubt it, we understand better the degree of confusion and ambiguity, as well as the diversity of interpretations, caused by the Apostolic Exhortation. In other words, a deliberate absence of clarity that is reminiscent of the secular polemics and accusations that have been aimed at the Society of Jesus for centuries. The product of a strategy implemented even before the proceedings of the 2014 Synod had commenced.

What does the “revolution” of Pope Francis consist of?

In the French weekly newspaper Valeurs Actuelles (January 7, 2017), Laurent Dandrieu wrote, in an article entitled “Francis, the pope who gives scandal”:

As unusual as it is, this quarrel at the highest levels (of the Church hierarchy) is no doubt not the last one of this pontificate: the leader of liberation theology, the Marxist version of the preferential option for the poor, who was sanctioned as such by John Paul II, Leonardo Boff has just declared that Pope Francis was “one of us” (meaning: in solidarity with liberation theology) and predicts other surprises from the Pope—particularly on the subject of married priests. Now the next Synod, in 2018, will deal with the theme of vocations. It is often maintained that a married priesthood would be the answer to the vocations crisis. But above all this is an issue brought up regularly by the adversaries of the Church, since priestly celibacy appears to them to be an intolerable sign of its refusal to bend the knee to the dictates of modernity. Which raises the question: Does the “revolution” of Pope Francis consist of bringing the Church back to its radical Gospel message, or of winning for the Church the favor of the secularized world? The judgment that history will pass on this pontificate will depend on the answer.

“Not to resist error is to approve of it.”

On January 18, three bishops from Kazakhstan, Abp. Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Abp. Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop and Bishop emeritus of Karaganda, and Bp. Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, issued an appeal for prayer:

Considering that the admission of so-called “remarried” divorced persons to the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist without requiring them to live in continence is a danger to the faith and to the salvation of souls and furthermore constitutes an offense against God’s holy will; moreover, taking into consideration the fact that this pastoral practice can never be the expression of mercy, of the “via caritatis” [“way of charity”] or of the Church’s maternal way with regard to sinful souls, we issue with deep pastoral concern this urgent appeal for prayer that Pope Francis will revoke, clearly and unambiguously, the aforementioned pastoral guidelines that have already been adopted by some particular Churches. Such an act on the part of the visible Head of the Church would be a comfort for the pastors and for the faithful of the Church, according to the mandate that Christ, the supreme shepherd of souls, gave to the Apostle Peter, and through him to all his successors: “Strengthen your brethren!” (Luke 22:32).

May these words of a saintly pope and of Saint Catherine of Sienna, Doctor of the Church, be for everyone in the Church today a source of light and reassurance:

“Not to resist error is to approve of it; not to defend the truth is to stifle it” (Saint Felix III, Pope, †492). “Holy Father, God chose you in the Church so that you might be an instrument for eradicating heresy, confounding falsehood, exalting the Truth, dispelling darkness and manifesting the light” (Saint Catherine of Sienna, †1380).

When Pope Honorius I (625-638) adopted an ambiguous attitude toward the spread of the new heresy of Monothelitism, Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, sent a bishop from Palestine to Rome, telling him: Travel to the Apostolic See, where the foundations of sacred doctrine are found, and do not stop praying until the Apostolic See condemns the new heresy. The condemnation then took place in 649 by Saint Martin I, pope and martyr.

(Sources: Tagespost/Stilum Curiae/Valeurs Actuelles – based on the French translation by benoitetmoi and the blog of J. Smits – DICI no. 351, dated March 17, 2017)

 

~ Steven C.

 

Why Catholics should avoid Disney’s Beauty and the Beast remake

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I’m sure many of our readers are aware of part of the controversy surrounding the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, which was released to theaters on St. Patrick’s Day.  In short, Bill Condon, the “gay” director of the film(born into an Irish Catholic family!), declared that there would be included the first ever “nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie”.  According to Condon, the scene features one of the villains “exploring” and learning his sexuality:

LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh [Gad] makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its pay-off at the end, which I don’t want to give away.”

After much protest from good Catholics and others who still actually believe in Matrimony, Condon said in another interview to “Screen Crush”, “It’s all been overblown … I love the way it plays pure when people don’t know and it comes as a nice surprise…. Why is it a big deal?”

Additionally, an interview of Condon was unearthed from Passport Magazine from several years ago in which he is asked the first thing he does when he enters a hotel room.  He answers “I wish I could say I’m like Ian McKellen and immediately go rip pages out of the Bible, but there don’t seem to be bibles in the hotel rooms I stay in these days.”

As if all of this wasn’t enough, Emma Watson, the former Harry Potter actress now starring as Belle in the film; has also taken the opportunity to promote her despicable agenda.  The actress stated first that she would attempt to portray Belle as more of a feminist in this version of the movie.  Watson also held for charity an “advice booth” and charged fans two dollars apiece to receive advice from her.  When asked what she was to do with the money, Watson exclaimed that the money would be donated to Planned Parenthood, proclaiming “They’re the best!”.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUAVH2od-A0&feature=youtu.be 

Well, dear Catholics, may God help us all.  What a perverse mindset that is spreading in the world!  Let us have Hope, however, because Good will prevail.  There are already signs of the great victory to come!

As for supporting this film, many have already firmly declined to do so.  For those who are still considering, I will address a few objections:

There is no doubt that the “moments” spoken of do occur in the film and are about 20 seconds combined.  The director of the film himself has closed the door for interpretation of these scenes and did not retract his words at all.  In fact, he simply explained that he wished the scenes would have been more hidden and surprise moviegoers.  Ah, so he just wanted the “moments” to be more subliminal and spurious!  It would seem his big mouth somewhat foiled his plot. 

Some, such as Carl Kozlowski of Catholic(?) News Agency, might object that the scenes are not very long in duration, so the film is essentially suitable for family entertainment.  But this is how the devil works!  Since when has the devil used the strategy of 0 percent good, 100 percent bad?  Besides, even the Council that led to the worst crisis in Church history could be supposedly interpreted for the most part in a Catholic sense.  It is actually only a smaller part that is absolutely problematic.  A few drops of poison mixed in cake batter is still poison!

I have also heard the objection that young children will not recognize the scenes and will only look for an agenda if their parents tell them.  Consider the merit of this logic.  We know from science that babies are able to hear and learn inside the womb.  This is why good doctors recommend classical music instead of rap, pleasant conversations instead of tense, screaming ones, etc.  How then will children not process what they see on the movie screen?  They might not recognize much immediately.  Believe me, however, it will go into their heads.  This is the whole point of the approach.  It is not supposed to necessarily come off as blatant.  The strategy is much more effective when it is not.

Finally, it is obvious that this movie is being touted as a landmark in “LGBT history”.  Christians who decide to still view this movie are praised as not “obsessing” over these matters.  Indeed, even if the movie is presented as “Beauty and the Beast”(a title it doesn’t deserve), we must still fight for Truth!  Why should we all subject ourselves to inappropriate images or pictures for no sufficient reason?  Why should we give support to this movie when modern Disney has allowed such grave matter to be included in or associated with it?  It would be most prudent for us to avoid as much support as possible for this revolutionary film.  After all, many countries even in our day are imposing restrictions for Beauty and the Beast.              

It is very unfortunate that Disney apparently does not mind corrupting its audience, mostly composed of young girls and families, but let this not hold us back!  A girl’s innate love for princesses ought not be limited to only Disney princesses.  Rather than simply wait for another acceptable movie, we should make efforts to teach our children about all of the great, saintly kings and queens in the past.  These monarchs were not only the most noble examples of royalty on Earth, but are now also enjoying royalty in Heaven with the King of Kings Himself!  

 

~ Steven C. 

Defending Priestly Celibacy

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http://www.catholicregister.org/home/international/item/24593-pope-francis-gives-life-to-married-priests-debate

http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/3086-in-defense-of-priestly-celibacy

For the past several years, many in the Church have called for an “openness” to the ordination of married men in the Roman Rite.  Granting this privilege would, according to them, solve the post-Vatican II vocation crisis and even no longer force men to choose their vocation out of the two states of life.

There is much misunderstanding on this issue, including an exaggeration of the height of the limited privileges granted in some of the Eastern Rites.  Given that the Pope himself is now openly considering such a possibility; a thorough examination is necessary.

I would thus like to commend the SSPX French District for writing this most needed defense, along with The Remnant Newspaper for featuring it on their website and assisting in producing an English translation.  We will provide it below for our readers.  Make no mistake, if Rome were to allow concessions to the ordination of married men in the Roman Rite; it would be another great sorrow for Tradition and an utter disaster.  Certainly the clergy and faithful have to duty to defend the sacredness and necessity of the celibate priesthood!

Update(3/17/2017): (http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/pope-francis-expresses-openness-ordaining-married-men-unique-cases-need) While the Pope might not publicly indicate that a married priesthood is the primary means to solve the vocational crisis in the Church, his openness by “way of exception” would still appear to be concerning to those wishing to maintain the constant Tradition of the Church.  What a display of the fruits of Vatican II that the situation has become this dire!

Defense:

Objections against priestly celibacy

Apparently convincing arguments can be made against the practice of priestly celibacy. Let us quickly examine some of the most important of these. First of all, the New Testament does not seem to require celibacy for priests, but simply proposes it as a special grace, to which each individual may freely respond (cf. Mt 19, 11-12). Moreover, Jesus Christ did not make of it a prerequisite in the choice of His Twelve Apostles, nor did the Apostles themselves in their choice of the leaders of the first Christian communities (cf. 1Tm 3, 2-5; Tt 1, 5-6).

The fruit of an unhealthy obsession with purity?

Admittedly, throughout the centuries the Church Fathers and ecclesiastical writers established a link between a priestly vocation and consecrated celibacy. However, the Fathers rather recommend chastity in marriage than celibacy itself. Moreover, these texts appear to be inspired by an exaggerated pessimism or by a more or less unhealthy obsesssion with purity. Finally, they refer to a socio-cultural context which is no longer our’s. Furthermore, this custom of ecclesiastical celibacy improperly aligns the priestly vocation with the vocation to celibacy. Moreover, we are forced to admit the tragic shrinking of the clergy: would not one of the causes of this shrinking be the obligation to remain celibate, which is too heavy a load for many young people today? Would not a suppression of this obligation give a new impetus to the recruitment of priests?

A requirement which is impossible to fulfill?

Anyway, we are forced to admit the numerous breaches of this consecrated ceibacy, either on the part of priests who leave their ministry to marry, or on the part of priests who have more or less clandestine sexual relationships. Wouldn’t a frank authorisation be better than a shameful hypocrisy which ends in scandal? In reality, perfect celibacy is impossible to keep, because it is against nature and inhuman. It puts the priest in a physically and psychologically damaging condition, from which are born discouragement, or even dispair. Thus, according to its opponents, priestly celibacy is proven to be unfounded in Scripture and Tradition, excessive, inappropriate, hypocritical and against nature. It is therefore urgent to completely suppress it, or, at least, to make it entirely optional, both for today’s clergy and for future priests.

Bad reasons for defending it?

In order to defend priestly celibacy, people have sometimes put forward an argument which goes something like this: “If the priest were married, he would have to devote himself to his wife and family, which would make him less available for his faithful (for example for bringing the Sacraments during the night or during an epidemic). Furthemore, the secrets which are entrusted to him under the seal of confession would risk being uncovered during discussions with his spouse, and the mere thought of this risk would repel penitents from approaching him”. Such reasonings are not entirely devoid of truth. However, they are not absolutely convincing either. In effect, the doctor must also leave home at night or during epidemics in order to cure sick people. He likewise receives the most intimate confidences of his patients. Yet, no-one has ever stopped a doctor from getting married! This is therefore proof that this reason alone (as well-founded as it appears) is not sufficient to justify priestly celibacy. Attacked by strong reasons and defended by insufficient arguments, priestly celibacy seems to be a cause which is definitively lost, destined to be swept aside by the victorious march of history and human progress.

The constant practise of the Church

Impressed by these objections (and by yet others which could be formulated), we could be tempted to accept this apparent inevitability. However, an enormous fact towers before us, which obliges us to think seriously about the gravity of the question at hand. This fact is the constant practise of the Catholic Church in the matter of ecclesiastical celibacy. In effect, since Christian antiquity, the Fathers of the Church and the ecclesiastical writers witness unanimously to the propagation (amongst the clergy of both East and West) of the freely assumed practice of consecrated celibacy. From the fourth century on, the Western Church (thanks to the interventions of several provincial councils and bishops), reinforced, developed and sanctioned this practice of priestly celibacy.

The action of the Roman pontiffs

The Roman pontiffs, in particular, were intent on protecting and restoring ecclesiastical celibacy at all times, even when the general slackening of morals was opposed to it and when a part of the clergy was publicly living in misconduct. This obligation of priestly celibacy was, in particular, solemnly recalled by the Council of Trent and inserted into the Code of Canon Law. Since the beginning of the 20th Century, all the popes without exception (following to a custom created by Saint Pius X), have addressed an encyclical letter to the priests of the entire world, notably reminding them of the solemn engagement of celibacy which they have contracted.

The practice of the Church of the East

If the legislation of the Eastern Church concerning ecclesiastical celibacy is partially different, it must not be forgotten that this is due to historical circumstances proper to this part of the Church. However, the Eastern Fathers have sung highly the praises of virginity and of its profound links with the priestly ministry. Furthermore, in the East, the episcopacy (that is to say, the fulness of the priesthood) is strictly reserved to celibate clergy. Finally, candidates for the priesthood who desire marriage absolutely must get married before ordination and, if they become widowers, they cannot remarry. In such manner that, even in the East, the prinicple of celibate priesthood and that of the correspondance between celibacy and priestly ministry remain established up to a certain point, at least in the episcopal priesthood.

A universal and constant practice

In a Church which claims to be essentially faithful to Tradition, this universal and constant practice of consecrated celibacy cannot be treated as a simple human custom, revocable at will. On the contrary, it brings us to think that ecclesiastical celibacy has deep links with Revelation Itself.

The real sense of priestly celibacy

However, the practice of the Church alone is not necessarily prescriptive in itself. It must furthermore rest on foundations which come from Divine Revelation or the nature of things. This is the case for priestly celibacy, which rests on supernatural motives of the highest value and is rooted directly in the Gospel itself. Sacerdos alter Christus, “the priest is another Christ”. This is the fundamental principle which illuminates the Catholic priesthood. The Priesthood of Christ is unique and definitive, and the priesthood of men, the ministerial priesthood (that is, etymologically, the priesthood of servants) is a real participation in this Sovereign Priesthood. It is therefore Christ Himself who is the Model, the “Type”, He to Whom each priest must be intimately conformed in order for his priesthood to take on all of its truth.

Jesus Christ, the True Priest, remained a virgin

But it is remarkable that Jesus Christ (in a world where celibacy was almost unknown, if not cursed), remained in the state of virginity throughout all of His life. With Him, this virginity signifies His total and unreserved consecration to God. All of His energies, all of His thoughts, all of His actions belong to God. It is by this total consecration (which in Jesus went as far as the Hypostatic Union, where the human nature no longer belongs to itself but belongs directly to the Person of the Word), that Christ was constituted Mediator between Heaven and earth, between God and men, that is to say, Priest.

Celibacy as a consecration to God

Thus, virginity signifies and brings about consecration, the essence of this Priesthood of Christ. In other words, the virginity of Jesus flows from His Priesthood and is intimately connected with it. The human priest (participator in the Priesthood of Christ) also participates in His total consecration to God and, as a consequence, in His virginity. The consecrated celibacy of the priest is therefore an intimate and love-filled union with the virginity of Jesus, sign of His consecration to the Father. This is the first and most fundamental reason for the celibacy of priests.

The love of Christ for the Church

If Jesus remained a virgin as an expression of His consecration to the Father, He was also a virgin in His offering of Himself on the Cross for His Church, so as to make of Her a glorious, holy and immaculate Spouse (cf. Ep 5, 25-27). The consecrated virginity of the human priest also manifests and prolongs, therefore, the virginal love of Christ for the Church and the supernatural fecundity of this love. This availibilty to love the Church and souls manifests itself by the prayer-life of the priest, by the celebration of the sacraments and particularly of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by his charity towards all, by his continual preaching of the Gospel, mirroring the very Life of Jesus. Each day, the priest, united to Christ the Redeemer, begets souls in Faith and Grace, and makes the love of Christ for His Church (which virginity signifies) present among men.

The sign of the Kingdom to come

If we examine, no longer the mission of Christ on earth, but the full realisation of this mission in Heaven, we discover a third cause of His virginity and (consequently) of that of the priest. In effect, the earthly Church is the seed of the heavenly Church and at the same time the sign of this blessed life to come. What heavenly beatitude will be is already visible (but veiled and as if in an enigma) in the earthly life of the Church. But, as Our Lord said with force: “in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven.” (cf. Mt 22, 30). Virginity will therefore be the definitive state of blessed humanity. It is fitting that (already in this life) the sign of this virginity should shine in the midst of the tribulations and desires of the flesh. The consecrated celibacy of the priest is thus (mirroring that of Christ) an anticipation of heavenly glory, a prefiguration of the life of the elect and a pressing invitation to the faithful to march towards Eternal Life unincumbered by the weight of the day. The celibacy of human priests is therefore a participation in the virginity of the Supreme Priest, which expresses His total consecration to the Father, makes possible His union with the Church and announces the blessed life of Heaven to come.

Response to objections

When the absence of any commandment on the part of Jesus is opposed to consecrated celibacy, we must reply with an elementary distinction. In itself, the priesthood is not linked absolutely to celibacy because it is a spiritual quality of the soul, a sacramental character. This explains why a married man can be validly ordained priest and that Jesus did not make of celibacy a direct commandment. But it is evident in the Gospel that there is a profound link between priestly consecration and virginal consecration. Jesus, having chosen His first priests, wanted to initiate them into the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 13, 11 ; Mk 4, 11 ; Lk 8, 10) and called them His friends and His brothers (Jn 15, 15 ; 20, 17). He sacrificed Himself for them so that they would be consecrated in Truth (Jn 17, 19) and promised a superabundant recompense to anyone who would abandon house, family, spouse and children for the Kingdom of God. Finally, He recommended (in words laden with meaning and addressing Himself to His disciples alone) a more perfect consecration to God by virginity, propter regnum (cf. Mt 19, 11-12). The constant tradition of the Church concerning priestly celibacy is therefore founded on the Gospel itself and on the express doctrine of Jesus Christ.

A particularly expressive congruity

In the same spirit, the Fathers of the Church never intended transforming this evangelical correspondance between celibacy and the priesthood (which became a canonical law in the West and in part in the East) into a strict obligation of Divine Law. That is why the link which they establish between the priestly vocation and consecrated virginity is more a pressing exhortation than a strict obligation. Their writings nevertheless express the spirit of the Gospel in this matter in a very clear manner. Besides, it is possible that the ecclesiastical writers have sometimes been inspired by an exaggerated pessimism or refer to a socio-cultural context which is no longer our’s. But this is only true on points of detail or for this or that Father in particular. On the other hand, the universality of the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers, dealing with the profound link between the priesthood and virginity, far from expressing a temporary and doubtful opinion, on the contrary translate with sureness the very doctrine of Divine Revelation.

A vocation is not a right, but a calling

To those who claim to separate the priestly vocation from consecrated chastity, we must reply that they are committing a profound error on the very nature of a vocation. The latter is, in effect, a Divine call manifested by the Church through the voice of the bishop. This Divine call is in no way a sort of haphazard choice which could fall on anyone. It is, on the contrary, a precise call which supposes or creates the necessary dispositions in the one who is called. Thus, in the Eastern Church, because of the central place occupied by ecclesiastical chant, no minister can be ordained unless he is apt for singing. In the Western Church, no priest can be ordained without consecrated celibacy. In other words, there is no real priestly vocation in the West without the call to consecrated celibacy. It is therefore absolutely false to want to separate priesthood and chastity in the West, since they are one reality, that of the authentic Divine vocation.

Married clergy does not recruit any better than celibate clergy

When people point to the vocations crisis in order to attack priestly celibacy, they forget to say that those eccelsial communities which already admit the marriage of their priests or pastors (e.g. the Orthodox, the Anglicans etc.) are experiencing the same recruitment difficulties as the Latin Rite Catholic Church. Allowing married priests is therefore not an especially efficacious way of cancelling out the drop in vocations. Rather, it is the weakening of the spirit of Faith, the destruction of the Catholic family, the development of materialism, the enormous scandals caused by certain priests, the ruin of the Holy Mass by the liturgical reform, etc., which are the real causes of the drop in vocations. The total gift of self to God which is signified by priestly celibacy is, on the contrary, a light which guides generous souls towards the priestly ministry and is one of the principal sources of a vocation.

Change the law because it is only imperfectly followed?

Breaches of the law of celibacy (going as far as scandals and apostasies) exist – it would be ridiculous to deny this. Nevertheless, this is in no way a reason for rejecting consecrated celibacy. Otherwise, we would also have to suppress marriage. In effect, there are breaches of fidelity, adulteries and scandalous divorces. However, difficulty in keeping conjugal fidelity is not a reason for suppressing it. Similarly, difficulty in conserving priestly chastity is not a reason for suppressing celibacy, but rather a reason for more and more anchoring it every day within a human balance and an authentic supernatural life. To want to suppress celibacy because it is not always observed is to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to get rid of cars because of road-traffic accidents, to abolish food because of indigestion and to do away with life because there are people who commit suicide.

What is impossible to man is possible to God

To claim that observing celibacy is an impossibility is false both on the natural and supernatural level. We know (from scientific and philosophical psychology) that continence (even absolute continence) is not in any way against nature. Man, a free and reasonable being, is capable of mastering his physical and affective tenedencies. However, it has to be admitted that virtuously and continually observing celibacy is not ordinarily given to human nature wounded by Original Sin. In this sense, the celibacy of the priest is founded, not on nature alone, but on that Grace by which God makes possible what is impossible to man. It is therefore true that consecrated celibacy requires a particular Grace, but which God unreservedly grants to the one who has piously engaged himself in His service. This Grace makes him capable of remaining faithful to his engagements, as witness the immense legion of priests who (for so many centuries) have caused the magnificent splendour of their spotless virginity to shine in the Church.

A beautiful text of Pius XII

We will conclude with a beautiful text of Pius XII who recalls the supernatural fecundity of priestly celibacy: “The priest has as the proper field of his activity everything that pertains to the supernatural life, since it is he who promotes the increase of this supernatural life and communicates it to the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Consequently, it is necessary that he renounce ‘the things of the world’, in order to have care only for ‘the things of the Lord’. And it is precisely because he should be free from preoccupation with worldly things to dedicate himself entirely to the divine service, that the Church has established the law of celibacy, thus making it ever more manifest to all peoples that the priest is a minister of God and the father of souls. By his law of celibacy, the priest, so far from losing the gift and duties of fatherhood, rather increases them immeasurably, for, although he does not beget progeny for this passing life of earth, he begets children for that life which is heavenly and eternal. The more resplendent priestly chastity is, so much the more does the sacred minister become, together with Christ, ‘a pure victim, a holy victim, an immaculate victim’” (Pius XII, Menti nostrae, 23rd September, 1950).

 

For more explanation of the history of priestly celibacy, excerpts of this SSPX article are also provided:

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/priestly-celibacy-discipline-or-doctrine-2421

A little history on priestly celibacy

Before we come to the magisterial and theological texts on the matter, it may be useful to review the facts themselves as they have unfolded during the long history of the Church.

We begin by understanding that if the Jewish priesthood was married according to the Law, nevertheless the exercise of this priesthood demanded these men to preserve continence for the duration of their priestly function at the Temple.

With the establishment of the New Covenant, “Our Lord Himself who became man wished to give the example of celibacy. He surrounded Himself with virgin souls, Mary, Joseph and John, those closest and dearest to Him.”[1] And although He chose some married men, like St. Peter, among His Apostles, we do not hear of their wives anymore and the New Testament suggests rather that, like St. Paul, having left everything to follow Christ, they preserved continence after the founding of the Church.

In Ad Catholici Sacerdotii Fastigium, Pius XI, explains that:

…the first written legislation dates from the Council of Elvira in Spain (circa 300 AD), which presupposes a still earlier unwritten practice. This law only makes obligatory what might in any case almost be termed a moral exigency that springs from the Gospel and the Apostolic preaching.”

By the end of the 4th century, celibacy was already applied to the subdiaconate. This has caused some authors to consider it an unwritten tradition of apostolic origin.[2]

Since then, Church law has been fairly consistent and has seen in Holy Orders an absolute impediment to matrimony. After the decadence of the early Middle Ages, the Second Council of Lateran (1139 AD) declared that such a marriage would be invalid in the Western Church.

The Latin and the Greek discipline

Perhaps the best way to see how the Western and Eastern churches differ in this matter is to examine the two articles St. Thomas Aquinas dedicated to this question of celibacy.

In his Supplement to the Summa (q. 53, art. 3), he asks whether the reception of major holy orders prevent matrimony. In other words, can someone already a subdeacon become married? The answer for both the East as well as the West is simply negative. St. Thomas concedes that this rule is based on the ordinance or discipline of the Church, but he adds a suitable reason for this. Those who are in holy orders handle the sacred vessels and the sacraments: wherefore it is becoming that they keep their bodies clean by continence [Isaias 52:11].

But, unlike the Latins who have the vow of perfect chastity attached to the major holy orders (subdeacon, priesthood and episcopacy), for the Greeks, these holy orders do not include the vow of continence. Hence, they do not forbid the use of marriage already contracted: for a priest can use marriage contracted previously, although he cannot be married again.

St. Thomas inquires further in his Supplement (q. 53, art. 4) whether matrimony is an impediment to holy orders. Can someone in the bonds of marriage become a priest? The answer here is yes. The Council of Elvira affirms that clerics already married must practice continence, and this led immediately to the practice of priestly celibacy.

Perhaps the reader will raise the question: why is there a difference between these two positions? Are not holy orders as much opposed to marriage as marriage to holy orders? How can a married man become a priest whereas the priest cannot marry?

St. Thomas answers that matrimony is a human contract, but holy orders is a sacramental consecration by God. Hence matrimony may be impeded by a previous reception of a holy order, so as not to be a true marriage. On the other hand, holy orders cannot be impeded by marriage (so as not to be a legitimate reception of a holy order) because the power of the sacraments is unchangeable, whereas human acts can be impeded.

We may sum up St. Thomas’ mind thus. As the clerical state is a higher and more perfect vocation than married life, it is unbecoming of a cleric to lower himself to marriage. Thus, we must hold that theologically, sacred orders are fittingly seen as an impediment to marriage—so that no priest may validly enter into marriage. However, we may still maintain that marriage need not be an impediment to the priesthood—so that some married men may be ordained priests. But in this matter, because the Latin Church includes an implicit vow of perfect chastity for the clergy in major holy orders (which cannot be broken by mere human power), a married clergy is not allowed in the Western Church (i.e., in general, as opposed to an extraordinary situation as the Church has traditionally acceded—such as the case of a married Lutheran pastor who converts to the Faith and shows signs of a priestly vocation).

We must also keep in mind that, even for the Greeks who allow the ordination of married men, no one will be consecrated a bishop unless he be celibate. And it is interesting to hear of the Eastern Church leaders themselves speak of the problems they have with their married clergy, as it occurred in the Roman Synod of Bishops in 2005. While Ukrainian bishops recalled the need to keep a ratio of 50% non-married priests because, below this, it would be impossible to maintain an efficacious apostolate as the married clergy are too busy and cannot dedicate sufficient time to religious studies. Another Eastern bishop raised the spectrum of priests going through divorce: what do you do with them?

Magisterial teaching on the primacy of celibacy

The Church has constantly taught the excellence and primacy of virginity and consecrated life against the enemies of the vows. The consecrated life mirrors Christ’s own way and anticipates the future age, when in the Kingdom of Heaven, the children of the resurrection will be like the angels of God (cf. Mt. 22:30). Here are a couple of texts by way of illustration.

  • Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, no. 32: “This doctrine of the excellence of virginity and of celibacy and of their superiority over the married state was, as we have already said, revealed by our Divine Redeemer and by the Apostle of the Gentiles; so too, it was solemnly defined as a dogma of divine faith by the holy council of Trent, and explained in the same way by all the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church.”
  • Council of Trent (Denzinger 980): “If anyone saith that the marriage state is to be preferred before the state of virginity, let him be anathema.” […] “writing to the Corinthians, [Paul] says: I would that all men were even as myself; that is, that all embrace the virtue of continence… A life of continence is to be desired by all.”

The wise words of a missionary bishop

Archbishop Lefebvre was well aware of the powerful voice of the priestly and religious virginity over souls. A young parishioner of his, now Archbishop Zoa of Yaoune, said that as a child, he raised doubts about the celibacy of priests. But when it saw it in practice, he confessed: “That religion is God’s religion.” The missionary goes on:[3]

What an example for married people to see the priest practice the virtue of chastity, of virginity! It is an example Christians need in order to help them practice this virtue of chastity in their own marriage.

The profound reason for consecrated priestly celibacy is the same reason for which the most Blessed Virgin herself remained a virgin. It was just and fitting that she remain a virgin because she had carried our Lord in her womb. The priest also brings God to earth by the words which he pronounces at the consecration. He has such a closeness to God, who is a spiritual Bing, a Spirit above all, that it is good and just and eminently fitting that the priest be a virgin and remain celibate.

(Celibacy) is a magnificent honor for the Church, an honor which we have to guard like a treasure. No other religion asks such a thing of its ministers, and you notice that of all those who have left the Church—all of the heretics, the schismatics—all or most of them have entered into the bonds of marriage. It is the honor of the Church to have maintained celibacy for her priests, for what other priests can say that they carry in their hands the body, the blood, the soul and the divinity of Jesus Christ? Is it surprising then that the Church would ask her priests not to share their heart, not to have any other love than our Lord Jesus Christ?”

Meditation on the royal Way of the Holy Cross

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Posted below is a beautiful meditation for this Second Sunday of Lent that I wished to share with our readers.  Although the path of the cross contrasts infinitely with what most think of as “royal” today, it is the one chosen by the King of Kings Himself- The Way, The Truth, and The Life, in order that we might be redeemed from sin.  And speaking of royalty, is there nothing more royal than to rejoice at seeing Our Lord and giving glory to Him at each Holy Mass, when the Sacrifice of All Time takes place?  Let us use this Lent well that we might give great glory to our King and enjoy Eternity with Him who is Joy, who is Peace, who is Love!

Short introduction is from SSPX Canada.

~Steven C., “Knight of Tradition”

The Imitation of Christ (Latin: De Imitatione Christi) by Thomas a Kempis is a Christian devotional book. It was first composed in Latin, circa 1418-1427. It is a handbook for spiritual life arising from the Devotio Moderna movement, where Kempis was a member.

The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read devotional work next to the Bible, and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic. Apart from the Bible, no book has been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ.

The Imitation of Christ, book II, chapter XII

If any man will come after Me

1. That seemeth a hard saying to many, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross and follow Me.[1] But it will be much harder to hear that last sentence, Depart from me, ye wicked, into eternal fire.[2] For they who now willingly hear the word of the Cross and follow it, shall not then fear the hearing of eternal damnation. This sign of the Cross shall be in heaven when the Lord cometh to Judgment. Then all servants of the Cross, who in life have conformed themselves to the Crucified, shall draw nigh unto Christ the Judge with great boldness.

2. Why fearest thou then to take up the cross which leadeth to a kingdom? In the Cross is health, in the Cross is life, in the Cross is protection from enemies, in the Cross is heavenly sweetness, in the Cross strength of mind, in the Cross joy of the spirit, in the Cross the height of virtue, in the Cross perfection of holiness. There is no health of the soul, no hope of eternal life, save in the Cross. Take up therefore, thy cross and follow Jesus and thou shalt go into eternal life. He went before thee bearing His Cross and died for thee upon the Cross, that thou also mayest bear thy cross and mayest love to be crucified upon it. For if thou be dead with Him, thou shalt also live with Him, and if thou be a partaker of His sufferings thou shalt be also of His glory.

None other way unto life

3. Behold everything dependeth upon the Cross, and everything lieth in dying; and there is none other way unto life and to true inward peace, except the way of the Holy Cross and of daily mortification. Go where thou wilt, seek whatsoever thou wilt, and thou shalt find no higher way above nor safer way below, than the way of the Holy Cross. Dispose and order all things according to thine own will and judgment, and thou shalt ever find something to suffer either willingly or unwillingly, and thus thou shalt ever find thy cross. For thou shalt either feel pain of body, or tribulation of spirit within thy soul.

4. Sometimes thou wilt be forsaken of God, sometimes thou wilt be tried by thy neighbour, and which is more, thou wilt often be wearisome to thyself. And still thou canst not be delivered nor eased by any remedy or consolation, but must bear so long as God will. For God will have thee learn to suffer tribulation without consolation, and to submit thyself fully to it, and by tribulation be made more humble. No man understandeth the Passion of Christ in his heart so well as he who hath had somewhat of the like suffering himself. The Cross therefore is always ready, and every where waiteth for thee. Thou canst not flee from it whithersoever thou hurriest, for whithersoever thou comest, thou bearest thyself with thee, and shalt ever find thyself. Turn thee above, turn thee below, turn thee without, turn thee within, and in them all thou shalt find the Cross; and needful is it that thou everywhere possess patience if thou wilt have internal peace and gain the everlasting crown.

Bear the Cross

5. If thou willingly bear the Cross, it will bear thee, and will bring thee to the end which thou seekest, even where there shall be the end of suffering; though it shall not be here. If thou bear it unwillingly, thou makest a burden for thyself and greatly increaseth thy load, and yet thou must bear it. If thou cast away one cross, without doubt thou shalt find another and perchance a heavier.

6. Thinketh thou to escape what no mortal hath been able to avoid? Which of the saints in the world hath been without the cross and tribulation? For not even Jesus Christ our Lord was one hour without the anguish of His Passion, so long as He lived. It behooved, He said, Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory.[3] And how dost thou seek another way than this royal way, which is the way of the Holy Cross?

The life of Christ was a cross

7. The whole life of Christ was a cross and martyrdom, and dost thou seek for thyself rest and joy? Thou art wrong, thou art wrong, if thou seekest aught but to suffer tribulations, for this whole mortal life is full of miseries, and set round with crosses. And the higher a man hath advanced in the spirit, the heavier crosses he will often find, because the sorrow of his banishment increaseth with the strength of his love.

8. But yet the man who is thus in so many wise afflicted, is not without refreshment of consolation, because he feeleth abundant fruit to be growing within him out of the bearing of his cross. For whilst he willingly submitteth himself to it, every burden of tribulation is turned into an assurance of divine comfort, and the more the flesh is wasted by affliction, the more is the spirit strengthened mightily by inward grace. And ofttimes so greatly is he comforted by the desire for tribulation and adversity, through love of conformity to the Cross of Christ, that he would not be without sorrow and tribulation; for he believeth that he shall be the more acceptable to God, the more and the heavier burdens he is able to bear for His sake. This is not the virtue of man, but the grace of Christ which hath such power and energy in the weak flesh, that what it naturally hateth and fleeth from, this it draweth to and loveth through fervour of spirit.

We do not love the cross

9. It is not in the nature of man to bear the cross, to love the cross, to keep under the body and to bring it into subjection, to fly from honours, to bear reproaches meekly, to despise self and desire to be despised, to bear all adversities and losses, and to desire no prosperity in this world. If thou lookest to thyself, thou wilt of thyself be able to do none of this; but if thou trustest in the Lord, endurance shall be given thee from heaven, and the world and the flesh shall be made subject to thy command. Yea, thou shalt not even fear thine adversary the devil, if thou be armed with faith and signed with the Cross of Christ.

10. Set thyself, therefore, like a good and faithful servant of Christ, to the manful bearing of the Cross of thy Lord, who out of love was crucified for thee. Prepare thyself for the bearing many adversities and manifold troubles in this wretched life; because so it shall be with thee wheresoever thou art, and so in very deed thou shalt find it, wherever thou hide thyself. This it must be; and there is no means of escaping from tribulation and sorrow, except to bear them patiently. Drink thou lovingly thy Lord’s cup if thou desirest to be His friend and to have thy lot with Him. Leave consolations to God, let Him do as seemeth best to Him concerning them. But do thou set thyself to endure tribulations, and reckon them the best consolations; for the  sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us,[4] nor would they be even if thou wert to endure them all.

Thou shalt find peace

11. When thou hast come to this, that tribulation is sweet and pleasant to thee for Christ’s sake, then reckon that it is well with thee, because thou hast found paradise on earth. So long as it is hard to thee to suffer and thou desirest to escape, so long it will not be well with thee, and tribulations will follow thee everywhere.

12. If thou settest thyself to that thou oughtest, namely, to suffer and to die, it shall soon go better with thee, and thou shalt find peace. Though thou shouldest be caught up with Paul unto the third heaven,[5] thou art not on that account secure from suffering evil. I will show him, saith Jesus, what great things he must suffer for My Name’s sake.[6] It remaineth, therefore, to thee to suffer, if thou wilt love Jesus and serve Him continually.

Worthy to suffer

13. Oh that thou wert worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus, how great glory should await thee, what rejoicing among all the saints of God, what bright example also to thy neighbour! For all men commend patience, although few be willing to practise it. Thou oughtest surely to suffer a little for Christ when many suffer heavier things for the world.

14. Know thou of a surety that thou oughtest to lead the life of a dying man. And the more a man dieth to himself, the more he beginneth to live towards God. None is fit for the understanding of heavenly things, unless he hath submitted himself to bearing adversities for Christ. Nothing more acceptable to God, nothing more healthful for thyself in this world, than to suffer willingly for Christ. And if it were thine to choose, thou oughtest rather to wish to suffer adversities for Christ, than to be refreshed with manifold consolations, for thou wouldest be more like Christ and more conformed to all saints. For our worthiness and growth in grace lieth not in many delights and consolations, but rather in bearing many troubles and adversities.

15. If indeed there had been anything better and more profitable to the health of men than to suffer, Christ would surely have shown it by word and example. For both the disciples who followed Him, and all who desire to follow Him, He plainly exhorteth to bear their cross, and saith, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me.[7]So now that we have thoroughly read and studied all things, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.[8]

Why the Harry Potter series and movies are unacceptable

Image result for harry potter christian

Fr. Gabriele Amorth-“In Harry Potter the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses”

Cardinal Ratzinger in a letter dated 2003 to Gabriele Kuby- “It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly.”

One common means the devil has used to further his agenda is through literature.  There are numerous examples of popular books today that might seem innocent at first glance, but are actually extremely dangerous.  One example is Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, which may well have been directly inspired by the devil himself(https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/potter-critic-michael-obrien-takes-on-the-vampires-of-twilight).

The book series that will be analyzed most in this post, however, is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  These stories and their subsequent movies have remained incredibly popular and even many otherwise good Catholic parents allow them freely around the home.  The reason is often because many parents are simply not aware of the grave dangers associated with these series.  The devil unfortunately is quite a master of deceit.  The poor souls that trust today’s literature to be innocent!  Some others have read of the dangers, but lightly put them aside as being “one priest’s opinion”.  Either way, I hope there is enough convincing evidence in this post to draw souls away from this snare.  Even if just 5% of the series glorified evil, it would still be dangerous for souls.  Satan never makes anything 100% bad; it would never be read!  Certainly the above quotes from the world’s leading exorcist(RIP) and the previous Pope must not be disregarded!

Exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger, in less than 5 minutes, exposes an abundance of facts and concetrns regarding Harry Potter and its author:

The traditional Catholic religious have also consistently warned of the Harry Potter series.  A simple Google search should provide several articles, but I particularly recommend this May 2001 SSPX Canada bulletin, which is dedicated largely to exposing the Occult and its many manifestations:

http://www.fsspx.com/Communicantes/May2001/index.htm

Attached below is a comprehensive article by Miss Andrea Stoltz(later Sr. Andre Dominic of the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux).  Besides thoroughly analyzing the series in depth, Miss Stoltz also explains the differences between Rowling’s Harry Potter and the stories of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.  To put Harry Potter at the same level of the works of these great authors is rather insulting, but those attracted to the Harry Potter genre might enjoy these works instead.

Certainly such a post as this might seem harsh for devoted fans of Harry Potter.  My purpose is not to diminish anyone’s joy or improperly judge others.  Quite the contrary.  I simply wish to reach out to souls, despite all of my imperfections.  It is the duty of every person to assist in the work of saving souls and, please God, may we all contribute well to this noble endeavor!

~ Steven C.

http://www.edocere.org/articles/harry_potter.htm

There are more problems with Harry Potter than just witchcraft.1

I say just witchcraft not because I think it is a minor issue, but because it seems as though most people who do not approve of the series are critical of Harry Potter for this reason alone. Although this is a very good (probably the best) reason to shun the world of Harry Potter, there are plenty of other reasons to be critical.

In our base world, we do not have to look for offensive material that attacks our senses. It is blatant. It is rampant. It is almost unavoidable. That’s not to say that this is the only way we are affected by the impurities of the world. Quite often they come to us in much more subtle ways. Of course, subtle evil is much more harmful than blatant evil, because it is harder to recognize and thus harder to avoid. Most harmful of all is evil under the guise of good. If we think something is good, we do more than just not avoid it —we embrace it.

J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is exactly this —evil that seems good. The fact that so many people are embracing it makes it look even better. We find ourselves thinking that since this or that Christian group thinks it’s okay, then it must be. If someone you regard as a “good” parent allows his child to read Harry Potter, there must be nothing wrong with it, you conclude.

But isn’t this way of thinking precisely what we want to avoid? The “everyone-else-is-doing-it-so-it-can’t-be-bad” outlook is one of the weakest ways of rationalizing immorality. It’s right up there with the “if-it-feels-good-do-it” mentality. If a “good” parent or a “conservative” Christian group approves of and even encourages this kind of reading, it does not mean that the books are good —it means someone is either uninformed or misinformed. For the benefit of both, allow me to summarize briefly the four existing Harry Potter books.

SYNOPSIS OF HARRY POTTER

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,2 we meet Harry Potter, an eleven-year old boy living with cruel relatives in a suburb of London. Ten years ago, he defeated Lord Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard in history. His parents, on the other hand, did not survive the attack. They died trying to save Harry. On the night of his eleventh birthday, he received notice that he was actually a wizard, and that he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While at Hogwarts, he learns to cast spells, play Quidditch,3 and outsmart even the most experienced wizards. In the end, Harry and his friends, Hermione and Ron, fight a 12-foot troll and also rescue the Sorcerer’s Stone4 from a professor-turned-villain.

Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, chronicled in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, sees Harry with new, more dangerous adventures before him. Among other things, Harry finds out he is a Parselmouth, which means he can talk to snakes. The year is spent mainly in trying to discover the Chamber of Secrets,5 and the Evil that lies within. Once in the chamber, he must battle an oak-sized basilisk6 under the command of Lord Voldemort, and then Lord Voldemort himself. Harry is victorious in his attempt to eradicate the Evil in the Chamber of Secrets.

While Harry is in his third year at Hogwarts, the magical world is set on edge at the news of an escaped criminal. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, life at Hogwarts is not as blissful as it was before. Since there is reason to suspect that the escaped and very dangerous criminal is after Harry, prison guards known as Dementors are stationed around the school, and Harry is not allowed to do anything that might jeopardize his safety (i.e., anything “fun”). The criminal, Sirius Black, does, in fact, catch up with Harry. The reader soon finds out that Sirius is actually Harry’s godfather and guardian, and has been trying to look out for Harry. Harry escapes a werewolf, outsmarts the dark wizard, and frees a misunderstood hippogriff 7 all while in the process of rescuing the Prisoner of Azkaban8 from the school authorities and the Dementors,9 who are out for more than blood.

Finally, all things dark and horrible come to a head in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which gives the account of Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts. The year begins with the Quidditch World Cup, where Harry encounters veela, beautifully seductive women who can make men bow to their wills by their dancing. He has a scrape with the Death Eaters (followers of Lord Voldemort), and later competes in the Triwizard Tournament, a year-long competition between the top three European wizardry schools. Unfortunately, Harry’s schoolmate and competitor in the tournament is brutally killed by Voldemort, who uses one of the “unforgivable” curses10 to do so. Harry, of course, manages to overcome him once again, with the help of his dead parents. He escapes only to find out that one of his favorite and trusted professors was actually a Death Eater, and trying to do away with Harry the whole time.

WHEN FANTASY BECOMES REALITY, WHERE DOES REALITY GO?

Many things in Rowling’s “fantasy world” of Harry Potter coincide with our own world. The setting of the stories is somewhere outside present-day London. The magical shopping strip, Diagon Alley, is reached via a tavern in London, which has been enchanted so that only witches and wizards can see it. Behind the tavern is a brick wall. To access Diagon Alley, the witch or wizard must push in the correct brick. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has also been enchanted, so that Muggles, non-magical people, will stay away from it. It is out in the countryside, though also situated somewhere in Britain.

This is not a made-up fantasy world that Rowling has “created,” although she likes to say it is. These characters live in our world and in our time period. They play with the same video games, use the same computers, and drive the same cars. They have a Quidditch “World Cup,” just like our soccer World Cup. The teams competing in the “World Cup” are Bulgaria and Ireland, real countries. There are even characters in her books that really existed. Where is the line between fact and fiction?

The problem here is that by weaving reality through a “fictional” work, confusion inevitably ensues. Rowling has admitted to receiving letters from children who want to know how to get in touch with Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts. They want to enroll! Some children are even awaiting their letters of invitation from Hogwarts. It is a real place that we just can’t find because we are Muggles.

Rowling and Scholastic,11 instead of discouraging this thinking, perpetuate it. At the official Harry Potter website,12 kids can enroll in Hogwarts, shop at Diagon Alley, and send owl messages (via e-mail). Rowling, in an on-line interview sponsored by Scholastic,13 answers questions from children about Harry and his friends as though they were real people. Someone (no names are given in the interview) asked Rowling, “Where is Azkaban?” (As though it were a real place!) She answered, “It’s in the north of the North Sea. A very cold sea.” No wonder kids say they want to be just like Harry or Hermione or Ron! People they believe and trust are telling them, in so many words, that they exist! It must be even more confusing for the kids in Britain, to whom places like London and the North Sea are real places, and not just somewhere on a map.

Several years ago, JFK was in the theatres. Oliver Stone produced it, and he said himself that it was not meant to be a biography, or any kind of historical account of the late John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He said it was fiction, and should be viewed as such. Yet such a big controversy developed over the movie, because it wasn’t historically accurate. People were upset because he did not portray the event as they knew it had happened. Why did this happen? People are easily confused. Using an almost entirely historical setting for a fictitious work makes us think that itis historical, and thus believable.

The fact that there is no line between real and imaginary is only one reason that Harry Potter is dangerous to children. If adults have a hard time distinguishing between real and not real, how much harder will it be for children, and how much more detrimental? Since children cannot always make the distinction by themselves, the books they read must do it for them. If a book fails in this regard, it can have harmful effects, such as what’s happening now, with children thinking Harry Potter, his friends and his school are real. Kids do not “grow out” of an interest in magic, they simply develop it. Furthermore, if the authors encourage this blurring between real and fantastical, it is because they understand and desire the negative results that they know will follow.

FUZZING-OUT GOOD AND EVIL

Speaking of blurry lines, the distinction between good and evil throughout the books is fuzzy, if anything at all. But how can I make this assertion when everyone says that Rowling shows a definite struggle between good and evil? Rowling herself says, “The theme running through all of these books is the fight between good and evil.”Even though the Harry Potter books are constantly being praised for “hav[ing] a strong moral message and clearly portray[ing] good and evil,” 14 the reader sees, time and again, constant contradiction. Characters who were portrayed as evil turn out to be good, while the good guys end up being villains.

A clear example of this vagueness is Sirius Black, the escaped murderer who turns out to be Harry’s “godfather,” falsely accused and wrongfully convicted. Throughout the majority of book three, he is shown to be a dangerous and evil wizard, though in the end we find out how much he cared for and helped Harry’s parents before they died.

At the end of the fourth book we see Mad-Eye Moody, who has been helping Harry to avoid punishment all year, turn out to be a Death Eater. Then we find out that it was actually one of the higher-ups in the Ministry of Magic, who has been drinking a Polyjuice Potion15 all year in order to make himself look like Moody.

Even Harry, who is the “hero” of the series, bears striking resemblance to Lord Voldemort, his mortal enemy and the most evil wizard around. They both can speak to snakes; they were both orphans; the scar Harry got from Voldemort’s attack burns whenever Voldemort is near; they both use wands made from the feathers of the same phoenix.16

So who is good, and who is evil? Every book in this series has at least one character that turns out to be other than how he was portrayed. This is not to say that a plot twist or surprise ending is wrong. Some of the best writers employ this technique. The problem materializes when too many of the characters are unreliably good or evil; when you never know who’s who or what side he’s on. Those characters who are one way or the other are usually not portrayed in a favorable light, or they change to become what everyone else wants. Either way, indisputable messages are clear.

Take Severus Snape, the Potions professor, for example. From the start, he is portrayed as a horribly mean and unjust disciplinarian, simply because he does not want to tolerate any of Harry’s rule-breaking tendencies. He knows that Harry and his friends are up to something, and he usually tries to prevent the behavior, or correct it after they have done something wrong. Of course the students think this is wrong of him, but what about the other professors? Time and again, they chastise Snape in front of the students for trying to interfere with Harry’s escapades. Harry is constantly referring to how much he can’t stand Snape, and how Snape absolutely hates him in return. The obvious message here is that those who make any attempt to uphold the rules are unfair and hateful.

Hermione, one of Harry’s best friends, was originally ostracized by Harry and his friend Ron because she was a “goody-goody.” She always did her homework on time and always studied for tests. To add insult to injury, she never let her friends copy her work or test answers. As a result, she was not worthy to be their friend, until the day she told a lie to a teacher in order to cover up for the boys. Suddenly, she won their respect, and was allowed to join them in their capers. From that day on, she was the brains behind all their exploits, from teaching them how to stealthily steal ingredients for a potion to using deceitful means in procuring a restricted book from the library. Basically, then, the message is that if you aren’t automatically cool, then lying will make you so.

Although Harry is supposed to be the “good” in the series, he is not the prototype of heroism that his readers like to think he is. According to the world, Harry Potter embodies all that is virtuous and noble, at least as far as is possible for pre-teen and teenage boys. He is a shining paragon of courage and loyalty, one who is worthy of emulation and awe. Nevertheless, a running theme throughout all the Harry Potter books is “the end justifies the means.” Every time Harry comes out victorious in an endeavor, he has usually used some kind of immoral or at least questionable means to overcome his obstacles.

As an example, in the fourth book, Harry is forced to enter the Triwizard Tournament, a “friendly competition” that had been discontinued for several years because too many people were dying. Harry is praised on several occasions for his performance in the competition. But had he not had other students, ghosts, Ministry employees andprofessors giving him the answers to clues and riddles, he never would have been able to complete the tasks set before him. Cedric Diggory, the other Hogwarts Champion, is praised for his love of fair play and integrity. During the tournament, he not only told Harry beforehand what the task would be, but also took the answers that Harry gave to him (after getting them from someone else). At the end of the competition, Moody gives a justification for this when he says, “Cheating’s a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament and always has been.”

THE “MORAL” IS…?

Traditionally Christian values are not in abundance here. What we would call virtues are either totally lacking in Harry Potter’s world, or are portrayed fictitiously as some other nameless, usually vicious qualities.

Obedience, to Harry Potter, is not “obeying one’s lawful superiors.” Rather, it is more along the lines of “making it look like you’re not doing anything wrong.” Usually Harry and/or his friends are rewarded for disobeying a professor or a school rule, not reprimanded. If they are reprimanded, it is usually by the professor that is law-abiding, and therefore “out to get them.” Of course, this is also the professor that is most often disobeyed, lied to, and stolen from. The reason for this is simple. If you don’t like a superior, or if he is unfair to you, your obligation to obey him vanishes. We see this time and again. Harry does not have to obey his aunt and uncle because they are mean to him. He does not have to obey Professor Snape, because Snape hates him. He does not have to obey the prefect, Percy Weasley, because he is just Ron’s nerdy older brother.

Courage, according to Harry Potter and friends, means looking for danger, usually after being told not to do so. Loyalty is breaking the rules for another. Justice means you can get away with anything if you’re famous, and temperance is that virtue whereby a person gets drunk only when he’s really happy or really depressed.

The characters in Harry Potter continually act for their own self-interests. For example, Hermione puts a full-body bind curse on her classmate when he tries to keep them from going into forbidden areas after curfew. Professors put memory charms on students to whom they have revealed their innermost secrets. Harry and his friends make a potion that will turn them into other people when they want to find out information from someone else. Professor Lupin,17 when talking with Harry about Harry’s father, reflects,

I sometimes felt guilty about betraying Dumbledore’s trust…he had no idea I was breaking the rules he had set down for my own and others’ safety… But I always managed to forget my guilty feelings every time we sat down to plan our next month’s adventure.

Obviously, being trustworthy is not as important as having an adventure with friends.

NOW, FOR THE MAGIC PART

Perhaps the most alarming quality experienced is dangerous curiosity about magic and the occult. Rowling says that she had no intention of luring children into the world of witchcraft when she wrote these books.18 This might very well be the case. However, what’s happening is precisely that. Kids want to find out more about casting spells, predicting the future, and witches and wizards in general. They just don’t see it as fantasy, as something that they can never even hope to attain themselves. The scary thing is —they can do it, and they know they can do it, because Rowling and her world of Harry Potter are telling them they can.

The most typical response to this disdain for magic is, “But if magic is so terrible, why do we allow and even encourage our children to read The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings?” My answer is that these classics are on a completely different plane than Harry Potter. Most people that are familiar with C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien agree that they are writing from at least a Christian point of view, if not completely Catholic in their writing and thinking. Rowling is most definitely not. The “magic” contained in their works is not the same at all.

The major difference between the two types of magic is that Harry Potter characters are involved in occult magic. With Tolkien, Lewis, and most other fantasy authors, the word magic is not even an apt term for what takes place in their books. Those authors never use the word “magic” themselves —it is almost always ascribed by an outsider, namely the reader.

Magic is actually defined as the art of using supernatural means to conform events to man’s will. Witchcraft has, in its very definition, an evil connotation, and reference to discourse with the devil. Sorcery is defined as “the use of power gained from the assistance of evil spirits…divination by black magic…necromancy, witchcraft…synonymous with magic.” 19

The word “occult” comes straight from Latin, and means “hidden” or “secret.” The strict definition of the word “occult” in the English language refers to things that are deliberately hidden or secret. We say Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is, in Latin, occultus, that is, hidden from ordinary sight, because He does not look like He is there.

In common English, however, the word “occult” specifically refers to those practices of the “supernatural” by which an individual attempts to learn things he is not meant to know, or control things outside of the sphere of his existence. In other words, there are certain things that we are not to know within our time here on earth. These are the things that are hidden from us, by God, because He is in charge. Dabbling in the occult is simply trying to encroach on the realm of God, sort of like what Adam and Eve did.

The common thread which runs through every aspect of the occult is this using of deviant means to execute one’s own plan. This is precisely why magic and all its subdivisions are so offensive to Our Lord. Obviously, the attempt to circumvent God’s Will is not going to be carried out by God Himself. Ergo, the conclusion is clear: occult practices are brought about by an evil force, namely Satan.

ROWLING VS. TOLKIEN, LEWIS, AND OTHERS

As a matter of fact, Rowling’s Harry Potter books are frequently compared to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. The comparison is a superficial one, at best. It is usually based upon the use of “magic,” and the fact that there is a witch and/or a wizard in the story. What they never mention is the distinction between how these characters perform their “magic.”

The term “magic” can only be used here, if we understand that it is being used equivocally. The phenomenon of having one word describe two completely different things occurs frequently in the English language. Thus we have “book” meaning a box-shaped collection of uniformly shaped pages bound together, as well as the process of acquiring reservations on an airplane. The only way we can use the word “magic” here is if we understand that it is referring to two different entities, due to lack of better terms.

In The Lord of the Rings, what we would call “magic” is a natural ability of the Elves, which is recognized as such. They (Elves) all have it, and they can’t teach it to anyone. In Harry Potter, “magic” is a dependence on some kind of supernatural source, and can be learned and taught, to better and worse degrees. The wizards, Gandalf (good) and Sauruman (bad), are not humans with magical powers. They are of an altogether different and superior species, whose individuals are naturally endowed with the ability to do things that other beings cannot. They have taken human form, but are not actually human. In Harry Potter, the good and bad wizards are all humans, go to the same school, and use the same magic.

The Chronicles of Narnia do, in fact have a witch. She is regarded as and clearly shown to be evil, and no question remains on that matter. As far as her magical ability goes, she has taken for herself powers that are not even rightfully hers. In other words, Aslan, the representation of goodness, uses powers that come from a source of goodness. That source is the one who, as creator of Narnia, has “legitimate authority over all things” and has ultimate control of that power. Where do the powers come from that are used in Harry Potter?

In The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, the power that the good beings possess is used for the good of everyone involved. It is not used to satisfy the whims of any particular character. Nor do they use their powers to stop someone else who is trying to interfere with their own personal plan. There is always a bigger picture involved, and that picture has been determined by someone else, who has the authority to do so. The evil witch/wizard characters use their powers to serve themselves, contrary to what has already been determined. This is clearly shown to be wrong in both Narnia and Middle Earth. There is never a question whether an evil character is evil. In Hogwarts, though, one never can tell.

Just because Lewis uses the word “witch” and Tolkien uses the word “magic” does not mean Rowling can be compared with them. Rowling, though she relies heavily on occultism for her creatures, does create a few of her own. Does this automatically mean that she is on the same plane as Tolkien? Rowling’s characters all speak in various British dialects. Does that mean she is on the same plane with Lewis? Their stories might have a material similarity here and there, but their spirit is different. It is the difference between the way the authors think. Certainly, how a writer thinks affects his work. How does Rowling think? In an interview with Rowling she says, “Do what you want, not what your parents want.” 20 Is this along the same vein as Tolkien and Lewis?

JUST PLAIN GROSS

Throughout Rowling’s four books there are instances of names, people, and items that are taken directly from occult history. She, herself, admits that she has based about one-third of her material on actual occultism.21 Remember, though, that she has already said that she has no interest in luring children into the world of the occult. Remember also that she recognizes the fact that children are really becoming curious about occult practices after reading her books.

Not only are the Harry Potter books full of fact-based, occult drama, but they often involve exceedingly gory details which leave little to the imagination. Children’s imaginations are pretty active as it is. Hence the need for graphically depicted blood-and-gore scenes is relatively minute in children’s literature. This is aside from the fact that they really don’t need these images etched into their young minds, anyway.

In a subplot of book two, one of the professors is waiting for the Mandrakes to mature, because they are necessary for producing a cure for the students who have been petrified by the basilisk. Historically, a mandrake is a plant that people believed would grow under the place where a man was hanged. Its root was said to have looked like a gnarled, shriveled up, dead infant, which was supposed to have made a shrieking noise when pulled out of the ground. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a Mandrake is a plant, the root of which is an actual baby.

Instead of roots, a small, muddy, and extremely ugly baby popped out of the earth. The leaves were growing right out of his head. He had pale green, mottled skin, and was clearly bawling at the top of his lungs. Professor Sprout took a large plant pot from under the table and plunged the Mandrake into it, burying him in dark, damp compost…The Mandrakes didn’t like coming out of the earth, but they didn’t seem to want to go back into it either. They squirmed, kicked, flailed their sharp little fists, and gnashed their teeth; Harry spent ten whole minutes trying to squash a particularly fat one into a pot.22

Its screams are fatal to anyone who hears, so the students who are present have to wear earmuffs. Rowling then depicts the stages of the Mandrakes’ lives as though they are human beings. Later, when the mandrakes are “mature” enough for use, they are cut up into pieces and stewed. In the same book, the ghost that haunts a girls’ restroom is lamenting the fact that she’s already dead, because she can’t kill herself again.

Then there are the Dementors, the guards of Azkaban, who are “among the foulest creatures that walk this earth.” Next follows a description of just how foul they are. The Dementor “…will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself…soul-less and evil. You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.” As if that’s not enough, we find out exactly how they do this. It’s called a “Dementor’s Kiss” :

It’s what Dementors do when they wish to destroy utterly…they clamp their jaws upon the mouth of the victim and —and suck out his soul …you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no …anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just —exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever …lost.

Toward the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry is magically (and unknowingly) transported to a graveyard where Voldemort and Wormtail, Voldemort’s latest faithful servant, are waiting for him. Wormtail is about to resurrect Voldemort into a fully functional wizard again. Voldemort has been inhabiting someone else’s body, since he doesn’t really have much of a body of his own after being defeated by Harry now fourteen years ago.

It was as though Wormtail had flipped over a stone and revealed something ugly, slimy and blind —but worse, a hundred times worse. The thing Wormtail had been carrying had the shape of a crouched human child, except that Harry had never seen anything less like a child. It was hairless and scaly-looking, a dark, raw, reddish black and its face —no child alive ever had a face like that —flat and snakelike, with gleaming red eyes…. Harry saw the look of revulsion on Wormtail’s weak, pale face in the firelight as he carried the creature to the rim of the cauldron. For one moment, Harry saw the evil, flat face illuminated in the sparks dancing on the surface of the potion. And then Wormtail lowered the creature into the cauldron; there was a hiss, and it vanished below the surface; Harry heard its frail body hit the bottom with a soft thud. Let it drown, Harry thought …please …let it drown.

Then there’s the special ceremony and spell to join the dark lord with a body:

And now Wormtail was whimpering. He pulled a long, thin, shining dagger from inside his cloak… Flesh of the servant w-willingly given you will revive your master. He stretched forth his… hand with the missing finger. He gripped the dagger very tightly in his left hand and swung it upward…He could not block the scream that…went through Harry as though he had been stabbed with the dagger too. He heard something fall to the ground… then a sickening splash, as something was dropped into the cauldron… the potion had turned a burning red… Wormtail was gasping and moaning with agony… Blood of the enemy …forcibly taken …you will …resurrect your foe. He saw the shining silver dagger shaking in Wormtail’s remaining hand. He felt its point penetrate the crook of his right arm and blood seeping down the sleeve of his torn robes. Wormtail … fumbled in his pocket for a glass vial and held it to Harry’s cut so that a dribble of blood fell into it. He staggered back to the cauldron with Harry’s blood …and poured it inside.

Then Lord Voldemort’s return:

But then, through the mist in front of him, he saw, with an icy surge of terror, the dark outline of a man, tall and skeletally thin, rising slowly from inside the cauldron… whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes and a nose that was flat as a snake’s with slits for nostrils …Lord Voldemort had risen again.

One simply cannot help but wonder, “Is this really appropriate for kids?”

CONCLUSION

The various troublesome aspects of Harry Potter fail to turn away many readers, Catholics included. Why is this? Harry and his friends (the “heroes”) are not the types of role models children should have. What young readers see fictitious characters doing, they will want to do as well. They begin to think that since this character acts this way, it’s normal, or at least acceptable. It is a well-known fact that they get ideas from the books they read. Whether these ideas are constructive or detrimental depends on the book and the message it conveys. Harry Potter lies regularly and gets away with it. Doesn’t it seem likely that a youngster will think it unfair when he can’t get away with something that Harry did?

Those who praise Rowling’s work constantly bring up the same tribute: the story shows a fight between good and evil. Who’s good and who’s evil, though? When a character has as many vices as Harry does, the word “good” does not come to mind. To me, it doesn’t seem like a fight between good and evil —it seems like a fight between evil and not-quite-as-evil.

As to the witchcraft in the books, people say it’s harmless, that it has nothing to do with the occult, etc. If you search the internet for “witchcraft” topics, Harry Potter is number seven on the list of results. Number seven [this was in September 2001 just after the books were released: webmaster]! And this is alongside other sites advertising paraphernalia such as spell books, witches’ “rosaries” and even cauldrons for sale. Books on witchcraft and spells mention that the Harry Potter books are great because [w]itches in books are restrained only by the limits of their authors’ and their readers’ imaginations.” 23 There is no way to deny the relationship between Harry Potter and the occult when it is shown as clearly as this. The reason for the accolades from authors of witchcraft books is not coincidental. It cannot be excused as just a similarity in taste. Our Lord says,

Beware of false prophets who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them …every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit …every tree that bringeth not good fruit shall be cut down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them…24

What are the fruits of the Harry Potter books? Rowling, a former teacher, is thrilled to see all the ideas sparked by her books.25 Check out any teachers’ resource website, and you will find plenty of ideas for integrating the Harry Potter stories into your curriculum. Go to a teachers’ supply store to find out when the next magic and sorcery classes for kids are being held. Out of ideas for science class? Ask your neighborhood children’s section librarian what the latest Harry-Potter-inspired science experiments are, and she can produce several ideas from which to choose. The possibilities are endless. In fact, certain churches have begun to follow the craze as well. In England, one church had banners and other symbols from Harry Potter upon the walls. Its pastor dressed up as Albus Dumbledore, along with a Harry Potter look-alike, Muggle songs and Quidditch. The reason for such absurdity? It was relevant to the lesson, James 1:17-2726, which speaks of the blessings of God.27

If Harry Potter has this kind of effect on adults, what will it do to our children? I know I don’t want to find out. This tree needs to be cut down and cast into the fire before any more children start gathering its fruit. We can’t teach them morals and ethics at home and school only to have it all undone in their leisure time. Kids recognize contradictions like this very easily. Guess which example will be followed and which will be tossed out the window.

Miss Andrea Stoltz obtained her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts at Thomas Aquinas College, CA. Since graduation she has taught for three years in the elementary schools of the SSPX; firstly at Sacred Heart, Mancelona, MI, and then at St. Vincent de Paul Academy, Kansas City, MO (afterwards, 2 more years at the Dominican Teaching Sisters’ school in Post Falls, ID). She wrote the article because some of her students were reading the Harry Potter series.  She is now Sr. Andre Dominic with the teaching Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux.

1 Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary: an act or instance of employing sorcery especially with malevolent intent; …alleged intercourse with the devil or familiar.

2 The Sorcerer’s Stone is The Philosopher’s Stone in Europe. Rowling thought the word “sorcerer” would be more familiar to Americans than “philosopher.”

3 A cross between soccer, basketball and hockey, played up in the air on broomsticks.

4 Occult history has it that the philosopher’s stone was actually a powder, when mixed in the proper way and with the proper spell, could turn base metals into gold, and produces the Elixir of Life, which will give immortality to the drinker. This is what it is in Rowling’s book as well. The alchemist who was supposed to have discovered it was Nicholas Flamel, who also retains his correct name and age in The Sorcerer’s Stone.

5 The Chamber of Secrets was installed by one of the founders of Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin. He hid an indescribable evil in the Chamber, which could only be unleashed by his legitimate heir, in order to rid the school of all those “unworthy” to practice magic (i.e., Muggle-borns).

6 A basilisk is a large snake that, when looked at directly, kills. When looked at indirectly, he only “petrifies,” that is, he renders his victim comatose.

7 Half eagle, half horse.

8 Wizards’ prison.

9 Soul-sucking guards of Azkaban.

10 The three unforgivable curses are: Crucio!, which throws the victim into a sort of uncontrollable seizure; Imperius!, which gives the user total power over the will of the victim; and Avada Kedavra!, which kills the victim. Use of any of these spells is cause for life imprisonment in Azkaban.

11 Rowling’s American publisher.

12 harrypotter.warnerbros.com.

13 Scholastic.com on-line interview of February 3, 2000.

14 Bloomsbury Publishing representative. Bloomsbury is Rowling’s UK publisher.

15 With ingredients like lacewing flies, powdered horn of a bicorn, and a bit of the person they want to turn into, this potion will make the user look and sound like another.

16 We find out in book four that the feathers were taken from Albus Dumbledore’s phoenix, Fawkes. Yes, he’s named after Guy Fawkes, of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Effigies of Fawkes are still burnt yearly in some places in Britain. Phoenixes go up in flames regularly, and come back to life again.

17 From Latin, lupus, meaning “wolf.” Professor Lupin is a werewolf.

18 Richard Abanes, Harry Potter and the Bible (Camp Hill: Horizon, 2001), pp.22-24.

19 Webster’s Dictionary.

20 Scholastic.com

21 Ibid.

22 Rowling, Chamber of Secrets.

23 Pauline Bartel, Spellcasters: Witches and Witchcraft in History, Folklore, and Popular Culture (Dallas: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2000), pp.244-247.

24 Mt. 7:15-20.

25 Scholastic.com

26 King James Version, that is.

27 Ruth Gledhill, “Church to Lure Young with Harry Potter,” The London Times, September 1, 2000.

Recent SSPX-Rome purchase rumors are False

Image result for sspx logo rumor

http://www.dici.org/en/news/society-of-saint-pius-x-menzingen-in-rome/

Over the past several days, there have been an abundance of rumors disseminated regarding the purchase by the Society of St. Pius X of a large building complex in Rome.  According to the original article, “The Pope is said to have intervened directly to speed the whole process, via Abp. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Bp. Bernard Fellay (Superior of the SSPX), Bp. Alfonso de Galarreta and the Assistant General Father Alain Nély are said to have stayed from January 17-20 at the Casa Santa Marta. The Superior of the Sisters of the Society also attended the talks. Father Nély is the person in charge of finalizing the purchase of the complex”.  The signing of an official agreement with Rome is also seen to be imminent.

These rumors are false.  Virtually everything in the original report is totally false.

Predictably, this “news” spread feverishly across conservative Catholic news sites and the infamous, calumny-filled anti-SSPX message boards.  The Society was this time finally going to “sell out”, as has been prophesied for 17 years and for a shorter period during the 1980s.

For the sake of justice, we have posted below the official response of the Society to this latest slander.  Hopefully this post will reassure those who may have been concerned.  As one can infer from Bp. Fellay’s latest interview(https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/bp-fellay-in-latest-interview-errors-are-killing-the-church/), as well as all of the Society’s official communication channels; the signing of a personal prelature is not to be considered until there are very clear, explicit indications from Rome that the Society remain exactly as they are.

Responses from DICI:

An Italian website announced: “A proposal issued directly by the Holy Father is supposed to appear before the end of the month to offer the Society of St. Pius X an official status in the Church.” The “information” was repeated the following day by an American website. And that same day, in a French online forum, one could read: “The rumor is being clarified.” The author of the message said that he had learned “through priests of the Society” that Bishop Fellay had traveled that week “to Rome with his two assistants for a very important meeting.” He might just as well have said that the Swiss bishop, who was in Menzingen (Switzerland) at the time, had the gift of bilocation !

A sedevacantist website, reprinting an article that had appeared on June 17 in Le Figaro Online, declared: “The doctrinal discussions between Rome and Écône are over. Betrayal [and accomplishment (?!)] by the authorities of the SSPX, who knew what they were doing and accept.” [Translator’s note: Careless grammar in original French article]. Whereas a Roman news agency, commenting on the same article, wrote on June 20 that “some voices in Rome do not hesitate to speak about a failure at the conclusion of the meetings between theologians” from the Vatican and Écône.

The two preceding paragraphs were published in DICI on June 25, 2011 ! We merely omitted the dates of the supposed “revelations” that the press served up as an “exclusive story” to its avid readers.

Today they are talking about the acquisition, in Rome, by the Society of a complex of buildings including a large chapel, with a view to an imminent agreement and a transfer of the General House, also very imminent, to the Eternal City. We respond to this “news” in the current issue of DICI, while keeping the conclusion of the 2011 editorial : “Rumors are the reflection of the good or bad humors of those who spread them.”

Fr. Alain Lorans

 

Society of Saint Pius X: Menzingen in Rome?

3-03-2017
Filed under From Tradition, News

In an article that appeared in the February 24 issue of Il Foglio and was reprinted by the news agency cath.ch on February 25, the Italian journalist Matteo Matzuzzi announced the imminent purchase by the Society of Saint Pius X of a building complex including a church in the neo-Gothic style, Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, in Rome. In his telling, this purchase is the sign of an agreement with the Holy See, which is not very far off either. He deduced from this that the General House will soon be transferred from Menzingen to Rome. Based on these “revelations”, Matteo Matzuzzi writes: “The Pope is said to have intervened directly to speed the whole process, via Abp. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Bp. Bernard Fellay (Superior of the SSPX), Bp. Alfonso de Galarreta and the Assistant General Father Alain Nély are said to have stayed from January 17-20 at the Casa Santa Marta. The Superior of the Sisters of the Society also attended the talks. Father Nély is the person in charge of finalizing the purchase of the complex.”

La Maison générale de la Fraternité Saint-Pie X.

It is true that the Society of Saint Pius X is Catholic, and therefore Roman, and that its founder, Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, always wanted there to be a foundation in Rome. This is why one of its first houses was the one in Albano, not far from the Eternal City. It is also true that, in the relations that he had with the Roman authorities, Abp. Lefebvre—as a worthy son of the Rev. Fr. Henri Le Floch, C.S.Sp. (1862-1950), rector of the French Seminary in Rome—always proclaimed his romanità. This prompted him to write to Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, then envoy of Pope John Paul II, on November 21, 1987: “We willingly agree to be recognized by the Pope as we are and to have a headquarters in the Eternal City, to offer our collaboration toward the renewal of the Church; we never wanted to break with the Successor of Peter, or to consider the Holy See vacant, despite the trials that this has earned us.”

From a very practical perspective, the Society of Saint Pius X has been trying for many years to acquire a chapel in Rome to replace the one that it owns, which is unfortunately too small. If this chapel, or rather this church, had adjoining buildings, it could provide lodgings for priests who are passing through. But there was never any discussion about relocating the General House.

For these doctrinal and practical reasons, there have been plans for a purchase in Rome, there are some now and there will be others, as long as a firm acquisition has not been finalized. On the other hand, to respond to the “revelations” in the press, there is no plan to purchase a building complex at Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, as Matteo Matzuzzi writes. Neither Bp. Fellay nor Bp. de Galarreta nor Fr. Nély stayed at the Casa Santa Marta; they were not even in Rome from January 17 to 20. Of course Fr. Nély must travel frequently in Italy, because he is serving as interim replacement of the District Superior, but from January 17 to 20 he was in Menzingen. Not having the gift of bilocation, and most importantly not being Econome General, he is not in charge of finalizing any plan to purchase property. As for the Superior General of the Sisters of the Society, she visited the community of nuns in Albano in February, where she took part in no real estate negotiations.

Moreover on February 27 the Vaticanist for La Stampa, Andrea Tornielli, who has information from the best Roman sources, wrote: “Various rumors have spread in recent days about the possibility that the Society may buy a building with an adjacent church, in order to transfer its headquarters to Rome, and they spoke about the complex of Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, not far from the Lateran.

“The complex is made up of a neo-Gothic church built in the early 20th century for the Brothers of Charity and a building that has already been used in the past as an elementary and secondary school, which now belongs to a religious order. It was said that Francis and the Ecclesia Dei Commission facilitated the purchase. In fact, this was not the case: The Ecclesia Dei Commission was in no way involved, nor was the Vicariate of Rome.” Duly noted!

 

Bp. Fellay in his latest interview:

(Sources: IlFoglio/cath.ch/Stampa – DICI no. 350 dated March 3, 2017)

The problem is, once again, this battle of ideas. Is a Church that for 40 years has imposed a way of thinking, this modernist way of thinking against which we fight, against which, or because of which we were even declared schismatic and everything else, outside of the Church; is this Church ready, yes or no, to let us continue on our path?

Archbishop Lefebvre used to speak of “letting us make the experiment of Tradition.” Are they going to let us, yes or no? Or are they waiting for us at a bend in the road, are they going to tell us tomorrow that we “have to fall into line?” To accept what we have been fighting against for forty years? That, we are not about to give up.

So it is all there, really; that is where the question lies. With these new, more open attitudes, when they tell us some things are not required criteria for being Catholic, there seems to be a path opening up. Now, is it just a door, or is it really a path? Is it a safe path? I mean, are we really going to be able to continue as we are? For us it is obvious that this is not the end.

Error remains error. So we remain today, just as before, just as convinced that there are errors that have been spread in the Church and that are killing the Church.

And of course, we understand that it takes time to purify and remove these errors, we understand. Men cannot be changed just like that; all sorts of bad habits have been acquired now; even just bringing back the holy liturgy. We understand very well that it cannot be done overnight. So if things take time, that is one thing, but is the intention even there? Is there any intention to leave this way of thinking that was imposed at the Council?

And we see, at least in the authorized voices, shall we say, the leading voices, that they are saying, “No, no. No, no, we shall continue along the same lines.” So we remain outlaws. Well, tolerated outlaws, and we might even say, in the most astonishing way, with Pope Francis we are more than tolerated, but we remain on the outskirts.

So are things going to stay as they are? Are things going to move ahead? Or tomorrow are we going to be swallowed up by this movement that, once again, is killing the Church? That is the question. And until we have a clear enough answer, we cannot move forward.”

Bp. Tissier de Mallerais(http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/bishop-tissier-interview-la-porte-latine-14983):

Things are becoming clearer. During our pilgrimage to Rome in the year 2000, we were charmed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who urged John Paul II to recognize the Society unilaterally. Then Benedict XVI granted us two “preliminary requirements”: the recognition of the freedom of the traditional Mass and the lifting (more or less fortunate, for us and for him) of the 1988 excommunications. In 2010-2011, we had planned doctrinal discussions: in total disagreement! Our Superior General Bishop Fellay pursued the negotiations and caused some worry, until it became clear, in May and June 2012, that Benedict XVI still required as a condition, as he had said plainly at the start, that we accept the Council and the legitimacy of the reforms. It was a failure. But now there is very clearly a disposition on Pope Francis’ side to recognize us without these conditions. We say “Prudence! ” For things are moving and progress is still needed.

Archbishop Lefebvre never laid down as a condition for us to be recognized by Rome that Rome abandon the errors and the conciliar reforms. Even if he did say something like that to Andre Cagnon in 1990, he would never have done so, because that was never his line of conduct, his strategy with modernist Rome. He was strong in the Faith, he did not yield on his doctrinal position, but he knew how to be flexible, patient, and prudent in practice. To achieve his ends, his prudence told him to push the adversary, to harass him, make him step back, persuade him, but without blocking him with conditions that he still finds unacceptable. He did not refuse dialogue and was disposed to take advantage of every door opened by his interlocutor. It is in this sense that a certain opportunism, a certain “pragmatism” has been seen in him, and it is true: it is a small virtue annexed to the cardinal virtue of prudence. Sagacity, practical wisdom, is the neighbor of solertia, mentioned by Aristotle, St. Thomas (2-2, q. 48) and the Gaffiot, which is a skill in finding means to obtain one’s ends.

Archbishop Lefebvre requested with acumen “that we at least be tolerated”: “this would be a major advance,” he said. And “that we be recognized as we are,” that is, with our practice that follows from our doctrinal positions. Well, today we see in Rome a disposition to bear our existence and our theoretical and practical positions. I say “bear” because one tolerates evil!

Already, doctrinally, they no longer force us to admit “the whole Council” or religious liberty; some of the errors we denounce are on the point of being considered by our interlocutors as open for free discussion, or continued debate. This is progress. We discuss, but they have to admit that we are not changing and it is unlikely that we will change. And in practice, we ask these Romans: “Recognize our right to reconfirm the faithful conditionally,” and “Recognize the validity of our marriages!” You see, these are serious bones of contention. They will have to grant us these things. Otherwise, how could our recognition be livable?

It may take some time, but there is a God!

And an all-powerful Mediatrix!

~ Steven C.