Monday, May 28, 2012

The Message of Montfort

Having just completed True Devotion to Mary, I ran across this on the Fr. Aiudan Nichol's Christendom Awake webpage, which has elucidated certain points from Montfort's handbook on spirituality


How might the Devil seduce one  into viewing divorce, abortion, euthanasia, adultery, gay marriage) as included within the scope of Christian love. In Novak's penetrating analysis, "it would be positively un-Christian to think ill of that "abomination." Bigotry??

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Long-Term Impact of Vatican II

Father John Parsons serves a parish in Dickson, Australia, and writes regularly for both religious and secular publications in that country. He penned this piece back in 2002-it is a fruitful read, as we are only beginning to see the Council implemented as it was intended...

The Pill III

Having written a chapter entitled Libido, exerpts of which are searchable on my blog, one of my sources has just written extensively on the impact of the sexual revolution on souls.

Review of Bad Religion!

I have noted Ross Douthat's recent work on religion in the United States, much of which is corroborated by my own research. Catholic World Report has just reviewed it! I have it on summer reading list.

Monday, May 21, 2012

From: The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God

A turning away from the teaching of Catholic doctrine in favor of experimental liturgical activity and social protest prepared the way for the application to catechesis of the malevolent concept of “ongoing revelation” under the leadership of Gabriel Moran. For disciples of Moran, God was to be sought in the modern world, from which it follows that catechesis should be centered on finding meaning in one’s lived experience, an approach which was said to be authoritative following Vatican II. The following characteristics give indication of neomodernist inspiration in catechesis after the Council:
·       The prioritization of inquiry over the handing on of the Deposit of the Faith, wherein students under the catechists’ direction explore the meaning of their own experience; the net result of this method was to downgrade the bishop from the role traditionally assigned him as chief catechist in his diocese in deference to the “professional” expert more versed in the “new catechesis.”
·       The derision of Church Tradition and authority, which was viewed as “indoctrination” because it offered absolutes and authoritative answers.  The truth of these answers was now styled as relative to the age in which they appeared and did not necessarily speak to the modern age. That Jesus came to set men free was interpreted to mean that one was then free to decide for himself the meaning of Christ’s teaching, and under no obligation to follow magisterial teaching. The immediate fruits of this approach were dramatic declines in attendance at Confession and at Mass.
·       The priority given to subjectivity over objective reality in the “new catechesis;” one’s religion now being understood as personal, it was argued that the believing Catholic could decide for himself the meaning of Jesus’ teaching.
      In the face of parental objection to the new approach to teaching the Faith, which made the interpretation of one’s life experience the norm for catechesis, the religious education professionals disingenuously professed that what the parents were demanding was a return to the “pre-Vatican II” method of indoctrination, of memorizing the Baltimore Catechism. The diabolic element in the new catechesis was in the reception it received….

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Homosexual "Marriage" and Neomodernism

In The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, the thought and writings of NEOMODERNIST theologians who style themselves as an "alternate magisterium" are a recurrent phenomenon. Though they are dying of, a few remain active, as seen here:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God

In our attempt to get a clear understanding of how we arrived at the present crisis of faith, it is instructive to examine the experience of another council peritus, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, theologian, Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, gloriously elevated by the Holy Spirit to the Chair of St. Peter as Pope Benedict XVI in April, 2005. By way of background, from 1930-1950 in response to the pervasive secularism of these years in Europe, a broad intellectual and theological movement emerged among prominent European theologians, among them Frs. Romano Guardini, Karl Adam, Henri de Lubac, Jean Danielou, Yves Congar, Louis Boyer, and Hans Urs von Balthasar. The inspiration for this movement was a belief that the Catholic Faith had to speak more effectively to the modern world, and that to do this a rediscovery of all of the riches of the two-thousand year tradition of the Church was a crucial step.
These reform-minded theologians saw that the precursor to any aggiornamento (the famous “updating,” one purpose for which John XXIII convened the Council) must be a ressourcement, a restoration of this tradition, a “return to the sources” of the Catholic Faith. The writings of these reformers played a profound role in influencing the direction the Council was to take, and were a formative influence on two periti, Archbishop Wojtyla and Fr. Ratzinger. These priests hoped for a return to classical (patristic-medieval) sources, a renewed interpretation of Aquinas, and a dialogue with the major movements and thinkers of the twentieth century, with particular attention given to problems associated with the Enlightenment, modernity, and liberalism. Fr. Ratzinger in 1964 was included among the founders of a new international theological journal, Concilium, along with other notables Frs. Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx, Hans Küng, Johann Baptist Metz, Yves Congar and Gustavo Gutierrez – at the time, the elite of the more progressive Catholic theologians. At present Concilium exists

….to promote theological discussion in the spirit of Vatican II [emphasis added], out of which it was born. It is a catholic journal in the widest sense: rooted firmly in the Catholic heritage, open to other Christian traditions and the world's faiths.

When asked by Vittorio Messori in his famous interview with Cardinal Ratzinger about the fact that he once was associated with some theologians who have since run afoul with the CDF, the Cardinal’s reply sheds much light on this “spirit of Vatican II”:

It is not I who have changed, but others. At our very first meetings I pointed out two prerequisites to my colleagues. The first one: our group must not lapse into any kind of sectarianism or arrogance, as if we were the new, the true Church, an alternative magisterium [emphasis added] with a monopoly on the truth of Christianity. The second one: discussion has to be conducted without any individualistic flights forward, in confrontation with the reality of Vatican II with the true letter and the true spirit of the Council, not with an imaginary Vatican III. These prerequisites were increasingly less observed in the following period up to a turning point—which set in around 1973—when someone began to assert that the texts of Vatican II were no longer the point of reference for Catholic theology ….that the Council still belonged to the traditional, clerical moment of the Church and that it was not possible to move forward very much with such documents [emphasis added]. They must be surpassed.

It is important to understand the part played by neomodernism in bringing about this division within the ranks of the “new theology.” As I hope to show, it was the establishment of “an alternative magisterium on the part of theologians who viewed the Vatican II documents as inadequate who demonstrated the pride warned against by Cardinal Ratzinger. I believe it consistent with Catholic teaching to see in the apostasy of this “anthropocentric society” the work of “the hidden enemy who sows errors and misfortune in human history.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

Homosexual Marriage

The urgency of the issue of gay marriage at this time and the compelling arguments raised against it here, make this paper an important resource:

Answering Advocates of Gay Marriage

Claim 1: Marriage is an institution designed to foster the love between two people. Gay people can love each other just as straight people can. Ergo, marriage should be open to gay people.
Claim 2: Not all straight couples have children, but no one argues that their marriages are unacceptable
Claim 3: Some gay couples do have children and therefore need marriage to provide the appropriate context.
Claim 4: Marriage and the family are always changing anyway, so why not allow this change?
Claim 5: Marriage and the family have already changed, so why not acknowledge the reality?
Claim 6: Children would be no worse off with happily married gay parents than they are with unhappily married straight ones.
Claim 7: Given global overpopulation, why would anyone worry about some alleged need to have more children in any case?
Claim 8: Marriage should change, whether it already has or not, because patriarchal institutions are evil.
Claim 9: Gay marriage has had historical and anthropological precedents.
Claim 10: Banning gay marriage is like banning interracial marriage.
Claim 11: The case for gay marriage is more "poignant" than the case against it.
Claim 12: Gay marriage is necessary for the self-esteem of a minority.
Claim 13: Anyone who opposes same-sex marriage is homophobic.
Claim 14: Exceptions could be made for religious communities that disapprove of gay marriage, or religious communities could simply add their rites to those of the state.
Claim 15: To sustain an "ethic of caring and responsibility," we must include gay people in every institution.
Claim 16: Norms of any kind at all are discriminatory.
Claim 17: Almost everyone believes in equality. How can we have that if gay citizens are denied the same rights as other citizens?
Claim 18: Winning the struggle for gay marriage is important for the cause of gay liberation.
Claim 19: What about majority rule in democratic countries?
Claim 20: But gay people are a small minority. Allowing them to marry would mean nothing more than a slight alteration to the existing system and would even add support for the institution. What's all the fuss about? ConclusionEndnotes

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Catholic Vote will be Critical in November

.- Polling analysts believe that the vote of Catholics in the U.S. remains important and could play a crucial role in the upcoming presidential election.
Research associate Dr. Mark M. Gray told CNA on May 7 that Catholics remain “an important subgroup” in the U.S. electorate.
Gray, who works as director of Catholic polls for Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, believes it is likely that the Catholic vote will be even more important in this election year than it has been in the past.
Historically, the “Catholic vote” has been considered important because the candidate who receives the majority of the votes cast by Catholics generally wins the election, he explained.
A Gallup survey conducted in April 2012 found Catholic registered voters split between presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Both candidates received 46 percent of the Catholic vote, with 8 percent responding as “other” or “undecided.”
These numbers were nearly identical to the results among total registered voters, who favored Obama over Romney by a 46-45 percent vote during the same time period.
Dr. Frank Newport, Gallup's Editor in Chief, agreed that Catholics have the potential to shape the upcoming presidential election.
Catholics make up a “huge group of voters” in the United States, he told CNA.
Newport observed that the Catholic vote so far in 2012 appears to follow the 2008 pattern of aligning closely with the national average, although differences in race and Church attendance account for a “significant difference” in voting patterns.
But while they tend to vote “very much like the national average,” Catholics are “certainly” still important to the election and will be taken into account by campaign strategists, he said.
“They’re a swing group,” he explained. “The Catholics are of interest because taken as a whole, they could go either way.”
Gray explained that overall, Catholics fit in the middle of evangelical Protestants, who tend to vote for Republican candidates, and individuals with no religious affiliation, who tend to vote for Democratic candidates.
Catholics tend to fall in between, he explained, so whichever way they lean in a given election tends to be a good indication of where the election is headed.
Gray said that the biggest difference in this election is that “the Church is one of the bigger issues” this year.
The Catholic Church has played a prominent role in recent political discussions, particularly in the face of the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, which will require employers to offer health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.
Bishops from every diocese in the U.S. have spoken out against the mandate and the devastating threat it poses to freedom of conscience for Catholics and members of other faiths.
Such concerns about religious liberty have led to a “heightened level” of discussion and activity within the Catholic community, said Gray. As a result, the U.S. is seeing a “higher profile” for “all things Catholic” than it has in previous years.
People are talking about Church issues as they discuss politics in the election year, and the faithful “are hearing more” from Church leaders, he added.
In addition to normal statements issued by Catholic leaders before an election, he explained, there is also a significant focus on the importance of voting for religious freedom.
The Church’s role in the religious liberty debate could have a significant impact as the nation chooses its next president, he said.
Newport agreed that Catholics should not be overlooked as prominent actors in the 2012 election. He explained that a tight election ultimately comes down to movement in small segments of the electorate that are not already locked in to either candidate.
“Any group in that context can make a difference,” he said.
With Catholics making up nearly one-fourth of U.S. voters today, he observed, they could “be a critical group” in determining the outcome of the election in November.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God to be published soon!

With the help of God, if it be His will, my work, The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, excerpts of which have been posted on this blog, will be published and available on Be sure to check back often!

Mr. Weigel and the Bible

Mr. Geeorge Weigel is one of the most prolific and relevant commentators on the Catholic scene in the New Millenium. He has a prescient piece here

Friday, May 11, 2012

From Chapter 5 of The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God

When conciliar teaching precluded such deviant “reforms,” an appeal to “the spirit of Vatican II” was made by the defectors. Religious themselves were sent to seminars, conferences, and think-tanks which pressured them to abandon hierarchical structures in favor of the “democratic,” to question traditional doctrinal certainties, and to demand reasons for those things formerly regarded as sacred, the most important of which was the basis for their vocation to the religious life. They became exposed to new anthropologies under the influence of psychology, sociology, and other social sciences, acceptance of which many sisters were naturally compliant under obedience — all this in spite of the obviousness that such changes were not approved by Rome and threatened the existence of their communities. In other words, the desired ressourcement of the council Fathers, rather than providing the guiding atmosphere in which aggiornamento was to occur, was ignored in favor of “updating.”  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

S.M. Miranda,  Catholic layman who has dedicated a website to the evangelization of the Catholic faith in defense against modern skepticism, heresy and unbelief, has presciently written:

The Church has always been beset by evil and false teachings for as long as she has existed.  There are three main reasons why division and discord have always threatened (but never sapped) the foundation of the Church.  The first and primary reason is that the Church stands as a lamp set on a hill for all to see and hear.   She proclaims the message of her master, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and condemns the evils of the world while offering healing and forgiveness to all evildoers.  The visible Church’s mission of healing and teaching does not go unnoticed by the Prince of this world: the devil.  The Catholic Church stands as the ark of salvation and a very real threat to his domain.  Hence the devil attempts every kind of attack on the Church by use of external forces (violence, persecutions, and natural disasters) along with internal discord (heresies, schisms, apostasy, and temptation of the clergy and laity).  If not for Our Lord’s guarantee that the Church would never fail (Matthew 16:18), there is no way the Church’s members and hierarchy could resist the devil perpetually.  The second reason heresy and discord are always found within the Church, is that certain men find the teachings and expectations of the Church burdensome.  Very often, these men find that doing the right and moral thing is painful and often requires much suffering.  It seems easier for many people to either ignore part or all of the Church’s teachings or substitute doctrines into the Faith that are more to their liking.  Finally, the Church has always been assailed by heresy because men have often had a hard time accepting the limitations of their own nature.  Pride often besets men (especially scholars and philosophers) and convinces them that they have no intellectual limitations.  The result of intellectual pride is a continuous attempt to rationalize the mysteries of God.  Some things (such as understanding the true nature of the Trinity) are beyond the nature of man’s intelligence.  But because prideful men cannot accept that the nature and acts of the infinite God are beyond the reach of men, these philosophers either reject God or rationalize the faith to fit their human philosophies.  In the end, a fully rationalized faith has no room for miracles, the divinity of Christ or many other core tenets of the Faith.  What results from undue rationalizations are nothing less than heresies and a watered down faith.  Thus the attacks of Satan, man’s dislike of the moral life, and prideful rationalizations of Christian mysteries account for the continuing presence of false teaching in a world that has been given a divinely instituted and visible teaching Church.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Smilin' B 16

.- Bishop James D. Conley of Denver said the news of rising seminarian numbers across the United States has delighted Pope Benedict XVI.
“He was very happy to receive that information,” Bishop Conley told CNA on May 4 after meeting the Pope at the Vatican.
“He said he had heard that vocations were going up in the United States and he said this is very positive news and, in fact, he had a big smile on his face when he heard the news.”
Bishop Conley was one of ten bishops from Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming who had an audience with Pope Benedict as part of their five-day “ad limina” pilgrimage to Rome which concludes tomorrow.
He explained to the Pope that there is now a year-on-year increase in the numbers of young men opting for the priesthood across many US dioceses.
“I told him that in the Archdiocese of Denver both of our seminaries, St John Vianney Theological Seminary and Redeptoris Mater Neo-catechumenal seminary, are full,” the bishop added.
“In fact we have more applicants than we have space so for the first time in many years we have to create a waiting list which is a good problem to have.”
The most recent statistics show a similar story across the United States. Last year the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University estimated that the 2011 seminary intake was up 4 percent on the previous year and had reached its highest figure in 20 years. Meanwhile, Rome’s North American College is full to its 250 capacity for the first time in decades.
Upon hearing that Bishop Conley was from Denver, Pope Benedict warmly recalled World Youth Day 1993 which was hosted by the Colorado city. At present the Archdiocese of Denver is vacant following the departure of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput to Philadelphia in September 2011.
Bishop Conley said he does not know when a successor will be appointed but he is certain that they will “carry on the great work of Archbishop Chaput in his 14 years and Cardinal Stafford before him,” describing their legacy as “a great flourishing of the faith” where “a lot of new movements, a lot of new evangelization” took place.
He believed that elsewhere could learn from “the Denver experience” as the universal Church approaches the “Year of Faith” later this year.
In particularl, he thought people should take note of Archbishop Chaput’s ability to “teach the truth in all its clarity, even when challenging people against what the trends are in society, but yet doing it with love and compassion.”
This approach, said Bishop Conley, is particularly successful with young people who have a “genuine openness to truth.”

Saturday, May 5, 2012

From: The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God

Lumen Gentium instructed that religious are to live out the counsels in community to a greater degree in service to the Church (living for God alone), and in doing so model for the laity what grace can accomplish. Reflecting upon why God made us, which is to share in His life forever, religious are only too happy to be a road sign for the rest of humanity pointing the best way to love of neighbor. Paul VI, expanding on Lumen Gentium, alluded to this in Evangelica Testificatio, his Apostolic Exhortation of June, 1971:

It is precisely for the sake of the kingdom of heaven that you have vowed to Christ, generously and without reservation, that capacity to love, that need to possess and that freedom to regulate one's own life, which are so precious to man. Such is your consecration, made within the Church and through her ministry—both that of her representatives who receive your profession and that of the Christian community itself, whose love recognizes, welcomes, sustains and embraces those who within it make an offering of themselves as a living sign "which can and ought to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation...more adequately manifesting to all believers the presence of heavenly goods already possessed in this world.

The religious life, then, according to Vatican II, is to reveal the transcendence of God’s Kingdom, which takes precedence over all earthly considerations. The hierarchical Church for its part is empowered “to make wise laws for the regulation of the practice of the counsels,” and ensure that religious institutes, whose members were to respect and obey bishops in accordance with canon law, develop and flourish in harmony with the spirit of their founders.