AUGUST 23, 2015
Liberalism and Liberal Theology
The following is a summary of Fr. Felix Sarda’s 1886 book “Liberalism Is A Sin”, a book that was endorsed by the Vatican vide a letter dated
January 10 1887 from the Sacred Congregation of the Index, addressed to the Bishop of Barcelona, when it was attacked by Liberals who sought its condemnation by Rome.
Liberalism Is A Sin
By Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany
By definition, Liberalism is the mistaken notion that “One religion is as good as another.”
Regarding its source, Liberalism, as the author shows very clearly, is a direct result of Protestantism, with its tenet of private interpretation of the Bible. For if a person has a right to decide for himself what the Bible means, this says in effect that he has a right to choose whether he will believe or not believe certain revealed teachings.
Liberalism, which in effect says, “It does not matter what you believe—or whether you believe anything at all”—could be held without dire results by even the majority of people in our present society—so long as the majority of our people were also still practicing the old traditional (read “true,” “Catholic”) moral customs, for these customs, based on the revealed truths of Almighty God and adherence to the Natural Law, enabled our society to function reasonably well. But now, in the 1990’s, with so many people having lost touch with the reasons for morality and goodness, we live in a situation where many of these customs have been abandoned by a large segment of our society, and the result is social disorder of the first magnitude.
It is only when the present disorder arose in our social affairs—when murders and broken marriages and people going berserk in all sorts of ways—became epidemic that people universally began to ask: “WHAT IS WRONG?!” People in general do not understand philosophy, let alone the bad effects that a bad philosophy can have. These evil effects must first impinge on their lives—”smack them hard in the face”—before they cry out, “What is wrong?!”
I believe we can say with good historical accuracy that the Catholic moral customs inherited from centuries of Catholic and Roman civilization survived until the decade of the 1960’s, when the rot of Liberalism—spread at an accelerated rate by the immoral movie industry—had prepared the social seedbed for people finally to abandon the traditional Catholic moral customs. This abandonment of order for hedonism and personal licentiousness was precipitated during the 1960’s, more than anything else, I believe, by the advent of the birth control pill, accompanied by the utter daring of the movie industry in portraying on the screen people actually committing fornication and adultery. The result over the next few years was a general disintegration of sexual morality, pandemic infidelity, a meteoric rise in divorce, and finally, the coup de grace for society, abortion. Top this all off with the concomitant alarming increase in drug abuse, and the rest of human morals simply disintegrated in the train.
Extract from Preface and Foreword, Thomas A. Nelson
March 10, 1993
Peace in war is an incongruity. Foes in the midst of battle cannot well be friends. Where the pressure of conflicting forces is intensest, there is little opportunity of reconciliation. Yet this absurdity and contradiction we find in the odious and repulsive attempt to unite Liberalism with Catholicism.
Extract from Chapter 6.
He subjects God’s authority to the scrutiny of his reason, and not his reason to God’s authority. He accepts Revelation, not on account of the infallible Revealer, but because of the “infallible” receiver. With him the individual judgment is the rule of faith. He believes in the independence of reason. It is true he accepts the Magisterium of the Church, yet he does not accept it as the sole authorized expounder of divine truth.
Extract from Chapter 7.
Liberalism is a mortal sin. With the exception of formal hatred against God, which constitutes the deadliest of all sins and of which the creature is rarely culpable—unless he be in Hell—the gravest of all sins are those against faith. …
The Angel of the Schools [St. Thomas Aquinas] expresses himself with his usual clearness on this point: “The gravity of sin is determined by the interval which it places between man and God; now sin against faith separates man from God as far as possible, since it deprives him of the true knowledge of God; it therefore follows that sin against faith is the greatest of all sins.”
When sin against faith is simply a culpable privation of the knowledge of God, it has not the same gravity as a direct and formal attack upon dogmas expressly defined by divine Revelation. In this latter case, sin against faith, so grave in itself, acquires that degree of gravity which constitutes heresy. … Hence, heretical doctrines—and works inspired by them—constitute the greatest of all sins, with the exception of formal hatred against God, of which only the demons in Hell and the damned are capable. Liberalism, then, which is heresy, and all the works of Liberalism, which are heretical works, are the gravest sins known in the code of the Christian law. …. To meet such an enemy requires no ordinary courage, which must be guarded by a sleepless vigilance. When encountered, it is obligatory upon the Catholic conscience to resist it with all the powers of the soul. Heresy and all its works are sins; Liberalism is the root of heresy, the tree of evil in whose branches all the harpies of infidelity find ample shelter; it is today the evil of all evils…
Extract from Chapter 4.
Amongst Catholic Liberals, many go to Mass, even make novenas, and yet when they come into contact with the world, they lead the lives of practical Liberals. They make it a rule “to live up to the times” as they call it. The Church they believe to be somewhat out-of-date, an old fogey, that she is held back by a certain set of reactionaries, ultramontanes; but they have hopes that she will in the course of time catch up with the modern spirit of progress, of which they are the van. The barnacles of medievalism still encumber the Bark of Peter, but time, they believe, will remedy this. The straw of medieval philosophy and theology they hope before long to thrash out by the introduction of the modern spirit into her schools.
Then will a new theology be developed, more in conformity with the needs of the times, more in harmony with the modern spirit, which makes such large demands upon our “intellectual liberty” [Unfortunately, we have witnessed all this come to pass in the wake of Vatican Council II, 1962—1965, with disastrous results. —Editor, 1993.]
Extract from Chapter 9.
Upon its appearance in France at the time of the Revolution [1789-1799], the famous Declaration of the Rights of Man—which contains in germ all the follies of Liberalism—was condemned by Pius VI (1775-1799). Later, the baneful doctrine infected all the countries of Europe. In Spain it first took the name of Liberalism, under which it has since been known everywhere.
Upon the occasion of the appearance of the first errors of De Lamennais, Gregory XVI (1831- 1846), in his encyclical Mirari Vos, explicitly condemned Liberalism as it was then understood, taught, and practiced by the constitutional governments of Europe. Later on, when the full tide of the deplorable deluge had submerged all Europe, carrying all before it, God raised up to His Church Pius IX (1846-1878), who has justly passed into history as the “Scourge of Liberalism.”
Liberal error, under all its forms, shapes, and shades, has been unmasked by this Pope. That his words might carry, as it were, more authority on this question, Providence has willed that these reiterated condemnations of Liberalism should fall from the lips of a Pontiff who, at the beginning of his pontificate, was hailed by Liberalists as their own. But he left no refuge to which their error might have resort. The numerous briefs and allocutions of Plus IX have clearly shown to Christian peoples what this baneful heresy is, and The Syllabus of Errors (December 8, 1864) has put on the final seal of condemnation.
Let us see the principal contents of some of the Pontifical documents. Amongst all that we might place before our readers, we will cite only a few.
On the 18th of June, 1871, responding to a deputation of French Catholics, Pius IX spoke thus:
“Atheism in legislation, indifference in matters of religion, and the pernicious maxims which go under the name of Liberal Catholicism are the true causes of the destruction of states; they have been the ruin of France. Believe me, the evil I denounce is more terrible than the Revolution, more terrible even than The Commune. I have always condemned Liberal Catholicism, and I will condemn it again forty times over if it be necessary.”
In a brief, 6th of March, 1873, addressed to the Circle of St. Ambrose of Milan, the Sovereign Pontiff thus expresses himself:
“People are not wanting who pretend to form an alliance between light and darkness and to associate justice with iniquity in favor of those doctrines called Liberal Catholicism, which, based on the most pernicious principles, show themselves favorable to the intrusion of secular power upon the domain of spirituals; they lead their partisans to esteem, or at least to tolerate, iniquitous laws, as if it were not written that no one can serve two masters. Those who thus conduct themselves are more dangerous and more baneful than declared enemies, not only because, without being warned of it, perhaps even without being conscious of it, they second the projects of wicked men, but also because, keeping within certain limits, they show themselves with some appearance of probity and sound doctrine. They thus deceive the indiscreet friends of conciliation and seduce honest people, who would otherwise have strenuously combated a declared error.”
In the Brief of the 8th of May of the same year, speaking to the Confederation of the Catholic Circle of Belgium, the same Holy Father said:
“What we praise above all in your religious enterprise is the absolute aversion which, as we are informed, you show towards the principles of Liberal Catholicism and your intrepid determination to root them out as soon as possible. In truth you will extirpate the fatal root of discord and you will efficaciously contribute to unite and strengthen the minds of all in so combating this insidious error, much more dangerous than an open enemy because it hides itself under the specious veil of zeal and of charity, and is so endeavoring to protect the people in general from its contaminating influence.
Surely you, who adhere with such complete submission to all decisions of this Apostolic Seat and who know its frequent reprobations of Liberal principles, have no need of these warnings.”
In the Brief to the La Croix, a Belgium journal, on the 24th of May, 1874, the Pope expresses himself thus:
“We cannot do less than to praise the design expressed in this letter, which we know your journal will satisfactorily fulfill, the design to publish, to spread, to comment on and inculcate in all minds all that the Holy See teaches against the perverse or at least false doctrines professed in so many quarters, and particularly against Liberal Catholicism, bitterly striving to conciliate light with darkness and truth with error.”
On the 9th of June, 1873, Pius IX wrote to the president of the Council of the Catholic Association of Orleans, and without mentioning its name, depicts pietistic and moderated Liberalism in the following terms:
“Although you have not, strictly speaking, to combat impiety, are you not perhaps menaced on this side by as great dangers as those of the group of friends deceived by that ambiguous doctrine, which, while rejecting the last consequence of error, obstinately retains the germs, and which, not willing to embrace the truth in its fullness, and not daring to abandon it entirely, exhausts itself in interpreting the traditions and teachings of the Church by running them through the mold of its own private opinions.”
In an address to the Bishop of Quimper, and speaking in reference to the general assembly of the Catholic Association of that diocese, the Pope said:
“Assuredly these associations are not wanting in the obedience due to the Church, neither on account of the writings nor the actions of those who pursue them with invectives and abuse; but they might be pushed into the slippery path of error by the force of those opinions called Liberal; opinions accepted by many Catholics who are otherwise honest and pious, and who, even by the very influence which gives them their piety, are easily captivated and induced to profess the most pernicious maxims. Inculcate, therefore, Venerable Brother, in the minds of this Catholic assembly that, when we have so often rebuked the sectaries of these Liberal opinions, we have not had in view the declared enemies of the Church, whom it would have been idle to denounce, but rather that those of whom we are speaking are such as secretly guard the virus of Liberal principles which they have imbibed with their mother’s milk. They boldly inoculate this virus into the people’s minds, as if it were not impregnated with a manifest malice, and as if it were as harmless to religion as they think. They thus propagate the seed of those troubles which have held the world in revolution so long. Let them avoid these ambuscades. Let them endeavor to direct their blows against this perfidious enemy, and certainly they will merit much from their religion and their country.”
Extract from Chapter 10.
The Syllabus of Errors, December 8, 1864.
All faithful Catholics hailed it with an enthusiasm only equaled in intensity by the paroxysm of fury with which the Liberals received it. Liberal Catholics thought it more prudent to strike at it covertly by overwhelming it with artificial interpretations. The Liberals denounced it with unsparing bitterness; the Liberal Catholics whittled it away by all manner of emasculating explanations. It was a document fatal to both; they had reason to fear it, the one execrating it, the other seeking with desperate subtlety to parry the blow, for the Syllabus is an official catalog of the principle errors of the day in the form of concrete propositions placed under the formal ban of the Church. In it will be found, succinctly formulated, the various errors which are met within the current literature of the times. The Syllabus crystallizes all these errors and stamps them with the seal of the explicit and formal condemnation of the Church. Here we have in detail all the Liberal dogmas. Although Liberalism may not be expressly named in any one of the propositions, most of its errors are there placed in pillory. From the condemnation of each of the Liberal errors results a condemnation of the whole system.
Let us briefly enumerate them.
Condemnation of liberty of worship (propositions 15, 77 and 78); of the place of governments (propositions 20 and 28); of the absolute supremacy of the State (proposition 38); of the secularization of public education (proposition 45, 40 and 48); of the absolute separation of Church and State (proposition 15); of the absolute right to legislate without regard to God (proposition 56); of the principle of non-intervention (proposition 62); of the right of insurrection (proposition 63); of civil marriage (proposition 73 and others); of the liberty (license) of the press (proposition 79); of universal suffrage as the source of authority (proposition 60); of even the name of Liberalism (proposition 88).
… When Liberals regard the Syllabus of Errors as their most detestable enemy, as the complete symbol of what they term Clericalism, Ultramontanism and Reaction, we may rest assured that it has been well interpreted in that quarter.
Extract from Chapter 11.
The journal that seeks to be Catholic and at the same time has the name or reputation of Liberal becomes in the general opinion an ally of those who, under the Liberal banner, combat the Church in front and rear. Vainly will the editor of such a journal explain himself; his excuses and his explanations grow wearisome. To profess to be Catholic and yet subscribe himself to be Liberal is not the way to convince people of the sincerity of his profession.
The editor of a journal purporting to be Catholic must be Catholic, not only in the profession he makes, but in spirit and in truth. To assume to be Liberal and then to endeavor to appear Catholic is to belie his faith; and although in his own heart he may imagine that he is as Catholic as the Pope (as several Liberals vaunt themselves), there is not the least doubt that his influence on current ideas and the march of events is thrown in favor of the enemy; and, in spite of himself, he becomes a satellite forced to move in the general orbit described by Liberalism…
Moreover, there is little doubt that the readers of such journals are little prepared to distinguish the subtle limitations drawn by editors of this character between Liberalism and Liberalism. Most readers know the word in its common usage and class all things Liberal in a lump. When they see an ostensibly Catholic journal practically making common cause with the Liberal creed by sanctioning its name, they are easily led into the dangerous belief that Liberalism has some affinity with their faith, and this once engrafted in their minds, they become ready adepts of Rationalism.
So has it always been. All heresies have begun in verbal disputes and ended in sanguinary conflicts of ideas. St. Paul exhorts Timothy to be on his guard, not only against false science (“Oppositiones falsi nominis scientiae”), but also against profane novelties of words (“profanas vocum novitates”). What would the Great Apostle of the nations say if today he saw Catholics decorating themselves with the title of Liberal, when that term stands in such violent and open antithesis to all that is Catholic? It is not merely a question of words, but of what words represent. It is a question of truth and salvation. No, you cannot be a Liberal Catholic; incompatibles cannot be reconciled. … Beyond dispute, no Catholic can be consistently called “Liberal.”
Most to be feared, however, is not he who openly boasts his Liberalism, but he who eschews the name and, vehemently denying it, is yet steeped to the lips in it and continually speaks and acts under its inspiration. And if such a man be a Catholic by profession, all the more dangerous is he to the faith of others, for he is the hidden enemy sowing tares amidst the wheat.
Extract from Chapter 13.
…What does the word “Clericalism” with which the Liberals have honored those most energetically opposed to their doctrine, prove, if not that they regard the Church as their most implacable adversary? How do they look upon the Pope, upon bishops, priests, religious of all kinds, on pious people and practical Catholics? “Clericals” “clericals” always, that is, “anti-Liberals!” How then can we expect to find good faith on the part of a Liberal Catholic when orthodoxy is so distinctly and completely opposed to Liberalism? … We may therefore justly believe, except perhaps with very rare exception, that it requires a very vigorous effort of charity to admit in our day, in accordance with true moral principles, the excuse of “good faith” in a Catholic who entertains Liberal principles.
Extract from Chapter 15.
Liberalism is a system, as Catholicism is, although in a contrary sense. It has its arts, its science, its literature, its economics, its ethics; that is, it has an organism all its own, animated by its own spirit and distinguishable by its own physiognomy. The most powerful heresies, for instance, Arianism in ancient times and Jansenism in our own days, presented like peculiarities.
Not only are there Liberal journals, but there exists a literature in all the shades and degrees of Liberalism; it is abundant and prolific. The present generation draws its main intellectual nourishment from it. Our modern literature is saturated with its sentiments, and for this reason should we take every precaution to guard against its infections, of which so many are the miserable victims.
… When Edwin
Light of Asia appeared, not a few Catholics joined in the chorus of fulsome praise which greeted it. How charming, how beautiful, how tender, how pathetic, how humane; what lofty morality, what exquisite sentiment! Now what was the real purport of the book and what was its essence? To lift up Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, at the expense of Jesus Christ, the Founder of Christianity! The intention was to show that Gautama was equally a divine teacher with as high an aspiration, as great a mission, as lofty a morality as our Divine Lord Himself. This was the object of the book; what was its essence? A falsification of history by weaving a series of poetical legends around a character, about whose actual life practically nothing is known. But not only this, the character was built up upon the model of Our Lord, which the author had in his own mind as the precious heirloom of Christianity; and his Gautama, whom he intended to stand out as at least the divine equal of the Founder of Christianity, became in his hands in reality a mere echo of Christ, the image of Christ, made to rival the Word made flesh! Buddhism, in the borrowed garments of Christianity, was thus made to appeal to the ideals of Christian peoples, and gaining a footing in their admiration and affections, to usurp the throne in the Christian sanctuary. Here was a work of literary merit, although it has been greatly exaggerated in this respect, praised extravagantly by some Catholics who, in their excessive desire to appear impartial, failed or refused to see in Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia a most vicious, anti-Christian book! What difference does it make whether a book be excellent in a literary sense or not, if its effect be the loss of souls and not their salvation? What if the weapon in the hands of the assassin be bright or not, if it be fatal? Though spiritual assassination be brilliant, it is nonetheless deadly.
Heresy under a charming disguise is a thousand times more dangerous than heresy exposed in the harsh and arid garb of the scholastic syllogism— through which the death’s skull grins in unadorned hideousness.
… A woman of bad life is infamous, be she ever so beautiful, and the more beautiful, the more dangerous. Shall we praise Liberal books out of gratitude? No! Follow the liberals themselves in this, who are far more prudent than we; they do not recommend and praise our books, whatever they be. They, with the instinct of evil, fully appreciate where the danger lies. They either seek to discredit us or to pass us by in silence…
Extract from Chapter 18.
Narrow! Intolerant! Uncompromising! These are the epithets of odium hurled by Liberal votaries of all degrees at us Ultramontanes [i.e., Roman Catholics or papists—literally: “beyond the mountains” for entrance to Italy from the continent of Europe requires traversing the Alpine Mountains, the highest in Europe. Thus, to Europe the Roman Catholic Church has its government, its head, its nerve center “beyond the mountains”].
Are not Liberals our neighbors like other men? Do we not owe to them the same charity we apply to others? Are not your vigorous denunciations, it is urged against us, harsh and uncharitable and in the very teeth of the teaching of Christianity, which is essentially a religion of love? Such is the accusation continually flung in our face. … It is often necessary to displease or offend one person, not for his own good, but to deliver another from the evil he is inflicting. It is then an obligation of charity to repel the unjust violence of the aggressor; one may inflict as much injury on the aggressor as is necessary for defense. Such would be the case should one see a highwayman attacking a traveler. In this instance, to kill, wound, or at least take such measures as to render the aggressor impotent, would be an act of true charity…
To offend our neighbor for the love of God is a true act of charity. Not to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a sin.
Modern Liberalism reverses this order; it imposes a false notion of charity: our neighbor first, and, if at all, God afterwards. By its reiterated and trite accusations toward us of intolerance, it has succeeded in disconcerting even some staunch Catholics.
Extract from Chapter 19.
Liberalism is grossly inconsistent with itself when it seeks to combat Catholic truths, in the holding of which there is as much exercise of rational freedom, in the Liberal sense, as in rejecting them. But our Catholic standpoint is absolute; there is but one truth, in which there is no room for opposition or contradiction. To deny that truth is unreasonable; it is to put falsehood on the level with truth. This is the folly and sin of Liberalism. To denounce this sin and folly is a duty and a virtue.
Extract from Chapter 20.
“It is all well enough to make war on abstract doctrines” some may say, “but in combating error, be it ever so evident, is it so proper to make an attack upon the persons of those who uphold it?” We reply that very often it is, and not only proper, but at times even indispensable and meritorious before God and men.
The accusation of indulging in personalities is not spared to Catholic apologists, and when Liberals and those tainted with Liberalism have hurled it at our heads, they imagine that we are overwhelmed by the charge. But they deceive themselves. We are not so easily thrust into the background. We have reason—and substantial reason—on our side. In order to combat and discredit false ideas, we must inspire contempt and horror in the hearts of the multitude for those who seek to seduce and debauch them. A disease is inseparable from the persons of the diseased…
It is therefore perfectly proper not only to discredit any book, journal or discourse of the enemy, but it is also proper, in certain cases, even to discredit his person; for in warfare, beyond question, the principal element is the person engaged, as the gunner is the principal factor in an artillery fight and not the cannon, the powder, and the bomb. It is thus lawful, in certain cases, to expose the infamy of a Liberal opponent, to bring his habits into contempt and to drag his name in the mire. Yes, this is permissible, permissible in prose, in verse, in caricature, in a serious vein or in badinage, by every means and method within reach. The only restriction is not to employ a lie in the service of justice. This never. Under no pretext may we sully the truth, even to the dotting of an “i'” As a French writer says: “Truth is the only charity allowed in history,” and, we may add, in the defense of religion and society.
The Fathers of the Church support this thesis. The very titles of their works clearly show that, in their contests with heresy, their first blows were at the heresiarchs. The works of St. Augustine almost always bear the name of the author of the heresy against which they are written: Contra Fortunatum Manichoeum, Adversus Adamanctum, Contra Felicem, Contra Secundinum, Quis fuerit Petiamus, De gestis Pelagii, Quis fuerit julianus, etc.
Extract from Chapter 21.
Charity in controversy with Liberals would be like taking a serpent to ones bosom. It would be as if one embraced some loathsome contagious disease with the foolish notion that to court it would secure immunity from its fearful ravages.
Notwithstanding the plain common sense of the situation and the memorable warning of Our Lord that he who loves the fire shall perish in it, some foolish Catholics join with the Liberals in their cry for a magnanimous display of charity on our part when we wage war against them.
Extract from Chapter 23.
… Liberalism is spread around us like a network.
Its web is being constantly spun round about us as spiders weave their meshes for insects. Where one is brushed away, two are multiplied…
What then are the permanent causes of Liberalism?
1. Corruption of morals: The theater, literature, public and private morals are all saturated with obscenity and impurity…
2. Journalism: Incalculable is the influence exercised without ceasing by the numerous publications which Liberalism spreads broadcast…
3. General ignorance in matters of religion: In weaving its meshes around the people, Liberalism has applied itself to the task of cutting them off from all communication with that which alone is able to lay bare its imposture—the Church.
4. Secular education: To gain the child is to secure the man. To educate a generation apart from God and the Church is to feed the fires of Liberalism to repletion. When religion is divorced from the school, Liberalism becomes its paramour.
… la Civilta Cattolica … says, “With a prudent understanding, Catholic associations ought chiefly to take care to exclude from amongst themselves not only those who openly profess the principles of Liberalism, but also those who have deceived themselves into believing that a conciliation between Liberalism and Catholicism is possible, and who are known as Liberal Catholics.”
Extract from Chapter 26.
How is one to tell on his own authority who or what is Liberal, without having recourse to a definitive decision of the teaching Church? When a good Catholic accuses anyone of Liberalism or attacks and unmasks Liberal sophisms, the accused immediately seeks refuge in a challenge of the accuser’s authority…
The Church alone possesses supreme doctrinal magistery in fact and in right, juris et facti; her sovereign authority is personified in the Pope. To him alone belongs the right of pronouncing the final, decisive and solemn sentence. But this does not exclude other judgments less authoritative but very weighty, which cannot be despised and even ought to bind the Christian conscience. Of this kind are:
1. judgments of the Bishops in their respective dioceses.
2. judgments of pastors in their parishes.
3. judgments of directors of consciences.
4. judgments of theologians consulted by the lay faithful…
5. The judgment of simple human reason, duly enlightened.
It would be in truth a great triumph for (Liberals), under the pretext that no one except the Pope and the bishops could speak with the least authority, and thus to impose silence upon the lay champions of the Faith, such as were DeMaistre, Cortes, Veuillot, Ward, Lucas and McMaster, who once bore, and others who now bear, the banner of the Faith so boldly and unflinchingly against its most insidious foes.
Liberalism would like to see such crusaders disarmed and would prefer above all to succeed in getting the Church herself to do the disarming.
Extract from Chapter 32.
Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany suggests (above) that we appeal for authority on orthodoxy (against Liberalism) to
1. judgments of the Bishops in their respective dioceses.
2. judgments of pastors in their parishes.
But writing in 1886, he did not anticipate an era when a great number of priests, even bishops, a majority in certain Bishops’ Conferences (as in India) are themselves Liberals!
Light of Asia, published in 1879, was a poetic eulogy of Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism. Sir Arnold’s book was one of the first successful attempts to popularize Buddhism for a Western readership. It scandalized Fr. Sarda to the extent that he chose it for citation in his treatise on Liberalism and in which he calls it “a most vicious, anti-Christian book!” Arnold was Protestant, not Catholic.
What would Fr. Sarda do if he were around today when he would find occult, esoteric and New Age books authored by bishops, priests and religious, printed, published and sold in Catholic bookstores? He would almost certainly declare that a vast section of the Church is without any shade of doubt Liberal!!
“Liberal Catholics are the worst enemies of the Church” – Blessed Pope Pius IX
Fr. Michael Müller C.Ss.R in his work "The Church and Her Enemies" (Benziger Brothers, 1880) states:
"Certainly in our cities and large towns, nay, even in small villages of our great country, may be found many so-called liberal or nominal Catholics, who are no credit to their religion, to their spiritual mother, the Church... and live more like non-Catholics than Catholics. The children of these are, to a great extent, shamefully neglected, and suffered to grow up without sufficient moral and religious instruction… Within the few last years, however, certain persons have arisen who are not satisfied with the name of Catholic. Hence they call themselves "Liberal Catholics."
In the eightieth proposition of the Syllabus, all the false principles of Liberalism, of progress, and of modern civilization, are declared to be irreconcilable with the Catholic faith…"
"A Liberal Catholic, then, is no true Catholic. The word Catholic is no vain and empty word. To be a true Catholic means to hold most firmly all those truths which Christ and his apostles have taught, which the Catholic Church has always proclaimed, which the saints have professed, which the popes and councils have defined, and which the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have defended. He who denies but one of those truths, or hesitates to receive one of them, is not a Catholic. He claims to exercise the right of private judgment in regard to the doctrine of Christ, and therefore he is a heretic. The true Catholic knows and believes that there can be no compromise between God and the devil, between truth and error, between orthodox faith and heresy. St. Stephen, the first martyr, was no compromiser. When accused of being a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, he, in his turn, accused his enemies of being the murderers of Christ.
All the holy martyrs of the Church were no compromisers. Being charged by the heathens with the folly of worshipping and following a crucified God, they, in their turn, charged the heathens with the impiety of worshipping creatures, and following the devil."
The book is apparently long out of print, but it can be read here:
Also check out: http://www.archive.org/details/thechurchandhere00mulluoft.
Liberal Theology Misses Plain Truth
By Rachel Alexander, Conservative Monitor, January 8, 2003
A primary difference between liberals and conservatives theologically is the way they interpret the Bible. Liberals read the Bible symbolically or allegorically, as a collection of interesting stories to take whatever meaning out of that pleases them.
This allows them to reject various portions of the Bible they disagree with. Liberals label their interpretation as a “critical” approach, which essentially allows most of their theology to consist of finding ways to criticize the Bible, rather than actually trying to determine what it says. Theological conservatives believe the Bible is God’s inspired word to humanity, and therefore believe that the Bible must be studied seriously. Conservatives believe that God does not make errors.
Liberals primarily criticize conservatives’ interpretation of the Bible by accusing them of interpreting it “literally.” Of course, most conservatives who interpret the Bible “literally” are simply reading the plain meaning of the Bible, as opposed to attempting to distort it to fit their own personal shortcomings. Furthermore, they aren’t always interpreting the Bible “literally.” If they were, there would be a lot more stoning going on, and every conservative Christian would insist that the Creation happened in seven 24-hour days, instead of the genuine debate that goes on between conservative Christians over how old the earth is. The Bible cannot be read completely literally, it is like any literary work; it incorporates literary devices, such as parables. For example, Jesus tells the parable of the farmer who scattered seed on different types of soil, and how the seeds, like people, developed differently depending on their foundation and circumstances. Obviously, Jesus was not telling us we must literally scatter seed on different types of soil, but was using the story as a lesson from which we must learn a moral truth.
Liberals have come up with a litany of ways to dismiss the plain truths found in the Bible. Two of their favorite ways include trying to find contradictions and vagueness in the Bible, in order to discredit portions of it. Because of the syntax of language, as well as differences resulting from translation, anyone can find anything “wrong” in any literature. If you and I were both at a meeting, and I took copious notes, and you made sure my notes were precise, there would always be someone later who read my notes and could point out supposed contradictions or vagueness.
Liberals also search for parts of the Bible that address the culture of the time it was written in, in order to discredit the (entire) Bible as “outdated.” For example, liberals insist that none of the Bible can be taken literally, because the Old Testament consists of extremely harsh laws that God once instructed his people to live by. Of course, with the coming of Jesus, who replaced the harshness of Old Testament laws with his kinder teachings, the Old Testament law was replaced. Yet instead of acknowledging this, and accepting the Old Testament without the harshness that Jesus removed from it, liberals would prefer to write off the entire Bible.
Liberals believe in “moral relativism,” which means there is no clear right or wrong, just varying shades of gray. They then try to transfer this belief onto the Bible, focusing on the few verses they can find that can be twisted to support this interpretation. However, the Bible is full of clear moral judgments. A favorite verse liberals overemphasize is “Judge not lest ye be judged.” (Matthew 7:1) Of course, this verse can be interpreted in many ways, and even more importantly, there are hundreds of verses in the Bible that could be considered contradictory to this one verse, if liberals would examine them in the way they do other portions of the Bible where they insist there are contradictions. There are many verses that admonish associating with sinners, and instead instruct Christians to rebuke them. In James 5:20, which is part of the New Testament, it states, “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” Proverbs 27:5 provides, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” Proverbs 18:23 states, “He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.” You’ll never hear these verses from liberal Christians.
The Bible even specifically warns Christians that if they do not warn others of their sinful ways, they are themselves doing wrong. Ezekiel 33:8 states, “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”
Another plain-spoken verse in the Bible is the New Testament verse Romans 12:9, which instructs Christians to, “Hate what is evil.” Unlike those liberal bumper stickers which claim that “Hate is not a family value,” the Bible seems pretty clear here.
Maybe liberals need to read the book of Proverbs. Proverbs primarily consists of critical words regarding wrongful behavior and admonitions to live a pure life. It would be hard to make the case for Proverbs as an example that the Bible promotes moral relativism.
Considering it is written in several places throughout the Bible that fewer people are going to enter heaven than expected, wouldn’t it be wiser to err on the side of interpreting the Bible’s admonitions seriously, rather than treating them as amusing tales? Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “You can enter God’s kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” If liberal Christians can find a way to intellectualize those verses out of their plain meaning, it would be interesting to hear how they did it. But would it be worth risking their souls?
The Tyranny of Liberalism – James Kalb on the Ideology’s Totalitarian Impulses
By Annamarie Adkins, New York, March 27, 2009
Liberals — on both the Right and Left — may posit that they favor freedom, reason and the well-being of ordinary people. But some critics believe that liberalism itself erodes the very institutions — family, religion, local associations — necessary to restrain its excesses.
One such liberal skeptic is attorney and writer James Kalb, who recently wrote a book entitled, “The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command” (ISI).
Kalb explained to ZENIT why he believes liberalism inevitably evolves into a form of soft totalitarianism, or a “dictatorship of relativism”, and why the Church is well positioned to be its preeminent foe.
Q: What is liberalism?
Kalb: We’re so much in the middle of it that it’s difficult to see it as a whole. You can look at it, though, as an expression of modern skepticism.
Skeptical doubts have led to a demand for knowledge based on impersonal observation and devoted to practical goals. Applied to the physical world, that demand has given us modern natural science.
Applied to life in society, it has led to a technological understanding of human affairs. If we limit ourselves to impersonal observations, we don’t observe the good; we observe preferences and how to satisfy them. The result is a belief that the point of life is satisfying preferences.
On that view, the basic social issue is whose preferences get satisfied.
Liberalism answers that question by saying that all preferences are equal, so they all have an equal claim to satisfaction. Maximum equal satisfaction therefore becomes the rational ordering principle for life in society — give everyone what he wants, as much and as equally as possible. In other words, give everybody maximum equal freedom.
Q: How can an ideology of freedom become tyrannical?
Kalb: Equal freedom is an open-ended standard that makes unlimited demands when taken seriously.
For example, it views non-liberal standards as oppressive, because they limit equal freedom. Liberal government wants to protect us from oppression, so it tries to eradicate those standards from more and more areas of life.
The attempt puts liberal government at odds with natural human tendencies. If the way someone acts seems odd to me, and I look at him strangely, that helps construct the social world he’s forced to live in. He will find that oppressive. Liberal government can’t accept that, so it eventually feels compelled to supervise all my attitudes about how people live and how I express them.
The end result is a comprehensive system of control over all human relations run by an expert elite responsible only to itself. That, of course, is tyranny.
Q: You argue that liberalism, especially its “advanced” form, corrupts and suppresses the traditional aspects of life that defined and kept Western society together for centuries such as religion, marriage, family and local community. How does it do that?
Kalb: Equal freedom isn’t the highest standard in those areas of life. They have to do with love and loyalty toward something outside ourselves that defines who we are. That love and loyalty involve particular connections to particular people and their ways of life. Such things cannot be the same for everyone. They create divisions and inequalities. They tell people they can’t have things they want.
So equal freedom tells us traditional institutions have to be done away with as material factors in people’s lives. They have to be debunked and their effects suppressed.
At bottom, liberalism says people have to be neutered to fit into a managed system of equal freedom. They have to be encouraged to devote themselves to satisfactions that don’t interfere with the satisfactions of others.
In the end, the only permissible goals are career, consumption and various private pursuits and indulgences. That doesn’t leave much room for religion or for family or communal values. The only permissible public value is liberalism itself.
Q: How does mass media advance the cause of liberalism?
Kalb: The relationship is almost mechanical. It’s one of the great strengths of liberalism.
Television and the Internet give us a world chopped up into interchangeable fragments. To make that world comprehensible to journalists and viewers it has to be put in order in a simple way that can be understood quickly without regard to particularities. That’s impossible if complex distinctions and local habits are allowed to matter.
For that reason the mass media naturally favor a top-down managerial approach to social life with a bias toward sameness and equality — in other words, something very much like contemporary liberalism.
To put it differently, the mass media prefer things to be discussed publicly and decided centrally based on a simple principle like equality. If that’s done they can understand what’s going on and what it all means.
Also, they themselves will serve an important function because they provide the forum for discussion and the information for decision. That situation naturally seems appropriate to them.
Q: What about the distinction between Anglo-American liberalism and continental liberalism, and their different models of secularism? Is it inaccurate to lump everything together under the heading of “liberalism”?
Kalb: The fundamental principle is the same, so the distinction can’t be relied on.
In the English-speaking world the social order was traditionally less illiberal than on the continent.
King and state were less absolute, the Church had less independent authority, standing armies were out of favor, the aristocracy was less a separate caste, and the general outlook was more commercial and utilitarian.
Classical liberalism could be moderate and still get what it wanted.
Liberalism is progressive, though, so its demands keep growing. It eventually rejects all traditional ways as illiberal and becomes more and more radical.
For that reason state imposition of liberal norms has become at least as aggressive in Britain and Canada as on the continent.
The United States is still somewhat of an exception, but even among us aggressive forms of liberalism are gaining ground. They captured the academy, the elite bar and the media years ago, and they’re steadily gaining ground among the people.
The international dizziness about President Obama and the violent reaction to the narrow victory of Proposition 8 concerning same-sex marriage in California show the direction things are going.
Q: Does rejecting “liberalism” mean rejecting freedom of conscience, political equality, free markets and other supposed benefits of “liberalism”?
Kalb: No. A society can still have those things to the extent they make sense. They just need to be subordinated, at least in principle, to a larger order defined by considerations like the good life.
The Church has noted, for example, that free markets are an excellent thing in many ways. They just aren’t the highest thing. The same principle applies to other liberal ideals.
Q: Both Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII condemned liberalism, but it seems the Church has embraced it since the Second Vatican Council in its defense of democracy and human rights. The tone of Church social teaching has also focused more on influencing liberal institutions, and less on shaping individuals, families, and local communities. How does one account for this shift in the Church’s attitude?
Kalb: The Church apparently decided modernity was here to stay. Liberal modernity looked better than fascist modernity or Bolshevik modernity. It claimed to be a modest and tolerant approach to government that let culture and civil society develop in their own way. So the Church decided to accept and work within it.
Also, the development of the mass media and consumer society, and the growth of state education and industrial social organization generally, meant Catholics were more and more drawn into liberal ways of thinking. Hostility to liberalism became difficult to maintain within the Church.
The problem, though, is that liberal modernity is extremely critical and therefore intolerant. In order to cooperate with it you have to do things its way. The recent, virulent attacks on Pope Benedict for many different reasons by the liberal elite illustrate that phenomenon perfectly.
For that reason, if there’s going to be joint social action today, it inevitably focuses on extending liberal institutions rather than promoting local and traditional institutions like the family, which are intrinsically non-liberal. Many people in the Church have come to accept that.
Q: You argue that religion can be the unifying force that offers resistance to advanced liberalism, and that the Catholic Church is the spiritual organization most suited to that task. Why do you think so?
Kalb: To resist advanced liberalism you have to propose a definite social outlook based on goods beyond equal freedom and satisfaction.
A conception of transcendent goods won’t stand up without a definite conception of the transcendent, which requires religion. And a religious view won’t stand up in public life unless there’s a definite way to resolve disputes about what it is.
You need the Pope.
Catholics have the Pope, and they also have other advantages like an emphasis on reason and natural law. As a Catholic, I’d add that they have the advantage of truth.
The following article was written by Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. in April 2005 following Cardinal Ratzinger’s election as successor to Pope John Paul II.
Suppose we had a “Liberal” Pope
By James V. Schall, S. J.
From various sources, here and abroad, I have heard that not a few are “disappointed” at the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
When we examine what they are “disappointed” about, we find that it is about “moral” things. They hoped that the Church would finally be “up-to-date.” What this being “up-to-date” usually means is that the Church will finally approve of birth control, abortion, cloning, the ordination of women, divorce, gay life and marriage, and other pious habits. Seldom do we hear any other reasons for “disappointment.” Thus, what the essence of such objections comes down to is that the Church, in being what it is, is wrong on such fundamental points.
Being “wrong,” evidently, means that a mere flick of the papal wrist can set things right. All Pope Ratzinger has to do is sign a document stating that abortion, divorce, ordination of women, birth control, and gaydom are just what we need in the modern world to cure its ills. Behind this kind of attitude, of course, is the theoretical position that the criterion of truth is what is presumably accepted and practiced in the modern world.
Evidently, if the opposite of these “views” is accepted in some past or future time, that is just fine. So it is important to see that the principle used to justify the position for establishing these things as licit is usually that of time. That is, anyone who does not accept this view is “out of date.” Few arguments about why they are or are not are actually given. But the arguments are what count. As Chesterton said, a thing that is not true in one age cannot really be true in any other age. Principle, not time, determines truth.
But for the sake of argument, let us suppose that the new Pope actually thinks he can do what the modern world insists is necessary to be “up to date.” Suddenly, Rome, in a world-wide announcement, agrees that abortion, birth control, euthanasia, divorce, cloning, gay life, whatever, are just fine.
The question immediately becomes, where are we?”
We have long noticed that many Protestant and even Catholic folks, not to mention unbelievers and those of other persuasions, do promote and practice these things as if they were the solution to modern problems. They are annoyed and perplexed to be at odds with the traditional teaching of the Church. But their dreams have been answered. The pope is suddenly “liberal.” He now “understands” the modern world and its “needs.” What was formerly officially wrong is now officially right. No more opposition to such practices in the modern world.
What would follow if this were to happen?
The first consequence would be that anyone with a half a mind will realize that the Church has contradicted its own solemnly sworn and defined principles. In other words, on its own grounds, it is not worth believing. It has rejected its one claim to credibility, that is, its adherence to the stated deposit of faith and the teachings that flowed from this. In fact, it now agrees that what was wrong in one era is right in another.
Who would really rejoice at this reversal? Those who think that these practices are the solution to modern problems would not change, nor would they any longer have any reason to question their own presuppositions about such matters. Those who thought the teachings of the Church were solid and theologically grounded, however, will be logical enough to realize that a Church that approves such modern practices, after insisting for so long that they were wrong, is not worth its salt. Such a Church would have absolutely no credibility.
If the Church, over its long history, insists that something is wrong, then it suddenly decides that what is wrong is right, what follows? What follows is simply that no one, believer or non-believer, should ever again give such a Church second thought. It cannot, on these premises, be true.
So what those who advocate abortion, birth control, gay life, euthanasia, cloning, and what not really are seeking is the undermining of the one authority in the world that says these practices and those who choose them are wrong–wrong before God and before themselves. The Church did not itself concoct these theories as if it could fashion what it wanted, as those who want it to radically change think it can.
Such people do not understand that the only claim the Church has to our belief is its faithful consistency to the deposit of faith, which it did not somehow “make up” by itself. Once this position is internally and intrinsically undermined–as it would be if the Church approved these things–it would have absolutely no claim to anyone’s belief, or even anyone’s taking it seriously.
Under the rubric of the advent of a “liberal” pope, we have, in fact, the desire that the authority of the papacy to credibility be itself eliminated. This is what is at stake in the election of a pope. We should not doubt it.
Liberalism – possible, multiculturalism – a contradiction: Pope
December 4, 2008
In a letter to Italian philosopher, Marcello Pera, Pope Benedict affirms a rediscovered liberalism based on the Christian image of God but says that multiculturalism is politically and culturally impossible.
Zenit reports the Pope made his comments in a September letter sent to Senator Pera in response to the latter’s latest book titled “Perche dobbiamo dirci cristiani. Il liberalismo, l’Europa, l’etica” (Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians: Liberalism, Europe, and Ethics). Published by Mondadori, the Italian language book will be presented on Thursday in Rome. The letter appears as a forward in the text.
Marcello Pera, 65, president of the Italian Senate during the last legislature, dedicated his academic research to his friend Karl Popper, Austrian philosopher of the “open society.”
In his letter, Pope Benedict acknowledged the text to be “a fascinating read,” and he applauded Pera’s analysis of liberalism. “With an exceptional knowledge of the foundations, and with convincing logic, you analyse the essence of liberalism from its principles, showing that rooted in the heart of liberalism is the Christian image of God.” “With irreproachable logic, you show how liberalism loses its base and destroys itself if it abandons this foundation,” he added.
The Pope also expressed his admiration for Pera’s analysis of liberty, and the concept of multiculturalism, in which he “shows the internal contradiction of this concept and, therefore, its political and cultural impossibility.”
“Of fundamental importance is your analysis of what Europe and a European Constitution can be in which Europe is not transformed into a cosmopolitan reality, but finds, from its Christian-liberal foundation, its own identity,” he notes.
The Pope also reflects on Senator Pera’s analysis of the concepts of interreligious and intercultural dialogue: “You explain with great clarity that interreligious dialogue in the strict sense of the word is not possible, while intercultural dialogue is particularly urgent, which analyses the cultural consequences of the underlying religious decision.”
“Although it is true that as regard the latter, no true dialogue is possible without putting aside one’s own faith, in the public debate it is necessary to address the cultural consequences of the underlying religious decisions,” he indicates.
He said he believed Pera’s proposals are necessary to overcome “the contemporary crisis of ethics.”
“You show that liberalism, without failing to be liberalism, rather, to be faithful to itself, can refer to a doctrine of the good, in particular the Christian, which is familiar to it, thus truly offering a contribution to overcome the crisis,” he continued.
Speaking on Vatican Radio, Pera explained the reasons why on occasions liberalism has become anti-Christian.
“In so far as Europe is concerned, in particular, a historic explanation is given. Many have often found themselves in conflict with the Catholic Church, and it is a bitter fact of the history of Europe, which is not the case in the history of the United States,” he explained.
“Some national States such as Italy and France have constituted themselves as nation-states with a struggle, with a dispute against the Catholic Church,” he noted.
“This is an error,” he said, “as one can argue historically on the merits and demerits of the Catholic Church in Europe at the time of the foundation of the national states, but the importance of the Christian message cannot be disputed.”
If one opts for anti-Christianity, what the Pope calls “the apostasy of Christianity,” added Pera, “we lose the very virtues, the very foundations of those liberties and rights on which are liberal States are founded.”
Liberalism needs to rediscover liberalism, says Pope (Zenit, 3/12/08)
Stirring and Disturbing A response to: Vatican Deplores Belgium’s Criticism of Pontiff
In [Joseph Ratzinger’s] excellent book “God and the World” he states, “If the Church simply aims to avoid conflict, merely to ensure that no disturbances arise anywhere, then her real message can no longer make any impact.” May the Pope carry on his excellent teaching ministry that stirs and disturbs. -Father Martyn Hope, http://www.zenit.org/article-25712?l=english, April 26, 2009
Profile of a self-acclaimed liberal theologian
“Loyal opposition” a right: Küng
March 19, 2007
Controversial Swiss theologian and papal critic, Fr Hans Küng, says that he has a right to be part of what he describes as Pope Benedict’s “loyal opposition”.
Canadian Catholic News reports that Fr. Küng says that he has a “right to be in his holiness’ loyal opposition”, representing thousands of liberal-leaning Catholics
who remain disappointed the Second Vatican Council renewal did not go far enough.
Often a scathing critic of the papacy and church doctrine, Fr. Küng has softened somewhat since his September 2005 meeting with Pope Benedict, the paper says. Many see the meeting as a gesture of reconciliation, on both sides.
“There are two ways to be a Catholic, aren’t there?” Fr. Küng told the paper in an interview during a visit to Canada to promote the publication of the French edition of part one of his memoirs entitled My Struggle for Freedom, which he jokingly described as “conflict studies”. “I think [Pope Benedict)] went one way, I went another way, but we are both Catholics,” he said. “I am not a lonely wolf. He knows that, that I am representative of another part of the church.”
Fr. Küng’s first brush with authority followed the publication of a 1971 book questioning papal infallibility while under Pope John Paul II he lost his licence to teach as a Catholic theologian though he remained a priest in good standing and continued to teach at the University of Tubingen.
According to Canadian Catholic News, Fr. Küng opposes the church’s teaching on birth control, women priests and celibacy. He objects to any monarchical exercise of power by the hierarchy. But he told the paper he sees an “essential difference” between the pontificate of Pope Benedict and that of his predecessor.
For 27 years, Fr. Küng unsuccessfully sought a meeting with Pope John Paul II.
Undeterred he also wrote to Pope Benedict shortly after the latter’s election. “I was not interested in an audience in the ordinary sense but in a real conversation,” he said. To general surprise Benedict responded by inviting Fr Kung to dinner at Castelgondolfo resulting in a four-hour discussion with the pope.
“It was without any stress, without any clash,” Fr. Küng said. “I found him freer and again more as I had him in mind from his younger years in Tubingen. He did not make a dogmatic impression.”
Now retired, Fr. Küng is president of the Global Ethic foundation, and won the support of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, among others.
The word liberal is derived from the Latin liber, free, and up to the end of the eighteenth century signified only “worthy of a free man”, so that people spoke of “liberal arts”, “liberal occupations”. Later the term was applied also to those qualities of intellect and of character, which were considered an ornament becoming those who occupied a higher social position on account of their wealth and education. Thus liberal got the meaning of intellectually independent, broad-minded, magnanimous, frank, open, and genial. Again Liberalism may also mean a political system or tendency opposed to centralization and absolutism. In this sense Liberalism is not at variance with the spirit and teaching of the Catholic Church. Since the end of the eighteenth century, however, the word has been applied more and more to certain tendencies in the intellectual, religious, political, and economical life, which implied a partial or total emancipation of man from the supernatural, moral, and Divine order. Usually, the principles of 1789, that is of the French Revolution, are considered as the Magna Charta of this new form of Liberalism. The most fundamental principle asserts an absolute and unrestrained freedom of thought, religion, conscience, creed, speech, press, and politics. The necessary consequences of this are, on the one hand, the abolition of the Divine right and of every kind of authority derived from God; the relegation of religion from the public life into the private domain of one’s individual conscience; the absolute ignoring of Christianity and the Church as public, legal, and social institutions; on the other hand, the putting into practice of the absolute autonomy of every man and citizen, along all lines of human activity, and the concentration of all public authority in one “sovereignty of the people”. This sovereignty of the people in all branches of public life as legislation, administration, and jurisdiction, is to be exercised in the name and by order of all the citizens, in such a way, that all should have share in and a control over it. A fundamental principle of Liberalism is the proposition: “It is contrary to the natural, innate, and inalienable right and liberty and dignity of man, to subject himself to an authority, the root, rule, measure, and sanction of which is not in himself”. This principle implies the denial of all true authority; for authority necessarily presupposes a power outside and above man to bind him morally.
These tendencies, however, were more or less active long before 1789; indeed, they are coeval with the human race. Modern Liberalism adopts and propagates them under the deceiving mask of Liberalism in the true sense. As a direct offspring of Humanism and the Reformation in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, modern Liberalism was further developed by the philosophers and literati of England especially Locke and Hume, by Rousseau and the Encyclopedists in France, and by Lessing and Kant in Germany. Its real cradle, however, was the drawing-rooms of the moderately free-thinking French nobility (1730-1789), especially those of Mme. Necker and her daughter, Mme. de Staël. The latter was more than anybody else the connecting link between the free-thinking elements before and after the Revolution and the centre of the modern Liberal movement both in France and Switzerland. In her politico-religious views she is intimately connected with Mirabeau and the Constitutional party of the Revolution. These views find their clearest exposition in her work “Considérations sur les principaux événements de la Révolution française”. She pleads for the greatest possible individual liberty, and denounces as absurd the derivation of human authority from God. The legal position of the Church, according to her, both as a public institution and as a property-owner is a national arrangement and therefore entirely subject to the will of the nation; ecclesiastical property belongs not to the church but to the nation; the abolition of ecclesiastical privileges is entirely justified, since the clergy is the natural enemy of the principles of Revolution. The ideal form of government is in smaller states the republic, in larger ones the constitutional monarchy after the model of England. The entire art of government in modern times, consists, according to Mme. de Staël, in the art of directing public opinion and of yielding to it at the right moment.
Since the so-called Liberal principles of 1789 are based upon a wrong notion of human liberty, and are and must forever be contradictory and indefinite in themselves, it is an impossibility in practical life to carry them into effect with much consistency. Consequently the most varying kinds and shades of Liberalism have been developed, all of which remained in fact more conservative than a logical application of Liberal principles would warrant. Liberalism was first formulated by the Protestant Genevese (Rousseau, Necker, Mme. de Staël, Constant, Guizot); nevertheless it was from France, that it spread over the rest of the world, as did its different representative types. These developed in closest connection with the different Revolutions in Europe since 1789. […]
Ecclesiastical Liberalism (Liberal Catholicism)
(1) The prevailing political form of modern Liberal Catholicism, is that which would regulate the relations of the Church to the State and modern society in accordance with the Liberal principles as expounded by Benjamin Constant. It had its predecessors and patterns in Gallicanism, Febronianism, and Josephinism. Founded 1828 by Lamennais, the system was later defended in some respects by Lacordaire, Montalembert, Parisis, Dupanloup, and Falloux.
(2) The more theological and religious form of Liberal Catholicism had its predecessors in Jansenism and Josephinism; it aims at certain reforms in ecclesiastical doctrine and discipline in accordance with the anti-ecclesiastical liberal Protestant theory and atheistical “science and enlightenment” prevailing at the time. The newest phases of this Liberalism were condemned by Pius X as Modernism. In general it advocates latitude in interpreting dogma, oversight or disregard of the disciplinary and doctrinal decrees of the Roman Congregations, sympathy with the State even in its enactments against the liberty of the Church, in the action of her bishops, clergy, religious orders and congregations, and a disposition to regard as clericalism the efforts of the Church to protect the rights of the family and of individuals to the free exercise of religion.
Condemnation of Liberalism in the Church
By proclaiming man’s absolute autonomy in the intellectual, moral and social order, Liberalism denies, at least practically, God and supernatural religion. If carried out logically, it leads even to a theoretical denial of God, by putting deified mankind in place of God. It has been censured in the condemnations of Rationalism and Naturalism. The most solemn condemnation of Naturalism and Rationalism was contained in the Constitution “De Fide” of the Vatican Council (1870); the most explicit and detailed condemnation, however, was administered to modern Liberalism by Pius IX in the Encyclical “Quanta Cura” of 8 December, 1864 and the attached Syllabus. Pius X
condemned it again in his allocution of 17 April, 1907, and in the Decree of the Congregation of the Inquisition of 3 July, 1907, in which the principal errors of Modernism were rejected and censured in sixty-five propositions. The older and principally political form of false Liberal Catholicism had been condemned by the Encyclical of Gregory XVI, “Mirari Vos”, of 15 August, 1832 and by many briefs of Pius IX (see Ségur, “Hommage aux Catholiques Libéraux”, Paris, 1875). The definition of the papal infallibility by the Vatican council was virtually a condemnation of Liberalism. Besides this many recent decisions concern the principal errors of Liberalism. Of great importance in this respect are the allocutions and encyclicals of Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X. (Cf., Recueil des allocutions consistorales encycliques . . . citées dans leSyllabus”, Paris, 1865) and the encyclicals of Leo XIII of 20 January, 1888, “On Human Liberty”; of 21 April, 1878, “On the Evils of Modern Society”; of 28 December, 1878, “On the Sects of the Socialists, Communists, and Nihilists”; of 4 August, 1879, “On Christian Philosophy”; of 10 February, 1880, “On Matrimony”; of 29 July, 1881, “On the Origin of Civil Power”; of 20 April, 1884, “On Freemasonry”; of 1 November, 1885, “On the Christian State”; of 25 December, 1888, “On the Christian Life”; of 10 January, 1890, “On the Chief Duties of a Christian Citizen”; of 15 May, 1891, “On the Social Question”; of 20 January, 1894, “On the Importance of Unity in Faith and Union with the Church for the Preservation of the Moral Foundations of the State”; of 19 March, 1902, “On the Persecution of the Church all over the World”. Full information about the relation of the Church towards Liberalism in the different countries may be gathered from the transactions and decisions of the various provincial councils. These can be found in the “Collectio Lacensis” under the headings of the index: Fides, Ecclesia, Educatio, Francomuratores.
Questions answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM:
December 20, 2007
I was recently watching “The Journey Home” on EWTN. This particular episode they switched roles and had Marcus Grodi being interviewed by Doug Keck and sharing his conversion story.
He mentioned that when he was studying at a Catholic University, the professors were telling him that everything was a bunch of myths. Why would they teach such a thing in a Catholic University? I mean, I can understand if they become a little confused and minor questionable theories enter the curriculum, but to say that everything is a bunch of myths? This confuses me because I believe the New Testament to be one hundred percent true, not myths. Why would they teach such? –Mateo
In the 1990’s Pope John Paul II issued a “mandate” that had to be taken by all professors. This mandate did not limit academic freedom, but it absolutely required that when a professor is teaching Catholic teaching that he teach Catholic teaching and not some novel notion of his own.
Many professors did not sign this mandate. Some bishops de-certified these professors to teach the faith as a result. Most bishops, I think, did not do much of anything.
It is the bishop’s responsibility to ensure that a Catholic college or university maintains fidelity to the Magisterial and to a Catholic identity. When a Catholic college or university fails in this the bishop may pull the Catholic identify from that school. While the bishop has the technical authority to do that I am not sure any bishop has actually done it.
There are many “catholic” schools that are really no longer Catholic, such as Notre Dame, Georgetown, and many, many others. It is a scandal on the faith to have professors who actively promote heresy or otherwise seek to confuse the students about the genuine Catholic faith. They will be held accountable by God.
We need to pray for our professors to be true to the faith and that any intellectual speculations they propose does not damage the faith of the students or lead them astray. They need to teach what the Church teaches when the subject is Church teaching.
I have a friend who went to seminary to prepare for the priesthood. This seminary had many very liberal, even heretical professors. He told me that in order for him to get a good grade on a term paper he would have to propose heresy. If he wrote a term paper that was loyal to Church teaching he would get a bad grade. The pressure of this was too much for him and he dropped out. He just could not play-act a heretic for four years just to graduate and be ordained. As far as I know he never did return to seminary.
The devil targets schools for obvious reasons — schools is where our kids, our religious, and our priests are taught and indoctrinated. A school is an excellent place to introduce subtle falsehoods to contaminate the student’s thinking. We must pray hard for all Catholic schools at all levels. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
Things I learned in school
December 21, 2007
You may get a kick out of this but these are some of the things uttered by Ph. Ds in my college.
Kissing, oral sex and even breast feeding are minor forms of cannibalism.
Women evolved breasts to remind men of their butts, and their butts evolved to remind them of the vulva….never mind that men have butts but no vulva.
The Lord of the Rings is full of sexual metaphors, the ring its self symbolizes the vagina and The Two Towers represent the penis.
Did you know that skyscrapers are representations of erect penises? The exchange of wedding rings is a promise of sex with the ring finger representing a penis and the ring being a vagina?
I could go on and on but you get the point this is the stuff you pay for when you send your kids to our institutes of higher learning and then you wonder why they lost their faith.
Yes I went to a Catholic university…a prominent one. –Rita
It is a sad thing to hear such things coming out of our so-called “Catholic” universities. It goes to show that we can no longer trust a university or college merely because it is called “Catholic” but must investigate it to ensure orthodoxy before sending our kids to it. –Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
Had a bad thought about a Priest…
December 26, 2007
I go to daily Mass on my lunch break. For about a year and a half I’ve gone to a Jesuit parish each day for Mass. I was unhappy there due to the Pastor’s questionable rantings during his sermons. He bashed EWTN on a few occasions, made a questionable remark about the Pope, and also has claimed that “we don’t know if the words in the Gospels are really what Jesus actually said.” Obviously this all made me uncomfortable and I didn’t want to deal with that anymore.
I just recently decided to go to a parish that holds firm to the teaching of the Magisterium. Today while I was at Mass, a thought popped in my head that said…”Man, that Priest was a real *$#%!” (Obviously, I won’t repeat the word)
I then became upset because I don’t want to think something like that but I was irritated at the way that priest acts like he is above the Magisterium or something.
Anyway, is something like this a mortal sin or a venial sin, or not a sin at all since it was just a random thought that entered? -Matthew
It is a very sad thing when a priest, especially a Jesuit, loses his faith and bashes loyal children of the Church. We will pray for this man.
As for thoughts, if your thought was a fleeting thought that popped into your head there is no sin as this was not under your control AS LONG AS you did not entertain the thought.
When such thoughts pop into your head you need to immediately reject them and renounce them. For example, a prayer like the following may be appropriate:
“Father in heaven, I reject these evil thoughts. Cleanse from my mind all thoughts that are not of You. Forgive me for any underlying anger I have toward this priest. Give me a spirit of forgiveness and concern for him. Amen.”
We cannot control random thoughts that pop into our minds, but we are responsible for what we do with those thoughts. As implied in the prayer above, we may want to explore underlying factors (such as anger and unforgiveness) that may contribute to the fleeting thoughts.
With that said, you may want to confess this in your next confession, not because it was mortal (unless you entertained the thought), but because you want to be healed of any residual anger and unforgiveness.
You may also consider the spiritual warfare aspect of this in that the devil knows of your feelings about this Jesuit priest and may have exploited that by placing this thought in your head. Praying to rebuke the demon of anger, unforgiveness, etc. may be in order too. –Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
I made a newsletter and the Pastor destroyed it…
June 16, 2007
I wanted to get your feedback on something. Recently I’ve put together a professional style newsletter that I’ve titled “The Sword: Exposing Satan’s tactics one lie at a time.” This is a newsletter that I’ve professionally designed, I’m a graphic designer at a major Baltimore newspaper – The Baltimore Sun. The topic of the first edition is “The Serpent’s Venom: The New Age and why Catholics need to know about it.”
I’ve begun to leave them at various parishes and hand them out a little at a time. I attend daily Mass at St. Ignatius across the street from where I work at noon time. I took about 10 of these newsletters and posted them on the bulletin board in the parish.
When I came out of Mass today, the Pastor was standing in the lobby area with them ripped up in his hand!!!
Now, I distribute it anonymously and don’t have my name on it, but I was heart-broken. I put a good amount of time into researching it and quoted Vatican documents and The Catechism!!! I made sure I backed it up with Church doctrine and teaching.
Now, this Priest had made reference a few months ago in one of his sermons about how much he can’t stand EWTN. What is your feedback on the situation? It bothers me that we have people like this in the Church. –Matthew
I would like to see your newsletter. If your information is all good and such, and you have, or are willing to make a HTML or a PDF version of your newsletter we would consider placing it on our website.
You can send the paper version to:
Legion of St. Michael, P.O. Box 1858, Watertown, SD 57201
Anyway, as far as your pastor is concerned, from my experience, anyone who says they can’t stand EWTN is usually a nimrod liberal who thinks his opinion outweighs the Pope.
Liberals can’t stand EWTN because EWTN proclaims the truth about the Faith and Church teachings. I remember one time Mother Angelica responded to a caller about some priest who was abusing the liturgy and preaching errors. Mother said, “Well, your priest ain’t Catholic.” I can see why priests who are not really Catholic would hate her. Liberals hate EWTN or websites like this one because we proclaim a truth that they do not wish to accept. Usually these priests have interests in misleading their parishioners (which is evil) and if their parishioners have the gall to watch EWTN or visit websites like ours the liberal priests are not as successful in their evil agenda of contaminating the faithful with dribble.
A defrocked priest in California said in a chatroom a few years ago: “EWTN is a dangerous haven for Mother Angelica and her clones. I come to Catholic Chat several nights a week to help protect our faith from Mother [Angelica].”
This man once told me personally that we, mere humans, may judge God.
That is the caliber of arrogance and pride that rivals that of the devil himself.
I am frightened for these Priests “who will not serve” the Church and God, but only serve themselves and their own perverted opinions. They are risking their souls to the one who said first, “I will not serve.”
We need to pray for their immortal souls.
If the pastor of your parish will not allow you to distribute the newsletter, there is not much you can do, except maybe complain to the Archbishop (but don’t hold your breath that anything will happen as a result).
You can, however, distribute the newsletter off of parish property by handing it to people on the public sidewalk as they leave Mass. You can distribute it to other parishes where the pastor is a “real” Catholic. If you have a mailing list, like from a Parish Directory, you can send the newsletter to parishioners through the mail if you are willing to invest the money in that.
And, of course, you can distribute your newsletter on the Internet.
There is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say here in the Midwest.
If you will, I would appreciate a copy of your newsletter. You can certainly put me on your mailing list. –Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
April 11, 2011
I want to go back to the Catholic Church but things have not gone right for a couple of years. I am getting very discouraged. Went to Catholic Mass today. Priest was teaching on Love and with all his teaching he implied God is Love only. OK, he focused only on the love part, which is alright but not balanced; I would have liked to see it more balanced. But, I can live with that.
Then he said “the Old Testament God (the punitive God) was an imagination of the people at that time. First time listening to this priest, I became upset and confronted him at the exit about his false gospel. He denied that he said that, and I repeated what he said and said that he was lying. I was so angry. Then he said that “there is a saying in Philosophy that just because you make one statement, it does not exclude the other.” Well, I should have said, that if you tell half the truth, then you are telling a lie.
I could not pursue it further as lots of people were vying for his attention and congratulated him on his “love” talk. In this church the parishioners have said “the Muslims pray to the same God” (implying they are saved), and “all people will go to heaven.”
This is not the church I grew up with. I feel like locking myself away from the church and just staying with God by myself and that’s it. I know we are not supposed to do that. Am I wrong? What’s wrong? At least I got the communion, though I almost ran away. –Phoenix
There is no excuse for locking yourself away from the Church. There is no excuse for not celebrating the Holy Mass (unless one is genuinely sick, infirmed, or has employment that prevents it).
You are not going to Mass for the priest or the people. You are going to Mass to worship God. Even if the priest and all around you are a bunch of liberal loons, so what? You are not there for them; you are there for our Lord.
It is a sad thing when our parishes are intertwined, or even overrun, with liberalism. Sadder still is when there are no other parishes in the area to attend that may be more orthodox. But, none of this excuses abandoning Jesus to the abusive liberals.
If you leave the Church, or stop going to Church, then you are not abandoning a liberal priest or liberal congregation, you are abandoning Christ. In doing so, you are risking your soul.
Even if the parish is so loony that you cannot in good conscience participate in parish activities, which does not matter. You can, should, and better attend the Holy Mass anyway to receive the Blessed Sacrament (and go to the parish to receive the Sacrament of Confession). You can receive the Sacraments and leave after Mass. You are not required to fellowship, eat donuts in the Fellowship Hall, or anything else.
When you said that you received communion the other day, I hope you were properly disposed. If you have been missing Mass over these issues, then you would not have been in a state of grace and would need Confession before receiving. We are required to celebrate Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (unless properly indisposed) upon pain of grave sin.
I know that many good and loyal sons and daughters of the Church feel and perhaps are isolated, like the Church has left them. But, the Church (which is the Bride of Christ) never abandons us, even if her servants are loons, the Church herself never abandons us. If we abandon her then we risk our souls to hell.
Instead, attend the parish for the Sacraments only, if needed, and seek the fellowship and support in the Faith from other sources. There are many other ways to get this support. For example, we have a discussion group, linked below, and there are other Internet discussion groups that are loyal to the Church. You may have a local chapter of a Third Order. Check that out.
But, under no circumstances abandon Jesus in the Sacrament because the Homilies are frivolous or even incorrect in its teaching, or that congregants think things that are contrary to the faith. Your soul depends upon it. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
Problems with parish priest
April 18, 2011
I have been having problems with the parish priest at the church here. First of all, he allows the lectors to read the meditations for the readings prior to reading the actual readings. Secondly, I was an Extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and I was giving out Holy Communion and he noticed that I was, according to him not doing this correctly. He took me aside after Mass in front of everyone and told me I was doing it wrong. I said that is the way I was taught.
This has caused me a major problem with my faith. I left the EM’s after that and have not been back to Mass since then.
Thirdly, he is also adding words to the Eucharistic prayer. Instead of saying Jesus Christ, he always adds “the” to it. He also does not read directly from the Missal. I do not feel it is a pride issue per se.
The biggest issue is that we have only one Catholic Church here. What should I do? I want to go back to Church and be reconciled with God, but this has caused me a great deal of hurt and pain. Any advice would be most helpful. –Teresa
I am sorry to hear about the irregularities at your parish and the person affronts you have experienced, but this has nothing whatsoever to do with your faith. Your faith is in God, not a priest. This priest’s irregularities and rudeness is not God’s fault so why are you punishing God by not attending Mass? The Mass is our Lord’s, not the priest’s.
You must go back to the Mass. Receive the Sacrament of Confession to confess your inappropriate missing of Mass, and then receive the Eucharist.
Even if the parish is so messed up that you cannot participate in any parish activities or serve in any capacity, you can, and you must attend to Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and receive the Sacrament of Confession when needed.
As long as the Mass is valid, Jesus is there. Why leave Jesus alone with people who abuse Him in the Mass?
Instead go to Mass to meet your Lord as He has commanded you to do. Offer up your suffering of enduring an irregular Mass for the salvation of souls, and even for the priest to come to his senses and by loyal to the Church.
Most importantly, you must return to Mass or you risk the loss of your own soul. Having your feelings hurt is not a justification to stop going to Mass, nor is it an excuse to lose your faith.
Jesus Christ is your Lord, not the priest. Our Lord commands us to receive Him in the Eucharist. In fact, He tells us that we cannot have life unless we do:
(John 6:53-54) So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
So, Teresa, unless you wish to risk your soul to hell, you need to mortify your hurt feelings, and accept the suffering of witnessing an irregular Mass, and get yourself back to Mass immediately.
I understand what you are going through. I have been through a similar situation. But, since the parish was the only one around I had to mortify my ego and pride, and my objections to irregularities, and participate in the Sacraments at that parish anyway. I did not attend anything else, but I attended Mass and the Sacrament of Confession. I was not about to allow this priest to keep me from my Lord because he did not like me. I do not need to be liked by anyone. Rather, I need the love and salvation offered by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
St. Francis de Sales said, “An ounce of mortification is worth more than a thousand pounds of honor.”
Thus, Teresa, rejoice that you are having these experiences. It gives you a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your faith by resigning yourself to God and mortifying your ego and feelings. This is a wonderful learning experience.
It is also a wonderful and privileged opportunity to suffer for our Lord, to join our suffering with His, to offer up our suffering for the salvation of souls. What a privilege!
Thus, the suffering of having to endure irregularities in Mass is a great opportunity to accept the privilege of suffering and offering that suffering to our Lord and to our Blessed Mother to apply the graces that come from that to whomever they feel needs it.
Bottom line: Do not despair, grumble, lose heart, or be tricked by the devil to falter in faith or to avoid Mass. Get to Mass and do it this Easter weekend and never avoid the Mass again for improper reasons.
Since this is Easter weekend, you will not likely have an opportunity for the Sacrament of Confession. Thus, at Easter Mass just remain in your pew. But, next week, be sure to confess your absence at however many Masses you have failed to attend. You do not have to explain why you missed them, just confess that you did.
By the way, many people have experiences like yours. You are not alone in this. Just keep your eyes on Jesus, and not one the nonsense around you. When doing this, you can walk on water (Matthew 14:28-31). -Bro. Ignatius Mary
July 29, 2011
A Catholic Priest that I have admired and respected spoke on the subject of final judgment. His talk, not only confused me, but has disturbed me greatly as well.
I have always understood this to be true, while we live, we live in a time of God’s infinite mercy and forgiveness, but, at the exact moment of death, we will then find ourselves in a time of God’s justice.
This good Priest said that upon death, as we stand before Christ, Jesus will give us one last chance to accept Him, and, if we say yes, Jesus will save us from final damnation.
I know that God is the absolute final judge, and that He can do whatever He chooses to do, but according to Scripture, and Church Teaching and Doctrine, this is not what we, as Roman Catholic’s are taught.
I want to offer this quote, which has been copied from “The Catholic Catechism” written by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. which states on Page 255:
“The New Testament is so clear on the subject of death and its aftermath that the Gospels are almost thematic on the need for serving God faithfully in this life, because after death there is no chance of repentance”. –John
I am saddened when I hear stories like this. I am sure the priest is kindly and is trying to provide solace, but true kindness and solace does not come from error.
The Church teaches infallibly that “with death the possibility of merit or demerit or conversion ceases.” This is divinely revealed dogma to which all Catholics must believe.
To quote then Cardinal Ratzinger, in his commentary of the change in Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II in Ad tuendam fidem, entitled Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei, concerning divinely revealed teaching:
These doctrines require the assent of theological faith by all members of the faithful. Thus, whoever obstinately places them in doubt or denies them falls under the censure of heresy, as indicated by the respective canons of the Codes of Canon Law.
In addition the Church teaches:
Immediately after death the particular judgment takes place, in which, by a Divine Sentence of Judgement, the eternal fate of the deceased person is decided.
If indeed this priest is proposing that after death we have a second chance at salvation, then he is flirting with heresy, and certainly is no longer in communion with the Church.
I would suggest that you talk with the priest about this. Be sure that he is indeed teaching this. It is possible that you misunderstood him, or that he unintentionally misspoke or that he just did not explain his point well. If he really did teach that we have a second chance after death and is unwilling to reform, then the Bishop must be informed. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
Submission to a Renegade Bishop
April 19, 2012
Our diocese unfortunately is being run by a renegade bishop who has made it quite public concerning his reluctance to ‘toe the line’ as far as Rome is concerned. He is what one might call a ‘progressive’ bishop who delights in innovation. He has introduced ‘Lay Parish Leadership’ into the diocese and this has resulted in much confusion and heartache. In one particular parish, the ‘Lay Parish Co-Ordinator’ is a feminist ‘New-Ager’ who actively promotes women’s ordination! The bishop has introduced this new ‘model of parish leadership’ as an alternative to the more conservative and traditional leadership of ordained clergy. The bishop says that because of the dwindling number of priestly vocations in the diocese, this ‘new model’ is essential. The irony is that in our two neighboring dioceses, vocations are flourishing! Not in our diocese. We strongly suspect the bishop is using this ‘new model’ as ‘back door’ – to encourage women’s ordination. We know he is all for women’s ordination – although he has hasn’t affirmed this officially (for obvious reasons).
Our diocese no longer has a seminary as such (because of the lack of vocations). There is – though – an ‘Institute’ which openly promotes very progressive and heterodox views (e.g. alternative ways of viewing the Eucharist and the ‘Real Presence’ – as well as other liturgical and doctrinal novelties). A number of concerned parishioners throughout the diocese have already forwarded numerous submissions to the Apostolic Nuncio concerning these matters – and he has forwarded our concerns to Rome. The bishop has been reprimanded, but still persists in doing ‘his own thing’. He is due to retire in November of next year, so we are unsure whether or not he will be forced to retire earlier because of his mismanagement of the diocese.
This is my question – Should we submit to our bishop (despite his poor leadership and failure to submit to the authentic teaching of the Church)? Our parish priest has said we may disagree with our bishop, but we still must respect and submit to him, and be loyal. Is this true? Personally, I cannot agree with our bishop in any way – he is misleading our diocese and his progressive ideas are drawing us more and more away from the Church. I don’t feel I am in communion with our bishop. Therefore, because I feel this way, should I be receiving Holy Communion? –John
Your pastor is correct that we must respect the office of Bishop and to submit to legitimate directives from our Bishop. Such obedience, however, does not extend to a situation in which our Bishop orders us to do something that is immoral or in violation of Church teaching.
From a practical point of view, however, such a situation with laity is extremely rare. There is not likely to be a situation in which the laity of your diocese would be directed by your Bishop to do something which is improper.
If your Bishop, for example, was to direct the faithful of your diocese that the Sunday obligation is no longer relevant, then the faithful need to ignore that directive and practice the Sunday obligation anyway. If the Bishop were to direct the faithful to do jumping jacks at the consecration of the Eucharist, then it would be the duty of the faithful to disobey that directive.
But, as I said, situations of obedience that affect the laity will be extremely rare, if nonexistent, no matter how liberal the bishop.
As for trying to sneak female ordination through a backdoor, that is impossible. Any woman submitting herself ordination, and any bishop who would attempt to ordain her, will be excommunicated, and the so-called ordination invalid and nonexistent. There is no need to fear in this regard.
In terms of receiving the Sacraments, there is no connection between that and the nonsense of your Bishop. The Sacraments are valid. Do not ever allow a liberal Bishop or a liberal priest rob you of our Lord. The impeccability of our priests do not affect the validity of the Sacraments. No matter what liturgical abuses a priest may practice the Sacrament is valid as long as the priest does what the church intends, the words of institution said, and the Sacraments are of proper form and matter.
Do not hesitate to receive the Sacraments. Offer your prayers during Mass for the conversion of your Bishop.
In terms of the tenure of your Bishop, it sounds as if the problem will soon be resolved by his retirement. If the people of your diocese wish to do so, they may certainly write letters to the Papal Nuncio and/or the Congregation on Bishops asking that for the good of the diocese the bishop be retired early. That request will probably not be fulfilled especially when normal retirement is no near.
Always keep in mind that any situation like this, the suffering that we must go through because of liberal bishops and priests, is an opportunity to lift up our suffering to God for the conversion of those bishops and priests. Except the opportunity and continue to live the good and loyal Catholic life in spite of those liberal bishops and priest. It is not likely that anything will occur that requires you to disobey. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
One hour fast before Eucharist
June 26, 2012
I saw on your site that one is to fast 1 hour before receiving the Eucharist. I am aware of this, as I was brought up with this understanding. However, just recently I went to confession to confess that I forgot to fast, the priest told me that this fast no longer holds exists. That the reason for the fast was for purely digestive reasons – not to burp while the priest places the Eucharist in one’s mouth or have breath of food odor. I take the Eucharist in my mouth. Ever since the priest told me this, I didn’t pay mind to the 1 hour fast. Now am I sinning? –Christina
It sounds like your priest is yet another liberal, or perhaps he is an idiot, who needs to be horse-whipped. He knows better, and if not, then the bishop needs to reassign him to a seminary to be re-trained.
Canon Law requires the Eucharistic Fast. Any priest who says otherwise is sinning and will be held accountable to his bishop, or to God, if the bishop does not discipline him.
Canon 919 ß1 Whoever is to receive the blessed Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from all food and drink, with the sole exception of water and medicine.
ß2 A priest who, on the same day, celebrates the blessed Eucharist twice or three times may consume something before the second or third celebration, even though there is not an hour’s interval.
ß3 The elderly and those who are suffering from some illness, as well as those who care for them, may receive the blessed Eucharist even if within the preceding hour they have consumed something.
Those who are elderly or sick, may fast for 15 minutes.
These times are based on the actual time of communion, not the time the Mass begins. Thus, unless one is eating and drinking after Mass begins, there should be no problem.
A personal note: To reduce the Eucharistic fast to one hour is ridicules. Are we so profoundly immature that we can’t stand to fast for a longer time? I guess so.
You need to ignore this inexcusably errant priest. Go back to fasting for at least one hour, as the law of the Church requires. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
Okay to Miss Mass on Sunday
June 27, 2012
My priest did mislead me, and after he told me not to fast, I really didn’t pay any mind to the hour. I will go to confession to confess.
Now, this brings up another concern. Just recently I went to confession to confess that I didn’t attend Sunday Mass. I just didn’t feel like it. However, I made it every other day that week – or almost every day, I can’t remember. Then, I missed mass the week after for two reasons. One, I couldn’t take the Eucharist and two, everyone in church would see that I sinned and I was embarrassed to go to mass and not take the Eucharist. So, I missed the whole week.
On Saturday I went to confession and when I did the Priest told me that it was okay that I missed Sunday since I made it the entire (or almost) the entire week. He also told me when this happens to continue to go to Mass the following week and take the Eucharist. No need to not take the Eucharist and to continue to go every day. Now, so far, I haven’t missed a day yet going to Mass, including Sunday’s (I love Mass). There is an unbelievable peace that I have when I go to Mass. I just love it. I think, if I could, I would sleep there! Anyway, Brother Ignatius Mary, is his advice again a little too liberal.-Christina
You need to slow down and take a breath. I recommend you buy a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, read and study it. If anyone tells you something that contradicts the Catechism, you will know they are wrong.
We are required to go to Sunday Mass and all Holy Days of Obligation that are celebrated in the country in which we live.
The only time missing Sunday Mass or a Holy Day of Obligation is permitted is if one is sick or is working, or has some other grave reason that makes it impossible to attend. Not feeling like it is not a valid reason. Also embarrassment is not a valid reason to miss Mass.
Keep in mind I am talking about Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, not Daily Mass. Daily Mass is not required and thus it does not matter whether or not you attend Daily Mass.
Attending daily Mass DOES NOT, however, substitute for Sunday Mass. Even if attending Mass every day from Monday – Friday, one must still go to Sunday Mass.
The Bishop needs to be informed about this priest. He is harming the flock with his errant teaching that is in total rebellion of the Church. He should be removed from his office before he harms more people. He needs to be plucked from his job as pastor and re-educated or laicized.
For yourself, if this pastor remains, I would recommend leaving his parish since he is harming your faith.
As for being embarrassed to have to sit in the pew rather than go forward in communion, get over yourself. This is nothing by unadulterated pride. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
God’s knowledge of future sins
January 1, 2013
The other day during the homily this priest who I have heard preach before has really good teachings. He comes from an order who know their teachings are very traditional and sound. But I was taken aback at a statement he said. I asked my wife if I heard him correct and she heard the same thing. He said that God does NOT know our future sins. Otherwise He would not have created Adam and Eve if he knew they were going to sin. He said it is because of “free will” that he does not know if we will sin or not. I would like to talk to him or to write to the head pastor or even the head of his order if necessary. I know God is omniscient and knows the past, present and future and knows if we will commit a sin tomorrow or ten years from now. I know that if God does not have perfect knowledge, then there would be a deficiency in His nature and He would not be God.
Where would I find solid Catholic teachings that I can show this priest, maybe from the CCC, that he was in error in that statement. Of course I would approach the situation with a possibility that we misunderstood what he said, which I hope we did. –Chas
Just when I thought I heard it all, comes yet another story of a priest who needs slapped upside the head, and removed from ministry until he gets an education, to prevent him from teaching error to the Faithful. Sigh. The extent of this priest’s theological knowledge is remarkably ignorant. How did this fella get through seminary? This issue is one of the most fundament issues in all of theology. It is something one learns in Theology 101, and even before that, in the Baltimore Catechism.
In Baltimore Catechism #4, question 18 states, “Does God know all things?
Answer: Certainly God “knows all things.” First, because He is infinitely wise, and if He were ignorant of anything He would not be so. Secondly, because He is everywhere and sees and hears all. Darkness does not hide from His view, nor always prevent Him from hearing. How could we send if we thought of this! God is just here, looking at me and listening to me. When I do what I am going to do now if I knew my parents, relatives, and friends were watching me? What I’d like him to know that I’m thinking about things sinful, and preparing to do shameful acts? No! Why then should I feel ashamed to let God see and know of this wicked thought or action? They might know it and yet be unable to harm me, but He, all-powerful, could destroy me instantly. They, more; not only will God see you know this evil deed or thought; but, by His gift, the Blessed Mother, the Angels and Saints will know that and be ashamed of it before God, and, most of all, my guardian angel will deplore it. Besides, this will be revealed to the whole world on the last day, and my friends, relatives, and neighbors will know that I was guilty of it.
In addition, we have Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Part I, §20, Divine Knowledge or Knowing (this is rather technical, but if this priest actually went to seminary, he should be familiar with this):
1. God’s Knowledge Is Infinite. (De fide)
The Vatican Council [I] says of God that in His power of cognition He is infinite (intellectu infinitus) See Denzinger 1782]. Holy Writ designates God is the God of knowledge (Deus scientiarum: 1 Samuel 2:3) and declares that His wisdom is without measure: Sapientiae eius non est numerus (Ps. 146:5). Cf. Ps. 138:6; Rom. 11:33.
Speculatively, the infinity of the Divine knowledge may be based:
a) On the reality of created intelligence, for according to the relationship of cause and effect, the supreme created perfection must be contained in God as its origin, and indeed in an infinite manner.
b) On the order of finality of the world, which postulates a Creator and Director of the highest intelligence.
c) On the absolute and immateriality of God; for the immateriality is the foundation of knowing, and the degree of the power of cognition is determined by the degree of immateriality. Cf. Summa Théologie, St. Thomas Aquinas, I 14, 1: Cum sit in summo immaterialitatis, sequitur, quod ipse sit in summo cognitionis. (Since God is at a summit of immateriality it follows that He is at the summit of knowledge.”)
2. God’s Knowledge Is Purely and Simply Actual
As God is pure act (actus purus), there is in His knowing no transitions from potency to act, no habitatus, no succession, and no progress from the known to the unknown. God’s knowing is neither potential or habitual, neither successive nor discursive. God knows all in one single indivisible act (simplici intuitu). Cf. Summa I 14, 7.
3. Gods Knowledge Is Subsistent
God does not only possess an activity of knowledge, but he is Himself knowledge. His knowing is, in consequence of His absolute simplicity, really identical with His Essence. Cf. Summa I 18, 3 ad 2: Deus est suum intelligere. (God is His own understanding.)Summa I 14, 4: intelligere Dei est eius substantia. (The understanding of God is His own substance.)
4. God’s Knowledge Is Comprehensive
From the infinity of His power of knowing it follows that God completely encompasses His infinite knowledge, and thereby comprehends Himself. (Cf. Summa I 14, 3: Tanta est virtus Dei in cognoscendo, quanta est actualitas euis in existend …. Unde manifestum est, quod tantum seipsum cognoscit, quantum cognoscibilis est. Et propter hoc seisum perfecte comprehendit. “God’s power of self-comprehension is as great as His reality in Mean…. Therefore it is obvious that he comprehends Himself as far as He is comprehensible. Therefore he comprehends himself perfectly.” Holy Rick bears witness to the comprehensive character of the Divine knowledge in 1 Cor. 2:10: “the Spirit searches all things yea, the deep things of God.” Cf. Mt. 11:27.
5. God’s Knowledge Is Independent of Extra–Divine Things
The Divine intellect is not determined to knowledge from without but from within through the Divine Essence. Extra-Divine objects are not the cause (causa determinans), but only aim (terminus) of the Divine knowledge. Further, God does not know the extra-Divine objects to intelligible “species” imprinted from without; for it and select which knows by means of a species distinct from itself stands in the same relation to this as does potency to act. God, however, is actus purus (pure act). Cf. Summa I 14, 4: In Deo intellectus et id, quod intelligatur, et species intelligibilis et ipsum intelligere sunt omnino unum et idem. (In the intellect understanding and the pain understood by the same reality and the intelligible species and the act of understanding itself are entirely one and the same.)
God knows extra-Divine things in His Own Essence, as He is the causa exemplaris and the causa efficiens of real things and for possible things — the Exemplar.
Fall exhaustively knowing His creative causality He also knows there and all the operations which flow or which can flow from this, and indeed, just as comprehensively as He knows Himself. ! John 1:5: “God is light and in Him there is no darkness.”
The bottom line is that the dogma, God’s Knowledge Is Infinite is De fide, which means that is a defined dogma. Anyone denying this dogma is therefore a heretic.
This priest better get an education. He is teaching heresy.
God is in the “eternal present.” That means that all of the past, all of the future, is NOW to God. God is outside of time and space. He knew us for all eternity past, long before the universe was even created.
The fact that God has knowledge of our actions and all of our sins that we have not done yet, does not interfere with our free will at all. A simple and imperfect analogy is found in a married couple who have been married for sixty years. The wife knows her husband so well that she can “know” what he is going to do before he does it. She did not rob him of his free will to choose what he is going to do, rather she just knows him so well as to be able to predict very accurately what he will do.
God knows us perfectly.
But, the source of God’s perfect and complete knowledge of all of history is that He is knowledge itself. He is knowledge that stands in the eternal present.
I would advise that you talk to this priest to be sure you heard him correctly. If you did hear him correctly, then we have a big problem. Ask him to show you where his assertion is supported by any Church document. You can show him the quotes above from the Baltimore Catechism and from the Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, which references the Summa written by the Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas.
If he resists re-considering his view, then you need to contact his superior. This is not a trivial issue as it has to be with defined dogma vs. heresy. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
St. Paul’s warning regarding receiving Holy Communion
March 12, 2013
I have come to realize that our most reverent, and the most important Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, the sum and substance of our Catholic faith, is slowly, but most assuredly, being made less important. The reason I say this is because our Priest’s never, ever, warn their Congregation that to receive Holy Communion while not in a state of grace, according to St. Paul, can bring condemnation on those who do so.
To understand the importance of this, one needs only to read 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. Christ gave us Seven Sacraments, without which, salvation could not be possible. Six of the Seven Sacraments give us grace, but the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, not only gives us grace but also gives us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Did not Jesus tell us, “Unless you eat My Body and drink My Blood you will not have life in you”?
Can it be so inconceivable that our Priests do not, or will not, give their Congregation St. Paul’s warning? I cannot speak for all Priest’s across the entire country, but here in the Diocese of Orlando, none of the Priest’s in the 4 Catholic Church’s that I have been a member during the past 31 years, have ever given St. Paul’s warning.
Bro. Ignatius, whatever advice you can offer with regard to this matter will be greatly appreciated. -John R.
I also lack understanding as to why many priests do not teach and preach about the sacredness and holiness of the Most Holy Eucharist and the consequences of receiving our Lord unworthily.
Bishops and priests have a solemn obligation to teach and preach this truth. If they do not they will be held accountable before the Almighty God who will judge their complicity accordingly. Whoa to any bishop, priest, or teacher who leads the Faithful astray through deliberate mis-teaching, careless mis-teaching, or neglectful failure to teach what ought to be taught and preached.
What to do about the failure of priest to do this? Well, express your concerns to your priest, but do it kindly, not in a manner of accusation or implication of neglect. Be respectful and business-like. Beyond that, pray for him.
-Bro. Ignatius Mary OLSM
SYLLABUS OF ERRORS POPE PIUS IX
SYLLABUS OF ERRORS AND OATH AGAINST MODERNISM
POPE PIUS X
MIRARI VOS POPE GREGORY XVI
LIBERALISM IS A SIN
Categories: Eastern Meditation, Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India, Liturgical Abuses, new age, Ordination of Women Priests Movement in India, PROTESTANTISM, The Catechism of the Catholic Church
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