Filed under: Culture and Catholicism, Green Catholics, Uncategorized, Vatican II | Tags: abortion, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Benedict XVI, Catholic values, Christ the King, Christianity, demographics, Feast of the Epiphany, marriage, morality, Occupy movement and Catholicism, religious freedom, religious state, secularism, solemnity of the epiphany, SSPX, Vatican, Vatican II, Wall Street
At midday on the solemnity of the Epiphany, the Holy Father spoke to the faithful assembled outside his windows to pray the Angelus.
…. Western society,” the Holy Father said, “seems to have lost direction and is feeling its way forward. The Church, thanks to the word of God, see beyond the shadows. She does not possess technical solutions but she has her gaze turned to the final destination offering the light of the gospel to all men and women of goodwill, of whatever nation or culture.”
Dearest Holy Father, what do you mean, no technical solutions! We have apps!
Besides, Holy Father, with all due respect, the Church is bound to do more than ‘keep Her gaze turned to a future destination.’ The Catholic Church was established by Christ to care for us His brothers and sisters in the here and now, whatever our civic circumstances. Wherever we live, our society is supposed to help us live serene and secure lives during our time on earth, and then live with God in heaven; but if, on the contrary, our society hinders or hampers us from those two goals, we are obligated to try to change society, to change those unhelpful laws and policies–not give up and wait for our ‘final destination.’ The Church has always taught that, until Vatican II. Pius XII wrote in his letter of October 19, 1945, when ordinary secularism such as we suffer in the United States was rising in Italy:
Every Catholic will readily understand that the question which, before every other, ought at present to attract his attention and to spur him to action, is that of securing for this and future generations the benefit of a fundamental law of the State, which is not opposed to sound religious and moral principles, but which rather draws vigorous inspiration from them and proclaims and pursues their lofty aims.” (primary source not available in English, secondary source here ) Cardinal Brunero Ottaviani, the champion of tradition, the sworn enemy of liberalism and leftism, our trusted guide, excoriated those who would keep the Church ‘shut up in the four walls of the Temple”! (same source)
Pius XII was not speaking here of restraining our civic behavior either to merely ‘forming consciences,’ a phrase often on the lips of old Council II supporters, or, that failing, waiting for future end times for justice to be done. Pius XII was speaking of changing the laws of the state here and now to fit Catholic teaching. (same source)
Besides, we have technical solutions! We have apps! We even have a platform! Our operating system kicks –! Suppose the Holy Father recommended Catholics concentrate their political efforts on a return to the Catholic religious state? He could reasonably specify this political structure in those areas where Catholics have a majority of the electorate (that is how the popes before Vatican II and after the Reformation put it). In some countries we already have this majority, in others we could potentially regain a lost majority by renewed evangelical efforts and by the growth of Catholic families, as the muslims are accomplishing the growth of their families in islamic nations not practicing the contraceptive mentality, and the Church teaches that we are within our rights to desire and arrange a cooperative unity between the state and the Church.
We could call a return to the Catholic religious state the restore point. Techies call the ‘restore point’ a good technical solution that one uses when one’s machine has been infected by viruses and malware. One surveys the situation to determine more or less when the problems began to be intrusive, and then one chooses a point where the machine was working well and selects it as the new now. The restoration scrubs all of the bad stuff away, and leaves you with your functionality. Viruses all gone.
There’s a solution for you! We could do that! We must do that! The Holy Father must authorize us to work for that, not defer our justice to the Last Judgement! We are literally dying for lack of solutions that would be available to us in a Catholic state!
When is the healthy restore point for western civilization? When was it, speaking just of the present on-going economic crisis, that uncontrolled profit-taking was unleashed on the world? Not in the Catholic state! That’s why they rebelled against it! The bitterest enemy of Catholicism would not identify the Catholic state as the one in which that particular anti-social behavior was allowed. The criticism of the Catholic state was that they did not allow it. Businesses were not allowed to become too big to fail. Individuals were not allowed to exploit others. There were limits on profits, a sense of reasonable and unreasonable, and it was enforced. There were limits on advertising (it was forbidden!). There were limits on the interest rates lenders could charge. This was not socialism–no state protected private property so loyally as the Catholic religious states, and the profit-worshipping rebels are still struggling to undo or dilute the common law coming from those ages that protect the concept of private property.
Take those features of the Catholic religious state to the Occupy protesters and ask them if they would like to see a system of state where businesses were not allowed to become too big to fail, and in which, after one’s own bread for oneself and one’s family was earned, it was expected that one would pass business on to one’s brothers, so that they too could enjoy their lives. See if Occupy would like a system in which profits could not outstrip wages, and in which that delicate balance was actually discussed on-the-job, in cross-class guilds, rather than in the clearly moribund union system we now suffer, where nobody talks to anybody, nobody plans anything, and the wages of the unorganized are insufficient. Tell Occupy the poor were cared for, in the Catholic state (and still are now by Catholic charities, although there are so many more of them beggared and unhoused by the profit-worshipping rebels that the task is greater than mere philanthropy can accomplish). Tell them health care was affordable in the Catholic state, not because people paid through the nose for it through privatized insurance, or the only other option we are offered now, went to unhappy state-run warehouses; health care was affordable in the middle ages because of the skilled work of volunteer religious orders expressing their boundless love for Christ (Who deserves it, as our presidents so seldom do) through their love for His poor. Ask Occupy if they would like more cooperatives where the profits go to the employees, and some price protections on some essential commodities.
Take those solutions regarding health care and profits and wages, in fact, to just about any American besides the Occupy movement, and you would get an assent in a New York minute. You would get an assent in Europe, too, if some of the discussion we are hearing is accurate, in which housewives scream at their legislatures to stop putting profits before people. That is what Catholics want! And what Christ promised. Apparently it has already been demonstrated you can get assent to such a platform in Hungary, although the extent is not so broad yet; still, they are on the move, although they need our prayers. The Catholic state is the alternative to both communism/socialism and the Free Market folks. It is green without the bogus population- explosion hypothesis, it is sustainable, it is local, it is democratic in the best sense, not just in the voting booth every four years. It is kind.
Listen to the screaming. No no no, the paid plants chant, we must have religious freedom! (Which means no religion has any official weight or presence in the state, of course, and thus the state has no coherent moral standard.) No no no, we must have abortion and birth control and gay marriage and women must work for a living just like men! No, no, they will scream, we must put mankind at the center of everything, not God. And we must be able to vote on anything our hearts desire–that’s what we’ll call democracy! And we’ll kill others if they do not agree with us!
And those within the Church still in love with the Vatican II notions and novelties will scream, too. The church is spiritual, they will say, no politics allowed! They agree completely that the Church’s eyes should be ‘fixed on the final destination,’ as the Holy Father said at Epiphany. Because that will keep our eyes off their swollen bank accounts and our unemployed brothers and our ruined cities.
But Cardinal Brunero Ottaviani wrote against this liberal notion by saying, “Today some maintain that there is in the church only a spiritual order,” and then he quotes from an encyclical letter of Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, in which the Holy Father deplores and condemns those who
“fail to understand that it was one and the same purpose – namely that of perpetuating on this earth the solitary work of the redemption – which caused the divine Redeemer both to give the community of human beings founded by him the Constitution of the society perfect in its own order, provided with all its juridical and social elements, and also, with the same ending view, to have it enriched by the Holy Spirit with heavenly gifts and powers.” [emphasis added]
Ottaviani adds, ” The Church does not desire to be a state, but Her divine founder has constituted the Church a perfect society, enriched with all the powers inherent in such a juridical condition, in order to accomplish its mission in every state, without conflicts between the two societies of which He is, though in different ways, the author and the support.”
If only the Holy Father would give us the option, and restore the teaching of the traditional Church. Things are overdue for just such a change. The muslims never cease calling for an islamic religious state. Now it appears the hindus will have theirs, too. But we Catholics gave away our right to ask for ours, at Vatican II, on the basis that times had changed, secularism was the wave of the future. During the sixties, It looked as if Europe could go on forever aborting and contracepting its young, the rich fattening on the new labor market of women, and importing workers to cover the loss of indigenous population. It looked, too, as the US would never stop getting richer and richer and richer with the Free Market scam. Now we know better. The liberal game is up, after five hundred years.
Holy Father, download that Savior app! And that Christ the King one!
But there are less broad technical solutions we can use to help us get back our Catholic religious state. There are interim apps.
For example, there is a rosary app. In fact there are several. You can have the rosary on your android, your laptop, the television, and your bedside radio. The rosary, that ancient prayer, addresses problems the Church and Her people face in all times. It was given to us by Our Lady to combat the precise problems that Benedict has been speaking of so very often lately, the incredible rise of bloody violence against Catholics. Pope Leo XIII specifically recommended the use of the rosary to defend the church in just such times of oppression (in Supremi apostolatus officio). “Nothing is surer and more effective in obtaining God’s help in defending the rights of the church as devotion to the Virgin Mary,” the Holy Father wrote.
Pope Leo then points out Dominic’s immediate application of the rosary as a solution to the problems facing the church in his time, characterized as “the violence of errors, the intolerable corruption of morals, and the attacks of powerful adversaries.” Commenting that the church was just as much in need of divine help in the present, he stated, “Enlightened by heavenly inspiration, this great saint saw clearly that no other remedy would be as efficacious as this which would bring men back to Jesus Christ.”
It is cruel to fail to remind us of this remedy when we are suffering so, in our times.
But of course Pope Leo is suggesting the rosary as a supernatural technical solution, and our August Pontiff Gloriously Reigning may have overlooked it, in favor of the natural kind. Or perhaps it could be because he is following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II and thus failing to see it as a sharp sword in our defense. John Paul did not see it so. John Paul wrote an apostolic letter on the rosary in 2001 in which he did not present the rosary as a weapon of defense or a tool to bring men back to Christ, as Pope Leo did. He presented the rosary to be, instead, evidence of the modern world’s new ecumenical advances, “the flowering of a new call for spirituality, due also to the influence of other religions” (paragraph 5–for an SSPX commentary on this letter, and link to the primary source, click here). The rosary is seen as the result of laudable modern religious pluralism, not a weapon to defend ourselves against it as pluralism in all its naked violence tries to stab, shoot, and strangle us.
There is another tool we could use apparently ignored even before Vatican II. There is a social aspect of Catholicism. This aspect is referred to as the Mystical Body of Christ, or the Catholic brotherhood will do equally well, with more contemporary cache. Or call it an operating system, if you want to, since it is, a social one. The concept of Catholic brotherhood is one of incalculable benefit, but modern times have seen an absence of attention to it. We find interesting passage in the journal The Ecclesiastical Review in 1919. A letter to the editor praised a previous article by the Rev. Dr. Mc Mahon on Eucharistic preaching. The article said that the Eucharistic preaching present in the United States had an overly restrained view, and neglected, while teaching Holy Communion as food for individual souls, to preach it as a banquet of brotherhood.
“At this banquet” (the writer quotes Pope Leo the 13th’s encyclical on the Blessed Eucharist), “we find the spectacle of Christian brotherhood and social equality which is afforded when men of all conditions, gentle and simple, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, gather round the holy altar, all sharing the like in these heavenly banquet.” And of what matter is that “the preaching of individualistic religion has been so common that the social side of Catholicism seems strange to us, and the word ‘charity’ is being restricted to mean nothing more than the giving of alms. If Catholicism as applicable to all relations of life had been upheld among us during the 19th century [and the 21st!], the world would now be turning to Catholics as experts in brotherhood, and the reaction against industrial individualism and in the sore need of voluntary cooperation for the well-being of society.”
Holy Communion is a tool for social sanctity the world could use now! It is our way to build up an army of men and women in the state of grace. It is a solution the Holy Father could have mentioned, while keeping his eyes firmly fixed on the future. If we had such an army, we might have such a future.
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