On December 7, 1965, in his first closing speech of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI of infelicitous memory said:
"The religion of the God who became man [Catholicism] has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God [secular humanism]. And what happened? Was there a clash, a battle, a condemnation? There could have been, but there was none. The old story of the Samaritan has been the model of the spirituality of the council. A feeling of boundless sympathy has permeated the whole of it. The attention of our council has been absorbed by the discovery of human needs (and these needs grow in proportion to the greatness which the son of the earth claims for himself). But we call upon those who term themselves modern humanists, and who have renounced the transcendent value of the highest realities, to give the council credit at least for one quality and to recognize our own new type of humanism: we, too, in fact, we more than any others, honor mankind."
So there we have it from the very Pope who promulgated Vatican II: the forces of secular humanism clashed with those of orthodox Catholicism, and there was no fight, not even a condemnation. While it would have been the duty of the Pope and the council to reject the emerging cult of man and show mankind the only path to salvation and out of the mess of the 20th century and all that has gone before, instead the Pope and the council chose to "understand" man and have "sympathy" for him.
The very fact that this had never been done in the 2,000 year reign of the Church should have been reason enough for Pope Paul VI to follow the same path, as well-intentioned as his course of "sympathy" might have been. The opportunity would have been perfect. While the rest of the world was on that slipperly slope toward perdition with their "flower power" and hippie cult that was just starting up during the 1960's, the Church could have reinforced its true image of the shining and immovable beacon of hope and salvation that She is: teacher of truth and morality, never compromising, always strong, and faithful to her Founder.
Instead, the Church herself started to dig into the cult of man, starting her "own new type of humanism" (Paul VI's words, cf. quote above), tasting a little bit of the forbidden fruit offered by the secular world. That the cult of man, with its intention of "honoring mankind" and finding man to be the explanation of the mystery of life has permeated the council and infected the conciliar Popes is evidenced by many strange and puzzling statements from Vatican II, Pope Paul VI, and also John Paul II.
As I am writing this first installment, I do not yet know just how many parts this series will embody. The amount of evidence that can be broached in the de facto enthronement of man since Vatican II seems overwhelming, so I will have to see how much I can reasonably analyze, put in perspective, and share with you. It is extremely important not to misrepresent the council and what it said. Vatican II's actual texts are bad enough, and I also truly understand how morally wrong it would be to distort its true meaning. I wish to emphasize this because I feel that the Abbe de Nantes in France has misunderstood certain things Pope Paul VI said in his closing speech on December 7, 1965, and which I feel bound in conscience to clear up. Even though Pope Paul VI's pontificate was disastrous, the Catholic conscience obliges one to represent what he said correctly. I will come back to this later when going through more of Paul VI's and Vatican II's statements about man.
Clearly, since Vatican II the Novus Ordo establishment (a mere parasite of the true Church) and the Popes have been enamored and obsessed with the "dignity of man." Should we be surprised at the tremendous decline in belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist when the modern liturgies are centered on man? In the new Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), for instance, there is an entire chapter entitled "The Dignity of the Human Person" that fills pages 424-458! Compare this to a single paragraph of 10-11 lines in The Catechism Explained (1899) by Fr. Francis Spirago. The heading of the paragraph states: "By the Incarnation of the Son of God all the members of the human race have acquired a special dignity" (p. 196; reprint edition of TAN Books & Publishers, 1993). But what follows in the paragraph is not a glorification of man but the humble recognition that we have been accorded a special kingly dignity of which the angels would envy us (if they were capable of envy) because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. We are merely branches of Christ Who is the Vine, without Whom we would be nothing! (cf. John 15: 5)
After this brief paragraph properly pointing out the immense dignity man has aquired because God has deigned to become man, The Catechism Explained continutes right on with the mystery of the Redemption, not with man. Likewise, the traditional Roman Catechism, aka the Catechism of the Council of Trent, also only has a single paragraph of 10 lines about the dignity of man, which points out quite appropriately that man has an "exalted dignity conferred . . . by the divine bounty" (p. 48, reprint edition of TAN Books, 1982).
There is no question that man has a special and unique dignity because of Christ's Incarnation. "We may now glory that the Son of God is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh," says the Catechism of Trent (p. 48). But the point is that we must glory in Christ, not in ourselves, for having been elevated to such a special status (see 1 Corinthians 1:31). The problem I will be addressing in this series is not that man has a special dignity or that Vatican II and the conciliar Popes were wrong in pointing this out. Rather, the real problem is the exaggerated view of the dignity of man since Vatican II and how this misrepresentation has led to all sorts of erroneous ideas.
Let me go back to the New Catechism for a moment. I already mentioned that an entire chapter spanning over 36 pages is entitled "The Dignity of the Human Person." What is very interesting here is what is mentioned in the chapter. The chapter is subdivided into eight articles, which talk about (1) man as the image of God, (2) our vocation to beatitude, (3) man's freedom, (4) morality of human acts, (5) morality of the passions, (6) moral conscience, (7) the virtues, and (8) sin. So what's the problem?, you might ask. Well, the problem is: why in the world is all of this listed under the title "The Dignity of the Human Person"? This is entirely new. Traditional catechisms dealt with those aspects of Christian doctrine and life under different headings, such as "Vice and Virtue" or "Sin" or under the more general headings of "The Apostles' Creed" or the "Our Father," which the New Catechism retains as well but chose to put these eight articles instead under the heading "The Dignity of the Human Person." Again, traditionally, the special dignity of man was dealt with in a single paragraph, or some other brief treatment comparable to that. Why the change?
The New Catechism itself gives us a clue: "Living a moral life bears witness to the dignity of the person" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1706). Ah! There we have it. All of a sudden, vice and virtue, sin, passion, conscience, etc., is intrinsically related to the dignity of man! Now that's interesting, since this has not been the case before Vatican II, at least not to my knowledge.
But there is more in the New Catechism that smells of humanism. Consider the following: "The Church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2419). HELLO? Anybody home? This is totally misleading! Needless to say, footnotes with further references are not supplied to these statements in the New Catechism. Since when does the Church bear witness to man and his dignity by proclaiming the Gospel? Could anyone show me anything to this effect before Vatican II? The Church bears witness to Christ, the Light of the World, by proclaiming His saving Truth! This is about God, not about us! Did we find St. John the Baptist preaching about the dignity of man when he announced our Lord? Do we have records of any of the Apostles preaching the Good News about man and his dignity? While there is a secondary sense in which it is true to say that since the Church preaches Christ, we now know more about ourselves (e.g. our destiny, our calling, our dignity in virtue of the Lord's Incarnation, etc.), it would be erroneous or at least highly imprudent and ambiguous to suggest that the Church bears witness to man and his dignity! "The world has heard enough of the so-called 'rights of man.' Let it hear something of the rights of God," said the great Leo XIII (Encyclical Tametsi #13, 11/1/1900).
And with that I wish to kick off this new series and end my first part, hoping to have peaked your curiosity a bit about what the heck is going on with this "dignity of man" business. Since Vatican II, the place of man in the Church has been drastically altered. The Trojan Horse of the New Religion has penetrated the City of God, dethroned our Lord, and is slowly but surely paving the way for the kingdom of man. God and truth have been put on the backburner, while man under the pretext of his "dignity" is pushed to the forefront. That this is so is corroborated time and again in documents put out by the Vatican and in such scandalous and notorious events as the Assisi Day of Prayer for "Peace" on January 24, 2002, and before that on October 27, 1986.
In following installments, you will read about strange statements made by Vatican II, Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II, showing the de facto enthronement of man in the Church. We will also look into the dirty scandal of Assisi and how our Most High God was mocked for the sake of a peace which cannot be had without Christ. I shall also look into Pope John Paul II's pacifism and the novel movement against the death penalty, all fruits of the "new humanism" of which Pope Paul VI spoke, and which he glaringly endorsed.
Towards a Deification of Man
Last week I introduced some scary evidence that clearly leads one to see how the post-conciliar church is heading towards a humanistic cult which puts man in the place of God. In this installment, I plan to present further data that verify and reinforce this scary thesis.
Today we shall take a look at what was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on that fateful day of December 7, 1965, as the so-called "Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World," Gaudium Et Spes.
It was to the world a 'Pearl Harbor', if you will, occurring exactly 24 years to the day after Japan shocked the world by bombing the American bases in Hawaii. You might say Gaudium Et Spes wreaked the same kind of havoc in the Church. While called merely a Pastoral constitution, it was in effect a counter-syllabus that has scattered the sheep further with shards of humanism that terribly dilutes and undermines the True Faith.
What surprises me more than anything is that anyone who truly knew their Faith, who knew their Scriptures would have seen through Gaudium Et Spes when it was released over 36 years ago and should have. The scariest thing is that those who did see through it immediately, those who exposed the heresies - the International Group of Fathers and loyal Roman Theologians who had joined with Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and Cardinal Antonio Bacci to uphold the Truths were targeted as 'spies' and 'dissidents' and greatly persecuted through intimidation, and even excommunication in the case of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre Hello? Is this anyway to run a Church founded by Jesus Christ - to contradict His teachings?
If you think I'm off my rocker with that statement, consider some of the statements in Gaudium Et Spes:
"According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown" (No. 12).
Wait. Read that again. All things should be related to man
? Yep, according to Vatican II. (You see, I am using the English translation which the Vatican has on its web site, to make sure I'm using a translation the Vatican endorses. I don't have a copy of the Latin original, but I doubt it would say anything different.)
Just a few sentences earlier, Gaudium Et Spes says:
"What is the ultimate significance of human activity throughout the world? People are waiting for an answer to [this question]" (No. 11).
Strange, isn't it, because the Church has always had a definite answer to this question, and we didn't need a new one with Vatican II:
"God made [us] to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next" (Baltimore Catechism #4).
That is what all human activity should ultimately be related to, and it is from this that human activity achieves its significance.
There is more disturbing and outrageous material in Vatican II, however, specifically Gaudium Et Spes, considered as the 'antithesis' of Blessed Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors and Pope Saint Pius X's Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Take a look at what we are told in No. 24 of Gaudium Et Spes:
"Love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment."
Yes, those words were actually sanctioned by Paul VI. Did he write it? Whoever did, they have vastly misled the faithful with such a statement because the Scriptures teach: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"
(St. Matthew 12:36-39).
Dear reader, I must ask you: What kind of a council is this that can't even get the Greatest Commandment right?!
By lumping the First Commandment, the love of God, together with the Second Greatest Commandment, the love of neighbor and self, the Second Vatican Council has once again betrayed its underlying desire, or at least the underlying desire of some very influential theologians at the Council, to elevate man way beyond his humble state of a lowly creature, this time putting him on a par with God! What utter blasphemy! The spirit of the deification of man was alive and well during Vatican II, as it was during the 1960's in general. Once again my conviction not to trust anything that came out of the 60's has been affirmed-and that includes Vatican II.
The documents they produced confirm this.
The desire to
make the Church anthropocentric really shines through in the Vatican II
texts, especially Gaudium Et Spes, which did not fail to point out that
"this council lays stress on reverence for man" (No. 27).
But if you thought this was it as far as shocker quotes are concerned, I have news for you. Take a look at what else we read in No. 24 of the notorious Gaudium Et Spes:
Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.
Did you catch it? The Council says that man is a creature God has wished for its-
not for His
-sake! That's quite alarming! Consider what we read in Proverbs 16:4 instead: "The Lord hath made all things for Himself."
Man has not been created for man's sake, but for God's! We are reminded of this fact especially on Ash Wednesday every year: "Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return"
(Genesis 3:19). Needless to say, St. Thomas Aquinas
fully concurs with the traditional Catholic teaching: "So God wills Himself and other things: but Himself as the end, and other things for that end" (Summa Theologica
, I,q.19,a.2). The ultimate end of all things is God, i.e. union with Him. It is not man. This has been recognized in one way or another even by pagans, atheists, heretics, and other non-Catholics, such as Plotinus, John Scotus Eriugena, Arthur Schopenhauer
, and Jean-Paul Sartre
. One wonders just what the Vatican II Fathers were thinking when they wrote that "according to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike
, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown"?
"Since only God exists by His own power, and since all finite things have the Infinite God as their goal, no creature can be said to exist by itself, either ontologically or teleologically" (Romano Amerio, Iota Unum [Kansas City, MO: Sarto House, 1996], p. 475). This is a very beautiful way to put it, and it comes from one of the few orthodox experts at Vatican II, Fr. Romano Amerio. The point is: we are nothing without God; we were made from the dust of the earth. Our destiny is not earthly; our presence on earth is only temporary. How does this truth possibly square with the teaching of Gaudium Et Spes?
"there is a growing awareness of the exalted dignity proper to the human person, since he stands above all things, and his rights and duties are universal and inviolable" (No. 26)
How can it?
Quite simply, folks, it doesn't. One has to be wrong: either the perennial Catholic teaching or the novel teaching of Vatican II. The answer is obvious.
Sadly, Gaudium Et Spes totally disfigures man's true status before God and his role in the world. What could have become a great document reminding man of his sheer nothingness before the Creator, emphasizing that he should be humble and not exaggerate his own accomplishments (a very fitting line of thought the world should have heard during the 60's!), what the council produced was instead a banner of humanistic slogans and self-glorifying nonsense that deserves to be thrown into the flames.
God is great. We are not. Yes, due to Christ's Incarnation, we have acquired a special dignity, but not the kind that Vatican II, flirting with the secular trends in vogue at the time, tried to force upon the "modern Catholic conscience." No, Gaudium Et Spes preaches a gospel of man. Isn't it strange that more Catholics did not see these obvious errors - more knowledgable theologians, bishops, priests? Isn't it strange that the 'smoke of satan' which Paul VI referred to has seared everything that is holy but left this incendiary document untouched. It deserves to be burned once and for all before more Catholic souls are scorched by the false teaching of a council that declared no doctrine, and therefore no authority whatsoever to supersede the Council of Trent; for the latter was declared infallibly protected, Vatican II merely pastoral. I will not argue whether the Holy Ghost was present at the Second Vatican Council. I truly believe the Advocate was working within. That conviction is built on the simple fact that the Sanctifier, in protecting Holy Mother Church from doctrinal error, made sure that the council would not be infallible! He took great care to make the Popes emphasize that this council was only pastoral in nature and NOT dogmatic.
An Anthropocentric Church?
Consider the quote from progressive Cardinal Henri de Lubac, S.J.: "It is clear that the Church is facing a grave crisis. Under the name of 'the new Church,' 'the post-conciliar Church,' a different Church from that of Jesus Christ is now trying to establish itself; an anthropocentric society threatened with immanentist apostasy which is allowing itself to be swept along in a movement of general abdication under the pretext of renewal, ecumenism, or adaptation."
This is a religion and cult of man, masonic in its origin, nature, and purpose. Consider what Paul VI said on December 7, 1965 with quite a 'Pearl Harbor' for Catholics: "I am about to blow the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse." Wow! Let us pray and fast that the abominable teachings and influences of the masons may finally come to an end, and that our Most Holy Lord, through the intercession of His Glorious Mother Mary, may deign to restore peace and sanity to His Church, which He promised would not be overcome by the gates of hell.
That Vatican II represents a true revolution in the Church and is thereby unlike every other ecumenical council in the entire history of the Catholic Church, is seen, for instance, by the frequent dictum that so-and-so is "pre-Vatican-II" and book/media titles such as Faithful Revolution (which, by the way, is a video tape set put out by Thomas More publishing, glorifying Vatican II). This attests not only to the fact that Vatican II was a rebellion against Catholic doctrine and discipline, but it also shows just how unique Vatican II was and not just "another council," as the neo-Catholics would have it. Do you know of even one instance in the Church's 2,000 year history before Vatican II that a person was ever labeled "pre-conciliar" in reference to any council? Could you imagine someone being called "pre-Trent" or "pre-Vienne" or "pre-Nicea-II" or something like that? It's absurd! The fact that traditionalists are often labeled "pre-Vatican-II" (or "pre-Vatican" for short) points to the enormous rupture that the Second Vatican Council has caused with traditional theology and practice.
As pointed out in my first two installments of this series, Vatican II and Pope Paul VI have made very disturbing statements that offend Catholic ears and would have triggered, no doubt, the anathemas of the pre-conciliar Popes. Sadly, the volume of such strange expressions of novelty is massive, and thus I would like to devote yet another article to an exposition and analysis of more conciliar and post-conciliar shockers that may knock you off your chair if you're not careful. I hope it knocks you back on your fulcrum of faith!
Let me start off with something Pope Paul VI is reported to have said to the French Catholic philosopher Jean Guitton (1901-1999). As Guitton himself relates: "It was the final session of the Council, the most essential, in which the Pope was to bestow upon all
humanity the teachings of the Council. He announced this to me on that day [presumably December 7, 1965] with these words, 'I am about to blow the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse' " [Jean Guitton, 'Nel Segno dei Dodici,' interview with Maurizio Blondet, Avvenire, October 11, 1992; qtd. in Atila Sinke Guimarães, Animus Delendi - I, Los Angeles, CA: Tradition in Action, 2000, p. 57].
I dare not speculate just why Pope Paul VI should say something like this. The Seven Trumpets of the Apocalypse are blown by seven angels, and the blow of each trumpet is followed by unimaginable disaster, e.g.: "And the second angel sounded the trumpet: and, as it were, a great mountain, burning with fire, was cast into the sea. And the third part of the sea became blood" (Apocalypse 8:8). One can only hope that Jean Guitton incorrectly heard what Paul VI said to him - but this scenario is unlikely since Guitton was confident enough about his perception that he was willing to quote it in a written interview.
Regardless, however, of whether Paul VI was aware of what he was doing, the effects of the council and his pontificate were undeniably disastrous. Man was gradually made the de facto center of the Church, at least apparently, as is clearly evident from the following quote from Paul VI on July 13, 1969: "Man is both giant and divine, in his origin and his destiny. Honour, therefore, to man, honour to his dignity, to his spirit, to his life" (qtd. in Abbé Georges de Nantes, Book of Accusation against Pope Paul VI [http://www.crc-internet.org/lib1.htm], 1973).
Normally, I would doubt the authenticity of a quote that is merely cited by its date, but I cannot imagine that the Abbé de Nantes would put a false quote into his official Book of Accusation, which was, after all, presented to the Vatican in 1973 in order to make the Pope aware of his errors and hope for a response (which never came, of course - the book was refused).
Here is another excerpt from Paul VI's closing speech of Vatican II on December 7, 1965:
"Another point we must stress is this: all this rich teaching is channeled in one direction, the service of mankind, of every condition, in every weakness and need. The Church has, so to say, declared herself the servant of humanity. . . . It might be said that all this and everything else we might say about the human values of the council have diverted the attention of the Church in council to the trend of modern culture, centered on humanity. We would say not diverted but rather directed. Any careful observer of the council's prevailing interest for human and temporal values cannot deny that it is from the pastoral character that the council has virtually made its program, and must recognize that the same interest is never divorced from the most genuine religious interest, whether by reason of charity, its sole inspiration (where charity is, God is!), or the council's constant, explicit attempts to link human and temporal values with those that are specifically spiritual, religious and everlasting; its concern is with man and with earth, but it rises to the kingdom of God."
Can there be any doubt that Paul VI's theology was anthropocentric, man-centered? Never before in the Church did we hear such things! We see here the novel idea of going to God through man
. Not through Jesus
, mind you, but through man as such
. In order to know God, we get the impression, we must look at and take interest in man. Where did the Church ever teach this before Vatican II? And if it isn't found before the death of Pius XII
, are we not very well within our rights to reject it as novelty? "Thus saith the Lord: Stand ye on the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, which is the good way, and walk ye in it: and you shall find refreshment for your souls. And they said: We will not walk"
(Jeremias 6:16). Novelty is never authentic Catholic teaching, which is always rooted firmly in and merely an explication of "the faith once delivered to the saints"
(St. Jude i: 3). Novelty is excluded for possibly being part of the magisterial teaching of the Holy Church by the First Vatican Council, quoting and making the teaching of St. Vincent of Lerin
its own: "Therefore . . . let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progress strongly with the passage of the ages and the centuries; but let it be solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma
, with the same sense
and the same understanding
" (Instruction of Vincent of Lerin, n. 28 [qtd. in Vatican I, Denzinger 1800]).
The late Jesuit theologian who was censured and censored by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Humani generis for 'nouvelle theologie' and his work Surnaturel, Cardinal Henri-Marie de Lubac did not mince words in surprisingly exclaiming, "It is clear that the Church is facing a grave crisis. Under the name of 'the new Church,' 'the post-conciliar Church,' a different Church from that of Jesus Christ is now trying to establish itself; an anthropocentric society threatened with immanentist apostasy which is allowing itself to be swept along in a movement of general abdication under the pretext of renewal, ecumenism, or adaptation." (Card. Lubac, speaking at the Institute of Renewal in the Church at the University of Toronto in August 1967.) Lubac was a disciple of such radical liberal theologians as Teilhard de Chardin and was defended by such progressivists as Eduard Schillebeekx, Karl Rahner and Hans Kung. That is why the above quote is surprising that even someone as liberal as Lubac would recognize that Paul VI had gone too far.
Now, Paul VI was not the only Pope issuing such disturbing statements glorifying man as if he were God. (The position of his immediate successor, John Paul I, cannot really be analyzed since his pontificate was too short-a mere 33 days.) John Paul II, however, has reigned for over 23 years now and given us ample reason to be concerned about and suspicious of his theology. John Paul II has greatly elaborated upon the new teaching that God is found through man, especially in his encyclical Redemptor Hominis (1979): "For the Church all ways lead to man" is the title of section 14 in the encyclical, as quoted from the Vatican Web site. "This man is the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission: he is the primary and fundamental way for the Church, the way traced out by Christ himself, the way that leads invariably through the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption" (Redemptor Hominis No. 40).
It is surprising (or is it really?) that John Paul II, so fond of putting myriads of footnotes in his documents, doesn't give a reference where such teaching has ever been advanced by the Church before, i.e. before 1958. In fact, the entire section this quote is found in has only four footnotes, one of which is to a Bible verse, the others being citations of conciliar doctrine. Never before have we heard such teaching, and this is confirmed by the fact that John Paul II doesn't suggest otherwise. On whose authority does the Pope teach this novelty? On his own, or rather, on the authority of what I call "1958-and-beyond": the new conciliar direction, which is a rupture with the perennial Magisterium of the Church.
Now man is put into the center, man is esteemed, man is glorified and praised as though he had a unique role to play in the Redemption. In contrast, the Holy Scriptures assure us: "Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord" (Jeremias 17:5).
Would it not be better also to return to that understanding? Would it not be better to cling to the undeniable, inalienable simple and concise truths of the Catechism of Trent and the Baltimore Catechism? Where we are taught that we are made in the image and likeness of God, to love Him, to serve Him and to be happy with Him in this world and the next. Man has been given a free will to accept or reject that, but only in cooperating with God's plan of salvation is man's importance elevated by the grace and merits earned by Jesus Christ for us. We do not merit it on our own. Therefore man, by and of himself, is useless and to stress humanism is not only a lesson in futility for those seeking the kingdom of God, but very much the heart of the Masonic creed.
It seems that what is developing in and around the Vatican these days is a religion and cult of man, masonic in its origin, nature, and purpose. Let us pray and fast that the abominable teachings and influences of the masons may finally come to an end, and that our Most Holy Lord, through the intercession of His Glorious Mother Mary, may deign to restore peace and sanity to His Church, which He promised would not be overcome by the gates of hell (cf. St. Matthew 16:18).
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
In the previous three installments, I think I argued fairly convincingly that since Vatican II, the status and role of man has been greatly exaggerated and, in one way or another, even usurped the place of God. Though this can be seen from some of the documents in the council as well as the speeches of the Popes around and after the time of Vatican II, there is probably no more convincing proof of this than the new liturgy, the Novus Ordo Missae. Because while many - if not most - Catholics have never read the documents of Vatican II, nor would they care to (I can't blame them, but we'll get to this in Part 5), or constantly check what's happening at the Vatican and what the Pope says here or there, every Catholic (even minimally true to the name) goes to Mass, and thus a reformed rite of Mass is the vehicle par excellence to carry the gospel of man into the farthest corners of the earth. Even the Catholic most disinterested in the Church's affairs - or the Catholic living in a place with no TV and very little communication - even he will see and absorb the gospel of man as preached in the council and the New Mass, the Novus Ordo.
And I don't necessarily mean "preached" as in using words, but rather preached as in actions and omissions. (For instance, Vatican II refused to condemn communism, though it had ample opportunity and every reason to do so. Yet it is precisely this refusal to condemn that speaks volumes.) I think one would be hard-pressed to find unequivocal heresy in the New Mass. But the point, and this is a point apparently very well understood by the modernists and masons, is that it suffices to introduce very subtle changes and omit seemingly "insignificant" gestures, actions, and prayers at Mass, in order to change our religion. It was with this easily-discernible truth in mind that the dogmatic Second Council of Nicaea decreed:
"Therefore all those who dare to think or teach anything different, or who follow the accursed heretics in rejecting ecclesiastical traditions, or who devise innovations, or who spurn anything entrusted to the Church (whether it be the gospel or the figure of the cross or any example of representational art or any martyr's holy relic), or who fabricate perverted and evil prejudices against cherishing any of the lawful traditions of the Catholic Church, or who secularize the sacred objects and saintly monasteries, we order that they be suspended (deposed) if they are bishops or clerics, and excommunicated if they are monks or lay people."
This infallible council also decreed in Article four that, "If anyone rejects
any written or unwritten
Tradition of the Church, let him be anathema
." The Council of Trent strongly reinforced this. Did not Vatican II reject 'any written or unwritten
Tradition of the Church? Did not Pope Paul VI
do that as well in rejecting the Traditional Roman Rite?
For those who might argue that such a decree was only for those times, consider what the holy Pope Saint Pius X
reinforced in his excellent encyclical on Modernism - Pascendi Dominici Gregis
on September 8, 1907:
"For Catholics, nothing will remove the authority of the Second Council of Nicaea, where it condemns those who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics to deride ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind or to endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church."
The grave omissions of essential prayers and gestures and actions are especially damaging to those who have grown up with the Novus Ordo
exclusively. To them, the suppression of Psalm 42 and the other prayers at the foot of the altar, the scarcity of kneeling, the omission of genuflections during the Credo
, the omission of the Last Gospel, the removal of the Offertory and its replacement by the "Prayer over the Gifts," the suppression of the Hanc Igitur
and the introduction of a Protestant version instead, the omissions of constant reference to sacrifice and propitiation, the Canon in the vernacular and said out-loud in a narrative manner, the priest facing the people, the priest's failure to purify his fingers at the Ablutions, Communion in the Hand, Communion under both species, the Tabernacle's location somewhere to the side and often having an ugly exterior, and I could go on and on
- all of these things indicate to someone who's grown up with the Novus Ordo
and has never been taught about the true Mass, that what's taking place is a mere meal, that there is nothing holy about the sanctuary or about the Mass, that one does not have to humiliate oneself first before ascending to the altar of God and plead for forgiveness, that the Mass is the celebration of a community closed in on itself, that it is really just a feast in which we celebrate...er...something
(who knows what?), that Christ is not physically and literally present in what appears to be bread and wine or that one ought to receive Communion under both species in order to receive both the Body and Blood of Christ, that what is being offered is bread and wine in thanksgiving (not the Body and Blood of Christ for the four ends
of adoration, propitiation, thanksgiving
, and petition
), that man
is important because the people look at the priest and the priest looks at them, that there is no difference between the holy and the profane (since anyone can enter the sanctuary, be a "lector," distribute Holy Communion, etc.), that the priest's spreading his hands over chalice and paten signify the descent of the Holy Ghost
(when in fact it represents the transferring of our sins onto the Lamb, Jesus Christ), and on and on
……..these are all things that the person indoctrinated in the Novus Ordo
church learns and understands, simply from observing the liturgy without being taught any unequivocal heresy by anyone. I know what I'm talking about, 'cause I've "been there, done that," as they say. Born in 1979 under John Paul II
, Novus Ordo
is all I knew until about 1998.
When I reconverted to (albeit Novus Ordo) Catholicism in 1996 after an approximately two-year flirt with Protestantism, I was knocked off my behind when I read in Karl Keating's book Catholicism and Fundamentalism that Catholics believe in something called the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I'd never heard that before, despite having gone to Mass weekly or sometimes fortnightly all the way from childhood until even 1994-96, when I considered myself to be a "non-denominational Christian." Then again, should we really be surprised? The New Mass certainly doesn't teach the Real Presence unequivocally, and my instructors for First Communion class were - hold tight! - a non-practicing Catholic and a Lutheran! (These two women shared teaching First Communion classes in our little village in Germany in 1988-89). But then, why should I be surprised when I discovered that the Novus Ordo was created by a great majority of Protestants!
So, folks, that's what I mean when I talk about the Novus Ordo being the perfect vehicle for the innovators to spread their modernistic and Protestant poison all around the world, something that could never have been accomplished had the Mass remained untouched. The gospel of man has thus been carried into all the corners of the world to the innocent, well-meaning, and unsuspecting. And nearly everyone went along either out of obedience or because they naively thought, "Well, that's just the way we do it now. Times have changed, and I'm sure the Vatican knows what they're doing."
The changes in the Mass had much greater impact than just their primary object, the Mass itself. By touching such a venerable rite and most august expression of Catholic doctrine, essentially unaltered for centuries upon centuries, the innovators used the Church to make a very loud and clear statement to the world: there is nothing that is not subject to change and revision, nothing holy and untouchable that cannot be altered by us in the name of progress, aggiornamento, or the spirit of the times. And we all know the famous dictum that when Rome sneezes, the whole world catches a cold. And so it was.
Again without putting anything into words, the whole world "got the drift": the Catholic Church can change, just as anything else in this unstable world can and does. If something so holy and venerable and previously considered to be totally untouchable can be so urinated upon (forgive the crude expression, but it's very fitting, I think), so wrecked and demolished within the course of merely 5 years (given that the 1962 Missal, despite some omissions and changes, was still thoroughly Tridentine), then anything else in the Church can, too: for instance, the status and role of the Pope, the nature of doctrine and dogma, the nature of obedience (the specific case of nearly outright disobedience to Humanae Vitae  comes to mind) and the Vatican's authority concerning disciplinary measures.
I remember having a conversation with a woman who professes to be a Catholic and goes to Mass (Novus Ordo) every Sunday. It turned out that she didn't believe in the inerrancy of Scripture or possibly even the inspiration thereof, nor in the Church's authority to let people contract valid and indissoluble marriages before God, and who knows what other dogma she didn't believe in either. What was her reasoning? "Mario," she said, "don't tell me that this or that view of Scripture or marriage can't change. When I was a child [the 1930 and 1940's], we were told that the Mass could never change. That changed. Mario, anything can."
See, she fell prey to exactly what the innovators have had in mind: infiltrate the Church through a council governed by a naïve, weak, or sympathetic Pope, make drastic changes under the pretensions of "bringing the Church up to date" and making the liturgical rites more "alive" and letting the people "participate in them more fully," then give it a few years, perhaps even a decade or two, and the whole Catholic landscape will have changed. Unfortunately, their diabolical plans were implemented perfectly and had the desired result. Nowadays, many people consider it merely a question of time (and another Pope) before the Church will lift the requirement of priestly celibacy, let women be "ordained" priests, and change its stance on homosexuality, divorce, and contraception. Voilá. The satanic plot to wreck the Catholic Church seems to have worked.
But there's one more thing; a most decisive thing. We have the assurance of Our Most Holy and Divine Lord Jesus Christ and of His Most Blessed Mother, our Lady, that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church (cf. Matthew 16:18-19) and that the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph in the end, because the Holy Father, though late, will consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Let us pray, brothers in the faith, that this time will come very soon. We have our Lady's own words to assure us that the Papacy will not cease - there will be a Pope to consecrate Russia to her Heart and thus bring peace upon earth. And though at this point it seems as though the enemy has triumphed, similar to how it seemed as though the devil had triumphed over Our Lord when He hung on the Cross, the true victory will be ours in the end. Let us hang in there during these distressing times, our very own Agony in the Garden, until our Lord deigns to intervene and to fully restore His Church, as He has promised to do by sending His Most Holy Mother at Fatima.
The Razzmatazz of the Post-Conciliar Church
Previously we looked at how the post-conciliar church's actions - particularly with regards to the liturgy - have misled the faithful into believing heresy. Today I wish to delve into what I would think is accurately described as post-conciliar "razzmatazz." The word "razzmatazz" is defined as:
"1. A flashy action or display intended to bewilder, confuse, or deceive. 2. Ambiguous or evasive language; double talk. 3. Ebullient energy; vim" (Bartleby's American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition, 2000; from www.bartleby.com). I am going to use it in the sense of definition 2 and, to some extent, definition 1.
The post-conciliar razzmatazz lends itself quite well to the spreading of modernism and masonry's "gospel of man." Not only has the post-conciliar church produced more official documents than in any comparable period before in Church history, but it has also continuously used language which is so bizarre and extravagant as to be able to mean a lot of different things-or nothing at all. Whether intentional or not, this has become especially obvious in the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II, in my opinion.
Before giving examples of what I mean, let me raise an obvious question: what could possibly be the motivation behind this post-conciliar phenomenon? Here are the options:
- (1) the grace of God is working so profoundly in the post-conciliar church and in such a unique and never-before-seen way that the Divine Enlightenment has made the theologians, cardinals, and Popes since 1958 so brilliant that no one has a clue as to what they're saying;
- (2) it's a coincidence that has no significance;
- (3) there is, at least on the part of some very influential people in the Vatican, a deliberate attempt to cloak the teachings of the Church in mystery and hide them under a cloud of nearly impenetrable gobbledygook.
With all due respect, I find option (1) to be totally ridiculous. Option (2) seems to me to be "too coincidental" to be true, and that would only leave option (3) as the correct answer, since I cannot really find any other even remotely reasonable alternatives.
More than once have I been told by the average, ordinary (albeit Novus Ordo) Catholic that he cannot understand the new Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992). We're talking about the kind of Catholic who wishes to learn more about the faith. He turns to what in the post-conciliar church is thought to be a "sure norm" for teaching the Catholic faith, and he disappointedly finds it to be too difficult for him to comprehend.
What happened to the simple Q-and-A format of the Baltimore Catechism or the Catechism of Pope St. Pius X? These catechisms summarize eloquently and concisely all the ordinary Catholic needs to know. Granted, they're not very deep, but the more advanced Catholic can still turn to the Roman Catechism (aka Catechism of the Council of Trent), which, though quite in-depth, is still very readable and fairly easy to comprehend. Why were these replaced by a catechism that is ambiguous, unclear, mostly reliant on Vatican II documents, and now has been replaced by a revised second edition?? Besides the other many problematic things about the new catechism, just how credible is a book that is supposed to teach the truth and needs a second edition? Truth, 2nd edition??? This is not the place to discuss the many rather significant changes made to the 1992 catechism, but perhaps I'll do that in a future series or article.
So, the point was that the new catechism is not understandable to today's Catholic. In a way, one can say this is good, because there are a lot of things the post-conciliar church is now disseminating that are better kept away from the Catholic faithful. But then again, these same errors are spread otherwise, as I pointed out in Part Four above, most particularly through the new rite of Mass, but also through the Holy Father's open scandals, such as Assisi, or whatever else one can read about in the news, such as his joy (!) about the opening of a mosque in Rome. The people get it. You don't have to teach them using words.
Thus, even if the post-conciliar razzmatazz prevents, in a way, Catholics from being taught error or half-truths, it seems these creep in anyway using other means. What is not fostered thereby, however, is pure Catholic doctrine. It would die off with the passing away of pre-Vatican II Catholics, were it not for the Society of St. Pius X, traditional Catholic publishers, and other such fine establishments.
Now let me go into some examples of conciliar and post-conciliar razzmatazz. The first example comes from Pope John Paul II's first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis. Now, right at the outset, let me assure you that I am not trying to be disrespectful to the Pope or to presume to be a master in theology. But I will simply ask you to judge for yourself on which side the evidence is: razzmatazz or genius? As before, I am going to use the English translation which the Vatican has on its web site to make sure no one can accuse me of using an unauthorized translation. Here is John Paul II, then:
"When we penetrate by means of the continually and rapidly increasing experience of the human family into the mystery of Jesus Christ, we understand with greater clarity that there is at the basis of all these ways that the Church of our time must follow, in accordance with the wisdom of Pope Paul VI…, one single way: it is the way that has stood the test of centuries and it is also the way of the future. Christ the Lord indicated this way especially, when, as the Council teaches, 'by his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man'…. The Church therefore sees its fundamental task in enabling that union to be brought about and renewed continually. The Church wishes to serve this single end: that each person may be able to find Christ, in order that Christ may walk with each person the path of life, with the power of the truth about man and the world that is contained in the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption and with the power of the love that is radiated by that truth. Against a background of the ever increasing historical processes, which seem at the present time to have results especially within the spheres of various systems, ideological concepts of the world and regimes, Jesus Christ becomes, in a way, newly present, in spite of all his apparent absences, in spite of all the limitations of the presence and of the institutional activity of the Church. Jesus Christ becomes present with the power of the truth and the love that are expressed in him with unique unrepeatable fullness in spite of the shortness of his life on earth and the even greater shortness of his public activity."
(Redemptor Hominis, paragraph 37)
Please let me be blunt for a moment here: just what the HECK is this supposed to be all about? Let's take this slowly: First, John Paul II says "we penetrate by means of the continually and rapidly increasing experience of the human family into the mystery of Jesus Christ." Hello? Can anyone tell me what this means? Though I am not a genius, I am not intellectually challenged, either. (I have a B.A. in philosophy and am currently working towards an M.A. and would like to get a Ph.D. in the same field.) So, again I ask: just how do we "penetrate" into the mystery of the Savior by being human? What does it even mean to "penetrate" into the mystery of Christ?
Secondly, John Paul quotes Lumen Gentium as saying: "by his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man." This statement is quite controversial by itself already, but I wish to gloss over that for this essay. What is interesting is what the Pope says right after: "The Church therefore sees its fundamental task in enabling that union to be brought about and renewed continually." What in the world is it with John Paul II and "renewal"? I don't think the Church has ever heard the word "renewal" as much in its entire history than it has just during the pontificate of John Paul II. But back to the text. If it is true that Christ has united Himself with every man just by virtue of His Incarnation, then why or how is it necessary - or even possible - to bring this about, or to renew it? How much sense does this make? Why do I have to renew something that is already firmly rooted in me, or why or how do I bring something about that is already actualized? Note that it would make perfect sense if John Paul said that we are specially united to Christ in virtue of our baptism. Then it would be clear that the Church ought to bring this about (in the Sacrament) and that we ought to renew it (Confession, Confirmation, repeating of baptismal promises). But John Paul isn't saying that. No, he is saying that all people are united to Christ in virtue of His Incarnation, and that unity - if true - is certainly not something we can bring about or renew.
Again, I am not a hick, but to me this sounds like claptrap more than anything else. Oh, and Fr. Greg Hesse from Austria agrees with me here (concerning the encyclicals of John Paul II), and he's a canon lawyer and papally-approved Catholic theologian.
Here's another bamboozling sentence:
"Against a background of the ever increasing historical processes, which seem at the present time to have results especially within the spheres of various systems, ideological concepts of the world and regimes, Jesus Christ becomes, in a way, newly present."
Did you follow? Does the ordinary Catholic follow? In previous days, the Popes wrote rather plainly and simply, and many people could understand what they were saying. Now, on the contrary, we have a Pope talking about "ever increasing historical processes." What? I know what history is, what a process is, and even what a historical process is. But I have no idea how a historical process can "increase." Do you? Does anyone? Then he talks about "various systems" and "ideological concepts," which are the results of historical processes against which, supposedly, Christ becomes "in a way, newly present." Again, the reader is totally left in the dark. What in the world is being said? How is Christ becoming "newly present" against all secularization, and what does this mean? John Paul says the Lord "becomes present with the power of the truth and the love that are expressed in him." So what does this mean? Is Christ now present any more than in, say, 1870, or 354, or 1281? We have the Church and we have the Sacraments (particularly the Mass, in which Christ is physically present), and we have Christ's promise that where two or three are gathered in His name, there He will be. What more is there? What "new presence" is John Paul II talking about? Or does he mean "newly present" simply as in "present once again"? If the latter, how does Christ become present once again by virtue of His Incarnation or specifically against the background of secular regimes?
I think this quoted passage raises more questions than it answers. What is furthermore quite troubling is John Paul's use of the phrase "Church of our time." I do not mean to be overly suspicious, but has any Pope ever used this phrase before 1958? In context, John Paul II says that the way the Church of our time must choose is Christ. Certainly, nothing wrong with that in and of itself. But why such theory-laden terminology? Why such an ambiguous phrase? The Church is intrinsically and irrevocably connected with her Lord Jesus Christ, and any other way is not even a remote possibility. What I simply don't understand is the term "Church of our time" in all this, as if the Church changed from time to time or had other options available as to whom to follow. I find this really puzzling, yet another ambiguous and unnecessary innovation that tends to confuse more than to confirm the old Faith. John Paul could very well have written that the Church, perennially true to her Founder, proclaims Christ in all ages, disregarding whether the age is medieval, modern, or "post-modern," for the truth of Christ is immutable and unchanging, may the world change however much it wants.
For those readers who consider me to be engaging in a "hermeneutic of suspicion," all I can say in response is that, yes, we ought to be careful not to see corruption, infiltration, modernism and masonry just everywhere, but honestly folks, the last 40 years in the Church have given us darn good reasons to be suspicious. And I'd rather be a bit overly suspicious than not being suspicious enough. It is better to be safe than sorry, after all.
The Bafflegab of the Post-Conciliar Church: Razzmatazz II
Before I continue with more of the razzmatazz we've heard from the post-conciliar Church since the 1960's, let us put before our eyes again the entire spectrum: the post-Vatican II church is heading towards humanism, preaching a 'gospel of man.' The 'bafflegab' the Novus Ordo establishment has put before us is only one little part of the entire problem, a vehicle it uses in order to penetrate the last strongholds of Traditional Catholic Truth.
I wish to emphasize this so we don't lose focus. We must keep things in perspective. The razzmatazz of the Newchurch doesn't exist in a void, and I don't wish to give the impression of discussing or analyzing it this way.
On March 7, 2002, the Catholic news site Zenit.org reported the following, quoting George Weigel, author of the papal biography Witness to Hope:
"In Karol Wojtyla's experience of the council as one of its most active Fathers, and in his authoritative interpretation of the council as Pope, Vatican II was meant to prepare the Church, theologically and spiritually, to rediscover itself as a great evangelical movement in history, proclaiming to the world the truth about the human person, human community, human origins and human destiny."
Here we have a perfect example of more gobbledygook. First of all, it seems to me that Weigel's suggestion that the Church has "rediscovered" her evangelical mission cannot but presuppose a heretical idea, namely that she lost it at one point, which would mean the Church has failed.
But glossing over that perhaps controversial interpretation of mine here, look again at what, according to Weigel, is the Church's gospel: "the truth about the human person, human community, human origins and human destiny." What utter claptrap! Christ
did not die to reveal to us something about ourselves but in order to save us from our sins and make it possible for us to be reconciled to the Father and enter into Eternal Life! Haven't I been saying the post-conciliar church is heading towards humanism? It's all about human-this and human-that.
Of course the True Gospel contains truths about man, his nature and his destiny. No one is questioning that. But these are "accidental truths," if you will; they are simply the consequence of the teaching of the Gospel, a mere by-product of the great evangelical Truth our Savior has come to reveal to us through Himself and His Apostles. I think it would be a gross distortion of the Good News of our Lord to suggest that the Church's mission is to preach truths about man. Entirely absent from Weigel's statement is reference to the truth about God (the Trinity, for instance, or the Incarnation) and His Will. This, you see, is the gospel of man: the omission of essential truths about God and the continuous overemphasis of truth about man and his "dignity" (one of the favorite words of the Novus Ordo establishment).
"While Catholicism has always claimed universality as one of its
mark, the Catholic Church is now a 'world Church' in a new way."
I can just imagine Pope Saint Pius X
turning in the grave hearing of this. A "world church" - yes, indeed, that's what the Vatican is heading towards, glaringly led by the Holy Father. But I wish to refrain from commenting more about this right now and leave it for a future installment of this series, when I will also look at the Assisi scandal and what prophetic warning Scripture gives in this regard.
But I still have more from George Weigel. Listen to this:
"Even as it becomes ever more a world Church, the Catholic Church continues to debate its self-understanding."
Hey now - that's razzmatazz at its best! The Church "debates its self-understanding." What the HECK is going on?
Sounds like to me he's admitting the Church is in an identity crisis. And he's right - I mean, it's true. But what brought about this identity crisis? Let's face it, folks, there was no identity crisis at least until Pope Pius XII
passed away (October 9, 1958). The only real crisis there was, was the infiltration of the Church by the modernists, liberals, and masons. Since with Vatican II they were basically welcomed into the Church, along with their deceptive rhetoric and diabolical teachings, the crisis shifted from modernism (which the post-Vatican II church seems to have wiped from its vocabulary) to an identity crisis
, because the modernism has been allowed to infiltrate the Holy Church. So what Weigel now considers an identity crisis is nothing but a large part of the officially-accepted modernism, condemned until 1958.
But now on to more razzmatazz. In the Vatican II constitution Lumen Gentium, the council fathers declare that the Catholic Church "is at once a sign and a safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person" (No. 76). Just what this is supposed to mean is unclear and not elaborated upon. The context of the passages from the midst of which this quote is taken is politics and how the Church does not bind herself to any political system (it would have been quite appropriate at this point to condemn Communism, though, don't you think?). So what is meant by the "transcendent character" of the human person? And just how does this relate to the Church's refusal to bind herself to any one political system? I have no clue. And I know most people won't have a clue about this, either. I cannot help but suspect that this is more of the nebulous 'bafflegab' we've heard since the 1960's. If the council fathers had written at this point that the Church does not bind herself to any political system because she has a transcendent character due to her divine foundation, that would have made perfect sense. But for some reason, Lumen Gentium mentions the human person here. Ah, once again: man.
The Newchurch is not merely in the world but of the world. It has succumbed to the temptation to be attractive to modern man, a man who despises authority, morality, and objective truth. There is no way for such modern man to be saved other than to turn from his ways. This the Newchurch has not understood. It tries to meet modern man half-way, and once it's there, it has forgotten why it tried to get in touch with him in the first place. It has forgotten its mission, its purpose. Thus, we can now speak of an identity crisis in the Novus Ordo establishment. The original and divine mission is to convert modern man, to make him Catholic. Instead, what the Newchurch does is "dialogue" with him: "Nice to meet you. You know, there is some truth in what you stand for, and we value that. Really. You're not all that bad. Heck, God made you. Oh yeah, it is important to realize just who and what man really is, you know. You're quite transcendent and can do a lot in this world. It all comes from God, the Creator. You have an eternal destiny, but we won't judge you. This destiny is common to all members of the human race, and that is why all men possess human dignity. Don't violate it." This is, basically, what I feel the post-Vatican II church is saying to modern man. It's actually more of a monologue than a dialogue, because modern man doesn't respond. How could he? There's not much there, not much substance. He won't convert because he sees no reason to. There is no mention of truth, the necessity to believe in it, to worship God, repent of one's sins, and avoid hell. In olden days, even the hardened atheist and mocker of the Church could at least affirm that if the Catholic Church is right, then she is very right. But nowadays? Come on, face it. What does the post-conciliar church stand for? Nothing but a bunch of humanistic razzle-dazzle that still bears some traits of Catholicism. And when I ask "what does the post-conciliar church stand for," I don't only mean the documents put out by the Vatican, but the church as a whole, with all its papal activities/scandals, approved documents, failure to condemn, failure to uphold the faith and protect good priests (e.g. Father Nicholas Gruner), so-called "agreements" with heretics, etc. We have to take all of this into account if we wish to speak realistically about the post-Vatican II church.
It was in his very first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, that Pope John Paul II made the shocking statement that false religions are "not lacking" in "treasures of human spirituality" (No. 16)! No, he is not talking about Protestant denominations. He's talking about "non-Christian religions"! In the same paragraph, the Pope even goes so far as to advocate "prayer in common" with those pagan (!) religions, a sin against the First Commandment, but I'm going to talk about this in a later installment on the Assisi scandals.
In any case, according to John Paul II, pagan religions possess "treasures of human spirituality." Here we have more post-Vatican-II-speak. Just what is that supposed to mean? Spirituality the kind as in Catholic spirituality? That would be absurd and, I daresay, blasphemous. Besides, the Pope mentions "human spirituality," so it seems he believes that there is such a thing as authentic spirituality which is not Catholic, and which is valid and praiseworthy for all human beings. Anathema to such an idea! I can only pray he does not mean this, either, but I can't think of any third alternative that would make sense of the passage quoted. There is only one salvific spirituality, and that's Catholic spirituality. If John Paul meant to suggest that these pagan religions possess some Catholic spirituality, not only would he be objectively wrong about this, but his entire point in the passage would vanish, which is that Catholics can learn from the "spirituality" of non-Christian religions. Friends, which ever way we turn and bend it, it is erroneous. Spirituality which is "human" and not connected to the Catholic Faith cannot be pleasing to God.
How blessed are we to have the wisdom of the late great Dietrich von Hildebrand who wrote several books including Trojan Horse in the City of God and The Devastated Vineyard where he wrote: "When the pope speaks ex cathedra on faith or morals, then unconditional acceptance and submission is required of every Catholic. But it is false to extend this loyalty to encyclicals in which new theses are proposed" (emphasis added; from The Devastated Vineyard, Roman Catholic Books, 1973, p. 246). Yep, exactly. And new theses we have been fed with constantly since you know when, inside and outside papal encyclicals.
Of matters on faith and morals, I can think of no better encyclical than St. Pius X's magnificent Pascendi Dominici Gregis to back up all that I have been expounding on. I urge you to read this holy pope's words and see how he directed the faithful to consider 'novelties.' As an example he points out,
"For Catholics, nothing will remove the authority of the Second Council of Nicaea, where it condemns those who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics to deride ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind or to endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church." Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907.
Strong words with no uncertainties. "Nothing will remove the authority..." Yet the reforms of Vatican II and the further 'bafflegab'
of Newchurch seem to be trying.
We have an obligation, my dear friends, to resist the novelties that are being foisted upon us. Let them scream "excommunicated" and "schismatic!" as much as they want. We cannot be wrong in believing what the Church has always believed, and we cannot possibly be accused of schism because of being loyal to 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition. Pray the Rosary, do penance, and assist at the Holy Mass as much as you can. May we live to see the day the Church will be restored fully in all her splendor and glory. But more than that, may God's Will be done.
The Skimble-Skamble of the Post-Conciliar Church: Razzmatazz III
As you can clearly see the strange ways of speaking that have been introduced with Vatican II leave the faithful confused and baffled and turn people away from learning the Faith. I wish to continue with this topic here and show more of the gobbledygook we've had to take from post-Vatican II Rome before I conclude this particular series on "The Gospel of Man".
It seems to me that John Paul II is the champion of the Newchurch's gobbledygook, whose constant references to "renewal," "paschal mystery," and "consciousness" (here comes phenomenology) leave people at a loss as to what in the world he is trying to say. For instance, in his encyclical Redemptor Hominis, the word "consciousness" occurs eight times, whereas the word "Catholic" does not occur even once in the body of the encyclical. Words with the stem "renew" (e.g. "renewal" or "renewing" or simply "renew") occur nine times, and the word "dignity" appears 24 times, if I counted correctly. I thought this was quite interesting.
In any case, John Paul's encyclicals are not easy to understand for Joe Sixpack in the pew, and most of them are extremely lengthy, so long as to discourage anyone from even starting to read them (to mind come Fides et Ratio, Ut Unum Sint, Redemptoris Missio, and Veritatis Splendor). As I mentioned last week, this may actually be a good thing.
When you actually manage to penetrate the thick terminological cloud of John Paul's encyclicals, don't be surprised if what you find is a statement or train of thought fueling the movement that preaches a gospel of man. Let me show you what I mean. I just came across a passage that is actually surprisingly clear, and what I found shocked me. Regarding missionary activity (which has always been the means by which to convert people to Catholicism), John Paul II writes:
"I also have other reasons and aims [with regards to writing this encyclical dedicated to missionary activity]: to respond to the many requests for a document of this kind; . . . to foster missionary vocations; . . . and to assure non-Christians and particularly the authorities of countries to which missionary activity is being directed that all of this has but one purpose: to serve man by revealing to him the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ" (Redemptoris Missio, 1990, No. 2).
There we have it! What does the Pope think the purpose of missionary activity is? To serve man!
Granted, he adds that the service of man here consists in the "revealing to him the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ," but if he means by this the conversion of those who are not yet Catholic, why doesn't he say so? Telling somebody that God loves us so much that He sent His Son is one thing, telling him that he therefore must accept this Son and do as He commanded or else he will be forever lost, is quite another. This would have been a perfect opportunity for the Pope to make clear that he desires all men to be Catholics for there is no salvation outside the Church. Instead, the Pope reaffirms what traditionalists had suspected all along: that this is all about the service of man. I guess it is possible to squeeze an orthodox interpretation into this passage of Redemptoris Missio,
but only if you engage in hermeneutical gymnastics, and then only at the expense of getting more politically-correct razzmatazz!
Yeah, we've been hearing all about "man" since John XXIII's encyclical Pacem In Terris (1963), ad nauseam. What we need to serve is God and His Kingdom, and not man. The traditionalist suspicion about the Pope's view of missionary activity is especially corroborated by his actions, by what he does in the presence of non-Catholics, especially the most recent scandal in Assisi. 'At the service of man' is precisely the most fitting description. It's not at the service of God or the Truth, but the service of man. It is quite ironic, then, that the New Catechism should testify:
"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 675).
Doesn't the Lord work in mysterious ways! I have no idea how this passage got into the New Catechism, since it seems to convict the entire Novus Ordo
-ecumenism movement, which is, I think quite undeniably, treading in the paths of precisely that humanistic deception which leads to apostasy from the truth.
That we are indeed facing an outright apostasy in the Church, starting with the highest ranking member, the Pope, can be seen by the following quotes I will now supply, taken from John Paul II, in no particular order. They all bear witness to the Pope's humanism, which has supplanted the Gospel starting with the election of John XXIII and Vatican II, as the title of this series indicates: Vatican II and the Gospel of Man. Sit back, then, and ponder in horror (as I certainly did) these hardly-known but documented despicable statements made by the Holy Father:
"Brothers and Sisters, the example of a saint who lived close to us can strengthen in us the courage of hope. Brother Mutien-Marie goes before us on the path of fidelity to God's invitation and of tireless service of our brothers and sisters. We ask his intercession, that we may be given in our day to make straight the way of the Lord and of man, which is the path of the Church." - Homily of December 10, 1989.
"In reality, the name for that deep amazement at man's worth and dignity is the Gospel, that is to say: the Good News. It is also called Christianity. This amazement determines the Church's mission in the world. . . ." - Redemptor Hominis, No. 10.
Speaking of Christmas night: "'A child is born to us, a Son is given to us.' Yes! A son has been given to us. In this Son we are all once more given back to ourselves!" - Urbi et Orbi, December 25, 1980.
"Man must be reconciled with his humanity." - Message at the Angelus, April 20, 1980.
"The 'keys of the kingdom of heaven' are not entrusted to Peter and the Church to be used arbitrarily or to manipulate consciences, but so that consciences can be freed in the full Truth of man, who is Christ, 'peace and mercy' (cf. Gal 6:16) for everyone." - General Audience, February 22, 1984.
All of these are absolutely outrageous, erroneous, and poisoned with the gospel of man, or pure razzmatazz that has no definite meaning (at least no definite orthodox meaning) and to which one can only reply: "Whatever." Man is the path of the Church, the Gospel is defined as the amazement at man's worth and dignity, man this, man that, ad nauseam
. If this is not razzmatazz, bafflegab, skimble-skamble
, or just plain heresy - you name it - then I don't know what is.
It hurts me to say it, but it looks as though John Paul II is a Pope of Man, not of God. And I do not mean to deny by this that he is a valid Pope - it is merely a description of how I perceive the status quo. Surely, a dark night has descended upon the Church. And yet, we have hope, we have a Lenten hope that waits in expectance of Easter, the Resurrection of Our Lord.
As I am writing this, I know the first day this installment will appear online is Good Friday, 2002. Certainly, looking at the Church undergoing so much suffering on earth right now, we can better identify with our Lord on the Cross, who suffered so much for love of us. By being alive in the middle of this most horrendous crisis in the Church right now, may the Lord, who predestined us to live at this point in time rather than another, deign to give us a glimpse of the sufferings He bore on the Cross for us.
I believe that the only way we can make sense of this catastrophic state of our Holy Church right now is by looking at the Cross. At the Cross, all suffering becomes sweet, all anguish becomes bearable, and all distress starts to make sense. As Our Lord cried, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34), so let us make these Words of His our own in this hour of great agony: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
In these three parts of razzmatazz, I hope I have been able to share with
you at least a tiny bit of what's out there in terms of confusing,
disturbing, and erroneous statements made by the Popes and Vatican II, ever
since 1958. The essays about razzmatazz fit perfectly into this series of
"Vatican II and the Gospel of Man", of which Pope John Paul II seems to be a
hero, as sad as it is to say that. This being the case, next week I would
like to start a new series focusing exclusively on Pope John Paul - his
humanism and his ecumenism in particular.
I realize that touching as exhaustive subjects as the ones we've been
discussing necessarily opens up a Pandora's Box. But better to open that box
and expose what's out there than to keep silence and fail to warn others
about the dangers to their faith, "For woe is unto me if I preach not the
gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:16). During this Passiontide, may God have mercy on
Editor's Note: So many of the post-conciliar bishops today refer to those clinging to the true Roman Catholic traditions that were in vogue for 2000 years prior to the reforms of Vatican II as 'fossils,' 'dinosaurs,' 'old folks who will die off soon.' We beg to differ and offer as proof the youthful wisdom and enthusiasm of the younger generation in the Traditional Insights of Mario Derksen who exemplifies the thinking of many more young men and women today who realize the new thinking of the post-conciliar church does not add up to true Catholic teaching. Thus they long for those traditions so tried and true. His insight shows great promise, optimism and hope for the future of Holy Mother Church.
For Mario's previous articles, see ARCHIVES