Trying to corral a wild bull in the China shop!
This week, with Osama bin Laden's days numbered, Congress should muster enough votes to ban the latest outrage - human cloning. I agree 100% that physical cloning should be eliminated. But what about spiritual cloning? Think about it. Wouldn't it be great to fuse the current Magisterium with the wisdom and dedication of great saints? Holy men and women like Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Dominic, Saint Benedict, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint Bridget of Sweden, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Ambrose, Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Leo the Great, Saint Gertrude, Saint John of God, Saint Patrick, Saint Philip Neri, Saint Rose of Lima, Saint Louis, Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint Catherine Labouret, Saint Bernadette, Saint Bernardino of Siena, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint John Marie Vianney, Saint Thomas More, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Saint John Bosco, Saint Francis de Sales,, and, oh yes, Pope Saint Pius V and Pope Saint Pius X to name just a few of the countless members of the Church Triumphant who bore great fruits for the Church Militant and reduced atonement time for the Church Suffering.
Michael Cain, editor
What a boost that kind of 'spiritual cloning' would be. Can you see the dynamism of a Bishop Fulton J. Sheen rubbing off on some of our American cardinals? Can you see the effects that would be gained by imbuing the zeal and wisdom of an Archbishop John Carroll or a James Cardinal Gibbons or a G.K. Chesterton or a Saint Frances Cabrini in our clergy and religious? Just a thought, but wouldn't it be wonderful?
Many might think such thoughts are just a lot of 'hooey,' that I'm not being realistic or still living in the good old days and those days are gone. Well, they may be gone, but not forgotten. That is one of the main problems in the post-conciliar Church: too much has been forgotten. That's why 'spiritual cloning' could only improve the current lot of prelates and clergy. Imagine promoting holiness and austerity. Envision, if you will, bishops and priests speaking out strongly from the pulpit on keeping the Commandments, living the Gospel. Visualize priests spending hours in the confessionals with people lined up waiting for the healing Sacrament of Penance. Can you conceive in your mind's eye Catholics dressing up for Mass and silently coming in without talking, showing total reverence in God's house without socializing, spending that time in prayer, saying the Rosary before Mass either silently or as a whole,and focusing on the real reason why they are there in the first place? Wow, what a concept! Wouldn't it be wonderful if every Catholic truly realized that "the order of the Mass," as Pope Innocent III said in his treatise on the Mass, "is arranged upon a plan so well conceived that everything done by Jesus Christ, or concerning Him, from His Incarnation to His Ascension, is wonderfully presented"? What a novel idea.
Were those 'old' customs to return, I think our chances of God blessing America would increase greatly. We hear and see, wherever we go, patriotic paraphernalia with the newest catch phrase "God bless America" - even on the bumpers of atheists and agnostics. But do we understand the significance of that and the contingency that the Almighty places on His blessing? I think not.
Seven years before Pope Pius IX declared the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the American bishops petitioned him to declare the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Patroness of America under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Have we been true to that patronage? The facts speak for themselves. Do you think the Blessed Mother or her Divine Son can condone what America has become? Never! Yet Christ's Church seemingly has, by their semi-silence and by their willingness to compromise in issuing only mild, muffled rebuke of the great offenders while keeping their pulse on what the people want, not need. I find it inconceivable that the bishops are not afraid to speak out strongly against cloning, but remain so timid regarding abortion and sodomy. Dr. Frank Joseph's PRO LIFE PRESCRIPTIONS column Cloning? What's next - the killing of Unborn Babies? addresses this.
All this, of course, begs the question: Why all the changes in the Church over the past 40 years? The Mass, the liturgy, the entire spiritual platform of Catholicism wasn't broke or wallowing. So why fix it?
You'll hear the worn refrain that the Church was stuck in a rut, that she was losing converts and people didn't understand the Mass? Please. You know as well as I do that is all a lot of bull! There is no evidential proof of any of those claims of desperation. In truth, it was a few who became many in infiltrating the Church and eliminating time-honored customs that identified us as Catholics - as the universal Church from Alaska to Zimbabwe.
And speaking of Catholic customs,
the time of Advent conjures up many memories. One of them was the 'miter boxes' Catholic school children kept during Advent and Lent saving up for far away missions. There was also the campaign to adopt a pagan baby. And who can forget the parish missions where parishioners young and old packed the churches on Thursday evenings for Benediction and then would listen to the missionary priest as he related the plight of the peole he was trying to convert and care for. Do you remember how Catholics continually prayed for and contributed to the missionaries' needs? The Rosaries that were offered, the sacrifices that were made all for the sake of bringing others into the fold of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? We truly were the universal Church back then.
Missionary. It seems to be a word which is fast fading from the lexicon of the post-conciliar Church. This week we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier, the dauntless Jesuit who took Christ's charge in Mark 16: 15-16 seriously and sought to convert as many people in the Orient as he could through preaching and baptism. What a novel idea! I say that facetiously, of course, because the current course charted by the New Church of the Vatican II reforms is to downplay conversion in favor of ecumenism.
I offer as exhibit 'A' the first of a two part article by Jonathan Tuttle, a contributing columnist of The Remnant - the vanguard of defending the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church. The article is titled, Who's Sorry, Mao?" and deals with the Pope's most recent apology - this one to China. The ambiguity and compromise in the Holy Father's sad salute to a regime founded by the most devastating mass murderer in the history of the world - Mao Tse-Tung will make every faithful, loving and loyal Catholic weep just as dear Francis Xavier would weep today to discover that, according to today's Church his efforts to pave the way for Father Matteo Ricci's evangelization in China, that he has been sold out. Can you imagine the consternation Fr. Ricci, St. Francis Xavier and countless other missionaries to China would feel to see that, despite their holiness, sacrifice, zeal and total dedication to Christ's words that, according to the new norms of the New Church, it was wrong to proselytize the Faith in China and other regions of the East? That is the assumption one receives from reading the Pope John Paul II's words to Red China from October 27th this year.
I offer as exhibit 'B' the Zenit news story from November 29th titled, "John Paul II´s Answer to Lack of Vocations"
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 29, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Religious should respond to the vocation shortage by having more faith in God and showing cooperation with one another, John Paul II says.
That was the thrust of the Pope's message to Father Jesús Maria Lecea Sainz, president of the Union of European Conferences of Major Superiors.
Officials from 41 national conferences, representing 400,000 religious in the active life, are meeting in Salzburg, Austria, through Sunday to analyze the challenges to religious life in the Old World.
The assembly's motto is "Cross Over to the Other Side ... Do Not Be Afraid." In this connection, the Pope in his message highlights the discrepancy between the Gospel and religious vows on one hand, and the secularized world on the other.
Can someone please explain that term 'Cross Over to the Other Side'? If one is already a consecrated religious are they not already striving to live the Gospel? Have they not already fully embraced their vows and rejected the secularized world? Oops, I forgot, we're dealing with the New Church, the 'new evangelization' - the new lifestyle of religious where living their vows isn't as important as doing social work, where being proud of the 'armor' of a cassock, Roman collar or habit is passe. Yes, we should always have more faith in God. Christ said in Matthew 17: 20 that if we had the faith of a grain of a mustard seed we could move mountains, but 'showing cooperation with one another' is a very humanistic approach to the real problem. The answer to the lack of vocations is the watering down of the Faith and the compromise of the ideals and total commitment it took to be a religious, to reject the world and endeavor to fulfill God's holy will. Today so many religious are merely considered 'facilitators' of the 'new evangelization' that promotes social work with a bit of spirituality tossed in for good measure as long as it continues to be tolerant of other religions, other view points and strives toward 'dialogue.' What does 'Cross Over to the Other Side' really mean? The only time I can remember hearing that phrase was in new age Star Wars films where 'crossing over to the other side' meant crossing over to the dark side. Scary, huh?
If one reads the Zenit news stories and Catholic World News releases on a regular basis, they will see the increasing ambiguity and double-speak coming out of the Holy See. Atila Guimarães provides good example of this is in his colum Standing with the Church Militant On the BattleLine with "Strange bedfellows!?" How many have noticed that, in trying to validate their words, Church officials from Pope to Curia to Bishops will refer back to something released since 1962. Seldom is there a reference to anything that preceded Vatican II. Why is that? Why has the post-conciliar Church usurped or forgotten so much that went before the Second Vatican Council? Why was Trent totally forgotten by the post-conciliar Church? Is Trent no longer relevant in today's society? They might like you to think thus, referencing Trent to 'medieval times', but their arguments cannot stand up to the wisdom of twenty major Ecumenical Councils that preceded Vatican II. Their denial cannot stand up to the absolutes and disciplines that guided the Church through turbulent times, those same absolutes and disciplines that produced saints and a cornucopia of vocations that harvested countless souls for Christ; saints like the ones listed above.
It's interesting to note that John Paul II has canonized and beatified more men and women than all the Popes put together before him. The problem is, other than a handful like Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Faustina, Saint Edith Stein, Saint Katherine Drexel and Saint Eugene de Mazenod, how many saints canonized after Vatican II can you identify? It's a good question isn't it? How many can you remember, how many can you identify with? I know there are 120 martyrs in China that many Catholic Chinese can relate to and who stick in the craw of the communist regime. Today Chinese Catholics are being intimidated, cajoled and forcefully pressured into crossing over to the Patriotic Catholic Church, the state run Church of China. Do you think those who have been elevated would agree that 'Cross Over to the Other Side' is a great campaign to revise vocations? I didn't think so.
That brings us to Exhibit 'C' - the reality that vocations are not flourishing, that they are wallowing in the post-conciliar Church and dying on the vine. Ergo, rather than heeding the wisdom of the saints listed above, rather than clinging to the Truths and Traditions and nourishing and pruning for holiness, the post-conciliar Church has allowed the weeds to spread universally through the gardens of the youth. The Church of Vatican II has allowed vocations to be choked out by unorthodox seminary directors and bishops who are harvesting masonic recruits and havens for sodomy and other perversions in both diocesan and many religious order seminaries. The results over the past 40 years have been disastrous. Priests have abandoned their vocations and vows in the droves. Nuns have discarded the habit, relaxed their vows and embraced the trappings of the world from lipstick to being at the forefront of giving lip to ordained women, invading chanceries everywhere. They want it all and in the process are losing it all.
I strongly recommend Dr. Marian Horvat's excellent column 'The Emancipation of Women' in this issue in Echoes of True Catholicism
One reader tried to rationalize that vocations are on the increase, citing such dioceses as Lincoln, Atlanta, Denver, Rockford, Wichita, and Fargo as examples. While those particular sees might be heads and tails above most other sees in the United States in regard curbing abuses, their numbers today pale in comparison to the vocations in those same dioceses in 1960. I daresay, there are only token seminaries in these same places where once there were numerous seminaries - minor and major. But how do you foster vocations if there are no examples to exemplify? What rationalization can the post-conciliar Church give to account for the steady and drastic decline of Catholic parish grade schools and high schools? With no role models to focus on and emulate, how can the Catholic youth be expected to want to be priests, monks, brothers or nuns? And how and why would they even want to, considering the plethora of heretical teachings that defy the Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Commandments in their liberal curriculum which is ripe with sex education condoning condoms and tolerating other 'lifestyles'? And how can young Catholic adults cope with the liberal Catholic colleges that have abandoned Catholic doctrine for the sake of political correctness and have defiantly snubbed the norms of Ex Corde Ecclesiae?
The answer is they cannot. In fact, the only place where they can is in the home where dedicated parents, realizing they cannot depend on the post-conciliar Church to educate their children properly, are fostering a return to reverence and respect for the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church. You won't find too many Homeschoolers learning their Faith from the new Catechism of the Catholic Church 800 page tome, but rather from the tried and true Baltimore Catechism, patterned after the solid Catechism of the Council of Trent ordered by the Council, edited by St. Charles Borromeo and published by decree of St. Pius V. Those teachings are what spell it all out in black and white. That is what children need today, they need to know right from wrong. The ambiguities and relativism of the post-conciliar Church has unleashed an 'anything goes' mentality that allows everyone to rationalize their way around anything from sin to heresy. If the bishops, who fail to tackle the abortion and sodomy issues head-on, have no intention of righting the wrongs because they are afraid, how can we fault the laity if they follow the example of their shepherds in their laxity?
That is why Catholic parents have turned to homeschooling as the last resort. They know it would be so much easier to pack little Johnny or Sarah off to public school. After all, they're paying for it already with their taxes. However, they also realize to send their offspring to 'Catholic' schools today is just pouring more bad money into bad programs. The cost of Catholic education has skyrocketed, while totally losing its influence. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be because parishes no longer support the schools and now cater to the highest bidder, thus compromising principle and religious ideals in order to avoid offending the new non-Catholic attendees? Could it be because parishioners are soaked clean of tithing funds in order to build bigger 'Taj Mahals' to the New Order, reluctantly going along with the program of stripping our churches in a deliberate iconoclastic intent to denude Catholic churches of all that is holy for the sake of modernization and ecumenism? Could it be because the faculties of grade schools and high schools are no longer populated by dedicated nuns, who took the vow of poverty and were perfectly content to live in the supportive community of a convent, thus not demanding cost-suffocating salaries? Could it be because teaching the youth was not a 'job' to the good sisters, but rather a full-time avocation, a righteous, holy goal to mold their students in the image and likeness of God as solid Catholic 'Soldiers of Christ' and encourage and enable them to 'be all they could be' for His Holy Church? They were pros at giving pats on the back and sometimes, when needed, a good pat on the back below the belt. But we who endured those 'terrible times of Catholic schooling' - as so many older members of the post-conciliar Church (who have forgotten the 'golden age of the Church' in America) deridingly refer to the 'old-school Catholic ways' - are better for it today because of those devoted women whose vows were sacred.
They weren't called missionaries, they were merely teaching nuns, but their dedication and zeal, their tough love and their dependance on their charges blossoming in God's time, fostered more vocations and more conversions than all the conversions in the past 40 years. These reverent women exhibited a missionary zeal St. Francis Xavier would be proud of. Can the same be said for the 'missionary efforts' of the New Church that places a higher priority on dialogue with murderous heathens than it does with the persecuted Catholics who continue to suffer in China as the entire diocese in Feng Xiang is undergoing while you read this? Perhaps it would be a good idea to reinforce the essence of 'missionary' again.
Like fine China, the land of China is very brittle right now because its billions of people have little hope. Hope is what they need. Faith is what they need. Charity is what they need. True charity does not mean betraying those who endeavor to be true to Christ's Church. Yet, the Holy Father would seem to be indicating that direction with his undeniable compromising to Communist China's demands at the expense of more bloodshed and suffering like what has occurred in Feng Xiang. It undoubtedly will spread to more dioceses throughout that vast, mysterious nation under the ironclad shroud of atheistic Maoism. Despite the Vatican's overtures for dialogue, China now has the upper hand and will continue their heavy-handed ways.
Hasn't the New Church learned from the dire results of the Pact of Metz that you cannot reason or bargain with communists? Wouldn't a strong Papal Bull have served a better purpose? Would it not have had the unusual solidarity of the entire world politically because China is already on the hot seat for human rights abuses? I would think with the U.S. just next door in Afghanistan and flexing their muscles, that China would tread carefully. Yet, just as Bill Clinton did, so also the post-conciliar Church seems to be following suit by playing right into the enemy's hands. From all appearances and China's track record over the past 50 years, trying to reason with them is a disaster waiting to happen. Like a deer caught in the headlights, catering to the blood-mongers of Mao's legacy is akin to trying to corral a wild bull in the China shop!