Let's get it right for God's sake! |
Michael Cain, editor
Today is the joyful Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This feast is also known as the Purification of Mary which celebrates the Jewish custom of inviting the mother back into society after giving birth. While we know Our Lady was already the purest of pure by nature of her Immaculate Conception, she, like her earthly spouse the holy Joseph and her Divine Son, humbled Themselves to be subservient to the Law when it did not conflict with God's Laws. The custom of the purification of mothers dates back to the time of Moses when all Judaic couples were required to present their child 40 days after the birth of a son, double that for a daughter. That variance shows the prominence the male received throughout history.
And speaking of variance and history, we can see history being made everyday, or should I say remade. The abhorrent way modern "scholars" and "historians" treat the hallowed annals of history is enough to wonder just how far political correctness has gone. This editor minored in history for four years and I can assure you that, after numerous term papers and theses, after tons of tomes poured through in research for primary and secondary sources, what I see today being passed off as history in no resembles what I was taught. The modern chroniclers are making it up as they go along. How can we learn from history if it is tainted by modern thought that absolves sin and transgressions and takes Catholic bashing to a new low by not only denigrating the Church today but throughout the annals of the most populated religion in the world. One billion can't be wrong, but there are a few in the vast, vast minority who are out to prove that.
Yes, this began with the Cecil B. DeMille epics of the 50's when certain things were tampered with to make the story more enticing for the viewer. It's called embellishment. But what is being foisted on us today is called lies and calumny against those who were there, who saw history first hand. No, they didn't have FoxNews or CNN or C-Span there to record it, they didn't have the ravenous pack of reporters jotting everything down, but, in many cases they did have monks who had primary sources, scrolls and accounts of the elders who were there to support the factual content passed down. Many also had the most Primary Source of all, the Holy Spirit to guide them. But in today's society, that is called "superstition" - even witchcraft. After all, if you would buy into the claptrap many liberals are fostering, it's not far from the defamation spread by men like Jack Chick that tradition and the Roman Catholic Church have been likened to the "whore of Babylon." They decry and deny the scholars who passed down the traditions, yet they accept the facts of Babylon, of Baal, of Greece, of pagan Rome and Egypt sight unseen.
I bring this up because I got suckered by the hype into watching a miniseries the other night called "Attila." Yeah, I'm human, but I love history and often find my way to the History channel, though that, too, has been tainted. I forever have etched in my mind's eye Attila as the scowling Jack Palance in "Sign of the Pagan." As a student I also wrote a thesis titled "Turned away at the Gates of Rome," and did quite a bit of research on Attila, and the one who came after him Gaiseric or Genseric, a Vandal. The latter delivered much punishment and pillaging on Rome, but did not harm Christians or the Church. Was this because he was paid off, or because he respected the Faith of these people who had already proven their mettle in the three centuries of persecutions before?
The first two hours of the TV miniseries kept pretty true to history, though, when scenes of Rome appeared, there was no sign of Christianity even though Constantine had established it as the "state religion" well over a century before. I can forgive this because even today you're not going to find God in certain areas of our society, which has supposedly become so enlightened. I hedged on watching the second part the next night and saw where A&E was going to have a special Biography on Attila. If you thought I was incensed before, I was livid when they stated that Pope Leo (they couldn't come to call him by the elevated and deserved name he is remembered as: Pope Saint Leo the Great) "bought off" Attila at the gates of Rome. This, despite the countless accounts of historians from Butler's "Lives of the Saints" to the Encyclopedia Britannica to the Catholic Encyclopedia to "The History of Europe - the Fifth Century" to the detailed "The Scourge of God" and many other secondary sources that have long been in agreement. That is that a mystical, rather supernatural event occurred when Attila confronted the humble, holy Pontiff whom the Romans turned to as their last resort. Without fear because of his total trust in God's Will, St. Leo ventured into the lair of the theif who had pillaged and plundered Europe from France to Yugoslavia, and, through this saintly Pope, just one of two who have been called "Great," God saved Europe from the Scourge of God. This has forever been illustrated in the magnificent painting by the great master Raphael.
Yet, to see A&E's slanted piece and then watch USA's "Attila," where no reference whatsoever was made to Pope St. Leo or any of the bishops of that time, you would have thought this barbarian Hun was the good guy, the "savior" of civilization that would enlighten society to the superstitions of Christianity, so corrupted - in even those times - according to these "experts" from A&E, which included a gal whose "ums" cried out for preparing your information before the cameras roll. For quite some time, A&E has shown a definite bias against the Church in their so-called authentic Biographies of Columbus, Cortez, Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Pius XII, Galileo and others. What do they base their facts on? Not history books of our day, but liberal scholars of today who have uncovered deeds and events that, hitherto, even the esteemed Britannica could not unearth. These are the type of educators who place more credence on someone like John Cornwell than the reams of testimonials from first-hand witnesses - both Jew and Gentile - Americans, Germans, Israelis and Italians and many other nationalities who have come forward with proof that Pius did indeed do all he could and more to help the persecuted.
Cornwell is a repudiated rebel who wrote for the modernist British Catholic publication "The Tablet" - akin to the rag "National Catholic Reporter" that upholds the bastion of rebellion and disobedience to Rome in America today. He bases his condemnation of Pius on the two weeks he spent in the Vatican Archives. One could spend a year there and barely scratch the surface! He also did not have access to all the archives, yet he has taken a few letters out of context and besmirched a saint. He's not the only one. There are countless "experts" who have sought to rewrite history and go unchallenged in today's politically correct milieu.
The professor who tweaked my interest in history, who gave me a thirst for cause and effect - Father Francis Zachman, OMI must be turning over in his grave, bless his heart. He always cautioned to research everything, and not to place an importance on dates, but on the causes and effects and the moral mindset of the civilization at that time. The moral mindset of our time is to contort history to fit their motives which are to condone their present sins by appeasing the sins of the past. While Pope John Paul II called for forgiveness from all for the human sins of those in the Church over the centuries, few others outside the Church reciprocated. Rather, they magnified his general apology as admittance that history as we know it was wrong and justifies their twisted version of past events.
As a loyal and long-time Knight of Columbus I take great umbrage with the way they have demeaned this noble Italian explorer from Genoa, who made it a point to include in all his travels, missionaries of the highest calibre for the specific purpose of ministering to his men and to fulfill Christ's command in Mark 16: 15. For this, he is now found guilty of "forced conversions," as are Cortez, Saint Francis Xavier and those who followed up to present day in India, Southeast Asia and the Far East. We see this same accusation visited upon the Church in Russia where the proud Russian Orthodox hold up the unification process with the jealous excuse that the Latin Church is proselytizing. We see this in the move to recognize all religions as equal. Thank God for "Dominus Jesus that reinforced the Church's doctrine handed down by Christ that there indeed is "no salvation outside the Church." But they continue to confuse and twist facts. We've seen this in so many other areas of society as well, especially in our own United States which, at this time is more the "Divided States" politically and morally.
Just as God raised up great men during dire times like St. Leo the Great, not Attila, so also He has given us John Paul, who we strongly believe will go down in history as the third Pope to be bestowed with the ultimate honor of being called "Great." Through God's Ordaining Will, He has also given us a president who seeks to unite, rather than divide; who seeks to put an end to the politics of personal destruction that has ravaged this country in a similar manner to the heart and soul as Attila did over a millennium and a half ago. President George W. Bush, though a politician, has shown Reaganesque statesmanship to this point and risen above the rancor and backbiting, seeking to truly cement unity through love and compassion. Many believe it is because the Democrats are so divided, lacking a true leader today. Don't believe it. Believe rather in the power of God, in the power of over three and a half million Rosaries pledged to ennoble Bush to carry on the greatness of men who went before him; men who we looked up to in our school days as heroes and, who today are considered villains because the true villains have ransomed minds and souls by changing history.
I for one am fed up with this rubbish. In Bush's wide-scope education initiatives, let us hope and pray that he will restore truth back into the curriculum. As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, let us also hope and pray that the bishops and pastors and those Diocesan and Religious teachers and administrators entrusted with educating our youth will pay astute attention to what is being taught and correct the great fallacies that are poisoning young minds by placing doubts and fiction into what hitherto had been factual. Only through our vigilance and insistence of truth will we be able to put a stop to this barbaric pillaging of young minds who are being led down a different path by those who are making up history as they see it, not as it was. If we allow this to continue, years from now Napoleon or Joseph Stalin, even Adolph Hitler may well be looked upon as "liberators" and Christ as merely a prophet on level terms with Buddha and Mohammed and even new age imposters too numerous to mention. If we are not careful, our grandchildren could be indoctrinated with the story that Jesus' body was robbed from the tomb after His crucifixion and that the Apostles tried to advance their own beliefs by circulating the spin that He rose from the dead. The way history is being changed today, His Resurrection could go down as a myth and His whole message of salvation missed for the sake of political correctness.
We see it happening even in our liturgy and in biblical translations as organizations like ICEL seek to compromise and cave to the Protestant mindset. Look at Sacred Scripture. Look at the Douay-Rheims version used for centuries and then look at the most modern translations and you'll see how they have so unrespectfully sought to "correct and update" what Saint Jerome so meticulously translated.
For the sake of all who went before us, for the sake of the integrity of Holy Mother Church, for the sake of perpetuating all that Christ taught, let us put a stop to the aberrations that seek to change what actually happened. For the sake of souls now and in the future, let's get it right for God's sake!
For past editorials, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT Archives
February 2, 2001
volume 12, no. 33
CATHOLIC PewPOINT commentary