The trend away from Catholic Tradition is what's hard to swallow! |
Michael Cain, editor
Today is the glorious Feast of Saint Joseph, who was, of course the Foster Father of Jesus and the chaste husband and protector of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Purity of the highest degree. He is also "Safeguard of Families, Solice of the Afflicted, Comforter of the Troubled, Rescuer of Sinners, Model of Righteousness," and "Patron of the Universal Church." If there was ever a time we need this great, humble, loving saint it is today when our Church is in shambles and the world has become enveloped in darkness.
Those are harsh words I understand, but look around you. First of all, anyone who watches TV - just the commercials - can see the dark, forboding colors that permeate the airwaves. Gone is the calm and serenity, the bright light of common sense and decency. In its place we are tempted to be shocked beyond comprehension with the most vile of images and ideas. Each minute, each hour, day, week, month, year, decade we are falling deeper and deeper as the envelope of the enemy is pushed farther into our gullets, into our psyches. Let's face it, folks, we are lost and awash in a black void. Virtue is non-existant except for a small remnant of devout Catholics sprinkled among the masses. We, as I have said before, are only a small voice crying in the wilderness. Though we are insignificant in the eyes of the world, we are significant to God's Ordaining Will being carried out. And therefore we trudge on, seeking truth always.
The more we seek it, the more we realize truth can only be found in Divine Revelation. Each day more and more we realize the truths of Saint Augustine's words that our hearts are restless until they rest in God totally consumed by, in and for Him. As the years have flown by we've been realizing more and more that the loyal, devout Catholic is becoming extinct. While extremists cry "save the whale," we cry out "save the Catholic Church." The greatest link to the truths passed down are found in Tradition. To many in the Church today Tradition is a dirty word. I wonder if St. Joseph feels that way? To many in the Church today Tradition is an obstacle to their agenda of forming their own church - the "Am-church" in America. Now this sounds radical.
But, friends, we're living in radical times.
However, it's nothing new. Our Lady has been prophesizing this for years - from Rue de Bac to LaSalette, from Lourdes to Fatima. While some believe these revelations approved by the Church and treat them as road signs to keep us on the straight and narrow and in tune with the true Faith, many fall back on the loophole that we don't have to believe in private revelations. That's true, but in leaning too much to the skeptical side we can very easily become ripe for the lies of the Left. The recent scurilous attacks on Medjugorje are an excellent example of this. True, Medjugorje has not been officially approved by the Church. Neither have the likes of Akita, Betania or Civatavecchia at the universal level, but their message is the same as the ones that preceded it. And it's important to note that the Church has not sanctioned or condemned the messages. The Blessed Mother of God, the earthly spouse of St. Joseph warned us of all that is happening today in the world and in OUR Church. Satan is satiating himself with the souls of so many within the Church that it's shocking to discover daily what is going on, what we have reaped. But again, Our Lady told us. Should we be surprised? Shocked, yes. Surprised, no. The signs are so evident.
Think about the virtues holy Joseph represents and then look around you. First, look at yourself. Are you striving to live as Joseph did? We all need to. Yours truly especially. We look at the recent tragic events in our own backyard with the shooting at Santana High School a few weeks ago and it brings home the point that the generations are struggling with the moral compass that has gone so askew in today's society and mores. We need to lean on Joseph more than ever as the "Protector of children and teens." It was his fatherly love that provided the sturdy, steady mast of the Holy Family's ship, while Mary provided the sails that billowed in holiness day in and day out. With so many teens in trouble or troubled, parents and friends need to turn to Joseph as "Solace of the Afflicted" and "Comforter of the Troubled" for he can sustain them in their many trials and temptations if only they ask. Remember, Joseph is also considered "Rescuer of Sinners" which includes everyone of us. We are all so blessed to be able to claim him as the "Safeguard of Families," God's chosen guardian for His Only-begotten Son and His Blessed Mother. Joseph is the one whom the Triune Divinity selected and gives us as protector of all Christian homes. The many saints who came after him realized this and went to school on Joseph's virtues. We need to do the same.
With the battle loyal Catholics are in to reclaim their Church from the evil one, we also need to balance the gentleness of Joseph with the veracity of Saint Michael. It wouldn't hurt to have the tenacity of Catherine of Siena and the feistiness of Teresa of Avila. We need to have the devotion of a Saint John Vianney, the simplicty of the Little Flower Saint Theresa, the enthusiasm of Saint John Bosco, the passion of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, and the integrity of Saint Thomas More to name just a few in the Church Triumphant. Only then can we, as active members of the Church Militant, begin to hope that the Church will once again produce more true Bishop Sheens and Mother Teresas for the future. If we have to go through the school of hard-knocks to educate others, so be it. Be assured if your curriculum is based on the cornerstone of Divine Revelation which includes Tradition, then many fruits will be forthcoming. Without, you can look for the bitterness of barren salt.
We say this because today we introduce a new series that will seek to expose the travesties that are going on within our Church. The main purpose is to rally the faithful to call for a stop to the raping of our Faith. The series is called "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." It is, of course, Christ's words from the Cross recorded in Luke 23: 34 and it is our way of saying the same for if they truly knew what they were doing, they would cease the course they are on. The real danger is that if they do know what they are doing the Church is in even greater danger. In the first two installments we publish an article by Robert Kumpel, written last month for San Diego News Notes, a highly orthodox Roman Catholic publication dedicated to publishing the truths of the Faith and ferreting out the Judases within. Once you read it, ask yourself if the way the formation in LA is the way you want the Roman Catholic Church to go. If you say yes, then we say "Father, forgive you, for you do not know what you do."
The first two installments are on the state of Saint John's Seminary in Los Angeles under the direction of Cardinal Roger Mahony. We have, in these pages, been consistently critical of the cardinal's actions and ecclesiastical behavior and we have done so when he has strayed from his duties as a loyal bishop subservient to the Holy Father's directives. The archbishop from Hollywood is responsible for the second largest see in the United States and has much, much responsibility before God. Read Our Lord's words in Matthew 5: 13, and ask if the cardinal's been desalted. We do not sit in judgment of his soul, but we do, as is our right and duty before Rome, point out when he strays from what the Holy See is asking. As you will see, he is abusing his privileged and sacred office with abhorrent practices and dangerous precedents that greatly jeopardize the Church on the west coast and eventually the entire country. Indeed the salt has lost its strength and "It is no longer of any use but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men." This is what the cardinal is doing to our Faith. Isn't it time we started to pepper the plates of confused Catholics with the truth of the Church for all ages?
Men from Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside and elsewhere are being sent to St. John's and these once hallowed halls that produced so many good priests under the leadership of orthodox prelates like Cardinal James Francis McIntyre and Cardinal Timothy Manning are now an empty shell of what was once a seed bed of virtue. Why? Kumpel endeavors to answer those questions. I know you will be shocked and outraged at some of the answers the modernists offer.
We debut this on St. Joseph's day because he is "Patron of Priests and Seminarians." He was the foster father of Jesus, the First Priest Who was also the Priest-Victim. His virtues of chastity, obedience, poverty, prudence - the list goes on - are the ideal for every man of the cloth or preparing to take vows. If only more priests, seminarians, vocations directors, seminary professors, spiritual directors and bishops relied on exemplifying Joseph's attributes, the world and our Church would be so much better and we wouldn't have to publish such outlandish accounts as you'll read today about what kind of man the Archdiocese of LA is preparing as your priests of tomorrow. With the type of formation they are receiving, we assure you, it is not the calibre of what we should expect and pray for: men who would treasure the virtues of this holy saint.
While we have excellent bishops throughout this beloved country who strive to uphold the ideals Joseph exemplifies, men like Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and Cardinal Edward Egan to name a few of the redhats, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap and Archbishop Justin F. Rigali to select just a few archbishops, and Bishop John J. Myers and Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz to single out just a few of the outstanding orthodox prelates, we have many who subscribe to the Mahony mantra of the Am-church and, dear friends, if we do not expose it, if we do not stand up for God and all His saints in Heaven as the Church Militant, we will have to account for our inaction when the time comes to cash in our dividends for eternal life. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to make excuses to the Almighty that I was afraid to speak out for Him and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Yes, it means stepping out in Faith. Yes, it means being willing to put up with persecution. Are we not up to the task? It is no different than the task and duty the early Christians were called to perform, the same task and duty the loyal Catholics and clergy of France were called to during the French Revolution, the same task and duty the loyal lay and Catholic clergy of Spain were called to during the Spanish Civil War, the same as so many loyal lay and Catholic clergy in China, Russia, Cuba, the Sudan and other parts of Africa endure today. Many will look at America today and say, what are you complaining about? You don't have persecution in the U.S. Little do they realize we do. The persecution is different, but it is just as deadly...if not more so as Jesus says in Matthew 10: 28, "And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather be afraid of him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
It is a persecution that permeates homes, schools and sanctuary. It is the persecution of the virtuous. And it is a deadly cancer that has crept into our chanceries and parishes. Slowly, but surely they are killing the soul by changing our Church. More and more they are driving us into the catacombs of the underground Church in order to preserve our Faith, to keep it alive so that when He comes again He will find the Faith. "Yet when the Son of Man comes, will He find, do you think, Faith on the earth?" (Luke 18: 8).
Jesus has assured us in Matthew 10: 29-42 that God will take care of us, even as He does the sparrow, if we but trust in Him and call ourselves uncompromisingly and completely His. Today the swallows return to Mission San Juan Capistrano 75 miles north of us. God takes care of the swallow and, through tradition, the winged creature returns on schedule on this joyous Feast of the gentle saint whose life was a continuous fiat of virtue. The annual event of the swallows returning to Capistrano has become a tradition. Ah, there's that word again, tradition. We must not be afraid to pronounce it proudly and live it. Tradition is not only important, it is necessary if we are to carry on the traditions of those who preceded us over these past two millenniums. We ask you to pray and voice your outrage at the travesties being allowed in dioceses and archdioceses across this country. Speak out for Christ and His Church. Do not be intimidated by the modernists' modems of malaise. We do have a voice and we need to use it to save our Church. On this joyous day of St. Joseph and the tradition of the swallows' return, the trend away from Catholic Tradition is what's hard to swallow!
For past editorials, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT Archives
March 19, 2001
volume 12, no. 78
CATHOLIC PewPOINT commentary