November 12-18, 2001
volume 12, no. 156

We need to learn from history, not change it!

   Once again the feebleness of the American bishops, especially the New Jersey bishops, has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. How else can you explain New Jersey - over 40% Catholic - electing, by a wide margin, yet another avowed pro-abort 'Catholic' for governor? I'm talking about Democrat Jim McGreevey soundly beating underdog Republican Bret Schundler. The latter was not Catholic, but his values and principles were in his uncompromising Pro-Life position. However, that evidently wasn't enough for the bishops and pastors to break ranks with the Democratic Party and send a strong message to the misguided Catholic voters of the Garden State. Oh yes, the bishops once again released their token statement falling back on a document from the 90's called "Living the Gospel of Life." But as we have seen so many times those are mere words that I would venture to bet less than ten percent of Catholics have read. We had so hoped, with Pope John Paul II's appointment of Bishop John J. Myers - that stalwart of Peoria - as the new primate of Newark, that orthodoxy and common sense would return and Catholics would realize their own sin if they voted for a known promoter of killing the innocents. What is it when a man gets elevated to a higher episcopate? We've seen this with Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Francis Cardinal George, OMI and Edward Cardinal Egan. We ask you to read Dr. Tom Droleskey's excellent and probing column No Homeland Security for the Unborn! in this issue.

    As we wrote daily from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday this year in our Herod's Heroes series in pleading with the bishops that they MUST follow Our Lord's teachings, they MUST stand up for Jesus Christ and His Church. They MUST not only speak out without reservation, but they MUST issue the ultimatum to those pro-abort politicians who bring so much scandal to the Church by continuing to call themselves 'Catholic.' Because Pentecost was the day that the Apostles were brought from uncertainty to certainty, we scheduled the countdown to coincide with Pentecost for the bishops to bring Catholics everywhere from uncertainty to certainty, from ambiguity to absolutes, from drifting in sin to discipline for God's Holy Laws. Repeatedly we called for the bishops to make it known to all in no uncertain terms. Their response? Zilch! Despite the fact that Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani of Peru has responded strongly that anyone who votes, legislates or promotes the terrorism of the womb have automatically excommunicated themselves from Holy Mother Church - latae sententiae (Canon Law 1329, 2; 1397 and 1398) and Norberto Cardinal Rivera in Mexico City has indicated the same, as well as a few other courageous prelates outside the United States, there has been no such action by the American body of bishops. Father Peter West of Priests for Life nails it when he asserts "the bishops are afraid." They know they are and they also know the only way to enforce what Cardinal Cipriani has done, the only way to truly carry any clout with Catholics is if it is widely known and enforced. From the spineless action of the current crop of American prelates, don't hold your breath waiting.

    Sadly, the American bishops in the post-conciliar Church have shown their lack of backbone by their apparent catering to political expediency. Their obvious lack of adhering to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church was a strong wake-up call for us that those governing our beloved Church today are compromising for the sake of ecumenism, globalization and the One World Order. The more we studied past Papal proclamations and decrees, Catechetical teachings and Council decrees before Vatican II - especially the Holy Council of Trent - the more we realized how the errors of Vatican II are enabling the auto-demolition of the Church Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter. The fact that the bishops continue their feeble ways only gives credence to the demise. Pedophilia and sodomy continue in seminaries. Orthodox potential priests are drummed out. Abuses in doctrine and liturgy are allowed to go unchecked, but any sincere efforts to have a Traditional Mass are met with a wall of superiority and ridicule. Pandering to politicians and influential business leaders takes precedence over reinforcing solid Catholic doctrine and the austerity of true servants of God, true successors of the Apostles, true shepherds of souls. Parishioners are intimidated into submitting to the 'good of the community' rather than the emphasis on the individual soul. They are coerced into giving hard-earned money so modern atrocities costing millions and millions of dollars can be built, edifices that defy Catholicity and embrace iconoclasm and new ageism for the sake of ecumenism in diocese after diocese. For the great majority of bishops, it's all show, all PR spin, all about enhancing their image in the community and complying with the Masonic influence so prevalent in the Church today in order to get ahead. It's the politically correct thing to do. Forget being spiritually correct. Go along in order to get along. That's what ecumenism is all about: Compromise.

    Think about it. A person who compromises his principles once, well, it's easier to compromise them the next time and the next until he rationalizes he hasn't done anything wrong. With the conscience dulled, fear of reprisal from God takes on an anesthetized meaning and the devil no longer seems relevant, and sin seaps in so easily. So many have forgotten Christ's words in Matthew 5: 29, "And if thy right eye causes thee to offend, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is better for thee that one of thy members should perish, than that thy whole body should be cast into hell." He repeats the same about the hand in verse 30, and in Matthew 18:6-8 Jesus makes no bones about it when He says, "But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Wo to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but, nevertheless, wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh." In the next two verses Christ again refers to removing the member than the whole body suffering. Sin is that dangerous. The Apostle Paul affirms this in Romans 6: 13-14, "Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin: but present yourselves to God as those that are alive from the dead: and your members as instruments of justice unto God."

    But since sin has been rationalized and many members of the body condoned to do whatever they want, then sin, too, is rationalized as merely a superstition carried over from the Church of the Middle Ages. And the medieval Church, despite the abundance of so many saints, is something we modern, enlightened 'People of God' cannot accept because those were the worst of times for so many 'persecuted' by the Church. Consequently that 'trauma' caused so much damage to man's psyche and nature's imbalance. Playing right into the psychology trap we are led to believe that it was the Church which damaged so many. Why we have that on good authority, folks, yes, from that self-appointed revisionist historian himself Bill Clinton.

    You see it was the luminary mind of that Georgetown scholar and former president who has placed the blame of the 9-11 disaster squarely where it belongs: on the Church. Never mind that he knows better, never mind that this high-fallutin' Jesuit university long ago abandoned Catholic Truths and Traditions, never mind that Georgetown represents the mecca of liberalism and modernism for the Catholic college system today. The fact that a known graduate of this system, an unrepentant adulterer, liar and murderer was invited back to his alma mater to accuse the Church of causing the problems that beset society today is good enough for the public to buy. In slick Willie's warped logic the Islamic attack on America was justified because of the Crusades when, as he charged, "in the first crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was a Muslim on the temple mount." Now he was probably taught that at Georgetown or possibly Monica Lewinsky shared that information with him in the few times they might have actually talked with each other when together in the Oval Office. Regardless, it is more revisionist history that badly maligns the Church's action and villainizes the medieval Church.

    The truth, as is recalled in Hillaire Belloc's "The Crusades" is that the First Crusade was called to not only protect Christians from the 'cruel and fanatical oppression of the infidels: the Mohammedans and, secretly supporting them, the Jews,' but also 'to reclaim for the Bride of Christ the places forever hallowed and the land evermore made holy by the presence and the touch of the Son of God, the Divine Bridegroom. The sands and stones upon which His step had rested, as He halted to bless and to heal, the privileged earth which had received His blood footprints on His Way to Calvary, the cave which had housed His Mother as she bore Him, the tomb which had opened to receive His crucified body, all cried out across a continent to be rescued from the profane and blasphemous hands into which they had fallen.'

    While in Clermont preaching a Crusade in 1095, Blessed Pope Urban II made it quite clear the purpose of the Crusades, "The temple of God has been profaned, His saints slain, and their bodies cast out upon the plains for the fowls of the air and the beasts of the fields to feed upon. The blood of Christians flows like water in and about Jerusalem, and there is none to do the poor service of giving burial to their remains. Strong in our trust in the Divine Mercy, and by virtue of the authority of Saints Peter and Paul, of whose fullness we are the depository, we here by grant full remission of any canonical penalties whatever to all the faithful of Christ who from motives of earnest and sincere devotion shall take up arms against the infidel. Should anyone die while engaged in this holy pilgrimage let him be assured that, if he be truly penitent, he shall have his sins fully remitted, and pass to the joys of eternal life."

    Notice the Supreme Pontiff, who called the very first Crusade, stated clearly "if he be truly penitent." That is why no one can judge man's heart or soul, only their actions. Only God knows what is within, the intent. But it is in the actions of so many today that we call into question for it has given rise to making it so much easier to accuse the Church of even more devious crimes and neutralize the good she has done over the centuries. Instead of a fair and balanced portrayal, we are given a one-sided view and justification for the Reformation, the rise of free thought and the totally secular, humanist, modernist concept of 'liberty, equality and fraternity' that spawned the French Revolution and gave free reign to Freemasonry which has vowed to destroy Holy Mother Church.

    Never mind that the Council of Trent condemned Martin Luther and his ilk as heretics. Never mind that Popes Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Pius XI and Pope Pius XII soundly condemned Freemasonry, Communism and Modernism. Revisionist historians and theologians sought to change the direction of the Church from within by infiltrating her. The Pontiffs mentioned knew of this and warned all in no uncertain terms. So did the Mother of God at La Salette and Fatima. Never mind that the Councils of the past, specifically Trent and Vatican I - both Holy Councils with infallible doctrines decreed - were neglected and misinterpreted in order to rationalize the new thinking at Vatican II and the grave errors that evolved in the reforms of Vatican II which have seemingly ignored the wisdom of past Papal pronouncements and Councils. Point in fact, how many times today do you see bishops and even the Pope refer back to the wisdom and holy documents of past Pontiffs and Councils except for reference to Vatican II? What about all that came before it? Folks, contrary to what so many have been mesmerized into thinking, the Church did not begin in the sixties! In addition, we ask how could a pastoral-only very, very fallible council trump doctrinal, infallible Councils of the past? Point of truth, they cannot. Nevertheless, revisionist historians and theologians have managed to pull the wool over the eyes and souls of so many Catholics today that they will believe anything! ANYTHING!

    Many Catholics have given President George W. Bush high marks for his presidency thus far. We would like to, but he has given us no reason to for he has knowingly promoted avowed pro-aborts to key positions and allowed the sodomy agenda to gain steam. In his most recent talk in Atlanta - one in which all anyone remembers is his final words at the end of the Our Father - "Let's roll!" - he said, "This enemy tries to hide behind a peaceful faith. But those who celebrate the murder of innocent men, women and children have no religion, have no conscience and have no mercy." He is right, but does he realize that? Do Catholics realize that? Do the bishops realize that as long as abortion is allowed, those who vote for, promote, legislate and help enable it in anyway - even by their fear of speaking out - 'have no religion, have no conscience and have no mercy!'?

    To disagree with that last syllogism is to contradict the teachings of Christ and His Holy Church. I served my country in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. I am as patriotic as the next in defending my country, but my priorities do not hold country at the top. No, that comes third behind Faith, Family and then fatherland - in this case the United States of America. Yet so many invert that order. Do we not realize that, by compromising principles and morals, we are only putting a panacea on an open wound that will not be healed no matter how much emotionalism is stirred up in patriotic fever?

    No matter how patriotic we might seem, do we not realizing we are compromising God in favor of country? Those who did that in England in the sixteenth century would realize what I'm talking about; those who did that in France in the late eighteenth century would also realize it; those who compromised in Russia early in the twentieth century know only too well what I'm talking about as well as those in Germany in World War II who were swept up in pride and hate through Hitler's fanaticism. As much as those within the Church are cooperating with revisionist historians for the sake of ecumenism - from blanket, one-sided apologies by the Pope to bishops and pastors looking the other way when sin is obvious, from condoning sin by not condemning it in no uncertain terms to putting their own interpretation on meanings via modern standards which have hatched new translations of the bible and a concerted attempt to promote religious pluralism -we are not better off spiritually.

    We have discarded the true version of Sacred Scripture - the Latin Vulgate of Saint Jerome and the approved biblical translation of the Douay-Rheims edition for all kinds of hybrids that have twisted meanings and interpreted the Word in ways that seek to justify whatever we want to do. We have discarded the Catechism of the Council of Trent for one that compromises by expanding on ambiguity and relativism. We have shelved the wisdom of past Pontiffs and Councils for an end-instead-of-a-means Council that seeks to justify modern thinking and society's mores for the sake of going along in order to get along with other religions. We have been caught up in a wave of euphemisms like 'New Pentecost, Springtime of Renewal, New Evangelization, Civilization of Love' and 'People of God' without realizing the direction the Church is heading is toward the very dangers past holy Pontiffs and Councils, and the Blessed Virgin Mary warned against. Gone are the absolutes and disciplines that once clearly stood as the shining beacon in the darkness. Today the grays have fused and few know what is right and wrong anymore, thus allowing complacency and compromise to set in. Many of the members of the Mystical Body of Christ are decaying and the Head will not stand for it. He has too much Heart - a Sacred and Immaculate, and yes, Sorrowful Heart - to allow His Church to deteriorate to such a state.

    We know the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. We have Our Lord's promise of this in Matthew 16: 19, but we cannot assume satan will not take his measure of revenge. We cannot assume there will not be great casualties. Remember Saint John Chrysostom, the golden-throated Doctor of the Church of the early fifth century said "The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops." He was referring to the Arian bishops and the many who had compromised. Imagine today how well the surface of hades might be furnished considering the abandonment by so many bishops of Christ's command to "Feed My sheep" (John 21: 17). Through the hierarchical Church it is only by being fed by the shepherds can we receive the Faith. That is our religion. It is by religion - and there is only One, True Religion - the Church which Christ founded - that we fulfill the purpose for which we were created. By believing what God has revealed, we come to know God. By knowing God, we cannot help but love Him. By loving Him we practice what we learn and obey God's commands. By practicing uncompromisingly what He has handed down in Divine Revelation through His Holy Church, we serve Him.

    Are we truly serving Him if we are willing to compromise His commandments? Are we truly serving Him if we buy into the revisionist historians and theologians who seek to put a different spin on what Christ intended? We have the greatest historical book ever written to guide us: The Holy Bible as passed down by St. Jerome in the Latin Vulgate. It states clearly within that sacred book God's undeniable command, "Thou shalt not kill". Any rationalizing from that is a deviance from God's Holy Will. Any compromise of the Divine Will to please man - no matter how noble, is humanism. What it comes down to is rather than looking to the future in working on how to better serve man, we need to return to the principles, values and doctrines that clearly outlined how to better serve God. In summation, we need to learn from history, not change it!

Michael Cain, editor

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November 12-18, 2001
volume 12, no. 156
CATHOLIC PewPOINT commentary