Et two Assisi? |
By Father Peter R. Scott
The following from Father Peter Scott, sent to the Traditional List, addresses the severe problems compounded by the Holy Father himself over his uncalled-for attempts to appease Moslims and other false religions all in the name of ecumenism. Father calls for renewed prayer and the intense desire to strive for personal sanctity in order to offset this grave contradiction by the post-conciliar church to the undeniable truths of Holy Mother Church.
It pains me, as we celebrate the great mystery of the Incarnation, the dwelling amongst us of the Word made flesh, full of grace and truth, to inform you of the latest horror of the post-conciliar church. However, it is my duty to do so, that the understanding of the gravity of the crisis in the Church might motivate us to seek after the holiness of the saints, which is the only satisfactory answer.
You have probably heard of the Pope’s request that Catholics were to fast on December 14, the last day of the Muslim fast of Ramadan, to pray for peace together with the Muslims. As if our divine Savior, God made man, were not the source of all grace, all merit and every good work; as if fasting without Christ, but by Whom no man goes to the Father (John 14:6), could be pleasing to God; as if Saint Paul were no longer right when he said that the Catholic Faith comes first, then the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom all merits and good works flow: "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; Not of works, that no man may glory. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works…" (Ephesians 2:8-10). It was to emphasize the futility of such fasting without Faith in the divinity of the one true Mediator, Our Lord Jesus Christ, that the Society recommended not to keep any special observance on this day, but rather to prepare liturgically for the Christmas celebrations by the fasts of the Ember days and Christmas Vigil, so solidly based upon the Faith as they are. Such was, in effect, the best way to make reparation for the scandal and for the implicit denial of the Faith contained in the recommendation of partaking in a Muslim religious observance.
However, the greatest tragedy is that the Pope has requested, as a reaction to the terrorist attack of September 11, not a time of penance for the sins of Catholics, nor for the apostasy and moral perversion of the West that merited such a chastisement, but instead another Assisi, another reunion of all the world’s religions to pray together to all their false gods for peace. This prayer meeting, that is supposed to procure "authentic peace", is but a repetition of the disgraceful meeting of October 27, 1986, which manifestly produced no such peace. To those who attempt to justify such ecumenical meetings by the legalistic argument that each group prays separately, there is not just the obvious fact that all participants are morally united in time and place for their prayers and that they gather together for the final prayer ceremony. John Paul II himself stated very clearly on November 18, at his proclamation of this inter-religious meeting, that it was to be a "common invocation" just like that of 1986.
Conflict, Violence & Hatred?
The Pope further indicated the special intention of this meeting: "Above all else, we would like to bring together Christians and Muslims, to proclaim to the world that religion must never become a motive for conflict, hatred and violence." Preposterous statement, if ever there was one, and one which is a DENIAL of the entire history of the Church, not to mention that of Islam, entirely based as it is on hatred and violence, and one which forever reduces truth to the level of a subjective, personal opinion, having no meaning outside of one’s own personal consciousness.
If it is certainly true that our holy religion, unlike Islam, teaches us: "forgive those who trespass against us" (Matthew 6:12), "love your enemies: do good to them that hate you; and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you" (Matthew 5:44), regardless of the false religion to which they might presently adhere. However, it most certainly does not teach us to love the evil of the false religion of Islam, but rather to hate its errors with all the vehement conviction of our Faith and of our love for the truth. As for conflict and violence, religion has always been, and will always be, a motive for those who believe in objective truth. To deny this is to deny the sanctity of the martyrs of the early centuries, who were certainly in conflict with paganism. It is to deny the Crusades and the sanctity of those who gave their lives in these violent conflicts for the Faith and against the Muslims, and of those who preached them, such as Saint Bernard and Saint John Capistrano.
Saint Pius X and Pope Pius XI
Although the Church permits tolerance in those circumstances (only) in which it is for the common good, it repeatedly and solemnly condemns the modernist concept that religion cannot be a source of conflict, being really but a subjective feeling, every time the anti-modernist oath of Saint Pius X is recited:
It is no wonder that Pope Pius XI had this to say about inter-religious meetings, even when the purpose was not that of common prayer as at Assisi:
Fifthly, I hold most certainly and profess sincerely that faith is not a blind religious feeling bursting forth from the recesses of the subconscious, unformed morally under the pressure of the heart and the impulse of the will, but the true assent of the intellect to the truth… (Db 2145).
Congresses, meetings, and addresses are arranged, attended by a large concourse of hearers, where all without distinction, unbelievers of every kind as well as Christians, even those who unhappily have rejected Christ and denied His divine nature or mission, are invited to join in the discussion. Now, such efforts can meet with no kind of approval among Catholics. They presuppose the erroneous view that all religions are more or less praiseworthy, inasmuch as all give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God and to the obedient acknowledgement of His rule. Those who hold such a view are not only in error; they distort the true idea of religion, and thus reject it, falling gradually into naturalism and atheism. To favor this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God. (Mortalium animos, §2)
A stronger condemnation of John Paul II’s ecumenical meetings, in the name of Vatican II, could hardly be imagined.
Truly, as Father Dormann puts it, "The ‘Assisi Event’ is no mere random occurrence, but it touches the very substance of divine revelation and worship as set down in Scripture, namely the First Commandment" (Part I, p.10). It is no wonder that Archbishop Lefebvre had this to say in 1986, words that he would certainly repeat now:
It is the first article of the Creed and the first of the Ten Commandments that are publicly insulted by he who is seated on the Seat of Peter. The scandal for Catholic souls is incalculable. The Church is shaken to its very foundations…Is John-Paul II going to continue to publicly destroy the Catholic Faith, in particular at Assisi, with the assembly of different religions that is supposed to take to the streets of the city of Saint Francis, and with the division amongst the different religions of the chapels and the Basilica, that each one might practice its own worship for peace, as it is conceived by the U.N.?
Truly the crisis in the Church has not improved one iota, notwithstanding the availability of the Indult Mass, the nomination of certain "conservative" prelates, and the efforts to induce traditional Catholics to sign an agreement. It is a crisis of the Faith, which is not being preached or professed. Assisi is but the most obvious sign of this betrayal of the Faith. It is the personal initiative to apply the principles of Vatican II by he who holds the supreme authority and responsibility to profess the Faith in the Church, initiative that is repeated many times every day throughout the post-conciliar church. This is what made Archbishop Lefebvre write on January 29, 1990:
The Answer: HOLINESS
The current Pope and bishops no longer hand down Our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather a sentimental, superficial, charismatic religiosity, through which, as a general rule, the true grace of the Holy Ghost no longer passes. This new religion is not the Catholic religion; it is sterile, incapable of sanctifying society and the family. (Spiritual Journey, p.9)
Given the conflict that this modernism has created amongst Catholics who strive to be faithful, and the violent oppression of Tradition in the name of religion, it is very easy for us to become distracted by the politics of the combat. However, the essential has never changed. We will only be able to work towards the sanctification of society and the family if we continue our struggle for our own sanctity. Is not this the whole purpose of our Masses, frequent Confessions and Communions, devotions and meditations, that it be no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and that the life that I now live in the flesh I might "live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me" (Galatians 2:20)?
In this regard, I would like to present you the following words from one of my fellow priests, Father François Pivert, from his magazine Le combat de la foi:
Let us not kid ourselves. It is not the Catholic idea of holiness that God wants to save, nor even the memory of it nor even respect for it; it is its practice. For God never separates (how could He?) the Faith from its practice, perfect Faith from perfect practice. Consequently, just as we find it normal to consider that traditional Catholics have received in the present crisis the mission to maintain the profession of the Faith in all its purity, so likewise must we find it normal to have at the same time received the responsibility for the practice of the holiness of the Catholic life in all its perfection. (No. 134 , p.5)
Let the beginning of this new calendar year be a reminder for us. Complacency in our comfortable life style is the biggest enemy to our spiritual life and to religious and priestly vocations, as well as to our defense of Holy Mother Church. The integral profession of our Faith is not enough to overcome this complacency. We must renew our efforts to strive for perfection and to accomplish the will of God in everything by deepening our interior lives. There could be no better response to the scandal of Assisi.
May the Divine Infant and His Holy Mother obtain this grace for all us of during this year to come.
Editor's Note: Father Peter R. Scott is the District Superior for the Society of Saint Pius X.
Parts of his article made bold or italic and photos added for emphasis by editor.
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