Sensus Catholicus And Common Sense: On The Proper Way Of Catholic Warfare.
I wish I could find an old post about the Church teaching in dealing with bad laws.
The gist of it was that first one tries everything he can to avoid the laws becoming such in the first place; if this fails, then one tries everything he can to have them repealed; if even this fails, then one tries to have them destroyed one piece at a time. But to destroy the law a piece at a time will always, for the sound Catholic, be the better choice than an unreal battle to have the law repealed, when it is just not realistic to obtain the optimal result.
Example: abortion. Catholic teaching in the matter is simple and clear: First, savage battle to avoid abortion legislation. If this partout fails, savage battle to have it repealed. If this partout fails, “salami tactics” (this is a nice German expression) which means: the targeted result is pursued, and hopefully obtained, one slice at a time. In this case this means proposing and having passed everything from higher medical standards for abortion mills, to the shortening of the periods in which abortion is legal, to the obligation to have a scanned image obtained, to longer waiting times, etc.
The thinking behind this is the solid common sense that is behind sound Catholic minds: if I can’t save – for now – one million aborted babies, I will try to save at least one hundred thousand of them. The first step will then, hopefully, lead to the second, and the third.
In this example, and in many others to which the same principle may be applied, you do not renounce to a positive intermediate result in the name of an end result that cannot, for the moment at least, be achieved at all. You do not renounce to a law shortening the time in which it is legal to abort because “this would mean to be accomplices of abortion”. What you do is: uphold Church teaching in all things (you will always be vociferous against abortion tout court; because what is impossible in this generation may be possible in the next, or the following one, and because the Church’s stance against abortion is the Truth of Christ), and take every slice of the salami you can.
Is it possible to have partial legislation against abortion? Well: go for it, for heaven’s sake! Do not condemn babies to die because the law is not beautiful enough for you! When babies are dying you save as many as you can, you do not sacrifice them to your beautiful, but unreachable ideals!
This is what the Church has always done in her dealing with secular powers, at least until Vatican II: the entire Catholic Truth, whenever I can; as much of it as I can, always. Therefore, in certain Countries She managed to be State Religion; but in those Country where she could not manage to do so (say: USA, United Kingdom), she tried to obtain as much freedom of religion for Catholics as possible. She did not say “I am not interested in freedom of speech, or of cult, for English Catholics! Either you make of Catholicism the State Religion or I am very happy to retreat in the Catacombs!”
You do not allow a secular State to push Catholics in the catacombs just because you cannot be the Religion of State. You do not allow the Church to be pushed underground just because the ideal of a Catholic state cannot be realised. You may feel more beautiful in the catacombs, but countless souls will be lost – seen from an earthly perspective – because of your quest for purity. There is no doubt that the Church in the catacombs was purer than the Church out of it. But the aim of the Church is to spread all over the world, not to stay beautiful in the catacombs.
When Constantine allowed freedom of cult to Christians, they did not refuse it because Constantine himself wasn’t even baptised. When Paul went all over the Mediterranean to gain converts to Christianity, he did not demand the demise of the Roman Empire as a precondition. When countless missionaries converted local kings and local warlords to Christianity, you can bet your hat that in many cases the thus converted King kept having a number of concubines around him. Those missionaries certainly knew it very well. They took one slice at a time. In the case of the king’s conversion, they got to pretty much the entire salami, but again if they had asked an exemplary life of him, in many cases not one slice would have been obtained.
Dreaming is one thing, doing is another. Keep dreaming if you want to. This blog is for those who prefer reality.
Does this mean that the Church must capitulate to (oh, that word) “gradualism”? Certainly not! Not, at least, if it is meant – as it was meant at the synod – compromising with the Truth.
On one hand, to uphold the Catholic teaching in its entirety is not only advisable, but absolutely mandatory. On the other hand, to have this Catholic teaching reintroduced in phases – as long as it cannot be done in one go – is the only viable way, and it is the way the Church has always chosen. Do you think Cardinal Consalvi would say to Napoleon “either you make of us the State Religion again, or we don’t care if you kill every Catholic in France”? No. Do you think he demanded from Napoleon that he starts living an exemplary Christian life? Come on. What the man instead did was to lead Napoleon to the recognition of the advantages for him in having this Church as the State religion again. I am sure he did not expect a mystical Napoleon after that. But I am rather sure he was pretty pleased with what he had accomplished anyway. By the by: Napoleon ended up dying in his bed, a Catholic, with the comfort of the Sacraments.
I could go on until tomorrow, but you get the drift.
Why do I write all this? Because this applies to our age exactly as well as to all ages before, and after it.
I get positively scared when I read commenters stating that I should not support Pell, because Pell would not pass the SSPX-Test. No he wouldn’t. Nor would Piacenza, or Mueller, or even Burke! They wouldn’t, because they are, all of them, polluted by V II, the one more and the other less. But for heaven’s sake, to discuss the merits of Mueller’s orthodoxy when Satan himself is launching all his armoured divisions against the Church seems criminally negligent to me.
We run the risk of having the Church as we know it – and be it in the largely defective V II version – wiped out of a good part of the West. We run the risk of a confusion of faithful, of a spiritual chaos like the planet has never, ever seen. Forgive me if I do not have any time for your complaints against Cardinal Pell!
The same applies, of course, to other matters, like freedom of speech. As I write this, freedom of speech is the only thing that keeps Christianity, in many Western Countries, away from the catacombs. It leaves me breathless that to defend freedom of speech would be something bad, because it does not correspond to some Catholic dream certainly not realisable in our generation, and probably not even in the next one.
At times I think that in some Catholics a mentality takes over, that in Italian is called “tanto peggio, tanto meglio” or “the worse, the better”. As if it were a matter of no importance whether in the West Christianity can reach everyone or not, or whether the West keeps as much as it can of Christian mentality and civilisation; as if it were irrelevant whether the Bride of Christ is raped by a gang of thugs and carried on the street, bleeding copiously, by a drunken mob, or is as strong and vigorous as can reasonably be hoped in the present, sad, circumstances.
“But Mundabor! It is good if the Bride of Christ is raped by a gang of thugs and carried on the street bleeding! Don’t you know that she will not die anyway?”
“But Mundabor! It is good if Christianity disappears from all over the West and is reduced to the catacombs: just think of how beautiful the fifteen of us will feel once we are there!”.
Please let us not joke here. Lives are at stake. Souls are at stake. The Christian West is at stake.
Thank God every day instead,and pray Him every night, for the likes of Mueller, Pell, or Burke. Pray that God send us many more of them, and be they of the V II garden variety, provided they are willing to fight against the extreme Francis variety. Pray FIRST that they may find the strenght to lead us in battle against the extremely strong army of Satan that is forming its ranks as we speak. And pray SECOND that when the battle at hand is won, a new awareness may be created about the real root and first cause of all this mess: Vatican II.
We are about to be invaded by the Wehrmacht, and we should discuss about the credentials of the only generals we found – and lucky to get them – ready to lead our army?
Don’t make me laugh.
Posted on October 28, 2014, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged Cardinal Pell, Extraordinary Synod 2014 synod, Freedom of Speech. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.