“One of the most horrifying and widespread diseases in the Church today is the lethargy of the guardians of the Faith of the Church. I am not thinking here of those bishops who are members of the “fifth column,” who wish to destroy the Church from within, or to transform it into something completely different. I am thinking of the far more numerous bishops who have no such intentions, but who make no use whatever of their authority when it comes to intervening against heretical theologians or priests, or against blasphemous performances of public worship. They either close their eyes and try, ostrich-style, to ignore the grievous abuses as well as appeals to their duty to intervene, or they fear to be attacked by the press or the mass media and defamed as reactionary, narrow-minded, or medieval. They fear men more than God. The words of St. John Bosco apply to them: “The power of evil men lives on the cowardice of the good.”
Dietrich von Hildebrand
I have it from Rorate Caeli that the Archdiocese of San Francisco now has a TLM “at the request of Bishop Cordileone”.
I was a bit confused at the start as I thought the reason why Summorum Pontificum exists is to allow a priest to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass without any need for any initiative from the bishop.
I can, therefore, only read the announcement as meaning that, as there was in the entire diocese partout no priest able and/or willing to celebrate the TLM, the good Archbishop had to become active himself and take care that one TLM is celebrated on every day of obligation within the Diocese.
The archdiocese of San Francisco is certainly big and its priests, no doubt, numerous. That the bishop has to “request” the celebration of one TLM says a thing or two about the state of affairs in the diocese. Bishop Cordileone has just started and will hopefully manage to inject some orthodoxy in the diocese, but heavens, he has been left with a lot of work to do.
This goes to show that the appointment of sound bishops is absolutely vital in the proper care of soul. Get it wrong, and a couple of decades will suffice to demolish the healthiest diocese. Get it right, and the advantages will also be seen in a handful of years.
Who appoints the bishops, you already know. The average quality has probably improved in the last years, but it can't be said it gave reason to be impressed. Cordileone's predecessor was also appointed by the same one who appointed Cordileone; and was, without doubt, a failure.
I fear much for the appointments under the current tenure. I am afraid we will see even less Cordileones than his was the case under Pope Benedict.
You can think for yourself the long-term effects on the TLM.
God bless bishop Cordileone, and let us hope lion hearts like him (this is, funnily enough, his name's meaning in Italian) become more and more frequent in the future. But really, it takes a lot of optimism.
Shocking, shocking reading at Father Z's. When Father is late for the start of the Mass (apparently because he has commitments elsewhere, requiring driving) a sister starts the wannabe “Mass” herself, up to and including the Readings. At some point “Father” arrives, and he picks up from the point where madwoman has arrived.
This defies imagination: just because the priest is late, a religious sister thinks she can play priest. This reminds me of children who play Mass, though I am sure when they do the “priest” is played by a boy.
Even more absurd – and I wonder why such abuses would not deserve immediate defrocking – is that Father doesn't have any problem with that. You can almost hear him say “thank you for stepping in, Sister”.
Apparently, this happens regularly. Seriously, if Archbishop Zollitsch reads this he might think of making of this a regular feature of Mass in Germany, but on second thoughts not even Zollitsch would be as stupid as that.
Now why do I tell you all this? Because with the Traditional Mass such a madness would be inconceivable. Of course such a parody isn't a Mass, not even with the rather low standards of quality of the Novus Ordo. But if we are honest with ourselves we must see that the shameless devastation and banalisation of the Mass perpetrated by V II is what makes such a madness thinkable in the first place.
Note that the faithful present never stand up crying: “no, sister! stop! save your soul! We can wait for father to arrive, but if you start now we'll go away!”. Only one has written to Father Z with his doubts. A couple of others are certainly not at ease. Most certainly “feel” Sister is being “nice” and “helpful”. It must be so, otherwise “Father” (as long as he is one; hopefully not for long) would have been inundated with complaints and injunctions to let this stop at once.
I will put this in my little collection called “flowers of V II”; a collection containing the strangest flowers you can imagine; radioactive, or poisoning, or outright ugly.
A poster on the above mentioned blog commented with “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”.
I agree wholeheartedly.
A Swiss theologian has intervened after the heretical meeting called by Archbishop Zollitsch and has told him what we already knew, but was good to repeat: there can be no deaconesses because a deacon has holy orders, and the Archbishop is confusing the faithful. Again, a couple of considerations are probably in order.
1. Archbishop Zollitsch and his bunch of soutaned prostitutes do want to confuse the faithful. They know perfectly well a “deaconess” in the proper meaning of the word – one able to do all that a deacon can do – is a thing of impossibility, but why should they care? Their aim is simply to appease and encourage the German dissenting Catholics – millions of them, I am afraid – by telling them “German clergy good, Vatican bad!” and in this way keep them from stopping the payment of the Kirchensteuer.
2. There will never be “deaconesses”. But if this were to prove helpful to our heroes to suck it up to the German dissenters, they might well try to introduce “helpers” they would then call “deaconesses”, very probably by way of abuse as happened with the “altar girls” in Paul VI's times, and very probably getting away with it as happened in the same occasion. In this way we would have an army of bitching Zicken insisting to tell the world “I am a Deaconess” and getting extremely angry at every hint they do not have holy orders. After a while, they'd say they think they actually have, and if they haven't it's clearly an injustice. Give it ten years, and some German pew-sitter – and the totality of those never attending – wouldn't even know there's a difference. The priest will, certainly, never mention it.
3. The “female deaconess”, though – assuming she is introduced by way of liturgical abuse – would still only be able to do things like, let me think, undressing women being prepared for baptism? Therefore, whilst our Zicke would still be able to throw some smoke in the eyes of her Protestant Freundinnen, she would be seen as both useless and ridiculous by all those who still care for Catholicism. Still, many of the lukewarm or ill-informed would end up picking up this thing with the wind, that “there are Catholic deaconesses, I have heard someone say”.
Make no mistake, if Zollitsch & Co. think this kind of confusion can be useful to them, they will push it as hard as they can. They will then say they oh so wanted to have “real” “deaconesses”, but alas, it was partout not to be done.
In the meantime, the Pope tells us looking at balance sheets before hiring bad, and company prudence is unjust.
What a fine Papacy we will have.
“If we deny that we are morally bound to love before all else the good as such and God the sovereign good, what proof have we that we are bound to love that far less compelling good, the general welfare of humanity, which is the main object of the League of Nations? What proof have we that we are bound to love our country and family more than our life; or that we are bound to go on living and avoid suicide, even in the most overwhelming afflictions? If the sovereign good has not an inalienable right to be loved above all things, then a fortiori inferior goods have no such right. If we are not morally bound by a last end, then no end or means whatever is morally binding. If the foundation for moral obligation is not in a supreme lawgiver, then every human law is deprived of its ultimate foundation”.
I am currently reading Garrigou-Lagrange’s “Providence”, and once again the difference between the iron, masculine logic of the clergy of the past and the touchy-feely, effeminate emotionalism of the clergy of today strikes me like a fist on the nose.
It is no surprise modern theologians tend to ignore the Angelic Doctor. St. Thomas Aquinas has a way to lead you from one logical step to the next that, literally, leaves no escape from Truth. Therefore, if a theologian wants to muddle the waters and abandon Truth, he will have to abandon Thomism first.
Garrigou-Lagrange, a great Thomist with a great gift for scholarly but easily understandable exposition, uses this iron logic and step-by-step, inescapable ascent to Truth in every phrase. If you liked Lego, or Meccano, as a child, you will love Garrigou-Lagrange as an adult. With him – and with every serious Thomist – you leave aside fantasies and lucubrations born of goodism, and are led to Truth step by step, with a logic that may appear somewhat arid to the heart, but is the more satisfying to the intellect.
In the stupidly emotional times with which God is punishing us, it is a double pleasure to read people accustomed, and training us, to logical thinking.
To think most people you would ask in the street would tell you without any hesitation the Middle Ages were an age of ignorance, but now we are so much more advanced…
“That [38 Euros] is what the people who died were being paid. This is called slave labour,” he said. “Today in the world this slavery is being committed against something beautiful that God has given us – the capacity to create, to work, to have dignity. How many brothers and sisters find themselves in this situation!
“Not paying fairly, not giving a job because you are only looking at balance sheets, only looking at how to make a profit. That goes against God!
“There are many people who want to work but cannot. When a society is organised in a way that not everyone is given the chance to work, that society is not just.”
Another faux pas from the Pontiff and, alas, one which shows an amount of superficiality and shallow thinking that cannot but greatly alarm.
The start is good, with the Pope rightly lamenting the exploitation to which too many are still exposed, most notably in the Third World. One could discuss at length to which extent the decolonisation is responsible for it, but there is no denying the Holy Father expresses here a perfectly legitimate concern. The fraud on the pay is a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance, and I am unable to see how shameless exploitation of a situation of great need would not amount to it.
Where the Pontiff derails in an embarrassing manner – and you see all the difference with a refined thinker like his predecessor – is in the easy populism, sweeping generalisations and general anti-Capitalist sentiment with which he builds on the premise. These slips into easy populism show a mediocrity of reasoning that would rapidly kill even the prospects of a Labour politician. Decidedly, this Pope bears all the marks of the Jesuit from South America.
The first one is the slip with the balance sheet. Every company who wants to survive looks at the balance sheet first, second and third. Those who don’t, fail. Prudence in expensive decisions – like the one whether to hire – is the Alpha and Omega in a company’s success. This prudence, this insisted looking at the balance sheet, is what makes companies and all their stakeholders – shareholders, employees, clients, & Co. – also thrive. When the Pope blames companies who “look only at the balance sheet” he is certainly not thinking at sweat shops in Sri Lanka, but rather at Capitalism as an economic phenomenon, because here he is not complaining about exploitation, but about decisions from which the life itself of a company depends.
What else should a company look at, one would want to ask the Pontiff, if not at the balance sheet? If General Electric were to say “come on, let us hire one person we don’t need for ten we do; we can’t look only at the balance sheet after all”, how long does the Pontiff think General Electric would survive? And where does he think would be the profit if this company were, in the long term, to whither and then die? Will, then, this “not looking only at the balance sheet” be very profitable to the hundreds of thousands of families deprived of one, or all income? Make no mistake, this is nothing resembling Catholicism: third is third-rate Peronism of the kind that causes hyperinflation, widespread misery and military coups.
Then there is the other pearl, the one with the unjust society that does not give work. What the Pope says is that if a society fails to ensure full employment, this society – and the economic system it uses – is unjust.
Where I hail from, this is called diritto al lavoro, meant as “right to be employed by someone”. The decade-long flag of the Italian Communist Party, this most cretinous slogan has been for decades the epitome of everything that is absurd, albeit it clearly aimed at something positively evil but not at all absurd: communism.
Now as then, the stupid readily believe such crap, as the idea that work be something they just have an entitlement to is very appealing to them. This goes, in my experience, together with another observation: that those so ready to talk about their right to have a job aren’t generally very noted for their desire to work hard, and vice versa. I wonder if there is a link?
Now, I do not want to say Vatican populism in matters of employment has started with this Pope; but it is fair to say such South-American whiffs of Anti-Capitalism are fairly new not only in the virulence of the attack, but most importantly in the incredible superficiality of the delivery. This isn’t even parish priest level; this is incompetent parish priest level, and frankly gives ground – not for the first time – that this is by far not the smart brain that was sold to us. Smart people are smart even when they go around sloganeering. This one tried to swim once where he can’t touch, and almost drowned.
This is what happens when the Cardinals pick as Pope a Jesuit from South America. Mark my words, this Papacy won’t be any fun. Except, of course, for those blessed by a strong sense of humour and able too see the Pope’s exploits sub specie aeternitatis.
Some recent posts on the usefulness of traditional confessionals rather than those strange, vaguely creepy rooms where the priest is locked in with the penitent – who could be a woman, or a young girl – are probably a fitting occasion to make some consideration about different perceptions of the Confession.
I do not doubt most among the V II priests who hear confession believe in the sacrament, and my experience of Novus Ordo confessors is actually, on the whole, reassuring (the only serious exception was… a Jesuit). Still, even the most conservatively minded priest cannot escape the pernicious effect of the environment created by the modern confessionals.
Sitting in front of each other unavoidably creates the wrong atmosphere: the accent is on a chat about our sins rather than our sincere repentance. It certainly doesn't do much for perfect contrition.
Then there is the matter with the posture: in a well-made confessional you kneel, and the priest sits. This isn't casual. It isn't two friends having a chat here, but one wretched sinner utterly ashamed of his inadequacy, and another one acting on Christ's behalf. The difference is substantial.
Then there is the separation: it is nothing less than shocking how simple devices like the grate could be abandoned. Not to see the priest on the other side (which in a big church often means not knowing who he is) helps the penitent to think that on the other side of the grate is, in a very concrete way, Christ Himself. Again, this helps to reach perfect contrition greatly. Compare with the smiling bloke and think what helps you more…
It is no surprise to me that the confessional itself has been attacked after V II, because I do not labour under the misapprehension that V II was anything good. In fact, what has happened to the confessionals and the practice of going to confession shows once more that V II was the work of the Devil, enabling and even encouraging all the abuses subsequently made in its name, and of which V II was indubitably the cause. If you want to attack the Sacraments, you must attack the ways they are executed, so that their sacredness and the grace they impart is at least diminished.
The Devil, who used V II to enter the doors of the Church, made himself comfortable inside and started to attack pretty much everything Catholic; it would have been unrealistic to expect that Confession would be spared.
As to building new confessionals (you will see beautiful pieces of craftsmanship around), I think at least in England good results can be achieved fast, and at little expense. I have often noticed that in the London area confessionals were often “built in”, with a room divided into three: the central part for the priests and the two lateral ones for the penitents, with grate and all. The “chatting rooms” you find around are very often the same room, with the grates and barriers removed. It would therefore be very cheap to reinstall the grates, with a suitable place to kneel, and have things exactly as they were, and should be.
The answer to the present mess is, if you ask me, not only to go back fast to a more traditionally oriented practice concerning confessionals and confessions; but also to grasp whence the problems came and why. Unless we understand that the evil inbuilt in VII is the cause of pretty much every problem plaguing the Church nowadays – including the darling of the secular media: the pedophile priest scandal – we are going to wander in darkness as to the appropriate remedies.
The return to sanity – in this as in every other matter – goes through the demolition of all the innovations of V II; then I would be at a loss to mention to you one single “improvement” introduced after Vatican II that was not damaging to the Church and to the spiritual lives of the faithful.
Vatican II must go, and good riddance. There can be no middle way. A tree is judged by its fruits, and it astonishes me we see poisoned fruits wherever we turn, but there are those who insist the tree in itself is good.
I have just written about the rather unprecedented (I think; the German clergy is certainly not new to provocations) initiative of the German clergy, who are more or less collectively, and under the protection of a couple of hundred “experts”, attacking the sacrament of holy orders.
The aggressive attitude and the appeal to a number of “experts” – as if Right and Wrong depended on numbers – remind one of the so-called “Dutch Schism”, also carried out with the help of gatherings, votes on motions, and the like.
Whilst the German Zeitgeist-prostitutes (I insist on this term, because it's the most fitting I can find, and think its use in connection with the German clergy should be greatly increased) are for now not at the level of open defiance of Catholic values the Dutch managed to stage (remaining unchallenged for around fifteen years and unpunished afterwards, one must add) they are certainly not very far away; and in fact, to maintain that open defiance should not be a taboo anymore is, in a sense, defiance already in act.
What consequences can, therefore, be drawn by the growing aggressiveness of the German clergy, now fully devoted to Mammon – the Kirchensteuer – in preference to God – Catholic values -? In my eyes, we can draw the following ones:
Already the fact that the exercise (defined as “four-day meeting”, but clearly the dry run of an open revolt) took place shows how much the Papal authority is suffering. No one fears the Pope, least of all the Germans who are the most powerful contributors to the Church finances. With Bergoglio, they knew they had someone they would not have to be worried about. They are now starting to demand the price of their support. The mere fact that the “meeting” took place is a humiliation for the Holy Father; a humiliation which he has richly deserved merely by allowing that such a gathering, and with such an agenda, be thinkable, let alone executed.
In addition, we must consider the “meeting” cannot and will not remain at the present, already extremely grave level of dissent. It is in the nature of such “revolutionary” movements than every cry for reform be outdone for a louder cry for harder reform. When the point is reached where taboos can be individually questioned, who is to say which taboos shall not be questioned?
The situation in Germany is slowing becoming worse than in Austria, because whilst in Austria the likes of Cardinal “how much I like fags”- Schoenborn at least pretends to want to preserve some kind of orthodoxy, in Germany the top ranks of the Clergy have put themselves, as the Germans love to say, “at the top of the movement”, openly encouraging and formerly promoting dissent within the Church.
Unless Pope Francis wakes up – and I use these words on purpose, in the hope that he is merely sleeping the sleep of the parish priest unaware of what happens around him – he will be remembered as a worse accessory of the demolition troops than Paul VI, whom Francis himself dares to call “great”. I have waited a couple of days before commenting on this, in the hope the Pope would move. Alas…
What I fear we must brace ourselves for is a Papacy marked by semi-autonomous provinces, each one lead by a clique of prostituted clergy making their own policy to please the masses, and abandoning themselves to horrible abuses in the sure knowledge the Pontiff – who is even ashamed of the title – will limit himself to this or that admonition and this or that exhortation, but in the substance will simply ... sleep.
Pope Francis is clearly losing control of the Church, and the horrible question is whether he wants it in the first place. What we see as a humiliation for the Pope, he may simply see as the fitting behaviour for… the bishop of Rome.
Even for the heretical standards of the Church in Germany, what has happened in the last days leaves one rather surprised.
The Church in Germany has invited 300 “experts” for a “conference”, described as “the first of his kind”, to “discuss possible reforms”. This is breathtaking. These people think and act as if they were the ones who call the shots and decide what happens in the Church; probably (cough) because in the past they were allowed to do so. This conference doesn't discuss of proper internal matters (say: how to reduce administration costs faced with the possible collapse of the Kirchensteuer) but, as expected, wants to be an ecumenical council in miniature, suggesting on Rome's behalf… what is wrong with God's rules.
Turns out they decide there is a lot that is wrong with God's rules. The biggest injustice perpetrated by God against Zollitsch's faithful (that is: faithful to him) sheep appears to be male ordination. Now, Zollitsch's Sturmtruppen understand priesthood in itself should be left to males, but women deacon should not be a taboo, surely? Look, they could even celebrate marriages outside of Mass! what a “liberation”, and a feminist triumph!
Now, Mister Zollitsch, being clearly Episcopalian, is not informed about the unchangeable nature of the sacrament of holy orders; but it surprises me that the others 300 did not know it either; unless of course they are also Episcopalians, which at this point appears more than probable.
Perhaps some good souls will inform this unhappy bunch that in the Catholic Church taboos are there so that people do not even discuss them. This is, in fact, what the word taboo means. As a consequence, to say that a Catholic taboo isn't a taboo anymore is the same as to say that one isn't a Catholic anymore; or, in the specific case, that it is not a taboo anymore to reflect in which way cats would be allowed to bark.
Now, let be clear on this: the German Episcopalian Bishops will never get their women deacon, unless they make a formal schism and become Episcopalians in name too, in which case they will not be deacons, either. What this conference allows them to do, is to continue to prostitute themselves to their Kirchensteuer-paying sugar daddys, asking them for continued support to the clergy's bank accounts against the German clergy's continued brown-nosing. Purest whoredom, you see, though it is fair to say every street whore is morally far less reprehensible than someone who, like Archbishop Zollitsch, tries to prostitute the sacraments to the interest of his own group.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch is almost 75. One day, he will meet His Maker. Unless he repents, I would be terrified of dying with his hand of cards.
May is the Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
What better occasion than to make a resolution to start to pray the Rosary every day, than the month of May!
Among the heavenly investments I have mentioned in a past blog post, the Rosary is – after Mass attendance, of course – very probably the best. Padre Pio and countless other saints insisted on the Rosary. Praying the Rosary devoutly every day is a beautiful sign of predestination. I cannot imagine a better way to enrich your prayer life – nay, your life – than to pray the Rosary.
When I die, I want my last rosary to be not older than the day before. And I can die every day. Therefore…
If you should read this blog for years and take from it the habit of praying the Rosary, the benefit taken from this blog would be spectacular even if I have written rubbish for now almost three years and in more than 2,000 posts (which I do not think, at all; but I’m not you, either…).
May is the month to start praying the Rosary every day.
If you use the search function you will find several posts your truly has written on the Rosary. It is not a coincidence that my “Catholic Vademecum” page has at the top not one, but seven posts all dealing with the Rosary.
The best spot on this blog (right upper hand side) is devoted to a link to the Rosary. I almost never click to it now as I pray the Rosary with other apps, but it is the best spot on this blog because the most important message of this blog is – apart from the commentaries on the facts of the day – to pray the Rosary.
Make of the rosary your priority. If you do not have time, take time away from this blog and pray the Rosary every day. I do write a lot, but praying the Rosary devoutly every day is infinitely more important and will do more for your salvation than countless hours spent reading my posts.
When you click here, think every time if your time would not be better employed praying the Rosary, unless you have already done so.
Don’t listen to me. Listen first to the Blessed Virgin, St. Dominic, Blessed Alan de la Roche, Padre Pio and countless others.
Again: after the Mass, I can’t see what better favour you can do to yourselves, and to those you love, than praying and encouraging them to pray the Rosary.
Let me say it in three short phrases.
Pray the Rosary.
Pray the Rosary.
Pray the Rosary.
Google has always been good to me, and besides bringing me the most traffic among the search engines (obviously) is the search engine that gives most relevance to my site when you, well, google me.
Still, Google actively supports perversion, so it will have to go from my life at least as far as it is practicable.
Browsing around, it appears Duck Duck Go (yes, this is the name of the firm) is not compromised with an anti-Christian attitude at least for now. They are also very good in that they do not store any information from your browser, other than Google and many others.
I am not entirely satisfied, though, as the image search isn’t as practical as Google’s to me. Still, one can live with a couple of clicks more to get to the images he wants. The image above was found through the bing engine, which again is Microsoft, which again isn’t good.
Still, I would suggest to my reader that they consider giving it a try to see how they fare with it. I did, and again, whilst it does not work as well as Google for my purposes, I’d say it works well enough for most purposes of most people.
If any reader known of alternative search engines not compromised with the modern sodomadness and with which he is satisfied, I am grateful for a line explaining what they like in the search engine they are presenting.
I am not one of those “fight big Corporate” guys, but when I see that a position of absolute dominance is abused to fight against Christian values I say it is time to look for alternatives, and as I have already done for Boots (the perverted Chemist’s) , Google is now next on the line.
Courtesy of si si no no, a well-thought and richly documented portrait of the mind of two of the red hats who participated to the 2013 Conclave.
It is worth your while to read this little expose’ in its entirety; firstly because it is very instructive in itself, and secondly because the part concerning allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to “receive” communion might well come handy in future, as the trendy troops try a new assault on the Vatican, hoping to find the gates open.
Cardinals Lehmann and Kasper have a very simple suggestion to this:
1) an “examination of conscience” (which they will, no doubt, find immaculate, if unjustly slandered by the Church), and
2) “a meeting with a prudent priest-expert” (which,besides being stupid in itself, means that many priests aren’t prudent, or expert of what Communion is).
These two shouldn’t be allowed to be altar boys, let alone priests.
To think they are Cardinals.
I am not surprised anymore at what kind of nonsense gets published nowadays, but perhaps you still are.
One of the latest examples of dreamed-of Catholicism for the weak is this article published on the Catholic Herald.
Its author seems to think Catholicism was born ca. 1960, and Martin Luther King was one of the founders. The idea that true Catholicism would not cause wars is not only too stupid for words, but it also shows an utterly appalling ignorance of the very basis of Catholicism.
If the thinking of the author of this rubbish is right, Catholicism hasn’t been “true Catholicism” for more than nineteen centuries. But truly, the article doesn’t show the will to be heretical, but rather an appallingly distorted view of Christianity.
Let us proceed in order.
Most Crusades have been offensive conflicts: the Church takes the initiative to gather armies with this or that military purpose, whilst not being under attack herself. Be it Jerusalem, or Southern France (or, ahem, Constantinople) none of the attacked were even planning – let alone executing – a major military operation against Christian Europe. This goes to show the Church is very well not only in the business of the defensive wars, but in the business of the purely aggressive wars, too. Unless, of course, the author does not want to tell us that true Catholics should not, well, take the Cross and try to bring the Holy Land in Christian hands, or at least try to make pilgrimages in the Holy Land possible, because hey, this isn’t very Catholic…
The outlandish idea that “Christianity has a very strong streak of pacifism in it” (this isn’t a joke; it’s in the article, verbatim) can also only be born of profound ignorance of both Christianity and pacifism. What the confused author might have wanted to say is that Christianity tends (unless circumstances demand otherwise; see above) to be rather pacific, but it truly never entered anyone’s mind for almost twenty centuries that Christianity might be “pacifist” in any way, shape or form. The presence of a rather detailed “doctrine of war” should eliminate any doubt from the mind of any person accustomed to think; but again, this person must be accustomed to think.
The “pacifist Jesus” is also something that would have astonished every theologian before the age of Modernism. Jesus was – as it is clearly evident in the Gospel – constantly accompanied and protected by armed men, and being God he certainly did not have any physical need for their protection, much less their armed protection. Still, armed they permanently were. During the last supper, he even asks those who do not have any to sell their garments and purchase a sword, and I can’t imagine any least “pacifist” statement than this. He is, shortly thereafter, satisfied with the two swords present; which is undoubtedly more swords than you and I have around when we dine among friends; and this, without being God.
When I hear of Jesus “the pacifist”, I cannot avoid thinking of the parable of the King’s war. In the Knox version:
Or if a king is setting out to join battle with another king, does he not first sit down and deliberate, whether with his army of ten thousand he can meet the onset of one who has twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still at a distance, he despatches envoys to ask for conditions of peace.
There cannot be a clearer mockery of pacifism than this. Jesus doesn’t say a word about the morality of the King’s intent per se. He merely points out that if the King is going to wage war, then please properly, and considering all the consequences. If this can’t be done – again: He doesn’t say the King shouldn’t wage war because war is wrong per se; the problem here is merely that the other chap is going to defeat the King with his bigger army – then it’s better to think lucidly beforehand and try to negotiate a good peace.
There is no condemnation of war whatsoever, and here war is chosen as an example after another example has just been presented (the building of the tower) and when countless other examples could have been chosen instead. Let me say it once again: to make his point – the necessity of reflecting on the consequences of taking up Christ’s cross – Jesus uses a comparison with war without attaching to His comparison any moral condemnation of it. What.more.does.one.want.
This isn’t Dalai Lama talk; this is Military Academy talk! This could have been Machiavelli or Sun Tzu, but it is Our Lord instead!
But no: in the XXI Century of widespread sloganeering and wet pacifism, suddenly a new Jesus emerges: one that doesn’t want the Crusades, but has a “strong streak of pacifism” instead. One can vividly picture this new fantasy Jesus, eating granola bars with his Disciples with a raised little finger, speaking of peace in a rather high-pitched tone. A fantasy Jesus after their liking, for sure.
It is very telling of our times that the biggest Catholic weekly in the UK serves his readers with such insipid, a-historical, unrealistic, utterly sugary fare.
Matthew Warren, the son of Rick Warren, has recently committed suicide shooting himself with an unregistered gun. For those of us who didn't know, Rick Warren is the author of the book The Purpose Driven Life, and the leader of a Protestant so-called mega church.
Matthew Warren apparently had a long history of severe depression, and it is not for yours truly – or anyone else, for that matter – to decide what has become of his immortal soul. We hope for him that he was not compos mentis when he took his life, and that a merciful God had mercy on him as we hope he will have mercy on us when our time comes. I invite all of you to sincerely pray for his soul, as I did. Depression is a horrible, horrible beast. Still, do not lull yourself into thinking the possibility of his damnation isn't a very real one.
What I would like to spend a word on today is something Matthew Warren apparently said to his father many years ago, after a particularly difficult time. It appears the then boy told his father he knew he was going to heaven anyway, so why not put an end to a life of misery and go there directly…
It seems to me that with just a few words the boy demolished the edifice of salvation through faith alone; an absurdity that a mentally ill boy can still perceive, but millions of sane adults apparently cannot.
Please remember this kind of Proddies don't “do” purgatory. To them, it's only up or down. The unavoidable consequence of this is exactly what the then boy has said: hey, I'll go to heaven anyway (because I have “accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour”, or so millions think….) and this heaven is supernatural joy inconceivable to the human mind. I am living now a life full of misery and ghosts, with the prospective of another seven or eight decades of this. Give me a pistol, and let's go to heaven….
Of course, some will reply that even the serious proponents of the sola fide heresy would not think quite so, and that a classic Calvinist would have seen in suicide – thinking out loud now, as I think Calvin was a fine thinker, at least as far as Proddies go – an eloquent sign of reprobation rather than of predestination.
But the fact is, I doubt there are many among those frequenting Rick Warren's mega church (or many other evangelical establishments, at the very least) who think in this way. To most of them, the matter must be very simple: Matthew Warren shot himself, and went to heaven. Which is, to all intents and purposes, the same as to say that Matthew Warren shot himself to heaven.
Therein lies, hidden beneath the usual wave of sentimentalism, the implicit suggestion of modern mega church evangelicalism to those faithful battling with depression and suicidal tendencies: a purpose driven bullet as the solution to their problems and the guaranteed ticket to eternal happiness. The young man shot himself! Praaise The Looord!
Hell and Satan play no role in all this; it's faith or no faith, personal saviour or no personal saviour, hell or heaven. One accepts The Lord As His Personal Saviour, and the way to the pistol is smoothly paved. I wonder how many have made their way to hell with a nonsense like this, and have used their “personal faith” as a hoped for “get out of jail” card for pretty much everything; bar the most atrocious deeds, for which mental insanity must come to the rescue, it being not really thinkable that one goes to hell through his faith in … faith alone.
In the tragic episode of Matthew Warren we see the absurdity of this bollocks of salvation through “accepting Jesus as one's Lord and Saviour”. An absurd thinking probably untenable for Protestant classic theology, but certainly widely spread among the modern “Billy Graham”, “born again”, “I found Jesus at 3:45 PM on the 13 February 2005” crowd.
Poor Matthew Warren had confusedly seen the absurdity of all this, though I very much doubt he had thought it to the end. His death (let me rephrase it: his suicide) should fill all of us with unspeakable dread at what the consequences of his action might be for his soul, and what might be in store for us if we did the same.
It goes without saying if Matthew Warren had been a properly instructed Catholic he would not have been able to even think that he is sure of heaven, and therefore a bullet is an acceptable solution. Whilst Satan can more easily wreak havoc in a fragile mind, the rigid responsibilities put by Catholicism on one's own works would have been a daily help for the poor man in his struggle, and the terrible warnings of sound Catholicism concerning the very probable fate of suicides would have greatly helped him to find a solution in faith and prayer, rather than in a pistol. As it is, the horrible prospect of the man willingly and lucidly putting a bullet in his head cannot be ruled out. Protestant thinking simply opens doors to Satan that a solid Catholic formation leaves firmly shut.
If you really want to live a purpose driven life, I suggest sound Catholicism.