Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

A New Paradigm … Final … the horse is dead … we wait and pray.

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari, the 93 year old atheist philosopher. Pope Allegedly Says Hell Doesn’t Exist in Latest Scalfari ‘Interview’ Nonagenarian atheist philosopher also claims Pope is honoured to be called a revolutionary.

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari, the 93 year old atheist philosopher, leading to more controversial comments that the Vatican has had to insist are not “faithful” to the Pope’s words.

In his fifth meeting with the atheist philosopher, Scalfari — who neither records interviews nor takes notes — said the Pope allegedly told him again that hell does not exist and that he is honored to be called a “revolutionary.”

The Pope’s purported comments were published Thursday in La Repubblica, the left-leaning Italian newspaper Scalfari co-founded and which the Pope has said is his favorite newspaper.

Hell does not exist – what exists is the disappearance of sinful souls,” the Pope allegedly said. “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and go among the ranks of the souls who contemplate him. But those who do not repent, and therefore cannot be forgiven, disappear.” (Wasn’t disappearing what happened to those who disagreed with the government in Argentina under Peron?)

Headlines were quick to spread around the world saying Pope Francis believes hell does not exist, a belief which would break with 2,000 years of Church teaching.

Saint Vincent of Lerins

Saint Vincent of Lerins, who died c. 445, was a Gallic monk and author of early Christian writings.

Vatican statements intended to clarify things smell very strongly of damage control and cover up … quick, scrape the poop off the rug before anyone notices … I have seen this first hand back in the day as a government hack when I wrote briefing notes to spin the latest cluster for my departmental masters. I have a strong feeling that the ducks are taking over the Vatican. My personal bias here is that Scalfari probably got it right, or close enough. But even if he did not,  the damage is done. Again. And again. And again.

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Seriously. I borrow from David Warren here:I know at first hand how the media work, (David also knows) and I know that Bergoglio came to Rome (from Argentina of all places) with a reputation as an adept media manipulator, fond of playing the crowd. He is no babe in the woods. He must know as I do that if a journalist seriously misrepresents what you say, you don’t give him another opportunity. Moreover, you publicly correct him in a way not only unambiguous, but sharp enough to get everyone’s attention — at speed, I should think, if you have millions of Catholics hanging on your words. Instead he lets the outrage stand.”

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This is going on and on … this is not an accident … and I cannot see a good end for my following this. I think that this will be my last post on this topic and these sorts of things. Let things go, into God’s hands, according to God’s plan, for me, prayer and fasting and penitence. It is Lent after all.

Fr. Hunwicke, over at his blog  quotes from an address by Pope Francis last year, a line which Pope Francis quoted from Saint Vincent of Lerins, writing in the 5th century – a contemporary of Pope St. Leo The Great.

The phrase referred to in Pope Francis’ address …  is the Latin eodem sensu eademque sententia“.

While my Latin has declined precipitously in the decades since I was a Tridentine rite alter boy, we are now graced, courtesy of Google Translate, with the ability to whip off translations willy-nilly as required by circumstances. To paraphrase an old joke from 60 years ago, Latin may well have killed the Romans but it failed to kill Google Translate.

 Pope St. Leo The Great

Pope St. Leo The Great was Pope from 29 September 440 to his death in 461

So we learn that  this Latin snippet, in English, expresses the belief that, or understanding that, something, or some teaching, or some doctrine, is used in the same sense and the same meaning”To quote Father Hunwicke over at his blog  (above):

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Eodem sensu eademque sententia: because the teaching of the Church cannot and does not change. Derived by St. Vincent of Lerins from the text of Saint Paul, it was used by Blessed Pius IX, incorporated in the decree on the papal ministry at Vatican I, and contained in the anti-modernist oath.

Very significantly, it was used by Pope Saint John XXIII in the programmatic speech he gave at the start of the Council … What the Council taught, so he laid down, was to be in the same sense, the same meaning, as the teaching of the preceding Magisterium.

Pope Saint John Paul the Great

Pope Saint John Paul the Great

Pope Saint John Paul the Great in Veritatis Splendor made clear that it applied to questions of morality as much as to those of dogma. used this same sanctified phrase in his 2005 Christmas address to the Roman Curia about the Hermeneutic of Continuity. I have recently repeated a series of mine on this phrase which you could find via the search engine on this blog.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Eodem sensu eademque sententia”.  If this phrase means anything at all, it must mean that the teaching of Familiaris consortio (1981; paragraph 84) and of Caritatis sacramentum (2007; paragraph 29), that divorced people who, having gone through a civil form of marriage, are in an unrepented sexual relationship with a new “spouse”, should not approach the Sacraments, cannot already … in less than a decade! … have metamorphosed or “developed” into its exact and polar opposite“.

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So, what else is in play here? Where do all these tooings and froings leave the authority of the Chair of Peter? I have some more to add but I will first quote from a commenter over at Father Hunwicke’s blog namely:

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Thank you. Well, Father, I’ve referenced it a bit differently to the same end in that in Catholicism today we have far too many who look at a cow and then turn, look you straight in the face, pull a Bible from their pocket, place their right hand on it and swear it is a motorcycle.  With handlebars.  But then that is why we mortals have only maybe a half a dozen original stories ever told, one of them being the Emperor’s New Clothes.

You have nailed it here.  Jesus either said something or He didn’t.

He (Jesus) made life a lot easier in many ways. He softened many unnecessarily hardened teachings. But when He took on the issue of marriage I think His eyes narrowed, he scanned left and right like we are told in our self-defense pistol classes, He tightened His gut and He tensed every muscle for a fight.

And He ENDED the “Mosaic Compromise” right there and then.  Fact is, even Mercy has a limit, and that limit is found on the Original Intent of God Himself. The Pope can’t have more “mercy” than the Son of the Living God.

One Man. One Woman. One Time.

“For I hate divorce” says the Lord.  As that’s the case, I really don’t give a Rat’s Backside for what the Pope thinks about it.  {Says the man who got in a raucous fight this very eve with his precious and wonderful wife of 30 years.}

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Well said, Brother … to paraphrase Shakespeare,Something is rotten in the state of Vatican City

That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This holy see has always maintained this, …

So the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith:

“The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church [55] , cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the apostolic see the catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honour. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the apostolic see preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion [56] .

What is more, with the approval of the second council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession: “The holy Roman church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole catholic church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled.” [57]

Then there is the definition of the council of Florence: “The Roman pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole church.” [58] To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received. …

BUT

… For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter NOT so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

This would seem to overrule any notions of a “New Paradigm”, regardless of the perambulations of the Vatican Secretary of State in his “dialogue” with the secular media and other interested parties. So on the face of it, we seem to find in 21st century Rome two old heresies, the Heresy of Arianism, regarding the nature of Jesus Christ, and the Heresy of Pelagius, regarding the nature of man. With respect to amending doctrine, if  Jesus Christ were not God, but only a prophet, then indeed his “prophecies” might reasonably be amended in light of “new evidence”.

With respect to a “New Paradigm” and the perfection of man, given a perfect man, then a “New Paradigm” might not be an unreasonable possibility upon reconsidering past thought. Two old heresies flowering again amongst the night soil of the Roman Curia, like mushrooms in a dark sewer.

Now, Pelagius was a monk from Britain, whose reputation and theology came into prominence after he went to Rome sometime in the 380’s A.D. The historic Pelagian theological controversy involved the nature of man and the doctrine of original sin.

Pelagianism views humanity as basically good and morally unaffected by the Fall. It denies the imputation of Adam’s sin, original sin, total depravity, and substitutionary atonement. It simultaneously views man as fundamentally good and in possession of libertarian free will. With regards to salvation, it teaches that man has the ability in and of himself (apart from divine aid) to obey God and earn eternal salvation.

Pelagianism is overwhelmingly incompatible with the Bible and was historically opposed by Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at Council of Carthage in 418 A.D. These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431). Pelagianism is not Catholic, nor is it even Christian.

Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc by Emil Otto (‘E.O.’) HoppÈ, vintage bromide print, 1915

In addition, there appears to be a second heresy operational amongst the curia in Rome. The second heresy is that of Arianism. From the book “The Great Heresies” by Hilaire Belloc, :

“Arianism was the first of the great heresies. There had been from the foundation of the Church at Pentecost A.D. 29[1] to 33 a mass of heretical movements filling the first three centuries.

They had turned, nearly all of them, upon the nature of Christ. The effect of our Lord’s predication, and Personality, and miracles, but most of all His resurrection, had been to move every one who had any faith at all in the wonder presented, to a conception of divine power running through the whole affair.

Now the central tradition of the Church here, as in every other case of disputed doctrine, was strong and clear from the beginning. Our Lord was undoubtedly a man. He had been born as men are born, He died as men die. He lived as a man and had been known as a man by a group of close companions and a very large number of men and women who had followed Him, and heard Him and witnessed His actions.

But — said the Church — He was also God. God had come down to earth and become Incarnate as a Man. He was not merely a man influenced by the Divinity, nor was He a manifestation of the Divinity under the appearance of a man. He was at the same time fully God and fully Man.

On that the central tradition of the Church never wavered. It is taken for granted from the beginning by those who have authority to speak. But a mystery is necessarily, because it is a mystery, incomprehensible; therefore man, being a reasonable being, is perpetually attempting to rationalize it.

So it was with this mystery. One set would say Christ was only a man, though a man endowed with special powers. Another set, at the opposite extreme, would say He was a manifestation of the Divine. His human nature was a thing of illusion. They played the changes between those two extremes indefinitely. Well, the Arian heresy was, as it were, the summing up and conclusion of all these movements on the unorthodox side_that is, of all those movements which did not accept the full mystery of two natures.

Since it is very difficult to rationalize the union of the Infinite with the finite, since there is an apparent contradiction between the two terms, this final form into which the confusion of heresies settled down was a declaration that our Lord was as much of the Divine Essence as it was possible for a creature to be, but that He was none the less a creature. He was not the Infinite and Omnipotent God who must be of His nature one and indivisible, and could not (so they said) be at the same time a limited human moving and having his being in the temporal sphere.

Arianism was willing to grant our Lord every kind of honour and majesty short of the full nature of the Godhead. He was created (or, if people did not like the word “created” then “he came forth”) from the Godhead before all other effects thereof. Through Him the world was created. He was granted (one might say paradoxically) all the divine attributes — except divinity.”

Essentially this movement sprang from exactly the same source as any other rationalistic movement from the beginning to our own time. It sprang from the desire to visualize clearly and simply something which is beyond the grasp of human vision and comprehension.

Therefore, although it began by giving to our Lord every possible honour and glory short of the actual Godhead, it would inevitably have led in the long run into mere Unitarianism and the treating of our Lord at last as a prophet and, however exalted, no more than a prophet (as does Islam) .

Arianism is not Christian by definition since absent the divinity of Christ there is no such thing as Christianity. It is impossible to have it both ways. On the one hand, you have  Bishops and Priests who disagree with the “New Paradigm” theory of doctrinal changes, and there are numerous examples, or on the other hand you have Bishops and Priests who do subscribe to the “New Paradigm” theory of changes to established magisterial teachings.

Those who espouse the “New Paradigm” theory are neither Catholic nor Christian by any reasonable definition of the terms and concepts. They are heretics.

quod erat demonstrandum

So, end of the subject, perhaps forever – we will let things unfold and draw our own conclusions. Let those with an IQ higher than room temperature also draw their own conclusions?

Cheers

Joe

Ad Aeternitatem …

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Second Thoughts on A New Paradigm? (part 5)

Michi Haruka”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

So the last few posts have been focused on the reported goings on in the Roman Curia, the Vatican, and a few other items which I believe might give rise to problematic behaviour amongst the leaders and faithful of our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the back of my mind, I am hearing ” 20Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.” (Mathew 7) but also I hear “1Judge not, that you may not be judged,” (Mathew 7)

Monsignor Dario Vigano

Monsignor Dario Vigano, image from article by By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Mar 21, 2018

The latest event of note seems to reflect on the integrity of Vatican media and possible Vatican indulgence in “Fake News” even though Pope Francis is on record as having serious problems with secular media and their fake news. The two links below go to the news article in the Waco Tribune-Herald:

The article itself is at: http://www.wacotrib.com/news/ap_nation/headlines/vatican-media-chief-resigns-over-doctored-letter-scandal/article_5a9b3ac8-3414-5c0b-9d33-bcbcfb7efae8.html

and this search turns up related hits and articles: https://www.google.ca/search?q=+Mgr+Vigano+tried+to+conceal&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei=P7CyWuS1C9HM8gee7bYI

Rome

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt … well, it works in California.

My understanding of these  things finds some resonance in the story of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago and their refusal to accept false gods in the book of Daniel. In scripture, King Nebuchadnezzar commanded a new way of worship and belief as:

15Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?

16Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago answered and said to King Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter. 17For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king. 18But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
(Daniel 3:15-18) Douay-Rheims Bible

And in the book of Genesis we see how the father of lies works through Gnosis, through man’s desire to be like God through interpretation and gaining knowledge

1Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? …  the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die.

4And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. 5For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. …  7And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.

8And when they heard the voice of the Lord God …  Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God, amidst the trees of paradise. 9And the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: Where art thou?
(Genesis 3:1-9) Douay-Rheims Bible

Whither art thou … indeed … separated at birth … separated  ourselves … broke with our creator … self inflicted wounds … will not serve … and death entered in. But it is all a misunderstanding, isn’t it? At times it is easy to shy at shadows, to take some things personally when it is just men being men, as they have been for thousands of years. And again I find myself pondering Gerhard Cardinal Müller’s explanation that this apparent controversy in the Catholic Church is simply a misunderstanding.

Gerhard Cardinal Müller

Gerhard Cardinal Müller

Yes, a misunderstanding by the hypersuperueberpapalists, the  Bergoglio clique, the “cool” crowd,  in this high school melodrama, the clique embracing the most problematic heretical grouping currently at work in the Church Militant.

On the other hand, there also seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of those who have been resisting the Nomenklatura of the “New Paradigm”. The “Traddies”, subject of much vilification by the “Nomenklatura”, seem to have missed the memo.

The memo regarding the Nomenklatura, and rope, and hanging themselves and the curious silence, or lack of clarity, on the part of the reigning Holy Father on virtually everything concerning the controversies arising since he was elected. What’s with that, eh? The Roman Catholic Church is not and never has been a product of the Roman Curia. And yet, concern enters in. I am not alone in experiencing uncertainty, doubt and frustration … with … what?

Code-Canon-Law-Annotated

Code-Canon-Law-Annotated

In my own defense before proceeding further, I appeal to Canon 212, paragraph 3, in my copy of “Code of Canon Law Annotated”, 2004, from the University of Navarra, Faculty of Canon Law: “§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”

So, uncertainty, doubt and frustration with … I don’t know what … calmer, likely more pious heads, urge caution and restraint. In the tradition of Aquinas we might, no, must give the fullest charitable interpretation of motives while pointing out the observed inconsistencies separating the “New Paradigm” from the Tradition, the Magisterium, the Teachings as protected, conserved, and handed down by every Pope for 2000 years.

Pope Francis has not actually “officially” commanded a specific change in direction. He has refrained from ordering the Body of Christ, the laity, to follow the interpretations and instructions coming from the Progressive Nomenclatura. Everything is couched in obscure references to good will and mercy and being sensitive to the circumstances of those with difficulties. This soft soap approach reminds me of the way “Liberation Theology” was explained to the faithful in South America. Remember “Liberation Theology” in the 70’s? More on that little kettle of fish later.

That seems to be why the Dubia Cardinals and others are asking for clarification and warning that ubiquitous errors in teaching are difficult to fix once they become entrenched. They are warning about a repeat of “the Spirit of Vatican II”.

"Well, it could be a rabbit in disguise..." (but most likely it isn't)

“Well, it could be a rabbit in disguise…” (but most likely it isn’t)

But, all my life I have mostly followed the maxim “if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck,  and it talks like a duck, then it is likely a duck”.  And a lifetime of experience tells me I will sooner or later have to  make duck soup, or be faced with a monumental clean-up.

I am a survivor of Vatican II and the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops and their Winnipeg Statement of September 27th 1968. Been there, done that, got the T Shirt. Cognitive dissonance is an insidious poison … a poorly formed conscience and lack of clarity can and does lead many away from the narrow path to the broad highway.

We certainly have lack of clarity and direction and when was the last time you met a “well formed conscience” in the last three generations or so? I think “conscience” requires knowledge of self, and knowledge of good and evil, both apparently and singularly lacking in the majority of players these days. Every new deviance has become “a matter of conscience.”

And instead of “grace abounding everywhere,” we have the laughter of hyenas. That mocking laughter, which echoes down the corridors from 1968, our very own V-II weapon of Mass destruction, proves that conscience isn’t working, and hasn’t been working for a long time. From the Winnipeg Statement a multi-lane freeway of deviance straight into the dock at Amoris Laetitia.

Published two months after Humanae Vitae, the Winnipeg Statement was an attempt by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to address widespread concern within the (Canadian) Church (clergy and religious) about the prohibition of all forms of artificial contraception, and to counsel its members (priests and religious) on how to respond to those who have difficulty (parishioners) accepting the directives. The Winnipeg Statement:

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… recognized that “a certain number of Catholics”, in spite of being bound by the encyclical, find it “either extremely difficult or even impossible to make their own all elements of this doctrine”. These “should not be considered, or consider themselves, shut off from the body of the faithful.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

But they should remember that their good faith will be dependent on a sincere self-examination to determine the true motives and grounds for such suspension of assent and on continued effort to understand and deepen their knowledge of the teaching of the Church.”[3]   

With regard to those in that situation, “the confessor or counsellor must show sympathetic understanding and reverence for the sincere good faith of those who fail in their effort to accept some point of the encyclical.”[4]

(Paragraph 26 stated:) “In accord with the accepted principles of moral theology, if these persons have tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives, they may be safely assured that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.[5] (Emphasis added.)

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Enough for now, sleep calls me to sweet dreams … more tomorrow perhaps, always assuming that God gives me another day, another do-over by His grace.

Cheers

Joe

Ready, Aye Ready! Semper Fidelis, Ad Aeternitatem …

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

All Souls, All Men and Women Everywhere …

Inner Thoughts”  Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

November is the month of all souls …  a month dedicated to prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. There is a longstanding tradition in the Catholic Church, dating back more than a 1000 years and rooted in Jewish tradition going back even further to pray for the souls of the deceased.

How did this tradition come about and why is it still important today?  This is a good time to remember some words of wisdom about souls … about the Pope and the Catholic Church … and the rest of us … and loving one’s enemies …

Joseph Ratzinger - Pope Benedict XVI

Joseph Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI

“… The more vigorously the primacy was displayed, the more the question came up about the extent and and limits of [papal] authority, which of course, as such, had never been considered.

After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West.

In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word.

The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith. … The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.”
Joseph Ratzinger in The Spirit of the Liturgy

so the Pope is not the “Top Dog” he is simply another man and what makes him human would be a soul …

Hilaire Belloc - by Emil Otto ('E.O.') HoppÈ, vintage bromide print, 1915

Hilaire Belloc – by Emil Otto (‘E.O.’) HoppÈ, vintage bromide print, 1915

The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine—but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.”
-Hilaire Belloc

… and the knavish imbeciles would be souls …

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A commentary on “Government” and “the Masses” … (I suppose that would be us? All souls, every one of us.)

Albert Jay Nock wrote in Our Enemy The State”  – Everyone knows that the State claims and exercises [a] monopoly of crime … and that it makes this monopoly as strict as it can. It forbids private murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants, whether the property of citizen or of alien.

Alfred Jay Nock

Alfred Jay Nock

There is, for example, no human right, natural or Constitutional, that we have not seen nullified by the United States Government. Of all the crimes that are committed for gain or revenge, there is not one that we have not seen it commit – murder, mayhem, arson, robbery, fraud, criminal collusion and connivance.”   Albert Jay Nock, from Our Enemy, the State

But “Government” is not a monolithic entity, it is rather composed of a multitude of little individuals all more or less “doing their duty” and they are All Souls

And in another quote from an article published in Atlantic Monthly in 1936, Albert Jay Nock opines on the qualities of the common man, the masses as he calls them  …  about “the masses“:

… In the year of King Uzziah’s death, about 740 B.C., the Lord commissioned the prophet Isaiah to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them.

Antonio Balestra - The Prophet Isaiah

Antonio Balestra (1666-1740) – The Prophet Isaiah

I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.” 

Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point.

All Saints ...

All Saints …

There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

Apparently, then, if the Lord’s word is good for anything – I do not offer any opinion about that, – the only element in Judean society that was particularly worth bothering about was the Remnant. Isaiah seems finally to have got it through his head that this was the case; that nothing was to be expected from the masses, but that if anything substantial were ever to be done in Judea, the Remnant would have to do it.

A woman lights a candle on the grave of her relative before praying at a cemetery during the observance of All Souls Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

This is a very striking and suggestive idea; but before going on to explore it, we need to be quite clear about our terms. What do we mean by the masses, and what by the Remnant? As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, labouring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority.

The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses.

The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either. …”

and the Masses and the Remnant both are All Souls …

Now, I have always both enjoyed Albert Jay Nock’s piece and at the same time have been troubled by it, because we are ALL souls, and I just don’t believe that the Lord writes folks off because they don’t meet some transient human standard of character, ability, and discernment.

“Àki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

Rex Murphy

Rex Murphy

Here in Canada we are used to being routinely insulted and dismissed by our “betters” in high office and we are routinely expected to obsequiously kowtow and bow and scrape  and generally just be nice when treated in this way, after all,  we are just “the masses” and Canadian masses at that, eh?

Lately we were all ridiculed in public by  our new Governor General,  Julie Payette, (appointed by the drama coach and in office for about a month now), and all courtesy of her  bright big brain persona and her personal religious beliefs namely Atheism and Scientism.

Rex Murphy reports in the National Post  as follows: “Delight in one’s own intellectual capacity is a delusion both frequent and foolish (ouch!), and the desire to have others share in that rapture is almost always a disappointment.

That we are all partisans for our own opinions is of course a truism, as is the consideration that opinions, particularly political ones, many times follow just as much from temperament as from reason.

Governor General Julie Payette, by Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

Governor General Julie Payette, by Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

There is no Ideal Reasoner, and the truth of some questions is always a quarry and never a capture. That is why our finest sages, present and past, have always counseled against certitude, and cautioned that when we are most certain of something is precisely the time we should go over our sums.

Our recently minted Governor General, in one of her inaugural appearances, has been very quick off the mark to make her declarative presence known.

She gave a talk at a science conference this week, a speech notable for its confident strength of assertion and readiness to pronounce determinatively on matters large and trivial, and which was unfortunately inflected with a tone of condescension that will do little to buttress the appeal of the mainly ceremonial office she now inhabits.”

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Just in passing, I note that in spite of all the fondly held opinions and beliefs regarding the efficacy of science and the silly superstitions surrounding the concept of “God”, I have not heard any reports that NASA and the Brights have yet created life, or anything else, for that matter, in fact they have not even found any signs of life anywhere that their limited talents can take them. Oh yea, we are definitely “the masses” … including all our elected and appointed progressives currently running the asylum.

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As Chris Selley writesand “the chorus of defenders who took to social media on Thursday, including many who are generally very conservative about what a GG should and shouldn’t say. What she said was empirically true, they argued, and what’s more she’s a scientist! Why shouldn’t a scientist, appointed as the Queen’s representative in Ottawa, take the odd jab at the two-thirds of benighted Canadians who believe in God (per Angus Reid in 2015), and the 53 per cent who believe God is “active in this world.” Someone’s gotta tell ‘em, right?”

and we are all souls, no matter what some of us would like to believe …

Plato bust ...

Plato bust …

Now, as Mr. Nock writes, Isaiah’s testimony to the character of the masses has strong collateral support from respectable Gentile authority. Plato lived into the administration of Eubulus, when Athens was at the peak of its jazz-and-paper era, and he speaks of the Athenian masses with all Isaiah’s fervency, even comparing them to a herd of ravenous wild beasts.

Curiously, too, Plato applies Isaiah’s own word remnant to the worthier portion of Athenian society; “there is but a very small remnant,” he says, of those who possess a saving force of intellect and force of character – too small, preciously as to Judea, to be of any avail against the ignorant and vicious preponderance of the masses.

But we are all souls … regardless of our personal beliefs, mere thoughts in the mind of God in the eternal now.

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I wonder what Mr. Plato would think of Julie Payette, or even Drama Coach Justin Trudeau, for that matter? “Ravenous wild beasts”?

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Still more of the quote from Mr. Nock:  “The picture which Isaiah presents of the Judean masses is most unfavorable. In his view, the mass-man – be he high or be he lowly, rich or poor, prince or pauper – gets off very badly. He appears as not only weak-minded and weak-willed, but as by consequence knavish, arrogant, grasping, dissipated, unprincipled, unscrupulous.

The mass-woman also gets off badly, as sharing all the mass-man’s untoward qualities, and contributing a few of her own in the way of vanity and laziness, extravagance and foible. The list of luxury-products that she patronized is interesting;  … in another place, Isaiah even recalls the affectations that we used to know by the name “flapper gait” and the “debutante slouch.”

Alphonse Karr

Alphonse Karr

It may be fair to discount Isaiah’s vivacity a little for prophetic fervour; after all, since his real job was not to convert the masses but to brace and reassure the Remnant, he probably felt that he might lay it on indiscriminately and as thick as he liked – in fact, that he was expected to do so. But even so, the Judean mass-man must have been a most objectionable individual, and the mass-woman utterly odious.”

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plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Not a pleasant picture at all … hmmmm. and still … all souls

On the other hand we have:

“Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.

Marcus Aurelius - was Roman emperor from 161 to 180,

Marcus Aurelius – was Roman emperor from 161 to 180,

But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth.

To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Two.

all souls

and:

No man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine in what I think, say, do , achieve.

And conversely my life spills over into that of others: for better or for worse.So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death.  In the interconnectedness of Being, my gratitude to the other – my prayer for him – can play a certain part in his purification”

Pope Benedict XVI “Spe Salvi” 

all souls …

I wonder (figuratively speaking of course) which attitude, Justin’s and Julie’s, or Benedicts’s and Marcus Aurelius’s, has a better outcome? Which evolves into a better, more positive, more loving society, a culture of positive rather than negative lenses. 

Cheers

Joe

Tell one person that you love him or her. Forgive the person who insults and ridicules you. All of them.

They are all souls.

 

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

El Humanismo Secular es Pecado – Part 3

(continued from previous post)  … European civilization had already been well formed by the Catholic religion for, at the most, 1,200 years in some regions to, at the least, 400 years in others….  

A significant fact, as Hilaire Belloc points out in “Essays of a Catholic”, is that THE PEOPLE WHO HAD BECOME PROTESTANT DID NOT ABANDON THEIR CATHOLIC MORAL CUSTOMS. They continued to live by the truths and moral customs which their Catholic forefathers had lived by for centuries. The only problem was that they no longer believed as true the religious-philosophical truths taught by the the Catholic Church, which had wholly created their customary and traditional ethic, and they had set themselves up as the sole arbiters of truth and right values. They had in effect declared themselves demi-gods. Not quite full gods yet, but the rest of the story was more or less inevitable given man’s natural proclivities.

This rift between varying professed faiths of the various peoples, and the unremarked but continued practice of the traditional Catholic moral customs, has come down by lesser and lesser degrees into our own time. During the many  centuries since Luther’s revolt in 1517, Western society has been able to function fairly well, despite the various false religious-philosophical ideas in the minds of people in the same nation—simply because, practically speaking, they were by and large living by the old inherited Catholic truths and practices, and this was what enabled our society to function more or less harmoniously, despite a diversity of belief among its members.

Let us name some of the Catholic social teachings and moral customs that are based on the revealed word of God:  to worship God on Sunday, not to work on Sunday, to give honest work for your pay, not to steal, to keep monogamous marriage relations, not to practice polygamy, to avoid adultery and fornication, to shun homosexuality, to have children and not to practice birth control, to raise and nurture them within the family they were born in, to respect and care for the elderly, to nurse the sick, to bury the dead (in anticipation of the resurrection of the body), etc., etc.

Now, the average person might say, “Most of that we have always taken for granted!” and in that they reveal their utter lack of knowledge of their own history and that of their civilization. The bald truth is that in 2015 most of these traditional customs have been simply abandoned by most people, as if there were no objective truth, and definitely as if there were no divine retribution for sin left unforgiven and unexpiated and no temporal results of bad behavior. These customs and traditions, now abandoned in the name of “freedom to do your own thing” are the very bedrock of our culture. They are everything that has  made our society workable for 20 centuries. This rejection of traditional moral values and customs is the direct result of the loss of the Catholic faith as the integral creed of our society as a whole. This inevitably resulted in the abandonment of traditional Catholic moral customs that enabled men to live in conformity with God’s laws and enable society to function harmoniously.

Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (original Latin: Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum) as written by Martin Luther in 1517 are widely regarded as the initial catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. The disputation protests against clerical abuses, especially nepotism, simony, usury, pluralism, and the sale of indulgences. No doubt everything he protested was true and is recorded historically in the same sources which teach us about Rome and Constantine the Great.  Regardless of the truth of his protest, given the reality of “progress” since Luther’s time, it is not a stretch to contend that this revolt constituted the first and deadliest nail in the coffin of western civilization. Screwtape must be laughing all the way home, ” I will not serve!”, indeed!  I think of Al Pacino’s last line in “Devil’s Advocate” : …”AAAH! Pride is my favorite sin!”.

(to be continued)

Cheers

Joe

CSR

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