Liberals — Leftists, really
— we will not say “progressives” as they prefer to think themselves,
and, after all, “a rose by any other name …” — both ecclesiastic and
lay — nevertheless demand this transmutation of the Church as a point
of “justice”. Considered carefully, however, a world of such “justice”
is a world of insanity, a hellish world beyond the most grotesque vision
of today’s darling academic sibyls. We know it! But it is not “correct”
to state it … is it? We can, after all, call a rose by any other name
… however ghastly the fumes that we insist on calling “fragrance”. As
long as cadaverine looks like water, we will call it so, but
live not a day if we imbibe it. But because it looks like water we will
demand it be treated like water. Much like justice. No?
Comments? Write us: email@example.com
1 “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's,
and to God what is God's” (St Matthew 22.21)
· Sexual Deviance (homosexuality, lesbianism, transsexualism, transgenderism)
· Homosexual “marriage”
· Cohabitation (Living together unmarried, and in fornication)
· Prostitution (England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, offhand)
Few of us, I assume, would seek recourse to such a solution and for good reason. Legitimizing crime does not indemnify us against it — however much we hold ourselves to have abolished it. Yes?
We can say as much of sin.
In fact, we have said as much. Unlike the immediate consequences of crime, the consequences of sin — even temporally — are often deferred, less immediate ... and because we apprehend them as remote, as distant, as impending only, we dismiss them, for we fail to immediately see the terrible consequences they entail, consequences so terrible, so far-reaching, so much beyond our ken, that they have become effectively mythical, brooding like demons on some distant bourne that we obscurely perceive and never quite forget; an escarpment lost in light and shadow where life quite suddenly drops off that abrupt precipice to death. We know it ... because we know that we dance on the dead.
My parish Church is the holiest in all of Christendom; not just in the Archdiocese of Boston, but in all Massachusetts; very likely all New England — perhaps even the entire world.
You will disagree.
In fact, you know your own Catholic parish to be the holiest, perhaps the most sinless parish in the world, and we will both appeal to the same reasons for making this remarkable statement: during Holy Communion the pews are literally emptied.
not a sinner among us; at least no sinner guilty of
Mortal Sin which prevents our going to Holy Communion,
since — as Catholics should know — we add the tremendous sin
to whatever mortal sin we carry if we receive Holy Communion
while not in a state of grace — which is to say, free
of mortal sin.
But as I ponder the empty pews, the stigma of being the sole sinner in the parish weighs heavily upon me as many look askance at my kneeling while all others scramble to make their way to communion — I at least wonder. Do Catholics, do all Catholics, do most Catholics, do at least some Catholics, even know what a mortal sin is anymore? Do they know the difference between a mortal sin that sunders the soul from God, and a venial sin that merely impedes its union with God?
Since the entire congregation have had at least eight years of Catechism, or Religious Education — eight to ten years, mind you! — surely so simple, so basic, so fundamental a concept as the difference between serious sin and sins far less grievous in nature, is clearly apprehensible.
A very ready analogy may be to the point: in the civic world, all of us know (probably because the penalty is clearly comprehended, immediate and forthcoming) the difference between grievously unlawful, or capital offenses such as murder and grand larceny, and misdemeanors, like receiving a speeding ticket or maliciously destroying a neighbor’s property. It is a no-brainer. We understand that there are sanctions and penalties involved with such behavior. It is, we are told, the means by which we maintain a “civil”, a mutually responsible, society.
We acknowledge the concept of justice and understand very clearly why it is maintained and what penalties are incurred if it is violated. We have no problem with that. After all, the law is not some gratuitous abstraction, and you are a fool if you think that you can trifle with it and walk away. If the breach is serious enough you are clapped in irons, removed from the community, and deprived of your liberty until justice has exacted its tribute, until you have “paid your debt to society.” By and large we are grateful for the severity of the law, even as its rigors make us uneasy.
We all recognize that our own behavior has not always been unimpeachable ... if not clearly actionable. We do not personally legislate parallel laws that contravene the laws of the state and hold, at any point of divergence, the private interpretation of the law to abrogate the public law. It is the opposite which is true. We may find the laws of the state repugnant to us, unamenable to our own inclinations, even contrary to our own convictions — in which case we are confronted with three clearly distinguishable alternatives: we can absent ourselves from the polity and choose to live elsewhere under a constitution that more closely corresponds with our desiderations and convictions, if such exists; we can continue to enjoy the collateral benefits in the present state that constrains us to abide by the laws through which it is defined and by which it is governed — or, we can seek to amend the law through the venues afforded us by the state.
What we cannot do is to enjoy the prerogatives of the state while either acting in defiance of it, or while subverting it. We understand this, and in fact underwrite it through maintaining our citizenship within it. We understand this broadly as a “pledge of allegiance.”
In any event, we cannot construct a private and parallel universe of statutes and anticipate that the public universe of affairs will recognize, respect, and honor our privately legislated laws. If we choose to abide only by those laws of the state that we do not find disagreeable to us we have not attained to personal freedom, but to arbitrary license; not to civility, but to anarchy. We become both legislator and law. In such a solipsistic “society” the legislature and the corpus of law are as numerous as the individuals legislating them.
Why, we must
ask ourselves, is
important, less pertinent to our behavior? Why does it have
less bearing upon our responsibilities and our choices — and,
most especially — within Church? Is the Divine Law, are the
laws of the Church, no more than pious and ultimately indolent
sentiments — rather than clearly articulated precepts with very
real corresponding sanctions and responsibilities — in other
Do we give tribute to Caesar but withhold it from God? Is the Fasces mightier than the Cross?
We are indeed a generation which had been nurtured on defiance to authority — only seeing now, in our own children, the fruit of that unbridled defiance which we nurtured in them even as we pretended to “deplore it.” Our children were ... "independent” ... not defiant, and we were proud — until we began to detoxify them, to rehabilitate their behavior, to trade notes with our neighbors on “good analysts.” And our kids still get the keys to the car, no matter how grievous their transgression ... their money for the mall — just as we still get Holy Communion, no matter how grievous our offenses against God. We are as blind to our sins as we have made our children blind to their own. After all, a “good parent” “spares the rod” and does not descend to “primitive behavior” such as punishing the child, no? And if we are such “good” parents — how much “better” God? Surely, there is no sin, no offense so grievous, or so trite, as to offend Him ... nothing we can ever do or say such that we would ever forfeit our “right,” not to the keys of the car but to the Kingdom of God, through the Bread of Angels ... Holy Communion — that you as arrogantly insist is as much your right as the keys to the car ...
Still pondering the empty pews, it would seem so. Perhaps it is the case that all the parishioners are in fact guiltless of civil crime, however petty (for these, too, are the stuff of Holy Confession) — as well as sin.
The truly defining question appears to be this: to whom, we must genuinely ask ourselves, do we owe more — to God or man? To the City of God or to the City of Man?
On your blithe way to Holy Communion, ponder this — especially given the ultimate sanction placed before us by no less an authority than Saint Paul:
“Whosoever shall eat this bread or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord.” (I Cor. 11:27)
... are you prepared to add sacrilege to your sins?
Or has the notion of sacrilege itself gone the way of mortal sin ... also?
Go to Confession. You must go. It is the only antidote of Mortal Sin, and thus “the antidote of death.” (St. Ignatius of Antioch,135 A.D.)
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
To the Editor:
read ‘Mortal Sin and Holy Confession’. Another great reminder
of what it means to be an orthodox Roman Catholic. I to, hope
the empty pews can only mean that all who are receiving the
Body and Blood of Christ are knowledgeable enough to know the
difference between being in the state of grace and not being
in the state of grace. I fear, like you, that our Vat II Catholic
Church has miserably defeated its own purpose by not helping
us to know the difference. I can only thank the good Lord that
I was privileged to have a true Catholic education for 16 years
and pray that I remember all that I was taught, Deo Volente,
and I'm sure He is.
Keep up your encouraging work. Those of us in the trenches out here depend on your words of instruction and encouragement.”
I agree with you about the lamentable state into which our Holy Mother the Church has been brought — and not so recently. It has been metastasizing like an aggressive cancer spreading to every tissue in every part of the Church, the Body of Christ — and it appears that very, very, few will call it out for what it has undeniably been, the state of denial in which it is in, in and what it is becoming. You may find the following article interesting in this regard, Jim: http://www.boston-catholic-journal.com/vatican-2-the-model-of-the-failed-corporation.htm Subsequent generations, I am convinced, will look back upon these grim years with not just sadness, but revulsion — and sorrow at the calculated loss of Faith by through so many who refused to pass it on (L. tradere), and at what cost to so many unfortunate souls? I will no man perdition, but I fear that very many are deserving of it … who have chosen the “wide and easy way.” However much they are admonished, they persist. The word “stupid” derives from the Latin “Stupidus:” to be struck, as with the hand, and made senseless. Regrettably, this is the cause, not the cure.
There is a cure for sin called Sanctifying Grace. But there is no cure for stupid.
Boston Catholic Journal
Pope Benedict was undoubtedly one of the great intellects and luminaries of our age — a brilliant mind only exceeded by his genuine humility. He embraced all his children ... in stark contrast to Francis who embraces only those who find favor with him, who share his ... ideology.
In this sense
Pope Benedict XVI was a father to all his spiritual
children. Gentle, kind, and courteous in a way foreign to this
age; in this respect he was an exemplar to all of us.
This is not to say that his pontificate was flawless. On the one hand, he gave us the motus proprio Summorum Pontificum that restored to us the Mass of the Ages as it had been celebrated in Latin for 2000 years. That it had been torn from us in a fiat by Pope Paul VI and Vatican II was, in our estimation, tantamount to ecclesiastical suicide; if not, then at the very least a criminal and sectarian coup by Modernists.
The gift was great but not irrevocable.
What is more, Pope Benedict had fallen into the same ecumenical
nonsense that his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, had fallen
into on Oct. 27, 1986, as we witnessed, yet again, the pan-ecumenical
Assisi on June 19, 2011.
Two years later, we would be astounded to find that Pope Benedict had tendered his resignation from the papacy on February 11, 2013, and his subsequent — and never-before-conferred title as “pope-emeritus” — was both baffling and disheartening for many, many Catholics. To further confuse the faithful, he was still addressed as “Your Holiness” the title reserved for a reigning pontiff. For the first time is history since the Avignon papacy and the Great Western Schism in the 14th century when there were two claimants to the papacy, we apparently had two popes living in Rome. The confusion and disappointment was compounded each year — for 10 years — by Benedict’s remaining a “pope-emeritus”; time he could have spent correcting the wayward course of the Church instead of abandoning it (and her children) to what he surely must have known would be a Modernist successor. And when that successor — Francis —emerged from the shadows of the dark logia there was, according to more than a few who witnessed it, an almost instinctual aversion to what appeared.
After many, many, episodes in which Francis found himself contradicting historical Church teaching — and Holy Scripture — and subsequently bringing scandal upon the Church, Benedict apparently did nothing to correct him; something many had seen as a dereliction of duty, especially in light of St. Paul’s example in correcting St. Peter when he failed to be forthright, and temporized with the Jews in Jerusalem 1. The only other pope in history to voluntarily abdicate the Seat of St. Peter was Pope Celestine V in 1294, over 700 years ago. In a word, it was unthinkable —and apart from Pope Celestine, unheard of.
Many see it, in some sense, as “Throwing the Church to the Lions”
when she was most in need of defending. Pope Benedict certainly
had the mental acuity, and, as we have seen, the physical stamina
required by a Defensor Fidei (a Defender oif the Faith)
but for reasons unknown to us, chose drop the sword and leave
That his reckless successor (Francis) deliberately disdains to be called “the Vicar of Christ” — or even the “Patriarch of the West,” says much about the concept of the “hermeneutic of continuity” so often bandied about in today’s post-Modern Church. Instead, Francis chose to be listed merely as “the bishop of Rome” (in what Cardinal Gerhard Müller, called an act of “theological barbarism.)” in what is known as the Annuario Pontificio, as Catholic Culture pointed out. He eschews every identifiably Catholic title attached to all his predecessors, including “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the Vatican City-State.” Why such a disdainful break with the pontifical history of the 265 popes before him? The Vatican’s explanation is entirely in keeping with the present papacy, and the 4 papacies that preceded it? In their words, doing so “could prove useful to ecumenical dialogue.” The much-vaunted notion of the concept of the “hermeneutic of continuity” (which purportedly connected the Church present with the Church past — and failed to do so) is, apparently, no longer in favor. “The pope? Oh, you mean the guy down the street?” It has become barbaric, indeed.
It may have been otherwise for the Church, but God in His inscrutable wisdom — which does, in fact, exceed our understanding — in His permissive will has allowed this. Even from a merely human perspective, we are deserving of Francis, a man after our own hearts and minds, ever cleaving more closely to the world ... and other things. We wanted holiness without sacrifice, a god conformed to our image and articulated in terms of the lowest common denominator — terms equally accessible to children and adults with cognitive impairment. We have dumbed down even Dumb. We wanted to sit in the pews with our arms lazily draped over the the back of the pew (or perhaps stroking the back of a loved one) as though only tolerating what was otherwise extraordinarily stupefying — because it was. We wanted to wear our athletic uniforms, our team-shirts, our shorts and “distressed” (torn-to-the-flesh) jeans to Mass because, after all, we are not there for God, but God is there for us ... and only at our leisure.
All this was a direct consequence of the perilous course that Vatican II would subsequently take; a course for which — in collaboration with the dissident theologians Rahner, Küng, Schillebeeckx, and de Lubac — then Father Ratzinger was also responsible as an influential and “progressive” Peritus, or Theological Consultant. Often in a business suit and tie, in many ways he embodied the Nouvelle Theologie (new theology) together with the failed project, Ressourcement (“a return to the sources”) then in vogue, which attempted to “invigorate” what all five theologians saw as a stale Church in need of “updating.”
The Peritus as (Mr.) Ratzinger, Vatican II
(Fr.) Ratzinger and Dissident Theologian (Fr.) Karl Rahner
On the other hand, it was also entirely consistent with
Benedict’s own contribution to the replacement of the Latin
Mass during Vatican II. This may come as a surprise to
many who saw in Pope
Benedict a champion of the “Tridentine Mass” and Tradition.
Regrettably, he was not. Indeed, in 1967 Ratzinger wrote the
following in his volume Problemi e risultati del
Concilio Vaticano II in the Journal of Italian Theology:
“Additions [to the
liturgy] of the late Middle Ages … was linked to a set
authority, which worked in a strictly bureaucratic way,
lacking any historic vision and considering the
problem of the liturgy from the sole viewpoint of
rubrics and ceremonies, like a problem of etiquette in a
saint's court, so to speak.”
“There was a complete
archeologization of the liturgy, which from the state of
a living history was changed into that of pure
conservation and, therefore, condemned to an internal
death. Liturgy became once and forever a closed
construction, firmly petrified. The more it was
concerned about the integrity of pre-existent formulas,
the more it lost its connection to concrete devotions.”
“The solemn baroque
mass, through the splendor of the orchestra's
performance, became a kind of sacred opera, in which
the songs of the priest had their role as did the
alternating recitals. .... On the ordinary days that
did not allow such a performance, devotions that
followed the people's mentality were often added to the
By the time he became pope, however, and well into the aftermath of Vatican II, he apparently glimpsed the devastation it wrought — but by then the horse was already out of the barn; indeed, as we have recounted, he had been instrumental, much earlier, in building the barn and opening the door.
In many ways, Joseph Ratzinger was the surpassing and ultimately heroic pope ... that should have been.
dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
1 Galatians. 2.11-15
2 https://www.queriniana.it/libro/problemi-e-risultati-del-concilio-vaticano-ii-1792Our grateful acknowledgement to Tradition in Action for the translation into English (https://traditioninaction.org/ProgressivistDoc/A_068_RatzMass.htm)
Martyrology for Today
Semen est sanguis Christianorum (The blood of Christians is the seed of the Church) Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50
Wednesday March 22nd in the Year of Grace 2023
Season of Lent
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs,
confessors, and holy virgins.
Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis.(“All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us”, from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)
Thanks be to God.
“Semen est sanguis Christianorum” — Tertullian
New: the Roman Martyrology can now be downloaded entirely as either a or as a Microsoft Word File
Each day we bring you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom — and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.
They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church, and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short time longer (even the lapsi only postponed their death — and at so great a cost!)
What would motivate men, women, even children and entire families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?
Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when the first flame licked at their feet, after the first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state? What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered without conviction, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are merely placating the state with empty gestures …
Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess that we do not?
Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant belief.
We are the Martyrs to come! What made them so will make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown to the world, but known to God. Catholics living in partibus infidelium, under the scourge of Islam. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses because they would not flee God, the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small, sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but whom the world does not know.
“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”, Christ said to His Apostles: “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.
A Martyr is one who suffers
tortures and a violent death for the sake of Christ and
the Catholic Faith.
A Confessor is one who confesses Christ publicly in times of persecution and who suffers torture, or severe punishment by secular authorities as a consequence. It is a title given only given to those who suffered for the Faith — but was not killed for it — and who had persevered in the Faith until the end.
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised “De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs” for an in-depth historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.
“Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep
of my pasture, says the Lord. Therefore thus says the
Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people:
Totally Faithful to the Sacred Deposit of
Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome