22 May 2013


We start with a clear vision:
There were those who sought a decentralization of the Church, power for the bishops and then, through the Word for the "people of God", the power of the people, the laity. There was this triple issue: the power of the Pope, then transferred to the power of the bishops and then the power of all... popular sovereignty.[1]
I. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI spoke those candid words in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall a few days after his abdication announcement. He was addressing clergy and parish priests in the Diocese of Rome, holding them "captive" during a rather long talk, 46 minutes, without prepared text. His usage of the phrase "popular sovereignty", and all it entails in the context of the Second Vatican Council, ties directly in to Part 1 of this analysis, wherein near the end reference was made to the "human legislator" concept of Marsilius of Padua. That is, a democratized, egalitarianized, immanentized church, stretched and flattened out across a horizontal plane, where an amorphous, collectivist, totalitarian-like vox populi control all the levers. That is the unswerving tendency, the push, the danger, the crisis, in this post-Conciliar period. That gorgeous and tantalizing siren, her beautiful voice, the sound of a thousand coloraturas, mesmerizing, beckoning, irresistible, that phases out the spirit, confuses the intellect, weakens the will. It cannot be otherwise. It is her nature.

II. On that surreal note, then, we continue with our analysis of the "Vatican II: For the Next Generation" conference held last September at St. Paul University. The spirit of "popular sovereignty" surely informing and emboldening its participants. True, a long time has passed, and since then - specifically from February 11, 2013 to the date identifier on this post - we went into an existential tailspin, then placed into a holding pattern, due to mixed signals now being transmitted from the air traffic control tower. On the liturgical front, let's be frank and state that the Benedictine break is over. Data are suggesting a rewind to the 70s for an indeterminable time. So fasten your seat belts, stow away your pet rock, and feign a smile as the stewardess serves you a Swanson TV dinner. Steady as she goes. Thankfully, things look promising on the pro-family/pro-life front, and Pope Francis has encouragingly made some forthright statements to rattle a few cages. Yours truly is taking a "wait and see" attitude, particularly on Curial/bishop reform, the homomafia abomination, and matters liturgical, the latter critical for restoration. Meanwhile, there is still this dominating, leprous "anti-Church" here in Canada needing disclosure, of which the SPU/V2 conference participants yielded a representative population sample thereof. This time we concentrate on the "Additional Plenary Sessions", "Council Witnesses" and "Workshops", most presented by Canadians. Again, profiles on positions are given with expansion/interrelation to ongoings in the Church in Canada and abroad. Subdivisions for analysis will be presented in this sequence: laymen, nuns, priests, bishops.

III. Yes, I know, it sounds like a snorefest. Believe me, I don't enjoy writing about this stuff. It's depressing, heart sinking, exhausting. Yet, save for us bloggers and a few others, nobody else is tackling the intricacies of rife apostasy inside CanChurch, including certain personages who emanate a pretended aura of orthodoxy. Forget about the editorialists and most opinion columnists at the diocesan newspapers plus certain other outlets. They only speak vaguely, in generalities, about the need to change "the culture" or the "social architecture". They get paid, and their targets for criticism are large and popular and, therefore, easy pickins. Like a renowned politician, an infamous celebrity, a subject attracting national interest, a scandalous legal fiasco which even the secular media address, or the latest/never-ending Mohammed-inspired carnage making headlines today, or whomever the widely-syndicated Mark Steyn has singled out for lampooning this week. They won't be specific and detailed about problems and persons inside CanChurch, these heretofore "unknowns", unknown to John Q. Catholic, but known to them, their friends, amongst friends. Keep it in the Circle. Anyhow, such critiques wouldn't even get published for the very reason that these newspapers/websites are controlled by an array of enemies of Christ working in their respective dioceses, who brook no particularizing or thorough criticism whatsoever. The biggest injustice of this appalling situation, which burns white hot deep inside me, is that there are many good priests loyal to the Magisterium at the parish level not properly being served by these cackling voices of the establishment church. These priests carry tremendous crosses, suffer in silence, often alone, and they, more than anyone else, endure and get the brunt of the consequences of heretical specificities and self-serving agendas that trickle down to ground level, drop by drop, drip drip drip, slowly, subtly, eventually animating their parishioners and various busybodies thereamong, who then impose these corruptions - along with projecting their insecurities - onto Father. You won't read about these longsuffering priests or see them interviewed on Salt+Light TV, which, incidentally, is now collaborating with the CBC to produce programs, one on "ecology". Sickening. Vomitus. These priests have been shafted by establishment darlings for years, hijacked by the heresies and schemes and "initiatives" propagated by the likes of the SPU/V2 hotshots, and that pisses me off... royally.

Okey dokey, so let's line them up...

IV. The ring leader of the show was one Catherine Clifford, Vice Dean Faculty of Theology at SPU and professor of Systematic/Historical Theology. Recall from Part 1: in the months leading up to the conference a petition was directed to Canada's Apostolic Nuncio indicating (correctly) that the event was a grandstanding convention of dissenters, Clifford included. When queried about the petition, she respond thusly:
...taken out of context... not a fair representation of the views of the people they are criticizing. I think they misrepresent the work and damage the reputations of these people... respected theologians and leaders who have given a life of service to the Church and I think in no way are disloyal to the Church and its teaching.[2]
Now there's an Ivory Tower howler for you. It's a mere declarative and, as such, does nothing to vindicate the SPU/V2 participants. True, a lengthy defence cannot be provided in a newspaper interview. But neither would a comprehensive response to the challenge posed by the petition ever arise. Never. Why? Because, as Fr. Blake reminds us, the Magic Circle is:
...symbolised by the post-Conciliar stance at the liturgy, bishops, priests and people looking at one another celebrating, as if it is worth celebrating, their own community. It is self celebrating, self serving. It lacks the faculty of self criticism and self evaluation. Ultimately it lacks direction and vision and is incapable of redirecting itself. It is by its very nature conservative and illiberal and therefore intolerant of criticism. Like any self perpetuating group it easily becomes totalitarian and ultimately unjust.
When Clifford invokes "respected theologians and leaders", this is meant exclusively in the context of opinions from members of the establishment church, self-fortified against any objective assessment from outside observers. A demonstration of the vacuousness in Clifford's claims of participant misrepresentation and Church loyalty will, then, necessitate an examination of raw data, which shall come as we proceed.

V. Recently, Canada's seemingly unbreachable Magic Circle is "self-perpetuating" even more, reinforced by an additional structure. With the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, a new research centre is being established at St. Paul University, named "Vatican II and 21st Century Catholicism". Last year in a Scarborough Missions magazine article commemorating the anniversary, Clifford described it as a collaborative endeavour between SPU (Ottawa), Laval University (Québec City), Saint Michael's College (Toronto) and, surprise!, Novalis Publishers - all these educational nodes known for their headstrong allegiance to the Magisterium (rolls eyes). "The synergy generated by the collaboration of three of Canada’s most important faculties of Catholic theology", she writes, "will help to form young Catholic leaders and scholars equipped for creative engagement in the mission of the Church".[3] Translation: a concerted effort is now underway to perpetuate onto the next generation of academics and careerists the Progressivist slant on Vatican II, i.e. Modernism, rupture, discontinuity, "dawn of a new age", Tradition in eclipse, silence/omission on/of moral and life issues, indifferentism, implied universalism, abased liturgy, decentralized hubs of laity/"collegiality" powerbases, horizontalized church, etc.

VI. Speaking of circles, Clifford's address at the SPU conference was entitled "Learning from the Council: A Church in Dialogue", elaborated as "an exchange extended in a series of concentric circles to include other Christian Churches, other religions, and all of humankind". How sweet. Thusly, we come to the subject of ecumenism - that catnip for babyboomer careerists, whose intoxicating effects have transformed the attempted conversion of Protestants and heathens into a fiesta of interreligious group hugs with platitudinous affirmations of everyone's okayness. But, of course, the approach is one of "dialogue". A word pounded away incessantly, like the "Big Lie", purportedly the most effective methodology to draw non-Catholics into the fold. What, then, does Clifford mean by "dialogue" and, specifically, what parameters are required for "dialogue" to be effectual? Here's what she wrote twelve years ago [TH2 bolded emphasis hereafter]:
...to be adequate, the work of ecumenical dialogue must not only identify and articulate a consensus of faith for our present context, but it must also make explicit the implications of this new horizon of consensus with regard to both the judgments of the past and the expression of faith in the theology and life of the churches for the future... for dialogue to be at all possible, we must begin with an attitude of positive regard for the formulations of faith that we encounter in the heritage of our partner in dialogue... By making explicit the implications of consensus for the theology and life of the churches, the dialogues will invite members of the churches into the process of critical judgment and help to form the new collective consciousness that is needed as we move toward full communion.[4]
Firstly, notice the preponderance on what is relevant for today, for us: "our present context". Secondly, note the preoccupation with the new: "new horizon", "new collective consciousness". Thirdly, see the democratic aspect: "consensus". Fourthly, there is the dictate of favourably considering non-Catholic religions: "attitude of positive regard". Thus we have identified the key features of ecumenism according to the Modernist spin: exclusively for us contemporaneously, forever new just for the sake of being new, religious "truth" as a kind of free vote, implied embracing of other religions minus qualification.

VII. Respectively, now observe how this is an inversion of pre-Conciliar Catholicism: (1) as an evangelizer, the Church is universal, its doctrine applicable for all times and all peoples, not just in some shape-shifting form suited the ephemeralness of the modern moment (2) newness always linked, measured and corroborated by the past and a rich Tradition, (3) the Catholic Church alone contains the totality of divinely revealed truth leading to salvation, regardless what a consenting, quasi-autonomous, fallible majority presumes or emotes, (4) negatives like errors and heresies of non-Catholic religions are unambiguously identified, then called for correction and/or elimination. Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Mortalium animos (On Religious Unity, 1928): "the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it... submit to its teaching and government". In essence, particularities of the Faith are not obfuscated with innocuous language palatable to the refined tastes of zealless, often apostatic, Catholics on chancery committees or in theology departments, themselves not having the earnest desire of converting others to authentic Catholicism. Wanting, instead, to garner respectability and winks of endorsement from similarly apathetic peers as they all exploit Church institutions to advance both their careers and agendas.

VIII. Let's now look at the Vatican II Council, specifically it's Decree on Ecumenism. It's definitely not a document I like, nor do I have to confer assent thereto as it is pastoral, not dogmatic - and the evidence is plain it opened the floodgates of universalism and indifferentism. Moreover, it conflicts with teachings in past encyclicals, e.g. Satis cognitum (1896, Leo XIII) and, as above, Mortalium animos. Still, some statements therein, interestingly masked out from Clifford's narrative, counter her us-centred-novelty-driven-democratic-non-judgemental approach to ecumenism. Extractions: the Catholic Church is "God's only flock", the "one and only Church of God". "For it is through Christ's Catholic church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation", "has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth". Further:
Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism which harms the purity of Catholic doctrine and obscures it genuine and certain meaning... ecumenical activity cannot be other than fully and sincerely Catholic, that is, loyal to the truth we have received from the Apostles and the Fathers, and in harmony with the faith which the Catholic Church has always professed.[5]
"Always professed" would, logically, infer times prior to 1962, going back to, say... for arguments sake, 33 AD. Ecumenism by Clifford's definition, then, means not conversion to Catholicism as the ultimate goal, which thus operates against Christ's command to "making disciples of all nations, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). Rather, it is mere convergence, a tessellation of nebulously defined religiosities, compromises on essentials, into a "new collective consciousness". That's unspecific, slippery, non-committal phraseology and, as such, is incompatible with Catholicism for the simple reason that Catholicism is very precise in its dogmas, decrees, morals, etc.

IX. Now comes the false irenicism. Here's what Clifford wrote over fifteen years ago:
Can we begin to ask, in light of this new understanding, whether the condemnations of the papacy by the sixteenth-century Reformers, some of which have found their way into confessional statements of the churches, ought not be reassessed? To what extent can the condemnations of the papacy be said to apply still today?[6]
With the enlightened, almost revelatory, knowledge gleaned by post-Conciliar theologians of the Modernist strain - erstwhile denied to scores of poor souls for nearly two millennia - including saints and Doctors of the Church!, the damage effectuated by the Protestant heretics can now, today, be properly "reassessed". The word "reassess", of course, is code for reinterpret. That is, to reinterpret (incorrectly) doctrine/Tradition in terms of current thinking within the intelligentsia and other cultural trend setters, transient in aspect, rather than (correctly) interpreting the present period in the light of doctrine/Tradition, perennial in aspect. If not, then, is the Church to rescind its condemnation of Calvin's fatalistic predestinarianism? Is the Church to assign credence to Luther, who contended the "holy sacrament is nothing else than a divine sign", not the Real Presence, and that St. Thomas "invented transubstantiation"?[7] Heck, let's go back further in time to their precursors, like John Wycliffe (1324-84) and even to Berengar of Tours (ca. 1000-88), both of whom also rejected Transubstantiation. The prime targets for abolition by Protestantism and its philosophical offshoots - from Kant and Descartes to Marx and Nietzsche - invariably have been Transubstantiation (God really present) and the pope/priesthood (in persona Christi). Remove the Real Presence of the God-Man from the world, deontologize the Eucharist, deify the material world, deform Exodus 3:14 by turning Being into Becoming, efface the Logos who is Jesus Christ - that was and is the endgame of the "sixteenth-century Reformers" and their ideational offspring, right to the present day. That is the direction to which Clifford points with her ecumenist "new understanding", forever questioning, challenging, overriding, revising, attempting to sabotage authoritative teaching. Change for the sake of change, which is the driving force of a rebellious mind.

X. Now see how this process of incessant change manifests in what Clifford wrote just three years ago:
...many of our paradigms of the church, its mission, and unity no longer "fit" the face of global Christianity. In theological terms, many of our categories are no longer adequate to express the living faith of the church in all of its dimensions... the rediscovery of an ecclesiology of communion challenges the narrow focus of a missiology that sees the goal of mission as leading to conversion and an explicit confession of faith in Christ. Such a view seems to take the church as the goal and end of mission and often neglects to consider the role of the church in service to the wider society.[9]
In that bolded text we see a perfect expression of what Cardinal Ratzinger called - in reference to the Bologna Rupturist's construal of the Council's documents - "a mere prelude to a still unattained conciliar spirit". Why are established "paradigms" suddenly inadequate? No answer provided. Suspiciously, why does Clifford depict missionary work to convert others to an "explicit confession of faith in Christ" as "narrow", thus insinuating a negative, close-minded quality? No explanation given. Isn't that the purpose? This makes the Church overlook "wider society"? The idiocy some people dish out is astounding. If not that, malicious lying? From its inception the Church always has aided man and society, regardless of race, religion, class, nationality, ethnicity. Helping the sick, the poor, the downtrodden, educating, schools and universities, hospitals, offering respite, healing, hope and happiness. Saints, missionaries and all that. The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world. Science developed and flourished only within the Catholic cultural matrix. After the Fall of Roman Empire, during the barbarian invasions - with its attending mayhem, chaos and destruction, it was the rural abbey's that preserved the knowledge and treasures of Western Civilization.[10] But, you see, this is part of the ruse. At all times keep the "spirit of Vatican II" unattainable, beyond grasp, forward looking into an unknowable future without being anchored by an objective historical referent, ideas in a state of flux, constantly. A recent cartoon brilliantly captures this mindset. To corroborate, read Clifford's response given in an interview published just a few days prior to the SPU conference:
The world we live in today is very different from the world 50 years ago. Many of the questions are not the same questions the bishops were reflecting on in 1962-65 in the Council. It's an era of an unprecedented migration of peoples. The population of the world has more than doubled; the population of the Catholic Church has more than doubled. The majority of Catholics live not in Europe and North America but in the Southern hemisphere. We are a very different Church than we were 50 years ago... in some ways those issues [poverty, social justice] are far more complex than they were 50 years ago.[11]
A different world? Yes. It has changed politically, economically, culturally. Been that way from time immemorial. A different Church? Depends on your perspective. In terms of dogma (e.g. Four Last Things: death, judgement, Heaven, Hell) and the Mystical Body of Christ (the Church Triumphant, Suffering, Militant), nothing has changed since 1965. However, it's a different story for the Institutional Church. That is, its seminaries, convents, churches, religious orders, schools, universities, hospitals, charities, publishers, institutes - those "material" units run by the Catholic Church. Yes, the Church has changed in that fashion, drastically, for the worse and to the world's detriment. "The Church", Clifford says, "is called to mediate a timeless truth in a changing social, cultural, and historical context".[12] How can the Church appropriately encounter an ever-changing world if today it's "very different" from the mid-sixties and if, as she maintains, its "paradigms" five decades onward into the twenty-first century still, today in 2013, "no longer 'fit' the face of global Christianity"? Not then, not now, then when?

XI. Does the reader spot what's happening here? Everything is pushed forward, a "we're not there yet" mantra, all is skewed to futurity. Elsewhere she writes:
...the experience of religious pluralism in the context of globalization constitutes the basic horizon within which contemporary theology must reinterpret and reactualize the Christian message.[13]
Clifford, like many V2 glitterati, manipulate the Council and use it as a vehicle to promote ceaseless change in the Church, inconstancy prevails. An endlessly altering Institutional/Doctrinal Church, devoid of the stability afforded by members committed to Tradition/Magisterium, is incapable of ameliorating a changing secular society because it mimics the dynamic immanentism or so-called "progress" of that society, losing sight of its transcendent locus, succumbing to the "spirit of the world". In her 2012 SFM article she states Vatican II is "yet to be fully received". According to her forward-thrust approach, it never will be. We "reinterpret and reactualize" evermore. Accomplishment never arrives, the "basic horizon" will never be reached, as it forever exists downrange through the infinite time tunnel. Again, Cardinal Ratzinger equated this outlook as "a mere prelude to a still unattained conciliar spirit". Another German, philosopher Karl Löwith, noted similarly, but in a wider context: "A basic difference between Christianity and secular futurism is... that the pilgrim's progress is not an indefinite advance toward an unattainable ideal but a definite choice in the fact of an eternal reality".[14] Let's be straightforward here: the word "reactualize" is Nu-Church Speak for the secularization of Catholicism.

XII. Yes, "we are a very different Church than we were 50 years ago". The hard and harsh facts prove this to be the case. What has occurred, then? Consecrated souls hitting the road in droves, miniscule vocation numbers, universities replete with heretic professors, Marxist/anti-natalist "development" agencies operating under the guise of a benevolent "social justice", bishops relieved and relaxed in their role as mere administrators of "pastoral care", apostates flourishing in the religious bureaucracy (permitted/approved by bishops), homosexual imperatives incapacitating grade schools with the eager assistance of "Catholic" educrats, networks of fascist faggotry in seminaries, indeed throughout all structures of the Institutional Church - and don't forget the long-running Dyke van Dick Show that is the LCWR, supported by the Canadian Religious Conference. Add to these the near-normalization of liturgical abuse, bishop abrogation of the TLM, vilification and suppression of Traditional Catholics by "conservative" Neo-Catholic celebritie$, contracepting Catholics, inferior if not zero catechesis, parish closings, catastrophic declines in Mass attendance, including at Confession. Pope Benedict: "this Council created many calamities, so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed, liturgy trivialized". Facts speak plainly. Implosion of the Church over the last 50 years happened on the watch of the champions of Vatican II. Two generations in the West lost and most of the next are on deck for dissolution, pending divine intervention.

XIII. All these eventuated post-1965 and are still eventuating. Clifford, who never discusses these exigencies in the Church, ascribes the situation as "very different", which is a neutral descriptor, an assignment of neither right or wrong, good or bad. In actuality, the "very different" label is an escape hatch of sorts, more like a euphemism for de-Christianization. "The majority of Catholics", she says, "live not in Europe and North America but in the Southern hemisphere". Well, why is this the circumstance? No reasons are proposed. Could it be that Catholics in Canada, America and Europe are not making babies anymore? That they are aborting, contracepting, sterilizing and economizing them out of existence? Of millions slaughtered in the womb, think how many would have become priests and nuns. If the Canadian bishops didn't issue the pro-contraception Winnipeg Statement in 1968, directly linked to increased abortions thereafter, think of how many more Canadian Catholics there would be today. Could it also be Islamicization of the West, made possible through unrestricting immigration, multiculturalist policies, and a pantywaist Politically Correct appeasement that leaves violent Mohammedism unchallenged? Could it be that, over the last fifty years, machinations of the establishment church - bishops, theologians, educrats, hipster liturgists, the chancery workforce, diocesan newspaper editors and all manner of careerists have - through their governance, bureaucracies, committees, subcommittees, lectures, seminars, conferences, reports, books, opinion columns - made the post-Conciliar atmosphere conducive to endemic apostasy? Most delightfully, Pope Francis recently preached bluntly on this plague of opportunists:
The men and women of the Church who are careerists and social climbers, who "use" people, the Church, their brothers and sisters - whom they should be serving - as a springboard for their own personal interests and ambitions... are doing great harm to the Church.[15]
Goodness gracious. Concerning Canada, could His Holiness, perchance, be making reference to that gallery of anonymous "this world"-obsessed criminals employed at the CCCB? To the pewsitter-robbing-entitlement-minded Marxists at Development and Peace? To the Executive Director at Citizens for Public Justice, who uses his CCCB connections and "Journey to Justice" column at the Western Catholic Reporter to politicize the Faith, to kindle class warfare with Fred Flintstone economic bromides, and to promote worship of the Rain Forests, including - oh dear me! - the sanctification of those cute and cuddly climate-sensitive polar bears perambulating atop a precarious cryosphere? To the Publishing Director and his gang of aging subversives at Novalis Publishers, who happily draw on $250,000 smackers per annum of taxpayer-supplied funds to publish and distribute a wide assortment of heretical horseshit? To the "yes men" at the Salt+Light Media Foundation, subserviently toiling under the all-seeing Eye of Rosica Sauron? To the "media strategist" at the Catholic Register, who likes to use his Catholic-lite, faux-orthodox columns to peddle his magazine and those illustriou$ expert$ at his "think tank", errr, company (i.e. "Cardus Media Services" Inc., bishop certified)? To the "Communications Director" at the Toronto Archdiocese, who lately was complicit with a notorious anti-Catholic newspaper in castigating a priest faithful to the Church's teaching on morality? Or to our dear lady who believes, in the true sense of an insurgent, that because she's a "theologian", into book learnin n'stuff, makes her qualified, with whatever pet theory concocted, to countermand 2000 years of Magisterial teaching? Because doctrine "is but a partial expression of the faith of the church". The "lived faith of the Church" is prioritized "over its doctrinal formulations".[16] Goethe extolled this garbage long ago: "In the beginning was the Deed". This, in direct conflict with the Johannine Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word". "Lived faith", as in action, behaviour, Becoming (man-focussed, immanent). Not doctrine, as in principle, truth, Being (outside the self, transcendent). I've always hated Faust.

XIV.  In the SFM magazine article Clifford also argued the Council to be "the most important event in the last century of religious history". In another place - along with partner "Tricky Dicky" Gaillardetz: "the most important event in Roman Catholic history since the Protestant Reformation".[17] Which is it? 100 or 500 years? How can this grandiosity be justified? It cannot. The Council was explicitly indicated to be pastoral, no new dogma was promulgated. If monumentalism is to be attributed, if the Council is to be classified as a meta-historical event, it can only be done by referring to the pandemic of heresy/apostasy it spawned over the last five decades, unashamedly declared, nonchalantly lived by the majority of Catholics. Going back further in time, way back, it's certainly arguable that a moribund post-Conciliar Catholicism is analogous to the Arian crisis of the Fourth Century. That is, a situation with most bishops and theologians in heresy, an apostatic establishment church, managing the "buildings", brandishing clout, political intrigue - contra - the faithful at the time, laity, priests and a smattering of bishops, denied admittance into the Athenaeum during those dark days, even exiled like St. Athanasius, but nonetheless safeguarding doctrine and liturgy, fighting, defending them, living and witnessing in accordance with them.

XV. If we are to go back and survey the last 100+ years and search for "the most important event" in the Church, then the emergence of Modernism surely qualifies. Not as something eminently beneficial to Catholicism, but as supremely malevolent. The term "Modernism" is thrown around often without really describing what it is per se, so now a brief synopsis. Most notably, there was St. Pius X's devastating condemnation in his 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (On the Doctrine of the Modernists). He defined it as the "synthesis of all heresies... collecting together all the errors that have been broached against the faith and to concentrate into one the sap and substance of them all" (the Oath Against Modernism came in 1910, then abrogated by Paul VI in 1967). This multiplicity of heresies operating in a kind of loose collusion, a superheresy so to speak, is what makes Modernism a heresy difficult to succinctly describe. If your humble blogger can give it a go, to distill a definition, I would say, basically, it's an aggregation of tendencies in ideas and opinions at variance with all features of Church teaching and activity. It's spread over numerous subject areas: theological, ethical, societal, political, philosophical, liturgical. It doesn't actually have a unifying factor or rules set down in some treatise, nor some mandate instituted by a sole organization, neither a superhero intellectual unto whom all submit. Nonetheless, there are identifiable themes that repeat, forming a kind of ethereal "life-force", pervasive, bonding Modernists subjectively, if not objectively.

XVI.  Firstly, a call for liberation from authority by means of defiance disguised as legitimate or justified criticism, articulated by whatever media, but also through social action, like protests, gatherings at fashionable salons to rally the troops and boost morale, etc. It is therefore pedestrian to see Modernism as a distant echo of the conceptually interconnected Protestant and French Revolutions. Secondly, there is the directive - absolute! - saying everything does and must change, expressed with sundry yet synonymous words: "evolution", "action", "movement", "forward", "progress", "process", "advancement", "contextual", "situational", "relational". Notice the intrinsically dynamic and unsteady qualities in these terms. The Church, demand the Modernists, has to "adapt" to all manner of change arising in society, to reconsider or "reactualize" (Clifford) norms and ancient beliefs, so as to stay in tune with the times. Relativism, one by-product of Modernism, is the "greatest problem of our time",[18] said then Cardinal Ratzinger in 2003. Thirdly, a plea is made for the unification of humanity, for a universal "brotherhood of man" living in harmony, or a type of "compassionate community", to be achieved, not necessarily by recourse to reason and faith, but with sentimentality, by prompting baser impulses. The "ecumenism" link is unmistakeable here. This also explains the insistence of "dialogue", which yields only concessions that weaken individual positions, instead of producing real distinctions, divisions and truths that would otherwise arise from hard-hitting debate and confrontation - even spectacular confrontation, like St. Paul the rabble rouser. Much more interesting and exciting.

XVII. Functioning underground since about the late nineteenth century, Vatican II was the venue permitting for the actualization of the Modernists' long awaited dream to launch into the forefront and overtake Catholic affairs in Europe, Oceania and the Americas. No question, they commandeered the Council. But how did this come to be? How was this done? Answer: mainly, mess around with the liturgy beforehand, that Catholic "element" mostly, regularly "experienced" by the laity. Get those innovations "out there" to a significantly larger populace. Obscure theological journals with low readership have negligible impact in this situation. In her book coauthored with Gaillardetz, a primer on Vatican II, it is interesting how undermining of the liturgy by the Modernists is presented or, should we say, not presented in the opening chapter:
For over a century, a movement of liturgical renewal had been stirring in the church, especially in Germany and France. This movement was nourished by a renewed attention to Scripture, to early Christian writings, to the history of the early church, and to the renewal of monastic life and prayer. It's twentieth century expression received its orientation from the Benedictine Dom Lambert Beauduin during a congress of lay Catholics in Malines, Belgium, in 1909. In 1940, the German bishops' conference established a study group to explore the renewal of the liturgy, and in 1943 the influential Centre National de Pastorale Liturgique (National Centre for Pastoral Liturgy) was founded in Paris. Pope Pius XII undertook a series of initiatives that prepared the way for the more substantial reform that would follow at Vatican II. His 1947 encyclical letter, Mediator Dei, spoke in favor of liturgical renewal. During the pontificate of Pius XII, a new translation of the psalms was produced for use in a revised edition of the Liturgy of the Hours. From 1951 to 1956 the rites of the Easter Triduum were reformed... Efforts were made to simplify rubrics and update the calendar of feast days. Rules were relaxed for fasting before Mass, for the use of hymnody, and for some use of the vernacular, and experiments were authorized for the use of a more "dialogical" form of the liturgy. Many protagonists of the liturgical renewal were named as members and consultants to the Preparatory Commission on Sacred Liturgy in the fall of 1960. They worked during the preparatory phase of the council to prepare the draft text that was presented to the bishops in 1962. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy... sought to lay out a number of general norms and principles to be followed in a subsequent reform of the rites of the church - a task that would be carried out in the years immediately followed the council... it was the fruit of a long process of maturation reaching back into the preceding century.[19]
What we have here is the standard Modernist take on "The Liturgical Movement". Such a nice account it is. The course of liturgical "renewal" glided, smooth sailing through the decades, nothing problematic transpired, no bumps or pot holes along the way to the happy clappy Masses we are familiar with today. As if, "at last!", the time had arrived, it was "our due". It's the Nouvelle Theologie, les dudes. Get with it. Unlike the Church of antiquity, we are finally "mature". The manner in which the so-called "liturgical renewal" happened was good, "the best", it was inevitable. We needed a more "intelligent" and "active" participation by the laity in the Mass. Liturgy needed to remade, "relevant" for "modern" Catholics to accommodate for the fast-paced, overwhelming social changes occurrent during the twentieth century and for eras beyond.

XVIII. It's a lovely tale, heartwarming. It works by omission, however. Trepidations, warnings, red flags - which, indeed, were issued and vocalized - are unmentioned by Clifford and her antinomian colleague. True, the Liturgical Movement gained strength in France, Belgium and Germany at the turn of the twentieth century. Later, it reached Italy, Holland, England, then the United States. Beforehand being mostly associated with monastic worship, by World War II it entered and influenced parishes. Two years after the war ended, Pius XII issued the encyclical Mediator Dei, mentioned by Clifford because the pope "spoke in favor of liturgical renewal". What isn't alluded to are the following important words from that encyclical:
...duty obliges Us to give serious attention to this "revival" as it is advocated in some quarters, and to take proper steps to preserve it at the outset from excess or outright perversion... we are sorely grieved to note... that... certain enthusiasts, over-eager in their search for novelty, are straying beyond the path of sound doctrine and prudence. Not seldom, in fact, they interlard their plans and hopes for a revival of the sacred liturgy with principles which compromise this holiest of causes in theory or practice, and sometimes even taint it with errors touching Catholic faith and ascetical doctrine.
Who were these "enthusiasts", or "protagonists", as Clifford refers to them? Fr. D. Bonneterre  characterized them as "young wolves". Summarily, the Liturgical Movement, at its beginnings circa 1910, did engender good results, it was an authentic act of renewal, especially in the fact that the liturgy was deemed theocentric in quintessence, not anthropocentric. It originated with St. Pius X and Dom Louis Pascal Prosper Guéranger, OSB (1805-1875), liturgist and Abbot of Solesmes Abbey in France. However, by the 1920s the ship began to steer off track. Signs of this were the incorporation of pagan antiquarianism and ecumenism. Associated names include Pius John Bruno Parsch, Odo Casel and Lambert Beauduin, the latter cited by Clifford in the above quotation. By the 1940s the Liturgical Movement was under assault by revolutionaries, hence Pius XII's Mediator Dei sounding the alarm in 1947. There is an informative article by Michael Davies overviewing how the Modernists usurped the Liturgical Movement, with the following extract bringing us up right to the Second Vatican Council:
Crushed by St. Pius X, the Modernists understood that they could not penetrate the Church by theology, that is, by a clear exposé of their doctrines. They had recourse to the Marxist notion of praxis, having understood that the Church could become modernist through action [or "lived faith", as Clifford might claim], especially through the sacred action of the liturgy. Revolutions always use the living energies of the organism itself, taking control of them little by little and finally using them to destroy the body under attack. It is the well-known process of the Trojan horse... After the Second World War, the movement became a force that nothing could stop. Protected from on high by eminent prelates, the new liturgists took control little by little of the Commission for Reform of the Liturgy founded by Pius XII, and influenced the reforms devised by this Commission at the end of the pontificate of Pius XII and at the beginning of that of John XXIII... The most influential of the new liturgists, the great architect of the post-Vatican II liturgical revolution, was Father Annibale Bugnini.[20]
XIX. Modernists operated underground, within Church structures, for 100+ years prior to 1962. During this time they laboured intensely, though cunningly, spreading doubt in biblical studies, liturgy, philosophy and theology. Questions and uncertainties were put forward against vital, rudiments of the Faith, like the Eucharist, the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth, the perpetual virginity of Our Blessed Mother, and so forth. Scour away at the foundation for long enough, then the entire superstructure will finally start to lurch. The Second Vatican Council, seized by the Modernists, was the launching pad for catalyzing these skepticisms and other recalcitrant ideas, making them "mainstream", thus the near total collapse of the Faith we witness today. When you read about or have the misfortune in your personal/parish life to bear the annoyances of Novalis-endorsed things like "liberation theology", "process theology", "feminist theology", "black theology", "existential theology", "dialectical theology", "naturalistic theology", "contextual theology" and so on ad nauseum - know that these are all strains of the Modernist contagion.

XX. From a philosophical angle, the victory of the Liberals at and after the Council was the culmination of a century-long war waged inside the Church between Modernism and neo-Scholasticism. Neo-Scholasticism was a "revival" or, better, a "restatement" of medieval philosophy, the philosophia perennis, applied to contemporary times, principally that of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the Angelic Doctor. The movement's glimmerings were in the early 1800s, though its development accelerated with the sanction and encouragement given in the encyclical Aeterni Patris of Leo XIII in 1879, wherein he calls Aquinas "the chief and master of all towers". As if seeing the approaching Modernist storm on the horizon, the pope also stated:
Whoso turns his attention to the bitter strifes of these days and seeks a reason for the troubles that vex public and private life must come to the conclusion that a fruitful cause of the evils which now afflict, as well as those which threaten, us lies in this: that false conclusions concerning divine and human things, which originated in the schools of philosophy, have now crept into all the orders of the State, and have been accepted by the common consent of the masses... the duty of religiously defending the truths divinely delivered, and of resisting those who dare oppose them, pertains to philosophic pursuits.
Then there was this:
We know that there are some who, in their overestimate of the human faculties, maintain that as soon as man's intellect becomes subject to divine authority it falls from its native dignity, and hampered by the yoke of this species of slavery, is much retarded and hindered in its progress toward the supreme truth and excellence. Such an idea is most false and deceptive, and its sole tendency is to induce foolish and ungrateful men wilfully to repudiate the most sublime truths, and reject the divine gift of faith, from which the fountains of all good things flow out upon civil society. For the human mind, being confined within certain limits, and those narrow enough, is exposed to many errors and is ignorant of many things... Those, therefore, who to the study of philosophy unite obedience to the Christian faith, are philosophizing in the best possible way; for the splendor of the divine truths, received into the mind, helps the understanding.
You will observe that Leo XIII was instructing Catholics on the error of overreliance on "human faculties", restricted by "certain limits", and how it related to knowledge "received into the mind". Epistemologically, philosopher enemies of the Church were retaliating against that which exists without the self, as in Church authority, divine revelation. They deemed the mind of one's own self as the prime arbiter when it comes to the acquisition of knowledge and truth.

XXI. This philosophical atmosphere breathed by the Church's adversaries, this locking of cognition within the self, was largely resultant of the pollution pumped out by a very influential blowhard, German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Kant was an apriori rationalist to the extreme. In a few words, his philosophy destroyed the bridge connecting the knowing human mind to outside objective reality. It was a philosophy of self-projection par excellence. "The thing", Kant's external world, to use Fr. Stanley Jaki's biting description, was but a "bastardized product of the intellect". It wasn't that Kant refuted the transcendent, however he placed it beyond the scope of human knowledge. Religion and morality, he asserted, had no association with outside authority. Instead, it was personal, inward-derived, dependent on the human will. This moral autonomy of the self is, for example, reflected in The Metaphysics of Morals:
The faculty of desiring in accordance with concepts is called the faculty of doing or forebearing as one likes... insofar as the ground determining it to action is found in the faculty of desire [inside the self] and not the object [outside the self].[21]
Apparently, Kant's thought synchronized so well with the Modernist stance that, early in the twentieth century, Fr. J.M. Bampton, SJ went so far as to say "Modernism is founded on Kant's system".[22] Now before the reader starts to bore, then fade into a coma - many people do while reading Kant, there is a reason why I took this historical detour. To preface: the aforementioned war raging between the Modernists and neo-Scholastics involved the faint impulses, then a strong sway of, Kantian notions onto the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. It is commonly coined "transcendental Thomism", a movement started by Jesuits in the early 1900s. Basically, it is an interplay between, if not a merger of, the Thomistic and Kantian philosophical systems. Proponents included Msgr. Léon Noël with his idea of "immediate realism" and, more distinguished, Fr. Joseph Maréchal (1878-1944), known for the "finality of intellect" idea. Maréchal is revered as the father of transcendental Thomism. One of his intellectual offspring was a Canadian Jesuit, becoming more famous for his theory of knowing called "critical realism". Namely, Fr. Bernard Lonergan, SJ (1904-1984).[23]

XXII. The reason, then, for bringing Kant and transcendental Thomism into the mix is because our V2 lady from SPU thinks it would be just marvellous to introduce Lonergan's methodology into the ecumaniac/dialogic arena. Obviously, I vehemently disagree. Still, let's see what she has to say:
...few have applied Lonergan's framework of method in a systematic way to the task of dialogue and the elaboration of consensus statements... for genuine dialogue to take place at all, participants must share to some degree in the critical realism that is basic to Lonergan's theory of knowing. The fundamental hermeneutical principles established by Vatican II and which have enabled Catholics to engage in sincere dialogue, all imply an activity of critical judgment in the knowledge and appropriation of the Christian faith. In many cases ecumenical consensus statements have been presented in precisely such a manner, thus limiting their effectiveness. Through dialogue, the churches are being led to recognize the limitations of the judgments of the past.[24]
Now I don't want to dig too deep into Clifford's opinion of Lonergan here, except to pinpoint this: when she speaks of "limitations of the judgements of the past", she really means that for her, personally, there are, in the history the Church, a series of doctrinal/moral teachings to which she disputes and is intent on modernizing, so to speak (see later her interactions with the secular media). "Dialogue", then - better camouflaged with a mushy and ostensibly well-meaning "sincere dialogue", is the instrument to be wielded. By affixing something "critical" to this instrument, like, say, the "critical realism" of Lonergan - who has reached cult-like status inside the already heretical academe and therefore automatically gets a stamp of approval from the apostatic establishment church, you are then warranted to utilize this criticizing instrument (i.e. weapon) to level broadsides against the Magisterium, yet appear "sincere" and "genuine" while doing so. Neato!

XXIII. Correspondingly, application of Lonergan's "critical realism" would mean principally, if not exclusively, criticism of pre-Conciliar Catholicism, not necessarily criticism of the thousands of Protestant sects or whatever pagan conviction. Recall from Paragraph X: Clifford supposes it "narrow" to convert others to an "explicit confession of faith in Christ". She's not interested in an evangelization through ecumenism, despite surface appearances, despite the way she superimposes Lonergan's "critical realism" onto an allegedly less effective mode of "critical judgement", despite her beloved Vatican II, whose document Decree on Ecumenism (as quoted above) overtly states: "For it is through Christ's Catholic church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation". Contrarily, the real "ecumenical" message, i.e. criticism, is craftily reserved for and exacted against Tradition, the Remnant, who are fed up with the multi-decadal ecumenical drone which has watered down the meat of Catholicism into a syncretistic soup. Stop being negative and uncharitable, you orthodox Catholics. Don't upset or offend others, displace justice with mercy, be nice, nobody likes bad news, no ardent expressions of the Faith are permitted. Don't be mean and call them heretics and schismatics. More pleasantly, they're our "separated brethren". You missionaries, don't be awkward and try to convert people. Blend in, as your vocation is actually that of a social worker. The divine commission of the Church in this glorious post-Conciliar age involves no triumphalism, but accommodationism, Ostpolitik. The goal is not to disseminate the Truth that is Jesus Christ, but to get along with one another - and we do this through "sincere dialogue" and "consensus statements" supplemented with a Kantian-inspired philosophical fad. Imagine the Apostles  just "sort of" wanting to convert their fellow men. Like today, nobody would have listened nor cared in the long run. The Apostles were martyred by crucifixion, stoning, stabbing, whipping, beheading, hanging, thrown off a cliff, shot with arrows, dragged by horses - and these because they were seeking a "consensus" through "sincere dialogue". Those Apostles, so negative and judgemental.

XXIV. Briefly getting back to Lonergan. His "theory of knowing", a sort of mishmash of realism and idealism, goes something like this: Reality is not immediately "out there", outside the mind, nor is reality "in here", within the mind. Knowledge about external reality is a function of the knowing process per se - inquiry, judgement, thinking. How much we understand about this reality is dependent on the scope of our intelligence, our range of reason, on how much we concentrate. There is a personal aspect involved. How one knows is a "personal question".[25] Lonergan described this process as "a personal appropriation of one's own dynamic and recurrently operative structure of cognitional activity".[25] That sounds rather complex and many of Lonergan's devotees get mesmerized by his complicated terminologies and, as such, liken it to untainted philosophical truthfulness. Indeed, the obsession academics have with Lonergan's philosophy, as it is expressed in a "complex" writing style, is reminiscent of the obsession post-modernist intellectuals have with Martin Heidegger and his classic Being and Time. A tome of complex, multi-hyphenated word fusings, bizarre, tantamount incomprehensible yet somehow enchanting. Ontological gnosticism is what I call it.

XXV. The very term "critical realism" as such is a kind of subterfuge, lacking a better descriptor, because it prioritizes the mind - the mental process of inquiry as such, which, well... criticizes reality. But reality need not be criticized. It presents itself as such. Reality, the thing, the world - these are unmediated, "a given", says medieval Scholastic philosophy, and its existence need not be confirmed through protracted inquiry, filtered through a psychological additive, personally-rooted, even imaginative in aspect. In this "theory of knowing", there's even a trace of the intuitionalism advanced by French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859–1941). Compare: "To know a reality... is to take ready-made concepts, to portion them out and to mix them together until a practical equivalent of the reality is obtained".[27] If the thing is not "a given", not assumed, it would be impossible to judge it, therefore we would have no certitude of it as an "existent". Lonergan's system more so intends reality by querying, thus there is bias more so toward the mind and its operations, therefore deemphasizing external objective reality. This is where the looming shadow of Kant emerges. And it was the eminent medieval historian and Thomist philosopher Étienne Gilson (1884-1978) who warned about how Kantianism was creeping into the neo-Scholastic movement, the "transcendental Thomism" of Lonergan being the epitome.[28] It's revealing that Gilson, an intellectual giant of international reputation, a founder of the once prestigious Pontifical Institute of Medieaval Studies in Toronto, is hardly, if ever, cited anymore in the publications, seminars and talks of Canada's V2 glitterati. Another unmentionable, kept in hushed tones, is that Lonergan, like the Canadian bishops, opposed the encyclical Humanae vitae of Pope Paul VI: "The traditional views [on contraception] to my mind are based on Aristotelian biology and later stuff which is all wrong. They haven't got the facts straight".[29] That was published in the now defunct  Catholic New Times, home of ex-priest Gregory Baum and ex-nun Mary Jo Leddy, in October 1984, shortly before Lonergan died.

Well, enough of this philosophical gobbledygook. A little more on Clifford in the next post, then onto the rest.


1. "Pope Benedict's last great master class: Vatican II, as I saw it", Radio Vaticana, February 14, 2013.

2. Quoted in D. Gyapong, "Meeting condemned as conference of 'dissenters'", BC Catholic, June 25, 2012.

3. C.E. Clifford, "Vatican II: Revisiting the Council", Scarborough Missions Magazine, January/February 2012.

4. C.E. Clifford, "The Joint Declaration, Method, and the Hermeneutics of Consensus", Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Winter 2001, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 79-94.

5. Unitatis Redintegratio, ch. I, paras. 2-4; ch. II, para. 11; ch. III, para. 24, In: (gen. ed. A. Flannery) Vatican Council II, The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents (Boston: St. Paul & Books Media, 1992 new revised edition), pp. 454-456, 458, 462, 470. Originally promulgated on November 21, 1964.

6. C.E. Clifford, "A ministry of communion for the whole church: proposals for conversion", Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Summer-Fall 1998, vol. 35, nos. 3-4, pp. 370-379.

7. Luther's Works, ed. J. Pelikan (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967), vol. 54, p. 12. Cf. also vol. 35, pp. 49-73.

8. Berengar: see N.C. Eberhardt, A Summary of Catholic History (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Company, 1961), vol. 1, pt. III sec. I, XIV, 106B, pp. 609-610. Wycliffe: see H. Phillips, "John Wyclif and the Optics of the Eucharist", In: From Ockham to Wyclif (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Limited, 1985), Studies in Church History, Subsidia 5, pp. 245-258. Calvin: see Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. H. Beveridge (WM.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1953), bk. IV, ch. xvii, paras. 12-15 (vol. II, pp. 564–569).

9. C.E. Clifford, "Unity and mission one hundred years on", Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Summer  2011, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 329-342.

10. See C. Dawson, The Making of Europe (New York: The New American Library Incorporated, 1974), pp. 187-201. First published in 1932.

11. Quoted in D. Gyapong, "Vatican II conference to examine how Council has influenced Church 50 years on", Catholic Register, September 23, 2012.

12. Quoted in D. Gyapong, "Vatican II sets agenda for ongoing renewal, scholars say", BC Catholic, October 4, 2012.

13. C.E. Clifford, "De Babel A. Pentecote: Essais de theologie interreligieuse", Theological Studies, June 2007, vol. 68, no. 2, p. 461. Book review.

14. K. Löwith, Meaning in History (The University of Chicago Press, 1970), p. 84. Originally published in 1949.

15. "Careerists and climbers doing 'great harm' to the church", Vatican Information Service, May 8, 2013.

16. Quoted in J. Hitchcock, "The Failure of Liberal Catholicism", Catholic World Report, May 31, 2011; and T.C. Fox, "Catholic theology must be grounded in lives of the faithful", National Catholic Reporter, June 12, 2010.

17. R.R. Gaillardetz and C.E. Clifford, Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teachings of Vatican II (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2012), p. xviii.

18. "Cardinal Ratzinger Calls Relativism 'Greatest Problem of Our Time'", ZENIT, September 26, 2003.

19. R.R. Gaillardetz and C.E. Clifford, op. cit., p. 2.

20. Quoted from M. Davies, "The Liturgical Movement: How the Traditional Roman Rite, over one thousand years old, was destroyed", The Remnant, February 25, 2003.

21. I. Kant, The Metaphysical Elements of Justice, Part I of The Metaphysics of Morals, trans. J. Ladd (Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs-Merill Company, Incorporated, 1965), p. 12. First published in 1797.

22. J.M. Bampton, Modernism and Modern Thought (London: Sands & Company, 1913), p. 27.

23. Lonergan stated he came to know of Maréchal's work by "osmosis", "I was introduced to Thomism through a Greek, Stephanos Stephanou, who had his philosophic formation under Maréchal". See Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, eds. E.A. Morelli and D.A. Morelli (New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1980), Understanding and Being, vol. 5, pp. 349-350.

24. C.E. Clifford, "Lonergan's Contribution to Ecumenism", Theological Studies, September 2002, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 521-538.

25. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, op. cit., p. 277.

26. B.J.F. Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1978), p xxiii. Originally published in 1957. For an overview of Longeran's thought see the chapter "The New Theology and Transcendental Thomism", In: J.C. Livingston, F. Schüssler Fiorenza, Modern Christian Thought: The Twentieth Century (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006), vol. 2, 214-221.

27. H. Bergson, An Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. T.E. Hulme (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1928), p. 40. Originally published in 1912.

28. See introduction by Fr. Stanley Jaki in É. Gilson, Methodical Realism, trans. P. Trower (Front Royal, VA: Christendom Press, 1990), pp. 12-13.

29. Quoted in R.A. McCormick, "'Humanae Vitae' 25 Years Later", America, July 17, 1993.



marylise said...

Dear Heresy Hunter:
Your blog is nothing less than a spiritual work of mercy. Thank you for your painstaking research, which makes it possible to pinpoint the cause of the anguish and torment suffered by faithful Catholics in Canada. Many of us can only whimper, “Something is wrong.” We have no idea where the disease began, how it got so far, or why the doctor (the hierarchy) doesn’t seem to care.
Among your many excellent points, three give rise to comment: (1) In paragraph VII, you rightly state that the Catholic Church alone contains the totality of divinely revealed truth leading to salvation. However, it must be added (and even some popes have been vague about this) that any truth expressed by other religions has been borrowed, stolen or otherwise taken from the Catholic Church. These various false religions have no independently acquired truth of their own, no special insight that is lacking in Catholicism, and nothing to offer the Catholic Church. (2) In paragraph IX and elsewhere, you rightly identify change for the sake of change as something modernists cherish. This mental illness of which they are so proud obviously reflects hatred of objective truth. But then the question arises as to why they hate objective truth. In what way does objective truth ruin their lives? One possibility is that objective truth is feared as the basis of the Day of Judgment. On that Day, we will be faced with the exact truth of everything we did and why we did it. Sin that has not been confessed and atoned for will be punished and there will be no “dialogue.” Maybe modernists think they can dodge the Day of Judgment by making themselves moving targets, especially by means of nebulous and elastic thoughts. (3) In paragraph XIII and elsewhere, you rightly identify careerism as a characteristic of individuals who thrive in the current heretical establishment that passes for the Church in Canada. An implication of this observation is that faithful Catholics should strive more than ever to serve the Church without being paid. This has always been a good idea, but now would seem to be practically a matter of life and death. The minute any of us accepts a cheque from the chancery office, it is to be feared that we have, in effect, accepted a bribe.
Thank you again for cool water on a fevered brow.

TH2 said...

Hello there marylise:

"anguish and torment suffered..." - Understand where you're coming from, m'lady. But I certainly hope these senses are not overtaking you in any way. Have to endure this stuff, true, but if offered up they make the suffering purposeful and help to lighten the load.

Marc Ratusz said...

Welcome back. We have been waiting for you. Mwahaha. Ahem. Yes.

That Lonergan and his fellow heretical SJs in crime (Rahner) and I will throw in Von Balthasar as well, are still influential, illustrates from a theological and philosophical perpective, how bad things really are. Until clergy are formed in a traditional Thomistic way, wrong thinking will prevail.

I wonder how much the present pontiff was formed under the diabolical Jesuit theologians. His latest univeralistic pronouncements certainly make me believe his thinking is right there with the worst of them.

I believe they still teach Lonergan, Rahner and von B at St. Joseph's Seminary in Alberta, having been told so from reliable sources. Pity the poor traditional seminarian mad enough to try a conciliar counterfeit church seminary. Absolute madness.......

TH2 said...

Interesting that you bring up Rahner and von Balthasar. You might recall that late last year there was a controversy surrounding Ralph Martin's recent book Will many Be Saved?. In it he goes after von Balthasar's effective universalism and Rahner's "anonymous Christian". Martin is affiliated with the Charismatic movement, so it is a head turner that he takes a more traditional stance on matters salvific.

More interestingly, there was a positive review of Martin's book on the Catholic World Report website, but soonafter it was pulled off the site by Marc Brumley, President/CEO of Ignatius Press. Catholic World Report is owned by Ignatius press and, if I'm not mistaken, Ignatius owns the English language rights to von Balthasar's works.

Those Professional Catholics, they're funny.

Marc Ratusz said...

I will have to take a look into Martin's book. No surprise the review got yanked. Iggy Press (how they too have fallen) wants to protect its interest.

Balthasar's works are more seductive in a sense, because his lighter texts can come across as orthodox theologically to the unwary reader. His Mariology, the subject of my thesis, does have SOME good in it, for example, BUT taken within the larger framework of Von B's opus, one must tread very carefully as not to be drawn into heresy.

As you eluded to in your post, modern theologians are mired in obfuscating language, which does amount to goobleygookedness. The clear cut razor of Thomism cuts straight and true. The profundity also of the early Church Fathers is also both theologically sound and clear, intertwined with a solid spirituality.

Heaven forbid that I would quote a Beatles tune, but one should surely strive to "get back to where we once belong," when the rest are still putzing along with their magical mystery tour of theological and philosophical thought. We know who the eggmen and the walrus are. They need to be crushed by the polar bear of Tradition, and rent into tiny pieces, according to God's infinite mercy. :-)

Caroline said...

Dear Heresy Hunter, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your Blog and open honesty on all of these issues. It warms my heart knowing that there people like you out there that have the courage in defending our Catholic faith and exposing so many of these horrors and heresies.

I have to say that I find it very disturbing that a woman is taking a leading role - and would have the audacity to voice her opinion/response in such a manner to the the Papal Nuncio??? Let alone pushing a tainted Liturgy.

I think this woman would do well to study our female Saints to learn more about humility and obedience in the framework of our true Catholic faith. I think she would also do well to read the Scriptures to understand her place - starting with Eve, her lofty notions and her disobedience. I think then she also needs to take a long hard look at Our Blessed Mother - our humble and obedient Queen who bows to Her Son Jesus.

But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting - Matthew 17:21

TH2 said...

It's me again, marylise: I was thinking about your comment some more, specifically when you said "idea where the disease began, how it got so far..", and that got me thinking (again) about Bishop Sheen's book Philosophy of Religion. It is an excellent analysis of trends/movements in philosophy, government, science, history etc. over the past few hundred years. Helped me to understand origins of problems clearer.

TH2 said...

Hello Caroline: Thank you for your kind comment and for the appreciation. It gave me a smile that you stated that my blog "warms my heart" - not because of that statement as such, but because it contrasts starkly with other reactions to my blog from others who are, shall we say, not so appreciative of this blog. E.g. you're scary, inquisitorial, insensitive, cruel, uncharitable, cold-hearted, etc. - reactions which, I confess, warms my heart :) But, hey, just the other day the pope said us Catholics have to be irritating and annoying. So there ya go.

Speaking of female Saints, I very much like the saying of St. Catherine of Sienna: I've
had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see the world is rotten because of silence.
You won't become popular with such an attitude, nor make many friends. But, then, I didn't start blogging to make friends, as the header of this blogger makes quite evident.

Caroline said...

Hello Heresy Hunter, so sad really for all the negative reactions - I guess it all depends on which pew you sit on or which side of the fence.

Ah yes St. Catherine of Sienna - when we see and witness what is going on in our Parishes and Dioceses or the world for that matter, we should not be silent.

The desecration of our Catholic Altars and our faith, the children who are being catechized into some sort of man evolved religion which is not authentic Catholic, good and Holy Priests who are being persecuted because they preach the truth (we must pray very hard for them), that is just for starters.

Father preached a strong and resounding Homily this past weekend about the tactics of the extremists. I realized that all extremists act in the same way - pretty much bullying/terrorizing their victims into fear and submission.

I think I know how St. Catherine must have felt, that righteous anger calling us to stop living like it will all blow over and go away - Jesus is being being mocked, abused and crucified over and over again every single day because of the silence!

Edmund Burke said "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing".

After all is said and done, I would rather hear "well done my good and faithful servant".

marylise said...

Dear Heresy Hunter: Thank you for the recommendation of Bishop Sheen's Philosophy of Religion as a backgrounder on how the weirdness got started. Your recommendation is being pursued, with gratitude. Bishop Sheen is revered for his promotion of the daily holy hour. There also seems to have been something prophetic in his statement that lay Catholics will have to save the Church because the hierarchy won't do it. (We are getting used to this idea now, but at the time it was a shocking suggestion.) P.S. About addiction to change for its own sake, isn't it odd that modernists would fear rather than love the beautiful divine attribute of immutability?

plc53 said...

Thanks TH2, another great post! A work of mercy, indeed, as marylise commented, especially to educate others like myself, the less academically gifted students of the Way, Truth, and Life! :) who have relied largely on instinct when trapped by the foul smell of the rats within the Church. Wasn't there a plague or five or six, that was spread primarily by rats? Thank God there's a remedy for this one — more truth! God bless and keep you.

Did anyone check the Vortex for today? It would be good to see our Canadian faithful heresy hunters to go after this issue, Canuck Catholic School systems who routinely provide health insurance policies to their employees that include anti-Catholic "benefits" such as coverage for contraceptiion, IVF, and various other "reproductive rights" as they say at the UN!

You know, you guys give an old man :) a great deal of hope for the future of the Church here in North America. Even in Canada!

It gives me great hope and yes, even joy (now see there, joy-junkies, I can be joyful, yes truly joyful!) to think that the rats just might not have the last word, and that this nasty plague they're so bent on perpetuating, may be done with before the whole nation goes under. Truth. Wide open in their faces Truth. The higher the dose the better. That's the antidote. And it's starting to come out. Surely God will come to the aid of those who help in any way to cleanse His Holy Church of these stinking, lying, soul-infecting rats! Perhaps I should try to be more clear about what I think of them. :)

Yes, if they think they have it tough down in the States, man would they ever cringe at what they would find here in the way of the rot and the filth that's plugging up our arteries here in the Great White North.

Keep at it TH2. Tip of the hat to you, and all those north of the US border that truly love the Truth and are willing to do whatever they can to bring an end to this disease of dissent, heresy, and apostasy that is running amuck in Canada.

You likely all watch the Vortex daily, but for anyone who hasn't seen it today, don't miss it.

All the best, TH2. And much obliged.....as we old-timers used to say out west. :~)

marylise said...

Dear plc53: The Vortex you mention was fantastic. What would we do without Michael Voris, Rod Pead (editor of Christian Order) and our own esteemed Heresy Hunter? As you probably know, Catholic parents in Toronto recently lost the battle against "Gay Straight Alliances" in Catholic schools. The horror and hypocrisy of this outcome are similar to those decried by Michael Voris in the U.S. context. Who would believe we would end up with sex clubs in Catholic schools? But it all relates to the material covered so brilliantly by Heresy Hunter -- careerists posing as Catholics to keep their cushy jobs.

plc53 said...

Hi marylise,

Yes, we are chest-deep in the muck all across Canada. I am just watching the Holy Father celebrate the Mass (Corpus Christi today) and there is to be the Eucharistic Procession which is now beginning. It's all on EWTN right now.

My thoughts have been to pray very earnestly for Papa to be strengthened. To be given great and mighty gifts of fortitude and wisdom and strength to stand against the evil one, to protect the flock, and to not speak softly to the wolf while the pack devours the sheep. But rather to stand firm against the pack and when necessary, to bring down his staff and crack the heads of a few of those nasty, toothy, snarling wolves.

I am hoping and praying the Holy Father in his own way become this type of shepherd for us, as the horror and hypocrisy within the Church, as you have noted, appears to have systemically infected the Church here in North America. These wolves have become a great source of danger and death and much grief to the faithful.

It is beautiful to see the Holy Father now taking the Eucharistic Procession through Rome. Here in my diocese, there is not one single Eucharistic Procession on the horizon, for today or for Sunday. I even heard one priest state at Mass last year that he doesn't believe Corpus Christi processions are advisable, and he is against them because "they give the wrong impression of Christ's love for the world". Imagine! And the pewsitters just sat there nodding.
and I wonder if they are thinking, ".....just give me my cookie, father, so we can go and have coffee.....".

Stunned bunch of social climbers and fake do-gooders. That's what I was thinking, God forgive me! The wealthiest, most "active" parish in the city, and this is what they hear and believe. Protestant-style, mega-church wannabees.
And it gets more disgusting as the stories unfold, believe me.

Pray very earnestly for the Holy Father. If the bishops here begin to sweep out the corruption, as M. Voris rightly suggests is needed, they may have to sweep themselves out along with all the filth. Very mired down in the filth have we become.

But as TH2 mentioned, we are blessed, in that we can offer this up to Our Lord, and be very thankful to have, as of yet, enough sense and strength to resist the evil one. These hypocrites are the true bullies, and strong as they may have become, they need to be looked right in the eye, and told in no uncertain terms that we are not afraid. Like Gandolf to the fiery beast in LOTR. "You shall not pass!"

We need some shepherds that are truly brave and strong and steadfast. As cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves. Isn't that what He said?

For now, it may just be up to the faithful in the flock to set the example for the shepherds and all the rest. Pray and love, and most certainly, fight and resist!

TH2 said...

"About addiction to change for its own sake, isn't it odd that modernists
would fear rather than love the beautiful divine attribute of

Well stated. Along with the fear, there is, mixed with it, a secret hatred way down deep coupled with a refusal to strive, to reach higher, to move closer to God, Much of this unwillingness is a direct consequence of a morally depraved personal lifestyle, psychological sensitivities, i.e. simple non servium.

TH2 said...

If I may offer another book suggestion, it would be Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France.

TH2 said...

Is your thesis available online? Link? Would like to take a peek at it. Was it someone else, or you who said Rolhesier was one of your supervisors?

TH2 said...

Your comments are always quite edifying, plc53. Not because you appear to appreciate the posts herein, but your extended commentaries thereabout.

I very much like the term "joy junkies". Good one. I find it fascinating that Trad/orthodox Catholics are regularly castigated as mean, humourless, rigid, cold, etc. Yet my experience is that they are the most funniest, fun and easy-easy-going people to know.

Marc Ratusz said...

Re: My masters like unto a doctoral thesis...

I have it stored on one of external hard drives. I would be glad to share it with any interested party. Note that at the time I was sympathetic to Balthasar's Mariology at the time, which as mentioned before, does have its good points. Rahner though get crucified. Yes, Father Rolheiser was on the thesis defense panel. He thought I was a little hard on Rahner at the time. :-) Ah poor Rollie Pollie. Thou art no better.

Let me know where I can send the thesis to HH, and I will dig out ere the weekend transpires/expires/perspires.

TH2 said...

That would be too much trouble. I asked because some universities upload theses to the internet, figuring it would be a quick click and link. No worries.

Don't know if I would be able to handle having Rolheiser on my defense panel. You must have plenty patience and stamina.

plc53 said...

Certainly, the "humour" of the unorthodox, the heretical, seems to me to be the most bland, non-joyful, mundane type of drivel, and this one might expect from such greedy little abusers, if it does attempt to exist at all.

I have no time for their nasty little manipulations any more. The are the least joyful people one could ever come across, and this is because, I believe, they don't really know what true joy is. They believe it's smiley, happy-clappy hippy-type emotion, a la protestant mega-church meetings, and living lifestyles that deny and refuse to share in the sorrows and sufferings of Christ.

There is a true joy in Christ, and that includes the whole magilla, as we used to say. Going through life with Him, through all the joys and (now listen very closely joy-junkies), all the sorrows. That's a real and authentic Christian life. Real and authentic Christian joy comes from fully living with Christ.

If one is so weak and hooked on that false joy, that counterfeit substance, that hippy-style, bogus, phony-balony, pollyanna-type joy, then one is not able to share in the sufferings of Christ. That's a joy-junky. Hooked on a substance that isn't real.

And as St. Paul told us, we rise with Christ only if we are able to share in His sufferings. "And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him."

Our Lady is known as having seven joys, but also seven sorrows. It's a full package of life with Christ. The whole magilla. There is no joy to be taken in the abuse of Christ's body, in the greedy manipulations of heretics and abusers. It is a cause of sorrow, shame, and much pain in the Church. It is the work of Satan.

There is great joy in faithful obedience to the one true Church. It's difficult to find that type of faith and obedience, however, in any of the greedy little abusers who have smeared themselves all throughout the Church here in Canada and the US.

I have no interest in phony joy. I have the real thing in the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Lately, there has been a lot of suffering. But with that suffering there is also great joy.

This is a truth that is lost on the junkies. They are too busy looking for their next fix. The joy-junkies are indeed addicted to a false joy, a counterfeit joy (the devil seems to have a rip-off, junk version of every good gift) and they are incapable, while lost in their addiction to the superficial-fix-of-the-day, to know and experience true joy in the life and passion of Jesus Christ.

And that is why they are dull and humourless for the most part. Bland drivel with pasty-faced smiles does not constitute joy, and certainly there is no decent humour in any of it.

marylise said...

Dear Heresy Hunter: Your comment on fear, hatred and refusal to strive calls to mind the different types and intensities of sin. Briefly dealing with mortal sin: (1) we turn away from God and feel discomfort; (2) if the discomfort does not drive us back to the Church, we dig our heels in and try to persuade ourselves we are happy in sin; (3) the futility of trying to be happy in sin arouses the fear and hatred to which you refer, and this is when we start trying to pervert the Commandments and the Church to fit our depravity. Committed modernists (the ones who write books and go on speaking tours) are in this last phase, and they crave disciples.

plc53 said...

I was reading this exchange with great interest and appreciation. It seems to me that we used to classify group (3), as protestant heresy. And thus we have the 40,000 or so different sects of that heretical way.

But now, it has come upon us that group (3) is the one pretty much running the show in the Can/Am Cathollic Church. When the discomfort of (1) does manage to get our attention, and we look to turn back to the Church, the CanAM Catholic churches are what are there for us, resulting in a great deal of pain and further disorientation from the one true Church.

As sinners we look and long for the Truth to save us from our sins, and imagine the disappointment and discouragement of those of us so hungrily in need of pure Truth, who do attempt to turn back to the Church, and find it primarily filled and governed by those who have "perverted" Her worship.

And when our disappointment and discouragement with that situation becomes evident, then to be further abused by being labeled as among those who lack "joy", or "faith", etc. etc. and are pummeled and stoned and isolated simply because we have desired to know and to be fed that which is True.

As I have said many times before, and will continue to assert as long as it exists, this false Can/Am church is a nasty, abusive, dirty bunch of manipulators.

If one who, having been granted the great grace of desiring to know and love Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church, finds no joy in this false worship, no peace within it, nor desire to be a part of its false "community", and suffers because of that innocent fidelity to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, then I should not hesitate to think that the perverts and manipulators and abusers will soon enough answer to God for their nasty, lying, self-serving manipulations of the one true Church.

And having stated that, the nasty little perverts would accuse me of being "unforgiving"! :-) The arrogance of these manipulators is seemingly infinite. Let us hope and pray, for the sake of their eternal souls, that their arrogance does indeed have limits, and one day they will honestly and sincerely seek the forgiveness they now demand from those whom they abuse and persecute. No doubt, once ready to receive it, they will discover that it was there all along, just waiting for them to shut up and humbly repent, as we all must do at some point, in order to receive the Truth.

marylise said...

Dear plc53: Although the enemy has invaded the Church, it is a happy duty to report that Christ is still there, as He is nowhere else. He still answers the prayer of the Catholic peasant in the pew graciously, generously and powerfully. How this is possible is beyond explanation. Christ moves right into our lives at the slightest sign of an invitation. He stoops down to help with the most fleeting difficulties as well as the gigantic hurdles we sometimes have to clear. He does not turn His back on us, even if our past sins contributed to the disaster. So as Heresy Hunter pointed out, faithfulness to Christ brings great joy. We have to marvel that He has not abandoned us when, as a generation, we clearly deserve to be abandoned. We insult Him with trashy liturgies and He keeps coming back with love.

TH2 said...

Thanks. If you click my avatar/profile (left sidebar), it will then take you to my e-mail link.

Marc Ratusz said...

You can download my thesis at the link below. I forgot I had the shared4 service. Must be senility or pharmaceutical deviltry, or a bit of both.


TH2 said...

Thanks again.

Caroline said...

Dear Heresy Hunter, thank you for the recommendation. I just ordered this and am looking forward to an interesting read. Have a blessed day!

plc53 said...

Thanks marylise. I appreciate the reminder.

Must say here, though, that personal joy takes a back seat for me, when the souls of children are being mutilated and warped each day, even as we speak, by this nasty lot of smug and slippery snakes. What is this "new evangelization" actually accomplishing but to make its converts "two fold more the children of hell" caught up in a false spirit and misrepresentation of love.

It is difficult indeed, to hear false messages of joy and peace used mainly to promote attachment to sin and selfishness.

"And they healed the breach of the daughter of my people disgracefully, saying Peace, peace: when there was no peace."

There is no joy without Truth, no peace without Truth. No love without Truth.

If our children are being taught, institutionally, by the world, ..and.. the church (the latter of whom they should be able to trust), this false joy, this false peace, this false way of love — then the true joy of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is lost to them. Not only do they not comprehend that true joy, but rather, they begin to see the truth as something to be despised. Good becomes evil, and so forth.

The joy that this false "community" plants within children is untrue, and being untrue, it comes not from God the Father but from the father of lies, death, and deception. And as such, put simply, I hate that false presentation, manipulation, and hypocrisy.

We must find our joy, and peace, and love in His truth. Otherwise, we do nothing but capitulate to the harmful seductions of the evil one.

marylise said...

Dear plc53: Do you think the situation in the Church since the Second Vatican Council is like a civil war? It seems as though faithful Catholics and modernists were physically inhabiting the same structures (e.g., church buildings), but with opposite purposes. Faithful Catholics seek to build up the Church whereas modernists seek to destroy the Church from within (as per Heresy Hunter's cogent examples). Yet if it is a civil war, it is an eerie one because it is being fought on an undulating battlefield and the two sides do not even wear different costumes. It can make you seasick. The comments of Michael Voris about deliberate ambiguity in the documents of the Second Vatican Council would explain a lot -- each side takes what is useful for its own agenda and nothing gets resolved. It is astonishing to see the difference between these documents and, say, the encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII. Even if you tried, you could not misunderstand what Pope Leo XIII was saying.

marylise said...

Dear Heresy Hunter: Thank you so much for the recommendation of Bishop Sheen's book Philosophy of Religion. A local library managed to obtain a copy by interlibrary loan. Even the first chapter ("Rationalism") is enough to show that this book is exactly what the doctor ordered. Bishop Sheen gives many examples of how the wrong way of thinking has crept into the minds of philosophers over the ages and ended up corrupting the culture at large. By inference, he shows that the present crisis in the Church has very deep historical roots, indeed. It is amazing to realize that Bishop Sheen, who was such a successful populariser, was also a highly intellectual man. Thank you again. You are the best!

TH2 said...

Wow, marylise, that was fast! Glad you found the book edifying. Bishop Sheen had a way of extracting the essences of complex, detailed ideas and worldviews and presenting them in a clear and concise manner. Many of his books helped me along the way over the years, particularly during the "reversion" process. That is why you see him listed, plus others - who have inspired, informed, educated, scolded me - on the sidebar of this blog. Our Lady is on the top of that list, of course.

marylise said...

Dear Heresy Hunter: Catholics who knew the Church before the Second Vatican Council live in a state of shock over the collapse of the liturgy and other disasters. The Church seemed so robust -- packed seminaries, dignified liturgy, Baltimore Catechism -- as to be indestructible. Two broad interpretations: (1) The Church was not really as robust as she appeared and so it was easy for the enemy to get inside; the collapse was illusory, like the death of someone who has unknowingly had cancer for years. (2) The Church was truly robust but fell prey to the "mystery of iniquity"; the collapse was real, like a sudden car crash that puts a formerly strong man in a wheelchair. Bishop Sheen's book was written in 1948 and so he could not address this question. However, his analysis suggests that the Church might not have been as robust as she appeared because of bad philosophies floating around and infecting everything for centuries.

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