+God Have Mercy on Our Nation+
Prayer Society Intention for July
“Eternal Father, I offer thee the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, the merits, love and sufferings of the Sacred Heart, the tears and Sorrows of His Immaculate Mother, for the return of those now opening Thy Son’s precious wounds anew by evil publications.”
My apologies for a late posting of the Prayer Society Intention. It has already been an incredibly busy month. I also would like to wish everyone a happy Independence Day, understood in the spirit of Pope Leo XIII, so greatly calumniated recently as a false pope, who wrote: “We are bound to love dearly the country whence we have received the means of enjoyment this mortal life affords, but we have a much more urgent obligation to love with ardent soul the Church to which we owe the life of the soul, a life that will endure forever.” Please see Robert Robbins latest at https://catholiceclipsed.com/2022/07/03/thoughts-on-the-fourth-of-july/ for a wonderful commentary on true patriotism today.
It is difficult to address the broad scope of what all the denial of papal supremacy entails, but one thing is certain: it begins with the tendency to question or criticize the actions and decisions of the popes, to favor and tolerate critical accounts of them written in secular works and in the press, to allow doubts to creep in, perhaps even without realizing it, about their legitimacy or orthodoxy, or the belief that one can put limits on what they may or may not say or do in disciplinary matters. If not immediately resolved or rejected, (if one is not able to satisfactorily answer them), they then become doubts of faith in the perpetuity of the Apostolic Succession.
Those accusing Pope Leo and the other popes of heresy committed while in office — an impossibility condemned as heresy at the Vatican Council — have produced nothing even approaching real evidence to prove their miserable case. And it must be remembered: in pointing out the invalidity of Roncalli’s election on this site, he is not being judged AS A POPE. What was being judged was his pre-election disposition — whether or not he was even a Catholic, and thus qualified for election. Public statements and his behavior pre-election prove he was not a Catholic, and as St. Robert Bellarmine teaches — and all Catholics know this to be true — a man not a Catholic could never be validly elected pope. Some of those accusing Pope Leo XIII, Pope St. Pius X et al. now have even turned their venom against Pope Pius IX (oh how they would love to wipe out the Vatican Council). And this was where they were headed all along.
The individuals first beginning the campaign to defame Pope Leo XIII, an (ex?)-Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) couple living in St. Mary’s, Kansas, founded their movement by launching what appeared to be a Catholic website several years back. Some good information, interesting articles and downloads, an appealing design, but hiding beneath all that were various layers of poison. (This website no longer seems to be online although some report it is operating under a different domain name, so beware.) And forgive me if I am somewhat suspicious of the origins of this group, given its location. There could be more here than meets the eye, depending on who these “anonymous” people may be working with and what their real agenda is. They later issued a salacious and defamatory book on Fatima, mentioned in our last blog. This poison has now seeped into the minds of fringe-element Catholics praying at home, who already disbelieved in Fatima and harbored doubts about the legitimacy of various popes.
We must remember that the SSPX itself reported on its own website that its founder, Marcel Lefebvre, was the Grandmaster of the Priory of Sion, whose subtitle is the “Independent and Traditionalist Union.” Is a there yet a connection between this SSPX couple and this ideology? The Priory claims an ancient history and is known for its monarchical restoration aspirations. These aspirations could afford us a sinister reason why those defaming these popes are attempting to deceive the faithful, a reason not even yet considered. These people may be merely advance men, so to speak, sent to test the water to see what floats. The realization of this strategy explains many things and puts us on full alert about what may really be evolving among the Traditionalist sects. It has been developing for awhile, but is now showing itself for what it really is. It may be only a tendency.
A frightening scenario
The Book of Job reminds us that life is a warfare, and it is definitely spiritual warfare which we are waging. It is one thing to have doubts about the validity of the Roman Pontiff, but only IF such doubts are serious and can be sufficiently proven to have existed pre-election. Then and only then can a doubtful pope not be any pope at all. Hard proofs would need to be gathered that show Leo XIII was definitely a heretic prior to his election as pope, because he could NOT have become one if validly elected, which he undoubtedly was; this is the teaching of the Vatican Council, Pope Paul IV in Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, St. Bellarmine and the theologian Capello. No proof of any sort to even suggest Cardinal Pecci was a heretic pre-election has ever been presented nor could be gathered today from anything but anti-papal sources. Has anyone bothered to draw out the logical consequences of what these defamers of Pope Leo XIII, Pope St. Pius X and now Pope Pius IX, are saying? This is not just about presenting all these venerable popes as mere heretics, thus moving forward the beginning of the Great Apostasy; far from it. Here is what we are REALLY being asked to believe:
- The re-interpretation of the Vatican Council and the redefining of papal supremacy and infallibility, already begun in the last century prior to Pope Pius XII‘s death;
- Lifting of the bans on Freemasonry, Americanism, definitions of the Christian state
- Pope St. Pius X ‘s condemnation of the Sillon and Modernism no longer exists.
- The 1917 Code of Canon Law was never promulgated, leaving the Sacred Canons in the hands of those who would like nothing better than to abolish and reinterpret them.
- Pope Pius XI’s encyclicals on marriage, Communism, racism and the social order;
- Pope Pius XII’s much hated infallible decrees such as his election constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, Mystici Corporis and Ad Sinarum Gentum on the authority of bishops, Mediator Dei, Humani Generis and Ad Apostolorum Principis, not to mention the hated Holy Week changes, would all be non-existent.
Perhaps this Catholic Restoration business is finally starting to make some sense! NOW we know where they are probably going with all of this, if all of them can ever agree on anything. The only way to discredit the claims made on this site is to take the axe to the root of the tree and destroy the sources from which they issue — the Roman Pontiffs. Is this their preliminary attempt to seduce pray-at-home Catholics? We believe it could well be, as we stand in the way of their success. They wish to leave no exits open for those who decide not to go along with their Great Monarch, Holy Pope, restored Gallican Church fantasy.
For this would be a dream come true for (the Independent Union of) Traditionalist and Gallicanist Monarchists wishing to completely refashion and take over the Church in yet another Vatican 2 style coup, forever redefining infallibility to suit their lust for power. This could well be what “uniting the clans” is all about — a pretended attempt to “restore all things in Christ,” while reconstructing the Church according to Gallicanist/Old Catholic plans long in the making. So what are these Pope Leo XIII defamers really up to and who else might they be working for or with? Dupes or send-ins? It may be that the Gallicanists of the 19th century, frustrated to the max at the definition of infallibility, decided to try and make an end run to establish themselves more securely in France, as they already had in Germany. Through their pre-established “Catholic” secret societies, aligned with the Monarchists, they hoped to gain papal favor and get a leg up in order to establish a more secure base for themselves, to work under the cover of papal approval. But Leo XIII was quite savvy when it came to these societies. He instead supported the Masonic-inspired government of the French Republic and ordered Catholics there to do the same. https://www.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_16021892_au-milieu-des-sollicitudes.html
French history lesson
France had gone through a century of torments, political and religious upheaval, persecution of the faithful, exile of her clergy, the martyrdoms of her monarchs, religious, and Catholic laity, fierce infighting between Catholic factions. The battle had long been waged to restore the monarchy, but Leo could see that there was little hope of doing this, and feared a Gallicanist might even possibly come to power. He didn’t cave-in to liberalism; he merely advised Catholics to make the best of a terrible situation which he could not change or control. And for this he is condemned? How dare common peasants, totally ignorant of not only of history, but of the perspicacity necessary to govern and the inner workings of the Church judge a mere man, not to mention a pope, who was superbly well-educated, skilled in diplomacy, unbelievably intelligent and fervent in his faith, kind-hearted and talented in so many other ways; a man beset by so many difficulties and weighed down with so many responsibilities and spiritual burdens! Read his biographies! They will give the lie to everything written in that disgusting Fatima book. But we will see below exactly why Pope Leo did what he did.
Those supporting the Monarchists questioned his decision and he rebuked them, reminding them that they owed him obedience whether they agreed with him or not, and of course some of them sincerely did, while others who were secret “Catholic Freemasons” did a nod-nod, wink-wink. We have in support of this assessment the following quote:
“These two parties [those supporting the Republic called Rallies and those supporting royalist interests] were poles apart in sentiment, in personal interest, in philosophy of life. They represented two distinct and hostile views of man and society, two mutually antagonistic civilizations. Too often it appeared that religion was employed for political purposes and politicians were more intent upon destroying the Church than upon building up the state. The Catholic side was encumbered by an aristocratic group, royalist and Gallican by conviction as well as by tradition. The Church was their church, as it had been the subservient tool of their ancestors in the old regime. The anticlerical camp was Masonic, Jacobin, Rosseauvian. It exalted it’s omnipotent omni-competent state to absurd heights under any name Republic… They thought only in terms of their own peculiar type of government, of a party state, of a state controlled by gangster methods in the interests of a clique.
“In such circumstances it was difficult for Leo to make his voice heard and the valiant Frenchman who did hear him had to meet discouraging odds in their fight for order, justice and liberty when Leo declared that forms of government were relatively unimportant, Monarchists pointed to the revolutionary origins of the Republic. When he insisted that all Catholics align themselves under the constitution to combat iniquitous laws, they still clung to the phantom of kingship and disdainfully sneered at democracy. Social Catholics might argue the futility of adhering to the fetish of monarchy… There were monarchists who were anti-liberal in both politics and economics. There were now Rallies opposed to economic liberalism and, in obedience to papal instructions, neutral in politics, as well as Rallies whose economic theories were in conflict with needed social legislation; there were Progressists sincerely devoted to the Republic, who hoped to inject the leaven of tolerance into law and administration. There were Christian Democrats more democratic than Christian. There was finally the formless, inert mass of the indifferent, too discouraged and/or too indolent to deserve more than a passing glance of contempt” (The Church in the 19th Century, Raymond Corrigan, S.J., Ph.D, 1938).
So that’s what Pope Leo XIII had to deal with; a convoluted mess long in the making that even would have defied resolution by the most skilled statesman ever born. Yet his decision that France must support their civil government, to at least attempt to enjoy some kind of political stability, is the very thing these defamers are pointing at to support their claims — that he was a liberal, that he overstepped his bounds, interfered in politics and even favored Freemasons. But no, clever man that he was, and inspired by the Holy Ghost, he decided to deal with the devil he at least knew, rather than admit seven devils worse than the first to the fray. The Gallicanists were up to no good and he knew it. They were the depository of the upper levels of Freemasonry — the Priory — and in the very time period that Pope Leo issued his decision on France, a group we have mentioned before was already moving forward with their plans.
What Pope Leo was trying to do
According to authors Lincoln, Leigh and Baigent, in their work Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Hieron du Val d’Or admitted the existence of a hidden pope and his entourage, which of course would include bishops, waiting in the wings to act either as a replacement for or an alternative to the current church in Rome: “The Hiéron’s agenda was the creation of a new Habsburg and Catholic Holy Roman Empire with a French temporal and spiritual head in the manner of the Grand Monarch, an association of Europeans bound by common law and dedicated to advancing the mission of Christ the King.” (Here they cite sources linked to the “Catholic” secret society Marcel Lefebvre reportedly belonged to, the Priory of Sion.) “They [the Hieron] claim the existence of a secret parallel Catholic tradition called l’Eglise d’Avignon (Church of Avignon), which they trace to the medieval Papacy installed in Avignon from 1309 to 1378. The claim is that it continued in secret with a Pope who represents the esoteric aspects of the Catholic Church. L’Eglise d’Avignon is said to serve as an intermediary between the Roman Church and the Eastern Orthodox tradition.”
Pope Leo issued his encyclical Au milieu de solicitudes to the French in 1892. Wikipedia states the Hieron organization existed from 1873-1926, when it was doubtless absorbed into other groups. “It was allied to concepts of royalism and was culturally conservative; it sought to erect a Catholic hermetic freemasonry, contrary to the anti-clerical Freemasonry of Grand Orient de France and was particularly devoted to Christ the King.” Among contributors to a publication sponsored by the group was the traditionalist Rene Guenon, later supporting Muslim philosophy and one Le Coeur, author of The Age of Aquarius, promoting New Age beliefs. So Pope Leo was pro-Masonic in not supporting the Royalists who had been infiltrated by this bunch?! Pope Leo’s personal letter of correction to Cardinal Gibbons, addressing his participation in the interfaith conference and condemning Americanism was not enough for these people? In his work The Americanist Heresy in Roman Catholicism, 1895-1900, Thomas T. McAvoy, C.S.C, writes:
“If there was doubt about the meaning of the prohibition of congresses of religion, a chronicle of events in the United States that appeared in the Civilta Cattolica January 4, 1896 was sufficient warning that the triumph of the progressives had been short-lived and that with the shift of [Cardinal] Satolli, the conservatives were beginning to regain lost ground. This chronicle of the year 1895 in the United States claimed that year had ended a period of confusion thanks to the action of Sattoli. The evil tendencies in the United States which the chronicle says were checked by Sattolli was Pelagianism… and this has been checked by two actions: the condemnation of the secret societies and the action against the Congress of Religions. It is the second of these that the chronicle emphasized… Continuing, the chronicle said that a third element in the American scene which had grown up from a wrong interpretation of American political traditions was a kind of Gallicanism, a lack of sympathy for the Pope in his efforts to regain his temporal power. But under the leadership of Sattolli, the American Catholics had clearly demonstrated their loyalty to the pontiff in a series of public demonstrations of loyalty on September 20,1895” (page 84-85).
So Gallicanism was making its rounds in America as well, and eventually this heresy first revealed itself in the Liturgical Movement, which began in Germany. Rev. Albert Kaiser observed in his December 1953 article for The American Ecclesiastical Review: “The Gallican and Febronian pretension of limiting Papal jurisdiction in favor of episcopal equality was more or less a cover-up for an underground movement to nationalize the Church. The ‘Free from Rome’ movement in a sense dove-tailed with the Nazi political movement. As the French Revolution’s disastrous effects helped bring the dissident clergy back to the Pope, so Hitler’s providential defeat contributed to help the Pope reclaim the ‘German nationalists.’” And it is no coincidence that at the same time the Priory of Sion’s existence was revealed, by a professed neo-Nazi, a secret society affiliated with the Priory was founded in the U.S. by a friend of the Priory’s modern-day historian (Pierre Plantard) also reported to be aligned with neo-Nazi factions. Doesn’t this sound suspiciously like the Sedevacantists and other Traditionalists, many of whom are blatantly anti-Semitic and block any effort to restore the papacy?
But the antics of Traditionalists are relevant only insofar as we know their agenda and stay far away from any of their sects. What needs to be addressed here is what caused this unfortunate break with the faith in the first place and how it can be prevented in the future. The answer to this is the absolute prohibition of the Church to read anything on religious topics written by non-Catholics, especially in this day and age. Likewise the use of social media regarding religious topics or discussions and unrestricted Internet surfing for videos and articles that touch on matters of faith. There are certain sites that are relatively safe; I have listed some of these on the articles page. Traditionalists sites are to be avoided as a general rule, although they sometimes contain pertinent information. But they also can be very dangerous; the authors of the anti-Fatima book initially appeared to operate a legitimate Catholic site. Even videos that are primarily about political matters often contain defamatory and erroneous information about the Church and Her role in the worldwide conspiracy.
Because they failed to investigate the information they were being fed and reconcile what was being presented to them with beliefs of faith, they were led astray. This is how many Catholics have succumbed to error, and below an Irish priest, a beloved theologian and catechist in his own country, tells us why.
From Our Greatest Treasure by Rev. John Kearney, 1942
“Beware of false prophets,” says Christ, “they come to you in sheep’s clothing.” This is a solemn warning. A prophet is a teacher. A book is a teacher. A bad book may be attractive — the charm of the style is the sheep’s clothing. The warning of Christ applies in our days especially to books.
To realize the danger of indiscriminate reading consider the following:
- Your limited knowledge of religion. A medical man has five years professional study. A priest has at least six years professional study.
- The power of a clever barrister to present a bad case to an ignorant juryman. [Lawyers have 4-6 years of study].You are not experts in theology while many of the enemies of the Church are clever and the devil helps them.
- The natural law which binds us to preserve our faith is supported by a law of the Church which forbids the reading of dangerous books.
- Compare the Church’s law with the following: the law limiting the sale of poisons to qualified persons; the appointment of a public analyst to secure pure food and pure water; the locking up in an asylum of all who attempt suicide.
General warning against indiscriminate reading
It is a fact that cannot be denied that very many literary works are prejudicial to the faith. Their tendency is to weaken it imperceptibly. The naturalistic philosophy, irreligious views and materialistic outlook contained in them is so subtle as not to be noticed. It is like a poison that is imbibed in very small doses. But its presence in the mind of the readers are such works which will be detected later on, when a situation arises for them to which they should simply apply the truths of the faith e.g., on the occasion of a tempting offer of worldly gain, through a mixed marriage, a cleverly concealed dishonest financial transaction, an illicit friendship, etc. It will be seen that owing to false teaching assimilated through indiscriminate reading the Pearl of Great Price will be sacrificed for mere temporal advantage. And the result like unto Hymaneus and Alexander of old, they run serious risk of making shipwreck concerning the faith.
The law of the Church and dangers to face from indiscriminate reading
From what has been said it should be obvious to any loyal Catholic that the Church and her restrictive legislation concerning certain books acts as a wise mother. With maternal solicitude She warns her children against two dangerous classes of publications: those that are subversive of faith and those that are opposed to Catholic teaching regarding good morals, which teaching is based upon the faith and upon the law of God. It is a grave duty for every Catholic to obey the laws of the Church forbidding the reading of certain kinds of books (Canons 1384 and 1399). Apart from these enactments of positive law binding on all, it is the bounden duty of every Catholic to avoid all reading that would constitute a danger for the individual in question. Even though a person may feel himself firmly established in the faith it is not lawful to take risks. And such risks are inevitable. The reading, especially when habitual, of books that either by subtle suggestion, ridicule, or positive erroneous pleading advocate principles opposed to the faith cannot failed to saturate the mind so assimilative of ideas with the seeds of unbelief. Our Lord issued a solemn warning against false prophets: “Beware of false prophets” (Matthew 7:15).
Who are they in our days? They are legion in number. They are to be met with in the cinema, on the stage, on the radio, in factories and workshops, but above all in books and newspapers. These ravening wolves come very often in the clothing of sheep. They do not directly and openly attack the Catholic faith and morals but they do so indirectly in a very effective way…. In this matter of safeguarding our Catholic faith and morals no one should presume to say that his faith is so strong and his morals so firmly established as to be proof against all attack, no matter how subtly or systematically directed. Neither good intentions nor experience in life can render anyone absolutely immune to painful surprises. it may be taken as a practical rule of guidance that indulgence and evil reading will end in spiritual disaster. This is what usually happens owing to the inherent weakness of human nature. Temptations are sure to rise. Moral lapses will follow. Then the false ideas and ideals that have been imperceptibly absorbed in the reading will be appealed to in order to justify or palliate the lapses.
A person who wishes to ask you for information on teachings of the Church and honestly desires to know should be answered and you should be able to answer. But you are not required to prove the doctrine from Scripture. A person who wishes to discuss religion simply for the sake of argument or for the purpose of confounding you should not be answered. All these discussions do no good. The code of Church law forbids public discussions without permission [and] you perhaps have not made the studies required for defending your religion. It is one thing to be able to know the teaching of the Church and another to be able to defend it. The danger of discussion for those whose opportunities have not permitted them to make a very profound study of their religion, is due to the fact they may find themselves in the hands of a very clever man who misrepresents things and whose errors their limited knowledge is not able to detect. Look what a clever barrister can do when he has a bad case to defend; how he can put interpretations on the facts, misrepresent their different importances and in the end completely persuade those that are ignorant. The illustrations we have given show clearly the imprudence and the disloyalty to Our Lord manifested by indiscriminate reading and discussion. From this follows the diminution of the actual graces which we need to exercise our faith.
Faults that alienate our hearts and wills
In the second place are the sins which tend to draw the heart, the will, to earth and away from God. The most deadly of these senses is the sin of pride. Pride leads many to the loss of faith. We have spoken of pride as an obstacle to the grace of faith for those outside the Church. We must now show its danger for those who have the faith. It is our will that commands our intellect to believe. We believe because we wish to believe and we wish to believe because we wish to honor God by submitting to His Word. Hence anything that turns our will away from God makes our act of faith more difficult. On the act of faith we believe a doctrine which we do not see and which we cannot prove, simply because God says it is true. This involves humility. We bend down our mind before the authority of God. We pay God the homage of our understanding. We acknowledge we are creatures and that therefore we are limited. We acknowledge that we are children of our Father in Heaven and we wish to please Him. This is humility.
Pride is the obvious opposite of humility. The proud man trusts his own mental powers and in an inordinate way he forgets his own mental limitations. He is inclined to accept only what he can see and what he can prove. He easily shuts his eyes to the evidence that God is speaking through the Church. Hence pride leads easily to the loss of faith. The loss of faith through pride appears especially in those who criticize the Church, who criticize Her laws, who criticize the actions and words of those appointed to speak and act in Her name. Many lose the faith through this sin of criticizing. In this sin they make themselves the judges of the words of the Bride of Christ. Like to the sin of criticism of the Church is the sin committed by marked want of reverence for sacred things. These sins in addition to their own malice generally involve the sin of scandal and scandal of a serious kind. It is easy to see that complacency in our superiority — pride — is at the root of all these sins. The loss of grace through pride follows frequently from positive disregard of the laws of the Church… These sins easily lead to the loss of Faith. In all this it is our will that is wrong. We do not want to submit. Submission means accepting our inferiority or dependence. Our pride resists this.
In the third place, culpable ignorance is a cause of the loss of faith. This is a special kind of disloyalty to God because man’s first duty is to know God. Ignorance evidently impedes the correct judgment of the intelligence especially when our imagination or picture making power is impressed by a difficulty. Ignorance is culpable when it is due to indolence and not acquiring knowledge when we can and should. It shows a want of esteem for the gift of Faith and this is a disloyalty to God who has given us the faith. Hence it leads to a diminution of grace. Culpable ignorance, which may injure our faith, is of various kinds:
- ignorance of the motive of credibility i.e. the proofs that God has testified to the divine authority of the church;
- ignorance which does not distinguish in dogma what one must believe and what one may believe;
- ignorance which confounds what is essential and what is accessory in worship. Prayer is essential; certain prayers are accessory. Devotion is essential; certain devotions are accessory.
- In moral matters, likewise ignorance confounds interior personal reform, which is essential, with certain external works which are only a means unless commanded explicitly.
Faith once lost is seldom regained
The gift of faith may be lost. This is an undoubted fact. It is also a fact that once lost, the gift of faith is seldom regained. God gives it once easily. It is most precious. If we lose it no doubt it may be got again but the dispositions of heart that prepare the soul for this new grace are not easily acquired. Hence it is that faith is seldom regained. Saint Paul puts this very clearly. “It is impossible,” he says, “for those who were once illuminated (the gift of faith) have tasted also the heavenly gift (the most Holy Sacrament) and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost (Confirmation and grace) have moreover tasted the good word of God (instruction) and the powers of the world become (Heaven and Hell), and are fallen away to be renewed again to penance, crucifying again to themselves the Son of God and making Him a mockery” (Heb. 6:4-6). Impossible here means very difficult, morally impossible, impossible without a miracle of grace.
To help us understand better these words of Saint Paul we shall keep it in mind that faith is always a gift of God, but it is a gift that God gives a second time to those only who ask it with humility and perseverance. Here indeed is the difficulty of recovering a lost faith. Humble and persevering petition is not easy for those who have lost the faith. We can say it is almost impossible for them because humble and persevering petition means going back on and reversing their own pride and independence of mind which independence was the cause of the refusal to submit to God and believe His Word. In other words, this new act of faith, this new paying to God the homage of their understanding, means acknowledging that the little Catholic child was right while they were wrong. All this is difficult. It needs an extraordinary grace of childlike humility through which they cast themselves that God meet and recognize their absolute dependence on him for their present life and continued existence” (end of Rev. Kearney quotes).
Fr. Kearney called the faith “Our Pearl of Great Price.” But do we really think every time we reach for our phones or surf the Internet that something just a click away could rob us of this precious jewel? Do we use due discretion in using these communication tools? Or do we fall into the sin of curiosity and read or listen to things that could easily endanger our faith? In the end will we allow the Modernist hype on social media and the Internet to claim our faith after all we have done to preserve it?