Pope Francis’ Quote On “Good And Evil”

“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good…Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

pope 4If you are having a hard time proving that the pope says things that are not Catholic, read the interview where this quote was taken from with Cultura 2013.

Papal Audiences Down From Last Year

Pope Francis is known as a popular pope.  But maybe that is coming to an end too.

pope-francis (1)“Francis Pope attracts fewer people in 2014 were a total of around 1.2 million visitors to its 43 weekly general audiences in St Peter’s Square or in the Paul VI Hall, as the Vatican announced on Wednesday. That’s about 350,000 less than last year, the year of his election. Most of the guests were therefore in April (205,000) and May (195,000). The average weekly number of visitors was just under 30,000. Francis held on Wednesday from his last general audience this year.” Kath.net

Cardinal Burke’s Interview Traditional Catholicism

LISA JOHNSTON | lisa@aeternus.com  lisajohnston@archstl.org .His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke | Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura | Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis in front of the shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Cathedral Basilica of SCardinal Burke recently gave an another good interview found in The Radical Catholic.  All of us starving traditional Catholics, get a bit of encouragement and relief when someone like Cardinal Burke articulates simple Catholic truths.  In a big way, we feel exonerated and affirmed in what we believe in, in what we are standing up for and for what we are daily being persecuted for.

He nostalgically goes back to the great times in the Church, the 50’s and early 60’s, when:

  1. We had Catholic truth taught in Catholic schools, parishes and homes.
  2. The Baltimore Catechism kept truth simple and clear.
  3. There were great, beautiful and sacred liturgies.

BurkeTreviso4After Vatican II, “I saw that there was something that had definitely gone wrong” when:

  1. Many priest and religious abandon their ministry.
  2. Many great traditions like Gregorian Chant and Latin were removed from the Mass.
  3. The moral life and teachings of the faith began to change too.
  4. The loss of the Catholic devotional life.
  5. Sunday Mass attendance went way down.

When he offers the Novus Ordo and the Latin Mass, even though he says they are of the same rite, he sees the differences between the two are very “stark”.  The Tridentine Mass is always pointing to the God-centered nature of liturgy.  In the New Mass the God centeredness, he says “is practically diminished to the lowest possible degree.”

Cardenal Burke2014 Synod

When asked about The Synod on the Family, he said that the mid-point report, “is one of the most shocking public documents of the Church that I could imagine.  … it is a cause for very serious alarm…”.  He uses Vatican II document Guadium et Spes to show what the Church believes, in which it calls divorce a plague in society.

As to the promotions of homosexual acts he says;

  1. They are intrinsically evil from which no good can come from.
  2. Will result in the destruction of society.
  3. Breakdown the family.
  4. Breakdown the fiber of society.
  5. Unnatural homosexual acts corrupt human sexuality which is ordered to marriage and the procreation of children.

He said that the Church depends of sound Catholic family life and where there is no sound Catholic teaching, there are few sound Catholic families.  As the Catholic family stops having children, muslims are replacing the Catholic population.  “Muslim life is taking over in countries which were formerly Christian.”

2010-burke-cardinalAt the Synod, he agreed that the pope and bishops are using double talk.  He quotes the Synod statement as an example. “We are not touching the doctrine; we believe in marriage as the Church has always believed in it; but we are only making changes in discipline.”  This is wrong because the Churches discipline has to be directly related to her teachings, discipline at service to the truth of the Faith.

Mercy and Sin.

There was definitely confusion about having mercy for the sinner at the Synod, but not declaring sin as sin.  He quoted one Synod Father as saying; “Does sin no longer exist?  Do we no longer recognize it?”

Card. Burke went on to say; “When God’s life is given to us as it is in the Church, it demands of us a new way of life, a daily conversion to Christ, and we know God’s mercy to the degree that we embrace that conversion and strive to turn every day our lives over again to Christ and to overcome our sinfulness and our weaknesses.”

When asked about mercy to pedophiles in contrast with adulterers, he said sin is sin no matter if it is adultery, pedophilia, theft or murder.  They are all great evils, mortal sins.

Burke celebrating Latin massPower and Authority of the Pope; plenitudo potestatis.

When asked about the pope having authority to change Catholic dogma, he said that his authority is “to do what Christ commands of us in obedience to Him.  So we all follow Our Lord Christ, beginning with the Holy Father.”  The pope does not have authority to change doctrine.

Marriage has been affirmed through out Catholic history.  More recently, Pope XI “Cst connubii”, Pope Paul VI “Humanae vitae,” and Pope John Paul II, “Familis consortio”.

Society of Pope St. Pius X

He said bishops must notice in Europe, where they are barely surviving,when the SSPX is doing very well.

Let us pray for Cardinal Burke.  Let us continue to stand up for the sacredness of the Holy Latin Sacraments, especially the Latin Mass and at this time the Sacrament of Marriage.  Even though we do not have the support coming from “above” in the Church right now, we definitely have it from “ABOVE” from God, Mary, the Angels and all the saints.

The Family Under Attack, Don Leone Ch. 4 a)

41VAKxjdgfLPart II
From the Philosophical Perspective

Chapter 4

In this chapter we shall consider the nature of sexuality first in the light of the moral law, and then in the light of love.

I In the Light of the Moral Law

WE HAVE SEEN THAT IT IS A PRINCIPLE OF NATURAL LAW that man conserve his species through the institution of marriage. The primary reason why the exercise of the sexual faculty belongs within marriage alone is that this faculty is ordained towards the procreation of children, who require a stable home and background for their development. Marriage is, then, an institution of natural law because it is required by nature and the natural consequences of sexual union.

The present paragraph gives a brief summary of the Roman Catechism (of the Council of Trent) on the nature of marriage according to the Natural Law. Marriage is defined there as “the conjugal union of man and woman, contracted between two qualified persons, which obliges them to live together throughout life.”68 (viri et mulieris maritalis coniunctio inter legitimas personas individuam vitae consuetudinem retinens.(P.2.c.8,q.3) This classical definition derives from Roman Law (inst. L.1,c.9), St. Augustine in Gratian (c.3, C.27, q.2), Gregory IX (c.2, X3,33), and a number of the 13th century scholastics, notably St. Thomas (Suppl. q.44, a.3).(cf. Prummer III 628).)

The Roman Catechism explains that “the obligation and tie expressed by the word ‘union’ alone have the force and nature of marriage”; that the word “conjugal” gives the special character of this union; that the phrase “between qualified persons” relates to the legal provisions; and that the life-long duration of the marriage expresses the indissolubility of the tie. Marriage is consummated by the marriage debt but exists as a true marriage even without it. It is brought into being by the mutual consent of the couple which is internal, and is expressed externally by words which refer to the present time. (It may be noted that the consent of the parties is what constitutes the sacrament of marriage when the conditions for sacramentality are met, and that their freedom relates to the undertaking of this contract, but not to its later possible dissolution, for this is excluded by the finalities of marriage.) Marriage has three main “motives or ends” or finalities, which are procreation; companionship and mutual assistance; and the remedy against concupiscence. (The second and third are traditionally taken together and expressed as mutual support and love69). Marriage has in addition two properties: union and indissolubility (the latter already contained in the definition above).

We note here that marriage is brought into being by the consent of the spouses and consists in their union. The word “union” expresses the marital tie, a tie or bond (vinculum) which is indissoluble. Magisterial Personalism, by contrast, presents this union not as a tie or a bond but as an ‘intimate communion of life and love’70. (in the sense of marital love, as a type of the love of friendship Gaudium et Spes 48; Familiaris Consortio 11; The New Catechism1603; Evangelium Vitae I 1471. 98)

Again we witness a shift from the objective to the subjective order (cf. the previous chapter), and in particular from a theological definition, to a psychological description, of marriage. The neglect of the objective order, or in other words of the essence of marriage, is misleading, as can be seen in the following example: a married couple who no longer live an “intimate communion of life and love” may believe that their marriage no longer exists, but this is true only in the subjective and psychological order, whereas in the objective and theological order, or in other words in reality, the marriage still does.

Marriage according to Revelation will be considered in chapter 10; we shall here proceed to expound the finalities and the properties of marriage from the ethical standpoint.

The primary finality of sexuality and marriage, as will be explained in detail in the next chapter, is the propagation of the human species. The sexual differentiation of man and woman and its natural orientation towards sexual union may ultimately be understood only in reference to procreation. But the duties of the parents do not end with the birth of the child, for a child when born needs to be nurtured physically and emotionally, not least through the love of both parents, and to be educated intellectually, morally, but above all spiritually for as Pope Pius XI states in the encyclical Casti Connubii (12), “God wishes men to be born not only that they should live and fill the earth, but much more that they may be worshippers of God, that they may know Him and love Him and finally enjoy Him forever in Heaven”. This process of education constitutes a form of continuing procreation whereby, to the enrichment of God’s creation, the couple live out their sublime dignity of parenthood (the woman in particular her inborn propensity for motherhood) and manifest to each other in the highest degree their mutual support and complementarity for the sake of their progeny, the finest fruit of their love and marriage.

The secondary finality of sexuality and marriage is this very mutual support and love of the couple. It promotes their emotional, moral, and, ultimately, spiritual perfection and brings them happiness which Jolivet describes as follows: le vrai bonheur de l’homme qui est spirituel, s’achète souvent au prix des plus durs sacrifices exigés par la fidélité au devoir (Morale p.410) All of the mutual relations of the couple should be guided by Divine Charity, and as for the satisfaction of the sexual instinct, which provides a remedy against concupiscence, it is a part of the couple’s mutual love and subordinate to it, for, as we shall later see, sexual love, marital love, is more than simply sensible love, a love of the senses: it is rational love, a love guided by reason and directed not towards the self, but towards the being of the other. It should always respect the dignity of the woman. The love between the spouses is moreover essential for the happiness and the psychological well-being of their offspring.

A further finality of marriage in particular and of the family is to serve the community, society, country, and nation. The well being and flourishing of these social entities depends on the well being and flourishing of that very cell of society, which is the family.

The Church teaches that the properties of marriage that best ensure the attainment of these finalities are its unity and indissolubility72.(Essentiales matrimonii proprietates sunt unitas et indissolubilitas. CIC 1056.)  The necessity of the unity and indissolubility of marriage may be established on both philosophical and anthropological grounds.

The unity of marriage, or monogamy, fulfils the primary finality of marriage, namely procreation, more efficiently than polygamy, for polyandry, the marital relation between one woman and many men is clearly less fruitful than monogamy, apart from the fact that a woman’s fertility is apparently endangered by relations with many men, and polygyny, the marital relation between one man and many women, is, according to statistics73,(e.g. J. Leclercq: Leçons de Droit naturel Namur-Louvain 1933. 101), also less fertile than monogamy, there being less offspring per woman in polygamous societies than in monogamous societies.

Moreover the proper education of children, the development of mature, happy, and harmoniously well- balanced progeny, requires, as noted above, a harmonious complementarity of parents and a loving devotion towards children. This is however not possible in polygamous, but only in monogamous, marriages, for in polygamous marriages the child is characteristically left with the mother and hence lacks the attentions of a father, whose identity (at least in situations of polyandry) the child may not even know. Such troubles are aggravated by rivalries and jealousies between the various members of this promiscuous consortium.

The second finality of marriage, the mutual support and love of a couple, the physical and spiritual union of two persons, is clearly excluded by polygamy. When indeed, as is natural and typical, a man and a woman in a polygamous marriage form a particular alliance with each other, other consorts are neglected contrary to the spirit of marriage, and rivalries and jealousies ensue, as noted above. Furthermore polygamy promotes sexual incontinence and hence the abuse of the marital partners and of marriage itself. In such ways polygamy hinders the couple’s growth towards emotional, moral, and spiritual perfection. It is particularly wounding to the woman who by her nature is disposed to devote herself entirely to a single man, to love and to be faithful to him alone, and to expect him to respond in like manner.

The indissolubility of marriage, its life-long character, provides the appropriate conditions for the procreation and education of children. For only a lasting bond enables a couple, and especially a mother, to undertake all the heavy burdens that a family life brings with it. Only a lasting bond enables the parents to work together in a complementary manner for the education of their children.

Assuming that a child requires twenty years to attain to full physical and mental maturity and that a couple in their generosity gives birth to several children, the bond must be at least thirty to forty years in duration. In fact, though, it is clear that the bond must be life-long, for only the intention of life-long mutual devotion on the part of the parents, only this degree of love and dedication is sufficient to provide a home and a background stable enough for the development of mature and happy children. An intention, a love and a dedication, which is only temporary or conditional, disrupts the background, the home, and the development of the children.

The indissolubility of marriage is also necessary for the mutual love and support of the couple. Marriage is the most intimate form of friendship that exists, and the more intimate a friendship is, the firmer and more lasting it needs to be. That friendship which is the most intimate needs to be the firmest and the most lasting, and hence life-long. Moreover the bond formed by the mutual love of the spouses is strengthened by the existence of a child, for as Aristotle states in the Nicomachean Ethics 8.14, “children are the common good of both and that which is common holds together”; it is strengthened also by the educational needs of the child. In addition, the indissolubility of marriage gives the couple the forum they need for living a life of dedicated love. This is particularly true of the woman in consequence of her womanly nature. It also serves to protect her form the danger of abandonment at an age when it would be difficult for her to secure a new alliance or to care for her progeny.

Finally, the Roman Catechism explains that the indissolubility of marriage gives prospective spouses to understand that “virtue and congeniality of disposition are to be preferred before wealth and beauty”: it renders them less prone to strife and discord, and if they do for a while live apart, it provides the basis for their future life together.

In opposition to the indissolubility of marriage stand extramarital sexual relationships and divorce, which constitute a rejection of all the values inherent to marriage. They further sexual incontinence and undermine respect for marriage and the moral law; they destroy the respect for the dignity of the person and lead above all to the degradation of the woman; they damage the physical, financial, and spiritual well being of those affected, particularly the woman and child; they lead to frivolous and unhappy marriages; they loosen public morals and thereby damage the common good; they prepare the way to the decline and fall of entire peoples. The mere possibility of divorce in the mind of spouses is indeed sufficient to engender mistrust, to weaken their powers of moral resistance, and to promote sexual incontinence and a hedonism the most evil fruit of which is the murder of the unborn child.

Such then are the arguments for the unity and indissolubility of marriage. They are vindicated by history and anthropology as the original characteristics of marriage and as the characteristics which subsist among primitive peoples to this day.

The Family Under Attack Don Leone 3 b)

The Origin and Correct Evaluation of the Novel Tendency

Having been at pains to identify a novel tendency in the Magisterium which has been manifest in that system of thought which we have called Magisterial Personalism, we proceed to examine its origin and ask how we should correctly evaluate it.

1. The Origin of the Novel Tendency

Now, the very raison d’etre of the Magisterium is to teach the Catholic Faith and to condemn heresy. This it did in the Syllabus of Bl. Pius IX (1864) when it condemned the principal errors of our age outside the Church (Praecipuos Nostrae Aetatis Errores); this it did in Lamentabili of St. Pius X (1907) when it condemned the modernist doctrines (Errores Modernistarum) which had crept into the Church by way of unofficial teachings of certain of its members; but now these same errors have crept into the Magisterium itself56, and into the teaching of a not inconsiderable sector of the hierarchy and the clergy as well, casting a veil of darkness over all things. 57

(57) The origins of these novel doctrines is to be traced, then, to an intellectual movement of the nineteenth century (which is an expression of the spirit of the World), and not merely to the Second Vatican Council, or to the postconciliar “spirit”.

How did this happen? Fr. Wiltgen S.V.D. in The Rhine Flows into the Tiber (Paris, 1975), and Romano Amerio in Iota Unum relate how the whole of the preparatory work of the Second Vatican Council, which was of a traditional tenor, was eliminated “so that of the twenty original schemas, only the one on the liturgy remained. The general spirit of the texts was changed…”(s.43 of the latter work). Both authors show that these changes were wrought by a working alliance of French, German, and Canadian bishops of a modernist persuasion (s.43). If formal heresy was avoided, Catholic doctrine was expressed with ambiguity, an ambiguity, to be precise, which favours heresy. In this connection Romano Amerio writes (s.50 op.cit.): “These inexact formulations were deliberately introduced so that post-conciliar hermeneutics could gloss or re-inforce whichever ideas it liked. Nous l’exprimons d’une facon diplomatique, mais après le Concile nous tirerons les conclusions implicites”.58

(58)“We will express it in a diplomatic way, but after the Council we will draw out the implicit conclusions.” Statement by Fr. Schillebeeckx in the Dutch magazine De Bazuin, No.16, 1965, quoted in Itinéraires No.155, 1971, p.40.

2. The Correct Evaluation of the Novel Tendency

We may distinguish three ways of evaluating the novel tendency: we may give a novel doctrine priority over the traditional doctrine; we may reconcile the two (declaring the opposition to be merely apparent); or we may give the traditional doctrine priority over the novel doctrine.

The first position, seemingly adopted without reflection by most members of the Church today, is in fact untenable in regard to Divine Tradition, since Truth, whether natural or supernatural, is by its very nature unchanging and unchangeable; it is untenable in regard to Ecclesial Tradition since the presumption is in favour of Tradition rather than modernity, since Tradition constitutes established Catholic doctrine.

This first position, which we may describe with Fr. Chad Ripperger, as ‘Magisterialism’ holds that “whatever the current Magisterium says is always what is ‘orthodox’’’ and maintains that “because it is present (Hegelianism), because it comes from us (immanentism) [the newer] is necessarily better.

The second position, which we can describe as ‘irenism’ holds that the conflict is only ever apparent and must be understood (and accepted) “in the light of Tradition”. This position has three limitations:

1) It is unrealistic, because it ignores the dishonesty of the modernizing lobby, accepting their texts without criticism, as though written under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit60.

2) It is not necessarily always tenable, for there is no reason in theology why there should not be a real contradiction between Traditional and recent teachings of the Magisterium, the conditions for infallibility not applying to all declarations of the Magisterium. In such a case the light of Tradition would show the recent teaching to be incompatible with Tradition and therefore unacceptable from this perspective.

3) When it is tenable, it is one-sided, because it only understands a given ambiguous statement in a Catholic sense, whereas to understand an ambiguous statement, one must clearly understand it in both of its senses, which means in the present context both its Catholic and its non-Catholic sense. An example is the ambiguous phase “the Sister Churches” as in the encyclical Ut Unum Sint (1995). To understand this phrase we must understand it both in its Catholic and its non-Catholic sense. In its Catholic sense it means the particular churches, Catholic or non-Catholic, by their sublime or oracular mode of expression. And obscured, as it were, only by the excess of divine light, or which have a valid episcopate and Eucharist, to which the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Universal Church is not the Sister but the Mother (61Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 30th. 2000.); in its non-Catholic sense it can be taken to mean that the Catholic Church is on an equal footing with the “Orthodox Church(es)” and the “Protestant Church(es)” as condemned by Bl. Pius IX in Quanto Conficiamur Moerore (1863), and the Syllabus Errorum (1864) s.18 under the name of Latitudinarism.

To understand an ambiguous statement we cannot then ignore one of its senses. This is particularly so if this sense is its prima facie sense.

But there is another reason why we cannot ignore the non-Catholic sense of a given phrase or statement of this type, and that is that it constitutes, together with the prima facie non-Catholic sense of many other declarations of the Magisterium, a body of doctrines which the Church has condemned as heretical under the name of Modernism.

The third position, which we may describe as ‘Traditionalism’(62Cf. Note on the Expression Sister Churches from the

We note that the terms ‘traditionalism’ and ‘traditionalist’ are not here used in a pejorative sense, nor used to refer to a position which may be placed on the same level as modernism, seeks to evaluate the modern doctrine (in its one, or in its various, sense(s)) in the light of Tradition: to accept what is compatible with Tradition63, and reject what is incompatible with it.

This is at any rate the task of the traditionalist theologian or catechist. As for the traditionalist member of the faithful, that is to say the Catholic tout court, his task is not particularly to determine the Catholic, or non-Catholic sense of any given statement. Rather, in virtue of the fact that Traditional doctrine is clear and that the novel doctrine is typically unclear, his task, in order to know what the Church teaches on any of such themes, and to live accordingly64 (where there is a moral dimension), is to refer directly to Tradition and to leave the novel doctrine aside65.

Before proceeding further, however, let us explain what we mean here by ‘Tradition’ and ‘Traditionalism’. By ‘Tradition’ we mean everything that is ‘handed on’ (tradere) to subsequent generations by the Church: that is the Holy Scriptures, as well as the unwritten patrimony of the Church (“Tradition” in the restricted sense). This unwritten patrimony comprises Divine (or intrinsic) Tradition (which together with the Scriptures constitutes Revelation, or the Depositum Fidei), and Ecclesial (or extrinsic) Tradition (which includes non-infallible teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium and the Church’s disciplinary code as set out in Canon Law).

63 Second Vatican Council

64 Ambiguity and equivocation in matters of the Faith not only As for example the dogmatic definitions re-iterated in the confuse the mind but also make it more difficult to lead a good life. They are a danger to souls, acting insidiously in the manner of a slow poison.

65 Council. This principle applies to the whole of the Second Vatican

A Traditionalist takes Tradition as the canon of orthodoxy for Catholic teaching66. A Traditionalist theologian who treats modern doctrine which either in its one sense (as in the case of natural birth control) or in one of its senses (as in the non-Catholic sense of “Sister Churches”) contradicts Ecclesial or Divine Tradition, must clearly reject it.

The motivation for Traditionalism is in the first case fidelity to the Truth, and in the second case fidelity to the Mens Ecclesiae formed by the wisdom and labour of the Church and the Saints over a period of two thousand years (see the article by Fr. Ripperger).

The motivation for Traditionalism is in fact nothing less than Catholic, and the Traditionalist is no more and no less than the Catholic: in the first case because Divine Tradition is one of the two sources of Catholic Truth (the other being the Sacred Scriptures); in the second case because the term “Catholic” derives from the Greek term for “entire”, which may reasonably be understood to encompass not only Divine, but also Ecclesial Tradition.

Someone might object that we should never call into question anything taught by the Magisterium or by the Pope: we should rather respect each of these declarations and assent to it “with a ready and respectful allegiance of the mind”. In reply, we should indeed respect them, which we do by evaluating them in the light of Tradition, in the light of established Catholic doctrine, and by accepting them in that light if it is possible. Yet the assent that we are required to give is an assent overriding any contrary personal opinions that we may have; it is not an assent overriding other declarations of the Magisterium, that is to say in the present context all other relevant declarations of the Magisterium in the course of Church history: namely Tradition itself.

Let us return to the example of “Sister Churches”. The Traditionalist theologian understands it in its two senses: its Catholic and its non-Catholic sense; he accepts its Catholic sense and rejects its non-Catholic sense. Indeed as a Catholic theologian, or Catechist, he has a duty to reject, or rather condemn, non-Catholic, or indeed heretical, doctrine because it is deleterious to the Faith and the faithful.67

St. Catherine, Almost Totally Traditionally Catholic

St. Catherine of Siena in Phoenix Arizona is a unique Diocesan parish under Bishop Thomas Omstead.  Although there are 5 Novus Ordo Masses every Sunday and a 7 am English Mass M-Th, basically the rest of the parish life is traditional Catholicism.  There are 2 Latin Masses on Sunday and 2 daily Latin Masses.

St. Catherine of Siena Carlos DolciHere are some things that are so unique about the Holy Mass at St. Catherine’s.

  1. The altar is facing God and not the people.IMG_2150
  2. The Canon is said silently.
  3. There is an altar rail that is used at both the Novus Ordo Masses and the Latin Masses.
  4. Most people kneel and receive Holy Communion on the tongue.
  5. A paten is always used when giving Holy Communion (except at daily English mass).
  6. There are only altar boys.
  7. The Latin Masses are all full.
  8. No Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion.
  9. Very few lectors.
  10. The musicn at all masses  is all traditional organ music accompanied by a choir up in the choir loft.photo
  11. Most women wear chapel veils.
  12. Many women only wear dresses to Holy Mass.
  13. In the Latin Mass, Men sit seperate from Women.
  14. Many families with children come to daily Latin Mass.
  15. Most people who go to the Latin Mass have changed their lives, go to confession and are living in grace and thus able to receive Holy Communion.

Here are some of the unique things about how people act in Church.

  1. No one goes into the sancturary.  If they need to go, they go behind the altar.
  2. In general people do not talk in Church.

Here are the unique things about the Church.IMG_0487Before Altar Was Encased With Wood And Marble

It still has the origional marble altar with an altar stone.  It has been surrounded recently with wood and marble.

  1. There are 6 small altars that were used for private masses from before Vatican II when there were a lot of young priests at every church saying their own mass.
  2. All confessionals have only screens and kneelers.
  3. Old stain glass windows have been recently installed.
  4. There are many saints statues and paintings.
  5. There are real votive candles.
  6. Have exorized Holy Water at entrances.
  7. The Church building is in perfect condition.
  8. The inside and outside of the church is spotless.

Here are some of the unique ways people act.

  1. Most people kiss the hand of the priests.
  2. Most people go to confession on a regular basis.

Here are the unique aspects about Faith Formation.IMG_0438

  1. It begins with the Holy Latin Mass, followed by 1 1/2 hour classses.
  2. Parents required to be at the Holy Mass and to assist at 1 1/2 hour classes too.
  3. There is a dress code that asks all the parents and children come dressed in their Sunday best.
  4. No girls are allowed in pants or short dresses.
  5. The Baltimore Catechism book is used.
  6. The students begin thier classes by praying the Holy Rosary.
  7. They are tested periodically to see if they know their prayers.
  8. Marriage classes are 2 hours long and for 4 months.  They also have to go to the Latin Mass before attending the classes.
  9. Baptism classes are 2 times for 2 hours each.

What is unique about the administering of the Sacraments.

  1. Most weddings are with the Missa Cantata Latin Mass.
  2. Most confirmations are from the 1962 Missal in Latin.
  3. Most baptisms are in Latin with the exoricisms.

Unique groups.IMG_0212

  1. Men have the Templarios where they pray and meet to grow in holiness.
  2. Women have Christian Mothers where they do the same.
  3. Children and youth have Fidelis where they are radically challanged to grow if faith.

For the Poor.

  1. Have a very good St. Vincent de Paul society.

IMG_3074St. Catherine has a future.  There are so many children, youth and young families who are going to Holy Mass Every Sunday and involved in the parish life all week long.

IMG_2898As you can see, Fr. Saenz, the pastor has worked very hard to gradually accomplish the “miracle” of turning St. Catherine’s into an authentic unique Catholic parish.

Many people have also left the parish and strongly critize Fr. Saenz, but you can see, the Holy Spirit is here, not the evil spirit.

The Power Of Ember Day’s Prayers, Fasting And Abstinence

ember-daysThe Ember days are true Catholic tradition dating actually dating back to the Apostles, (Pope Leo The Great claims it was instituted by the Apostles).  Pope Callistus (217-222) in the “Liber Pontificalis” has laws ordering all to observe a fast three times a year to counteract the hedonistic and pagan Roman rites praying for:

  1. a good harvest (June),
  2. a good vintage (September),
  3. a good seeding in December.

By the time of Pope Gelasius, (492-496), he already writes about there being four times a years, including Spring.  He also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of Ember week.  This practice was mostly celebrated around Rome, from Pope Gelasius’ time, they began to spread throughout the Church.

St. Augustin brought them to England and the Carolingians into Gaul and Germany.  In the eleventh century, Spain adopted them.

It was not until Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), that these Ember days were prescribed for the whole Catholic Church as days of fast and abstinence.  He placed these “four mini Lents” consisting of three days; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday:

  1. after St. Lucy’s Feast Dec. 13,
  2. After Ash Wednesday,
  3. following Whitsunday, (Pentecost),
  4. and after Sept. 14, the Exaltation of the Cross.

The purpose of these “mini Lents” were to pray, fast and to thank God for the gifts He gives us through nature.  They follow the four seasons of the year with the beauty and uniqueness of each particular season.   They are here for us to teach us to use, with moderation, what God gives us through nature, and to also share these gifts with the poor.

Winter Landscape with a Church_FRIEDRICH, Caspar DavidIn the Roman Missal, the Ember days, the Latin Mass has more readings called lessons that are from Scripture, in addition to the ordinary two readings: Ember Wednesday has three, Saturday, six, with seven on the Saturday in December. Included in some of these readings are the promises of a bountiful harvest for those who are faithful to God and serve Him.

In the New Missal, these Ember days have been completely removed by Bugnini, the Concilium and Pope Paul VI.  I say that this is a sin of modernist, because no member of the Church, even as high as the pope, has the right to abrogate what was instituted by the Apostles.

Hans Bol_Prayer Book_Belgium (Antwerp)_1582_Francois-Hercule de France a la Messe_BNF_Latin 10564_fol. 6vBut, for us traditional Catholics, let us take full advantage of these few days to pray, fast and abstain for the conversion of sinners, beginning with the pope, cardinals, bishops, religious, priests and laity.  We participate in these days because we are asking God to do great things.  We need great faith that He will work mightily.

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday it is 2 small meals and 1 regular.

Wednesday and Saturday, only meat at the regular meal.

Friday no meat at all like all Fridays.

Oh yes, let us not forget, we are also praying for the forgiveness of our own sins and for our own conversions as well.  We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to have these powerful leverages like Ember Days.  Don’t forget there will be long readings on these days.

The Family Under Attack By Don Leone 3 b)

41VAKxjdgfLII Magisterial Personalism


We shall now return to a particular example of the subjectivism which we have just attempted to expound, namely Magisterial Personalism (23). The importance with which this method of analysis has been invested by the Magisterium in recent times in respect to the themes treated in this book shall require a lengthy treatment.

(op.cit.and my essay published by Rorate Caeli (internet) in January 2011). This Order in essentially anthropocentric in the sense that it represents a movement away from God towards man, as may be clearly seen in comparing the New with the Old Order, its predecessor. It may be yet more clearly seen in the practices to which this anthopocentricism has ledin recent years, by a sort of inner dynamic: the use of the vernacular, the celebration of the Mass with the back to the tabernacle and facing the people, Communion in the hand, the autocelebration of the ‚Community’; not to speak of more heinous abuses such as the vision of the Mass as a party or feast, creativity, clowns, dancing-girls, laughter, and applause. In this regard Cd. Ratzinger himself in his autobiography Aus meinem Leben: Erinnerungen (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt 1998 p.174) speaks of times when the liturgy is conceived etsi Deus non daretur – as though God did not exist.)

(23) We understand personalism here as that system of personal ethics which is grounded in the person rather than in being. We contrast it to personalism as a doctrine of political ethics which gives precedence to the person over the common good, and personalism in metaphysics which defines the person in terms of substance rather than functions.

This method first came to light in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, particularly Gaudium et Spes, and is manifest in the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI, as in many magisterial documents promulgated under Pope John Paul II, e.g. the Catechism of the Catholic Church (‘The New Catechism’), Veritatis Splendor, and Familiaris Consortio.

To understand magisterial personalism in theory let us turn to the theoretical exposition of it offered by Pope John Paul II, for whom this philosophy plays an important role. As such it has its origins in the personalism of Max Scheler (1874-1928) and perhaps also that of Emmanuel Mounier (1905-1950). Assuming that Max Scheler, on whom the Pope to be wrote his doctoral thesis, is the principal source for his personalism, let us begin by briefly considering the work of this philosopher.

1. The Personalism of Max Scheler

In the evaluation of Johannes Hirschberger 24 on which the following summary chiefly relies, Scheler brought to its fulfilment the phenomenology of Husserl, a philosophy concerning the object and the nature of things. With its motto Zurück zu den Sachen selbst : back to the things themselves, this philosophy offered a method of discovering the nature of each thing by appropriate use of the senses and reason. Scheler applied this method to the broad themes of value, man, world, and God.

24 1980 in Geschichte der Philosophie Bd. II: Neuzeit und Gegenwart, Verlag Herder Freiburg im Breisgau 11. Auflage.

The phenomenological acquaintance with the nature of things becomes with Scheler an acquaintance with values which are objective qualities of things or persons, and are apprehended (by those who are not impervious to them) by means of acts. Just as sense objects are perceived and concepts are thought, so values are felt. The acquaintance with these values has both an ethical and a psychological interest for Scheler, who created a philosophy of the emotions, notably of sympathy and love.

His teaching on love constitutes an integral part of his philosophy of the human person. The human person is not the hypostasis, the metaphysical substance of the ancients, which would make man a thing among things, but rather a principle of agency continually in motion, who by virtue of his spirit knows the nature of things and feels values, thereby entering into an ideal sphere, where he is free from the law of causal determinism and thus free from the world, and where he can form himself in his ultimate value as person. Persons do not exist, they become: by ‘realizing values’. Man’s action is a form of love which conforms to the inner order of the heart and shares in the world of values and in the final analysis in the Unperson, or proto-person, who is God.

Scheler’s views about the world and God as well as the drive (or Drang) inherent in man we shall leave aside as irrelevant to the matter at hand and as antagonistic to Catholic doctrine.

2. Magisterial Personalism

The future Pope John Paul II was concerned to adapt Scheler’s philosophy to a Thomistic metaphysics. In the following brief summary of his own version of personalism let us concentrate on the central questions of the person, self-determinism, freedom, the dignity of the person, love, value, and truth.25

25 We do this by reference to the book Person and Community: Selected Essays by Karol Wojtyla translated by Theresa Sandok OSM: Catholic Thought from Lublin, Vol. IV, published by P. Lang New York 1993. Works referred to below form chapters of this book unless otherwise stated.

The Pope to be accepts the Thomistic definition of the person (originating from Boethius): persona estrational isnaturae individua substantia.26 The human person is a composite of matter (body) and form (the soul). The latter is the principle of the life and activity of the human being, an activity which operates through the faculties of reason and free will. The soul possesses other faculties of a sensory nature, whether cognitive or appetitive. The later Pope observes that St. Thomas does not speak of the ‘lived experiences of the person’.27

By ‘lived experiences of the person’ he seems to refer to consciousness, particularly love, and self-consciousness, particularly self-consciousness inasmuch as it reveals the action of the will in self-determinism. This self-determinism is identical with freedom. 28 It is a property of the person 29 by which a person directs an act of will towards a value, thereby determining himself, creating himself 30, making himself ‘good’ or ‘evil’ as a human being. Whilst the term ‘person’ has an ontological sense (as defined above), self- determinism enables one to understand it in an ethical sense as well, perhaps even in an additional ontological sense 32 since self-determinism enables self-gift, which is in effect the culmination of personhood. Here 33 he quotes from Gaudium et Spes 23: ‘the human being who is the only creature on earth that God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself or herself except through a disinterested gift of himself or herself.’ As Janet E. Smith observes 34: ‘Talk of ‘gift of self’ is nearly always linked to the imitation of Christ: ‘Jesus asks us to follow Him and to imitate Him along the path of love, a love which gives itself completely to the brethren out of love for God’ Veritatis Splendor 20’.

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Thomistic Personalism, p. 167. Thomistic Personalism p. 171. The book: Person and Act, II 3. The Personal Structure of Self-Determinism p. 190. ibid 191. ibid 192. ibid 194.

The dignity of the person for the Pope resides in his self-determinism through the free choice of the good, or in other words in his self-giving. To this ethical thesis two theses of a theological nature are added in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 35: ‘The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and the likeness of God; it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude.’

As for love, in the Thomistic understanding approved by the Pope, it draws together and unifies everything in existence. 36 There exists a sensible love and“a true love, the kind of love of others worthy of a human person… in which our sensory energies and desires are subordinated to a basic understanding of the true worth of the object of our love”. 37 This love, which amounts to self- giving, relates to the good that each person is and the good comprised by their union, and should serve as the foundation for all human co-existence. Love thy neighbour is “a thoroughly personalistic principle”. The proper object and subject of love is the person.

33 34 II and Moral Theology’ Charles E. Curran and Richard A. McCormick 1998 p. 81.

35 36 1700. Thomistic Personalism, p. 172. ibid 193. in ‘Natural Law and Personalism in Veritatis Splendor’ in ‘John Paul

The term “value” is used frequently by the Pope, who sometimes substitutes for it the terms “good” or “dignity” (in the case of the person). So for example the object of the will is designated sometimes as value 38 and sometimes as the good39. By willing the value or good (by self-determinism), the agent himself attains a value40 or makes himself good41. This value or good that he attains thus proceeds from himself as its efficient cause. Scheler misses this fact, maintains the Pope, mistakenly viewing value simply as the object of emotion42. The value or good that the person attains (when viewed in the third person) is designated by the Pope as the value of the person43, or, more characteristically, as the dignity of the person.

37 38 39 40 41 42 ibid p. 173. The Personal Structure of Self-Determinism p. 191. Thomistic Personalism p. 172. The Person : Subject and Community p. 230. The Personal Structure of Self-Determinism p. 191. The Problem of the Separation of Experience from the Act in Ethics p. 38-9

Let us turn to the Pope’s notion of truth. He quotes from St. Thomas that “every being is a good from an existential point of view” (in other words inasfar as it exists)44 and proceeds: ‘The consciousness of value, on the other hand, arises in us when that existential good… is evaluated in a certain way, namely is placed, so to speak, under the light of truth. Only then can we speak of the lived experience of value.’ Here he describes the psychological process which he terms ‘evaluation’ by which, in Thomistic terms, a thing is both understood as Being under the aspect of truth and then as Being under the aspect of the good. In everyday language he is speaking of something being first understood and then seen to be good. His notion of truth is Thomistic then, namely a notion of ontological truth: adaequatio rei cum idea eius sive cum intellectu: the being of things insofar as it is recognizable (what in common parlance would roughly be called ‘reality’). This notion is to be distinguished from the notion of logical truth adaequatio intellectus cum re: the correspondence of cognition with being (what in common parlance is simply called ‘truth’).

43 44 Thomistic Personalism p. 173 On the metaphysical and phenomenological Basis of the Moral Norm p. 92.

The influence of Scheler’s philosophy on the Holy Father’s personalism is seen particularly in the concept of self-determinism; the equivalence of self-determinism with love (or ‘self-giving’ in the latter’s thought); the importance of freedom; the concept of value (which the latter particularly ascribes to the person and characteristically refers to as dignity); the objectivity and transcendance (however understood) of values, and, in the Pope’s thinking, of the Good and True to which one arises, ‘going out beyond oneself and somehow rising above oneself’ 45 – almost the ‘ideal sphere’ of Scheler – ; and finally psychology which reveals self-determinism and the lived experience of value. Scheler’s preoccupation with objectivity and psychology of course derives in its turn from phenomenology. 45 The Person : Subject and Community p. 234.

Let us proceed to offer an evaluation of personalism first in general and then in regard to the two formulations outlined above.

3. Evaluation of Personalism

i) Evaluation of Personalism in General

It should be remarked at the outset that personalism is not in itself a complete system of morality, first in that it does not yield a system of general ethics but only a system of personal ethics and to some extent one of social ethics (see the beginning of chapter two); second in that it in itself lacks a metaphysical foundation, which is supplied in magisterial personalism by the Thomistic ontology of the person, the true, the good, and love. Furthermore even in conjunction with a metaphysical foundation it remains merely a system of ethics or moral philosophy and not a system of moral theology (see the beginning of chapter one).

Its general advantage, in which it may be seen to supplement the Thomistic ethics, would appear to be that it helps analyze and determine actions relating to a person, by reference to the person himself, at least on the natural level. Indeed in accordance with the previously enunciated principle agere sequitur esse it is necessary to understand the nature of the person in order to analyze and determine an action that relates to him. Personalism offers such an understanding. Moreover it is clear that it is the dignity of the person, or in other words that which is most excellent, most elevated, in him that must principally be respected in any action relating to him. Personalism provides a foundation for this dignity of the person, again at least on the natural level.

As far the themes of this book are concerned, it is perhaps reflection upon the brutal maltreatment and massacre of millions of people during the World Wars and in the Communist republics that has made men of good will more aware of the dignity of the person and has led them to adopt it as a principle uniting them in their resistance to such evils. A comparable maltreatment and massacre in the areas of sexuality and abortion will justify analysis in similar terms; the extent to which the dignity of the person can however constitute a principle of unity compatible with Catholic teaching will be discussed in the latter pages of this chapter.

ii) Evaluation of Scheler’s Personalism

Let us proceed to evaluate the personalism of Max Scheler by way of a brief glance at his mentor Edmund Husserl. Although the latter with his motto: Zurück zu den Sachen selbst was concerned to construct an objectivist philosophy in reaction to the subjectivist philosophies of Hume and Kant, he nevertheless falls prey to a certain subjectivity, at least from the standpoint of the perennial philosophy. For with his dictum Erkenntnis ist Anschauung: Knowledge is Observation, by which he expressed his theory that the nature of things is known by observation, he presupposed that a thing consists of its observable qualities, thereby leaving out of consideration the actual existence of the thing. In brief, the perennial philosophy teaches that a thing consists of both essence and existence; Husserl teaches that it consists of essence alone. By bracketing out existence, he detaches himself from objective reality, and thereby falls into subjectivism.

Scheler adopts Husserl’s epistemological principle Erkenntnis ist Anschauung, and applies it to values. Husserl’s theory that the nature of things is known by observation becomes in Scheler the theory that the value of things is known by feelings, and just as Husserl detaches the essence of things from the things themselves, so Scheler detaches the value of things from the things themselves, thereby also falling into subjectivism. According to the perennial philosophy by contrast, fthe goodness of a thing is identical with the thing itself: ens et bonum convertuntur. Moreover there is also such a thing as a moral good (e.g. a morally good action) and a supernatural good (e.g. a morally good action performed by an agent in a state of Grace).

In the perennial philosophy, the faculties of a person that relate to a good of any of these three types, are first the understanding, by which the good is apprehended as true, and then the will (or ‘love’) by which the good is willed. The order of the true hereby takes epistemological precedence over the order of the good. To Scheler, by contrast, the faculties which relate to values are first the feelings by which the value is apprehended, and secondly love, by which the value is realized. The lack of reference to objective truth and understanding entails that Scheler effectively gives precedence to the order of good over the order of true. Indeed in Zur Ethik und Erkenntnislehre46, he writes: der Mensch ist, ehe er ein ens cogitans ist oder ein ens volens, ein ens amans: Man is first of all a loving being before he is ever a knowing or a willing being.

To Scheler the person is a principle of agency who realizes himself as a person by loving, by realizing values. So much, one might say, for the person as viewed ‘from inside’. ‘From outside’, or judging by our acquaintance with a person outside us, a person is, or possesses, a value. According to the principle of Erkenntnis ist Anschauung, I am acquainted with the value that this person is, or possesses, by means of feeling. This feeling gives me an intuitive acquaintance with the person. In the perennial philosophy, the person is understood ontologically: as something which exists, and which has a nature, namely body and soul. He exists; he is not in the process of becoming a person; he does not create himself – except in a moral sense inasmuch as he makes himself good or evil by his actions; he is not a value.

Let us now turn to Scheler’s notion of freedom, first suggesting that two types of freedom may in general be distinguished in the history of human thought: the freedom to do what I desire (or what I, autonomously, consider right), and the freedom to do what is good. The first may be termed subjectivist, the second objectivist. Scheler’s freedom is of the subjectivist type: it is the freedom to do what one desires, the freedom to realize oneself. The freedom of the perennial philosophy, by contrast, is of the objectivist type: the freedom (more fully) to know what is true and to do what is good. Furthermore in the philosophy of Scheler, as in all subjectivist philosophies, freedom is a perfection and plays a primary role because it is the faculty by which the agent attains his end: his self-realization; whereas in the perennial philosophy freedom is a perfection only inasmuch as it may be exercised in relation to the True and the Good; inasmuch as it may be exercised in relation to falsehood and evil it is an imperfection. It plays a secondary role, because the faculties by which the agent attains his end are the intellect and the will, freedom being simply a determination of them. We notice in passing that Scheler describes man’s end in subjectivist terms, by reference to the self: as self- determinism, whereas the perennial philosophy describes it in objectivist terms, by reference to God.

The above evaluation reveals that the fundamental feature of Scheler’s personalism is its subjectivism; on the basis that the fundamental feature of the perennial philosophy is its objectivism, we may conclude that the two systems of thought are in fundamental opposition to each other. Let us proceed to ask how they are reconciled in Magisterial Personalism, first in theory and then in practice.

iii) Evaluation of Magisterial Personalism

a) Magisterial Personalism in Relation to the Perennial Philosophy in Theory

We have seen how the Holy Father adopts terms characteristic of personalism such as value, love, the person, freedom, and self-determinism, and is concerned to give them objective content in accordance with the perennial philosophy: value is identified with the Good, which is subordinated to the True and which is the object of love. The person is the composite of body and soul, his freedom (which is identical to his self-determinism) relates to the Good and the True. Janet E. Smith (op.cit.) shows how his personalism is compatible with objective morality (at least on the natural level), that is with Church teaching on the natural law in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Veritatis Splendor.

Moving from the general to the particular, let us now briefly consider the personalistic doctrine that self-gift determines personhood, because this doctrine seems to find an echo in Magisterial Personalism (see above), although this is unclear. Noting first that for the purposes of this section we understand ‘self-gift’ as that giving which is a feature of rational love (see the end of the previous chapter) we may certainly admit that self-gift is related to personhood on a deep level, while denying that it determines it ontologically. Its relation to personhood, according to the perennial philosophy, would rather be that of exemplary cause (as an expression of God’s love for Himself and for us).

In fact for the sake of clarity the relation of self-gift to personhood as well as the relation of the body and soul to personhood may be understood in terms of the Aristotelian doctrine of the causes: self-gift is the exemplary cause of the person; the body is the material cause; and the soul is the formal cause. The exemplary cause is an extrinsic cause so it does not determine the person ontologically; the material and the formal causes are by contrast intrinsic causes, so do determine the person ontologically 47.

47 On the basis of such considerations, one may distinguish three errors in defining the relation between self-gift and personhood. The first is to identify the two as does Scheler, or even certain Catholic writers such as Fr. R. D. Johann, S.J.in his article on “Love” in the Catholic Encyclopedia: “The truth is that the self exists only in this relationship (its loving relationship to Being) and apart from it is nothing at all.” The second error is to state that self-gift determines personhood.

We see how personalism (that of Scheler) is adapted to objective truth and goodness on the natural level, that is in theory. Let us proceed to ask how it is adapted to natural truth and goodness in practice.

b) Magisterial Personalism in Relation to the Perennial Philosophy in Practice

We observe first that natural truth and goodness are neglected. In Humanae Vitae for example, as we shall show later (in chapter 5), natural law arguments are for the most part ignored, and in Familiaris Consortio, a lengthy encyclical in 86 sections treating of family love, the objective foundation of love is never revealed.

We observe secondly that personalistic terminology such as Freedom, Value, Love, and Truth, is in practice not defined. The immediate consequence is that the terms are unclear: the term ‘value’ for instance is not replaced by the precise philosophical term ‘good’; in itself it has a mercantile sense which has no bearing on personal ethics; the term ‘love’ is notoriously broad; the term ‘truth’ is in common parlance most commonly understood in its logical sense (see above) but is used differently in Magisterial Personalism –ontologically, as we have just attempted to refute. The third error is to be moved by the fact that since self-gift is neither identical to personhood nor determines it ontologically, to ignore the fact that the two are related to each other on a deep level.

indeed in an almost mystical sense as in the phrase: “somehow rising above oneself…” (see above). The consequence of this unclarity is that the terms are taken in the sense in which they are most readily understood, namely for the most part in a subjectivist sense: freedom is taken as the freedom to do what I desire; value is taken as that which I have freely chosen as a value or as the object of my love; love is taken as sensible love.

Indeed, since the Holy Father does not usually situate the terms in the context of the perennial philosophy, one may well ask whether he does not usually understand them in a subjective sense himself, giving the terms a different content at different times in accordance with an eclectic, rather than synthetic, manner of thinking.

We see then how Magisterial Personalism gains a subjectivist character in practice, first by neglecting the objective realm and second by employing terms, which are prima facie subjectivist, without redefining them.

c) Magisterial Personalism in Relation to Faith

If Magisterial Personalism lacks reference to the objective realm on the natural level, it does so also on the supernatural level, as can be seen in the magisterial treatment of the dignity of the person. For the Pope, this dignity resides in man’s self-determinism or self-giving, in his creation in the image and likeness of God, and in his vocation to Divine Beatitude. This self-giving is in fact conceived by him as relating to the creation in the image and likeness of God, for he describes self-giving as free and as directed towards the Good and the True, and the New Catechism 48 explains creation in the image and likeness of God by reference to a spiritual soul, intellect, will, and freedom.

This form of dignity which we have described above (in chapter 2) as the natural form of dignity, has, as there explained, been diminished by Original Sin. The New Catechism does in fact refer to Original Sin “by which man is now inclined to evil and subject to error”49, but does not admit that this has diminished man’s dignity.

As to the supernatural dignity of man, which is ostensibly the most elevated form of dignity (chapter 2), the Catechism remains silent. Although it speaks of man conforming or not to the “good promised by God” 50, attaining the “perfection of Charity which is holiness”, and maturing in Grace 51, it does not identify this charity or holiness with his dignity, nor identify a loss of this charity.

48 49 50 51  1705, 1707, 1700, 1709

Chapter 3: A Novel Tendency in the Magisterium or holiness with a loss of his dignity.

In a similar way, the Pope to be, speaking in a broadcast at the time of the Second Vatican Council “on the Dignity of the Human Person” 52 explains that this dignity (understood in the natural sense) derives from the intellect and free will; and that it is confirmed by the fact of Revelation, namely to the human being made ‘in the image and likeness of God’. He then adds (as quoted earlier): ‘God also became a human being’, redeems man, and ‘permeates the human being with divine Grace…’ Here Redemption and Grace are mentioned but, as explained above (in chapter 2), are not taken as the ground for the supernatural dignity of man, but simply as an added ground for man’s natural dignity. The endeavor to subordinate the supernatural to the natural realm is also seen in the magisterial treatment of love as will be exemplified in the second half of chapter 4 and as is expressed in the statement mentioned above: “love thy neighbour is a thoroughly personalistic principle.”

We see then how Magisterial Personalism lacks reference to the objective realm both on the natural and the supernatural levels. What is the reason for this? one might ask.

Magisterial Personalism neglects the objective natural order because, whatever its theoretical claims, it remains a form of personalism and as such is fundamentally subjectivist.

Why does it neglect the objective supernatural order? The answer has already been given at the beginning of this section: Personalism is a system of philosophy, of ethics, and not of moral theology. As a system of philosophy it relies on the senses and the reason for attaining truth (as we have seen clearly with Scheler and his mentor Husserl); senses and reason can only attain natural truth, and never supernatural truth.

Even when personalism is adapted to a Thomistic metaphysics, it remains a system of philosophy and not of theology. It is true that certain theological elements are added to personalism such as the imitation of Christ and of the Holy Trinity, but other theological elements of central importance for Catholic morality are omitted, such as the supernatural dignity of man and supernatural love, or Charity. If all such relevant elements were incorporated into personalism, it would cease to be a system of moral philosophy but would instead become one of moral theology with personalistic insights. This is indeed its role, for since theology is the higher science, philosophy must serve as her handmaid rather than the reverse.

Magisterial Personalism neglects the objective realm both on the natural and the supernatural level then, because it is subjectivist and because it is merely a philosophy. However sound it may be in theory, however noble in intention (see below), it must be admitted out of respect for the truth, that in practice it is less than felicitous. Its neglect of the objective realm on the natural and supernatural levels represents a shift on both levels from the objective to the subjective, and effectively a shift from the theocentric to the anthropocentric; in addition it represents a shift from the supernatural to the natural level: from Faith to philosophy.

In a word it tends to supplant the perennial philosophy as a teacher of natural truth and to supplant moral theology as a teacher of Catholic morality. It has a limited role to perform when properly applied within personal and social ethics, but here it exceed these limits, leading its adherents into confusion and error.

The sort of error to which it can give rise may be illustrated by the following example: Take a man who is a model of self-giving but in a state of mortal sin. Magisterial personalism would accord him dignity, indeed a high dignity on account of his exemplary self-giving. According to Catholic teaching, by contrast, this man would possess no supernatural dignity and a much diminished natural dignity, so that St. Thomas would say that he possesses no dignity simpliciter: if he died unrepentant he would be condemned to Hell. The clear statements in The New Catechism on the nature of sin would safeguard a reader from falling into such an error, although one must admit that there is a lack of coherence in The New Catechism and in the contemporary teaching of the Magisterium, when taken as a whole.

4. The Motivation of Magisterial Personalism

The motivation of this form of Personalism seems to be the desire to establish moral principles acceptable to all men (of good will). For this reason ‘positive’ elements are brought into the foreground such as the common dignity of man, and ‘negative’ elements are passed over such as Original Sin and Hell; for this reason too, objectivity cedes to subjectivism, and Faith to philosophy. In this connection the broadcast (cited above) by the Pope to be at the time of the Second Vatican Council is revealing. In it he says: “The Council and the Church … regard the call concerning the dignity of the human person as the most important voice of our age 54 (On the Dignity of the Human Person p. 179….) The matter of the dignity of the human person … is certainly an ecumenical element, an element common to all people of genuinely good will.”

Behind the desire to establish moral principles acceptable to all men of good will is the desire, or so it would seem, to unite all men of good will. The deepest motivation of personalism would then be the desire for union, or in other words love, since (as we have argued above) love seeks union.

In commentary it may be said first that universal philosophical principles are indispensable to the establishment of Truth, both natural and supernatural, but they must be sound and can only be applied within the boundaries that are rightfully theirs; otherwise they do not lead to the Truth. Second it may be said that the whole moral law may be expressed by the commandment to love (Mt. 22, 40 and Jn. 13, 34) but that of course this love must be based on truth; otherwise it cannot in any sense be said to be authentic.

In the final analysis, and as we have noted at the beginning of this chapter, Personalism is defective in the priority which it accords to Love over Knowledge, and to the Order of the Good over the Order of the True: a consequence of its radical subjectivity.

A Traditional Catholic Crusade With Hilaire Belloc

I posted this article and it was somehow removed from my blog.  I am not sure if it was because it talks about muslims?  Let’s see if it disappears again.


By Fr. C. John McCloskey on The Catholic Thing

“My old friend Hilaire Belloc spoke to me from heaven, where the Catholic sun doth shine and there is no need of plenty of wine. I was delighted to see him, even though he interrupted a fine sleep to communicate some suggestions to me and my confreres on how to handle the current threat to the civilized world posed by resurgent and aggressive Islam.

As many readers of The Catholic Thing already know, Belloc predicted that Islam would return as a major world threat, this time even more dangerous and armed with weapons of mass destruction, posing a serious challenge to the decadent West, which no longer even procreates at levels that replace its population. Over time Islam may well win the battle against the West via procreation, without firing a shot.

We cannot let that happen, and so Belloc told me to pass this warning on to you, in addition to making some additional suggestions.

His fellow heaven-dweller GKC frequently argued that, of course, what is most important is prayer! Nevertheless, we must also defend ourselves – as well as the innocents now being slaughtered in the name of false gods and the prophet Mohammed.

Regarding the West and the whole question of militant Islam (including the Islamic State, the crisis in the Middle East, and ongoing persecution of Christians by “ISIS” and other terrorist groups), what can we heirs to Christian civilization do? What is the Christian response to be if we are to save what is left of the West, so that it might rise again?

Naturally, I turned to my otherworldly expert for advice on how the West should counter present-day Islamic aggression. He provided several suggestions whose efficacy and political viability I will leave it up to the readers to determine.

First, as a good Catholic Belloc, urged that the NATO nations and other countries willing to pitch in should come up with and immediately implement a rescue plan to offer humanitarian asylum to all endangered Christians (and peaceful members of other religions facing Islamic persecution).

Second, Belloc envisioned all European countries of Christian origins, including Russia (though this is a long shot in the current geopolitical situation), and their erstwhile colonies that are Christian, including Latin America, forming a coalition of armed forces to attack and destroy the forces of the Islamic State and its allies and lookalikes.

Hilaire Belloc by E.O. Hoppé (1915)

He cautioned that, of course, such a coalition should strictly abide by just-war principles – among other things, by stopping short of the use of nuclear weapons and other WMDs, giving warning of attacks, and doing everything possible to save innocent lives and civilians.

Next, Belloc the historian referred to an era of European history now widely vilified, but (despite lapses) worthy of present-day emulation. He argued (also a long shot) that if the Islamic nations were signing on for jihadism, bent on killing and maiming, we of the West should once again don the Crusader’s cross, seeking from Pope Francis the customary plenary indulgence and the blessings of our separated Christian brethren, the Orthodox churches of the East.

Assuming that such a modern Crusade would meet with the success (unfortunately, temporary) of the one that wrested away control of the Holy Land from Muslim invaders in 1099, Belloc advised that we confiscate our defeated foes’ weapons, reopen all formerly closed Christian places of worship, and rebuild the demolished churches, financing the reconstruction with money from the oil-rich Muslim countries (such as Saudi Arabia and others) that have armed the jihadists.

Of course, Muslims in these territories should be allowed freedom of worship, but their (rebuilt) mosques should be open for all to see and hear the proceedings to prevent any secret incitement to violence against Christians or other peaceful religions or sects in the Middle East.

Before taking leave, Belloc emphasized that, given the sad state of Christianity in the West, only the measures mentioned above would have any chance of holding back the forces of Islam from conquering all of Europe and the Americas.

St. George, pray for us! As my good friend Hilaire reminded me in my sleep, to keep the peace, prepare for war.

Why was my friend Hilaire so prescient in seeing the revival of militant Islam? Perhaps in part because he witnessed two unnecessary World Wars, in the course of which he lost two sons and a multitude of friends. In addition, he foresaw both in England and in the United States the decline of Christianity and its morality, with the resulting journey along the Road to Serfdom.

So when others did not, he foresaw the ominous resurrection of militant Islam, now armed with deadly weapons of destruction; he also perceived, perhaps correctly, the West’s weakness and corruption. Now that we are no longer worshipping the triune God of Christianity, our civilization is ripe to worship the false god of Mohammed.

Newly Blessed Pope Paul VI once famously said, “No more war! Never again war! If you wish to be brothers, drop your weapons.” But as Hilaire admonished me in the dream, make sure they drop theirs first.”