The marks of the True Church: HOLINESS
Holiness in the Church is not only dependent upon her sacred 'rites' and 'Christ-given' doctrines, but also by the 'fruits' of her adherents as manifested in the sanctified lives of the faithful. When we look to the 'fruits' of the post-Conciliar Church, we can only express great sorrow. The hierarchy vie with each other to openly teach heresy. Thousands upon thousands of priests have abandoned their sacerdotal function. Nuns have left the orders in unbelievable droves. The laity have become like sheep wandering in the desert, virtually indistinguishable in their religious and moral lives from pagans. Catholic children are no longer taught the faith and many - perhaps the majority - no longer even consider themselves as members of the Mystical Body of Christ. The Churches are desecrated and the altars striped, the tabernacles removed and the perpetual sacrifice abandoned. After the Council of Trent we had a virtual plethora of saints, both canonized and uncanonized. After Vatican II - res ipse loquitur.
Now Holiness requires that grace build on nature. If the new Church denies -(she actually 'denies' nothing, but simply fails to affirm eternal truths) -that we are both made in the image of God and that we are stained with original sin, what 'nature' is left in us for grace to work on? Either we are made in the image of God, or we are made in the image of an amoeba. Either we have immortal souls by means of which we can be made sons of God and heirs of heaven, or we must be satisfied with some evolutionary thrust towards 'point Omega.' While unquestionably there are individuals in the new Church that live lives of sanctity, one cannot avoid the conclusion that they do so in spite of, and not because of, what she teaches.
Finally, all these qualities hang together. Lose one and you loose them all, and even here the post-Conciliar Church has outdone herself. She has lost them all, and hence each one. This is not a matter of private judgement, but rather of looking facts straight in the face. In the words of John XXIII, it is a matter of 'reading the signs of the time.' After all, if God works through history, so does Satan.
The loss of spiritual authority
The traditional Church spoke with unquestioned authority, and not as the Scribes and the Pharisees. Her Magisterium came from Christ and the Apostles and functioned to preserve the 'deposit of the faith' unadulterated. The new Church, having declared that human dignity inheres by nature in each individual regardless of whether or not he conforms to the divine prototype; that every man has the right to judge for himself in religious matters, and that 'religious liberty' is a divinely revealed principle, can no longer speak with authority.
And indeed, instead of witnessing to the eternal truths, this Church 'dialogues on an equal footing,' not only with the 'separated brethren' and the 'world,' but with agnostics and athiests. Given her principles, how can she do otherwise? How can those who speak with the words of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas 'dialogue on an equal footing' with Liberal Protestants, Agnostics, Communists and village idiots? Did Christ ever go out and 'dialogue on an equal footing' with the Pharisees and Saducees? Did Saint Peter carry on such an absurd relationship with Simon Magnus? Did John the Apostle dialogue on an equal footing with the heresiarch in the bath house?
If man 'is to be guided by his own judgment and enjoy freedom' in religious matters, 'private judgment' is placed on the same plane as divine Revelation. It was of course essential that the new Church do this if she hoped to embrace the modern world and seek 'unity' with those who rejected the traditional teachings. But, once she recognized this 'bastard' authority in those outside her fold, she had to concede the same privilege to those within. Thus she has become an 'open' Church, a Church that admits and accepts a 'plurality' of differing opinions within her bosom. It follows then that her teachings can no longer reflect an unchanging Magisterium, a 'deposit of the faith,' but only a variety of 'private opinions.' Unfortunately, the majority of those who base their beliefs on this principle are unable to agree on very much and so it follows that the post-Conciliar Church accepts as 'the people of God' those who accept Baptism and some sort of belief in Christ, while holding the door open to even 'atheistic Christians.'
In the practical order most people's beliefs are the product of their 'feelings,' rather than clearly thought out positions. Thus the post-Conciliar Church, in so far as it speaks for religion at all, must unite and represent a conglomeration of such 'feelings.' Unfortunately feelings are easily influenced by communications media and the 'spirit of the times.' What inevitably results is that the 'New Magisterium,' the 'Pope and the Bishops in union with him,' is often little more than the 'voice-box' of currently fashionable 'public opinion.' This is why the new Church speaks much of 'peace' and 'uniity;' of the need for the 'economic development of backward nations' (usually those 'raped' by the modern world, be it Capitalist or Communist); of 'equality' and 'progress;' of 'human dignity' and 'freedom,' and of 'defending the 'rights' of modern man' (usually the 'right' to ignore prescriptions placed upon him by God). Now, none of these concepts requires a religious tradition or outlook, or even a belief in God! This same Church speaks little (and always in embarrassed tones) of sanctity, of the ascetical and spiritual life, of prayer and sacrifice. (They are not denied, for such is not the current methodology of the revolution.) Even the most flagrant heretics and the wildest liturgical abuses are allowed without reprimand, for every person must now be allowed to 'do his own thing.' The only thing forbidden is tradition.
There is of course nothing wrong with a concern for the social order, but here again the new Church betrays truth by virtually limiting her outlook to that of modern man. Doing good rather than being good becomes the goal. Once again, she has abandoned her teaching role. She sees the choices before the world as between Capitalism and Communism (clearly favoring the latter) and has abandoned all attempts to teach a traditional Christian economics. While lip service is sparingly given to the Encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII, Marxist analysis is pushed in thinly disguised socialist tracts like Paul VI's Progressio populorum. No wonder Liberation Theology is the wave of the future. No wonder Fidel Castro tells us that we should fear the Jesuits more than Russians!
She has in effect chosen the City of Man over the City of God; organized naturalism over supernaturalism. (Is this not what the modern world has done -that world with which she so earnestly seeks an aggiornamento, that world to which she desires to offer herself 'in service and in fellowship'?) She has in essence, abandoned the concept of the Kingship of Christ!
Witness is born to the justice of this statement by comparing the old and new liturgies associated with the Feast of Christ the King. In the Collect, where the Church formerly prayed 'Grant in Thy mercy that all the families of nations, rent asunder by the wound of sin, may be subjected to Thy most gentle rule,' she now prays, as any Protestant might, 'May all in heaven and earth acclaim your glory and never cease to praise you.' In similar fashion, following her innovative teaching on Religious Liberty and the obligations of the State to give equal protection to every possible belief system, the hierarchy has insisted that Catholic countries like Spain, Portugal and Bolivia, change their Constitutions. No longer may such governments adhere to an official Catholic morality; no longer may they proclaim that Christ is the source of their authority. No longer is the Crucifix to be carried before the flag! As 'pope' John Paul I said, 'we used to teach that only the truth has rights, now we know that error also has rights.'
But even worse is the new Church's abandonment of her authority on the spiritual and moral plane. By this I do not only refer to such things as her abrogation of the Index, her refusal to excommunicate the most notorious heretics and her abandoning of the Oath against Modernism. Rather, I refer to what is of far greater importance: her inability to take a moral position that the world will listen to. Throughout history and up until the time of the Council, whenever she spoke out, the faithful obeyed and the world listened. This is no longer the case. In the end this defect will lead to the most drastic enslaving of man conceivable. Who is left to speak out against the naturalistic forces, the powers and principalities that increasingly dominate the world? Today, when the 'pope'speaks, even his closest Bishops hasten to contradict him. His own followers decry his words before others have even had a chance to read them. And the Bishops with their interminable declarations and 'National Conferences' are, with justice and reason, totally ignored.
When the Church is no longer a force for Truth and Morality, then governments will becomes the means of legislating in this area. Once this happens, those who cannot accept the 'new morality' will be 'obstructionists.' If euthanasia is proclaimed a government policy - and it was by the Nazis in Germany, a so-called 'Christian' country, and it will be again - then those who refuse to accept this 'good' will have to be 're-educated.' Our religious beliefs will be allowed only if we keep them to ourselves, and do not teach them to our children. When we feel called upon to speak out against the prevailing tide -to witness to the truth - when we refuse to accept the 'rulings' of a numerical majority or reject the demands and directives of any power group that happens to control the government, then we will be 'obstructing' the 'will of the people' and will be declared 'enemies of the state.' And when this happens, where will the 'visible' Church be? Who will speak for us? We shall have to stand alone and accept the consequences. As soon as the hierarchy abandons its traditional role of defending the 'deposit of the faith,' and of teaching what Christ taught, it abdicates its spiritual authority. When the sheep are abandoned by the shepherds and led by hirelings and wolves, 'weeping and gnashing of teeth' inevitably follow. And If not in our day, then in the days of our children. A Church which achieves an aggiornamento with the modern world can hardly oppose that world.
CHAPTER XV, part 5
Progress and evolution - the real opiates of the people
The new Church has done these things in greater part because she believes in 'progress,' and because she would unite herself with the 'dynamic' and 'evolutionary forces' that she believes will go to create a better world for all mankind - a sort of utopian 'kingdom of man on earth.' One would like once more to make it clear that the traditional Church is not against 'progress,' if by this term we are referring to the advances of modern science. The designing of 'better mouse-traps' is clearly of advantage to society, providing of course that justice is not violated, and the true and proper ends of man not hindered. As to the creating of a perfect society on earth, a society that, as T. S. Eliot says, is 'so perfect that no one will ever need to be good,' the traditional Church knows this is an absurd dream. She knows that no progress and no tyranny will ever make an end of suffering,. for, even in the garden of Eden a 'snake' was to be found. Moreover, she cannot accept evolutionary theory even in its mitigated form, the evolution of man from lower forms of life and the fall of man from an Edenic paradise are mutually contradictory. If man is made in the image of an amoeba rather than the image of God, there is not only no Fall, there is also no need for grace, no nature for grace to build on, and no need for Redemption.
Yet all this does not mean that man should not, in conformity with his nature and with simple good sense, attempt to overcome the evils he encounters in the course of life - for this however, he requires no injunctions, either divine or human. But to seek to establish a certain state of well-being with God in view is one thing, and to seek to institute a perfect state of happiness on earth apart from God, is quite another. In any event, the latter aim is foredoomed to failure, precisely because the lasting elimination of our miseries is dependent upon our conforming to the Divine Equilibrium, and upon our establishing the Kingdom of God within our souls. As long as men have not realized a sanctifying 'inwardness,' the abolition of earthly trials is not only impossible, but undesirable, because the sinner, 'exteriorized man,' has need of suffering in order to expiate his faults and in order to tear himself away from sin; in order to escape from that very 'outwardness' from which sin derives. From the spiritual point of view, which alone takes account of the true cause of our calamities, a society 'perfect' in every worldly sense, a society with the maximum of comfort and so-called 'justice,' would, in the final ends of man are frustrated, be one of the most evil societies conceivable. Hence it is that the traditional Church teaches that to combat the calamities of this world without regard for the total truth and ultimate good, would be to create an incomparably greater calamity, starting off, in fact, with the denial of this truth and the elimination of this good. Those who dream of liberating man from his age-old 'frustrations' are in fact the ones who are imposing on him the most radical and irreparable of all frustrations. The Civitas Dei and the worldly progression as envisioned by modern man and the post-Conciliar Church, cannot converge, and those who strive to accommodate the religious message to profane illusions and agitations are among those whom Christ would label as 'scatterers.' The idea that the world in which we live today is in any way 'Christian' is totally absurd, and any attempt to adapt the Christian tradition to it can only result in the betrayal of Christ. The modern world, the 'post-Christian' world, dreams of abolishing evil by organizing sin. The dream of the new Church that 'all may be one' with the kind of 'unity in diversity' that she has in mind, can only be achieved at the price of distorting Christ and the message he revealed beyond all recognition.
It is not supernatural religion that is the opiate of the people, but rather these false ideas of progress and evolution. It is they that provide modern man with a false faith (in evolution and the future superman), a false hope (in a worldly utopia) and a false sense of charity (in doing good on to others.)
Peace and ecumenism
Ecumenism, which John Paul II has repeatedly told us is the fundamental thrust of the new Church, essentially places truth on the bargening table. Once Christians considered the truths they adhered to so important that martyrs eagerly offered up their lives, Church Fathers accepted exile and the faithful mutilation, rather than abandon even an iota of the Faith. A modernist faith renders such attitudes irrelevant. 'Truths' which are merely expressions of the collective consciousness of the people are rendered unimportant and unworthy of suffering for.
Our age is an age of apostasy. The terrible apostasy of our era is not due to the fact that the world is filled with heretics and atheists. All things being equal, they cannot but stengthen the faith of the pious, no matter how many they may be. Our contemporary apostacy which the acceptance of the Ecumenical movement exemplifies, is due to the fact that most of us have stopped believing in the Truth; have ceased believing in the existence of Truth and that it is worth struggling for. Even heretics who believe in their heresy have become a rare species. Today people have lost every conviction. Everything is relative doubtful and hence indefinite. Little exists that is worth fighting for. Little appears worthy of support except the pleasures of this fleeting life. In such a world, even the convinced heretic is a breath of fresh air.
And it is this that explains the close relationship between the Peace movements and Ecumenism. In order to have pleasurable pastimes, the peaceful co-existence and cooperation of all peoples is absolutely essential. Without this it is impossible to assure the procurement of material goods. In order for this to be realized, all boundaries must fall. Religions, ideologies, and nations must unite. Every cause of war, battle and counter-opinion must cease to exist. The policy of 'co-existence,' the idea of establishing a One World Government, Masonic syncretism - these are all at heart nothing but the expression of man's inordinate thirst for undisturbed pleasurable living.
Ecumenism teaches that truth is nowhere to be found. It is the assassination of the hope that has lived in the heart of man from time immemorial. It is the rejection of Truth and its suplantation with man-made 'truths.' These man-made truths, of necessity, must make concessions, one to another, for the common good. It is not Christ who asks for the so-called union of Churches, but the world. Christ does not ask for the union of falsehood and truth; it is the world that seeks to adulterate the truth, to make it relative and partial. This is why so many who have absolutely no interest in religion as such, so vigorously support the Ecumenical movement. Ecumenism is the best possible way of neutralizing Christianity. It is the last and most perfect trap that the devil can set for mankind and his most terrible, underhanded attack against the Church of Christ. It is that poison which paralyses the soul and renders it incapable of believing, of seeing the light, incapable of even thirsting for the truth. It darkens the mind of the Christian and affects him, so that instead of loving the sick and laboring to cure the illness, he ends up loving the very sickness; instead of loving the heretic, he ends up loving his heresy. The real target of Ecumenism or pan-religious syncretism is the Church of Christ, the hope and salt of the world. And so it is that the post-Conciliar Church is not just a new Church, another Protestant denomination; it is in fact an anti-Church, for its ultimate aim is the destruction of that Church which Christ established at the very cost of His life.
CHAPTER XV, part 6