Quid est veritas? (What is truth?), asks Pontius Pilate before Our Lord Who earlier replied to the governor: for this I come into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth: everyone that is of the truth, heareth my voice (v. 37, DRV).
For standing His ground, Our Lord was put to death through the treachery of one who had been admitted into an intimate life with God but who became disillusioned when it became clear that the God-man was set to frustrate also human expectations of divine triumph over evil. And this was made clear by Our Lord in the Gospel reading three Sundays ago (the Quinquagesima Sunday): Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets, concerning the Son of man. For He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon: and after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death… (Lk 18.31-33). However, as on other occasions, the Apostles understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them (v. 34).
The Apostles understood well the sense of the words Our Lord spoke to them. But they could not understand how the words of Our Lord could be reconciled with the idea they had previously conceived of the Messias. They did not understand because they imagined, as the Jews still dream of, that Christ’s mission was like an earthly conqueror’s and that He would re-establish the kingdom of Israel supreme over all other nations. Since they dreamed only of triumphs and of occupying the first places in such imagined grandiose earthly kingdom, any allusion by Our Lord to His Passion and Death upset and scandalized them. “They were scandalized in the first place, to think that God should suffer any thing inflicted by man; in the second place, to hear that sufferings and death could lead to victory and empire; and, lastly, they were scandalized (their own feelings taking the alarm) lest they should be forced to imitate their Master in this part which He had chosen for Himself” (The Catholic Haydock Bible).
In our previous post (“The Great Tribulation”), the readers, especially Catholics, understand well the sense of the words Our Lord has spoken through the consistent and unanimous teaching and judgment pronounced by the Apostle Paul and the successors to the Chair of Peter on the problem of the Church’s contacts with the heretical and schismatic sects, the Synagogue of Satan, and the pagans and the infidels. The Catholic Church alone – marked and surmounted by the Crucified, with her visible head exercising the sovereign authority which the Holy See is divinely provided with to place all things under the dominion of Christ the King – is the ark of Christ’s saving work while the others are the making of the father of lies and lead souls into the exterior darkness [where] there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt. 8.12). And if there will never be a concord between Our Lord and Belial, then Vatican II’s Ecumenical Program – launched by Pope John XXIII, authorized by Pope Paul VI at the closing of that most disgraceful Council, implemented by Pope John Paul II, and still being pursued by Pope Benedict XVI – is rather a present-day Apostolic delusion without precedent: openly contending against Our Lord and his irrevocable judgment in trying to reconcile “the religion of the God Who became man” (Pope Paul VI, cf. our post “The Great Tribulation”) with “the religion of man who makes himself God” by seeking up to this day a meeting point between truth and lie through inter-religious “dialogue.”
The Gospel of Quinquagesima Sunday teaches us that the life of intimate friendship which Our Lord offers His Apostles would eventually lead them to Calvary – first, of Our Lord’ Passion and Death; second, of their own share in the Passion and Death of their Beloved Crucified. Sadly, this is no longer the course directed by the Vatican to those who come to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church seeking the truth. “It will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge Him as their Savior” (Pope John Paul II, “L’Osservatore Romano,” Sept. 16, 1998, p.7).
Our Lord took His Apostles to the summit of true life of justice, charity, and peace with God but only through the Way of the Cross. Mankind, in surrendering itself, through the lead of its deceived head – Adam – into the hands of Satan is utterly helpless to free himself from his miserable bond. Only the almighty hand of God could snatch fallen man from the devil whose angelic nature with its powers he retains still. But what would move God to deliver man who, after having been loved… with an everlasting love (Jer. 31.3) and originally given a life much higher, richer, and perfect than what befits his natural life and to which he naturally had no title (as immunity from sickness and disease and therefore immortality of the body, cf. Wisdom 2.23, and a share in the life of God possessing the Spirit of Light, Truth and Grace), allowed himself to be deceived by the devil as to insolently challenge God to His face by attempting to usurp the supreme rights of God as the sole judge of what is good and evil? Who among men, turned enemies of God, could stand before the enraged Almighty to repair the original relation – and even win back all the goods that came with this most blessed relation – which the liberal Creator placed between Him and a mere creature who proved to be an insolent ingrate? It is for this reason that the Son of God – Who in the beginning… was with God… in the bosom of the Father, and… was God (Jn. 1.1,18) – was made flesh (Jn. 1.14) to render justice to God and yet to spare us from suffering the irrevocable swift sentence of a most abject and horrible punishment which the sense of justice of an enraged human tribunal could ever conceive and inflict: the gibbet of a slave – the Cross – the excruciating weight of it was all the more loaded with the bitterest moral-spiritual pains that man could and should have experienced in return for his crime: of having been betrayed, renounced, and abandoned at his critical hour.
In His last journey, the Savior resolved to carry out the justice of God but man must be helped along its course: He turned the Cross not only as a powerful demonstration of God’s severe justice [cf., our post “The Ultimate Delusion of Vatican II ‘Catholicism’“]- which must be pacified if men were to experience true peace and be saved from eternal misery – but also, at the same time, a powerful demonstration of God’s excessive merciful love to those who will come to Calvary to bend their knees before the Crucified to be converted with all their mind, heart, and soul. It is a shame to hear Peter protesting again and deflecting souls with the words:
“… Be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee (Mt. 16.22) [which earned him the grave rebuke of His Lord and Master: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men (v.23)], Ecumenism is a journey which is made together [with the Synagogue of Satan, the “Bible-only”-sectarians, the Orthodox schismatics, the Moslems, and pagans], but we are not able to chart its course or its duration beforehand” (Pope John Paul II, to some “Bible-only” ministers during an “ecumenical prayer service” in front of St. Peter’s tomb, “L’Osservatore Romano,” May 21, 1997).
Yes, whenever we betray, renounce, and depart from the Crucified we wander to our downfall; and God permits this that we may learn what it takes to pretend how invincible we are when God Himself in His mercy and goodness exalts us as His children and intimate friends to seat with Him: Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened… Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth (Ps. 138.17; 44.17)… [seating] on seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Mt. 19.28); and, to Peter and his successors who are to govern Our Lord’s flock (cf., Jn. 21.15-17) even to the consummation of the world (Mt. 28.20), the Traditional Sacred Liturgy of the Church applies these words of the Lord spoken to the Prophet Jeremias: Behold I have given My words in thy mouth: lo, I have set thee over the nations, and over kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to build, and to plant (1.9-10).
Pope Paul VI, in his closing speech of the whole of the Second Vatican Council on Dec. 7, 1965, agrees in his diagnosis of the state of the world with Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X: the Catholic conception of life has been generally dislodged by the spirit of independence of the modern man which directs the whole of creation towards man himself and aims at man’s own deification (cf., R. Amerio, “Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century,” p. 94). Pope St. Pius X, in his Encyclical E Supremi Apostolatus, puts this condition simply as the great apostasy prophesied by St. Paul in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (cf., 2.3): the loss of many Catholic nations who have vomited Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The difference of the pre-Vatican II Popes, especially Pope St. Pius X who devoted his Papacy to combatting the anti-Christian civilization, lies in the course of action: “A Christian civilization has existed; we no longer have to invent one… (Pope St. Pius X, in Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, “A Bishop Speaks,” pp. 70-71) restore all things in Christ (quoting Ephesians 1.10).” That is, a re-establishment of the order of things which the Crucified has founded through His Church. But this is precisely the point of agony of Pope Paul VI who approved the decisions of Vatican II: the order of Christian civilization professes only Christ Crucified; but, to the modern man who has a purely material ideal of life, the language of the Cross is incomprehensible, is disconcerting – that is why it led him to murmur against divine Providence and even to lose all trust in God. What more can the valiant Prince of the Apostles do to salvage whatever is left to Christ and to reclaim what was lost from His Lord and Master in the face of the still seeming inability of the Crucified not just to appeal to souls but even hold captive the hearts he once won?
But it is most interesting to note that the Vatican did not in reality lament the despoliation and desolation of the dominion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by apostasy. Pope Paul VI outlined this “decay of religion in dramatic terms” (R. Amerio, op. cit., p.6):
“The Church is in a disturbed period of… what would better be called self-demolition. It is an acute and complicated UPHEAVAL which nobody would have expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were ATTACKING ITSELF” (Speech to the Lombard College in Rome, December 7, 1968).
In fact, Pope Benedict XVI, when he was still the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, considered this as rather a welcome process necessary to bring about the ‘Church’ of the future; to give a ‘new face’ to the Church now despoiled like her Crucified Lord and Master – but according to the delusions of the infamous Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin who, forecasting “an unknown form of religion which nobody could imagine or describe hitherto” (“Complete Works,” Vol. VII, p. 405), would have the Church to undergo a mutation by going beyond itself – “forgetting that going outside oneself, that passing one’s limit, means dying, and thus [Catholicism] would thus have to die in his view in order to live” (R. Amerio, op. cit., p. 9):
“… From today’s crisis, a Church will emerge tomorrow that will have lost a great deal…. She will certainly also acknowledge new forms of ministry…. When God will seem to have totally disappeared for them, they will experience a complete, horrible poverty. And then they will discover the small community of those who believe as something entirely new” (“Fe e futuro,” Petropolis: Vozes, 1971, pp. 76f).
“… We have to begin to make an unreserved examination… at every level and bring with it an ‘ablatio’ [a chopping off] that allows the authentic face of the Church to appear once again” (“30 Dias,” October 1990, p. 65).
On the contrary, the Church, like to a Christian soul who must attain to Christian perfection (Be you therefore perfect as also your heavenly Father is perfect, Mt. 5.48), has to pass through her own purgations and purification. And just as the soul who passes through this divine purgation is not substantially different – but only accidentally in its supernatural quality and activities – from that soul who was converted by grace at the beginning and was led by the finger of God into its “Dark Night” (as it is described by our holy father John of the Cross), the Church that will emerge from her own “Dark Night” is not fundamentally different from that Church built as centered on the God-man alone and marked as Apostolic, Constantinian, Gregorian, Tridentine “in its continuous historical reality” (R. Amerio, op. cit., p. 114) – just as the gloriously majestic Christ in His triumphant Resurrection was not in any way a substantial mutation of that despoiled, desolated, and mocked Christ Crucified: He bore with Him the marks of the Crucified. Moreover, this “Dark Night” is rather a work directly wrought by God alone which result is determined also by God Himself: her perfect transformation into her Beloved Crucified (Who alone shows us on the Cross at Calvary what charity it is that takes to union with the true God Who alone is the Highest Good that can ever be possessed).
But, the New ‘Catholic Church’:
1. as to its new foundation: “… to center itself on God AND men” (Msgr. Matagrin, the Bishop of Grenoble, “Informations Catholiques Internationales,” No. 586, April 15, 1983, p. 30) [“But to be centered on two centers, God and man, is not a coherent idea, even though it may be a nice verbal formula” (R. Amerio, op. cit., p. 114).].
2. as to the manner of working the despoliation of the Church (her ‘ablatio’ or chopping off, see Card. Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, above) to “allow the authentic face of the [‘]Church[‘] to appear…”: a “Copernican revolution [that “acute and complicated UPHEAVAL which nobody would have expected after the Council” (Pope Paul VI above)], by which the Church has ceased being centered on itself and its institutions (Msgr. Matagrin, in the preceding paragraph)… shak[ing] off the imperial dust that has gradually built up since the times of Constantine on the throne of Saint Peter” (Cardinal Congar, “Pour une Eglise servante et pauvre,” p. 119).
Satan’s temptations for Our Lord (in the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent) were all meant to divert the Christ from the Cross. The last attempt, to deliver into the hands of Our Lord all the kingdoms of the world if only He would [fall] down in adoration of the devil, affected the Apostles in the Gospel three Sundays ago. “The Kingdom,” explains Abp. Goodier, SJ, “had been established. They must not now look back. Such a debacle as Jesus foreshadowed must not be tolerated for a moment” (“The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” Vol. II, p. 3). We shall let Abp. Goodier continue on this issue:
“That temptation was no passing thing. It was real, it was persistent, it attacked the soul of every man who was zealous for the spread of the Kingdom, it would continue to the end of time…
Because of [that temptation, the Apostles] would make Our Lord King… and in the strength of [it] the human side of their minds had clung to Him… [Our Lord, in the Gospel for the Quinquagesima Sunday] set Himself to correct [not only this] impression [but also] another side [of it]; He faced and countered another temptation that pursued and would pursue His own. For thus they would reason. To seek to spread the Kingdom, to win the favour and allegiance of men to Jesus Christ, to conquer the power and glory of the earth, entailed a great risk, demanded great prudence. For [the modern men] must needs be humoured; they must not be offended; the unpleasant things must be glossed over. Jesus of Nazareth might at times be a scandal to Pharisees and Scribes. His claim, too, openly declared, might shock the people…; to the men of Capharnaum His promises might appear too extravagant. His overlordship of the Sabbath and the Temple might offend the citizens of Jerusalem; His powers, too strongly maintained, might arouse opposition, above all His power [being a mere man, as the Jews thought] of forgiving sins. On this account some of His own would be tempted to half-measures. They would allow human prudence to prevail; they would adapt Jesus Christ [Crucified, see our post “Our ‘Great Reversal’”] and His doctrine to the standards of the earth; they would be ashamed to proclaim Him as He was [a ‘looser’ and one condemned to death]… To prefer the external kingdom to the kingdom within a human soul, to sacrifice a soul for the kingdom, would in the end lead to this: that for the sake of the Kingdom, the King Himself would be sacrificed.
… This evil, the greatest save one that could creep into His Church, and of the others [Our Lord] had already given warning. This was the evil that would try her most, and would injure her most, both FROM WITHIN and from without, through all the ages that were to come, IN HIGH PLACES as well as in the corners of the Kingdom….
Even in Peter then the danger was imminent” (ibid., pp. 2,7-8).
And now, let us allow the Popes of Vatican II to prove or disprove the Archbishop above:
1. on the temptation to win the favour and allegiance of men to the Crucified by humouring and not offending the modern man: “The imposition of rules is not liked today” (Pope John XXIII who had accepted the suggestion, contrary to the Church’s traditional teaching methods which the rejected Preparatory Commission of Vatican II maintained, that some norms should be relaxed, recounted by Msgr. Felici in “L’Osservatore Romano,” April 15, 1981).
2. on the temptation to gloss over unpleasant Catholic demands: “With rigorous and serene theological research… we will be able to address even the most difficult and seemingly insurmountable questions* in so many of our ecumenical dialogues, as, for example, that of [the Primacy of Jurisdiction of] the Bishop of Rome [which the Orthodox and “Bible-only” sectarians still deny after more than forty years of Vatican II “ecumenical dialogue” while the Holy See does no longer insist submission to it under pain of eternal perdition – except upon the priests, religious, and faithful whose ‘fault’ is adherence to the truths of the Catholic Faith authored by Our Lord, cf. Heb. 12.2, and enshrined in the formularies of our Traditional Sacraments]” (Pope John Paul II, address to the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, November 13, 2001).
* Thus, it was the Holy See itself who paved the way for the irrevocably infallible Catholic dogmas be subjected to discussion and debate – letting itself be drawn to a ‘dialogue’ with modern man, steeped in the 1789 Revolutionary principles of the Freemasons, who would rather search for ‘truth’ rather than take possession of the Truth.
“I am convinced that I have a particular responsibility… above all in acknowledging the ecumenical aspirations of the majority of the Christian Communities and in heeding the request made of me to find a way of exercising the primacy which… is open to a new situation*” (Pope John Paul II, “Ut Unum Sint,” 95).
* 1789 Proposition: “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself and come to terms with progress, Liberalism and modern civilization.” – appeared as Proposition 80 of “Errors Having Reference to Modern Liberalism” anathematized by Blessed Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus of [Modern] Errors, 8 December 1864
And another implication of this “new situation” for the Holy See: “The Catholic Church has NO RIGHT to absorb other [‘Churches’]” (Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Theological Highlights of Vatican II Council,” p. 61). Whereas, his Lord and Master declares that those that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice… for… every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice… and there shall be one fold and one shepherd… He that is not with Me, is against Me: and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth (Jn. 10.16; 18.37; Mt. 12.30).
On what ground did the Holy See claim that the ‘Catholic Church’ “has no right to absorb other [‘Churches’]?” First, it raised the sects of perdition (2 Pet. 2.1) to the level of Christ’s Church, which alone is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3.15), addressing them as “Churches” (though they have cut off themselves from Christ and still are dead branches in holding fast their errors); then, even outdoing these same “Bible-only” sectarians in their folly (that they are already saved by “faith ‘alone’ in Christ” – which phrase is not anywhere written in their own versions and therefore, according to their own standards, not a teaching from God), proclaimed universalist salvation:
“Jesus… obtains, once and for all, the salvation of man: of each man and of all. It will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions… receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge Him as their Savior” (Pope John Paul II, “L’Osservatore Romano,” June 23, 1980, p. 3; September 16, 1998, p. 7). Whereas, the Savior Himself declares: He that believeth not shall be condemned (Mk. 16.16), for if you believe not that I am He [cf., Isaias 48.12], you shall die in your sin (Jn. 8.24). This strange “Gospel” of salvation proclaimed by Pope John Paul II is yet to be repudiated by Pope Benedict XVI who, as the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the former, wrote: “…Why it is necessary for us in particular to practice the Christian Faith in its totality, why, when, there are so many other ways that lead to heaven and salvation, it should be required of us to bear the day after day whole burden of ecclesial dogmas and of the ecclesial ethos… What a strange attitude it is to find the duties of our Christian life unrewarding just because the denarius of salvation can be gained without them!” (“Co-Workers of the Truth,” p. 217)
The Church founded by Our Lord on Kephas (the Rock of Peter according to the original Aramaic used in Mt. 16.18), which is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3.15), is the fellowship of the Crucified: the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death (Phil. 3.10). And the first burden the Crucified will share with those who love Him is the burden of the truth: I will espouse thee to me in faith (Osee 2.20). Those who will not hold their ground on the truth to which the Church marked and surmounted by the Crucified has consistently testified throughout the ages shall walk by dark ways… and their steps infamous (Prov. 2.13), slaves to mere human opinion and concepts:
“The new concept of a ‘People of God’ [the New ‘Catholic Church’ or the “New ‘Catholic’ Order” (the Vatican II “Novus Ordo”): a mere human conception] has made us revise the old truth [Catholic dogma degenerated by the Holy See, but without claim of its solemn exercise of supreme apostolic authority, into a mere concept for Vatican II Ecumenical adaptation!] about the possibility of redemption outside the limits of the Catholic Church. This gives rise to the [Ecumenical] attitude of the Church towards other religions… (Pope John Paul II, in Fr. M. Malinski, “Mon Ami: Karol Wojtyla,” Le Centurion, p. 189) [for] ecumenism began in this way: as a respect for non-Christian religions [“respect” for errors!] (Pope Paul VI, General Odience of November 8, 1972, in “L’Osservatore Romano,” November 16, 1972, p.1)… And here [Talmudic Jewry, the Synagogue of Satan(Apoc. 2.9; 3.9); Pope John Paul II referred to ‘Judaism’ here, but Judaism, a sacrificial religion which was but a figure of the Catholic Religion, has long been dead with the extinction of its center: the accursed Temple of the Jews in Jerusalem] occupies a very special place [!] (Pope John Paul II, in Fr. M. Malinski, op. cit.)
“Old” [obsolete] truth? More than anybody else in the Church, the Holy See ought to show forth [God’s] truth with [his] mouth to generation and generation [for the law of truth was in his mouth (Malachi 2.6; cf., Is. 59.21)] as the truth of the Lord endureth forever (Ps. 88.2; 99.5; 116.2, chapters and verses according to the Holy Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible). The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and its princes: they that call this people blessed, shall cause them to err… And it shall be as with the people, so with the priest: Woe to you, apostate children, saith the Lord, that you would take counsel, and not of me: and would begin a web and not by my spirit, that you might add sin upon sin (Is.3.14; 9.16; 24.2; 30.1). They have been rebellious to the light, they have not known His ways, neither have they returned by His paths… alienated from the womb; they have gone astray from the womb: they have spoken false things. Their madness is according to the likeness of a serpent: like the deaf asp that stoppeth her ears: which will not hear the voice of the charmers; nor of the wizard that charmeth wisely (Job 24.13; Ps. 57.4-7). They are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit (Mt. 15.14). May Our Immaculate Mother of Carmel, who, at the Annunciation, “gave forth to the world the eternal Light, Jesus Christ Our Lord” (Traditional Preface of the Mass for this feast of the Blessed Mother), help us, most especially our Holy Father and our faithful pastors, to beat the beatings of Her Immaculate Heart that after Her we may discern clearly, accept and resign immediately and adhere entirely to God’s designs for us and His Church not only of our intimate association with but rather that of our perfect transformation into the Crucified in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Ecce ancilla Domini (Behold the handmaid of the Lord), fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum (be it done to me according to thy word), Lk. 1.38.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them.For you were heretofore darkness: but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light:for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth. Proving what is well pleasing to God. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5.6-11).
March 7, 2011
Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, of the Order of Friars Preachers
Related post: “Upheaval“