As the novels of my Conciliar series often play out in the Netherlands, the article below is of interest for background information.
‘Great apostasy’: Cardinal analyzes why Netherlands lost Catholic faith in few short decades
Cardinal Willem Eijk’s new book ‘Ferment in the care of souls’ helps answer the question about why the Netherlands has become one of the most secularized countries in the world today.
September 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Why are the tiny Netherlands, whose missionaries represented over 12 percent of Roman Catholic priests and religious bringing the faith to foreign countries around 1960, today one of the most secularized countries in the world? Of all the questions addressed by Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk in his recent book of dialogues with Italian journalist Andrea Galli, this was the one that struck commentators most.
The Cardinal borrowed his answer from a book written in 1947 after a meeting of nine laymen and priests in his own diocese of Utrecht years before a major crisis hit Dutch Catholicism. In Ferment in the care of souls, these concerned Catholics, he said, “saw that the bond between Catholics and the Church was no longer based on the contents of the faith.”
“Membership in the Church was essentially a community factor: one went to Catholic primary school, then to Catholic secondary school, and was a member of Catholic associations, especially in the sports and scouting fields. One was Catholic for reasons of social belonging, because one grew up in Catholic structures, not on the basis of a lived faith,” Cardinal Eijk remarks. It was a faith that “could not withstand such radical culture changes as those of the 1960’s.”
That time of prosperity and growing individualism gradually led to the “hyper-individualism” that Cardinal Eijk has more than once pointed out as being at the root of modern-day Holland’s rejection of God – as in this interview with LifeSite in May 2019, many of whose themes are present in his new book, Dio viva in Olanda (“God lives in Holland”). Revealingly, the subtitle of his book is a quote from Saint Luke: “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?”
Pell thanks Pope for cleaning Vatican ‘stables’ after cardinal who canceled 2016 audit resigns
Becciu was instrumental in April of 2016 in canceling an external audit of Vatican finances that had been planned by Cardinal Pell.
SYDNEY, Australia, September 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal George Pell, who had been tasked by Pope Francis in 2014 to clean up the Vatican’s finances, thanked the Pope for moving to “clean the stables” of the Vatican by accepting the resignation of a powerful Vatican official who in 2016 single-handedly canceled a planned external audit of Vatican finances.
“The Holy Father has elected to clean up Vatican finances,” the Australian cardinal wrote in an official statement dated today where he identifies himself as the former Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy in the Vatican. “He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments. I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria.”
Yesterday the Holy See announced that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciù, 72, had offered Pope Francis his resignation and, very unusually, his rights as a cardinal. The most recent cardinal to be stripped of his rights, but not also expelled from the College of Cardinals, was the late Cardinal Keith O’Brien after being accused of sexual misconduct with priests.
Professor Raymond Hain of the Thomistic Institute gave a lecture about two brilliant Catholic writers, who write in the genre of the Catholic Novel. Well worth listening to.
I have heard complaints that not enough Catholic writers are producing novels or books dealing with religious and moral issues . It used not to be like that. My reply is that some of us who toil away writing novels and non-fiction works receive little support from those in a position to provide encouragement and promotion. I acknowledge that News Weekly and AD2000 reviewed my books, as did the Annals. So it is with delight and congratulations that I provide a link to Brisbane’s Catholic Leader who reviewed a new novel by a Catholic writer.
Canberra author uses fiction to evangelise Church’s teaching on marriage
THERE was a time Catholic fiction novels ruled library shelves, and Canberra author Veronica Smallhorn believes it’s time for a renaissance.
The mum of three has released her first novel, A Channel of Your Peace, which tells the story of a young woman whose life turns upside down when her fiancé of five years confesses to having an affair with a co-worker.
Published by an American company that promotes “Theology of the Body fiction”, A Channel of Your Peace is Ms Smallhorn’s attempt to write fiction novels for young women with a central Catholic storyline.
Ben Shapiro is an American/Jewish conservative commentator. I make the point that he is a Jew because he boldly presents himself as an orthodox Jew. His youtube video’s are well-known to conservatives around the world.
To those not familiar with the name I strongly recommend you have a look at a selection of his videos. To those who think Jews are naturally the propagators of left-wing theories, I more strongly recommend you listen to Shapiro in full flight. His thinking processes are razor sharp and lightning quick – and they defend a conservative view of the world.
An indication of his wide appeal to natural law conservatives is an article on the (deeply conservative Catholic LifeSiteNews channel summarising Shapiro’s arguments against abortion.
Ben Shapiro smashes pro-abortion arguments at March for Life podcast
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Festivities for the 2019 March for Life kicked off Friday with a live broadcast of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” which the popular conservative commentator devoted to an overview of the case against abortion and common “pro-choice” arguments.
After taking the stage to enthusiastic cheers, Shapiro noted that this was the first time both at the March and doing a full hour themed around a specific issue, then quoted several pro-abortion statements from former President Barack Obama, including that God should “bless” Planned Parenthood.Continue reading Ben Shapiro smashes pro-abortion arguments
One of Archbishop Vigano’s most pointed criticisms in his condemnation of Vatican II (see previous post) was about ecumenism. The liberal-left and dissident factions of the Council hammered the (alleged) need for the Church to become more ‘ecumenical and pastoral’ in its orientation. In his criticism, the archbishop focused on one of the most controversial sentences in all of the Council documents: ‘Ecclesia Christi subsistit in Ecclesia Catholica‘ – the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church.
I have been rather cavalier in presenting my view on this sentence. I understood it to mean (uncontroversially, I thought) that ‘the Church of Christ’ referred to the Church in its pristine purity (the substance) and the Catholic Church to include the fallibility of the human person (the accidents). And if elements of the pristine Church were to be found in other churches, then they were at a stage on the way to the one true Church. Missionary work was required to bring those with a deficient understanding to the full faith.
For example, Dr Taylor Marshall (see previous posts) started out as a fervent baptist. Reflection on his faith brought him to the Episcopal Church in which he became an episcopal priest. The journey of faith continued until he saw the full faith in the Catholic Church. He is now in full missionary mode as a philosopher and theologian. I strongly recommend his youtube videos.
Archbishop Vigano points out how the Second Vatican Council’s documents on ecumenism led to the opposite of this process of conversion. Indeed, conversion was now deemed no longer necessary. One of the (German) bishops at the recent Amazonia Synod was heard to boast that he had not converted anyone in fifty years. Archbishop Vigano:
Together with numerous Council Fathers, we thought of ecumenism as a process, an invitation that calls dissidents to the one Church of Christ, idolaters and pagans to the one True God, and the Jewish people to the promised Messiah. But from the moment it was theorized in the conciliar commissions, ecumenism was configured in a way that was in direct opposition to the doctrine previously expressed by the Magisterium…
Numerous practicing Catholics, and perhaps also a majority of Catholic clergy, are today convinced that the Catholic Faith is no longer necessary for eternal salvation; they believe that the One and Triune God revealed to our fathers is the same as the god of Mohammed…
Thus “Ecclesia Christi subsistit in Ecclesia Catholica” does not specify the identity of the two, but the subsistence of one in the other and, for consistency, also in other churches: here is the opening to interconfessional celebrations, ecumenical prayers, and the inevitable end of any need for the Church in the order of salvation, in her unicity, and in her missionary nature.
What does the Gospels say? The Gospel for Trinity Sunday (2 weeks ago) has the crucial passage:
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days, even to the consummation of the world. Matt: 28, 18-20
This is one of those scriptural passages that could hardly be clearer. It renders those promoting an interpretation of ecumenism based on the so-called ‘spirit’ rank heretics.
The Catholic Church is prescriptively a missionary Church.
I have begun a series of novels that has as its background the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (1965-1975). The Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council was part of this cultural revolution. The bishops in St Peter’s of Rome (1962-1965) had imbibed from the same cup of radical anti-Catholic, anti-Christian civilization philosophies driving the mob in Paris in 1968.
The location of the stories in the Conciliar Series will mostly be in Holland and Australia. The first book in the series TIMES OF DISTRESS plays out in Holland, Australia, and New Guinea.
Dr Brant Pitre runs a series of Bible exegeses on Catholics Productions‘ youtube channel. I highly recommend these videos for the clarity of Dr Pitre’s explications and for the depths of his biblical knowledge. His explication of the Catholic position on faith or works is an outstanding example of this clarity.
For most people unfamiliar with the theory, one can recognise a Marxist by the social and political issues he supports and pushes. The vehemence of his beliefs and the abusive intolerance he displays is a secondary indication. These are the some of the causes he supports.
Abortion – sacrificing the innocence for convenience and demographic control, and killing the culture
Gay culture – same-sex union foremost, but any sort of union
Gender fluidity – destroying the idea of female and male
Transgenderism – surrender of reason to ideological conformism
Feminism – female ascendance and misandry
Identity politics – racist and class fragmenting of society
Open borders – destroying the culture
Multiculturalism – the fragmenting of the nation and establishment of tribal areas
Diversity – the elimination of the national culture and the imposition of a leftist conformism
Aboriginal separatism – establishing a superior political class on the basis of race
Destruction of Christianity, especially the Catholic Church who he sees as the originator and guardian of capitalist society
Elimination of the nuclear family which is a breeding ground for sexism, patriarchy and female oppression
Anti-white racism – eliminating the (perceived) originators of capitalism
Dismantling of Western Civilization – eliminating the great Oppressor
There are two fundamental elements to the Marxist justification of these causes. The first is a (metaphysical) materialism. Materialism is the doctrine that there is nothing above or beyond the material world. Thus there are no objective moral standards, no preordained structure in the world. There is no God. But what separates materialist Marxism from a liberal materialism is the dialectic which Marx borrowed from Georg Hegel’s idealist philosophy. Dialectical theory is rather involved but in brief it is the idea that reality is conflictual and in continual flux. There are contradictions within the concepts that constitute our thinking. These contradictions gradually work themselves out, that is, evolve from a lower to higher order of understanding. In Marxism’s materialist dialectic, the conflict occurs preeminently between classes, between the perceived oppressor and oppressed. The clash of classes will lead to a higher order of material existence and eventually to some sort of utopian society. The ravage of established society with its enduring norms is of no account in the ineluctable progression of the dialectic. The most cherished beliefs of our Western culture are doomed.
The great opponent of Marxism is a philosophical conservatism with his realist metaphysics and epistemology. There are things out there over which a transcendent order prevails. The mind can recognise in the particulars of sense perception an intelligible order of abstract essences and necessary relations prior to particular things and contingent events. This explains why the ABC and the educational sector, both controlled by Marxists, will not tolerate a hint of conservatism, especially the conserving of Western Society. A stable world governed by a transcendent order is a hindrance to mass (Marxist) manipulation.