Category Archives: Catholicism

Is the Catholic Church still a missionary Church?

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.

The Conciliar Series

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.

How do you recognize a marxist?

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

THE JUSTIFICATION
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.

Musings of a ‘Catholic Agnostic’

Chilton Williamson Jr writes about two of Grahame Greene’s most powerful titles in the genre of the Catholic novel

The novelist Graham Greene belonged to a grand era in English Catholicism that began with Newman and ended around 1960. According to the author, his many books fall into two general categories: those works of fiction he described as “entertainments,” and the others he called simply “novels.” The latter reflect the degree to which Greene—a convert and later a self-described “Catholic agnostic” with a disordered private life—was haunted by the Faith he neither could nor wished to abandon, while persisting in his idiosyncratic understanding of it.

This, of course, is the intellectual and spiritual condition of many modern Catholics. No one, however, has explored that condition more consistently, poignantly, and dramatically than Greene did. His friend and admirer Evelyn Waugh, in a lengthy review essay of The Heart of the Matter, observed that only a Catholic could have written the book, and only a Catholic could understand it. Greene chose aptly when he took for his epigraph several lines from Charles Péguy: “Le pécheur est au coeur même de chrétienté… Nul n’est aussi compétent que le pécheur en matière de chrétienté. Nul, si c’est le saint.” (“The sinner is at the heart of Christianity… No one is as competent as the sinner in matters concerning Christianity. No one, unless it is the saint.”)

Read on…

The impetus for my family history series

MEMOIRS, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES, and personal reflections had never much enticed me until I picked up a book that was lying around at my parents’ house. My mother was an incorrigible reader and always had a book on the coffee table beside her lounge chair. The book was Over the Top with Jim by Murdoch journalist Hugh Lunn. I turned it over and read on the back cover: ‘hilarious,’ ‘don’t read it on public transport,’ ‘a classic in childhood memoir.’ I asked Mum what she thought of it. She gave a shrug and said it was all right. No great vote there, I thought. I was going to put it down but absently flicked through the first chapter. The memoir was about growing up in a less than devout Catholic family. I borrowed the book and began reading. Soon I was hooked. It was true that Lunn’s book was funny – hilarious in parts – but that was not what held my attention. I was on the same track as Lunn’s experiences. More than that: I was riding beside him looking around at a familiar social environment as he told his story. It was an experience in reading that I had rarely had. As amusing as his often facetious account of his childhood was, it was his unwitting social history of the ‘long fifties’ (1945-1962) that gripped me.

Lunn grew up in the suburb of Annerley, just outside of Brisbane city centre. Other than a different suburb in a different capital city and a few years difference in age (he is five years older), my story would be roughly the same. We both grew up in Catholic families which meant our social environment and social prescriptions were fixed at least until the end of school. I think Lunn’s book has been appealing because any Catholic kid of the fifties would at once recognise his experiences and be amused regardless of whether he had kept the faith or abandoned it or was determined to rubbish it to the grave. Kids who weren’t Catholic would recognise what many of us got up to during that time, but would also be intrigued by a glimpse into the mysterious ways of the Catholic Church and its institutions, many of them thinking Lunn had abundantly confirmed their suspicions about its weirdness.

Continue reading The impetus for my family history series

The homosexual papacy?

Michael Voris of Church Militant comments on speculation that the Vatican is heading towards approving homosexual unions. The times of considering only heterosexual unions as legitimate is at an end. In a flourish of rich newspeak it declares:

‘A new and more adequate understanding of the human person imposes a radical reservation on the exclusive valuation of the heterosexual union in favour of an analogous reception of homosexuality and homosexual unions.’

As for the Old Testament denunciations of homosexuality? Well, they were mere ‘cultural features of that time’.

Evelyn Waugh's 'Love Among the Ruins'

Peace in a Plastic World

By Joshua Hren, First Things, 12 March 2019

Western secular culture “is a kind of hothouse growth,” Christopher Dawson wrote—an artificial culture that shelters us from “the direct impact of reality.” Neither birth nor death in secular societies occasions confrontation with ultimate realities. Rather, each brings us “into closer dependence on the state and its bureaucracy so that every human need can be met by filling in the appropriate form.” Evelyn Waugh’s Love Among the Ruins: A Romance of the Near Future dramatizes this sheltering. In this novella, “junior sub-official” Miles Plastic does clerical work for the “Department of Euthanasia” in a dystopian state. Plastic, whose surname epitomizes artificiality and malleability, ensures that those in line for a happy death do “not press ahead of their turn,” and adjusts “the television set for their amusement.” Although “a faint whiff of cyanide sometimes gave a hint of the mysteries beyond,” Plastic is content to empty the waste basket and brew tea for the patients. 

Because the “services” offered by the Department of Euthanasia are “essential,” Plastic has no feast on “Santa Claus Day” (December 25). After work he walks to the hospital to visit his lover Clara, who is with child, and finds “the hall porter . . .  engrossed in the television, which was performing an old obscure folk play which past generations had performed on Santa Claus Day, and was now revived and revised as a matter of historical interest.” The porter’s interest, Plastic supposes, is “professional,” for the show “dealt with maternity services before the days of Welfare.” The porter cannot look away from “the strange spectacle of an ox and an ass, an old man with a lantern, and a young mother.” “‘People here are always complaining,’” the porter says. “‘They ought to realize what things were like before Progress.’”

Read on…