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Exorcising the Filth of Evolution

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Exorcising the Filth of Evolution

 

We wish to state without qualification that it is in no way possible to believe in the truth of God’s Revelation while at the same time believing that man, in any way – either body or soul, is the result of an evolutionary process. This truth is established upon what is contained in both written Revelation and the Church’s infallible Magisterium.

From the perspective of Biblical Revelation, we have explored this subject in our article Receiving the Kingdom of God as a Little Child. It is impossible to consistently believe (in a non-contradictory way) in the infallibility of God’s Word in the Old Testament, and especially in the Book of Genesis, while believing in any sort of human evolution. In order for the reader to be convinced of this fact, we believe that this article deserves very careful study

From the perspective of the Church’s infallible Magisterium, we possess the doctrine taught by the Council of Vienne: “whoever shall hereafter dare to assert, maintain, or pertinaciously hold that the rational or intellectual soul is not per se and essentially the form of the human body, is to be regarded as a heretic“. As pointed out by Ludwig Ott in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, this dogma is de Fide (of the Faith) and therefore a truth of Revelation necessary to be believed by all Catholics, either explicitly or implicitly, for the retention of Catholic Faith. A human being is one essence, resulting from the substantial union of soul and body. Since the soul constitutes per se (in itself) the form of the human body, the human body cannot be said to exist previous to its reception of a human soul. To assert that any kind of body can exist without its specific form is nonsense. To believe therefore, as do many so-called “Theistic Evolutionists”, that God used an evolutionary process to first form an appropriate human body for the reception of a human soul is an impossibility. We repeat: the soul is in itself the form of a human body.

And if we should try to assert that God actually took a non-human, ape-like body (already possessing an animal “soul”), and somehow substituted a human soul for the existing animal soul, we are asserting the kind of stuff that makes for slapstick comedy. We might well imagine a newspaper cartoon depicting a Michelangelo-like image of God sticking a large hypodermic needle labeled “human soul” into the rear-end of an ape, while at the same time using a rather large foot to kick out an “ape-soul”.  It is no wonder, therefore, that someone like Joseph Ratzinger dismissed any such comedic attempts at reconciling human evolution with Catholic doctrine as being “intolerable” (Credo For Today, p. 38). This is why, of course, he was forced into acceptance of Teilhardian Evolution: namely, that “matter is the prehistory of spirit” (Ibid., p. 45), and that the advent of a spiritual soul, and therefore a human being, in the history of evolution was the result of a process of material “complexification”. Thus , he writes:

“This would then lead to the insight that spirit does not enter the picture as something foreign, as a second substance, in addition to matter: the appearance of spirit, according to the previous discussion, means rather that an advancing movement arrives at the goal that has been set for it….The clay became man at that moment in which a being for the first time was capable of forming, however dimly, the thought ‘God.’ The first ‘thou’ that – however stammeringly – was said by human lips to God marks the moment in which spirit arose in the world. Here the Rubicon of anthropogenesis was crossed. (Ibid. p. 46-47).

As we have pointed out in previous articles, such a dimly-conscious and “stammering” soul is in complete contradiction to the Catholic doctrine that man was created in a state of original justice, possessing sanctifying grace and the full rationality and integrity of will to be responsible for his upright relationship to God. As a consequence of denial of this truth, out the window goes all the doctrines concerning the Fall, the necessity of Christ’s sacrificial restoration of man to friendship with God (the possession of sanctifying grace and charity), the sacrificial nature of the Mass, and the entire sacramental system. And much more. We must come to the full realization that although it is certainly true that such things as legitimizing a married priesthood, female deacons and priests, contraception, divorce and remarriage, the inclusion of pagan theology and worship, and liberation theology are all particular agendas for the upcoming Amazonian Synod, all of this is only the beginning for the planned victory of Teilhardian Cosmic Evolutionary Theology within the Universal Church.

This Teilhardian-inspired evolutionary destruction of all that is Catholic is implicit in any sort of capitulation to evolutionary theory. We believe that at least some sort of nebulous belief in evolution is extraordinarily widespread among not only the Catholic laity, but also among seminarians, priests and the Catholic hierarchy. We might tend to downplay this presence because such belief is most often not well thought out, and therefore does not represent a fully conscious rejection of Catholic truth. But it is in fact the very “nebulosity” of such a belief which constitutes its destructiveness. It reflects and embodies a spiritual state of soul which amounts to an ongoing prostitution to the findings of bogus, reductive science, and therefore a profound vitiation of that gift of the Holy Spirit which is called fortitude, and which is entirely necessary for any Catholic in his or her combat with the spirit of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

We must add that this “fuzziness” is especially tragic in the case of young seminarians and newly ordained priests who have a deep desire to be orthodox Catholics, and who possess a strong passion for the restoration of all things Catholic. Such “nebulous” lack of clarity and prostitution to the “science” of this world is bound to exert a corrosive effect upon the work of the Holy Spirit in their future ministry. Most important, it immerses them in a poisonous doubt and confusion concerning the “goodness” of man as originally created by God, and as described in the Genesis account. In so doing, it necessarily poisons their confidence in the purity of God’s goodness Himself. And in the face of the geometrically accelerating effects of such scientifically reductive thinking upon virtually all of contemporary mankind, it is almost certainly bound to immerse them increasingly in that poison which produces the bitterness and torpor of old men with old and disillusioned hearts. In other words, it almost inevitably produces that loss of spiritual childhood necessary for the inheritance of the Kingdom of God.

As a remedy, we propose that such persons enter more deeply into the heart of Mary. Such impurity and filth still existing in the minds and hearts of those who truly wish to be immersed in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, cannot long continue to exist for those truly immersed in the purifying fire of her Immaculate Heart.

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A Course of Study: The Amazonian Synod and Teilhardian Evolutionary Theology, and What is Necessary for Our Lady’s Triumph.

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A Course of Study:

The Amazonian Synod and Teilhardian Evolutionary Theology,

And What is Necessary for Our Lady’s Triumph

 

Note: The following article is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the profound “operation of error” (2 Thess. 2: 10) which is now being orchestrated by means of the Amazonian Synod to wash over the universal Church and the minds and hearts of all believers through Teilhardian evolutionary theology. The second part proposes the only remedy in the intellectual realm as contained in the theology and metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas. The third part examines the only complete remedy: a united recourse to Mary and her Rosary, as the means by which each one of us, including the hierarchy, may be purified of our sins, infidelities, and prostitutions to the errors of this world. Over half of the voting-age Cardinals have now been appointed by Francis. And even among those appointed previous to Francis, virtually none possess either the understanding or fortitude which would enable them to resist what is now descending upon us. Our salvation is now completely dependent upon divine intervention.

We ask the reader to systematically and carefully read all that is recommended and linked below – just as one would for a college course. We believe it contains all that is required for understanding the depths of evil that are now upon us, and what is necessary for victory over both the enemy within and without.

 

The Depths of the Crisis

Much criticism has now issued forth from conservative and traditionalist Catholic circles concerning the upcoming Amazon Synod. These criticisms have focused on particular agendas: a married priesthood; ordination of women to the diaconate and priesthood; inculteration of indigenous pagan beliefs and practices into Catholic theology, moral praxis, and worship; and most especially, the fulfillment of Marxist-inspired Liberation Theology.

All of these agendas will of course play their part in this organized attempt to undermine and negate all that is truly of Christ and His Church. But we fail to understand the depths of the crisis which is now upon us if we fail to perceive that the ultimate program behind this Synod is not any of these partial agendas, but rather the subjection of all Catholic belief and praxis to Teilhardian evolutionary theology.

We must realize that the ultimate goal of Satan is not to make man into an atheist, a Marxist, a pagan, or even a Modernist. Rather, it is to convince him that he is destined under his own power to ascend to equality with God. The temptation of the Serpent to Adam and Eve was that “you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil”. (Gen. 3: 5). Man thus fell through an intellectual pride that sought to ascend to “Godhood” by becoming the sole source and determiner of what is true and false, what is good and what is evil. Man’s Fall, in other words, was constituted by an act which was the supreme rejection of what St. James meant when he wrote: “Every best gift, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.” (James 1: 17).

On the other hand, this fundamental pride (“the beginning of all sin”) on the part of man represented a prostitution to, and imaging of, the mind and heart of Lucifer who, in the Book of the Prophet Isaias, was addressed by God in the following words: “And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most high. (Isaias 14: 13-14). It is precisely this desire to ascend to a “likeness with the most high” which is the penultimate sin which will be consummated in the final embrace of the Father of Lies, and which will usher in the Antichrist.

It is Teilhardian cosmic evolutionary ascent, disguised as integral theology and ecology, which is now being promoted for adaption by the universal Church through the upcoming Amazonian Synod. We therefore offer below a series of articles (previously published on our website) which represent a course of Study in regard to this agenda.

Article I. The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns. This article contains our most detailed examination of the cosmic evolutionary theology of Teilhard de Chardin. It should be read first in order to understand the gravity of the present crisis. It also documents the embrace of this theology by Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI in his writings and public statements. Finally, it also reveals the Teilhardian agenda proposed in Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si, which is clearly the foundational document for what is planned for the Amazonian Synod.

Article II. The War Against the Human Soul: Teilhardian Evolution and the Amazonian Synod. Teilhardian evolution is constituted not only as a war against God, but also as a total war against the substantial dignity and sacredness of the individual human soul. It conceives of the human person in terms of evolutionary becoming, as opposed to the Catholic doctrine which defines the individual soul in terms of possessing a fixed substantial nature, created in the image of God, and possessing a present and immediate call to perfection of that nature in the truth and love of Christ. This is why, in his writings, Teilhard clearly embraced eugenics, and the necessity to “try everything” in the effort to produce the “super-human”. Such eugenics constitutes the dark underbelly of the false mercy underlying both secular “integral ecology” and Teilhardian theology.

Article III: The Amazonian Synod and Teilhardian Evolution: A Journey into the Heart of Antichrist. This article explores Teilhardian evolution and the Amazonian Synod in reference to the final confrontation between the Gospel and the anti-Gospel, and between Christ and Antichrist.

Article IV. Teilhardian Evolution and the Amazonian Synod: The Nest of the Antichrist. Teilhardian evolution is the culmination of 2,000 years of infiltration of Gnostic thinking into the minds and hearts of Catholics. Gnosticism can be seen as the nest which has long been nurturing that Beast which is now taking flight on the wings of Cosmic Teilhardian Evolution, and will culminate in the Antichrist. This article traces its extraordinary, and often unexpected and little-known, history within the Church and Christian civilization.

 

The Philosophical and Theological Remedy

The coming Amazonian Synod (October 6 – 27, 2019), titled Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology, is constituted as an agenda which has been long in preparation for a total inversion of the Catholic Faith. As the Synod’s Relator General Cardinal Emeritus Claudio Hummes (personally appointed by Pope Francis) said in an interview in La Civilita Catholica (May 13, 2019), “there is a need to rewrite Christology”. And further: “All theology and Christology, as well as the theology of the sacraments, are to be reread starting from this great light for which ‘all is interconnected, interrelated’.” As Nicaraguan Cardinal Madariaga, Coordinator of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinal Advisors, said in a January 20, 2015 talk at Santa Clara University, “The Pope wants to take this Church renovation to the point where it becomes irreversible”.

It is clear that what is being planned for the Amazon Synod is an agenda which seeks eventual implementation in the Universal Church. It is centered upon belief in a false universal inclusiveness and mercy, which is in turn grounded in a belief in Cosmic Teilhardian Evolution. As such, it demands the rejection of the vertical dimension of our Faith which is founded upon the Absolute nature of objective Truth and God’s Revelation

In several articles we have offered analysis of what is at the root of this complete inversion of the Catholic Faith: the surrender to reductive science, from which has ensued the rejection of Thomistic theology and the metaphysics of Being, and its replacement by Teilhardian Evolutionary theology.

Immediately below, we publish the link to a new article which represents a kind of primer on Thomistic Theology and Metaphysics. We believe it contains all that is necessary to establish the mind and heart firmly in the supremacy and immutability which is God’s Supreme Being and Truth, and also in the truly Catholic understanding of man created in His image and possessing a nature which must be defined in terms of substantial being rather than evolutionary becoming. As such, it contains all that is intellectually necessary to protect us from the flood of Teilhardian cosmic evolutionary thinking which now threatens to wash over Christ’s Church in the wake of the Amazonian Synod.

New Article (Posted August 25, 2019):The Antidote to Teilhardian Theology: The Restoration of the Supernatural: In Accord with the Teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

 

The Supernatural Solution

Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity. (1 Thess. 2: 20-11).

The above passage from Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians speaks of an operation of error sent by God as a chastisement for our iniquities and infidelities. We must presume that we are now in the midst of such a chastisement. It is not only they who have sinned, but also we who have sinned and are deserving of our heavenly-inflicted impotency before the present onslaught of this world upon the Church.

Most important, we must realize that virtually all the major institutions and organs of power in this world – financial, economic, political, educational, and media – are now in the hands of the enemies of Christ and His Church who promote the agenda of Antichrist. The solution to the present crisis – by far the worst in the history of the Church – has been entrusted to Our Lady and her Rosary alone.

It is a clear lesson of the history of God’s dealings with man, and the terrible chastisements that have befallen peoples and nations because of their betrayal of Christ and His Truth, that any sort of restoration and triumph of the Gospel over the forces of evil requires a united effort. Just as a supernatural unity was established between all men in their creation, such that the effects of the sin of one man descended to all, so any sort of restoration can only be accomplished through a united effort in imploring God’s grace and power over all the evil that is upon us. It should be obvious, therefore, that any notion that our own personal salvation, and the salvation and protection of our families and friends, is now to be secured by retreating into a “hiddeness”, or spiritual isolation, is a destructive delusion.

The unity necessary for deliverance is of course never even close to universal. Nor does it necessarily require the involvement of a majority of those who might nominally call themselves “Catholic”. But God certainly does demand a unity at least among those who truly desire to be faithful to Christ and His Gospel – a unity not only of belief, but of intense prayer for deliverance. That this unity is now profoundly lacking even among those who would consider themselves “conservative”, “orthodox”, or “traditional” Catholics is profoundly evident. Because of this division, we are being relegated to the status of impotency in the face of Antichrist.

The entire purpose of the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church is not just to convince faithful Catholics of the extraordinary gravity of our present crisis, but to effect this unity of prayer within the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and through the Rosary, for deliverance. It is also true, however, that we do not believe that such prayer will merit Our Lady’s supernatural Triumph unless it is established in honesty and free from duplicity. And this entails that it issue forth from hearts that first cry out, as did the Prophet Daniel in the Old Testament, “We have sinned”. The chastisement is upon Us, and we should not expect deliverance from without unless there is first purification within. In this respect we recommend reading the article: Our Chastisement, Our Blessing, and also our article St. Francis of Assisi: They Pretended to Love You so that They Might Leave You.

We therefore implore all readers to implement what is contained in our Original Proposal. If your pastors or bishops will not agree to this effort and event, then we ask that you gather at the doors of your Churches, at Shrines, or even in homes. Our victory can only come from above, and this only through that unity and purification established within the Immaculate Heart of Mary through her Rosary. It is only in the depths of such purification and unity that our prayers for the conversion, or defeat, of the enemy will be graced through Our Lady, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

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The Antidote to Teilhardian Evolution: The Restoration of the Supernatural in Accord with the Teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas

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Note:

The coming Amazonian Synod (October 6 – 27, 2019), titled Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology, is constituted as an agenda which has been long in preparation for a total inversion of the Catholic Faith. As the Synod’s Relator General, Brazilian Cardinal Emeritus Claudio Hummes (personally appointed by Pope Francis), said in an interview in La Civilita Catholica (May 13, 2019), “there is a need to rewrite Christology”. And further: “All theology and Christology, as well as the theology of the sacraments, are to be reread starting from this great light for which ‘all is interconnected, interrelated’.” And as Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Coordinator of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinal Advisors, said in a January 20, 2015 talk at Santa Clara University, “The Pope wants to take this Church renovation to the point where it becomes irreversible”.

It is clear that what is being planned for the Amazon Synod is an agenda which seeks universal implementation in the Church. It is centered upon belief in a universal inclusiveness and mercy (the ultimate “ecumenism”), which is in turn grounded in a belief in Cosmic Teilhardian Evolution. As such, it demands the rejection of the vertical dimension of our Faith which is founded upon objective, absolute Truth and God’s Revelation

In several articles we have offered analysis of what is at the root of this complete inversion of the Catholic Faith: the surrender to reductive science, from which has ensued the rejection of Thomistic theology and the metaphysics of Being, and its replacement by Teilhardian Evolutionary theology.

What follows represents a kind of primer in Thomistic Theology and Metaphysics. We believe it contains all that is necessary to establish our minds and hearts firmly in the supremacy and immutability of God’s Supreme Being and Truth, and also in the truly Catholic understanding of man as being created in His image, and possessing a nature which must be defined in terms of substantial being rather than evolutionary becoming. As such, it contains all that is necessary to protect us from the flood of Teilhardian cosmic evolutionary thinking which is now set to wash over Christ’s Church in the wake of the Amazonian Synod.

 

 

Introduction

            A great spiritual miasma has now descended upon the civilized world – a kind of poisonous ambience of culture and thought which has made it virtually impossible to perceive spiritual realities. Apart from an extraordinary grace from God, the only human weapon capable of dispersing this poisonous fog is the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. The great tragedy of our age is that for several decades this weapon has been largely placed under lock and key by those within the Catholic Church who have been assigned as its custodians and champions.

Since Vatican Council II, it has been the overwhelmingly prevalent view, especially among the Catholic hierarchy, that the Church must seek a new philosophical and theological basis for its teaching – an approach which will somehow bypass what is alleged to be the “intellectualism” of St. Thomas Aquinas. It has been repeated ad nauseum that St. Thomas’ approach to the faith is static, rigid, rationalistic, and even Pelagian, and that a new approach (usually leading back to St. Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, St. Bonaventure, John Duns Scotus) is necessary in order to restore some sort of original, gospel-centered “heart” to Catholic thinking and spirituality.

This criticism of Thomism extends especially to the question concerning man’s “deification.” It is the contention of these same people that the “rigid” categories of thought, which they claim are inherent to Thomistic thinking, allow absolutely no room for any possible communication between God and man, that they destroy the basis for mystical prayer and contemplation, and thus ultimately negate any possibility for final union between God and man.

This long article is being written expressly to refute this position. It aims to prove that just the opposite is indeed the case – that it is the rejection of Thomism which is largely responsible for the loss of the sense of the supernatural among Catholics. Largely, this loss of the transcendent dimension to human life has been due to the effect of reductive scientific analysis, and the rationalistic philosophy which is its constant companion, upon the thought processes of modern man. Only Thomistic philosophy can provide the intellectual orientation capable of shattering this reductiveness, of opening up our perceptions of created realities to the presence of God, and of re-establishing communion between God and man. Finally, only the metaphysics of St. Thomas can provide the proper foundation for understanding contemplative and mystical prayer, and the epistemological and psychological understanding of how the Beatific Vision of God’s Essence can be made possible for a creature like man who is infinitely beneath this Divine Essence.

This does not in any way imply a “rationalistic” approach to prayer. The various stages of union with God are all due to His gratuitous grace. Man can accomplish nothing supernaturally without this grace. But it is also true that God requires man’s cooperation, and that this cooperation intimately involves a true mental orientation towards both supernatural faith and created realities. Man’s mind and heart are doors through which God’s grace enters, and these can be seen as wonderfully open towards His action, or as tragically closed through intellectual orientations which make reception of these graces impossible or unfruitful.

This should not be construed to mean that every Catholic has to be a trained philosopher and theologian in order to pray properly. It does demand, however, that if modern man has deeply absorbed philosophical and theological attitudes and thought processes which have effectively accomplished the “closure” of which we have spoken above, then proper philosophical and theological re-formation are necessary in order to once again open his mind and heart to these truths in both the natural and supernatural orders.

It is also important to emphasize here that this negation of the transcendental dimension of human life has been effected not only by theological errors which affect one’s supernatural faith, but also through philosophical errors concerning the nature of created realities. In his Motu proprio on St. Thomas titled Doctoris Angelici, Pope Saint Pius X writes the following:

For just as the opinion of certain ancients is to be rejected which maintains that it makes no difference to the truth of the Faith what any man thinks about the nature of creation, provided his opinions on the nature of God be sound, because error with regard to the nature of creation begets a false knowledge of God; so the principles of philosophy laid down by St. Thomas Aquinas are to be religiously and inviolably observed, because they are the means of acquiring such a knowledge of creation as is most congruent with the Faith; of refuting all the errors of all the ages, and of enabling man to distinguish clearly what things are to be attributed to God and to God alone.”

This truth – that it is false philosophy which is at the root of modern man’s estranged relationship to God (and from himself, and his fellow man) – is a teaching which has been reiterated by many Popes over the past 250 years. In the year 1775, only 14 years before the French Revolution, Pope Pius VI, in his encyclical Inscrutabile, wrote:

Who would not be shocked when considering that We have undertaken the task of guarding and protecting the Church at a time when many plots are laid against orthodox religion, when the safe guidance of the sacred canons is rashly despised, and when confusion is spread wide by men maddened by a monstrous desire of innovation, who attack the very bases of rational nature and attempt to overthrow them? …yourselves, established as scouts in the house of Israel, see clearly the many victories claimed by a philosophy full of deceit. You see the ease with which it attracts to itself a great host of peoples, concealing its impiety with the honorable name of philosophy….While they pursue a remarkable knowledge, they open their eyes to behold a false light which is worse than very darkness. Naturally our enemy, desirous of harming us and skilled in doing so, just as he made use of the serpent to deceive the first human beings, has armed the tongues of those men with the poison of his deceitfulness in order to lead astray the minds of the faithful….In this way these men by their speech ‘enter in lowliness, capture mildly, softly bind and kill in secret (St. Leo the Great)’….”

The fact that Pope Pius VI states that these false philosophies have captured, blinded, and killed “a great host of peoples” clearly indicates that he is here speaking of specific ideas and mental orientations which have invaded entire cultures and made it impossible for man to be open to the supernatural dimension of human life. These murderous ideas are not therefore confined only to the world of professional philosophers and theologians, but rather are the cultural inheritance of the entirety of what was once Christian civilization. We will be dedicated here, therefore, to exploring those principles of Thomistic teaching necessary for the liberation of the minds and hearts of “modern man” per se. It is true that, within the Church especially, the re-embrace of these truths and principles must largely begin with the hierarchy, and with theologians and philosophers. It is only then that these liberating truths can be gradually, but systematically, “incarnated” in the minds and hearts of the faithful through all the various aspects of the Church’s life – evangelization, catechetics, sacramental life, worship, and prayer.

 

The Primacy of Truth

Pope Pius VI’s assertion that false philosophy “attacks the very bases of rational nature” is equivalent to stating that it denies both the existence of objective Truth and therefore man’s ability to know this truth.

The single greatest victim of post-Vatican II life in the Church is the perennial Catholic teaching concerning the primacy of the concept of Truth. Belief that God’s Being is primarily to be identified with Truth is largely no longer operative in the modern Catholic mind. The average contemporary Catholic would rather believe that God is Love, and leave it at that. The corollary of this error is a denial of the human mind’s aptitude and capacity for knowing this Truth, and the consequent denial that man’s ultimate happiness and fulfillment consist in the direct vision and knowledge of the Essence of God Who is Truth. This heresy finds its ultimate expression in agnosticism and atheism. But it also comes to fruition among believers in a form of what might be called Caritasism, which elevates love over truth, and reduces man’s ultimate union with God to a love that is not derived from an intellectual vision of the Divine Essence.

This denial of the primacy of truth necessarily distorts belief in the Triune God.

All traditional catechisms teach that man is created in the image of God, and that this “image” primarily resides in the fact that he possesses intellect and free will. But the analogous relationship of man to the Trinity does not end there. St. Thomas teaches that the Father is the source of all proceedings within the One Being of the Godhead. The Father, in knowing His own Being, for all eternity generates His only begotten Son as the Word which is the Infinite Knowledge of His own Being, and therefore is Infinite Truth. The Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of Love, proceeds from both the Father and the Son as the Spirit of Love between Them. Thus is the circle and communion of relationships within the Trinity.

For our purpose the important point to be made here is that the Holy Spirit must be seen as proceeding not only from the Father, but also from the Word as the Spirit of Truth. In other words, Love must proceed from Truth. This is why the Filioque (the Catholic doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son – Filoque) is absolutely essential to the Catholic understanding, not only of the nature of the Trinity, but also of the working of the Holy Spirit within the Church and in individual men.

The primacy of Truth over all of men’s other concepts and operations is, as it were, the main entrance door to the human soul which must remain wide open if it is to remain alive to God and to the spiritual life. This means, of course, that man must submit his mind and heart to God’s revealed truth, but it also has much more extensive ramifications. Most fundamentally, this primacy entails that there is an affinity – what Thomism speaks of as the “analogy of being” – between the mind and heart of man and the infinite Mind and Will of God.

This belief in the knowable, analogous relationship between man and the very essence of God is a defining characteristic of Catholicism. No other religion in the world is in possession of this belief. It does not exist in Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any type of Gnosticism; nor does it really exist in Eastern Orthodoxy or Protestantism.

This may seem an astounding claim, and it therefore deserves some explanation. Any religion which posits an Infinite God, or even an Infinite Abstract Absolute (such as in philosophical Hinduism), is faced with the problem of how to connect a finite creation to this Infinite Being. By definition, an Infinite Being cannot tolerate the existence of any “other” which would limit its infinitude. Nothing therefore more clearly reveals the poverty of other religions than an examination of their attempts to come to terms with this dilemma.

Hinduism, for instance, “solves” this problem by claiming that all which is perceived as being outside of the Infinite is an illusion or “maya.” Its ultimate formulation of belief is “Thou art That” – what is perceived as the individual soul (Atman) is really Brahman (the Absolute).The apparent difference, distinction, or separation between the two is an illusion. The consequences of such a belief should be fairly obvious. Any values associated with personal and individual lives must ultimately also be considered an illusion. The devaluation of all things human is a logical consequence.

Islam does not really try to solve the problem, simply because it is considered blasphemy to assign any nature whatsoever to God. Here, all that can be known is Allah’s will. This is the heresy of “voluntarism.” In Islam, it is even blasphemy to try to apply the primary principle of non-contradiction to God. The Koran is in fact redolent with the contradictions of Allah’s alleged will.

Gnosticism (in all its varieties) posits a monistic first principle, or God, which is also Infinite. The finite world comes into existence through some sort of decay (often through a very complex sequence of “births”, “emanations”, or “manifestations”), which is totally inexplicable when applied to an Infinite Being. Human attainment of perfection then becomes a process of “gnosis” – of knowledge or remembering – attained by asceticism and esoteric spiritual practices which negate the created world and accomplish a reunion with the Divine within.

The dominant form of Eastern Orthodox theology (Palamism) posits that the Essence of God is totally unknowable, unnamable, and therefore beyond all conceptualization. The only thing that man can ever know about the divine is exclusively associated with what are called the “Divine Energies” (which, since the Essence of God is completely unnamable, must logically include the three hypostasis or persons of the Trinity), which according to Palamite theology are, uncreated and eternal, and yet, inexplicably, an infinity of infinities beneath the Essence of God, and are in no way to be identified with the Essence of God. These Energies are in the world, and within man, and require a process akin to Gnostic asceticism and apophatism (negation of all positive attributions to the Essence of God) in order to lift the veils preventing a union with the Divine. This Divine is identified with the Holy Spirit, Who does not proceed from Christ (denial of the Filioque is an absolute dogma for all Eastern Orthodox), and is considered by some Orthodox writers to be the very Soul of the World. In other words, Eastern Orthodoxy is constituted as a syncretism of Gnosticism and Christianity.

As for Protestantism, Luther, for one, considered the human mind to be irretrievably fallen and corrupt, and totally incapable of any solution to such a question. The Word of God (the Bible) thus tends to become something akin to what the Koran is for the Muslim – an expression of God’s Will and Truth, with no basis in rationality or intellectual vision.

Something absolutely distinct, different and liberating is present in Thomistic Catholicism. Thomas teaches, for instance, that there are names or attributes which we apply to God – names such as One, Good, Truth, and Love – which are substantially applied to God. Here are his words, by which the analogical relationship between the human and the Divine is wonderfully expressed:

Therefore we must hold a different doctrine – viz., these names signify the divine substance, and are predicated substantially of God, although they fall short of a full representation of Him….So when we say, God is good, the meaning is not, God is the cause of goodness, or, God is not evil; but the meaning is, Whatever good we attribute to creatures, pre-exists in God, and in a more excellent and higher way.” (I, Q.3, A.2)

Our comprehension of the depth of meaning contained in these names and attributes is certainly profoundly limited by our own finitude as contrasted with the Infinitude of God, but the names and the analogies are real. In direct opposition to Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic theology asserts that these names are not something which must eventually be shed in favor of an apophatic (negative) spirituality which denies all conceptualization of God. In other words, there is an affinity between the nature of God and the nature of man’s soul that is profoundly real. This reality comes to its ultimate fulfillment in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and it is fulfilled in the human soul through that final union with Christ accomplished in the Beatific Vision.

 

Creation Ex Nihilo

The entire structure of Catholic teaching concerning the affinity which exists between the human soul and the nature of God – an affinity which enables man in this life to know substantive things about the Essence of God, and to actually possess direct knowledge and vision of the Divine Essence in Heaven – is erected upon a proper understanding of the Catholic doctrine creation ex nihilo (creation from nothing).

The doctrine creation ex nihilo is absolutely unique to the Judaeo-Christian tradition. No other religion has postulated anything even remotely similar. It can be known only through Divine Revelation. But it is also true that, although it has been historically accepted by virtually all those who consider themselves Christians, it is little understood, and even less integrated into a consistent theology and metaphysics.

The doctrine of creation ex nihilo simply states that God, through an Act of His infinite Intellect and Will, created everything which exists outside of His Divine Being from nothing. It also demands that we affirm that every created thing possesses no independent being of its own apart from the continuing sustaining-creative Act of God. St. Thomas in fact teaches that, apart from the aspect of initial creation, God’s sustaining Act is of the same nature as His creative Act. When this is properly understood, it has immense consequences for our understanding of many other Catholic doctrines: the metaphysical and physical constitution of created things, the nature of free will, the doctrines concerning Divine Providence and predestination, and the doctrine concerning the Beatific Vision. These topics we will be exploring in subsequent sections of this article.

For the present, we need only to grasp the extent to which the doctrine of creation ex nihilo, when properly understood, makes knowledge of and communication with God possible, without this knowledge compromising the Infinitude of God, and without it in any way confusing or mixing the Being of God with the created being of creatures. The key to this understanding is the Thomistic concept of participation, which acknowledges that God is able to create spiritual beings in His own image who, with the aid of God’s created graces, possess the aptitude for intellectual knowledge and love of God – a knowledge and love which elevates the soul to union with God without there being any necessity of identifying the being of man with the Supreme Being of God. We will be exploring this subject in more depth when treating of St. Thomas’ teaching on man’s glorification in the Beatific Vision. However, in order to establish the proper foundation for our understanding of man’s final destiny, we must now turn our attention to St. Thomas’ Metaphysics.

 

Thomistic Metaphysics

We so heartily approve the magnificent tribute of praise bestowed upon this most divine genius that We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own.” ( Pius XI, Studiorum Ducem)

“We therefore desired that all teachers of philosophy and sacred theology should be warned that if they deviate so much as a step, in metaphysics especially, from Aquinas, they exposed themselves to grave risk.” (Pius X, Doctoris Angelici)

          “Metaphysics” can tend to be an intimidating word to most Catholics. It is usually defined as the science of “being, considered simply as being,” a definition which itself can seem imposing. Since metaphysics is considered the basis of all other philosophical inquiry and disciplines, it is therefore imperative that we begin by eliminating much of the unnecessary “scariness” concerning this subject.

The word itself is a composition derived from two Greek roots: meta, meaning “beyond” or “after”; and physika, meaning “physical.” But its actual meaning is derived from Aristotle’s philosophical works. After treating of “Physics” – the analyzable and quantifiable nature of physical things – Aristotle went on to treat of the deeper realities of things (including physical things) which take us beyond quantification, and beyond all the analytical tools which we would now consider to be the methods of the various analytical empirical sciences. The word “metaphysics” literally means, therefore, “beyond physics.” However, we must be very clear from the beginning of our inquiry that this does not at all mean that metaphysics deals exclusively with things that are beyond the “physical.” In fact we shall begin by stating this primary principle: without understanding the metaphysical being of created things, one is incapable of understanding the substantial nature of any created substance whatsoever.

The first thing we need to know about metaphysics, therefore, is that the word itself is dedicated to a science which establishes the truth that no physical substance is reducible to analysis by any physical science. In other words, there is something “beyond” analytical physics, chemistry, etc. in the very composition of every physical substance itself.

Such a notion should be immediately thrilling to any Catholic, and an immediate incentive to look into this subject further. The very idea that there is something “transcendent” (in the sense of “transcending” physical analysis and quantification) as the defining essence of every created substance shatters all scientific reductionism and opens up our entire world to the presence of the supernatural. It restores divine poetry (and every other true form of beauty and goodness) to the world. Metaphysics is, in other words, the gateway to the supernatural. It is the gateway to the good, the beautiful, and the true. We therefore ask some patience from the reader while we explore the various steps in this metaphysical journey.

 

The Two Fundamental Kinds of Being

We have already spoken of the “analogy of being” in our application of certain human concepts to the substantial nature of God. These concepts and names are “analogical” rather than “univocal” (terms or concepts that apply equally and exactly in the same way) simply because there are two fundamental kinds of being which can never be mixed or confused “in themselves.” These two types of being are Infinite Being and finite being. The former is possessed by God alone; the latter is possessed by everything else that exists.

There are certain metaphysical concepts (concepts regarding being) which can only be applied to Infinite Being – to God. In understanding these concepts, we open up a vast field for understanding the being of created things, and especially of man.

The absolutely primary metaphysical concept in regard to God is what is called His Absolute Divine Simplicity. There can be no composition in God – God cannot have “parts.” As human beings who are by our very nature “compositions,” and limited in intelligence, we necessarily apply a variety of very valid concepts and names to God: Intellect, Will, Truth, Love, Beauty, Goodness, Justice, etc. In God, however, these attributes are all one in the Unity of His Absolute Divine Simplicity. St. Thomas writes:

The perfect unity of God requires that what are manifold and divided in others should exist in Him simply and unitedly. Thus it comes about that He is one in reality, and yet multiple in idea, because our intellect, apprehends Him in a manifold manner, as things represent Him.” (I, Q.13, A. 4).

God therefore is His Intellect, is His Will, is His Truth, Is His Love, etc., and all these are absolutely united in His Divine Simplicity. In human beings, on the other hand, these faculties and concepts are manifold, because human beings are themselves composites. They possess the distinct faculties that we know as Intellect and Will. Further, such things as Truth, Love, Goodness, and Beauty truly are distinct values and concepts.

The second concept which we must be very clear about in regard to the Infinite Being of God is that He is Pure Act. We must understand, however, that when we use this concept in regard to God, we must be careful not to confuse its scholastic usage with many of its connotations in English. Scholastic metaphysics distinguishes between “Act” and “Potency.” When we use the phrase “Pure Act” as a scholastic concept, we are saying that in God there is no “potency” or potential to become something different or attain to something different (such as knowledge, love, etc) which has not been integral to God’s Essence for all eternity. In other words, when we say that God is Pure Act, we are saying that God for all eternity is fully and totally actualized. There is, in other words, no potency whatsoever in God. Very simply put, God does not change.

Something very different is the case with creatures. Every created being possesses both act and potency. The fact that it possesses “act” is attested to by the simple fact that it exists. The equally obvious truth that it possesses “potency” is attested to by the fact that it is always subject to future change. A tree, for instance, can undergo many “accidental” changes (such as size and quantity, ) which still leave it a tree; or it can also undergo a substantial change by which it dies and ceases to exist as the substance “tree.” Similarly, a human being undergoes all sorts of changes during his life, even to the point of the death of his body. What is more, he is always in potency towards his final destiny – whether it be union with God, or eternal condemnation.

This brings us to a third concept, closely related to the distinction between Act and Potency: the distinction between Essence and Existence. Every created substance is created with an essential form which determines what it is as a substance (we will be looking into the concepts of “form” and “substance” shortly). There may, however, be a very great difference between the essence of the thing and its actual present existence. For instance, the essence or substantial form of a human being is a rational soul. If a person has suffered an injury to the head and is presently in a coma, his present existence is not rational, but that does not at all deny his humanity or the fact of his still possessing a rational soul as his essence. But it is not necessary that we look only to the exceptional in order to discover this distinction between essence and existence in our lives. Something similar happens to each one of us when we fall into a deep sleep at night. Therefore, with all created things, we must always maintain the distinction in them between essence and existence, just as we must hold firmly to the distinction between act and potency. As we shall see shortly, the failure to acknowledge or retain these distinctions between act and potency, and between essence and existence, totally destroys our ability to explain substantial stability in the midst of change. Without these distinctions a tree becomes something substantially different every time it grows a new leaf, a person becomes a new substance every time he takes a nap.

We have carefully noted that there is no potency in God – He is Pure Act. This can be explained only by the fact that His Existence is His Essence. When Moses asked God what he should say to the Israelites when they asked of him the Name of God, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO AM. God, in other words, is the One Being Whose Essence is identical with His Existence. His Essence is purely actualized in His Existence. He is Pure and Supreme Being.

Having made these fundamental distinctions in regard to the Infinite Being of God and the finite being of man, we are now prepared to examine the mystery of creation itself.

 

Cosmology

The philosophical discipline devoted to the study of created being is called “Cosmology” or “The Philosophy of Nature.” As, we shall see it is a study intimately related to metaphysics, and profoundly dependent upon metaphysics for its fundamental analysis of the concept of being. It is here, especially in our study of the constitution of physical things, that we will see the power of Thomism to shatter scientific reduction, and the means to restore the transcendental dimension to human life and thinking.

Both Aristotle and St. Thomas establish that there exist ten fundamental categories of being: one category of substantial being, and nine categories of accidental being. Again, we must caution from the beginning of our study not to confuse the common use of the English word “accidental” with its use in scholastic philosophy.

Substance is a reality which is “suited to exist as itself, and not as the mark, determinant, or characteristic of some other thing.” We can immediately perceive that there is only one category of substance since all those things which we consider as substance fit under this definition.

Accidents, on the other hand, are realities “which are not suited to exist as themselves, but exist as the mark, determinant, modification, or characteristic of some other thing, and ultimately of a substance.” There are nine categories of accidents: quantity, quality, relation, action, passion, place, time, posture, habit. We can now see why we must be very careful to distinguish scholastic usage of this word from its English connotations. Accidents are real being, and are not something to be considered “accidental,” unimportant, or non-essential to our understanding of created things. Accidents are said to inhere in substance. Substance is said to “stand under” the accidents of which it is the subject.

If this seems to be getting too complicated, then we should realize that what Aristotle and St. Thomas have put into philosophical terminology is simply common sense. We know that somehow the mature tree possesses identity with the seed or seedling, despite the fact that there have been innumerable “accidental” but very real changes in its being. The only way of explaining this “substantial” identity in the midst of all this change is to philosophically and scientifically posit this distinction between substantial and accidental being. Without this distinction the whole concept of substantial reality is lost, not only to science, but also to simple human experience and values. All notion of substantial reality becomes lost in the ever present reality of change.

At the same time, this real distinction between accidental and substantial being is equally important for us to explain change in the midst of permanence. This is a philosophical problem which paralyzed much of Greek Philosophical thinking up to Aristotle. Such philosophers as Xenophanes, Parmenides, and Zeno taught that all change was an illusion (only immutable Being was real – shades of philosophical Hinduism)), while the philosopher Heraclitus taught the equally absurd doctrine that only change was real – there is no stability or substantiality to anything.

This problem with explaining the relationship between substantial permanence and real change does not, however, reach to the depths of the folly of pre-Aristotelian Greek philosophy. What this philosophy effected was a profound intellectual and spiritual disorder within the soul of Western man, a disorder which has plagued Christianity throughout its 2,000 year history, and which now appears to be virtually fully triumphant. Therefore, it will be much to our advantage to spend some time in examination of this disorder in order to facilitate understanding of its Thomistic remedy.

 

The Greek Perversion

It is part of the intellectual accoutrement of every American school boy and girl that much of what constitutes the modern values which we hold most dear – freedom, democracy, the primacy of respect due to the individual rather than the collective, and the real beginnings of what we recognize as rational thought and philosophy – began with the Greeks. Somehow, according to this popular perspective, it all boils down to the idea that what we owe to the Greeks is some deep internal change within the mind and heart of man by which science began its long march of triumph over superstition.

All serious historians of science and its affects upon modern thought conclude that it all began with the “Greek miracle” over 2500 years ago, specifically with the philosopher Thales and the MIlesian School . It is quite wrong to place these early Greek philosophers in a category which only perceives their errors and naivety. What began with them was something radically new and different. It consisted in a proposal to the human spirit that truth was to be found only in that which human reason could discover and confirm. Daniel-Rops put it this way:

Athens and Jerusalem are the epitome of two contradictory attitudes of the spirit: one calls only on the intellect for an explanation of the world, of life, and of man, while the other relies exclusively on faith to reach the same ultimate goal. In the fifth century B.C., these two paths are pursued independently, totally oblivious to each other. They will eventually collide…; the ultimate showdown was to build up through a lengthy journey across history.”

Much of this is true enough. Yet, this explanation does not truly penetrate to the real depths of what its admirerers call the “Greek Miracle,” but which, as we shall see, is much more appropriately called the “Greek Inversion” (which is at the same time a profound perversion).

Virtually all of the early Greek philosophers practiced one form or another of a very strange scientific reductionism. Imagine, for instance, gazing at two very different things standing next to one another – let us say, the extraordinary thing that is a fully flowering peach tree and a very large boulder – and concluding that the substantial natures of both of these things are reducible to water. You would then have the “science” of the Greek philosopher Thales. Or, picture a large substantial thing called an elephant, and imagine that its substance is entirely reducible to air, and you would have the science of Anaximenes. Finally, but certainly not exhausting the list, imagine that all things, including water and ice, are reducible to fire, and you have the Greek Perversion as practiced by Heraclitus.

Now, we should realize that something truly extraordinary and perverted has happened to the intellectual soul of man in order for him to do such a thing – something on the scale of that original perversion and inversion by which Adam and Eve attempted to become “like gods” in replacing God as the source of the knowledge of good and evil. The one thing which we should notice that all of these “sciences” have in common is their philosophical monism – the reduction of everything in the universe to a unity of one material substance. The interesting thing is that each of these gentlemen also considered their “One” divine. Heraclitus even identified his “fire” with “logos” – the divine principle of reason in the universe. All of this would indeed seem to be the ultimate form of that idolatry described by St. Paul in Romans 1, in which man “changed the glory of the incorruptible God” into the likeness of created things. The significant difference, however, is that these new objects of man’s “glorification” are not the idols of birds, beasts, and snakes which we associate with the Old Testament concept of idolatry, but rather idols concocted of his own ideas, conceptualizations, and quantifications. Idolatry, in other words, has been fully internalized, and in this process the entire cosmos has been inverted.

The roots of this fundament inversion – this turning of everything upside down – lie in what might be called a fundamental “philosophical idolatry”: the identification of accidental reality with substance. This might at first be a little difficult to see. Water, for instance, is not an accident, but rather a real substance. But science (or the reductive philosophy that accompanies it) never knows water as water, just as it never knows man as man or atom as atom. If Thales had really known water as water he would never have tried to make it into a peach tree or a boulder. Science can only know the quantification (and the other 9 categories of accidental being) of a thing. Pythagoras, because of this inbuilt reality of the scientific method, even went so far as making “number” the substantial essence of all things. But in identifying the accidents of the things with their substantial nature – whether those accidents are of water, air, fire, number, or atoms – and in identifying the accidents of any one of these substances as the unitary substance behind all created reality, reality is perfectly inverted. Such “science” makes accidents into substance, and makes substance into an accidental appearance for which we have no explanation except the subjectivity of our own minds. Thus we end up in that philosophical idealism which will plague Western man from Plato through all the nightmare of relatively modern Western Philosophy – from the Nominalism of Ockham to contemporary Phenomenalism.

This whole tradition of reductive analytical science can be viewed as sort of a “diabolical transubstantiation.” After engaging in such analysis, accidents remain as the real substance, and our normal perception of substantial reality is reduced to “appearances.” Analytical science then becomes the perfect anagram of reality, in which the “word” or “logos” of God’s creation is perfectly inverted, turned upside down, and read backward. I fully believe that the same force which draws a Man to say the Mass backward or invert a Crucifix is the same as that which was at the source of the “Greek Miracle.”

In other words, what is effected by the Greek Perversion is not, as postulated by Daniel-Rops, merely a substitution of rational knowledge for faith. Rather, what occurs is the most profound perversion of the inner consciousness and intellect [and thus “rationality” itself) of man at a level which is bound eventually to destroy any possibility of faith in God. This, of course, is Satan’s Master Plan. He desires not only the destruction of myriads of individual souls, but also that final alteration of human consciousness which makes it impossible not only to believe in God, but even to desire Him.

In the ancient Greek world, this reductionism reached its pinnacle in the Atomism of Leucippus, Democritus and, most of all, Epicurus, who formulated a logical structure to the theory of Atomism which would remain practically unchanged for the next 2,000 years. With Atomism, philosophical Idealism is in a very real sense completed. Substance becomes totally invisible and unrelated to normal human perception, objective reality ceases to exist as something graspable by the human intellect, subjectivity and idealism triumph, and, matter replaces God as being eternal and infinite.

With some notable exceptions, Atomism was suppressed in the West by Christian realism and the power of the Church from the 1st century AD until the time of the Renaissance. Since the Renaissance consisted largely of the “reawakening” of Greek and Roman culture and thought, the reemergence of Atomism was bound to happen. It exploded upon the scene at the very beginning of the Renaissance in the person of William of Ockham. The great significance of Ockham is that his Atomism was united to his Nominalism, and thus constituted a specific attack upon the metaphysics of St. Thomas. From that point we can gaze upon an ever-increasing tide of Atomism engulfing the West – people like Bruno, Bacon, Galileo, Gassendi, Descartes, and onward through all the empiricists, phenomenologists, etc. We must also include Luther among the Nominalists – he was educated at the University of Erfurt, which was under the control of professors who were Nominalists. Luther himself detested Thomism and opted for the Nominalism of Ockham, which denied the minds ability to grasp universals and the substantial forms of real things.

The immediate victim of the Greek Inversion is the epistemological (epistemology is the branch of philosophy which deals with how we know things, and with the validity of our knowledge) health of man’s mind itself. To convince a man that what he ordinarily perceives as substantive is only subjective, and that what is truly substantive are the reductive formulations, particles, or waves of scientific analysis is to destroy the reliability and objectivity of all of man’s perception and knowledge. The ultimate victim, however, of this intellectual nightmare is faith and trust in God Himself. If God created man to see delusions, then the ultimate delusion must be the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Revelation.

What began as ambrosia for wooly-headed philosophers 2500 years ago is now the daily bread of our children. Every child in the public educational system of this country is taught a reductive scientism which produces in them a state of epistemological schizophrenia. And since one can only will on the basis of what one knows, this also results in increasingly widespread moral inversion and perversion.

If we wish to know why we have with us the wholesale destruction of what was once Christian civilization; if we wish to know why we now have the murders of millions of the unborn every year, wholesale pornography, child-abuse (and yes, priestly pedophilia), rampant homosexuality, children murdering their fellow students and teachers in school shootings, the drug problem, increased suicide rates, a vast loss of civil courtesy and honesty, the virtual total loss of all public morality, and an endless list of other evils, we need only to look at the common link that connects all these evils. Human beings and societies have simply lost that basic spirituality and rationality founded upon belief in the substantial reality of man’s natural perception, which in turn has profoundly undermined man’s ability to believe in any notion of objective, absolute Truth. Consequently, they have also lost the moral will capable of following through upon what the mind perceives to be absolutely true. This loss of mind and will is the absolutely logical fruit of a worldwide scientific “ambience” which reduces all of creation and all human beings and their activities to blind material forces. Nothing is absolute, nothing is substantial, and the human heart and mind react with confusion, despair, irrationality, perversion, and violence.

 

The Thomistic Remedy

The Greek perversion has as its root cause one fundamental metaphysical error: belief that the nature of substance is quantifiable by the human mind. It was the genius of Aristotle and St. Thomas to see that this is not the case. But such a conclusion should not have taken genius. It is really a matter of common sense. The notion, for instance, that the marvelous substance which we call water could in any way be equated with, or reduced to, a particular atomic structure is absolutely absurd. There is simply no reasonable way that the human mind can equate electrons, spinning at comparatively immense distances around protons and neutrons, with what it knows as the substance water.

But there remains one more level to be explored in our attempt to understand the metaphysical constitution of created, material substances. The proper distinction between substantial and accidental being, while freeing us from the absurdity of trying to equate substance with any sort of quantification or measurement, does not yet reveal to us what substance is in itself. It does not reach to the depths of the reality constituted by physical things. It therefore remains for us to look more deeply into the reality of substance itself.

The Thomistic-Aristotelian term which explains the nature of substance is hylemorphism, this word being composed of two Greek words (hyle and morphe), meaning matter and form respectively. In scholastic terminology, we would say that any physical substance is the union of primal matter with substantial form. The philosopher Paul Glenn offers an explanation of these two principles of any physical substance:

Now all bodies – solid, liquid, gaseous, living, non-living – are at one in this point: they are bodies. There is something, therefore, in all bodies, some substratum, some substantial principle, which is common to them: it makes bodies. There is also in bodies something substantial which distinguishes them into different species or essential kinds of bodies. By reason of the first substantial principle each body is a body; by reason of the second substantial principle each body is this essential kind of body. The first substantial principle is called Prime Matter; the second is called Substantial Form.”                                                          (The History of Philosophy, p. 90-91).

There is a point to be made here which is absolutely crucial to our discussion concerning the nature of all created things. The reader will remember that in the Aristotelian-Thomistic scheme of things there are only ten categories of being – one of substance and nine of accidents. We are now at the point of analyzing physical substance itself. We are therefore ontologically “below” or “previous” to any category of being. Substantial Form and Prime Matter are not to be considered as in any way independent being, or as in any way “existents” previous to their union in some particular substance. Substantial Form and Primary Matter, while being totally real and necessary to our understanding of the nature of any physical thing, and of God’s creative action, are not in themselves to be considered any sort of being. They are, in the terminology of St. Thomas, principles of being.

And yet we know that these principles of being are absolutely necessary to our understanding any physical thing. It is our everyday experience that when we encounter any substantial thing, we are face to face with something that must have a form which makes it what it is and not something else. A cow is a cow, and not a man or molecule of water, or a banana. Yet this form is not identifiable with anything (including atomic structure) that we can quantify or with any of the other accidental categories of being. At the same time, we also encounter the fact that this thing is “material”, and that the form itself would not exist without being informed in matter. It is therefore integral to all our knowledge of created, physical things that these two principles of being are real. And since these principles cannot be categorized as any sort of existent being, it is at this point that any created substance devolves upon God’s creation of all things from nothing. It is here that the human intellect hovers over what scripture refers to as the glorious, mysterious, hidden, and secret work of God. We must be clear, however, that these two principles of created being are not in any way to be identified with God’s Being. They are the first principles of being encountered by the human intellect within creation itself.

With these two principles, we also stand at the source of all integrity and truth in philosophical knowledge. We are at that point where the human mind assents to two truths which are absolutely essential to both human and divine integrity. These two truths are:1) that every created substance is what it is simply because God willed its creation, as such, out of nothing and, 2) that God is absolutely distinct from all created reality. These two truths are encapsulated in one absolutely defined dogma of the Catholic Faith: Creation ex nihilo. And it is here where, I think, all heresy begins.

It is this wondrous, mysterious, and hidden point that human hubris finds so difficult to leave alone. There can be no creation ex nihilo if this point is violated, and yet it is astounding the extent to which Christian philosophers of all sorts of stamps and denominations, who would never have admitted to denying the doctrine of God’s creation from nothing, have violated this point in their metaphysics.

Reductive science is the most destructive heresy of our times. But it is more than a heresy. It is, as we have already pointed out, an ambience, a poisoned atmosphere, which modern man takes in with virtually every breath. This poison convinces modern man not only that material realities are reducible to accidental and quantifiable being, but it also creates that intellectual ambience which convinces him that he himself is reducible to accidental properties – that his love is reducible to hormonal reactions; his aspirations for truth reducible to conditioned responses; his belief in God a neurological reaction to fear and uncertainty.

But its most destructive effect is that it eliminates that fundamental mysteriousness about life and creation which leads a person to think about and hunger after God. This is why there is now so much indifference towards God. And this is also why, despite all the scientific and technological advance of our time, man becomes more and more confused not only as to his own nature, but also as to the nature of the smallest substance. It is not that analytical science is intrinsically evil, but rather that it is intrinsically superficial simply because quantitative analysis can never touch or understand the nature of any substance created by God out of nothing.

That modern, reductive analytical science has generated superficiality, confusion, and despair is not our conclusion alone. Anyone interested in this subject would do well to read John Horgan’s best-selling book The End of Science (Broadway Books, 1996). Mr. Horgan, former senior writer at Scientific American, interviewed several dozen of the most famous and prize-winning scientists in the world as to their views regarding the “meaning of science”, the “end of science”, etc. He discovered and chronicles what he calls a world of “ironic” science: a world in which virtually no one is sure of any reality, or that there even is such a thing; there is total confusion in regard to the science of epistemology – whether there is or can be any true correspondence between the human mind and objective reality (or whether this is even a valid distinction or question); there appears to be a radical discontinuum between the world of ordinary human experience and perception and the “scientific” apprehension of things; and yet most, including Mr. Horgan, still continue to believe in the supremacy of analytical science as an “unfolder” of the depths of reality, while at the same time holding to a contemptuous view of religious faith (and certainly Thomistic philosophy).

This is the world that science has built, and it is the world which now faces a decay and dissolution which will make any previous holocaust appear miniscule. The “scientific” experiments of Communism and Nazism are only mild precursors and foreshadowers of what is yet to come unless the hold is broken upon this “Brave New Scientific World,” and we return to a truly Christian civilization, which achieved perfection of intellectual expression in the great synthesis of St. Thomas Aquinas.

 

In Him We live, and Move, and Are

At the very center of the magnificent Thomistic philosophical understanding of man and his analogical relationship to God is the beautiful passage from the book of Acts in which St. Paul, while addressing the Athenians, proclaims:

That they should seek God, if happily they may feel after him or find him, although he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and are.” (Acts 17:27)

The only philosophical approach, the only metaphysics, which makes possible this intimacy with God, without this in any way involving a false pantheistic identification of human nature with the Divine, is that understanding of creation which sees the substantial nature of all created substances as being the action of God creating and sustaining them out of nothing every moment of their existence. St. Thomas writes:

I answer that, God is in all things; not, indeed, as part of their essence, nor as an accident; but as an agent is present to that upon which it works…Now since God causes this effect in things not only when they first begin to be, but as long as they are preserved in being; as light is caused in the air by the sun as long as the air remains illuminated…. Therefore as long as a thing has being, God must be present to it, according to its mode of being Hence it must be that God is in all things, and innermostly.” (Q. 8, A.1).

Again, Thomas writes: “He is in all things as giving them being, power, and operation,” this is in accord with the passage from the Book of Isaiah: “Lord…Thou hast wrought all our works in us.” (Isaias 26: 12).

Again, all of this makes sense. The Infinitude and Perfection of God require that absolutely nothing in the universe exist independent of Him. In the Epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul writes:

For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things were created by him and in him.” (Col 1:16).

This intimacy between man and the creative-sustaining power and presence of God has immense consequences for the integrity and reliability of the human mind. St. Thomas writes:

And thus we must needs say that the human soul knows all things in the eternal types, since by participation of these types we know all things. For the intellectual light itself which is in us, is nothing else than a participated likeness of the uncreated light, in which are contained the eternal types. (I, 84, 5).

In other words, the reason we possess a true knowledge of substances is because God created the intellectual light that is within us in such a way that, despite the fact that our minds possess no innate knowledge at birth, they are created and structured in such a way as to perceive the substantial nature of things whose types or substantial forms exist eternally in the mind of God. In other words, with the metaphysics and epistemology of St. Thomas, the whole world becomes real once again. At the same time, the world of epistemological skepticism which began with the Greeks, blossomed in the philosophy of Descartes, flowered into subjective madness with Kant, and invaded the Church in the form of Phenomenalism – all this subjectivism, and the mental confusion and relativism which are its fruit, are put to route. In other words, sanity is restored to the human race.

But much more is given to us through Thomistic philosophy than mere natural sanity. Man has once against been connected, in the deepest faculty of his soul – his intellect – to God. Man’s knowledge is reliable because it is rooted in a participated likeness in the light of God’s intellect. And because we can now truly believe that man sees creation as God sees it, we can now also believe in the possibility of man seeing God even as man is seen by God.

 

Man’s Deification

God, Whose intimacy to us is such that He sustains us in our natural being every moment of our lives, has yet willed for us a union with Him which infinitely surpasses our natural being and power. He has willed our deification – the vision of, and communion with, His Divine Essence.

In order to philosophically and theologically penetrate into how this can be possible we must once again emphasize the extent to which the concept of “being” and “analogy of being” is absolutely central to our understanding of both God and man.

God is the One Supreme Being and, as we have seen, this “Being” possesses a specific Nature. God created man in His own image and, therefore, the fundamental principle of man’s existence, as it is in God, is the principle of being – a being with a specific nature. Who man is, is determined by God creating his substantial form or essence out of nothing. Like God, man’s essence we find expressed in his nature. And so we say that man is created in the image of God because he possesses a spiritual soul with the faculties of intellect and Will. The proper object of the intellect is truth; the highest expression of the will is love. Therein we have what Catholic theologians term “the Analogy of Being, in that man is created with the faculties and the destiny to image his God Who is Truth and Love.

This truth is immensely important for understanding man’s relationship to God, and the possibility of his deification. The essence of God is not totally incomprehensible to man. The essence of God is transcendent, but not remote. As we have seen, the Analogy of Being provides us with a way of understanding that there is an intimate relationship between our highest values and Who God is in His Essence. It also provides us, as we shall see, with the ability to understand that there is a certain proportion (St. Thomas’ word) between God and man which is the basis upon which God’s Grace can enable us to see and be united with His very Essence in the Beatific Vision.

This vision of the Essence of God is made possible, first of all, because God is not unknowable, but, on the contrary, is infinitely knowable. St. Thomas writes:

Since everything is knowable according as it is actual, God, Who is pure act without any admixture of potentiality, is in Himself supremely knowable.” (I, 12, A.1).

As we have seen, this concept concerning the infinite “knowability” of God is in direct opposition to the rest of the world’s major religions.

Second, this vision of the Essence of God is possible because there is true proportion between the intellect of man and the Essence of God. This “proportion” extends to the possibility of the Vision of the Divine Essence. St. Thomas, in Summa Contra Gentiles, LIV, writes:

There is indeed proportion between the created intellect and understanding God, a proportion not of measure, but of aptitude, such as of matter for form, or cause for effect. In this way there is no reason against there being in the creature a proportion to God, consisting in the aptitude of an intelligent being for an intelligible object, as well as of effect in respect of its cause.”

This proportion (a proportion of aptitude in accordance with the analogy of being) is also why, as St. Thomas says, and as we have already discussed, the positive Names of God such as Essence, Being, Love, Truth, Goodness, and Beauty apply to God substantially. In other words, the highest values of which the human intellect can conceive bear an actual proportion to Who God Is. And this is also the reason why the Light of Glory is able to raise the created intellect to the direct Vision of God’s Essence. St. Thomas further writes:

Moreover, this light raises the created intellect to the vision of God, not on account of its affinity to the divine substance, but on account of the power which it receives from God to produce such an effect: although in its being it is infinitely distant from God, as the second argument stated. For this light unites the created intellect to God, not in being but only in understanding.” (Ibid).

The human intellect, in other words, created in the image of God and bearing a proportion of aptitude to the vision of God, also bears the aptitude to receive the Grace of Glory from God which will enable it to see God’s Essence. Again, in Article 5 of Question 12, St. Thomas writes:

On the contrary, It is written: In thy light we shall see light (Ps. xxxv. 10. I answer that, Everything which is raised up to what exceeds its nature, must be prepared by some disposition above its nature; as, for example, if air is to receive the form of fire, it must be prepared by some disposition for such a form. But when any created intellect sees the essence of God, the essence of God itself becomes the intelligible form of the intellect. …And this is the light spoken of in the Apocalypse (xxi. 23). The glory of God hath enlightened it – vis. the society of the blessed who see God. By this light the blessed are made deiform – that is, like to God, according to the saying: When He shall appear we shall be like to Him, because we shall see Him as He is (1 John, ii. 2).”

St. Thomas gives us the following description of the blessed in Heaven:

But the blessed possess these three things in God; because they see Him, and in seeing Him, possess Him as present, having the power to see Him always; and possessing Him, they enjoy Him as the ultimate fulfillment of desire.” (Ibid).

This Vision of the Divine Essence is not to be confused with “comprehending” God in all His Fullness. Again, St. Thomas:

God, whose being is infinite, as was shown above, is infinitely knowable. Now no created intellect can know God infinitely. For the created intellect knows the divine essence more or less perfectly in proportion as it receives a greater or lesser light of glory. Since therefore the created light of glory received into any created intellect cannot be infinite, it is clearly impossible for any created intellect to know God in an infinite degree. Hence it is impossible that it should comprehend God.” (Ibid, A.7).

In other words, because we are granted the eternal vision of God’s Essence does not at all mean that we will ever totally comprehend Him. This, again, is a beautiful affirmation of our humanity which will not be destroyed, but only perfected, in Heaven. Even in terms of human relationships we speak of really coming to know a person, of somehow having seen to the very core of who he or she is, and of being united in love, without this in any way meaning that we possess total comprehension of all that is in that person’s mind and heart. In other words, man does not comprehend God, not because His Essence in unknowable, but because He is infinitely knowable and therefore never subject to full comprehension from a finite being.

We thus have the perfect Catholic solution as to how the human person can come to full union with God in the Beatific Vision, and be in complete and Eternal possession of the Vision of the Divine Essence, without this union or vision in any way involving a pantheistic confusion of the human and Divine.

 

God’s Will, Man’s Free Will, and Predestination

            We have spent a good deal of time and space establishing the primacy of the intellect, and the consequent primacy of truth over all other human values. This does not at all devalue the other great faculty of the human soul – the will; nor does it undermine the immense importance of its primary operation, which is love. Love is humble. It does not seek a primacy, but only union with the Beloved in all Truth.

Our study up to this point has revealed the tremendous intellectual disorientation common to the thought processes of modern man. Since, according to St. Thomas (and simple common sense), man can only will or choose what he knows, and as he knows, then we might fully expect that man’s will has suffered a corresponding corruption; and that his loves, which depend upon these choices, should, to a very great extent also be perverted.

It is not, however, only his individual choices in regard to particular acts which suffer from this corruption. Rather, this disorientation reaches down into the deepest recesses of modern man’s understanding of the nature of the will itself, and to the nature of man’s freedom as embodied in the concept of “free will.”

To orientate ourselves properly in regard to this subject, we must begin by realizing that in considering the faculty of human will, and love, we have entered once again into the domain of “analogy of being” with the very Being of God. It is necessary, therefore, that we make the necessary distinctions involved in this analogy by beginning with the will of God

The first thing that we must understand about God’s will is that it has no cause. St. Thomas simply declares: In no wise has the will of God a cause.” (ST, I , Q.19, A.6).

It is therefore theologically wrong for us to apply a cause or an “in order to” to any of God’s actions. St. Thomas further writes:

Now as God by one act understands all things in His essence, so by one act, He wills all things in His goodness. Hence, as in God to understand the cause is not the cause of His understanding the effect, for He understands the effect in the cause, so, in Him, to will an end is not the cause of His willing the means, yet He wills the ordering of the means to the end. Therefore, He wills this to be as means to that; but does not will this on account of that.” (Ibid, A.5).

Absolutely integral to God’s Infinitude and Omnipotence is the phrase which I have rendered in bold print in the above passage: “by one act, He wills all things.” Just as God’s Act is not subject to causation (determination by any source outside himself), so it is also not subject to time. God, and His act by which He wills all things, is eternal. It is wrong therefore to conceive of God as “waiting to see” what we will do before He acts. God did not wait to see what Adam and Eve would do in the Garden of Eden before He willed either their punishment, or the subsequent Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity which would accomplish man’s redemption. All this was known and willed with one act from eternity.

St. Thomas is also therefore clear as to the fact that God’s eternal Will does not depend on His foreknowledge of what His creatures will do. What He does, for instance, is in no way dependent upon our prayers. Such dependence would make God’s will “conditioned” and thus limited in some way by something outside Himself. Rather, our prayers, which are very much our own free acts and very necessary for our salvation, are eternally willed by God. We rightly speak of God hearing and answering our prayers, but He has heard and answered our prayers for all eternity in the depths and mystery of His eternal Will.

We realize that at this point the hackles of some readers may be rising. The question naturally arises, “Where, in all of this, is there room for human freedom?” We will address that question in a moment. First, however, we would like the reader to be convinced that what St. Thomas has written about God’s Will must be true if God is to be God. His Will must be free from all determination from without, and it must be universal and always fulfilled. In another passage, St. Thomas simply writes, “The will of God must needs always be fulfilled” (Ibid, A.6). Nothing can be made to happen “outside” God’s Will. This should be a “simple” truth which any Christian, understanding the Infinitude of God, should acknowledge readily. This must be the first truth which we keep in mind, and we must keep it there all through our examination of all other theological and philosophical truths which are somehow related to the question of God’s Will.

How, then, does human freedom fit into all this? Here, again, St. Thomas is faithful to common sense: man definitely possesses free will. In order to make this clear, Thomas offers the following explanation:

In order to make this evident [that man has free will], we must observe that some things act without judgment; as a stone moves downwards; and in like manner all things which lack knowledge. And some act from judgment, but not a free judgment; as brute animals. For the sheep, seeing the wolf, judges it a thing to be shunned, from a natural and not a free judgment, because it judges, not from reason, but from natural instinct. And the same thing is to be said of any judgment of brute animals. But man acts from judgment, because by his apprehensive power he judges that something should be avoided or sought. But because this judgment, in the case of some particular act, is not from a natural instinct, but from some act of comparison in the reason, therefore he acts from free judgment and retains the power of being inclined to various things.” (Ibid, Q.83, A. 1).

In other words, free will does not operate in a vacuum, or as being something free from all causation. It proceeds “from some act of comparison in the reason.” There are therefore all sorts of causes involved in our free choice of a course of action: the knowledge we possess, habits we have developed, environmental influences, rewards or punishments perceived as a consequence, etc. Even when something that we do “makes no sense” to the rest of the world, it should, if it is to be a truly human act, make sense to us. And this phrase makes sense indicates that there is a reason for what we do, which in turn simply indicates a cause for our decision and action. In fact, a choice which is merely random or truly “makes no sense” is not at all associated with the common-sense notion of a free human act. Rather, it is something either brutish and non-human, or an act of pure rebellion; and there is no act that is less free than the autonomous act of rebellion for its own sake.

This is why the Catholic concept of free will requires so much more than the ideas of independence, autonomy, or self-directedness which most often constitute its secular definition. The Martyr-Saint whose death “makes no sense” to the world because he gives up everything that the world considers of value, including life itself, is the supreme embodiment of human freedom. And yet this act which seems so senseless and causeless to the world is, in fact, supremely contingent upon the saints understanding of Who God is. It is, in other words, supremely caused, while at the same time, being the most truly free act that a human being can make.

Now, if we can thus see that free will is so intricately dependent upon various contingencies and causations in this world, then we should have no problem believing that the exercise of this freedom falls totally within the ambit of God’s Will and eternal Providence. Thus, St. Thomas writes:

Free-will is the cause of its own movement, because by his free-will man moves himself to act. But it does not of necessity belong to liberty that what is free should be the first cause of itself, as neither for one thing to be cause of another need it be the first cause. God, therefore, is the first cause, Who moves causes both natural and voluntary. And just as by moving natural causes He does not prevent their acts being natural, so by moving voluntary causes [acts of free choice] He does not deprive their actions of being voluntary: but rather is He the cause of this very thing in them; for He operates in each thing according to its own nature.” (Ibid, Q.83, A.1).

St. Thomas, in other words, saw no contradiction in holding to the following two truths: that we produce acts which are truly from a free will and, that God is the primary cause of these acts. St. Thomas states:

Now there is no distinction between what flows from free will, and what is of predestination; as there is no distinction between what flows from a secondary cause [which is what we are in our acts of free will] and from a first cause [which is what God is]. For the providence of God produces effects through the operation of secondary causes, as was above shown (Q.22, A.3). Wherefore, that which flows from free-will is also of predestination. (Ibid, Q.23, A.5).

Further, St. Thomas explains that this universal causation of God does not impose a necessity on human will which would violate its freedom:

“The divine will imposes necessity on some things willed but not on all….Since then the divine will is perfectly efficacious, it follows not only that things are done which God wills to be done, but also that they are done in the way that He wills. Now God wills some things to be done necessarily, some contingently [as through our free wills], to the right ordering of things, for the building up of the universe. Therefore to some effects He has attached necessary causes, that cannot fail; but to others defectable and contingent causes, from which arise contingent effects. Hence it is not because the proximate causes [such as our free will] are contingent, but because God has prepared contingent causes for them, it being His will that they should happen contingently.” (Ibid, Q. 19, A.8).

In other words, because of the cultural inheritance of the past 500 years – dominated by such events as the Protestant, French, American, and innumerable other Revolutions, we have inherited ideas concerning human freedom which make it virtually impossible to understand the true relationship of human free will to God’s Will. As Christians, we are willing to accept that God created everything out of nothing. Further, we can accept that He now sustains us by a continuing act which is like unto this initial act of creation ex nihilo, and that without this continuing act of creative causation we would immediately fall back into nothingness. We are, in other words, willing to submit everything that exists to the act of God’s primary causation and determination. Everything, that is, except one thing: the exercise of our free will.

 

Evil

The other barrier which prevents the acceptance of the truth that “God wills all things” is the presence of evil in the universe. We need, therefore, to examine the existence of evil and its relationship to God’s Will.

It is integral to the eternal Will of God that we be free, and it is also integral to the Infinity of God that for all eternity our acts of free will, even though they might be defective or evil, do not escape His universal causation or predestination. We may never say that God directly wills evil, but we may certainly say that God wills the good of the existence and freedom of human beings, to whom evil is accidentally attached as a defect.

This is not really as complicated as we might at first think. Again, common sense can lead us to some understanding.

Let us imagine an Old Testament patriarch who has the power of life and death over his son. This son has committed many grave sins, and shows no signs of immanent repentance. Because the father chooses not to kill him, but rather wills that he should continue to live, does that mean that he wills the evil that his son continues to do? Let us be quite honest about this. It certainly cannot be said that the father is himself willing evil. On the other hand it can, in a certain sense, be said that he is willing that what is evil should actually happen, simply because he chooses the continued existence of his son.

Transferring this same scenario to God, the first type of will (“will no evil”) is called by St. Thomas, God’s “antecedent will”. The second type of will (“will the continuance of a good to which evil is attached as an accident”) St. Thomas calls, “God’s consequent will.” We can rightly say therefore that God (or our patriarch) does not in any sense will evil, but at the same time we can say that even the sins which this son commits do not escape God’s causation, will, and predestination. Of course in saying all this we must be careful to keep in mind the absolute Unity of God. From a human standpoint we distinguish between antecedent and consequent wills, but we must maintain their eternal Unity in God. This should not be hard for us to do – we can recognize this unity among apparent complexity even in the will and action of our fictional patriarch; and we can further understand that it compromises neither the unity of his will, nor the goodness of his being.

Above all, we must understand that nothing in our freedom escapes from God. Adding somewhat to the words of St. Paul, we may say, “In Him we live and move and are, and exercise our free will.” As long as we are in accord with His Being and Life we thrive. To detract in any way, to exert our independence in any way from His light and truth is, is to initiate a spiraling movement into darkness and decay. The irony, of course, is that those Promethean-like figures such as Marx, Nietzsche, Lenin, or even a Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine, who imagined themselves to be “free” in proclaiming their rebellion or indifference to God and His ordered plan for this world, were every moment of their lives subject to God’s causation and predestination.

It is an immense perversion, therefore, to in any way assert the independence of man from God. I think that scripture offers the perfect litmus test for our spiritual health in regard to this absolutely fundamental truth of our Faith:

And whom he predestinated them he also called. And whom he called them he also justified. And whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Rom 8:30)

If we inwardly rejoice at this infallible link of causation that links our acts of free will to God’s eternal causation and predestination, then we truly are in spiritual accord with what it means to say that “God is all in all” and, consequently, with that truth absolutely central to the spiritual life that our freedom “lives and moves and has its being” only in God. If, on the other hand, we in any way draw back from the import of these words, then somehow we are severely compromising the foundation of our entire Faith.

There is a flip-side to this perversion by which we somehow assert that man exercises his free will independent of God’s will. It consists in our attempts to reverse this dependency by placing a “necessity” in God in His relation to His creation. In other words, in one way or another, we attempt to bind God’s will to His creature.

The argument goes something like this: “Unquestionably, God willed to create. If God’s Will is identical with His Essence, and His Essence is had by Him necessarily (‘I am Who I am’), then it follows that the act of will to create is also one of necessity.” Such an argument amounts to an attempt to invert the whole order of creation by profoundly violating the Freedom of God, and the gratuitousness of His relationship to creatures.

It certainly is true that God’s essence “is had by him necessarily.” St. Thomas writes:

Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being [God] having of itself its own necessity.” (I, Q.II, A.3).

But we must not confuse the necessity which is integral to “Who God is” with His relationship to His creation.

All arguments which claim that Absolute Divine Simplicity and Unity require identifying God’s “will to create” with Divine necessity, fail to understand how necessity and freedom are One in God. And this, in turn, is rooted in the failure to understand that necessity and freedom do not function in God the same as they do in man.

In man, exterior determinacy operates. Man’s nature is determined by God. His life is largely determined by forces outside of himself. And yet man possesses a free will to make choices, especially those between good and evil.

In God, however, necessity operates from within. As Thomas says in the above-quoted passage, God is the only being “having of itself its own necessity.” It is very difficult for us to conceive of such a thing. From a human standpoint we are used to opposing freedom and necessity. But God has his necessity “of Himself.” Therefore, all that constitutes His own “necessity” is freely willed and chosen by Him. God’s freedom and His necessity are therefore one in His Absolute Divine Simplicity.

If Divine necessity in regard to “Who God is” (His Divine Nature) in no way compromises this being a totally free willing, then so much the more (in a manner of speaking) is there total freedom in God’s exterior acts. St. Thomas writes:

As the divine existence is necessary of itself, so is the divine will and divine knowledge; but the divine knowledge has a necessary relation to the thing known; not the divine will to the thing willed. The reason for this is that knowledge is of things as they exist in the knower; but the will is directed to things as they exist in themselves. Since then all other things have necessary existence inasmuch as they exist in God; but no absolute necessity so as to be necessary in themselves, in so far as they exist in themselves; it follows that God knows necessarily whatever He knows, but does not will necessarily what ever He wills.” (I, Q. 19, A. 3).

God therefore possesses total freedom in regard to all things willed outside Himself.

 

Prayer

Finally, we would imagine that there still exist in the minds of many readers questions concerning the meaning and efficacy of prayer. Simply stated, if God’s eternal will is immutable and infallible, then why do we pray?

St. Thomas’ answer runs as follows:

I answer that, Among the ancients there was a threefold error concerning prayer. Some held that human affairs are not ruled by Divine providence; whence it would follow that it is useless to pray and to worship God at all: of these it is written (Malachi 3:14): You have said: He laboreth in vain that serveth God. Another opinion held that all things, even in human affairs, happen of necessity, whether by reason of the unchangeableness of Divine providence, or through the compelling influence of the stars, or on account of the connection of causes: and this opinion also excluded the utility of prayer. There was a third opinion of those who held that human affairs are indeed ruled by Divine providence, and that they do not happen of necessity; yet they deemed the disposition of Divine providence to be changeable, and that it is changed by prayers and other things pertaining to the worship of God….

“In order to throw light on this question we must consider that Divine providence disposes not only what effects shall take place, but also from what causes and in what order these effects shall proceed. Now among other causes human acts are the causes of certain effects. Wherefore it must be that men do certain actions, not that thereby they may change the Divine disposition, but that by those actions they may achieve certain effects according to the order of the Divine disposition: and the same is to be said of natural causes. And so is it with regard to prayer. For we pray not that we may change the Divine disposition, but that we may impetrate [beseech] that which God has disposed to be fulfilled by our prayers in other words that by asking, men may deserve to receive what Almighty God from eternity has disposed to give, as Gregory says (Dial. 1. 8).”

In other words, prayer is not a means of changing God’s will, but of entering into full unity and communion with God’s eternal will for us. It is the premier act by which we immerse our freedom in God by seeking all things from Him and through Him. The truly extraordinary thing is that such prayer, as part of that process by which our free wills are brought into total accord with God’s election and predestination, culminates not in the loss of anything truly human, but rather in the very possession of God through the Beatific Vision.

 

The Way of Love

The primacy of Truth over Love in no way amounts to a denigration of love. Love must submit to Truth, or it becomes false love. On the other hand, it would be totally inappropriate to say that Truth must submit to love, simply because there are many false loves. It is, however, proper to say that the possession of truth without love is dead.

When speaking of love, we enter once more into a subject concerning which there is also an analogous relationship between God and man. It is therefore again necessary for us to explore the likenesses and distinctions involved.

There is possibly no Catholic concept more subject to confusion than is Love. The reason for this is that it is a word applied to two very different human faculties – the will (which St. Thomas calls the intellective appetite, because it stems from a free choice of that which the intellect perceives as good) and the passions. At least in English usage, we virtually never distinguish adequately between the two. We say “I love my wife,” “I would love a cup of coffee,” “I love the music of Bach,” “I have a special love for St.Teresa,” and “I love God,” all with equal aplomb. We can even say that “we love” things that are sinful (although we must be careful to make the Thomistic distinction that it is impossible to directly will or love evil in itself).

Let us first consider God’s Love. In God there are no passions. St. Thomas simply says, “He [God] loves without passion.” Now, this can be very hard for us as human beings to accept. But it must be so. The very word “passion” means to undergo or suffer something. It demands limitation and finitude in the subject who experiences such passion. God cannot be subject to such things. In other words, God’s love can only be of the will (the intellective appetency), and in no way subject to passion.

Human beings, of course, possess both that love which is properly considered a function of the will, and also those “loves” which are connected with passions and the feelings. We can, for instance, love God in the midst of total spiritual aridity, with no accompanying passion or feeling of love at all. Such love would be considered an act totally ascribable to the will (the intellectual appetite). This sort of love is, for instance, very evident in the recently published letters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It is the highest and most meritorious form of love simply because it continues to choose and will good towards the Beloved with no reward or consolations.

At the other end of the spectrum are those “loves” which are entirely the function of “undergoing” passions of the sensitive appetites. At this level we are at the stage of almost pure animality.

Most human acts of love are, of course, combined acts of both will and passion. This is one of the things which makes human life seem so complicated, and also makes the spiritual life so subject to deceptions. All of this complexity is simplified for us, however, when we come to an understanding of the Thomistic concept of appetency, in which all the various forms of love come to be seen as a movement within the human being towards what is perceived as good. Scripturally speaking, these various “loves” can all be seen as movements of the “heart.” Spiritual integrity then becomes primarily a matter of where we choose to place our heart, and of bringing all of our loves into a unified pursuit of this goal.

This is why the intellectual vision of reality offered to us by St. Thomas is such a delight to the human heart that is able to perceive it, and therefore such a powerful means to accomplish this integrity. It draws all the scattered forces of our being, and the multiplicity of our loves, into the simple intention of desiring to see and love the God Who is revealed to us through this vision.

Finally, we must also yield to Love its own form of primacy. Having, as it were, put Love “in its place” – not by reducing its profound importance, but rather by subjecting it to Truth – we are now in a position to explore a “primacy” which is very much love’s own domain.

St. Thomas says that considered absolutely, the intellect must be seen as a higher faculty than the will. The Beatific Vision consists in the intellectual vision of the Divine Essence. The Beatific Vision is the supreme goal of all our faculties

But it is also true that, this side of death and the Beatific Vision, love possesses a kind of superiority that is very essential to our spiritual lives and growth. Basically, St. Thomas’ argument runs as follows. In this life we do not possess direct knowledge or vision of the Divine Essence. In other words, we do not here possess intellectual vision of God as He exists in Himself, but only a vision of faith, through the ideas and truths of which our minds are in possession. The will, however, “is inclined to the thing itself, as existing in itself.” (I, 82, A.3). It is able therefore to effect a much deeper union with God in this life. It is able to give itself in complete union to God. This “love” may or may not be accompanied by feeling, passions, ecstasy, etc. Most fundamentally, however, it must be seen as a choice of the will (the intellectual appetency), and not these passions. We must know through faith, and always chose to believe and act upon this knowledge, no matter what be our feelings, etc. to the contrary. This is the depths of love, and here again we see the primacy of the intellect and its perception of truth as the foundation of this love.

The story is told of St. Thomas, that kneeling before the Crucifix, after having written his great passages on the Eucharist, Our Lord appeared to him, told him that he had written well, and offered him the reward of anything he might ask. Thomas’s reply: “I will have only Thyself.” This statement and prayer is a perfect image of the coming together of all man’s appetitive faculties in Christ. It is not at all surprising, therefore, that St. Thomas came to that point in his life where he announced that he had seen such things as to make all his writings appear to be as straw, or that on his deathbed he asked for the entirety of the Canticle of Canticles to be read aloud to him. The soul that comes this close to God in the grace of His love can no longer be happy with any discursive thought (despite its immense and necessary value on the way), but only with that divine poetry of love which hovers close to the direct vision of God. This is the divine fruit we must seek in all our intellectual efforts, and all our understandings of the Faith. We may think this love to be extraordinary. Yet such a love is the necessary state for all those who attain to salvation. Therefore, such intimacy with God has to be the primary desire of our lives, the constant object of our prayer, and the spiritual passion which motivates all our intellectual efforts towards seeing the Face of God. Such is the Heart of Catholicism.

In Christ, God became man, and therefore shares all our passions which are not subject to sin and ignorance. We will never again be alone in our physical weaknesses, pain, suffering, and tears. Yet it is also true that in the depth of His human “abandonment” – “God, God, why hast thou forsaken me” – the human nature of Christ made the same act of love which we must all make: the fundamental choice of God, independent of all passion and consolation, and despite any doubts and confusion which may assail us. This is the way of true love. It is the way of Mary at the Foot of the Cross. This is why in these times of almost universal deception, God has established Her Immaculate Heart as a place of refuge wherein we may be secure in the grace and power to remain faithful to His Truth and Love, no matter how great the darkness which may descend upon us. And the unbreakable chain guarding this refuge of  love and truth is Our Lady’s Rosary.

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Our Chastisement, Our Blessing

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Please read our Original Proposal

Our Chastisement, Our Blessing

 

Woe to you who build the monuments of the prophets: and your fathers killed them….That the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation. (Luke 11: 47-50)

 

While reading the Gospels, it might often appear that the Pharisees present themselves to us as proverbial “deer in the headlights”. Much of the time, their subterranean betrayal and malice were hidden behind real incomprehension. Theirs was the “What have we done wrong? – we have only been faithful to God’s tradition” look. Their unconscious betrayal was the result of building centuries of “monuments” (both physical and spiritual) that appeared God-like, but which in reality dulled, obscured, and finally profoundly falsified the Spirit of God’s Truth and Life. In so doing – in not having kept careful “watch” over their own spiritual integrity – their failure to understand was truly culpable, and therefore the blood of all the Old Testament prophets was upon their generation.

We are now experiencing a chastisement, come to fruition in the Papacy of Francis, which might leave us in a similar “what have we done to deserve this” bewilderment and confusion. We stand on thin ice if we attempt to claim that this is not a deserved punishment from God. The necessary question therefore is: Is it conceivable that we have been so whittled down through a long historical betrayal of the Gospel that we now stand, uncomprehending, in the face of a severe chastisement which we deserve, and which is a necessary blessing inflicted for our return?

Jesus’ words condemning the “monument-building” Jews occurred at a dinner to which he was invited by a Pharisee, who had earlier heard the following words spoken by Jesus:

“The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome: but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome. Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee, be not darkness. If then thy whole body be lightsome, having no part of darkness; the whole shall be lightsome; and as a bright lamp, shall enlighten thee.”

This passage speaks of a unity of spirit and flesh, each dependent upon one another for integrity, which is single in intention. The nature of this singleness of intention is more fully elaborated in a parallel passage in Matthew 6:

Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures of heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also. The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome. But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be! No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

After these words of Jesus comes the “Lilies of the Field” passage, which ends with the equally famous: “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

In the light of the above scriptures, we would like to pose, and attempt to answer, three questions: First, was there a “single eye” present in the first Christians (and not excluding other individuals and groups down through the centuries), but which has now been almost universally abandoned, and which has become virtually incomprehensible to the modern Catholic consciousness? Second, as the fruits of this betrayal, have we built monuments to Christianity at the expense of living it? And, finally, is it the Blood of Jesus that may be required of this generation because of this betrayal?

If we seek an absolutely reliable account of how the first Christians lived, we inevitably are pointed to the Book of Acts, and to the two passages which are brief, but most telling, in this regard:

“They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: many wonders also and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem, and there was great fear in all. And all they that believed, were together, and had all things common. Their possessions and goods they sold, and divided them to all, according as every one had need. And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they took their meat with gladness and simplicity of heart; praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord increased daily together such as should be saved.” (2: 42-47).

“And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but all things were common unto them. And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord; and great grace was in them all. For neither was there any one needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the price of the things they sold, and laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need. (Acts 4: 32-35).

We ask the reader to consider whether he has ever heard or read any contemporary preacher or writer offer an analysis of these passages, or take them seriously in any way. It is as though they are incomprehensible – a conclusion which must certainly be false, given the specificities offered in St. Luke’s description.

In the first place, these first Christians were baptized into the Faith, and were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles. There can be here no de-emphasis of doctrine at the price of a false mercy. Twice, in fact, it is said that holy Fear was upon them all. To culpably transgress the faith which they had received was impossible as long as this fear of the Lord was operative in their hearts.

Second, there was a bond of unity, founded upon true poverty and the rejection of worldly possessions, which St. Luke describes as “having all things in common” – they sold their possessions, and laid the money which they received at the feet of the apostles, so that distribution could be made where needed. It is this particular “specificity”, of course, which is the primary reason these two passages of scripture are virtually totally ignored. As St. John Chrysostom pointed out in his commentary on Acts, it is this “having all things in common” that we fear above all, and avoid taking seriously. We must therefore look more closely.

These passages have been employed as an argument for Communism. This is ludicrous. Communism totally rejects God, and any communal living involved in its system is founded upon the elevation of collective man, and the state, over God, the rejection of individual dignity and freedom, and the rejection of the right to private property itself. Any communal living proposed by the Gospel or the Church, on the other hand, involves voluntary giving of the members of the Mystical Body of Christ. It is not in any way a tyranny.

It is equally false to exaggerate the degree to which this “having all things in common” was external. There could be endless, useless speculation in this regard. It is clear, however, that these first Christians broke bread “from house to house”, and therefore probably possessed their own homes. We in fact need speculate no further in this regard than did the writer of the Epistle to Diognetes, writing almost 100 years later (130 A.D.): “They have a common table, but not a common bed.” It was the spirit that mattered – the externals obviously had their limits. As the passage from Acts 4 states, “Neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed was his own”. Their physical poverty was real, but not absolute. Their “spirit of poverty”, on the other hand, was quite absolute indeed. This Christian heart in which this spirit was operative was aptly described in the following passage from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (7: 29-31):

This therefore I say, brethren; the time is short; it remaineth, that they also who have wives, be as if they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as if they used it not: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”

And what makes this spirit possible?

In our article on St. Francis (St. Francis of Assisi: They Pretended to Love You So That They Might Leave You), we quoted the above passages from Acts in order to exemplify the simplicity and poverty which was the core charism of St. Francis. But these passages also expose to our vision something deeper within the human heart, which makes such simplicity and poverty both possible and necessary. There would seem to be one word which best expresses this “something”: Immediacy. It is immediacy – defined as “the quality of bringing one into direct and instant involvement with something, giving rise to a sense of urgency or excitement” – which most characterizes the heart of these first Christians, and their relationship to Christ and the Gospel. And this immediacy is at the same time always present – it penetrated into all that these first Christians did, and every moment and part of their existence.

Interestingly, God’s demand that man recognize the immediacy of His presence, and be constantly preoccupied with his presence, is not something which only became possible after the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Possibly the greatest passage in all of scripture depicting this “spirit” is to be found in Deuteronomy:

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength.

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart: and thou shalt tell them to thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house, and walking on thy journey, sleeping and rising. And thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be and shall move between the eyes.” Deut 6:4-8).

This image of the constant presence of God “moving between the eyes” is possibly the greatest mystical image in all of Christian literature. We are dealing here with human hearts and minds possessed by God in all their thoughts and activities.

It is this immediacy of the human heart among these first Christians which made possible the “single eye” which directed everything towards Christ. Further, this immediacy made possible not only this singular relationship with Christ, but with others who were members of His Body, and it also enabled true charity towards all other human beings (both friends and enemies) simply because they were all created “by Him, and in Him” (Colossians 1:16).

This profoundly “common” union of hearts with Christ and one another merited the grace that “the Lord increased daily such as should be saved”. This is why we see so many miracles among the early Christians, why we see the fulfillment of Our Lord’s words that “you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7), why 3,000 would be converted one day, and 5,000 another, and that there could be such astonishingly rapid conversions of whole people and nations to Christ.

It is not at all necessary to be utopian in order to understand the unique spirit of these first Christians. Where there is human nature, there is always sin. We see these sins in the story of Ananias and Saphira, who sold land, gave part while hypocritically pretending to give all, and were punished by God. We see it present in the various churches as revealed in the letters of St. Paul, especially those to the Corinthians, in regard to the unseemly behavior indulged in at Agape Feasts, the adulterous behavior of a son with his Father’s wife, the competition of various factions who claimed to be followers of one teacher in opposition to others, etc. We explore the lives of these early Christians not because the perfection of human beings was across-the board accomplished, but because it was indeed present and visible in a way which it is not now – present to such an extent as to merit all sorts of extraordinary graces from God, and in a way which can clearly be contrasted with our present nakedness in this regard.

And so, we are compelled to ask the inevitable question: What happened within the depths of the souls of Catholics during the early decades and centuries of the Christian era which compromised this immediacy of Christ presence within the followers of Christ, and profoundly diminished the visible evidence of the power of God’s grace operative through them? Again, the answer is to be found in scripture – this time most aptly expressed in the Letter of St. James:

You ask, and receive not; because you ask amiss: that you may consume it on your concupiscences.” (4:3).

Everything we have is a gift from God. To see the life of Christ which is “the light of men” (John 1: 4), and to follow this life and light with an upright heart is to remain in the immediacy and presence of God’s Truth and Life. Sin, both original and personal, is the turning aside the gifts of God in order to possess and use them as our own possessions: “All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way….” (Isaiah 53: 6). We all tend to do it. The extent to which we do it, corresponds to the degree to which God’s immediacy and presence is lost to us, and we become immersed in hypocrisy and duplicity. At a certain point such hypocrisy almost inevitably leads to spiritual death through mortal sin. But even short of mortal sin, it has the effect of depriving both individual Catholics and the Church as a whole of the power of the Holy Spirit necessary, not only for the conversion of the world, but also for the protection of the Church itself from invasion by the spirit of Antichrist.

The “turning aside into their own way” of the truth and light which God had given through the prophets is therefore perfectly expressed in the reality of the Pharisees having built their “monuments”, but denying the spirit of God present in their teachings: “This people honoureth me with their lips but their heart is far from me.” (Mat. 15: 8).The word “monument” is also properly translated as “tomb” or “sepulchre”. The Pharisees themselves were therefore described by Jesus as being “whited sepulchres”, appearing just to men, but inwardly full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Mat. 23-27-28). The “building of monuments” is therefore the pre-eminent metaphor employed by Jesus for the falsification of the true spirit of religion while retaining its appearance – beauty on the surface, spiritual death within.

This is the deepest tendency within fallen human nature – that point where “turning aside” begins. We must not conceive of it as always being fully developed, or accompanied by intense malice as exhibited by the Pharisees. It is most often an evolutionary progression with small but deadly beginnings initiating a process of growing compromise and falsification. Many events and persons – sinners and saints – contribute to this process. Because persons may have contributed in some way to this decay does not mean that they are in Hell, does not entail that they were evil men, and does not contradict the fact that they may even be canonized saints. All men fall short in certain areas, Satan is able to add all these failures to his conspiratorial mix, the world waxes old and more deceitful in the web which it spins, and Christianity decays. What we have now is the product of a long historical process, with many twists and turns, progressions and regressions, but with an overall trend of deepening falsification and obscuration of God’s immanence to the human heart.

In our article on St. Francis, we discussed the Portiuncula of St. Francis as an “icon of betrayal”. It seems appropriate to mention it again here.

Four kilometers from Assisi is the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the seventh largest church in Christendom, built over and around the original home of the Franciscan Order. Within this magnificent and massive structure, and directly under the cupola, stands a tiny church (only 22’ X 13’6”) called the Portiuncula (the word translates as “little portion of land” – it is also called “Mary of the Angels”). The Portiuncula is the singular place on this earth most beloved to St. Francis; it is where he founded his Order, and where he passionately desired the most perfect preservation of his ideal.

Because St. Francis considered the Portiuncula to be “holy, beloved, and chosen before all others by Christ and the glorious Virgin” (Mirror of Perfection, 55), and because he intensely desired that the Portiuncula be the example and model for all the rest of the order, he gave minute instructions before his death for the preservation of this ideal. These instructions applied first of all to all those practices which cultivate the interior life of holiness – silence, prayer, holy conversation, physical labor, fasting and other forms of physical mortification. Especially, he sought to keep this place free from worldly conversation and news, and free from all that is not edifying. He gave specific instructions as to the qualities needed in the clergy and friars who were to reside and serve here, and he stated, “I do not wish anyone else, whether layfolk or friars, to enter this place, except the Minister General and the lay-brothers who serve them.” (Ibid.).

The Portiuncula is now entombed within the grandiosity of the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, and is a prominent tourist site with all the noise, commotion, irreverence, etc. which this entails.

Many Popes have born witness to the fact that St. Francis was an extraordinary gift of God sent in order to turn mankind away from a long immersion in the concupiscenses of this world, and back towards Christ and the living of His Gospel. He has been called by at least two Popes “the Second Christ”. And yet it was a canonized Saint, Pope Pius V, who ordered that the Portiuncula, and all that it meant to Francis and his ideal, be entombed within the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. The Basilica, as beautiful as it is, therefore represents a monument to the killing of the spirit of St. Francis – the culmination, as it were, of many betrayals of Francis’ ideal of Gospel poverty by saints (including St. Bonaventure) and sinners alike (all of this is discussed extensively in our article on Francis). Again, this does not make Saint Pius V (or Bonaventure) into evil men. It makes them out to have been human, with certain actions, unbeknownst to them, playing into the hands of all that wages against Christ’s presence and immanence in the heart of man.

Little escapes from such decay. Even the development of the forms in which the Mass is offered may be mentioned in this regard.

The early Christians, whose intimacy with Christ we have examined, “broke bread from house to house”. It is almost certain that there was no incensing, ornate vestments, elaborate altars, statuary, developed chant, magnificent architectural monuments, etc. There certainly was a distinct order, comprised by scripture readings, sermon, prayers for the people, kiss of peace, offering of bread and wine and thanksgiving, consecration of the bread and wine, intercessions, etc., all very much reflected in our Mass. But as Adrian Fortescue (highly respected in Traditionalist circles) states in his article on the Liturgy in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1910), even as late as the fourth century the Roman Rite “had practically no ritual beyond the most necessary actions”.

And yet it was the “breaking of bread…in simplicity of heart”, and the “great grace” which was received in the hearts of these first Christians, which produced the charity, massive conversions, and miracles which confront our own poverty in this regard. The question needs to be asked as to what extent the evolution of the form of the Mass into “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven” masked an historical process in which the collective Christian heart (with many exceptions) drew further and further away from the immediacy and simplicity of Christ, and in so doing violated the deepest reality of Christ’s Sacrifice. The deep divisions which now exist in the Traditionalist movement would seem ample evidence of this decay, to say nothing of all the banalities, irreverence, and extraordinary lack of unity in truth which exists under the reign of the New Mass.

We realize that in writing about the spirituality of the early Church, and casting it in a light more favorable than those later developments in Christian spirituality which built the monuments of Christendom, we might be accused of Modernist leanings. Anyone who has read the rest of our writings should be able to understand the unfairness of such an accusation. It is certainly true that Modernism is often accompanied by a resourcement theology which rejects scholasticism (especially St. Thomas), undermines the development of dogma, and promotes a return to the early Fathers and a “simpler”, much less-developed and confrontational intellectual tradition. We, on the other hand, believe in the absolute necessity of both Thomism and defined dogma in order to counter Modernist errors in the Church and in the world. The simplicity and immediacy of which we speak in this article is a return of the heart to living the immediacy of God, and is in no way constituted by retreat of the mind away from the Deposit of Faith or the grace of Thomism.

Another icon of our times comes to mind. At the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis a prominent, traditional Catholic website offered two photographs in opposition to one another. The one was of Francis in his simple white vestments, the other of Cardinal Burke processing down the aisle in his red cappa magna vestment with its forty-foot train. The message, of course was that we had a choice – either the “phony” simplicity of Pope Francis or the magnificence of the traditional characterized by Cardinal Burke in his cappa magna. However, irrespective of whether Francis’ motivations were phony or not, there is much to be said for a beauty and nobility in worship which is reflected by simplicity rather than such opulence and grandiosity Further, and again irrespective of Francis’ sincerity or lack of it, there is much to be said for the idea that we need a poor Church, and a Church of the poor, which journeys out to the peripheries and seeks out souls who are “outside the camp”. That we tend to view almsgiving and the other temporal and spiritual works of mercy as a sort of minimalist duty which accompanies our pursuit of the “good life”, rather than a real passion, might be a pre-eminent sign of the loss of the immediacy of Christ’s Truth and Mercy in our own hearts.

In other words, the Papacy of Francis might just be a message, and chastisement, from God. The fact that he uses these concepts to undermine doctrine, deny the Church’s mission to convert all these peoples, and to promote pastoral practices which represent a false mercy and charity, and which at least implicitly violate dogma and encourage sacrilege, does not mean that we should entrench ourselves in a kind of pharisaism embodied in a “monumental” traditionalism which masks the loss of the simplicity and urgency of the Gospel. We might well consider that something like the cappa magna is a very worldly effort (the garb of kings) to imitate an unworldly majesty. God’s majesty on this earth is most adequately mirrored and represented by the union of human hearts with His Truth, Love, and Mercy. Beautiful things are of course appropriate to the worship of God, but they too should reflect the sanctity and majesty of Christ through a holy modesty and simplicity, rather than through a Renaissance-inspired, or even pagan, garishness.

Again, we find it necessary to repeat that all of this criticism of “Traditionalism” does not mean that we do not recognize the horror of things which Pope Francis says and does. The whole point of this analysis is that “the center will not hold”; falsification and duplicity seem to reign “on all sides”; and the temptation towards taking refuge in one or more extremes seems almost overwhelming.

The conversion of Emperor Constantine and embrace of Christianity by the Roman Empire in the fourth century was accompanied by a vast expansion in the building of the monuments of Christian civilization – the building of Churches, spinning of a complex legal system, ritualization of the Liturgy, creation of a complex organization within the Church itself with all the various gradations of rights and privileges of various Sees, the establishment of the Church as a political, diplomatic, and economic power, etc. All of this tends to speak of a Christ Who, while not having abandoned us, is yet no longer the object of a single-minded immediacy and presence to the human mind and heart.

Running parallel to these developments within the Church, all Christians were now free to engage fully with the world in all aspects of its evolutionary progression towards what we now have with us. And what we now have with us is an extraordinarily complex web of both intellectual and physical structures which seem almost perfectly designed to sap any consciousness of Christ’s presence out of our lives. As recent polls indicate, at least in this country, Catholics appear to be just as immersed in these structures and their pagan roots as is the general public.

We would like to propose three qualities of human life that must be present in order for the mind and heart of man to adequately respond to the immediate presence of Christ to his soul: mystery, simplicity, and insecurity.

We have written much in other articles about what is necessary in order that the quality of mystery be present to our consciousness, and we have also analyzed the scientific reductionism which has made the perception of such mystery virtually impossible for modern man. Suffice to say here that once we understand that science is totally impotent to penetrate to the substantial nature or essence of any created thing, and that the substantial reality of any created thing is simply what it is because God has created it out of nothing and sustains it in being every instant of its existence, then we become intellectually capable of understanding the presence of this mystery. But this does not mean that the apprehension of the mystery of all of creation is fully restored to our daily lives. Almost inevitably, our perception has been so blunted by the effect of scientific thinking that we have been largely sapped of the ability to fully experience this mystery. God has effectively and affectively been billeted outside of creation.

In regard to simplicity, this quality of life has virtually been destroyed for the vast majority of human beings, especially those living in developed countries. God, in a sense, “incarnated” all sorts of values and truths in nature and in the simple life of toil and craftsmanship. Much of this has been obliterated in a world of concrete, factories and offices, contrived recreation, passive entertainment through all the various forms of media, and a host of other things which constitute the unnatural pulsations of modern life (especially of city life). It has been said that there are a great many people in cities that have never seen a cow. It is even more likely that they have never seen anyone born or die.

Finally, in order that God be effectively present to the human heart, there must be a great insecurity present in our lives. After all, there can be no Christian spirituality where there is not prayer; and the most fundamental form of prayer is asking. If we feel secure in this world, there is little motivation for asking of God. And since insecurity in regard to the things of this world is considered a deficiency, it is almost inevitable that any prayer that we do offer for such things will be directed towards “consuming them in our concupiscences”.

It is astounding the degree to which we have surrounded ourselves with institutions which generate a false sense of security in regard to the things of this world. We only need to consider, as an example, the omnipresence of insurance policies in all the areas of our lives: life, liability, damage, health, car, home, business, etc. There is no area or activity of our lives that cannot be, and often must be, insured. There is even an Alien Abduction Insurance. One company in England alone has sold 30,000 of these policies. Why should we ask of God if we are already “covered” by man?

There is no escape from all of this except in spiritual childhood: “Unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 18: 3). Herein lies the “foolishness” that overcomes the world.

There is one great advantage which the present generation possesses over all previous generations. All the monuments of man are now being rent asunder, and the rottenness within revealed. The chaos which the world now experiences reaches more deeply into souls than anything previously experienced by mankind. It is not primarily the brutality of war, the terror of plague or other sicknesses, or the agonies of torture (although all these things certainly exist). Rather, it is an overwhelming insecurity as to whether life has any meaning at all. It is in the depth of this total insecurity – this nakedness – that the cry of a child may still come forth. With such a cry, God can work: “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to sorrow. Be humbled in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4: 9-10).

For those who weep and cry already, their nakedness is a blessing and a way that can lead them to God. A path has been prepared: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge, and the way that will lead you to God.” We must, however, treat this prophesy not as something we own because we are Catholics and “possess” the Faith, but as a passion to be lived in the simplicity of a child’s cry. Our Lady has in fact given us the words and grace of this cry in the Hail Mary and the Rosary. It must be prayed with the immediacy of a child’s heart, and not the automated rapidity and rhythms of hearts grown cold and remote.

Please read our article The Rosary: The Way of Perfection.

Please also read our article The Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit. We consider it a companion-piece to the above article in understanding why the power of the Holy Spirit seems to be so inoperative in the contemporary Church. It is especially necessary for those who in any way might be tempted to feel that Christ has abandoned His Church.

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Receiving the Kingdom of God as a Little Child

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Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it. (Mk 10:15)

A simple, humble faith in the truth of my apparitions to you, my favored child, will be reserved for humble and fervent souls who are docile to the inspirations of grace, for our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart, and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to know what they do not or infatuated with empty science.

                             (Our Lady of Good Success, in her Apparition of Feb 2, 1610)

 

The words spoken by Our Lady above – that, “our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart, and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to know what they do not or infatuated with empty science” – apply not only to the apparitions of the Mother of God, but especially to all that is contained within God’s inspired and infallible Word in Holy Scripture and Tradition.

In our most recent article, Science: Original and Final Sin, we examined the extraordinary effect which reductive physical science and evolutionary theory has had upon the thinking and basic perception of reality among Catholics, and especially among members of the hierarchy (and notably among recent Popes). It has reduced their faith to a mush of various forms of subjectivism, which completely undermine and negate the absolute objectivity and immutability of Catholic doctrine. This is especially true of the Teilhardian evolutionary theology which is the agenda for the upcoming Amazonian Synod, and is the means by which Pope Francis and others in the hierarchy are seeking to completely change the theology and sacramental practice of the universal Church (see our articles: Teilhardian Evolution and the Amazonian Synod: The Nest of the Antichrist. and The Amazonian Synod and Teilhardian Evolution: A Journey into the Heart of Antichrist, and also Pope Francis and Teilhardian Evolution: Program for the Amazonian Synod.

But the betrayal of Christ which has led to the subjection of the Faith to such reductive science – this betrayal having been pin-pointed by Pope Pius X as the fundamental act of cowardice behind all of Modernism – has not confined itself to the realms of philosophy, theology, and Catholic doctrine. It also could not help but concoct a false “science” which it then applied to Sacred Scripture. Dating from the 17th century, this “science” came to be called “Historical Criticism” (with many sub-categories such as “source-criticism”, “form-criticism”, “redaction criticism”, “tradition-criticism” etc). It was at first largely a Protestant endeavor (completely understandable since Protestants lacked a source of unity, in either the Papacy or the Magisterium, for the interpretation of scripture). But by the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, this bogus science had penetrated deeply within the Catholic Church in the form of the Modernist Heresy.

It has been our contention in a number of articles that the primary and most extensive victims of the mental and spiritual disintegration, produced by reductive modern science, are children. It is here, for the most part, that the loss of faith begins. Most parents who have tried to raise their children to be faithful Catholics, and then find out that these same children abandon or compromise their faith later on, would probably take the position that this has occurred despite what they were taught when they were younger. We propose here, however, that even what is considered the best early education offered to our children, including home-schooling, usually contains powerful seeds of accommodation to the errors of this world which provide powerful inclination towards this loss of faith. It is unfortunately very true that most parents are very motivated by the desire not to feel backward in this modern world, and therefore seek to excel in all that this world deems most important. It is here where, very often, they make a fatal mistake. This is especially true in relation to the study of science.

Within almost any educational system in the civilized world, children, at an early age (usually grades 4-5), are taught that all physical things in the universe are reducible to atoms, and their actions equally reducible to the interplay of these atomic realities. This produces a state of mind, heart, and spirit in our children which, at least implicitly, is a denial of the reality and goodness of God’s creation. They now learn that what is experienced as substantial to them with their senses and minds, is merely an illusional, or a semi-illusional effect of the interplay of atomic realities upon one another and their senses. And since these atoms are constantly subject to change, there is no permanent “nature” to anything. In other words, such children have become epistemological schizophrenics – living in, believing in, and loving a world which is fundamentally a chimera. In such a world, all absoluteness in regard to either Truth or Morality is destroyed.

Consequent upon this basic atomic reductionism, all aspects of human nature and personality are reduced to material causation. Such children discover that their minds and thoughts are reducible to neurological causation, their emotions to hormonal determination, and their moral and spiritual values to a causation which is determined from both within and without (environmental causation) by what must be seen as universal material determination. They are pawns in an endless chain of chemical interactions and unfolding evolutionary processes.

It is our belief that the only way that children can be protected from such reductionism, and its resultant state of spiritual schizophrenia, is through teaching them the basic principles of Thomistic metaphysics, and that this can indeed be done as early as fourth or fifth grade. It is not difficult, for instance, to lay out to any child the model of an atom with its essential construction of electrons spinning at relatively astronomic distance from the nucleus – the entire thing being comprised of 99.999999999% void (yes, this is a literal and accurate assessment), to show them the absurdity of scientific reduction. There is no way that any human mind, whether it be that of a child or that of a Nobel Prize Physicist, can make the connection between the world of atomic physics (or Quantum Theory) and what it fully perceives as being real in its daily experience. It then becomes easy to introduce them to the reality that what anything is as a substance is not reducible to any sort of physical analysis or measurement, but simply is what it is because God has created it so out of nothing. Here, the human mind is restored not only to intellectual sanity, but also spiritual childhood. Here it rests in God. And here, at this very early stage, a child is also introduced to the truth that he or she is called upon to stand up against a world which is at war with God and His Truth, and that each one is therefore called upon to be a soldier for Christ. After all, this is precisely the grace and truth that they will receive in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

But there is another problem. The mistress of reductive, atomic science is evolution. What is deprived of substantive “nature” by the analysis of reductive physics, then only becomes meaningful in terms of endless becoming. Evolution allegedly supplies this meaning through an all-inclusive mental construct in which life is now to be viewed as a grand, almost endless, march towards aTeilhardian evolutionary perfection. It is evolution, in other words, which has proved to be the most powerful tool for seducing the vast majority of peoples into what must be viewed as a “New-Age” Religion. Evolution replaces the descent of God (the Incarnation) with the ascent of man. It is the religion of Antichrist, despite the fact that it often attempts to co-opt Christ as being on the cutting edge of this ascent.

Recently, in conversation with my daughter-in-law who home-schools her children, I mentioned a plan I have long nourished to write a series of small books for children at different grade levels in order to counter the effects of reductive science at the various stages of their intellectual development. I mentioned to her that I thought fourth or fifth grade would be an appropriate point to start, since this is usually when they begin to learn about such things as molecules and atoms.

Her response to me was that this was not early enough. The threat comes much earlier. It comes in the form of evolutionary concepts, and it begins in what might first seem to be a very odd place – the concept of Time. In our modern world of invasive mass media, the child is, from the earliest years, assaulted by the concept that the material universe is virtually eternal, that our world is billions of years old, that simple life on earth is also billions of years old, and that human beings can trace their ancestry back through millions of years. Largely, this induces in the minds and hearts of these children the mental construct and ambience which says that they are inconsequential specks in an endless and impersonal process. As such, it makes a mockery of a personal and loving God.

Parents might at first think that it is an exaggeration to say that their five or six year old child is exposed to such things or, even less, understands them. In response, we would simply ask them if their children at such an age have ever been exposed to the modern culture of “dinosaur worship” through such things as TV, cartoons, videos, DVD’s, books, or even a comic book picked up at the dentist’s office. In popular conception, the existence of dinosaurs is inseparable from the concept of “millions of years ago.” (the earliest dinosaur fossil is now dated at 231.4 million years ago). And, of course, this is only one example. How many mothers, for instance, rely on the TV to babysit their children, and often surrender them to such things as the Discovery or National Geographic Channels (all those cute and interesting animals), which are incredibly effective sources of infusion of evolutionary concepts into modern minds. And even if a child is shielded from these media sources, they are almost certainly exposed in many other ways to such spiritual poison, especially through their not-so-carefully guarded peers for whom such things are daily bread.

Creation scientists have done an admirable job in refuting evolutionary concepts. But such arguments require extensive knowledge in all sorts of fields: geology, paleontology, sedimentary formation, radiometric dating, etc, much of which is not fully comprehensible even for the average college graduate. Even an educated person is never quite sure whether the arguments of creation scientists really quite destroy those of the enemy. Science is always changing, always coming up with new “evidence”, which is always around the corner waiting to open up new arguments, doubts, and defensiveness. And, of course, much of this science is not comprehensible to parents, and none of it to a young child.

It is therefore not sufficient for parents to just defend their children from being subject to such errors. What is most needed is an offense which will instill in the minds and hearts of their children something which will not allow such destructive ideas effective access to their spiritual, mental, and emotional lives.

There is an “Achilles heel” present within all evolutionary theory. It is the concept of “Time” mentioned above. There can be no evolution without vast amounts of seemingly interminable and “impersonal” time being postulated for the mutational processes and natural selection integral for such radical changes. Correspondingly, there can be no egress into the hearts of children of evolutionary theory if everything to do with “time” is made deeply personal and finite.

Catholic parents have always possessed an enormously effective tool for infusion of this reality into the depths of their children’s souls. It is the Bible. There can be no endless Time, no evolutionary theology, if the Bible is truly believed to be the inspired and infallible Word of God. The problem is that most Catholic parents have largely surrendered the Bible to Modernism. They have done so because a myriad of “experts”, including recent Popes, have insistently identified belief in the truth of the historical accounts of the Bible, and especially of the Old Testament, with what has become a derogatory name or position with which no Catholic wishes to be labeled: Fundamentalism.

What is not realized, or fully taken into account, is that the Old Testament is a tremendous wellspring of historical facts establishing the extreme finitude of creation, and the history of Man. There have been many attempts to determine the precise number of years from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ. All these attempts, at least by Roman Catholics and Protestants, closely converge on a period of 4,000 years. It is really quite an enlightening study to follow the descent from Adam to Jesus through the genealogies presented in the books of the Old Testament. The descent from Adam to Abraham, for instance, is quite precise (1948 years) and can be traced in three chapters of Genesis: Genesis 5: 3 – 29), Genesis 7:6 (covering the period of the Flood), and Genesis 11: 10-26. We must realize, of course, that this “precision” is somewhat modified by the obvious fact that the period of time between generations is measured by how old a certain person was when a son was born, and this is always given in years. Absolute precision would require the addition of the months, weeks, and days beyond this particular person’s birthday. Such additions would obviously amount to a very small variance in our calculations.

The effect of all this precise genealogy and history, if it is taken seriously as part of the inspired word of God, is to absolutely destroy any contentions concerning human evolution. The Bible literally saturates the time period between Adam and Christ with the stories of persons who are as we are, who possess the same nature, created in the image of God as do we: subject to the effects of original sin, and yet possessing a nobility created in the image of God; fully human persons who are born, mature, love, sin, form friendships and enmities, grow in knowledge and wisdom or sink deeper into evil and tyranny, repent of their sins or harden their hearts, and who God ultimately looks upon with eyes towards salvation or judgment unto perdition. This history involves a fairly long time (approximately 4,000 years) by human estimation, but it is in no way a Time for evolution. A child who is gradually immersed in reading about this sacred history, and studying the lives of these very real people, is receiving the food that will preserve and protect him or her as a child of God from seemingly endless Time and Meaninglessness.

Much of this, and certainly the entire creation account, has been dismissed by Modernist Biblical scholars as myth or “popular history”. The problem is that it is impossible to do such a thing while at the same time believing in the reliability or Truth of God’s Revelation. In order to understand fully why this is so, we can do no better than quote passages from Pope Leo XIII’s magnificent encyclical Providentissimus Deus – On the Study of Sacred Scripture:

“But it is absolutely wrong and forbidden either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture or to admit that the sacred writer has erred.

For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit; and so far is it from being possible that any error can coexist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true.

“Hence, because the Holy Spirit employed men as his instruments, we cannot, therefore, say that it was these inspired instruments who, perchance, have fallen into error, and not the primary author. For, by supernatural power, He so moved and impelled them to write – He so assisted them when writing – that the things which he ordered, and those only, they, first, rightly understood, then willed faithfully to write down, and finally expressed in apt words and with infallible truth.

“It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration or make God the author of such error.” (the above quotes are all taken from section 3a).

It follows that anything that is presented in Scripture as simple historical fact necessarily has God, Who cannot error, as its author. In 1909, the Pontifical Biblical Commission, under Pope St. Pius X, published the following decree concerning the historicity of the first three chapters of Genesis (certainly the most contested chapters in the entire Bible as regards their containing genuine history):

“Notwithstanding the historical character and form of Genesis, the special connection of the first three chapters with one another and with the following chapters, the manifold testimonies of the Scriptures both of the Old and of the New Testaments, the almost unanimous opinion of the holy Fathers and the traditional view which the people of Israel also has handed on and the Church has always held, may it be taught that: the aforesaid three chapters of Genesis contain not accounts of actual events, accounts, that is, which correspond to objective reality and historical truth, but, either fables derived from the mythologies and cosmogonies of ancient peoples and accommodated by the sacred writer to monotheistic doctrine after the expurgation of any polytheistic error; or allegories and symbols without any foundation in objective reality proposed under the form of history to inculcate religious and philosophical truths; or finally legends in part historical and in part fictitious freely composed with a view to instruction and edification?

Answer: In the negative to both parts.”

In other words, it was the decision of the 1909 Biblical Commission, in complete continuity with almost 2,000 years of Church teaching, that the historical facts, persons, events and times related in Genesis correspond to objective historical truth, and fall under the infallible truth of Divine Revelation. And, further, that to claim otherwise is tantamount to asserting that God is a liar.

The true, historical character of all the rest of Old Testament (and of course all of the New Testament) necessarily follows as a logical consequence.There is no way that what is presented as thousands of historical facts in the Old Testament can be some sort of “figure”, allegory, or myth. It is certainly true that scripture often speaks in different forms of figurative language, and this has been thoroughly explored and explained by Doctors and Fathers of the Church. But all of these Doctors and Fathers accepted matter-of-factly that in all this data, we are simply encountering what are historically true facts.

It is also important for us to realize that when Scripture does use figurative language, it is done for very serious and necessary reasons – to impart truths in the moral or spiritual order. There are in fact several distinctions to be made as to the type of these “figures”. The best summary of these distinctions is to be found in the very beginning of the First Part of St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica.

For instance, Thomas writes, “It is befitting Holy Writ to put forward divine and spiritual truths by means of comparisons with material things [metaphors – analogies]. For God provides for everything according to the capacity of its nature. Now it is natural to man to attain to intellectual truths through sensible objects, because all our knowledge originates through the senses. Hence in Holy Writ spiritual truths are fittingly taught under the likeness of material things.” Thus when scripture speaks of “God’s arm”, it simply denotes his operative power. When it speaks of His “wrath”, it signifies such things as chastisement, punishment, and judgment. In other words, we need such “figures” in order to gain a real, but imperfect, knowledge of God.

St. Thomas delineates two basic senses of Holy Scripture – the historical/literal, and the spiritual (“which is based on the literal, and presupposes it”). The historical/literal is simply what it is – revealed, literal facts and truths, with God as their author. The spiritual sense has a threefold division: allegorical, tropological, and anagogical. Something is written allegorically in so far as “the things of the Old Law signify the things of the New Law” [think of the entire Song of Songs in this regard]. The tropological, or moral sense, indicates “that things done in Christ, or so far as the things which signify Christ, are types of what we ought to do”. And the third spiritual sense (anagogical) indicates things “in so far as they relate to eternal glory”. All these “senses” are involved in Biblical interpretation.

In other words, to try to demean someone as believing in “the literal meaning of scripture”, and then to oppose them to those persons (supposedly much more mature and sophisticated) who believe in the “spiritual meaning of scripture” is a cheap trick of the Modernist. There is a great deal of both literal and figurative meaning in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. However, while there certainly is no sin in not being able to understand all the metaphorical, figurative, and otherwise hidden depths of scripture, there is a great deal of malice towards both God and man in undermining or denying what is simply presented as literal and historical facts which are revealed truths, and have God as their author..

There is simply no way in which all the vast amount of genealogical, chronological, and historical facts present in the Old Testament can be reduced to some spiritual, metaphorical, figurative meaning, or to a “popular myth”, without either denying God’s authorship of the entirety of Holy Scripture, or subjecting Him to error or deception. Historical facts are not metaphors or allegories; they are either simply true or false. If any one of these facts is false, then God has simply erred, thus violating the most sacred truth about God, as laid down by Pope Leo XIII: “it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true”.

The “modern” Catholic is made to feel that the Catholic Church has never taken these facts literally, and that such foolishness and naivety is only to be found in fundamentalist sects. But the fact is that all faithful Catholics took them literally for almost 2,000 years. The Douay-Rheims Bible was in almost universal use by English-speaking Catholics for approximately 450 years, until the middle of the Twentieth Century. The 1899 Challoner edition of the Douay–Rheims, for instance, contains a detailed “Historical and Chronological Index” [actually a Table] to the Old Testament. It begins with Adam and the “Creation of heaven and earth, and all things therein, in six days” at the beginning of year One. It then proceeds through a chronology listing very specific persons and dates, and ends with the birth of Joseph, foster-father of Jesus, during the High Priesthood of Hyrcanus (which succeed that of Alexander who became High Priest 3,934 years after the creation of Adam).

In other words, modern Catholics have largely been hoodwinked into denying, and being embarrassed by, what is obviously a huge part of God’s Divine Revelation. They have been overrun by a spiritual timidity and cowardice towards bogus science which places them in a continual posture of prostitution towards the modern world, and ever ready to take the next step backward as Satan whittles them down to little more than stumps of what was once considered integral and necessary to being a Christian.

We must turn this around if we are to preserve our children for Christ.

To ascent to the Truths revealed by God in the genealogies and history of the Old Testament utterly destroys any possibility of human evolution. This of course throws into chaos all of evolutionary theory. Evolutionists date fossils possessing fully- human anatomic characteristics to 200,000 years ago, and Homo species itself to 2.5 million years ago. These numbers are based on both the depth of geological strata in which these fossils are found, and radiometric dating of these strata. If this data is erroneous, the reliability of all such dating based on geological stratification or radiometric testing is profoundly undermined. Belief in Divine Revelation as present in the history of the Old Testament necessarily does just that.

 

The Flood

It is the Flood, however, which administers the coup de grace to all such dating methods. It is admitted by both Creationists and Evolutionists alike that dating of fossils by both of the methods mentioned above is dependent upon the theory of geological “uniformatism”, which states that in order for such dating methods to be reliable, the geological processes which now appear to be happening on the earth must have ruled also in the past. A “catastrophic” Universal Flood destroys the reliability of these methods.

A critical question for any Catholic, therefore, is whether we are required by Faith to accept the Genesis account of the Flood as being literally true. As we have seen in relation to the rest of the Old Testament, the determining factor in answering this question is whether God, the author of all of Scripture, simply presents us with “literal” facts which must be judged as either true or false.

The history of the Flood and its aftermath is to be found in Genesis 6-10. It is quite detailed with historical facts.

We must first take into account that Noah, along with his son Sem, are in the line that leads from Adam directly to David, and consequently to Christ. They are listed at the very end of the complete chronology from Adam to Noah offered in Genesis 5. These are real, historical personalities. We must take all of the following seriously:

God, “seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times”, resolved to destroy all living things on the earth except Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives, one pair each of all the unclean beasts, seven pairs of the clean beasts and seven pairs of all fowls. God gives very detailed instructions for the building of the Ark in order to preserve them from the Flood which He is about to bring upon all the earth.

The details of the flood are also specific – it took 7 days to cover the whole earth, the rain fell for forty days and forty nights. The precise height of the water is given – fifteen feet above the highest mountain – and the number of days the waters “prevailed over the earth” – one hundred and fifty days.

The Flood came not only from above in the form of rain, but also from below – “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the flood gates of heaven were opened”. It seems that both earth and the “heavens” were constituted differently before the Flood. Many creation scientists have speculated that there was a vapor canopy around the earth which created a greenhouse effect, and consequent temperate climate over all the earth. This disappeared when the “flood gates of heaven were opened”. This would account for such phenomena as mammoths being found in Siberia, apparently rapidly frozen, with green vegetation in their stomachs. The destruction of such a canopy, and the consequent elimination of this greenhouse effect, would account for rapid freezing and preservation of these mammoths. It might also account, at least partially, for the fact that people lived much longer before the flood – such a vapor canopy would have blocked harmful cosmic radiation from space.

It is also speculated that such a vapor canopy would have increased gas pressures on the earth, causing a 50% higher concentration of oxygen. In 1987, Time Magazine reported that amber crystals (formed from the fossilization of tree sap) had been discovered with trapped air bubbles containing50% more oxygen than the current atmosphere (32% vs. 21%). Reduction of the oxygen content of the atmosphere after the Flood could very well account for the inability of dinosaurs to survive. The higher oxygen rates before the Flood could also account for longer life spans, healthier lives, larger fossils of all sorts found in the fossil record. We mention all this, not to presume to give any sort of extensive or exhaustive scientific arguments, but only to give the reader some small indication of the great number of possible ramifications, even beyond geological and radiometric dating, of Noah’s Flood.

To continue with the specifics facts concerning the Flood:

After the hundred and fifty days, God “brought a wind upon the earth, and the waters were abated”, and “the fountains also of the deep, and the flood gates of heaven were shut up, and the rain from heaven was restrained, and the waters returned from off the earth going and coming: and they began to be abated after a hundred and fifty days. And the ark rested in the seventh month, the seven and twentieth day of the month, upon the mountains of Armenia.” Further, “in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared”. The scripture then tells us that after forty more days, Noah opened the window of the ark, and sent forth a raven, which did not return. He then sent forth a dove which, “not finding where her foot might rest”, returned to the ark. Finally, after waiting another seven days, Noah sent forth the same dove, which returned to him in the evening carrying “a bough of an olive tree, with green leaves, in her mouth”. Noah stayed in the ark yet another seven days, sent forth the dove again, which did not return.

The scripture continues: “Therefore in the six hundredth and first year [Noah was 600 years old at the beginning of the Flood – Genesis 7:6], the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were lessened upon the earth, and Noah, opening the covering of the ark, looked, and saw that the face of the earth was dried. In the second month, the seven and twentieth day of the month, the earth was dried. And God spoke to Noah, saying: Go out of the ark, thou and thy wife, thy sons, and the wives of thy sons with thee. All living things that are with thee of all flesh, as well in fowls as in beasts, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, bring out with thee, and go ye upon the earth; increase and multiply upon it.” And, finally, Noah built an “altar unto the Lord”, “offered holocausts upon the altar”, and God established His “rainbow covenant” with man by which He promised never again to destroy all life on earth with water.

What is often overlooked in the account of the Flood and its aftermath is Chapter 10 of Genesis, which in its entirety is devoted to enumerating the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons of Noah (all 71 of them), and the specific nations and areas of the world which they and their descendents re-populated. The final two sentences of this chapter read: “These are the families of Noe, according to their peoples and nations. By these were the nations divided on the earth after the flood.”

One of the more interesting facts revealed in all of this chronology is that Abraham was 58 years old when Noah (who lived for 950 years) died. It is tempting to consider the possibility that, in God’s providence, these two men of God might have exchanged a glass of wine and discussed what God might do next in order to try and straighten out sinful man (Abraham would not receive God’s calling for another 17 years, when he was 75). Such might be the stuff of imagination, but the very fact that it is conceivable illustrates the profound finitude and “personality” of time in God’s dealings with man and all of creation.

Let us address a young child:

Grandpa (or Great Grandpa) is 80 years old. That may seem a long time to you, but it is not really a very long time for Grandpa. Your life will seem much shorter as you grow older. There are 25 (we might lay out 25 eggs as illustration) of Grandpa’s lives going back to the time when Christ walked this earth. If we then use an apple to show the time of Christ until you were born, there are less than two apples, before Christ, back to the creation of Adam and the world.

I quote Pope Leo again: “It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration or make God the author of such error.”To claim that God would provide all this erroneous data in order to create some sort of metaphor or allegory is preposterous. This is either historical truth, or God has erred.

If God has not erred, then man has not evolved. The choice is simple for any Catholic. Any attempt to escape this truth simply speaks of a very unnatural hunger to be prostituted to the world, while yet claiming to be a follower of Christ. It simply does not work.

 

 The Genesis Creation Account

We are now left with the Old Testament account of Creation itself. It is presented to us as occurring over a period of six days; the seventh day, God “rested” (the notion that God “rested”, obviously being a classic use of metaphor in Holy Scripture).

In his excellent work, The Doctrine of Genesis 1-11, Fr. Victor Warkulwiz, M.S.S., offers the following conclusions regarding the teaching of the Fathers of the Church in regard to the Six Day Creation account: “None of them professed belief that God took eons of time to create the world”, and “The great majority of the Fathers of the Church believed that God created the world in six natural days.” (p. 164). He offers the following examples of their thought on this matter:

From St. Ephrem the Syrian, he quotes the following passages:

“So, let no one think that there is anything allegorical in the works of the six days. No one can rightly say that the things pertaining to these days were symbolic, nor can anyone say that they were meaningless names or that things were symbolized for us by their names.

“Although both the light and the clouds were created in the twinkling of an eye, still both the day and night of the First Day continued for twelve hours each.

Although the grasses were only a moment old at their creation, they appeared as if they were months old. Likewise, the trees, although only a day old when they sprouted forth, were nevertheless like trees years old as they were fully grown and fruits were already budding on their branches. The grass that would be required as food for the animals two days later was thus made ready. And the new corn that would be food for Adam and his descendants, who would be thrown out of paradise four days later, was thus prepared.”

St. Basil:

”There was evening and morning.” This means the space of a day and a night….”And there was evening and morning, one day.” Why did he say “one” and not “first”? [note: this use of the word “first” is how it is erroneously translated in the New American Bible, which contains many such Modernist distortions of Holy Scripture]….He said “one” because he was defining the measure of a day and night and combining the time of a night and a day, since the twenty-four hours fill up the interval of one day, if, of course, night is understood with day.”

St. Ambrose:

“In notable fashion has Scripture spoken of a “day”, not the “first day”. Because a second, then a third, day, and finally the remaining days were to follow, a “first day” could have been mentioned, following in this way the natural order. But scripture established a law that twenty-four hours, including both day and night, should be given the name of day only, as if one were to say the length of one day is twenty-four hours in extent.”

Fr. Warkulwiz then proceeds to state that St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Jerome, and St. Gregory the Great also believed that God created the world successively in six natural days.

The one exception to this almost universal view held by the Church Fathers that the world was created in six simultaneous days was St. Augustine. St. Augustine believed that all things were created “simultaneously” on the first day, but that plants and animals were created in “seed” form (what he called rationes seminales – “rational seeds”), to be distinguished later. St. Thomas held a similar view, but was very careful to note that both his and St. Augustine’s view on this matter differed from the rest of the Church Fathers, and that it was only his personal opinion. It should also be carefully noted that the rationes seminales of Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas have nothing to do with evolution, and are diametrically opposed to it. Whatever “rational seeds” may be, they already are in possession of the substantial form of a particular “kind” of thing. In the teaching of St. Thomas, there can be no change of one “kind” of substance into another. The appearance of a new “kind” requires the corruption of the substantial form or essence of the former “kind” (in the case of living thing this entails its death). This absolutely negates the “evolution” of one substance into another, and entails that no living species could undergo any sort of mutation which would generate a different “kind”. There is, in other words, no way in which Thomas can be used to endorse evolutionary theory. The “rational seeds” of St. Augustine and St. Thomas, if they could be said to exist, are just that – “rational”. They speak of the fact that all the “kinds” of both living and non-living thing are intelligently created, and have a created, intelligible “form” that makes them what they are. There is no intelligence in material causation itself, and there can therefore be no creation of new kinds through such material causation in itself. It is interesting that in Chapter One of Genesis the word, “kind” or “kinds” is used nine times in order to emphasize this fact. God’s Ways are not indefinite, interminable, or evolutionary. All the Church Fathers, being wise, and at the same time being the spiritual children of a Personal God, understood this.

As we have pointed out, it is in the very nature of evolutionary theory that in order for it to win over the human mind, interminable lengths of Time, with its consequent principle of Endless Becoming, must claim victory in our minds over substantial being, essence, and nature. In Thomistic metaphysics, time is one of the nine accidens of being. It exists only as a reality by inhering in substance. To “free” time from this inhering in something substantial – something with an inviolable nature – to make it interminable, vast beyond human comprehension, and something to which substantial being is subject for its very essence and fulfillment, amounts to a destruction of being. In regard to human substantiality – the nature of a human being – this entails the disintegration of human integrity and personality. The human mind and heart become “lost in time”, like an astronaut whose tether- line to his ship has been cut, and who now floats further and further away from any contact with what is real.

 

Pope Francis and Time

Those who have read Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium may have been puzzled by the following paragraph #222, under the rather strange sub-heading, Time is Greater than Space:

“A constant tension exists between fullness and limitation. Fullness evokes the desire for complete possession, while limitation is a wall set before us. Broadly speaking, “time” has to do with fullness as an expression of the horizon which constantly opens before us, while each individual moment has to do with limitation as an expression of enclosure. People live poised between each individual moment and the greater, brighter horizon of the utopian future as the final cause which draws us to itself. Here we see a first principle for progress in building a people: time is greater than space.”

On the contrary, the Catholic Faith is not established upon a “horizon which constantly opens before us”, but upon what is within us now:

“Neither shall they say: Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21).

It has nothing to do with a utopian future, but with the “now” of our response to God’s grace and truth:

“And we helping do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain….Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:1-2).

It is this now which has been the crucial and saving moment for each individual soul from the creation of Adam down to the last man. It is this now which has been the source of all that is good in human history; for it is here that God’s Rule is either accepted or rejected, this in turn determining whether true love, peace, justice, compassion, and mercy are either accepted or rejected in societies and nations.

Pope Francis indeed seems to make “time” the very source of revelation and salvation. In his interview with Anthony Spadaro, he said the following:

“God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes. We must initiate processes, rather than occupy spaces.”

 Space, for Pope Francis, is simply a euphemism for what we are in possession of now – in other words, what we traditional Catholics believe to be the fullness of God’s Immutable Revelation, Rules, Dogma, the Infallible Magisterium, and the reality that we each possess a substantial human nature and soul, requiring the same fundamental choice now as was true of the first man. Time is proposed as being greater than Space because “becoming” is more real than God’s Supreme Being, and takes precedence over the Revealed Truths which are the fullness of that Being. It is therefore quite easy to see why, in the mind of Pope Francis, a bogus mercy trumps immutable dogma – why the divorced and remarried may receive Holy Communion, why we must be “inclusive” towards practicing homosexuals (who must certainly also be admitted to Sacramental Communion if such a “mercy” holds true), and why, in fact, we must be inclusive towards everyone (except the Mafia, and possibly Traditionalists). It is the Journey into the future which is everything. There can be no Now which demands conversion to any Absolutes, and such conversion cannot be a requisite for being included within the sacramental and supernatural life of Christ’s Mystical Body.

If Time triumphs over what we possess Now then we float, untethered, until the life of God’s Revelation is left behind. The world has for some time rejected all Absolutes, and prostrated itself before the goddesses of scientific change and progress. This world, of which Satan is the Prince, now has a friend within the Church in the person of Pope Francis.

 

That Which Overcomes Science

Possibly the most debilitating error of our time is the belief that, in the face of all the assaults of modern science and technology, we must prove our faith (very often to ourselves) by using science itself.

The past 50-100 years have seen a great many such efforts, mostly unsuccessful. We see this reality in the tragic struggle to end abortion – all those baby-models, employment of the science of genetics, ultra-sounds, etc. Despite all of this effective use of science, we plummet more deeply every day into the culture of death.

We see it in the attempts to use every form of the media to counteract the secularist agenda of those who were, in reality, the creators of Modern Media. Pope Pius XII, who was called the “Science Pope”, had great hopes for us in this contest (see his encyclical Miranda Prorsus –On the Communication Fields: Movies, Television, and Radio). His writings on this subject now seem redolent with naivety. The Mass Media is almost entirely in the hands of the Enemy.

And, of course, we see it in “Creation Science” – the effort to overcome the grip of evolutionary thinking upon the minds and hearts of modern men by using science itself. There are certainly some who have made some progress in this direction, but any sort of optimism in relation to final victory is delusional. All statistics reveal a rapidly growing secularism – the rejection of God’s Rule – which runs on the rails of evolutionary thinking.

Everything in our cultures gives testimony to the fact that Modern Science and technology are much more effective weapons in the hands of Satan than they are, or ever will be, in ours.

The question then becomes: do we possess some other weapon which is more powerful than Science?

St. John provides a very definite answer to this question:

For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.” (1 John 5:4).

The problem is that, for centuries now, our faith has not been overcoming the world, but rather the opposite: the world, and especially the world of science, has been overcoming and destroying the faith of Catholics. We are therefore faced with drawing one of two conclusions: either God and His Word are wrong, and faith is really just a powder-puff in the face of the weapons of science; or, somehow an awful lot of people who claim to possess the faith, are in reality profoundly depreciated in their faith, or at least the full virility of that faith. Something therefore must be awfully wrong in their understanding and living of the grace of faith itself.

Vatican I defines faith as follows:

“Man being wholly dependent upon God, as upon his Creator and Lord, and created reason being absolutely subject to uncreated truth, we are bound to yield to God, by faith in His revelation, the full obedience of our intelligence and will. And the Catholic Church teaches that this faith, which is the beginning of man’s salvation, is a supernatural virtue, whereby, inspired and assisted by the grace of God, we believe that the things which He has revealed are true; not because the intrinsic truth of the things is plainly perceived by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself, Who reveals them, and Who can neither be deceived nor deceive. For faith, as the Apostle testifies, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.” (Heb 11: 1).

Faith is a grace by which and through which we believe in things that “appear not”. It is, through God’s grace, and in itself, the “substance” and “evidence” for these things. The direct object of this faith is God’s Revelation. The immediate effect of our receiving and accepting this gift is the movement of our wills which causes our mind to surrender to these truths, not on basis of any evidence provided by our use of “the natural light of reason”, but on the authority of God Who is our Father. Faith, in other words, is the supreme expression of spiritual childhood.

Faith is weakened through a myriad of subtle devices by which we subject our child-like faith in God’s Revelation to conditional verification by the world and ourselves. It is certainly legitimate to fully assent to God’s Revelation, and then use every natural means at our disposal to support Revealed Truth. Such, for instance, is the role of philosophy (and especially the philosophy and metaphysics of St. Thomas) as the “handmaid of theology”. But it is also true that it is very easy for us to begin to weaken and detract from this supernatural grace of faith by subtly beginning to make it conditional upon verification by “the natural light of reason” in one form or another, and especially in relation to science. Here, faith is profoundly weakened. Thus begins that slippery slope which eventually slides down into the darkness of disbelief.

We have spoken much in previous articles of the decay of Faith which has occurred because of the almost total surrender of Catholic hearts and minds to the world, especially in two realms: the abandonment of the life of poverty and simplicity demanded by Our Lord’s teaching of the Beatitudes, and which is absolutely necessary that our hearts be not divided between the world and God; and the subjection of our minds to reductive “atomic” science and evolutionary theory. We must also realize, however, that the means by which this spiritual blindness has penetrated most effectively into the minds and hearts of most Catholics is through that gradual process of erosion of their belief in the reliability and inspired infallibility of Holy Scripture. It is Scripture, after all, that is the “daily bread” which either nourishes or dilutes the faith of the vast majority of “faithful” Catholics. If the Bible itself is compromised, either by Modernist-inspired translation and evolutionary-inspired footnotes (as is the New American Bible), or by both theological and popular literature saturated with such “dilutions” and outright contradictions in regard to its divinely inspired infallibility, then the faith of the vast majority of Catholics becomes like a vastly compromised immune system subject to every new disease of the mind and heart.

This process – by which Catholic faith “gently slides into disbelief” – is most evident in regard to the rejection of the Book of Genesis as God’s infallible Revelation, especially by members of the Catholic hierarchy. It reaches its apex in the theology of Joseph Ratzinger.

 

Joseph Ratzinger: The Man Who Destroyed Genesis

“Being is time; it does not merely have time. Only in becoming does it exist and unfold into itself.”

The above quote is from the chapter titled “Creation” in Joseph Ratzinger’s book Credo For Today. The reader will note that it expresses the same, profoundly evolutionary metaphysical-theological orientation as that of Pope Francis. It is one thing to recognize that human life involves potentiality and change. It is altogether another thing to equate being with time, and to declare that being itself is identifiable with becoming and “unfolding into itself” (this latter phrase is redolent with Teilhardian pantheism).

We have never read anything in which Pope Francis directly addresses the subject of evolution – his thinking is simply saturated with its implications: his belief in evolution would seem fully “natural” to him and therefore not in need of justification or explanation. But in order for victory of evolutionary thinking to have triumphed over the Catholic hierarchy, the theological and metaphysical field” of battle had first to be won to its service. The primary architect of this intellectual victory was Joseph Ratzinger.

We have dealt with Joseph Ratzinger’s evolutionary views in a number of articles (most noteworthy in The Quintessential Evolutionist), but it is necessary here to draw together all these strains of his evolutionary thought as they relate to the first three chapters of Genesis. If docility in receiving God’s Revelation in its entirety is reserved to the faith of God’s “little children”, we need a clear and complete understanding of what is entailed by becoming “old” in the faith to the point where we become like the man in St. James’ Epistle who after having once truly seen himself in a mirror, “went his own way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was.” And even if this man is a Pope, we need to pray for him not just as one who suffers persecution from without, but as one who suffers and is deluded from within. And, most significantly, we need to expose and do battle with those forces, ideas, philosophies, theologies, and sciences which have imprisoned him in this delusion. If we dare not to do this, we will never reach down to the root of what is wrong with the Church in order to effect the necessary cure. Nor will we be exercising charity towards the souls of such men as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI or Pope Francis.

It is first necessary to understand that Joseph Ratzinger places himself in direct opposition to the decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission under Pope Pius X. In his presentation of the CDF document on The Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian (1990), Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

“The text also presents the various forms of binding authority which correspond to the grades of the Magisterium. It states – perhaps for the first time with such candor – that there are magisterial decisions which cannot be the final word on a given matter as such but, despite the permanent value of their principles, are chiefly also a signal for pastoral prudence, a sort of provisional policy. Their kernel remains valid, but the particulars determined by circumstances can stand in need of correction. In this connection, one will probably call to mind both the pontifical statements of the last century regarding freedom of religion and the anti-Modernist decisions of the beginning of this century, especially the decisions of the then Biblical Commission….with respect to particular aspects of their content, they were superseded after having fulfilled their pastoral function in the situation of the time.” (The Nature and Mission of Theology, p.106).

This reduction of the decisions of the PBC under Pius X to being “provisional” would of course include Pius X’s condemnation of any efforts to detract from the true historicity of Genesis, and it would therefore also extend to Pope Leo XIII’s teaching on this subject. It would indeed seem an extraordinary act of hubris on Cardinal Ratzinger’s part to make such teachings regarding the very truth of scripture to be “provisional”. However, such would appear to be the necessary foundation for justifying what Joseph Ratzinger had been doing all of his priestly life – destroying the historical veracity of Genesis. This was perceived as a necessity in the face of what he saw as the absolute certainty of the reality of man’s evolution. Thus, the following from his essay Creation: Belief in Creation and the Theory of Evolution (published in his 2006 work Credo for Today: What Christians Believe, and taken from his 1972 work Dogma and Verkündung:

“…the pre-Darwinian idea of the invariability of the species had been justified in terms of the idea of creation [and, of course, by taking the Bible seriously as Revelation]; it regarded every individual species as a datum of creation that had existed since the beginning of the world through God’s creative work as something unique and different alongside the other species. It is clear that this form of belief in creation contradicts the idea of evolution and that this expression of the faith has become untenable today.”(p. 34)

And, further:

“We have established that the first aspect, that is, the concrete form which the idea of creation had taken in practice, has been abolished by the idea of evolution; here the believer must allow himself to be taught by science that the way in which he had imagined creation was part of a pre-scientific world view that has become untenable.”(p.36).

We see here, as stated succinctly by Joseph Ratzinger, the necessity of submitting Revelation to the judgment of science. Pope Pius X, in Pascendi Dominici Gregis (On the Doctrine of the Modernists) makes such subjection of the Faith to science as being a primary tenet of Modernism, and then draws the following conclusion concerning this Modernist perversion:

“The Modernists completely invert the parts, and of them may be applied the words which another of Our predecessors Gregory IX, addressed to some theologians of his time: “Some among you, puffed up like bladders with the spirit of vanity strive by profane novelties to cross the boundaries fixed by the Fathers, twisting the meaning of the sacred text…to the philosophical teaching of the rationalists, not for the profit of their hearer but to make a show of science…these men, led away by various and strange doctrines, turn the head into the tail and force the queen to serve the handmaid.” (#17

Joseph Ratzinger’s surrender to evolutionary theory not only necessitated the inversion of the proper relationship between faith and science, but also, as a necessary consequence, totally perverted his understanding of the nature of man as he was created by God. The following is taken from his 1970 work, Faith and the Future:

“The difficulty begins with the very first page of the Bible. The concept presented there of how the world came to be, is in direct contradiction of all that we know today about the origins of the universe….And the problem continues, almost page by page….in the very next chapter new problems emerge with the story of the Fall. How can one bring this into harmony with the knowledge that – on the evidence of natural science – man starts not from above, but from below, does not fall, but slowly rises, even now having only just accomplished the metamorphosis from animal to human being? And what of paradise? Long before man existed, pain and death were in the world. Thistles and thorns grew long before any man had set eyes on them. And another thing: the first man was scarcely self-conscious, knew only privation and the wearisome struggle to survive. He was far from possessing the full endowment of reason, which the old doctrine of paradise attributes to him. But once the picture of paradise and the Fall has been broken in pieces, the notion of original sin goes with it, to be followed logically, it would seem, by the notion of redemption as well.” (p. 5-7).

Once it is granted that man’s appearance in this world was a work of “gradual ascent” (and this is absolutely the position of Joseph Ratzinger), then it necessarily follows that at whatever stage we decide to designate man as man, he is indeed a primitive thing. This is perfectly expressed in the following passage from Credo for Today (p. 46-47):

“This would then lead to the insight that spirit does not enter the picture as something foreign, as a second substance, in addition to matter: the appearance of spirit, according to the previous discussion, means rather that an advancing movement arrives at the goal that has been set for it….The clay became man at that moment in which a being for the first time was capable of forming, however dimly, the thought ‘God.’ The first ‘thou’ that – however stammeringly – was said by human lips to God marks the moment in which spirit arose in the world. Here the Rubicon of anthropogenesis was crossed.”

It should be obvious that the intellect and will of such a “stammering” Adam are not capable of morally responsible actions, and that such an “Adam” is not in possession of original justice and sanctifying grace. Original Sin and the Fall then also become mythological. Thus, in his 1995 book In the Beginning…A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, we encounter the following from Cardinal Ratzinger:

“In the story that we are considering [Ch. 3 of Genesis], still a further characteristic of sin is described. Sin is not spoken of in general as an abstract possibility but as a deed, as the sin of a particular person, Adam, who stands at the origin of humankind and with whom the history of sin begins. The account tells us that sin begets sin, and that therefore all the sins of history are interlinked. Theology refers to this state of affairs by the certainly misleading and imprecise term ‘original sin’. What does this mean? Nothing seems to us today to be stranger or, indeed, more absurd than to insist upon original sin, since, according to our way of thinking, guilt can only be something very personal, and since God does not run a concentration camp, in which one’s relatives are imprisoned because he is a liberating God of love, who calls each one by name. What does original sin mean, then, when we interpret it correctly?

 “Finding an answer to this requires nothing less than trying to understand the human person better. It must once again be stressed that no human being is closed in upon himself or herself and that no one can live of or for himself or herself alone. We receive our life not only at the moment of birth but every day from without – from others who are not ourselves but who nonetheless somehow pertain to us. Human beings have their selves not only in themselves but also outside of themselves: they live in those whom they love and in those who love them and to whom they are ‘present.’ Human beings are relational, and they possess their lives – themselves – only by way of relationship. I alone am not myself, but only in and with you am I myself. To be truly a human being means to be related in love, to be of and for. But sin means the damaging or the destruction of   relationality. Sin is a rejection of relationality because it wants to make the human being a god. Sin is loss of relationship, disturbance of relationship, and therefore it is not restricted to the individual. When I destroy a relationship, then this event – sin – touches the other person involved in the relationship. Consequently sin is always an offense that touches others, that          alters the world and damages it. To the extent that this is true, when the network of human relationships is damaged from the very beginning, then every human being enters into a world that is marked by relational damage. At the very moment that a person begins human existence, which is a good, he or she is confronted by a sin-damaged world. Each of us enters into a situation in which relationality has been hurt. Consequently each person is, from the very start, damaged in relationships and does not engage in them as he or she ought. Sin pursues the human being, and he or she capitulates to it.” (P. 71-73).

 What Joseph Ratzinger denies here, of course, is the Catholic concept of Original Sin as something which resulted in the Fall of man’s nature away from God’s grace, and the transmission of this fallen nature through generation. He in fact ridicules this concept by comparing it to a God Who is the Commandant of a concentration camp punishing people for the deeds of their relatives. This is an extraordinary act of hubris on his part in the face not only of the manifold witness of God’s Revelation in Holy Scripture, but also defined Catholic Dogma.

The long paragraph, quoted above, which follows Joseph Ratzinger’s rejection of the traditional explanation of original sin, is simply a way of “essentalizing” this doctrine in order to make it accord with man’s evolutionary beginnings, and the progression of his original primitive nature down through time.

The other-half of this subject is, of course, Joseph Ratzinger’s view of ultimate redemption. This we have covered in detail in our article The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns. It involves the virtual total submission of the mind of Joseph Ratzinger to the bogus evolutionary-cosmological mysticism of Teilhard de Chardin. It begins with matter as the “pre-history of spirit”, sees spirit evolving through the “complexification” of matter, and this complexification further evolving towards a unity which reaches the Omega point of perfection which is Christ. We strongly recommend reading of the above-mentioned article for a proper understanding of the depths of Joseph Ratzinger’s evolutionary thinking.

 

Little Children and the Holy Father

One of the most difficult tasks for any parent is the task of teaching their children about the reality of sin and evil. We naturally want to shelter them, and thus we also tend to delay, or even omit, this teaching, especially when it concerns anything that has to do with the Church and its history. This is especially true in regard to our Popes. When such overly-protected children, formed in a “sanitized” education concerning the Church, mature, they are bound to encounter truths concerning Church history, the Popes, and even lives of the Saints which may cause deep crises in their faith. This is not at all necessary. Nor is it productive of true Catholic charity.

Just as children, rightly taught and formed, quite quickly become aware of their own sinfulness and limitations, so they can be taught that all the members of the Church are like themselves – a mixture of light and darkness, goodness and sinfulness, and always in need of conversion and prayer from others. Such also is the entire history of the Church, which is both profoundly divine and deeply human – the latter sometimes even to the point of great wickedness. What is needed to prevent such crises in the lives of our children is that, on the one hand, they be deeply formed from the beginning about all the Beauty, Goodness, and Truth of God and His Church, but also quite early become gradually admitted to knowledge of the reality of sin and ignorance within the Body of Christ. They must be awakened to the fact that they are involved in a great contest in which, by the grace of God, they have been called to wage spiritual warfare in both love and truth.

We have the extraordinary example of Fatima. During the Apparition of July 13, 1917, Our Lady showed the three Fatima children a vision of Hell. The following is Lucia’s description of that vision:

We could see a vast sea of fire. Plunged in the flames were demons and lost souls, as if they were red-hot coals, transparent and black or bronze-coloured, in human form, which floated about in the conflagration, borne by the flames which issued from them, with clouds of smoke falling on all sides as sparks fall in a great conflagration without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of sorrow and despair that horrified us and caused us to tremble with fear. The devils could be distinguished by horrible and loathsome forms of animals, frightful and unknown, but transparent like black coals that have turned red-hot.”

Little Jacinta was only six years old when she received this vision. This does not at all mean that other children of her age should be fed such graphic images and details, but it certainly does indicate the fact that children must be taught something about sin and evil at an early age in order to pray and love rightly. Equally important, they must quickly come to understand that they have a very important role to play in overcoming sin and error in both the Church and the world.

It is during this same Apparition that the children were also told that “the Holy Father will have much to suffer”. Interestingly enough, it was little Jacinta who then appeared to become obsessed with praying for the Holy Father and his sufferings. It has been our contention for quite some time that the sufferings of the Pope prophesied by Our Lady, while certainly involving persecutions from without, primarily refer to sufferings stemming from within – to a “diabolical disorientation’” which has deeply affected the minds and hearts of recent Popes.

It is not necessary that we be overly specific with our young children as to why they must pray for the Pope, any more than we are specific in our admonitions to them that they must practice purity in their own lives. We might begin with the youngest by simply explaining that, like all men, the Holy Father is subject to confusion and to not thinking and acting as Christ would want him to think and act. Like Jacinta, they must therefore pray a great deal for him. A time will come later when more specific details become appropriate and beneficial.

It is most important to realize, however, that the present chastisement which we are experiencing in relation to both the Church and the world is not without meaning and purpose in regard to God’s providential love and care for us. Pope St. Gregory the Great is reputed to have said that “Divine Justice provides shepherds according to the just deserts of the faithful”. If we are now suffering a severe crisis within the Church in terms of error and confusion in regard to the theology and pastoral policies of Pope and other members of the hierarchy, it almost certainly must be considered a divine chastisement of God for our prostitutions to the world, and for the purpose of the deeper conversion of each one of us to believing and living the Gospel. This is why all that we offer here is with the single intention of fulfilling what is contained in our Original Proposal, and the purification of the minds and hearts of each one of us which is necessary that the Light of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit may come to fruition once again in the Church, and the preaching of the Gospel to all nations.

Let us not shelter our children from that battle for souls which is the substance of our love for one another in Christ. Let us not deprive ourselves of the merits of their faith, for of such is the Kingdom of God, and the hope of the world.

To think, desire, and act as true Children of God, especially in these times of almost universal false adulthood, requires the extraordinary graces which can only be found in a complete and total spiritual childhood to the Mother of God and Her Immaculate Heart. And the path to this childhood, and these graces, winds through the depths of the Mysteries of Her Rosary. We therefore also ask all readers to also read the article which is linked here: The Rosary: The Way of Perfection.

Please spread the word about the Rosary!
error

Science: Original and Final Sin

Image result for Our Lady of Sorrows

 

 

In considering what might be called the “collective thinking” of the entire Western world (and beyond), there is no position one can take which elicits more universal disdain than that of being “anti-science.” It immediately calls forth stereotyped images of backwardness, anti-progress, rigidity, and just plain stupidity.

There are of course other epithets that are accompanied by much more vehement condemnations: terms as such anti-semite, racist, etc. But we are not here concerned with such individual prejudices and passions, but rather with the scientific weltanschauung (world-view) which now dominates our thinking, and the rejection of which is almost unthinkable to modern man.

Integral to this world-view is the belief that there is a world of “Science” containing all knowledge of the depths of the physical world, that the human mind has the potential to fully encompass this knowledge, and that it is only in the use of this knowledge that man sins.

It is our contention here, on the other hand, that the scientific weltanschauung is integrally constituted by a dominant hubris, which has profoundly altered human consciousness, and constitutes a war against both God and man.

Such an “anti-science” position is bound to elicit the following protest: “But the Popes have said that there is no conflict between true science and Faith – between the natural laws that govern the physical universe and Divine Revelation!” Yes, this is certainly true. But what has never been fully explored by these same Popes is that “Science”, as a human endeavor, is never just about objective truth, and that its pursuit inherently involves perversions of the intellect and will which alter not only man’s relationship with God, but also human psychology and spirituality itself.

We will explore this subject from three perspectives: 1) in the light of what Scripture has to say in regard to the nature of God’s creation, and the inevitable consequences of man’s attempts to penetrate the nature of God’s “works”; 2) the consequences of original sin upon man’s intellect and will; 3) the overwhelming existential and historical facts concerning the immensely destructive fruits of the scientific enterprise itself.

Before proceeding with this analysis, however, we wish to acknowledge that we may have already alienated some readers. Let us begin, therefore, by offering some very down-to-earth statistics in order to convince the reader of the possibility that there may indeed be a raging fire from which proceeds the following smoke.

In the United States, the members of the National Academy of Sciences represent the elite of those on the cutting edge of their corresponding scientific disciplines. Membership is by election only (no applications please), and such membership is considered one of “the highest honors that a scientist can receive.” The total current membership is approximately 2,350, with 485 foreign associates. Approximately 500 have received Nobel Prizes.

In the 23 July, 1998 issue of Nature, authors Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham presented the results of a survey of NAS scientists in an article titled Leading Scientists Still Reject God. Their questionnaire duplicated that used by researcher James H. Leuba in his surveys of “leading scientists” in the years 1914 and 1933. The results show in fact that the title of the Nature article understates the significance of their findings – leading scientists do not merely still reject God, but increasingly reject God in what appears to be geometric proportions.

In 1914, “leading scientists” responded with statistics showing that 27.7% believed in a Personal God (“a God in intellectual and affective communication with humankind”). In 1933, this percentage was down to 15%. And, in Larson and Witham’s 1998 study, this belief in a personal God had reached a low of 7.0% (approximately one-fourth of the number found in 1914).

In the words of Larson and Watham, “Disbelief in God [not only a Personal God, but God in any form] and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers.” The first sentence of this quote adds another dimension. Obviously, the closer one gets to being the type of scientist (especially physicists) whose pretention is to penetrate to the absolute foundations of physical reality, the less likelihood there is of a belief in God.

We can contrast the above statistics with a Pew Forum survey in 2007 which found 78.4% of Americans professing to be Christians, 4.7% “Other Religions”, and 5.8% identifying themselves as “Unaffiliated Believers” – a total of 88.9% who believe in God.

The contrast revealed here is absolutely stark. Unquestioningly, these statistics (even if we are somewhat skeptical about such polls) reveal that there is something within the scientific enterprise itself which is destructive of faith in God. As we shall see, its destructiveness extends equally to human life and dignity.

 

Holy Scripture and the Scientific Enterprise

We begin with the first perspective which mentioned above: the inevitable consequences, from a Biblical perspective, of the scientific enterprise itself.

It is a kind of dogma of modern life that man has the inalienable right, and even responsibility, to the pursuit of unending growth in all the spheres of his secular activity: economic, political (New World Order), scientific knowledge, technological development, etc. Such “unending quest for knowledge and growth” would almost seem to constitute modern man’s definition of his most fundamental dignity. This is fully in accord with the dominant forms of modern philosophy which define him in terms of evolutionary becoming rather than created being.

Such is not the Biblical view, which rather sees such pursuits as wreaking disaster to both individual and society, and to man’s relationship to Truth and to God. The Biblical perspective begins with Original Sin which, according to St. Thomas, was constituted as an intellectual pride by which Adam and Eve sought an intellectual excellence of knowledge independently of God. In the situation of Original Sin, this is described in terms of “knowledge of good and evil.” It is obvious in the light of further Old Testament scriptures, however, that this disorder also extends to the “seeking after an excellence” which would presume to penetrate to the depth of the nature of created things. Thus, we have the following scriptures:

Nothing may be taken away, nor added, neither is it possible to find out the glorious works of God: When a man hath done, then shall he begin: And when he leaveth off, he shall be at a loss.” (Ecclus 28:5-6).

And I understood that man can find no reason of all those works of God that are done under the sun: and the more he shall labor to seek, so much the less shall he find: yea, though the wise man shall say, that he knoweth it, he shall not be able to find it.” (Eccl 8:17).

For the works of the Highest only are wonderful, and his works are glorious, secret, and hidden.” (Ecclus 11:4).

For great is the power of God alone, and he is honoured by the humble. Seek not the things that are too high for thee, and search not into things above thy ability: but the things that God hath commanded thee, think on them always, and in many of his works be not curious. For it is not necessary for thee to see with thy eyes those things that are hid. In unnecessary matters be not over curious, and in many of his works thou shalt not be inquisitive.                                                             

For many things are shewn to thee above the understanding of men. And the suspicion of them hath deceived many, and hath detained their minds in vanity.” (Ecclus 3:21-26).

These scripture passages proscribe any effort by man which attempts to penetrate (or even be inquisitive and curious about) the hidden depths of God’s “works.” It is evident that in these scriptures the word “works” refers to the physical world itself – to all those “works of God that are done under the sun.” There is no allegorical interpretation possible here. We are simply faced with a choice between considering these teachings as divinely revealed truth, or merely the product of primitive and ignorant Old Testament human minds,

 

The Destruction of Human Intelligence

The last sentence in the final quote offered above is possibly the most revealing. It speaks both of the disordered motivation (“suspicion”) for such a quest, and it also pegs its consequent fruit (vanity).

The “suspicion” which scripture designates as the source for this “seeking” to understand the depths of God’s works must relate not only to God’s works themselves (their substantial reality, and man’s ability to objectively know them with his ordinary perception), but to the trustworthiness of God Himself as revealed through the substantial reality of His creation. Most revealing in this regard was a book written in 1996 by John Horgan, former senior writer at Scientific American, titled The End of Science. Mr. Horgan interviewed over 40 of the top scientists in the world (many of them physicists, and Nobel Prize winners) on the subject of “the end of science,” the ultimate meaning of reality, etc. What is revealed through these interviews is that none of these men is, in even the remotest fashion, a Christian, or a believer in a Personal God. Possibly even more revealing is that they have no epistemology (the philosophy of how we know things) whatsoever. In other words, none have the slightest notion of how it is even remotely possible to equate the findings of their “science” with reality as we perceive it. As the first scriptural passage quoted above states; “When a man hath done, then shall he begin: And when he leaveth off, he shall be at a loss.”

None of these scientists, for instance, have any idea as to how to connect the “scientific” understanding of water – of two atoms of Hydrogen compounded with one of Oxygen, constituted by electrons spinning at comparatively enormous distances around nuclei, with the whole thing being comprised of 99.999999999 % void – to the marvelous substance we know as water. They are, in other worlds, and in the most profound sense, “lost” in a world of suspicion in regard to the substantial reality of God’s creation, and therefore also of God Himself. This is why we often see such scientists flirting with Eastern forms of religion which deny the reality of our perceived world.

Further, the fruit of this “suspicion” is described by the scripture as having their minds “detained in “vanity.” Vanity is, of course, the same as St. Thomas’ “vainglory.” It is an inordinate desire to manifest one’s own excellence, very similar to that original sin of intellectual pride by which Adam and Eve sought an excellence above their nature, with the only significance difference here being its communitarian nature. The scientist becomes, in other words, a kind of Magi, guardian of an esoteric knowledge obtainable only to the elite, and before whom the multitudes must bow in reverence. The scientist, in other words, becomes the ultimate Gnostic.

The Old Testament proscriptions against such Gnostic-inspired “scientific” pursuits come to fruition in the most profound violations of the Beatitudes of the Gospel. We will not attempt to explore that teaching here. Suffice to say that the Beatitudes demand a simplicity of life, founded upon humility and poverty of spirit, in regard to the exercise of all of man’s faculties, and in all realms of human endeavor. There is no way in which we can imagine the living of the simplicity and poverty of spirit described in the Beatitudes as being in any way compatible with the development of the modern consumeristic, scientific, technological, economic, and political cultures in which we now are immersed and spiritually poisoned.

All of this leads to the second perspective mentioned above: the consequences of original sin upon man’s intellect and will.

The “vanity” which is the moral inversion involved in the Gnostic-scientific enterprise seeking to reach to the depths of created realities, produces a parallel inversion in man’s intellectual perception of reality. The entirety of the scientific quest is immersed (involved) in accidental being. The scientific method, although it indirectly deals with substantial being, is directly concerned only with accidental (quantifiable) realities. As such, it involves a continuous series of reductionisms through accidental analysis. Thus, a living substance is reduced to cells, cells to chromosomes and other structures, chromosomes to DNA molecular arrangements, molecules to atoms, atoms to sub-atomic particles, quanta, etc. In this ever-descending process, each reduction somehow becomes the substantial “reality” behind the previous “appearance,” accompanied by a total epistemological disconnect between the present reduction and what came before. The whole process entails a recurring and deepening process of dissolving what appears to our senses and minds as truly substantial, and replacing it with greater obscurity and unsubstantiality. Suspicion replaces substantiality, Gnostic-becoming replaces God, vanity replaces humility, and man becomes in the most profound sense “lost.” The whole interior order of human psychology and spirituality, in other words, becomes inverted.

It is therefore profoundly naïve to believe that such “scientists,” immersed in this deadly, poisoned, and inverted interior world, can be turned around through better or deeper knowledge concerning their own particular discipline, or through education in “natural law.” Their fundamental spiritual and intellectual perceptions are too perverted in order to make sense of such an enterprise. They must first be turned completely around, and that is possible only through a profound conversion of their whole being to God and His Church, and to the substantial natures of both God and man. And, if they are scientists, this must also involve a conversion of their entire intellectual orientation to a Thomistic metaphysical view of created realities.

One of the great, collective delusions of both the so-called “Conservative” and “Traditional” Catholic worlds is the prevalent view that the accomplishments of the West in regard to science, technology, etc. are the glorious fruits of Catholicism, and its embrace of rationality as the handmaid of Faith and Revelation. Few seem to even consider the possibility that true Catholic rationality demands a profound poverty of spirit in relation to any scientific endeavor, a devotion to both material and intellectual humility, and a commitment to material and technological asceticism, etc. No one seems to consider, in other words, that the “Goddess of Reason” which Western Culture has embraced, with its scientific and technological revolutions, represents a profound decay in Catholic civilization. It is not a true reflection of the Holy Spirit of Wisdom, but rather the offspring of that original sin which also sought a knowledge which was prostitute to the temptation of Satan to be “like Gods.”

The absurdities in the thinking of conservative and traditional Catholics which flow from this are startling. Just to offer one example: Any attempt to seriously consider the possibility of global warming (and we here make no judgment about its objective truth or falsity) is absolutely dismissed as a liberal agenda. This, despite the fact that the profound violations of the Sermon on the Mount, and its prescriptions for living a life of simplicity and poverty towards all the goods of this world, are morally bound to have their consequences upon the physical world in which we live. The same, of course, may be said of all the other hubris’ of modern science and technology: industrialization, urbanization, massive pollution, chemically-based industrial agriculture, genetic-modification, etc.

 

War Against God and Man

All this brings us to the third point mentioned above: that the scientific enterprise has predominantly been employed for destruction– in war against both man and God.

There are several good books which delineate the unholy marriage between scientists and mass slaughter of human beings down through history. The one I now have in my possession is titled Science Goes to War: The Search for the Ultimate Weapon, from Greek Fire to Star Wars, by Ernest Volkman. It represents a fascinating and terrifying exploration of the degree to which science and scientists, over thousands of years of human history, have been the concubines of the god of War. The Twentieth Century represented, of course, the great zenith of this holocaust conducted by science and “scientific materialism” (which, appropriately, was an oft-used name for Communism) against human dignity. The list of such scientific achievements in the torture and murder of human beings during the last century is almost endless.

But it has been so, to varying extents, from the beginning. Let us take, for instance, the example of Alexander the Great, considered by many to be the greatest conqueror of all time. Alexander the Great is famous for establishing the great Library in Alexandria, Egypt. But what is little known is that this Library was actually part of the Museion which, in the words of Volkman, was centered upon the creation of “the penultimate scientific research institute that would join Western and Eastern science in an effort to solve all practical problems of running the Greek Empire and ensuring that it remained supreme over all possible competitors. Its mandate included engineering, navigation, astronomy, geography, road-building, determining land boundaries – and the machines of war….All living expenses of the scientists working at the Museion were underwritten by the state. They learned that they could hardly think of a line of research that would not be funded if it had anything to do with benefitting the state [and especially improving the engines of war], there was a certain guarantee that the state would throw money at it.”

And, it has been the same ever since. Scientific research and the development of its technology always demands an immense amount of money and resources, and the State supplies. Political Power- Money- Science-War – the Four Horses of the War against Man and Human Dignity. As Heraclitus said, “War is the Father of all things.”

Inevitably, and even right from the beginning, this war against man evolved into a War Against God. Scientific reductionism, as we have seen, immerses the human mind in accidental analysis, which inevitably creates the poisoned world-view which identifies substantial reality with the fruits of such reductive analysis. And since accidental being is the basis of all change, then Being becomes identified with Becoming, and God as an Immutable Being must die. Man thus loses his moorings in both the substantial being of created things, and in his relationship to the Absolute Being and Immutable Truth of God. He becomes lost in phenomena. As a philosopher in the modern world he is forced into Nominalism, Empiricism, Kantianism, Phenomenalism, Personalism, Modernism, or any of a host of idealistic and subjectivist philosophies by which man is forced to retreat into himself, and away from objective, absolute truth. And this spiritual retreat also necessarily devolves into rejection of any belief in an immutable Natural Law.

All of this came home to roost in the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Virtually no “serious” philosopher or scientist could hold to Thomistic metaphysics. And if they stayed in the Catholic Church during the 16th or 17th centuries it was usually more from fear of being burned at the stake than because of any faith they still possessed.

This war between scientific reductionism (atomism) and Thomistic metaphysics always comes down to the Catholic dogma of Transubstantiation. This is something little understood by Catholics, but fully comprehended by many of their enemies. Dr. Bernard Pullman, late Professor of Quantum Chemistry at the Sorbonne, wrote the following in his 1998 book The History of the Atom in Human Thought:

There remains a very specific and quite important disagreement – the most important one in the view of many – dividing Christians and the atomists. It centers on the problem of the Eucharist….As we have seen, the only reality is this theory [Atomic theory, which is the foundation of all modern science] is atoms (and void), and the perception of sense qualities derives solely from the movements of particles, which bring them in contact with our sensory organs and stimulate them. Sense qualities have no independent existence per se. When a substance (bread or wine) disappears, all that is left of these qualities are names. Borrowing the language of Democritus, we might say that they exist only ‘by convention.’ Under these conditions, while sensory effects are produced by atoms, the persistence of these effects in the consecrated wafer implies, of necessity, the persistence of the atoms of the bread. The substance remains, therefore, bread, squarely in contradiction with Church dogma.” (p. 93-95).

The almost universal rejection of Catholicism by “eminent” scientists is therefore not the product of some sort of undefined indifferentism, but rather a necessity of their “science,” which requires rejection of the intellectual contents of Catholic Dogma. And, of course, this rejection is not restricted to the Dogma of Transubstantiation. The Theory of Evolution, for instance, leaves no room for such doctrines as those which posit an original state of Justification for Adam and Eve, the fall of that “Nature” through Original Sin, restoration through Sanctifying Grace, and all the rest of Catholic doctrine which so profoundly relies on the concepts of substantial being and nature as being distinct from accidental being.

 

The Myth of “Religious” Scientists

Let us briefly look at four famous scientists who, it is often claimed, were “deeply religious men.” We will begin with Galileo.

Scientists will often attempt to dismiss Catholicism using what we might call a “polemical shortcut” – arguing that they cannot have anything to do with a Church that once condemned Galileo and his heliocentrism. As a consequence, an immense volume of Catholic literature and apologetics has issued forth from Catholic pens attempting to either justify the Church’s condemnation or make excuses for it. Such authors fail to comprehend the much deeper issues at stake here in regard to science and faith. Nor do they comprehend the depths of Galileo’s own infidelity.

Recent research in the Vatican archives, resulted in discovery of a document that clearly showed Galileo’s rejection of Transubstantiation. Under the power of his own reductive atomic science, there could no longer exist a real distinction between substance and accidents. It was the contention of Pietro Redondi, in his 1998 book Galileo Heretic, that the real motive for the Holy See’s condemnation of Galileo was his heretical views regarding the Eucharistic Presence, and his rejection of Transubstantiation. Whatever merits one might ascribe to this theory, we cannot deny the almost infinitely greater consequences of such a heresy to the Catholic Faith. Such reductionism in the microcosmic realm, dealing as it does with the very nature of substantial reality itself, is vastly more destructive to Catholic faith than any errors or misunderstandings which might ensue upon rejection of geocentrism. Any honors that the Church now bestows upon Galileo can therefore only be viewed as a self-inflicted wound to her own integrity, and a prostitution to the world of reductive science.

The delusion endemic among Catholics in regard to the alleged “compatibility of Faith and Science,” is inevitably associated with attempts to offer us instances of “Good Catholic Scientists.” For instance, in the pre-Vatican II Catholic textbooks for children, Pasteur is often extolled as the premier example of the really great “Catholic” scientist. A serious study of his life, however, reveals that he came to be a modern type of Siger of Brabant, embracing a two-truth epistemological position – one truth for religion and one for science. Towards the end of his life he quit frequenting the sacraments.

Newton is our third example of a scientist whom Catholic sycophancy has often embraced as a “scientist who believed in God.” Yes, he did believe in God, but it was not our God. Newton was an Arian who totally rejected Christ as God, and considered worship of Christ to be idolatry. For a Catholic to therefore consider him as some sort of spiritual fellow-traveler is simply self-deception.

Finally, we cannot leave this subject without examining the case of Einstein who, in one of his most famous quips, stated, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” He is also credited with quotes about the mysteriousness of the universe requiring intelligence in its origins. But this “intelligence” has nothing to do with a personal God. The following two quotes are from his letters:

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

I believe in Spinoza’s God [Spinoza was a pure Pantheist] who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”

This dissolution of Einstein’s intellectual world extended to his moral life, which included divorce and remarriage, abandonment of two of his children (the first, which was conceived illegitimately before his first marriage, to adoption; the second to a sanatorium), and “serial” sexual affairs and adulteries. In The World As I See It, Einstein wrote: “There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair.” He apparently reaped the benefit of such affairs: it was the conclusion of his personal physician that he died of syphilis. (see Robert Sungenis’ Galileo Was Wrong, The Church Was Right, Vol. II, p. 40-48 for a more extensive treatment of this subject – also available from many other sources on the internet).

It also should be noted that Einstein’s position in regard to Catholicism proved to be a prophetic anticipation of the current effort to force Catholic institutions to provide health insurance to cover contraception Thus, the following from a 1954 letter:

I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet.”

It is time that we stopped being “useful idiots” in the hands of our enemies. Catholics, for centuries, have been like frogs in the slowly warming water of this universal scientific ambience. It is now virtually impossible for them to perceive the obvious historical truth: that virtually no one could be in any sense on the cutting edge of the scientific endeavor, and remain a faithful Catholic. The practice of science is a vortex which almost inevitably drowns the Catholic intellect. Nor is this effect exclusive to only the grand poobahs of science. The world hangs on every word and attitude of the Magi of science, and it reflexively (even if more slowly) absorbs the rejection of the Christian Faith which is the necessary consequence of their Gnosticism. And if some particular scientist does attempt to hold to both science and faith, science almost inevitably ends by being the victor in an even more diabolical manner: through subtle or not-so-subtle distortions and infections of his faith. Such constitutes the history of the relationship between science and Christianity over the past several-hundred years.

In other words, the War against God which is integral to scientific reductionism goes much deeper than the seemingly inevitable loss of faith of individuals. As I have said, in rejecting Thomistic metaphysics and embracing the fruits of accidental analysis, scientists and philosophers become immersed in a world which replaces the concept of being with that of becoming. They consequently become the Magi and inculcators of gnostic- evolutionism in every sphere of human thought and belief. And in so doing, they become the declared enemy of all that is Absolute – Revelation, Dogma, the very idea of a fixed human nature, and God Himself. Such Gnosticism is thus the true spiritual descendant of the Museion of Alexander the Great, and the inevitable fruit of the scientific enterprise itself.

The scientific quest which was initiated by original Sin finds its ultimate expression today in the efforts of genetic engineering (and Eugenics) to totally transform human nature itself. Under an umbrella of associated names and movements – which are, I think, best designated by the popular term Transhumanism (or Teilhard de Chardin’s term “Ultra-human”)it promotes goals such as the following: the overcoming of human disease and even mortality, the uploading of human intelligence and moral consciousness into machines and robots, total access to “rewriting” any part of the human genetic code, the synthetic “writing” of an entirely new genetic code, etc. In other words, the “scientific enterprise” believes that it is now on the threshold of gaining full control over what is conceived as the evolutionary process itself, and of enabling man to become “like Gods,” – even to the point of creating “post-humans.” This point of radical transformation in human history and evolution has even been given a name: “Singularity.” The term “singularity” was in fact coined by Teilhard de Chardin. It is no accident, therefore, that he is considered a “father” to both the New Age movement and to the secular effort which is called “Transhumanism”. He is also integral to the one-world “spirituality” of the United Nations. On the UNESCO website, one finds the following:

In 1981, UNESCO convened an international symposium and exhibition to mark the birth centenary of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French theologian, philosopher and paleontologist. A medal was also issued. Designed by the French artist Paul Belmondo and struck at the Paris Mint, the obverse side shows a portrait of Teilhard de Chardin. The reverse features a map of the world, in its centre, the Greek letter ‘omega’, the philosopher’s term for the convergence point of the earth’s evolution.”

We must not make the mistake of believing that all of this resides only in the world of science fiction. The Museion of Alexander the Great finds its logical fruition in Singularity University, named precisely in honor of, and belief in, this radical evolution and transformation into the Ultra-human. The founding of Singularity University was hosted by NASA in 2007. Its facilities are at NASA’s Research Park in the Silicon Valley, CA. Raymond Kurzweil, co-founder of Singularity University was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Bill Clinton. This is now a main-stream, government-associated agenda.

In looking at the website of Singularity University, one discovers that their oft-repeated mantra is exponential technology, which is, of course, the evolutionary engine by which they expect to transcend the present limitations of humanity.

It is clear, even from a purely biographical and historical study of science and scientists, as we have sketched above, that exponential technology effects a corresponding exponential loss of the ability not only to understand the revealed Truths of God, but also Natural Law itself. This makes it to be a Draconian threat to man’s future.

For instance, it was, for many centuries of Christian civilization, a matter of basic moral synderesis concerning the conduct of warfare, embraced by virtually all, that direct killing of innocent civilians was morally unacceptable. In World War I, the civilian casualty rate was 10 %. In World War II, conducted with an exponential growth in science and weaponry, it was 60 %. And lest we are tempted to attribute this loss of basic moral fiber exclusively to Hitler and Nazism, we need only remember Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the fire-storm, phosphorous bombing of such cities as Tokyo (80,000), Dresden (130,000), Hamburg (80,000), and other German cities, – all this perpetrated by “civilized” western democracies. The civilian casualty rate in all wars conducted since 1980 is now reputed to be 80%. This is just one area which demonstrates that any real, active sense of the natural law diminishes with the growth of science and technology.

In order to provide even more clarity, let us look at the issue of pro-life, specifically from the perspective of the concept of “exponential growth” of human knowledge. In recent decades there has occurred an exponential growth in science and technology in relation to contraception, abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, etc. – everything involved in the destruction of unborn human life. At the same time, however, there has also been an exponential growth in revelation (we won’t say “understanding,” because the “revelation” has been largely rejected) to scientists concerning the facts of embryonic development (think of the models of embryonic development popular with Pro-Life groups or the famous images and genetic information involved in the Carnegie Stages of Human Development). It is abundantly clear from this latter “scientific” knowledge that at all stages of embryonic development the “substantial form” (soul) of a human person is present. Despite this objective knowledge which is rudimentary education for any student of genetics, we know which “exponential” has won – it was not even a real contest. Natural Law, and even obvious scientific “fact,” did not possess a ghost of a chance against the intellectual and moral disintegration which has been accomplished by the engines of science.

We now find ourselves thoroughly ensnared in a world constructed upon the foundation of scientific hubris. Every field of human endeavor – economics, politics, education, communications, recreation, and yes, religion (especially in regards to Teilhardian evolutionary theory), is enslaved and perverted by the scientific Weltanschauung. There may be little hope for the world – it would seem impossible to conceive a reversal, without total political and economic chaos. The world waxes old, enmeshed in its own sins.

But there is indeed hope for the Church and every individual who will look, see, and be converted. We believe that the definitive solution to our present crisis was given to us, in all its clarity, purity, and grace, through Saint Francis and St. Thomas in the Thirteenth Century. This twofold grace offered a vision of the integrated life of intellect and will (truth and charity) which was to be man’s only solid defense against the rising tide of Renaissance humanism and science that was about to break upon Christian civilization. This twofold grace of God was almost immediately compromised and distorted by Catholics, and simply denied by the world. We are now bearing the full weight of our betrayal. It is not too late, however, for the Church to revisit and embrace this Gift.

But this twofold Gift can only be embraced through the deepest prayer and conversion. As we have pointed out, what has occurred over the centuries is a profound alteration of human consciousness and heart. Man’s becoming has replaced substantial being as the fundamental principle of man’s approach to reality, evolution has replaced Revelation, and unending scientific, technological, economic, and political progress have replaced humility and poverty as our fundamental orientation to this world. All this is encapsulated in Pope Francis’ oft-repeated mantra “Time is greater than space, which is integral to the Teilhardian evolutionary theology so on display in his environmental encyclical Laudato Si, and therefore at the heart of the agenda being promoted for the upcoming Amazonian Synod (see our recent articles on this subject)

In the midst of this march towards Antichrist our souls are threatened, especially within the interior of our own minds and hearts, with an immensity of evil which surrounds and threatens to drown us. St. Paul writes: “Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.” (Rom. 12: 21). From all eternity, God has willed that the space, wherein resides this reservoir of infinite goodness, be available to us (especially in these times of terrible emergency) within the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And all of these graces to overcome evil are available through Her Rosary. As Sister Lucia said in an interview with Father Fuentes in December 26, 1957:

“Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given new efficacy in the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families in the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves.”

Let us take this not merely as a pious sentiment, but as reality. We beg you to read, and act upon, our Original Proposal.

Please spread the word about the Rosary!
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Pope Francis and Teilhardian Evolution: Program for the Amazonian Synod

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In our article The Amazonian Synod and Teilhardian Evolution: A Journey into the Heart of Antichrist, we analyzed the Teilhardian evolutionary theology (including Teilhard de Chardin’s nightmare embrace of eugenics as integral to this theology) which is the agenda for the upcoming Amazonian Synod. We have been asked to provide more evidence that such Teilhardian evolutionary theology is really the agenda behind Pope Francis program of Integral Ecology for this Synod. Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si was certainly written in preparation, and as the alleged “theological” foundation, for this event. The following analysis, largely employing what is contained within this encyclical, is offered as additional irrefutable testimony that this is the case.

In prophetic anticipation of the crisis which we now have with us, Teilhard de Chardin wrote just one month before he died in 1955:

On the other hand, I cannot fail to feel around me – if only from the way in which ‘my ideas’ are becoming more widely accepted – the pulsation of countless people who are all – ranging from the border-line of belief to the depths of the cloister – thinking and feeling, or at least beginning vaguely to feel, just as I do. It is indeed heartening to know that I am not a lone discoverer, but that I am, quite simply, responding to the vibration that (given a particular condition of Christianity of the world) is necessarily active in all the souls around me…..Everywhere on Earth, at this moment, in the new spiritual atmosphere created by the appearance of the idea of evolution, there float, in a state of extreme mutual sensitivity, love of God and faith in the world: the two essential components of the Ultra-human. These two components are everywhere ‘in the air’; generally, however, they are not strong enough, both at the same time, to combine with one another in one and the same subject. In me, it happens by pure chance (temperament, upbringing, background) that the proportion of the one to the other is correct, and the fusion of the two has been effected spontaneously – not as yet with sufficient force to spread explosively — but strong enough nevertheless to make it clear that the process is possible — and that sooner or later there will be a chain-reaction“. (The Christic, p. 101-102).

The chain-reaction” of which Teilhard de Chardin spoke in the above passage has taken sixty years to materialize.  His work was censured by various Church officials for decades, culminating in the 1962 Monitum of the Holy Office exhorting “all Ordinaries as well as the superiors of Religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and of his followers”. As late as 1981, the Holy See issued a communiqué reaffirming this warning.

Teilhard’s Evolutionary Gnosticism has now been blessed with both the voice and the vehicles empowering it to be mainstreamed. The voice is that of Pope Francis, and the vehicles which he has employed are his encyclical Laudato Si, and his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Just as uniting the concept of evolution to Christology provided the theological key to Teilhard de Chardin’s concept of all matter evolving towards the Omega Point of the “Christic” (this constituting his concept of a “Cosmic Liturgy”), so the ecological movement is now providing the necessary chemistry for the “explosion” of this poisoned theology and spirituality within the minds and hearts of millions of Catholics. Laudato Si is rightly seen as the manifesto of this revolution. Following are passages from this encyclical which speak of the universal transfiguration of all created things upon the evolutionary “altar of the world”.

83. The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things.[53] Here we can add yet another argument for rejecting every tyrannical and irresponsible domination of human beings over other creatures. The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things. Human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their Creator.

236. It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation…. The Lord, in the culmination of the mystery of the Incarnation, chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter. He comes not from above, but from within, he comes that we might find him in this world of ours….Indeed the Eucharist is in itself an act of cosmic love: ‘Yes, cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world’.[166]” (the quote at the end of this passage is from Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia).

If we are tempted to deny the Teilhardian theology and cosmology in these passages, we need only to look at footnote #53 in the above quote. It contains the following comment: “Against this horizon we can set the contribution of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin”.

Three more examples:

237. On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the “first day” of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality.

243. Jesus says: ‘I make all things new’ (Rev 21:5). Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all.

244. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast.

In order to see the grievous error represented in these passages from Laudato Si, we need only consult Holy Scripture, and the many passages from both Old and New Testaments which clearly reveal that the earth will totally perish and cease to be, that the world is not our lasting home, and that Christ’s assurance that He will “make all things new” in no way signifies a final transfiguration of any created thing, living or dead, which does not have a spiritual soul:

With desolation shall the earth be laid waste, and it shall be utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. (Isaiah 24:3)

For behold, I create new heaven, and a new earth: and the former things shall not be in remembrance, and they shall not come upon the heart. (Isaiah 65:1.)

Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass. (Matthew 24:35).

But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of the ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:7)

But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up. Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness? Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat? But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth. (2 Peter 3:10-13).

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more. (Apoc. 21: 1).

The Teilhardian spiritualism implicit in Pope Francis’ concept of the altar of the world, and his concept of the final transfiguration of all created things, demands that the above scriptures be considered false. If “matter is the prehistory of spirit” (Joseph Ratzinger’s phrase), and if, as Pope Francis teaches, all creatures are to be “resplendently transfigured” and be present at the “heavenly feast”, then all creatures possess a dignity and sacredness that demands an imperishability which parallels that of human beings. We need add that the Pope Francis’ concept of the “altar of the world'” comes straight from the pen of Teilhard, who in his work The Mass on the World wrote:

“Since once again, Lord – though this time not in the forests of the Aisne but in the stepes of Asia – I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself [Note: there is no way that Teilhard could use these words, and make this juxtaposition if he believed in the substantial, Real Presence of Christ after the Consecration]; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.” (The Heart of Matter, p. 119).

And, a little further on, he elaborates:

This restless multitude, confused or orderly, the immensity of which terrifies us; this ocean of humanity whose slow, monotonous wave-flows trouble the hearts even of those whose faith is most firm: it is to this deep that I thus desire all the fibres of my being should respond. All the things in the world to which this day will bring increase; all those that will diminish; all those too that will die: all of them, Lord, I try to gather into my arms, so as to hold them out to you in offering. This is the material of my sacrifice; the only material you desire.

Once upon a time men took into your temple the first fruits of their harvests, the flower of their flocks. But the offering you really want, the offering you mysteriously need every day to appease your hunger, to slake your thirst is nothing less than the growth of the world borne ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.

Receive, O Lord, this all-embracing host which your whole creation, moved by your magnetism, offers you at this dawn of a new day. (p. 121)  

The “ecological spiritualism” proposed throughout Pope Francis’ Laudato Si therefore represents not just a lengthy and inappropriate descent of the Church into the science of this world, but is preeminently constituted as a manifesto for a totally radical change in Catholic theology and spirituality.

In the City of God, St. Augustine spoke of two Cities in combat for the souls of men: “These two Cities are made by two loves: the earthly City by love of oneself even to the contempt of God; the heavenly City by love of God even to the contempt of self.” (City of God, 14:2). Seventeen hundred years later, these two loves are now represented by two altars: the traditional Catholic altar which receives the Gift of Christ from above, and the Teilhardian altar of the world upon which man worships his own becoming, and the evolutionary ascent of all of creation.

There is, of course, a legitimate use of the expression “altar of the world”. Fatima has long been called the ‘Altar of the World” because pilgrims come from all over the world to worship at this place of Our Lady’s visitation. It is also true that the Mass itself might be considered the Altar of the World – wherever it is offered on this earth, God becomes present. But this is a far cry from the Teilhardian-inspired use of such terms as “altar of the world”, “Mass on the World”, or “altar of the earth” to connote a process of universal becoming by which the earth itself is to be seen as a “living host” being transfigured by an evolutionary processes which will culminate with all its creatures “resplendently transfigured” and “taken up into the heavenly feast”. Rightly we may view such a liturgy as being offered on the pantheistic altar of Satan.

The encyclical Laudato Si was promulgated on May 24, 2015. One year later, on March 19, 2016, the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was published. What might be called the “theological agenda” of Amoris Laetitia is succinctly formulated very early in this document. In paragraph 3, we encounter the following:

Since ‘time is greater than space,’ [bold emphasis mine, quotation marks are Francis’], I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral, or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For “cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle…needs to be inculterated, if it is to be respected and applied.”

Now, any honest assessment of this paragraph should produce profound bewilderment. The subjects we are dealing with in Amoris Laetitia– marriage, family, the impossibility of divorce and remarriage, the intrinsic evil of homosexuality, and the prescription against those living in adultery receiving the Eucharist – all these subjects are doctrinal “places” which are not subject to evolution, change, growth, or inculteration. The notion that doctrinal truths can be “inculturated” with different “solutions” in various cultures is simply a prescription for relativism. Further, there can be no unity of teaching and practice where these doctrines are violated. And finally, if questions regarding such doctrines need not now to be “settled by intervention of the magisterium”, it is only because they have been settled by the magisterium and by the Gospel from its inception. In other words, every sentence in paragraph 3 is redolent with error and deception.

We do indeed have not only the right, but also the obligation, to reject this concept that “time is greater than space” in regard to anything to do with Catholic truth. And we should be left with a very disturbing question as to exactly what Francis is trying to do with this strange notion that “time is greater than space”.

Amoris Laetitia is not the first time that Francis has used this phrase or concept. Those who read Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium may have been puzzled that in fact an entire subsection of this document was titled “Time is Greater than Space”. There we read:

A constant tension exists between fullness and limitation. Fullness evokes the desire for complete possession, while limitation is a wall set before us. Broadly speaking, “time” has to do with fullness as an expression of the horizon which constantly opens before us, while each individual moment has to do with limitation as an expression of enclosure. People live poised between each individual moment and the greater, brighter horizon of the utopian future as the final cause which draws us to itself. Here we see a first principle for progress in building a people: time is greater than space.”

On the contrary, the Catholic Faith is not established upon a “horizon which constantly opens before us”, but upon what is within us now:

Neither shall they say: Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)

It has nothing to do with a utopian future, but with the “now” of our response to God’s grace and truth:

And we helping do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain….Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:1-2).

It is this now which has been the crucial and saving moment for each individual soul from the creation of Adam down to the last man. It is this now which has been the source of all that is good in human history; for it is here that God’s Rule is either accepted or rejected, this in turn determining whether true love, peace, justice, compassion, and mercy are either accepted or rejected in societies and nations.

Pope Francis indeed seems to make “time” the very source of revelation and salvation. In his interview with Anthony Spadaro, he said the following:

God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes. We must initiate processes, rather than occupy spaces.”

This, of course, is all very reminiscent of Joseph Ratzinger’s statement concerning the temporality of the universe, “which knows being only in the form of becoming”. This is absolutely contrary to Catholic doctrine and Thomistic metaphysics which rightly sees each created thing as possessing a substantial form determining a specific substantial being in itself. Such “beings” or “kinds” of being do certainly experience accidental change, but they cannot cease to be “what they are” without total corruption (in the case of living things this entails their death) of their substantial form. This of course eliminates all possibility of one thing evolving into another. The notion, therefore, that created things “know being only in the form of becoming” is the great philosophical lie of our age. It is the lie which gives credence to all forms of evolutionary theory. Nor is it a lie which affects only temporal realities. The human soul can only find God in the” now” of God’s immutable Life and Truth, which is the source of his own being, and which is constant in the midst of all the changing vicissitudes of his or her life.

Space, therefore, for Pope Francis, is simply a euphemism for what we are in possession of now – in other words, what we traditional Catholics believe to be the fullness of God’s Immutable Revelation, Rules, Dogma, the Infallible Magisterium, and the reality that we each possess a substantial human nature and soul, requiring the same fundamental choice now as was true of the first man.

Time is proposed by Pope Francis as being greater than Space because “becoming” is more real than God’s Supreme Being, and takes precedence over the Revealed Truths which are the fullness of that Being. It is therefore quite easy to see why, in the mind of Pope Francis, an apparent universal mercy trumps immutable dogma – why the divorced and remarried may receive Holy Communion, why we must be “inclusive” towards practicing homosexuals (who must certainly also be admitted to Sacramental Communion if such a “mercy” holds true), and why, in fact, we must be inclusive towards everyone (except, apparently, rich capitalists, the Mafia, and possibly Traditionalists). It is the Journey into the future which is everything. There can be no Now which demands conversion to any Absolutes, and such conversion cannot be a requisite for being included within the sacramental and supernatural life of Christ’s Mystical Body.

If Time triumphs over the “space” of God’s Immutable Truth, then we float, untethered, until the life of God’s Revelation is left behind. The world, of which Satan is the Prince, has for some time rejected all Absolutes, and prostrated itself before the goddesses of evolutionary progress. This world now has a friend within the Church in the person of Pope Francis. And all of this is being done in the name of a universal mercy which is the ultimate mockery of Christ and the Truth for which He suffered and died.

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The Amazonian Synod and Teilhardian Evolution: A Journey into the Heart of Antichrist

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We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel, between Christ and the Anti-Christ. We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.”( Bicentennial talk given in the United States in 1976 by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II).

The final confrontation between the Gospel and the anti-Gospel, and between Christ and the Anti-Christ, would now appear to be coming to us with all the force of a demonic blitzkrieg in the form of Teilhardian Evolutionary theology. It is through the Amazonian Synod, to be held in Rome, October 6-27, 2019, that its proponents are seeking to irreversibly incarnate this theology in all the depths of Catholic belief, worship, and praxis.

Before entering into a deeper examination of Teilhardian theology, we offer the following succinct statement regarding its fundamental total inversion of Catholic Truth:

Teilhardian theology completely inverts the Catholic Truth concerning the existence of a Supernatural God, from Whom we receive all Life, Truth, and Grace. It replaces this Supernatural God with a belief in the Ultra-Human which, it alleges, will be the final fulfillment of a series of evolutionary leaps: from the most primitive state of matter – to human consciousness – and finally, to the convergence of all such individual consciousnesses in a final Omega Point of absolute perfection and unity. It is the ultimate expression of supreme Idolatry (literal “worship of self”) by which man “changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator”. (Romans 1: 25).

Teilhard de Chardin’s supreme blasphemy consisted in his total inversion of the Catholic truth about Christ and His Incarnation. St. Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is “yesterday, and today, and the same forever” (Heb. 13:8). As Infinite and Perfect God, He became incarnate, suffered, died and rose again in order that we might be lifted up to perfect Life in Him. On the other hand, Teilhard proposed for our belief a Christ Who is the “Prime Mover of the evolutive movement of complexity-consciousness”, and therefore the fulfillment and end-point of an evolutionary progression in which Christ also must be saved and completed through the evolutionary convergence and merging of all of creation into union and identification with Himself as the Omega Point (or what Teilhard also calls the Christic). Teilhard writes: “It is Christ, in very truth, who saves, – but should we not immediately add that at the same time it is Christ who is saved by Evolution?(The Heart of Matter, p.92). And he further adds: “the Christ of Revelation is none other than the Omega [End Point] of Evolution.” (ibid.).

And, in case we might still possess doubt as to whether all this is in direct denial of the absolute perfection, infinitude, and immutability of the Supreme Godhead, we also have the following from Teilhard’s pen:

Classical metaphysics had accustomed us to seeing in the World – which it regarded as an object of ‘Creation’ – a sort of extrinsic product which had issued from God’s supreme efficient power as the fruit of his overflowing benevolence. I find myself now irresistibly led – and this precisely because it enables me both to act and to love in the fullest degree – to a view that harmonizes with the spirit of St. Paul {this is nonsense]: I see in the World a mysterious product of completion and fulfillment for the Absolute Being himself.” (The Heart of Matter, p.5).

An Infinite, all-perfect God is in no way subject to ‘completion and fulfillment” by His creation. The God of Teilhard de Chardin is not the God of Christianity.

All of this obviously demands an entirely new view of Christ, the Church, Catholic Dogma, Morality, and the sacraments. This is precisely what Cardinal Hummes, relator general for the upcoming Synod, called for in his May 13, 2019 interview with Anthony Spadaro. In describing the purpose and goal of the Amazon Synod, he proclaimed, “All theology and Christology, as well as the theology of the sacraments, are to be reread starting from this great light for which ‘all is interconnected, interrelated’.”

 

The Tower of Babel

Despite his rejection of Thomistic metaphysics (and its absolute necessity for overcoming the spectre which now hovers over the Church), Pope John Paul II (as in our opening quote) displayed at times a very acute sense of the coming of Antichrist. The quote at the beginning of this article is fairly well known, but equally important are the following less-known statements from his 1984 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance in the Mission of the Church Today:

Now it can be said that the tragedy of humanity today, as indeed of every period of history, consists precisely in its similarity to the experience of Babel.”

And, in unraveling the nature of this experience, he writes:

If we read the passage in the Bible on the City and Tower of Babel in the new light offered by the Gospel, and if we compare it with the other passage on the fall of our first parents, we can draw from it valuable elements for understanding of the mystery of sin. This expression, which echoes what Saint Paul writes concerning the mystery of evil, helps us to grasp the obscure and intangible element hidden in sin. Clearly, sin is a product of man’s freedom. But deep within its human reality there are factors at work which place it beyond the merely human, in the border-area where man’s conscience, will and sensitivity are in contact with the dark forces which, according to Saint Paul, are active in the world almost to the point of ruling it.”

And, in descending from the intellectual to the practical understanding as to how this mystery of evil plays out on the word’s stage, John Paul II writes:

“Intent on building what was to be at once a symbol and a source of unity [the Tower of Babel], those people found themselves more scattered than before, divided in speech, divided among themselves, incapable of consensus and agreement. Why did the ambitious project fail? Why did “the builders labour in vain”? They failed because they had set up as a sign and guarantee of the unity they desired a work of their own hands alone, and had forgotten the action of the Lord. They had attended only to the horizontal dimension of work and social life, forgetting the vertical dimension by which they would have been rooted in God, their Creator and Lord, and would have been directed towards him as the ultimate goal of happiness.”

Pope John Paul II’s analysis contains much of the depth of the traditional understanding of the working of the mystery of iniquity down through history – of man forgetting the vertical dimension of God’s truth and life, and instead seeking to build the city of man on his own. It is the contention of this article, however, that an entirely new, and largely un-anticipated, dimension has now been added to the “spirit” and work of Antichrist – a depth of demonic activity and iniquity which could have only been dimly envisioned by the earlier centuries of Christianity. It is no longer just a question of man forgetting about God, or of his working in the “horizontal realm” to the exclusion of the vertical dimension of God. Rather, the dimension to which the spirit of Antichrist is now leading man consists of a full plunge of man into his own interior, in adoration and pursuit of the Ultra-Human which is to be attained through man’s conscious evolutionary Becoming. And it especially consists in the belief that man himself is now in possession of the power and obligation (through genetics and social engineering) to take command of his own evolutionary journey towards the Ultra-Human, and to exponentially increase the rate at which this is to be accomplished

Teilhardian theology, which has been fulsomely embraced in the “theology” of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis (see our article The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden) and many others in the hierarchy and elsewhere, now seeks total “inculteration” into the Church – this to be accomplished through the Amazonian Synod and its proposed Integral Ecology, and convergence of all that is considered to be “the spirit of this world” in its evolutionary progress. The secular term “integral ecology” has now, in fact, been adopted as a euphemism for this Teilhardian Evolutionary theology. In other words, the Amazonian Synod is effectively being promoted as an interiorized Tower of Babel which will make man’s ascension over God complete.

The Tower of Babel Interiorized

Note: Much of the following analysis is taken from a 1951 essay written by Teilhard de Chardin, titled The Convergence of the Universe, which is to be found on the web here: https://www.organism.earth/library/document/139. Any quotations offered which are not from this document will be referenced to their proper source.

The primary thing that we must understand in regard to Teilhardian Evolution is that it is not properly symbolized or imaged by the conventional “evolutionary tree” which is ever branching upwards and outwards in evolutionary diversification and growth, and of which man is only one branch or leaf – advanced though he may be. Such a view sees evolution as an ever expanding process reaching upwards into a limitless and indeterminate future.

Rather, for Teilhard de Chardin, evolution is a directed process (involving a “cosmic drift”) of increasing complexity and convergence within (which he calls “psychogenic concentration“), in which matter (through the process of molecular complexification) evolves into organic life (the “Biosphere”), which then further evolves into self-awareness and reflection (Hominization).

But this is not at all the end of the process. Individual consciousness and self-awareness are only the beginning of “hominization”, which eventually has led us to the critical threshold of another evolutionary leap within which we now find ourselves.

Man, by nature, is not an isolated individual, but rather a social being. In Teilhard’s view, the internal pressure of human socialization, intercommunion, compression, and convergence (he even includes the concepts of “heat” or “temperature” in regard to the directive “drift” of this evolutionary process) has created a “special envelope” which “now stretches over the old biosphere, and which now “provides its own system of internal connexions and communications”. This “envelope” of interconnected and converging self-awareness and consciousness Teilhard calls the “Noosphere” (from the Greek Nous – “Mind”). He writes:

The irresistible ‘setting’ or cementing together of a thinking mass (Mankind) which is continually more compressed upon itself by the simultaneous multiplication and expansion of its individual elements: there is not one of us, surely, who is not almost agonizingly aware of this, in the very fibre of his being. This is one of the things that no one today would even try to deny: we can all see the fantastic anatomical structure of a vast phylum [social, psychic, informational, etc.] whose branches, instead of diverging [branching out] as they normally do, are ceaselessly folding in upon one another ever more closely, like some monstrous inflorescence – like, indeed, an enormous flower folding-in upon itself; the literally global physiology of an organism in which production, nutrition, the machine, research, and the legacy of heredity are, beyond any doubt, building to planetary dimensions [one can only imagine the ‘fuel’ which the Internet would have provided for Teilhard’s ‘Great Vision’]….Writing in the year 1950, I can say that the evolution of my inner vision culminates in the acceptance of this evident fact, that there is a ‘creative’ tide which (as a strict statistic consequence of their increasing powers of self-determination) is carrying the human ‘mega-molecules’ towards an almost unbelievable quasi ‘mono-molecular’ state; and in that state, as the biological laws of Union demand, each ego is destined to be forced convulsively beyond itself into some mysterious super-ego.” (The Heart of Matter, p. 37-38). [We might well imagine the delight of any sort of Antichrist figure at the prospect that he has both divine and evolutionary sanction to “convulsively force” all men into “some mysterious super-ego.”].

The earth itself, being part of this collective process of evolution from matter into spirit and beyond, plays an enormous part in this process. Teilhard in fact calls the earth a “thinking planet”. In itself, being a finite surface upon which millions of reflective hominids have proliferated, the earth is a primary factor in the cosmogenic “heat” or “pressure” which cause the compression and convergence (through social communication, etc.) which generates the Noosphere. By the very fact that mankind now is being forced by modern science, technology, and communications beyond himself into some sort of super-ego which is an evolutionary precursor to the Ultra-Human, and because this clearly negates any notion that the question of salvation must focus on the individual soul and its relation to God, then it becomes quite clear why the Amazon Basin is so crucial for the implementation of the Teilhardian agenda. The Instrumen Laboris for the Amazonian Synod, describes the Amazonian indigenous people as not only those who live in communion with the earth, but also as those who live in “intercommunication with the entire cosmos”, for whom “the land is a theological place by which the faith is lived”, and a “unique source of God’s revelation”. It therefore provides the perfect venue for promoting a “spirit of this world”, undermining the vertical dimension of Catholic belief and practice, in order to institute this new religion which will come from the evolutionary pressure and “heat” which is now rising and converging from below and within. Teilhard writes:

It is unmistakably apparent (as all of us can see) that at this moment we are irretrievably involved in a rapidly accelerating process of human totalization. Under the combined force of the multiplication (in numbers) and expansion (in radius of influence) of human individuals on the surface of the globe, the noösphere has for the last century shown signs of a sudden organic compression upon itself and compenetration. This is without any doubt the most massive and the most central of the events the earth has experienced in our day.”

Teilhard then proceeds to tell us that all of this places an extraordinary demand upon us to “make up our minds and get down to work, quickly, and immediately”. And he continues:

For, if it is really true that an ultra-human [destiny] can be distinguished ahead of us, to be attained by ultra-evolution, it is equally true that this ultra-evolution, operating henceforth in a reflective medium, can only be (at least in its most seminal and central axis) an auto- or self-evolution: in other words, it must be a consciously and passionately willed deliberate act. If the totalization of the noösphere is to be biologically successful, it cannot be simply instinctive and passive. It looks to us for an active and immediate collaboration, for a vigorous drive, based on conviction and hope. For evolution will not mark time.”

In other words, according to Teilhard, we now must choose for the belief that mankind is evolving into the “Ultra-Human”, and act upon it. Again, Teilhard writes:

“That is the precise point upon which mankind is obliged to divide itself (as, indeed, we can see for ourselves it is actually doing) into two irreconcilably conflicting blocs. And, we can confidently predict, only that portion of mankind which has made the correct choice will survive—and super-live.”

Teilhard here makes an extraordinary proclamation, deserving of our most profound reflection. He flatly states that mankind is dividing itself into “two irreconcilably conflicting blocs”. Clearly, he is here contrasting those who agree to participate in his evolutionary agenda towards the Ultra-Human, with those who refuse. And also, clearly, anyone who believes according to the traditional Catholic Faith in a truly Supernatural God falls under the second category, and must be numbered among those who cannot survive.

Why is this so? It is because traditional Catholicism embodies that “static” and “rigid” presence in this world which clings to the notion that human fulfillment lies not in man’s evolutionary transformation into some future Ultra-human state, but rather in the fundamental act of faith by which he surrenders his mind and will to a God of infinite Truth and Love Who has fully revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. This places all faithful Catholics in the category of those who refuse to “move” and “act” in cooperation with Teilhard’s evolutionary mandate.

The “need to act now”, according to Teilhard, is absolutely imperative because of:

the duty and clearly-defined hope of gaining control (and so making use) of the fundamental driving forces of evolution. And with this, the urgent need for a generalized eugenics (radical no less than individual) directed, beyond all concern with economic or nutritional problems, towards a biological maturing of the human type and of the biosphere. Simultaneously, too, the necessity of drawing up as soon as possible the main lines of a spiritual energetics devoted to the study of the conditions under which the human zest for auto-evolution and ultra-evolution – which at the moment is dissipated in any number of different forms of faith and love – may be in a position to form a compact group [all of whom, we may presume, are One-World Teilhardian evolutionists], to safeguard itself and to intensify – to meet the requirements, and through the influence of, the new regime we have just entered: that of a world in a reflective state of self-transformation.”

As is the case with all such utopian programs (Gnosticism, Communism, etc.) which promote man’s becoming over God’s Being, this new regime will be in the hands of an elite. Teilhard writes:

It is a matter of bringing together a large number of minds that are sufficiently open and in tune with influences of the cosmic order to perceive, record and amplify [through eugenics] a movement of the noosphere in relation to itself. Such an enterprise, it is evident, can profitably be undertaken only after a very considerable preliminary work of discussion and tentative inquiry conducted by physicists and biologists.

But such eugenics will not confine itself merely to those such as traditional Catholics who refuse to cooperate with Teilhard’s evolutionary “vision”. It will also be applied to those peoples and races who are deemed to be “unprogressive”. Again, from Teilhard:

Now eugenics does not confine itself to a simple control of births. All sorts of related questions, scarcely yet raised despite their urgency, are attached to it. What fundamental attitude, for example should the advancing wing of humanity take to fixed or definitely unprogressive ethnical groups? [We do well here to pause, and consider what Teilhard’s view of the “indigenous” peoples of the Amazon would have been]. The earth is a closed and limited surface. To what extent should it tolerate, racially or nationally, areas of lesser activity? More generally still, how should we judge the efforts we lavish in all kinds of hospitals on saving what is so often no more than one of life’s rejects? Something profoundly true and beautiful (I mean faith in the irreplaceable value and unpredictable resources contained in each personal unit) is evidently concealed in persistent sacrifice to save a human existence. But should not this solicitude of man for his individual neighbor be balanced by a higher passion, born of the faith in that other higher personality that is to be expected, as we shall see, from the world-wide achievements of our evolution? To what extent should not the development of the strong (to the extent that we can define this quality) take precedence over the preservation of the weak? How can we reconcile, in a state of maximum efficiency, the care lavished on the wounded with the more urgent necessities of battle? In what does true charity consist?” (Teilhard de Chardin, Human Energy, p.131-132).

We must realize, therefore, that while the coming Synod is being held under the ostensible theme and purpose of an “Integral Ecology” which will be inclusive towards the Amazon peoples (and inculterating many of their beliefs and forms of worship), the ultimate purpose of this “inclusiveness” (from the perspective of a Teilhardian agenda), lies not in any sort of ultimate respect for their traditions and beliefs (or even the value of their personal lives – they will be considered expendable after having performed their role in cosmogenesis). Rather, they and their diversified cultures are being employed in creating that “heat” and “pressure” of convergence of all peoples on the earth which will break down all rigid and static states of consciousness (especially traditional Catholicism), and thus accomplish the liberation of human consciousness necessary for the evolutionary leap by way of “forced convergence” into “human totalization”. It would certainly seem that the indigenous people of the Amazon would have to be considered among the most “unprogressive” peoples in the world, and therefore scheduled ultimately to be among those who will not survive.

In our article The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns, we carefully detailed the extraordinary extent to which Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have embraced Teilhardian evolutionary theology. This does not at all entail the necessity that they have also embraced the program of eugenics detailed above. It is only necessary that such leaders of the Church have their fingers in the pie, in order for them to become profoundly effective tools in the hands of the enemy. The term “useful idiots” has been attributed to Vladimir Lenin in his characterization of those who, while they would certainly have rejected the hidden viciousness behind Communist idealism, yet became fellow travelers through the seduction of other attractive words and concepts. Such a language of seduction is now being perpetrated for the Amazonian Synod: “inclusiveness”, “mercy”, “integral ecology”, the “sacredness of creation”, etc. And beneath this language, as it is now being used, the jaws of Hell open widely.

In the future lies a new regime, employing every means conceivable towards the furthering of this Tower of Babel now being erected within the interior of modern man. It was Teilhard de Chardin’s greatest frustration that the Catholic Church was so slow to embrace this effort:

Why is it that in Rome, along with a ‘Biblical Commission’, there is no ‘Scientific Commission’ charged with pointing out to authorities the points on which Humanity will take a stand tomorrow – points, I repeat, such as: 1) the question of eugenics (aimed at the optimum rather than the maximum in reproduction, and joined to a gradual separation of sexuality from reproduction); and (2) the absolute right (which, of course, must be regulated in its ‘timing’, and in its conditions! ) to try everything right to the end – even in the matter of human biology….And while all this is going on churchmen really think that they can still satisfy the world by promenading a statue of Fatima across the continent! – This kind of thinking manifests itself here in New York too where Catholic organizations are noisily separating themselves from Trusts or Boards of charitable organizations which have agreed to associate with groups [Planned Parenthood] interested in methods of eugenics (even though these groups are just as interested in fecundity as they are in birth prevention) – O Pharisees!(Letters from My Friend Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 1948-1955, p. 172).

The Church has not embraced such fulsome eugenics, and yet Teilhard would now be deeply pleased. If the Amazon Synod comes to its planned fruition, the Church will have much more than its fingers in the pie. It will be knee-deep in those deceptions necessary for it to be considered inconsequential by the rest of the world, and thus to have been “taken out of the way” (2 Thess. 2: 7).

Finally, we must also note that it is the opinion of many who consider themselves faithful Catholics that the crisis we now face is the temporary fruit of many priests who attended seminaries during the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and who are now in prominent positions in the Church hierarchy. It is their further contention that this situation is changing, and that we now have more “conservative” priests emerging from current seminary training. It is such a view that allows these persons to convince themselves that all of this will pass, and that they can go about their business as usual.

But it is also true that the dialectical spirit of Antichrist always entails a swinging back and forth between “liberal” and “conservative”, and that such “swings” towards conservativism almost always prove deceptive (just as they do in the political realm) in the face of the unrelenting engine of modern progression towards the anti-Gospel and the Antichrist. Most significant is the fact that so many of these new priests have succumbed in one way or another to evolutionary theory in regard to man’s origins. They stand therefore at the very beginning of their priesthood – weak-kneed, and having already capitulated to reductive science – over an abyss of coming seduction and “pressure” (especially as encapsulated in Pope Francis’ oft-repeated mantra that ‘Time is greater than Space’) which it will be almost impossible for them to resist over the coming years of their priesthood. The depths of mind and heart necessary to resist such pressure can only be established upon complete rejection of all evolutionary theory. And the grace of this conviction and fortitude awaits them in the “space” of the Immaculate Heart of their Mother.

All that we have written above has only one purpose: to bring all faithful Catholics to a Nineveh-like awareness of what is about to descend upon us, and therefore to inspire every person to take upon themselves the passion and effort to act upon what is contained in our Original Proposal.

Hidden beneath the broken-wings of Time,

A Mother’s Heart Waits

And Whispers in Triumph

 

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Usury and the Love of Money: The Amazonian Synod, Chastisement for Our Betrayal

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It has often been said that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians”. This speaks to the fact that being a true “witness” (the Greek meaning for the word “martyr”) to the Truth of Christ generates a light which draws and converts souls.

It may equally be said, however, that the hypocrisies, compromises, duplicities, and infidelities of Catholics generate the darkness of the heresies and apostasies through which the Gospel and Christian civilization are scorned and rejected. This of course can occur without the Church having ever directly contradicted any doctrinal teaching of the infallible Magisterium. And it is also true that at a certain level of such duplicity and compromise, the whole concept of Christian civilization becomes subject to the accusation that it is the traditional Church itself which is the primary villain responsible for the evils which now befall our modern world. This is precisely the claim that is now being made in preparation for the Amazonian Synod, and it now provides the fuel for claiming that all sorts of things must now be inculterated into Catholic belief, worship, and practice (especially among “indigenous peoples such as those living in the Amazonian Basin) which are profoundly in contradiction to traditional Catholic faith, morality, and worship.

There is no one area of such betrayal of Catholic belief and practice which now provides more fuel for this rejection of the teachings of Christ and the Church than does the accelerating prostitution (over a period of many centuries) of individual Catholics, Catholic nations, and the Church as a whole, to all that is in violation of the Gospel-based teaching on Usury and Profit. It is precisely such betrayal of the Church’s teaching which engendered the accumulation of the power of money in the hands of governments and large financial and industrial interests which led in turn to the exploitation of vast parts of the world. Because of this hypocrisy in relation to Christ’s teaching on poverty and simplicity of life, it is extraordinarily easy (especially on the part of “indigenous” peoples) to now justify identifying the institution of the Catholic Church itself with all of the exploitation of Third World countries which was committed by colonial Christian powers. And because this duplicity has necessarily created a deep sense of guilt (even though it be unconscious) among virtually all Catholics in relation to Christ and his teaching concerning the living of the Beatitudes, it should be easy to understand that such betrayal has also had the effect of sapping Catholics of the depth of spirituality and fortitude necessary to defend Christ and His teachings. For Christ’s enemies, both within and without the Church, the Amazonian Synod is now therefore providing the perfect venue for changing the traditional teachings and praxis of not only the local, but also the universal, Church.

 

The Fundamental Self-Deception: “Money is Not What It Used To Be.”

A friend, who is adept in Catholic apologetics, recently remarked that there is one accusation hurled at Catholics for which he had never been able to find an effective reply: namely, that the Church has changed its teaching on usury. The problem is only exasperated by the fact that those who should know how to counter this accusation almost invariably give us answers which seem designed to make us look foolish as Catholics. A very good example of such an “embarrassing argument” was rendered by Father William B. Smith in his “Questions Answered” column in the June, 2003 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review. In his reply to the question, “Does the Church still have a teaching on usury?”, he quotes Germain Grisez (Living Christian Life, vol.2, pp.833-34):

Lending money at interest raises a special question due to the historical controversy over usury. Church teaching condemned usury, and a superficial reading of economic history suggests that usury referred in earlier times to what today is called ‘interest’. However, money itself no longer is what it once was. Thus, while the Church’s teaching of earlier times remains true, today it can be just to charge interest on a loan.”

Now if we were to proffer such a reply to our Protestant or liberal Catholic antagonist, I would suspect they might reply: “If money is no longer what it once was”, is it just possible that marriage and the married act are not what they once were. Might it now be just, therefore, under our new understanding of what true love is all about, to permit divorce, re-marriage, sex outside of marriage, and homosexual marriages?” And despite the fact that there are some very real distinctions to be made between the “use” of money and the “use” of human sexuality, we would have difficulty coming out of such a conversation without a great deal of deserved egg all over our faces.

Nor does a wider perusal of writings on this subject necessarily bring much clarity to the subject. We have in our possession seven books on usury (only one being of post-Vatican II vintage), and it might accurately be said that none of them can provide a clear (not even to speak of definitive) judgment on the moral licitness of something even so simple as a car loan taken with interest. This seems truly extraordinary, since any reading of the vehement condemnations which are hurled against the practice of usury by Scripture, the early Church Fathers, and even Church Councils, would seem to indicate that there must exist a very clear doctrinal basis for such judgments and their applications.

As is so frequently the case, the best place to start in our attempt to attain to the truth in this matter is St. Thomas – this so because, in the words of Pope Pius XI, “the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own” (encyclical Studiorum Ducem, 11). “Thomas”, according to Pius XI, “wrote under the inspiration of the supernatural spirit which animated his life; and his writings, which contain the principles of, and the laws governing, all sacred studies, must be said to possess a universal character (Ibid).” And lest we think that such a mundane subject as money and its use do not fall under the category of “sacred studies” over which St. Thomas’s teaching is given dominion, the Pope writes the following:

He also composed a substantial moral theology, capable of directing all human acts in accordance with the supernatural last end of man. And as he is, as We have said, the perfect theologian, so he gave infallible rules and precepts of life not only for individuals, but also for civil and domestic society which is the object also of moral science, both economic and political. Hence those superb chapters in the second part of the Summa Theologica on paternal or domestic government, the lawful power of the State or the nation, natural and international law, peace and war, justice and property [within which are the chapters on unjust profit and usury], laws and the obedience they command, the duty of helping individual citizens in their need and cooperating with all to secure the prosperity of the State, both in the natural and the supernatural order. (Ibid. #20).”

Basic Principles

So, let us carefully look at St. Thomas’ infallible rules in regard to justice and property, usury and the “use” of money. We would ask the reader, while meditating upon the teaching of St. Thomas, to keep in mind Mr. Grisez’s statement that “however, money itself no longer is what it once was”. Over and over again when reading modern (and we use the word loosely to encompass approximately the past 250 years) discussions concerning usury, one encounters this notions that somehow things are now different – money is different, modern economies are different – and that somehow this “difference” makes what now might appear to be usurious and sinful not the same thing as it once was.

St. Thomas tells us that money is simply a medium of exchange for real goods. It is nothing in itself. To love it is therefore quite literally to love nothing of substance (it is, in fact, an all too human attempt to make substance out of nothing – an act which comes perilously close to mimicking God’s act of creating things out of nothing). The following is from the Summa Theologica (II-II, Q. 78, a.1):

To accept usury for the loan of money is in itself unjust; because this is selling what does not exist, and must obviously give rise to inequality, which is contrary to justice. For the better understanding of this point it should be noted that there are some things whose use lies in their consumption: as, for example, wine is consumed when it is used as drink, and wheat is consumed when it is used for food. In such cases the use of the thing and the thing itself cannot be separately taken into account, so that in such cases., the use of the thing must not be reckoned apart from the thing itself, and whoever is granted the use of the thing, is granted the thing itself, and for this reason, to lend things of this kind is to transfer the ownership. If a man were to sell separately both the wine and the use of the wine he would be selling the same thing twice over; that is he would be selling what does not exist: and he would clearly be sinning against justice. For the same reason he commits an injustice who requires two things in return for the loan of wine or wheat, namely the return of an equal quantity of the thing itself and the price of its use. This is what is called usury [and we must add, it is now called “interest”].

There are other things whose use does not lie in the consumption of the thing itself; as for instance the use of a house, which lies in the living in it and not in its destruction [or consumption]. In such cases both the use and the thing itself can be separately granted; as when, for instance, some one passes the ownership of a house to another, but reserves to himself the right to live there for a certain time; or on the other hand when some one grants the use of a house to another, reserving to himself its ownership. For this reason it is permissible for a man to accept a price [rent] for the use of a house, and in addition to sell the freehold of the house itself, as is clear in the sale and leasing of houses. “

Now money, according to the Philosopher [Aristotle], Ethics (V, 5), and Politics (I, 3), is devised mainly to facilitate exchange; and therefore the proper and principal use of money lies in its consumption or expenditure in the business of exchange. For this reason, therefore, it is wrong to accept a price, or money [interest], for the use of a sum of money which is lent.”

To summarize: money is simply a medium of exchange for real goods. It has no intrinsic value in itself. It is among those things which are called “consumptives” whose use cannot be separated from their substance. In other words, they are used by being consumed. With non-consumptive things like houses or horses (used for riding) one may legitimately sell their use separate from their substance; with things like food or money to charge an additional price (and we should make it clear here that we are here speaking of interest – let us not be confused by the attempt to whitewash the word “usury” by calling it “interest”) for their use over and above their substantive value is to engage in usury. In other words, one is basically selling or charging for what does not exist – the use of the thing separate from its consumption – and such a thing amounts to selling the same thing twice, and engaging in usury. By doing so the usurer is making money fruitful in a way which is profoundly against the commandment of God.

It certainly is easy for us to understand that when money is simply a medium of exchange, and its value accords with the real value of real goods, it would be downright foolish to “love money.” But when money is elevated to a thing which can become fruitful (a non-consumptive good) then money takes on a false sort of creative personality, and by “loving money” the person who is a usurer truly does endow himself with a power to mimic God – the ability to create resources of real wealth and power out of nothing. It is interesting that the Greek word for “love of money” is “philarguria” in which we should recognize the root of that love which is called “philos”, and is the love of profound friendship. It is not an accident therefore that St. James lays down the fundamental choice which we are called to make: “Whosoever therefore will be a friend (“philos”) of this world, becometh an enemy of God (James 4:4), and that Our Lord specifies this choice of friendship (and in this case, “service”) even further: “No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (Mt 6:24).” Mammon is, of course, simply personified money, embodying that fruitfulness which is the love affair of the usurer. With the sin of usury, in other words, we enter upon a path that leads to the most profound idolatry.

We see therefore that the problem of usury cannot be fully understood without understanding the much larger problem of money, wealth, and profit in general. It is, in fact, due to their failure to do so that the seven books on usury in our possession profoundly fail in their understanding of this subject. To begin with, it would be very helpful to quote the full passage from 1Timothy:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.

For the desire (love) of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, fly these things: and pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness .” (1Tim 6: 6-11).

St. Paul’s language is very powerful. We are to “fly” money and riches. They are a tool of the devil to “snare” us, to “drown” us into destruction and perdition (St. Francis actually called money “flies”). And most interesting, they have the power to draw us away from the faith, which means that they also (just as false philosophy and science) must have the power to draw us away from belief in the Being and existence of God. We shall return to this thought later. For now, let us be convinced that the subject of usury has to do with much more than simply defrauding the poor. It must be seen in the much larger context of profit and trade and their effects both on the individual human soul and upon society at large.

It should not be a surprise, therefore, that the chapter of the Summa which immediately precedes the one on usury deals with the subject of unjust profit-taking and trade. I hope the reader will bear with a fairly extensive quote, since it contains truths which have for the most part been lost to our cultural heritage:

Traders are those who apply themselves to the exchange of goods. But as the Philosopher says (IPolitics, ch.3) there are two reasons for the exchange of things. The first may be called natural and necessary; and obtains when exchange is made either of goods against goods, or of goods against money, to meet the necessities of life…. The other form of exchange, either of money against money or of any sort of goods against money, is carried on not for the necessary business of life, but for the sake of profit. And it is this form of exchange which would seem, strictly speaking, to be the business of traders. Now, according to the Philosopher, the first form of exchange, because it serves natural necessity, is praiseworthy. But the second form is rightly condemned; for of itself it serves only the desire for gain, which knows no limits but tends towards infinity. Therefore trading, considered in itself, always implies a certain baseness, in that it has not of itself any honest or necessary object.

Though profit, which is the object of trading does not of itself imply any honest or necessary aim, neither does it imply anything vicious or contrary to virtue. So there is nothing to prevent its being turned to some honest or necessary object. In this way trading is made lawful. Thus, for instance, a man may intend the moderate gain which he seeks to acquire by trading for the upkeep of his household, or for assisting the poor: or again, a man may take to trade for some public advantage, for instance, lest his country lack the necessaries of life, and seek gain, not as an end, but a payment for his labor” (Q. 78, a.1).

All this is simply a reiteration and clarification of the two main points made by St. Paul in his letter to Timothy: first, all men should be content with the necessities of life; and secondly, the seeking of profit for its own sake is a sin against the virtue of justice, the effects of which “drown men into destruction and perdition” and result in loss of the Christian faith.

Usury, being probably the primary means by which money is made “fruitful”, can be seen as the most effective way which Satan possesses in order to draw men away not only from that charity and justice which is due to the poor and one’s fellow man in general, but also towards God. And this is why usury is so little understood. It is usually considered almost exclusively as a sin which defrauds the poor of his goods; or, in the more modern view, a sin which exacts an unfair amount or percent of interest from a person in need. There have been several disastrous effects of this “narrow” view of usury: its deepest nature as a sin which is a profound affront to God (even to the point of idolatry) has been ignored; its profoundly destructive effect upon individual souls and nations has not been understood; and as a result of this ignorance and loss of vigilance, usury and unjust profit-taking have become institutionalized as the life- blood of the economies of all developed and so-called “prosperous” nations. And finally, this “serving of mammon” has culminated in the massive apostasy which we have with us today. After all, this is the absolutely logical and necessary fruit of such friendship with evil: “No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The faith simply cannot be “sustained” in a culture devoted to profit and to unlimited material growth.

The Historical Process of Betrayal 

Having gained some understanding of the larger picture into which the sin of usury fits, we need next to come to an understanding of that process by which these truths have been ground out of our hearts and minds – that process by which money and usury have become “no longer what they once were” in the consciences of virtually all peoples, Christians and non-Christians alike. In order to do so, we will have to do some historical reviewing.

In the Old Testament usury is treated predominantly as a defrauding of the poor. In the Book of Exodus, for instance, we read, “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor, that dwelleth with thee, thou shalt not be hard upon them as an extortioner, nor oppress them with usuries (Ex 22:25).” In the Book of Ezechiel, we meet with what is probably scripture’s harshest condemnation of this practice: “[He] that giveth upon usury, and that taketh an increase: shall such a one live? He shall not live. Seeing he hath done all these detestable things, he shall surely die, his blood shall be upon him (Ez.18:13).” We should note here that this condemnation is rendered not just against “unfair” interest but against any interest whatsoever. We must mention one other thing about the teaching on usury in the Old Testament. Usury is forbidden within the Jewish community itself, and also with the stranger who dwells in the land. It is, however, allowed with the foreigner (Deut 18:20). This permission has led to much debate among moral theologians. St. Ambrose contends, for instance, that the “foreigner” here refers to the enemies of Israel, many of whom God ordered into extinction: “From him [the foreigner], it says there, demand usury, whom you rightly desire to harm, against whom weapons are lawfully carried. Upon him usury is legally imposed… From him exact usury whom it would not be a crime to kill” (De Tobia, xv:51 – quoted from The Idea of Usury, Benjamin N. Nelson, Princeton University Press, 1949).

Needless to say, neither St. Ambrose nor any other traditional moral theologian has justified any such taking of usury from the foreigner under the Christian dispensation. This question has often been compared to the toleration of divorce under the Old Dispensation. Such things can only be understood, at least partially, in terms of the fullness of the Christian dispensation, to which the Jewish covenant was only a foreshadowing. Christ told his hearers that Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of their hearts. With the full Revelation of God’s mercy through Jesus Christ and the coming of the demand of the fullness of justice to be lived in the grace of the Holy Spirit, such toleration has no justification. The same may be said for usury. The New Testament contains only one specific use of the term “usury”, and that is in the parable of the talents (Mt 25:27, Luke 19:23).” It is virtual universal opinion that this bears no relationship to the Church’s teaching on usury. There is, however, an enormous amount of teaching in the New Testament on money, profit- taking, avarice, justice towards the poor, and the virtue of cultivating poverty in all the facets of our life in this world. Some of these we have already quoted. There is also one specific passage in relation to lending which well deserves emphasis. In the Gospel of Luke Our Lords simply says, “Give mutually, hoping nothing thereby (Luke 6:35).” In commenting on this passage in his epistle Consuluit nos Pope Urban III (1185-87) wrote, “men of this kind [he is speaking to a specific case of usury] must be judged to act wrongly on account of the intention of gain which they have, since every usury and superabundance are prohibited by law, and they must be effectively induced in the judgment of souls to restore those things which have been thus received.”

This condemnation of the profit motive in itself (and separated from the legitimate but very moderate profit which may be sought to maintain the necessities of life) is the definitive teaching of the New Testament and the Church up until the Middle Ages. And since trading was very limited, and lending was virtually never done to the rich, usury was seen primarily to be involved with a defrauding of the poor. Canon 13 of the Second Lateran Council (1139) reads:

Moreover the detestable and shameful, and I say, insatiable rapacity of money lenders, forbidden both by divine and human laws throughout the Scripture in the Old and in the New Testament, we condemn, and we separate them from all ecclesiastical consolation, commanding that no archbishop, no bishop, no abbot of any rank, nor anyone in an order and in the clergy presume to receive moneylenders except with the greatest caution. But during their whole life let them be considered disreputable, and, unless they repent, let them be deprived of Christian burial.”

Around the thirteenth century the issue becomes far more complicated. With the increase of international trade we come increasingly to deal with financial transactions between men of substance. With this complexity comes the notion of extrinsic “titles”, “contracts”, or “entitlements” to a loan. First and foremost is the contract of partnership. Two men might enter into a partnership concerning a sailing venture to purchase spices overseas. The one furnishes his seamanship, etc., and the other furnishes a loan. Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241) issued a Decree on such a case as follows: “He who loans a sum of money to one sailing or going to market, since he has assumed upon himself a risk, is not to be considered a usurer who will receive something beyond his lot.”

Now, there are a couple of things noteworthy in this decision. First, this is not the kind of relatively risk-free loan a bank today would make. If the ship goes down, both the sailor and the lender lose out. For this reason the Church came to consider the additional “something” which the lender might ask not to be usurious because it involved proportionate risk. Such a partnership and arrangement was “extrinsic” to the actual loan, and gain was not considered unlawful interest since it was not taken from the loan itself.

Secondly, however, we must note that the possibility of “superabundance” and immoderate gain and “gain for itself” are nowhere here being addressed. Such a partnership or “extrinsic” contract is obviously wide open to abuse and violation of the Gospel’s condemnation of the desire for gain and profit-taking as ends in themselves. In other words, with the growth of international commerce and finance, the way was now opening up towards massive accumulation of wealth, and the Church appears to be accommodating itself to this situation. For the next few centuries, of course, these merchants and bankers will have to work around the Church’s teaching on usury. Their main weapon will be the multiplication and exploitation of such “extrinsic” contracts and titles.

During the next few centuries the number of extrinsic titles multiplied. Many of them, of course, could make moral sense if (and that is a very bold if) the intentions of the lender were in accord with the just (and very limited and moderate) cases laid out for us by St. Paul and St. Thomas which make trading for profit legitimate. As stated earlier, the determination of such legitimacy must be firmly established upon two principles: first, all men should be content with the necessities of life; and secondly, the seeking of profit for its own sake is a sin against the virtue of justice, the effects of which “drown men into destruction and perdition” and result in loss of the Christian faith.

In the expanding world of the mercantilism, nationalism, and international finance and commerce of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, however, the Christian life of mandatory simplicity easily became lost. Faced with the expanding horizon of increasing comforts, luxuries, and profits available for trade and increased production, coupled with hypocrisy, duplicity, and subtlety which was the inheritance of the threefold concupiscence of original sin, it was not difficult to invent a whole new language (especially in relation to “extrinsic” titles) devoted to obscuring what was in fact a violation of the two principle formulated above: being content with the necessities of life, and resisting any temptation to seek profit for its own sake. Basically, this “newspeak” was established on two fundamental alterations: 1) the substitution of the word “interest” for usury: 2) the substitution of the word “investment” for loan. We can see the deceit in the following example. If a person were to “loan” money to someone venturing on some enterprise which was expected to yield much profit, and he in return demanded “interest”, then this would be considered by the Church to be usury. But, if he were to “invest” in such a venture expecting such profit, then this would now be considered by the Church to be legitimate. In either case, however, there existed a violation of the fundamental Gospel precept of poverty (firmly rooted in the first Beatitude which demands a “poverty of spirit” –and therefore also a practical living of the virtue of poverty) towards all the goods of this world.

It was also easy for the Church, concerned with not appearing backward in an expanding world of Renaissance culture, finance, and scientific advances (“aggiornamento” is indeed a very ancient vice), to become reluctant in issuing sharp and across-the-board condemnations of such “progress”, and wary of issuing specific condemnations. The Fifth Lateran Council (1515) issued the following teaching on usury: “For this is the proper interpretation of usury; when one seeks to acquire gain from the use of a thing which is not fruitful, with no labor, no expense, and no risk on the part of the lender.” We might well imagine the delight of the moneylenders waiting in the wings, with their minds spinning out extrinsic titles which would enable them to put the concepts of “labor”, “expense’, and “risk” to their advantage in the accumulation of profit and “gain”.

The extrinsic title which would eventually open up the floodgates of universal acceptance of usury as justifiable “interest” is called lucrum cessans. Noonan (John T. Noonan Jr., The Scholastic Analysis of Usury, p. 118) tells us that Cardinal Hostiensis was “the first author to give unmistakable and full approval to a case of lucrum cessans in his work Commentaria super libros decretalium (approximately 1260):

“For, in what is added to the principal, the seeking of interest is not prohibited, but only the seeking of shameful gain or of other illicit increment, as appears in Causa 14, Q.4, Si oblitus. Therefore, I think from the intention of the above laws, that if some merchant, who is accustomed to pursue trade and the commerce of the fairs and there profit much, has, out of charity to me, who needs it badly, lent money with which he would have done business, I remain obliged from this to his interesse [interest], provided that nothing is done in fraud of usury….”

This is a most crucial point in our discussion of usury, and we cannot emphasize too much the following point. The merchant in Cardinal Hostiensis’ example is one who “is accustomed to pursue trade and the commerce of the fairs and there profit much.” His life is therefore devoted to that “shameful gain” and “superabundance” which is condemned by the Gospel and St. Thomas (and, of course, the early Church Fathers). The interesse is being justified on the grounds that during this period of the loan he is being deprived of this money “with which he could have done business” and “profited much.” In other words, not only is there no connection in this case between the charging of interest and legitimate necessity, but the interest itself is being charged precisely on the basis of what St. Thomas calls “the greed for gain, which knows no limit and tends to infinity.” Ominously, and strangely enough, Cardinal Hostiensis no longer considered such “greed for gain” (despite his having used the phrase “shameful gain”) to be shameful in itself, and he denies that such “interest” constitutes usury.

On the other hand, according to Noonan, St. Thomas “rejects completely the claim of compensation for profit lost” [lucrum cessans], and thus places himself in direct opposition to this teaching of Cardinal Hostiensis. Thomas teaches:

One ought not to sell what one does not yet have [St. Thomas is here referring to potential gain] and may be prevented from having in many ways.” (Summa Theologica, II-II:78:2, ad 1).

There is simply no question about who has won this battle. The modern world is awash in a sea of interest justified by both “investment for production” and lucrum cessans. There is now always justification in our capitalistic economies for claiming that any money lent to another, or invested in his ventures for production and profit, could have been turned to profit elsewhere. This is, of course, exactly what is meant when it is said by our theologians and apologists for usury that “money is no longer what it once was” – that modern economics justify the almost universal taking of interest or profit on a loan or investment. The effect of this is to make the profit motive and the desire for “gain” the very air we breathe. And similar to that reductive scientific “ambience” (covered extensively in other writings) which has deprived our intellects of that intuitive apprehension of being which is necessary to divine faith, so this “spirit of gain” (with its roots in usury) has deprived our hearts of that single eye which seeks God above and in all things. These are the two primary legs of secular humanism which have carried us into our present massive apostasy.

It is an extremely important thing to realize that the Church’s teaching office has never given any official sanction to lucrum cessans. This is revealing, since it clearly has given sanction to the legitimacy of some other extrinsic titles. We have already noted Pope Gregory IX’s approval of the title of partnership (which in itself was a violation of the traditional teaching concerning “immoderate gain”). Another is the approval of the so-called “Mountains of Piety” by the Fifth Lateran Council, by which civil authorities charged a certain moderate rate of interest for the maintaining of charitable organizations devoted to the service of the poor. This permission was given, of course, on the basis that there was “no profit” for the same “mountains” or charitable organizations. Such “titles” were truly aimed at insuring moderate compensation where necessary, while preventing all incentive to unjustified or immoderate gain.

We are now prepared to examine the Church’s position in modern times (which we loosely define as the past 250-300 years). And since we believe it will help keep things in perspective, we wish to first give an answer to the question of “Has the Church changed its teaching on usury?” The Church has not changed its teaching on usury, but has retreated from applying its teaching (especially in its full relationship to “unjust gain” or profit) to the situation of modern economies. In other words, it has in principle and practice (and we shall see this very strong statement unequivocally justified as we proceed) prostituted itself to the modern world.

The Modern Descent into the Root of All Evil

Any study of the modern history of the Church’s teaching on usury naturally begins with Pope Benedict XIV’s encyclical Vix Pervenit. The encyclical was addressed only to the bishops of Italy in 1745, but later applied to the whole Church by the Congregation of the Inquisition in 1835. Its definition of usury runs as follows:

The species of sin which is called usury, and which has its roots in the contract of mutuum [the lending of a consumptive, which is, as we have seen, is what money is], consists in this: solely on the ground of the mutuum, the nature of which is to require that only so much be returned as was received, a person demands that more be returned to him than was received; and so maintains that, solely on the ground of the mutuum, some profit is owed to him over and above the principal.”

This is also the same essential definition of usury given in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. Interestingly enough, the new Code of Canon Law does not mention usury, which would seem to indicate that the subject is no longer considered important. The descent into the complete embrace of Mammon would now seem complete.

Vix Pervenit also contains the following passage regarding extrinsic titles or “entitlements”:

By these remarks, however, We do not deny that at times together with the loan contract certain other titles – which are not at all intrinsic to the contract – may run parallel with it. From these other titles, entirely just and legitimate reasons arise to demand something over and above the amount due on the contract.”

The following is also of importance to our discussion:

We exhort you not to listen to those who say that today the issue of usury is present in name only, since gain is almost always obtained from money given to another. How false is this opinion and how far removed from the truth! We can easily understand this if we consider that the nature of one contract differs from the nature of another. By the same token, the things which result from these contracts will differ in accordance with the varying nature of the contracts. Truly an obvious difference exists between gain which arises from money legally, and therefore can be upheld in the courts of both civil and canon law, and gain which is illicitly obtained, and must therefore be returned according to the judgments of both courts [note that there is here no mention of that primary concern of the Gospel, the early Church, and St. Thomas that gain in order to be licit must also not be sought for itself, and must serve very modest and specific purpose for the individual and common good]. Thus, it is clearly invalid to suggest, on the grounds that some gain is usually received from money lent out, that the issue of usury is irrelevant to our times.”

There is nothing new here. The traditional prohibition against interest within a loan contract is restated. The Pope recognizes the existence of legitimate extrinsic titles that can allow something extra to be taken for a loan (but not in a loan). No specific titles are given approval, but only a vague warning against over-application of such titles. And, as we noted, there is no discussion of the strict Gospel and Thomistic limitations on profit and gain. Most strange of all is paragraph 6 of the encyclical:

Concerning the specific contract which caused these new controversies, We decide nothing for the present; We also shall not decide now about the other contracts in which the theologians and canonists lack agreement. Rekindle your zeal for piety and your conscientiousness so that you may execute what we have given.”

There is possibly no paragraph in the history of all of Papal and Church documents which is laced with as much absurdity and tragedy as is this one. There is a refusal on the part of the Pope to give any judgment on any specific case regarding any specific extrinsic contracts regarding this absolutely crucial question. And after this refusal, the bishops are then instructed to “rekindle your zeal for piety and your conscientiousness so that you may execute what we have given.” We might well ask precisely what were these bishops supposed to “execute? As a matter of fact, as we shall see, the policy of the Church would now become that of systematic refusal to “execute” its own traditional teaching on usury, or for that matter, any teaching whatsoever.

According to Rev. Patrick Cleary (The Church and Usury, 1919 – recently re-published and available from Catholic Treasures in Monrovia, Cal.), this refusal to make decisions on individual cases prevailed for the next 77 years. Specific inquiries were, for the most part, referred to Benedict IV’s encyclical, which as we have seen, refused to specify or make judgments on any particular case. The following case documents a change in Church policy which, according to Cleary, “becomes apparent for the first time in the year 1822”: “

A certain woman of Lyons had lent her money demanding in return the rate of payment allowed by the recently enacted civil legislation, and in consequence was denied absolution by her confessor until she should restore her ill-gotten gain. She referred the question to Rome, and the answer ran, “Let the petitioner be informed that a reply will be given to her questions when the proper time arrives; meanwhile, even though she make no restitution, she may receive sacramental absolution from her confessor if she is fully prepared to submit to the instructions of the Holy See.”

This case was only the first in a long list of very similar decisions of the Holy Office. Note that in the above case there was never any consideration given to the question of legitimate titles. The refusal to make a judgment would seem to apply across the board on any case of usury. We may simply say that the Holy Office in these cases, at the very least, quite literally absolved moral indifference and indecision right within the Sacrament of the Confessional. The Teaching Arm of the Church retreated on the subject and was made silent. The Church had not changed its teaching, but it had severely compromised its moral integrity. This is something that God can allow. We must presume that it is a chastisement.

Where We Are Now

“The Church is struck within and so in peace is my peace most sorrowful. But what is peace? There is peace and there is no peace. There is peace from the pagans and peace from the heretics, but no peace from the children.” (Pius VI, 1775).

In the 1970’s and 80’s the Vatican became increasingly embroiled in what has come to be called the Vatican Bank Scandal. At the center of these scandals was Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the American-born priest who was the president of the Vatican Bank from 1971-1989. Many articles and books have detailed the history of this scandal. It will suffice to say that in the mid 1980’s , according to a report in the Arizona Republic, “Italian civil authorities tried to arrest Marcinkus in connection with a stunning array of crimes, including assassination financing, arms smuggling, and trafficking in stolen gold, counterfeit currencies and radioactive materials. Italian authorities also wanted to talk to Marcinkus regarding what he knew about numerous murders. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, most every key player involved in schemes with Marcinkus ended up dead.” Again, according to the Republic, “In the past six month, the Marcinkus case has taken on renewed interest around the world. Attorneys for Croatian holocaust victims want Marcinkus deposed in their billion-dollar case. They want to know what Marcinkus knows about hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Croatians by the Nazis during World War II. Authorities have discovered that much of the money passed through the Vatican Bank during Marcinkus’ tenure as bank president (1971-1989). Indeed, a 1998 U.S. State Department report confirmed that at least $47 million of Nazi gold was laundered by Marcinkus’ bank. The money ‘was originally held in the Vatican before being moved to Spain and Argentina,’ the report said.”

All through this process Archbishop Marcinkus remained protected under the umbrella of Vatican diplomatic immunity. After his “retirement,” and until his death in 2006, he resided in Sun City, Arizona. He denied all charges of wrongdoing, and became famous for his reply, “You cannot run the Church on Hail Marys.”

The situation seems to have only gotten worse. A former head of the Vatican Bank (2009-12), Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was forced by its Board to retire, and recently stated that he almost lost his faith and feared he could be assassinated at the instigation of some members of the Roman Curia, the Church’s administrative body, as he attempted to tackle corruption within the banking organization (from a LSN article). And Cardinal Pell, appointed by Pope Francis to ostensibly clean up the Vatican Finances as the first Prefect for the newly established Secretariat of the Economy, is now in jail under a conviction of sexual abuse (now being appealed) which many believe to the most trumped-up case of injustice in Australian judicial history.

It is not our purpose here to make any judgment on these allegations, nor is any such judgment necessary to our purpose. What is important here is to realize to what extent these events have revealed the Church’s involvement in the financial practices, and pursuit of shameful gain, in prostitution to the economics of the modern secular world. It would seem quite indisputable that, without even considering all sorts of ventures which are illegal under civil law, the Vatican is immersed in the practice of usury and has thoroughly accommodated itself to modern economic policies and pursuits. The Second Lateran Council in 1137 declared that anyone involved in such practices should be deprived of Christian burial. The New Code of Canon Law issued in 1984 did not even consider the subject worth mentioning.

The charism of Infallibility guarantees that the Church will never teach falsely on faith and morals. It does not guarantee, however, that Church hierarchy at all periods of history will reiterate these teachings or put them into practice. The lesson that we must learn from our study of the Church’s policy towards usury and unjust gain over a period of almost 2,000 years is that it is practically possible for Catholics en masse to lose certain moral roots in Christ, with virtually no one, hierarchy included, knowing that it has happened. It is only necessary that we enter into a process of compromise, failing in that fortitude which is necessary in order to confront a world which is in violation of the Gospel. And when that happens to whole nations and civilizations over an extended period of time, then it becomes virtually impossible to find our way back simply because no one can remember, or wants to remember, the Gospel- based answers to the questions we might feel impelled to ask. We may even say, at this point in time, that hardly any one even knows the question which should be asked.

We must remember that St. Paul tells us that the effect of the love of money is loss of faith. We really cannot serve both God and mammon. Therefore, considering the fact that love of money has now become enshrined in the universal acceptance of profit-taking through usury and investment in unending “progress”, and that virtually every cultural institution is in slavery to the power of money, we have every reason to believe that Christ was not being rhetorical when He posed a question as to whether there would be any faith left on earth upon His return.

The spirit of Antichrist now rises before us in a geometrically-expanding Spectre of the power of money, reductive science, and technological control over all our lives. It has been fueled and consolidated in power not by our being poor, but by our increasing desire for and consumption of the goods of this world, which have fed the coffers and power of those seeking the destruction of Christian civilization. Its ascension to power over all of our lives was inevitable once we abandoned the living of the Beatitudes, and when we began believing that the Gospel of Christ was compatible with unending human “progress”. As discussed in our article St. Francis of Assisi, They Pretended to Love You So That They Might Leave You, God presented us with the extraordinary grace of the life and charism of Poverty of St. Francis in the beginning of the 13th Century in order to prevent this rise. It was rejected, and we are now faced with what appears to be the impending total embrace of the Prince of this World.

It is of course impossible to totally erase what has happened. The web is spun, and the whole world is profoundly enmeshed. If usury, and what centuries of Christian betrayal have now firmly established as the seemingly universal thirst and economics for insatiable progress and gain, were abolished tomorrow, the world would be immediately immersed in chaos, anarchy, starvation, etc. But this does not at all mean there is no recourse left for those who truly seek the Hearts of Our Lord and Our Lady.

We must first begin by extracting ourselves from the Great Lie. The Gospel is not compatible with unending human progress in relation to the things of this world. It can only thrive in a poverty practiced towards all of the same. The Teilhardian Evolutionary theology which now threatens to become dominant in the Church through the Amazonian Synod, and which deceptively declares itself open to every sort of inclusiveness and denial of Catholic Doctrine, is in reality a vicious monster in adoration of human progress and evolutionary becoming. It is the precise inversion of the Gospel in the intellectual realm, and therefore of Faith itself. But this aberration in the intellectual realm could only have risen out of the insatiable thirst for progress and gain which blinds the mind and heart of man to the immutable Truth and Being of God, and immerses him in the rivers of his own pride and becoming.

Secondly, despite the obvious horrors that are now occurring in regard to the Church hierarchy, the Amazonian Synod, etc, we must first say “We have sinned”, rather than “They have sinned.” And we must believe it, and be convinced of its truth. Ultimately, the source of the present chastisement is the prostitution of each one of us to the world, in denial of the Cross of Christ. There could not have arisen a Teilhard de Chardin, an Amazonian Synod, the inward dissolution of Christian Civilization, or the spectre of Antichrist if Catholics had been faithful to the image of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the simplicity of their life at Nazareth.

None of us, of course, can now extract ourselves completely from the world we have built. But we may certainly believe that, in the midst of a perverse generation, Our Lord will immensely bless all of our sincere and creative attempts to divest ourselves of its trappings, and to live much simpler lives. It is of course true that the flesh is weak, and old habits die very hard. But it is even more true that in these times Our Lady has proclaimed Her Heart to be an extraordinary place of Refuge, possessing the graces and powers of the Holy Spirit which will be the Way to God. Surely, foremost among these must be the inward grace and power to live in imitation of Her Son. As those who proclaim to still be Catholic, let us immerse ourselves in the Immaculate Heart of Mary in collective prayer in order to obtain these graces for our own interior purification. The final determinant of our honesty and integrity before God must begin with ourselves and our sincere desire to return to living the Beatitudes – all of which are firmly rooted in the poverty of spirit which strives to serve God with all our heart, rather than Mammon.

Please read our Original Proposal.

 

 

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The War Against the Human Soul: Teilhardian Evolution and the Amazonian Synod

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Please read our Original Proposal

The War Against the Human Soul:

Teilhardian Evolution and the Amazonian Synod

 

“Why is it that in Rome, along with a ‘Biblical Commission’, there is no ‘Scientific Commission’ charged with pointing out to authorities the points on which Humanity will take a stand tomorrow – points, I repeat, such as: 1) the question of eugenics (aimed at the optimum rather than the maximum in reproduction, and joined to a gradual separation of sexuality from reproduction); and (2) the absolute right (which, of course, must be regulated in its ‘timing’, and in its conditions! ) to try everything right to the end – even in the matter of human biology….And while all this is going on churchmen really think that they can still satisfy the world by promenading a statue of Fatima across the continent! – This kind of thinking manifests itself here in New York too where Catholic organizations are noisily separating themselves from Trusts or Boards of charitable organizations which have agreed to associate with groups [Planned Parenthood] interested in methods of eugenics (even though these groups are just as interested in fecundity as they are in birth prevention) – O Pharisees!” (Letters from My Friend Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 1948-1955, p. 172).

 

We advise the reader to read, and re-read, every word of the above quote very carefully while pursuing the analysis which we offer below. The fulsome embrace of eugenics (“to try everything right to the end”) expressed therein does not represent only a momentary, solitary, or immature aberration in Teilhard’s writings, but rather an oft- repeated, integral, and mature conclusion (the above was written in 1953, two years before his death), to the cosmic evolutionary theology which he professed and promoted during his entire adult life. It is this theology, and its corresponding praxis, which is now being promoted for the coming Amazonian synod. As stated by Cardinal Hummes, the relator general for this Synod, it will entail that all theology and Christology, as well as the theology of the sacraments, are to be reread starting from this great light for which “all is interconnected,” interrelated.”

It is especially our intention here to examine what is meant by the notion that the “theology of the sacraments” is scheduled for “rereading”. All Catholic sacramentology is established upon the truth concerning the substantial nature of the human soul (this nature being common to all men at all times), and its relationship with God. The Teilhardian evolutionary agenda is set to deny this truth concerning the substantial, non-evolving nature of the human soul in order to promote an evolutionary view of the soul which necessitates a kind of universal inclusiveness and access to Catholic sacramental life. If there is no fixed nature to the human soul, the traditional question as to whether a particular person is living in that charity and friendship with God – an ontological state of being which is rightly called the possession of sanctifying grace, and which is necessary for the licit and non-sacrilegious reception of the Catholic Sacraments – becomes totally meaningless. Therefore, the necessary consequence of a Teilhardian “rereading” of sacramental theology is that there can no longer exist any basis for excluding anyone from Holy Communion or the other sacraments. Rather, in accordance with this new and revolutionary view of the human soul, re-defined in terms of endless evolutionary becoming, the sacraments (and especially the Eucharist) must now be seen wholly as being “medicine for the weak”, without any consideration for the truth that only a soul living in the state of grace can receive Holy Communion without committing the sin of sacrilege. Such a theology, while deceptively promoting a universal mercy towards all men, is in actuality a denial of the human soul itself, thereby establishing that soil in the minds and hearts of its proponents which is ripe for exercising the sort of eugenics displayed in the quote from Teilhard de Chardin at the beginning of this article. Such a theology, in its deepest spiritual reality, is ultimately rooted in a hatred of the soul of man, and constitutes the culmination of a long-prepared satanic agenda which, from ages past, has “prowled about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

For those unfamiliar with this theology, we very much recommend first reading our articles: The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns, and Teilhardian Evolution and the Amazonian Synod: The Nest of the Antichrist.

Here, at the beginning of our analysis, we ask the reader to consider one sentence which occurs right in the middle of the quote offered above: “And while all this is going on churchmen really think that they can still satisfy the world by promenading a statue of Fatima across the continent!” Out of all the myriad elements of traditional Catholic doctrines and practices which Teilhard had available to hold up for ridicule, and contrast with his heretical, cosmic-evolutionary agenda, he singled out Fatima and the devotion of millions of faithful Catholics to Our Lady’s Pilgrim Virgin Statue. Our Lady of Fatima proclaimed that Her Immaculate Heart would be our refuge and the way that would lead us to God in the midst of all the demonic errors, deceptions, and terrors which are now descending upon the world. We should therefore in no way be surprised, or forget, that what we are here dealing with concerning the Teilhardian evolutionary agenda, and its enmity towards Catholic orthodoxy, is that same eternal enmity which was originally established between Our Lady and Satan in the Garden of Eden.

It may seem one of the strangest and seemingly contradictory aspects of the history of recent centuries that so many of those who have most vociferously championed the rights, dignity, and evolutionary future of man are, at the same time, the very individuals and groups who prove to embody all that is most destructive to man. Beginning with what appears to be a profound sympathy towards the poor, the workingman, the downtrodden, the liberation of women, etc., they end by instituting murderous regimes and policies towards the same souls whom they claimed to champion. In this respect we can think of such things the French Revolution, all the various forms of Socialist and Communist Revolutions, and of course the incalculable numbers of innocent unborn babies murdered through both contraception and abortion. Recent centuries are strewn with the ruin of countless souls, and hundreds of millions of murdered and tortured bodies, which are the fruits of such idealism in regard to man’s bogus freedom and evolutionary future. And now this duplicitous, inwardly- satanic agenda, has set its hunger upon the poor and indigenous peoples of the Amazonian region in order to institute a theology and anthropology (the science of man) which will accomplish just such a reign of terror within the Church.

The whole world now teeters over a satanic agenda of evil which will make all former holocausts of human destruction be seen as relatively minor precursors of what is to come. The goal of this agenda may be formulated as follows: the complete erasure in the minds and hearts of all men of the truth that every human soul is created in the image of God with a fixed nature common to all men since the beginning of creation, and possessing both the dignity and responsibilities before God inherent in this nature.

The Catholic Church has been the great guardian of this truth for the past 2000 years, and therefore has been the only institution which has protected the world from plummeting back into total barbarism. It is now Satan’s agenda to remove this protection by achieving the victory of Teilhardian evolutionary theology within the Church – this agenda, in the minds of its protagonists, to be irreversibly incarnated within the life-blood of the Church by means of the coming Amazonian Synod in October, 2019. As Cardinal Madariaga, Coordinator of Pope Francis’ Council of Advisors said, “The Pope wants to take this Church renovation to the point where it becomes irreversible.” (Jan 20, 2015, address at Santa Clara University). Bishop Franz-Joseph Overbeck of Essen, Germany (quoted in a May 23, 2019 Life Site News article) was even more blunt. According to Katholische.de, the official website of the German Catholic Bishops, he told reporters that the Amazon Synod will lead to a “break” in the Church and “nothing will be the same as it was”.

 

The Church’s Slide Towards Teilhardian Evolution

The secular media went out of their way in 1996, with headlines such as the New York Times article, “Pope Bolster’s Church’ Support For Scientific View of Evolution”, to print the following words of Pope John Paul II in his Message to the Pontifical Academy of Science: On Evolution:

Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical [Pope Pius XII’s Humani Generis], some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis.”

But the real surrender to evolutionary thinking by the official Church actually is to be found in Pope Pius XII’s encyclical itself. In order to understand this capitulation, and the real source of this betrayal, we must first do some groundwork.

The infallible teaching of the Church on the nature of the human soul, and its relationship to the human body, is to be found in the following definition of the Council of Vienne (1311- 1312):

Moreover, with the approval of the said council, we reject as erroneous and contrary to the truth of the catholic faith every doctrine or proposition rashly asserting that the substance of the rational or intellectual soul is not of itself and essentially the form of the human body, or casting doubt on this matter. In order that all may know the truth of the faith in its purity and all error may be excluded, we define that anyone who presumes henceforth to assert defend or hold stubbornly that the rational or intellectual soul is not the form of the human body of itself and essentially, is to be considered a heretic.

In thus defining, the Council of Vienne clearly adopted the metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), which teaches that all physical substances come into being through the union of substantial form and primary matter. Neither substantial form nor primary matter are existents in themselves, but rather constitute the most fundamental principles of being involved in God’s creating all things from nothing (creation ex nihilo). God does not take some sort of pre-existing matter and make it into some particular substance by infusion of a form. Rather, the coming into being of a particular substance is the result of a simultaneous creation and union of form with primal matter. This is why the Council of Vienne defined that the soul is actually “of itself and essentially” the form of the body. And this is also why the human soul, while being capable of existing as a substance in itself (as do souls after death and before the Final Judgment) is to be considered an incomplete substance until united to its selfsame body at the Final Judgment.

In his encyclicalHumani Generis(Aug 12, 1950), on the other hand, Pope Pius XII states:

For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.

Pope Pius XII’s “permission” for discussion and research concerning the derivation of the human body from pre-existing forms of living matter is thus to be seen as being in direct contradiction to the Council of Vienne’s infallible teaching on the human soul as being of itself and essentially the form of the human body. It also represents a total rejection of the most fundamental principles of being (substantial form and primary matter) which are the heart of all Thomistic metaphysics. The slide into Teilhardism had begun.

As we have seen, it took 46 years until Pope John Paul II gave sanction (in non-infallible teaching) to this concept of the evolution of the human body. This of course gave a tremendous boost to the so-called “Theistic Evolutionists” who promoted the ridiculous image of God somehow injecting a soul into the body of an advanced ape. At this stage, we should not have at all been surprised if every secular form of the print media published a cartoon of a Michelangelo-type God hovering over an ape with a large syringe labeled “Human Souls”.

What is often missed in John Paul II’s “Message” to the PCS is the following teaching and instruction:

“As a result [of Pius XII’ teaching that, while the human body might be the product of an evolutionary process, the human soul must be considered an immediate creation of God], the theories of evolution which, because of the philosophies which inspire them, regard the spirit either as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a simple epiphenomenon of that matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. They are therefore unable to serve as the basis for the dignity of the human person.

Here we find John Paul II, while having surrendered man’s body to evolutionary theory, yet holding the line on his soul. But the slide was to continue.

In 1982, Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the position of Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a position he would retain until being elected Pope in 2005.The fact is that Cardinal Ratzinger had for decades been a proponent of precisely that sort of Teilhardian evolutionary theology and anthropology which John Paul II explicitly condemned (rendered above in bold emphasis) in his Message to the PCS. In other words, Pope John Paul II appointed a man to that exalted position most responsible for the guardianship and integrity of the Faith who repeatedly had embraced in his writings Teilhardian evolutionary errors which were “incompatible with the truth about man”, and “unable to serve as the basis for the dignity of the human person”.

In Credo For Today: What Christians Believe (A collection of essays written by Joseph Ratzinger during the years 1971-2006 and published by Ignatius Press in 2009), Joseph Ratzinger, after quoting a rather dense passage from one of Teilhard de Chardin’s writings, offers the following exposition:

Certainly one can debate the details in this formulation; yet the decisive point seems to me to be grasped quite accurately: the alternative: materialism [the view that “spirit” and consciousness are ultimately only an accidental phenomenon of matter] or a spiritually defined world view, chance or meaning, is presented to us today in the form of the question of whether one regards spirit and life in its ascending forms as an incidental mold on the surface of the material world…or whether one regards spirit as the goal of the process and, conversely matter as the prehistory of the spirit. If one chooses the second alternative, it is clear that spirit is not a random product of material developments, but rather that matter signifies a moment in the history of spirit.” (Credo For today, p. 45).

Translated into common language, this simply means that matter evolves into spirit. And lest we doubt this to be the case, Joseph Ratzinger applies this “matter evolving into spirit” concept very specifically to the question as to how spirit (soul) arose in man:

“This would then lead to the insight that spirit does not enter the picture as something foreign, as a second substance, in addition to matter: the appearance of spirit, according to the previous discussion, means rather that an advancing movement arrives at the goal that has been set for it….The clay became man at that moment in which a being for the first time was capable of forming, however dimly, the thought ‘God.’ The first ‘thou’ that – however stammeringly – was said by human lips to God marks the moment in which spirit arose in the world. Here the Rubicon of anthropogenesis was crossed.” (Credo For Today, p. 46-47).

In our articles The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning With Thorns, and Teilhardian Evolution, The Amazonian Synod: The Nest of the Antichrist, we offer a much more thorough and irrefutable documentation in regard to the slide of recent Popes (including Pope Francis) into a fulsome embrace of Teilhardian theology. For Pope Francis, Teilhardian evolution is most aptly encapsulated in his oft-repeated phrase “Time is Greater than space”. It is an horrendously evil phrase. It entails that everything in the universe, from God to the very lowest created thing, is to be defined in terms of evolutionary becoming, rather than being. It is a succinct duplication of the words of Joseph Ratzinger: “Being is time; it does not merely have time. Only in becoming does it exist and unfold into itself.” (Credo For Today, p. 42). It establishes a world of unending, vicious competition, survival, and advancement. It is the perfect recipe for the manipulation and destruction of the weak by the strong. And ultimately, as is now the case, when the mechanics (genetics, birth control, etc.) of evolution have become accessible to man’s manipulation and control, it is the ultimate formulation in order to justify eugenics and a reign of terror. This is the underbelly of that monster of which now slouches towards the Amazon and its indigenous peoples to be born. It is perfectly expressed in a passage from Teilhard de Chardin’s work Human Energy:

“Now eugenics does not confine itself to a simple control of births. All sorts of related questions, scarcely yet raised despite their urgency, are attached to it. What fundamental attitude, for example should the advancing wing of humanity take to fixed or definitely unprogressive ethnical groups? [We do well here to pause, and consider what Teilhard’s view of the “indigenous” peoples of the Amazon would have been]. The earth is a closed and limited surface. To what extent should it tolerate, racially or nationally, areas of lesser activity? More generally still, how should we judge the efforts we lavish in all kinds of hospitals on saving what is so often no more than one of life’s rejects? Something profoundly true and beautiful ( I mean faith in the irreplaceable value and unpredictable resources contained in each personal unit) is evidently concealed in persistent sacrifice to save a human existence. But should not this solicitude of man for his individual neighbor be balanced by a higher passion, born of the faith in that other higher personality that is to be expected, as we shall see, from the world-wide achievements of our evolution? To what extent should not the development of the strong (to the extent that we can define this quality) take precedence over the preservation of the weak? How can we reconcile, in a state of maximum efficiency, the care lavished on the wounded with the more urgent necessities of battle? In what does true charity consist?” (p. 131-132).

Such is the underbelly of that theological Beast which promotes “time as being greater than space”, and which preaches a universal mercy at the expense of the Truth of Christ.

 

The Immaculate Heart of Mary as Our Refuge

At the very center of all of creation, and all within creation that is truly of and from God, is the Immaculate Conception of Mary. In his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus (1850), which infallibly defined Mary’s Immaculate Conception, Blessed Pope Pius IX began with the following words:

God Ineffable — whose ways are mercy and truth, whose will is omnipotence itself, and whose wisdom “reaches from end to end mightily, and orders all things sweetly” — having foreseen from all eternity the lamentable wretchedness of the entire human race which would result from the sin of Adam, decreed, by a plan hidden from the centuries, to complete the first work of his goodness by a mystery yet more wondrously sublime through the Incarnation of the Word. This he decreed in order that man who, contrary to the plan of Divine Mercy had been led into sin by the cunning malice of Satan, should not perish; and in order that what had been lost in the first Adam would be gloriously restored in the Second Adam. From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures God so loved her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.

Just as Mary was pre-redeemed by the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, so she has been willed by God for all eternity to be the Heart and Refuge of all those who were destined to be redeemed by Christ. This Mystery is wonderfully depicted in the following passage from Proverbs 8: 22-36, which the Church has unflinchingly applied to Our Blessed Mother:

“The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived. Neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths: When he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters: When he compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when be balanced the foundations of the earth; I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times; Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men.

Now therefore, ye children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord: But he that shall sin against me, shall hurt his own soul. All that hate me love death.”

The above-quoted passage from the Book of Proverbs speaks of a place (a spiritual “space”) within God’s creation wherein lies all the Truth, Love, and Grace of God. It points to the soul of Mary (her Immaculate Heart) created wholly in the image and purity of God. But it also speaks of the soul of man, also created in His image, which finds Truth, Life, and Sanctification only by finding this same place to dwell within: “He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord”. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the most profoundly holy space in this world, safe and secure from what is about to descend upon us. In other words, salvation is defined not in terms of any sort of evolutionary becoming on the part of the human soul, but in terms of surrender to the Heart of Truth and Life which has been prepared for us from all eternity, and which has been accessible to all men at all times.

It is no wonder therefore that Teilhard de Chardin, writing from the depths of evil in a mind which had rejected this substantial reality of the human soul created in the image of God, should single out Our Lady of Fatima, and the devotion of millions of Catholic faithful souls to her Immaculate Heart, as the object of his supreme ridicule and disgust. It is here, against the simple and almost intuitive faith of those who respond to the immutability of God’s Truth, and the substantial, unchanging nature of the human soul, that Satan now rages his final campaign.

 

Conclusion

It is coming.

We now have only one recourse. Short of the Final Victory of Christ over Satan at the End of Time (we might even envision this as a final victory over all Time), there is only one means of now defeating Satan in this war against the souls of all men. Victory has been promised to Our Lady and Her Immaculate Heart alone. And we can only serve her cause through a Nineveh-like, unified recourse to the graces which are stored within Her Heart, and have been reserved for us from all eternity for Her Triumph. This is the entire purpose of the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church. In the face of what has been conceived and planned by the enemies of Christ as an irreversible agenda to be incarnated in the Church through the upcoming Amazonian Synod, we implore all faithful Catholics now to repeatedly beseech their priests and bishops to implement what is detailed in our Original Proposal for the Feast of the Purification and Presentation on February 2, 2020. Appropriately, this is also the Feast of Our Lady of Good Success.

As foretold by Our Lady of Fatima, such a unified effort is the only way by which we can avoid a world-wide chastisement of horrendous proportions; thereby exercising that charity towards all souls, which is a sacred duty incumbent upon all of us who choose to follow Christ.

Please spread the word about the Rosary!
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Ask your pastor to Implement this Event!

For those who would like to join in this missionary effort, please refer to  our sample letter which you can send to any priests whom you feel might be interested in promoting this initiative.  Since this is a group effort, you may simply assume and sign the letter as your own.

Alternatively, simply find an open Catholic Church in which to pray the Rosary for this intention, either with a group or alone.

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