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November 2019 Contents
“Everything is Connected”: Vatican II, Assisi, and the Pan-Amazon Synod (Matt Gaspers)
“The life of Amazon communities not yet influenced by Western civilization is reflected in the beliefs and rites regarding the actions of spirits, of the many-named divinity acting with and in the territory, with and in relation to nature. This worldview is captured in the ‘mantra’ of Francis: ‘everything is connected’ (LS 16, 91, 117, 138, 240).”
Thus says the highly controversial Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the Pan-Amazon Synod (n. 25), which is nearing its conclusion as this edition of CFN goes to press. The “mantra” of Pope Francis, “everything is connected” (from his 2015 eco-encyclical Laudato Si’) has indeed served as the propaganda slogan throughout the synod. It appears, for example, on the quasi-official poster for the event featuring the now-infamous photo of a topless indigenous woman holding a baby with one arm while crouching down and breastfeeding a small animal – an image that was on display in the Carmelite church of Santa Maria in Transpontina near St. Peter’s Basilica.
As for “the beliefs and rites” of the indigenous Amazonians, those have likewise been on display in Rome, beginning with the bizarre tree-planting ceremony in the Vatican Gardens (Oct. 4) just prior to the official synod opening, which featured “Amazonians in ritual dress, as well [as] people in lay clothes and a Franciscan brother” who “knelt and bowed in a circle around images of two pregnant women…in the presence of the pope and members of the curia,” as Catholic News Agency reported. Those “images” – nude wooden statues that remained a focal point during the synod – are regarded by many as idols representing Pachamama (“Mother Earth”), a false god (i.e. demon) revered by the ancient Incas and their descendants in the mountainous Andes region. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
The “Spirit of Assisi” and the Example of John Paul II Persist (Brian M. McCall)
On Oct. 4, 2019, in preparation for the opening of the Pan-Amazon Synod, a scandalous ceremony was held in the Vatican Gardens. As visible in the video footage released by the Vatican News Service, a group of people, some dressed in pagan religious garb, accompanied by a Franciscan friar made a circle around statues of semi-naked pregnant women, the goddess of fertility in the pagan rites of the natives of the Amazon. They sang and prayed and bowed down in adoration to these idols of a false god. This violation of the First Commandment – “I am the Lord thy God…. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me” (Ex. 20:2, 4) – was performed as the Vicar of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ sat serenely watching the scandal.
The internet was abuzz with shock and scandal after these image and reports became available. This event is certainly scandalous, but not quite as shocking as some might suggest (at least to people who are acquainted with the history of the past few popes). Francis would likely defend this event by noting that he is merely remaining faithful to the example of his immediate predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, both of whom participated in similar events which, in some ways, were even more scandalous.
On Oct. 27, 1986, Pope John Paul II hosted the first ecumenical and interreligious prayer meeting in Assisi. At this meeting, representatives from a vast number of religions – Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, and other pagans – were invited to come pray in their own way in Assisi. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Popes Speak: Excerpts from the Encyclical Evangelii Praecones on the Promotion of Catholic Missions (Pope Pius XII)
Editor’s Note: As this month’s edition goes to press, the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region (Oct. 6-27, 2019) is in its final week of discussions concerning “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology,” the official theme of the assembly. Readers may recall that we ran excerpts from Benedict XV’s apostolic letter Maximum Illud (May 2019 issue) and Pius XI’s encyclical Rerum Ecclesiae (Aug. 2019 issue), both of which address Catholic Missions, as a means of grounding ourselves in perennial Catholic doctrine in preparation for the synod, whose Instrumentum Laboris (working document) was strongly critiqued in late June by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller as being “heretical” and tantamount to “apostasy” (other prelates and theologians voiced similar criticisms following Brandmüller’s initial assessment).
This month, as the Pan-Amazon Synod concludes and we await the results (which could be quite serious), CFN offers excerpts from one of the last great papal documents on missionary activity to appear before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Issued in June of 1951, in honor of the 25th anniversary of Pius XI’s Rerum Ecclesiae, Pope Pius XII addresses several important themes in his encyclical Evangelii Praecones, including taking stock of various accomplishments, praising the heroic witness of missionaries throughout the world, reiterating the purpose of missionary activity, stressing the importance of Catholic education in mission lands, and more. Click here to read Pius XII’s Evangelii Praecones
The “Spirit of Assisi” vs. Saint Francis of Assisi (John Vennari, RIP)
Editor’s Note: In light of the pagan ceremony that took place in the Vatican Gardens on Oct. 4 (see bottom of page 1), during which “a tree from Assisi was planted as a symbol of integral ecology, to consecrate the Synod on Amazonia to Saint Francis,” according to the Vatican, we offer readers the following classic article written by CFN’s longtime editor John Vennari (RIP) and originally published in the April 2002 edition of the paper. As John thoroughly demonstrates, the false ecumenical and interreligious “spirit of Assisi”, first introduced by Pope John Paul II in 1986, is the very antithesis of the real St. Francis of Assisi, a staunch Catholic who called all men – even the Islamic Sultan of Egypt – to convert to the one true Faith for salvation. May the true St. Francis of Assisi intercede for the Church Militant on earth and obtain deliverance from the false “spirit of Assisi”, which has tragically been on display throughout the Pan-Amazon Synod (Oct. 6-27, 2019).
It is becoming increasingly obvious that within the Church since the Council we are now in the age of slogans: empty, meaningless slogans that really do not have much substance and that do not convey the true picture of what is actually being promoted.
We are all familiar with the slogans: the promise of a “new springtime,” a “civilization of love,” a “new Pentecost,” and now, a novel orientation named “the spirit of Assisi”.
In a recent lecture called “The New Pentecost vs. the True Pentecost,” I explained that the only way we could call anything a “new Pentecost” is to test first how it compares with the true Pentecost as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. There I described how, point-by-point, the so-called “new Pentecost” fails to measure up to the first Pentecost, especially regarding the conversion of the Jews. Often, the so-called “new Pentecost” is the direct opposite of what we see in the true Pentecost.
Likewise with the “Spirit of Assisi,” a previously unheard-of term that recently came into vogue in Catholic circles. The term automatically invokes the idea that there is a connection with Saint Francis of Assisi.
So, what does the “spirit of Assisi” have to do with Saint Francis of Assisi?
Nothing! In fact, they are contradictory spirits.
Within a Catholic context, it is not possible to have a “spirit of Assisi” that is divorced from Saint Francis of Assisi. Yet this is exactly what the pan-religious “spirit of Assisi” is. It is something that Saint Francis of Assisi would have regarded with absolute horror. Click here to continue reading
Catholic Historian: “Two Religions” Now Reside “Within the Catholic Church” (Roberto de Mattei)
Editor’s Note: The following are the prepared remarks of Professor Roberto de Mattei delivered on Oct. 4, 2019 at the “Our Church – Reformed or Deformed?” roundtable discussion in Rome. The event, organized by Voice of the Family and live-streamed by LifeSiteNews, was held “to address critical questions for the Church and for the family at the eve of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region,” according to Voice of the Family’s official advertisement.
There are, at this moment, two religions within the Catholic Church. The first is the traditional Catholicism, the religion of those who, in the current confusion, continue to be faithful to the immutable Magisterium of the Church.
The second, until a few months ago without a name, now has a name: it is the Amazonian religion because, as declared by the person currently governing the Church, there is a plan to give the Church “an Amazonian face”.
What is meant by an Amazonian face is explained in the Instrumentum laboris for the October Synod and the many declarations of the theologians, bishops and cardinals who have prepared this document. It is a matter of “reinventing” the Church in the words of Leonardo Boff (Ecclesiogenesis. The base communities are reinventing the Church, Borla, Rome 1978). The Boff ecclesiogenesis has become a cosmogenesis in line with post-modern environmentalism. Its objective is now broader: reinvention not only of the Church, but of creation as a whole on the basis of a new “cosmic pact” (Cry of the Earth, cry of the poor – For a cosmic ecology, Italian translation Assisi, Cittadella, 1996).
This objective is achieved through the method of reinterpretation of the truth of the Catholic faith. Modernism had previously taught that the most effective means of denial of the truth is distortion, rather than outright attack. Reinterpretation is an indirect negation of the teaching of the faith, more profound than outright denial, and means that the same words are ascribed a new meaning. Click here to continue reading
Weigel Swings and Misses – Again (Peter Kwasniewski, Ph.D.)
Walking a High Tightrope
George Weigel has built his career on walking a tightrope placed very high up in the air. The tightrope has been getting thinner and thinner, so that it is now measured in nanometers. At the same time, it has been steadily rising higher up, becoming both more dangerous and more remote. It is hard to follow the thinking of a man who has stopped thinking around the time of 1998.
The tightrope is the attempt to say that the modernized Church is a good thing, but only if and when it’s modernized properly. Since he can’t begin to get traction with popes prior to Leo XIII (try making Pius IX, pope of the Syllabus of Errors, or Gregory XVI, who condemned Lamennais, look like a cheerleader for democratic capitalism or nouvelle théologie or Dignitatis Humanae), he has to start with Leo XIII—an unlikely enough candidate, to be sure, but Catholic ignorance of Leo’s magisterium is so widespread that one can get away with quite a lot.
Historical Revisionism à la Vatican II
With this initial move in place, the strategy goes something like this. Leo XIII wanted to unleash the Church’s evangelizing power and saw that a careful collaboration with modern trends of thought and institutions was necessary. This process started timidly, and by the 1950s had not really gone very far, since the Church was still trapped within Neo-Scholasticism, Baroque liturgy, clericalism, a passive laity, and skepticism or fear of modernity. What was necessary was a breath of fresh air.
Enter John XXIII, the smiling pope. He threw open the windows to let in the (presumably fresh and not polluted) air. He announced a grand “updating” party, an aggiornamento, that would magically leave intact all that the Catholic Church already is and contains, all that she believes and teaches, while simultaneously finding new, distinctively modern ways to express it to a world panting for the Roncalli Code. John XXIII died soon into this project, being spared the worst of its failure, and Paul VI, nicely calibrated with dogmatic certitude and thoroughly modern tastes, led the Council to a triumphant conclusion. Then the nasty business began of progressives and traditionalists sniping at one another, muddying the clear waters, stalling and derailing the aggiornamento and the immense evangelistic energies it would have set free.
Thus, George. Click here to continue reading
The Biggest Russiagate Scandal of All (Cliff Kincaid)
“Soviet Crimes and Western Complicity”
Anti-Communist freedom fighter Vladimir Bukovsky suggests there is a simple reason why the West has never held Nuremberg-style court trials for the Communists: Western leaders were complicit in Communist crimes and they don’t want to be held accountable.
The subtitle of his massive book, Judgment in Moscow, is “Soviet Crimes and Western Complicity,” but it also has lessons for the United States as President Trump confronts Communist China, another threat made possible by Western trade and aid.
Consider that former President Barack Hussein Obama in November 2017 had rushed over to Beijing to clink glasses with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. The Chinese media hailed the reunion as a meeting of “veteran cadre,” an extraordinary term that means the former U.S. President has been operating as a Communist agent or operative. The Chinese state news outlet Xinhua reported that “Xi made a positive appraisal of Obama’s efforts in promoting China-US relations during his presidency.”
Bukovsky’s website proclaims: “The movers and shakers of today have little interest in digging for the truth. Who knows what one may come up with? You may start out with the communists, and end up with yourself.”
His book indicts American officials and names the names of those who thought the Soviet Union could also be integrated into the international order. It is so explosive that all major American publishers rejected it. It was finally published by Ninth of November, a small press headquartered in California that is named after the day the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Faith Before Obedience: A Crucial Distinction for Our Times (Brian M. McCall)
As the Amazon Synod steamrolled through Rome last month (Oct. 6-27), the faithful are bracing themselves for more novelties likely to be illicitly imposed upon the Church in its aftermath. Married priests, women “deaconesses,” and an even more banal and inculturated liturgy of the Amazon are likely outcomes of this latest display of Modernism in the heart of the Church.
The weapon that Pope Francis and his henchmen will likely use to impose these shocking errors is the same one that has been in use since the Second Vatican Council: the inversion of the virtues of faith and obedience. For the past five decades, the people holding the positions of authority in the Church have used a distorted notion of obedience to quell legitimate objections to their dismantling of the Church’s human element. The revolutionaries have expounded the error that obedience is the highest virtue – outside of which there is no salvation, in their twisted view. They have attempted to mislead people to think that as long as you obey the current occupiers of positions of authority, you are doing your duty.
Two extreme examples of this error that I have personally witnessed over the years were committed by a priest and a bishop, respectively. The priest preached a sermon telling the faithful that if he ordered them to commit a mortal sin, they could commit it, knowing that God would not hold them responsible for the mortal sin since they did so under obedience. Ironically, this “just following orders” defense is not even accepted by secular civil society. It was rejected as a defense at the Nuremberg trials, during which perpetrators of inhuman atrocities during World War II sought to exonerate themselves by claiming they were “just obeying orders.” Secondly, I once received a letter from a bishop that ended by stating that obedience comes before faith. As we will see in this article, such a claim is completely contrary to the truth. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
*Lessons in Catholic Education* The Preventive Method and Kindness (Fr. David Sherry, SSPX)
In his treatise on education, which was in fact an address given in Nice, France in March 1877, St. John Bosco, who has been appointed by the Church as the patron of Catholic educators, explained the Preventive Method as the best means of educating youth. The Repressive Method, which chiefly involves laying down rules and punishing when the rules have been broken, is, he said, not adapted to youth who sin more through weakness and thoughtlessness than through malice. The Preventive Method, on the other hand, does indeed lay down rules, but endeavors in every way to make it easy for children to keep them. It has three fundamental principles: reason, religion, and kindness. We have seen the first two in previous articles. In this one, we will examine the saint’s advice on kindness.
Let us first look at two objections. The first is that kindness is incompatible with discipline. That is entirely false. The kindness that is incompatible with discipline is false kindness or “kindness according to the flesh.” This is when a parent is unwilling to say no to a child’s whims and passions. A child is often unwilling to eat some things which are given. Mom is serving broccoli for dinner. The child is upset. If he is choleric by temperament, he will be quite determined. He will cry and pout. The parent has two options: brave the tantrum and force the child to eat what is good for him; or else, give in and receive the child’s momentary approbation. This unwillingness of the parent to displease his child is not kindness at all, but cruelty. The child who grows up not learning how to dominate his passions, emotions, and whims (and in the end is a slave to them) will run a serious risk of mortal sin because of that and will not be able to be a virtuous man or woman at all. St. John Bosco says “the basic principle of kindness is not weakness, but rather a show of strength and self-control” on the part of the educator, who disciplines without losing his temper. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
The Life of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, SSPX)
Editor’s Note: This month, we pass over the description of Archbishop Lefebvre’s time as the bishop of Tulle, France. The liberal bishops of France already saw in the Archbishop a force loyal to the Tradition of the Church and demanded that the Vatican contain him in this remote backwater diocese, not even an archdiocese which would befit his status as an archbishop and apostolic delegate. Yet, the Archbishop exhibited his humility by working to improve the spiritual life of the Catholics in this diocese.
We pass over this period in order to come to the defining event of Church history in the 20th Century, the Second Vatican Council. Archbishop Lefebvre was involved with the Council from before its opening. He was appointed to the Central Preparatory Commission to prepare for the event. In this capacity, he saw a preview of the war on Tradition that would be launched in the Council sessions themselves. He also witnessed the political machinations of the liberals in their attempt to hijack the commission. This experience prepared him to be one of the most outspoken defenders of Tradition at the Council, something we will see in later installments. – Brian M. McCall, Editor-in-Chief
Member of the Central Preparatory Commission
“What would your Very Reverend Eminences think about my convening an ecumenical council to continue the Vatican Council interrupted in 1870?” This was the question Pius XI put to a secret consistory on May 23, 1923. The cardinals were almost unanimously opposed to the idea. The advantages that a council might bring could be obtained, they said, without a council and would be outweighed by the disadvantages it would surely entail. When it came to Cardinal Billot’s turn, he got to his feet: “One cannot shut one’s eyes to the profound differences among the bishops.…They could give rise to discussions that would go on indefinitely.” “Should we not fear seeing the council ‘manipulated’ by the worst enemies of the Church, the modernists, who are already making preparations—as certain signs indicate—to take advantage of the Church’s ‘Estates General’ in order to provoke a revolution, a new 1789?” He concluded: “Let us fear seeing the infiltration of propaganda and discussion; they are practices that belong more to democratic custom than to the traditions of the Church.”
Thirty-six years later on January 25, 1959, Pope John XXIII spoke to the cardinals gathered at the monastery of St. Paul Outside the Walls and announced his “humble resolution” to convoke an ecumenical council. His idea of the council was irenic. “[It will be] an admirable spectacle of the cohesion, unity, and concord of the holy Church of God.…In itself, it will be an invitation to our separated brethren…to come back to the universal flock that Christ freely entrusted to the guidance and care of St. Peter.”
However, the announcement on January 25, 1959, had caused deep unease, notably among the Pope’s curia, with the exception of Cardinal Ottaviani. Archbishop Lefebvre would later judge the stubborn optimism of Pope John severely: “He wanted to ignore the fact that his predecessor Pius XII, who also wished to call a council, had had the wisdom to give up the idea because of the enormous risk that it posed to the Church. John XXIII literally clung to his opinion. He decided not to listen to any of those who tried to dissuade him. Lots of people advised him against calling a council. They pointed out to him the pressure that the media would exert. ‘No,’ he retorted, ‘that’s not important.’” To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
The Promised Sign of Our Lady of Fatima – Part II (Marianna Bartold)
Author’s Note: The following is a second excerpt on the Miracle of the Sun from my book, Fatima: The Signs and Secrets, available worldwide on Amazon in both glossy paper-back and Kindle editions. Copyright Marianna Bartold and KIC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. N.B. For reasons of space, the featured excerpt does not include the book’s footnotes, which number over 1,000.
“We have seen the Sign of God!” the crowd cried in joy and thanksgiving, “spontaneously using the most exact biblical term, which also evokes the mysterious prophecy of the Apocalypse…A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun…(Apoc. 12:1).”
The apocalyptic verse above continues “…and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her Son. And she brought forth a Man Child, Who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her Son was taken up to God, and to His throne” (Apoc. 12:1-5).
“Before the eyes of the Seer [St. John], a great sign, the first of the ‘signs,’ a portent of something momentous, appears in the Church. It is a sign of divine origin,” explains Rev. Herman Bernard Kramer in The Book of Destiny. Previously, it was explained that, in apocalyptic symbolism, the word “heaven” (in the singular sense) means “the Church,” which is the kingdom of God on earth. It follows that the great sign of “a woman clothed with the sun” appears in the Church.
It shall also be repeated that, throughout salvation history, the signs of God indicate various purposes. A true sign can possess any one or more of the following seven functions: It confirms God’s Word, His goodness, authenticates prophesy, verifies God’s blessings and His intervention for the sake of the elect, strengthens the faithful with hope, insures or testifies to God’s Presence, or declares His judgment upon sin. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
*Roman Catechism Series* I Believe in the Holy Ghost (Matthew Plese)
Revisiting the Purpose of Religious Instruction
Before examining the Eighth Article of the Creed, it is worthwhile to step back and remember our purpose in studying the Roman Catechism. Rather than being a merely intellectual exercise, the purpose of religious instruction is ultimately for our salvation and that of others. We do not study these articles for mere curiosity, which St. Thomas Aquinas identifies as a sin, or out of a pride based on the notion that only Traditional Catholics should know these truths. Those who believe that these truths were meant only for a select group of chosen individuals would fall into the heresy of Gnosticism.
Rather, our purpose in studying the Creed and the teachings of the Catholic Faith as expounded upon in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, under the direction of St. Charles Borromeo, is entirely for our own salvation and that of those whom we encounter. The entire human race is called to life in the Catholic Church and adherence to the Church’s teachings since her dogmatic teachings are ultimately God’s teachings.
The principles and teachings of the Faith should lead to real, concrete actions in our lives, all centered around living the teachings of the Faith in the state of grace. These truths are necessary for salvation. However, to merely know the teachings of the Faith without praying, without frequenting the Sacraments, without striving to live in the state of grace at all times, or without sharing it for the salvation of the souls of others, would be foolish. As the saintly Curè of Ars once remarked, “My children, I often think that most of the Christians who are lost are lost for want of instruction; they do not know their religion.” Let us not be among the many who are lost and do not reach Heaven.
A Distinct Divine Person
The Holy Ghost, known also as the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, or the Spirit of Truth, is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Ghost is not a feeling or a pious thought but a real and true Person. As the Roman Catechism explains, “the Holy Ghost is equally God with the Father and the Son, equally omnipotent and eternal, infinitely perfect, the supreme good, infinitely wise, and of the same nature as the Father and the Son.”
While the Holy Ghost did not die on the Cross or take flesh of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Ghost is still nonetheless a real, divine Person. Each year, the Church celebrates one of her highest-ranking feasts on Pentecost Sunday, which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary ten days after Our Lord’s Ascension. This event is described in the Book of Acts (2:1-13) and fulfilled Our Lord’s promise to send us “another Paraclete” (John 14:16), One Who would guide the Church into “all truth” (John 16:13). That Advocate, Who we call the Holy Ghost, is truly a divine Person distinct from the Father and the Son, yet there are not three gods but only one God in three divine Persons. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition
The Notre Dame Fire: A Sign for Our Times (Mark Fellows)
Ignoring, Then Sounding, the Alarm
It was 6:18 pm on the Monday of Holy Week – April 15, 2019 – and Mass was being celebrated inside the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris when a warning light on the smoke alarm panel turned bright red with the word Feu – “Fire”.
One of the two security guards on duty inside the Cathedral was 3 days new, and working a double shift because his replacement didn’t show up. He radioed the other guard to investigate for fire. Somehow, the guard left the Cathedral to inspect the sacristy in an adjacent building. He messaged back there was no fire. The new security guard assumed it was a false alarm.
A call was made to the manager of the Cathedral’s security department, who quickly realized the source of the alarm was not the sacristy but the attic at the very top of the Cathedral. The guards clambered up the 300 narrow steps to the top of Notre Dame. Bent double catching their breath, they saw to their horror that the marvelous, intricate lattice of huge wooden beams – many of them centuries old from forests that no longer exist – was being attacked by a fire growing larger by the moment. Someone finally called the fire department.
Battling the Blaze Against the Odds
It was now 6:48 pm. The flames had a 30-minute head start on arriving fire fighters, who were destined to fight a losing battle from the start. Undaunted, they prepared to use the Seine River for their hoses, and to be tested to their limits.
Truly, if not for the bravery and remarkable courage of Paris’ finest, the entire Cathedral would have collapsed and most likely destroyed many of the most sacred relics imaginable – like a splinter from the True Cross, and the Crown of Thorns said to have been jammed onto the Savior’s head during His Passion.
The firefighters resolved to battle the blaze at the very top of Notre Dame. Many wore fifty pounds of fire-fighting gear, along with breathing masks. There were no elevators to the top. The firefighters climbed the 300 steps, faced the inferno, and opened their hoses on it. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition
Climate Apocalypse Now? (Stefanie Nicholas)
In her infamous speech before the U.N. Climate Action Summit (Sept. 23, 2019), 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg proclaimed to fawning world leaders:
“You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.” (Emphasis added)
The so-called “Church of Sweden” (an Evangelical Lutheran denomination), in a 2018 tweet which has reemerged in light of Thunberg’s rise to fame, stated that “Jesus of Nazareth has now appointed one of his successors, Greta Thunberg.” Other activists have seemingly canonized her as a saint, marching with halo-clad portraits of the teenager in various “climate strike” protests.
Despite her status as a secular pseudo-saint, faithful Catholics must understand: the cult of climate change which Greta Thunberg incarnates is more than the sum of its parts. In this essay, I will argue that this ideology is indeed a proper cultus, a terra-pagan religion which stands (like all false religions) in opposition to the One True Faith of Jesus Christ; and further, how this false cultus is actually a foundational element of the ascendant “anti-church” or “counterchurch” which will eventually usher in the Antichrist, “the man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3), during “the last days” (2 Tim. 3:1; 2 Pet. 3:3), as prophesied in Scripture and by countless Saints and Popes.
It is worth pondering the words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen as we examine the various elements which comprise this ideology. “[Satan] will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church…. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. […] The False Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association.” To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition
Fr. Charles E. Curran and the Making of the New Religion (Jesse Russell, Ph.D.)
Background to Present Circumstances
For the many Catholics who have stumbled into the Traditionalist movement during the “Francis Era”, the Amazon Synod appears to be a shocking novelty, especially for those who came of age during the supposedly glorious reign of Pope John Paul II. The Synod, with its attendant veneration of pagan goddesses and other forms of nature worship, seems to be a radical departure from the “hermeneutic of continuity” (conservative branding) of Pope John XXIII’s famous aggiornamento during the reigns of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
On the other hand, syncretism and overtures to nature worship were not uncommon during the allegedly “conservative” pontificates of John Paul and Benedict. After all, John Paul II organized and led the infamous Assisi Prayer Meeting in 1986 [see pages 1 and 3 for more details – Ed.] at which a host of pagans worshipped their strange gods in prayerful communion with the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Likewise, the so-called “traditionalist” Benedict XVI publicly participated in Jewish, Muslim, and pagan worship.
The notion of a pope standing idly by (if not actively participating in) non-Christian worship is sadly nothing new for those who have learned to “cast a cold eye” on the machinations of post-Vatican II prelates. Thus, a realistic assessment reveals that the so-called “conservative” wing of post-conciliar churchmen was nothing more than the scolding “Judy” puppet of the popular British “Punch and Judy Show” who, however much she reprimands her dissident husband, nonetheless remains perpetually wed to him in an endless pantomime.
It is thus incumbent upon faithful Catholics to present an honest and sincere narrative of the Church’s “auto-demolition” (Pope Paul VI) in order to clearly demonstrate the desperate need for restoration, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Infamous Father Curran
At this late hour, the Church seems to be in ruins, suffering her own “Passion” (Benedict XVI) in imitation of her Divine Lord and Bridegroom. Among the ruins, lit by the eerie fires of pagan ritual (on display in Rome during the Amazon Synod), there are many ghostly figures whose writings and teachings have gotten us into our present ruinous state. In the American Church’s catalog of villains, one of the worst is certainly Fr. Charles E. Curran (b. 1934), who was ordained for the Diocese of Rochester, New York in 1958 and formally censured by Rome for his dissenting views some 30 years later. The notorious progressive theologian was one of the most influential figures in normalizing the practice of birth control by Catholics, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. Among the Catholic left – especially among “old liberals” – Fr. Curran, or simply “Charlie” to his friends, is revered as a martyr for academic freedom, for the diocesan priest was one of the very few theologians to have his teaching faculties revoked during John Paul II’s pontificate. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition