Monday, June 25, 2018

Millennials And Dealing With Doubt


 Sacred Scripture assures us, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6). As Traditionalists, it is imperative that the next generation be stronger in the Faith than ever before. We are now decades into the Great Apostasy, and there is much that will corrupt and destroy the Faith that only arose within the last thirty years. Let's face it, when I was 15 years old in 1980 and searching for the truth, personal computers, the Internet, DVDs, CDs, and 500 cable TV stations were science fiction. Your phone was attached to a wall, most had a rotary dial, and if you weren't around to pick up the phone, the caller could not leave a message and you had no way to tell who called. Now, teens think "research" is plugging words into a search engine. All of this technology come with a huge price in terms of the Millennials (those born from 1982-2004, inclusive), not to mention Generation Z (2005-present).

Millennials are known for many things; large student debt, refusal to grow-up ("adulting" is a neologism for "acting like an adult" now prevalent among them), unusually high self-esteem (everyone is allowed to do everything without merit and all grow up getting awards without achievement), and a low work ethic. According to Pew research, Millennials have another distinction: they are the largest group without any religious affiliation. The study states, " In other words, Millennials, who make up a growing share of the population as they reach adulthood and older Americans die off, are far less religiously observant than the older cohorts. Whether Millennials will become more religious as they age remains to be seen, but there is nothing in our data to suggest that Millennials or members of Generation X [1965-1981] have become any more religious in recent years. If anything, they have so far become less religious as they have aged." (See http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/14/the-factors-driving-the-growth-of-religious-nones-in-the-u-s/; Dates in parenthesis mine).

The computer age has exacerbated the need for instant gratification, especially among teens. If they can't find a satisfying answer to a question in seconds, they get upset (at best), or willfully drop the subject for which they wanted to find an answer. Answers don't come easy, and sometimes they don't come at all. Most people, especially those born in or after 1982, don't know how to deal with doubt--and that is very evident in terms of religious belief. In my opinion, this is what accounts for so many without religion. I have a Twitter account for this blog, @IAltare, and in the last couple of years, two young men reached out to me asking questions about the Faith, and wanting to become priests.

 I was generous with my time and resources, doing all I could to message them with the answers to questions they had asked. The first one went to seminary only to leave within a month to become an Eastern Schismatic. He said he had doubts about the Faith from what he had read online. Within a couple of months later he gave up all Faith to be a Neo-Nazi and Twitter disabled his account due to racist and hateful rants. The second young man also wanted to be a priest, but he claimed that due to doubts over the historicity of some Old Testament accounts, he basically lost the Faith. He now calls himself a "Justice Democrat" who supports pro-abortion, pro-sodomite, socialist politicians. It's scary how someone can go to such extremes. I wonder what their ideology du jour will be next month, next year, and so forth as they must become functioning members of society. How will they impact our world? It won't bode well for themselves or humanity at large.

To be strong in the Faith, one must know how to deal with doubts, which is the subject of  this post.

Sources of Doubt

 To question, or have doubts about the Faith, has always plagued members of the Church. Even the greatest of theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas, who had miraculous events in his life, was not immune from doubt. He would pray, "Lord, I believe, help my disbelief." That's not to say the Angelic Doctor had willful doubts against the Faith. As theologian Jone teaches, "Although one is a heretic who deliberately doubts a truth of Faith, he who merely suspends his judgement about a truth proposed as true, but does not positively doubt it, is no heretic; yet, he sins against his duty of making an act of Faith. Whoever is tempted against Faith and hesitates between assent and denial, and deliberately withholds his assent, sins venially by neglecting to resist the temptation." (See Moral Theology, The Newman Press, MD., [1962], pg. 68). Today, the wickedness of the world and the Great Apostasy can give rise to even more doubt. Below are the sources of most doubt under three main headings.

1. Factual doubt. A common form of uncertainty is that which questions the underpinnings of the Faith. Such might frequently occur in the case of those new to the Church; including converts from the Vatican II sect. It stems from not having thought through many of the issues yet, or in the case of mature believers, hearing an accusation against the Faith which they cannot answer. This problem can be subdivided as follows:

  • Sidetracked by pseudo-problems. There are some questions that arise which are not really problems when correctly understood. For example, there are believers who worry over the Creation account in six days, and how that squares with modern science. In truth, it doesn't matter since the word yom, in Hebrew, has been incorrectly translated as "day." The word actually means a "period of time." God created the world in six time periods. These periods may be longer or shorter than a literal 24-hour day. What appears to be a problem is really a pseudo-problem. Other questions may not admit of a definite answer, as the Church has not decided the matter. For example, how we get a pope back again. Still other questions must be accepted on Faith because they are mysteries (above and beyond, yet not opposed to right reason), e.g. How God exists as a Trinity. In the case of the young man having problems understanding the Old Testament, many problems can only be worked out over time and with competent guidance. Finally, some accept what people say about the Church (e.g., religion is for weak people who need a "crutch"), without examining the evidence (or lack thereof) for the assertion thus made. 
  • The Great Apostasy and Religious Pluralism. People have more contact with various religions than ever before. A friend of mine who grew up in 1950s Ireland told me he never met anyone who wasn't Catholic until he came to America. Now Ireland is pagan once more, and has all religions out proselytizing (except the Vatican II sect, with Frankie telling us "proselytism is nonsense"). The problem is compounded by Traditionalists who are besieged by Feeneyites, Home Aloners, Conclavists, Recognize and Resisters, etc. The best way to approach these doubts when they come up, is to realize that just because people can't agree, doesn't mean there is no truth or right answer. Right is right even if no one is correct and wrong is wrong even if everyone is incorrect. Contradictory beliefs can't be true, so the idea of "all paths lead to God" is nonsensical. Equally devoid of reason are those who assert, "We can't know the truth." Ask them, "Is your statement 'we can't know the truth' true? How do you know?" It's a self-refuting position.
 The best way to help your children (and Traditionalists in general) against these types of doubts is continuing to learn the Faith well. Don't be satisfied with teaching your children the Baltimore Catechism. Have them start to read (together with you) the great theologians like Ott and Pohle. Discuss what you read. Remember the words of Scripture, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." (Hosea 4:6). 

2. Emotional doubt. Moods, such as anxiety and depression, can cause someone to doubt. 

  • Medical causes. People who suffer from manic depressive states, or who are on certain types of medications, can become depressed and experience doubts because they are incapable of clear thinking. Proper medication and treatment can relieve such moods--and with it the doubt.
  • Anger over life's circumstances. Frequently, people will turn on God after the death of a loved one, loss of a job, or onset of a medical condition. "Why did God do this to me?" We must remember that God permits things to happen for our greater good, even if we can't see it. We follow in the footsteps of a Suffering Savior. 
  • Judging by feelings. This is a direct result of the Modernists, who expect us to feel warm and fuzzy, because religion (according to them) is emotive. The so-called "Charismatic Movement" thrives on making faith "an experience." When someone does not (or no longer) "feels close to God," they think He's not there. 
  • The World. Peer-pressure from those who think you're a "religious nut," will often make people want to give up the Faith to fit in. The "New Atheists" attack religious people as "superstitious" and "dangerous," while rock and pop music, TV, and movies attack religion and religious people as "not being with it." Hypocrites in the Church who don't live the Faith will exacerbate the problem. 
 Prayer and frequenting the sacraments as well as keeping good companions who are strong in the Faith is essential to fighting these doubts. 

3. Volitional doubt. These are doubts people (consciously or subconsciously) want to give themselves. Why would anyone want to doubt? There are a couple of reasons: 

  • An excuse to sin. Some people want to doubt because that gives them an excuse to lead a sinful life and quell their conscience. They make up intellectual "problems" to mask their evil desires. 
  • Temptations of Satan. The evil one and his minions will often try and tempt someone to doubt the goodness of God, or convince them Hell isn't real. Once you fall into sin, you don't want to give it up and you manufacture doubts as an excuse not to repent. It is very much like the excuse to sin above, but from a supernatural origin that a person permits to take hold by not combating it immediately. 
  • Immature Faith. Those who don't advance in the love of Christ and His Church will find themselves drifting away, and making up doubts and excuses for not becoming more devout. Being devout is "too hard."
A combination of deeply understanding the Faith, and growing in sanctity will prevent someone from wanting doubts. 

Conclusion
I'm glad I'm not a teen in today's world. 1980 was (almost literally) a different universe from 2018. We have a new generation that can't cope with doubt, and they change ideologies more frequently and drastically than ever before. Many more souls will be lost if we do not do a better job of educating young Traditionalists. I implore sedevacantist priests to preach on the Faith, and don't be afraid of mentioning sedevacantism. The Truth may hurt some, but it will always win out and heal many. I love the SSPV priests, but their sermons make me feel like it's 1958, Pope Pius XII is still on the Throne, and all is right with the world. The Millennials need to know what was stolen from them and why. They need to understand the reasons for the Faith, and Bergoglio is a fraud.  

 We all need to reach the young and make them stronger in Faith than we are (if possible). The future of the Church and the world in this time of near universal apostasy depends on it. 



20 comments:

  1. I have often thought that an immersion in true history by Father Fahey and William Thomas Walsh would do much to inoculate the young against false history. I wonder if the traditional Catholic schools teach this? They have been gifted with the greatest treasure in the world and they do not know it.

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    1. David,
      I like your idea, and Traditionalist Catholic Schools had better realize the treasure they have—-for the future depends on it!

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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  2. Introibo writes:
    In truth, it doesn't matter since the word yom, in Hebrew, has been incorrectly translated as "day." The word actually means a "period of time."

    Are you a Hebrew scholar? Everything I've read by people who know Hebrew says that when ordinal numbers are used with "yom" (as in Genesis) it always refers to a 24-hour day.

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    1. George,
      I am certainly NOT a Hebrew scholar. However, in this case I have something more important going for me: a binding decision from the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church!

      The following question was proposed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission:

      "Whether in the designation and distinction of six days with which the account of the first chapter of Genesis deals, the word 'DAY' can be assumed either in its proper sense of a natural day, or in the improper sense of a certain space of time; and whether with regard to such a question there can be free disagreement among the exegetes?"

      On June 30, 1909, the Commission (with full approval from His Holiness Pope St. Pius X) responded:

      "IN THE AFFIRMATIVE." This means that the "days" of creation need not be actual periods of twenty-four hours each. This also comports with the Commission's decision of June 23, 1905 (also approved by Pope St. Pius X) that Scripture gives historical accounts except "...where without opposing the sense of the Church and preserving its judgement, it is proved with strong arguments that the sacred writer did not wish to put down true history, and history properly so-called, but to set forth, under the appearance and form of history a parable, an allegory, or some meaning removed from the properly literal or historical significance of the words."

      In my opinion (and consistent with the decrees of the Pontifical Biblical Commission approved by Pope St. Pius X), Moses meant to convey that man was God's special creation, so the Earth (our planet) takes place of pride over the other celestial bodies.That's why it is created first. What’s great is that your opinion is also equally valid, George! The “yom” might mean literal 24 hour days—-but it doesn’t HAVE TO BE.

      You might be right and I may be wrong. What’s important is that neither of us is a heretic or a sinner for holding the opinion we do. It also means that someone not strong in the Faith has no reason to doubt the Biblical account of Creation.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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  3. As a millennial (1992) I would like to affirm that most so-called "traditionalists" in my age group or younger, whom I've seen on social media, are just about as trad as Woodstock. As long as you are loosely anti-sodomite or anti-abortion, you can be twice the hell hound as Bergoglio and join their circle of self-congratulating and self-worship.

    Seriously, if you think Francis is a blasphemer, check out Gen Z "Catholic" twitter. Trad is just a fashion accessory they use to feel special and rake in "likes". Even their ostensible stance on social degeneracy is just an ironic exercise in "meme magic" -- yes, many literally use witchcraft in their internet postings -- "ironically" of course.

    Don't believe any reports about how younger people are more conservative or traditional. They're only lowering the standard of what tradition means. Truth is, Gen Z is the first generation in America where the majority claim to be "not heterosexual". In other words, they're the most demonically possessed generation of all time!

    We can only pray for them. I would exercise a lot of prudence in one-on-one help. Pearls before swine etc.

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    1. Sarah,
      Wow. That’s powerful testimony you gave. At least we have young ladies like you to carry the Faith forward. You give us hope.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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    2. Thank you "Introibo"! I read your blog all the time.

      For more insight on the problem, here is what my 21 year old friend from Canada explained about the public school system there:

      "In public school the only things we "learn" are the virtues of tolerance, the sins of prejudice, and how we must never engage in thoughts which could serve for our protection and advancement, ever. They overly complicate the simplest things to such an extent that it becomes difficult for even the intelligent children to grasp. (see common core)

      I can see this serving a double purpose - to debilitate our mental faculties and exalt and create a dependence on the "specialist" (scientist, doctor, etc.) authority figures.
      We are never taught the WHY of anything but instead indoctrinated with conditioned responses. For example, instead of being presented with the fundamentals of reason and logical equivalency early on, we are made read plenty of literature consisting of emotional appeals.

      All of antiquity is shown in the most negative light (consisting of oppression, brutality, etc.) and whatever remnants are attributed to everything wrong with the world as being in the way of "progress", freedom, justice, equality, etc.

      In grade 5 we were taught just how healthy masturbation is and how wonderful it feels. By the end of the year half of the girls in class had already engaged in intercourse.

      Now in some elementary schools sex ed along with "gender dysphoria essentials" is taught to kids in grade 3.

      I recently learned from an elementary teacher that today whenever children feel like they "can't" work anymore there's a corner with iPads and bean bags where they can spend however long they want doing nothing. What character building!

      In high school teens are pretty much allowed to vape in class since the teachers can't raise a hand against them.
      As for multiculturalism there's constant fights in the hallways between the various racial groups at some schools.

      I almost forgot that how now there are no grades or finals in high school over here aside from provincials.

      Combine this with babies and young children being now being exposed to the internet and YouTube for entertainment.
      tbh no wonder there's so many school shootings.

      All I know has come entirely from life experience and a few short years of "extra-curricular" activities, self study, and a bit of post-secondary education.
      i.e. I learned absolutely nothing from public schooling except for a tiny bit of math."

      With such an "education", I don't think it's unreasonable to suppose that the majority of these children truly become possessed by demons before finishing school.

      God Bless,

      --Sarah

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    3. Thanks again, Sarah. It’s heartbreaking to read.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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  4. Sad to hear about those two individuals.

    Would like to add, to better understand, that the "Justice Democrats" are an actual group, not some title just made up.

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    1. You are correct. My point in putting the term in parentheses was to show that they have no justice when it comes to murdering innocent children by abortion, nor is Socialism and “sodomite rights” to be deemed “just” in any sense of that word.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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  5. Although it should be stated that just because one supports a group doesn't mean one supports every view of the group. A Catholic must definitely be pro-life and anti-sodomite but there are many, many more political issues nowadays, and it's not the Republican Party is Catholic, either.

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    1. I agree and disagree. As to your first point, it is GENERALLY true that just because you support a group doesn’t mean you support every view of the group, there are some groups that are so vile by nature that no one calling himself/herself “Traditionalist Catholics” can belong to it regardless of the other stances that group may profess. Examples include, but are not limited to, Freemasonry, NAMBLA, and the National Organization for Women (NOW).

      As to your second point, I agree that the Republican Party has many candidates one cannot vote for or support. Examples include former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the pro-abortion, pro-sodomite, cross-dressing pervert.

      You are correct that Catholics MUST be pro-life and anti-sodomite, and whatever other issues might be held by a candidate they are off-limits to your vote if they support child murder and/or sins against nature.

      To say otherwise puts one firmly in the camp of those who supported Communists because they made the trains run on time.

      —-Introibo

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  6. This article is EXACTLY what Traditional Bishops & Priests should be discussing during their sermons,aside from the meanings of Epistle & Gospel.
    The local tradiTradit chapel is the ONLY place where young people will hear proper moral education and formation.
    I can attest to my youth in the 1990's/early 2000's being NO DIFFERENT from millennials of today.
    The only difference was we didn't tell adults what was going on at night and on weekends.
    Lesbian & homosexual activity was RAMPANT in the 90's,along with extreme drug use.
    Keep this up the Church needs this blog.
    God bless.
    -ANDREW

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    1. Many thanks for your kind words, Andrew!

      ---Introibo

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  7. I meant to include Heterosexual promiscuity was also normal & extremely rampant.
    -ANDREW

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  8. The quickest way to cloud you rjudgement, have "doubts" about the Faith, and, ultimately, to lose the Faith altogether: Violations of the 6th and 9th Commandments. ALL by itself, this one category of sin, if given into, can be the source of loss of all faith.

    Always remember: A doubt exists in the mind, not in reality.

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    1. I agree with you that sins of impurity are deadly to faith, and many have lost faith because of adherence to these horrific sins.

      Of course doubt can only exist in the mind, since it is the uncertainty as to whether or not a certain proposition comports with objective reality. Sins of the flesh cloud good judgement leading to doubt since many people want to continue to sin.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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  9. Well written article. Do you ever have doubts about the SSPV? I don't mean their validity as bishops and priests but how they speak about sedevacantistism? I've watch Fr. Jenkins and he seems to think that sedevacantism is an opinion as if it doesn't matter if you believe it or not so long as you for certain don't follow Francis (whatever that means). I'm a sedevacantist and believe that considering the evidence of what the Church has already taught and applying it to today's conclusion that it's a no brainer and a very important issue. In other words I don't believe it's just an opinion but something which is necessary even if there be no solution as you mentioned when people ask how we will ever get a pope again (God's will shall be done in His own good time on that). I'm not a home aloner, but I'm not a follower of the SSPV either because of this and some other issues such as their problem with the Bp. Thuc lineage. There is a good website by a friend of mine called Thucbishops.com and he used to be an ardent supporter of the SSPV until that issue came up and he does very well to defend the Thuc bishops. Anyways, I'm sorry for going off topic because this article is really good and eye opening and a must read but when I saw your conclusion talking about the SSPV I just was wondering what you thought about them on those points I brought up. Thank you again I'll keep reading your website. Keep up the good fight.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words my friend. The SSPV should teach Sedevacantism as truth, not an “opinion.” Some clarification is necessary. To have a theological opinion is not the same as an opinion in ordinary jargon. For example, I like chocolate and you like vanilla are not the type of opinions that are discussed in theology. Rather, it’s like a doctor giving a medical opinion. It doesn’t mean he would like you to have this condition rather than that condition, but based on these facts, this is what I believe to be true. Could he be wrong? Sure. Theological opinions work the same until there is a Magisterial decision we don’t have now. In this case we can be MORALLY CERTAIN and that is good enough. Bergoglio could be “material pope”—sedeprivationism—but we have no pope formally either way.

      The SSPV, I think, is using this non-absolute knowledge to allow R&R to stay in their Chapels. Many are former SSPX from whom they broke away. I, too, disagree with the Thuc position they hold, but I think that’s a case of pride on the part of Bp Kelly.

      In this time when we have no shepherd the sheep are scattered. Just because I disagree with some (non Dogmatic) points/positions does not mean I can’t or won’t attend in good conscience. If some priest had to agree with me on all disputed points I’d wind up home alone myself!

      So, yes I think Sedevacantism should be taught as morally certain. If it is not, it is not ideal, but not a reason to stay away. You can influence the clergy and laity to adopt the openly Sedevacantism position!

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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    2. Sedeprivationism makes sense especially when people ask,
      "If sedevacantism is true,how can we have a Catholic Pope again?"
      Sedeprivationism doesn't jump to any conclusions.
      He's holds the office of Pope but isn't Catholic nor is he a valid Bishop and Priest.
      Francis could be Pope if he renounced his errors,converted to Catholicism,and received valid Holy Orders from a valid pre-July 1968 Bishop.

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