Monday, December 10, 2018

The Schizophrenic Church Of R & R


 All Traditionalists believe what has been defined and taught by the Church. One of the most basic and ancient expressions of the Faith is the Nicene Creed, composed in part and adopted at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) and revised with additions by the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.). Recited at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Church proclaims, "Et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam." (I believe) in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." Do the "recognize and resisters" (R&R) of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), or Bishop Richard Williamson's St. Marcel Initiative, or their apologists (John Salza, Robert Siscoe, The Remnant, etc.) really believe it?

 Of course they profess it, and would (correctly) state that the denial of such is heresy. However, upon closer inspection, their refusal to acknowledge sedevacantism has lead to a de facto ecclesiology (teaching on the nature of the Church) which denies the unity of the Church. They believe in a Schizophrenic "Church" whereby there are two distinct--and even contradictory-- modes of belief and worship, yet they remain mysteriously unified. Don't believe me? Let's examine what the R&R camp says and see if it squares with authentic Church teaching.

The Church Teaching On Unity

 According to theologian Van Noort, "[The Church] enjoys a three-fold unity...unity of doctrine and profession, unity of communion, and unity of government." (See Dogmatic Theology [1956] 2:126; Emphasis in original). 

1. Doctrine and Profession of Faith
"The unity of Faith which Christ decreed without qualification consists in this, that everyone accepts the doctrines presented for belief by the Church's teaching office." (Ibid:127; Emphasis in original). Furthermore, "Christ demanded faith not just in some doctrines, but in all those doctrines which authority set up by Him should teach. Consequently, any distinction between fundamental and non-fundamental articles of belief is contrary to the mind and will of Christ...Furthermore...it is impossible to determine a sure standard for distinguishing fundamental from non-fundamental articles" (Ibid:128). 

2. Communion
"Christ willed that His Church enjoy unity of communion or of (social) charity which consists in this, that all members of the Church, whether as individuals or as particular groups, mutually cohere like the finely articulated parts of one moral body, one family, one single society. It follows from this that they all share the same common benefits: sacrifice [Mass], sacraments, intercession." (Ibid:128)

3. Government
"Christ willed that His Church enjoy unity of rule (hierarchical unity) which consists in this, that all members of the Church obey one and the same visible authority." (Ibid:130)  

Anticipating the objections of  the R&R (as well as Vatican II apologists), who will claim that the Mark of Unity as expressed by the Church does not apply to the sedevacantists because (1) we have different groups (SSPV, CMRI, etc.) and (2) we don't have a visible authority to follow, a couple of responses are in order. 

In a prolonged state of sedevacante, you would expect that novel theological questions would cause rifts. Nevertheless, we profess the Integral Catholic Faith. As Van Noort teaches, "[During the Great Western Schism]...hierarchical unity was only materially, not formally, interrupted.  Although Catholics were split three ways in their allegiance because of the doubt as to which of the [papal] contenders had been legitimately elected, still all were agreed in believing that allegiance was owed to one legitimate successor of Peter, and they stood willing to give that allegiance." (Ibid:131; First Emphasis in original, second emphasis mine)

According to canonist Wernz-Vidal, "... [the] visibility of the Church consists in the fact that She possesses such signs and identifying marks that, when moral diligence is used, she can be recognized and discerned..." (See Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, pg. 454; Emphasis mine). The Church does not, strictly speaking, need an actual living pope to be a visible society, the Mystical Body of Christ. 

R&R Ecclesiology
1. There exists "Eternal Rome" and "Modernist Rome," of which the pope is the head of both. When he speaks for Eternal Rome, you obey. When he speaks for Modernist Rome, you resist.
The Society is fond of quoting from a statement of Archbishop Lefebvre, which seems the starting point for their schizophrenic "Church:"
"We adhere, with all our heart, with all our soul to Catholic Rome, guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary for the preservation of that faith, to Eternal Rome, teacher of wisdom and truth. On the other hand we refuse and have always refused to follow the Rome of the neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendency that clearly manifested itself in the Second Vatican Council and after the Council in all the reforms that resulted from it."

They put this into practice with disastrous results.

From "Frequently Asked Questions About The SSPX" ("FAQ")
 (available online at http://archives.sspx.org/sspxfaqs.htm): 
"We are not to co-operate blindly in the destruction of the Church by tolerating the implementation of a new religion or by not doing what we can to defend the Catholic faith. Archbishop Lefebvre was surely our model here: No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can compel us to abandon or to diminish our Catholic Faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for 19 centuries." 

How can a true pope "implement a new religion"? It's one thing to say that a pope is not without sin and can do morally evil acts. This is true and in this he is to be resisted (e.g., the pope asks someone to "murder one of my enemies for me"). However, it is a dogma that the Church is Indefectible, i.e., She cannot give that which is false or evil to Her members, such as imposing a "new religion."

Therefore, the pope cannot give that which is evil or erroneous to the whole Church. According to theologian Herrmann:

"The Church is infallible in her general discipline. By the term general discipline is understood the laws and practices which belong to the external ordering of the whole Church. Such things would be those which concern either external worship, such as liturgy and rubrics, or the administration of the sacraments… If She [the Church] were able to prescribe or command or tolerate in Her discipline something against faith and morals, or something which tended to the detriment of the Church or to the harm of the faithful, She would turn away from her divine mission, which would be impossible."
(Institutiones Theologiae Dogmaticae, Vol. 1, p. 258)

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, Para. #9:

"[T]he discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or be branded as contrary to certain principles of natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the rights of the Church and her ministers are embraced."

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, Para. #66

"Certainly the loving Mother [the Church] is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary graces through which, with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors."

Yet the SSPX and the other R&R recognize Bergoglio, a man they claim is "implementing a new religion" (along with the other post-Vatican II "popes" before him), can be pope over both Modernist Rome (new religion) and Eternal Rome (true religion) simultaneously. Moreover, the true and the false religion seem to "subsist" together in the same overarching "Church" (sound familiar?).

2. The Eternal Rome Can Refuse to Have Communion with Modernist Rome
The SSPX: "Now, the Novus Ordo Missae [New "mass"] assumes these heterodox elements alongside the Catholic ones to form a liturgy for a modernist religion which would marry the Church and the world, Catholicism and Protestantism, light and darkness...If the Novus Ordo Missae is not truly Catholic, then it cannot oblige for one’s Sunday obligation. Many Catholics who do assist at it are unaware of its all pervasive degree of serious innovation and are exempt from guilt. However, any Catholic who is aware of its harm, does not have the right to participate. He could only then assist at it by a mere physical presence without positively taking part in it, and then and for major family reasons (weddings, funerals, etc)." (See FAQ cited above).

According to theologian Szal, to be schismatic, one must meet four requirements:

  • one must withdraw directly (expressly) or indirectly (by means of one's actions) from obediance to the Roman Pontiff and separate oneself from ecclesiastical communion with the rest of the faithful, even though one does not join a separate schismatic sect
  • one's withdrawal must be made with obstinacy and rebellion
  • the withdrawal must be made in relation to such things by which the unity of the Church is constituted
  • despite this formal disobedience the schismatic must recognize the Roman Pontiff as the true pastor of the Church, and he must profess as an article of faith that obedience is due the Roman Pontiff 
(See The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, [1948], pg. 2)

The Church is thereby in schism with itself. The SSPX is part of Eternal Rome with Bergoglio as "pope" and yet they cannot participate in public worship with Modernist Rome which also has Bergoglio as "pope" because their "mass" is Modernist and evil. The idea of an evil "mass" given by a real pope would contradict the dogma of Indefectibility as stated above, and in this case, they are refusing communion in worship with members alleged to be Catholic, just as they are. Eternal Rome and Modernist Rome form the same Church, but somehow have different religions and can't have unity in communion with each other.  

3. The Magisterium of Modernist Rome Needs to be Corrected by Eternal Rome 
The teaching authority of BOTH Eternal Rome and Modernist Rome resides in Bergoglio. However, if Bergoglio (or his "bishops") make a decision regarding, e.g. annulments and canonizations, the members of Eternal Rome (SSPX) must "correct" his teaching authority.

 A Fr. Gleize,  professor of ecclesiology at the SSPX seminary in Econe,  has written an article "Santo Subito: Is There a Problem?" in which he attempts to prove that we can decide which canonizations to accept and which to reject.  Fr. Gleize readily admits that canonizations are held to be infallible:


"Canonization is the act by which the Vicar of Christ, judging in ultimate instance and emitting a definitive sentence, inscribes in the catalogue of the saints a servant of God previously beatified. Canonization has a triple finality and does not refer only to the worship. In first instance, the pope declares that the faithful deceased is in the celestial glory; secondly, he expresses that the faithful deceased deserved to reach this glory for having practiced heroic virtues, which set an example for the whole Church; thirdly, so as to offer more easily these virtues as an example and to thank God for having cause it, he prescribes that the faithful deceased should receive a public cult. On these three scores the canonization is a precept and obliges the entire Church, and it constitutes a definitive and irreformable act."

Father claims..."it is clear that, by itself, the procedure does not have the rigor of the older one. It is much less exigent in matters of guarantees from Churchmen, so that the divine assistance may insure the infallibility of the canonization, and, with greater reason, the absence of error of fact in the beatification. Besides, Pope John Paul II decided not to follow the present procedure (which disposes that the beginning of the beatification process not take place before five years after the death of the candidate), by authorizing the introduction of the cause of Mother Teresa of Calcutta three years after her passing away. Benedict XVI did the same regarding the beatification of his predecessor. The doubt becomes much more legitimate when one considers the reasons the Church has to act cautiously in these matters."

He asserts that we are justified to doubt canonizations if a certain procedure is not carried out. However, the Divine assistance of infallibility has never been held by the Church to be dependent upon following a certain preliminary set of actions. He gives no citation for this novel idea. The process of canonization has taken different forms through the centuries, but all that is needed for the declaration to be infallible (according to the First Vatican Council and the teaching of the theologians) is that the pope intends to define a matter of Faith and/or morals as Supreme Teacher of the Church, and he intends to bind the faithful. Decrees of canonization meet this requirement. To assert that canonizations may not be infallible due to some procedural misstep is to admit the possibility that the "saint" might actually be a damned soul held up to be emulated and venerated. That would mean the Church can give evil to its members, which is impossible.  

Conclusion
R&R ecclesiology results in a schizophrenic "church," with two separate faiths lead by the same "pope" in which you must decide for yourself what is good and bad, true and false. Bergoglio's Vatican II ecclesiology just adds to the confusion by "giving jurisdiction" for SSPX priests to hear confessions and perform marriages for members of his sect. They're in "partial communion," after all. The SSPX bishops are also in some strange state with Bergoglio; neither excommunicated, yet without Sees or ordinary jurisdiction. 

All of this cannot be reconciled with authentic Church teaching. How much longer before the SSPX seeks to go into "full communion" with Bergoglio, and end the self-created "church within a church"? How much longer can we assume good faith on the part of R&R clerics and their apologists before we can no longer look upon them as Catholics? The only way out is sedevacantism. Being a true Traditionalist means being in the ONE True Church, not some divided concoction that gives both good and evil with clerics speaking out of both sides of their mouths.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Singing For Satan---Part 17



 This week I continue my once-per-month series of posts regarding an informal study I undertook in the early 1990s regarding rock and pop music. The purpose of my study (and the background to it) can be read in the first installment of August 7, 2017. If you have not read that post, I strongly encourage you to do so before reading this installment. I will only repeat here the seven (7) evil elements that pervade today's music:

1. Violence/Murder/Suicide
2. Nihilism/Despair
3. Drug and alcohol glorification
4. Adultery/ Fornication and sexual perversion
5. The occult
6. Rebellion against lawful superiors
7. Blasphemy against God, Jesus Christ in particular, and the Church

 The exposing of the bands/artists continues.

Queen and Freddie Mercury
Queen's logo, known as the "Queen's Crest" was designed by Freddie Mercury. It depicts a pagan Phoenix with the equally false and occult Zodiac signs of the band members surrounding the letter "Q." The lions are for astrology sign Leo, the crab is for the sign Cancer, and (appropriately) two fairies for Virgo--the astrological sign of bisexual Mercury. 

 In 1968, a young student at Imperial College, London, named Brain May decided to form a rock band with his friend Tim Staffell. They put out an ad for a drummer, and a young dental student named Roger Taylor was chosen for the job. The band was named Smile ostensibly due to the influence of aspiring dentist Taylor. When Staffell dropped out to join another band, they recruited a friend of Staffell, Farrokh Bulsara (who went by the name Freddie) to replace him. Bulsara, a notorious bisexual, convinced the band to change their name to Queen (a term for a flamboyant male sodomite). In his own words, "I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it."  In 1970, the band would reinvent itself as Queen with the line up of  Brian May (b. 1947), Roger Taylor (b. 1949), a bass guitarist named John Deacon (b. 1951) and Bulsara (d. 1991 from AIDS). Freddie Bulsara would change his last name to "Mercury" after a line he wrote in the song My Fairy King, which reads: "Mother Mercury, Mercury/ Look what they've done to me." He claims the line is about his mother, but as the song is so full of esoteric imagery, it's hard to believe. 

 Queen, for all intents and purposes, ended with the death of sodomite Mercury in 1991. The band has sold approximately 300 million records, making them one of the world's best-selling musicians. In 2001, they were inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." 

Freddy Mercury: Helping Evil Fight Good
Freddie Mercury quote in an interview given only a few years before his death. 

Freddie Mercury, was born on the East African island of Zanzibar in 1946 when that island was a part of the British Empire. At the age of eight, Mercury attended boarding school in Bombay, India–which was also a part of the British Empire at the time. At 17, Mercury’s family fled Zanzibar as a result of a violent revolution and lived the rest of their days in England. Mercury comes from a race of Afro-Asian people called Parsees. Their religion is Zoroastrianism, a very old pagan creed that originated in modern-day Iran. 

According to scholar Richard Cavendish, "The founder of Zoroastrianism was the man Zoroaster (a Greek corruption of the old Iranian word Zarathushtra). His time and place of birth are unknown, but it is generally believed that he was born around 650 B.C. in Persia (present-day Iran). However, as Richard Cavendish observed, there is much doubt as to when and where Zoroaster was born:

The early history of Zoroastrianism is much in dispute. The religion was founded by Zoroaster (the Greek form of his name, which is Zarathushtra in Persian), but it is not certain when he lived, where he lived or how much of later Zoroastrianism came from him. Tradition puts him in western Iran in the sixth century B.C., a little earlier than the Buddha in India, but it is now thought that he lived in northeastern Iran, in the area on the borders of modern Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. An alternative theory dates him much earlier, somewhere in the period from 1700 to 1500 B.C., and places him in the plains of Central Asia, perhaps before the first groups of Aryans moved south from the plains into Iran and India." (See The Great Religions, New York: Arco Publishing Company, [1980], p. 125).

Zoroastrianism teaches a form of dualism. "Ahura-Mazda" is the supreme deity, and he is opposed by another powerful force known as "Angra Mainyu," or "Ahriman," the bad spirit which is equal to Ahura-Mazda. From the beginning of existence these two antagonistic spirits have been at odds with each other. It is up to the individual to help Ahura-Mazda and be rewarded, or Ahriman and be punished. Zoroastrianism is therefore polytheistic, and involves astrology, numerology (the occult belief in a  mystical relationship between a number and  an event which allegedly can be used to tell the future), and a Bergoglio-like undue emphasis on nature/ecology.

At the age of eight, Mercury was officially initiated into the Zoroastrian faith, and his parents were devout throughout their lifetime. However, Mercury didn’t talk about his religion even though he remained a Zoroastrian for the duration of his life, and Zoroastrian "priests" officiated his funeral. That paganism is a dead end, can be seen in the following quotes taken from the biography The Show Must Go On:The Life of Freddie Mercury, [1994] by Rick Sky. Mercury lived for sodomy and money, yet he found very little happiness. He did Satan's work leading people astray with his music. 

Apart from music Freddie Mercury was torn between two passions--sex and spending money... In a few minutes of ecstatic shopping Mercury was capable of spending more money than most people earn in a lifetime. When I asked him once how he coped with his wealth and whether he ever felt guilty at the millions he made, Mercury was bemused by the question. Throwing his hands dramatically in the air, he declared, "I've always coped extremely well with wealth. I don't believe in hoarding my money away in a bank. I love to spend, spend, spend. After all, that's what money is there for. I'm not like some of these stars who are obsessed with counting their pennies." (pg. 89; Emphasis mine)

In one of his more dramatic moments Mercury confessed, "I have everything that money can buy except happiness." But like many of the things he said, it was a white lie that sounded much better than the truth. In those halcyon days of never-ending shopping and sex, Mercury was thrilled by every new acquisition. A more accurate comment was his confession "I'm fortunate enough to be rich. Sometimes I believe the only bit of happiness I can create is with my money." (pg. 93; Emphasis mine)

"I'll go to bed with anything," [Freddy Mercury] once admitted. "And my bed is so huge it can comfortably sleep six. I prefer my sex without any involvement. There are times when I just lived for sex." And during one interview he told me, "I am a very sexual person. I [have sexual intercourse] all the time, though I am much more choosy now than I used to be." According to his friends, Mercury went to bed with hundreds of men. Many who knew him said he had a great fear of spending time alone--especially at night...(pgs. 102-103; Emphasis mine). 

After he finished his relationship with his only longtime girlfriend, Mary Austin, Mercury explored his homosexuality to the fullest, often having a different male lover every night. The Queen front man told his closest friends that he first had a homosexual relationship at boarding school in India at the age of fourteen. But if Mercury was promiscuous during his wilder days, he always liked to have a regular boyfriend to share whatever part of the world he had chosen as his base, and the conflict between his promiscuity and his need for a steady relationship propelled him into some furious rows with his lovers. (pg. 103; Emphasis mine)

Songs of Iniquity
By far, the most infamous song of Queen is Bohemian Rhapsody. It is the third highest selling single of all time, and the only single to hit number one on two separate occasions, due to the its resurgent popularity when featured in the comedy movie Wayne's World (1992). Many of the words used in the song appear in the demonic Koran. "Bismillah" is one of these and it literally means "In the name of Allah." The word "Scaramouch" means "A stock character that appears as a boastful coward." "Beelzebub" is one of the many names given to Satan. Mercury begins by telling his mother he "just killed a man"--a possible reference to killing his heterosexuality (one of his sodomite lovers agrees with this meaning). He then speaks of Islam, another false and demonic religion, and tells us that Beelzebub has "a devil [demon] put aside for me." 

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me
Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooh, didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters
Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooh, I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright'ning me
(Galileo) Galileo, (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo figaro magnifico
(I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me)
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
(Let him go) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Ah, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh mamma mia, mamma mia) Mama mia, let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me
So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
So you think you can love me and leave me to die?
Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby!
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here!
Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows

The song Hammer to Fall is about the inevitability of death, and there are pointless prayers that you can say but the hammer (death) will fall (on you). The song is written from a point of despair and nihilism. 

Here we stand or here we fall
History won't care at all
Make the bed, light the light
Lady Mercy won't be home tonight.

You don't waste no time at all
Don't hear the bell but you answer the call
It comes to you as to us all
We're just waiting for the hammer to fall

Oh, every night and every day
A little piece of you is falling away
But lift your face the Western Way
Build your muscles as your body decays.

Tow the line and play their game
Let the anesthetic cover it all
'Til one day they call your name
You know it's time for the hammer to fall.
Rich or poor or famous for
Your truth it's all the same
(Oh, no! Oh, no!)
Lock your door but rain is pouring
Through your window pane
(Oh, no!)
Baby, now your struggle's all in vain.

For he who grew up tall and proud
In the shadow of the Mushroom Cloud
Convinced our voices can't be heard
We just wanna scream it louder and louder and louder

What the hell are we fighting for?
Just surrender and it won't hurt at all
You just got time to say your prayers
While you're waiting for the hammer to—hammer to fall.

Hey! Yes.
It's going to fall! Yeah!
Hammer!
You know
Yeah!
Hammer to fall!

Hammer!
Yeah!

The song We Are The Champions, used at sporting events and even during Trump's campaign, is really about the triumph of the sodomites over heterosexuals. The band members deny this, but would you really believe someone (Mercury) who told Circus magazine, "We want to shock and be outrageous." (April 1974)?

I've paid my dues
Time after time
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes 
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I've come through

(And I need to go on and on, and on, and on)

We are the champions, my friends
And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions of the world

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune
And everything that goes with it
I thank you all
But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge
Before the whole human race
And I ain't gonna lose

(And I need just go on and on, and on, and on)

We are the champions, my friends
And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions of the world

We are the champions, my friends
And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions

Get Down, Make Love is about a homosexual romp and drugs:

 Get down make love
Get down make love
Get down make love
Get down make love
You take my body
I give you heat
You say you're hungry
I give you meat
I suck your mind
You blow my head
Make love
Inside your bed everybody
Get down make love
Get down make love
Get down make love
Get down make love
Everytime I get hot
You wanna cool down
Everytime I get high
You say you wanna come down
You say its enough
In fact its too much
Everytime I get a
Get down get down get down
Make love
you can shake me
(Get down) I can feel, (make love) you can break me
(Get down) come on so heavy (make love)
(Get down) when you take me (make love)
You make love you make love you make love you make
Love
You can make everybody get down make love
Get down make love (Emphasis mine)

Conclusion
Freddy Mercury really seems to have made a deal with the devil. He chose evil, got fame and fortune, yet was not happy most of the time. He was a pagan who wanted to be damned, and most likely got his wish. Hell will not be found as a place to meet "interesting people." It's eternal torment away from God forever. So if you're looking for true happiness both here and hereafter, dump Queen and listen to He Who is the King of Kings. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Satanic Panic?


 It was a Sunday I would never forget. I arrived at approximately 8:30 for the 9am Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Fr. DePauw's Ave Maria Chapel in Westbury, New York with my parents. That was usual for me. What wasn't usual was what my parents and I witnessed on that balmy summer day in 1987. There was a police helicopter flying low and circling the Chapel; not less than a half-dozen uniformed police were patrolling the Chapel grounds, and there were plain clothes detectives at the entrance. At first, I didn't know if we could go there--maybe, God forbid--the Chapel had been vandalized. However, we were allowed to enter. As we reached the front doors, one of the detectives was looking me over (I was 22 at the time and appeared younger), and he asked my parents, "Is this young man your son?" They said yes, and he told us we could go on in.

Everyone inside was looking rather pensive. Father was not hearing Confessions that Sunday as he usually did 30 minutes before the first Mass at 9am. I knelt down and recited my prayers before Mass and Communion. When the bell rang and Father DePauw entered the sanctuary, he looked somewhat distraught. The Low Mass began, and after the reading of the Gospel, Father came to give the announcements and sermon at the pulpit. With a somber tone in his voice, he told us that the police had come because there had been a credible death threat made against him by some people involved in a Satanic coven. They said they were going to murder him to show their "hatred for Christ" and "everything he (Fr. DePauw) stands for" to "glorify Satan." The police (especially on Long Island) only reacted to such threats if they posed a true risk. I knew that with all this police coverage, law enforcement did not think this was some stupid prank, as they did in 99% of all such threats.

Father assured us that we were not in any danger. The police had secured the grounds and checked for explosives, etc. They remained in case someone would pose as a visitor with the intent of making good the threat to murder him. When the police suggested that perhaps he should shut down the Chapel for a few weeks and "get out of town" to take up residence with another Traditionalist priest friend, Father balked at the idea. "If they kill me for hatred of the True Faith, then I would die a martyr at the altar. I can think of no better way for a priest to die. But I'm not worried. My patron is St. Michael the Archangel, who beat Satan before and will do so again!" said a defiant and faith-filled Fr. DePauw from the pulpit. He then continued the Mass, and we left breathing a little easier. Nothing happened to Father, and he was told by the police and DA not to discuss the specifics of the incident. The following week, things went back to normal.

The 1980s were a time when the so-called "Satanic Panic" swept the United States. There were false and exaggerated claims of "Satanic Ritual Abuse" or "SRA." It seemed to culminate with the famous broadcast on October 22, 1988 of the show Devil Worship: Exposing Satan's Underground presented by Geraldo Rivera. I watched the show the night it aired, and it was sensationalistic in the extreme. The show would be the highest viewed documentary up until that time (and remains one of the most watched even as of this writing). The media, and the secularists, want us to think that the idea of people following Satan is nonsense in all cases. The fundamentalist Protestants want us to see the devil everywhere we look without exception. As always, "In medio stat veritas"---in the middle lies the truth. This week's post seeks to clarify the very real rise of Satanic influence in the world, while hoping to avoid both the dismissal of the supernatural on the left, and the uncalled for hysteria on the right.

The Real Evidence for a Rise in Demonic Influence

There are those who serve Satan knowingly and willingly, and those who serve him indirectly. There are also those completely fooled, for as Scripture tells us, "And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14). According to the New York Times, "It is unclear how many Wiccans ("witches") and other pagans there are. The 2001 American Religious Identification Survey by the City University of New York found that Wicca was the country’s fastest-growing religion, with 134,000 adherents, compared with 8,000 in 1990. The actual number may be greater, Ms. Berger said. Some people may have been unwilling to identify themselves as pagan or Wiccan for the survey. Others combine paganism with other religions." (See https://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/us/16wiccan.html).

As to those who identify as pagans (polytheistic, animistic, or pantheistic pre-Christian religions), some studies suggest that there are at least 1.2 million pagans in the United States. (See Jason Pitzl-Waters, The Wild Hunt, "Parsing the Pew Numbers," http://wildhunt.org/blog/2008/02/parsing-pew-numbers.html; Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, http://religions.pewforum.org/). Also in the U.S., there are approximately 1.5 million Hindus, another 1.2 million are Buddhists, and 3.45 million Mohammedans.  The fact that there are currently millions of witches, animists, and other pagans in the country is reason enough for genuine concern. The Bible tells us, "But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils." (1 Corinthians 10:20). Let's not forget that Pope Pius XI clearly establishes Islam as dark (evil) as paganism in the prayer he composed for the Dedication of the Human Race to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, where we pray for those "still in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism." 

The growth of these religions allows for greater demonic activity. Yet the Vatican II sect tells us that:
 "The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other [pagan] religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men...The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. (See Nostra Aetate, para. #2 and 3). Notice the absence of any mention to convert them to the One True Church (and now Bergoglio openly tells us "proselytism is nonsense"). Good people who were raised in the sect thinking they are Catholic come to accept, rather than reject, paganism. 

The main cause of the rise in paganism--and even Satanism--coincides with the Great Apostasy. It's no coincidence. There are three basic reasons for this cause and effect, based on sound theological principles. 

1. The False Ecclesiology of Vatican II. 
The heretical ecclesiology of Vatican II tells us that the Church of Christ is distinct from the Roman Catholic Church, but "subsists" there because it has all the "elements" of the Church of Christ. The Church of Christ "subsists" elsewhere depending on how many "elements" the sect possesses. To have all the elements is best, but just having some elements is good too, and leads to salvation. (See Lumen Gentium of Vatican II). This explains why Nostra Aetate (cited above) could praise the false and diabolical sects of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. It also explains how "St." Wojtyla (JPII) could kiss the evil Koran--it contains some elements of truth. Using the same logic he could kiss the Satanic Bible because that has "some truth" as well. You will also frequently hear Vatican II sect clergy talking about baptism bringing someone into full communion with the sect. This clearly implies there can be partial communion. This notion is blatantly heretical. You can no more be "partially Catholic" than a woman can be "partially pregnant," or a man is "partially dead." You simply are or are not.

2. Religious Liberty. 
Dignitatis Humanae, the Vatican II sect document on so-called "religious liberty," overturns the perennial teaching of the Church on religious tolerance. Paragraph #2 of that damnable document states: "This Vatican Synod declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that in matters religious no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs. Nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits."

Vatican II not only says that no one should be forced to believe (which the Church has always taught), but also claims that no one can be restrained from practicing the religion of his choice. The Robber Council announces a "natural right" of the members of all false religions not to be hindered in their equally false/evil practices, which includes the "right" to proselytize and have false worship in public. Vatican II promotes something (once more) that the Church always condemned previously. The result was that Catholic countries were not only permitted, but encouraged, to remove Catholicism as the State Religion. When the Church was the religion of the State, only Catholicism could be practiced in public. Proselytism and public worship by sects was strictly forbidden. The result is both obvious and devastating, as the formerly Catholic countries of Europe (e.g., Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, etc.) are overrun with Mohammedans and other sects, with their morals returning to those of pagan times having abortion, euthanasia, and sodomite "marriage" all legalized. 

3. The False "Mass" and "Sacraments" of the Vatican II sect.
When the True Church was driven underground, and the Modernists took over the formerly Catholic buildings, they evicted Christ. When the Mass was replaced by an invalid Novus Bogus bread and wine service, the grace that comes to humanity via the Unbloody Sacrifice of the Cross was diminished. As Christ decreases, Satan increases. Why else did missionaries have to perform so many exorcisms in foreign lands filled with pagans? As the Mass increased, demonic activity decreased.

Moreover, the sacraments have all been invalidated with the exception of most baptisms, and some marriages. Young people must try to fight all the modern evils and temptations without the grace of Confirmation. There are no priests and bishops to perform exorcisms and bless sacramentals. No graces from Holy Communion, and no forgiveness of sin outside of perfect contrition. It's a delightful time for the forces of Hell. 

 The Rise of Satanism

 In the 1980s, after two decades of the above errors, the rise of Satan was becoming apparent in many ways. Not far off from Father DePauw's Ave Maria Chapel, was the the infamous ritual murderer Ricky Kasso (b. Richard Allen Kasso, Jr. in 1967) aka "The Acid King" for his use of LSD. He became involved with reading the Satanic Bible as well as listening to Satanic rock groups like AC/DC and Judas Priest (he is pictured at the top of this post). Kasso murdered his 17-year-old friend Gary Lauwers in Northport, New York, on June 19, 1984 in a ritualistic Satanic slaying. Kasso attacked his friend in the woods with two accomplices, stabbing him multiple times and demanding that he say, "I love Satan." Instead, the victim replied, "No! I love my mother!" Lauwers bled out, and Kasso hid the body under branches and leaves. He bragged to his friends about the killing, even going so far as taking some to see the decaying corpse, and declaring  Satan was "pleased with [him for] the murder" and manifested himself to Kasso in the form of a black crow. 

The body of the missing Lauwers was discovered by police on July 4th, and Kasso was arrested two days later. He committed suicide in his jail cell by hanging himself on July 7th. (See Say You Love Satan, Dell Books, [1987]). Kasso was an early example of "self-styled Satanists." These are individuals that seek out Satan on their own for power. They are not affiliated with any formal "church" or "coven." This is in distinction to The Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, or other formal Satanists like the sect called the Temple of Set. 

The biggest lie perpetrated by LaVey was claiming that "Satan" only represented the repressed forces of nature but was not a real entity. In a book published posthumously in 1999 (LaVey died in 1997), he admitted in an interview: "If they’re at all intelligent [other Satanists] …they'll realize that there’s only so much I can say publicly…I will not advance things in print which make my position untenable…How long would the Church of Satan have lasted if I hadn’t appeased and outraged in just the right combination? It required a certain amount of discretion and diplomacy to balance the outrage." (See Lucifer Rising: A Book of Sin, Devil Worship and Rock ‘n’ Roll by Gavin Baddeley [1999], p. 133). 

The case of Ricky Kasso was shocking at the time; that someone so young would become involved with devil worship. We are now witnessing young children doing the same. On May 31, 2014, 12-year-olds Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, admitted that they lured their friend, Payton Leutner into some woods near a suburban Milwaukee park. Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on, according to investigators. Leutner was left for dead but she crawled out of the woods and got help from a passing bicyclist. Geyser and Weier said they carried out the attack to curry favor with "Slender Man," a fictional online horror character typified by spidery limbs and a blank white face. 

If you think the story is an anomaly, just a couple of mentally disturbed pre-teens, you'd better think again. Just last month, a story came out that sent shivers down my spine. It has been spun by the media in interesting ways. Two young girls (11 and 12) whose names have not yet been released due to their ages, wanted to murder their classmates, drink their blood, and commit suicide to be with Satan. According to USA Today:

Police say the girls — ages 11 and 12 — were found in a bathroom stall, allegedly with multiple knives, a pizza cutter and knife sharpener in their possession. The girls planned to commit suicide after stabbing other students, police say. "The plan was to kill at least 1 student but were hoping to kill anywhere from 15-25 students," an affidavit said. "Killing all of these students was in hopes it would make them worse sinners ensuring that after they committed suicide ... (they) would go to hell so they could be with Satan."

The girls allegedly hatched the plot after watching scary movies over the weekend, detectives said. The plan involved lying in wait for smaller students, mutilating their victims' bodies and drinking their victims' blood, according to authorities. (See https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/10/24/florida-girls-plotted-satanic-school-stabbings-police-say/1756036002/)

Rolling Stone magazine quotes a Satanic sect as saying, "I’m sure it will be established that these girls held no active role in any established form of religious Satanism, the major sects of which today are non-theistic, humanistic, and anti-superstitious,” Lucien Greaves, spokesperson and co-founder of the Satanic Temple says. “Their distorted perspective of what Satanism is, and their apparent supernatural belief in what Satan wants, is almost certainly the product of a Christian upbringing, possibly an attempt at the tired ‘the devil made us do it’ defense." (See https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/satanic-temple-responds-murder-plan-satan-worshiping-girls-747337/).

Am I the only one to see the media hype doesn't add up? Why would any middle schooler seek out such violent thrills, especially if the "type of Satanism" they followed was not at all according to its teachings?  Madness is not contagious. I'm not a psychologist, but it seems more than a bit odd that two pairs of young girls who are friends would both have severe psychological problems, to the point of sharing the same psychotic ideas and plot. Murder, suicide, and blood drinking from a weekend of horror movies? No, it goes deeper than that. It's the Satanic influences all around. Slender Man and the horror movies were just the proverbial "last straw" in kids who went from the implicit Satanism in our modern pagan culture to overt Satanism. It wouldn't surprise me if the girls had been reading the Satanic Bible and the press wishes to prevent so-called "Satanic panic."

And lest anyone suggest that this latest duo is hardly a trend, there have been more and more grizzly murders in the name of Satan since Kasso. To list but a couple:


  • In Italy, a rock group aptly named The Beasts of Satan, were involved in Satanic ritualistic killings. According to The Guardian: Andrea Volpe and Pietro Guerrieri had confessed to roles in the 1998 killings of Chiara Marino, 19, and 16-year-old Fabio Tollis in woods outside Milan. Volpe - considered to have been the mastermind of the ritual killings - was sentenced to 30 years, 10 more than prosecutors had asked for. Guerrieri was given 16 years. Mario Maccione, who also confessed to the killings, was cleared because he had played a secondary role. Five other members of their suspected Satanic cult have been ordered to stand trial in June. (See https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/feb/22/italy). 
  • Italian police stated their intention to create a special unit focusing on new religious sects, particularly Satanists and other violent ritualistic groups. It would be dubbed "The Satan Squad" (See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6168827.stm)
  • In September 2014, while awaiting trial for the murder of a 40-year-old in Pennsylvania, 19-year-old Miranda Barbour confessed to the murder of more than 22 people across the United States. "After 22, I just stopped counting," she told a local newspaper.The young woman explained that she started killing at the age of 13. At the time, she was dating a member of an Alaskan satanist sect. After being arrested for the murder that took her to court, her car was searched and a satanic bible and a medieval dagger, which was presumed to have been used to kill the victim, were found. [Barbour was sexually abused and it led her into evil companionship]. (See https://www.dailyitem.com/news/barbour-body-count-at/article_2d85b849-c9e6-508b-96f3-4e80639a867a.html). 


So is it Demonic Possession?

 What is causing the unbelievable crimes being committed (at first) by teenagers, and now even by young children in the name of Satan? Are they possessed? Some may be, but it isn't a stretch to see how children get caught up in things covertly demonic until they reach the point of giving themselves (literally) over to Satan. Consider:

  • The Harry Potter franchise portrays witchcraft in a positive light, and promotes moral relativism. Something is only right or wrong depending on who does it and for what reason; the end justifies the means  
  • The Star Wars franchise promotes Eastern pagan pantheism and an impersonal "Force"
  • Rock, pop, and rap music is rotten to the core--see my once per month series "Singing For Satan" on the first Monday of every month
  • The Twilight franchise promotes evil as good, and implies statutory rape
  • Video games desensitize children to violence
  • So-called mediums, "psychics" and "ghost whisperers" pervade entertainment on TV and are even invited into homes by adults to "speak to deceased relatives"
  • The "Charlie Charlie Challenge" has inspired millions of ­youngsters to dabble with Satanic rituals by using a simple Ouija board made from a sheet of paper divided into quarters. They write “Yes” in two corners and “No” in the remaining squares. They then make a cross by stacking one pencil on top of another and summon the demon "Charlie" who answers questions – or even gives them instructions – by turning the top pencil to point to "Yes" or "No." The Daily Mirror reports: "Players have reported strange phenomena after contacting Charlie, especially if they believe they failed to sever the spiritual link after the game. One player from Buckinghamshire claimed her laptop malfunctioned, then the power failed. When she tried to call her parents the phone cut out. Another from Texas said he had seen a black figure with red eyes at the top of the stairs. Others reported hearing sinister laughing and objects moving without any obvious explanation."
  • Pagan practices such as yoga and reiki are promoted not only in public schools but in Vatican II sect schools and churches
  • Horror movies are seeped in the occult 
  • The Satanic Bible and Wiccan books are readily available to children in public libraries and schools
  • The Vatican II sect tells its members that all religions are more or less good, so no need to combat Satan or convert others--Christ is thereby rendered "one among many options" (at best) or totally irrelevant (at worst)
Conclusion
The so-called "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s was not all mass hysteria as the media portrays it. The incident with Father DePauw was not reported in the media, and neither were others. The hysterical stories were given the limelight. In the wake of the Great Apostasy, we are seeing the insidious growth of demonic influence. The first organized religion based on Satan started less than a year after the close of Vatican II. We see the growth of paganism, and evil in all forms. I find it interesting that one source I read called the two Satan worshiping pre-teens wannabe "vampires" because they wanted to drink their victims' blood. The story conveniently left out all reference to Satan, which is analogous to reporting on 9-11 without mentioning Islam. 

 I will not be like some Protestant preacher saying "Satan is everywhere," and everything that goes wrong is because of him. That is hysterical, theologically unsound, and does more harm than good. However, he is in many places and his influences grows. In the wake of this Satanic influence, the answer for those of us who hold on to the One True Faith, is not to panic. It must be a resolve to expose it and fight it with all natural and supernatural means we have at our disposal. May St. Michael the Archangel lead us, and defend us in battle against the malice and snares of the devil. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Disregarded Virtue



 It's a sight that is now commonplace. On Saturday nights and Sundays (especially during the summer), I'll see men and women dressed shamefully. The men look like slobs with t-shirts, old worn out sneakers, and tight pants. In many cases the t-shirts have lewd messages. The women are dressed either just like the men, with the tight pants and t-shirts with bad messages, or they resemble "ladies of the evening" by wearing hot pants and see-through blouses. Their destination? Not a bar or a beach, but a Vatican II sect Novus Bogus "mass."  The virtue of modesty has disappeared from our society, and the Vatican II sect couldn't care less, as they embrace immodesty in their own churches. The last time I had the misfortune of passively attending their abomination of a service (circa 2004), I witnessed the "priest" giving "communion" to a young woman about 20 years old who was dressed so shamefully, I can't believe her parents let her out of the house looking like that, let alone go to church.

In this post, I will present the teaching of the Church on the virtue of modesty, and its necessity both in and out of Church. Let me say at the outset that both men and women need to dress modestly. It is also my hope that this post will squash the exaggerated claims of certain Traditionalists who needlessly castigate properly attired ladies with false claims of "immodesty" which only serves to drive people away from the One True Church.

Church Teaching on Modesty
 According to theologian Prummer, modesty is "...that virtue which moderates all the internal and external movements and appearance of a person within the bounds and limits proper to his state in life, intellectual ability, and wealth. There are four virtues included under modesty: humility, studiousness, modesty in external behavior, and modesty in dress." (See Handbook of Moral Theology, [1957], pg. 238). I will limit discussion to modesty in dress. The Blessed Mother warned at Fatima, "...certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much." Our Lady knew what was coming; an assault by Satan on purity. Why? Our Lady also said that more souls go to Hell for "sins of the flesh" (i.e., sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments) than for any other reason. 

True, this is a private revelation which no one is bound to believe, but I personally accept it because it not only comports with Church teaching on the gravity of such sins, it is prophetic insofar as we have a sex-saturated world that has forgotten God. Sex, in all forms, no matter how perverse, is thriving in a world where (by a conservative estimate) at least 15% of all websites are pornographic, with some estimates at 34%. I say this is a "conservative estimate" because researchers will differ as to what, exactly, constitutes "porn." Some consider websites with scantily clad  models not to be pornographic even if they are practically nude. Sex for the God-ordained purpose of procreation within marriage is scorned, as once Catholic countries have free access to all forms of contraception, and murdering babies by abortion is legal.  

Modesty is necessary to keep lust in check. Since the Fall of our First Parents, concupiscence (a disordered inclination to sense pleasures against the direction of reason), must be fought. Today's fashions have surrendered to evil. 

The Beginning of Immodesty

 Fashions in the Christian West began to change dramatically in the wake of World War I. A fallen away Catholic, Gabrielle Chanel (better known by her nickname "Coco"), introduced certain fashions for women that were quite risque for the time. She introduced "bobbed hair," and a "boyish look" for women. (The perfume "Chanel No. 5" was named for her). Most shockingly, she introduced bathing suits for women made with long sleeves, and it extended past the knees covered by a long skirt. Sounds innocent enough, but it caused quite a stir, and was considered scandalous by decent people. According to one source:

 When Chanel opened her first shop in Paris many of her sportswear-inspired pieces were made of jersey.
At the time Chanel’s choice of fabric was a shock to her satin and silk inclined clientele as jersey was the material of choice for men’s underwear. The ever entrepreneurial designer, however, favored the fabric because it was inexpensive and draped well. The result was clothing that suited her customers’ increasingly fast paced lifestyle. (See https://www.vogue.com.au/fashion/news/coco-chanel-was-the-original-jersey-girl/news-story/805ae884ab158711852cf19ee817ceed; Emphasis mine). The "fast pace" was accompanied by immoral standards regarding dress, sex, and the use of alcohol/drugs.

She followed up by introducing another fashion; women wearing trousers like men:

Various women had tried to introduce the concept of trousers for women at times, with bloomers being briefly worn in the late 19th century, but it was Chanel who was first able to get women into trousers in 1929. The look was still considered shocking, and only wealthy women whose status in society was unquestioned, could get away with it. Even then, trousers were only worn during sporting events - only a star like Marlene Dietrich could get away with something like a trouser suit for evening in the 1930s. But another star, Katharine Hepburn, embraced trousers and showed they could be glamorous and sophisticated and the stage was set for another revolution, as if Coco Chanel designs hadn't already revolutionized fashion!
(See https://womens-fashion.lovetoknow.com/Coco_Chanel_Designs). This was the beginning of tighter and tighter pants/jeans.

The "bomb" of indecency was dropped in 1946, when French designer Louis Reard came out with the bikini.

However, the name "bikini" was coined by Louis Reard, and it actually refers to Bikini Atoll, where atomic bomb testing took place. He decided for this name because he hoped that the swimsuit would cause the same reaction as when people for the first time saw the rising mushroom clouds of atomic bombs. (See https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/10/28/the-bikini-swimsuit-was-named-after-islands-the-us-used-for-nuclear-testing/; Emphasis mine).

Once the Great Apostasy began, immodesty grew in leaps and bounds. It wasn't long before men started sporting long hair and tight jeans, and women's clothing became more undignified and revealing. It is not unusual to see women getting married in church wearing sleeveless, open-backed, short "dresses" that leave little to the imagination.

The Church Attempted to Stop Immodesty
Prior to the Great Apostasy, the Church spoke out against the rising tide of immodest (and immoral) apparel. 

In 1930, Pope Pius XI approved the following decree:

By virtue of the supreme apostolate which he wields over the Universal Church by Divine Will, our Most Holy Father Pope Pius XI has never ceased to inculcate, both verbally and by his writings, the words of St. Paul (1 Tim. xi,9-10), namely, "Women ... adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety ... and professing godliness with good works."

Very often, when occasion arose, the same Supreme Pontiff condemned emphatically the immodest fashion of dress adopted by Catholic women and girls -- which fashion not only offends the dignity of women and against her adornment, but conduces to the temporal ruin of the women and girls, and, what is still worse, to their eternal ruin, miserably dragging down others in their fall. It is not surprising, therefore, that all Bishops and other ordinaries, as is the duty of ministers of Christ, should in their own dioceses have unanimously opposed their depraved licentiousness and promiscuity of manners, often bearing with fortitude the derision and mockery leveled against them for this cause.

Therefore this Sacred Council, which watches over the discipline of clergy and people, while cordially commending the action of the Venerable Bishops, most emphatically exhorts them to persevere in their attitude and increase their activities insofar as their strength permits, in order that this unwholesome disease be definitely uprooted from human society.

In order to facilitate the desired effect, this Sacred Congregation, by the mandate of the Most Holy Father, has decreed as follows:


 Exhortation to Those in Authority

1. The parish priest, and especially the preacher, when occasion arises, should, according to the words of the Apostle Paul (2 Tim. iv, 2), insist, argue exhort and command that feminine garb be based on modesty and womanly ornament be a defense of virtue. Let them likewise admonish parents to cause their daughters to cease wearing indecorous dress.

2. Parents, conscious of their grave obligations toward the education, especially religious and moral, to their offspring, should see to it that their daughters are solidly instructed, from earliest childhood, in Christian doctrine; and they themselves should assiduously inculcate in their souls, by word and example, love for the virtues of modesty and chastity; and since their family should follow the example of the Holy Family, they must rule in such a manner that all its members, reared within the walls of the home, should find reason and incentive to love and preserve modesty.

3. Let parents keep their daughters away from public gymnastic games and contests; but if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to don immodest garb.

4. Superioresses and teachers in schools for girls must do their utmost to instill love of modesty in the hearts of maidens confided to their care and urge them to dress modestly.

5. Said Superioresses and teachers must not receive in their colleges and schools immodestly dressed girls, and should not even make an exception in the case of mothers of pupils. If, after being admitted, girls persist in dressing immodestly, such pupils should be dismissed.

6. Nuns, in compliance with the Letter dated August 23, 1928, by the Sacred Congregation of Religious, must not receive in their colleges, schools, oratories or recreation grounds, or, if once admitted, tolerate girls who are not dressed with Christian modesty; said Nuns, in addition, should do their utmost so that love for holy chastity and Christian modesty may become deeply rooted in the hearts of their pupils.

7. It is desirable that pious organizations of women be founded, which by their counsel, example and propaganda should combat the wearing of apparel unsuited to Christian modesty, and should promote purity of customs and modesty of dress.

8. In the pious associations of women those who dress immodestly should not be admitted to membership; but if, perchance, they are received, and after having been admitted, fall again into their error, they should be dismissed forthwith.

9. Maidens and women dressed immodestly are to be debarred from Holy Communion and from acting as sponsors at the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation; further, if the offense be extreme, they may even be forbidden to enter the church.

(signed) Donato Cardinal Sbaretti, Prefect
Congregation of the Council
Rome, January 12, 1930

In 1946, the Catholic Bishops of Canada issued a decree warning men to wear shirts, even to the beach:
"Man himself does not escape from the inclination of exhibiting his flesh: some go in public, stripped to the waist, or in very tight pants or in very scanty bathing suits. They thus commit offenses against the virtue of modesty. They may also be an occasion of sin (in thought or desire) for our neighbor."

In 1959, Cardinal Santos, Archbishop of Manila, wrote:
"O Christian mothers, if only you knew the future distress, peril and ill-restrained shame that you prepare for your sons and daughters by imprudently accustoming them to live barely clothed, and permitting them to lose the sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves, and of the harm done to the little ones entrusted to you by Heaven to be reared in a Christian dignity and culture."

Finally, the Vatican declared in 1956,"...in order that uniformity of understanding prevail in all institutions of religious women ... we recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper ..." The Cardinal Vicar of Pius XII, as recounted in Standards of Decency [1956].

Why is Modesty So Important?

 So far, the Church's definition of modesty has been presented, the history of modern day immodesty in attire set forth, and the True Church's reaction to this immodesty--prior to the Great Apostasy-- has been given. Now, below are the reasons why this virtue of modesty in dress is so important.

1. It is sinful to entice others to sin. Immodesty in dress (of either sex) can engender impure thoughts and desires. To woman who object, "Men need to control themselves," they deny the effects of fallen human nature which is inclined to sin. "But every man is tempted by his own concupiscence, being drawn away and allured." --(St. James 1:14-15). To men who claim modesty "varies according to custom," Pope Pius XII on November 8, 1957, in an address to The Latin Union of High Fashion, stated, " . . . no matter how broad and changeable the relative morals of styles may be, there is always an absolute norm to be kept after having heard the admonition of conscience warning against approaching danger; style must never be a proximate occasion of sin." (See https://www.ecatholic2000.com/cts/untitled-295.shtml: Emphasis mine). God commands us to be modest in dress. Compare Wojtyla ("St" John Paul II) who, on May 8, 1984, allowed a bare-breasted woman to come up and "present the gifts" in Papua New Guinea. There was good reason missionaries of the True Church made the so-called "noble savages" give up many of their customs. 

2. As Traditionalists, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost. We have God indwelling in our soul if in the state of sanctifying grace, and should we lose it (God forbid) we still have a baptismal character. We expect our Churches to be adorned with proper respect for God; shouldn't the same hold true for our bodies? We have a duty under the Fifth Commandment to take reasonable good care of our bodies. Even if not Christian, the body was God's creation, and human life is not to be disrespected. Is God glorified by tattoos, piercings, and shameful clothing? If you are a woman ask yourself, "Would the Blessed Mother wear this?" If you're a man, ask, "Would St. Joseph, or his Divine Foster Son, wear these clothes?" 

3. You don't want to attract disreputable people and give a bad image of yourself. In law school we were told, "Dress like a slob, don't expect to get a job." Very true. I knew a federal judge who would refuse to listen to a male lawyer in court if didn't wear a suit complete with tie, vest, and jacket. "The law demands respect," he would intone. As a former teacher, I would dress in a suit to be a good role model for my students. Education majors who interviewed while dressed casually were not hired in the 1980s here in NYC. If men dress immodestly, they shouldn't expect a professional job, or a woman of good character to enter their life. They will be treated like bums. Women who dress like whores should not be surprised when men look at them and treat them that way. You will attract low-class men who will not be good husbands or fathers.

4. Proper attire affects the way we think and behave. A Vatican II sect neighbor of mine once asked me many years ago as I was leaving for Mass, "Why do you get so dressed up just to go to Church?" It was summer, and he was wearing a t-shirt with a brand name beer on it, shorts, and sandals. I looked at him and asked, "If you had to attend the funeral of a relative or friend, would you go dressed as you are now?" He laughed, "Of course not!" I asked why. "You have to pay your last respects to the deceased." Then I let him have it. "I understand. So you believe dressing properly and seriously demonstrates respect to the loved one who died. If that's true--and it is--shouldn't you show even more respect when meeting, praying to, and receiving Jesus Christ Himself at Holy Communion when in His Church?" He turned red-faced, excused himself, and never brought up the subject again. The Vatican II sect merely pays lip service to the Real Presence (which they no longer have anyway), so they don't care how their congregants dress. If they truly believed Christ Himself was present, would they dress as they do? We carry ourselves differently, both in and out of Church, depending on our mode of attire.

A note of caution. It is not the business of laymen and laywomen to be the "clothing police" at church. A friend of mine who is a Traditionalist, had his wife leave the Church for the Vatican II sect after some busybody came up to her and told her that her dress "should be longer." (It was fine the way it was and not too short, except in this other woman's imagination). The clergy will enforce standards of decency. Do not attempt to enforce those standards as if you had authority, and don't go beyond what the theologians and popes taught before Vatican II when speaking about modesty to others. 

Conclusion

 Modest behavior respects the boundaries of intimacy that are embedded in our natures by the natural law and the principles of proper behavior put forth in Divine Revelation. Part of being accepted and desirable for a marriage partner, according to the underlying messages from many fashion magazines and media stars, lies in clothing, especially revealing clothing. The opposite is true. When we dress modestly we keep our thoughts, and the thoughts of others, pure. We show respect for both our bodies as Christians, and to our Churches where God resides. We give a good self-image and don't attract disreputable people. Lastly, we obey God's Law and we should always think and behave as He commands. Modesty has been called the "disregarded virtue of our age." Disregard modesty, and you do so to the detriment of society and jeopardize the salvation your soul.  


Monday, November 12, 2018

Don't Bet On It



It was the summer of 1978, and very hot here in New York City. It was a Saturday and I was having a catch in the street with my dad, when our neighbor "Ed" (not his real name) came over and walked up to my father. I grew up in a very poor section of the city, and New York was going through a tough financial crisis. Ed (about 50 years old at the time) took out a twenty dollar and a five dollar bill from his pocket. To put things in perspective, when adjusted for inflation, $25 in 1978 equals just over $100 in 2018. Ed worked for a company that constructed asphalt roofs, and he made the equivalent of about $17,000 in today's economy. He had a wife and three teens, and they barely made enough to survive. His company, like many of the time, had no pension or provision for their employees to retire. Ed worked long and laborious days for little money. Less than ten years later, the job would claim his life, as he contracted lung cancer from breathing in the carcinogens associated with hot asphalt fumes.

He showed the money to my father and told him, "Today is the day I finally get to retire. I've saved up for weeks to buy lots of lottery tickets and I'm going to win!" (His words as I best remember them). My father wished him luck. Poor Ed was depressed at the end of the week when the only thing he got was $25 less money when he lost. In 2018, there are plenty more like Ed who believe their economic salvation rests with gambling in one form or another. Many others struggle with gambling addictions. The purpose of this post is to lay out the teaching of the Church on gambling, and to offer my reasons why I believe gambling (in all its forms) should be avoided. Please note that Church teaching must be followed, not my opinions. I have no Magisterial authority, and I have never claimed to be a theologian or canonist. Follow what the Church teaches, but my opinion is just that--a layman's opinion, with which you may agree or not.

The Teaching of the Church on Gambling

The eminent Dominican theologian, Fr. Dominic Prummer, distinguishes two types of gambling, betting and gaming. 

1. Betting. This is defined as a contract in which two or more persons disputing the truth of some event lay down a sum of money to be given to the person who was right. Theologian Prummer sets out two conditions that must be met in order for bets to be moral. First, they must be made for a morally good purpose, and second, the bet must be made on something that is both lawful and uncertain for both parties.

2. Gaming. This is defined as an aleatory contract [i.e., a contract where an uncertain event determines the parties' rights and obligations] whereby a reward is given to the winner of a contest undertaken as a pastime.
There are three kinds of gaming: (a) Games of Skill are those in which the result of the game depends largely on the skill of the players themselves [e.g. football or horse racing]; (b) Games of Chance which depend purely on random acts requiring no skill [e.g., rolling dice or "craps"]; (c) Games of Mixed Character which depend partly on skill and partly on chance [e.g., poker]. (Prummer lists the lottery under gaming).

In order for games that are played for stakes to be moral, five conditions must all be met:

  • The players must be free to dispose of the stakes for which they gamble
  • The gamble is undertaken with full knowledge and consent
  •  The players must have a morally equal chance of winning
  • All fraud must be excluded
  • Gain must not be the chief motive of the game, neither must it be sought after too eagerly
(See Handbook of Moral Theology, [1957], pgs. 163-164)

One can easily see that while the old Bingo games played pre-Vatican II can easily meet the five criteria, modern casinos and lotteries are much different. Hence, theologian Prummer warned as far back as 1957, "Since games played for stakes are most dangerous because of the serious disorders that often ensue, the confessor should prudently censor them." (Ibid, pg. 164). Likewise, "Civil laws today [1957], as a result of the many abuses which can easily arise, prohibit betting completely or partially or declare it void...These statutes seem to be legitimate and, ordinarily speaking, may be followed in conscience." (Ibid, pg. 164). 

Banning gambling seemed legitimate in 1957, and I can only wonder what Fr. Prummer would say today. The fourth and the fifth criteria above seem the hardest to ensure, and there are other evils that go in tandem with gambling---all of which will be considered next.  

The Many Serious Problems With Gambling

1. It can become addictive. The American Psychiatric Association (APA's) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fifth edition (DSM-5), includes gambling addiction as a psychological disorder. No one starts out with compulsions/addictions, they are brought on by people's choices, just like the choice to use drugs leads to drug addiction. Problem gambling is harmful to psychological and physical health. People who live with this addiction may experience depression, migraine, distress, intestinal disorders, and other anxiety-related problems. As with other addictions, the consequences of gambling can lead to feelings of despondency and helplessness. In some cases, this can lead to attempts at suicide. The rate of problem gambling has risen globally over the last few years. In the United States in 2012, around 5.77 million people had a gambling disorder that needed treatment. (See https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/15929.php)

2. Gambling leads to materialism. A new paper in the Journal of Gambling Studies takes this angle. As the authors write, "gambling has never been studied from a materialism perspective."

In other words, for a behavior that involves trying to win money, there’s a surprising lack of research on whether materialistic attitudes are a factor in gambling. To address this gap, the researchers surveyed 65 problem gamblers and 65 non-problem gamblers, administering surveys about their gambling behavior, financial attitudes and self-esteem.

The researchers found that problem gamblers were distinguished from non-problem gamblers by having higher levels of materialism on average. The link between materialism and problem gambling was especially true for those who believe that happiness depends on having material possessions. 
(See https://blog.allpsych.com/materialism-and-gambling; Emphasis mine). One can legitimately ask if the materialism causes problem gambling, or problem gambling causes you to become materialistic. I argue that the materialistic mindset is inherent in gambling, whether the person is a compulsive gambler or not. What is the purpose of gambling? To make money for doing nothing productive. It's all about getting money and not having to work.

Christ tells us, "...Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth." (St. Luke 12:15). Scripture also warns us that "Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.This too is meaningless." (Ecclesiastes 5:10). 

3. It exploits the poor. If gambling was a good way to get rich, you would see millionaires, billionaires and upper class professionals playing it, and thanking the government for allowing them to get rich this way. Last month, I went to get gas and thought I'd have to wait on a long line. The line was for "Mega-Millions" with working class poor people ( I saw their cars and clothes) spending their money hoping to "retire" like Ed. Gambling is akin to a tax on the poor and people who can't do math. This is is a mathematical, and statistical fact. Americans spent more than $80 billion on lottery tickets in 2016 -- more than they spent on books, movie tickets, music, video games, and sports tickets -- combined.  The odds of winning the "Powerball" or "Mega-Millions" grand prize are, respectively, 1 in 292,201,338 and 1 in 302,575,350. The odds of getting struck by lightening are one in a million. So in 292,000,000, approximately 292 will be struck by lightening, but only one will win "Powerball." Studies also show that the zip codes that spend four times what anyone else does on lottery tickets are those in lower-income parts of cities.

According to a 2008 study reported by Business Insider, households with incomes under $13,000 per year spend 9 percent of that on lottery tickets. As it also pointed out, "you are 17 times more likely to get hit by falling airplane parts than you are to win the lottery." (See https://www.businessinsider.com/households-earning-less-than-13000-a-year-spend-9-of-their-income-on-lottery-tickets-2012-3).

4.  Casinos attract crime. Just over ten years ago, in Bangor, Maine, a 41-year-old housekeeper forged $40,000 in checks belonging to elderly people in the assisted-living home where she worked, then gambled it away at Hollywood Slots, a cavernous 1,000-slot-machine establishment. She pleaded guilty, blaming an addiction to gambling, and in 2008 received a three-year prison term. "Casinos, Crime, and Community Costs," published in 2006 in The Review of Economics and Statistics, a prestigious academic journal produced by Harvard and MIT, examined crime rates in every county in the nation covering a period of 20 years – from 1977, just before the first casinos outside Nevada were built in Atlantic City, to 1996. It concluded that opening a casino led to local crime increases averaging eight percent.

5. Gambling is linked to alcoholism. Some people find there is a connection between the effects of alcohol and what happens when they gamble. This may mean they:
  • Drink more
  • Spend more money gambling
  • Stay at the venue for longer than intended (See https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/understanding-gambling/impact-on-health/gambling-and-alcohol)
Conclusion

While gambling may be moral, as outlined by theologian Prummer, five factors must be taken into consideration. Can we honestly say that fraud is excluded and financial gain is not the main motive? Here's what gambling does:
  • Denigrates the dignity of labor; working for money
  • Gives "get rich quick" ideas to the poor, who should be saving their money and not gambling
  • Materialistic attitudes are created and/or exacerbated, leading to addiction
  • Attracts crime where casinos are built
  • Increases depression and drunkenness (leading to alcoholism in many cases)
Is this something in which a Traditionalist should participate? In my opinion, no. Donate the money to your Chapel or Church and have the Holy Sacrifice offered for your intentions or for someone's soul instead. If your Church or chapel has Bingo or a raffle, that's fine. Government sponsored gambling is bad news. Several years ago, the state of California was pushing its citizens to buy more Powerball tickets. You saw ping pong balls falling from the sky while the song California Dreamin' played. The message was "Believe in Something Bigger." Unfortunately, they did not mean God. Need any more be said?