Monday, November 25, 2019

Nothing Out Of The Ordinary

There is much misunderstanding as to how the Church teaches us. That is the reason for much of what plagues us in the Great Apostasy. It exemplifies what was meant by the prophet Zechariah when he wrote, "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered..." In a time of prolonged sedevacantism, people go far astray without a true pope. One such example is how many have a false view of the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium (hereinafter "UOM").

According to theologian Van Noort: "The subject-matter of divine-Catholic faith are all those truths proposed by the Church's Magisterium for our belief as divinely revealed...The principle laid down above is contained almost verbatim in this declaration of the [First] Vatican Council: 'Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary and universal Magisterium, proposes for belief as having been Divinely-revealed.' [Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith]" (See Dogmatic Theology, Newman Press 3:220-221[1960]; words in brackets and emphasis are mine).

The Magisterium, therefore, is expressed either solemnly (ex cathedra pronouncements of the pope or of Ecumenical Councils) or in an ordinary and universal way. This is clear from both Church history and the dogmatic decree of the Vatican Council of 1870.  The former exercise of the Church's teaching authority is called the Solemn or Extraordinary Magisterium and the latter is called the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium or "UOM". Both are equally infallible.

Two examples of how this truth goes awry can be seen with the Feeneyites (i.e., those who deny Baptism of Blood [BOB] and Baptism of Desire [BOD]), and the "recognize and resisters" ("R&R"; i.e., those who recognize all Vatican II "popes" yet feel free to decide when, how, and if they will obey them, such as the SSPX and John Salza). In the case of the Feeneyites, they disregard the UOM completely and reduce the Magisterium to ex catherda pronouncements exclusively; and then only their private interpretations of them divorced from the teachings of the Church's approved theologians.

I actually had a Twitter exchange some months back with a follower of a the infamous Feenyite Dimond brothers, Fred and Bobby. I inquired of this person how Pope Pius XII could be considered pope since he taught BOD in his Address to Midwives (1951). He responded that since it wasn't an infallible decree, Pope Pius XII "simply got it wrong." It was my interlocutor who got it wrong. The pope is divinely protected by the Holy Ghost from error, so he could not promulgate anything but truth ex cathedra. If any "pope" did so, it is proof that defection from the faith has already taken place. The pope cannot fall from office in his capacity as pope but only as a private theologian. As St. Alphonsus Liguori teaches, "If ever a pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at once fall from the pontificate." (See Verita della Fede, Pt. III, Ch. VIII, 9-10). Therefore, if the Address to Midwives was a "mere talk" of Pope Pius XII expressing his "personal opinion," and if it is a dogma that baptism by water alone allows one to be saved as the Feeneyites falsely believe, Pope Pius XII would have lost his office at once. So much for the "theology" of Fred and Bobby.

Recently, I came upon an article written by the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) entitled Clear Ideas on the Pope's Infallible Magisterium (See It sounds scholarly, but is actually a masterpiece in fallacious reasoning and introduces the novel idea that the"Authentic Magisterium," which is non-infallible and correctly distinguished from the UOM, may be resisted and need not be followed. If you think about it, it is simply another spin on the Feeneyite idea that anything non-infallible may be discarded if you disagree with it. It is this article with which I will take issue.

Error by Excessive Defects

I will outline the main points; my readers can read the entire article at the web address citation I provided, if they so desire.

The SSPX article cites theologian Salaverri, It is necessary to know "what degree of assent is due to the decrees of the sovereign pontiff when he is teaching at a level which is not that of infallibility, i.e., when he is not exercising the supreme degree of his doctrinal authority" It then goes on:

Unfortunately this three-fold distinction between the Extraordinary Magisterium, the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium, and the authentic non-infallible Magisterium, has fallen into oblivion. This has resulted in two opposite errors in the crisis situation of the Church at the present time: the error by excess of those who extend papal infallibility to all acts of the pope, without distinction; and the error by defect of those who restrict infallibility to definitions that have been uttered ex cathedra.

The error by excess actually eliminates the Ordinary Non-Infallible or "Authentic" Magisterium and inevitably leads either to Sedevacantism or to servile obedience. The attitude of the people of this second category is, "The pope is always infallible and so we always owe him blind obedience."

The error by defect eliminates the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. This is precisely the error of the neo-Modernists, who devalue the ordinary papal Magisterium and the "Roman tradition" which they find so inconvenient. They say, "The pope is infallible only in his Extraordinary Magisterium, so we can sweep away 2000 years of ordinary papal Magisterium."

Both of these errors obscure the precise notion of the Ordinary Magisterium, which includes the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium and the ordinary, "authentic," non-infallible Magisterium. (Emphasis mine).

The SSPX then explains when the UOM really operates:

When Humanae Vitae (Montini's encyclical against artificial contraception---Introibo) came out, various theologians indicated that the notion of ordinary papal Magisterium was obscured. Generally speaking, those who supported the infallibility of Humanae Vitae deduced "the proof [of this infallibility—Ed.] on the basis of the Church’s constant and universal Authentic Magisterium, which has never been abandoned and therefore was already definitive in earlier centuries." In other words, on the basis of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium (E. Lio, Humanae Vitae ed infallibilita, Libreria Ed. Vaticana, p.38). They should have noticed that even the notion of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium and its particularity [its constancy and universality—Ed.] had been effaced from the minds not only of the ordinary faithful but also of the theologians...

Such is the case with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (Wojtyla's decree against priestesses--Introibo)when it repeats the invalidity of the priestly ordination of women, which has always been held by the Church with "unanimity and stability" (L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 20, 1996).

The "practical application"? Declare Vatican II a true Council, but feel free to reject it.

Because it declared itself to be non-dogmatic, the charism of infallibility cannot be claimed for the last Council, except insofar as it was re-iterating traditional teaching. Moreover, what is offered as the Ordinary Pontifical Magisterium of the recent popes—apart from certain acts—cannot claim the qualification of the "Ordinary Infallible Magisterium." The pontifical documents on the novelties which have troubled and confused the consciences of the faithful manifest no concern whatsoever to adhere to the teaching of "venerable predecessors." They cannot adhere to them because they have broken with them. Look at the footnotes of Dominus Jesus; it’s as if the Magisterium of the preceding popes did not exist. It is clear that when today’s popes contradict the traditional Magisterium of yesterday’s popes, our obedience is due to yesterday’s popes: this is a manifest sign of a period of grave ecclesial crisis, of abnormal times in the life of the Church.

Finally, it is evident that the New Theology, which is so unscrupulous in contradicting the traditional teaching of the Roman Pontiffs, contradicts the Infallible Pontifical Magisterium; accordingly, a Catholic must in all conscience reject and actively attack it...

The Church’s current crisis is not at the level of the Extraordinary or Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. This would be simply impossible. Furthermore, it is not at the level of the Extraordinary Infallible Magisterium because the [Second Vatican] Council did not wish to be a dogmatic one, and because Pope Paul VI himself indicated what theological "note" it carried: "Ordinary Magisterium; that is, it is clearly authentic" (General Audience of Dec. 1, 1966: Encycliques et discours de Paul VI, Ed. Paoline, 1966, pp.51, 52). Lastly, it is not at the level of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. The turmoil and division in the Catholic world have been provoked by a break with this doctrinal continuity. Such a break is the very opposite of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. Thus Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, or John Paul II’s intervention against women’s ordination in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis caused no dismay to the Church’s obedient sons.

Reality Check
The upshot of the SSPX argument is that for the Ordinary Magisterium to be infallible it must teach something in a "constant and universal" manner. Any break with tradition means it is not infallible. Moreover, not only is it fallible, since it contradicts traditional teaching, Catholics must "reject and attack it." Vatican II is not dogmatic because the Council itself "did not want to be one." Feel free to pick and choose what you will and won't believe coming from the Vatican II sect. If it follows tradition, accept it--if not, reject it. We need to follow "yesterday's popes" and discard the one we don't like today. There's so much wrong, it's hard to know where I should begin, but I'll do my best to keep it on point and terse. 

 1. The teaching of theologian Salaverri. The citation to Salaverri is quite beside the point. It appears that the theological giant is somehow giving the green light to "resist" when the pope is not teaching infallibly. Actually, the title on that very page where the citation is taken states, "Internal and religious assent of the mind is due to the doctrinal decrees of the Holy See authentically approved by the Supreme Pontiff." (See Sacrae Theologiae Summa, IB, [1955], pg. 241). You will search this tome in vain seeking to find an affirmation that a non-infallible decree of a pope can be resisted. 

2. What does it mean that the Ordinary Magisterium must teach something in a "constant and universal" manner? When the Fathers of the 1870 Vatican Council were discussing the draft of Dei Filius before voting, questions were raised about the meaning of the word "universal" in the expression "Ordinary and Universal Magisterium" and the Council’s official "relator," Bishop Martin, referred them to Pope Pius IX’s Tuas Libenter (1863). In the relevant portion Pope Pius IX wrote, "Even limiting oneself to the submission made by the act of divine faith, this could not be restricted to those things that have been defined by the express decrees of ecumenical councils and by the decrees of this See, but must be extended also to what is passed on as divinely revealed by the Ordinary Magisterium of the whole Church spread over the world…" (Denzinger 1683). No special kind of teaching is required. Nor is it necessary for the teaching to be given over a lengthy period of time. If the universal teaching authority, i.e. the pope and the bishops with moral unanimity, pass on to the faithful a teaching as revealed, the faithful are obliged under pain of heresy to believe that doctrine with Divine faith.

The teaching of the 1870 Vatican Council on the subject is dogmatic and any doubt of interpretation is resolved by reference to the conciliar discussions. The term "universal" implies universality in place, not in time. In technical terms, it is synchronic universality, not diachronic universality, which conditions the infallibility.  The present teaching of the Church’s supreme teaching authority, whether expressed in a solemn judgment or by ordinary acts, is necessarily infallible and thus quite incapable of bringing in false or new doctrine. It may make explicit what has been implicit or reaffirm what has been called into question. If obvious false doctrine is taught, it is not just the novelty that must be rejected, but the pseudo-authority imposing it, because legitimate authority cannot err in such cases. Blatant error is therefore a sure proof of illegitimacy. (See John S. Daly's Did Vatican II Teach Infallibly? for a magnificent elucidation of this point).

3. If you accept Montini as valid (Pope Paul VI), Vatican II is obligatory. Calling Vatican II "pastoral" does nothing to alleviate this obligation. 
Despite the quote of Montini (taken out of context anyway), "pastoral" simply means "after the manner of a shepherd." "Pastoral" and "dogmatic" are not mutually exclusive terms as R&R would like us to believe. A "pastoral"council, if it teaches on faith and morals, is also doctrinal or dogmatic in character. "Pope" Paul VI stated in his audience of January 12, 1966: "In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogma carrying the mark of infallibility."

"Extraordinary" in this context refers to solemn dogmatic definitions, which everyone agrees Vatican II did not pronounce. Montini goes on to declare:

"...but it [Vatican II] nevertheless endowed its teachings with the authority of the supreme ordinary magisterium, which ordinary (and therefore obviously authentic) Magisterium must be docilely and sincerely received by all the faithful, according to the mind of the Council regarding the nature and scope of the respective documents." (Emphasis mine).

Moreover,  two of the Council's constitutions expressly call themselves "Dogmatic," i.e., Lumen Gentium ("The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church") and Dei Verbum (i.e., "The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation"). To claim that Vatican II gave no dogmatic teaching directly contradicts the Council itself. Furthermore, Montini expressly reaffirmed the fact that a pastoral role rather implies than excludes doctrinal teaching in his motu proprio Pastorale Munus of 1963 which declares in the first sentence: "The pastoral office was linked by Christ to the grave responsibilities of teaching and sanctifying, of binding and loosing." (Emphasis mine).

When the bishops of the world gathered together in the Vatican from 1962-1965 and gave morally unanimous consent to their teachings on faith and morals to the Church, and which were promulgated by "Pope" Paul VI, all the requirements of an exercise of the infallible UOM were met. If Montini were truly pope, you must submit and believe all of what was taught at Vatican II. To claim the Council was not infallible, can only be sustained as true if there was no pope with whom those bishops could hold union with, and who could ratify their decisions. Welcome to sedevacantism.

The SSPX's "clear ideas" about the pope's infallible Magisterium are little more than muddled thinking, misused terminology, and false principles deceitfully dressed up as "scholarship," so as to lead souls astray by thinking that you can "resist" Vatican II and its false popes. By misunderstanding and/or misrepresenting how the Church teaches us, strange and un-Catholic ideas emerge. Feeneyites claim, "A pope can only lose office if he infallibly proposes error." R&R declares, "Vatican II was only pastoral and not infallible, so you can resist the 'Authentic Ordinary Magisterium' and choose what you want to believe and do regardless of what the 'Church' decrees." Unfortunately, for the SSPX, Salza, and the rest of the R&R, infallibility is not outside the Ordinary Magisterium and it guarantees Vatican II must be true and obeyed if Paul VI were a true pope.

The only thing that would really be out of the ordinary is authentic Catholic theology coming from the R&R crowd.  

Monday, November 18, 2019


Conchita Gonzales, one of the four alleged seers of Garabandal, in a color photo taken circa 1961 
There have been thousands upon thousands of reported apparitions to various individuals from the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and various saints. Holy Mother Church, in Her wisdom, would investigate any such serious claim and declare it "worthy of belief," reject the apparition as false, or render no judgement pending further proof. To show how solicitous the Church is for the eternal welfare of Her members, very few apparitions have met with approval. The manifest weight of the credible evidence must fall down squarely on the side that Heaven has spoken, so that no one should be lead astray by frauds, the mentally ill, or the deceits of Satan. Only the following Marian apparitions have Church approval pre-Vatican II (since there is currently no authority to pass judgement during the Great Apostasy) and notice how few there are; only ten (10):

1. Our Lady of Guadalupe (took place 1531; approved 1555)
2. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (took place 1830; approved 1837)
3. Our Lady of LaSalette (took place 1846; approved 1851)
4. Our Lady of Lourdes (took place 1856; approved 1862)
5. Our Lady of Knock (took place 1879; approved 1879)
6. Our Lady of Fatima (took place 1917; approved 1930 by the local bishop and in 1940 by Pope Pius XII)
7. Our Lady of the Good Event aka Our Lady of Quito (took place 1594-1634; approved 1611 while still taking place)
8. Our Lady of Hope (took place 1871; approved 1872)
9. Our Lady of Beauraing (took place 1932-1933; approved 1949)
10. Our Lady of Banneux (took place 1933; approved 1949)

There are seven cases where the Holy See and local Ordinary have not pronounced directly on the supernatural character of the apparition, yet have implicitly attested to their veracity by approving the public religious activity inspired by the apparition and/or authorizing liturgical veneration:

1. Our Lady of the Pillar (took place 40 AD while Mary was still alive; considered the first Marian apparition wherein Our Blessed Mother assisted the Apostle St. James the Greater)
2. Our Lady of Walsingham (took place 1061)
3. Our Lady of Mount Carmel (took place 1251)
4. Our Lady of the Watch (took place 1490)
5. Our Lady of Siluva (took place 1608)
6. Our Lady of Pellevoisin (took place 1876)
7. Our Lady of Zion (took place 1842)

Hence, from the year 40 AD to 1958, we have only 17 apparitions of Mary that have explicit or implicit Church approval. Since the Great Apostasy, ushered in by the Robber Council of Vatican II, has Mary stopped appearing? The majority of these approved sightings took place in the 19th and 20th centuries. Could it be that the end is at hand, which is why she appeared then and now appears no more? Perhaps she is appearing, but we have no authority to declare them worthy of our belief?  I have frequently wrote against those I label "Apparitionists:" They are people who exalt private revelations and apparitions whether approved by the Church (such as Our Lady of Fatima) or not (such as Our Lady of the Roses) over the teaching of the Church. They obsess over the alleged "true meanings" of messages (as if salvation depended on them), or even accept them to the exclusion of authentic Church doctrines in some area(s). The late "Fr." Gruner falls squarely in this category.

Personally, I don't think Traditionalists should concern themselves over private revelations. To make the terminology clear, "private revelation" has nothing to do with the number of persons that claim to have seen and/or experienced something. "Public Revelation" refers to the Divine Deposit of Revelation given to the Church for all human being to believe, so that they may be saved. Public Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, St. John, in 100 AD. Private revelation refers to all communication by God (directly or indirectly) with humans after Public Revelation ended. I can't stress strongly enough that no private revelation, including those deemed "worthy of belief" by the Church, need to be accepted by Catholics. You can reject any or all of the above Marian apparitions and you would not be a heretic, nor would you commit a sin.

This does not mean that private revelations are "useless." Obviously, if the Church approves something as worthy of belief, we can believe it without fear of sinning against faith or morals. God communicates to us for a reason. However, I refuse to get drawn into arguments over what a particular apparition or a particular revelation "really means." Moreover, it is by studying the approved theologians that we can learn the One True Faith and make our Catholic way the best we can through these most difficult times.To be certain, I believe in approved apparitions without making them the focus point of faith. I have devotion to Our Lady of Hope and Our Lady of Fatima. I wear the Five-fold Scapular, pray the Rosary daily, insert the "Fatima Prayer" at the end of each Rosary decade, and try to attend Mass every First Saturday of the month. These are great Catholic devotions all Traditionalists should try to maintain. I do not view "Consecrating Russia" as some panacea to the Great Apostasy. Nor will I quibble over specific sayings Our Lady is supposed to have said.

I found myself thinking about private revelations recently, when a good and faithful Traditionalist priest I know told me that a couple of years ago, he visited Garabandal, Spain, to pray where the alleged apparitions of Our Blessed Mother occurred from 1961-1965. I was quite surprised he believed in their authenticity. Garabandal happened on the cusp of the Robber Council. Roncalli was the false pope at the start of these "apparitions," yet no formal heresy had yet been declared, and most bishops had Ordinary jurisdiction. By November 21, 1964, the Vatican II sect would be formally established with the signing of the heretical document Lumen Gentium by Montini (Paul VI), and the supposed apparitions would end the same year as Vatican II in 1965. Garabandal was neither approved nor condemned at the time. The Vatican II sect made the following declaration in 1970 through the so-called "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (sic):

The Holy See has always held that the conclusions and dispositions of the Bishop of Santander [Garabandal lies in the Diocese of Santander] were sufficiently secure guidelines for the Christian people and indications for the Bishops to order to dissuade people from participating in pilgrimages and other acts of devotion that are based on claims connected with or founded on the presumed apparitions and messages of Garabandal. In order to reply to certain doubts that you expressed in your letter this Sacred Congregation wishes to assert: that the Holy See has never approved even indirectly the Garabandal movement, that it has never encouraged or blessed Garabandal promoters or centers. Rather the Holy See deplores the fact that certain persons and Institutions persist in formatting the movement in obvious contradiction with the dispositions of ecclesiastical authority and thus disseminate confusion among the people especially among the simple and defenseless. 

While it states clearly that the sect has never approved Garabandal, it has never been condemned by them, as was the case in many false apparitions, such as the (obviously fake) "Our Lady of the Roses" originating in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

My purpose in writing this post is twofold:
1. To set forth the criteria of the Church regarding how She judges private revelations, and
2. To apply this set of criteria to the alleged apparitions of Garabandal

In so doing, I hope for my readers to understand how spiritually dangerous it is to be overly concerned about private revelations, and why I personally (when applying the criteria of the Church) reject Garabandal. I have used two main sources in the compilation of this post: Visions, Revelations, and the Church [1961] by theologian Volken, and The Mystery of Garabandal [2015] by L.R. Walker. Walker is a "conservative" convert to the Vatican II sect, who believes in Garabandal, yet does an excellent job of presenting all aspects of the case. The book is thoroughly researched, including interviews with the still living seers and other first-hand accounts.

Garabandal: A Brief Background
The village of San Sebastian de Garabandal, Spain was a quaint place of about 75 houses in 1961. It was thoroughly Catholic, as one could only expect from the Spanish pre-Vatican II. The villagers stopped work every day to pray five decades of the Rosary together, and every evening a different villager would walk the streets and ring a hand bell to call the people to pray for the repose of the souls in Purgatory, and recite family nighttime prayers immediately after. Going to daily Mass was the norm.

It was in this place on June 18th that four young girls (three 12 year olds and one eleven year old) were involved in stealing apples from a teacher's tree that evening. The girls were Mari Loli Mazon (b. 1949 – d. 2009), Jacinta Gonzalez (b.1949), Mari Cruz Gonzalez (b.1950) and Maria "Conchita" Concepción Gonzalez (b.1949). Gonzales was a common name. Jacinta was the cousin of Conchita; there was no other relationship. Conchita was considered the smartest, prettiest, and most mischievous. She would be considered the "principle seer" of these private revelations, just as Lucia was so considered at Fatima.

According to an "official" Garabandal website, the girls suddenly heard a sound like thunder.

There before them was a radiant angel. He said nothing and soon vanished. Pale and visibly shaken, they ran to the village church and told of the apparition. Over the next few days, the girls continued to see the angel. On July 1st he spoke: "Do you know why I have come? It is to announce to you that tomorrow the Blessed Virgin will appear to you as Our Lady of Mount Carmel." (See

The main message from "Mary" was this:

We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up, and if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.

There are predicted three great events that will befall humanity:

  • The Great Warning, when all living people will see their sins, as if reflected in a mirror, and will understand what they must do to repent
  • The Great Miracle, which will take place within one year of the Great Warning. It will leave a permanent sign in Garabandal, which can be seen and photographed, but not touched or explained by science
  • The Great Chastisement, which is something horrible that will befall the world if humanity does not properly respond to the Warning and Miracle.
The parents of the girls were skeptical, but soon the whole village was believing, and people began flocking to the tiny village to find out what the messages were all about, and hoping to see something supernatural. On June 18, 1965, Conchita received the "final message" of Garabandal exactly four years later. She was now 16 years old, and the Robber Council would close on December 8th. The message was made public on or about July 2, 1965. It read:

As my Message of the 18th of October has not been complied with, and as it has not been made known to the world, I am telling you that this is the last one. Previously, the Cup was filling; now, it is brimming over. Many priests are following the road to perdition, and with them they are taking many more souls. Ever less importance is being given to the Holy Eucharist. We should turn the wrath of God away from us by our own efforts. If you ask His forgiveness with a sincere heart. He will pardon you. I, your Mother, through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, wish to tell you that you should make amends. You are now being given the last warnings. I love you very much, and I do not want your condemnation. Ask Us sincerely and We shall grant your plea. You must make more sacrifices. Reflect on the Passion of Jesus.

On the surface, there seems to be nothing contrary to faith and morals. It looks like there will be scary things ahead for the evils perpetrated by modern society. There even appears to be a stinging indictment of Vatican II with "priests... following the road to perdition, and with them... taking many more souls." However, there are many (and disturbing) facts left out from this sanitized version of the story which Garabandal supporters will hide. The only believer in the apparitions who has even attempted to explain these serious problems away, is the aforementioned author, L.R. Walker (who is intellectually honest, but whose defense of Garabandal fails). Before turning to the particular problems, the teaching of the Church on private revelations will be set forth next. 

The Criteria of the Church When Discerning Private Revelations
As explained by theologian Volksen in detail, and reproduced by me in outline form, some of the pertinent criteria in discerning private revelations are:

1. Every revelation must be rejected a priori if its context is opposed to Church teaching. In places where the Scripture speaks most explicitly of the discernment of spirits and where it urges Christians to "try the spirits if they be of God," it gives only one criterion which is of a doctrinal nature. "By this the spirit of God is known:every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God: and every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God." (1 John 4: 2-3). That must be understood as teaching that every private revelation which does not confess Christ as God, and in anyway derogates ("dissolveth") Him by rejecting the teaching of His One True Church, is not of God and must be rejected.

2. A medical examination of all seers should be had to determine physical and psychological soundness. If the seers are healthy in mind and body, this constitutes support for a favorable judgement. If it can be established that the seer(s) showed all the symptoms of hysteria or other mental illness when receiving the revelations, a favorable judgement cannot be reached.

3. The seers should have deep humility (not seeking self-glorification), be obedient to proper ecclesiastical authority, and have fortitude. Fortitude is necessary, as the seer(s) will be pressured to recant and in many cases persecuted/threatened (e.g., St. Bernadette and the three children of Fatima). While they need not be saints, they should display innocence and piety.

4. The revelations must be of a serious nature and not frivolous or overly concerned with mundane things.

5. Any indication of natural explanations and/or fraud must be ruled out to allow for a supernatural character.

The (Disturbing) Facts of Garabandal

1. On the Garabandal website,, it says, "On June 18, 1961, four girls, Conchita Gonzalez (12), Mari Cruz Gonzalez (11) Jacinta Gonzalez (12), and Mari Loli Mazon (12) were playing on the outskirts of the village when they heard a sound like thunder." 
  • The girls were not "playing"--they had committed sin by stealing apples. 
  • They had felt guilty and decided to "throw stones at the devil" who is "to the left side"
  • When they heard the thunder they felt thrust onto their knees as if by some unseen force
When they went into "ecstasy" and had visions, they were bent over backwards and walked that way so quickly, many of the villagers had a hard time keeping up by running forwards. Last year a movie about Garabandal was released (see The movie accurately displays how Conchita looked in this state--see picture below:
Immediately, it reminded me about a movie poster from a horror movie concerning possession:

Walking and doing things backwards is also a sign of the Satanic. Moving backwards is exactly what occultist Aleister Crowley wrote about in his book Magick in Theory and Practice:

 First Method. Let the Exempt Adept first train himself to think backwards by external means, as set forth here following.

(“a”) Let him learn to write backwards, with either hand.
(“b”) Let him learn to walk backwards.
(“c”) Let him constantly watch, if convenient, cinematograph films, and listen to phonograph records, reversed, and let him so accustom himself to these that they appear natural, and appreciable as a whole.
(“d”) Let him practice speaking backwards; thus for “I am He” let him say, “Eh ma I”.
(“e”) Let him learn to read backwards. In this it is difficult to avoid cheating one’s self, as an expert reader sees a sentence at a glance. Let his disciple read aloud to him backwards, slowly at first, then more quickly.
(“f”) Of his own ingenium, let him devise other methods. 
(See online at; Emphasis mine)

2. The “Virgin” asked that the girls not bring blessed sacramentals [rosaries, crucifixes, etc.], because she wanted to bless these objects herself. The vision is reported to have blessed and kissed hundreds of objects, such as pebbles, which were treated as "sacramentals." This is troubling for two reasons: first, because only blessed sacramentals affect the devil and fallen angels; second, the Blessed Virgin Mary is not a priest and therefore she cannot confer a priestly blessing--especially upon mundane objects like pebbles.

3. A priest, Fr. Luis Andreu, went with the children as they marched backwards into the woods like they had "wings on their heels." He then claimed he believed in the apparitions and was "overwhelmed with joy." While telling all this to Fr. Valentin, the pastor of the village church, Fr. Andreu suddenly declared that he felt sleepy, lowered his head, coughed, and died on the spot. The priest was young (not more than 40 years old), and had no history of heart problems, no family history of heart problems, and had not been seriously ill. Garabandal supporters claim he "died from joy." It was claimed by the seers his body would be found incorrupt.  When his body was exhumed, it was decomposing normally. Defenders of the apparitions claim that his body will become incorrupt after "The Great Miracle." My readers can correct me, but I've never heard of a saint's body going from corruption to incorruption. Moreover, the seers never said this beforehand, it was made up post factum upon finding his body in a state of corruption.

4. At the death of Roncalli (John XXIII), many people wished the Council to end. Conchita said that she knew that the next "pope" would continue the Council, and she was happy about it.

5.  Conchita and the seers were often found in contradictions regarding the dates of the alleged "Great" miracle, warning, chastisement, etc. 

6. The children would often open their mouths and stick out their tongues while St. Michael the Archangel would give them "invisible Holy Communion." To end the incredulity of some, Conchita claimed God would prove this was true. On July 18, 1962, during a nighttime ecstasy, there is film footage of what appears to be a Communion Host appearing on Conchita's tongue which she then consumes. Conchita reportedly admitted to Father J. Pelletier that she herself had stolen the Host from the tabernacle of the Church and placed It on the roof of her mouth, letting It drop down on her tongue for the so-called "mystical Communion." 

7. Many men testified that while in their ecstasies and on their knees bent backwards, the girls were rigid and impossible to move. It was if they were frozen and weighed hundreds of pounds. The men of the village could neither lift or move small, thin girls. 

8. Conchita reportedly said the Blessed Mother "played hide and seek" with her.

9. All four children signed a document with the Vatican II bishop agreeing with the findings of the  Counterfeit Church and promising never to promote the apparitions again. Does that sound like something real seers would do? The children at Fatima refused to retract what they had seen and heard even when an evil man threatened to kill them unless they did so. The girls at Garabandal later retracted their retraction. 

10. The Night of the Screams: This point is worthy of special mention as those who accept Garabandal use it to assert the apparitions were a warning against Vatican II. This event was actually over two nights; June 18 and 19, 1962. Two of the seers, Mari-Loli and Jacinta went into the woods on the edge of town. They went into ecstasy on their knees and they shouted to "Mary," --"Don't tell us these things!" They then screamed all night in such a terrifying manner that the whole village was up and afraid to approach them. The other two seers remained in the village. The sounds were so frightening, here's what a burly villager said in an interview: "Look, I don't want to brag, but I'm a man, it might be said, who doesn't know fear..but on those nights of the screams, with everyone together in darkness, in silence, hearing the girls' sobbing and screeching in the distance, I shook so that my knees knocked against each other so much I couldn't stop them. You can't imagine what it was. I have never experienced anything like it." (Testimony of Mr. Pepe Diez, stonemason in Garabandal).

On the second night, Conchita joined them in the screams. Only the prayers of the villagers made the screams subside. Every single resident of Garabandal asked their priest to hear their Confession the next day. What caused the screaming? They were allegedly told that prior to the three "Great" events, the Church would be nearly destroyed and the Mass would nearly disappear. They also saw the "reappearance"  of Communism.

Was this a vision of Vatican II, and a major resurgence of Communism post 1989? Consider this: What could be more frightening than seeing Hell? Yet when the three children at Fatima were shown Hell by the Blessed Mother, there was no screaming. And why would the Blessed Mother inflict such fear for two whole nights? I can only imagine how frightening seeing little girls bent backwards in the woods at night screaming at the sky with unearthly sounds for hours must be.

11. At the last appearance in 1965, Conchita claimed that Archangel Michael had to tell her the message because "Mary was too upset to speak." She stood under the Cross of Her Son, but couldn't deliver a message from Heaven?

12. In 1966 Conchita wanted to enter the Carmelite Convent in Pamplona. "Jesus" told her to go back to the world (!) The Garabandal messages acknowledge the validity of Vatican II, the false religion it created, and its false popes.

13. Joseph Lomangino, a blind man, was promised by "Our Lady" that she would restore his sight on the day of the "Great Miracle." Mr. Lomangino died on June 18, 2014 at the age of 86 at his home in New York. Rather than admit this "prophesy" was false, promoters and defenders of Garabandal point to the fact that he died on June 18th--exactly 53 years after the first "apparition" and there is some "mystical significance." Perhaps he recovered his sight spiritually, not physically, etc.  Yet the Great Miracle did not occur, and they can't escape that fact.

14. Two of the "seers" admitted to hiding a statue of the Blessed Mother in the woods so they could claim Mary told them where to go and find it. They did this (allegedly) because they were jealous that "Mary" talked to Conchita the most.

15. Where are the seers today? Mari Loli Mazon came to the United States and lived in New Hampshire until her death in 2009, just before turning 60 years old. Jacinta González became Jacinta Moynihan and lives with her husband and daughter in California. Mari Cruz González lives in Aviles, Spain with her husband and four children. Conchita made a museum of her house in Garabandal. She has since sold that house and owns a house in New York with her husband and a flat in Fatima as well. Compare that with St. Bernadette in Lourdes. Conchita (like the others) all attend the Vatican II sect. Sadly, Conchita lives within an hour of the SSPV, SSPX, and Fr. DePauw's Ave Maria Chapel, none of which she will attend, because she fully accepts Vatican II.

I hope that it is clear why I reject Garabandal, and equally clear why giving undue emphasis on private revelations in spiritually dangerous. We have the teachings of the Church, as well as the True Mass and sacraments, to lead us to Heaven. Yet there are people trapped in the Vatican II sect because Garabandal tells them to remain there. Was Garabandal the work of the devil, a fraud, or both? Who knows and who cares? What's really important is learning the Faith through the approved pre-Vatican II theologians.

As to the Traditionalist priest I know, I don't understand his reasoning. I'm not at liberty to say more about what he said, but he will not loose his faith because he knows that private revelations are not dogma and should not dictate what we believe and what we do. For that we turn to Holy Mother Church. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Divine Amnesia?

 When I was in a Vatican II sect high school during the early 1980s (I would leave the sect and become a Traditionalist at the beginning of my junior year) it was taught to the students that Christ didn't know He was God. As the Marianist brother, old enough to know better, said, "That would be like having an 'ace up the sleeve.' How can Christ be fully human and know He was God?" Obviously, the poor brother was himself ignorant of Church teaching (or purposefully pushing the Modernist agenda to denigrate Our Lord). The Modernists had once more started pushing the (false) theory of kenosis, whereby Christ "emptied Himself" of His Divinity. They wrongly interpret Philippians 2:6-7, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing ["emptied Himself"] by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." The idea of Christ being ignorant to one degree or another is rampant today, as belief in the Divinity of Christ continues to be eroded in our society.

The two apostate theologians most responsible for denying Christ's infallible and perfect knowledge in the wake of Vatican II were arch-heretics Frs. Karl Rahner (d. 1984) and Raymond Brown (d. 1998). Rahner and Brown denied many more truths of faith, but for these purposes, I will focus on this particular denial exclusively. In this post, the objections against Our Lord's knowledge will be examined, and the teaching of the One True Church will be set forth.

Modernist Teaching Against The Knowledge Of Christ

 The Modernists make several attacks claiming ignorance on the part of Christ, and use Philippians as part of the justification. If Christ "emptied" Himself, He must have somehow become "less." Karl Rahner, in his book Theological Investigations, [1966], 5:210, states:

This consciousness in Christ realized itself only gradually during his spiritual history, and this history does not consist only, or even first and foremost, in being occupied with this or that fact of external reality but consists rather in the never quite successful attaining of what and who one is oneself, and this precisely as what and whom one always already possessed oneself in the depths of one’s existence. (Emphasis mine).

Rahner's heretical disciple, Raymond Brown, has stated in his book Jesus God and Man [1967]:
"There are texts in the Gospels that seem to indicate that Jesus shared normal human ignorance about the affairs of life . . ." (p. 45; Emphasis mine).

And again: But when all is said and done, the great objection that will be hurled again and again against any exegete (or theologian) who finds evidence that Jesus’ knowledge was limited is the objection that in Jesus Christ there is only one person, a divine person. And so, even though the divine person acted through a completely human nature, any theory that Jesus had limited knowledge seems to imply a limitation of the divine person. Perhaps the best answer to this objection is to call upon Cyril of Alexandria, that Doctor of the Church to whom, more than to any other, we are indebted for the great truth of the oneness of person in Christ. It was that ultra-orthodox archfoe of Nestorianism (two persons or powers in Christ) who said of Christ, “We have admired his goodness in that for love of us he has not refused to descend to such a low position as to bear all that belongs to our nature, included in which is ignorance...(pg. 102; Emphasis mine). Brown adds in footnote #92, "We do not mean to suggest that Cyril grappled with the problem of Jesus’ limited knowledge in the way in which that problem is treated today, but only that the admission which Cyril makes is significant." 

Oft Cited Scriptural Citations to "Prove" the Ignorance of Christ
  • St. Mark 13:32: "But of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father." Christ didn't know when He would return in glory.
  • St. Mark 5:30-33: "And a woman who was under an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things from many physicians; and had spent all that she had, and was nothing the better, but rather worse,When she had heard of Jesus, came in the crowd behind him, and touched his garment. For she said: If I shall touch but his garment, I shall be whole. And forthwith the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the evil. And immediately Jesus knowing in himself the virtue that had proceeded from him, turning to the multitude, said: 'Who hath touched my garments?'And his disciples said to him: 'Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou who hath touched me?' And he looked about to see her who had done this.But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth." Christ didn't know who touched His garment. 
  • St. Luke 2:46: "And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions." Twelve-year-old Christ didn't know things and need to ask the learned scholars in the Temple. 
  •  St. Luke 2:52: "And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men." How could Christ "advance in Wisdom" if He knows all things? 
  • Although Modernists disparage the Infancy narratives in the Gospels, they pose the difficulty, "If the Infant Christ knew everything, was He just pretending to crawl and not speak at birth?"
The Magisterium Against The Modernist Heretics
Pope Vigillius May 14, 553 "If anyone saith that the One Jesus Christ, True Son of God and True Son of Man, was ignorant of future things, or of the Day of the Last Judgement, and saith that He could know only as much as the Divinity dwelling in Him as in another made known to Him: let him be anathema." 

Pope St. Gregory the Great, Letter to Eulogius, 600 AD " the nature of His humanity He knew the day and hour of the Judgement, but not, however, from this nature of humanity did He know it." (Emphasis in original).

Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane (1907), CONDEMNED propositions of the Modernists numbers 33-35:

32. It is impossible to reconcile the natural sense of the Gospel texts with the sense taught by our theologians concerning the conscience and the infallible knowledge of Jesus Christ.

33 Everyone who is not led by preconceived opinions can readily see that either Jesus professed an error concerning the immediate Messianic coming or the greater part of His doctrine as contained in the Gospels is destitute of authenticity.

34. The critics can ascribe to Christ a knowledge without limits only on a hypothesis which cannot be historically conceived and which is repugnant to the moral sense. That hypothesis is that Christ as man possessed the knowledge of God and yet was unwilling to communicate the knowledge of a great many things to His disciples and posterity.

35. Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.

Pope Benedict XV, Decree of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (1918):
 On June 5, 1918, the Holy Office issued a Decree, approved by Pope Benedict XV, in which it answered several questions: "Can the following propositions be safely taught? 1. It is not evident that there was in the soul of Christ living among men the knowledge which the blessed who have attained [God] have. 2. Nor can that opinion be called certain which states that the soul of Christ was ignorant of nothing, but that from the beginning He knew in the Word all things, past, present, and future, that is, all things which God knows by the knowledge of vision. 3. The view of certain recent persons about the limited knowledge of the soul of Christ is not to be less accepted in Catholic schools than the view of former [theologians] about [His] universal knowledge.

Response of the Holy Office (approved by Pope Benedict XV on June 6, 1918): To all three questions, In the Negative. 

Pope Pius XI, Miserentissimus Redemptor (1928):
"Now if, because of our sins also which were as yet in the future, but were foreseen, the soul of Christ became sorrowful unto death, it cannot be doubted that then, too, already He derived somewhat of solace from our reparation, which was likewise foreseen, when "there appeared to Him an angel from heaven" (Luke xxii, 43), in order that His Heart, oppressed with weariness and anguish, might find consolation." (par. #13; Emphasis mine).

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (1943):
"For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the beatific vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love." (par. #75; Emphasis mine).

Theologian Ott summarizes well the teaching of the theologians on the knowledge of Christ:

  1. Christ's soul possessed the immediate Vision of God (Beatific Vision) from the first moment of its existence
  2. Christ's human knowledge was free from positive ignorance and error
  3. From the beginning of Christ's life, His soul possessed infused knowledge from God
  4. Christ's soul possessed acquired (experimental) knowledge through sense perception
(See Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, [1955], pgs. 162-168)

Modernist Objections Refuted
  • Christ "emptied Himself." As Pope Pius XII teaches, "There is another enemy of the faith of Chalcedon, widely diffused outside the fold of the Catholic religion. This is an opinion for which a rashly and falsely understood sentence of St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians (ii, 7), supplies a basis and a shape. This is called the kenotic doctrine, and according to it, they imagine that the divinity was taken away from the Word in Christ. It is a wicked invention, equally to be condemned with the Docetism opposed to it. It reduces the whole mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption to empty the bloodless imaginations. 'With the entire and perfect nature of man' - thus grandly St. Leo the Great - 'He Who was true God was born, complete in his own nature, complete in ours' (Ep. xxviii, 3. PL. liv, 763. Cf. Serm. xxiii, 2. PL. lvi, 201)." (See Sempiterna Rex Christus, para. #29; Emphasis mine). Theologian Ott teaches, that kenosis is really a "humbling or debasement" as the proper linguistic and theological interpretation. The debasement consists in the renunciation (in His human nature) of the Form of God. (Ibid, pg. 135-136)
  • Christ didn't know the day of the Second Coming and Judgement. According to theologian Parente, "...if Jesus says He does not know the day of the final judgement, this expression must be understood in the sense He cannot manifest it (thus the Fathers)." (See Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, [1951], pgs. 255-256).
  • Christ didn't know who touched His garment and asked questions in the Temple. Many teachers use the same ploy to elicit answers and responses in their students (as a former science teacher, I'm fully aware of this technique). Christ was called "Rabbi" or "teacher" and with good reason. He came to rule, teach, and sanctify, both personally and then perpetually through His One True Church. He wanted the women who touched His garment to come forth and tell what He had done for her. She did so, and Christ responds in St. Mark 30:34, "And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague." The doctors of the law in the Temple were being made aware, through the Socratic method of asking questions, as to what to expect of the Messiah. That's why St. Luke 2:47 states, "And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers." 
  • If Christ was omniscient, He couldn't "advance in wisdom," and how could He have been a "normal" Child? The knowledge Christ acquired through use of the human senses ("experimental knowledge") was already contained in His infused knowledge and by virtue of the Beatific Vision, so the knowledge was not new in its content, only in the mode by which Christ attained it. In this sense He advanced in wisdom. He allowed Himself to experience human growth in the usual process without recourse to using His infinite and perfect knowledge. (See Ott, Ibid, pg. 168). 
  • If Christ possessed the Beatific Vision, which brings Infinite Happiness, how could He suffer in the Passion?   St. Thomas easily explains how the bodily suffering of Christ can be reconciled with the Beatific Vision, since bodily pain is felt with the lower powers of the soul and the joy Christ experiences through the Beatific Vision is limited to His spiritual soul. Aquinas teaches: "As was said above, by the power of the Godhead of Christ the beatitude was economically kept in the soul, so as not to overflow into the body, lest His passibility and mortality should be taken away; and for the same reason the delight of contemplation was so kept in the mind as not to overflow into the sensitive powers, lest sensible pain should thereby be prevented' (III, Q. 15, art. 5). This follows from the nature of the Incarnation, in which Christ, because of His union to the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, should experience the Beatific Vision, but as true man should still suffer the conditions natural to man (sensible pain, hunger, etc). Again, theologian Ott writes, "that the bliss proceeding from the immediate vision of God did not overflow from the ratio superior (=the higher spiritual knowledge and will directed to the bonum increatum) to the ratio inferior (=human knowledge and will directed at the bonum creatum) nor from the soul to the body." (Ott, Ibid)Thus, Christ experiences sorrow and sadness in His soul insofar as His truly human soul is directed towards things of earth; but insofar as Christ's soul, reason and will are fixed on God, He experiences joy. This joy of the higher reason (ratio superior) does not overflow into Christ's ratio inferior (STh III, Q. 46, art. 8).
With Church teaching on the knowledge of Christ so clear, how do heretics like Rahner and Brown explain it all away? Modernist heretic Avery Dulles, made a "cardinal" by Wojtyla, said it best, "No generation can formulate the abiding content of the faith 'chemically pure,' so as to commit all future generations." (See "Contemporary Understanding of the Irreformability of Dogma," in CTSA Proceedings 25 [1970] 136). They believe (as all Modernists do) that dogma evolves from one meaning to another over time. What was sly in lessening belief in the Divinity of Christ 40 years ago, is now being boldly asserted, as Bergoglio himself teaches dogmatic evolution.

The Vatican News released a statement of how (allegedly) Limbo for unbaptized babies has "developed" into salvation; religious toleration has "developed" into religious liberty, etc. (See I could add to the list of "developments" that capital punishment is now intrinsically wrong, and adulterers may receive "communion." 

At the beginning of this post, I wrote how attributing ignorance in Christ erodes belief in His Divinity. In a sense it is a very real and implicit denial of His Godhood. One of the Divine Attributes is omniscience. How could God forget Who He Is? If God isn't omniscient He ceases to be God. In the near future, I can see the Vatican II sect come out with the Revised Modernist Version of the Bible. In St. Matthew 16, we will read:

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Thanks, Pete. I had forgotten."

Monday, November 4, 2019

When Strangers Come Knocking---Part 3

This is the next installment of my series to be published the first Monday of each month.

There are members of false sects, like Jehovah's Witnesses, that come knocking door-to-door hoping to convert you. Instead of ignoring them, it is we who should try and convert them. In 1 Peter 3:16, our first Pope writes, "But in thy hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks thee to give the reason for the hope that thou hast. But do this with gentleness and respect,..." Before the Great Apostasy, the Church would send missionaries to the ends of the Earth to make as many converts as possible. 

Those in false religions don't always come (literally) knocking at your door. It may be a Hindu at work who wants you to try yoga. It could be a "Christian Scientist" who lives next door and invites you to come to their reading room. Each month, I will present a false sect. Unlike the Vatican II sect, I do not see them as a "means of salvation" or possessing "elements of truth" that lead to salvation. That is heresy. They lead to damnation, and the adherents of the various sects must be converted so they may be saved.

In each month's post, I will present one false sect and give an overview of:  

  • The sect's history
  • Their theology
  • Tips on how to share the True Faith with them

My first exposure to Buddhism was at the age of seven in 1972. My family was poor, so I wasn't on a trip to China, and my parents would never allow me to go to a Buddhist temple here in New York City; they went along with the Vatican II sect at the time, but disapproved of anything non-Catholic. (They would later join me as Traditionalists shortly after my conversion when they realized the Modernist Vatican wasn't Catholic either).  The insidious doctrine of pantheism (the belief that God is "in" all things and that, in some sense, all of reality is ultimately One and Divine) came into my living room under the guise of my favorite TV show, Kung Fu.

In the show, David Carradine (d. 2009) portrayed a Shaolin Buddhist monk named Kwai Chang Caine, the son of an American sailor and Chinese woman, who is orphaned and raised in a Buddhist monastery. Later, he is forced to flee China and come to America looking for his American half-brother in the Old West (late 1800s). While searching for his half-brother, he encounters prejudice and helps people using his Buddhist "wisdom" and martial arts skills. (Ironically, the idea came from martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Lee was himself the son of a Chinese father and Irish-Catholic mother, and wanted to star in the title role. He was rejected for an Irish-American actor because the producers didn't think American audiences were ready for an actual half-Chinese actor as the star). 

In each episode there is a flashback wherein Caine thinks of when he was learning in the Buddhist monastery. In the flashback, one of his Buddhist "masters" would spout some nonsensical mumbo-jumbo, to "enlighten" him. Armed with the remembrance of Buddhist teaching, he was able to save the day. In one episode he somehow knew that if a rancher killed a pregnant cow, the rancher's pregnant wife would have a miscarriage, so he must stop the man from killing the cow. Caine has a flashback where he is reminded how "all life is interconnected"--whatever that means. I was impressed by it because it sounded profound, much like "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

I was one of the first people to see the original Star Wars movie in 1977; my family saved the money for me to buy a ticket, and then I waited on line for hours to get in the movie theater. I loved the movie at the time, which was produced by George Lucas.  His Star Wars franchise is arguably the most profitable and influential series of science fiction movies ever. Lucas got involved in Eastern paganism and refers to himself as a "Methodist-Buddhist." According to George Lucas' biographer Dale Pollock, "The message of Star Wars is religious: God isn't dead, he's (sic) really there if you want him (sic) to be. 'The laws really are in yourself,' Lucas is fond of saying; the Force dwells within." (See Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas, NY: Ballentine Books, (1983), pg. 139). 

The Star Wars franchise pushes pantheism. The oft quoted "May the Force be with you," is a blasphemous attempt to replace the True God ("The Lord be with you") with an impersonal energy that binds the universe together. The so-called force may be used to perform seeming miracles such as levitation, moving objects, detecting the presence of various persons, being guided without using your senses, and healing. The force can be used for good or evil ("the dark side of the force"). Although the Force is never called God, those who believe in it and seek to use it are said to be followers of a “religion,” and the teacher of “the ways of the Force” is a 900-year-old “Jedi Master” called Yoda who functions much as a Zen Buddhist "master."

Buddhist influence is everywhere today-- more so then ever before. We have the Vatican II sect to thank for it. I will have more to write about that below. What is Buddhism, and what makes it so popular? How can we try to convert those who are ensnared in it? The answers will be covered in this post.

Origin and Divisions of Buddhism
Roughly 2,500 years ago in Kapilavastu at the foothills of the Himalayas, a young aristocrat named Siddhartha Gautama was born in the lap of luxury. His father carefully insulated his heir from the real world beyond the palace walls, and allegedly gave him three palaces and 40,000 dancing girls. However, Siddhartha inadvertently caught glimpses here and there beyond the royal walls. The following sights in particular gripped Gautama’s heart: (1) a crippled man, (2) a leper, (3) a rotting corpse, and (4) a pious ascetic. These later came to be known as the Four Passing Sights, which so moved him that he renounced his life of comfort and luxury to pursue enlightenment. This Great Renunciation, as Buddhists call it, included Gautama abandoning his wife and child, for “distractions”such as these would impede his quest to untie the Gordian knot of pain, sickness, old age, and death. The driving motivation of Buddhism’s founder was to pinpoint the origin of pain and suffering and to propose a solution.

Gautama eventually turned to a life of meditation. While deep in meditation under a fig tree known as the Bohdi tree (meaning, “tree of wisdom”), Gautama experienced the highest degree of God-consciousness called nirvana. Gautama then became known as Buddha, the “enlightened one.” He believed he had found the answers to the questions of pain and suffering. His message now needed to be proclaimed to the whole world.

As he began his teaching ministry, he gained a quick audience with the people of India since many had become disillusioned with Hinduism. By the time of his death at age 80, Buddhism had become a major force in India. When it came to solving the problem of evil, the Buddha took a very different path from Hinduism. The latter saw evil as maya (illusion), while the Buddha taught that evil is not only real, but that it can be overcome by methodically removing desire—the source of all suffering.

Buddhists teach The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths are accepted by all schools of Buddhism and have been the subject of extensive commentary. They may be summarized as follows. The first truth, suffering (Pali: dukkha; Sanskrit: duhkha), is characteristic of existence in the realm of rebirth, called samsara (literally “wandering”). The second truth is the origin (Sanskrit: samudaya) or cause of suffering, which the Buddha associated with craving or attachment. The third truth is the cessation of suffering (Pali and Sanskrit: nirodha), commonly called nirvana. The fourth and final truth is the path (Pali: magga; Sanskrit: marga) to the cessation of suffering.

The Eightfold Path is Right Understanding, Right Intent, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. This set of "morals" is to bring one to Nirvana. Unlike the Ten Commandments, The Eightfold Path is meant as a guideline, to be considered, to be contemplated, and to be taken on when, and only when, each step is fully accepted as part of the life you seek.

Buddhism is divided into several sects. There are two main divisions:
1. Theravada ("The Teaching of the Elders") Buddhism, which comprises approximately 40% of Buddhists. They are the truest to the teachings of Gautama. This sect is deeply pantheistic, seeing meditation as the main key to “salvation” and quite inwardly focused.

2. Mahayana ("The Greater Vehicle") Buddhism makes up roughly 56% of Buddhists. This sect is more outward focused. It sees Gautama as a "deity." They also have many occult-like practices.

The remaining 4% belong to various small sects that lean more to one or the other main divisions in their teachings.

The ultimate goal of Buddhism is to end the cycle of reincarnation (carried over from Hinduism) and achieve nirvana. Nirvana is not a place like Heaven, but rather an eternal state of being. It is the state in which the law of  the rebirth cycle comes to an end. It is the end of suffering; a state where there are no desires and the individual consciousness comes to an end.

Vatican II and the Growing Influence of Buddhism
The heretical Vatican II document Nostra Aetate ("The Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions"), states in paragraph #2:

Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination....The Catholic (sic) Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.

There was no warning against pagan religions and philosophies from the East coming here, nor any opposition because the Modernists embraced them. The list of influential Buddhists is quite impressive:
  • Sports stars Tiger Woods and David Beckham
  • Movie actors Richard Gere, Keanu Reeves, and Harrison Ford (think: Star Wars and George Lucas)
  • Rock and pop singers Courtney Love (widow of the wretch Kurt Cobain, whose band was named Nirvana), and Tina Turner
  • Even politicians like former President Bill Clinton, although not a convert, hired a Buddhist monk to teach him meditation. 
So what's the attraction of Buddhism? There are several:
  • The pantheistic belief that "God is all" puts insects, plants, and even inanimate objects on the same level as humans. Tree-hugging environmentalists love it, even though the vast majority see nothing wrong with abortion
  • Terms like "inner tranquility" and "enlightenment" are "spiritual" without being "religious." Therefore, atheists can hop on board and deny a Personal God for an impersonal force that allows them to still use the term "atheist" loosely
  • There are no Commandments for ethics. Who am I to judge? (sound familiar?) Moral absolutes are absent
  • Reincarnation further erodes morals because if you live like a heathen, there is no Hell, just another life to try and "get it right" and achieve nirvana, which is basically extinction--so no one suffers in the end 
  • Meditation and yoga are ubiquitous, with the Vatican II sect supplanting true meditation based on the spiritual masters (like St. Ignatius of Loyola) with pagan yoga-meditation. This "mindfulness" meditation is being taught in their schools and churches. Pagan meditation can open a person up to demonic forces
Proselytizing Buddhists
The best way to proselytize Buddhists is to try and attack their underlying belief in pantheism. Basically, Buddhists believe we are all "divine" since "all is God," and people are not aware of it ("universal amnesia"). We need to meditate to realize the truth and reduce ourselves into the mass extinction of nirvana. Here are five talking points:
1. The universal amnesia regarding our "divinity" cannot be satisfactorily explained.
If humanity is really "part of the divine," how is it that we are unaware of it? Wouldn't "god" know he is divine? Why does it take some guru, or yoga, or meditation for "god" to realize who he is? How do we account for this "cosmic amnesia"?

2. How does the pantheist know that HE is not the one mis-perceiving reality?
The Eastern pagans claim that Christians who believe in a world external to their senses are caught in the grip of an illusion, because "all is one." How does the pagan know it is we who are deceived by our common sense experience and not himself for thinking that "all is one;" contrary to what reason and sense experience tells us?

3. If pantheism is true, we can never distinguish between fantasy and reality. 
The burden of proof is clearly on the Eastern pagan to tell us why we should abandon our common ability to distinguish between fact and fantasy. We should believe what our experience tells us is true unless or until we have good reason to think otherwise. The pagans reverse this and would have us believe what is counter-intuitive is true despite the lack of evidence. This is absurd.

4. The Eastern pagans reject logic.
D.T. Suzuki wrote in his Introduction to Zen Buddhism  that we "comprehend life only when we abandon logic." In other words, he's trying to convince you with arguments (using logic) that you need to abandon logic--a self-refuting position. It is (for the pagan) logical to be illogical (that makes sense!)

5. There is no right and wrong.
If reincarnation is true, why bother to be moral? You keep coming back and can do whatever you want. Whenever you decide to finally follow the eightfold path, you will basically cease to exist. What kind of "reward" is that? Keep in mind that if everything is "God," how can evil be real? Is God both good and evil? If so, why should the "good side" of "God" be preferred?

You can also read good Catholic literature about Our Lord from pre-Vatican II and use the information to compare the Buddha to the Christ. Just an outline would be: (a) Christ was predicted to arrive and Buddha was not; (b) Christ confirmed his teachings with miracles and Buddha never proved his teachings true; (c) Gautama is still in the grave, but Christ rose from the dead thereby proving His Divinity. 

(Credit for above information: See e.g., Isamu Yamamoto, Buddhism, Taoism and Other Eastern Religions, [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing, 1998]; Davis Taylor and Clark Offner, The World’s Religions, Norman Anderson, ed. [Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1975]; and culled from many and various Buddhist sites and articles regarding same on the Internet such as, etc.---Introibo)

The Vatican II sect has welcomed pagan pantheism into the world. It even bases their spirituality on these pagan meditation practices. Buddhist beliefs are more popular than ever and can be found all over our culture; in movies, TV, music, and books. True Christianity and Buddhism are irreconcilable.  In the schema ("proposed document")  De Deposito Fidel Pure Custodiendo, Vatican II was originally set to condemn reincarnation and other pagan, Eastern ideas. Roncalli ("Pope" John XXIII) scrapped all the orthodox documents drawn up by the great theologians, and allowed the Modernists to re-write every document for the Robber Council.

The false Vatican II sect of Bergoglio (himself a practitioner of Eastern pagan "Reiki healing"), will find out the errors of their ways when Hell is found NOT to be an illusion. To escape that fate, they must convert and never forget the condemnation of the Vatican Council of 1870:

"If anyone shall say that the substance and essence of God and of all things is one and the same; let him be anathema."