Monday, November 28, 2022

Bergoglio: Welcoming False Prophets

 

The Deposit of Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, St. John, in the year 100 A.D. That's the teaching of the Church, but Bergoglio seems to disagree. Only the Catholic Church has claim to the title Christian in the strict theological sense, for She alone follows Her Divine Founder, Jesus Christ. Ever since the so-called "Protestant Reformation" there have been thousands of sects falsely claiming the title "Christian." In common parlance, the term was used to designate those who believed in the Trinity, Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As time went by, even those basic doctrines began to be obscured or implicitly denied by some new sects.

The "Charismatic Movement" came with bizarre and demonic practices like snake-handling, "speaking in tongues," and even "holy laughter."  However, there is a new movement that makes the Charismatics seem normal in comparison. The movement is not really "new:" it has its roots in the 1970s, but it has really grown in leaps and bounds starting circa 2010. Calling itself  The New Apostolic Reformation or "NAR," they seek to establish themselves as a "new Branch" of Christianity along with the Vatican II sect ("Catholicism"), Eastern Schismatics, and Protestantism. They hold that Christ continues to appoint "Apostles" and "Prophets" today. Revelation is ongoing and the Bible can be supplemented by these "revelations." NAR is a descriptive term for all the churches that teach this, most notably the 11,000 member Bethel Church in California. 

This post shall outline their strange (even occult) practices, and how Bergoglio wants them in his sect. 

Raising The Dead?
Bethel Church has two pastors, Bill Johnson (the "Apostle"--pictured above), and Kris Vallotton (the "Prophet") who have written numerous bestselling books, like When Heaven Invades Earth and Supernatural Ways of Royalty. In 2019, the following tragedy made headlines around the globe:

On December 14, 2019, two-year-old Olive Heiligenthal was sleeping in her bed and suddenly stopped breathing. When this was discovered, her family called 911, and paramedics rushed her to the hospital. But it was too late. Olive had died. Most grieving parents would have planned a funeral. But not Olive’s parents. Her mother, Kalley—a worship leader at Bethel—and her father, Andrew, refused to accept her death. Based on their peculiar understanding of the Bible—taught to them by Bethel Church leaders—they appeared 100 percent convinced that God would raise Olive from the dead. So they kept her body at the local morgue—just for a bit—while they waited for her to come back to life. Through social media, Bethel leaders urged Christians around the world to join the parents in “declaring” a resurrection because they believed their spoken words, as children of God, had the power to bring Olive back. The hashtag #wakeupolive went viral. Tens of thousands across the globe joined the chorus of “declarations” posted to Facebook and Instagram.

American singer and songwriter Kari Jobe made what must have been a startling announcement to her one million followers: “We’re still standing in faith for Olive to wake up.” The story was picked up by national news. The Washington Post, the Daily Mail, USA Today, Slate, and BuzzFeed were among the many high-profile media outlets that covered it. BuzzFeed used words like heartbreaking and horrifying in this description of the church’s attempts to raise Olive. Do a search for Olive's name and see the multiple news sources covering this event. Finally, after six days, the church suddenly gave up. USA Today declared: “Olive Hasn’t Been Raised: After Praying for a Miracle, Girl’s Family Now Plans Memorial.” Many other news organizations ran similar headlines. The conclusion to the dramatic events of the previous week was anticlimactic. Bethel leaders sent out a press release announcing that the family had begun planning a memorial service. Their attempts to raise her had been loud and took place very much in the public eye. In contrast, the service was planned quietly and held behind the scenes. Almost as if they were hoping to draw as little attention as possible to the funeral—and their failure to raise Olive.

There were saints who raised the dead, by an exceptional gift of God. It is not something that anyone can do by "declaring a resurrection." This only serves the enemies of Christ by making belief in the resurrection look nonsensical. Yet nonsense is exactly what NAR peddles.

"Grave Sucking"
What would make a bunch of college-age students hang around a graveyard? The desire for miraculous powers. Some will be sprawled on their backs on the tops of grave markers. Others will lay face down on the grass before the headstones. Some will even roll-up in a fetal position in front of a tombstone, as though nourishing himself/herself on the corpse’s "still-living spiritual power."

 NAR people call this power the “anointing.” Bethel Church has a  Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), and it has been called a "Christian Hogwarts." (Hogwarts is the name for the school of witchcraft in the Harry Potter series of books). This practice is occult and the occult can in no way be Christian in any sense of the word. They would visit the gravesites of well-known “miracle-workers”—such as the British faith healer Smith Wigglesworth and the American “healing” evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman—and try to “suck” (or “soak”) up the dead miracle workers’ powers. What reason did they give for their ghoulish goings-on? They pointed to a little-known Bible verse, 2 Kings 13:21. It’s the story of when a dead man’s body came into contact with Eliseus’s bones and the man came to life. "And some that were burying a man, saw the rovers, and cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus. And when it had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life, and stood upon his feet." NAR will cherry-pick Bible verses to invent strange and occult practices. Grave sucking is a form of the occult practice of spiritism---making contacts with spirits or their power. (See https://bssm.net/school/introduction/).


Wakey, Wakey
This sounds so insane, it should be called "wacky, wacky." Did you know there are thousands of angels so bored that they fall asleep and need people to wake them up? Neither did I. Beni Johnson, wife of "Apostle" Bill Johnson, talks about "sensing angels sleeping" and saying "wakey, wakey" to get them awake. Seriously. She relates one such episode:

One morning as we were driving up over Tehachapi Pass and coming down into the Mojave Desert, I began to feel angels. The closer we got, the stronger the impression felt. I could see them everywhere! Whenever there are angels present, I get very animated and excited, knowing that God is up to something big. I announced this to the group and said, “We have got to stop! We have to stop somewhere.” We found an exit, took it, and drove into this little town. We didn’t really know what to do or where to go. We just knew that something was going on and we needed to find out what. As we drove around a corner I said, “I think that we are going to wake up some angels here.” No sooner had I said that than we drove past a hotel to our left and, no joke, the name of the store was Mariah Country Inn. When I saw that sign, we immediately remembered the wakey story from Wales. We knew we were to turn around, get out of the RV and wake up the angels. I wish I could convey to you the energy and the quickness of how God was working. We jumped out of the RV, I blew the shofar [a trumpet made from a ram’s horn] and rang the bell, and we yelled, “WAKEY.” We got back into the RV and drove off. As we drove off, hilarious laughter broke out! We were stunned at the speed at which this all took place and were spinning from the adventure and the angelic activity. What in the world has just happened?! Heaven collided with earth. Woo hoo!!” (I could no longer find this video from which this story came but here ia another video where she tells the same story---https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q25oPxQ7zH0&t=314s). 

Jenn Johnson (The "Apostle's" daughter-in-law) said she was thinking about angels worshipping around the Throne of God, and she thought of ways the angels probably laugh and goof off when they’re circling the Throne. These thoughts came to her mind: “I bet they text each other. I bet they have farting contests.” (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdeqtJvkE5w at 4:35-4:45).

NAR treats holy things as commonplace and trite. It is blasphemous. 

NAR Ended Racism
Were you aware racism is gone forever? Yes, it happened because several "Apostles" reenacted a scene from The Lord of the Rings movie. To watch this lunacy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8b3yumhMNU

NAR and the New Age Occult Connection
The following are excerpts from a book The Physics of Heaven [2012], by Judy Franklin and Ellyn Davis, both believers in NAR. The "Prophet"  Kris Vallotton wrote the preface, and "Apostle" Bill Johnson wrote two chapters. Therefore, the book is indeed indicative of the movement. They blasphemously assert that New Age occultism was really Christian first, and then those practices were appropriated by the New Age for its own purposes. That this "reformation" movement is clearly occult can be seen in the following quotes:

  • Ellyn has had a desire to bridge the gap between Christianity and the discoveries of quantum physics as well as discover God truths hidden in quantum mysticism and the New Age

  • Because I believe what the Lord has been showing both of us (authors)  is the absolute truth that will help us bring God’s kingdom to this earth. The Lord is ready to use sound, light, and energy in ways we never dreamed.

  • Jesus calmed storms. We should be able to do that too. Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead. We have that same power within us.

  • It wasn’t that I wanted to become a New Ager, I just wanted to find out if maybe they had uncovered some truths the church hadn’t.

  • I have found throughout Scripture at least 75 examples of things that the New Age has counterfeited, such as having a spirit guide, trances, meditation, auras, power objects, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and more. These actually belong to the church, but they have been stolen and cleverly repackaged.

  • Now we are beginning to hear more and more revelation that is in line with what New Agers have been saying all along and we are hearing more and more teaching about Christians “taking back truths” from the New Age that really belong to citizens of the Kingdom of God.

  • They all agree that the next move of God will cause a shift at the deepest level of who we are—perhaps at the very “vibrational level” that the New Age movement has been exploring.


Who Is Kris Vallotton?
Partnering with Bill Johnson is Kris Vallotton, the senior associate leader at Bethel and the church’s chief “prophet.” Unlike an "apostle," who calls the shots in a NAR church and has the final say in all important decisions, the prophet’s job is to receive direct revelation from God and share it with the apostle. Thus, an apostle and prophet will often team up, as Johnson and Vallotton have done. These two claim to have formed a special “covenant” relationship that is intended to be lifelong and allows them to tap into each other’s miraculous gifts and anointings.

Vallotton claims to have had remarkable encounters with God. During one encounter in 1985, "Christ" told him that he had a special calling regarding his life. Jesus walked into my bathroom amid my evening bath and told me, “I have called you to be a prophet to the nations. You will speak before kings and queens. You will influence prime ministers and presidents. I will open doors for you to talk to mayors, governors, ambassadors, and government officials all around the world.”
(See https://www.krisvallotton.com/prophetic-gifting-vs-calling)

In 1998, Vallotton was invited by Johnson to join him at Bethel and start the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Vallotton writes: That same year, I was lying on the floor and praying one morning when the Lord spoke to me so clearly that it stunned me. He said, There is a new epoch season emerging in this hour. Much like the Protestant Reformation, there is another reformation coming that will unearth the very foundation of Christianity. This move of the Spirit will absolutely redefine your ideologies and philosophies concerning what the Church is and how she should function. I asked Him, What will this transition look like? He said, My Church is moving from denominationalism to apostleships. (See Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World with God’s Transforming Power [2016], ch. 1, pg.27; Emphasis mine). 

Vallotton has since become a bestselling author. Under his leadership, Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry—a three-year, full-time program—has grown from an annual enrollment of just thirty-seven students to more than 2,600. His rising reputation as a "prophet" landed Vallotton a meeting with Bergoglio himself.

A False Prophet Welcomed by a False Pope
In 2016, the Argentinian apostate of the Modernist-occupied Vatican met with Vallotton. This is how false prophet Vallotton himself characterizes the meeting:

This week I had the privilege of meeting with Pope Francis. It was probably one of the highlights of my life. He was funny, warm and very spiritual.

I was invited, along with several other pastors, to a small connect forum with Pope Francis because he has a deep passion for unity among Believers – and I do mean DEEP!

We spent about two hours asking him questions about whatever was on our hearts. His opening comments blessed me. He said, “We must invite the prophets back into the church and welcome them with open arms.” I thought it was interesting that this was his opening comment. Of course, many of the pastors looked over and smiled at me... He made it clear that theology shouldn’t divide us. I also think he was making a point that he wasn’t a theologian, in that he said “they” should work it out while “we” love people.(To read the whole unabridged article; See https://www.krisvallotton.com/pope-francis; Emphasis in this except mine). 

There was a question when Bergoglio asked if Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Francis replied "the only way into heaven is through Jesus Christ." Notice he omitted that a fiduciary, fuzzy "faith" that "Jesus saves me" does nothing. It is through Christ IN HIS ONE TRUE CHURCH. There was no attempt to proselytize only "welcome them in" because "proselytism is solemn nonsense." 

So isn't this just another example of Vatican II sect ecumenism? Ecumenical, yes, but in my opinion, far more odious. Bergoglio is acknowledging that there are still "apostles" and "prophets" that receive continuing Divine Revelation. Moreover, "God" sanctions wacky, and even occult practices. As the NAR grows, Bergoglio may welcome them in some special way that they begin to have direct influence on the trajectory the VII sect is taking "from denominationalism to apostleships."

Conclusion
“Apostles” and “prophets” in the New Apostolic Reformation lure their followers with the promise of blessings. Blessings are the bait. They claim they have something no other church leaders have. Apostles and prophets have the "new revelations" their followers need to "develop miraculous powers," bring God’s kingdom, and fulfill His Will on Earth. These are occult lies, and Bergoglio, far from warning against them and condemning them--embraces them as "Christians." Don't be fooled and pray harder than ever for God's mercy and protection. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

A Retreat Into Modernism: The Cursillo Exposed

 

Going on a retreat is one of the best opportunities to grow closer to God. Pope Pius XI wrote in his encyclical Mens Nostra:  ...the utility and the opportuneness of Sacred Retreats, will be readily recognized by any one who considers, however lightly, the times in which we now live. The most grave disease by which our age is oppressed, and at the same time the fruitful source of all the evils deplored by every man of good heart, is that levity and thoughtlessness which carry men hither and thither through devious ways. Hence comes the constant and passionate absorption in external things; hence, the insatiable thirst for riches and pleasures that gradually weakens and extinguishes in the minds of men the desire for more excellent goods, and so entangles them in outward and fleeting things that it forbids them to think of eternal truths, and of the Divine laws, and of God Himself, the one beginning and end of all created things, Who, nevertheless, for his boundless goodness and mercy, even in these our days, though moral corruption may spread apace, ceases not to draw men to himself by a bounteous abundance of graces. 

Now, if we would cure this sickness from which human society suffers so sorely, what healing remedy could we devise more appropriate for our purpose than that of calling these enervated souls, so neglectful of eternal things, to the recollection of the Spiritual Exercises?...pious retreats of this kind do much greater things than this, for since they compel the mind of a man to examine more diligently and intently into all the things that he has thought, or said, or done; they assist the human faculties in a marvelous manner; so that the mind becomes accustomed, in this spiritual arena, to weigh things maturely and with even balance, the will acquires strength and firmness, the passions are restrained by the rule of counsel; the activities of human life, being in unison with the thought of the mind, are effectively conformed to the fixed standard of reason; and, lastly, the soul attains its native nobility and altitude, as the holy Pontiff St. Gregory declares in his "Pastoral," by a concise similitude: "The human mind, like water, when shut up around, is gathered up to higher things; because it seeks that from which it descended; but when it is left loose, it perishes; because it spreads itself uselessly on lowly things." Moreover, as St. Eucherius Bishop of Lyons wisely observes; when exercising itself in these spiritual meditations; "the mind rejoicing in the Lord is stirred up by a certain stimulus of silence; and grows by unutterable increments."
(See para. #4; Emphasis mine). 

If you have a chance to go on a retreat sponsored by a Traditionalist priest or bishop, you should make every effort to go. The "retreats" of the Vatican II sect are a joke. They are mostly sentimentalized talks about "how God loves us all, no matter what," interspersed with "celebrations of the YOU-charist" where the participants congratulate one another on "making strides in their spiritual journeys" (whatever that means). However, there is a serious danger above and beyond the vacuous claptrap of the usual Vatican II retreat called a Cursillo (Spanish for "short course" and pronounced as cur-SEE-yoh). 

The alleged purpose of these retreats is to guide laypeople, showing them how to become effective Christian leaders over the course of a three-day weekend. It has been made mandatory in some Vatican II sect seminaries in order for the seminarians to become "priests."  The purpose of this post is to expose the Cursillo retreat movement and retreats affiliated with it. You will see why you have a duty to warn anyone who tells you they want to attend a Cursillo retreat that there is a real and present danger to them spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 

The History
The beginning of the Cursillo movement was orthodox. According to various sources on the movement, Cursillo did not come to the Church as a spontaneous creation.  It began with Pope Pius XI's encyclical Ubi Arcano in which the Pontiff urged he laity to counteract all anti-clerical and anti-Catholic influences of the world of the 1920s and 1930s.  This is how Catholic Action was born, which Pope Pius XI called “the participation of the laity in the apostolate of the hierarchy.” In Spain, the most active wing of Catholic Action was the young men.  A great Convention took place in December 1932.

At this gathering, it was decided to try and stimulate the Catholic faith in young people through a great pilgrimage to the Shrine of Saint James in Compostella, an important place of prayer since the Middle Ages.  It was to be a true affirmation of faith in the face of militant atheism and non-belief on the part of those in public office.  This pilgrimage was to take place on July 25th 1937, the feast day of Saint James. For reasons not entirely clear, the pilgrimage never took place. 

After reflection and prayer, in 1947, Catholic Action revived the idea of ten years previously, to make a pilgrimage to Compostella.  They wished it to be an event of growing in knowledge regarding the faith, a deepening of the demands of faith, and of a real commitment to Christ.  This was to be an opportunity to share, to pray, and to make gestures of brotherly love.  To obtain good results, it was decided to prepare it through short courses (Cursillos) given for diocesan leaders of the pilgrimage and to group leaders.  These Cursillos were in three parts: the first dealt with the knowledge of faith, i.e.  grace, obstacles to grace, the sacraments and life in grace; the second addressed the nature, leadership, and the aspects of Catholic Action; and the third tackled all the things about the pilgrimage and its organization.  These Cursillos took place everywhere in Spain for many years. 

The corruption of the Cursillo into its current version began with a man named Eduardo Bonnin (d. 2008).  Raised a devout Catholic, he went on a Cursillo and enjoyed it greatly. With six friends, he began a study group to examine the Faith. Unfortunately, he became contaminated with Modernist ideas by studying the Modernist theologian Yves Congar, as well as  anti-Catholic philosophers, psychologists and sociologists. He and his friends devised a new format for the Cursillo, and the theology was less emphasized to give way to "experience." Nothing was openly heretical at this time (1949). After the end of Vatican II and the beginning of the V2 sect, the Cursillo quickly devolved into its current state circa 1967. 

The Cursillo and Its Progeny: Cult Brainwashing
Before I even discuss the substance of the Cursillo, the methodology it employs is both dangerous and unethical. Some consider the Cursillo movement a cult, some do not. (For the record, I believe it is a cult. I use the so-called "Duck Test"--"If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, chances are...it's a duck."---Introibo). Yet all who question their techniques recognize them to be highly problematic, to say the least. The effectiveness of the techniques and the attachment to the doctrines so introduced led Protestants to imitate the Cursillo. Such Protestant/"Interdenominational" retreats include the Walk to Emmaus, and Tres Dias

Six Conditions for Mind Control.
According to cult researcher and psychology professor Dr. Margaret Thaler Singer, there are six conditions necessary to create an atmosphere for mind control (i.e., "brainwashing"):

1. Keep the person unaware that there is an agenda to control or change the person.

2. Control time and physical environments (contacts, information).

3. Create a sense of powerlessness, fear, and dependency.

4. Suppress old behaviors and attitudes.

5. Instill new behaviors and attitudes.

6. Put forth a closed system of logic.
(See Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives, [1995], pg. 62)

The Cursillo meets all six conditions during its retreat: 

1. If the Modernist goals were announced, many would not attend. Cursillo brochures have no concrete information and only describe the retreat in vague terms, such as "a refreshing spiritual renewal."

2. The retreat is hosted in a far away location where the leaders control the schedule. Participants are told it is wrong or even sinful to leave before the retreat is over because they made a religious commitment that must be kept. They are told to surrender their watches and phones so as to have no distractions. In this way, you lose track of time. There are no clocks and if you ask the retreat leaders the time, they will be dismissive, saying it is not important on retreat.

3. The retreat creates a dependency on the group. People who go to retreat together are told not to speak to each other, but "make new friends." 

4. Traditional Catholic beliefs are put down and continuously denigrated. 

5. You are encouraged to share intimate stories of your life, and given "unconditional love" for agreeing to try and accept the Cursillo's doctrine to deal with your problems.

6. Contrary views are ignored.  There is an exhaustive schedule to prevent questioning anything Cursillo leaders do on retreat, and if asked a question, the questioning participant will be told to "trust us" and you will have all doubts removed by the end of the retreat. 

(Some information condensed from Cursillo leaders manual. They state what to do, I'm showing the harmful connection---Introibo).  

Other Harmful Practices
Sleep Deprivation. According to Cursillo expert Marcene Marcoux, "Candidates [to go on a Cursillo] must be in good health, with an absence of major physical problems. Although minor sicknesses and ailments are not deterrents, individuals with a past history of severe physical problems are discouraged from attending. The four days of initiation, with long hours and an exhaustive schedule of events, can create a strain." (See Cursillo: Anatomy of a Movement [1981], pgs. 39-40). 

"Love Bombing." When a participant shares something personal, the leaders (and other participants) will shake his/her hand and say something like, "God loves you unconditionally, and so do I." The participant will also get "rewarded" in the form of gifts, such as a card or a religious item from the leaders. Those who don't comply don't receive any "love."

How It All Works
The Cursillo participant attends "rollos" (Conferences/talks on doctrine) that are decidedly Modernist. They are made physically and psychologically susceptible to mind control. They have pent up anxiety and experience a cathartic release accompanied by "unconditional love" when they "confess" something personal to the group (anything from a spiritual difficulty to a sin they committed). This creates an emotional high which is subconsciously attributed to the Cursillo and its teachings. The event is also punctuated by the "miraculous." Someone might tell how they were going to miss the weekend retreat due to some misfortune, but everything cleared up for them at the last minute and they could go. This will be called "miraculous" by the leaders. Other "miracles" include forgiving someone or feeling good about yourself during the retreat. Finally, after the retreat, you are expected to have "reunions" with the people and leaders who will make sure you are continuing your "spiritual progress." 

A Brave Traditionalist Bishop Sounds The Alarm
Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer was born in Brazil in 1904. He felt called to the priesthood and was ordained in 1927. In 1948 he was consecrated a Bishop by order of Pope Pius XII, and on January 3, 1949 he took canonical possession of the Diocese of Campos, Brazil--a position he would hold until forced into retirement by the Modernist Vatican in 1981. At Vatican II he was a Traditionalist who fought against the Modernists. He refused to institute any of the so-called "reforms of Vatican II" in his diocese.  Everything remained as it was in 1962 until his forced retirement in 1981. The Modernist Vatican did not want to make a martyr out of him and waited until they could invoke the new retirement of bishops at age 75 against him. They waited to get the right Modernist and then made Bp.de Castro Mayer leave his beloved Campos diocese. That diocese went south quickly once the "new springtime" of Vatican II came in.

The good Bishop was co-consecrator with Abp. Lefebvre of the four SSPX Bishops on June 30, 1988. Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer, and the four newly consecrated Bishops were promptly "excommunicated" by Wojtyla the next day. Bp. de Castro Mayer went to Judgement on April 25, 1991. I set forth his background to show how he clung to the True Faith in the wake of the Great Apostasy. It was he who, on August 15, 1972, would sign and promulgate a Pastoral Letter in his diocese condemning the Cursillo movement which was making inroads all over Brazil. His sagacious Letter points out briefly the brainwashing problem outlined above. Most importantly, it concentrated on the doctrinal problems of the Cursillo--the ideas for which the brainwashing is employed.  

Below, I will outline the problems recognized and exposed by the good Bishop, accompanied by the very words he used in his Pastoral Letter warning his priests and the faithful.

The Condemnation of the Doctrine Promoted by the Cursillo.

1.  Censures of Practices Consecrated by the Church. Without mentioning their names the rollo on Habitual Grace in fact censures St. Simeon Stylites, who spent a good part of his life on top of a column, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, singularly praised for great modesty in the mortification of his eyes. And the topic concludes saying that, "it is possible that there may have been saints who were strange; however, they were saints in spite of being strange." (Emphasis in original).

2. Strange Humanism. ...it is inculcated that Jesus came to this world only to give to Man a more abundant life, with two expressions that we stress---only for this and for nothing else---which tend to create in the hearers the conviction that God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, is exclusively at the service of Man, of his perfection and his plenitude. 

3. Teilhardian Conception of the World. [the Cursillo] is not clear and opens the way to a Teilhardian interpretation, according to which the design of God turns to the maximum development of the energies of the world, for the benefit of human dignity, of fraternal union, and of freedom. ..Teilhard de Chardin is an author very well received in Cursillo circles, not only to provide a basis for opinions, but also for the doctrinal formation of the members of the [Cursillo] Movement. (N.B. All the works of heretic Fr. de Chardin were censured by the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office and are forbidden to be kept or used in any Catholic institution of learning, especially seminaries---Introibo). 

4. Experience Exalted over Intellectual Faith. In fact, they [Cursillo] insist on experience, lively contact, enthusiastic attraction, as a means of attracting souls to Jesus Christ, more than on the role of the intellectual knowledge of Revelation...Such a manner of understanding conversion at least minimizes the role of intelligence, forgetting the teachings of the First Vatican Council cited above. 

5. A Morally Dangerous De-emphasis on Sin. ...the rollos cause the same impression, that is, there is the fear of presenting sin in its hideousness. Not a word is spoken about "entertainment, dances, relationships, marriage, etc." One must ask: what is left to be discussed? Therefore, we find Cursillos very deficient on this point, which is fundamental for the formation in the faithful of a truly Catholic morality. 

6. The "Priesthood of All Believers." ...an indiscriminate application is made to priests and laymen, of the granting of the Apostolic Mission made by Jesus Christ and contained in the words of St. Matthew, "go, therefore, teach ye all nations," whereas Tradition understands it as being applied to the Apostles and their successors. 

7. The Promotion of Communism. [Cursillo teachings] are related to basic elements of Marxism:
  • the foundation of a new structure, of a new humanity, is of an economic nature
  • peace demands this new order, and it is achieved through revolution
  • it may be violent, if it cannot be carried out peacefully
  • "the regime of property should be transformed by a vigorous intervention of public authority, national and international" 
With good foundation, therefore, we call your attention to the communizing danger that may be spread through the Cursillos, even when they gather together individuals who are against Marxist principles and conclusions...We do not wish to think that Cursillos are at the service of Marxism. We ask, however, beloved sons: who would benefit from a Catholic organization that, in its publications, would mix orthodox material with other material that is obviously Marxist? 

Conclusion
Is it any wonder that the Vatican II sect clergy are getting more radical than ever? As more dioceses promote these retreats, the more they will cement Modernism in their sect and society. The true doctrine of Christ's One True Church does not need to deceive people and rely on psychological manipulation to win converts. The fact that Cursillos do this means they can be neither good nor true; as has been amply demonstrated. You must warn anyone who wants to go on one of these evil retreats.

 "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry." (2 Timothy 3-5). 

Monday, November 14, 2022

The Rise And Fall Of A Prideful Man: The Story Of Robert Lamennais (Part 2)

 

To My Readers: This week's post is the conclusion of the story of Robert Lamennais by Joanna from Poland. If you have a comment or query specifically for me, I will answer as always, but it may take a bit longer this week for my response. I can't thank Lee and Joanna From Poland enough for having given me the longest break since 2014! 

I also have my third podcast (regarding the occult) coming out probably next week with Mr. Kevin Davis of Catholic Family Podcast (it was postponed). It will be a discussion on yoga and its inherent dangers. 

Next Monday, I return with a post of my own! 

God Bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

The Liberal Offensive

By Joanna From Poland

In July of 1830 France was swept by yet another Revolution which deposed the Bourbons, the French dynasty which originated in 1272 when the youngest son of King St. Louis IX married the heiress of the lordship of Bourbon. The famous painting by Eugène Delacroix Liberty Leading the People with its bare-breasted female protagonist, holding in her right hand the Tricolour of the French Resolution and a musket topped with a bayonet in her left, spurring the mob on to rebellion was created that year as a visual outlet for liberal propaganda, being one of the most widely-recognized paintings today.

By that time, Lamennais who had had suffered some personal hardship due to the policy of the Bourbons and thus started to entertain feelings of deep resentment towards them, radically changed his political affiliation, burying once and for all his fervent love for the monarchy.  Although, much to Lamennais’ chagrin, France did not become a republic in 1830, the principle of hereditary right of the kings was replaced with that of popular sovereignty, advocated by Rousseau and his liberal ilk. Small wonder that it only took eighteen years for the Parisian mob to set France ablaze with yet another revolution.

On the wave of the social unrest culminating in the July Revolution of 1830,  Lamennais started to publish the newspaper L’Avenir, meaning The Future, which he co-authored, in October of the same year through which he intended to disseminate the ideas of liberal Catholicism. The motto of that journal read: Dieu et la liberté [God and liberty].

The Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) thus characterizes Lamennais’ journalistic zeal in trying to advance the welfare of the Church (as he perceived it) in France with liberally-tainted ideas:

“The force of his blows, the boldness of his ideas, his outspoken sympathy for every people then in a state of revolt, provoked new accusations against him and gave rise to suspicion of his orthodoxy. To set himself right in the face of all this hostility, he suspended the publication of ‘L'Avenir’ (15 November, 1831), and went to Rome to submit his cause to Gregory XVI. Though accompanied by Lacordaire and Montalembert [his fellow collaborators; Fr. Lacordaire would later humbly apologize to the Holy See for his writing published in L’Avenir, submit sincerily to the Pontiff’s decision condemning the journal, and deservedly gained the repute of ‘the greatest pulpit orator of the 19th cent.’] he did not find there the pronounced welcome of 1824. [that year Pope Leo XII welcomed him cordially in the Vatican, considering him at one time a likely candidate for the cardinal’s hat!]. He waited a long time, but received no definite answer: then some days after his departure from Rome, appeared the Encyclical ‘Mirari vos’ (15 August, 1832), in which the pope, without expressly designating him, condemned some of the ideas advanced in ‘L'Avenir’: liberty of the press, liberty of conscience, revolt against princes, the need of regenerating Catholicism, etc. At the same time a letter from Cardinal Pacca informed Lamennais that the pope had been pained to see him discuss publicly questions which belonged to the authorities of the Church.”

Pope Gregory XVI writes in Mirari vos (On Liberalism and Religious Indifferentism):

Now we examine another prolific cause of evils by which, we lament, the Church is at present afflicted, namely indifferentism, or that base opinion which has become prevalent everywhere through the deceit of wicked men, that eternal salvation of the soul can be acquired by any profession of faith whatsoever, if morals are conformed to the standard of the just and the honest … And so from this most rotten source of indifferentism flows that absurd and erroneous opinion, or rather insanity, that liberty of conscience must be claimed and defended for anyone.

Indeed, to this most unhealthy error that full and immoderate liberty of opinions which is spreading widely to the destruction of the sacred and civil welfare opens the way, with some men repeatedly asserting with supreme boldness that some advantage flows there from to religion itself. But ‘what death of the soul is worse than freedom for error?’ Augustine used to say. For, since all restraint has been moved by which men are kept on the paths of truth, since their nature inclined to evil is now plunging headlong, we say that the ‘bottom of the pit’ has truly been opened, from which John (Apoc. 9:3) saw ‘smoke arising by which the sun was darkened with locusts’ coming out of it to devastate the earth …

Nor can we foresee more joyful omens for religion and the state from the wishes of those who desire that the Church be separated from the State, and that the mutual concord of the government with the sacred ministry be broken. For it is certain that that concord is greatly feared by lovers of this most shameless liberty, which has always been fortunate and salutary for the ecclesiastical and the civil welfare.

Having embraced with paternal affection those especially who have applied their mind particularly to the sacred disciplines and to philosophic questions, encourage and support them so that they may not, by relying on the powers of their own talents alone, imprudently go astray from the path of truth into the way of the impious. Let them remember ‘that God is the guide of wisdom and the director of the wise’ (cf. Wisd. 7:15), and that it is not possible to learn to know God without God, who by means of the Word teaches men to know God. It is characteristic of the proud, or rather of the foolish man to test the mysteries of faith ‘which surpasseth all understanding’ (Phil. 4:7) by human standard, and to entrust them to the reasoning of our mind, which by reason of the condition of our human nature is weak and infirm. [see: Indifferentism (against Félicité de Lamennais) in: The Sources of Catholic Dogma paras. 1613-1616] 

Wounded Pride Takes Its Toll

Lamennais announced that he would not revive his journal, abolished his General Agency for the Defense of Religious Liberty, and seemingly subjected himself to Rome’s ruling. In his heart, however, there raged a furious battle, the last and decisive one, which ultimately sealed his inglorious fate and tragic end. He would voice his indignation and bitterness in private correspondence; Lamennais’ grudge towards the Church’s hierarchy finally reached Rome.

The Catholic Encyclopedia continues:                   

Rome was stirred by this behavior, and demanded frank and full adhesion to the Encyclical ‘Mirari vos’. After seeming to yield, Lamennais ended by refusing to submit without reserve or qualification. Little by little, he began by renouncing his ecclesiastical functions (December, 1833) and ended by abandoning all outward profession of Christianity. The amelioration of humanity, devotion to the welfare of the people and of popular liberties, dominated him more and more. In May, 1834, he published the ‘Paroles d'un croyant’[‘Words of a believer’], through the apocalyptic diction of which resounds a violent cry of rage against the established social order: in it he denounces what he calls the conspiracy of kings and priests against the people. In this way he loudly declared his rupture with the Church, and set up the symbol of his new faith. Gregory XVI hastened to condemn in the Encyclical ‘Singulari nos’ (15 July, 1834) this book, small in size, but immense in perversity, and at the same time censured the philosophical system of Lamennais.

The Pope thus exhorted the bishops of France in his encyclical Singulari nos:

But it is a very mournful thing, by which the ravings of human reason go to ruin when someone is eager for revolution and, against the advice of the Apostle, strives ‘to be more wise than it behooveth to be wise’ (cf. Rom. 12:3), and trusting too much in himself, affirms that truth must be sought outside of the Catholic Church in which truth itself is found far from even the slightest defilement of error, and which therefore, is called and is ‘the pillar and ground of the truth’ (I Tim. 3:15). But you well understand, venerable brothers, that We are here speaking in open disapproval of that false system of philosophy, not so long ago introduced, by which, because of an extended and unbridled desire of novelty, truth is not sought where it truly resides, and, with a disregard for the holy and apostolic tradition, other vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, not approved by the Church are accepted as true, on which very vain man mistakenly think that truth itself is supported and sustained.” [See: The False Doctrines of Félicité de Lamennais in: The Sources of Catholic Dogma para. 1617]

In the 1840s Lamennais would continue to openly tout blatant apostasy in his writings, denying “in formal terms the fall of man, the Divinity of Christ, eternal punishment, and the supernatural order (…). To this epoch, too, belongs the translation of the Gospels, with anti-Christian notes and reflections."

In the aftermath of the 1848 Revolution, Lamennais once again tasted of his former renown. Having won a seat in the French parliament, he expected to put his radically liberal political designs into practice. However, bitter disillusionment followed as his plans for a constitution attracted no attention of his fellow deputies. For a period of four month only he managed to publish yet another journal, “in which he met common cause with the worst revolutionaries”. Finally, the coup of 1851 orchestrated by Bonaparte’s nephew thwarted Lamennais’ political career for good. He would spend his last years in financial ruin, serving time in prison on account of one of his publications and financial debts until his death on February 27, 1854.

Death  of the Apostate

Although Lamennais did not take his own life, he truly can be said to have died the death of Judas inasmuch as he was lying on his deathbed in utter despair.

Around him would be gathered only the libertines, freemasons, and the worst enemies of religion; among whom the most prominent was one young man, one of the former co-editors of the radically liberal daily Le Peuple Constituant (Lamennais was the editor of that paper). The friends of the dying man from his former, better years would not be admitted – with Lamennais’ knowledge – to his deathbed. Many of them did not cease to offer fervent prayers for his conversion. Members of the Church hierarchy, including the archbishop of Paris and even Pope Pius IX himself would persevere in their efforts to save the soul of the poor wretch to the very end.

The response of the dying man was still the same: No, no, no, leave me alone! To one of his once beloved disciples who still retained his unique sentiment towards the old master, and would exhort Lamennais to at least make an effort to pray, he would say that he was not able to pray as prayer is a grace and he had no grace anymore. Lamennais was conscious till the last moment. He did not want to make peace neither with God nor with his Mystical Body – the Church.

This diabolical obstinacy in sin may have seemed almost unreal – it certainly left me astounded – until I learnt that many years before his death Lamennais had disposed of the statue of Our Lady that he had kept in his bedroom in a place of honor and placed there a bust of Marianne – a symbol of the Freemasonic, God-hating French Revolution – instead.

Father Dębicki thus characterizes Lamennais’ apostasy and its effect on the Church he would once defend with the zeal of the early Christian writers:

 The history of great apostasies is always tragic; shaking the minds with its horror, it teaches us also and says much. The falling away of Lamennais, in many aspects similar to the fall of Tertulian, is one of a kind. Rarely ever one falls from so high, in so direct, so sudden, and so profound a manner. Rarely ever is the fall an end to activity this rich in merits and so promising. Rarely ever has the fall of a man injured the Church so little. In the history of the Church Lamennais is the only example of a beloved master who, having apostatized from the Faith, did not drag into the abyss even one of his companions and disciples. Others, especially in more recent times, would win their sad fame only through their apostasy; Lamennais was highly esteemed by the public opinion as long as he stayed faithful to the Church. His star would fade away the moment he apostatized from the Faith. There was only one feeling that his friends and foes had for him – pity.

 

Conclusion

In the last years marked by financial ruin and personal failure, Lamennais’ chief source of income came from the copyrights of his translation of… one of the classics of Catholic spirituality – The Imitation of Christ – which he had rendered nearly thirty years before. Lamennais’ L’Imitation de Jésus-Christ first published in 1824, at the height of his ecclesial celebrity, with its author being esteemed by the princes of the Church and revered by his disciples, surpassed in popularity all of his other works. He furnished his Imitation with his own notes and reflections. Tragically, Lamennais did not heed the spiritual advice contained therein . It was at that time that he needed to be reminded of the danger of vainglory and praise, of the urgent necessity of humility, mortification, of renouncing the pomp of this world, and embracing the Cross of Christ. One cannot help but wonder how different his life might have been if only he would have made this small book (which let him buy his daily bread in his darkest years) truly, and most importantly, his spiritual food.

Woe to them that seek to learn many curious things from men, and attend but little to the way of serving Me.

I teach without noise of words, without confusion of opinions, without arrogance of ambition, without strife of arguments.

I am He who teacheth to despise earthly things, to scorn what is present, to seek what is unending, to relish what is eternal, to fly honors, to endure revilings,  to place all hope in Me, to desire nothing but Me, and to love Me ardently above all things.

[Of the Imitation of Christ, Book IV, Chapter 43 Against vain and worldly learning]

Monday, November 7, 2022

Contending For The Faith---Part 9

 


In St. Jude 1:3, we read, "Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." [Emphasis mine]. Contending For The Faith is a series of posts dedicated to apologetics (i.e.,  the intellectual defense of the truth of the Traditional Catholic Faith) to be published the first Monday of each month.  This is the next installment.

Sadly, in this time of Great Apostasy, the faith is under attack like never before, and many Traditionalists don't know their faith well enough to defend it. Remember the words of our first pope, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." (1Peter 3:16). There are five (5) categories of attacks that will be dealt with in these posts. Attacks against:
  • The existence and attributes of God
  • The truth of the One True Church established by Christ for the salvation of all 
  • The truth of a particular dogma or doctrine of the Church
  • The truth of Catholic moral teaching
  • The truth of the sedevacantist position as the only Catholic solution to what has happened since Vatican II 
In addition, controversial topics touching on the Faith will sometimes be featured, so that the problem and possible solutions may be better understood. If anyone had suggestions for topics that would fall into any of these categories, you may post them in the comments. I cannot guarantee a post on each one, but each will be carefully considered.

NOTE TO MY READERS: This week's post is a defense of the First Thanksgiving, a decidedly Catholic one, comes courtesy of Lee. As Thanksgiving approaches this month, never let us lose sight of being thankful to God for having given us, unworthy as we are, the One True Faith during this time of Great Apostasy. I have been able to catch up on much needed things in my personal life, thanks to my guest posters--I am especially thankful for Lee and also Joanna From Poland. Please feel free to comment as always, and if anyone has a specific query or comment for me, I will respond as usual but it might take a bit longer for me to get back this week. 

God Bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo
The First Thanksgiving
By Lee

Being a Traditionalist Catholic in America can be very difficult. Culture, custom, and history  have formed the nation with either Protestantism or a worldly care free influence. One particular holiday reflecting these trends in the American spirit is Thanksgiving. Abe Lincoln was the first President to get legislation passed to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the holidays act on June 28th, 1870 which included Thanksgiving. It then became a yearly appointed holiday and in 1885, Congress made Thanksgiving a federally paid holiday for all federal workers. By 1942, under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thanksgiving was moved to the fourth Thursday in November and permanently observed on that day ever since.

Public, private, and Novus Ordo schools teach the general Protestant (Puritan) version of Thanksgiving and structure its traditions around it.

In the early 1600's of England, there were Congregationalists who did not believe that Church and State should be together as it was in England to form a Christian nation but rather that churches work autonomously without answering to a higher authority. This later gave them the name of Separatists.

These Separatists (AKA Pilgrims) could not tolerate the controversy surrounding their beliefs and so by 1620 as the story goes the Pilgrims embarked on a voyage across the Atlantic on the Mayflower with 120 passengers and by November of that year, landed on Plymouth Rock. After suffering many hardships during the first winter with disease, starvation, getting settled, and making peace with the natives; a year later 53 of the pilgrims who survived met up with 90 Wampanoag Indians from a nearby village. Squanto who spoke fluent English after learning it from being a captured slave in Europe served as a translator and guide. At the meeting, the pilgrims and the Indians had feasted together based on the harvest they both could gather, eating water fowl, deer, and other vegetables. Hence the first Thanksgiving or was it?

   
St. Augustine

The first true Thanksgiving was neither Protestant in origin, nor in the year 1621. It was in fact Catholic and took place 56 years earlier on the beautiful coast of La Florida (The land of flowers) on September 8th (The Blessed Virgin Mary's Nativity) 1565 under the leadership of Captain Pedro Menendez de Aviles.

What was the reason for the expedition? Word got out that the Huguenots from France occupied Fort Caroline, modern day Jacksonville Fl. At that time when Catholic's did not tolerate heretical doctrines, they fought to eradicate those who insisted on them because unlike the present day, Catholic's understood that without the true religion neither can one be saved, nor can a society function in proper order without first recognizing Christ and His Church. With this in mind, King Phillip II of Spain wasted no time and sent his fleet to recapture the fort and the colonization of that land which in previous years did not succeed.

Jean Ribault, who was the French captain in charge of securing Fort Caroline met with Menendez's crew at the mouth of a St. John's river. The two fleets met in a brief skirmish, but nothing happened. Menendez sailed southward and landed again on September 8. He formally declared possession of the land among the sounding of trumpets and artillery salutes in the name of King Philip II and officially founded the settlement he named Saint Augustine because the crew had first sighted land on his feast day 11 days earlier. At the landing spot, Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales, who had gone ashore the previous day went to meet Menendez. While chanting the Te Deum, he brought a cross to be reverently kissed by Menendez and those with him. Then the 500 soldiers, 200 sailors, and 100 families along with the Timucuan Indians gathered together for the first Catholic Mass offered in the New World. Afterwards, a feast between the peaceful Timucuans and Spanish took place. It is said that Timucuans brought turkey, deer, oysters, clams, as well as corn, beans, squash and fruits.The Spanish made stew with pork, garbanzo beans, onions, along with biscuits, olive oil, and wine.

While feasting and communicating with the Indians was short lived, a French attack on St. Augustine was thwarted by a violent squall that ravaged the French naval forces. Taking advantage of this, Menendez marched his troops overland to Fort Caroline on the St. John's river, about 30 miles north. The Spanish easily overwhelmed the lightly defended French garrison, which had been left with only a small crew of 20 soldiers and about 100 others, killing most of the men and sparing about 60 women and children. On September 20th, Menendez and his crew captured Fort Caroline and renamed it St. Matthew.

That month, Menendez sent a letter to the King letting him know the progress of the expedition. He stated: Let Your Majesty rest assured that if I had a million more, I would spend it all upon this undertaking, because it is of such great service of God Our Lord, and for the increase of our Holy Catholic Faith and the service of Your Majesty. And therefore I have offered to Our Lord, that all that I shall find, win, and acquire, in this world shall be for the planting of the Gospel in this land, and the enlightenment of its natives, and thus I pledge myself to Your Majesty. (See Woodbury Lowery, The Spanish Settlements within the Present Limits of the United States: Florida, 1562-1574, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1911, pp. 161-162). 

With that promise in mind, the Dominicans, Jesuits, but most especially the Franciscans brought the word of God to the natives in the Spanish colony of Florida. The Jesuits only lasted six years which culminated in martyrdom for many of the missionaries in 1571. In 1574 The Franciscans arrived to take their place. By the 17th century, the Franciscans started 125 missions stretching up into Georgia all the way as far west to Pensacola. 26,000 natives were converted and baptized by 1655. The Spanish king decreed that the Indians be respected and cared for despite a few bad governors. 

86 Martyrs of the Florida Missions

What must not be forgotten is one particular occurrence that happened in the early 1700's.

Below is taken from the website Aleteia.org for which I take no credit:

The Martyrs of La Florida were a group of Native American and Spanish Catholics killed in Florida during the Spanish colonial expansion into what is now the territory of the United States, then still part of the Spanish Empire. During the 16th and 17th centuries, 86 Catholics – including priests and laity – were martyred by Native Americans and subjects of the British Empire...
The lead martyr of the cause is the layman Antonio Cuipa, the inija (second in command) of the Apalachee at the mission village of San Luis de Talimali. Educated by Spanish Franciscan priests serving the mission, Antonio spoke Spanish, Apalachee, and some Latin. He could also read and write. He had been brought up a Catholic and had a thorough understanding of theological doctrine. Married to another Apalachee Christian named Josefa, he had a daughter and a son, named Clara and Francisco. He deeply loved his Catholic faith, which he proved when he died a martyr.

The destruction of the Mission of San Luis de Talimali
Colonel James Moore was the colonial administrator who served as the governor of Carolina from 1700 to 1703. Moore is best known for leading the invasion of Spanish Florida during Queen Anne’s War, wiping out most of the Spanish missions. He captured and enslaved thousands of Floridian Apalachee, taking them with him to Carolina.

The first mission town Moore invaded was La Concepción de Ayubale, a mission near to Antonio Cuipa’s San Luis, on January 1704. As they heard Moore was attacking La Concepción, the men of San Luis quickly and heroically set out to go to their aid, knowing they had no chance to succeed at all.Thirty Spanish cavalry and four hundred Apalachee soldiers under the command of Captain Juan Ruiz de Mexia, Antonio Cuipa included, managed to drive Moore’s forces from Ayubale twice. Fray Juan de Parga, the Franciscan born in La Habana, a zealous priest and teacher who was fluent in Apalachee, administered the sacraments and preached a sermon to the men of San Luis, anticipating their martyrdom. He insisted on going with them. He wished, according to the Spanish governor's report, “to go and die with his children.” By nightfall, the Spanish and the Apalachee had run out of ammunition and surrendered. Moore butchered them.


Father Parga was killed on the road near Ayubale, and his severed head was brought to the council house. His body was later found and buried at the nearby mission of Ivitachuco. Those who were not killed in the spot were taken hostages by Moore’s forces, who tied them to posts and set them on fire. As they did this, Fray Angel Miranda, one of Antonio’s closest friends from San Luis, demanded to know how could Moore permit such atrocities. He simply said he had no control over his troops.

According to the report of the Spanish governor, Jose de Zuniga y La Cerda, many of the Christian Apalachee, Cuipa leading them, died as martyrs:

"During this cruel and barbarous martyrdom which the poor Apalachee Indians experienced, there were some of them who encouraged the other, declaring that through martyrdom they would appear before God and to the pagans they said, "Make more fire so that our hearts may be allowed to suffer for our souls. We go to enjoy God as Christians."

Conclusion

​​Why is the founding of St. Augustine Florida as the real first Thanksgiving in America hardly mentioned or recognized? It's because of the spirit of anti-Catholicsm which has swept across this land. Protestants and Freemasons have been in control of the government, schools, and local communities and so to commemorate their enemy, the Catholic Church, would be like Jorge Bergoglio commemorating Pope St. Pius X condemnation of modernism.

Let us be thankful to our Catholic ancestors who lived out their faith fearlessly and who trail-blazed, strove, and gave their lives up for the love of God and the salvation of souls despite all difficulties. Long live Christ the King and Our Lady, patroness of the Americas. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Rise And Fall Of A Prideful Man: The Story Of Robert Lamennais

 

To My Readers: I'm happy to announce that a guest poster of this blog, Joanna From Poland, returns with an incredible two-part guest post after a long absence. After reading her work, you will see that the wait was well worth it! Part 2 will be published on Monday, November 14th, as the first Monday of each month is dedicated to my Contending For The Faith series. Please feel free to comment as always, and if you have a specific query or comment for me, I'll be answering as usual, but it may take a bit longer for me to get back this week. Thank you Joanna From Poland!

Also, I have my second podcast coming out this week with Mr. Kevin Davis of Catholic Family Podcast. It is a series we are doing on the "occult explosion" in our post-V2 society. I'll put the link here when it comes out. I delve into the occult in the music industry, drawing on my Singing For Satan series of August 2017-August 2019. Please comment there if you would like me to go further into music (I have enough material for two additional music podcasts), or expose a different area of the occult.  

God Bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

Update 11/4/22: Here is the link to the second podcast on the occult:


The Rise and Fall of a Prideful Man: The Story of Robert Lamennais

By Joanna From Poland 

This is the story of a man who could have gone down in history as a splendid Catholic author had he only cooperated with the grace of God and made effort to root out the vice which seemed to have animated all of his activities ever since he was a young man and in the end brought about his fall: pride. Indeed, in the ultimately sad story of the life of Fr. Robert Lamennais the old maxim pride comes before the fall has been realized in a most tragic manner.

My inspiration and one of the references for this post was an article entitled Lamennais – prorok nowoczesnych wolności (Lamennais – the prophet of modern liberties) by a writer bearing the initials T. W. N., published in the bi-monthly periodical of the SSPX* in Poland Zawsze Wierni (January-February 2001),available in the original Polish at this link: https://www.piusx.org.pl/zawsze_wierni/artykul/349. I would also like to give credit to the work by Fr. W. M. Dębicki Anioł upadły: Ksiądz Lamennais (A Fallen Angel: Father Lamennais) published in 1901, as well as other sources as cited in the body of the text. All translation from Polish, bracketed notes, and highlights in bold font are mine.

*The choice of this article is by no means an endorsement on my part of the faulty theological position of the SSPX. While I was doing further research for this post, I realized there are available many pre-Vatican II Catholic sources on Lamennais’ life. Since, however, some portion of this post had already been written by that time with reference to that SSPX article, I decided to keep it as it is.

I did not intend to present in this article an exhaustive portrayal of Lamennais – this has already been done eloquently by Catholic writers such as Fr. Dębicki. For this reason, the details of his philosophical and political doctrines have been largely left out. What I tried to convey in this post was the road that led Lamennais at first to the heights of fame and ultimately into the lowest pits of apostasy, culminating in his final impenitence – there is, I believe, many a lesson to be drawn from this fall, sharp in some regards but really quite gradual in view of his entire life. 

Family background and childhood

Born Félicité Robert de La Mennais (much later in his life he would ostentatiously change his name to Lamennais as a sign of his complete breakaway with his past self) on June 19, 1782 into a well-to-do and respected family of French merchants in the town of Saint-Malo, Bretagne, France. His family had been granted nobility by King Louis XVI not long before the bloodthirsty God-hating French Revolution broke out in 1789. Young Féli, as he was affectionately called by his family, experienced the horrors of the ten-year reign of terror, which, at least for a time, instilled in his highly impressionable mind a deep abhorrence of the impious ideals of the French Revolution. His family provided a safe haven in their own house for one of the priests who refused to submit to the rule of the revolutionaries – such clergy were either obliged to flee France or face death at the hands of the new Masonic regime Féli would at times hear clandestine Masses said by the faithful priest at nighttime.

St. Therese of Lisieux candidly admits in her autobiography that had her parents failed to root out the first movements of their little daughter’s pride (which would become manifest in her childish stubbornness and the fondness of praise and flattery), she would have inevitably lose her soul for all eternity. This is hardly an exaggeration on the part of the Saint. Indeed, the very same vices that were successfully eradicated in the Little Flower by the grace of God and the wisdom of her parents, would be left to grow like weed in the soul of Féli.

Having lost his mother at the early age of five, Féli’s education suffered serious neglect – his father occupied himself solely with his business. An intelligent child that he was, young Robert had had no interest in learning until he was entrusted to his uncle’s care. One day the child found himself locked in a richly-stocked library, filled with works of piety, classics of antiquity, among which dangerous books of impious philosophers were placed. One of the shelves was labeled hell – it was full of the works of the 18th cent. philosophers of the so-called Enlightenment. Féli was mesmerized with both the good books and the bad ones. This was the beginning of his passionate interest in philosophy and literature, both modern and classical. Due to this uncle’s influence, at the age of twelve he knew Greek and Latin well enough to read the works of Homer, Horace, and Tacit in their original languages. However, one author for whom he had the greatest admiration was one Jean Jacques Rousseau. The influence of Rousseau’s proto-Revolutionary philosophy upon Lamennais’ adolescent mind cannot be stressed enough. Rousseau’s most popular book, The Social Contract published in 1762, brought to public attention dangerous ideas that had been up to that point in history the object of interest of academics only. The Catholic Encyclopedia writes that “the influence of this book was immense” though the ideas contained therein were not really that original:

“Rousseau owes much indeed to Hobbes and Locke, and to Montesquieu’s Esprit de lois, published fourteen years before; but, by extreme prominence given to the ideas of popular sovereignty, of liberty and equality, and especially by his highly colored style, his short and concise formula, he put within the common reach principles and concepts which had hitherto been confined to scientific exposition. The book gave expression to ideas and feelings which, at that time of political and social unrest, were growing in the popular mind” and Rousseau himself certainly “furnished the French Revolution with its philosophy, and his principles direct the actual political life of France” [see: https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04335a.htm]. Naturally, five of  Rousseau’s works, including The Social Contract, were duly placed on the Index of Prohibited Books (according to the 1948 edition of the Index).

Lamennais’ biographer, Father Dębicki did not hesitate to assert that Rousseau “exerted a most destructive influence upon Lamennais’ entire life.

“The passionate reading of Cartesian thinkers, coupled with the lack of appropriate discipline in the upbringing of the young Lamennais resulted in his religious skepticism. When the time of his first Holy Communion came, he did not want to receive our Eucharistic Lord, engaging in pseudo-theological disputes with the priest. Years after, full of religious zeal, he would write to one of his priest-friends, describing his past life as full of iniquities which even the most severe and the longest penance could not wash away. Ah, what a misfortune it is to start one’s life so badly! I’m still carrying the effects of my first errors, and how all of this is going to end? God only knows!”

Early Adulthood and Priesthood

Young Lamennais had no precise plans concerning his future life. His older brother, Jean, “a decisive man, bursting with energy, who had just received his priestly ordination and never doubted his own vocation” was instrumental in his younger brother’ gradual return to the Church. Jean’s fervent wish was that his brother should become a priest. Finally, after a long internal battle, Robert Félicité kneeled at the altar rails to receive his first Holy Communion in 1804 at the age of twenty-two. His biographer notes that Lamennais’ decision seemed inspired by the principle of Rousseau – to reach adulthood in order to choose one’s religion freely.

Although Lamennais’ decision to return to the practice of religion was truly his own, his ordination to the priesthood was largely the effect of his older brother’s insistence.

“He still wasn’t thoroughly convinced as to his own vocation and seen the Church as a reactionary institution in many aspects; nevertheless, he would honestly lament the de-Christianization of his country, was outraged by the despotism of Napoleon Bonaparte and his scorn for the Church.”

“In 1809 Lamennais received tonsure, vowed to renounce his pride, and never to write again, but he wavered in his resolutions and believed he was about to choose the wrong path for him.”

He wrote still, attacking the policy of Napoleon who would infringe upon the temporary powers of the Church and, animated with apologetic zeal, sought to demonstrate the fact that only the Pope enjoys supreme jurisdiction over the entire Church, specifically in the appointment of bishops, thus attacking the Gallican tendencies of some of the French clergy. With the overthrow of Bonaparte in April of 1814, Lamennais earnestly hoped for the restoration of monarchy and the Bourbon dynasty, becoming a most ardent royalist. He was compelled to seek exile in England, following Napoleon’s landing in France in March 1815 and his brief re-seizure of power. There Lamennais would dwell in poverty, working as a tutor to children of French emigrants. Finally, when political turmoil in his country was settled, in December of that same year he entered the Seminary of St. Sulpice in France, still amid serious doubts concerning his vocation.

His seminary stay was a short and disappointing one as “he was taken for dull and stupid; at the end of a fortnight he came back to the Feuillantines and the Abbé Carron [his priest-friend from London], and in 1816 he was ordained at Rennes [!]. Lamennais was then thirty-four” [see: translator’s preface to the English edition of Lamennais’ Essay on Indifference in Matters of Religion London: 1895; first edition was published in the original French in 1817, soon after Lamennais’ ordination and brought him fame and appraisal as the leading Catholic apologist in France].

Lamennais underwent no formal seminary training. He never lived the disciplined and orderly life of a seminarian nor was he taught the standard courses in philosophy and theology. His entire seminary education amounted to a few months of moral theology carried out by his priest-friend and four weeks of a solitary reading of theology manuals. His biographer writes:

“The same man who deemed himself called to pose as a restorer of the education of the priest in France, did not undergo any systematic course in philosophy or theology (…) he never seriously studied dogmatics either.”

“A few years later Fr. Lamennais’ friend, while listening to his talk on the Creation and the Holy Trinity, could not hide his astonishment at the author’s ignorance in this matter: the simplest issues, like, for instance, the difference, between nature and grace, were totally alien to him.

An incident concerning Victor Hugo, Lamennais’ contemporary and his friend, is also quite telling as to the quality of the latter’s priestly vocation. We read in A Victor Hugo Encyclopedia by John Andrew Frey that:

“Lammenais’ spectacular transformation from conservative believer to radical socialist in spirit, if not in name, parallels that of Victor Hugo with whom Lamennais was on close personal terms while he was assigned to the church of Saint Sulpice in Paris. In the end, Lamennais left Catholicism, as did Victor Hugo whose faith was initially more akin to his youthful conservative and royalist leanings. (…) Lamennais was in close contact with Hugo in those early years, as can be seen in Lamennais’ correspondence. (…) On a very personal note, it was Lamennais who helped arrange the religious marriage of Hugo to Adèle Foucher, which took place at Saint Sulpice on October 12, 1822. This marriage in the church would have been almost impossible for the simple reason that there was no record of Victor Hugo’s ever having been baptized. This obstacle was overcome by Hugo’s father who declared that Victor had been baptized in Italy (which is most unlikely given the Voltairian opinions of Hugo’s mother). Assured of this so-called baptism, Lamennais supplied the necessary certificate of baptism [!], and the religious ceremony was thus assured.”

Note that Fr. Lamennais was satisfied with an unreliable statement in a matter concerning sacramental validity and, rather than baptize the man conditionally, chose to issue a baptismal certificate with no credible evidence of the sacrament ever being administered.

Fr. E. J. Quigley notes that neglect of the most basic priestly duties must have contributed a great deal to the gradual falling away of Lamennais. He observes that “the proposition claiming exemption from the [Divine] Office for those engaged in great studies was condemned by Pope Alexander VII. The biographers of Lamennais trace the beginning of his downfall to his exemption from his daily Office.” [see: The Divine Office: A Study of the Roman Breviary by Rev. E. J. Quigley 1920]

Lamennais fell dangerously ill in July of the year 1827. At that time he was still known by his family name de la Mennais and celebrated as a splendid apologist and Catholic publicist. Lamennais – the demagogue and apostate had not yet been born. Father Dębicki writes:

“Having been prepared for his road to eternity by the reception of the Last Rites, he was holding a rosary in his hands, given to him by Pope Leo XII at a farewell audience, waiting for the hour of his death with resignation and Christian peace, the sick man whispered these words of consolation to his brother Jean: I leave you that which is the most beautiful on earth – the apology of the truth.

“Contrary to all predictions, his condition took a turn for the better and he regained his health. In the conclave that elected Gregory XVI as Supreme Pastor, on December 22, 1830 in his journal L’Avenir Lamennais issued the following wishes and homage to the Head of the Church designated by Divine Providence: To You, who has been by the mysterious rulings of God consecrated since the beginning of time as the Father of all Christians, to You, whom we are yet to know by name, yet our Faith greets You in advance; at Your feet we already make our vows of boundless obedience and unshaken love; it shall be to You – we hope – the solace in your toil and cares which are soon to fall as a heavy burden upon Your dignified head.

Little did he know that a in a span of merely two years his effusive pledge of allegiance to the Vicar of Christ would be tried only to fail miserably.

 

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