Monday, September 25, 2023

Adolph Hitler And So-Called "Traditionalists"

 


Disturbing trends among those claiming to be Traditionalists include those who (a) seek to make the idea of a flat Earth a dogma, (b) make geocentricism a dogma, and most disturbingly (c) sanitize notorious dictator and mass murderer Adolph Hitler. I've seen the trend of the latter worsen over time. It affects many Millennials and now some Generation Z people as well. For some reason, they seem to like positions that seem "extreme"(which, unfortunately, is why many of them became Traditionalist) or make them somewhat out of the ordinary. They are young historical revisionists who think the Nazis were "good guys;" they were anti-Communists and got "bad press" because of Jewish conspiracies lurking behind every door. 

Traditionalists get enough flak standing for the truth without these pseudo-Traditionalist jokers giving us a bad name by associating us with ideas that are not merely whacky (like the "flat Earthers"), but try and rehabilitate a man and a political movement that were evil to the core. Some go so far as to declare Hitler as a "hero." The purpose of this post is to show the depths of depravity and anti-Catholicism that are inherent both in Hitler and the Nazi Party. May it, God Willing, show those people the error of their ways. Second, I hope it can help my readers refute any of this pro-Hitler/Nazi nonsense that may come their way. 

I will not address their claims regarding race and Jewish people. It is enough to show that the man they idolize and his political regime were an abomination before God.  For sake of brevity, I will refer to the "Traditionalist" apologists for Hitler as "Nazi Apologists" or "NAs." 

To My Readers: NAs will try to discredit a source based on whether or not the author is Jewish. The (illogical and fallacious) upshot is that all Jewish people cannot make a valid argument and they have a biased opinion that makes everything inherently untrue or untrustworthy. Some will go so far as to claim that a source is unreliable if the author had a distant Jewish relative, even if he/she is not Jewish. In logic we call this the Genetic Fallacy, i.e., the act of rejecting or accepting an argument on the basis of its origin rather than its content. I remember two pro-abortion women here in NYC who refused to listen to a nun who was a biologist and taught biology at Fordham University, attempting to inform them about the humanity of the unborn, because "you're a nun." What does that have to do with the arguments based on biological facts? A "recognize and resister" with whom I was acquainted refused to read anything from a sedevacantist because "they are all schismatic lunatics." Don't fall into the trap. It springs from the NAs paranoid idea that "everything bad is the result of a Jewish conspiracy and every single Jewish person is involved." They must deal with the arguments, not their origin.---Introibo

WARNING!! This post contains material that is extremely graphic, and may be found very disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

Was Hitler Catholic?
Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) was baptized as a Catholic and was ostensibly practicing the Faith until the age of 18. Both atheists and NAs like to claim he was Catholic, but didn't practice the Faith. People can make claims all they want. The crux of the issue is whether or not the claims are backed up by sound reasoning and sufficient evidence. One of the so-called "New Atheists," Dr. Richard Dawkins, enjoys quoting Hitler as saying,  "...as late as 1941 he told his adjutant, General Gerhard Engel, 'I shall remain a Catholic forever.' (See The God Delusion, [2006], pg. 274). Was Hitler Catholic? Not by a long shot. Yes, he was baptized in the Church, but the "god" he worshiped was not the historical Jesus Christ Who founded His One True Church.  Even Dawkins admits, "Hitler, oddly, was always adamant that Jesus himself was not a Jew."(Ibid, pg. 276). Why would the world's biggest anti-Semite worship a Man born of a Jewish woman as God?  The answer is simple: he didn't. 

According to historian Weikart:
 It's true that Hitler's public statements opposing atheism should not be given too much weight, since they obviously served Hitler's political purposes to tar political opponents. However, in his private monologues, he likewise rejected atheism, providing further evidence that this was indeed his personal conviction. In July 1941, he told his colleagues that humans do not really know where the laws of nature come from. He continued, "Thus people discovered the wonderful concept of the Almighty, whose rule they venerate. We do not want to train people in atheism." He then maintained that every person has a consciousness of what we call God. This God was apparently not the Christian God preached in the churches, however, since Hitler continued, "In the long run National Socialism and the church cannot continue to exist together." The monologue confirms that Hitler rejected atheism, but it also underscores the vagueness of his conception of God. [...] While confessing faith in an omnipotent being of some sort, however, Hitler denied we could know anything about it. [...] Despite his suggestion that God is inscrutable and unfathomable, Hitler did sometimes claim to know something about the workings of Providence. [...] Perhaps even more significantly, he had complete faith that Providence had chosen him to lead the German people to greatness.
(See Hitler's Religion: The Twisted Beliefs that Drove the Third Reich, [2016]; Emphasis mine). 

Hitler's beliefs were a blend of scientism and "scientific occultism" also called "boarder science" (i.e., "science -based occult practices"). Just as many occultists defend their practices as being "backed by science" (e.g., feng shui, reiki, etc.) Hitler did the same. According to researcher Kurlander:

As the SS paper, the Schwarze Korps, explained in 1936: ‘We want in no way to deny that there are things which are invisible to our natural faculties. We also do not want to oppose a science that occupies itself with research on such matters . . . What we reject unequivocally is any obvious swindle that is based on deception and exploitation of stupidity and therefore constitutes criminal activity.’ Provided that the occult doctrine or practitioner was sufficiently ‘scientific’ in character, the Third Reich appeared reluctant to carry out any police action. Hence the German Society for Scientific Occultism (DGWO) negotiated the first few years of the Third Reich fairly easily. So did the major astrological associations and journals. They were generally allowed to police themselves in terms of practising ‘scientific’ occultism – provided they promised to stop publishing horoscopes of Nazi leaders. Hitler even sent a note thanking the president of the German Astrological Association (DAZ), Hubert Korsch, for organizing the 1935 Astrologer’s Conference taking place in Wernigerode.

(See Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich, [2017], pgs. 102-103; Emphasis mine). 

Hitler only mentioned being Catholic once in the quote given by Dawkins. Hitler also wrote of "gods" and "goddesses" proving, if all of his religious utterances are to be believed literally, that he was a polytheist. The gods are referred to in Mein Kampf-"the manifestations of decay showed only that the gods had willed Austria's destruction" [vol. I chap. 3]-and there are references to goddesses as well: to the "Goddess of Suffering" [vol. I chap. 2] and the "Goddess of Destiny" [vol. I chap.5]. There is even a "goddess of eternal justice and inexorable retribution" which Hitler believed "caused Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the most mortal enemy of Austrian- Germanism, to fall by the bullets which he himself had helped to mold" [vol I chap.1].

Publicly, Hitler pushed what was deemed "Positive Christianity," which term he used in point 24 of the 1920 Nazi Party Platform: "the Party as such represents the viewpoint of Positive Christianity without binding itself to any particular denomination." (See ghdi.ghi-dc.org/docpage.cfm?docpage_id=4811). 

 The new Nazi idea of Positive Christianity allayed the fears of Germany's Christian majority by implying that the Nazi movement was not anti-Christian. That said, in 1937, Hans Kerrl, the Reich Minister for Church Affairs, explained that "Positive Christianity" was not "dependent upon the Apostle's Creed", nor was it dependent on "faith in Christ as the son of God", upon which Christianity relied, rather, it was represented by the Nazi Party: "The F├╝hrer is the herald of a new revelation", he said. (See Shirer, William, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, [1960], pgs. 238-239). 

The Nazis used "boarder science"--occultism that parades as science:

Despite the continuing difficulty of being recognized as ‘pioneers’ by mainstream science, some ‘border areas’ of the sciences had gained recognition in the Third Reich. These included scientific astrology, the study of ‘[cosmic] rays [and] other parapsychological phenomena like apparitions, telepathy, and clairvoyance’. In order for this promising trend to continue, Bender recommended that occultists dispense with phrases like ‘parascientific’ and ‘paranormal’ in favor of ‘border areas’ or border science. It was better to couch one’s experiments in an ‘epistemology of science’, Bender [an astrologer] insisted, than to traffic openly in ‘spiritualism, esoteric teachings and esoteric lodge activities’ that could not be proven. (See Kurlander, pg. 133)

The irony is that the evidence indicating an important link between Nazism and the supernatural has never been greater. In the mid-1920s Hitler almost certainly read Ernst Schertel's parapsychology tome Magic: History, Theory, Practice, underlining sentences such as 'Satan is the fertilizing, destroying-constructing warrior' and 'He who does not carry demonic seeds within him will never give birth to a new world.' ...(Ibid, pg. x).

Kurlander also reveals how the Nazis held a seance on the night of February 26, 1933 using clairvoyant Erik Hanussen who "predicted" the next day's Reichstag fire, which helped justify the Nazi imposition of martial law. Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess sponsored astrology, "cosmobiology," and other esoteric medical practices. SS Chief Heinrich Himmler encouraged research on the Holy Grail (the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark got their story-line from such records, albeit with great artistic license), witchcraft, and medieval devil worship (Luciferianism).

In my personal experience, Fr. DePauw knew of a story, circulated by many high-ranking prelates, that circa 1941 Pope Pius XII called together all the cardinals of the Curia, and late at night in St. Peter's Basilica, attempted a "long distance exorcism" of Hitler and the Nazi officials. The story has never been proven (or disproven). 

These occult views and the heretical conception of God held by Hitler are incompatible with Catholicism.  On March 14, 1937, Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical letter Mit Brennender Sorge (On the Church and the German Reich).  His words prove more true than ever, as greater evidence has been brought forth confirming his every contention. In paragraph # 7, His Holiness writes:

The believer in God is not he who utters the name in his speech, but he for whom this sacred word stands for a true and worthy concept of the Divinity. Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God. Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God who "Reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wisdom viii. 1). Neither is he a believer in God. 

Hitler's belief in occultic practices and promotion of "Positive Christianity," with a nebulous conception of God, are clearly condemned.  He also referred to "gods" and "goddesses;" Paragraph #9 of Pope Pius XI's encyclical reads:

Beware, Venerable Brethren, of that growing abuse, in speech as in writing, of the name of God as though it were a meaningless label, to be affixed to any creation, more or less arbitrary, of human speculation. Use your influence on the Faithful, that they refuse to yield to this aberration. Our God is the Personal God, supernatural, omnipotent, infinitely perfect, one in the Trinity of Persons, tri-personal in the unity of divine essence, the Creator of all existence. Lord, King and ultimate Consummator of the history of the world, who will not, and cannot, tolerate a rival God by His side.

Far from being Catholic, Hitler was an occultist and someone who was also driven by Darwinian scientism. 

Was Hitler a Sodomite and Pervert?
That Hitler was a supreme pervert is beyond question. Multiple lines of evidence from various sources show him to be sexually deranged.

  •  Hitler was a coprophile, (a deviant aroused by human feces) and had relationships with at least seven women (by some accounts eight women), one of whom was his niece. Due to his perverted and twisted ways all four women who were definitely involved with Hitler attempted suicide.

Based on the O.S.S. report and other sources, Waite has written, "The idea that Hitler had a sexual perversion particularly abhorrent to women is further supported by a statistic: of the seven women who, we can be reasonably sure, had intimate relations with Hitler, six committed suicide or seriously attempted to do so." In addition to Geli, "Mimi Reiter tried to hang herself in 1928; Eva Braun attempted suicide in 1932 and again in 1935; Frau Inge Ley was a successful suicide as were Renate Mueller and Suzi Liptauer." Perhaps the most dramatic of these was the mysterious death of thirty-year-old Berlin film actress Renate Mueller. Her director, one A. Zeissler, later told the O.S.S. that she had confided in him shortly after spending a night with Hitler in the Reichschancellery how distressed she was at the nature of the sexual practices Hitler demanded of her—with which, to her mortification, she complied. She claimed Hitler "fell on the floor and begged her to kick him. . .condemned himself as unworthy .. . and just groveled in an agonizing manner. The scene became intolerable to her, and she finally acceded to his wishes. As she continued to kick him he became more and more excited."

Let's begin with the affair of the purloined pornography. The most detailed account of the episode comes from Konrad Heiden, one of the first and most respected journalists to chronicle Hitler's rise (he was widely credited with coining the term "Nazi"). Author of four books on Hitler and the Nazis, forced to flee Germany in the thirties, Heiden was described in his New York Times obituary as "the best known authority outside Germany on the party and its leaders" in the pre-World War II period.

Heiden's magnum opus, Der Fuehrer, is remarkable for its portrait of Hitler's Munich circle, a now nearly forgotten collection of misfits, hunchbacks, sexual outlaws, moral degenerates, decadent aristocrats, ex-cons, and occult con men. Heiden calls Hitler's Munich circle "armed bohemians." They were Fascist libertines who spent boisterous days in the Cafe Heck and the Osteria Bavaria, stuffing themselves with pasta and pastries. While pimps scoured Munich schoolyards to supply boys for SA chief Ernst Rohm's predatory appetites, Hitler was reported to have been present at dissolute gatherings at the home of party photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, who had a wide acquaintance among artists, models, and other demimondaines. [i.e., prostitutes]

In 1929, according to Heiden, "Hitler wrote the young girl a letter couched in the most unmistakable terms. It was a letter in which the uncle and lover gave himself completely away; it expressed feelings which could be expected from a man with masochistic-coprophil inclinations, bordering on what Havelock Ellis calls 'undinism.'. . .[i.e., an obsession with or a sexual pleasure derived from water, esp urination and urine]. 

(See archive.vanityfair.com/article/1992/4/hitlers-doomed-angel; Emphasis mine). 

  • Hitler was effeminate and bisexual. The Nazi Party was mostly comprised of sodomites.
According to Shirer (cited above):
Though Hitler reflexively acted with brutality, the Fuhrer exhibited many traits associated with homosexuality, including heightened aesthetic sense, intuition, mental acuity, dramatic flair and duplicity.

He desribes Rohem (1887-1934; leader of the Sturmabteilung, the Nazi Party's original paramilitary wing) as a “stocky, bull-necked, piggish-eyed, scar-faced professional soldier with a flair for politics and a natural ability as an organizer. “Like Hitler, he was possessed of a burning hatred for the democratic [Weimar] republic. A tough, ruthless, driving man, albeit, like so many of the early Nazis, a homosexual.” (Emphasis mine).

According to historian Lothar Machtan (Hidden Hitler [2001]), “homo-eroticism and homosexuality were cornerstones of fascist male-bonding culture prior to 1933.” As news of the homosexuality in Nazi ranks became more talked about by the average German, a four point plan was devised to repair their reputation: (1) documents revealing the truth about the rampant homosexuality within the Nazi Party would be seized and then destroyed; (2) Rohm, an open sodomite, would be murdered; (3) new anti-sodomite laws would be introduced; and (4) sodomites in the higher echelons of the Nazi Party would either be married off, imprisoned, or murdered. (See also, Lively and Abrams, The Pink Swastika, [1995]).

US intelligence later discovered that Hitler was never promoted during WW1 because of his “sexual orientation” and that he was arrested in Munich in 1919 for “pederasty and theft." Indeed, former Nazi, Otto Strasser said that when Hitler became Nazi Party leader in 1921, “his personal bodyguards and chauffeurs were almost exclusively homosexual." Two of these bodyguards, Ulrich Graf and Christian Weber, were expected to satisfy their boss’s needs whenever necessary...However, while gay Nazis were being butchered or imprisoned, Hitler was having a secret affair with his Munich chauffeur Julius Schreck. The two were apparently devoted to each other and enjoyed romantic trysts at the Hotel Bube near Berneck, the midway point between Berlin and Munich. Their affair lasted until Schreck’s sudden death from meningitis. When he heard the news, Hitler wept uncontrollably for several days. Schreck had fulfilled Hitler’s fantasies about the great love between a powerful man and his obedient servant. The homosexual Bavarian, King Ludwig II — who had conducted a 20 year affair with his coachman — was one of the German dictator’s heroes. (See irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/arid-20391500.html).

Lively and Abrams put forth a vigorous case that while some homosexuals (and those on trumped up charges of homosexuality) suffered under Hitler and his Nazis, The Pink Swastika attempts to show that that there was far more rape, torture, and murder committed by Nazi deviants/homosexuals than there ever was against homosexuals. The book draws heavily on two sources; Samuel Igra's book Germany's National Vice, which documents the homoerotic foundations of German militarism, and The Nazis and the Occult by Dusty Sklar, which documents the occult roots of Nazi ideology. There are many other sources listed as well. It is as fascinating as it is scary to read.

Why would Hitler found a Party made up of deviants? There are several reasons. First, he wanted people--pimps, murders, and homosexuals--who would be willing to go against traditional morality. Second, homosexuals fit in with Hitler's occult beliefs. Pagan "priests" and "priestesses" were often homosexual. The modern pagan religion of Wicca embraces homosexuality and worships nature. The swastika itself comes from non-Christian, pagan religions. It was used at least 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler designed the Nazi flag. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Swastikas also have an ancient history in Europe, appearing on artifacts from pre-Christian European cultures. Remember the Bible says homosexuality is the result of "worshiping the creation rather than the Creator" (See Romans 1: 18-27). Third, many homosexuals had violent, even murderous inclinations.

Sodomites may be divided into those who act effeminately ('fems") and those who disguise their unnatural vice under a veneer of being virile and manly ("butches").  The latter were the ones who wanted to revive the pederastic military cults of the pagan pre-Christian era. Their leaders included top Nazis Adolf Brand and Ernst Roehm. They despised the pacifist and effeminate homosexuals; and these were the ones whom were persecuted. Heterosexuals served the purpose of procreation, but the effeminate didn't procreate or share their militaristic vision. Hence, they were seen as subhuman. 

Hitler was indeed a bisexual pervert who formed a party of sodomites. The "pink triangles" were little more than a cover-up for the pink swastika. 

Were Hitler and the Nazis Benevolent Towards or Tolerant of Catholicism?

Above, I had noted that Hitler was ostensibly a practicing Catholic until age 18. There is evidence that goes against this contention. Hitler’s closest childhood friend, August Kubizek, wrote that for the entire time he knew Hitler, he (Hitler) not only never attended Mass, but refused to go with his mother when she attended. She was very disappointed and begged him to go to Mass but, evidently, she eventually came to “terms with the fact that her son wanted to follow another path” —his father’s. (See Kubizek, The Young Hitler I Knew: A Boyhood Friend Recounts Growing Up with the Future Fuhrer of the Third Reich, [1955], pg. 95).  Hitler was never more truthful than when he stated in one of his speeches: I myself am a heathen to the core. (See The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922–August 1939, ed. Norman Baynes, [1942], pg. 369).

  • Hitler's opposition to Christ and His Church in his own words.
The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. (See Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s Secret Conversations, 1941–1944, trans. Norman Cameron [1953], pg. 6).

As a National Socialist and opponent of the Jews, it is impossible for me to continue to belong to present day Christianity, because it is supported by the Old Testament, which is Jewish and friendly to Jewish things. (See Karla Poewe, New Religions and the Nazis, [2005], pg. 105).

Compare Pope Pius XI:
 In Jesus Christ, Son of God made Man, there shone the plentitude of divine revelation. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by His Son" (Heb. i. 1). The sacred books of the Old Testament are exclusively the word of God, and constitute a substantial part of his revelation; they are penetrated by a subdued light, harmonizing with the slow development of revelation, the dawn of the bright day of the redemption. As should be expected in historical and didactic books, they reflect in many particulars the imperfection, the weakness and sinfulness of man. But side by side with innumerable touches of greatness and nobleness, they also record the story of the chosen people, bearers of the Revelation and the Promise, repeatedly straying from God and turning to the world. Eyes not blinded by prejudice or passion will see in this prevarication, as reported by the Biblical history, the luminous splendor of the divine light revealing the saving plan which finally triumphs over every fault and sin. It is precisely in the twilight of this background that one perceives the striking perspective of the divine tutorship of salvation, as it warms, admonishes, strikes, raises and beautifies its elect. Nothing but ignorance and pride could blind one to the treasures hoarded in the Old Testament. (See Mit Brennender Sorge, para. #15). 

You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness? (See Speer, Inside the Third Reich, [1969], pg. 115). 

Hitler had this to say about Christianity because of its ethic to protect the weak and helpless:
Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.
(See Alan Bullock, Hitler, A Study in Tyranny, [1964], pg. 389).

In a talk given by Hitler on April 7, 1933, Hitler made it absolutely clear that in Germany’s future there would be “no place” in the German “utopia for the Christian Churches” and “nothing will prevent me from eradicating totally, root and branch, all Christianity in Germany.… A German Church, a German Christianity, it is all rubbish.… One is either Christian or German.” (See Poewe cited above, pg. 112; Emphasis mine). 

  • Hitler's treatment of the Church and Her clergy.
Some of these NAs go so far as to state that Fr. Maximillian Kolbe was not killed by Nazis, due to Nazi hatred of the clergy, but by tuberculosis.  I do not recognize Fr. Kolbe as a saint or beatus, as he was "beatified" by Montini and "canonized" by Wojtyla. However, on May 12, 1955, Pope Pius XII gave him the title Servant of God, which means his life was considered worthy to be investigated for canonization. In my layman's opinion, I think a true pope would have canonized him had the Great Apostasy not taken place. There have been arguments made as to whether or not a true “odium fidei” ("hatred of the Faith") was present for him to be a true martyr. Wojtyla decided that Kolbe should be recognized as a martyr because the systematic hatred of the Nazi regime was inherently an act of hatred against religious faith, meaning Kolbe’s death equated to martyrdom. A true pope did not make that judgement. Moreover, there has been testimony that hatred of Catholic clergy was present when Fr. Kolbe was murdered. I would say he was a Confessor of the Faith, rather than a martyr. Bottom line: the Nazis were no friends to the Church or its clergy; it should be clear they hated both.

The very idea that the Nazis were "nice" to the clergy is completely without merit. Beginning in 1936, Hitler embarked on a campaign of "immorality trials" against Catholic clergy in Germany to discredit the hierarchy. They would, for example, summon a priest to a house to give the Last Rites, only to have a prostitute waiting and someone to take a picture as he went in and promptly left. (For more about said "immorality trials," see content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,757889,00.html). That the Nazis could accuse anyone of immorality is the quintessential case of hypocrisy. 

Fr. DePauw, who had been taken prisoner at the Battle of Dunkirk, and held at a concentration camp, saw first hand the Nazi hatred and atrocities committed against the Catholic clergy while there. (Fr. was not yet a priest; he would be seriously wounded escaping with his best friend, and ordained on April 12, 1942). One brave voice against the Nazi campaign against the Church was Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber. He would ordain two men to the priesthood that couldn't be more different, and would become bitter enemies at Vatican II: Fr (later Bp.) Blaise Kurz, and Fr. (later false pope) Joseph Ratzinger. Here is what Karol Jozef Gajewski, scholar of European history wrote:

Senior clerics who challenged the Third Reich in its racist and anti-Christian policies included Bishop Clemens Count von Galen of Munster, Archbishop von Preysing of Berlin, Cardinal Bertram of Breslau, Cardinal Schulte of Cologne and possibly the most famous of all, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. His series of Advent sermons, preached from the pulpit of St. Michael's Church aroused national and international interest. They became so popular that thousands listened, some even in the streets outside. In the first of the sermons, preached on December 3, 1933, Faulhaber defended Christianity by defending the people from whom it had sprung: the Jews. He reminded them that Christianity made no racial distinction between Jew and Gentile, but asked only that its adherents should possess faith. The next month shots shattered the windows of his first floor study. In March 1934, the published edition of his sermons, "Judaism, Christianity and Germanism" was banned for its "slanderous views on the State."

Faulhaber continued his denunciations of Nazi policy on Catholic schools, youth organizations, rigged elections, sterilization laws, attacks on the Pope, and attempts to replace Christianity with what he called "fake" religion. The Nazis maintained their propaganda campaign against Faulhaber relentlessly.

Faulhaber played a considerable role in the writing of the great anti-Nazi encyclical, Mit brennender Sorge ("With Burning Anxiety") issued in March 1937. It denounced repeated attacks on the faith, the breaking of almost every article of the Concordat, and Nazi ideological and political theories. The encyclical was smuggled into Germany under the eyes of Gestapo agents who had been warned beforehand to expect some kind of protest from Rome. Copies were printed secretly in various parts of the country and the underground Catholic network was engaged to distribute it to parishes throughout Germany. Hundreds of helpers, in cars, on motorbikes and bicycles, handed copies secretly to clergy. According to the Daily Telegraph (London) of March 22, 1937: "the encyclical stated the Nazis had made it plain, that they were waging a 'war of extermination' against the Church, and after countless rebuffs the Pope had decided to make a final stand."

The reaction to the encyclical's publication was immediate. The German regime sent a formal protest to Rome; it was swiftly rejected by Cardinal Pacelli. An enraged Hitler and Goebbels gave orders to bring to trial dozens of clerics on charges of immorality and "slanders against the State." Gestapo and SS squads were dispatched to find which presses had produced the encyclical: 12 were confiscated and editors rounded up. In one parish, Essen in the diocese of Oldenburg, seven girls were arrested inside a church as they handed out copies after the Palm Sunday service.

The death of Pope Pius XI in February 1939 and the election of his successor, Cardinal Pacelli, drew sneers from Das Schwarze Korps ("The Black Corps"), house magazine of the SS and mouthpiece of Heinrich Himmler. It referred to Pius XI as the "Chief Rabbi of the Christians, boss of the firm of Judah-Rome." Cardinal Pacelli had already been labeled in the paper as an ally of Jews and Communists in a series of cartoons and articles published at the time of his official visit to France in 1937.

Sometimes new Nazi policies would be imposed from above, sometimes they would be rescinded as the dictates of political events changed or new strategies were adopted by Berlin. Harassment could be disguised or even halted. In August 1936, for example, when the Olympic Games were taking place in Berlin, orders were given to stop persecution against Jews, Catholics and Protestants and to hide show trials from the eyes of foreign journalists. The machinery of persecution roared into action again as soon as the correspondents left.

With the coming of war in 1939, Hitler favored postponing the total destruction of Christianity to more effectively prosecute the war. Others in the party, however, thought it a mistake to slow the Kirchenkampf, the battle against the Church. Martin Bormann reminded SS leader Himmler in 1941 that, "the influence of the Church must be entirely eliminated."...
(As published Inside the Vatican magazine, November 1999, pgs. 50-54; "Nazi Persecution of the Church"). 

Conclusion
Adolph Hitler was many things; a mass murderer, an occultist, and a despiser of all things Christian. He was not some "misunderstood leader" who wasn't all that bad; nor was he in any way benevolent to the Church. Hitler and the "Nazi Traditionalists" can call themselves "Catholic" but they fail the test of Our Lord Himself, "By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire." (St. Matthew 7: 16-19).

Monday, September 18, 2023

Nostradamus

 


He allegedly predicted the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and even the destruction of the Twin Towers, here in NYC, on September 11, 2001. He was a "prophet," a "seer,"  and, according to some, a good Catholic. His name is Michel de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus (1503-1566). His most famous book is filled with his alleged prophesies, written in quatrains (four line poems) to escape "persecution" by Church authorities who were "jealous" of him or didn't understand his "prophetic gifts." His enthusiasts (of which there are many) claim he predicted most significant world events from his time (16th century) until the Last Day. 

According to researcher Leoni "Since 1775, at least one book on Nostradamus has been published every 20 years, and since 1840, at least one every decade." (See Nostradamus and His Prophesies, [1961], pg. 57). Devoted Nostradamus fans, many of whom are Vatican II sect members, consider him the world’s most accurate "prophet" and claim to have discovered the “keys” to correctly unlocking the true meaning of his prophecies. What are we to think of Nostradamus and those who peddle his "prophecy"? This post will answer that query. 

(I have compiled the information in this post from many and varied sources, including Peter Lemesurier, The Nostradamus Encyclopedia, [1997], and David Ovason, The Secrets of Nostradamus: The Medieval Code of the Master Revealed in the Age of Computer Science, [1997], and others referenced below. I take credit only for compiling the information into a concise post showing Nostradamus as a fraud.---Introibo). 

His Background
Michel de Notredame, commonly called Nostradamus, was born in December 1503 in the south of France. His family was of Jewish heritage but had converted to Catholicism. The last name taken upon conversion meant "Our Lady" in honor of the Blessed Mother of God. Both of his grandfathers were scholars and instructed Nostradamus themselves when he was young. One grandfather was a physician. The other taught him classical languages.

At the age of fourteen Nostradamus left his family to study in Avignon, France, a major ecclesiastical and academic center. In class he often voiced dissension with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nostradamus later attended the University of Montpellier, where he studied both medicine and astrology. [Although his supporters claim it was really another name for astronomy, a real science, it was occult astrology, as shall be shown].  He graduated in 1522 and began calling himself Nostradamus--a Latinized version of his last name. He became a physician, and was modestly successful. In 1538, he was said to have complained that making a statue of the Immaculate Mother of God was basically "idolatry." (See Wilson, Nostradamus: The Man Behind the Prophecies, [2014], pg. 62). 

Outwardly, Nostradamus was a devoted practicing Catholic. However, at night he spent the hours in his study meditating in front of a brass bowl filled with water and herbs. Meditation would bring on a trance. In such trances visions would come to him. As a result, he received "prophesies" and decided to write an almanac (based on astrology and his visions) for 1550 and, as a consequence of its success, continued writing them for future years as he began working as an astrologer for various wealthy patrons. He made substantially more money as a famous astrologer to the rich than as a doctor.

In 1555, Nostradamus published the first edition of his most famous work entitled The Prophecies (or The Centuries). Written mainly in French, it was to include 10 groups (centuries) of 100 prophetic quatrains (four-line poems) each, covering many nations and spanning from the sixteenth century to the year 3797. These enigmatic quatrains contain old French terms, Latin terms, mythical Greek figures, historical allusions, unique words, anagrams, puns, odd spellings, odd syntax, partial words, inverted word order, etc. A real hodgepodge of linguistic oddities. These contain his "prophesies" gleaned from visions. Many people claim to have found the "key" that unlocks the enigma of his writing, and his predictions have always (or mostly) come true down through our time. 

Although an occultist, Nostradamus stated that his predictions were in harmony with both the Catholic faith and the correct understanding of  Sacred Scripture:

I protest before God and his Saints that I do not propose to insert any writings in this present Epistle that will be contrary to the true Catholic faith…. (Epistle, par. 9).  So, how does someone know if he was really a prophet? Besides his occultism, there are two further lines of evidence showing him to be a fake and a non-Catholic: (a) how he got his predictions, and (b) how his predictions really failed.

"Prophesy" via Divination
Deuteronomy 13:1–5 says that even if a prophecy comes to pass, if its message leads people away from God, then it was not from God. If there rise in the midst of thee a prophet or one that saith he hath dreamed a dream, and he foretell a sign and a wonder, and that come to pass which he spoke, and he say to thee: Let us go and follow strange gods, which thou knowest not, and let us serve them: thou shalt not hear the words of that prophet or dreamer: for the Lord your God trieth you, that it may appear whether you love him with all your heart, and with all your soul, or not.  Follow the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and hear his voice: him you shall serve, and to him you shall cleave. And that prophet or forger of dreams shall be slain: because he spoke to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of bondage: to make thee go out of the way, which the Lord thy God commanded thee: and thou shalt take away the evil out of the midst of thee. What is Nostradamus’s message, and does it lead people away from God?

Astrology
Nostradamus stated, “I readily admit that all proceeds from God….All from God and nature, and for the most part integrated with celestial movements” (Epistle, par. 12). His claims about a divine source always included reference to astrology. Nostradamus left no explicit description of his astrological method, and wild theories abound among enthusiasts. Astrology goes beyond the mere observation of planetary positions in conjunction with space-time events; it presupposes some causal connection — whether direct or merely reflective — between them. Deuteronomy 18:9–14 condemns divination (which includes astrology) and all occult practices (as does the Church).

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so.

According to theologian Slater: Divination is mortally sinful, for it is a great insult to God to hold intercourse with and seek aid from the devil, His bitter enemy; and, besides, it is most dangerous to the parties concerned. (See A Manual of Moral Theology, [1925], 1:142; Emphasis mine). 

Several times Nostradamus described what appear to be occult practices by which he conjured “spirits of fire,” “angels of fire,” and “flaming missives,” who gave him his prophecies. The first two quatrains in the Prophecies, in fact, describe a divination ritual:

Being seated by night in secret study,
Alone resting on the brass stool:
A slight flame coming forth from the solitude,
That which is not believed in vain is made to succeed.

With rod in hand set in the midst of Branchus,
With the water he wets both limb and foot:
Fearful, voice trembling through his sleeves:
Divine splendor. The divine seats himself near by.

These words are very similar to the divination ritual described by Iamblichus in an ancient mystical book on magick:

The sibyl at Delphi received the god…sitting on a brazen seat with four or three feet…exposed on two sides to the divine influx, whence she was irradiate with a divine light…the prophetess of Branchus holds in her hand a rod…or moistens the hem of her garment with water…and by this means is filled with divine illumination, and having obtained the deity, she prophesies. (See James Randi, The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World’s Most Famous Seer , [1993], pg. 82). 

Though Nostradamus was not explicit about his methods of divination, and his defenders make more of his allusions to it than is actually warranted, nevertheless, there is much evidence suggesting he used occult rituals in obtaining his prophecies. For that reason alone Traditionalists should not listen to him. However, there is even more weighing against Nostradamus and his alleged prophesies. 

Failed Prophesy
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 makes clear how to distinguish true from false prophets:

But a prophet who presumes to speak in My Name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.” You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?”  If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. (Emphasis mine). 

It was shown that a prophesy cannot lead people away from God, as Nostradamus does by using the occult. There is a further test: (1) If a prophecy proclaims something that does not come true, it is not from God and therefore (2) we have nothing to fear from this false prophet and what he says. Let's see how Nostradamus fares in the correctness of his alleged prophesies. 

1. The prophesies fail because they are nebulous and open to multiple interpretations.
The belief that Nostradamus made many accurate predictions rests on the interpretations offered by his enthusiasts. Since they claim to have discovered specific meaning in his enigmatic prophecies, the burden of proof is on the enthusiasts to demonstrate that specific (unambiguous) meaning exists in Nostradamus’s prophecies. That is, they must show that each prophecy has only one meaning and uniquely fits the event they claim fulfills it. 

Each generation of Nostradamus supporters find the headline events of their time in Nostradamus’s quatrains. They suggest that Nostradamus foresaw many famous figures from Napoleon, to Hitler, to Ronald Reagan; historic events from the French Revolution, to the Civil War, to the Cold War; modern inventions from the hot air balloon, to the submarine, to the radio and light bulb; and many contemporary events from the spread of AIDS, to the O. J. Simpson trial, to the September 11 terrorist attacks here in New York City. 

The process is generally the same. After a connection has been made (however spurious) between a word or phrase in a quatrain and some historical person, place, or event, the rest of the text is either ignored or twisted to fit the desired interpretation using an arsenal of discovered “devices of interpretation" (i.e., "these letters should be read this way."). What is important to note is that justification for these interpretations, if any is given, is at best weak or faulty and at worst deceptive.

2. Concrete examples of false prophesy. 
The predictions and supposed "what happened" that "made it true" are taken from independent.co.uk/news/education/11-shockingly-accurate-predictions-from-nostradamus-a6772736.html. Two such prophesies will be analyzed. 
  • Did Nostradamus predict the great scientist Dr. Louis Pasteur?
Prediction:

"The lost thing is discovered, hidden for many centuries.

Pasteur will be celebrated almost as a God-like figure.

This is when the moon completes her great cycle,

But by other rumors he shall be dishonored."

What happened:

Born in 1822, Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist who discovered that the growth of micro-organisms causes fermentation. That discovery also proved bacteria doesn't simply appear spontaneously, as previously thought. Instead, it grows from already-living organisms in a process called biogenesis.

While Pasteur didn't first propose "germ theory," he convinced much of Europe of its validity. He invented a process for removing bacteria, "pasteurisation," which is named after him. His early work also led to the creation of vaccines for rabies and anthrax.

However, in 1995, science historian Gerald L. Geison published a book showing Pasteur incorporated a rival's findings to make his anthrax vaccine functional. That finding partly "dishonored" the great scientist, as Nostradamus predicted.

Why it's wrong:
The French word pasteur clearly means “pastor of a church” (the Pope?). The natural interpretation of line two in Quatrain 1–25 is that a pastor will be deified. There is nothing to suggest that the French word for a Church pastor should be taken as a man's proper surname. It is gratuitously asserted without any evidence. Also, what does the moon have to do with any of this? According to Nostradamus defender John Hogue, the Pasteur Institute was created in 1889, the end of the last great lunar cycle in astrology, but the Institute was actually established in 1887 and inaugurated in 1888. (See John Hogue, Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies, [1997]).  This prophesy fails. 

  • Did Nostradamus predict Adolph Hitler?
Prediction:

"From the depths of the West of Europe,

A young child will be born of poor people,

He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop;

His fame will increase towards the realm of the East."

And ...

"Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers,

The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister.

Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn,

When the child of Germany observes nothing."

What Happened:

Hitler — who was born to poor parents in 1889 in Western Europe — used his intense oratory skills to mobilise the Nazi party in Germany in the years following World War I. Germany, as a part of the Axis powers, also allied with Japan in the East. While many believe "Hister" to be a typo, it's also an old name for the Danube River.

Hitler was born just miles from that river in what was then Austria-Hungary, also known as the "Danube Monarchy." Remember, Nostradamus often incorporated anagrams, such as "Hister," into his writing.

Why It's Wrong:
 In the earliest manuscripts, the s in Hister appeared as a tall, thin Gothic , which resembles an l. With little effort l can be substituted for and the letters transposed to spell Hitler. There is no justification, however, for doing so except that it is needed to fit the interpretation. A simpler explanation is that, in Nostradamus’s day, the Lower Danube River was known as the Ister or Hister and was associated with the Rhine River. Nostradamus defenders make the quatrain fit either interpretation. The "cage of iron" fits nothing in Hitler’s battles, so it is sometimes interpreted as the moving van in which Mussolini was kidnapped and murdered — a strained and unconnected interpretation at best. This prophesy fails.

Conclusion
Writing at about the time of Nostradamus, Italian scholar Francesco Guiciardini mocked the credulity of those who had willingly accepted Nostradamus’s prophetic ability despite evidence to the contrary. He declared, “How happy are the astrologers who are believed if they tell one truth to a hundred lies, while other people lose all credit if they tell one lie to a hundred truths.” (See  James Randi, The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World’s Most Famous Seer , [1993], pg. 87). 

There is no need to be uncritical or uninformed regarding Nostradamus’s enigmatic pseudo-prophecies. Beyond failing God's test of 100 percent accuracy, most of Nostradamus’s "prophecies" are vague and ambiguous. His reputation as an accurate prophet rests on spurious and unjustified interpretations. If anyone should try and tell you about Nostradamus, let them know they are not following a prophet of God, but an occultist who received his messages from the Father of Lies.

Monday, September 11, 2023

The Grotto Of Redemption

 

To My Readers: This week, my guest poster Lee, gives me a much needed respite from my blog writing, and presents a fascinating post I'm sure you will enjoy! Feel free to comment and/or ask questions of Lee. As usual, if you have any specific questions or comments for me, I will reply as always, but it will take me a bit longer to respond this week.

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

Upon this Rock
By Lee

Traveling across many parts of the country this summer, I have had the benefit to stay and stop at some of the most amazing sites. In the "fly over" state of Iowa there sits a small humble town off the beaten path (the roads literally need some work) named West Bend. What could possibly be worth stopping to see in a town with barely 800 residents in a state full of corn fields and bird-killing wind turbines, you might ask? There you will find the largest man made grotto in the world, dubbed as "the 8th wonder of the world" called, The Grotto of Redemption.

The Architect 

The first question that comes to mind is how did the biggest man-made grotto in the world end up in Iowa? It was all because of one man. Fr. Paul M. Dobberstein (September 21, 1872 – July 24, 1954). Fr. Dobberstein was a German born immigrant to the United States who was educated at the university of Deutsch-Krone in Germany where he showed great enthusiasm for the study of geology. He also had a calling to become a priest when he joined St. Francis seminary in Milwaukee WI. It was during his seminary years that he contracted pneumonia which seriously threatened his life. Praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he promised that if she would intercede for him and he lived, that he would build a shrine in her honor. His prayers were answered and as he fully recovered, finished his studies to the priesthood and was ordained on June 30,1897.

For one year he served as chaplain for the Sisters of Mount Camel hospital in Dubuque, IA. Then when the Archdiocese of Dubuque was divided, and the Sioux City jurisdiction was formed, he was appointed to be the pastor in West Bend of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church where he remained the rest of his life; a total of 56 years. 

In his first 14 years, Fr. Dobberstein stockpiled massive amounts of field stone, rocks, and boulders given to him mainly by local farmers and parishioners. It wasn't until 1912 when Fr. Dobberstein started the actual construction of his promised shrine. He began laying the foundation on the bedrock, where he would dig many feet, in order to get started. Over the course of many years (1912-1954) when Fr. Dobberstein was able to be relieved of his priestly duties, he traveled hundreds of miles on trains or horse and buggy to gather precious stones. To collect materials, he would go from Hot Springs, Arkansas to obtain crystalline quartz, from the Black Hills of South Dakota for permission to receive silver, feldspar, or rose quartz, and to Lake Superior in Minnesota where could pick up agates found off the pristine beaches. Before becoming a National Park, he would receive permission to pay cave explorers to crawl in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico to break off a stalagmite formation. Tons of stone were hauled in railroad cars, year after year, for a project that had no blueprint. 

Fr. Dobberstein used not only rocks but also petrified wood from North Dakota, coral from Hawaii, and even made his own creations  called "Dobberstein petals" where he hardened concrete into a flower-like structure and added colored geodes to it. He also had a clever idea of melting crayons in with glass and sunk it in the concrete. Malachite, azurite, fluorite, agates, geodes, marble, jasper, topaz, and calcite are just a small list of many rocks making up his masterpiece. He literally used every type of rock not only found in each state of the United States but many fossils and shells from the the ocean to other rocks found in Europe and many different parts of the world. The idea was being universal; synonymous with Catholicism and spreading the Gospel. 

After working on the grotto for 42 continuous years, Fr. Louis Greving was assigned to the same parish in 1946 to help complete the grotto. Fr. Dobberstein taught him his techniques and demonstrated the virtue of patience. He acted as his mentor as Fr. Dobberstein had aged by this point, and couldn't continue working on the grotto and taking care of the parish. 

Realizing the rigors of the intense labors Fr. Dobberstein put himself through, Fr. Greving immediately envisioned the usefulness of an electric hoist and convinced his superior to introduce this device. Up until that time, all lifting was done by hand. From 1946-1954 Fr. Dobberstein worked with Fr. Greving and Matt Szerensce (nicknamed Fr. Dobberstein's right arm) for the next eight years.

80% of the grotto was completed by the time Fr. Dobberstein passed into eternity on July 24th 1954. Matt Szerensce continued working on the grotto with Fr. Greving until his retirement in 1959. Up until 1996 before Fr. Greving retired as a priest (from the Novus Ordo) he would continue completing the grotto that Fr. Dobberstein's envisioned. In his honor Fr. Greving got approval to erect a statue of him next to the grotto. He also had a gift shop/museum built next to the amazing work of art, big enough to take up a whole city block. 

The Whole Purpose

Although there are many other grottoes worthy of mention, such as the Ave Maria grotto in Cullman, Alabama and put together by Benedictine monk Br. Joseph Zoettl, deserving of another article; the Grotto of Redemption can arguably be the "Mother of all Grottoes" (man-made) making up nine contiguous grottoes, together depicting man's redemption, starting from the fall of man to Christ's birth, death, and Resurrection. Fr. Dobberstein inspired other priests of his time such as Fr. Mathius Wernerus who constructed another grotto in Dickeyville, Wisconsin. 

It is said to be the largest collection of semi-precious stones, minerals, and petrified materials compiled in one piece of art in the world estimated at a value of $4.3 million dollars.

The only question that remains is why build such a giant structure to fulfill a promise? 

The mission of the Church is to let its light shine before men and not hide it under a bushel basket. There are a variety of ways to do this and art and architecture is certainly a most effective way. Fr. Dobberstein understood that the heart of man is usually more quickly reached through the eye than through the ear. In other words, the greater his project, the more it will draw people to the true faith. Also, the grotto serves as a teaching tool taken right out of The Catechism of the Council of Trent since it focused on Christ's Redemption where it states: 

Christ’s Passion, -- A Satisfaction, A Sacrifice, A Redemption An Example 

The pastor should teach that all these inestimable and divine blessings flow to us from the Passion of Christ. First, indeed, because the satisfaction which Jesus Christ has in an admirable manner made to God the Father for our sins is full and complete. The price which He paid for our ransom was not only adequate and equal to our debts, but far exceeded them.

Again, it (the Passion of Christ) was a sacrifice most acceptable to God, for when offered by His Son on the altar of the cross, it entirely appeased the wrath and indignation of the Father. This word (sacrifice) the Apostle uses when he says: Christ hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness.

Furthermore, it was a redemption, of which the Prince of the Apostles says: You were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled. While the Apostle teaches: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. 

Besides these incomparable blessings, we have also received another of the highest importance; namely, that in the Passion alone we have the most illustrious example of the exercise of every virtue. For He so displayed patience, humility, exalted charity, meekness, obedience and unshaken firmness of soul, not only in suffering for justice, sake, but also in meeting death, that we may truly say on the day of His Passion alone, our Savior offered, in His own Person, a living exemplification of all the moral precepts inculcated during the entire time of His public ministry. 

Admonition: 
This exposition of the saving Passion and death of Christ the Lord we have given briefly. Would to God that these mysteries were always present to our minds, and that we learned to suffer, die, and be buried together with our Lord; so that from henceforth, having cast aside all stain of sin, and rising with Him to newness of life, we may at length, through His grace and mercy, be found worthy to be made partakers of the celestial kingdom and glory!

To this day the grotto attracts 100,000 visitors a year and is free of charge because Fr. Dobberstein wished that everybody, rich or poor, could meditate on the work of redemption. He wanted people to devote themselves more closely to Jesus through Mary. It is through his example that people should seriously keep their promises to God, something which due to his humility, he probably didn't think about. 

Unfortunately, like the "new normal" of this day and age, the Vatican II religion is in possession of the church and grotto. Time and time again, since the 60's, the world has witnessed the abstract, devoid, and just plain hideous monstrosities of newly built churches and art work in every diocese. Truly the work of the devil. Thankfully, one does not have to experience or (in Novus Ordo terminology) "encounter" modifications when one visits the grotto, despite being in the hands of Modernists. 

What to see  

Other than the precious stones and a three story structure of rocks present, there are many statues and carvings on the walls telling the stories from the Old and New Testament depending on which part you enter. You can either take a self guided tour or wait during business hours to listen to a volunteer give a tour explaining the symbolism and history of the grotto.

Inside one of the main grottoes, Moses can be seen holding the Ten Commandments and standing across from one another is the rich man and Jesus. The rich man asks the question "Master what shall I do to enter into life" on the wall, with the response etched in gold mosaic like stones in the middle quoting Christ from the scriptures "If though shall enter life, keep the commandments"

If one enters through the grotto across from the museum, there are two statues of Adam and Eve being cast out of the garden by and angel of the Lord and a rock structure of the serpent can also be seen. What is really creative is how Fr. Dobberstein places a small but visible image of the Blessed Virgin behind the statue of Eve, indicating that in the future she will be the new Eve. Across from Adam, the outer image of a stain glass window of the Annunciation can be noticed from within another grotto on the other side signifying that in the future the New Eve will give birth to the New Adam. Walking inside the grotto of the stain glass window that Fr. Dobberstein obtained as a gift in Germany is a massive marble statue of the Blessed Virgin holding the Child Jesus pointing to the beginning of Redemption. Within the corner of the same grotto the keys of St. Peter and the chalice with Blood can be seen giving the viewer the message that redemption can only be obtained within Christ's Church through the sacraments. However, due to the ecumenical spirit of the age this is not said in the tour.

Through another entrance way on the first level is a grotto of the Nativity and another next to it is of the life of Jesus in Nazareth with His Holy Mother and St. Joseph. Above these levels are scenes of Our Lord's Passion, such as the agony and Judas' betrayal.  

In the middle of the grotto are spectacular structures of the stations of the cross that have Brazilian cut agates with brown jasper rock indicating the sorrow of the way of the cross until last three stations. The twelfth station is in white rock symbolizing the victory over sin and standing at the highest top of the entire grotto is the thirteenth station except it's in life-size form as is last station which is in the form of a grotto nearby the line of stations.  

Lastly, on the 2nd to 3rd levels are depictions of an open tomb and on the backside of this a statue of St. Mary Magdalen seeing Christ's Resurrected Body. My only criticism is that the statue has St. Mary Magdalen touching Jesus, when scripture was clear: "Do not TOUCH me: for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren and say to them: I ascend to my Father and your Father to my God and to your God." (St. John 20:17).

Photos can be taken from all four corners but the best side is on the side where a St. Michael statue is in the courtyard facing both the church and statue of the Sacred Heart standing towards the top where to the left of that stands a wall of the Beatitudes with all the words meticulously carved and shaped by Fr. Dobberstein. 

Conclusion

Other than the work Fr. Dobberstein accomplished on the grotto, he nevertheless was able to take care of a small farm parish. In the 56 yrs of his life in West Bend, it is reported that he had more than a thousand signatures to baptismal certificates at his parish. Nothing short of miraculous considering how busy he constantly kept himself.

I highly recommend anybody who might be going through Iowa to plan on making a visit. It may be a grueling drive, full of monotony to get there but it is well worth the time. There is a nice comfy and affordable hotel (the only one) called ParkView Inn containing suites within walking distance from the shrine. If you happen to be driving in a camper or RV, a nice campground, also in walk-able distance, is available with electric hookups, firewood, showers, central water and a sewer dump for convenience

The three major takeaways that we can learn from such a holy place and its history are: 
  1. Dedicating our lives and surrendering our wills to God, no matter our state in life as Fr. Dobberstein did.
  2. Patiently perfecting ourselves by carving and chipping away the excess of sinful habits, that way we be as ready as possible for our death.
  3. Work hard in life and as St. Ignatius once wisely put it "To give and not count the cost."      

"Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee, for Thou has formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee." (St. Augustine, Confessions).

"Come to Me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you" (St. Matthew11:28). 

Monday, September 4, 2023

Contending For The Faith---Part 19

 


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 has 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.

Worlds Apart: Naturalism
Continuing from last month when pantheism was examined, I'm going to be explaining various worldviews.  What is a worldview? In the simplest terms, a worldview may be defined as how one sees life and the world at large. In this manner it can be compared to a pair of glasses. How a person makes sense of the world depends upon that person’s vision, so to speak.  The interpretive lens helps people make sense of life and comprehend the world around them. Worldviews also shape people’s understanding of their unique place on Earth. This month the worldview of Naturalism will be explained.

As stated in last month's post, a well-thought-out course, or worldview, needs to answer seven ultimate concerns that philosophers identify as “the big questions of life:"

 1. Ultimate Reality: What kind of God, if any, actually exists? 

2. External Reality: Is there anything beyond the cosmos, or is what we perceive all there is?

3. Knowledge: What can be known and how can anyone know it? 

4. Origin: Where did humanity come from? 

5. Morals and Values: How should I live, and what things are important in life? 

6. Problem of Life and Resolution: What is wrong with the world? How can humanity’s problem be solved? 

7. Destiny: Will I survive the death of my body and, if so, in what state? 

(Sources were many, and of special mention:
Dooyeweerd, Herman. Roots of Western Culture: Pagan, Secular, and Christian Options.Trans. John Kraay. [2003]; Harris, Robert A. The Integration of Faith and Learning: A Worldview Approach. [2004]; Sire, James W. Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept, [2004]. I take no credit except for the compilation and condensation of the material into a concise post.---Introibo). 

Naturalism Defined
Naturalism, as traditionally defined, is the worldview system that regards the natural, material, and physical universe as the only reality. The world of nature is viewed as the sum total of reality, the whole show, all that actually exists.

The Britannica Concise Encyclopedia defines naturalism as “the theory that affirms that all beings and events in the universe are natural and therefore can be fully known by the methods of scientific investigation.” Naturalists typically view the universe as a closed and uniform system of material causes and effects with nothing existing outside the realm of nature. All reality is located within the exclusive domain of the spatiotemporal world of physical objects, events, processes, and forces. The universe stands ontologically on its own—complete, self-contained, self-sufficient, and self-explanatory. 

Naturalists reject both a supernatural realm of existence and immaterial agencies or realities such as God, angels, and immaterial human souls. Naturalist scientist Carl Sagan expressed the position of strong naturalism in a famous statement from his television series, Cosmos: “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.”

Atheism is a subset of Naturalism. All naturalists are atheists, but not all atheists are naturalists. Atheism is the denial of the existence of a Supreme Being. There are some atheists who, nevertheless, believe in all things occult, only denying God. Naturalists deny everything outside the scope of the material world. 

Naturalism and Ultimate Reality
Ultimate reality is matter. Matter exists eternally and is all there is. God does not exist. Nothing comes from nothing. Something is. Therefore something always was. But that something, say the naturalists, is not a transcendent Creator but the matter of the cosmos itself. In some form all the matter of the universe has always been. Or so naturalists have traditionally held. Some more recent naturalist philosophers and astrophysicists, however, reject the logic that holds that something has always had to be. 

The universe may rather have originated out of a singularity at which space-time curvature, along with temperature, pressure and density, becomes infinite. Space and time (all we know of reality) come into being together. Moreover, nothing spiritual or transcendent emerged from this cosmic event. It makes no sense to say there was a before before the singularity. In short, matter (or matter/energy in a complex interchange) is all there is. Ours is a natural cosmos. 

The word matter is to be understood in a rather general way, for since the eighteenth century, science has refined its understanding. In the eighteenth century scientists had yet to discover either the complexity of matter or its close relationship with energy. They conceived of reality as made up of irreducible “units” existing in mechanical, spatial relationship with each other, a relationship being investigated and unveiled by chemistry and physics and expressible in inexorable “laws.”

Later scientists were to discover that nature is not so neat, or at least so simple. There seem to be no irreducible “units” as such, and physical laws have only mathematical expression. Physicists, like the late Stephen Hawking, may search for nothing less than a “complete description of the universe” and even hope to find it. But confidence about what nature is, or is likely to be discovered to be, has almost vanished. The cosmos is ultimately one thing, without any relation to a Being beyond; there is no “God,” no “creator.”

Naturalism and External Reality
The cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system. It is not open to reordering from the outside—either by a transcendent Being (for there is none) or by self-transcendent or autonomous human beings (for they are a part of the uniformity). The Humanist Manifesto II (1973), which expresses the views of those who call themselves  “secular humanists,” puts it this way: “We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural.” Without God or the supernatural, of course, nothing can happen except within the realm of things themselves. Writing in The Columbia History of the World, Rhodes W. Fairbridge says flatly, “We reject the miraculous.”(See John A. Garraty and Peter Gay, eds., The Columbia History of the World, [1972], pg. 14). Such a statement, coming as it does from a professor of geology at Columbia University, is to be expected.

Naturalism and Knowledge
Through our innate and autonomous human reason, including the methods of science, we can know the universe. The cosmos, including this world, is understood to be in its normal state. From a cosmic standpoint, reason developed under the contingencies of natural evolution over a very long period of time. From a human standpoint, a child is born with innate faculties which merely have to develop naturally. These faculties work on their own within the framework of the languages and cultures to which they are exposed. At no time is there any information or interpretation or mental machinery added from outside the ordinary material world. 

As children grow, they learn which of their thoughts help them understand and enable them to deal with the world around them. The methods of modern science are especially helpful in leading us to more and more profound knowledge of our universe. Human knowledge, then, is the product of natural human reason grounded in its perceived ability to reach the truth about human beings and the world.

Naturalism and Origins
Human beings are complex “machines;" personality is an interrelation of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand. As human beings we are simply a part of the cosmos. In the cosmos there is one substance: matter. We are that and only that. The laws applying to matter apply to people. Humans do not transcend the universe in any way.

Of course people are very complex machines, and their mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Thus people continue to amaze one another and upset expectations. Still, any mystery that surrounds humanity's understanding is a result not of genuine mystery but of mechanical complexity.

Naturalism and Morals/Values
Morality is related only to human beings. Ethical considerations did not play a central role in the rise of naturalism. Naturalism rather came as a logical extension of certain metaphysical notions —notions about the nature of the external world. Most early naturalists continued to hold ethical views similar to those in the surrounding culture, views that in general were indistinguishable from popular Christianity. There was a respect for individual dignity, an affirmation of love, a commitment to truth and basic honesty. Jesus was seen as a teacher of high ethical values.

For a theist, God is the foundation of values. For a naturalist, values are constructed by human beings. The naturalist’s notion follows logically from the previous propositions. If there was no consciousness prior to the existence of humans, then there was no prior sense of right and wrong. Ethics and values are subjective human standards (there are no objectively true morals; there is nothing eternal and external to the subjective human experience in which morality can be grounded). The only ethical standards are pleasure (good) and pain (evil), relative to the individual (i.e., hedonism). Standards of morality vary according to person, place, time, and culture (i.e., moral relativism).

Naturalism and the Problem of Life
Life is ephemeral and has no objective meaning. In the words of atheist biologist Dr. Richard Dawkins, the only purpose humans have is to "propagate DNA." All events are chance (there are no ultimate explanations). The universe is doomed to extinction by entropy, yet human beings are the center of all things. They can face the universe heroically and responsibly with dignity and idealism.

Naturalism and Destiny
Death is extinction of personality and individuality. This is, perhaps, the “hardest” proposition of naturalism for people to accept, yet it is absolutely demanded by the naturalists’ conception of the universe. Men and women are made of matter and nothing else. When the matter that goes to make up an individual is disorganized at death, then that person disappears forever. The Humanist Manifesto II states, “As far as we know, the total personality is a function of the biological organism transacting in a social and cultural context. There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body.”

The concept may trigger immense psychological problems, but there is no disputing its precision. The only “immortality,” as the Humanist Manifesto II puts it, is to “continue to exist in our progeny and in the way that our lives have influenced others in our culture.” Yet, entropy ensures that even this will not last. Eventually, there will be the heat-death of the universe and nothing of anyone will remain. 

Refuting Naturalism
The worldview of Naturalism is incoherent. There are three key points that make it untenable. Testing a particular position for coherence demonstrates its level of logical consistency. Any sound worldview must contain legitimate grounds for reason and argumentation, making this question appropriate. Three arguments illustrate some extremely serious concerns:

Coherence problem A: An irrational source. According to the naturalist world-view, the source or foundation of man’s reasoning was not itself rational (endowed with reason), nor was it personal (self-aware, intelligent), and it was not teleological (purposive) in nature. Rather it was a non-rational and impersonal process without purpose consisting of a combination of genetic mutation, variation, and environmental factors (natural selection). Naturalism postulates that a combination of random chance and blind impersonal natural process (physical and chemical in nature) produced humanity’s rational faculties.

However, presuming that this kind of non-rational, chance origin lies behind human intelligence raises legitimate questions about whether human reason can then be trusted. As a matter of epistemological protocol, if not sound logical intuition, the non-rational should not be thought to produce the rational; nor the impersonal, the personal; nor the a-teleological, the teleological. For the non-rational to cause the rational does not comport with normal everyday experience. According to the presumptions of science, an effect requires an adequate and sufficient cause, and indeed that effect cannot be greater than the cause. But in the case of evolution, the effect of  human intelligence is magnitudes or exponentially greater than its supposed cause.

Even if these non-rational factors did succeed in producing the rational faculties of human beings, how can it be known that the product of this basically nonintelligent process (the human brain and mind) can and should be trusted to deliver rational content? Therefore, when one discovers that the source of human reason is not itself rational, then a valid reason has been raised to doubt and distrust the outcome of that reason.

Naturalists are fond of asserting that they have embraced their world-view based upon purely rational factors, appealing to such things as logic and sound scientific understanding. They also often claim to have rejected theism because the problem of evil makes belief in God logically untenable. However, if the source of human cognitive faculties were not rational, then the naturalist doesn’t necessarily have good reason to trust that he has embraced this worldview on the basis of sound rational factors. Nor is he in a position to justifiably dismiss theism based upon rational grounds. In other words, if that which produced human reasoning was not itself rational in nature, why then have any confidence in one’s present ability to reason? This consideration shows naturalism to be logically self-defeating.

Coherence problem B: A necessary physical determinism. Many, if not most, naturalists embrace some form of materialism or physicalism. With limited ontological options, their purely natural worldview mandates that the physical universe (a matrix of matter, energy, time, and space) is the sole or fundamental level of reality. 

However, if naturalism involves some form of materialism or physicalism as its basic ontology (basis for being), then it follows that all actions, events, and processes are the result of purely material and/or physical forces. If humans and their thoughts, ideas, and convictions are the result of these forces, then how can naturalism avoid some form of physical determinism that undermines such things as intention, rational deliberation, logical inference, and authentic choice? How can naturalists legitimately claim that they have embraced their worldview and rejected theism based solely upon rational considerations if fundamental physical forces have determined all things including their cognitive faculties? Rational considerations do not fit the blind, accidental operation of the physical laws of nature. They connect with intelligence, personhood, and purposefulness.

A further difficulty can be found in the amoral implications of determinism. If physical determinism is true with respect to humanity, then human actions are neither blameworthy nor praiseworthy. A person might claim: “My molecules made me do it.”

Coherence problem C: Survivability doesn’t guarantee objective truth. If an individual embraces naturalistic evolutionary theory, then he has to accept the idea that complex human cognitive faculties and sensory organs arose through purely accidental, blind, mindless, and purposeless processes in nature. The evolutionary process (natural selection) that is said to have taken billions of years to produce intellectual and sensory capacities in people functioned solely in light of survival value and reproductive advantage (involving such things as genetic variation and random genetic mutation).

The mechanism of evolution functioned only to enhance a particular organism’s survival chances. However, evolution’s function and focus raise a serious challenge to the naturalist worldview. If evolution’s sole activity is to promote a species 'their cognitive faculties provided reliable, true beliefs? In other words, if naturalism is correct, then it seems highly questionable that humans would have belief-forming faculties (mind, brain, sensory organs) that produce reliably true beliefs.

Evolution’s intention doesn’t promote true beliefs, it promotes survival. Yet, a sound basis for truth is necessary if a person is to embrace naturalistic evolution over other explanations. Some naturalists have even suggested that human belief in such things as God, immortality, and objective moral values was produced in man as a means of promoting human survivability.

So even though these ideas (e.g., God) are actually false, they somehow supported man’s ability to survive and even thrive. This theory would mean that false beliefs may at times do more to promote human flourishing than true beliefs. A blind source that functions on the mechanistic track of survivability alone cannot guarantee that the human cognitive system provides truth; it may even promote what is false. Survivability and truth are two very different outcomes. Humankind’s intellectual endowments also seem to range profoundly above what could be expected from mere survivability.

Humans are capable not only of arriving at truth seemingly useful in survival (for instance a true knowledge of how to grow food and make weapons to kill animals), but also of contemplating abstractions with no apparent survival benefit (for example, thinking about beauty). If this evolutionary argument against naturalism (survivability over truth) holds logical merit, then naturalists have no sound reason (or guarantee) to trust their reason in their worldview.

Based upon the arguments just presented (among others), naturalism is self-defeating and thus incoherent and untrue as a comprehensive system of belief. You need not argue for God and the supernatural to show naturalism fails to be a logical and coherent explanation of reality.

Conclusion
Naturalism offers itself as a worldview that allows people to escape the uncomfortable idea of a personal God who controls the world and judges human actions. It is illogical and incoherent at its core. Yet, if the prominent people in the universities and the media are influenced by it and hold to it, it is easy for others to adopt naturalism without reflection. Naturalism propagates by osmosis, not by evidence.