Or seeking acceptance from the unacceptable
One of the chief drives of modernism has been an underlying effort to reform the Church to be more "acceptable" to what is termed "modern man." Exactly who is this man and what qualifications does he hold to serve as a mentor for any reasonable person, much less the Mystical Body of Christ?
"Modern man" (also known as "contemporary man") is a product of the masonic revolution which rejected Christ, His Church and eventually the entire supernatural order. The origins of this process would come to be known by the none-too-modest masonic historians as the "Enlightenment" a time when the "darkness" of medieval civilization (i.e. the glory of Christendom) was shed and certain "freedoms" and "liberties" were discovered and embraced.
Predictably, since this profound awakening of "modern man," he has come to accept and even revel in the most perverse and unthinkable evils. Abortion and euthanasia went from clear wrongs to unfortunate necessities to fundamental human rights. The worst deviancies and perversions imaginable from homosexuality and bestiality to incest and pedophilia have been downgraded from reprehensible to perhaps legitimate "forms of expression" or "pursuits of happiness" openly celebrated on the Internet. Generations of people robbed of meaning and true happiness turn to loud noises and flashing lights to provide some sort of sensory stimulation and distraction from the emptiness left by this modern "enlightened" society.
Such is the consequence of the path chosen by "modern man." Once he rejected Christ and His Church in favor of a relativist world view dominated by an individual sense of entitlement, his soul was left to suffer. Once the "concepts" of a Supreme Being and objective truth were "outgrown," he would be left longing for the days of his childhood.
Make no mistake what the Pope calls the "culture of death" wasn't an inevitable occurrence in the course of human events. Like most everything else, the causes are there for all to examine. What is most disturbing is not the growth of such a horrendous culture from the anti-Catholic errors of the masonic revolutionaries, but the movement among Catholics ("modernism") which looks to this deplorable society and sees a source of strength or inspiration, all the while regretting or apologizing for a Church that fought so zealously against it.
Naturalism rejection of God and the supernatural
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was to convince the world that he doesn't exist."
This quote has the unlikely origin of a modern movie. In the film "The Usual Suspects", the main character uttered this phrase as he was being interrogated by the police. This single line from an otherwise forgettable (albeit clever) movie sums up perfectly the danger and folly of naturalism.
In the sense it is being used here, naturalism is the rejection of all things supernatural. It is a tendency to deny any "unnatural" cause and explain all things according to that which is both observable and conformable to certain man-made laws. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
[Naturalism] claims that all realities in the world, including the processes of consciousness from the lowest to the highest, are but manifestations of what we call matter, and obey the same necessary laws.1
Because of its insistence on observable and verifiable phenomena, naturalism played a special role in the emergence of modern scientific research and what is known today as the "scientific method." While providing a useful tool to explain and predict certain mechanisms, naturalistic ideas morphed into a strange philosophy all its own. As models for explaining observations became confused for the reality being explained, God and the entire supernatural order became expendable. They were kept around for awhile when no alternative method of creation was available, but only in a distant sense and to the minimum extent possible. Over time, even that token acknowledgement ("the first cause") was eliminated as a victim of insufficient "proof" in a naturalistic world.
Certainly the most treacherous consequence of the emergence of naturalism has not been the elimination of God, but the corresponding "death" of Satan. Such a development plays perfectly into the evil one's hands and may, in fact, be the "greatest trick he ever pulled". Principally because its effects have the potential to ensnare not only those fully signed on to the naturalist cause but also those trying to balance their Catholic faith with an "educated" intellect and scientific view of the world.
For once Satan is eliminated, so are his temptations. "Evil" gradually becomes relegated to a funny interior feeling or a difference of opinion that is bound to shift over time. Specifically, temptations of the devil have come to be attributed to biological and environmental factors both completely "natural" and incapable of being intrinsically right or wrong. This denies man's fallen nature and the effects of Original Sin. "Nature" provides a built-in excuse that man cannot be anything else but what his biology (genetics) have formed.
Former perversions are now being excused with naturalist explanations. While the devil is tempting someone towards fornication or sodomy, naturalism provides the rationalization that such an urge cannot possibly have any supernatural origin and may not be wrong after all. An evolutionary explanation is given that the desire has a biological basis and is perfectly "natural." Or it can be traced to any past experience in the individual's life which is outside the realm of his control. The Catholic Encyclopedia continues:
Since matter is the only reality, whatever takes place in the world is the result of material causes and must be explained by physical antecedents without any teleology. Life is but a complex problem of physics and chemistry; consciousness is a property of matter; rational thought is reduced to sensation, and will to instinct. ... What we call the human person is but a transitory phase in the special arrangement of material elements giving rise to special mental results; and it goes without saying that in such a system there is no room for freedom, responsibility, or personal immortality.2
Both accountability and free will have now become clouded if not completely disregarded concepts, particularly when biologists (and now lawyers) have started asking the obvious question: if all aspects of our being can be attributed to natural causes, how accountable for our actions are we? Can they truly be considered acts of "free will"? Is an abused child responsible for killing his parents? The answer used to be either yes he's responsible or no he's insane and could not appreciate the consequences of his actions. Such insanity is becoming institutional.
In a recent Angelus, Pope John Paul II expressed the appropriate Catholic attitude toward the forces of evil in a naturalistic society:
"'Begone Satan!' For us, the Messiah's decisive attitude constitutes an example and an invitation to follow Him with courageous determination. Even today, the devil, 'ruler of this world,' continues his underhanded activities. Men and women are tempted, apart from by their own concupiscence and the bad example of others, by the devil, even more so when they are least aware of such temptation. How many times do they lightly surrender to the deceptive promises of the flesh and of the evil one, only to then experience bitter disillusion! We must remain vigilant so as to react promptly to all attacks of temptation." 3
Relativism rejection of objective truth
Relativism denies the existence of absolute truth and values. It is the firstborn child of naturalism and a logical progression of such a philosophy. If men are just collections of random molecules moving in some sort of ordered system, how can an arbitrary action be identified as right or wrong? Natural law disappears and the chief arbiter of justice becomes the state and its responsibility for maintaining "public order." Any interior personal feeling that murder or rape is objectively evil is dismissed as a biological impulse a product of evolution which has served to propagate the species.
In the civil realm, such a relativist philosophy combined with a modern outlook on the appropriate function of the state has lead to the legalization of pornography, perversion and in some cases prostitution. Without objective truth and nothing upon which to base firm values, such actions are seen as "victimless crimes," strangely out of place in a world where right and wrong are defined by man-made laws.
However, it has become the ultimate in irony that the loudest proponents of relativist philosophies are not true relativists themselves, preferring to use its mantras only when suitable to their needs. For instance, they will rail against the Church or any religious group trying to "impose their views" on members of (society however subtle these supposed "impositions" have now become) while fully supporting the actual physical and economic imposition of contraception and abortion on cultures choosing to reject it. When it comes to "family planning," other feminist causes or environmental issues, liberals will not accept the reasoning that they cannot impose their beliefs on another culture.
For it's clear that the sons and daughters of the Freemasons do believe in absolute truths, but just the ones they prefer. Actions such as rape are viewed as "obviously immoral" due to its condemnation across cultures and throughout history. Inconsistently, novel "liberties" such as abortion and sodomy are defended just as strongly since they emerge from new and "enlightened" realizations. Though such liberals may delude themselves into thinking they battle for freedom and liberty, they are no more than members of a neo-pagan group who defend their Satanic dogmas with the same fervor those in the Church used to defend Hers.
Modernism ecclesial acceptance of naturalist and relativist errors
Given the obvious problems with both naturalism and relativism, it stands to reason why Catholicism is directly opposed to both. Pope Leo XII could not have made this more clear in Immortale Dei when he taught:
"the integral profession of the Catholic Faith is in no way consistent with naturalistic and rationalistic opinions, the sum and the substance of which is to do away altogether with Christian institutions, and; disregarding the rights of God, to attribute to man the supreme authority in society" 4
Although "modernism" defies most simple definitions, one general tendency is to apply certain tenets of the masonic philosophies to the Church. This was not always done out of an effort to undermine or destroy the Faith but out of misguided and na´ve beliefs that such "enlightened" concepts could actually assist the Bride of Christ. Blessed Pope Pius IX, Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X clearly saw the danger that these philosophies posed and issued the strongest warnings and condemnations to come out of the Holy See in hundreds of years.
For the danger lay not in modernism's direct attack of the Church but its ability to infiltrate ecclesial ranks, corrupting the minds of the clerics. What became Freemasonry's ticket to success was its ability to cloak its beliefs under the guise of ultimate truth. Naturalistic concepts were not properly classified as a product of modern philosophy or a particular system of beliefs, but as new and self-evident "truths" that transcend all cultures and people. This sort of neo-gnosticism allowed Rousseau, Locke and Voltaire to paint themselves as pioneers who had discovered something long hidden by human superstition and an oppressive Church. As scientists and astronomers were making tremendous discoveries as to the workings of the natural world, modern philosophers were seen as "discovering" the true and essential elements of human nature. Given this perspective, it is easy to see how Catholics could be indoctrinated by masonic errors without even realizing it. The new dogmas were not seen as competing with Catholicism but as a separate set of self-evident truths that could complement or even assist the Mystical Body of Christ.
An example of this can be seen in the story of Fr. John Courtney-Murray, the liberal theologian whose ideas influenced Dignitatis Humanae, arguably the most controversial document to emerge from Vatican II. Fr. Courtney-Murray knew well the traditional Catholic teaching on Church-state relations, but chose to disregard it. His position became known as "Americanism" as it held the separation of Church and state (as found in the U.S.) to be the ideal arrangement. He gave into the idea that the revolutionary founding fathers had stumbled upon certain truths, even though they stood in contradiction to papal teachings. The Catholic position was accurately summarized by Pope St. Pius X in Vehementor Nos:
"That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Remove the agreement between Church and State, ... it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State." 5
Also included in Blessed Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors was the notion that:
"The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church." 6
Fr. Courtney-Murray did not seem to mind that his beliefs had no Catholic basis or that he was silenced by Pope Pius XII. When given the opportunity to appear at the Second Vatican Council as a peritus, he was able to lend his influence to what would become Dignitatis Humanae. Regardless of what this document actually ended up saying, the resulting effect has been an apparent vindication of Fr. Courtney-Murray's errors and the growth of Americanism within the Church to the point that most Catholics today are surprised that such a thing was ever even an issue.
Although theologians have debated for years whether what transpired was a genuine doctrinal "development" or something else, that was not Fr. Courtney-Murray's concern. To him, any prior contradiction was of little consequence:
"Its achievement [Dignitatis Humanae] was simply to bring the Church abreast of the developments that have already occurred in the secular world. The fact is the right to religious freedom has already been accepted and affirmed by the consciousness of mankind." 7
What the Catholic Church had previously taught mattered less than the fact that the "secular world" and "the consciousness of mankind" had already "accepted and affirmed" it as truth. The Church, not "modern man," needed to "catch up" and be "brought abreast" of the developments which had previously eluded Her.
Such is the attitude of the modernists who seek to abuse the Church under the guise of "progress." Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand knew of these individuals well and clearly saw them for who they were. In his book "The Devastated Vineyard", he warns of:
"...those who do not want to destroy the Church as such, i.e. who do not seek the disappearance of the Church, but who rather want to transform the Church into something which completely contradicts its meaning and essence. This includes all those who wish to make the Church of Jesus Christ into a purely humanitarian society, to rob her of her supernatural character, to secularize and desacralize her. They share that camouflage of the enemies of the Church which comes from using the shibboleths of 'reform', 'progress', and 'adaptation to modern man'. But they do not want to eliminate the Church. The catchwords 'reform' and 'progress' are not mere tricks which they use; they really believe them." 8
While most Catholics have been able to resist the most outrageous recent practices of "modern man," they have willingly embraced the ideas from which those practices have come. The masonic concepts of "liberty" and "freedom," the naturalistic errors of a man-based reality and the relativist aberrations of complete liberty of conscience all represent the soundation upon which this "culture of death" was built. Modernists stand less in opposition to modern society than merely slower in "progressing" to this point.
Pandering to the "culture of death"
During the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI was very concerned about how the Church appeared to the outside world and how its "renewal" was regarded by the heretics who had firmly embraced modern culture. When it appeared that the religious liberty schema (what later would become Dignitatis Humanae) would be dealt a fatal blow due to conservative opposition (led by Cardinal Ottaviani and Archbishop Lefebvre), Anglicans, Lutherans and secular "intellectuals" openly criticized the Church as being the "same old Church," "out of touch" with "modern man." A better compliment could not have been paid, but as he would do time and time again, Pope Paul VI gave into the pressure of the modernists and his desire for secular acceptance by taking steps to ensure that the religious liberty schema would not die.
This spirit is very much alive today in what is called "ecumenism." "Dialogue" is seen as the modern and "respectful" way to "express religious views" to a world supposedly too sophisticated for age-old missionary techniques. Even "proselytism" the act of winning converts for Christ is treated as a dirty word. The results of such efforts are clear and do not need to be belabored here, but it's worth remembering that modern ecumenical theories have their root in the philosophies of the Church's enemies. The secular world views the Church as one of a number of "religions" which may be acceptable for those who freely choose to join but should not be "imposed" on others. Acceptance of "proselytism bans," apologizing for unspecified past actions, flattering evil communist regimes and collaborating with heretics, schismatics and infidels on vague documents and "prayer" sessions all imply a certain degree of acceptance to this position which the modern world wishes to place Christ's Church.
In reality, the Church has no obligation to make accommodations to the modern world; its divinely-charged duty is to do the complete opposite. Christ did not come into this world to put a religious slant on practices already going on. He condemned evil, however popular it may have become and was crucified for it. The Church must do the same, even if the results are the same. Blessed Pope Pius IX's eightieth condemned proposition which all Catholics are still bound to maintain the opposite was that:
"The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism, and modern civilization." 9
Given the devious and murderous societies that the masonic revolutionaries have produced (i.e. "culture of death"), why would any reasonable person, much less a Catholic want anything to do with them? Why should the sons of Voltaire and Locke be given any credibility or sought out for approval? Quoting again from von Hildebrand:
"What we have said may suffice to show how bizarre it is to regard our age as one of progress in comparison with former times, unless one limits oneself to the immanent progress in certain spheres such as natural science, technology, and above all, medicine. But nobody can overlook the awful decay from a human viewpoint: the shocking depersonalization, the victory of collectivism, the progressive dehumanization, the decline of true happiness. What is the importance of human life, with the moral, spiritual, and human deterioration of mankind?" 10
In a sense, modern society can be seen as the triumph of ancient Rome. Our culture has embraced far more perversions and offenses than the Romans ever dreamed of, but while Roman society was clearly seen by the early Church as under the influence of Satan, Catholics today seek "cooperation" and "understanding" with the secular architects of the "culture of death." To buy into the naturalists' nonsense about "liberty" and "enlightenment" is inexcusable, especially given the results seen around us. To even begin to care what these modern pagans think about the Catholic Church is to admit defeat. To seek compromise or alignment with these modern errors is to do what thousands of martyrs refused to. They saw the secular and pagan world not according to the romanticized notions of the propagandists, but for what it truly was: a rejection of the Church and the Holy Trinity.
The Catholic Church is supposed to stand in contradiction to, not accommodation with the world. If it is to once again return to its primary objective of saving souls, it must do so again.
The resurgence of the Aztecs
Although Ancient Rome may provide a closer cultural link to modern society, a correlation with the Aztecs is much more accurate. Enslaving Mexico until the 1500's, the Aztecs are traditionally considered the most brutal and Satanic cult in recorded history.
Aztec mythology was extremely convoluted and has been pieced together only after many years of study, but what is known is horrifying. Primarily they believed in a sun god (Huitzlipochti) and moon god (Tetzalipoca). The sun would die each night (the sunset being painted red with its blood) and rise each morning if it was revitalized with enough human blood "drank" from the victims of ritual sacrifice. Bro. Herbert F. Leies, SM gives an account of the levels of treachery this cult reached:
"Human sacrifices became an obsession with the Aztecs. Blood, the mysterious fluid of life red, warm, and gushing from the torn-out heart of the victim was smeared upon the mouths of idols, and the heart was then offered as a burnt offering to the hungry gods. At times, this became a frenzy in wholesale sacrifice, as at the dedication of the great pyramid temple in 1487, during the time of Emperor Ahuitzotl. Chroniclers give an estimate of 20,000 to 80,000 persons sacrificed on that occasion. A Dominican Friar, Duran, describes the bloody ceremony to the war-god. Prisoners of war were taken from their cages to form long lines that led to the four gates of the great temple compound. Waiting at the gates to dispatch the victims were the kings of Mexico, of Texoco and of Tacuba, and an old priest named Hacacllel, all four decked in their finest costumes, bejeweled and wearing the insignia of their office. For four days, from sunup to sundown, the wholesale slaughter continued at the hands of the kings and priest. Skulls by the thousands were added to the great skull-rack next to the sacred ball court."
"On regular feast days of the gods, the ceremony of sacrifice would take place at the top of the temple stairs, where the sacrificial altar stone was in full view of the people. The presiding priest, armed with an obsidian knife, cut out the heart of the victim stretched over the altar stone, to offer it still throbbing to the idol. He then severed the head which would be added to the skull-rack. The headless body would then be tumbled down the temple steps to be given to the Aztec warrior who had captured the victim, or would be shared and eaten by those who assisted at the sacrifice. Those eating the flesh of the consecrated victims believed they would absorb the strength and spiritual powers of the one sacrificed. In their mind, it was not a cannibalistic orgy but a species of communion." 11
In 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe came to crush the serpent under Her foot and free the people of Mexico from the grasps of this Satanic religion that had produced so much misery. Her appearance led to the conversion of almost the entire county within a decade. Over nine million souls were baptized into Christ's Church, quantitatively replenishing most of the loses suffered during the Protestant revolution.
Ignoring for now the nonsensical inculturation efforts in Mexico and Los Angeles which seem to see this horrendous cult as an important part of Mexico's "cultural heritage," the Aztecs pale in comparison to the damage done by the "enlightened" masonic revolutionaries. In last century alone, 100 million adults and born children were slaughtered by proponents of the ultimate naturalist governmental system communism. Add to that the staggering estimates of 50 million babies worldwide which are aborted every year and the Aztecs don't look quite so bad.
Rather than ancient "priests" standing atop temples ripping beating hearts out of the chests of the Mexicans, we now have "population control experts" sitting in United Nation buildings planning the distribution of abortifacient drugs to third world countries not yet "enlightened" in the ways of the modern world.
A less-abstract connection can be made with the communist government of China which unashamedly carries out forced abortion and sterilization programs that put even the most industrious Aztec sacrificial efforts to shame. Is there a more clear evil on the planet than Red China? Is the influence of Satan more easily seen in any other modern country? No and no. But according to the Vatican, the Catholic Church and Chinese government are "not in opposition" to one another.
We are witnessing the resurgence of the Aztecs, the vindication of pagan Rome the apparent triumph of everything the Bride of Christ has fought against for so long. Now is not the time to concede the fight or resign ourselves to play by the rules made by the Church's enemies. Now, more than ever, holy zeal is needed. In the words of Pope Pius VI:
"All of you Catholics ... We exhort you, with all our heart, to remember the Religion and Faith of your fathers, to remain faithful to it, since religion is the first and greatest good, because it will procure for you eternal felicity in heaven, and is yet on earth the only means of assuring the salvation of empires and the happiness of civil society. Guard against the preaching of deceivers, of the philosophies of the century, which would lead you to death; distance yourselves from all usurpers under whatever guise they present themselves, Archbishops, Bishops, priests; have nothing in common with them, above all in the practice of religion." 12
1 Catholic Encyclopedia, "Naturalism" (1913)
3 Vatican Information Service, "Combat Evil With Prayer, Sacraments and Penitence" (2/17/2002)
4 Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei" (11/1/1885)
5 Pope St. Pius X, "Vehementor Nos" (2/11/1906)
6 Pope Pius IX, "Syllabus of Errors" [SOE]
7 D. Pelotte "John Courtney-Murray: Theologian in Conflict", New York (1975)
8 D. von Hildebrand, "The Devastated Vineyard" Chicago (1973) [TDV]
11 Bro. H. F. Leies, SM, "Mother for a New World: Our Lady of Guadalupe" The Newman Press, Mestiminster, MD (1964)
12 Pope Pius VI, (4/13/1791)