Pope to Doctrinally Dissenting Catholics:
Love It or Leave It
Pope Benedict XVI is a hard man to classify. Often characterized as a retiring scholar given to carefully nuanced statements, he repeatedly rattles the curial Romanita with a Teutonic bluntness.
A case in point is the Pope's Aug. 28 Angelus address on Judas' betrayal of Christ. (See: "Pope suggests it's best to be 'honest' and leave the Church if you don't believe: HLI priest".) The Holy Father examines the motivation of Judas, concluding that he remained with Christ long after he had ceased to believe. Noting that such false allegiance is the "mark of the devil," the Pope tells us that Judas' reason for remaining was rooted in a "secret intention of taking vengeance on the Master."
Drawing a general lesson from the particular instance, the Pope lays down the principle that when faith has departed from the individual, it is best for the individual to depart from the faith. In other words, if you don't believe in Catholic dogma, stop pretending to be Catholic. Be honest: leave the Church.
The Pope is calling on all modern Judases who remain nominally Catholic for the sake of "taking vengeance" on the Church to have the courage of their lack of conviction and acknowledge they are no longer Catholic, i.e. they reject the defined truths to which all Catholics are obliged to give assent if they are to remain Catholic.
In his latest book, False Friends of Fatima, Christopher A. Ferrara agrees wholeheartedly with the principle enunciated by the Holy Father, as he explained during his talk at the Fatima: Your Last Chance! conference in Rome. (See: "Meet the False Friends of Fatima".)
For more than a half-century, "progressive" Church officials who want to jettison traditional doctrine in favor of a false ecumenism have been waging a war on the Message of Fatima. These "false friends" praise Fatima as an exhortation to prayer and holiness, then distort the message to suit their new ecclesiology, which does not include the Church's sole divinely given mission: convert all souls to the Catholic Faith.
The Message of Fatima requires very specific actions by the Pope and the bishops that we are assured will result in very specific results: the conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith and world peace. (See: Fatima Essentials: The Requests.) That neither of these promises has been realized should be sufficient proof that Our Lady's requests have not been honored. Yet, the "false friends" claim otherwise.
The war against the Message of Fatima is unending. One of the popular figures on EWTN has used his television celebrity to further the distortions of the Vatican Secretary of State by writing a book titled Fatima for Today. A more honest title would have been, "Fatima Was Yesterday." But honesty is not valued in this campaign of distortion. (See: "Fatima For Today: A Response".)
The apostles were the first bishops of the Church, and one of the 12 was a traitor. Judas pretended to believe when he did not. And he waited for an opportune moment to betray Our Lord. There is a line of "Catholic" bishops descended from Judas. They no longer hold to the Faith of our fathers, which means the Message of Fatima is anathema to them. And they and their allies can be counted on to oppose obedience to Our Lady of Fatima's requests that the Pope and the bishops consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. So far, they have succeeded. (See: "Meet the False Friends of Fatima".)
But we know they will fail in the end, for we have Our Lady's promise of Her certain triumph. (See the Heaven's Peace Plan web site.) Meanwhile, we must do all we can to hasten the moment of that triumph, for Our Lady has enlisted us as Her soldiers in this great and holy cause. Let us do all we can, knowing that the false friends of Fatima will be exposed, and the true friends of Fatima will be victorious in the end. (See: Fatima Essentials: What You Can Do.)
In his September 2 Angelus address, Pope Benedict warned against allowing the Faith to become a "secondary custom" in our lives. (See: "Pope: Christians also likely to relegate religion to 'secondary habit'".) The warning is especially apropos in the United States, where there is tremendous social pressure to keep one's religious beliefs in one's pocket, so to speak.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken the unusual step of opposing the Obama administration's insistence that Catholic institutions provide contraceptive and abortifacient drugs as part of the healthcare packages for their employees. It is unusual because the USCCB is generally in lockstep with the Democratic Party on social issues. It is likely that USCCB members are taking a stand on the issue with a certain amount of regret and reluctance. Some bishops have of phobia of seeming too religious.
But the Church's opposition has been softened by Timothy Cardinal Dolan's inviting Obama to the Al Smith Dinner in New York. What's more, Cardinal Dolan agreed to offer a prayer at the Democratic National Convention. Despite disclaimers that this represents no endorsement of the party platform, which supports abortion and same-sex marriage, it certainly makes such issues appear secondary to "civility." (See: "Cardinal Timothy Dolan asks candidates to sign civility pledge".)
This civility, of which Cardinal Dolan has appointed himself the public champion, seems very much akin to the toleration that John Locke proposed should be granted to all religions, except Catholicism, because the Catholic Faith's claim to be the one true faith places it beyond the pale of toleration.
And such an emphasis on civility as the primary public virtue cannot help but relegate truth to a secondary position. Whatever the issue, be it the murder of the unborn or the "marriage" of homosexuals, politeness must come first. That this position has been widely accepted by many Church officials is repeatedly demonstrated. (See: "Crossing the Threshold of Tolerance".)
There is a price to be paid for offending powerful people, and Our Lord paid that price on Calvary. But it has always fallen to the Church to speak truth to power. Now is the time for the Church to speak up. And the most effective way of doing that is to obey Our Lady of Fatima.
One thing that prevents the Pope and the bishops from consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart is the fear of offending Russia. Again, civility must be observed, according to certain Vatican bureaucrats, and Fatima represents a breach in civility. Fatima also represents our only hope for world peace. Perhaps it's time for our Church leaders to become a bit unmannerly.
Latest Fatima Perspectives
Dolan at the DNC: Our Most Cherished Freedom? — So, Cardinal Dolan gave his benediction at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, thereby legitimating the gathering of that coven of fiends for whom the burning issues of the day are free birth control for college students, the preservation of abortion on demand, and the legal right of homosexuals to pretend to "marry" each other.
Dolan the Non-Partisan Prelate — Having made his appearance at the Republican National Convention in Tampa to bestow the requisite American-style nondenominational benediction on the proceedings — devoid of any reference to Christ our Saviour, but only to Jesus as a son of Abraham along with Isaac and Jacob — Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York is ready to do the same for the Democrats in Charlotte.
Behold the Three-LLL LLLama — There is a much misunderstood statement to the effect that we create our own reality. It gained currency in the 1960s, when Eastern thought was imported to the West without warning labels.
The P... Riot Affair: What's Beneath the Appearances? — Viewed superficially, the jail sentence of three impudent feminist protesters who invaded an Orthodox cathedral in Moscow and offered a mock prayer to the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Vladimir Putin is what they deserve. Look beneath the surface, however, and you will find something quite different from just retribution for a public sacrilege.
The Network Gone Wrong Goes Wrong... Again — One of the realities that prompted Christopher Ferrara to write EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong six years ago is that EWTN's roster of celebrities is curiously prone to scandal. Included in this article is a list of major EWTN celebrities who have bitten the dust since 1998. But even now, "another one bites the dust."
The Müller Disaster — There are no two ways about it: humanly speaking, Pope Benedict's appointment of Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller of Regensburg as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is a disaster for the cause of Catholic restoration in the midst of the devastated vineyard of the post-Vatican II "renewal" of the Church.
A Cautionary Tale for Catholic Bishops — Every objective indicator points to the rapid decline and eventual demise of the Episcopal Church in America. From a membership of 3 million in 1970, the church now claims about 1 million adherents. And mind you, these are official figures. The number of Episcopalians regularly attending services and offering financial support may be much lower.
Archbishop Di Noia Admits: The Goal is to Convert SSPX to Conciliar Thinking — In 1946, Father Garrigou-Lagrange warned in his landmark article against the modernist New Theology, "Those who have attempted to attend the classes of the masters of modernist thought in order to convert them have allowed themselves to be converted by them." It is clear the same ruse is being applied to the Society of St. Pius X.
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