1st Anniversary Flashback; Cardinal Burke Still Causing Confusion


(New Era World News – Follow Up Tomorrow)

This article was written earlier in the year but serves as a flashback on this First Anniversary of the attempt to force Pope Francis to answer to his detractors.  Newera is looking forward to releasing a provocative, demonstrative and current update on the issue tomorrow.

CARDINAL BURKE SEEMS TO HAVE TROUBLE letting go of an issue that has already been settled. Earlier this year Cardinal Mueller, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) stated that “There’s no problem with doctrine in ‘Amoris Laetitia” (AL).  The Cardinal also stated that:

“The document is “very clear” on doctrine, and that making the discussion public is harmful to the Church.”

Nonetheless, on the eve of March 24, 2017 Cardinal Raymond Burke, after several  previous public cannonades, was still at it. If the pope is not good enough for him why should the highest doctrinal authority in the Church, beside the pope himself, mean anything to him either? Thus, on that Friday evening, Cardinal Burke presented a talk at Saint Raymond of Peñafort parish in Springfield, Virginia, during which he stated that  “correction” by the Four Cardinals would be forthcoming if Pope Francis fails respond to the dubia presented to him by what might in jest be a dubious group of cardinals.

The pastor of the parish, Fr. John De Celles, asked about the dubia:

Fr. De Celles: There are a lot of rumors circulating about the dubia, which you and four other esteemed cardinals sent to the Holy Father about divorce, marriage, and communion and the likeDo you know if there will be a response to the dubia from our Holy Father or from the CDF?

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Cardinal Burke: I sincerely hope that there will be because these are fundamental questions that are honestly raised by the text of the apostolic…the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. And until these questions are answered, there continues to spread a very harmful confusion in the Church and one of the fundamental questions is in regards to the truth that there are some kinds that are always and everywhere wrong – what we call intrinsically evil acts – and so, we cardinals are, will continue to insist that we hear a response to these honest questions.”

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Fr. De Celles: If there is no response, will, what will your response be, the Four Cardinals?

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Cardinal Burke: Then we simply will have to correct the situation, again, in a respectful way, that simply can say that, to draw the response to the questions from the constant teachings of the Church and to make that known for the good of souls.

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https://youtu.be/qHimETgzsQQ

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“In summary, the five dubia suggest that “Amoris Laetitia” may have altered traditional Catholic teaching on the following matters:”

  • the indissolubility of the sacramental marriage bond;
  • the existence of absolute moral norms prohibiting intrinsically evil acts;
  • that one can find oneself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin by living in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law;
  • that circumstances or intentions can never transform an intrinsically evil act into a subjectively good one or into a defensible choice;
  • that there can be no “creative” role for conscience to authorize legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms.

According to the Jesuit Review,

“The dubia are not really expressions of doubt or questions but rather assertions that “Amoris Laetitia” appears to have abandoned or altered key teachings of Catholic tradition, especially as they have been expressed most recently by St. John Paul II in his encyclical letter “Veritatis Splendor” (1993).

This does appear to be the case.  The key word is “appears“. After reading the document, we begin to wonder if the Cardinal has ever read the document; certain that he has, Newera analysts are left awestruck, did we read the same document?  We are left awestruck because after reading the document, nothing “appeared‘ contrary to the teachings of Catholic tradition. In fact, Pope Francis strains to make it clear in numerous places throughout the document and esp. in the so-called “troublesome” Chapter Eight that nothing stated in AL about the discernment process that is integral to pastoral theology should be interpreted in such a way that contradicts the long held teaching of the Church on marriage nor may it be interpreted in such a way that prescinds from the Gospel (para 297, 300, 307, 308, 311). Did the Cardinals miss these statements?

To elucidate the point about Francis’ clarity, a chronological list of clarifying statements contained in the original document (Chapter Eight) is provided.  To begin, according to the AL,

“The Synod Fathers stated that, although the Church realizes that any breach of the marriage bond “is against the will of God”  she is also “conscious of the frailty of many of her children” (para 291).

Pope Francis begins the so-called difficult chapter by reaffirming the perennial truths of the faith pertaining to the marriage bond and hints at the pastoral dimension that must be taken into account while upholding the perennial truths, because, according to the popeany breach of the marriage bond “is against the will of God.” Moreover, the Church

“… constantly holds up the call to perfection and asks for a fuller response to God, “the Church must accompany with attention and care the weakest of her children  to enlighten those who have lost their way or who are in the midst of a storm” (para 291).

Again, he clearly states that the Church in addition to protecting the marriage bond from any breach, is also leading all of her children to “perfection“. Since all men and women are at a different place along the path that leads to God, the Church must meet them where they are at.  As witnessed by St. Paul, she must “become all things to all men with the view of winning them to Christ” (1 Cor 9:22). If the Church and her ministers fail to do this, they will not bring anyone to Christ, which is their evangelical mission. She must be especially vigilant about those who have “lost their way”; Like her beloved spouse, Jesus Christ, His bride must leave the secure to seek out the lost but not in anyway that negates the truth about marriage as already clearly stated at the outset of the chapter.

“What man of you that hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing: And coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance” (Luke 15:4-7).

Perhaps this pastoral approach taught by the Lord Himself, is too difficult for some who would rather wear medals and debate theological issues while drinking wine and smoking cigars or for another group, the so-called, “self righteous”. While debating theology and enjoying a good cigar are wholesome activities, the are deficient if not followed by the difficult task of pastoral work, of seeking out, reassuring, and accompanying the lost while gently guiding them after touching their hearts with mercy and compassion rather than cold correction and instant rebuke, which, more often than not, turns them away. NO! This is not the way of Jesus Christ, nor is it the way of Pope Francis; anyone who thinks otherwise will have difficulty understanding Amoris Laetitia.

Francis continues:

“The Fathers also considered the specific situation of a merely civil marriage or, with due distinction, even simple cohabitation, noting that “when such unions attain a particular stability, legally recognized, are characterized by deep affection and responsibility for their offspring, and demonstrate an ability to overcome trials,  they can provide occasions for pastoral care with a view to the eventual celebration of the sacrament of marriage” (para 293).

Notice that Francis indicates that when civilly married people or even those in “simple cohabitation” have a relationship that is “stable” and are characterized by “deep affection” and “responsibility for their offspring” they can provide an “occasion for pastoral care”, not for the sacraments but for pastoral care (that might lead to the sacraments). In other words, divorced-remarried couples who are acting maturely and give signs that they might want to mature in the faith should be approached; they should be approached however, not to introduce them to the Sacraments, but with a view of giving them  pastoral care that might lead to “eventual celebration” of marriage”.  In other words, these people are to be met and encountered, not to condone their sin, but to bring them to a deeper relationship with Christ and eventually to Christian marriage. This seems very clear, and it sets the tone for the remainder of the so-called difficult chapter.

To provide further clarity Francis remarks:

“In this pastoral discernment, there is a need “to identify elements that can foster evangelization and human and spiritual growth”.

In other words, the pastor is not to make excuses and look past sins or worse, to condone them; rather, he is to identify elements that can foster evangelization; that is look for positive behaviors that he can build upon while gently correcting them and leading them to deeper communion with Christ and with each other.  Clearly, if they need “spiritual growth,” they must be doing something wrong!

It is the pope’s desire to lead such people from a sinful to a sanctified relationship:

“We know that there is “a continual increase in the number of those who, after having lived together for a long period, request the celebration of marriage in Church.”

A pastor will meet a broad variety of cases; however, according to Pope Francis,

“Whatever the case, “all these situations require a constructive response seeking to transform them into opportunities that can lead to the full reality of marriage and family in conformity with the Gospel.

Did Cardinal Burke miss this? Whatever the case, these relationships “require” “transformation.”  They are “opportunities” that can lead to marriage in “CONFORMITY WITH THE GOSPEL”. This is the second time the pope has mentioned the need to conform to the Gospel. He is concerned that the Church reinstate sinners in some way possible, in some way that will lead to fuller participation and eventual reception of the sacraments.  He does not want to cast sinners away like the New England Puritans did, but to embrace them and win them over as Christ did.  He wants to do this not be excusing their sins but by acknowledging their sins and also acknowledging anything good in their relationship and building upon it.

He makes this point about excusing sin clear (para 297):

“Naturally, if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal (radical homosexual who argues God made him this way), or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches (for example civil-remarriage), he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; this is a case of something which separates from the community” (cf. Mt 18:17).

Again, clearly, anyone who teaches that objective sins are licit cannot be a teacher or a preacher; this is a case of “something which separates from the community”.  Can it get any clearer than this? Although good pastors will look for ways to accompany their parishioners, esp. sinful ones always with an eye to something to build upon as mentioned above, no one can excuse objective sin and the flaunting of it.  This is NOT acceptable and Francis is straightforward about the matter.

He then points out  at the end of para 297 that people who have contracted civil marriage, who are divorced and remarried or simply living together are living wrongly, are NOT living up to God’s expectations.  Therefore he says  that they need help to “understand the divine pedagogy of grace‘ and the need “assistance so that they can reach the fullness of God’s plan for them” because obviously their living arrangement is not up to God’s plan!

In para 298 he reiterates:

“It must remain clear that this is not the ideal which the Gospel proposes for marriage and the family.”

Nonetheless,

“Such persons need to feel not as excommunicated members of the Church, but instead as living members, able to live and grow in the Church and experience her as a mother who welcomes them always, who takes care of them with affection and encourages them along the path of life and the Gospel.”

Obviously, if they need to be encouraged along the path of the Gospel, they are failing; nonetheless, they should be incorporated into the community, somehow, and encouraged to grow like the rest of the sinners who occupy the pews.

Pope Francis does NOT indicate that priests should accept divorced and remarried people into the community and then forget their sinful state.

“Priests have the duty to “accompany [the divorced and remarried] in helping them to understand their situation according to the teaching of the Church and the guidelines of the bishop” (para 300).

These couple must be “accompanied” so that they can be “helped”, helped to understand why their relationship precludes them for receiving Holy Communion “according to the teaching of the Church.”  The pope does not say they may be excused by some aberrant pastoral excuse, but he does say they must be developed according to the TEACHING of the CHURCH. For those who want to argue that the additional clause and “guidelines of the bishops” permits admission to Holy Communion; it is simply responded that those guidelines must also be consistent with the teaching of the Church as Cardinal Muller, Prefect of the CDF is now making clear.  Aberrant liberal bishops will have to be corrected if their guidelines run contrary to the teaching of the Church, that is the job of the CDF.

For Cardinal Burke to act as if confusion is something new, because some bishops are permitting civilly remarried people etc. to receive Holy Communion, is surprising.  Aberrant bishops have caused confusion for 2,000 years. THIS IS NOTHING NEW. Catholics have seen this type of abuse even with an Ecumenical Council, why should supposed confusion of a Post-Synodal Exhortation cause any surprise?  In fact, confusion is being exacerbated by prelates like Cardinal Burke who keep insisting there is massive confusion where there would be little to none if they would “zip it.”  Liberal aberrant bishops will open the door to sin no matter what they are told; a key ingredient to their success is supposed “confusion”.

You are reading a review of Chapter Eight.  Do you honestly see any confusion so far? Cardinal Burke is helping manufacture confusion, perhaps due to a failure to synthesize dogmatic and pastoral theology. This happens to many people, esp. learned ones who spend too much time in their heads and have failed to integrate their minds with their hearts, wisdom with mercy and compassion.  If the eminent cardinal had closed ranks behind the pope and interpreted the document as a pastoral exhortation that holds the objective truth about marriage in tact, as it does, aberrant bishops would have less room to operate; Cardina Burke is opening the doors wide to deviance by continually advancing the theme of confusion.

After saying that divorced and remarried couples should be helped to understand their situation according to the teaching of the Church, the pope further drives home the divorced-remarried couple’s error by calling  them to  an “examination of conscience” followed by “repentance” (para 300).  Why a call to penance if not a presumption that they are sinning? Again, crystal clear!

Clearly, such people cannot be admitted to Holy Communion because according to (para 300), they need to form a “correct judgement” of their situation.   Until they do so and repent, they are, according to the pope, “hindered” from “the possibility of fuller participation in the life of the Church“. While guiding an aberrant couple to discern the state of their relationship before God, no priest is licitly permitted to admit them to the sacraments.  To make the point abundantly clear, Pope Francis states (para 300):

“This discernment can NEVER PRESCIND FROM THE GOSPEL DEMANDS OF TRUTH and CHARITY AS PROPOSED BY THE CHURCH.”

Did Cardinal Burke just happen to miss this too, perhaps one of the more powerful statements in AL?

Francis’ loyalty to the Magisterium, to the Gospels and Tradition become even clearer as he limits the parameters involved to even qualify a couple as candidates for the whole the process of discernment:

“For this discernment to happen, the following conditions must necessarily be present: humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it” (para 300).

In other words, the very possibility of beginning dialogue between pastor and parishioner, dialogue that is intended to place persons on the path of sanctification that might lead to the sacraments if they do things correctly; the very possibility of this dialogue is contingent upon persons  being, “humble”, having “love for the Church” and “her teaching”; it is further contingent upon the couple’s having a “sincere search for God’s will” and a willingness to respond “more perfectly” to it.  If these qualifying marks are missing, discernment leading to the sacraments cannot even begin; at least this is what the pope states; do you read something else?  What did Cardinal Burke read?

Pope Francis drives this requirement home by stating that these attitudes are “essential” (para 300).  They are essential to “avoid misunderstanding” and the “grave danger” that might lead a priest to think that he can grant “exceptions” (para 300). Thus, any priest thinking that pastoral theology dispenses him from the constant teaching of the Church in these matters is not only “misunderstanding” what the pope is teaching and what the Church teaches, he is also involving himself and his parishioners in “grave danger”.

Some how Cardinal Burke seems to think that Pope Francis is excusing sin due to ignorance or any number of particular  and contingent circumstances.  This is patently false.  Nowhere does Pope Francis say ignorance outright excuses; what he does say is that ignorancemitigates“.  In fact, this is the title of the next section of the Exhortation:

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 “Mitigating Factors in Pastoral Discernment”

Pope Francis begins this section by making the simple moral point, simple for anyone educated in moral theology, that even sinners can experience grace, at least prevenient grace that leads them to the sacraments. He even states that “More is involved than mere ignorance” (para 301).

When reading this section, the reader must not do as some Protestant Divines do, that is cherry-pick or fail to read the document as a systematic whole, fail to remember everything that was clearly stated previously.  At this point, the document moves from dogmatic or speculative theology into the the more difficult realm of moral casuistry or practical-pastoral theology, the point where the rubber meets the road so to speak, the point where theory must be applied to practice. Thus, at this point it necessarily becomes more obtuse.  The obtuseness of the exercise should be expected by anyone with a background in either moral theology or moral philosophy, even a pagan like Aristotle understood the difference; he also taught that the second part, that is the practical part, is the more difficult of the two – this is the simple reason why the document grows more difficult at this point; however, it must not be forgotten that Francis has already stared at least twice, that a valid interpretation of AL cannot prescind from the Gospel or teaching of the Church.

Again, throughout this section, the pope speaks about mitigating circumstances; he does not excuse objective sin, but stresses subjective mitigating circumstances due to the nature of a faulty or malformed conscience, a malformed conscience that is supposed to be corrected in the process of “accompaniment” by the pastor explained in the previous section. As regards mitigating circumstances due to subjective states, we find Jesus, Himself,  clearly teaching this in the Gospels:

“And that servant who knew the will of his lord, and prepared not himself, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes” (Luke 12:47-48).

Jesus position is clearly that of His Vicar. Persons who are invincibly ignorant of the truth, or for any other valid reason fail to comprehend it, reasons such as socialization, psychological immaturity, psychological manipulation by association etc, such persons who commit sins despite their ignorance etc are still guilty of an objective wrong; however, the subjective moral culpability is lessened; how much it is lessened depends on the circumstances which only God alone is master of, a fact that led Francis to once say, “who am I to judge?”  Only God and perhaps the person himself can judge such things; it is the job of the pastor to enter into a relationship to better grasp the subjective state of his parishioners.

Without this approach, without such a relationship, the whole process of discernment breaks down and all that is left is a black and white judgement based upon objective facts of dogmatic theology; this is what it means to be dogmatic, or closed minded, closed to deeper truths about the acting person, deeper truths that affect their relationship to their sin and his or her moral culpability.  These are facts, necessary facts for the successful process of pastoring souls entrusted to a priest’s care. Cardinal Burke seems oblivious to such facts; he prefers to make everything black and white. In this, he is acting more like a judgemental pharisee than a “good shepherd serving his people in the image of Jesus Christ who gave his life for his sheep, a good shepeherd who knows them well enough to call them each by name (John 10:3).

Again, to make his point clear, Francis states that

In order to avoid all misunderstanding, I would point out that in no way must the Church desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage.”

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A lukewarm attitude, any kind of relativism, or an undue reticence in proposing that ideal, would be a lack of fidelity to the Gospel and also of love on the part of the Church for young people themselves. To show understanding in the face of exceptional situations never implies dimming the light of the fuller ideal, or proposing less than what Jesus offers to the human being” (para 307).

It is hard to see how Cardinal Burke missed this along with the score of other similar clear pronouncements throughout the Chapter made by Pope Francis. The pope emphatically stresses the point that he wants to “avoid all misunderstanding”.  To do so he again states that what he is teaching in no way desists from the “full idea of marriage.”  Moreover, he anathematizes “relativism” and “undue reticence” to the “full ideal of marriage.” Again he states, that contingent circumstance, that pastoral understanding, compassion etc, “never imply dimming the light to the fuller ideal (to the fullness of truth) or proposing less” than Jesus taught.

The Church, he says is

“…a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, “always does what good she can, even if in the process, her  shoes get soiled by the mud of the street” (that is in the pasture where her ministers must encounter the dirt of sinners lives) (para308).

Again, he states, again and again, that the Church must hold to her “objective teaching”

Pope Francis closes the so-called difficult chapter by restating one more time the commitment to objective truth; however, he teaches that there is one thing greater than the truth, that is love, the summit of Christ’s teaching and of His life; it was love that sent Him to the cross and love that redeemed the world (“Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends“). No one sent Jesus to the cross; He freely chose the path of salvific suffering, and He chose out of love for sinful humanity.  This is the central point Francis wants to make and indeed does make. It is difficult to comprehend how Prelates like Cardinal Burke miss it?

“Although it is quite true that concern must be shown for the integrity of the Church’s moral teaching, special care should always be shown to emphasize and encourage the highest and most central values of the Gospel, particularly the primacy of charity as a response to the completely gratuitous offer of God’s love.

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” It is true, for example, that mercy does not exclude justice and truth, but first and foremost we have to say that mercy is the fullness of justice and the most radiant manifestation of God’s truth.”

In this Francis is seconded by the Sacred Scriptures:

‘If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

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And now there remain faith (from which wisdom grows), hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Cor. 13:1-13).

Equally impressive  is the story of Jesus’ dialogue with the rich young man (Matt 19:16-22). Jesus does not simply announce the truth and leave the young man to accept it or reject it. Rather, Jesus engages in a process to bring the young man forward. “Jesus, as a a good shepherd, personally leads the young man step by step to the truth

Francis, like Jesus, insists upon two unique but integral aspects of evangelization: First is the proclamation of truth and then the gradual formation of people to internalize and live it. Thus, when the Pharisees (dogmatic theologians – men without mercy- Matt 9:13) questioned Jesus about divorce (Matt 19:3-9), He communicated the objective facts; He proclaimed the truth: Marriage is indissoluble and exclusive.  However, when he interacted with the Samaritan woman, He placed less emphasis on the truth and more on her personal life journey, a journey that involved her with six men.  After engaging her, He told her,

“Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered, and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband. This thou hast said truly” (John 4: 16-18).

Jesus does not break the conversation, but engages her until she (and then many others) finally accepts Him as the Messiah (John 4:38-42):

 “Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in him, for the word of the woman giving testimony: He told me all things whatsoever I have done? So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And he abode there two days. And many more believed in him because of his own word. And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard him, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.”

See what truth in the context of a little encounter and dialogue can do? Pope Francis is exemplifying these two aspects of evangelization, the need to hold to the truth that never “prescinds from the Gospel” and the more difficult process of discernment and engagement whereby alienated people are gradually led , step by step, to communion so that they can eventually be one with Him who is the Way and the Truth and the Life.

FOLLOWUP ARTICLE TO FOLLOW TOMORROW




Absolutism and Divine Right


New Era World News

American Foundations
Intelligence Report #7

ABSOLUTISM UNDERSTOOD AS the exercise of power and authority over both spiritual and temporal affairs of church and state had its origins in the Protestant Reformation. It is associated with the Divine Right of Kings (which also has a Protestant etiology), although not quite the same thing.  As explained below, Divine Right has to do with the origin or source of a king’s power; whereas Absolutism has to do with the extent of that power.

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Available as an E-Book

Divine right and absolutism are occasionally combined in one person such as James I, the Protestant King of England, who claimed absolute rule over both church and state by divine right. His advocacy of divine right was supported by his private theologian, Robert Filmer who wrote, “Patriarcha” to refute  the Catholic idea of limited sovereignty as represented in the works of Saint Robert Bellarmine, esp. Bellarmine’s “Treatise on Civil Government” and of Saint Thomas Aquinas “De Regiminie Principium. Catholic kings were limited by a long tradition of (1) divine law, (2) natural law, (3) power of the aristocracy (as witnessed by the “ancient” rights claimed by the Catholic aristocracy in the “Magna Carta”, (4) interdict of the church, and by (5) their coronation oaths. Because the Protestant James I (also crowned as James VI of Scotland 1567–1625) claimed to rule by divine right, he also proclaimed himself above the laws and thus rejected most of the above limitations to his power:

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Available as an E-book

“The state of monarchy is the most supreme thing upon earth, for kings are not only God’s lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself are called gods…Kings are justly called gods, for that they exercise a manner of resemblance of divine power upon earth: for if you will consider the attributes to God, you shall see how they agree in the person of a king.”

James continued:

“I conclude then this point, touching the power of kings with this axiom of divinity: that as to dispute what God may do is blasphemy… so is it sedition in subjects to dispute what a king may do in the height of his power.”[4]

James believed in divine right and absolutism. No earthly power, political or religious, had authority over him; he ruled, so he wrongly thought, both church and state by fiat.

Christian kings, such as James I, who claim to rule by divine right, assert more than a belief that they rule by decree of God; they also claim that regal blood flows in their veins as determined by a sacral lineage reaching back through the generations to King David to whom God made the following eternal covenant:

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

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And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-16).

James claimed to be descended from David and thus to sit on the regal throne of the warrior king and Messiah established by God Himself. If the king sits on the throne of David, he rules over a sacral state by divine decree, over all things sacred and secular, spiritual and temporal, and his power has no limits. This is quite an exaggerated claim foreign to more modest Catholic ideas of limited monarchy. From the Catholic perspective, kings serve at the behest of the church, the Bride of Christ who places limits on the exercise of their power. Jesus told Peter that He would bind in heaven whatever Peter bound on earth (Matthew 16:19); this includes kings as well as doctrinal matters. In short, in a Catholic nation the legitimacy of a king depends on his coronation by the Church, which in turn implies limits on the exercise of regal power.

The Catholic Church, moreover, never assented to any state or monarch having authority over its sacred teachings, its liturgy, prayers, and councils or over religious matters concerning the salvation of souls in its care. The investiture controversy bears witness to this historical verity. It was 16th-17th century Protestant England and 18th century revolutionary France that subjected the church to the state and made religious dogma a matter of public policy. Neither absolutism, nor its closely related correlate, divine right, are found in Catholic social theory, in the teaching of any of its councils, or in the writings of its saints and doctors.

Although there were Catholic kings who claimed divine right and who endeavored to rule both church and state, such as King Louis XIV of France, both ideas are antithetical to Catholic social teaching and rejected by the Church. Although Louis XIV was able to convince the French Episcopate to issue the “Declaration of the Clergy“[5], in an attempt to extend the droit de regale (rights of the king) to include appointment of various bishops, abbots, and priors, the Holy See resisted his attempts to trump the pope and to rule over the Church of France by facile appeal to rule by divine right.

There is only one king who rules over the Church by divine right, Christ the King whose blood-line is traced to the lineage of King David (Matthew 1:1-16). The covenant made with David was fulfilled forever in the person of Jesus Christ, the “Son of David’ (Matt 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30; 21:9; 21:5). No other monarch, no matter what he might claim, no matter how much court sycophants might bend scripture, and no matter to what extent acquiescing bishops might go to confirm him as head of a state church, no other monarch rules by divine right except Christ the King, the Son of David, whose throne will stand forever.

Because that is well understood, the Catholic Church never accepted the idea of divine right or the idea of absolutism that falsely attends it. All Catholic monarchs are confirmed and consecrated by the Church; this is why Saint Joan of Arc went to such trouble to have Charles the Dauphin crowned and anointed with holy oil by the bishops at Reims thus becoming King Charles VII. No Catholic king can claim to rule by divine right unless the church approves, confirms, and anoints him, in which case, the king serves by right of the church and therefore, in Catholic countries, is subject to and can be disposed by the church.

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The Dauphin, Charles Crowned King of France at Reims: Attended by St. Joan of Arc

After coronation, a Catholic king might be said to rule by divine right, but this idea of divine right is not necessarily tied to any lineage blood claims nor does it permit absolute rule over the church by a Catholic king, or by any king. If any form of absolutism is ever permitted, or more correctly tolerated, it would be a type of absolutism over temporal matters and then subject to all of the checks mentioned above or any others that might be devised.

Although the Catholic Church used terminology” such as “royal God-given rights“, or “by the grace of God”, the title by “divine right” is an egregious exaggeration. Pagan kings of the Middle East and emperors of Rome were often invested with absolute power and revered as gods. This long accepted practice was mitigated, amended, and then abrogated by the Catholic Church when it formalized the reduction of kingly power by promulgating the Medieval doctrine of the Two Swords introduced in the fifth century by Pope St. Gelasius, and expanded in the 14th century by the bull “Unam Sanctam, written by Pope Boniface VIII, who further instituted the idea of temporal rule entrusted to lay men and women while the clergy retained spiritual rule thereby bringing an end to pagan absolutism. It was not until the Reformation that the idea returned. Because papal and ecclesial authority had been rejected by the Reformers, no other power existed in Protestant nations save that of the state.  In this situation, the growth of absolutism was inevitable.[6]

Catholic kings, like Protestant kings, often endeavored to protect the unity of the faith in their respective realms; nonetheless, no Catholic king ever ruled the church, decided its dogma, directed its liturgy etc. as the Protestant kings did in England beginning with absolutists Henry VIII, his daughter Elizabeth, and then the Stuart line (of which all but one, James II[7], were Protestant) who all claimed to rule both church (Anglican Church) and state by divine right.  The Catholic Church never accepted or bestowed the title by “divine right” on any king. If there were Catholic Kings who mistakenly claimed to rule by “divine right”, the mistake was theirs not the Church’s.

To state that the Catholic Church was an advocate of divine right is to misunderstand her social and political teachings, probably because those making the claim never read these teachings, esp. the teachings closely associated with the idea, such as the Medieval teaching of the “Two Swords” promulgated by Boniface VII in his bull, “Unam Sanctum” (1302) and those of Bellarmine and Aquinas indicated above.

The Catholic Church certainly influenced but never ruled the state in France or in England, nor was the universal church ever controlled by the state in France or in England. King Louis XIV of France imposed Catholicism, appointed bishops in his realm, and claimed to rule by divine right, but the Church never recognized his claim to such rule and was engaged in a constant battle with him over the succession of bishops and governance of the church. If he had power over the church, he could have altered her teachings and established new dogma; this was something, for all his apparent arrogance, he never did. For example, in his battle with Jansenism he did not rely on his own interpretation of dogma but consistently deferred to the papacy.

In conclusion, the Church was never ruled by the kings of France or England nor did the pope or bishops ever govern the temporal affairs of France or England, which were entrusted to the king or queen. The governments of 18th century France and of 16-17th century England established their own Protestant and secular national churches and then took control of economic, political, and religious affairs of their respective nations. Once the Liberal “Philosophes” gained power in France, they unleashed a reign of terror against the Catholic Church and aristocracy, invested themselves with authority to establish a new secular religion, and established new national feast days such as the “Festival of Reason”[8]  congruent with their newly institutionalized secular religion. Absolutism, in short, was an Anti-catholic secular and Protestant thing.


Conclusion

Divine Right and absolutism are two closely related but different political phenomena.  Divine Right has to do with the origins of power by the tracing of blood lines back to King David whose throne was especially anointed by the Father for His Son, the Messiah and King of Kings. Clearly, once this throne was occupied by Jesus, no other king, no matter how magnificent, wise, or self-promoting could rightly claim it. Thus, the Catholic Church has never advocated, advance or consecrated the idea of kingly rule by divine right.  If some kings claim to rule by divine right, it is a false claim.  However, it could be construed as true, if the claimant is asserting that his power comes from God without any special claims to a royal bloodline going back to David and without any additional claim  to rule over the church.  All legitimate power comes from God, even presidents and congressmen receive their power from God.

Absolutism is a closely related to divine right because any king claiming to rule by divine right can be presumed to have absolute power. Nonetheless, absolutism, unlike divine right, is not about the origins of power, but the extent of power. Absolute power can extend to the temporal realm alone, as in the case when a king has plenipotentiary power over judicial, executive, and legislative affairs and cannot be checked.  An absolutism of an even more grandiose species is that exercised by rulers who, like Henry VIII, claimed power over both the temporal and spiritual realms.

Either way, the Catholic Church never assented to either one of these two types of absolutism.  Clearly, it could not assent to the latter; it is the pope as Vicar of Christ who rules over the spiritual affairs of the Church. No pope has ever acquiesced on this issue to any temporal leader, not even to the Emperor of Rome, albeit, they have worked closely with such leaders at various times in highly nuanced fashions.  The former type of absolutism clearly never existed in a Catholic country because Catholic kings receive their authority to rule from the church which retains a spiritual-moral check on their behavior.  Many Catholic kings and princes have felt the sting of interdiction or of excommunication thereby relieving their subjects from fealty to the offending lords and monarchs.

_____________________________________________

ENDNOTES

[1] http://kolbefoundation.org/gbookswebsite/studentlibrary/greatestbooks/aaabooks/bellarmine/Framecivilgovch1to4.html

[2] http://www.kolbefoundation.org/gbookswebsite/studentlibrary/greatestbooks/aaabooks/aquinas/regno.html

[3] http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/Latin/Texts/06_Medieval_period/Legal_Documents/Magna_Carta.html

[4] Norton College: (http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralprs20.htm).

[5] According to the Concordat of Bologna (1516) agreed to between the Vatican and the Kingdom of France, the right to present candidates for abbot, prior, or bishop was conceded to the king.  The pope retained the more solemn right to confirm. Louis XIV decided to extend his power over church property and appointments to vacant benefices, and place limits on the authority of the pope in violation of the Concordat.  At an Assembly of the Clergy at which this topic was the main agenda item, most of the bishops agreed to the king’s demands and the issued the “Declaration of the Clergy” in favor of the king.

Pope Innocent XI (1682) responded by annulling all that the Assembly of Clergy had conceded to the king. His successor, Pope Alexander VIII (1690) issued Multiplice Pastoralis Officii in which he abrogated the entire work of the Assembly and declared the “Declaration” illicit, invalid, and without any force. In response, Louis XIV withdrew his demands and submitted a letter of retraction to Pope Innocent XII (1693).

[6] “The Protestant Reformation further exacerbated the need of kings to justify their authority apart from the pope’s blessing, as well as to assert their right to rule the churches in their own realms. The advent of Protestantism also removed the counterbalancing power of the Roman church and returned the royal power to a potential position of absolute power” (New World Encyclopedia: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Divine_Right_of_Kings)

[7] James was also deposed and forced to abdicate by Parliament and his Protestant son-in-law, William of Orange in a coup known as the Glorious Revolution– he never regained the throne.

[8] The” Festival of Reason” was instituted on 20 Brumaire, Year II (November 10, 1793). Churches throughout France, including the Cathedral of Notre Dame, were profanated and transformed into “Temples of Reason”.  The Altar of the Eucharist was desecrated by being turned into an “Altar to Liberty”.  A new public liturgy was introduced in praise of the “Goddess Reason” accompanied by festive dancers wearing white Roman dresses and tricolor sashes emblematic of the revolution. This was the beginning of the dechristianization and secularization of France and Continental Europe.




Beware The False Apostles of “Americanism” Part One


New Era World News

“I join you, therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a
Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”

Thomas Jefferson to John Adams upon the disestablishment of religion in Massachusetts (Works, Vol. iv., p. 301).

 

BEWARE OF THE SPECIOUS CLAIM that America was founded by Christian men on Christian principles. The claim has long been touted by ideologues men (and women) who are in the business of falsifying information to suit their “noble” agenda. Their agenda includes other similar unsubstantiated and false claims made about the Catholic church.

These men and women (primarily Christian ideologues who correlate Christianity with the United States, capitalism, and the constitution) seem to have no problem distorting, changing, and twisting the Church’s sacred documents just as they mangle and pervert American historic documents so that they can present an untrue picture, a picture that matches their distorted script about God, history, current events and even the end of the world and a supposed pre-tribulation rapture.

False prophets such as these have difficulty distinguishing their religion from their politics. Somewhere along the line they conceived the idea that America is the “light of the world”, a nation with a God-given destiny to establish a “New Order of the Ages” or as it says on the nation’s currency, “Novus ordo seclorum”. Men such as these place their political philosophy in front of their moral and spiritual theology. Then disguised as disciples of Christ, they attempt to foist their false political and messianic agenda on the world in the name of Christ. They are so convinced by the righteousness of their cause that they are willing to distort the truth in order to advance their highly cherished but fallacious world views.

Somehow, they seem to think that it is the will of God, the Supreme Law Maker and Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, that Americans should draft laws without Him, that He endorses the separation of church and state whereby He is shut out of the political, economic and social arenas, effectively denied a voice in the public affairs of the nation leaving it to elected officials to promulgate their own secular-statutory laws in disregard of the divine law given by God to mankind in both the Old and New Testaments.  

Almost every American man, woman, and child has accepted this idea (the secularization of the state and promulgation of man-made laws rooted in the supposed sovereignty of the people rather than in the sovereignty of God). Popular sovereignty and the separation of church and state are liberal political slogans that have become sacred American dogma. Neoconservative politicians, who give requisite lip service to Christ, act like it is their sacrosanct duty to spread political, economic and social “Liberalism” aboard as if it were derived from God, when in fact, on many points,  “Americanism” is antithetical to the laws given by God to govern His people – antithetical and deadly.

The ultimate consequence of this American dogma practically speaking (that is not theoretically, but practically, what in fact has, and is taking place) is the denial that the Gospel and the Church’s social teaching, (drawn from it) have any applicability in the broader political, social, and economic realm. These broad public realms were declared off-limits to the Church. As a result of the Framers privatization of religion, these realms have slowly become secularized and ultimately dehumanized “structures of sin” that manifest a culture of death (Pope John Paul II ” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 36-37-38-39-40).

It is the exclusion of God from the public forum and the corollary rejection of Divine Law, inherent in the system established by the Framers, that are the root causes of the problems that the church has condemned as “Americanism”.

By portraying the Founding Fathers as Christian men who bequeathed the nation a Christian Constitution, and then further insisting that it be treated as a sacred document, Americans have mistakenly replaced Divine Authority with human authority and elevated a secular man-made law over and above God-given Divine Law. Knowingly or not, we have exiled the omniscient and omnipresent God from the America political playing field and in the process institutionalized secular rule. This mistake is perpetuated by insisting that Founding Fathers, the “wise” and “virtuous” men who gave us a sacred Constitution, be continually placed on sacerdotal pedestals – including, wherever possible, church pedestals – when in fact, all they left us with is a secular Constitution subject to the whim of the “people” and to be freely interpreted by any political ideology that might suit the Justices.  As long as the Founding Fathers are revered above the saints and the prophets or somehow judged to be equal in stature to them, we will continue to perpetuate the polysemous and ambiguous secular and philosophical ideas on which they founded this nation.

Love of country and patriotism are splendid assets; however, when people raise the Constitution with one hand and tout the bible in the other claiming they are both sacred documents from God, beware “Americanism”. Such people, in the guise of patriotism are often misguided and wayward “nationalists.”

Pope Leo XIII addressed these concerns in his encyclical Testem Benevolentiae Nostraeto in which he condemned several false ideas that Catholic prelates were introducing to the church in America; thereby slowly transforming her into an institution governed by, and therefore subject to, the same secular and democratic ideas that the United States government was founded upon, ideas such as majority rule, the cherishing of practical action and social work over prayer and contemplation, popular sovereignty, and the separation of church and state and a deficient idea of the “natural law”. Pope Leo was, in effect, attempting to protect the church from the false prophets of Americanism; these were the men (and women) who had blindly subordinated their faith to their politics, and were bringing the latter into the church rather than the former into the latter.

They quickly became advocates of “American Exceptionalism”, of liberal ideas such as the separation of church and state, and popular sovereignty.  In the nation’s new public schools, curricula were established by anti-Christian atheists, such as John Dewey (the grand patriarch of the American Public School System and Teacher Training Colleges), to overcome the effects of too much Christianity. Due to the increased secularization of American education, virtue was increasingly understood as a civic character trait (something very different than that taught by Aristotle, Aquinas, and Doctors of the Church) manifest in utilitarian excellence and the ability to achieve practical results strengthened by a democratic character whereby tolerance is turned into false-liberty increasing characterized by nihilism, skepticism, and an ever increasing acceptance of moral relativity as logical outgrowths of Dewey’s utilitarian philosophy and disdain for Christian ideas. 

“There is (he said) no God and there is no soul. Hence, there is no need for the props of traditional (Christian) religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is dead and buried. There is no room for fixed law or permanent moral absolutes” (John Dewey – The Legacy).

John Dewey was made the President of the National Education Association, which facilitated the ideals and liberal values of the new secular government, which were slowly but inevitably incorporated into the curricula of newly created public schools until the privatized religious and moral sphere morphed with and became increasingly congruent with the secular version of morality introduced in the public sphere.

According to Dewey and his disciples who gained control of the public school system:

“The behavioral sciences are providing new natural explanations of phenomena so extraordinary that once their supernatural origin was, so to say, the natural explanation.”

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“Geological discoveries …have displaced Creation myths which once bulked large.” And

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“The social sciences have provided a “radically different version of the historic events and personages upon which Christian religions have built” (John Dewey, A Common Faith, Yale University Press, 1934, pg 84).

Making progress on all these fronts vis a vis Christianity Dewey, as early as 1908, was able to superciliously proclaim that the new civic religion of America was replacing the Christian religion:

Our schools … are performing an infinitely significant religious work. They are promoting the social unity out of which in the end genuine religious unity must grow.  …dogmatic beliefs (articles of Christian faith)…we see disappearing…. It is the part of men to… work for the transformation of all practical instrumentalities of education till they are in harmony with these (above) ideas” (John Dewey (1908) The Hibbert Journal, Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D. Chronology of Education, pg. 11.).

The secular “experiment” undertaken by the Framers in 1787 bore its penultimate fruit in 1933, when John Dewey and a group of leading American intellectuals signed the “Humanist Manifesto”, which brought the slowly developing secular program into plain view; listed below are its more salient points:

  • Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

  • Man is a part of nature and that has emerged as the result of a continuous process.

  • The traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.

  • The nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values.

  • Man is at last becoming aware that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, that he has within himself the power of its achievement.

Educational leaders such as John Dewey set the nation’s schools on a secular path on which liberal ideas (and more developed dogmas) in the guise of civic virtue were to replace long held sacred beliefs.  After successful implementation throughout the nation, it was America’s God-given task to carry these dogmas throughout the world.

Students therefore imbibed large droughts of “Manifest Destiny”, a toxic brew served up in civics classes throughout the nation, a brew so intoxicating that it was preached from church pulpits thereby successfully giving birth to a new civic-religion containing doctrines that in many ways stood in opposition to the doctrines given them by Jesus Christ. Inebriated and pumped with missionary zeal and love of country, they welcomed ideas about exceptionalism and zealously manned the ramparts when their teachers told them that it was their sacred duty to spread Americanism abroad.  They were so pumped with love of country, with its “Manifest destiny” that they failed to see the blasphemy in their newly acquired views, views that presented America as the “Light of the World” and the “City set on a Hilltop” ordained by God to lead the nation of the world to freedom.

This is nothing but political hype repeated by zealous nationalists, men and women who place the Constitution on a pedestal along with the Holy Bible and then proceed to enthusiastically foist their erroneous political ideas on the rest of mankind; thereby zealously enslaving the world in the name of liberalism while claiming to set it free.

It was Jesus Christ, not the American government, that died to make men free; but the Framers had left Him out of the Constitution, had left any mention of God whatsoever out of the Constitution, and Dewey scornfully saw to it that He was excluded from the public schools, which became the vehicles for promoting new and false secular ideas about liberty. Nice as the pursuit of liberty might sound, no government can advance the cause of liberty without Him and especially without the Church that He commissioned for this purpose, viz., to set all men free (John 8:36). Jesus is the way and the truth and the life, there is no other name under heaven by which men are saved; yet the Constitution demands that He remain out of the state’s business. 

A secular government can achieve nothing (truly) good for man without God (John 15:5); yet they demand the constitutional right to do everything without Him. When Christians put the Framers on a Sacred Pedestal, equate the Constitution with the Bible, and then support foreign policy more than they do Christian missionaries, we have a problem.

“Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it” (Psalm 127:1).

When Benjamin Franklin proposed that the delegates assembled to draft the Constitution pray before they continued to work, 51 of the 55 delegates voted against the proposal. On June 28, 1787, Franklin registered a plea to begin each day with prayer to the “Father of Lights”. A simple and sane request made to a group of supposedly Christian men ended up in an overwhelming rejection. According to Franklin himself, 51 of the supposed Christian delegates did not think prayer necessary. In his own words:

“With the exception of 3 or 4, most thought prayers unnecessary.” (Ferrand, Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, rev. ed., Vol. 1, p. 452.)

The Lord either builds the house or He doesn’t; we either cooperate with Him or we build a city without Him, the “city of man” rather than the “City of God.” Are the words of Psalm 127 just empty words or are they words of wisdom; if they are wisdom than we have acted like fools—it is clear that the Lord did not build the American house, nor was he, according to John Adams, even consulted.

“It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service (the writing of the constitution) had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heavenit will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived by the use of reason and the senses (not faith and the bible)…Thirteen governments founded on the natural (versus supernatural) authority of the people alone” (John Adams, “A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1788).

The fact is that the “God of Nature”, the god known by “reason” was the god of the leading Founders (Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin et al). They preferred the god of nature to Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church, whom He divinely established to “feed His sheep and to shepherd His lambs” and to “teach all nations” in the name of the Holy Trinity. No, they preferred reason and reason’s god, the “God of Nature.” Adams and Jefferson both boasted of this lamentable fact:

“The question before the human race is, Whether the God of nature (the Deist, Masonic, Epicurean and Gnostic god) Shall govern the World by his own laws, or Whether Priests and Kings Shall rule it by fictitious Miracles? Or, in other Words, whether Authority is originally in the People? or whether it has descended for 1800 Years in a Succession of Popes and Bishops, or brought down from Heaven by the holy Ghost in the form of a Dove, in a Phyal of holy Oil” (John Adams)?[i]

No, the Lord who gave the world His Divine Law (old and new) was not consulted when the “Founders” established their own laws without Him; He was purposefully and admittedly ignored. Despite the fact that America was a nation of Christians, Jesus Christ is not mentioned one time in our nation’s supreme document[ii]. Consistent with this American commitment to the “God of Nature” is the equally irreverent privatization of the Church under the guise of doing Her and all Americans a big favor.  In other words, Christ was “kicked out” and the deed was conducted with cunning arrogance.

Pope Pius XI recognized the absurdity of this kind of social and political arrogance in his encyclical, Quas Primas (1925) in which he quoted the Prophet Daniel who foretold the universal kingdom founded by Christ.  If His kingdom is universal and respected by Christian men, it is to be expected that such men would enshrine it as a beacon for the nation rather than relegate it to the private sphere unsupported by laws, tax dollars, public education, statue or ordinance. Christ established a kingdom to stand forever, and the Framers were intent on building their own without Him.

“The kingdom that the God of heaven shall found, ‘shall never be destroyed, and shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

Pope Pius reminds us that after the resurrection, Jesus solemnly affirmed his omnipotence and conveyed His power and authority to His Church[iii]He did not confer divine power on any secular nation, nor did He direct any nation to be aCity on a Hilltop” or a “Light to the WorldThose are things He delegated exclusively to His Church (Matthew 5:14) to whom He also delegated His own authority and power, something the Founding Fathers had a real difficult time understanding and respecting.

“…when giving to his Apostles the mission of teaching and baptizing all nations he took the opportunity to call himself king, conforming the title publicly, and solemnly proclaiming that all power was given to him in heaven and on earth.”

If, as Daniel foresaw, Christ established a kingdom that will never be destroyed and that will stand forever, why did we exclude Him, why did Jefferson and Adams believe that the Church established by Christ was suffering from a “mortal wound” and would soon die?  

“Cabalistic Christianity, which is catholic (sic) Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1,500 years, has received a mortal wound, of which the monster must finally die. Yet so strong is his constitution, that he may endure for centuries before he expires” (John Adams, (July 16, 1814) Letter to Thomas Jefferson).

Obviously, many of these men were out of the spiritual loop.  They excluded Christ because they envisioned America as His new church, his new kingdom and empire and themselves as a new priesthood. The new nation was to be governed exclusively by them and not by Catholic priests and Protestant clergy, against whom they had vowed “eternal” hostility“.

“The clergy…believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” (Letter of Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1800)

John Adams referred to the Protestant ministers as “yahoos” the great enemies of “free inquiry” who should be endured no longer.

“And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY (Adams’ own emphasis)? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded.”[iv]

Jefferson concurred, the Christian clergy are:

“… the greatest obstacles to the advancement of the real doctrines of Jesus, and do in fact constitute the real Anti-Christ.”[v]

Catholic priests and Protestant clergy were the great deceivers, the tyrants over the minds of men whom Jefferson had sworn upon the altar of God to eradicate:

The Framers must have thought very highly of themselves. Likewise, Americans who believe the “Christian” myths about them probably believe themselves to be very special people, although more and more people around the world are having difficulty seeing it.

Christ’s kingdom is not of this world – that is, it is not founded on anyone’s political power; it is conveyed fully to His Church; the Church that our “Founders” excluded from public life and left to fend for itself without a dime for His cause and without any public show of support either from the schools from which He we also excluded or from the public dais from which He was forbidden. This was, and is, certainly a funny way for a “Christian nation” to treat its King, an odd way to reverence the one whom you claim to serve.

If the Framers in the name of reason and reason’s god (the “God of Nature”, on whom they built the new nation) removed Christ from the public arena and were at war with the Christian clergy (the so-called “Antichrist”)”, we can be quite sure who the “God of Nature” is and who the men that profess loyalty to him are. How can any authentic Christian clergyman claim that America is a holy nation founded by men who loved Jesus and therefore established a Christian foundation?  The fact is (beside clergy who are just ignorant “blind guides”), men who stridently profess such things in the name of Christ are themselves enemies of Christ, dispensational bigots who have no problem forging documents and distorting facts to push their agenda and catch people unawares in the idolatrous trap of “Americanism”.

One of America’s unsung founders was Elias Boudinot.  Boudinot was a president of the Continental Congress, a United States Congressman and from 1795 to 1805 he was the director of the U.S. Mint.

Boudinot was alarmed by the disregard for Christian principles by many leaders of the new American government;

“But has not America greatly departed from her original (17th century) principles, and left her first love? Has she not also many amongst her chief citizens, of every party, who have forsaken the God of their fathers, and to whom the spirit may justly be supposed to say, “ye hold doctrines which I hate, repent, or else I will come unto you quickly, and will fight against you with the sword of my mouth.”[vii]

The fact is, the foremost founders were not Christians.  The leading lights among them hated both the Trinity and the Church established by Jesus Christ. The current successors of these men who claim to be Christian ministers, ministers who tell us that the Founders were Christian, and that the Constitution is a Christian document, are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7:15). Many are deceiving ministers who dress in sheep’s clothing; that is, in lay garb rather than clerical garb (because they have like Jefferson and Adams rejected the clergy and set themselves up as guides). Priests do not wear sheep’s clothing, i.e, the clothing of the flock they shepherd.  They wear clerical garb.   Wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing are lay ministers who wear business attire rather than ecclesial or liturgical attire. The truth is that these so-called Christian-American zealots do not have Jesus Christ for their God or the Church for their Mother; they have no king but Caesar; that is, their allegiance is to the Republic before it is to the Church, even though they claim to be minsters of Christ.

Not all who claim allegiance to Christ have allegiance to Christ, but only those who do the will of his Father.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you.* Depart from me, you evildoers (Matt 7: 21-23).

Pope Saint Pius X saw threw the charade,

“We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmakerthe City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization….It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants.” (St. Pope Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, April 15, 1910).

Because many of these self-styled “pastors” are “miscreants”, “rebels” and “dreamers”, it should come as no surprise that many so-called ministers, men who are supposed to be lovers of the truth and “ambassadors” of Jesus Christ, the way and the truth and the life”, seem to have no problem telling a lie to gain fame or to make a buck, or worse, in order to advance an agenda that makes them guilty of that which they accuse others, viz.,being unchristian.

The truth is, many of the so-called conservative fundamentalists and dispensationalists ministers who claim that “liberals” are distorting the facts about the Christian roots of American government are the real ones that are doing the distorting; their scholarship is often so offensive that it makes an honest man blush and then (as will be shown in the follow-up article) so incensed that they move into action to expose its falsity). The output of Christian nationalists has become legion.  Perhaps you have seen their websites, or read their books and media tracts claiming that the Unites States Constitution was written by stalwart Christian men totally committed to Christ and the building of a Christian nation.

What many of their readers are unaware of is that many of the quotes they use to defend their claims are fabricated, misunderstood, or misrepresented.

End Part One:
Go to Part Two




Vatican Being Vetted Part III: Pope Francis and the Role of Trinitarian Theology


New Era World News

Pope Francis and Trinitarian Theology

Continued from Part Two

POPE FRANCIS IS ADROITLY applying Trinitarian Theology in the modern context; he is demonstrating that wisdom (the truths of dogmatic theology) by itself though a good, among the highest and greatest goods, is a deficient good.  Wisdom reaches its perfection in love; wisdom is consummate in love.

Without love wisdom cannot reach its telos or end, which is communion with other human beings as the Body of Christ and union with God as sons in the Son.

God the Father in knowing Himself from eternity begot the Eternal Word born out of His infinite and eternal self-knowledge.  The Holy Trinity however is not consummate in the begetting of the Word, Divine Wisdom; the Holy Trinity is consummate in the union of Father and Son by the Love they have for each other, a love from which the Holy Spirit is spirated perfecting the Trinity and making them One. It is not wisdom ALONE, BUT WISDOM CONSUMMATE IN LOVE that is the bond of Trinitarian and therefore perfect Substantial Unity – The Holy Trinity.  The Father first knows the Son, the Son knows the Father and in reciprocal knowing, They are impelled to love each other with the fullness of Divine Love and Divine Life that we call the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Divine Love spirated from the infinite and eternal Love shared between Father and Son.

POINT: Wisdom is consummate in loving.  That is, wisdom without love is not and cannot be fecund, wisdom without love is incomplete-imperfect. Divine wisdom, the self-knowledge of God brings forth the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from, and is the “fruit” of, Divine Love the perfection of the Holy Trinity, who is Love.  All-Knowing Wisdom and Life-Giving love constitute one integral Divine being  – Wisdom and Love belong together; one without the other is deficient.  Wisdom is consummate in love; wisdom precedes love in the “order of operation”:

“For the procession of love occurs in due order as regards the procession of the Word (wisdom); since nothing can be loved by the will unless it is (first) conceived in the intellect” (Aquinas Q 27, A 3).

In human terms, this means that there must be a unity and profound cooperation between wisdom and love and among the sentient powers and operations of the human soul, passions, intellect and will. This is why the masters of mystical theology have articulated three stages on the road to spiritual perfection: the purgative (having to do with the sentient passions), the illuminative, (having to do with the acquisition of wisdom) and the unitive (having to do with growth in love by which a person is united to God.)  Notice the order of perfection: purgative-illuminative-unitive. The unitive, which depends on love, is last, the final end, the consummation of discipline of body and enlightening of intellect that ascends to union with God by way of love.

Wisdom is not the telos. Love of God that brings about union with God, the divinization of man as the Body of Christ is the telos, the end of human powers and operations assisted by Divine Grace.

Love, not wisdom, is the highest attainment of the human mind. It is an attainment of the human mind because love proceeds from the will, which as Aquinas tells us is an “INTELLECTUAL appetite.”  This is the key to understanding Pope Francis’ insistence on pastoral theology. Wisdom, one might say, represents an attainment of dogmatic theology; it is an intellectual virtue that remains incomplete unless consummated in unitive love, the love of God AND neighbor – the love that is the work of “pastoral theology.”

Those who do not like to hear that God is Love must answer to the sacred scriptures wherein Saint John clearly and explicitly informs the universal body, that “God is Love.” Moreover those who do not know love, those who do not live love, those who over-emphasize wisdom and dogma to the detriment of love, do not know God because “God is love.”

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4: 7-8).

Why does Francis want his pastors to “get dirty” to mix with their sheep so they can “smell” like their flock? Why, because he wants them to discern openings for possible fuller admission into the ministries of the laity and eventual invitation to the sacraments, why because pastoral theology is the work of love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

Love moreover, unlike justice, love is not interested in claiming its rights, in counting wrongs done. Love seeks to pardon and excuse, while the devil looks to condemn and accuse (Rev. 12:10). Unfortunately, he is sometimes imitated by some members of the Body of Christ whom the pope is addressing when he often times belittles condemnation and judgmentalism.

“Love (however) never fails.” (1  Cor 13:8).

Is is by love, not dogma, that priests leave the comfort of their studys, of their offices and rectories, to encounter the world and become “fishers of men.”

“‘This is what I am asking you’,” Pope Francis emphasized while looking up from his prepared text, “be shepherds with the smell of sheep,” so that people can sense the priest is not just concerned with his own congregation, but is also a fisher of men.’

This is rudimentary; it is therefore also surprising that so many miss this primordial dictum of the faith, so many in the Church who cry for justice, demand condemnation of sinners, look forward to and predict global cataclysms and chastisements, while Jesus Christ, is Himself calling for Mercy and asking His Church to proclaim mercy – mercy before justice.  However there are those in the Church (those whom Francis is prodding to become pastors) who are content with expressing the faith by straining at the gnat of dogmatic truths and swallowing the camel of mercy and therefore erroneously cry for justice – justice – justice.

“Many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners? But Jesus hearing it, said: They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill. Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have MERCY and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners.”

HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THIS?  THE STUDY OF DOGMA AND REFLECTION ON DIVINE LAW LEAD TO
WISDOM THAT MUST BE ACTUALIZED IN LOVE AND MERCY BECAUSE THE DIVINE LAW IS LOVE – AGAPE

As was said in a previous column, those calling for justice and predicting calamities should watch what they are pleading for, they might receive it themselves.  Was it justice or mercy that characterized the attitudes of Moses, of Peter, of Paul or of Christ Himself, when He and they interceded for members of their flock? What did the Lord say to James and John when the bellowed for the thunder of justice to be rained down upon sinners?

“And he sent messengers before his face; and going, they entered into a city of the Samaritans, to prepare for him. And they received him not, because his face was of one going to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John had seen this, they said: Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them? And turning, he rebuked them, saying: You know not of what spirit you are. The Son of man came not to destroy souls, but to save” (Luke 9: 52-56).

No, until the “Parousia” it belongs to the state, not the Church, to administer justice and punish sinners:

“Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil”(Romans 13:1-4).

It belongs to the Church to tame severity, to put away the sword of vindictive justice and to suffer for the unjust as Christ did (Matt 26:52). This is what Our Lady at Fatima asked for: reparation prayer, prayer fructified by suffering for the sins of others borne out of charity and love for lost souls.

“I Paul am made a minister. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church.”

God did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world (John 3:17).

A priest intercedes for his people; he implores mercy and like Christ the High Priest whom he images (persona Christi), he offers himself as a victim in their place.  This is a far cry from judgmentalism, from what Pope Francis refers to as Phariseeism, a Phariseeism that has infected some of his pastors and turned them into dogmatic theologians. A leader intercedes for his people:

“But Moses besought the Lord his God, saying: Why, O Lord, is thy indignation kindled against thy people, whom thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, with great power, and with a mighty hand? Let not the Egyptians say, I beseech thee: He craftily brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains, and destroy them from the earth: let thy anger cease, and be appeased upon the wickedness of thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou sworest by thy own self, saying: I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven: and this whole land that I have spoken of, I will give to you seed, and you shall possess it for ever. And the Lord was appeased from doing the evil which he had spoken against his people” (Exodus 32: 11-14).

God was “appeased” due to the intercession of Moses who chose to plead for, rather than condemn, the sinners in his flock. In this, he prefigured  the ultimate and infinite intercession of Jesus Christ the High Priest who offered Himself on the cross for sinners. Applying this lesson and example of intercessory and reparative love to modern-day lay leaders, it might be stressed that Jesus did not come to introduce a fashion show and to have medallions hung on His chest as Francis has pointed out to the Knights of Malta when reminding them of their charism of service to the poor.  They and all members of the Body of Christ are to serve in humility and simplicity, to save souls by offering themselves in Christ for them. This is love and reparation.   Reparation is not something intended solely for the priests.  Is not this what Our Lady requested at Fatima – “Communions of Reparation”. Did we somehow forget about reparation, of sacrificial self-giving for love of poor sinners who have no one to pray for them???.

Traditionalists who are big on Fatima should be stressing mercy for poor sinners and laying down their lives to win the grace of conversion for them. But, what we constantly here is an unending refrain about supposed dogmatic abuses and supposed erring formulas of papal consecration for the conversion of Russia, which is essentially none of the laity’s business anyway.  Our Lady asked the pope to conduct the consecration; it is up to the pope to decide how it should be carried out.  If Fatima connotes a battle over the consecration of Russia in your mind, you can be sure that you missed the Message of Fatima: Penance-Penance-Penance in an attitude of reparative love offered to God in union with His Passion in the Sacrifice of the Mass for the conversion of poor sinners and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

What does penance and reparation mean but mercy and love – the mercy and love from which they flow manifest in pastoral care for straying and lost sheep?

Yet,  often instead of pastoral care, instead of mercy, love and compassion bringing life to those in blighted outcast ghettos, on roaring sensual highways, and forgotten lonesome byways, etc, instead of love and mercy manifest in the daily toil of evangelization by means of pastoral care binding up the wounds of the lost and  forgotten, instead of this we often find bloated men and women who want to wear military regalia, don titles of nobility and desirous of preferred seats, men and women who spend great swathes of time talking about trying to make things like they used to be in some romantic and unrealistic nostalgic past, while the wolves pulverize the sheep economically, morally and spiritually and the best bloated nobles can do is offer “philanthropy”.  Pope Francis might be stinging a few consciences, but he is not wrong!

Philanthropy is NOT charity.  Philanthropy condescends, philanthropy is a show; it gives far too little while holding the bulk for itself. Charity, on the other hand, gets out of its royal seat on a daily basis; it embraces both poverty and the poor – it is empathetic and compassionate, not condescending and stooping; charity is humble, it gives in secret (Matt 6:6) and it gives fully of its assets saddened that it cannot give more; charity expects nothing not even an acknowledgement from men:

“A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood” (Mark 12: 42-44).

Charity embraces those who are being served, it lives among them, eats with them, sleeps with them – charity, in short, begins to look and “smell” like the sheep it serves.

This is exactly what Francis is trying to promote. To bring it about, easy-living, worldliness, grandiosity, and vain-glory must be purged. But the enemy of Christ and of His Church is the King of Pride and Vain-glory. He surrounds himself, his followers and numerous others whom he lulls to spiritual sleep, he surrounds them with luxuries and the trappings that come with material abundance, an abundance that feeds pride and kills the soul.

“And calling the multitude together with his disciples, he said to them: If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel, shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul? (Mark 8: 34-36).

The “Way of the Cross” is antithetical to the “Way of Perdition” most manifest in the spirit of materialism that has deeply infected the Church.

“For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many (Matt 7:13).

Interestingly, in the following line of Matthew’s Gospel, immediately following the one just quoted, Jesus warns His Church that those who are on the Road to Perdition are often deceivers who hide behind a veil of good deeds:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.”

Then He further reveals that their spirit can be discerned by their conduct:

“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.”

That is, the spirit is not discerned by the works they do, but by how they go about doing their works. Fruits are not works per-se, but how works are done, for the fruits are:

“Charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. (Galatians 5: 22-24).

All the fruits grow out of Charity, which makes souls joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, long-suffering, chaste etc. That is why even small gifts, such as a few coins from a poor woman, can surpass large donations given by a rich man. One is given in love, the other out of necessity, justice, vanity or some associated reason.  God regards the heart more than the gift. Francis, like Christ, is not impressed by regalia, by insignia, or material abundance and worldliness, which are often a cover for corrupt spirits. The Holy Spirit is manifest in love, joy and mercy, in those who have “crucified their flesh”.

But there are those in the Church who identify holiness with “Titles of Nobility”, with medallions and regalia that, although not bad in themselves, easily infect the soul, easily corrupt virtue by the allurement of riches leading to vain-glory and the pride of life that result in dullness and ease that flatten virility and make men useless (Matt 5:13). Francis wants humble and virile men, men full of mercy, compassion love, which is the life of the soul and the light of the world.  He therefore wants worldliness and materialism out of Malta, out of the Vatican, out of diocesan chanceries, institutes of religions life, out of deaneries and parishes; in short, he wants worldliness out of the Church.

He has asked the Knights of Malta to focus less on the outer regalia, less on worldly traditions associated with royalty; he wants them to become truly chivalrous by noble deeds of service out of love for Christ’s wounded Body on earth.  To be militant, spiritually militant, requires much more than the donning of beau monde regalia and sword followed by salutes, hand shakes, and mondaine banquets. To be militant, truly militant, requires disinterested love of neighbor, to be ready to die to self out of love for the salvation of souls and the temporal needs of others esp. those of poor sinners.  This is radical, the radical stuff of authentic Christian militancy.

Apparently the Island of Malta has been under severe material attack and has subcomb in many ways to the materialism that is infecting its prelates and noble men. The fact that it is not just lay leaders but also the Maltese bishops who are also having a bout with the Vatican is further indication of the serious problems festering on the stalwart island.

The Maltese bishops’ “Criteria for the Application of Chapter of Amoris Laetitia” has been referred to as “disastrous“.  They indicate, against the express critique of Cardinal Mueller (who will now have to work on correcting the egregious error promulgated by the Maltese Bishops), that it might prove to be “humanly impossible” for some civilly remarried couples to live chastely; nonetheless, a Catholic couple living in an objectively sinful situation may receive Holy Communion if they “are at peace with God.”

It appears that some of the English Knights of Malta are bordering on elitist traditionalism and judgmentalism, what Francis refers to a Pharisee-ism, while the bishops have seemingly abdicated their prophetic responsibility and are not judging at all – bedlam on both ends of the theological spectrum. This is the problem, a problem that foments subjectivism in the name of a false pastoral theology that leads to excessive tolerance and false charity on one hand (liberalism on the part of the episcopate) and rigorous objectivsm in the name of dogmatic theology and traditionalism leading to judgmentalism (ultra-conservatism on the part of some knights) on the other. There is an apparent and egregious struggle raging on the Island of Malta, a struggle between liberal and conservative knights and between conservative knights and liberal bishops of the State – the perfect dialectical recipe long used by secret societies to hatch discontent, division, and then subversion of both Church and State thereby compromising the works of love carried out by the authentic sons of the Church.

Focusing on the Knights, Francis is concerned that they engage in charitable work, charity the gives up its comforts to assist the uncomfortable, charity that “comforts the afflicted but afflicts the comforted“.

Thus according to Austen Ivereigh wring for CRUX

“The president of the order’s German Association, Erich Lobkowicz, has described the struggle as “a battle between all that Pope Francis stands for and a tiny clique of ultraconservative frilly old diehards in the Church – diehards that have missed the train in every conceivable respect.”

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“The reformers want to focus on the Order’s humanitarian work among the poor, downplay the ceremonial pomp, and align the order more with Francis’s vision of an evangelizing, missionary Church.”

This is how we are to understand the stance Pope Francis has taken with the Knights of Malta. The Church is not a Puritan society of the elect; the Church is the suffering Body of Christ full of sinners until the eschatological harvest (Matt 13:36-43).

Without love no one can enter the Kingdom of God, yet there are a whole host of Catholics who continue to insist that it is wisdom that is the summa bonum (the greatest good). This is an error innocently advanced by Aristotle, the pagan philosopher who with the unaided-intellect examined the human soul and concluded that wisdom is the greatest human good. Near the end of his “Ethics” he moved close to the mystery of unitive love that he called “friendship”. Nonetheless, not having the benefit of sanctifying grace and the mystery of the Cross to contemplate, he  referred to wisdom as the summum bonum, the highest intellectual attainment possible for mortal men. As we know, in the light of the Cross, Aristotle was partially correct (an astounding accomplishment for  a pagan philosopher): Wisdom participates in the greatest good, but by itself is is not the summum bonum, Wisdom consummate in love that unites mankind to God and to each other is the summum bonum, the highest attainment of the rational  spiritual soul aided by supernatural grace- it is love that unites man to God as one body, the Body of Christ – a body composed of sinners whom Christ came to save.

“The two, intellect and will, work together as an integral unity. It is the nature of the mind to know and will to love or to unite that which is known to that by which it is known. The more the known is like the knower, the more the known can be loved because “likeness is the  principle of loving” (Aquinas, Q 27, A 4). Like attracts like (Father and Son – Christ and members of His Body – man and wife) and their union is consummated by way of love, which is the “impulse and “movement that unites the one who loves to the one who is loved” (Trinitarian Humanism, p 292).

In the end there are faith (theological virtue of wisdom), hope and love, but the greatest of these is love:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:34–39).




Introduction to Fatima-Divine Mercy and Role of Poland-Russia in Crushing Liberalism


New Era World News

This series is being written because of the immense importance of Fatima for the modern world.

THIS YEAR THE CHURCH IS CELEBRATING the centenary of the appearance of the Mother of God at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Since that time Fatima has become the world’s most prominent center of Marian devotion, a place that John Paul II referred to as the “Marian capitol of the world.”  Given the fact that the Our Lady of Fatima precisely foretold the outbreak of World War II, the rise of communism and the persecution of the Church, Her other prophecies concerning the conversion of Russia to be correlated with an “Era of Peace” are of especial relevance since, unlike the former that have already occurred, these prophesied events are in  the process of occurring.  Any impartial observer of global events can discern the Hand of God at work in the world as Russia is being converted and the nations of the world are one by one in the process of rejecting global liberalism while many are reasserting their Christian patrimonies (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Poland, France, Asia, Argentina, Middle East).

While New Era has been reporting on these changes since its inception, secular and liberal pundits have also begun to observe the many changes occurring world-wide.  They are, however, misinterpreting, and thus misrepresenting, them as a political movements, movements referred to asPopulist“, when in fact these are primarily moral, cultural, spiritual and religious movements. Unlike other populist movements that have focused on economic and social justice, equal rights for the little guy etc. this new “populist movement” differs from previous populist movements because of its global scope and because it is characterized by moral and spiritual dimensions including the frothy rejection of liberalism that, all taken together, indicate or hint at its religious nature.  Although the movement has profound political ramifications, it is not political in essence. At its core, the populist movement sweeping the globe is related to Our Lady’s promises made at Fatima, promises pertaining to the “Conversion of Russia” and a corollary “Era of Peace“. This highly unusual global movement has a religious or theological etiology that intersects with politics, what New Era refers to as theo-politcal or “Theopolitcs“.

It behooves everyone, Catholic, Protestant and non-Christian to know the Fatima Message due to the import of its contents, contents that are unfolding in front of our eyes on a daily basis.  The current spiritual movement was foreseen by St. Louis Marie de Montfort. De Montfort is a highy significant saint for our times. His evangelical work is so exceptional, that another saint, Saint John Paul II, exhorted the “apostles of today” to draw inspiration from his life and work:

“Now that the need for a new evangelization has become imperative in most parts of the world, Fr de Montfort’s zeal for the Word of God, his solicitude for the very poor, his ability to make himself understood by the simplest folk and to stimulate their piety, his qualities for organizing, his initiatives to sustain fervour by founding spiritual movements and to involve the laity in the service of the poor, all that, with practical adaptations, can inspire the apostles of today” (Letter on 50th anniversary of de Montfort’s canonization).

De Montfort’s facund treatises on the Virgin Mary are so exceptional that John Paul II (in his Encyclical Redemptoris Mater) recommended de Montfort’s Marian spirituality to all the faithful:

“Marian spirituality, like its corresponding devotion, finds a very rich source in the historical experience of individuals and of the various Christian communities present among the different peoples and nations of the world. In this regard, I would like to recall, among the many witnesses and teachers of this spirituality, the figure of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, who proposes consecration to Christ through the hands of Mary, as an effective means for Christians to live faithfully their baptismal commitments”.

One of the main reasons for De Montfort’s contemporary relevance is his perspicacious understanding of the role of the Virgin Mary in the “End Times”, times which we are entering.

How do we know we are entering the end times?  One complex and difficult way is the study of sacred scripture especially eschatological literature.  A more simple approach is the fact that Jesus promised to be with His Church until the end of time:

“Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matt 28:20)

And that the Holy Trinity would reveal to the Church all that was going to happen:

“I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you” (John 16: 12-13).

Then, years after His Ascension, Jesus appeared to Saint John on the island of Patmos and He has continued to appear to His saints at special times throughout history.

“And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks: And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. And his head and his hairs were white, as white wool, and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire, And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace. And his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars. And from his mouth came out a sharp two edged sword: and his face was as the sun shineth in his power.”

 

And when I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying: Fear not. I am the First and the Last, And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell. Write therefore the things which thou hast seen, and which are, and which must be done hereafter” (Revelation 1: 12-19).

In the 20th century Jesus revealed Himself to a highly regarded Polish saint, Saint Faustina Kowalska, a poor Polish nun to whom He appeared prior to World War II.  Among other things, He confided to her His love for humanity and His desire to bless the world with an outpouring of Divine Mercy before His final coming as “Just Judge”.  He also revealed His special love for the nation of Poland from which He said would come the “spark” that would prepare the world for His Second Coming.

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Saint Faustina Divine Mercy Message and the End Times

The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion is based on revelations given by Jesus Christ to Saint Faustina  who recorded the revelations she received about the Mercy of God in a voluminous diary, which contains the Message of Divine Mercy (PDF), mercy that God intends for all humanity, especially for those most steeped in sin. Thanks to the love and work of Saint Faustina, Devotion to the Divine Mercy has spread throughout the world.

(c) Knights of Columbus Supreme Council

Devotion to Divine Mercy has gained the highest approbation of the Catholic Church. It has been placed on the universal liturgical calendar of the Church as the Feast of Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, also the day on which Pope John Paul II, the “Pope of Mercy” breathed his last breath as the Vicar of Christ and “Apostle of Mercy.”

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JESUS SPOKE TO SAINT FAUSTINA ABOUT HIS SPECIAL LOVE FOR POLAND
“I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming” (Diary, 1732).
The spark of fire that would come forth from Poland began with the pontificate of Saint John Paul II and is spreading around the globe. Poland is the first nation in the 21st century to actually declare Jesus Christ as its king and the Mother of God as its Queen, acts that were carried out by the nation’s president, prime minister, parliament and princes of the Church including the Primate of Poland.

In the presence of President Andrej Duda, Prime Minister, Beata Szydło, and other ranking state officials the bishops prayed: “We entrust to you the Polish people and Polish leaders. Let them exercise their power fairly and in accordance with Your laws.”

 

“Rule us, Christ! Reign in our homeland and reign in every nation — for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the salvation of mankind.”

The Polish Parliament (Sejm) announced its conviction that the Mother of God has a place of “special importance” for the nation, so special  that they, the Polish Parliament itself, have officially declared 2017 as a jubilee year in honor of Mary whose coronation they have formally recognized as Queen of Poland.

“The Polish Sejm, convinced of the special importance of Marian devotion for our homeland – not only in the religious aspect, but also social, cultural and patriotic – establishes 2017 (as) the Year of the 300th anniversary of the Coronation of the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa,”

The world press is only now beginning to take notice of the special tenor of the events  happening in Poland and related events happening around the globe. The liberal establishment is being shaken to its foundations as Poland is being joined by Hungary, Slovakia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Malaysia, France, Austria, Moldova, Bulgaria and Russia et al. A general global uprising of Euro-skeptic Christian political parties and social movements is rapidly gaining momentum throughout the continent as well as in Asia and Africa. Increasing numbers are rising to challenge secular liberalism and reasserting their Christian or native patrimonies.
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Russia is being converted as promised at Fatima, but Poland has stepped forward igniting the flame of love promised by Jesus. From Poland is coming forth the spark of spiritual renewal, of life giving and cleansing mercy, that flows from the Heart of Christ the King.

Jesus told Saint Faustina that Poland would be the instrumental “spark” that would prepare the world for His “final coming”. Images of that spark that is igniting a fire across Europe and beyond can be viewed in the video below.

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https://youtu.be/aA_GqFQSQk8

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We are living in or about to enter into the “Hour of Mercy”, the time preparatory to Christ’s final coming, a time foreseen by St. Louis Marie de Montfort, a time, in his words, when

 “…great men filled with the Holy Spirit and imbued with the spirit of Mary” …will destroy sin and establish the kingdom of Jesus Christ.”

 

“They are the “great souls filled with . . . zeal” (True Devotion 48), “superior to all creatures by their great zeal” (True Devotion 54). The action of the “true apostles of the end times” (True Devotion 58) consists of spreading “the fire of divine love” everywhere; they are themselves “a flaming fire” (True Devotion 56). In the battle against evil and the enemies of God, these great saints “will become, in Mary’s powerful hands, like sharp arrows,” and they will leave “an odor of death” among the worldly (True Devotion 56). Their work will not be limited to reforming the Church, but will include extending it to “the idolators and Muslims” (True Devotion 59).

De Montfort wrote of the Second Coming of Christ to “reign over all the earth and to judge the living and the dead”. Prior to His coming, he foresaw “great men filled with the Holy Spirit and imbued with the spirit of Mary”, men whom he said will “destroy sin and establish the kingdom of Jesus Christ.”  Poland has already taken the first steps in bringing this eschatological vision of De Montfort to fruition.  As of November 1, 2016, Jesus Christ is the King of Poland.

“These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her spirit, supported by her arms, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other.”

De Montfort concludes:

“Towards the end of the world … Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs….Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Christ….

 

“But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her.”

All the above provide strong reason to believe that the world is entering (or has already entered) into a graced moment of sacred history, a time that Jesus, Himself, said was preparatory to His final coming, a time that has been confirmed by the highest authority in the Church, a time in which the Virgin Mary’s Fatima prophecies pertaining to the conversion of Russia and a corollary Era of Peace are being fulfilled. Since there is strong reason to believe what Our Lady foretold at Fatima is upon us (during this 100th anniversary year of Her 1917 appearances), it is through this “Fatima Lens” that we can correctly discern what is happening around the globe – the so-called global populist phenomenon is a prodigious phenomenon related to Fatima and the coming Christian renewal during an Era of Peace prior to the final onslaught by the anti-Christ at the end of the world.

It is the purpose of this “Fatima Series” to  familiarize the reader with the Fatima Message beginning with the three visits by the archangel Michael in 1916, followed by six visits of Our Lady in 1917 and other visits to Sister Lucia at Tuy and Pontevedra, Spain and Rianjo.  The series will also include an article on the Three Secrets of Fatima and another about the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart.  This later article will conclude the series; it is also the most contentious issue in Fatima circles. There are many strong Catholic traditionalists who argue that the consecration requested by Our Lady has not been fulfilled because She specifically asked for the consecration of “Russia”, but John Paul II, who made the consecration in 1984, did not mention Russia.

Specifically, instead of “Russia”, John Paul II consecratedindividuals and nationsand theworld” but not Russia.

“In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be entrusted and consecrated.”

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“In entrusting to you, oh Mother, the world, all individuals and peoples, we also entrust to you this very consecration of the world, placing it in your motherly Heart.”

Because he did not mention “Russia” specifically, many have wrongly concluded that the consecration is invalid – even though affirmed by every pope since John Paul II and by Sister Lucia herself.

New Era will demonstrate the erroneous nature of this false contention. Using the formal Fatima literature accepted by both parties (those who accept and those who reject the validity of John Paul II’s 1984 consecration) it will be demonstrated that Pope John Paul II’s 1984 Act of Consecration accurately fulfill’s Our Lady’s requests and that the far-right Fatima detractors are not only disobedient but also in gross error.

In fact, for the first time it will be shown from the Fatima documents themselves that it was the “world” not “Russia” that should have been consecrated  In other words, John Paul II after studying the literature brought to him in Gemelli Hospital (where he was treated and recovering from assassin’s wounds) acted correctly: The “world” not just “Russia” needed to be consecrated.  The pope was not derelict in his papal duties; he was not hemmed in by diplomatic agreements (ostpolitik), nor did he suffer from fear of Communist retaliation as maintained by many ultra-traditionalists.  John Paul II acting in his role as Supreme Pontiff understood the Fatima Message and its cultural and historical contexts, the contexts in which it was given in 1917 and in which the Church was living in 1984.  After conducting an exhaustive and prayerful study of the documents, graced by wounds he united to the blood of Christ, he purposefully worded the consecration the way it was delivered because it was the correct prayer formula as requested by both Our Lord and Our Lady as will be shown.

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UNDERSCORING THE IMPORTANCE OF FATIMA FOR THE MODERN WORLD

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Beginning with Pope Pius XII, every modern pope has either pointed out the importance of Fatima, visited  Fatima, or consecrated “humanity”, the “world”, or “Russia” to Our Lady of Fatima. Modern papal consecrations include:

  • Pope Pius XII October 31, 1942  consecrated all of humanity over Vatican radio in Portuguese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • Pope Pius XII December 28, 1942 repeated the consecration at St. Peter’s
  • Then on July 7, 1952, the same pope consecrated all the people in Russian lands to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
  • Pope Paul VI November 21, 1964 renewed in the presence of the Fathers of the Vatican Council (but without their participation) the consecration of  Russia to the Immaculate Heart.
  • Pope John Paul II May 13, 1982 on a trip to Fatima to thank Virgin for miraculous recovery,  consecrated the world to the Mother of all Peoples.
  • Then on March 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II conducted a worldwide collegial consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Peter’s Square before statue of Our Lady of Fatima flown in from Fatima.

Later Sister Lucia, the last survivor of the three children to whom Our Lady appeared in 1917, confirmed the validity of the March 25 consecration made by Pope John Paul II.

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WHERE IS FATIMA AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

Fatima is situated in the foothills of the Serra de Aire Mountains about one hundred miles north of Lisbon, Portugal.  It has become a worldwide pilgrimage destination and international shrine visited by every modern pope as a place of human spiritual and social renewal. Saint John Paul II referred to Fatima as the, “Marian capitol of the world.” Fatima was once a little known Portuguese village, until a series of three angelic apparitions prepared the way for a visitation by Blessed Virgin Mary to three small children thereafter drawing more than four million visitors annually to the site. Fatima is of such contemporary importance that one of the first actions taken by newly elected Pope Francis was to consecrate his entire pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima. This was followed by World Youth Day in Rio de Janero, which he also entrusted to Our Lady of Fatima. Then, on Oct. 13, 2013 he entrusted the entire world to Our Lady of Fatima followed by conversations with Vladimir Putin relevant to Christianity in the modern world and the role of Russia in defending Christians in the Middle East as will be detailed in this series of articles on Fatima.

The first apparition of Our Lady took place on May 13, 1917, just prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.  On this date the Mother of Jesus appeared at Fatima to three shepherd children, Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.  She came to turn the nations embroiled in world war back to God and to make an appeal for world peace.

Thereafter, she visited the children on the 13th of every month for six consecutive months making a number of prophecies now popularly known as the “Three Secrets of Fatima.” According to the official Catholic interpretation, the three secrets involve Hell, World War I and World War II, and the attempted assassination by gunshot of Pope John Paul II. The apparitions culminated with the unprecedented “Miracle of the Sun,” which she performed before a gathering of some 70,000 pilgrims and skeptics (including atheists and Free Masons) on October 13, 1917 as she had said she would so that “all might believe”.

The Virgin Mary told the children that Holy Mother Russia, the bastion of Orthodox Christianity, would become a communist nation and that it would lead a world-wide persecution of the church and that various nations would be annihilated.

She also told the children that in the end Russia would be converted if and when the pope in union with all the bishops of the world consecrated Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

After much stalling, intrigue and diplomacy, as mentioned above, Pope John Paul II finally made the requested consecration on March 25, 1984. He was moved to do this for several reasons, chief among them the would-be assassin’s bullets that struck him landed on May 13, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima, which he was celebrating in Rome.  In his own words,

“It was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death” (Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, 13 May 1994).

While recovering in Rome’s Gemelli Hospital he had the Fatima texts removed from the Vatican Archives and personally presented to him. Lying in the hospital, prayerfully studying the Fatima dossier, he recognized himself as the pope “dressed in white” spoken about in the “third secret”, the pope whom Our Lady referred to when she told the children that the “holy father” would have much to suffer, implicitly at the hands of the communists.

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Pope John Paul II Recognized Himself as the Pope Dressed in White in the Third Secret of Fatima

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Subsequently, he had the bullet removed from his body sent to Fatima to be placed in the crown of the Virgin statue. Then, on March 25, 1984, he proceeded to consecrate the world to Our Lady of Fatima in union with the bishops. Following that collegial act he then also decided to publicly reveal the much guarded “Third Secret of Fatima” for the first time since it was given to the children in 1917.

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Pope John Paul II Consecrating the World to Our Lady of Fatima

Following the 1984 papal consecration, as promised, communism was toppled, the Solidarity movement gained momentum in Poland, the Berlin wall came down and one after another the nations behind the “Iron Curtain” were given political and then religious freedom – Russia was being converted as Our Lady of Fatima had promised.

The granting of religious freedom in Russia was followed by an increasing number of significant events including the removal of the communist flag from over the Kremlin for the last time on Christmas day, December 25, 1991 thereby symbolizing the end of atheistic communism and foreshadowing the return of Russia as a world power to its ancient Christian patrimony—the rebirth of Christianity on Christmas day.

A new spring-time was occurring in the North. Russia had reemerged as a sovereign nation granting religious freedom to Christians and other world religions. and then Vladimir Putin committed Russia to the protection of Christians throughout the Middle East. On June 1, 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new law commemorating July 28 as a national holiday thereby officially recognizing the founding of Russia as a Christian nation with the baptism of Prince Vladimir in Kiev in 988.  Speaking at the annual celebration commemorating the “Baptism of the Russ,” he said:

“The continual work of the Russian Orthodox Church will affect the revival of Christianity in our nation. Thanks to the Orthodox faith, Russian culture through the years, has acquired Biblical values on which the system of moral ideals for our nation is built” (US Department of State, 2010).

It is the purpose of this “Fatima Series” to familiarize the reader with Fatima beginning with the three visits by the archangel Michael in 1916, followed by six visits of Our Lady in 1917 and other visits to Sister Lucia at Tuy and Pontevedra, Spain and Rianjo. In all there were 14 apparitions and locutions: Three angelic apparitions prior to the six consecutive appearances of Our Lady in 1917. These were followed by five more post 1917 apparitions/locutions to Sister Lucia from 1925 through 1931 and several important communications between Sister Lucia and her spiritual director that are essential to the Message of Fatima.

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NOTE

The following articles will focus on the essential communications that took place on each of these dates. Description of the apparitions are borrowed from Sister Lucia’s Memoirs: “Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words”  (2007), Fatima, Portugal.




Purveyors of Main Stream "Fake News" about to be Confounded by Their Own Laws


LAST WEEK FOUR OF THE NATION’S LEADING INTELLIGENCE chiefs (James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence; John Brennan, CIA Director;  James Comey, FBI Director and Admiral Mike Rogers, NSA Director) presented classified documents to President Obama and President-elect Trump.  The documents contain a two page synopsis of specific allegations appended to a 35 page report alleging Russian interference in the presidential election. The FBI is still investigating the authenticity of the information, much of which remains unconfirmed.

This synopsis, although not an official part of the report, supposedly contains evidence that the Kremlin nefariously exchanged information with the Trump team to damage Clinton’s campaign. Since the uncorroborated report was cited by CNN  Mr.Trump refused to field a question from Jim Acosta a reporter representing CNN whom he accused of being a purveyor of “Fake News”.
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Technically speaking it was an outlet knows as BuzzFeed, not CNN, that leaked the news including false allegations that Russian operatives possess compromising financial and personal information about the President-Elect. The Russians are supposed to have gathered damaging information that could be used to control or compromise the president in the future, such as an alleged agreement between Donald Trump and a group of prostitutes whom he supposedly propositioned to urinate on a bed slept (“Golden Showers”) in by President and Michelle Obama the night before at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow.

Trump has continually denied the allegations referring to them as “fake news” and a “total political witchhunt.” It was CNN that first published the news, but it did not include the specific allegations since they could not be verified for accuracy.  BuzzFeed, whom Trump referred to as a “failing pile of garbage”, however, had no problem published the specious allegations, with the caveat that they were not yet substantiated.”

While this might seem to be a major story, a story that many are getting confused trying to unravel, a closely related story, a story having to do with empowering the United Sates government to handle fake news allegedly originating from new social media outlets, a story with far greater ramifications, slipped by virtually unnoticed over the Christmas Holiday when people had their minds set on the holiday season.

Interestingly, Senator John McCain (who admits to having been the person behind real  fake news, fake news about Trump and Russia, which he passed to the FBI) recently sponsored a bill entitled the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) designed to protect the main-stream media by outlawing so-called fake news presumed to be coming from “alternative social media”.  McCain admitted passing documents to James Comey (FBI Director), documents that allegedly show that Russian intelligence agents possess compromising data about the President-elect.

The fact that Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, denied that Russia has collected any compromising intel on Mr. Trump and referred to the allegation as a “complete fabrication and utter nonsense”, did not stop John McCain from escalating the matter in an attempt to ruin fellow Republican presidential candidate Trump. In McCain’s own words:

“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public. Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgement about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI.”

According to the Guardian:

“McCain was reluctant to get involved, according to a colleague, for fear the issue would be dismissed as a personal grudge against Trump. He pushed instead for the creation of a special Senate committee to look into connections between campaign staff and Moscow, but the proposal was blocked by the Republican leadership.”

 

McCain told the NBC programme Meet the Press on Sunday: “I would like to see a select committee. Apparently that is not in agreement by our leadership. So we will move forward with the armed services committee and I’m sure foreign relations and intelligence committee will as well.”

So Senator John McCain passes fake news on a candidate running for President of the United States and then turns around and sponsors a bill intended to stop the spread of fake news of which he  himself is a purveyor. In a show of non-partisanship, President Obama signed the bill into law on Friday December 23 during the rush of the holiday season, the day before Christmas Eve

Obama stated that:

Today, I have signed into law S. 2943, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.” This Act authorizes fiscal year 2017 appropriations principally for the Department of Defense and for Department of Energy national security programs, provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families, and includes authorities to facilitate ongoing operations around the globe. It continues many critical authorizations necessary to ensure that we are able to sustain our momentum in countering the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to reassure our European allies, as well as many new authorizations that, among other things, provide the Departments of Defense and Energy more flexibility in countering cyber-attacks and our adversaries’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

By far, the most significant news has to do with alarming provisions buried deeply within the NDAA. Buried deeply inside the new bill are provisions from the  “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” of 2016 (CDPA), which provides remedies for the government to censor the press in the name of veracity vis a vis fake news.  The 2016 CDPA was introduced by Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Kinzinger as House Bill H.R. 5181, which is intended to limit “foreign disinformation and manipulation” and

“To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media, disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.

From the House the bill passed to the Senate where it was supported by Senators Robert Portman (Rep – OH) and Chris Murphy (Dem – CT) who argued that Washington vis a vis the Kremlin spends a relatively small amount on its foreign news agency, the Voice of America while the Kremlin provides prodigious funding for its news agency, Russia Today (RT). Portmain advocates  a single government agency to integrate and synchronize “whole strategies to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.”

Thus, prior to the passage of the NDAA in December of 2017, before the discrediting of CNN by Trump mentioned above, the Secretary of State was being asked by to coordinate national efforts to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response” and to  “develop” and “disseminate” “fact-based narratives” to counter propaganda otherwise now known as “fake news.”

According to the bill’s sponsor  in the Senate, Chris Murphy, the:

Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Actlegislation designed to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda… has been signed into law as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).”

The CDPA  was inserted inside the December 2017 NDAA and has become law, a law that erodes freedom of the press in America presaging what Trump refers to as “witch hunts” followed by censorship, fines and possibly imprisonment for writing news stories that do not correspond with the liberal script.  The NDAA provides funds for a grant program for think tanks, NGOs and other personnel engaged in counter-propaganda operations. While supporters of the bill consider it an outrage that Russia would dare publish its version of world news, they see no problem with their doing the same. Not to be out done by RT, the bill provides for a more robust foreign propaganda machine enhanced by on-going assistance to foreign allies to help them defend themselves against harmful false news coming out of places like Poland, Hungary, Russia and Slovakia et al.

Strangely, the NDAA is a law intended to help counter false news while its sponsor John McCain is a purveyor of false news.  Apparently news is true if it supports the liberal economic, military or moral agenda and false if opposed. False news such as the type sponsored by Senator McCain supports the agenda.  News containing false allegations about “golden showers” and Russian war-mongering is considered worthy of belief, when in fact it is McCain who is acting like a war monger beating the NATO and US war drums to mount a crusade against Russia.

While berating Russia as a military behemoth waiting to strangle the world, the fact is that US military spending is higher than that of all the countries of the world combined – including Russia.  NATO alone spends ten times more on military than the entire Russian Federation – so who is the war-monger?

Putin recently challenged the West to publish a map of all of its bases around the world and compare them to Russian bases – such a map would more clearly show who the war-monger really is:

“I invite you to publish the world map in your newspaper and to mark all the US military bases on it. You will see the difference” (Vladimir Putin)

Putin continued:

“American submarines are on permanent alert off the Norwegian coast; they are equipped with missiles that can reach Moscow in 17 minutes. But we dismantled all of our bases in Cuba a long time ago, even the non-strategic ones. And you would call us aggressive?”

“You yourself have mentioned NATO’s expansion to the east. As for us, we are not expanding anywhere; it is NATO infrastructure, including military infrastructure, that is moving towards our borders. Is this a manifestation of our aggression?”

“Everything we do is just a response to the threats emerging against us. Besides, what we do is limited in scope and scale, which are, however, sufficient to ensure Russia’s security. Or did someone expect Russia to disarm unilaterally?”

MAPS OF US BASES AROUND THE WORLD

Looking at the maps below, it seems that Mr. Putin has a valid point, a point  that neo-liberal and neo-con war mongers want to ignore:

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Graphic by 5W Infographics

Please excuse the following jocularity (sarcasm), but this is how ridiculous it has become: If we need further proof of Russia’s aggression we need only consider how bold the Russians are: How dare they move their country so close to our military bases. It is not the Russians who are demonizing the West, we do a good job of that all by ourselves; it is the West that is demonizing Russia. It seems that Russia and the West have switched roles. Hopefully, under President Elect Trump, the United States and Russia will be reconciled and cooperate to bring an end to terrorism and advance world peace.

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Anyone with eyes can see who is threatening whom.  Russia is virtually surrounded except for the frigid North Pole and even there the US has nuclear submarines than can target and hit Moscow in 17 minutes.

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WHY THE HATRED OF RUSSIA

Why the hatred of Russia? In the 20th century it was because of the American opposition to Communism.  Today it is the opposition of Russian Christianity to Western Liberalism. In the mind of a liberal idedologue, Russia is engaged in such terrible things as adopting legislation to outlaw abortion, spending money to support the spread of Christian political parties throughout Europe, introducing Christianity into it public schools, using state money to build thousands of church throughout the country, promoting the spread of traditional family values, and God forbid, working to unite Europe around a Christian moral agenda rather than the liberal agenda that has been regent for more than a century. The liberal press in America, a press that is promoting abortion, materialism, hedonism, homosexuality and other anti-Christian and anti-family values will have none of this. To assure its place of leadership as cunning promoter of liberal cultural values, it is looking to the government for protection of its freedom and privileges, freedom it intends for itself but not for the rising alternative media that has had enough of its twisted agenda and therefore must be silenced. Apparently freedom is not meant for reporters who question the enlightened game plan supported by the Clintons, Obamas and other globalists.  Thus, when the state sponsors of December’s NDAA bill say such things as

Our enemies are using foreign propaganda and disinformation against us and our allies, and so far the U.S. government has been asleep at the wheel,”

 

“But today, the United States has taken a critical step towards confronting the extensive, and destabilizing, foreign propaganda and disinformation operations being waged against us by our enemies overseas. With this bill now law, we are finally signaling that enough is enough; the United States will no longer sit on the sidelines. We are going to confront this threat head-on. I am confident that, with the help of this bipartisan bill, the disinformation and propaganda used against us, our allies, and our interests will fail.”

When the bill’s proponents say such things, they are either blinded by ideology and thus ignorant to what is really happening around the globe (and in America itself), or they are fully aware of it all and opposed to the rise of traditional moral values at home, in Europe, Africa and elsewhere.

Given the fact that nations such as Poland are struggling to throw of Western control of media in their own back yards and to exercise dominion over their own news agencies, it sounds strange to hear Senator Murphy say such things as:

“The use of propaganda to undermine democracy has hit a new low. But now we are finally in a position to confront this threat head on and get out the truth. By building up independent, objective journalism in places like eastern Europe, we can start to fight back by exposing these fake narratives and empowering local communities to protect themselves.”

Murphy seems ignorant of the fact that Poland just elected a new president and government from the Law and Justice Party (PiS), a Party committed to Poland’s Christian patrimony. Among other things, the new government almost immediately moved to gain control over the nation’s media, which was being funded and overtly influenced and controlled by foreign sources from Germany, UK, and the USA.

Because it was clear that Polish culture had been systematically invaded by Western media outlets, by libertarian think tanks, and by foreign agents of the EU and US influencing the development of “liberal democracy” and “liberty” including the structuring of Poland’s new government and court system (they could not be trusted to do it themselves), PiS simply decided the time had come to do something about reasserting Poland’s national sovereignty and the promotion of its own indigenous cultural values – something anathema to liberal ideologues operating in Warsaw and throughout Poland and around the globe. Consequently, PiS began the process of minimizing  outside meddling in their political and domestic affairs by adopting a new law designed to remove foreign influences from their media and reassert Polish control of its own cultural affairs The new law permits the government to terminate employment of media executives (placed by previous politicians or executives under the influence of and beholden to exogenous foreign forces) and to appoint new heads, men and women devoted to Polish values.  Of course, this is something that did not sit well with those accustomed to controlling foreign governments, thus it did not go by without significant opposition.

Immediately the new government was hit with accusations of  tyranny and autocracy simply because they wanted the Polish media to be run by Poles and to reflect indigenous Polish values rather than liberal Western ones. Various EU leaders including Volker Kauder of  the ruling German CDU party called for retaliation and began demanding that EU nations impose sanctions on Poland for the violation of “European values.”

Speaking to Der Spiegel, Kauder emphasized that Poland should swallow Western liberal values or be forced to pay a price for failing to do so. Brussels, he said, must:

 “…find  the courage to apply sanctions” against a disobedient Poland if  “European values are violated.”

It is information like this, that causes New Era to question the competency and/or veracity of Senators like John McCain and Chris Murphy.

Strong as the liberal forces arrayed against traditional Christian values in Poland might be, they did not expect anything like this in 2015:

Nor did they ever see anything like this in 2016

Because of events like these occurring in Poland, New Era believes that many intelligence analysts who are interpreting the events discussed in this article as indicators of an onward continuation of liberal public indoctrination buoyed by the use of oppressive laws and political force to curtail the growing influence of alt-news sources proliferating around the globe, are misguided in their projections. These agencies are  forecasting a government crack down on the alternative media:

“While the US media has indoctrinated the public to assume that any information which is not in compliance with the official government narrative, or dares to criticize the establishment, is also “fake news” and thus falls under the “Russian propaganda” umbrella, the scene is now set for the US government to legally crack down on every media outlet that the government deems to be “foreign propaganda.”

To many it looks like an inevitable government backed secret-society plot to obliterate any opposition to the spread of liberalism leading them to conclude:

“Just like that, the US Ministry of Truth is officially born.’

It might look as if there is a nefarious attempt to stifle the truth.  Although this might appear to be the intent of the NDAA and related legislation, from New Era’s perspective, these type of projections are faulty.  If it is the intent of the legislation to curtail social media, the NDAA will fail. It will fail as miserably as the EU is failing and as the liberal forces in America continue to erode.  The world is on the verge of an Era of Peace promised by the Mother of God at Fatima; there is no way that all the powers of the nether world can stop the ordaining will of the Holy Trinity. New Era forecasts that the NDAA will confound its drafters; it will come back to bite the hand that crafted it.  In other words, there will be a crack down on fake news, but much to the chagrin of the bills supporters the crack down will come on the hands of those whom they support in the liberal media – they will fall by their own sword.