Guest editorial

Sodalitium

In the most recent number of Sodalitiumthe publication of the Institute of Our Mother of Good Counsel, located in Verrua Savoia, Italy, there is an editorial which I found very interesting, and have translated it for you. The piece bears no authorship, but it has Father Ricossa’s fingerprints all over it. It concerns a recently published comment of Ratzinger to an Italian Senator about a book he [Ratzinger] had written a few years ago. This comment is very revealing, as it is a clear admission from Ratzinger that there is a hiatus, that is, gap or separation, between the pre-Vatican II magisterium and that of the Council.

Ratzinger thinks nothing of this separation — the real word is contradiction— between the two teachings. For Ratzinger believes in historicism, which holds that truths are true for their time, but expire and evolve into other “truths” in different historical environments, so that the new truths may contradict the previous ones. It was in this way that the Modernists, in one blow, dispensed with the massive amount of magisterium in the Church’s past which condemns everything they think, do, and say.

Ratzinger is the High Priest of the Nothing-Has-Changed- Religion of the Novus Ordo conservatives, which holds as its unique dogma that there is doctrinal, liturgical, and disciplinary continuity between Vatican II and pre-Vatican II. They see him as the “missing link” between these two systems. Ratzinger’s single poignant comment, however, quoted in the editorial below, explodes their whole theory, and vindicates the sedevacantists.

Continue reading

An interesting discovery

On November 24th, Fox News carried an article which says that scientists in the U.S. and Switzerland have discovered that “all humans alive today are the offspring of a common father and mother.”

“Mark Stoeckle at Rockefeller University and David Thaler at the University of Basel” the article said, “reached this striking conclusion after analyzing the DNA ‘bar codes’ of five million animals from 100,000 different species. The bar codes are snippets of DNA that reside outside the nuclei of living cells – so-called mitochondrial DNA, which mothers pass down from generation to generation.”

They added that the evidence shows that this original couple existed a mere 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, which is a very short time, apparently, in the evolutionary clock. They attribute this “Adam and Eve” phenomenon to some catastrophic event in which everyone perished except these two people.

They also concluded that about 90% of all animal species alive today descend from the same parents giving birth at roughly the same time.

What evolutionists expect us to believe. This finding, if accurate, means either (1) that two gorillas graduated from gorilla-hood into humanity at exactly the same time and in exactly the same place, so close in time and place that they were able to reproduce, or (2) that after some horrific catastrophic event, these two individuals managed to survive, alone on the entire planet, in exactly the same place.

Already evolution has required that we believe that none of the life forms on this planet was either designed or created by anyone, but that they all came from a body of water that was struck by lightning and/or cosmic rays. Gradually they made their way up the evolutionary ladder, after billions of years, and this through a series of mutations which are caused by radiation and cosmic rays. The whole earth, therefore, including all that inhabits it, is the result not of design, but chance.

Those who hold to evolution ridicule the account in Genesis about the creation and fall of man. Too fantastic to believe. Yet they are not abashed to require of us to believe in the infinitesimally tiny chance of the earth’s evolving, together with its living contents, by hazard and mutation. It is an act of faith which is too absurd for me to make.

Does it not make much more sense, even apart from religion, to say that the structure of the human body, for example, which is so astonishing in its complexity, efficiency, and beauty of engineering, was in fact designed by a very intelligent being? Would we not say this about the Golden Gate Bridge

In fact, the design of all plant and animal life cries out for this same designer.

The finding, as well, shows that 90% of all animal species on earth “come from parents that all began giving birth at roughly the same time, less than a quarter-million years ago,” as the article said.

Evolution would demand that each one of the innumerable species of animals existing today — when we think of the insects, for example — all at the same time and in exactly the same place found mates and reproduced successfully so as to make a separate species. This supposedly happened after a catastrophic event that wiped out everything except these animal couples who managed to survive and reproduce.

So in addition to the leap of faith we must make to accept that the order and design of animal life happened by chance, against virtually infinite odds, we are now required to add onto this evolutionary Credo the fact that 90% of animal species were wiped out by some unknown and mysterious calamity, but that, by chance, these animal species survived and reproduced because the last male and female happened to find each other and fall in love.

This is incredibly absurd.

Why evolution makes no sense. Common sense, what in philosophy we call the first principles of reason, knows that from nothing, nothing comes. It is impossible, in other words, that being come from nothing. This same common sense tells us that the cause of anything must have a perfection more than the effect has it. For example, a young pine tree cannot reproduce itself, since it does not yet have the perfection of its nature. When it achieves maturity, it is able to produce pine cones and reproduce the species. So the nature of pine must be more perfect in the mature tree than in the seedling which it reproduces. This is true of all living things. Reproduction occurs when the nature achieves perfection. In children, for example, the nature is not yet perfect, and unable, therefore, to reproduce. In old age, the nature is declining and unable to reproduce. (1)

Evolution requires that something higher come from something lower. The gorilla becomes a man. They attribute this to mutations caused by cosmic rays. While it is true that accidental mutations may occur within a species (change in color, for example), it is impossible that a higher species evolve from a lower one, since this would mean that something more is produced from something less, or that something comes from nothing.

Constancy. Evolution, furthermore, cannot explain the constancy of the order of nature. Chance is something that comes and goes. It cannot produce a constant order. In fact, the very word chance is not even intelligible except by comparing it to order. That “something happen by chance” can only be understood in comparison to what happens by ordinary causation. For example, we might say that someone by chance found a buried treasure when he was digging in his yard. “Chance” here is only meaningful when we consider that in 99.9% of cases, you do not find a buried treasure when you plant your roses.

Constancy demands a cause, a constant cause.

Eternal matter? Evolution, in rejecting the Creator, requires that matter be eternal. For from nothing, nothing comes. They reject as absurd the idea of a God who is Subsistent Being, eternal, infinite, without beginning or end. Yet in their system they must posit a matter which is eternal, which had no beginning, which existed from all eternity. If the Supreme Being with no beginning is absurd, then why is not eternal matter absurd? Or shall we say that one day matter just “poofed” into existence, the so-called “Big Bang?” But common sense objects: From nothing, nothing comes.

Intelligent design. Quite a few prominent atheistic scientists have come to assert something called intelligent design. They feel comfortable in this assertion since — they think — it preserves their atheism but at the same time preserves them from the absurdities which I have described.

Intelligent design, however is a logical rocket ship which goes straight up to an Infinite Supreme Being, who has no beginning and no end, and who is Subsistent Being itself. For the obvious question is: Who designed the designer? This question is relentless in its demands. Nor can it be satisfied by saying there is an infinite series of designers. For again from nothing, nothing comes. An infinite number of falling dominoes, for example, does not explain their movement. Someone had to push the first domino.

In other words, the existence of our finite world, which can so easily perish, requires the existence of a Being who is Being itself, Being by His very nature, who can never lose being, and who always possessed it, and who therefore had no beginning and will have no end.

(1) It is for this reason that sexual attraction — which is ordered to reproduction — increases as the perfection of the nature increases, and decreases as the perfection of the nature decreases. People in their old age are not as attractive as they were in their youth.

The “MeToo” movement

Much has been said recently about women who have suffered from the sexual assaults of men.

It is true that the conduct of some men is deplorable in this regard, but it is also true that the conduct of some women is deplorable as well.

The 1960s produced a sexual revolution unheard of in the history of the world, which in turn caused a revolution in family life from which we are still reeling, and the end of which is nowhere in sight.

The trend began over one hundred years ago, and gained momentum in World War I. Before the war, for example, women covered their entire bodies with clothing. After the war, the hemlines came up and the necklines came down.

Women operating stock market board and a ticker tape machine at the Waldorf in 1918, during World War I.

Never in the history of women’s dress, up to about 1918, did women wear skirts above their ankles. It was considered immodest. Even in the eighteenth century, where the necklines were low, women covered their arms to at least three-quarter length, and wore skirts to their ankles. To show one’s bare arms or to wear a skirt higher than the ankles was a sign of a prostitute.

By the 1920s women’s clothing had undergone a radical transformation. So did their behavior. With the advent of the cinema, and especially that of Hollywood, the “glamor girl” look became fashionable, as well as the flirtatious activity which accompanied it. Nevertheless the average respectable woman wore a dress that came to mid-leg length, and was otherwise modest in clothing. The skirts gradually made their way higher during the 1940’s and 1950’s, but in general a woman’s dress was within the norms of modesty.

I say “in general,” because even the 1930s saw the dawn of tight-fitting dresses on women, which were immodest inasmuch as they were too revealing. Later this gave way to a full skirt in the 1950’s, much more modest. But the 1960’s saw the return of the tight dress, and with it the miniskirt, something that the human race had never seen on decent women since the dawn of mankind.

Hollywood became extremely immodest in both dress and behavior in
the 1950s. It was the prelude of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Marilyn Monroe was a typical example of this degenerate tendency.

Up to about 1965, most women were married, not divorced, had five or six children, at times more, and were devoted to their homes. With the appearance of the birth control pill in the 1960s, the role and attitudes of women would change radically, and with these changes, family life would suffer immeasurably.

Betty Friedan

“Freed” from the burden of having and raising children, and urged on by the radical feminists such as Betty Friedan, women left their homes and went out into the workplace. This change was concurrent with the general attitude of sexual freedom in the 1960s, by which people abandoned the inhibitions of previous times, and felt no restraints in pursuing the inclinations of their lower nature. Movies and television took ever greater liberties in this regard. This decline in morals could easily be seen if one were to trace, little by little, the modesty of television in the 1950s to the immodesty of television in our own time. The doses came in small spoonfuls, just as Vatican II did. Little by little decent people were asked to tolerate more and more immodesty.

The effect of all of this revolution in sexual mores, as well as the role of women, is that men and women have been thrown together into situations which are very dangerous. Women are daily interacting with men in the workplace. In many cases they are dressed in such a way as to be immodestly attractive to men. The inevitable result is that, unless the men in the office are very vigilant about the virtue of chastity and fidelity to their wives, some very bad things take place.

The reason why there was, in past times, so much modesty in women’s dress, and the reason why women stayed mostly in the home, is precisely that men have a very hard time controlling their sexual desires.

Although men are principally guilty, the women are partially if not equally guilty. In many if not most cases their dress is sexually enticing, and their conduct with men often invites sexual advances.

Most of these assaults upon women are seen in show business, an environment which is notably loose and never known for its observance of chastity and fidelity. Most of the “victim” ladies in these cases look like lascivious women, and probably did much to cause the assault.

Other cases of assault occur in situations in which men enjoy much power and influence. Sports figures are often guilty of this as well as politicians. There seems to be an aggression that occurs in men as they advance in power and/or fame. Women should not be close to any environments such as these.

While women should not look odd by returning the mode of dress in 1912, they should nonetheless take all the steps necessary, even difficult, expensive, and inconvenient, in order to avoid being an occasion of sin to men, and thereby inviting upon themselves outrages by unscrupulous males.

Saint John Chrysostom, who died in 404, summed it up:

You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride.

Sixty years since the death of Pius XII

1280281557_pius-xii

Pope Pius XII (1939-1958)


On October 9th, we marked sixty years since the death of Pope Pius XII. It means that we have labored under Modernism for these sixty years, and have watched with horror the  disintegration of everything that made our Faith beautiful: Catholic doctrine, good and holy priests, an abundance of devout and zealous religious brothers and nuns, Catholic schools, Catholic universities, Catholic seminaries teeming with holy seminarians aspiring to the priesthood, the traditional Latin Mass, traditional sacraments, the Legion of Decency, religious habits, priests in cassocks and Roman collars, magnificent churches, elaborate ceremonies, Gregorian chant and other beautiful church music, discipline,  orthodoxy, modest dress, good morals. I could go on. What I describe is the world of my childhood which, at the time, I took for granted, but which I loved and cherished. Continue reading

Judging the Judge Part II

Brett-Kavanaugh-1023381


As a result of my recent blog posting, entitled “Judging the Judge,” I received a good deal of complimentary comments, but was inundated by very critical comments.

I would like to answer those who criticized what I said. First I will give some explanations of things that may have been unclear.

In moral theology there are certain reflex principles which are used in order to resolve a doubt. In the case of two testimonies which are contradictory, i.e., “he said, she said,” the doubt is resolved, all things being equal, by taking the word of the superior. Judge Kavanaugh is the superior in this case, not because he is a man, but because he is a federal judge, and a very renowned one at that. He has stronger credibility, according to this moral principle, than his opponent.

I say “all things being equal,” since it is possible that the word of an inferior could be more credible than that of a superior, for various reasons. But when both seem credible, presumption must be made in favor of the superior. Perhaps my critics disagree with this principle, but nonetheless it is Catholic moral theology.

By saying that the immoral actions of a seventeen year old, especially while drunk, should not affect his qualifications later in life, should not be taken as an absolution or a condonation of the immoral behavior of teenagers. It is simply to say: if he repents of his immoral actions, and if this repentance is accompanied by the amendment of his moral habits, these actions should not disqualify him in the future from responsible and honorable positions in society. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said “Penance is second innocence.” There is the outstanding example, as well, of Saint Augustine, who led a morally dissolute life as a young man, but who converted from it and went on to become a great saint and one of the greatest doctors of the Church.

It is a mortal sin to get drunk. Inebriation, however, does reduce the culpability of a sin, inasmuch as the excessive alcohol impairs the use of reason, as well as moral inhibitions, with the result that people do and say things while drunk that they would never do or say while sober. This is Catholic moral theology. If you do not accept this, your argument is with both Catholic moral theology and even common sense, because everyone knows that this is true.

I do not believe, however, that Judge Kavanaugh is guilty of the aggressive behavior of which he is accused, because I do not find the testimony of Dr. Ford to be credible, owing especially to the many memory lapses concerning the circumstances of the event.

This is my conclusion. It was also the conclusion of the FBI. Others may find her credible. I do not impose my conclusion on them, and they should not impose their conclusion on me.

But this is exactly what my critics did. I received about thirty hate emails, many of them interspersed with vulgar and filthy language, such as the S-word and the F-word, but nearly all of them accusing me of condoning sin, of being a child abuser, of being non-Catholic, and of other horrid things. One of them said, “You are a pig, Bishop.” Another said, “How many young boys have you f****d?” These were not isolated cases. Only two of the thirty emails that I received were civil and balanced, although they expressed disagreement.

First, let me say that attacking your opponent with anger, hate, insult, and filth does much to detract from your credibility. People who are confident of their positions are able to defend them with rational arguments, not F-words.

Second, to express my opinion about the credibility of Dr. Ford’s testimony, or that of any witness, is entirely my right, and I should not be harassed or preyed upon by Leftists who disagree with me. Abusive language and false accusations are themselves a form of violence.

The Leftists have turned their political views into religious dogma, and they are ready to burn at the stake anyone who disagrees with them.

Judging the Judge

brett-kavanaugh


The recent weeks have been dominated ad nauseam by the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh. Here I will give my reflections on this case and provide some moral principles.

In the first place, I have no knowledge of the judge’s political views, and am quite indifferent regarding his approval. Although he comes highly recommended in conservative circles, the fact that liberal neocon George W. Bush supports his nomination is disquieting. On the other hand, the hatred that the Leftists have for him is reassuring.

What is of particular concern is the manner in which he is being accused.

In the first place, I found Dr. Ford’s testimony against him to be very unreliable and inconsistent. The prosecutor who interrogated her published these inconsistencies in a report to the Senate.

Secondly, I find it hard to believe that she would have said nothing about the incident to anyone for thirty-six years.

Be these things as they may, what should we think about Judge Kavanaugh?

Moral theology — indeed the law of God — requires us to not think any evil of him beyond what is evident. If there is insufficient evidence to make a certain judgement of guilt, then we must hold him guiltless. If there is sufficient evidence to cause suspicion of guilt, then we may lawfully suspect him. To think evil of someone without sufficient evidence is a sin of rash judgement, and it is a mortal sin if the matter is serious. This matter is certainly serious.

In this case, however, it is Judge Kavanaugh’s word against Dr. Ford’s word. Moral law requires us, in that parity of contradictory testimony, to take the word of the superior, which in this case would be that of Judge Kavanaugh.

Furthermore, the testimony of Dr. Ford is weakened severely by the fact that she was not cross-examined. The purpose of cross-examination is precisely to test the truthfulness of the witness. Cross-examination by a good lawyer would have demonstrated the many contradictions in Dr. Ford’s testimony, as reported by the prosecutor who questioned her.

As well, it is a general principle in both civil law and moral law that the accused has the right to face his accuser. This right was denied to Judge Kavanaugh.

The fact that the Leftist senators kept the information secret until the last minute also seriously taints the integrity and honesty of the senators who oppose Judge Kavanaugh. For if they had really believed the information to be true, it is of such a nature that it should have been brought forth immediately.

I therefore conclude that Dr. Ford’s testimony should be discounted for all of the reasons I have stated above.

Even if, however, one should accept Dr. Ford’s testimony as true, I do not believe that the qualifications of any human being should include actions which he or she performed when seventeen years old. Teenagers do many imprudent, foolish, stupid, and sinful things, but in many or even most cases they recover from these bad actions or habits and act like responsible adults. Furthermore, what the judge is accused of is not even a complete act. It was not a rape. Even as it is reported, the prosecutor said that it is not actionable even from the point of view of prosecution as a crime. Furthermore, Judge Kavanaugh is supposed to have performed this act while drunk, according to his accuser, which would reduce culpability, if the incident did indeed occur.

If Judge Kavanaugh had done something like this in more mature years, then I would say that there would be reason to block his nomination.

I would like to find out from both the accuser and from the senators some of their activities during their teenage years.

What is most lamentable about the whole matter is the absolutely deplorable manner in which these hearings took place, with no regard for the most fundamental rules of evidence, or even of human decency.

Changing the catechism

12398lg

John Paul II’s catechism


In another decision which gave angst to the Novus Ordo conservatives, Bergoglio issued a document recently declaring that the 1992 catechism of John Paul II was wrong on capital punishment. This is the official text: Continue reading