"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wake Up and Smell the Catastrophe

December 2, 2012 By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

You know the theory that a frog put in a pan of water will stay there as the temperature rises and the poor thing doesn’t sense the increase in temperature and eventually boils to death.

The biggest problem with American Catholics is that the majority of them are asleep. Lulled by materialism, the good life and the cares of the world, they’re blind to the real crisis facing America and blind to the real crisis facing the Catholic Church. They’re frogs in a pan of water.

We need to wake up and smell the catastrophe. We need to be aware that the temperature’s rising.

The catastrophe is that certain implicitly modern ways of viewing the world have crept into our society and have undermined a Catholic world view. The first of these is relativism–the idea that there is no such thing as truth, or if there is such a thing as truth you can’t know what it is, you can’t express it, and you certainly cannot attempt to impose it anyone else. Relativism relegates all truth claims to personal opinion. You have your truth. I have my truth. You say po-ta-to. I say po-tah-to. If all truth is relative than anything goes. Think it through. If all truth is relative then you may do what you please and I must tolerate it.

The second poison in modern society which has seeped into the Catholic Church is utilitarianism. This is the belief that what is useful is what is good. We want our technology to work. We want our infrastructure to be efficient and economical, and that’s fine, but when we apply utilitarian principles to moral choices the result is deadly. Suddenly a person’s worth is determined by how useful they are or what ‘quality of life’ they have or whether it is costing us a lot to keep them alive. Utilitarianism has infected the mindset of Catholics so that they choose worship style, marriage choices and most every other choice according to what is useful, economic or practical.

The third thing that poisons modern Catholicism is sentimentalism. This is when people choose only according to what seems nice, compassionate or caring. We must, of course, be nice, compassionate and caring, but there are other criteria for choice as well, and if the only criteria for choice is to be compassionate, caring and nice, then what happens when it seems more “compassionate” to provide abortion for a poor woman or more “caring” to terminate the life of the aged or the infirm or the disabled? Sentimentalism combined with utilitarianism leads to death camps.

American Catholics who don’t think this will happen here are asleep. They’re like the frog in the pan of boiling water–the temperature increases bit by bit until they are boiled to death and all along they just thought it was getting more and more warm and comfy.

It’s Advent. Wake up and smell the catastrophe. Realize where this country is headed. Realize that already our hospitals have complicated “Do not resuscitate procedures” which are similar to England’s “Liverpool Care Pathway”. This euphemistically named procedure was first devised by caring and compassionate doctors to provide a way to care for terminally ill patients. Now it is being used to euthanize the old and even newborns with disabilities.

Wake up and smell the catastrophe. It is all much further along than you think. Remember the Nazis did not start out with thugs in leather boots with swastikas and skulls on their uniforms. They started with legislation by an elected government–legislation put in place by professionals in white coats who quietly began to weed out the mentally disabled, the infirm and the unfit.

Do you think it cannot happen here?

You’re a frog in the cooking pot…and the temperature’s rising.

The Smoke of Satan
January 30, 2011 By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

There are many problems in the Catholic Church that might be thought to be the ‘smoke of Satan’ entering the church, but for my money one thing, above all others, has been the successful work of Satan, which has undermined the church, emasculated her ministry, sabotaged the aims of the Holy Spirit and captured a multitude of souls.

It is the modernist re-interpretation of the Catholic faith. The reductionist results of modern Biblical scholarship and the infiltration of a modernist, rationalistic and materialistic mindset meant that the supernatural was assumed to be impossible, and therefore the Bible stories (and also any supernatural elements of the faith) had to be ‘de-mythologized.’ Everything supernatural within the Biblical account and within the lives of the saints and within the teaching of the church were assumed to be impossible and had to be ‘re-interpreted’ so they would make sense to modern, scientifically minded people.

So the feeding of the five thousand wasn’t a miracle. Instead the ‘real miracle’ was that everyone shared their lunch. Everything had to be questioned and ‘re-interpreted’ in such a way that it could be accepted and understood by modern people. So when we call Jesus Christ “God Incarnate” what we really mean was that he was so fully human, and that as he reached his potential as a man that he shows us what divinity looks like. When we speak of the Blessed Virgin we mean she was ‘a very good and holy Jewish young woman.’ When we speak of the ‘Real Presence’ we mean that we see the ‘Christ that is within each one of us.”

I hate this crap.

It’s the smoke of Satan, and it’s virtually triumphant within the mainstream Protestant churches, and sadly, the modern Catholic Church in the USA is riddled through with the same noxious heresy. The reason it is so obnoxious and disgusting is because priests and clergy of all sorts still use all the traditional language of the liturgy, the Scriptures and the creeds, but they have changed the meaning of it altogether. They never actually stand up and say that they have changed the meaning, and that they no longer believe the faith once delivered to the saints. They don’t discuss the fact that they have not only changed the meaning, but robbed it of meaning altogether. Instead they still stand up week by week and recite the creed as if they think it is true, but what they mean by ‘true’ is totally different from what their people mean.

So Father Flannel stands up on Easter Day and says, “Alleluia! Today we rejoice in the glorious resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.” His people think he really believes that Jesus’ dead body came back to life by the power of God and that he went on to live forever. In fact what Father Flannel really means is that “in some way the beautiful teachings of Jesus were remembered and continued by his followers long after his tragic death.” The people don’t know why Father Flannel’s Catholic life is so lightweight and limp and they don’t know why his style is so lacking in substance, and they go on in their muddled way thinking that he really does believe the Catholic faith when, in fact, he doesn’t at all.

Consequently, Fr Flannel doesn’t really have much of a message at all. He doesn’t believe any of the gospel except as some sort of beautiful story which inspires people to be nicer to each other. All that is left of his priesthood, therefore, is to be a nice guy to entertain people with inspirational thoughts and get everyone to be nicer to one another and try to save the planet.

The poor faithful have swallowed this stuff for two or three generations now, and they don’t even know what poison they’re swallowing because the lies are all dressed up in the same traditional language the church has always used. It’s like someone has put battery acid into a milk bottle and given it to a baby, and never imagined that there was anything wrong with doing so–indeed thought it was the best thing for baby.

The faithful don’t know why their church has become like a cross between a Joan Baez concert and a political activism meeting. They don’t understand why they never hear the need for confession or repentance or hear about old fashioned terms like ‘the precious blood’ or ‘ the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord and Savior” The fact of the matter is Father Flannel doesn’t really think that sort of thing is ‘helpful’.

This is why evangelization of the American Catholics in the pew is probably the most difficult task of all. They don’t know what they don’t know. For three generations now they have been given watered down milk and been told it was wine. They actually think that Catholic lite is what it’s all about, and are astounded to think that there are some of us who think that they have actually been fed a version of Christianity that is scarcely Christianity at all.

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