"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)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mahony and Modernism

February 1, 2013 By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

I once made a solemn promise not to publicly criticize a fellow priest or member of the hierarchy. This is not because I have no criticism, but because I value loyalty and believe there are enough stones being thrown by the enemy that our side needs all the help it can get.

However, how can one stand on one side and not express the dismay and disgust of leaders like Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles? This article and others current at this time shows the conscious, pre meditated and planned cover up of criminal priests. We know this has gone on before, but we’ve tried to excuse it as naivety, being too kind or forgiving, not being worldly wise enough and every other possible excuse, but here is Mahony not only covering up, but covering his own backside with a battalion of lawyers.

I don’t often groan out loud when reading reports on this stuff. Usually a sad shake of the head, but reading about Mahony’s misdeed made me groan out loud, and what makes me even sadder and madder is that no one is really talking about the root cause of the problem.

Everyone points out that the prelates didn’t want to lose money. They didn’t want to lose face. They didn’t want to lose their jobs. They didn’t want to scandalize the faithful, they wanted to help and rehabilitate the guilty priests, but what no one seems to be picking up is that all of this is symptomatic of a deeper and more disturbing trend within the church, and this is the tendency to be soft on sin–first on ourselves and then on others. Modernist Catholics are so big on forgiveness–by which they mean letting the person off the hook–and so short on proper judgement.

In the rosy technicolor world of the modernist Catholic church everything has a kind of Disneyland artificiality about it. Everybody is supposed to go around smiling and clapping like some horrendous puppets singing It’s a Small World After All. It’s all about comfort and ease and being nice to everyone because everyone really is a nice person deep down after all aren’t they?

Sin? Now we talk about, “Let’s think for a few moments about those times when we may have done some things that we are rather ashamed of.” or “I know all of us have sometimes done less than our best. Let’s think about those times and resolve to do better.” This is what I call AmChurch Catholicism: a softly carpeted, slightly carbonated religion that is sweet and bubbly and cheap. Then when somebody does something bad we all scurry to cover it up because bad things aren’t supposed to happen at Sunnyside!

Like a smiling Disney security guard dressed in a Peter Pan outfit, the smiling security thugs step in and whisk away the offender to be “rehabilitated” to”receive treatment” and most of all to be out of sight so the smiling comfort machine of modern American catholicism can continue along it’s merry way.

Why is this? Chesterton said every argument is a theological argument, and so it is. The reason for this modernist softness for sin is universalism and semi-universalism. The universalist doesn’t believe anyone will go to hell. The semi-universalist is a universalist who is too cowardly to be a universalist. The idea that God is so very loving that no one will ever be punished and no one will ever be disciplined and certainly no one will ever go to hell produces a false religion in which criminals are never wicked. They’ve just “made a mistake and need therapy. They are victims themselves. They’re not responsible for their decisions…”

Universalism and semi-universalism creates a soft and spineless form of Christianity with no theological content. It produces a sweetly, sentimental religion of naive do-gooders–who end up excusing crime, hiding criminals and covering up the worst kind of wickedness.

It makes me sick.

So have I kept my solemn promise to myself not to criticize a fellow priest, bishop or prelate? Yes. I’m not criticizing Cardinal Mahony. I’m criticizing his grinning facade of being all lovey dovey and as kind as Jeezus. I’m criticizing the soft and nauseating modernism that lies beneath the facade and the disastrous results of this kind of false form of Christianity for our Catholic Church.

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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