A tribal Catholic’s last straw

I have argued before that the friend-enemy distinction is an irreducible and legitimate distinction for Catholics.  That is, to recognize someone as an enemy of the Church is not the same as calling him a heretic or accusing him of personal sin.  This is why we are perfectly correct to distinguish the gay rights movement, an enemy working to persecute the Church and entice our children to apostasy, from the mass of humans indulging in unnatural sexual acts (homosexuality, masturbation, contraception, or whatever–they’re all morally equivalent) but not demanding the Church either change her teaching to accommodate their vices or be destroyed.  This is why we are correct to direct our hostility toward the Kasperites who are collaborating with our mortal enemy, Liberalism, toward the destruction of the Church while remaining friendly with the Mormons who, by our standards, aren’t even monotheists but nevertheless wish us well.  To recognize the enemy is to recognize that the Church is, as a human organization, vulnerable.  It can be destroyed, and if it was, all the spiritual goods of the Church would disappear with it.  The Church is at war with Liberalism, her mortal foe who might destroy her and will destroy her if it can.  War is the moment of ultimate social clarity.  Faced with the live possibility of the destruction of the Church, there arises within the Catholic soul an urgent will to collective survival.  The prerogative to survive, to rebuff attack, overrides every consideration except absolute moral prohibitions.  Fastidious concern for Canon Law would be madness, an abdication of responsibility, when survival in the face of the Liberal enemy is at stake.

Some commenters at the Orthosphere think themselves too moral for the ideas of political philosopher Carl Schmitt because of his association with German National Socialism.  The men and nations who actually fought the actual Nazis, on the other hand, were fortunately “Nazi” enough in their thinking to understand the friend-enemy distinction.  Imagine if World War II had been run like today’s Catholic Church.  Suppose Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt, General Eisenhower, etc. were prone to tremendously demoralizing off-the-cuff interviews where they hinted that major surrenders were on the way and encouraged everyone to meditate on the injustices of Versailles and the legitimate aspirations of the Japanese Empire, and maybe to send an apology or two toward our aggrieved adversaries.  Disgruntled soldiers could console themselves by remembering that what their leaders say to journalists is not official Allied/Soviet/American/British policy and should be ignored.  Suppose they took it farther.  Suppose one of our brave wartime leaders, Joe Stalin say (because Russia of all the Allied powers faced the most existential threat, making it the best analogy for the Church), announced that he had become a Nazi and would henceforth work for the subjugation of the Slavic race.  It would be insane to care that he only said this in an off-the-cuff interview to journalists rather than in any official capacity.  The proper thing would be for the communist party to remove him in a prompt and orderly way, but every Russian down to the lowliest private should stop obeying him immediately, even regarding orders not obviously treasonous.  The reason is not because the leader has proven himself wrong or immoral, but by the more urgent fact that he has revealed himself as an enemy.  Loyalty to Russia would most certainly not mean desperately pretending that the traitor is not a traitor, of delusionally reading Nazi-convert-Stalin in the Leninist tradition.

The Sedevacantists have concentrated on the level of doctrine.  Is it established that the pope is a heretic?  Does he automatically cease to be pope if he is?  I will not address this question.  The Sedevacantist might be wrong doctrinally, but he is right practically.  For Pope Francis to claim that Catholics should apologize to sodomites for marginalizing them (that is, for promoting a heteronormative social order) is like Stalin doing a Nazi salute.  He’s actually throwing punches for the other side.  Put to the side whether he is a heretic, whether he is personally sinning by his outrageous non-binding statements, whether he is in fact pope.  Has he not exposed himself as being on the enemy’s side?  What obedience could we possibly owe to an enemy?

54 Responses

  1. I think the claims that the Pope isn’t going against doctrine really would stick a little stronger if he exhorted people to repentance and faith in Christ during these little incidents.

    Even the Syrians in the Vatican thing kills me. He’s got a giant wall, and lets in a few, well vetted, genuinely needy people. That’s not what he’s asking of Europe.

  2. “and lets in a few, well vetted, genuinely needy people.”

    No Catholic’s though huh!
    Or Christian’s of any colour.

    Hell will mend whatever ails him and his kind.

  3. “What obedience could we possibly owe to an enemy?”
    The same as to any other pope. The First Vatican Council’s infallible teaching on papal authority doesn’t contain any exception for a pope who is an enemy of the Church. Pope Boniface VIII’s ex-cathedra statement, “Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff” (from the papal bull “Unam Sanctam,” A.D. 1302) doesn’t say, “except if the Roman Pontiff is an enemy of the Church.”

    This makes little sense if you think of the Church as a merely human institution. But it’s not; it was founded by the Incarnate Word of God and enjoys the assistence of the Holy Ghost. Policies which are appropriate for tribe might not always be appropriate for the Church.

    Of course, we need not obey any pope’s non-magisterial opinions, whether he is Francis or St. Pius X.

    You are also wrong in your claim that there is a real possibility that the Church Militant might be destroyed. Our faith teaches that the Church is indefectible, which means that she cannot lose any of her essential characteristics such as her visibility, i.e., her being a social institution here on Earth. Christ’s promise that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church refers to that Church which is built on Peter the Rock, i.e., the Church here on Earth which is led by the pope, not the Church of the angels and saints in heaven.

  4. Papa Joe and his ‘enemy’, Nazi Germany, had signed a non-aggression pact and carved up Poland jointly. Alger Hiss and other high-ranking US officials at very least acted as Soviet sympathizers within the US government, both during the War and afterwards. Hiss himself was certainly a Soviet agent of influence, if not of active espionage, and was both FDR’s top advisor at the Yalta conference, and served as acting temporary secretary-general of the United Nations Charter Conference, which established the UN.

    In short, Papa Joe gave a rousing ‘Heil Hitler’, before he didn’t, never had our best interests at heart, and tried mightily to deploy us as useful idiots, for his exclusive interests and purposes.

    My point? We can make bad analogies.

  5. @DK

    Allowing myself to be inspired by His Humbleness’s ways of thinking, I regard obedience to the Roman Pontiff as a beautiful ideal…

    @JK

    I’m sticking with my analogy. The Hitler-Stalin pact was an alliance between sovereign states–nothing treasonous about it. If Stalin had become a Nazi after the German invasion while war was on, that would have been totally different.

  6. “Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff”

    But Vatican II changed that, and if it didn’t – then the SSPX is right, but then they’re not subject to the Roman Pontiff… because the only way to be in “full communion” is to disagree with Boniface’s statement? (Did you actually follow the logic here? It’s absurd!)

  7. @Bonald:
    If not committing schism is just an “ideal,” so is going to heaven. But not every instance of disobeying the pope is an act of schism or a sin. When he commands you to commit a sin, you clearly should not obey. However, permanently disobeying a bad pope, even with regard to orders that aren’t sinful, is schismatic and intrinsically evil.

  8. @George:
    Vatican II did not contradict Boniface’s teaching on papal authority, and as far as I’m aware, the Vatican has never demanded repudiation of that teaching as a condition for full communion.

  9. @David – But we know, as taught post Vatican-II, that non-Christians, and non-Catholic Christians (Orthodox, Protestant, etc.) do not need to be “subject to the Roman Pontiff” in order to obtain salvation. I’m not sure what meaning you are reading from this statement, or how you resolve the apparent contradiction?

  10. Here’s what the Church is preaching these days: “We are all sinners. You don’t have to be a saint to join the Catholic Church. The fact that you can’t stop having anal intercourse with other men is not a reason to stay away. God is patient and welcomes you as you are, where you are. The Church will accompany you, even if you think that sodomy is okay. Maybe it’s too hard to stop (no pun intended). Maybe you will understand later. It doesn’t matter. God loves you and forgives you.”

    The “accompany” part is pure genius. Liberals have won. Put your swords down, boys.

  11. Defenestrating authority is how we got into this mess.

    More fuel on the fire, won’t extinguish it.

  12. The problem with Schmitt is that he places the friend-enemy distinction at the root of politics. As if you can’t have friends unless you have an enemy,. By doing so, Schmitt places himself in opposition to the entire trajectory of the Western political thought. His criterion to declare someone an enemy is entirely willful. An enemy is an enemy purely because we have declared him to be so. There need not be any objective, rational reason for the enemity.

  13. @George:
    Let’s look at the relevant passages.

    “Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.” (Lumen Gentium, 16)
    This is correct because such people will be led by Divine Providence to whatever they need in order to be saved. The Council doesn’t say that people who at the moment of death “do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church” can be saved.

    “Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life.” (Lumen Gentium, 16)
    This is true because God will lead them to “an explicit knowledge of God”; that’s why the Council says they haven’t “yet” arrived at it, suggesting they will one day. The Council doesn’t say that people who are still atheists at the moment of death can be saved.
    Many pre-Vatican II theologians said that it is impossible to be an atheist for a long time out of invincible ignorance. This implies that atheists who “with [God’s] grace strive to live a good life” will not remain atheists for long.

    “Therefore though God in ways known to Himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find that faith without which it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6), yet a necessity lies upon the Church (1 Cor. 9:16), and at the same time a sacred duty, to preach the Gospel.” (Ad Gentes, 7)
    This suggests that “those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel” do not currently have “that faith without which it is impossible to please Him.”

    Note that the Council never says that those who at the moment of death refuse submission to the Roman Pontiff can be saved.

  14. @David – The new catechism, a product of the council and its teachings, explicitly says non-Catholic Christians are heirs to salvation. It makes no exception or demand that they receive special revelation at the moment of death.

    I think that is correct and do not disagree, though it may be a liberalization.

  15. I’m not so sure that Bonald’s and David’s positions are irreconcilable.

    First, it’s worth noting that most of the things HH orders us to do are not especially worth questioning at all. The Sunday Mass obligation, for example, is there because the Pope orders it. Similarly for all the disciplines of the Church. Presumably, we don’t receive a get out of Mass free card every time a bad Pope is elected. Presumably, Bonald agrees with David about our ongoing obligation to obey the Pope in this sort of thing.

    So, it’s really only unusual sorts of orders we might need to disobey. Suppose HH sets up a charity for Catholic-faggot outreach, appoints one of his seedy hangers-on to run it, and then orders all Catholics in developed countries to give to it. Obeying this order would seem to be proximate cooperation in evil, since we can feel pretty confident that the charity will be devoted to doing evil.

    The point here is that knowing that the Pope has certain problems entitles/requires us to make inferences about what he is up to in giving us particular orders. This knowledge may then make obeying the orders impermissible cooperation in evil. No?

  16. @Tim There is little doubt that the Conciliar Church’s teachings are highly likely to generate the impression in a trusting reader that people who die Protestant might get into Heaven. David’s point, I think, is that the language does not compel that reading. Do you disagree? And why? “heirs to salvation” doesn’t seem especially similar to “saved” to me.

  17. @DrBill – You’re being willfully deaf and dumb on this.

    “…one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [i.e., Protestant churches] that resulted from such separation and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. All who have been justified by faith in baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.” (Paragraph 818)

    “…many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements. Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation…” (Paragraph 819)

    Unless the Church of Christ really gets a kick out of deceiving Protestants and its own members with weasle-words and lies (which, of course, it doesn’t and can’t), the Catechism clearly teaches non-Catholics are saved.

  18. @George

    Liberals can be wrong without having the intention to lie and deceive. They truely believe they have just saved the whole world with their loophole: “through no fault of their own.” It’s just hubris. But are they right? Who knows.

  19. But George, the Council of Florence infallible informs us:

    “The sacrosanct Roman Church, founded by the voice of our Lord and Savior…firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels”

    So we know for certain that Protestants and Jews will face eternal torment.

    So when the current Vatican states:

    “That the Jews are participants in God’s salvation is theologically unquestionable, but how that can be possible without confessing Christ explicitly, is and remains an unfathomable divine mystery.”

    We just need to, uh… I don’t know.

    I was going to be a sarcastic comment, bet I feared it treaded to closely to using Our Lord’s name in vain. I don’t think the CCC meant to do that either, and by calling Protestants “brothers in Our Lord” I don’t see how anyone thinks they really meant “heretics condemned to eternal torment”.

  20. @vishmeh424

    Irreducible doesn’t have to mean arbitrary. One could dispassionately prove that organized Liberalism is the enemy of Catholicism.

  21. @ArkansasReactionary,

    The revolution in the Catholic Church was a top-down affair, initiated by senior clerics who esteemed the enemies of Christ higher than Christians. The cause of her troubles is not disobedience but disloyalty.

  22. One last comment referencing Muslims:

    ‘The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.’ (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium).

    Maybe the Council mean they are useful in the Plan of Salvation because we get to say “I’m so glad I’m not burning forever like those poor bastards”?

  23. @anti-George

    Liberals will explain to you (I’m not kidding) that the encyclical you’re quoting is only… wait for it… pastoral.

  24. And I’m talking about the Council of Florence.

  25. @Tim:
    If I had to define the term “heir to salvation,” I would say it probably refers to someone who is in the state of sanctifying grace. The claim that non-Catholics can for a while live in the state of grace doesn’t imply they can die in the state of grace.

    @George:
    The first quote says nothing about salvation. The second quote makes the trivial assertion that heretics aren’t wrong about literally everything; they do occasionally get something right. Your second quote also says that non-Catholic communities can be “means of salvation.” I really dislike this expression, but strictly speaking, it just means that they sometimes contribute in some way to someone’s salvation. This is true; e.g., when a Protestant minister validly baptizes a child who then dies and goes to heaven, the Protestant has contributed to that child’s salvation.

    I don’t deny that many modern bishops and theologians (including some of those who are involved in the writing of magisterial texts) may not personally believe in the traditional Catholic doctrine about salvation and may intentionally choose ambiguous expressions which leave room for lax modern intepretations (in contrast to the crystal-clear scholastic terminology that was used before Vatican II). But those vage, murky expressions are in some sense a blessing because they also allow more traditional interpretations. On the other hand, bishops (including popes) have a grave duty to teach the truth clearly and unambiguously; deliberate failure to do so is a horrible sin.

    Note also that Boniface VIII didn’t exactly say that everyone who at the moment of death is not a member of the Catholic Church cannot be saved. Since patristic times, it has been commonly taught that catechumens who die before baptism can be saved, even though they aren’t strictly speaking Catholics.

    Furthermore, Boniface cannot possibly mean that every human being needs to consciously accept papal authority; otherwise, baptized babies wouldn’t go to heaven. I think he meant to say that in order to be saved, every human being must accept the pope’s God-given authority to the extent he is aware that the pope does in fact claim such-and-such authority. Non-Catholic Christians who know nothing of the existence of the Catholic Church or who are misled by modernist Catholics into sincerely believing that the Catholic Church doesn’t claim any authority over them are not in conscious rebellion against the Church; they don’t seem to count as “heretics and schismatics” in the sense of the dogmatic definition of the Council of Florence cited by Anti-George.

  26. @Anti-George:
    Muslims are “included” in the “plan of salvation” because God wants them to be saved by believing in Christ.

    It is true that Vatican II has an ill-advised tendency to speak of non-Catholics in the nicest, most diplomatic terms possible without clearly contradicting Catholic doctrine, which has in practice enabled (or at least failed to properly suppress) indifferentism. Many orthodox but naive council fathers may have sincerely believed that to be a good pastoral strategy, while others seem to have been cunning modernist infiltrators. But the doctrinal authority of conciliar documents doesn’t depend on the holiness or depravity of their authors.

    I very much hope the Church will start speaking again like it did at the Council of Florence.

  27. I disagree. If the Church wanted to teach that someone who dies a Protestant can be saved, then She can say “someone who dies a Protestant can be saved.” Why doesn’t She say that if that is what She means?

    Contrast the mush you quoted with Jews go to Hell, Heretics go to Hell, and Pagans go to Hell. The suggestion that I should go with my best guess at what meaning might inhere in some Conciliar gobbledygook instead of sticking with those admirably clear statements is just bizarre. And that’s not even considering the fact that the clear statements are also de fide.

    Your reading is uncharitable to St John Paul II and his ghostwriter, The Balloon Cardinal.

    Unless the Church of Christ really gets a kick out of deceiving Protestants and its own members with weasle-words and lies (which, of course, it doesn’t and can’t), the Catechism clearly teaches non-Catholics are saved.

    That’s just bizarre. Clearly, the Churchmen get a kick out of deceiving Christians. If you really think it’s impossible for that to happen, then you ought to conclude that the Church is false.

  28. I was addressing George. Many comments appeared in between.

  29. @David – You said “Your second quote also says that non-Catholic communities can be “means of salvation.” I really dislike this expression, but strictly speaking, it just means that they sometimes contribute in some way to someone’s salvation.”

    What the writers of the passage clearly mean are that non-Catholic churches are valid “means of salvation” just like the Catholic church is a “means of salvation” – but they don’t say “all Catholics go to Heaven” because they don’t necessarily know this, just as they can’t say “all Protestants go to Heaven”

    You cite Baptism, but the document specifically goes beyond Baptism and mentions “the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.”

    Read again: “Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation.”

    I understand you are doing your best to read the document “in the light of tradition”, but it simply can’t be done without purposeful self-deception.

    One alternative to the restrictive interpretation is that the “all those who don’t obey me go to Hell statements” are out of context and it was intended, at least in-part, as a political strike against France at the time of an authority struggle between the Pope and the King, plus it was written before the Protestant rebellions, etc.

  30. @George:
    I don’t think the documents of Vatican II should be interpreted according to the intentions of their writers. Aren’t the intentions of the bishops who approved them and in particular of Bl. Paul VI, who promulgated them, much more relevant? And I am sure there were lots of orthodox but naive bishops who voted in favor of those documents only because they understood them in a traditional way.

    We must also carefully consider what we mean by “intention.” In order to be truly obedient to the Church, we must try to find out what bishops and popes intend to teach by their statements, i.e., what they intend to order the faithful to believe, not what they themselves personally believe.

    E.g., Pope Francis certainly thinks that unrepentant public adulterers should at least sometimes be given Holy Communion. He could easily have said so in “Amoris Laetitia,” but he chose not to. Instead, he deliberately used vague or ambiguous expressions which can just barely be interpreted in an orthodox sense, in a conscious effort to prevent too much criticism from orthodox bishops (he allegedly pretty much admitted this to an Italian archbishop). Therefore, if I interpret “Amoris Laetitia” in an orthodox sense, I’m not contradicting what Pope Francis intended to teach. A general who deliberately gives ambiguous orders to his soldiers can’t accuse them of disobedience if they interpret them in the sense they like most.

    Of course, the fact that we now need a special hermeneutic for deliberately ambiguous magisterial statements is very depressing.

  31. “Allowing myself to be inspired by His Humbleness’s ways of thinking, I regard obedience to the Roman Pontiff as a beautiful ideal…”

    Ha! Brilliant.

  32. @David – A essential or central problem though is the Roman Catholic church is primarily hierarchical with the assumption that the Pope and leadership are the primary interpreters of the faith and tradition handed on.

    Your understanding clearly defers from the current leadership, and while we may argue that in-this-case we shouldn’t listen, we are to understand that we should almost always listen and most of the average faithful are still trying to be and told they should be obedient to the Pontiff – even his apparent secular leftism. (Bonald’s difficulty in this post).

  33. You’re thinking is very reactionary, but not necessarily all that Catholic.

    “To recognize the enemy is to recognize that the Church is, as a human organization, vulnerable. It can be destroyed, and if it was, all the spiritual goods of the Church would disappear with it.”

    No, the Church can’t be destroyed, not even as a “human organization,” whatever distinction the qualifier “human” is serving here. The Church will exist until the end of time, with or without any degree of influence on the world at large. Period. Because we don’t know the state of anyone’s soul, we don’t really know whether Christian virtue is stronger or weaker when the institution of the Church possesses greater or lesser influence on society. The people of Mexico seem more dedicated to the Church than the people of Central and South America, who seem to defect readily to Protestantism. The Catholics of Mexico know persecution and are blessed with the Cristero martyrs. The ostensibly pro-Catholic, or at least illiberal, regimes of Central and South America, very attractive to reactionaries, did nothing on this front.

    “Faced with the live possibility of the destruction of the Church, there arises within the Catholic soul an urgent will to collective survival.”

    The destruction is not a possibility. What, do you think Christ is suddenly going to un-resurrect and Satan is going to dethrone God? I mean, yes, people need to act in order for the Church to persevere and triumph, but they’re only acting correctly if they act with supernatural faith and hope that their victory is certain and supernatural. The destruction of the Church is NOT a “live possibility.” It is a dead impossibility. Don’t let rhetoric and your specious analogy from Schmitt’s wholly un-Christian, Hobbesian philosophy strand you.

    “The proper thing would be for the communist party to remove him in a prompt and orderly way, but every Russian down to the lowliest private should stop obeying him immediately, even regarding orders not obviously treasonous.”

    Regarding the part about disobeying him in matters that aren’t obviously treasonous, here we have the antinomianism your position lusts for. If my leader is a stab-in-the-back traitor in the face of an existential threat, then I get to be a Freikorps kommando, damn the laws. *I* get to make the decision of who is the enemy and what I am allowed. “Love thy enemy” — Who said that?

    Consider what St. Thomas More said about giving the devil benefit of law. Also, consider what Our Lord Himself said about the Scribes and Pharisees, the human ENEMY of that day and age:

    “The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not.” (St. Matt. 23:2-3)

    In other words, for the duration of the Mosaic dispensation, Our Lord said to obey the authorities of that dispensation in all things lawful. And because the Christian dispensation will endure until the end of time, if Pope Francis decrees a Jubilee year, then it’s a Jubilee year, whether he’s an ENEMY or not. Mutatis mutandis.

    You know, the reactionaries (de Maistre, Bonald) aren’t actually representative of the Church’s traditional teachings on anthropology, politics, philosophy, etc. Bonald’s “traditionalism” has actually been condemned. Maybe the anti-Enlightenment thinkers, the hardcore reactionaries, shouldn’t be our go-to people for developing proper responses to things that happen. For one thing, Our Lord Himself told us not to get overly worked up over scandals, unless we’re the ones causing them.

  34. Regarding the deficiencies of Bonald’s thought: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15013a.htm

  35. Correction: The article above is about the error of Traditionalism. Bonald also adhered to the error of Fideism, which is the error that the Church has censured.
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06068b.htm

  36. @Olaus – Get out the stakes!

  37. The destruction is not a possibility. What, do you think Christ is suddenly going to un-resurrect and Satan is going to dethrone God? I mean, yes, people need to act in order for the Church to persevere and triumph, but they’re only acting correctly if they act with supernatural faith and hope that their victory is certain and supernatural. The destruction of the Church is NOT a “live possibility.” It is a dead impossibility.

    When you say that “people need to act in order for the Church to persevere,” you are admitting Bonald’s claim. He’s saying that it is logically possible for the Church to be destroyed. Since God has already peeked at the end of time and told us about it, we know that this particular logical possibility does not eventuate. How do we know that the mechanism by which God avoids the Church being destroyed is by some Catholics showing true obedience to the Pope by disobeying him?

  38. The revolution in the Catholic Church was a top-down affair, initiated by senior clerics who esteemed the enemies of Christ higher than Christians. The cause of her troubles is not disobedience but disloyalty.

    This. A thousand times. “We” did not get ourselves into this mess. The Church’s princes did.

  39. I look forward to the day when a Russian Czar will march triumphant into Rome and compel the Pope and Russian Patriarch to sit in a well-guarded, well-appointed room together until they have re-united the Church.

  40. Make Catholicism Great Again

  41. Fr. Cekada once said something along the lines of ‘every Traditionalist is a sedevacantist by default.’ I have been sedevacantist for the past ten years (following you on and off again for the past 6 years or so) precisely because of the untenability of holding a man to be the leader of the true Church, whilst he teaches against it. It’s nice to see someone concede (for once) that there may be a practical legitimacy to sedevacantistm, rather than just dismissing it out of hand, as is so frequently the case.

  42. “Since God has already peeked at the end of time and told us about it, we know that this particular logical possibility does not eventuate.”

    This makes it sound like it’s some accidental thing depending solely on human will. No, God acts and intervenes to sustain the Church. The Church will not be destroyed, no matter what the enemy does. God guarantees that there will always be a faithful remnant.

    I’m not so concerned with the question of whether this remnant need always follow a Pope’s lead on this or that question. I’m concerned with not positing false alternatives as one’s rationale.

    “The Church is at war with Liberalism, her mortal foe who might destroy her and will destroy her if it can.”

    Liberalism cannot destroy the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, therefore Liberalism will not destroy her. That is a fact. Starting from any other position is starting off wrong.

  43. “@Olaus – Get out the stakes!”

    If the Inquisition were around conducting an auto-da-fe, I would report on Bonald’s (the blogger’s) claims, yes.

  44. >Defenestrating authority is how we got into this mess.

    No, communists infiltrating and taking power in all of the West’s key institutions, and then demanding loyalty and support from the people who those institutions once served as they turn into their enemies, is how we got into this mess. Also, the blind worship of power that has taken hold in neoreaction has destroyed it as a credible intellectual movement. Letting communists have authority over you *because* they managed to infiltrate and take power in your institutions is a recipe for ruin – of your civilization, of your nation, of your family, and of your soul.

    Anyhow, Christ is head of the Church, not Mr. Bergoglio. Confusing Denethor with Aragorn, just because Denethor sits on a throne, is a stupid mistake.

    >Consider what St. Thomas More said about giving the devil benefit of law.

    More was wrong. So were the founding fathers. So was all of classical liberalism, which based itself on the idea that of you’re fair to your enemies, they’ll be fair to you in return, this simply being what proper gentlemen *do*. That’s the kind of painful naïveté that enables professional civilization wreckers.

    Anyhow, Mr. Bergoglio’s act is beginning to wear thin as The Current Year™, despite the predictions of many, sees a global resurgence of the right:

    http://nypost.com/2016/07/04/pope-francis-star-is-fading-back-home-and-heres-why-it-matters/

  45. No, communists infiltrating and taking power in all of the West’s key institutions, and then demanding loyalty and support from the people who those institutions once served as they turn into their enemies, is how we got into this mess.

    I took Arkansas Reactionary to be referring to something much deeper and preceding communism, harkening back even to the first non serviam ever uttered.

  46. Your analogy fails. The Pope was quoting the Catechism. It is not comparable with Stalin declaring himself a Nazi.

  47. […] A tribal Catholic’s last straw. A compelling proof that the current pope has allied himself publicly with the mortal enemies of […]

  48. Bonald and Olaus are just talking past each other. Olaus is right that “the Church cannot be destroyed,” a promise that is technically satisfied so long as Christ preserves at least one bishop. I doubt this technicality interests Bonald. If, in WW2, we had successfully killed all but a single Nazi, we would nevertheless consider Nazi Germany to have been vanquished.

  49. Very very interesting and important thoughts here. I was having very similar feelings towards the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew who definitely has some puppet strings that lead back to USG. We have to really be extra careful in our dealings with anyone, because the enemy is far more insidious than was maybe initially realized, and his resources are borderline limitless at this point. He can ‘get’ anyone who does not have a martyrs commitment to the cause.

  50. From the tone of the discussion, I got the feeling that focusing on the ‘enemy’ side of the friend-enemy distinction as if *that* is what’s primary is what leads to a lot of this grimly absurd spectacle of Catholics not knowing what to make of a Pope who preaches a doctrine they are repelled by.

    Friendship is ontologically significant; enmity is not. Certain things you could do to (or fail to do for) your friends would constitute a betrayal, which is objectively wrong. You know this without any Magisterium, because you do not need the Magisterium to tell you when you are about to do something which is blatantly wrong. If the people who are enticing you into a betrayal are persistent enough about this, you may call them ‘enemies’; this condition only exists to the extent that, and only as long as, the threat of betrayal exists.

    You cannot meaningfully strive to make an enemy of someone the in the same way you can strive to make a friend of someone and to not betray them.

    The fact that what is threatened is a betrayal of God only complicates things more. On the one hand you have relatively clear doctrines about what kinds of things God wants. On the other hand, you have very vague information about how God plans to get these things He wants, or about how the apparently-contradictory desires will balance out (God wants everyone to be saved, but He also wants everyone to accept the Truth, and He wants to bring justice to the wicked). It seems like this leaves a lot of room to the imagination in declaring God’s desire for a particular situation.

  51. It is impossible to believe the catholic church is at war with liberalism given it is catholic votes that drove the liberal agenda in the usa not to mention other tidbits like catholic Ireland giving women the right to vote before WASP america, how far left and how quickly catholic france went left etc etc etc

  52. What the bishops need to understand is that it only takes one side to make a war, and liberalism is not interested in any peace that leaves the Church in existence with her doctrines intact.

  53. The Catholic Church is in lock step with liberalism
    Leastwise is all practical terms so I cannot see where either side is at war with the other. Squabbling about certain mopping up operations? Sure I see that, but allies none the less in all practical ways.

  54. @Arakawa – Good comment, a lot to think about!

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