Discerning the Higher Magisterium
Discerning the Higher Magisterium: Catholic Orthodoxy Demands Allegiance to Truth
By Joseph Andrew Settanni
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, unto the consummation of the world.” (Mt 28:18-20)
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” (Mt 16:18-19)
Who was it who once said, I smell a skunk? There must come here a knowledgeable prolegomena, so to speak, introducing discernably right from wrong cognition, on this important subject, so often distorted by partisan pleadings. Things are happening, have no doubt, that are in the nature of the truly demonic. However, what’s the more immediately serious matter, one may ask?
Prevarication, increasingly, has been the prevalent modus vivendi coming from the Vatican, especially since the current pontificate started to really get into high gear, in the last few years. Clarifications and definitions do aid clear thinking and right reason, nonetheless, as St. Thomas Aquinas would have fully agreed.
Before discussing many details of the magisterium proper, it is necessary to distinguish between what is known as the infallible sacred Magisterium (that will be noted by giving it a capital M) and the fallible ordinary magisterium; this is because many theologians and sundry others, religious commentators and pundits, often do erroneously confuse and confound them as being, perhaps, so necessarily or supposed as ultimately the very same thing.
This is overtly false and should, moreover, be always appropriately recognized as such, for the significant sake of theological truth in particular and overall religious veracity in general.
History and Theology Here Unites
When, e. g., any bishops, in the 15th century, had called Joan of Arc a witch, heretic, and/or apostate, that or those designation(s) used were only a part of the exercise of the ordinary magisterium, which can be wrong, not infallible. Moreover, though 500 long years later, the young Maid of Orleans was, in fact, finally and solemnly canonized; but, it often takes the Church some time, in this case centuries later, to properly correct any errors or mistakes possibly made in the course of exercising the ordinary magisterium.
And, this properly noted fact, in the course of this entire article, should be studiously kept in mind as an important reference and supportive evidence solidly positing, postulating, the religious and theological argumentation and demonstration of the overt truth presented for logical consideration.
Centuries earlier, when about 90%, approximately, of the hierarchy of the Church was then basically dominated by the Arian Heresy, no rational theologian, no Catholic prelate worthy to be listened to, would dare to facetiously say that such heresy should be regarded plainly as being exemplary of the infallible sacred Magisterium. No heresy whatsoever can become incorporated into Catholicism, even if it gets generally approved of, for centuries of history, by the majority of the hierarchy.
It was not at all rightly aligned, for instance, with any surely orthodox knowledge and teaching of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, or any of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church. Furthermore, anyone who contends otherwise, against all the historical facts, is just a bold liar deserving of complete contempt.
At best, it was just a faux example, an imposture, of a (supposed) ordinary magisterium that, indeed, had contradicted the true Magisterium, which is, of course, always the truly authentic, universal voice of the entire ecclesiastical organization qua Church founded by Jesus Christ. No Catholic, moreover, is ever supposed to deny this obvious truth pertaining to the core reality of Roman Catholicism.
Let a useful and informative definition be suitably given: The infallible sacred Magisterium includes the extraordinary declarations of the pope when, in fact, officially speaking ex cathedra and of those validly declared ecumenical councils, which are traditionally expressed in conciliar creeds, canons, and decrees, as well as of the ordinary and universal Magisterium. It is also known as the solemn Magisterium. This then appropriately conforms to the strict and known requirements of orthodoxy within Catholicism.
Let another definition be rendered: The ordinary magisterium, in easy contrast, includes a wide variety and different degrees of potentially fallible teachings of the pope (i.e., not given ex cathedra), bishops, and ecumenical councils and, as is normally more commonly the case, of individual bishops or possible assemblages of bishops as taken separately from the whole College of them, as with, e.g., the College of Cardinals.
Such teachings, usually filled with personal opinions, subjectivism, and speculative assertions, are yet fallible and could possibly contain various kinds of errors; they are necessarily often subject to revisions or even, though rarely, actual revocation.
In the case of the teachings of individual bishops, as an instance, announced to their diocese, there can, of course, be even major or severe disagreements among the different individual bishops on a potential variety of issues. With this matter, orthodoxy can and may just play a secondary or, sometimes, tertiary role, before certain issues get resolved, that can then and only then substantially and substantively raise the decision(s) to the more imperative and, thus, much higher level of the infallible sacred Magisterium.
The infallible sacred Magisterium, and whatever gets attached to it, is always fundamentally definitive, absolute, permanent, decisive, unquestionable, and, therefore, necessarily becomes de fide as to primary beliefs that must be, unreservedly and unconditionally, believed in by all faithful Catholics; in set contrast, what may exist as merely the ordinary magisterium is not de fide, absolute, or beyond questioning; it is rather conditional and can, moreover, be reviewed, revised, modified, amended, and, if found necessary, even discarded or totally revoked as to any real claim upon belief.
Therefore, it is clear that the two very different kinds of magisterium should be easily distinguished and understood as ever having two quite different levels of authority and affirmation, applicable degree and possible confirmation, pertaining to the demands of Catholic belief.
It is to be correctly understood de fide that whatsoever has been imparted by the Church since the time of Christ’s ministry, whether instituted formally through any “solemn” declarations made by councils or popes, or if done by undisputed or unanimous “ordinary” every day teaching given by the Church, must be unquestionably believed in by all Catholics.
This is an absolutely mandatory aspect of Catholic belief, furthermore, that refers all the way back to what Jesus Christ Himself said in Scripture and, in addition, what the First Vatican Council had publicly affirmed. Any member of the faithful who may obstinately refuse to do so is to be called a heretic, as had happened with Martin Luther, and is placed completely outside of the Holy Catholic Church as an excommunicate.
But, let Pope Leo XIII, in his Satis Cognitum, speak definitively to this highly important issue, as when he properly said, ”Christ instituted in the Church a living, authoritative, and permanent magisterium, which He strengthened by His own power, taught by the Spirit of truth, and confirmed by miracles. He willed and ordered under the gravest penalties that its teachings should be received as if they were His own.” None of this Catholic truth would have been denied by either Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman or St. Thomas Aquinas, of course.
One may, also, say that Pope Pius XII, in his Humani Generis, further insightfully extrapolates that, “God has given to His Church a living teaching authority to elucidate and explain what is contained in the deposit of faith only obscurely and implicitly. This deposit of faith our divine Redeemer has given for authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the teaching authority of the Church.” No facts could be clearer.
Such “teaching authority” is to be absolute and universal, meaning that it is to equally apply to all non-Catholics as well, though the Church has, in fact, long ceased to have such any extensive power of enforcement, of course, or evenly to publicly claim it.
In this light, the immense gravity of the profound harm deliberately intended by the Vatican, by the “traitorous” Vicar of Christ, should be here exposed as both seriously violative and integrally abusive of permanent Church teachings. Therefore, in any proper discerning of the higher Magisterium versus the lesser kind precisely means that Catholic orthodoxy, in this matter, certainly demands allegiance to the ultimate truth, to the Catholic faith, not to the Pope.
And, this theological and religious admonition is totally unconditional, for as St Paul, in his Epistle to the Galatians, had correctly said, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.” Catholicism always takes full precedence to any pope (or even an “angel from heaven”) uttering mere opinions or speculations, even if formulated and presented in Papal-approved statements.
Clever defenders of the heretic1 Pope Francis are falsely claiming, e. g., that his very controversial Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) is not shockingly filled with a number of clearly blasphemous and sacrilegious notions absolutely unworthy of any papal sanction, much less supposedly appropriate Catholic teachings.
Nonetheless, the Holy Father and his so solicitous knaves and rather crafty tergiversationists wish to yet foist upon the laity and prelacy the disingenuous idea that these greatly illicit and immoral teachings are just a plainly genuine coin of the realm, not just the bogus relativist-subjectivist nonsense that it actually undoubtedly is.
The untruthful, deceitful, assertion is made that what was pushed forward so awkwardly is authentically done by the promptings of the Holy Ghost and, moreover, so fully conforms to all the right, proper, and appropriate requirements of the infallible sacred Magisterium of Holy Mother Church. As this pointed disquisition written for the reader sustains and maintains, nothing could ever be further from the truth, including the more important holy matter of Divine Truth, which is to be defended vigorously.
Of course, being clever propagandists, the advocates of Amoris Laetitia mixed up truths and falsities in that Jesuitical document, so it is often very hard to ever accurately know where a lie begins or ends, when set in the middle of often religious-sounding or just somewhat too sanctimonious language. It becomes, to uninformed minds, a seeming analogous concoction of “Mom and apple pie” dynamics that do become hard to make objections against or, at least, not so often effectively.
They deliberately seek to extremely confuse and confound matters with suggestive wording that turns the unwary or theologically uneducated mind toward many both unfortunate and improper thoughts of (false) charity, (untrue) compassion, and a needless misinterpretation of (incorrect) love for fellow Christians. Yes, delving here into the vernacular, it’s quite an elaborate con job, done by professional hucksters, knowing full well the tricks of the trade. The equivalents of much Aesopian language and Orwellian-style semantics abound with such demonic trickery.
But, as was discussed earlier in this article, the very best that might be said, one assumes, is that Amoris Laetitia (AL) is merely a sad composition to be seen in the lesser light of the merely ordinary magisterium, though its lying supporters, including Pope Francis, will tergiversate oppositely to the truth; this means, incidentally, that simultaneously they do quite knowingly violate the Divine Truth, for which God will, certainly, so hold them totally responsible.
This vilely inordinate and wrong pushing of AL, under an unpleasant disguise, is morally unworthy of those consecrated prelates of the Catholic Church who may, in fact, support it, as if they meanly wish to exemplify the most usually unctuous status of used car salesmen, not honored Fathers of the Faith.
The true actual but surely masked thrust of this heinous document is strongly against family life and children, which are supposed to be the normal products of familial reality; this is, certainly, because the intention of AL, though hypocritically denied, is to substantially and substantively help to destroy any semblance of genuine family life and, thus, the having and raising of children. As William F. Buckley, Jr. was oddly fond of quoting Leon Trotsky: Who says A must say B.
It is, in clever camouflage, a viciously anti-family tract having very little to do with compassion, mercy, sympathy, clemency, or Christian love, when properly analyzed to get righty past the seductive and so deliberately misaligned verbiage. It is, no doubt, an Aesopian production viciously formative of much mischief and calculated deception because God’s mercy is synonymous with His justice and love. (And, the References appended to this present article do, thus, cover the extensive details of the tremendous deception being deliberately perpetrated in the name of religion.)
Opposition to AL is, therefore, founded firmly in Catholic truth, not heretical lies, as are, more and more, coming constantly from the Vatican these days. While many parts or aspects of AL, of course, are not objectionable; certain questionable sections and assertions most certainly are, therefore, so absolutely subject to needed dispute and requisite refutation in proper and righteous support of Divine Truth.
The cheap canard is asserted that only certain limited pastoral practices are to be somewhat modified without changing the doctrinal or dogmatic standards to be always kept. This is a part of the verbalist semantic manipulation and, upon reflection, liturgical sleight of hand going on by deceitful prelates and their epigones.
They do studiously wish to ignore the logical demands of recognizing the theological meaning of Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi as being formative and imperative for Catholic community and culture as the only One, Holy, Apostolic Catholic Church. It is, therefore, theologically impossible for pastoral practice not to eventually reflect back upon and set de facto if not de jure changes of one against the other, which is overtly illustrative of the wanted confusion and chaos brought on by desiring heresy.
And so, this observation of truth is ever regardless of any and all necessarily fallacious and mendacious, specious and illogical, arguments set to the contrary. For Catholicism, especially for orthodoxy opposed to heresy, doctrine equals practice and practice equals doctrine because the dogmas of the faith are theologically controlling, not mere religious practice. The proverbial tail is not meant to wag the dog, though the supporters of AL do freely and facetiously contend otherwise, meaning in their enormously evil arguments for, thus, boldly upholding heresy.
The very sly and utterly disingenuous champions of this so wayward document know full well that what pastoral practices were once said to be for only (rare) exceptions to the rule will eventually become, as they actively do wish, new rules themselves. Although they tergiversate on the issues, they want what is said, for now, to be exceptional to become the norm.
Contrary to what is too often supposed, this is how relativism and situation ethics become absolutes, in the way that each heresy seeks to become its very own orthodoxy. And, because of the ongoing and massive corruption in the Church, it seems necessary for every mature adult to try to become, if thought possible, a theologian for properly discerning such important matters as the higher versus the lower level of magisterium.
This is instead of doing, on average, what most Catholics do by simply conflating or confusing the lower into the higher, as all being just one type of magisterium. One might ask, why is all sorts of primary theological knowledge good to have?
There are surely real-world consequences, usually for ill, due to such unfortunate aforementioned acts of ignorance and unknowing. Ignorance may be bliss, but it opens the mental door to wrongly go about embracing heresies, perhaps, even by default, if not ever through any active intent.
What is Really Going On?
What is the ugly reality behind the mere benevolent mask? The radicals, the theological deviants, in the Church are seeking to create or develop bridgeheads by which they can reach out to the secularists and humanists, for supposedly heading toward a wanted higher synthesis of enlightened cognizant reality, which is existentially and phenomenologically thought possible of anthropocentric formulation.
Once, again, for those who are informed and do have a fairly sophisticated breadth and keen depth of knowledge, this is the obviously nominalist Hegelian dialectic, as was seen with the Second Vatican Council. The radicals are seeking a supposedly viable means and condition of attaining cognitive and existential reciprocity and complementarity leading from (mere) modernity to postmodernity, to create a reified reality for a triumphant humanity, which is thoroughly consonant with the nominalist heresy of current neo-Pelagianism.
The thesis is a perpetually evolving and reformed Protestant-style Church to, thus, basically replace the existing existential ecclesial situation; the antithesis presented is the progressivist, radical-bourgeois world order, sometimes called the New World Order, and, the then planned, attempted, and hoped-for synthesis is a combined or, rather, skillfully conglomerated composition that will so be, ultimately, both derivatively post-Enlightenment and postmodern, meaning in its then various plastic salvific insights and necessarily evolving directions of cognition.
Thesis, synthesis, and antithesis creates dialectical insight and a superior intellect (as it is thought by the cognoscenti) that commands the power to assist in the transformation of humanity itself, to perfect the ugly imperfection, due to God’s assumed failure or, perhaps, misplaced “benign neglect” as the Creator.
This is all meant to be esoteric knowledge; however, it goes well beyond plain Gnosticism as was, e. g., thought of by Eric Voegelin2 and finally ends by fully and sadly supporting the ongoing heresy of neo-Pelagianism, the making of ideology into an ersatz religion to enable the perfectibility of Man, meaning without God. For knowledgeable observers, what is really happening is rather too obvious; it is the presented case of properly seeing the correct considerations of the assumed pretext, correct context, and elusive subtext of the entire war or protracted conflict.
The manifest pretext is found in the workings and language of AL, the context is the latent utopianism being favored, and the subtle subtext is the subversive effort, by the Holy Father and his inner circle, to revolutionize the Church, for making it compatible with the progressivist, radical-bourgeois world order. All this such a mind as was possessed by James Burnham would, surely, have recognized correctly the radicalism, the revolutionism, involved, as are the ideological implications and ramifications discussed in this too brief article. Have no naïve illusion, as with the above cited pretext, context and subtext, that what is involved is definitely a real power play, not a polite parlor game.
A revolutionary situation is being called into existence by the Bishop of Rome who is lining up his cadres and assembling and appointing his comrades; meanwhile, almost none of the opposition knows what is really happening, as a surely public proponent of Marxist Liberation Theology presides in the Vatican. For as (the former Marxist-Trotskyite) Burnham would have noted, they are woefully ignorant of dialectic, naïve about practical propaganda, and functionally unware of the devious workings of the subversives who, feverishly, do work toward the elimination of any effective opposition.
Those who are dissenters from what AL is trying to promote are basically scattered and fragmented, largely dispersed and split into some factions; the often energized cadres of the Pope are typically united, mostly concentrated for action, and organized for battle. Logically, when one side is so fully conversant with power struggle but the other not, guess which one will win the protracted conflict?
Such Catholics opposing the Pope are like mere simple and trusting sheep confronting many wily foxes. The object of the revolutionists’ desires is, decidedly, mundane (power on earth), but yet stimulates their ever wildest dreams for an anti-Christocentric notion of terrene reality, which seems still so salvific to them. The vast majority of the really top players are not to be ignorantly seen as mere old-fashioned, normal Vatican intriguers; these dedicated and ideologically-hardened radicals are truly fighting and fighting to win at all costs. This needs to be kept in mind for better understanding what will be said.
The main adversaries, usually so weak and fairly timid, are pleading for some compromises, requesting redefinitions to soothe some harsher critics of Papal policies, and seeking some means of balancing the overt abnormality, sought by AL, with the normalcy expected by orthodox Catholic doctrines, dogmas, and teachings. It is, at least on the rather plain surface of affairs, an uneven or lopsided kind of unfair confrontation.
The Pope and his loyal minions steadily have their “eyes on the prize,” while the vast majority of the critics do not seem to properly realize the deeper issues involved. They uselessly attack the manifest issues raised that help to better conceal the latent matters undiscussed or undisputed that are then allowed to fester and grow more infectious, seemingly, month by month, year by year. As a result, few keenly notice that the immoral quest for immanentism goes fundamentally unresolved, as doxological or, perhaps, soteriological issues are to be debated endlessly, meaning as the real damage gets done.
Most commentators and critics mainly concentrate almost exclusively at seeing the individual trees, meaning issues raised, in AL but are, basically, oblivious to perceiving the overall forest. Many brilliant and learned exegeses have been composed exposing the notable faults and flaws as to, thus, covering minutely the various details involved in expounding the errors uncovered, however, the covert meaning of this document escapes almost always much needed attention.
The detractors are well meaning but still fundamentally unfocused and usually unorganized. With his cadres of wolves in sheep’s clothing, the Pope, therefore, holds the high ground and he so well knows it; his sinful hope is to plant evil seeds that will, over time, yield bad fruit.
Guess which side, in the short term, will then definitely win? Bets would seem to favor the enthusiastic revolutionaries, not the mostly unsure, distracted, uncertain, or wavering opponents usually desiring, more or less, a rather gentle respite for recuperating; they appear mainly unwilling, more or less, to take up the Cross. But, the advocates for AL do not hesitate to agitate for acceptance and action done on its behalf as an imperative matter; capitulation or any kind of substantial backing down need never enter their aggressive minds set upon further and further victories at the expense of the old guard.
It is a pubescently bold step forward for a New World Order (NWO), as ever, verging toward the chaotic New Eden on earth that, as truly mature minds do recognize, is the ever dazzling chimera of Utopia, of course, by whatever euphemism. As the great Malcolm Muggeridge would have noted, this is the real argument beyond what appears to be the merely ostensible matter or matters being discussed publicly.
The ever proud and egotistic champions of Utopia, believing that both history and the earthly god called Progress on their side, are waging a deliberate war in opposition to those adversaries (the adults) who always realistically deny that such a NWO can be actually achieved in this world. Whatever else it may be, radicalism, whether about Nazism, Communism or Fascism, is essentially a youth movement against intellectual maturity and the accumulated wisdom of generations.
The final end game of the radicals, the assumed adept or enlightened cognoscenti, is the attainment of realizable immanentist power, as aided by pragmatism, positivism and subjectivism, to finally build the secularized society and culture of deified Man.
Thus, be not enthralled by those, who with Pope Francis, go whoring after (a false) righteousness lest, catching the contagion, to be then consumed in the process of seeking to attain that which is objectively sinful. Pursuit of any New Eden is the hubristic failing of sinful men who are scandalized by an imperfect God, meaning in their warped minds.
Those Catholics and others, however, who are not truly familiar with Hegelian dialect and the rarified discourse that it engenders are unable to actually grasp what the real contention is all about, meaning in terms of what is demonically intended.
They simplistically think that the real debate solely concerns such basic matters as family, sexual issues, homosexuality, divorce, children, etc. All that, in terms of AL, is just the mere religious façade; the Hegelian dialectic is the (unspoken) core or key reality, the quest for immanentism incarnated within only earthly means toward that end, which the often pleasant semantics and rhetoric are so craftily, slyly, designed to conceal, not reveal; nor are the ideological, radical-bourgeois urgings and promptings easily discernible.
Of course, the fallacious claim made by the radicals, because they do wish to ignore Divine Reason, classical Natural Law, and the Justice of God, is that they only wish to accomplish good and not evil in their eyes. It is ever, nonetheless, the nominalist pleadings of subjectivism and relativism glorified.
Most existent disapproval of the radical program is still ever an exercise of powerlessness, of course, since they deal with the surface effects, not the deep causes, of the religious radicalism. And, the same was, e. g., quite historically also true for Lutheranism, Calvinism, Puritanism, and Jansenism. In both the age of modernity with its attendant Protestant Revolution and, now, increasing postmodernity, all manner of intellectual, moral, and religious errors seek, thus, to reign triumphantly. This should be obvious.
It is recognized, freely and admittedly, that the most insignificant author of this article has chosen, for now, what is the losing side; this is because the corrupt hierarchy is being filled with the many agents of Pope Francis, who willingly adhere to the great intended revolution, so urgently wanted by the Holy Pontiff, against the important need for Catholic truth, meaning his evil struggle against orthodoxy, thus, transversely to truth itself.
In this quite morally perilous struggle, one ought to then critically recognize, therefore, that that these forces must so inevitably be demonically ranged athwart all needed concern for Divine Truth. Unfortunately, for those who are theologically ignorant of Catholic teachings, AL has just enough sentimental and qualified orthodoxy to make it fairly palatable to many prelates, clerics, and others who, of course, really ought to know better.
Catholic catechesis, for at least the past 50 years now, has been so highly deficient, it is no real wonder at all that theological ignorance is so generally pervasive as to be fairly pandemic by now.4
An uninstructed laity and prelacy, predominantly settled in observed unawareness, readily seems to mainly accept and acquiesce in the prevarication and equivocation done in the attractive names of charity, compassion, and love. And, so, who can vigorously and constantly fight counter to and presumably revile “Mom and apple pie” emotionalism in the observed face of hierarchical collaboration and appeasement?
Any opposition to all this requires an adamant determination to fiercely defend orthodoxy, in the spirit of St. Athanasius3, by being prepared, in one’s own parish if need be, to stand alone, confronting the majority, who are clearly wrong.
To appropriately cite the words of Woodrow Wilson, as to the grave point being made here: “I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a cause that will some day lose!” While the defense of orthodoxy is rarely rewarded on earth, the greater knowledge is that the true reward is not in this passing world that disappears with one’s own passing.
Loyal Catholics should, determinedly, stay always faithful to the true Faith and its traditional teachings, supported by Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, because they do correctly conform to the actually infallible sacred Magisterium, not the ever absurdly pietistic quasi-truths and seemingly pious-sounding phraseology of AL. Orthodoxy, nevertheless, will be ultimately rewarded.
St. Athanasius himself, have no doubt, would surely approve of such righteous thinking, as would be morally recommended by the Patriarchs, Fathers, Doctors, and Scholastics. To be most orthodox is to be most Catholic as well, though this would be denied, of course, by the current and heretical Bishop of Rome and his many evil cohorts. For useful clarification here, however, one must be, in reiteration, certain in knowing that the infallible sacred Magisterium is definitively disparate from, firmly opposed to, the obnoxiously unorthodox presumptiveness and posturing unquestionably to be found in AL.
For those blinded by appeals to semantics or rhetoric, this is fraught with the corruption and dilution, the sleaze and attenuation, of requisite Catholic dogmas and doctrines being pressed harmfully forward, more pleadings to be done for the supposed fulfillment of the “Spirit of the Second Vatican Council” can be observed, and this revolution will be then presented as a true Catholic Enlightenment, a “wrongly” delayed acceptance of the 18th century Enlightenment.
It seeks, of course, to be a paean for the essence of what Pope St. Pius X had condemned so completely and vigorously in his very needed attack on Modernism entitled: Pascendi Domini gregis. Within such a context, opposition to AL will, consequently, separate the Lord’s adoring and faithful sheep from the too often confused and witless goats versus the radicals. As always, one ought to know that the traditional, Catholic guiding principles of Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi shine forth as being directive toward authentic Catholic life, culture, and conduct differentiating all the genuine, practicing faithful from the mere heathens, the unbelievers, and pretenders.
Being simple and forthright in one’s devoted faith is not, therefore, to be wrongly ever confused with being a just a religious simpleton. Orthodoxy and devotion to its holy cause requires a strong religious character able, if needed, to endure even the pains of possible martyrdom for the greater Glory of God. Religion and martyrdom, furthermore, will be, more and more, intimately connected in America and the Western world, as the enemies of the Church grow stronger and multiply, as they have, in fact, been successfully doing. Satanism and its logical concomitant witchcraft, the Wicca cult, have truly been gaining strength and spreading in the 21st century.
However, it is not just these enemies and the active Moslem world and its horrendous aggressions that are to be noted; secularists and humanists, atheists and freethinkers, really do hate all of Catholicism and any/all of its committed followers. Metaphysical warfare, its real instigation by the forces of Hell, usually precedes physical conflict in this world, though many people, leaning upon their vain devotion to materialism, naturalism, or nihilism, do not ever believe in this supernatural reality as to the true and greater confrontation involved. But, Catholics are required to believe in all that is “seen and not seen” in this fallen creation, on this sad planet.
The Machiavellian path of AL is, moreover, rather too obvious for those who know and care to see. The Progressive and Leftist elements that have increasingly infiltrated the Church, for pressing hard their evil modernism and postmodernism, vilely seek to find easy ways toward an accommodation with the world, through this horrid appeasement and spineless collaboration. They will not, however, come to really fool the many committed enemies of Sancta Mater Ecclesia.
The followers of Islam, from their hate-filled perspective, detect only weakness; the same is, invariably, true for those who ever sinfully demand absolute surrender, through the total secularization of all of culture and civilization, and without any actual exceptions whatsoever. But, Divine punishment will, nonetheless, come, especially in the infinitely more important life of the world to come, for Amoris Laetitia is, ultimately, an attack upon all human axiology, epistemology, and, finally, ontology itself.
Of course, it is usually unrecognized as such, by typical readers of this troublesome and profoundly flawed document, having a vain pretense purporting toward claiming theological truth and spiritual veracity. But, the Church’s advanced intelligentsia, gathered around Pope Francis, see AL as a good opportunity, though a slight one from their point of view, to help advance the dialectic and better pave the way to the NWO, or whatever euphemism various participants in the revolution may wish to apply.
And yet, this titanic conflict within the Church is more than just an academic versus populist dispute. How so? Satan and his minions are also actively engaged. There are, in fact, supernatural forces at work more than is ever commonly suspected.
Nonetheless, metaphysical reality is no less real merely because it is unseen. There is the true need for much continued spiritual warfare; and such spiritual fighting must now be done against the Pope and the majority of the hierarchy who do, in fact, side with the vile sentiments expressed in AL.
The defense of family, children, love, charity, and compassion both logically and reasonably demands that the higher Magisterium be powerfully upheld by always rightly rejecting this Orwellian-titled, Trojan horse: The Joy of Love. It is a, thus, misbegotten and morally joyless celebration of much true evil, a malevolent kind of sweet poison, set firmly against proper and traditional Catholic dogmas, doctrines, and teachings, the sensus fidei and orthodoxus sensus fidelium.
The Doctors of the Church, besides the Patriarchs and Fathers, would be absolutely appalled at how the Pope is acting and what he is doing to actively subvert Catholicism.
While he and his contemptuous supporters do possess the majority of the buildings and, of course, the Vatican apparatus (as was true of the ancient Arians), the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Communion of Saints, the Heavenly Hosts, and the Lord God Almighty all grandly stand in unyielding and purposeful opposition. And, in this sense, the war is manifestly lopsided in actual favor of those who rightly side with orthodoxy, with the ardent and sincere righteousness of Catholic truth.
Meanwhile, there is yet the truthful consideration of what Fr. George W. Rutler notes, in an aptly titled book that forcefully summarizes the chief problem and stumbling block of present times, quite sadly entitled: A Crisis of Saints. In contradistinction, nonetheless, this is why what is needed vitally is for a “Great Lion of the Church” to arise and lead the orthodox forces on to a glorious and valiant victory, rather, than to give in to any unwanted despair or so worthless despondency.
God is ever on the side of justice and right by having, of course, no respect whatsoever for the various blasphemies and sacrileges to be found in the assorted theological vileness and religious turpitude freely contained Amoris Laetitia. This fiendish effort at the attempted bastardization of Catholicism must be unequivocally censured and needfully exposed to the light of truth, of Catholic truth.
Therefore, the absolute condemnation, total denunciation, of it, with its vile laudation of heresies, ought to be only unqualifiedly resounding and firmly unremitting until it then gets completely revoked and repudiated in its ugly entirety. Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus.
Athanasius contra mundum!
Catholic Encyclopedia (1914 Edition)
Catechism of the Council of Trent
Avery Cardinal Dulles, Magisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith
1. Good news and bad news exists. It is so truly a shame that the following needs to be said, but Catholic catechesis has, unfortunately, fallen to such a low state these days. While the Holy Ghost, according to all orthodox Catholic teachings, absolutely guarantees that the Pope, in making any truly ex cathedra statements cannot ever fall into any real heresy whatsoever; a pope can still be a heretic. Distinctions and qualifications are, therefore, admittedly needed for better providing here clarification. A pope, of course, can still sin and must go to confession for, if he has any, his holding of heretical, blasphemous, or sacrilegious thoughts to be, thus, repented very sincerely and by doing his assigned contrition. Popes are not guaranteed against sinfulness nor are they rendered sinless for life by the Holy Spirit.
The Vicar of Christ is not at all axiomatically exempt from committing either venial or mortal sins, for all people are fallen creatures living in a fallen world, due to Original Sin. It is, much more significantly, a definitely greater shame, however, that the noted Magisterium of the Church must here be strongly defended against the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, which ought to be so absolutely anomalous, without any question, to the nth degree. What is the evident problem revealed? This then extremely peculiar and shocking condition, consequently, would not, should not, and ought not to ever logically exist – unless, of course, the Pope is a heretic.
Defenders of Pope Francis do “reason,” however, backwardly, in a very suitable Jesuitical manner, by ridiculously so postulating that since the Holy Ghost prevents heresy, then all heretical popes are also prohibited. This is, nonetheless, the classic fallacy on display of post hoc, ergo propter hoc ratiocination by, preposterously, saying no heretical statements can be made, thus, no heretical popes can exist. This could only be true if, in fact, a pope were to be miraculously freed of ever committing the mortal sin of entertaining, agreeing with, what are heretical thoughts.
The Pope is called the Holy Father because of the highly sacred office held, not because he must then be regarded, without question, as being magically transformed into a then holy man, as witness, e. g., Pope Alexander VI (Borgia) being not exactly exemplary of holiness. The Papal title given and human quality attendant to are not, therefore, so simply transferable, though most Catholics do simplistically believe otherwise, of course. This so strongly affirms here easily, furthermore, the notably poor level of the aforementioned catechesis that both surely and sadly exists.
Too many Catholics childishly believe that once a priest, bishop, or cardinal is raised to the Papacy he is then inoculated against serious sinning; they wrongly confuse and confound the sacred office with the (less-than-perfect) man occupying it. But, popes do come and go, Catholicism and its truth remains.
2. The 20th century philosopher Eric Voegelin (1901 – 1985) was an author of many works, including, of course, Science, Politics and Gnosticism and his very ambitious, multivolume Order and History. He had started out by finding Gnosticism nearly everywhere imaginable, but its pervasive application got so very broad as to become, in effect, meaningless as critical analysis; he himself eventually, in later years, did recognize the basic problem heuristically created and, thus, substantially modified the meaning as to become fairly or almost meaningless. The hand was simply overplayed; it then needed to be rationally delimited.
While it is clearly undoubted that many or, at times, most elements of what constituted modernity were Gnostic, as Voegelin correctly found, or, at the least, neo-Gnostic-influenced parts of beliefs, however, the main or central Zeitgeist or inspiration for and of modernity had been Pelagianism, the total denial of Original Sin and all that this implies. With the advent, however, of ideological thought as being ersatz religion, starting in about the late 18th century, it then became neo-Pelagianism; this is as to its much substantially heightened cognition easily seen trending into politics, religion, culture, and elsewhere.
By the 20th century, for instance, the many committed ideologists of Communism, Nazism, and Fascism were all convinced that they could really bring about, through a reified or second reality, the New Eden, Utopia, which is now seen, of course, in many immanentist aspirations for creating the New World Order. One, therefore, sees here how neo-Pelagianism is vitally integral to the intramundane belief in the various versions or kinds of Utopia, meaning by whatever euphemism for such nominalist belief.
3. It may be highly curious and significantly odd to note that Dr. Ludwig Ott’s classic Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, in its index, has no term of “Magisterium” present. And, such a rather major, and so presumably authoritative work, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) only mentions that term in connection with a matter pertaining to the subject of prayer.
Although the Sacred Magisterium, with Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are, in fact, the three main pillars of the Faith, one would not get that impression from either the Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma or, more shockingly, the Catechism of the Catholic Church! One can only imagine the other rather glaring and major deficiencies of yet future theological texts. God help the Church!
4. For several centuries after his death, because St. Athanasius had such a truly tremendous impact on the upholding of orthodoxy in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, Athanasianism then became a synonym for Catholicism. At times, he seemed to be the only man in the entire Christian world holding out for all the truth of the dogmas and doctrines of Catholicism in their purity, in their devotion to God, athwart the Arians and their persecutions.
During his majestically heroic life quite filled with (unwanted) adventure, and through many torments, beatings, three exiles, being hunted down and greatly hated by the predominantly Arian ecclesiastical hierarchy, and much more, he, then, most definitely was – Athanasius against the world. More than ever, today, there is the genuinely urgent need to fervently pray to this great saint for help against all heretics, especially those residing in the Vatican.
References: [Just a “few” given below as to examples.]