27 September 2017

The aetiology and mechanics of Fear

I have taken out a very moving Comment from the last thread; and I reproduce it here, with one or two personal details omitted, so that I can comment on it. My words express only my own views.

"There is another territory to be heard; the diocesan clergy, and I can testify to the fear out there. I feel it myself; ... I entered the diocesan priesthood from Lutheranism ... my decision to sign may come with danger  ... Unfortunately, we live in times of great venality and danger for those who just express simple orthodoxy. Going this next step is necessary but fraught with peril. Cosmas and Damian, Cyprian and Justina, pray for our courage."

Fear, my dear Father? You've certainly put your finger on it there. Perhaps you, like many of us, have spoken with brother priests who work in Rome, and who talk a great deal about the atmosphere of fear which pervades the clergy who serve the Holy See. And, at the risk of breaking secrets, let me tell you about the most striking experience I personally had while we were preparing for the publication of the Correctio: clergy who agreed with it wholeheartedly but feared to take the risk. (But, thanks be to God, the signatories have now risen to 147.)

"Nobody spoke about him with boldness (parrhesia) because of fear ..."(John 7:13). However, "there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear"(I John 4:18).


Fear is quite beautiful, isn't it, as a Satanic operational strategy? The Enemy disseminates Fear. He fills good honest men with guilt because they feel too fearful to do what they know they should do. And then, when the Correctio is published, his ministers sneer as they answer the journalists' questions, and glibly point out how few signatories there are. As Marco Tossati has put it, "Belittle, label, marginalise".


God, our most sweet Creator and Redeemer, works by Love, by the Blood of Christ which streams in the firmament. It is the Enemy who does his work by Fear. Since early in this pontificate, it is Fear, on wings of vituperation, that has cast its shadow.

As the Enemy realises that the Love of Christ is proving too powerful for him, his fury may very well urge him to even greater acts of violence. There may be more to endure before we are finished with it all. But it will be no match for the splendour which will radiate from the right hand of Mary (Fatima, Third Secret).

This is no time to lose our nerve.

16 comments:

TLM said...

Amen Fr.! 'Be not afraid' has never been more relevant and more necessary to internalize in the history of the Church. Praying for all of our Priests daily in my Rosary. They are the ones on the very front lines of this war. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us and for our Priests!

Calvin Engime said...

« Ego frater Thomas Waleys, Anglicus, praedicavi praedicta coram multis, et in excusationem mei dico sic: aut opinio, quae dicit animas sanctorum ante resurrectionem non videre Deum facialiter, est error manifestus, periculosus et scandalosus, utpote de cuius praedicatione iam tota quasi Ecclesia Dei scandalizatur, aut non; si sic, videtur quod debeam excusari, quia urgente me conscientia talia praedicavi; si non, paratus sum, omnem poenam subire, mihi a quocumque iudice imponendam. »

- On his sermon against John XXII, 3 January 1333; in Thomas Käppeli, Le procés contre Thomas Waleys, O.P.: étude et documents, Rome, 1936, p. 108

Woody said...

Bravo again, dear Father. In this connection, if I may repeat an earlier query: I noticed that in the case of Prof. de Mattei, he was shown in the list of signatories as being formerly of the European University of Rome (EUR). EUR is affiliated with the Legonaries' Regina Apostolorum institution, so I am wondering, did Dr. de Mattei jump or was he pushed, from that position? Similarly, Msgr Antonio Livi is shown as a Roman diocesan priest, while in the past he had been identified as a member of Opus Dei. So again, did he jump or was he pushed? Of course you will understand that I ask these questions as a means of ascertaining whether the previously mentioned organizations are deliberately distancing themselves from persons who are publicly questioning the current bishop of Rome, as was the case, for example, with the late Bishop Rogelio Livieres.

Tony V said...

I've got a wife and 3 kids...if I lost my job (which would probably happen if I said openly what I think about the silly "diversity" initiatives we hear about--remember what happened recently at Gooogle) I'd have them to worry about. Most Catholic priests don't have that worry. I suppose they have to think about how employable they'd be if they got booted out by their bishop, especially if they're a bit long in the tooth. But surely celibacy has its advantages?

If you want courage, think of those Egyptian Christians who were martyred on the Libyan beaches. How many of us could ever do what they did?

geneticallycatholic said...

My comment is probably off-topic, Father, but because you mentioned that the list of signatories has grown - I went to check it out. I am not sure how it is determined who is at the top of the list, but to me it is significant that currently, at the top of the list is an editor of a journal of Same-Sex Sexual behavior. I 'copy and paste' the editor's name below.

------------------------------------------
Click here to Sign Up!
Signatories: 146

Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg
European editor, Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior
----------------------------------------------------------

Cardinal Ejik of the Netherlands wrote in his essay entitled 'Can Divorced and Civilly Remarried Persons Receive Communion' - (from the 11 Cardinals Book on Marriage - written for the second Synod of the Family), and posted with permission from Ignatius Press in July on 1PeterFive's website - the following which I found significant:

"We must realize that the question of administering Communion to divorce and civilly remarried persons is not an incidental, secondary matter. If we were to agree that it was, we would be also agreeing that the mutual gift of the spouses did not have to be total either at the spiritual level or the physical level. Consequently, we would be compelled to change the Church's doctrine about marriage and sexuality in other areas". [Cardinal Ejik then says the following ] ... "we would be compelled to also accept sexual acts that are not directed to procreation at all, such as homosexual acts".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Could it be that embedded in the AL is a Trojan Horse to normalize homosexuality by the Catholic Church?

Given that Pope Francis seems to have surrounded himself with persons who seem to want to normalize homosexual acts (Fr. Martin?), it is an interesting coincidence to me that the editor of a journal on same-sex sexual behavior has become a signatory to the Filial Correction.

geneticallycatholic said...

My comment is probably off-topic, Father, but because you mentioned that the list of signatories has grown - I went to check it out. I am not sure how it is determined who is at the top of the list, but to me it is significant that currently, at the top of the list is an editor of a journal of Same-Sex Sexual behavior. I 'copy and paste' the editor's name below.

------------------------------------------
Click here to Sign Up!
Signatories: 146

Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg
European editor, Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior
----------------------------------------------------------

Cardinal Ejik of the Netherlands wrote in his essay entitled 'Can Divorced and Civilly Remarried Persons Receive Communion' - (from the 11 Cardinals Book on Marriage - written for the second Synod of the Family), and posted with permission from Ignatius Press in July on 1PeterFive's website - the following which I found significant:

"We must realize that the question of administering Communion to divorce and civilly remarried persons is not an incidental, secondary matter. If we were to agree that it was, we would be also agreeing that the mutual gift of the spouses did not have to be total either at the spiritual level or the physical level. Consequently, we would be compelled to change the Church's doctrine about marriage and sexuality in other areas". [Cardinal Ejik then says the following ] ... "we would be compelled to also accept sexual acts that are not directed to procreation at all, such as homosexual acts".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Could it be that embedded in the AL is a Trojan Horse to normalize homosexuality by the Catholic Church?

Given that Pope Francis seems to have surrounded himself with persons who seem to want to normalize homosexual acts (Fr. Martin?), it is an interesting coincidence to me that the editor of a journal on same-sex sexual behavior has become a signatory to the Filial Correction.

Rose Marie said...

@geneticallycatholic: You got it, and there's more. Embedded in AL, as Prof. Seifert demonstrated, as a Trojan Horse to normalize every sort of sinful behavior, to destroy any foundation for moral reasoning. But homosexual activity seems to be at the top of the chart, considering the activities of Archbishop Paglia and Msgr. Capozzi, for example.

kiwiinamerica said...

This is why it's so important for the laity to play a major role in the resistance, especially through the blogosphere. We have more room to manoeuvre than many clergy and can take the fight to the deconstructionists and heretics without fear.

Who knows what might have happened if we'd had the internet in 1965?

Thomas said...

Among the Roman Catholic clergy I think there is a very deeply ingrained culture of unquestioning public obedience to their bishop and even more so to the Pope, who is seen as 'the bishop of bishops'. In private and between themselves, they may well voice doubts and even sharp criticisms of both of these levels of authority, but to go public would be to break a profound psychological taboo. They also feel themselves bound to their bishop and their diocese with an iron bond. They are not free to "seek employment" where they will, but are appointed to parishes and ministries at their bishops behest. He can, if so minded, remove them from their home and their life and keep them in limbo for a long time, which would also invite speculation from others about some personal problem or fault. Of course, that is a far lesser martyrdom than many of the saints have endured, but it does fuel the the fires of fear among priests of my acquaintance.

Liam Ronan said...

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28


"Around four o’clock in the afternoon on January 3rd 1944, in the convent chapel of Tuy, in front of the Tabernacle, Our Lady urged Sister Lucia to write the text of the Third Secret and Sister Lucia recounts:

'I felt my spirit inundated by a mystery of light that is God and in Him I saw and heard the point of a lance like a flame that is detached touch the axis of the earth and it trembles: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers and clouds exceed their boundaries, inundating and dragging with them in a vortex, houses and people in a number that cannot be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin in which it is immersed. Hatred, ambition, provoke the destructive war.

After I felt my heart racing and in my spirit a soft voice that said: ‘In time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. In eternity, Heaven!’ This word ‘Heaven’ filled my heart with peace and happiness in such a way that, almost without being aware of it, I kept repeating to myself for a long time: Heaven, Heaven!!'" (Extract The Fatima Crusader - ref. Christopher Ferrara)

The Lord of the Rings...or perhaps Dante's "Inferno"...but who to play Samwise Gamgee or Virgil's parts?

Fr PJM said...

Can our fear be alleviated by the idea that the official Latin in the AAS is not so bad after all? But my Latin is far too weak to see if this assuages the situation or not. Fr Hunwicke, might you be so kind as to look at this? Or perhaps another Latinist here could look at it.

http://www.lastampa.it/2017/09/26/vaticaninsider/eng/documents/doesamoris-laetitia-really-undermine-catholic-moral-teaching-yom5rmEIfGPzsMDlS7o6eP/pagina.html

John R said...

THis is perfect. Yes. All fear is from the devil (except filial Fear, which is simply the fear of doing something that will displease Our loving Father, a holy fear that comes from abiding and deep love not to do anything that will displease the beloved).

The answer is total confidence in God. So, perfectly true. There is nothing to fear and no one is more afraid right now than the devil himself. He is absolutely terrified of Our Lady who is about to (or actually even right now doing so) act in a marvelous manner.

John R said...

@ Fr. PJM, that's an interesting argument. I agree with it. Very interesting. While I'm not perfect, the translation is correct imo, especially as regards "exemplar" and "oblationem". We still need a clarification because many bishops are not interpreting it so.

NSP said...

@ Fr. PJM,

If the Latin version is less problematic, even then, I don't see how the fears floating around would be much allayed unless the English version were also corrected to reflect the non-problematic phrasing, and the wrong interpretation based on the earlier wording unambiguously disavowed.

If the two versions were allowed to co-exist side-by-side without comment, then I daresay many of us would be strongly tempted (I know I would) to give into cynical thinking and conclude that the "better" Latin version is merely a straw that the Curia has kindly provided for us distraught laity eager to find silver linings to grasp at while people in high ranks with heterodox agendas of their own continue to push them using the English version as the justification.

John R said...

@NSP Here's a response by a well regarded theologian from a discussion I had with some on FB yesterday:

"I do think the authors have offered a better translation than the official English. However, it simply moves the text from being indisputably heterodox to being disputably orthodox. That is, the new translation admits of an orthodox reading, but it does not preclude the heterodox reading that has been the operative principle of most implementations of Amoris Laetitia. Put simply: the current translation can only be given a bad sense, whereas the Latin text (and the new translation) allows for a Catholic interpretation, as well as an erroneous one. The two theologians are acting as if just because it now can be read in an orthodoxy way, therefore, it's okay. Whereas the truth is, a theological proposition should not admit of a heterodox reading, and this one does.

Moreover, it does not help to discover that "ideal" is exemplar. Rather than looking to a dictionary definition of exemplar, one must track that word through the Holy Father's use of it in order to see what meaning he has given it. In AL 36, he uses exemplar in just the same problematic way as we would use "ideal": "Nor have we always provided solid guidance to young married couples, understanding their timetables, their way of thinking and their concrete concerns. At times we have also proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal [exemplar] of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessively high interpretation, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite." So this point in their argument is utterly unconvincing.

Lastly, getting oblationem into the English makes the paragraph more beautiful and Christian, but it does not make an orthodox reading more or less possible than is already the case based on what the paragraph is saying."

Rose Marie said...

And what of the German and Maltese and Portuguese (Brazil) versions? Are they also like the English rather than the Latin? And did the Polish version hue to the Latin, just by coincidence?

I assume Prof. Seifert was working from the German as he did not cite the Latin original.

We need a seven-headed linguist to answer this one.