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Sunday, March 4, 2018

BECOMING AS GODS: The Murder of Desdemona by Othello, Abortion and Communion in the Hand Featured

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“Divinity of hell! When devils will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest at first with heavenly shows.”

Iago, Othello, Desdemona and the Father of Lies

English literature provides many studies of human evil, but perhaps the most poignant and appalling of all is Iago, Shakespeare’s villain of the Tragedy of Othello. Iago provides us with an examination of St. Thomas Aquinas’s claim that lying remakes a person into the very image of the devil. Iago is held by literary historians as possibly the most purely evil character in English literature whose calculated and ruthless manipulations bring about ruin and death for all around him. And he accomplishes all this by lies and the presentation of a false front of virtue, a “heavenly show”.

Iago is the ensign of Othello, a commander of the Venetian military in the Republic’s wars against the Turks. He uses the goodness and innocence of Othello’s beloved wife, Desdemona, to destroy her together with his commander. Iago has built up a reputation for honesty and constant loyalty to Othello throughout their service together fighting the Turks at Rhodes and Cyprus. In the play he uses this trust and good reputation to insinuate himself into the commander’s inner circle, displace his immediate superior, Cassio, having him killed, and finally uses subterfuge to create the fatal suspicion between Othello and Desdemona.

And why? The question of Iago’s motives is left unclear, probably deliberately, by Shakespeare. Certainly professional jealousy is among them. The narcissistic Iago cannot stand the fact that Cassio the lieutenant is superior in rank. And he probably keenly feels the humiliation of being a European serving under the Moorish Othello’s command.

In a video interview, the Scottish actor Ewan McGregor suggests that Iago’s evil is a corruption of his love for Othello, the unbreakable camaraderie between military men. McGregor says, however, that Shakespeare ended Iago’s story ambiguously “because there can be no rational explanation as to why somebody would do these things.” That’s true as far as it goes, and certainly the moral theologians would agree that at some point we are faced simply with the mysterium iniquitatis, the cosmic inexplicability of human evil.

But in another way we are not left to wonder. Iago’s constant refrain in his monologues is plain: “I hate the Moor.” His motive for his evil is hatred and his method is lies. Iago is perhaps the greatest moral lesson our literature has outside the New Testament of what human evil can do, and that its core is deception.

In Shakespeare’s time religious morality plays were still popular, and in those plays the devil is juxtaposed with the nature of God. An interesting point is brought up, of all places, in the Coles Notes for the play, that says Iago identifies himself clearly as a devil.

“Iago says ‘I am not what I am,’ which can be interpreted as ‘I am not what I seem.’ But it is also reminiscent of a quotation from the Bible which Shakespeare would have known: In Exodus, God gives his laws to Moses on Mt. Sinai, and Moses asks God his name. God replies: ‘I am that I am’.  If ‘I am that I am’ stands for God, then Iago’s self-description, ‘I am not what I am’ is the direct opposite. Iago is the opposite of God, that is, he is the Devil. Iago in this play, has the qualities of the Devil in medieval and Renaissance morality plays.”

At the end of the play, his work finished and all his victims dead or forever ruined, Iago is silent. His works, however, his lies, speak volumes.

The Biggest Lie of all: Ye shall be as gods.

temptation of Eve“And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall surely not die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

From 1999 to 2014, I worked, first as a researcher and then as a news writer, for an organisation whose sole purpose is to correct a world-dominating, genocidal lie. The abortion ideology, one of our civilisation’s Biggest-Big Lies, is founded on a particular set of more fundamental lies about human nature that first gained ascendancy in the 18th century. There is a reason the abortion issue is so controverted in our society, since acceptance of it necessarily requires acceptance of an entire, comprehensive worldview – specifically that of utilitarianism [1] – significantly opposed to the perennial foundations of our culture.

Since our elites have accepted it as the guiding form for all our social structures, we have developed a civilisation that imagines it can flourish while denying that human life is possessed of any transcendent significance whatsoever. We have adopted as our basic working idea the utilitarian/materialist assertion that human beings are things, that popped into existence from the ether for no reason, and are of no more intrinsic moral worth than any other object. That civilisation, from horizon to horizon, is now tearing itself apart.

There is a significant psychological factor involved in the acceptance of this anti-life ideology. Human beings are not built to abide a logical contradiction being at the heart of their societies any more than they can do so in their own lives. The attempt to accept two opposed ideas will produce a kind of pain that psychologists call cognitive dissonance, a feeling of agitation that will become unbearable over time if the original contradiction is not resolved. [2] This ideology, founded on logical contradictions, is now generating a kind of civilisational cognitive dissonance. It requires that we hold that the nature of a human being, indeed of reality itself, is in our personal control; it proposes that we are as gods, the authors of our own nature with the power of life and death, and we know that we are not.

Of course, because it is about something so fundamental as control of reality itself, this notion cannot be limited merely to deciding the personhood of our children. In recent years we have seen the ideology expanding like a bubble. It necessarily applies now to those at the other end of life, and we have seen the flourishing of the notion that we can end our lives (and the lives of others) when we wish. Euthanasia and “assisted suicide” laws burst upon the world’s legal scene in the early 2000s. More lately it now grants us the idea that we can at whim decide if we are male or female, or some other as-yet undetermined “gender”.

This is the fundamental lie behind the abortionist ideology that has so caught the world’s fancy; that we get to decide these ontological questions. It’s the primeval temptation; wouldn’t it be nice to be as gods? Its proponents like to claim that abortionism is about “freedom” for women who would otherwise be “burdened” by motherhood [3]. Putting this rhetoric aside, a reasonable observer could safely assume that it is about securing unlimited sexual license. But a closer acquaintance with abortionism’s apologetics will reveal that under this superficial appeal to sensory pleasures it is mostly about power, specifically the power of ownership.

Because the ideology must start by disposing of the concept of sovereign personhood – an idea based on the transcendence of man above the rest of creation – it proposes that human life, both that of our children and our own, is something we can claim as our own property, over which we have singular, god-like power. Abortionism not only reduces the value of a child to that of personal property – the ideology considers a child as a kind of luxury consumer product, an expensive toy for the wealthy – its “commodification” of human beings necessarily reduces the adult to this condition as well [4].

In bioethics the ideology’s proponents have created a complex system of justification, called “Principlism,” proposing that the value of human life can be measured precisely according to the three “principles of justice, beneficence and autonomy.” In a subversion of St. Paul, the greatest of these is autonomy, without which the utilitarian sees no value whatever in a human being. Autonomy can be understood quite simply as the power to act. A mother has personhood because she has autonomy. An unborn child has none of either [5].

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We want abortionism not only so that we can discard our children at will, but so that we can claim ownership of ourselves – once you’ve got your full measure of utilitarian autonomy, no God can tell you what to do; moral constraints are no longer any concern. Behind abortionism is the claim that human beings are just things, all human beings, because in the utilitarian universe things are all that exists. And the main difference between a person and a thing is that you can’t use a person, whereas you can do whatever you want with a thing. We need this ideology so we can control and shape life according to our personal preferences, and finally discard it at will when it is no longer fulfilling those preferences [6].

In the poisonous atmosphere of utilitarian materialism, out of which the abortion movement has bloomed, the concept of a sovereign and inviolable personhood cannot survive. In the utilitarian universe there can be no persons, only things, some of which have will and the power to act over the other things. In such a universe the concept of “inherent human dignity” and the civil rights based on it, simply dissolves.

Utilitarianism is, in short, busily creating before our eyes a Hobbesian dystopia in which might makes right, and what life survives, being at odds with all others, is necessarily for many, nasty, brutish and short. And this Big Lie – accepted and developed for 250 years – has resulted thus far in an estimated 2 billion deaths by abortion around the world [7] since 1971, with 40-50 million [8] conducted every year, meaning about 125,000 per day. A short life indeed for a very large number of people, with a very nasty and brutish end. 

The next time anyone asks why we cannot find “common ground” with abortion advocates, tell him, “Because acceptance of abortion requires that we accept an anti-human lie that will destroy our entire civilisation.”

How lying changes us: “Lying likens one to the devil, because a liar is as the son of the devil.”

“Let no one doubt that it is a lie to tell a falsehood in order to deceive. Wherefore a false statement uttered with intent to deceive is a manifest lie,” St. Augustine [9].

Nearly all the currently-ruling ideas of our civilisation are lies. We think that an unborn child is a “clump of cells” with no moral value; that a mother can kill this child if she wants with no consequence; that spouses can be divorced; that there is no natural hierarchy of authority in marriage; that a family can consist of two men and an adopted baby; that our nature as male or female can be determined by our will; that the authority of states derive from a mandate from the people; that a state can pursue the good without reference to Christ as King; that every person has the right to construct his own code of morality; that life is for the accumulation of wealth or the pursuit of pleasure; that we are right to pursue only our own goals, determined by our own lights; that work and accomplishment (or fame) grant all our value; that “human rights” are synonymous with our personal preferences… that we are, in short, “as gods”. Our civilisation, since the 1960s, has embarked on a project of creating an entirely new universe at radical variance with actual reality ordained by the real God.

The simple fact is that nearly all people in the western world now live in a kind of Matrix of lies and un-reality. We hear many times the same story from people who convert to traditional Catholicism, that they feel as though they have left a strange Alice-in-Wonderland world where nothing makes sense. Given this upside-down, anti-Real condition, and the massive, civilisational cognitive dissonance – anxiety, depression and hopeless despair – it must be creating, how can we be surprised at the violent upheavals we are now seeing beginning throughout the western world? To understand what this biggest of all Big Lies is doing to us, we can turn to the great masters of theology.

For Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, a lie as a human act must include the intention of the will to deceive. Thomas distinguishes between a “material” falsehood – the information conveyed is at variance with the truth, and a “formal” lie, in which the intention of the speaker is to tell a falsehood in order to deceive the hearer. “If these three things concur, namely, falsehood of what is said, the will to tell a falsehood, and finally the intention to deceive, then there is falsehood, materially.”

A mistake many make about lying is to understand it only in terms of morality. But Thomas makes the point that it is first a matter of metaphysics. Lying is an act at variance in its essence with the nature of reality.

Now a lie is evil in respect of its genus [10], since it is an action bearing on undue matter. For as words are naturally signs of intellectual acts, it is unnatural and undue for anyone to signify by words something that is not in his mind. Hence the Philosopher[1][11] says (Ethic. iv, 7) that "lying is in itself evil and to be shunned, while truthfulness is good and worthy of praise." Therefore, every lie is a sin, as also Augustine declares (Contra Mend. i).

Later he says, “A lie is sinful not only because it injures one’s neighbor, but also on account of its inordinateness,” in other words, because it is by its nature contrary to, an attack against, reality as created by God. By lying we are attempting, through an exercise of will, to overturn reality itself, and remake it to conform to our preference.

Thomas goes on to say that habitual lying in effect changes you into a different kind of being, one that is by nature an opponent of Truth: “Lying likens one to the devil, because a liar is as the son of the devil.” Think for a moment about the spiritual reality of man; we are made in the image – the likeness – of God. If lying “likens one to the devil,” Thomas is saying, that is an action that changes our very nature as human beings.

Now, we know that a man’s speech betrays from what region and country he comes from, thus: ‘Even thy speech doth discover thee.’ Even so, some men are of the devil’s kind, and are called sons of the devil because they are liars, since the devil is ‘a liar and the father of lies.’ Thus, when the devil said, ‘No, you shall not die the death,’ he lied. But, on the contrary, others are the children of God, who is Truth, and they are those who speak the truth.”

We have a habit of thinking of the physical as the only thing that counts as real. But since God sees the spiritual nature as primary, and His opinion is the only important one, we should take Thomas’s warning to heart. You change your fundamental spiritual reality by taking on lies as a mode of being.

I have often written about the concept of “The Real,” and it is about this. “Only the Real counts,” means the same thing as “Truth wins out.” The idea that we can live a lie, or live with lying, is one that is fundamentally anti-Real; and as such places a person into fundamental opposition with the Author of reality, the ultimate Real Himself, and with man’s own nature as an “imago dei”. In short, it makes you devilish instead of God-like.

It is only after this warning against messing with ontology that Thomas turns to the external problem with lying: that it destroys civilisation because it makes a wreck of the bonds of fellowship between men.

“The second reason is that lying induces the ruin of society. Men live together in society, and this is soon rendered impossible if they do not speak the truth to one another. ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak ye the truth, every man with his neighbor; for we are members one of another.’”

The New Mass; a product of deception and manipulation

There is no question that the undermining – quite deliberately – of Catholic doctrinal unity and confidence has had an enormous role in the descent of western civilisation into its current chaos. The story of the infiltration by Modernists into the Church’s structures in the early 20th century, the manipulation of Vatican II and the convulsions the Church has endured since then, are inextricably linked to the greater movements of the evil philosophies that emerged from the 18th to the late 19th century.

For Catholics it was the second half of the 20th century that marked the shockingly rapid collapse of every institution of the Church, the nearly universal loss of Faith and belief in the teaching on everything from the dogma of the Trinity to abstaining from meat on Fridays. A collapse that is perhaps only now finding its final form as I write, with the imposition of an entirely new concept of moral doctrine, in which the systematic desecration of the Eucharist is about to become a mandated norm throughout Christendom – surely an apocalyptic sign. The advent of Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia – with the papal approval of the most liberal interpretations of the latter – does, however, become much more comprehensible when seen in the full context of all that has passed in the Church since 1965.

The history of the destruction of the traditional Catholic liturgical rites is long and complex. The self-lionising book by the odious Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, runs over a thousand pages. Michael Davies needed three volumes [12]. The thing that stands out in this strange history is the prominence of lying by the small group of progressive activists who brought it about; deliberate campaigns of disinformation, deception and the playing of bureaucratic games.

Given what we understand about lying, it should not be surprising that it brought to birth a great evil, the destruction of the millennial liturgy of the Catholic Church and its replacement by a “banal fabrication, [13]” a protestantised new invention – and a host of ancillary liturgical practices – designed to act as a syringe to inject the world’s deadly, anti-Catholic ideology into every organ of Catholicism.

Perhaps the most famous case in point comes from the liturgical theologian, Fr. Louis Bouyer, who in his memoirs[2][14] tells the story of the end of his brief tenure on the Concilium, the committee convened by the pope to implement the Vatican Council’s document on liturgy. He met with Paul VI to resign his position, a decision that, given Bouyer’s status, would be a blow to the Concilium’s appearance of legitimacy. Asked by the pope why he was leaving, Bouyer said he could not in conscience sanction the changes the pope was demanding, so catastrophic would they inevitably be to the life of the Church.

Apparently dismayed, Pope Paul responded that he knew nothing about the details of what the Concilium was doing. He said that he was only approving those mandates presented to him by Bugnini who had told him they came from this committee of experts. But Bouyer responded that the members of the Concilium had been told by Bugnini that every one of the proposals was coming directly as an order from the pope. To their many objections Bugnini only ever offered apologetic shrugs; what could he do? It was by the pope’s orders. 

A methodology of lies: liturgical “reform” that erases Catholic belief

clown mass remnantAmong the ancillary liturgical practices forced into the Church along with the New Mass was the practice of reception of Holy Communion in the hand, whilst standing in a queue, that serves as a kind of parable of post-conciliar destruction. In a small pamphlet [15], Michael Davies has given us an eye-opening window into how this practice was conceived and brought about by a small group of determined ideologues through the same game of lies.

While the available primary sources tell us that in the early Church communicants did receive in their hands, the practice was dropped, and later forcefully condemned [16], as the understanding of the nature of the Holy Eucharist grew. By the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas had given a clear teaching that only the priest, whose hands are consecrated for the purpose, may touch the Sacred Species. This was confirmed as recently as the pontificate of Pope John Paul II who said that touching the Eucharist was a “privilege of the ordained.”

It was with the advent of the Protestant heresies of the 16th century, and the aggressive imposition of their rules on the people, that the practice of reception in the hand was revived, and specifically for the purpose of suppressing in the people any last traces of Catholic Eucharistic piety. “Thus, from the time of the Reformation, the placing of the sacrament in the hand of the communicant acquired a new signification…[the] rejection of Catholic belief…” Consequently, since that time, the practice by Catholics of reception on the tongue while kneeling is intended to testify “to their belief in the priesthood and Real presence,” through their conscious use of these gestures of adoration rejected by Protestantism, Davies writes. 

Given this history, how did the Protestant practice come to be so nearly universal in the Church since Vatican II? By lying. By a deliberate campaign of “memory-holing” the past, by disinformation.

A group of priests in the Netherlands were, by 1965, already defying Catholic liturgical rubrics and aping the Protestant practice, in the name of “ecumenism,” with the tacit approval of their bishops. This practice spread through the network of “progressive” priests to Germany, Belgium and France, and was not significantly opposed by bishops, who perhaps felt that since the Council disciplinary action was no longer called for.

In 1969, after some years of hearing the complaints of the faithful, Pope Paul VI polled the bishops of the world on the practice, who overwhelmingly rejected a possible acceptance. In May, the pope issued the Instruction, Memoriale Domini, through the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship. It warned that the new practice could lead to “a lessening of reverence toward the noble Sacrament of the Altar, its profanation or the adulteration of correct doctrine.” The document “urged” bishops to “observe zealously” the current law.

But like so many of the Vatican’s declarations and reiterations of Catholic teaching since 1965, it contained a fatal loophole. It allowed latitude in areas where the abuse of reception in the hand “has already developed in any place”. It said the practice could be legalized by a two-thirds vote of a national bishops’ conference if it was pastorally required. Naturally, this was all the wedge the progressives required [17]. Given this green light, these revolutionaries immediately set about ensuring that the practice became “firmly established” everywhere. As Davies points out, these “liberal” priests had established “that if they broke the law then the Holy See would amend the law to conform with their disobedience,” a principle that was to serve them well in the destruction of traditional Catholic liturgical piety and the imposition of an entirely new liturgical sensibility on the faithful [18].

Finally, the same bishops who had voted against allowing it, started colluding actively in the lies to promote it. As Davies says, “To cover up their own weakness they promoted the abuse as a better way of receiving Holy Communion.” Among the outright lies was one promulgated in Britain where the bishops approved a pamphlet by the Catholic Truth Society claiming that the new practice was in keeping with that of the Eastern Orthodox churches. Another publication by the Catholic Information Office of England claimed that the practice was being introduced after “widespread” consultation with priests and laity. As Davies writes, “Few of the clergy so much as knew that the bishops had voted upon the matter until the innovation was imposed on them as a fait accompli.

In the US, a book titled, “Preaching and Teaching About the Eucharist” was published with the approval of the American bishops. It said, “Around the time of the Second Vatican Council, some Catholics, following the liturgical principles approved by the bishops, sought to have the ancient practice of communion [sic] in the hand restored as an option.” The book implied that the change had come with the approval of the pope who had allowed bishops to vote locally, even though the older practice “would be retained” universally. Catholics were flattered by the US bishops’ pamphlet, “The Body of Christ,” that said the new practice “appears to many a more mature and adult gesture.” 

The book attacked the traditional Catholic liturgy with a paragraph that Davies writes, “reads like a list of complaints made by a 16th century Protestant Reformer.” It’s a classic piece of propaganda, playing on the emotions and egotism of ill-informed Catholics:

In the eighth and ninth centuries the laity were almost completely excluded from the celebration. They no longer took the offerings to the altar during Mass, but were required to do so beforehand; the singing was done by the schola only; the general intercessions disappeared; the faithful could no longer see what was happening on the altar because the priest was in front of the altar, now sometimes completely surrounded and completely hidden by the iconostasis; the canon was said quietly and everything took place in silence or in a language less understood by the people.

By our time, the abuse has become the effective norm, such that a person attempting to receive in the traditional manner, on the tongue while kneeling and from the priest, risks being at least refused Communion and at worst – as we saw in a notorious video of a Mass in California in 2008 with Bishop Tod Brown of Orange – being publicly berated and even manhandled by the celebrant.

An older but even more shocking incident in Canada should not be forgotten. In 1985, a group of parishioners trying to continue the practice that is still, technically, the norm of the Church, had refused to receive in the hand and had knelt down instead. The priest called the police and had them charged with disrupting a religious service. The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada that allowed an appeal after a local court had convicted the appellants of a violation of the criminal code.

They were charged with “willfully disturbing the order or solemnity of an assemblage of persons met for religious worship.”

“The appellants opposed a change in the liturgy, approved by the Bishop, requiring communion to be received by parishioners while standing rather than kneeling as had been the previous practice. As a result of this liturgical change, there had been an ongoing dispute between appellants and their parish priest and other members of the congregation.

A diocesan directive, describing in particular the manner communion was to be administered and received, was regularly read at services and twice during mass on the day in question. However, appellants attempted to receive communion in a kneeling position. Each was told by the priest to stand if he wished to receive it. After a few seconds, each one stood and, without having received communion, returned to his seat in an orderly manner.

The trial judge convicted the accused, finding their actions hampered the spirituality of this part of the service, held up the communion lines briefly and created a degree of anxiety and tension which distracted the priests and some members of the congregation. Both the County Court and the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Appellate Division, upheld the conviction.  [19]”

Because of its antecedent in the Protestant rebellion, Davies refers to this little revolution-within-a-revolution by post-conciliar progressives as “the symbol par excellence of liturgical anarchy, the banner of those who had defied the authority of Rome, and more than a thousand years of unbroken Catholic tradition.”

After the smash success of the Communion in the hand campaign, similar methods, lies, distortions, half-truths and flattery, were employed – always with the claim that it was the wish of “the Council” – to bring in all the rest. Thus today we have Mass facing the people, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, lay preaching, altar girls… and on and on all the way to rock and roll Masses, creepy giant puppets and liturgical dance.

And what has been the result of this campaign of lies? As St. Thomas said, the destruction of Catholic civilisation. A letter issued by Cardinal Valerian Gracias of Bombay, India, in 1977 could be nailed to the doors of St. Peter’s today:

“The Church is being threatened by a real disintegration which is taking place within: a crisis of obedience, a crisis of faith, a crisis of holiness. All these are threatening the Church today, at a time when civilisation needs her presence in order to find its values.”

And in 1977, no one had ever heard of the clerical sex abuse scandals or the “gaying” of the clergy. Nor could they ever have imagined a pope effectively ordering priests to desecrate the Holy Eucharist with a “heavenly show,” in the name of “mercy”.

What has become clear, watching closely everything that has been happening in Rome in the last four and a half years, is that we are currently ruled by a regime of habitual and determined liars. It is well to consider what Thomas and Augustine said about people who lie about religious things – it is the gravest and most harmful kind. It is perhaps even better to remember the story about millstones.

________________________________

 [1] Utilitarianism is the moral theory that an action can only be morally right if it produces at least as much good (“utility,” that is, usefulness) for all people affected by the action as any alternative action. It was famously expressed by John Stuart Mill as the “greatest good for the greatest number.” Since having become, from the 1970s, the guiding ethical principle in nearly all the western world’s medical institutions, it has effectively replaced the old Hippocratic model; “First, do no harm,” which was discarded about the same time abortion was being accepted as a method of generating the greatest good for the greatest number. That Utilitarianism was the philosophical driver behind the 20th century’s eugenics movement – especially as it was applied by the German government to disabled citizens in the early 1930s – is a fact that utilitarians tend to be reluctant to address. Cf: the paper “What is Bioethics?” presented by Dianne Irving, at the Tenth Annual Conference: Life and Learning X (in press) University Faculty For Life, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. June 3, 2000

 [2] The inability to recognise this basic civilisational fault is at the core of psychologists’ helplessness in the face of a global pandemic of psychological disorders related to depression and anxiety. It also explains the apparent explosion of narcissism among young people that is starting to worry educators.

 [3] Rarely mentioned is the coercive potential of abortion after men discovered that it would also allow them unlimited sexual access to women, equally unburdened by potential fatherhood.

 [4] It is certainly not an unrelated coincidence that the world is seeing an explosion of human trafficking and slavery, particularly sexual slavery, as well as the use of prisoners and even newborns as organ farms.

 [5] Neither does a person with dementia living in a care home, by the way.

 [6] In the realm of the spiritual life, because it is about the claiming of ultimate power – autonomy replaces charity –  the abortionist ideology is opposed to the religious virtues of holy obedience and humility – that the Desert Fathers identified as the first requirement of holiness. As such it is a natural retardant to spiritual growth. A Catholic who “accepts abortion,” even in “limited” or “exceptional” circumstances is incapable of growing in sanctity.

 [7] This number from Human Life International, only counts surgical abortion, and does not include so-called “medical” abortion, procured through abortifacient drugs which have now outstripped surgical abortions in the UK. While China does not provide annual statistics to the international community, an official government document recently claimed to have “eliminated” over 400 million people by abortion since the One Child Policy was implemented.

 [8] World Health Organisation statistics.

 [9] I don’t intend here to enter into the larger and highly vexatious questions brought forward in recent years about the liceity of lying to save a life, or, as it is currently discussed, to bring a halt to abortion. I will add for consideration of a possible alternative only a brief quote from Thomas: “Now it is not allowed to make use of anything inordinate in order to ward off injury or defects from another: as neither is it lawful to steal in order to give alms, except perhaps in a case of necessity when all things are common. Therefore, it is not lawful to tell a lie in order to deliver another from any danger whatever. Nevertheless, it is lawful to hide the truth prudently, by keeping it back, as Augustine says (Contra Mend. x).”

 [10] Or, of its nature.

 [11] Aristotle

 [12] Any Catholic even distantly concerned with the current situation in the Catholic Church could not do better than reading Davies’ magisterial trilogy, “Cranmer’s Godly Order,” “Pope John’s Council” and “Pope Paul’s New Mass.” Davies makes an undeniable connection between the Protestant revolution of 500 years ago and the motives of the men who gave us the new Catholic paradigm. The most prominent of these revolutionaries of our own time, Cardinal Walter Kasper, has confirmed this motive, boasting recently that given the changes since the Council, there is now no discernible difference to be found between Lutherans and most people still calling themselves Catholics.

 [13] As it was described by Cardinal Ratzinger. “The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication. They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment.” (Ratzinger in Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990, pgs. 103-104)

 [14] The Decomposition of Catholicism, Louis Bouyer, Franciscan Herald Press, 1969. In the book, Bouyer described Bugnini as “criminal and unctuous,” a man “as devoid of learning as he was of honesty”.

 [15] “A privilege of the ordained; No hands but those of a priest should touch the Body of Christ” Michael Davies, The Neumann Press, 1990

[16] By the Synod of Rouen, for one, in the year 650 AD. In the fourth century, the Church’s leaders were already warning against the abuses that we know now are common to reception in the hand, such as the loss of particles or fragments. St. Cyril of Jerusalem warned, “If anyone gave you gold dust, would you not take hold of it with every possible care, ensuring that you did not mislay any of it or sustain any loss?”

[17] So many of the pronouncements of Paul VI included these little back doors that it raises a legitimate question of collusion on his part. Considering the abrupt dismissal of Archbishop Bugnini – who had been leading the liturgical rewrite since the ‘40s – one could have expected a review of his changes to date, but apart from sending him to spend the rest of his life in exile in Iran, the pope did nothing to reverse any of his innovations, no matter how much evidence of harm to the Faith was presented to him. As Henry Sire put it in his book, Phoenix from the Ashes, (pg. 238) by accepting the notorious Bugnini as head of the Concilium the pope had “deliberately committed the liturgical reform to the most extreme wing of liturgical innovators; and in doing so he had placed the future of the Church’s worship in the hands of two of the most dubious personalities in the Italian clergy.” In the face of complaints by the Congregation of Rites of abuse by the Concilium Paul declared the independence of Bugnini’s group, that he made answerable to himself alone. Apart from apocryphal reports of his “weeping” over the destruction of the liturgy, and complaining that the “smoke of Satan had entered through some fissure,” Paul VI will go down in history as the pope who at the very least allowed it all to happen without a hint of compunction. 

[18] Having belatedly discovered the immense harm this change has caused, some bishops are looking for ways to reintroduce the traditional practice. In 2008, when he was secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, suggested the permission be revised or “abandoned altogether.”

[19] From the website of decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, “Skoke-Graham v. The Queen,” March 14, 1985


Reprinted from The Remnant (10/31/17)


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Hilary White

Our Italy correspondent is known throughout the English-speaking world as a champion of family and cultural issues. First introduced by our allies and friends at the incomparable LifeSiteNews.com, Miss While lives in Norcia, Italy.

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