isis sitting

Unam Sanctam Catholicam has said something today that I’ve longed to hear for quite some time.  It’s about pacifism.  Pacifism is not noble, honorable, or loving.  It’s only capitulation.  It takes the side of the aggressor.  Pacifism or simply put, ‘choosing to lose,’ is just the modern Western spirit applied to war.

The same spirit behind pacifism also drives cultural diversity, religious pluralism, ecumenism, family destruction, forced depravity, and the corrupt faux democracy we tolerate right now.

It is easy to sit in the comfort of modern society and cast harsh judgements on our forefathers that have come before us.  Not very long ago a somewhat popular priest in pop culture thought he had the right to cast judgement and declare that the holy St Bernard’s preaching of the crusades was wrong.  That is a crime. Bernard of Clairvaux should be the saint of our time.  I wish the example was only limited to that but, there are countless examples going back decades of the error of pacifism creeping its unwelcome tentacles into the Church.  Diabolic Utopian sentiments [how true!] are flung carelessly from our highest pulpits demanding a world without war, a world without violence. “Violence is never conquered by violence, but by peace!”  Is that Catholic or is it cowardice and negligence?

It was not always so though, there was a time where the Church defended her sheep with steel instead of empty platitudes and fuzzy feelings.  What do you think God is more pleased with? God gave Moses the Holy Land but Joshua had to fight for it.  No shirking or complaining was tolerated.  But that was before we evolved, you see.  God would never set us up like that today, yes? GOD IS DIFFERENT NOW.

Before you can offer the sacrifice at the Cathedral altar, you have to clear the land of enemies of God and make a Holy protected place.  Things have always been thus. Where are God’s enemies now?  EVERYWHERE.

Lets look at what happened during the preaching of the 2nd crusade by St Bernard:

“In every place on his journey and wrought the most astonishing and instantaneous cures : the blind recovered their sight ; to the deaf and dumb hearing and speech were restored ; the paralytic received the use of their limbs; the possessed, the lunatic, and the demoniac were delivered from the spirits which tormented them. But the greatest of his miracles was the conversion of hardened hearts and the penances to which public sinners submitted.” excerpt from St Bernard the Wonderworker – Free Catholic Audiobook

Every hear of a miracle during the preaching of pacifism? I didn’t think so, because there is not one.  I am almost sure of it, because if there was it surely would be shoved down our throat endlessly. Miracles reveal the mind of God. That must be why they don’t need them anymore when they canonize.

Yet, we know that the 2nd crusade did not end well.  Haha, our pop culture preacher might say, this is proof that it was not of God.  The facts say otherwise.

“On that on that very day, when the news came of the destruction of the Christian army, God wrought a miracle at the intercession of Saint Bernard. “It came to pass, however, that when the lamentable tidings of the destruction of the Crusaders resounded through France, a father brought his blind boy to the servant of God, to have sight restored to him, and, by many prayers, prevailed on the saint who declined. The saint, placing his hand on the child, prayed to our Lord that He would be pleased to make known, by restoring sight to the child, whether the preaching of the Crusade was from Him, and whether His spirit was with himself. While, after praying, he was waiting its effects, the child said, what am I to do? For I see! Then a great shout was raised by those who were present ; for many were present, not of the monks only, but of people living in the world, who, when they perceived that the boy saw, were greatly comforted, and gave thanks to God.” excerpt from St Bernard the Wonderworker – Free Catholic Audiobook

There is more in the Audiobook even about mystical visions confirming the validity of the crusade as well, be sure to check it out. Despite our forefathers courage in battle against our foe, they at least sent missionaries to convert the Mohammedans;  many of whom were martyred preaching Christ Crucified with bravery.

Yet, with the passing of time all falsehoods are revealed.  The absolute savage persecutions of the Christians in Iraq has once again shown us the true face of historical and authentic Mohammedanism, not some made up religion of peace which perverts Islam’s doctrines (how culturally insensitive!).   I hope Catholic intellectuals will find themselves blushing for shame for their past dismissals of Islamic terror as being  “a valid protest against pluralist secularization and materialism. ” There is a touch of this in the news today, and so welcome.

Intellectuals, and professors wearing fuzzy sweaters coming together will not stop war.  Slashing defense budgets and removing standing armies will not end wars.  It is a clear signal from those who reign over us in the world and in the Church that they tacitly condone aggression when they refuse to check it. We must understand that this is betrayal. We must ask ourselves, “Who is on our side?” Treaties, even good ones will never end war.  War is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, sent to afflict mankind when we reject the Gospel.

War will come, and war will go based on the decrees of our God.  It is absurd to believe that the God who has numbered every hair on our head is not the one actively choosing to send war as a punishment for sin, or to permit wars as a punishment for sin.

God made the Jews fight their enemies after they left Egypt!  Our sweet savior Jesus Christ ordered his apostles to own a sword, even if they had to sell their cloak!  Our God allowed the angels to fight a war in heaven! Our God is a God of War! There will always be war on earth, until the end of the world!  Viva Cristo Rey!!

Consequently, today (August 11) is the day to begin a Novena to St Bernard of Clairvaux (you can find one here) for his feast day.  He persuaded many nobles and Kings to embrace the crusade, perhaps we can pray that he does the same from heaven to our leaders, that they might bring some military relief for the Christians of Iraq. [and that there may be priests who can say a Holy Mass for those who fight, without being jailed or suspended by their faithless superiors.]

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, ora pro nobis!

Take my advise...

The prolific Fr. Longenecker has jumped to the defense of Pope Francis in the wake of the Boston Globe story about the relationship between the Pope and the late Protestant ‘Bishop’ Tony Palmer, who died in a motorcycle accident in England recently. According to the account, Mr. Palmer’s family was Catholic while he remained Protestant.

After years of working with the Cd. Bergoglio Palmer wanted to become Catholic too, but was urged to remain outside the Church by the Pope ‘for the sake of the mission.’ This is a discouraging but not ‘out of the blue’ story and Father’s response is distracting.

My comments in red:

Can you disagree with the Pope? Sure. Last week I posted about some traditionalist Catholics who do nothing but correct the Pope. These extremists correct Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, Pope St John Paul II, Pope Paul VI and Pope St John XXIII. When I said they resemble the liberal cafeteria Catholics they so dislike I also pointed out that there is nothing wrong with questioning or challenging a pope’s personal choices. Extremists? This borrows language from the enemies of the Church. Didn’t he just say that correcting a Pope was ok – Sure, but?

The underlying question is “Do you have a basic trust in the Holy Spirit working through the Body of Christ the Church? Do you have a rock solid belief that the Pope is working for the best of the church and the promulgation of the Catholic faith? Can you listen to him and obey him as your shepherd and as the Vicar of Christ?” Is this our Faith that everything every Pope says must be taken as the work of the Holy Spirit?

If “yes” then criticisms of the pope’s style, his personal choices, his taste and his decisions in pastoral matters are just talking points. It’s like having a good marriage but you can’t stand your wife’s new hairstyle. It’s like loving your husband but you wish he’d give up bringing fish home and gutting them on the kitchen table. It’s like loving your wife but cringing when her mother comes over. (Fr. Longenecker is a married priest. It’s good to remember, and to appreciate the tremendous gift of celibate priests.)

With this in mind, I read with consternation Austen Ivereigh’s article for the Boston Globe which gives more detail about Pope Francis’ relationship with freelance Anglican Bishop Tony Palmer. For those who don’t remember, Palmer met the Pope when he was working in Argentina as a Protestant missionary. Tony Palmer, a South African, was married to an Italian Catholic, and the question of his converting to the Catholic church arose in his conversations with the then Archbishop Bergoglio.

Palmer and Bergoglio had intense discussions about Christian separation, using the analogy of apartheid in South Africa. They found common ground in believing that institutional separation breeds fear and misunderstanding. Bergoglio, whom Palmer called “Father Mario,” acted as a spiritual father to the Protestant cleric, calming him (“he wanted to make me a reformer, not a rebel,” Palmer told me) and encouraging him in his mission to Christian unity. A reformer, rather than rebel is good. Christian unity is good if that means unity with the Church.

At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission.

“We need to have bridge-builders”, the cardinal told him. This is, on its face, not Catholic and not charity.

Should the then Cardinal Bergoglio have advised Tony Palmer to convert to Catholicism? In fact, the more we learn about Tony Palmer, the more interesting the question becomes. He was very involved in joint Catholic-Charismatic renewal and evangelization ministries.  Wouldn’t that ministry have been undermined if he became Catholic? Was Cardinal Bergoglio, in this instance, correct in advising him to stay put? This is where Father begins his rationalization.

The doctrinaire would say, “The Catholic Church is the one, true Church. Everyone outside it is going to hell and therefore it was wrong to tell Tony Palmer not to convert!” Unfortunately it’s not always that easy. Sometimes it is better, for all sorts of reasons, for a person to stay where they are. That is a terrible thing to say. ‘Doctrinaire’ means cruel and unbending. Someone who follows the doctrines of the Church is neither. They are called saints. Those of us who work with converts–especially clergy converts–(and I get about two or three emails a month from clergy thinking of converting) realize that for family, faith and financial reasons immediate conversion is not always the answer. If a person is moving towards the Catholic faith we meet the person where they are and walk with them on that journey. It took me twenty years to finally take the step to become a Catholic. Maybe someone should have told Father to wait even longer? Still, the circumstances, background, and timing of this story could certainly be different than the Globe’s account.

Therefore one can’t judge Cardinal Bergoglio’s call with Tony Palmer. This is the essence of Fr. Longenecker’s point. We don’t know the actual situation, so we should not be rash.

However, what about that bit about ‘the sake of the mission?’ It’s the stated reason for the Pope’s direction to Palmer. Is that a reason? Is there ever a reason to refrain from union with the Church of Christ, with the saving Sacraments, and with Heaven? No. There’s not.

Father goes on to make a strong faithful defense of his conversion and those of countless others who have helped the Church with their love, but these facts are not really relevant to the troubling story that appeared in the Boston Globe this weekend about Pope Francis and his late friend, Tony Palmer.




The Boston Globe’s, Austen Ivereigh is calling the friendship between the late, Protestant ‘bishop’ Tony Palmer and Pope Francis a, “catalyst of an extraordinary historic breakthrough in relations between the Catholic Church and the evangelical world.”

Palmer was a member of an Anglican offshoot based in Florida. Ivereigh writes,

Its leaders see themselves as part of a “convergence” movement, seeking to combine evangelical Christianity with the liturgy and sacraments typical of Catholicism. That convergence, Palmer told me, “is a precursor to full unity between the Protestant and Catholic Churches.”

Cardinal Bergoglio and Palmer met in 2006 and worked together closely finding ways to build unity between their faiths. Astoundingly,

At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission.

“We need to have bridge-builders”, the cardinal told him.

Plans, Strategies, and Big, Big Ideas

Plans, Strategies, and Big, Big Ideas