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Unreality and Incoherence Reign at the Vatican

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, it was fashionable for Progressive and left-wing intellectuals to travel to the Soviet Union to find out what was “really” going on in the world’s first great experiment in communism. “The entire British intelligentsia,” the editor of the left-leaning New Statesman Kingsley Martin breathlessly exclaimed in 1932, “has been to Russia.”

The vast majority came back wide-eyed and deeply impressed by what they had seen. Following his visit to Russia in 1919, for example, the American progressive journalist Lincoln Steffens famously wrote, “I have seen the future, and it works.”

There were, however, realities about Soviet communism which few such individuals ever got around to mentioning. They rarely referred to, for instance, the Bolsheviks’ destruction of freedom; the cults of personality surrounding Lenin and then Stalin; the regime’s use of systematic terrorism against real but mostly imaginary opponents; the dynamiting of churches; the herding of peasants into collective farms; the murder of thousands of Orthodox and other Christian clergy; the Great Famine that killed millions in the Ukraine; the show-trials, purges and executions; the labor camps; and the relentless propaganda which assured everyone that everything was fine and that any problems were the work of saboteurs, kulaks, class-traitors, Czarist reactionaries, evil Western capitalists, and British Intelligence.

I was reminded of all this recently when reading a strange interview of Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. He is the Argentine-born and Vatican-based longtime Chancellor of what are called the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Having recently visited China, the bishop described the one-party communist state as “extraordinary.”

Why extraordinary, you might ask? Well, according to Bishop Sanchez, China has “no shantytowns” and “young people don’t take drugs.” Moreover, he said, China takes climate change so much more seriously than most other nations. That’s hard to square with China’s relentless emphasis on economic growth. But, above all, the bishop exclaimed, “those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.”

At this point, I started to wonder how the Argentine bishop reconciled some well-known facts about the Chinese communist regime—its policy of forced-abortions in the name of population-control; its use of mass labor camps; its ongoing problems with rampant corruption; the growing cult of personality surrounding President Xi Jinping; its absence of democracy; its bellicose and militaristic stance in the South China Sea; the surveillance and censoring of anyone deemed a threat to the Communist Party’s monopoly of power by the Ministry of State Security; its appalling treatment of the Nobel Peace Prize activist, the late Liu Xiaobo; its oppression of the people of Tibet and other ethnic minorities; its demolition of Evangelical and Catholic churches; and its relentless harassment of Catholic clergy and laypeople who won’t support regime-puppets like the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association—with Catholic social teaching.

Incidentally, there are plenty of shanty-towns in mainland China, including in Beijing. And if Bishop Sanchez seriously believes that no young people use drugs in China, I can only (very charitably) conclude that he was given a very sheltered tour of China—perhaps something akin to Catherine the Great’s expeditions to the provinces in Russia during which her advisors made sure that she saw only what came to be called “Potemkin villages”: temporary edifices designed to shelter the sovereign’s eyes from unpleasant truths.

A disconnectedness from reality, however, seems to have become the norm throughout parts of the Holy See lately—or at least a tendency to view the world through a distinctly leftist lens.

Back in 2016, for example, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences of which Sanchez is Chancellor held a conference to mark the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Centesimus Annus. This document reflected an openness to the market economy on the part of Catholic social teaching which had been absent during the heady days of the 1960s and the decade of decadence otherwise known as the 1970s. This made it all the stranger that the two heads of state in attendance—Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Ecuador’s then-President Rafael Correa—were left-wing Latin American populists: i.e., politicians deeply hostile to much of Centesimus Annus’ messages.

Apart from significantly undermining freedom in their own nations in the name of “el pueblo,” both men have strongly and consistently supported Venezuela’s Cuban-backed left-populist authoritarian regime: the same government which, apart from having destroyed the Venezuelan economy, recently threatened to deploy “hate-crime” laws to try and silence one of President Nicolas Maduro’s strongest critics, the Catholic bishops of Venezuela.

One wonders if any mildly non-left wing relatively market-friendly head of state or government even made it onto Bishop Sanchez’s invitation list. Indeed, the event’s left-leaning character was confirmed by the presence of no less than Senator Bernie Sanders, America’s own embodiment of left-wing populism who was then running for President. The only surprise was that Comrade Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t at the meeting.

I could go on about the unending parade of leftist notables though the Pontifical academies since 2013. Perhaps the most notorious has been Paul R. Ehrlich: the now-aged exponent of the “population bomb” whose Malthusian prophecies of mass starvation and death as a result of population-growth somehow never materialized. The scientific debunking of Ehrlich’s predictions was, it seems, no obstacle to his attendance at a conference primarily for scientists.

It’s also worth noting that all of this goes hand-in-hand with some bizarre and badly uninformed views of the United States. In China, Bishop Sanchez stated in his recent interview, “the economy does not dominate politics, as happens in the United States, something Americans themselves would say.”

China, the bishop insisted, was focused laser-like on promoting the “common good”—an idea that has been destroyed elsewhere, Sanchez claimed, by what he called “liberal thought.” By “liberal,” we can safely assume that Sanchez means “neoliberalism:” one of the perennial bogeymen in the conspiracy-theory laden world of Latin American populists (especially of the Peronist variety), alongside the “multinational oil companies” who, Sanchez claimed, manipulate and control President Trump.

Once again, however, Bishop Sanchez’s claims are difficult to reconcile with facts. Anyone remotely familiar with recent Chinese history knows that, since Deng Xiaoping’s time, China’s leaders have concentrated on accelerating economic development: so much so that this has long been, in addition to its self-preservation, the regime’s priority. That’s one reason why Beijing and so many other Chinese cities are regularly consumed by industrial-generated smog. So much for China’s overriding commitment to the climate.

As for the triumph of “liberal thought,” it’s hard to know what the bishop had in mind. In the United States, for example, overall economic freedom actually declined between 2006 and 2016. This suggests that “liberal thought” of the free market variety has been exerting considerably less influence throughout America. Indeed, President Trump has been a strong critic of free trade agreements. Furthermore, far from being dominated by economic concerns, American politics has steadily drifted in the direction of a mixture of phenomena such as identity politics, debates between nationalists and globalists, and persistent arguments about social issues, ranging from abortion to gender ideology.

Bishop Sanchez’s peculiar ruminations about world affairs are, however, emblematic of how concern for precision and facts seems to have disappeared throughout much of the Vatican over the past five years. One need only recall the notorious 2017 Civiltà Cattolica article penned by Father Antonio Spadaro, S.J. and Rev. Marcelo Figueroa: a piece which even some of its defenders conceded contained substantive errors about the history of religion in the United States and the role played by Evangelicals and conservative Catholics in American politics.

It doesn’t help the Holy See’s reputation to have some Vatican officials parading their fact-free, strikingly incoherent views of the world on the public stage. Bishop Sanchez’s claim that China is somehow one of the world’s leading exponents of Catholic social doctrine is frankly outrageous. It is also insulting to those Catholics and other Christians who have suffered so much for their faith under what is, after all, a regime that remains ideologically committed to atheistic materialism. In any organization that took reality and its own credibility seriously, such remarks would likely result in such a person being formally, if not publicly rebuked by more senior officials and perhaps even removed from office.

The fact, however, that people like Bishop Sanchez apparently feel free to speak and act this way speaks volumes about prevailing atmospherics at the Vatican these days. And in the Catholic Church, the ultimate responsibility for that state of affairs falls squarely into one man’s in-box.

Whether he actually chooses to do anything about it is, at best, uncertain.

Reader Discussion

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.

on February 08, 2018 at 17:32:22 pm

[…] Read more[…] […]

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Image of Unreality and Incoherence Reign at the Vatican | Top 100 Blog Review
Unreality and Incoherence Reign at the Vatican | Top 100 Blog Review
on February 08, 2018 at 18:09:25 pm

"Whether he actually chooses to do anything about it is, at best, uncertain."

Why WOULD he do anything? The good Bishop is simply parroting the beliefs of the man in the pointy hat!

So it would appear that the Long march through the Institutions has finally bagged a YUUUUGE institution, the Roman [Latin American?] Catholic Church.

The beliefs of this buffoon, Francis, surely were known to the Cardinals charged with electing a Pope. Can not one conclude, then, that the institution has resounded to the sound of quite a good deal of *marching* boots over the last 50 years.

All that is missing now is an *Evita* to dupe the masses.

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gabe
on February 08, 2018 at 19:16:46 pm

Mr. Gabe,

You know by now that I am an unabashed Catholic, but this essay highlights many of my greatest concerns about this current Papacy. My greatest concern lies with the Chinese Catholic faithful who may be about to be shamefully betrayed.

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Image of Paul Binotto
Paul Binotto
on February 09, 2018 at 09:08:53 am

This comments takes a reader to the "heart of the matter" under discussion. (Thank you to Gabe, a faithful, always insightful, often funny, learned but not prideful, commentator):

Is the Catholic church an "institution" as we ordinarily parse that word? Or is it something more?

Pope Benedict writes that, on earth, the institutional form is simply necessary. Without form a spiritual entity could exist in individual hearts, handed down through the generations, as the Jewish people made perfectly clear during the exile. But it could not provide proclamation of the Gospel nor receive and bestow sacramental grace. Even in exile the Jewish people longed for a return to the form, to a place, to Jerusalem,

Could the Church as a spiritual entity exist if the "institution" the visible forms, all of them, crumbled or were destroyed? If all copies of the Scriptures, Hebrew Bible or the combined Hebrew and Christian scriptures were reduced to ash?

As long as any faithful men and women are capable of perseverance in their faith that God, through the Holy Spirit, is present in the sacraments of the Church, either in their reception or even in hope that they will one day again be received: Just for the record, I believe that it will.

But as a wise and learned Rabbi taught: some things must be lived in order to be understood.

Once again I have plunged into very deep waters. All corrections will be gratefully accepted.

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Image of Latecomer
Latecomer
on February 09, 2018 at 09:30:29 am

The truth often comes late; glad it has arrived...

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Image of Paul Binotto
Paul Binotto
on February 09, 2018 at 10:14:17 am

[…] another searing rebuttal, the Acton Institute’s Dr. Samuel Gregg tore apart the bishop’s claims point by point, […]

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Image of Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors | Bible Prophecy In The Daily Headlines
Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors | Bible Prophecy In The Daily Headlines
on February 09, 2018 at 10:35:00 am

[…] Gregg, director of research at Acton Institute, has a strongly worded piece at Liberty and Law about the seriously bizarre remarks from Argentinian Bp. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, presently the […]

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Image of Sam Gregg takes off the gloves: Bp. Sanchez Sorondo on China | Fr. Z's Blog
Sam Gregg takes off the gloves: Bp. Sanchez Sorondo on China | Fr. Z's Blog
on February 09, 2018 at 10:50:01 am

[…] another searing rebuttal, the Acton Institute’s Dr. Samuel Gregg tore apart the bishop’s claims point by point, […]

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Image of Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors – Live President Donald Trump Popularity Polls
Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors – Live President Donald Trump Popularity Polls
on February 09, 2018 at 11:15:09 am

[…] Some countries have this same ability that Jobs had. The Soviet Union, for example, used to be able to convince American leftists that Russia was becoming a utopia rather than a land of authoritarianism and starvation. Similarly, China seems to have engaged it’s reality-distortion field for some members of the Vatican. As Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg says, […]

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Image of Unreality reigns at the Vatican – Acton Institute PowerBlog
Unreality reigns at the Vatican – Acton Institute PowerBlog
on February 09, 2018 at 11:27:10 am

Thank you to "Paul" - another faithful, insightful, funny, learned but not prideful commentator.

Also to liberty law site for not deleting comments that go far afield from the subject at hand, i.e. this post from Samuel Gregg describing Vatican representatives who prove the point often made that the Catholic Church must belong to God - how else could it have survived while inhabited by a collection of saints, sinners, dunderheads, and fools?

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Latecomer
on February 09, 2018 at 11:38:24 am

This term came to mind
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potemkin_village

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Image of CJ Wolfe
CJ Wolfe
on February 09, 2018 at 11:39:34 am

[…] another searing rebuttal, the Acton Institute’s Dr. Samuel Gregg tore apart the bishop’s claims point by point, […]

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Image of Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors – The Ray Tribune
Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors – The Ray Tribune
on February 09, 2018 at 12:07:36 pm

Let no one deceive you. One can know through both Faith and reason that if Unreality and Incoherence Reign at the Vatican, it is due to the denial of The Unity of The Holy Ghost. ( Filioque) A pope who would permit Unreality and Incoherence to Reign at the Vatican, and thus deny The Unity of The Holy Ghost, would err in regards to Faith and morals, and reveal himself to be anti Pope.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/canonlaw/adtucans.htm

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Nancy
on February 09, 2018 at 12:22:26 pm

On further reflection, it's pretty ridiculous that a Churchman of that authority would laud ANY specific country as "best implementing the social doctrine of the Church." That' s not very Catholic, in fact. The fact that he named one one of the worst countries at implementing CST it only adds dangerous falsehood to an already absurd statement

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CJ Wolfe
on February 09, 2018 at 12:30:39 pm

CJ, no doubt, rendering onto Caesar, what belongs to God, is a dangerous falsehood.
God Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage, not Caesar.

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Nancy
on February 09, 2018 at 15:05:32 pm

Paul:

"You know by now that I am an unabashed Catholic," - and THAT is one of the things i especially like about you!

" but this essay highlights many of my greatest concerns about this current Papacy" - I share this concern. Indeed, at times, the inanities proffered by this Leftist Ideologue hiding under the robes of St peter, have driven me to intemperance. The dangers are significant and myriad. Never in my life would I have imagined that, of all institutions, the Roman Catholic Church would espouse doctrine and policy that heretofore one would expect only from radical leftist organizations - and this, in the face of marked opposition from its adherents.

My own sisters, devout as they are, simply cannot tolerate this man. What then is to become of those whose faith is not as strong?

A Catholic friend told me some years ago that the reason he LIKED being a Catholic was BECAUSE it was hard; it required something of you other than rote recitation of scripture.

Little did he know how right he was; however, what he perceived as the cause of this difficulty is quite different from what makes being Catholic hard for today's Catholics. What must be hard is to watch centuries of work / effort and doctrine cast aside in favor of some leftist idiocy and to observe the institution deployed in support of all the latest "fantasies" de jour.

Yet, as Latecomer says, the "institution" IS NOT the faith. My sisters' approach is simple. I will let that idiot act as he does. It is not for me to condemn BUT I WILL NOT ABIDE HIM.

Were it only that I were as faithful as are they?

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gabe
on February 09, 2018 at 16:50:05 pm

And let us hope that the dunderheads and fools comprising the present RC Church do not *progress* quite so far as does this Lutheran sect;

https://pjmedia.com/faith/bishop-will-preside-renaming-ceremony-transgender-pastor/

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gabe
on February 09, 2018 at 17:07:52 pm

Francis the Talking Fool was a disciple of Liberation Theology, which in his native Argentina was simply a Catholic façade for Communism. His damage will continue as long as he is Pope.

Yet, God's grace is reflected most clearly in the decades of miracle works by Pope Saint John Paul. This will defend the church and the true faith against the ongoing ideological falsehoods and theological missteps of this epigone of papal leadership.

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timothy
on February 09, 2018 at 17:47:34 pm

Mr. Gabe,

This is a very nice thing for you to say, thank you! And, the feeling is mutual.

I'm with you; I never could have imagined either, and have also been brought to intemperance, (ask Mrs. Binotto - ha!)

Its very true, those bizarre, even surreal, things you note about what makes being Catholic hard today; also that persecution comes not only in the usual form, from without, but lately, also from within. Very odd times, indeed, to be Catholic!

I like the way your sisters think. I also wish my faith was as strong as theirs; but, as the saying goes, "that's why we need to keep practicing".

Best, -Paul

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Paul Binotto
on February 09, 2018 at 17:51:44 pm

Wow - for sure, let's hope.

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Paul Binotto
on February 09, 2018 at 17:56:23 pm

Timothy,

"Yet, God’s grace is reflected most clearly in the decades of miracle works by Pope Saint John Paul. This will defend the church and the true faith against the ongoing ideological falsehoods and theological missteps of this epigone of papal leadership."

This is really a good insight - thanks for it!

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Paul Binotto
on February 10, 2018 at 11:10:01 am

[…] another searing rebuttal, the Acton Institute’s Dr. Samuel Gregg tore apart the bishop’s claims point by point, […]

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Image of Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors - Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site : Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site
Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors - Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site : Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site
on February 10, 2018 at 20:05:45 pm

[…] another searing rebuttal, the Acton Institute’s Dr. Samuel Gregg tore apart the bishop’s claims point by point, […]

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Image of Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors | From the Trenches World ReportFrom the Trenches World Report
Chinese Pastors Ordered to Post Signs on Churches Forbidding Entry to Minors | From the Trenches World ReportFrom the Trenches World Report
on February 11, 2018 at 08:26:58 am

Re: "Dunderheads, fools" and the Lutheran "renaming" ceremony.

About transformation. Hope that radical change of self, inner and outer or both, can happen or be made to happen, seems a timeless, ineradicable human desire.

( Fr. von Balthasar has provides a beautiful passage about the psychological and spiritual aspects of such a change, resulting in a new name, as it applies to Simon/Peter:

"Simon the fisherman could have explored every region of his ego prior to his encounter with Christ, but he would not have found 'Peter' there. ...... Each time Simon follows the understanding native to 'Simon' he will go dangerously astray, whereas he will always hit the mark when, refusing to 'confer with flesh and blood", he attends only to his commission, which reveals the Father's will to him." (The complete passage is found at page 60 of "Prayer" by von Balthasar)

We can hope that Pope Francis may experience an enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and "attend to his commission" to defend the permanent teachings of the Faith - most certainly not to create a new faith according to his personal philosophy of life!

The Lutheran sect renaming ceremony seems to have liberation, freedom from all that would encumber the ego, the will, as its object. Still it is not difficult to understand the impulse to be rid of all problems and challenges by becoming another sort of person.

The events now taking place, even within the Catholic Church, have the quality of a "tide in human affairs" that will come all the way in before it recedes. Anything can happen. But we can hope to be within the remnant that remains, keeping in mind that those who were faithful during the Babylonian Exile did return to Jerusalem.

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Latecomer
on February 11, 2018 at 10:11:13 am

Everything I have written should be prefaced with an "I think" or "in my opinion" or "it may be true that".

Upon reading my post, I noticed that I wrote as I thought; in others words, I am lecturing myself. But I certainly have no authority or standing to "lecture" anyone else.

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Latecomer
on February 11, 2018 at 10:55:54 am

Perhaps, as you say, you lack "authority or standing to lecture anyone else." After all, only politicians, professors, journalists, movie stars and Pope Francis warrant such authority and assume such standing.

Yet, the truth of revelation is both the proper authority to oppose dangerous fools and the necessary standing to rage against their destruction.

Humility in the face of revelation's mystery, yes. But deferential silence in the face of Francis' harm, no.

Too risky for the the Church .

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timothy
on February 11, 2018 at 11:38:08 am

Great points to consider - and I certainly didn't consider it lecturing - thanks!

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Paul Binotto
on February 11, 2018 at 14:26:40 pm

I spend much time thinking, apparently in declarative sentences.

The internet provides opportunities to too quickly "proclaim" one's conclusions, often before seeking the necessary evidence. Hence the name: "Latecomer" aka "Linda".

Thank you for your reassurance.

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Latecomer
on February 13, 2018 at 01:24:18 am

[…] Unreality and Incoherence Reign at the Vatican […]

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Image of CLEAR AND COURAGEOUS CATHOLIC CONSCIENCE | Moore Engaging
CLEAR AND COURAGEOUS CATHOLIC CONSCIENCE | Moore Engaging
on February 13, 2018 at 10:49:31 am

It Is Through, With, and In Christ, In The Unity of The Holy Ghost, That Holy Mother Church exists.
"No one can come to My Father, except Through Me."
Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is Sacramental. "It is the visible reality of God " as well as the means by which God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Enacts Grace and Mercy. Christ Makes His Church One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, Through The Unity of The Holy Ghost.

"The Catholic Church's marvelous propagation, eminent Holiness, Catholic Unity, and invincible stability give an irrefutable witness of her Divine Mission." (First Vatican Council H/T Catholic City Website)

Incoherence and unreality are not of The Holy Ghost. We can know through both Faith and reason that Truth will not contradict Truth. Every element of Truth will serve to complement and thus enhance the fullness of Truth. A Christian conscience must first and foremost be in communion with Christ and thus, through The Unity of The Holy Ghost, His Body. One cannot deny The Unity of The Holy Ghost, without denying The Unity and Trinity of God, The Ordered Communion of Perfect, Complementary Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity.

Although a Supernatural Mystery is a Mystery which we cannot fully understand, Our Hope Is In The One Word of God, The One Truth of Love Made Flesh, The One Lamb of God Who Taketh Away The Sins of The World, Jesus The Christ.

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Nancy
on February 13, 2018 at 14:00:10 pm

[…] pundits like Acton’s Samuel Gregg, who referred to Sánchez’s remarks as “outrageous” (see “Unreality and Incoherence Reign at the Vatican”) and Rome’s preeminent journalist on China and the Catholic Church, Fr. Bernardo Cervellera, […]

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Image of Fact check on China as ‘best’ model of Catholic Social Teaching – Acton Institute PowerBlog
Fact check on China as ‘best’ model of Catholic Social Teaching – Acton Institute PowerBlog
on February 14, 2018 at 08:24:42 am

After reading your comment, sent as a "reply" to me, I must assume that the passages provided are intended to instruct me that the Catholic Church is "One, Holy, Catholic [in that it is for all peoples], and Apostolic. Please be assured that you and I are in perfect agreement!

My comment was posted with reference to the Marxist/Gramsci ideology of the church, both large and small "c", as a secular institution; one through which the Marxist believers could "march". That "march through the [secular] institutions" has been catastrophically successful.

If I understand the matter correctly, Marxist believers, Gramsci and many, many others, view the Church as a this-world institution, an entity defined as "a man-made 'established organization or corporation, especially of a public character". Its destruction, accomplished by a "march" (a march of new ideas and teachings, a reversal of existing standards, destruction of venerable traditions, indeed, of any idea at all of enduring truths, and, most powerful of all, erasure, obliteration of belief in a Creator God) would end any and all teaching/cultural influence of the church and of the Christian faith. (They defined the Church as a means of oppression, of on-going tyranny; as "cover-up" for denying justice to minorities. They intended and continue to intend its destruction.

Gramsci understood all powerful institutions (including the Christian churches) as part of the "class struggle". They had to be brought under the control of the Marxist ideologues. The devotees of atheistic materialism could then dominate the peoples of the world; they would have achieved control of the "cultural means of production". They saw themselves as creators. Within their God-less system, justice and peace would prevail - that was their dream; they seem to have believed it.

This "march through the institutions" was referred to at this site by "Gabe". His comment led me to think about the Church as one of the "institutions" targeted by Gramsci. I thought about the workings of the "institution", what Pope Benedict referred to as simply a necessary form; the worldly form of the Faith, providing a place for proclamation of the Gospel, for the Eucharistic sacrifice, and the other sacraments, through and only through the power of the Holy Spirit - where no human agency may intrude!

I also thought about the Babylonian Exile of the Jews, how the faithful continued their observance of the "laws and the rules" handed down from antiquity; and how, after much suffering, a faithful, chastened and humbled, remnant did return to Jerusalem to build a new Temple. And I thought about Catholic Masses celebrated in fields, caves, and other hidden places, with no walls except the "bodies of the faithful", as is done in war zones; a state of affairs to which we may return.

To conclude a too-long discourse! The Faith will survive because it is of God. Jesus needed no cathedrals, no Vatican administration, no bureaucratic systems (useful but not essential) in order to teach the truth; to send the Holy Spirit to guide us.

The Marxist forces and other opponents, some malevolent, some misguided, may reduce all the places and things that Christians have dedicated to God to ashes. They may somehow destroy all writings; precious teachings that aid the faithful in understanding.

Still, we trust they will never destroy the living faith, found in the hearts and souls of those who believe in another "long march" - that of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who teaches us "in the inner man", in the "minds, hearts, and souls" of those who have "eyes to see ... ears to hear".

Best wishes.

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Latecomer
on March 03, 2018 at 11:10:08 am

[…] Lawler prudently distinguishes between the pope’s words and actions, and the more flagrantly outrageous statements of some of the garrulous characters surrounding […]

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Image of Video interview with Phil Lawler about book on Pope Francis: Lost Shepherd | Fr. Z's Blog
Video interview with Phil Lawler about book on Pope Francis: Lost Shepherd | Fr. Z's Blog

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