“This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige”

There is a brief observation we would like to make to Francis. It can be noted in his prolific pronouncements that he often mentions the Church as if it were merely a socio-economic organization, rather than a divine institution. There is almost no situation or aspect of the Church that he has spared criticism. He has alleged the need for a “decentralization of the Papacy”; he has shown himself hostile to the hierarchy in declaring that “women are more than the bishops”; he insulted the Roman Curia, labeling it “the plague of the papacy”; and a long et cetera could follow. He voices all this criticism with the purported intention of ‘helping God’s people’! He is notorious for having removed Christ even from the Gospel, by affirming that “the poor are at the center of the Gospel”.

In these times of confusion, religious orphanhood and secularism, the faithful need to hear, more than ever before, the Word of God proclaimed strongly and clearly. But Bergoglio is the first to lash out at those who do so, accusing them of distancing Catholics from the Gospel…

It has been said that the stained-glass windows of the cathedrals were ‘the Gospel of the poor’, since all could learn of Christ’s life through their depictions. Today, when so often Christ is relegated to a secondary plane, the liturgy must be celebrated with reverence and dignity so that it speaks of God’s greatness and love in a manner accessible to all. When Mass is celebrated in keeping with the norms proper to it, the Church is respected and God is reverenced. Nevertheless, those who love the liturgy and celebrate it with dignity, are tagged as “worldly and ostentatious” by Francis.

Those who spare neither time nor effort in a conscious and structured endeavor to rescue the afflicted from the grasp of the evil one receive the title of “defeated generals”. But we ask, are religious indifference and the current hostility to Christianity really such easy adversaries to overcome? When souls are being lost by the droves, isn’t it the case to develop an out-and-out battle plan to win them back? Were the organized evangelizing efforts of so many saints, like Saint Francis Xavier and Saint Vincent de Paul, really disconnected from the real lives and difficulties of the people, and a cause for shame in the Church’s History?

Perhaps Bergoglio would do well to think before he speaks and writes. For our part, what we do find ostentatious is presuming to criticize the Church’s two thousand-year past, and considering oneself a sort of new ‘redeemer’ – as if the Father had promised another after Jesus Christ… Rather, we were cautioned to be wary of such folks.

Francis

exhortacion-apostolica

This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes which appear opposed, yet all have the same pretence of ‘taking over the space of the Church’. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige, but without any concern that the Gospel have a real impact on God’s faithful people and the concrete needs of the present time. In this way, the life of the Church turns into a museum piece or something which is the property of a select few. In others, this spiritual worldliness lurks behind a fascination with social and political gain, or pride in their ability to manage practical affairs, or an obsession with programmes of self-help and self-realization. It can also translate into a concern to be seen, into a social life full of appearances, meetings, dinners and receptions. It can also lead to a business mentality, caught up with management, statistics, plans and evaluations whose principal beneficiary is not God’s people but the Church as an institution. The mark of Christ, incarnate, crucified and risen, is not present; closed and elite groups are formed, and no effort is made to go forth and seek out those who are distant or the immense multitudes who thirst for Christ. Evangelical fervour is replaced by the empty pleasure of complacency and self-indulgence.­­­­

This way of thinking also feeds the vainglory of those who are content to have a modicum of power and would rather be the general of a defeated army than a mere private in a unit which continues to fight. How often we dream up vast apostolic projects, meticulously planned, just like defeated generals! But this is to deny our history as a Church, which is glorious precisely because it is a history of sacrifice, of hopes and daily struggles, of lives spent in service and fidelity to work, tiring as it may be, for all work is ‘the sweat of our brow’. Instead, we waste time talking about ‘what needs to be done’ – in Spanish we call this the sin of ‘habriaqueísmo’ – like spiritual masters and pastoral experts who give instructions from on high. We indulge in endless fantasies and we lose contact with the real lives and difficulties of our people. (Apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium, no. 95-96, November 24, 2013)

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of contents

I – Concern for the liturgy, the doctrine and the prestige of the Church is paramount to zeal for the Gospel’s penetration in the lives of God’s people
A – The Church tells us to cultivate the liturgy for the benefit of God’s people
B – Are doctrine and prestige really an evil in the Church?
II –
Any benefit to the organization of the Church is a direct benefit to God’s people. All that favors those most in need, such as missions and charitable establishments, is the product of a well-structured Church
III – Do vast apostolic projects belong to defeated generals or to the true builders of Church History?


I – Concern for the liturgy, the doctrine and the prestige of the Church is paramount to zeal for the Gospel’s penetration in the lives of God’s people


A – The Church tells us to cultivate the liturgy for the benefit of God’s people


John Paul II
– In the liturgy is where the faithful encounter the ever-brimming font of grace

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments
– Popular piety begins to be distorted with the attenuation of values essential to the Liturgy
– Contempt for the Liturgy inevitably leads to a clouding of the Christian understanding of the mystery of God
– The liturgy can serve as a touchstone for a correct scale of values in popular piety

Vatican Council II
– The liturgy is the summit of the activity of the Church. For the aim of apostolic works is that all come together to praise God in His Church.

Benedict XVI
– It is necessary to redouble efforts for the appropriate celebration of the Liturgy
– The beauty of the liturgy is not mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God’s love in Christ encounters us
– The simplicity of the liturgy’s gestures communicates and inspires more than any contrived and inappropriate additions

Saint Francis of Assisi
Hold all that pertains to the Sacrifice as precious

Eusebius of Caesarea
– After the persecutions, the Christian people celebrate with splendorous liturgical services


B – Are doctrine and prestige really an evil in the Church?


Pius X
– It behooves us to cry aloud and make known the great truths of the faith

Pius XII
– Nothing is more glorious, nothing nobler, than to belong to the Church

John Paul II
– Be conscious of your dignity of ministers of Christ

Pius XII
Lamentably, there even exist those who represent the Church’s Magisterium as a hindrance to progress

Leo XIII
– When the venerable authority of the Church is despised and set aside, great evils oppress the human race


II – Any benefit to the organization of the Church is a direct benefit to God’s people. All that favors those most in need, such as missions and charitable establishments, is the product of a well-structured Church


Leo XIII
– Christ entrusted to His Church the continuance of His work in human society

Benedict XV
– We are delighted to see that, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, efforts to develop the foreign missions in many quarters of the world are intensified

John Paul II
– The work of Saint Vincent de Paul was the product of exemplary organization and structure

John XXIII
– The needy are well cared-for when the Catholics organize their efforts

Benedict XVI
– Young people seek organized groups to grow in the faith and the experience of God
– Redouble your efforts to organize catechesis based on Scripture and on the Magisterium

Benedict XV
– Being the most perfect type of universal society, the Church possesses an organization and institutions that brings brotherhood among men

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– Perfect order reigns in the family or society regulated by the Church


III – Do vast apostolic projects belong to defeated generals or to the true builders of Church History?


John Paul II
– Drawing up the best apostolic plans yields the fruits of generous pastoral work

Leo XIII
– Excellent institutions, the peaceful life and prosperity abounded when there was most obedience to the Church’s rule and laws

Benedict XV
– All continents have benefited from apostolic missionary projects

Benedict XVI
– The testimonies of charitable religious orders are true lights in Church history

Pius XII
– The devout associations gave rise to innumerable hospices, hospitals for strangers, churches, etc.
– The provident enterprises of Mother Church are unjustly assailed, scorned and overlooked by her enemies

John Paul II­­
– In the Church’s history, missionary drive is a sign of vitality


I – Concern for the liturgy, the doctrine and the prestige of the Church is paramount to zeal for the Gospel’s penetration in the lives of God’s people


A – The Church tells us to cultivate the liturgy for the benefit of God’s people


John Paul II

  • In the liturgy is where the faithful encounter the ever-brimming font of grace

It can be said that the spiritual life of the Church passes through the liturgy, where the faithful encounter the ever-brimming font of grace and the concrete and convincing school of the virtues, with which they may give to God before men. (John Paul II. Address for commemoration of the Constitution Sacrosanctum concilium, October 27, 1984)

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

  • Popular piety is distorted with the attenuation of values essential to the Liturgy

History principally shows that the correct relationship between Liturgy and popular piety begins to be distorted with the attenuation among the faithful of certain values essential to the Liturgy itself. (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: Directory on popular piety and the liturgy, no. 48, May 13, 2002)

  • Contempt for the Liturgy inevitably leads to a clouding of the Christian understanding of the mystery of God

Theoretical or practical contempt for the Liturgy inevitably leads to a clouding of the Christian understanding of the mystery of God, Who has mercifully deigned to look down on fallen man and bring him to Himself through the incarnation of His Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Such fails to perceive the significance of salvation history and the relationship between Old and New Testaments. It underestimates the saving Word of God which sustains the Liturgy, and to which the Liturgy always refers. Such a disposition attenuates in the faithful any realization of the importance of the work of Christ our only Saviour who is the Son of God and the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Eventually, it leads to a loss of the sensus Ecclesiae. (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: Directory on popular piety and the liturgy, no. 56, May 13, 2002)

  • The liturgy can serve as a touchstone for a correct scale of values in popular piety

The Word of God, as transmitted by Sacred Scripture, as conserved and proposed by the Magisterium of the Church, and as celebrated in the Sacred Liturgy, is the privileged and indispensable instrument of the Holy Spirit in the faithfuls’ worship. […] Prayer should ‘accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that a dialogue takes place between God and man’. Thus, it is highly recommended that the various forms of popular piety normally include biblical texts, opportunely chosen and duly provided with a commentary. In this respect, the models used in liturgical celebrations can be most useful, since they always contain a text taken from Sacred Scripture, variously chosen for different types of celebration. However, since the different expressions of popular piety already exhibit a legitimate structural and expressional diversity, the disposition of the various biblical pericopes need not necessarily be followed in the same ritual structure with which the Word of God is proclaimed in the Sacred Liturgy. In any event, the liturgical model can serve as a touch stone for popular piety, against which a correct scale of values can be developed. (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: Directory on popular piety and the liturgy, no. 87-89, May 13, 2002)

Vatican Council II

  • The liturgy is the summit of the activity of the Church. For the aim of apostolic works is that all come together to praise God in His Church.

Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord’s supper. The liturgy in its turn moves the faithful, filled with ‘the paschal sacraments,’ to be ‘one in holiness’; it prays that ‘they may hold fast in their lives to what they have grasped by their faith’; the renewal in the Eucharist of the covenant between the Lord and man draws the faithful into the compelling love of Christ and sets them on fire. From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way. (Vatican Council II. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum concilium, no. 10, December 4, 1963)

Benedict XVI

  • It is necessary to redouble efforts for the appropriate celebration of the Liturgy

Among the various forms of prayer, the Liturgy deserves a special place. In Poland, many young people take an active part in Holy Mass on Sundays. It is necessary to redouble efforts so that the concern of priests for the appropriate celebration of the Liturgy, for the beauty of its words, gestures and music, may increasingly be the legible sign of the saving Mysterium that is fulfilled in them. It is also necessary for youth to be integrated into liturgical action through active participation in the preparation of the Liturgy, through their involvement in Liturgies of the Word, in altar service or in the context of music. They will then feel that they are part of the mystery that introduces them into the world of God, and at the same time directs them to the world of people attracted by Christ’s love. (Benedict XVI. Address to the bishops of Poland on their ad limina visit, no. 1, November 26, 2005)

  • The beauty of the liturgy is not mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God’s love in Christ encounters us

This relationship between creed and worship is evidenced in a particular way by the rich theological and liturgical category of beauty. Like the rest of Christian Revelation, the liturgy is inherently linked to beauty: it is veritatis splendor. The liturgy is a radiant expression of the paschal mystery, in which Christ draws us to himself and calls us to communion. As Saint Bonaventure would say, in Jesus we contemplate beauty and splendour at their source. This is no mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God’s love in Christ encounters us, attracts us and delights us, enabling us to emerge from ourselves and drawing us towards our true vocation, which is love. […] The beauty of the liturgy is part of this mystery; it is a sublime expression of God’s glory and, in a certain sense, a glimpse of heaven on earth. The memorial of Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice contains something of that beauty which Peter, James and John beheld when the Master, making his way to Jerusalem, was transfigured before their eyes (cf. Mk 9:2). Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation. These considerations should make us realize the care which is needed, if the liturgical action is to reflect its innate splendour. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis, no. 35, February 22, 2007)

  • The simplicity of the liturgy’s gestures communicates and inspires more than any contrived and inappropriate additions

Equally important for a correct ars celebrandi is an attentiveness to the various kinds of language that the liturgy employs: words and music, gestures and silence, movement, the liturgical colours of the vestments. By its very nature the liturgy operates on different levels of communication which enable it to engage the whole human person. The simplicity of its gestures and the sobriety of its orderly sequence of signs communicate and inspire more than any contrived and inappropriate additions. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis, no. 40, February 22, 2007)

Saint Francis of Assisi

  • Hold all that pertains to the Sacrifice as precious

I entreat you more than if it were a question of myself that, when it is becoming and it may seem to be expedient, you humbly beseech the clerics to venerate above all the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Name and written words which sanctify the body. They ought to hold as precious the chalices, corporals, ornaments of the altar, and all that pertain to the Sacrifice. (Saint Francis of Assisi, Letter to all the Custodes, I, no. 5)

Eusebius of Caesarea

  • After the persecutions, the Christian people celebrate with splendorous liturgical services

And we especially who placed our hopes in the Christ of God had unspeakable gladness, and a certain inspired joy bloomed for all of us, when we saw every place which shortly before had been desolated by the impieties of the tyrants reviving as if from a long and death-fraught pestilence, and temples again rising from their foundations to an immense height, and receiving a splendor far greater than that of the old ones which had been destroyed. […] Yea, and perfect services were conducted by the prelates, the sacred rites being solemnized, and the majestic institutions of the Church observed, here with the singing of psalms and with the reading of the words committed to us by God, and there with the performance of divine and mystic services; and the mysterious symbols of the Saviour’s passion were dispensed. (Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History, Book X, 2,2.3)


B – Are doctrine and prestige really an evil in the Church?


Pius X

  • It behooves us to cry aloud and make known the great truths of the faith

In the midst of these public calamities it behooves us to cry aloud and make known the great truths of the faith not only to the people, to the humble, the afflicted, but to the powerful and the rich, to them that decide and govern the policy of nations, to make known to all the great truths which history confirms by its great and disastrous lessons […] (Pius X. Encyclical Communium rerum, no. 24, April 21, 1909)

Pius XII

  • Nothing is more glorious, nothing nobler, than to belong to the Church

For nothing more glorious, nothing nobler, nothing surely more honorable can be imagined than to belong to the One, Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, in which we become members of One Body as venerable as it is unique; are guided by one supreme Head; are filled with one divine Spirit; are nourished during our earthly exile by one doctrine and one heavenly Bread, until at last we enter into the one, unending blessedness of heaven. (Pius XII. Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, no. 91, June 29, 1943)

John Paul II

  • Be conscious of your dignity of ministers of Christ

Every attitude of arrogance and worldliness, of criticism or tepidity, render the life of the priest banal, and his worth as witness, empty. Be ever conscious of your dignity as ministers of Christ, and with the help of youths who are already mature and instructed, know how to create another type of mentality that spiritualizes and elevates the ambience. (John Paul II. Address to the military Chaplains of Italy, January 24, 1980)

Pius XII

  • Lamentably, there even exist those who represent the Church’s Magisterium as a hindrance to progress

Lamentably, these advocates of novelty easily pass from despisal of scholastic theology to contempt towards the Magisterium of the Church itself, which has given such authoritative approval to that [scholastic] theology. This Magisterium is represented by them as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle in the way of science; and by some non-Catholics it is considered as an unjust restraint with which some more qualified theologians are refrained from reforming their science. (Pius XII. Encyclical Humani generis, no. 12, August 12, 1950)

Leo XIII

  • When the venerable authority of the Church is despised and set aside, great evils oppress the human race

For, from the very beginning of Our pontificate, the sad sight has presented itself to Us of the evils by which the human race is oppressed on every side […] Now, the source of these evils lies chiefly, We are convinced, in this, that the holy and venerable authority of the Church, which in God’s name rules mankind, upholding and defending all lawful authority, has been despised and set aside. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Inscrutabili Dei consilio, no. 2-3, April 21, 1878)


II – Any benefit to the organization of the Church is a direct benefit to God’s people. All that favors those most in need, such as missions and charitable establishments, is the product of a well-structured Church


Leo XIII

  • Christ entrusted to His Church the continuance of His work in human society

In order that these unparalleled benefits might last as long as men should be found on earth, He [Christ] entrusted to His Church the continuance of His work; and, looking to future times, He commanded her to set in order whatever might have become deranged in human society, and to restore whatever might have fallen into ruin. Although the divine renewal we have spoken of chiefly and directly affected men as constituted in the supernatural order of grace, nevertheless some of its precious and salutary fruits were also bestowed abundantly in the order of nature. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Arcanum divinae sapientiae, no. 2-3, February 10, 1880)

Benedict XV

  • We are delighted to see that, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, efforts to develop the foreign missions in many quarters of the world are intensified

Anyone who studies the facts of this great saga cannot help being profoundly impressed by them: by all the stupendous hardships our missionaries have undergone in extending the Faith, the magnificent devotion they have shown, and the overwhelming examples of intrepid endurance they have afforded us. And to anyone who weighs these facts the realization must come as a shock that right now, there still remain in the world immense multitudes of people who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death. According to a recent estimate, the number of non-believers in the world approximates one billion souls. The pitiable lot of this stupendous number of souls is for Us a source of great sorrow. From the days when We first took up the responsibilities of this apostolic office We have yearned to share with these unfortunates the divine blessings of the Redemption. So We are delighted to see that, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, efforts to promote and develop the foreign missions have in many quarters of the world increased and intensified. It is Our duty to foster these enterprises and do all We can to encourage them; and this duty coincides perfectly with Our own most profound desires. Before writing this letter, venerable Brethren, We begged the Lord for His light and His aid. While writing it, We had two purposes in mind: to encourage you, your clergy, and your people in these efforts, and secondly, to point out methods you can adopt to further the fulfillment of this momentous undertaking. (Benedict XV. Apostolic letter Maximum illud, no. 6-7, November 30, 1919)

John Paul II

  • The work of Saint Vincent de Paul was the product of exemplary organization and structure

To better serve the poor, Vincent wished to ‘form association with ecclesiastics free of any benefits, to dedicate themselves entirely, with the consent of the bishops, to saving the poor country folk, by preaching, by catechisms and general confessions, without receiving any type of remuneration for it’. This group of priests, very quickly denominated ‘Lazarists’, owing to the name of the renowned Priory of Saint Lazarus, acquired around 1632, developed rapidly and was established in some fifteen dioceses to give parish missions, and to found ‘Charities’ in them. The Congregation of the Mission spread also to Italy, Ireland, Poland, Algeria and Madagascar. Vincent does not cease to inculcate in his companions, ‘the Spirit of Our Lord’. […] In the unfolding of the missions, Vincent de Paul likewise realized that this method of evangelization would not bear its fruit if there were not an instructed and zealous clergy right on site. […] Finally, another aspect of the dynamism and realism of Vincent de Paul was his giving the ‘Charities’, which had multiplied, a structure of unity and efficacy. Louise de Marillac, widow of Antonio le Gras, first initiated to the spiritual life by Msgr. [Francis] de Sales and later guided by Vincent de Paul himself, was charged by him with the inspection and sustenance of the ‘Charities’. […] Following Louise de Marillac, thousands of thousands of women have spent their entire lives in the most humble service of those who suffer, the beggars, the prisoners, marginalized, invalids, illiterate, abandoned children. Daughters of Saint Vincent, after him and like him, they are the heart of Christ in the world of the poor, and of the rich as well, whom they seek to make kindly toward the poor. (John Paul II. Message for the IV Centenary of the birth of Saint Vincent de Paul, July 24, 1981)

John XXIII

  • The needy are well cared-for when the Catholics organize their efforts

It is, above all, necessary to coordinate charitable activity on the international level, so that the solidarity of Catholics toward their needy brethren, most especially those affected by sudden catastrophe, can present themselves with speed and efficacy, and this is your irreplaceable task. In organizing, utilizing the appropriate technical means, the charity of the Catholics on a world scale, you assist the Church, constantly present and working wherever someone suffers in the world. (John XXIII. Address to the delegates of Caritas International, July 27, 1960)

Benedict XVI

  • Young people seek organized groups to grow in the faith and the experience of God

Furthermore, it is essential to see the many positive phenomena that support and help education in the faith. Young people who show a profound sensitivity to the needs of others, especially the poor, the sick, the lonely and the disabled, are very numerous. Thus, they undertake various projects to bring aid to the needy. There is also a genuine interest in matters of faith and religion, the need to be with others in organized and informal groups, and the strong desire for an experience of God. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Bishops of Poland on their ad limina visit, no. 1, November 26, 2005)

  • Redouble your efforts to organize catechesis based on Scripture and on the Magisterium

I fervently urge you Bishops to redouble your efforts to organize adult catechesis wherever it is lacking, and to support the contexts that already undertake this type of teaching. Such catechesis must be based on Scripture and on the Magisterium. In carrying it out, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church or the recently published Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church can prove helpful. The abundant Magisterium of my venerable Predecessor, John Paul II, may be particularly helpful in the catechesis of adults. In his numerous pilgrimages to Poland he left a rich patrimony of the wisdom that stems from faith, which it seems has not yet been entirely assimilated. In this context, how can we fail to remember his Encyclicals, Exhortations, Letters and the many other Interventions that constitute an inexhaustible source of Christian wisdom? (Benedict XVI. Address to the Bishops of Poland on their ad limina visit, no. 3, November 26, 2005)

Benedict XV

  • Being the most perfect type of universal society, the Church possesses an organization and institutions that brings brotherhood among men

The Church will certainly not refuse her zealous aid to States united under the Christian law in any of their undertakings inspired by justice and charity, inasmuch as she is herself the most perfect type of universal society. She possesses in her organization and institutions a wonderful instrument for bringing this brotherhood among men, not only for their eternal salvation but also for their material well-being to the sure acquisition of eternal blessings. (Benedict XV. Encyclical Pacem Dei munus, no. 18, May 23, 1920)

Saint Augustine of Hippo

  • Perfect order reigns in the family or society regulated by the Church

You [the Church] give to men authority over their wives, not to mock the weaker sex, but in the laws of unfeigned love. Thou dost subordinate children to their parents in a kind of free bondage, and dost set parents over their children in a godly rule. You bind brothers to brothers in a religious tie stronger and closer than that of blood. Without violation of the connections of nature and of choice, you bring within the bond of mutual love every relationship of kindred, and every alliance of affinity. Thou teachest servants to cleave to their masters from delight in their task rather than from the necessity of their position. You render masters forbearing to their servants, from a regard to God their common Master, and more disposed to advise than to compel. Thou unitest citizen to citizen, nation to nation, yea, man to man, from the recollection of their first parents, not only in society but in fraternity. (Saint Augustine of Hippo. Of the morals of the Catholic Church, Ch. 30, 63)


III – Do vast apostolic projects belong to defeated generals or to the true builders of Church History?


John Paul II

  • Drawing up the best apostolic plans yields the fruits of generous pastoral work       

In the past quinquennium, the celebration of the Synods for the Archdiocese of Minsk and for the Dioceses of Pinsk and Vitebsk has given you the opportunity to define your pastoral priorities as you drew up the best apostolic plans to deal with the many needs of the territory. This time you have come to report the fruits of your generous pastoral work, and with you I thank the Lord, who is always merciful and provident. (John Paul II. Address to the Bishops of Belarus on their ad limina visit, February 10, 2003)

Leo XIII

  • Excellent institutions, the peaceful life and prosperity abounded when there was most obedience to the Church’s rule and laws

Now, who would make bold to deny that the Church, by spreading the Gospel throughout the nations, has brought the light of truth amongst people utterly savage and steeped in foul superstition, and has quickened them alike to recognize the Divine Author of nature and duly to respect themselves? Further, who will deny that the Church has done away with the curse of slavery and restored men to the original dignity of their noble nature; and – by uplifting the standard of redemption in all quarters of the globe, by introducing, or shielding under her protection, the sciences and arts, by founding and taking into her keeping excellent charitable institutions which provide relief for ills of every kind – has throughout the world, in private or in public life, civilized the human race, freed it from degradation, and with all care trained it to a way of Living such as befits the dignity and the hopes of man? And if any one of sound mind compare the age in which We live, so hostile to religion and to the Church of Christ, with those happy times when the Church was revered as a mother by the nations, beyond all question he will see that our epoch is rushing wildly along the straight road to destruction; while in those times which most abounded in excellent institutions, peaceful life, wealth, and prosperity the people showed themselves most obedient to the Church’s rule and laws. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Inscrutbili Dei consilio, no. 5, April 21, 1878)

Benedict XV

  • All continents have benefited from apostolic missionary projects

Upon the discovery of America, an army of apostolic men set out for the New World. This great host, which included that glorious son of Saint Dominic, Bartholomew de Las Casas, undertook there the twin tasks of protecting the unfortunate natives from human oppression and wresting them from their grinding subjection to the powers of darkness. To the same period belongs the work of Francis Xavier, a missionary worthy of comparison with the Apostles themselves. For Christ’s glory and the salvation of souls he spent himself relentlessly in the Fast Indies and in Japan. And when he died he was on the threshold of the Chinese Empire, attempting to enter it. It was as though, at the price of his death, he was breaking open for the Gospel a way into those vast territories that in years to come would be the arena where the sons of numerous religious orders and missionary congregations would, in the pursuance of their apostolate, contend with all the formidable obstacles thrown against them by shifting conditions and varying circumstances. More recent years have seen the last of the unknown territories – Australia and the interior of Africa – yield to the relentless assaults of modern exploration. These years have also seen the emissaries of the Church follow the newly blazed trails into the new lands. In all the vast reaches of the Pacific it would now be difficult to find an island remote enough to have escaped the vigilance and the energy of our missionaries. In speaking of all these achievements, however, we must not overlook a very significant fact about the men who performed them. Very many of these men, while they were working for the salvation of their brethren, themselves attained the heights of sanctity, just as the Apostles did before them. And many of them too, crowned their apostolate with the glory of martyrdom, entrenching the Faith at the cost of their blood. (Benedict XV. Apostolic letter Maximum illud, no. 4-5, November 30, 1919)

Benedict XVI

  • The testimonies of charitable religious orders are true lights in Church history

Yet in the history of the Church, how many other testimonies to charity could be quoted! In particular, the entire monastic movement, from its origins with Saint Anthony the Abbot († 356), expresses an immense service of charity towards neighbour. In his encounter ‘face to face’ with the God who is Love, the monk senses the impelling need to transform his whole life into service of neighbour, in addition to service of God. This explains the great emphasis on hospitality, refuge and care of the infirm in the vicinity of the monasteries. It also explains the immense initiatives of human welfare and Christian formation, aimed above all at the very poor, who became the object of care firstly for the monastic and mendicant orders, and later for the various male and female religious institutes all through the history of the Church. The figures of saints such as Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, John of God, Camillus of Lellis, Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Giuseppe B. Cottolengo, John Bosco, Luigi Orione, Teresa of Calcutta to name but a few – stand out as lasting models of social charity for all people of good will. The saints are the true bearers of light within history, for they are men and women of faith, hope and love. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus caritas est, no. 40, December 25, 2005)

Pius XII

  • The devout associations gave rise to innumerable hospices, hospitals for strangers, churches, etc.

We wish also to say a few words concerning the unceasing care exercised in behalf of pilgrims by a number of devout associations. […] Under their influence, innumerable hospices and hospitals for strangers, churches and national societies were established. Many traces of them are found even today. Especially worthy of note were the Pilgrims’ Halls: Saxon, Frankish, Frisian, which by the 8th century had been established around the Vatican beside the tomb of SaintPeter, Prince of the Apostles. These Halls housed visitors from countries north of the Alps who had journeyed to Rome to venerate the memory of the Apostles. These Halls were provided with their own churches and cemeteries, and staffed by priests and clerics of their respec­tive nationalities, who provided for the material and spiritual welfare of their people, especially the sick and the poor. In the following centuries other monasteries were built, with their associated hospices for pilgrims. Included among them were Ethiopian or Abyssinian, Hungarian and Armenian Halls. All this happily echoed words of the Apostle Paul: ‘… sharing the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.’ (Pius XII. Apostolic constitution Exsul familia Nazarethana, I, August 1, 1952)

  • The provident enterprises of Mother Church are unjustly assailed, scorned and overlooked by her enemies

These timely projects have seemed altogether worth noting here. Initiated by this Apostolic See, they were undertaken by the bishops with the eager co-operation of priests, members of religious communities and laymen. The names of these collaborators, although, for the most part, not recorded in history books, are nevertheless written in heaven. Again, these works have appeared worth recounting here, if only briefly, so that the universal and benevolent activity of the Church on behalf of migrants and exiles of every kind –to whom she has extended every possible aid: religious, moral and social – might thus become better appreciated. Besides, it seemed that these things badly needed to be publicized, especially in our times, when the provident enterprises of Mother Church are so unjustly assailed by her enemies and scorned and overlooked, even in the very field of charity where she was first to break ground and often the only to continue its cultivation. (Pius XII. Apostolic constitution Exsul familia Nazarethana, I, August 1, 1952)

John Paul II­­

  • In the Church’s history, missionary drive is a sign of vitality

For in the Church’s history, missionary drive has always been a sign of vitality, just as its lessening is a sign of a crisis of faith. (John Paul II. Encyclical Redemptoris missio, no. 2, December 7, 1990)


Discover another innovation:

Sin-título-336Does the Church have defects?

One thought on ““This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige”

  1. In EG, “Francis” writes:

    “This way of thinking also feeds the vainglory of those who are content to have a modicum of power and would rather be the general of a defeated army than a mere private in a unit which continues to fight.”

    Some one forgot to tell Bergoglio that even defeated general still have some troops. But FrancisChurch is quickly running out of them. Here are just two examples about the “vaporizing” post-conciliar church from the past month:

    https://sarmaticusblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/epic-francisfail-how-is-it-that-no-one-seen-it-coming/

    and

    https://sarmaticusblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/plus-ca-change-plus-cest-la-meme-chose/

    Given the reality on the ground, one has to wonder if Francis and the N.O. sect are in fact delusional and writing this stuff just to cover up their incompetence and stupidity or if there is in fact a more sinister motive. Rereading EG no 95, it would appear that they are really bent on destroying the Church as an Institution.

    In the above light, the passage:

    “…whose principal beneficiary is not God’s people but the Church as an institution. The mark of Christ, incarnate, crucified and risen, is not present; closed and elite groups are formed, and no effort is made to go forth and seek out those who are distant or the immense multitudes who thirst for Christ.”

    takes on an entirely new and chilling meaning. The language is not figurative but rather is in fact literally a dreamt up project, meticulously planned, of a mad general.”

    Sheer madness!

    God help us all!

    Like

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