Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Social Kingship of Christ, the Albegensian Crusade, and the Cancel Culture


As we approach “Christ the King” on the new calendar, Mike Turner’s talk today (at the Dominican meeting) on the history of St Dominic is timely. In St Dominic's time, the Holy Father called a crusade against the Albegensians of southern France. In that time, the Catholic world had a very different understanding of the relationship between Church and state. The “social kingship of Christ” was an acknowledged and integral part of the civil order, and had been since Constantine. The civil authority recognized that the Church provided peace in the civil order, and a pope could depose a king, and a king could not go to war without the permission of the pope.  It was understood by all that how one thought affected the entire civil order; and that heresy was destructive of the civil order. St Thomas taught that social evil be tolerated when to eradicate it would be a greater evil than the target evil itself.  For example, divorce has traditionally been proscribed by law and thus kept under control; but when law fails to proscribe a social evil, it expands its grip on society, with resulting social disintegration.   Hence the Church in Dominic’s time had “tolerated” heresy until the evil of the heresy was greater than the cost of suppressing it. Hence the crusade against the Albegensians, who were destroying the civil order in southern France. A response was warranted, to prevent the moral and social destruction of the culture.   


The American notion of separation of church and state makes it hard to grasp the understanding that once was how everyone thought.   In the American experiment, the American Founders did not share the notion of the Social Kingship of Christ, and instead had a view that the state should view all religions then present equally, enshrining the error of religious indifferentism. In our history, we see that Maryland was established by Catholic refugees, who tolerated the Puritans, who then took over the colony and outlawed the Catholic religion and put a death penalty on Catholic Priests.


My point is that St Thomas taught a well-reasoned approach to the civil order in toleration of evil.  A Dominican Friar who failed to follow this and who gained fame (infamy) was Savonarola, who tried to create a Catholic enclave of perfection, creating effectively a police state to rat out people who sinned in such minor ways as playing cards at home.  He opposed the Holy Father’s order to desist (forever gaining the adulation of liberals by opposing the Holy Father), but in an act of charity, surrendered himself to save his brethren.


Intolerance, then, is the extreme which brooks no opposition to the received faith.  This was seen in England, with the violent suppression of the Catholic Faith under a series of ascendant protestant sects and rulers (see Cranmer’s Godly Order by Michael Davies).  This played out across protestant Europe, and as I mentioned, even in the North American colonies, where “freedom of religion” meant that a formerly repressed sect could have the ascendancy and suppress all the others.


Michael’s mention of the Albegensian Crusade gave me the thought that the modern “cancel culture” is a return to a way of thinking that is not modern, but ancient; the total intolerance of thought that is against the prevailing order; in this case, the zeitgeist. The world saw this under the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany and the USSR, and all the attempted “perfect societies” that were spawned by the “errors of Russia” warned against at Fatima.  To even think against the prevailing authority is considered subversive, because it is. Hence the intolerant intuitively understand that the very thought of truth is potentially dissolving of the “perfection” that they seek to impose by force, and hence must be “canceled” by whatever means necessary.


So while we may not grasp the traditional teaching of the "Social Kingship of Christ", the enemy does.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

FIUV Statement on Covid Communion on the Tongue

A press release from the FIUV. PDF version here.

Foederatio Internationalis 
Una Voce

Quae patronum invocat sanctum Gregorium Magnum Papam.

Press Release: Communion in the Hand and Epidemic

In light of the recent statement (and here) by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, in the United States of America, on social distancing during the reception of Holy Communion, and related issues surrounding the reception of Holy Communion around the world in the context of the Coronavirus epidemic, the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV) would like to make the following observations.

1. In the Ordinary Form, the universal law of the Church gives every Catholic the right to receive on the tongue. This was reaffirmed by the Congregation of Divine Worship in the context of earlier public health concerns, the so-called ‘Swine flu’ epidemic of 2009. (See for example RedemptionisSacramentum (2004) 92; Letter of the Congregation of Divine Worship 24th July 2009, Prot. N. 655/09/L.)

2. In the Extraordinary Form, the universal law of the Church allows for the reception of Holy Communion only on the tongue. (See UniversaeEcclesiae (2011) 28; MemorialeDomini (1969).)

3. In neither case can the law of the Church be set aside by the Ordinary.

4. The problem of maintaining physical distance between Minister and Communicant during the Reception of Holy Communion applies equally to Reception in the Hand as to Reception on the Tongue. In both cases Minister and Communicant are obliged to come close to each other, if only for a short time, and without touching. It is difficult to see how even the use of an instrument such as a pair of tongs (for which there are historical precedents) would enable Minister and Communicant to maintain a distance of six feet or two meters.

5. Canon law is rightly very restrictive in the penalties which bishops can impose on their priests for the breach of regulations of their own devising. Bishop Rodi’s attempt to prohibit priests who do not obey his regulations to celebrate public Masses—something which amounts to a partial suspension of a priest—goes beyond what Canon law would appear to justify. (See Canons 1316-1319).

6. It has become increasingly evident that there is no clear scientific basis for the claim that Reception on the Tongue is more likely to transmit the Coronavirus than Reception in the Hand. This has been the expert advice given to Archbishop Sample of Portland, Oregon, USA, and to Archbishop José Antonio Eguren, of Piura, Peru, and it is also the view of the experts involved in the guidelines of the Thomistic Institute of Washington, DC, in the USA. If any bishops around the world are in possession of studies or expert opinions in conflict with this growing consensus, it behooves them to make these public as a matter of urgency.

7. Where local circumstances demand it, the suspension of the Reception of Holy Communion, of the celebration of Masses open to the public, and even the opening of churches for private prayer, have been ordered by bishops and public authorities. These measures are at least even-handed and, insofar as they are justified by genuine public health concerns, do not infringe the rights of the Faithful. As these measures are gradually lifted around the world, we urge bishops to continue to act in accordance with expert advice, not arbitrarily picking out certain priests and faithful for greater restrictions than those imposed on others, and with respect for the rights of the Faithful.

The President and Officers of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, 8th June 2020


About the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV)

The FIUV represents the needs and concerns of the world-wide laity attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition, the Extraordinary Form. It has more than 45 member associations from Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia.

The Federation has a biennial General Assembly in Rome, and publishes a magazine twice a year, Gregorius Magnus.



President, Felipe Alanís Suarez:
Secretary, Dr Joseph Shaw:
Treasurer, Monika Rheinschmitt:

With thanks to Rorate Caeli

Friday, June 05, 2020

A meditation on suffering

The radical and complete surrender of your will to Christ – Knowing that He is in charge.

Instead of suffering because things are not the way you want them, suffer united with Christ knowing that He will make all things right in accord with His Will.  Love His Will, not yours. Make His Will first, not yours.  No one ever suffered as much as He, to give freedom to us all to love and obey Him, or to reject Him. Embrace your daily cross because that is where He is to accompany you.

And follow the admonition of St Theresa of Avila, echoing the words of St Augustine;

Work as though everything depends on you, pray as though everything depends on God.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

What is "Catholic Social Justice"? Most likely not what you think - fix your thinking!!

The following is from Michael Greaney at the Center for Economic and Social Justice:
Misunderstanding of the development of the concept of social justice to counter the “new things” of socialism, modernism, and the New Age is pervasive in our day. Briefly, many people confuse the act of social justice with measures directed to the good of individuals, not to the common good. The act of social justice is not, however, a substitute or supplement for individual justice or charity, but a corrective intended to restructure institutions to make it possible for the individual virtues to function so that individuals can meet their own needs through their own efforts.
Read the rest of the article here


Thursday, April 02, 2020

Something to think about

A More Horrifying Kind of Death
St Augustine

…[C]onsider, and understand that more horrifying kind of death everyone who sins dies. But every man is afraid of the death of the flesh; few, of the death of the soul. In regard to the death of the flesh, which must certainly come sometime, all are on their guard against its approach: this is the source of all their labour. Man, destined to die, labours to avert his dying; and yet man, destined to live forever, labours not to cease from sinning. And when he labours to avoid dying, he labours to no purpose, for its only result will be to put off death for a while, not to escape it; but if he refrain from sinning, his toil will cease, and he shall live forever. Oh that we could arouse men, and be ourselves aroused along with them, to be as great lovers of the life that abides, as men are of that which passes away! Tractate 49 on the Gospel of John

Credit "Stones Will Shout"