Surrendering to the Spirit of the Age

Since Jesus famously took out a coin and said "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's" the Church and State have been separated. As St. Augustine famously put it, there is a city of God and a city of Man. The Middle Ages illustrated that division more than most eras; with the relative weakness of political rulers the Catholic Church exercised considerable authority on a temporal level. That authority proved too great for the invading Islamic armies, who never were able to gain a foothold in Western Europe, while in the East, where the successor to the Roman Empire held the Church in a vassal state, Islam flourished and eventually drove the Orthodox Churches out. The bifurcation of power in the West made them strong, able to resist the invasion of the resurrected Arian and Manichean heresy that was Islam. And when the Catholic Church grew too chummy with the political powers there was a rebellion (the Protestant Reformation) which fractured the ability of the ruling class to use religion as a tool of societal domination.

But the rise of modern statism and the subsequent retreat of Christianity made it easy to secularize and conquer. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, the old saying goes, and the Progressive/Leftist movement has spent decades subverting Christianity. How?

Like the human brain, the Church has two hemispheres, one spiritual and one worldly. In fact, in Catholicism there are two sets of works of mercy, the spiritual and the corporal. Jesus understood the physical/corporal needs of the people, and he fed them, clothed them, healed their illnesses. But was that his mission? No; Jesus did not come to heal the bodies of people who would die in this world and be forever out in the cold in the next (or in the heat, if you prefer). The most fundamental mission of Jesus was to die and be resurrected and by so doing open the road to Heaven for Humanity. In the case of Christianity, the spiritual hemisphere is the greater of the two; the City of God reigns over the City of Man.

Or so it should. One of the ways the Left has sought to destroy the Church is by promoting and embracing the corporal works over the spiritual. It is not because they want to help people but rather they want to destroy Christianity, and to do so they must wage war with Christian's own tools. The Social Gospel is a bludgeon to beat the Gospel of Salvation. Most liberals do not believe in the Christian concept of Salvation, thinking that they are just fine as they are and that there likely is no afterlife anyway. Corporal works are elevated, and this numbs the average Christian who want to obey the teachings of Christ to feed the hungry and cloth the naked. So, numerous Catholics supported Barack Obama, despite his positions being antithetical to most Catholic teachings, simply because he has usurped the corporal works of mercy. Many of these same Catholics will vote for Hillary for the same reason; they think she is in tune with Catholic beliefs because she wants to steal money from some to give to others and call it charity. Real charity is a voluntary act done on an individual level. Forced charity is nothing but theft, and it steals the opportunity of the giver to practice virtue. Oh... and it doesn't work; few beneficiaries of the welfare state will have anything but a subsistence level of existence. It is a tool for enslaving swaths of the population.

The Eternal Things -- the Soul, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Angels and Demons -- are to become children's fables, things that no serious person could believe. Atheist John Lennon gave us the roadmap in his song “Imagine”:

“Imagine there’s no Heaven… No Hell below us… Imagine all the People living for today."

Which brings us to the recent Wikileaks e-mail dump. Hillary’s Consiglier John Podesta conspired with Voice for Progress founder Sandy Newman:

“There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church,” Sandy Newman, president and founder of the progressive nonprofit Voices for Progress, writes to Podesta in an email titled “opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing.”…

“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up,” Podesta writes…"

Catholicism is not a democracy, and for a good reason. The Creator of all that is, was, could be, and might be did not make "suggestions" when He commanded things. "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is not open to negotiation, for instance; it is a command, one that must be obeyed or you will suffer the consequences.

Christianity is ultimately about eternal things. Therein lies the problem with so much of modern Christianity; it disdains the spiritual, ultimate purpose in favor of a social gospel. Jesus commanded that we do good works, the "corporal mercies" but only as part of the bigger picture, which is to save souls from eternal damnation. Feeding a poor person whom you then bless on their road to hell is of absolutely no value. Jesus said "if your eye offends thee, pluck it out; it is better to enter the Kingdom of Heaven with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into Hell."

Or as Paul put it, "what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?"

So the purpose of Christianity is not to feed someone who will be hungry tomorrow but to save them from a far worse fate. Gay marriage, abortion, promiscuity, etc. lead to just such a fate. Catholicism cannot in any way "come out of the Middle Ages" and still have any purpose in this world. Modernism for the Church is suicide.

And frankly, it is the antithesis of love to excuse something that will lead a person to damnation. We correct our children out of love, after all. It may seem cruel to the child but we know better. Rebelling against the Word of God is much like rebelling against gravity; you are free to do so but you had better be prepared to suffer and perhaps die. A good Catholic does not want that for another.

The Pope is believed by Catholics to be infallible under certain unique circumstances (ex cathedra) and he and the Church hierarchy are to be listened to although not necessarily followed blindly. This predates the Middle Ages, I might add.

In Matthew 15:10 Jesus tells Peter, the first Pope:

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

In other words, the Pope is the boss (at least as Catholics see it) and matters of faith and morals are not open to a vote.

In typical liberal fashion, Newman takes this doctrine back to the Middle Ages, a time the Left has trashed because it serves their own purposes. (Ask a Medieval historian about the Middle Ages and you will get a very different picture than the one painted by modern consensus.) Podesta ignores, too, the fact that things like gay marriage are historically unprecedented and that by virtue of legal precedent alone one should be very wary of it. No society in history has allowed two people of the same sex to marry. The first time it ever happened was with the same sex partnership law of Sweden 1994. The first actual homosexual marriage law was signed in 2000 in the Netherlands (on Dec. 21, the pagan winter solstice, I might add.)

Before that, nada. The pro-homosexual wing makes much ado about classical Greeks sodomizing young teen boys (pederasty) but Plato saw this as an abomination and proposed the death penalty for homosexual behavior. And it further should be pointed out that the Greek city-states allied against Athens -- center of this abominable custom -- during the Peloponnesian wars, and that Greeks enjoyed a horrible reputation in the ancient world as a result of tolerating this.

The fact is that history is against so many of the "innovations" of the modern Left. Newman ignores Natural Law. He ignores historical precedent. He ignores the spiritual nature of Catholicism. He is either woefully ignorant of the reality that is Catholicism or he simply ignores it because his god is the Progressive world order.

That said, Catholicism has been suffering attacks from the inside -- his "Catholic Spring" -- for quite some time. Liberation Theology, a creation of the Soviet Union, is one such example. Pope Francis had ties to Liberation Theology, which promotes a Marxist model for Christian works i.e. it's a revolutionary movement designed to co-opt Christian elements. (Pope John Paul II formally banned it, but Francis is allowing it to come back.)

And the pedophilia scandal in the Church was a direct result of a concerted effort by "progressive" types to remold the church, to reform it as a more worldly and cosmopolitan entity. It should be pointed out that there may well be as many -- or more -- pedophiles in public schools. Sexual immorality is the cornerstone of Progressive modernism, and the Church is simply following along with the rest of the creepy clowns.

Meanwhile, you have the subversion of funds from things like the Archdiocesan Development Appeal to fund radical leftists like ACORN. 

I give you -- and Newman and Podesta -- St. Anthony the Abbot - Fourth Century:

"Men will surrender to the spirit of the age. They will say that if they had lived in our day, faith would be simple and easy. But in their day, they will say, things are complex; the Church must be brought up to date and made meaningful to the day's problems. When the Church and the world are one, then those days are at hand."

And as was stated by Our Lady of LaSalette in a Church-approved apparition of Mary in 1846:

"All the civil governments will have one and the same plan, which will be to abolish and do away with every religious principle to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritualism and vice of all kinds."

The Church by its very nature is conservative because it deals with the absolutes, with things permanent and eternal. The concept of modernizing the Church is a slippery one because the human temptation is to embrace the World and enjoy the rebellion against God. Yes, it may be important to update certain external trappings of the Church, but it must not be at the expense of the fundamental purpose of Catholicism and Christianity in general, which is to guide as many souls as possible to Heaven. The liberals want us to forget that purpose.

What value does the Church have outside of that?

Hat tip: Jack Kemp

Contact Tim at