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Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday Meditation: Let's Talk about Liberals and Liberalism.

Believe it! The Philosophy of Liberalism Brings about the Destruction of Man!

This post was spurred by listening to the fourth episode in the SSPX Crisis in the Church series with Fr. Steven Reuter. I have a special appreciation for Fr. Reuter because he is the priest who inspired my husband and me to return to the Traditional Latin Mass. 

During the lockdowns when our churches were closed, Fr. Reuter and several other priests and seminarians from the seminary in Dillwyn, VA traveled the five hour round trip to bring the Mass to the fairgrounds in Front Royal. While bishops everywhere shut down the Masses, even when they were not required by state governments to do so, these generous and self-sacrificing shepherds fed us the Body and Blood of Christ. Like chaplains to warriors on the battlefield, they recognized the culture war and the attack on God and our sacred faith and responded heroically.

Mass on the Battlefield at Iwo Jima

As for our worldly bishops, sad to say, almost all of them considered the Eucharist non-essential.  But not those dear shepherds of the SSPX. Many Catholics, like us, discovered anew the absolute glory of the Mass of the Ages, the same Mass defended by the recusants in England under Henry and Elizabeth and the Catholics of the Vendee, victims of a ruthless genocide by the atheistic revolutionary government in France. I have never felt so united to the saints and martyrs of the past than I do now.

And so God, in His Providence, brought much good out of our  bishops' action, or should I say, inaction. Many Catholics discovered or re-discovered the blessing of the TLM which gives such honor and glory to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 


This post will look at liberalism and liberals, a heresy that is tearing apart our country and even our Church. (The Synod on Synodality is liberalism on steroids!)

Let's start by defining terms. You can't understand or have a conversation about anything if you don't know what you are talking about. So I'm going to get very specific about definitions and the nature of things, something Socrates always did in his dialogues.

So what is "liberalism?" Before I define it, I'll start with some background.

In 1899, a Spanish priest, Fr. Felix Sarda Y Salvany, wrote a book called Liberalism is a Sin. The work was immediately condemned by...guess who...LIBERALS led by a leftist bishop who instigated a response attacking Fr. Sarda! (Nothing new: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.) The bishop asked the Sacred Congregation of the Index (merged in 1917 with the Holy Office later the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) to condemn the work for its many errors. Unfortunately for the critics, the Congregation found the book not only free from error, but sent this letter in reply:

The Sacred Congregation of the Index has received the denunciation of the little work bearing the title "El Liberalismo es Pecado" by Don Felix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of your diocese; the denunciation (pg. iii) was accompanied at the same time by another little work entitled "El Proceso del Integrismo," that is "a refutation of the errors contained in the little work El Liberalismo es Pecado." The author of the second work is D. de Pazos, a canon of the diocese of Vich.

Wherefore the Sacred Congregation has carefully examined both works, and decided as follows: In the first not only is nothing found contrary to sound doctrine, but its author, D. Felix Sarda merits great praise for his exposition and defense of the sound doctrine therein set forth with solidity, order and lucidity, and without personal offense to anyone.

The same judgement, however, cannot be passed on the other work by D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of D. Sarda, than against the latter's supposed errors. [The same thing we see today with ad hominem attacks all over social media!]

Therefore the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos, admonished by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from circulation, and in future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to abstain from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of true Christian charity; and this all the more (iv) since Our Holy Father Leo XIII., while he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither desires nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.

Wow! We could use this Congregation today to examine the documents coming from Francis! 

So how did Fr. Sarda define liberalism?

The absolute sovereignty of the individual in his entire independence of God and God's authority. XXXIII

It does not end with the individual, however. Liberalism poisons society:

The absolute sovereignty of society in its entire independence of everything which does not proceed from itself. XXXIV

Absolute civil sovereignty in the implied right of the people to make their own laws in entire independence and utter disregard of any other criterion than the popular will expressed at the polls and in parliamentary majorities. XXXV
Absolute freedom of thought in politics, morals, or in religion. The unrestrained liberty of the press. XXXVI

Fr. Sarda sums up liberalism  in this chilling paragraph:

Liberalism is a world complete in itself; it has its maxims, its fashions, its art, its literature, its diplomacy, its laws, its conspiracies, its ambuscades. It is the world of Lucifer, disguised in our times under the name of Liberalism, in radical opposition and in perpetual warfare against that society composed of the Children of God, the Church of Jesus Christ. [Think about the meeting of the World Economic Forum that just ended - talk about the "world of Lucifer!]
Faces of evil and ignorance! (Getty Images/KJN)

And this is Fr. Reuter's definition of a liberal:

A liberal is a fanatic for independence. He extols it to the point of absurdity in every domain.

No dogma! Anything goes. Liberty for all, any perversity enthusiastically embraced with one exception. NO LIBERTY FOR THE CHILDREN OF GOD WHO FOLLOW HIS LAW OF LOVE. As soon as a person recognizes an objective order and natural law to which all must submit, he is vilified and rejected. 

Fr. Reuter went on to point out that even the intellect is not constrained by anything, including reality. "The mind is freed from the order of being." The highest of man's faculties, human reason, is severed from any objective truth. "Whom the gods (Satan and his demons) would destroy, they first make mad." As Fr. Reuter pointed out, "Once you are separated from truth, you can be easily enslaved: to the state, to your passions, etc." Nothing is stable; everything is in constant flux. What you believed yesterday is irrelevant if you want to believe something different today. 

And isn't that exactly where we are? Everyone used to believe that babies in the womb were babies -- until some people wanted to kill them for convenience. Then they became "blobs of protoplasm", "a clump of cells", "just fetuses." Everyone used to know that there were two sexes, men and women, genetically determined by their DNA. Then some men who felt like women and women who felt like men decided thinking and drugs and surgery could make them what they never were and never could be! The examples of cultural insanity spurred by liberalism are legion. Whenever man throws out objective truth and reality, whenever he replaces God with his own sinful self, his society becomes chaotic and often violent. Liberating the conscience from reality and truth, from God's law, never results in liberty; but in slavery. Are the drug addicts on the streets of our cities free? 

Freedom comes with embracing God, the source of all love who desires our happiness. Yes, let's shout it from the housetops. God wants us to be happy! He wrote the rule book because He made us and his rules are the users manual to guarantee that we, his creatures, function properly. Will your car run if you put sugar in the gas tank?

Are ultimate goal is to get to heaven and be happy with God for all eternity. That means all our choices should be made in the light of eternity. Making ourselves our own little tinpot god never makes us happy. I could give you dozens of personal example of people who told me, "I have a right to be happy," while they made choices guaranteeing their misery. 

What's the answer? To restore all things in Christ.

Let us all pray and work for that! 

May Jesus Christ be praised!

1 comment:

  1. King Charles III?... Evil or ignorant?... He revels in his title, 'Defender of the faith' and once proclaimed his preference for the title, 'Defender of all Faiths'. That displays his ignorance and ignorance is or can be a precursor to evil.