Part XII: The Synod on the Family, Joseph Ratzinger, And the Destruction of the Catholic Mind

The Synod on the Family, Joseph Ratzinger,
And the Loss of the Catholic Mind

Introduction:

It is my belief that a widespread blindness and superficiality largely reigns among traditional Catholics as to the roots of the crisis which is constituted by the Papacy of Pope Francis, exemplified especially by what clearly appears to be his agenda in regard to the Synod on the Family. Presently, this superficiality would seem to extend to two primary errors. These errors, in turn, are prohibitive of that true understanding necessary to effect a solution.

The first of these errors sees the source of this crisis as being Vatican II and its consequences. When seen rightly, however, the negative phenomena of Vatican II and its aftermath are the cancerous excrescence which burst forth after a long infidelity and prostitution of the Church to the world, especially the world of reductive science.

The second error views the Papacy of Pope Francis as a unique abnormality, and pines for a return to the Papacy of Benedict XVI. This is a delusion which fails to understand that the words and actions of the former are the fully “natural” consequences of the philosophical and theological principles extensively laid out in the writings of the latter. As clearly documented below, Joseph Ratzinger was in fact a primary architect of the poisonous philosophical and theological thinking which has created this crisis. Traditional Catholics have been blinded to this fact largely because of Summorum Pontificum and the increased accessibility to the Traditional Latin Mass which this has enabled. However, if “having” the Traditional Mass did not prevent Vatican II and its consequences, it will not by itself prevent what is now in the making.

Most of what is contained here is to be found in my other writings. I have labored to bring them together in this present context simply as an effort to make a more concise argument as to the cause of our present dilemma, and the course which must be taken.

What is most extraordinary about the proceedings of the recent Synod on the Family is that it exposed the fact that the majority of Bishops, while acknowledging the indissolubility of marriage, yet were willing to consider a pastoral practice which would readmit to Holy communion divorced and remarried persons. That such a position involved stark contradiction was noted by some commentators. How such a contradiction could exist within the minds of supposedly intelligent Catholic bishops (including Pope Francis) has not, as far as I have seen, been explained. This article will attempt to fill the void.

It is in the mind and writings of Joseph Ratzinger that we will find the explanation.

The publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s complete works has recently brought to public attention a 1972 article of Joseph Ratzinger in which, while acknowledging the fact that marriage is indissoluble in the eyes of the Catholic Church, he also argued that if “a second marriage showed evidence of having taken on a moral and ethical dimension and ‘lived in the spirit of faith’ with ‘moral obligations’ to wife and children, then an opening toward [reception] of the Eucharist, after a period of probation, ‘seems to be nothing more than fair and completely in keeping with the Church’s line of tradition.’” (quote taken from Marco Tosatti’s article –reprinted on the website Rorate Caeli). As expressed in the original 1972 article, Joseph Ratzinger’s position obviously anticipated the position of Cardinal Walter Kasper. It has been employed by Cardinal Kasper to reinforce and justify his own position, and it perfectly expresses the contradiction mentioned above.

Succinctly stated, what this position means is that someone living in mortal sin may be admitted to Holy Communion. As such, it entails a denial in pastoral practice of the teaching of Holy Scripture, a denial of the concept of sanctifying grace and its necessity for receiving Holy Communion, and, implicitly, a denial of the Church’s immutable doctrine concerning these realities. It is, in other words, a denial of the Principle of Non-Contradiction.

Apologists for Pope Benedict XVI, both Neo-conservative and Traditionalist, have been quick to come to his defense. They have pointed out that in letters published by the CDF (of which Cardinal Ratzinger was the Prefect) in 1994 and 1998, Cardinal Ratzinger reaffirmed the traditional teaching refusing readmission to communion of the divorced and remarried, and that Pope Benedict did the same in the document Sacramentum caritatis – the concluding document of the 2005 Synod on the Eucharist. Thus, he now apparently contradicts his own previous position of having contradicted the constant teaching of the Church concerning the readmission of divorced and remarried persons to Sacramental Communion.

What is most disturbing is that, according to numerous reports, the obviously controversial and doctrinally compromised passage quoted above from the 1972 article has been deleted from the article as it now appears in the newly published edition of Pope Benedict’s complete works. Apologists for Benedict XVI claim that this entails that he has completely reversed his position. However, they mention no in-text explanation for this deletion by either the editor or Pope Benedict XVI himself (it is almost impossible to imagine that the editor would have taken upon himself this deletion without Benedict’s personal involvement) – no footnote explaining the reason, no apology, no acknowledgment of the extensive damage it may have caused over the years. It is as though we were here dealing with “another” Ratzinger, an immature theologian, who was not the same man, and of the same thought as the man who is with us today. The impression given is that he was then a young man who may have sometimes not-quite thought with the Church, that he has completely reversed his position on this issue, and that he is now a person who thinks in complete accord with the theology and doctrine of the Church – in other words, no big deal.

But that is not the only possible explanation. It is, in fact, not the true explanation.

I have read the entire, original 1972 article. What apologists for Joseph Ratzinger fail to mention is that the problem does not just lie in one or two passages. The entire article is devoted to proving that “below the threshold” (the phrase is Joseph Ratzinger’s – he also uses the phrase “beneath or within this ideal form”) of the Church’s immutable dogmatic position runs a tradition which is “not entirely senseless” and which provides for a “leeway for pastoral practice” which tolerates Sacramental Communion for the divorced and remarried. Joseph Ratzinger uses the teachings of Origen, Gregory II, The Decretum Gratiani, and even the Council of Trent in order to try to make the case for his conclusion, which is simply summarized in the above-quoted, now-deleted passage. In other words, the deletion of this single passage solves nothing. What is needed in order to absolve Pope Benedict from being in the enemy’s camp is an admission on his part that the entire article is wrong, and that he explicitly renounces the thesis which is the subject of the whole thing.

As Pope Pius X pointed out in Pascendi, the Modernist is perfectly capable of proposing heresy when functioning as a scholar among scholars, while at the same time (or later), appearing to teach (or issue documents) in an orthodox manner when dealing with the Catholic faithful, or when he is forced by the Magisterium to do so (as, apparently, did Joseph Ratzinger upon the issuance of John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio). This does not at all prevent him from continuing to employ what Pius X called “arts entirely new” in order to promote agendas which are directly or indirectly in contradiction with traditional Catholic theology and doctrine. This is made possible because the Modernist has rejected the most basic principles of Catholic intelligence and, as a consequence, dialectical self-contradiction has entered into the deepest fibers of his own thought and being. As we shall see, this is clearly the case with Joseph Ratzinger.

What follows constitutes an examination of certain foundational principles of Catholic thought, and their clear rejection by Joseph Ratzinger. I have freely employed passages from my other articles. I strongly recommend reading my entire corpus on this subject, which is to be found on my website at www.waragainstbeing.com. (my articles referenced herein are all posted there).

Rejection of the Catholic Concept of Divine Revelation

The first principle is that God has revealed the fullness of His Truth to man in Catholic Revelation (contained in both Scripture and Tradition), and that this Revelation ceased upon the death of the last Apostle. It is this Catholic doctrine which is the foundation of the immutability of all of Catholic Dogma, and it is this which is denied in the evolutionary theology of Joseph Ratzinger. The following is from his 1998 book Milestones (he is here discussing his early work on Bonaventure):

“At this time [during the writing of his habilitation] the idea of salvation history had moved to the focus of inquiry posed by Catholic theology and this had cast new light on the notion of revelation, which neoscholasticism had kept too confined to the intellectual realm. Revelation now appeared no longer simply as a communication of truths to the intellect but as a historical action of God in which truth becomes gradually unveiled. Therefore, I was to try to discover whether in Bonaventure there was anything corresponding to the concept of salvation history, and whether this motif – if it should exist – had any relationship with the idea of revelation.”(p.104) {bold emphasis mine].

Three pages later he reaches the following conclusion:

“I had ascertained that in Bonaventure (as well as in theologians of the thirteenth century) there was nothing corresponding to our conception of 'revelation', by which we are normally in the habit of referring to all the revealed contents of the faith: it has even become a part of linguistic usage to refer to Sacred Scripture simply as 'revelation'. Such an identification would have been unthinkable in the language of the High Middle Ages. Here, 'revelation' is always a concept denoting an act. The word refers to the act in which God shows himself, not to the objectified result of this act [read “Dogma”]. And because this is so, the receiving subject is always also a part of the concept of 'revelation'.”

Once Revelation becomes a matter of “gradual unveiling”, any individual doctrine sacrifices its claim to be “written in stone”, and therefore loses all absoluteness and immutability in regard to either its formulation or meaning. Further, once the “receiving subject” becomes “part of the concept of ‘revelation’”, then all of Revelation loses Absoluteness and becomes subject in its content to finite individual subjectivity. All of Truth becomes a matter of the development of an evolutionary relationship between God and man.

Obviously, however, neither Joseph Ratzinger, nor any person who claims to be Catholic, can totally dismiss the importance of Catholic doctrine. While having lost its objective “absoluteness” in the act of faith, it therefore must be brought back in “by arts entirely new” in a relativistic and relationalistic role. The following passage from Introduction to Christianity ( p. 96-98) constitutes Joseph Ratzinger’s “art” in this regard:

“Our consideration of the history of the Apostles' Creed has led us to the recognition that here, in the baptismal formulary, Christian doctrine stands before us in its original shape and, thus, also in its primitive form, what we today call “dogma.” Originally there was no such thing as a series of doctrinal propositions that could be enumerated one after another and entered in a book as a well-defined body of dogmas. Such a notion, which today may be difficult to resist, would have to be described as a misconception of the nature of the Christian assent to the God revealed in Christ [out the window goes the Baltimore Catechism, not to mention the Dogmatic Decrees of the Council of Trent].The content of the Christian faith has its inalienable place in the context of the profession of faith, which is, as we saw, in the form of assent and renunciation, a conversion, an about-turn of human existence into a new direction of life. In other words, Christian doctrine does not exist in the form of discrete propositions but in the unity of the symbolum, as the ancient Church called the baptismal profession of faith. This is probably the moment to look rather more closely at the meaning of this word. Symbolum comes from symballein, meaning in English: to come together, to throw together. The background to the word's etymology is an ancient usage: two corresponding halves of a ring, a staff, or a tablet were used as tokens of identity for guests, messengers, or partners to a treaty. Possession of the corresponding piece entitled the holder to receive a thing or simply to hospitality. A symbolum is something that points to its complementary other half and thus creates mutual recognition and unity. It is the expression and means of unity.

"Thus in the description of the creed or profession of faith as the symbolum we have at the same time a profound interpretation of its true nature. For in fact this is just what the original meaning or aim of dogmatic formulations in the Church was: to facilitate a common profession of faith in God, common worship of him. As sym-bolum, it points to the other person, the unity of spirit in the one Word. To this extent, dogma (or symbol, respectively) is also always, as Rahner has rightly pointed out, an arrangement of words that from a purely intellectual point of view could have been quite different yet, precisely as a form of words, has its own significance – that of uniting people in the community of the confessing word. It is not a piece of doctrine standing isolated in and for itself but is the form of our worship of God....”

This reduction of creeds and dogmas to intellectual forms which “could have been quite different”, and which merely facilitate unity as a common “form of our worship of God” clearly amounts to a denial of the Catholic teaching concerning Dogma as a Deposit of Faith which is Absolute and Immutable. As Vatican I teaches:

“For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention, to be perfected by human ingenuity; but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ, to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence also, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our holy Mother the Church has once declared; nor is that meaning ever to be departed from, under the pretext of a deeper comprehension of them.”

Joseph Ratzinger continues:

“This discovery also points, it is true, in another direction: even the Church herself, as a whole, still holds the faith only as a symbolum, as a broken half, which signifies truth only in its endless reference to something beyond itself, to the entirely Other. It is only through the infinitely broken nature of the symbol that faith presses forward as man's continual effort to go beyond himself and reach up to God.” [author – all bold emphasis in the above quotes is mine – italics are Joseph Ratzinger's]

The Church, sent by Christ, is the formulator of creeds and the symbolum. If the creed, and the truths it contains, is always a broken thing and incomplete, always in “endless reference to something other”, always something which “could have been quite different”, then this is justification for the Church herself to be considered the supreme agent of doctrinal change and evolution. And the Pope becomes the master change-agent and essentializer.

It is profoundly tragic that Fr. Ratzinger never seems to have understood the real and very profound nature of the symbolum. Our confession of faith is called a symbolum not because doctrine is always a broken and incomplete thing, but rather because we are broken. The subjection of our minds and hearts to the objective truth which constitutes the creed and other revealed truths of our faith is what heals our brokenness and ushers us into union with God. It is revealed, purely-objective Truth, which not only sets us free, but makes us whole. The past forty years of chaos in the Church are the fruit of having rejected this simple fact.

All of the above is much more extensively discussed in my article The Quintessential Evolutionist.

Rejection of the Principle of Non-Contradiction

The second foundational principle absolute necessary for “thinking with the Church” is the Principle of Non-Contradiction. Joseph Ratzinger’s denial of this principle is well-illustrated in one of his most famous and pivotal works, Introduction To Christianity:

“The Jansenist Saint-Cyran once made the thought-provoking remark that faith consists of a series of contradictions held together by grace [author's note: We do well here to remember de Lubac's statement that “paradox exists everywhere in reality, before existing in thought.... Oppositions in thought express the contradiction which is the very stuff of creation.” This notion that contradiction is the very fabric of created reality is extremely popular in Modernistic theology and philosophy. It is this theological position which facilitates Modernism being the “synthesis of all heresies”, since many heresies are obviously in contradiction to one another]. He thereby expressed in the realm of theology a discovery that today in physics, as the law of complementarity, belongs to the realm of scientific thought. The physicist is becoming increasingly aware today that we cannot embrace given realities – the structure of light, for example, or of matter in general – in one form of experiment and in one form of statement; that, on the contrary, from different sides we glimpse different aspects, which cannot be traced back to each other. We have to take the two together – say, the structure of particle and wave – without being able to find a comprehensive explanation – as a provisional assessment of the whole, which is not accessible to us as a unified whole because of the restrictions implicit in our point of view. What is true here in the physical realm as a result of the limitations in our ability to observe is true to an incomparably greater degree of the spiritual realities of God. Here, too, we can always look from one side and so grasp only one particular aspect, which seems to contradict the other, yet only when combined with it is a pointer to the whole, which we are incapable of stating or grasping. Only by circling round, by looking and describing from different, apparently contrary angles can we succeed in alluding to the truth, which is never visible to us in its totality.” (p.173-74).

Father Ratzinger does not leave us totally in the realm of the abstract. The doctrine which he is specifically discussing, and to which he applies these criteria of understanding, is the Trinity. He first informs us that dogmatic terms used to define the Trinity (he specifically mentions the terms persona, homousious, and the concept of “proceeding.”) were all once condemned as being heretical. He then states: “One must say, I think, that these condemnations of the later formulas of faith form an intimate part of them: it is only through the negation, and the infinite indirectness implicit in it, that they are usable. The doctrine of the Trinity is only possible as a piece of baffled theology, so to speak.”

In other words, we can only approach the depths of the Trinity by understanding It through the Principle of Contradiction. As Pope Pius X said, in discussing the incredible audacity of the Modernists:

“In short, to maintain and defend these theories they do not hesitate to declare that the noblest homage that can be paid to the Infinite is to make it the object of contradictory statements! But when they justify even contradictions, what is it that they will refuse to justify?” (Pascendi, #36).

We need to understand the profound distortion contained in Joseph Ratzinger’s statements concerning Trinitarian dogma. The theological concepts mentioned by Fr. Ratzinger were all condemned when used falsely or confusedly. However, any honest historical examination of this subject reveals the nature and sources of such confusion, while at the same time it also reveals the profound aptness and intellectual acuteness of the final employment of these terms in formulating doctrinal definitions concerning the Trinity. Thus, when used rightly in regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, they are not in any way mere pieces of “baffled theology,” but are technical theological terms which profoundly reveal truths which supply us with very real and essential, if limited, positive knowledge of the Trinity.

Having said this, let us proceed with Father Ratzinger's analysis of the role which modern physics plays in our contemporary understanding of the faith:

“The intellectual approach of modern physics may offer us more help here than Aristotelian philosophy was able to give. Physicists know today that one can only talk about the structure of matter by approaching the subject from various angles. They know that the position of the observer at any one time affects the result of his investigation of nature. Why should we not be able to understand afresh, on this basis, that in the question of God we must not look, in the Aristotelian fashion [and, obviously, criticism of St. Thomas is also here intended], for an ultimate concept encompassing the whole but must be prepared to find a multitude of aspects that depend on the position of the observer and that we can no longer survey as a whole but only accept alongside each other, without being able to say the final word on the subject? We meet here the hidden interplay of faith and modern thought. That present-day physicists are stepping outside the structure of Aristotelian logic and thinking in this way is surely an effect already of the new dimension that Christian theology has opened up, of its need to think in 'complementarities'. [which, as Fr. Ratzinger has already noted, are often contrary to one another and are therefore also “contradictories”].

"In this connection I should like to mention briefly two other aids to thought provided by physics. E. Schrõdinger has defined the structure of matter as 'parcels of waves' and thereby hit upon the idea of a being that has no substance but is purely actual, whose apparent 'substantiality' really results only from the pattern of movement of superimposed waves. In the realm of matter such a suggestion may well be physically, and in any case philosophically, highly contestable. But it remains an exciting simile for the actualitas divina, for the idea that God is absolutely 'in act' (and not 'in potency'), and for the idea that the densest being – God – can subsist only in a multitude of relations, which are not substances but simply 'waves', and therein form a perfect unity and also the fullness of being....” (Ibid, p. 176-77)

And, having dissolved all substantiality in our concept of God, Father Ratzinger then moves on to denying the possibility of our possessing any purely objective knowledge of God:

“We know today that in a physical experiment the observer himself enters into the experiment and only by doing so can arrive at a physical experience. This means that there is no such thing as pure objectivity even in physics, that even here the result of the experiment, nature's answer, depends on the question put to it. In the answer there is always a bit of the question and a bit of the questioner himself; it reflects not only nature in itself, in its pure objectivity, but also gives back something of man, of what is characteristically ours, a bit of the human subject. This too, mutatis mutandis, is true of the question of God. There is no such thing as pure objectivity. One can even say that the higher an object stands in human terms, the more it penetrates the center of individuality; and the more it engages the beholders individuality, then the smaller the possibility of the mere distancing involved in pure objectivity.” (p. 175).

We can only add that, since God is by definition infinitely “higher” than everything, then, according to the logic of Joseph Ratzinger's criteria, there can be no “objectivity” whatsoever in our understanding of God. He must always remain totally baffling to us.

Rejection of the Catholic Concept of Substantiality

The third foundational principle of all Catholic thinking is that both God and man must be seen as possessing substantial natures. If God does not have an immutable, substantial Nature , then there can be no such thing as Revealed Truths concerning that Nature, and as contained in an immutable Deposit of Faith. There can only be evolving Relationship.

If man does not possess a substantial nature, common to all men at all points in history, then every Catholic doctrine dealing with such things as “Original Nature”, “Original Sin”, “The Fall”, “Sanctifying Grace”, and therefore the entire Sacramental System, is destroyed. It is absolutely integral to all such doctrine that man be seen as having been created with an original, fully-developed, spiritual nature established in original justice and the preternatural gifts.

For Joseph Ratzinger, the entire concept of “substance” has become “inaccessible” to modern man because of the findings of modern physics. In Faith and the Future, he writes:

“…the medieval concept of substance has long since become inaccessible to us. In so far as we use the concept of substance at all today we understand thereby the ultimate particles of matter, and the chemically complex mixture that is bread certainly does not fall into that category [he is here denying the concept of Transubstantiation as involving “substantial” change].” (p. 14).

This rejection of the concept of substance is applied by Joseph Ratzinger not only to physical objects such as bread, but also to God. Here I repeat a passage quoted above:

“In this connection I should like to mention briefly two other aids to thought provided by physics. E. Schrõdinger has defined the structure of matter as 'parcels of waves' and thereby hit upon the idea of a being that has no substance but is purely actual, whose apparent 'substantiality' really results only from the pattern of movement of superimposed waves. In the realm of matter such a suggestion may well be physically, and in any case philosophically, highly contestable. But it remains an exciting simile for the actualitas divina, for the idea that God is absolutely 'in act' (and not 'in potency'), and for the idea that the densest being – God – can subsist only in a multitude of relations, which are not substances but simply 'waves', and therein form a perfect unity and also the fullness of being....” (Introduction to Christianity, p. 175).

In the above passage, Joseph Ratzinger appears to accede to the Thomistic concept of God as being pure Act. But the Thomistic concept of God as Pure Actuality is in direct opposition to any notion that He “can subsist only in a multitude of relations”. Rather, it means that He is purely actuated and subsists totally in His own Supreme Being. The only “necessary” relations for God lie within the Godhead itself, between Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In other words, Joseph Ratzinger’s claim that “God can subsist only in a multitude of relations” constitutes a denial of the Supreme Being of God Himself.

It only remains for us, finally, to examine Joseph Ratzinger’s denial of substantial nature to the human soul. In his book Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life, He writes:

“’The soul’ is our term for that in us which offers a foothold for this relation [with the eternal]. Soul is nothing other than man’s capacity for relatedness with truth, with love eternal.” (p. 259).

And further:

“The challenge to traditional theology today lies in the negation of an autonomous, ‘substantial’ soul with a built-in immortality in favor of that positive view which regards God’s decision and activity as the real foundation of a continuing human existence.” (p. 150).

The primary consequence of this rejection of all substantiality is the embrace of evolution in regard to all things both physical and spiritual. Joseph Ratzinger, in agreement with Teilhard de Chardin (see my article A Living Host: Liturgy, and the Dynamics of Cosmic Evolution In the Thought of Pope Benedict XVI and Teilhard de Chardin), views matter as “the pre-history of spirit” (Credo for Today, p. 45). It follows upon this that the “emergence” of the human soul is also an evolutionary phenomenon. Following are Joseph Ratzinger’s words from Credo for Today:

“This would then lead to the insight that spirit does not enter the picture as something foreign, as a second substance, in addition to matter: the appearance of spirit, according to the previous discussion, means rather that an advancing movement arrives at the goal that has been set for it….The clay became man at that moment in which a being for the first time was capable of forming, however dimly, the thought ‘God.’ The first ‘thou’ that – however stammeringly – was said by human lips to God marks the moment in which spirit arose in the world. Here the Rubicon of anthropogenesis was crossed.” ( p. 46-47).

One can only surmise that Adam’s next act after his initial dim and stammering thought of God was a puzzled grunt. There is here no Adam and Eve created in the fullness of sanctifying grace, possessing the infused gifts, both natural and supernatural, necessary for what has traditionally been known as the state of “Original Justice.” There can be no loss of this state through Original Sin. There can be no restoration to a state of sanctifying grace through any of the sacraments. There can be no real, absolute, unchangeable moral responsibility for a human mind and will living in such dimness and stammering. There can be no substantial marital bond which is indissoluble. There is only evolution and becoming.

Joseph Ratzinger and the 2014 Synod on the Family

Joseph Ratzinger is almost certainly the most influential living theologian in the Church. His books have sold in the millions. At the same time, as we have seen, he is a man whose thinking has been overwhelmingly formed by a world of reductive science which is profoundly destructive to the Faith.

It would be naïve to believe that things are significantly different with the rest of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Virtually every educated person in the modern world has absorbed the basic principles of Modern Science, which necessitate the negation of any real substantiality to anything, and the consequent embrace of evolution. This would be especially true of highly educated men like Catholic Bishops. It is also true of almost any child over the age of 12.

The vote on the final document, the Relatio Synodi, of the 2014 session of the Extraordinary Synod of the Bishops on the Family revealed that far over half (104 out of 178) of the bishops voted in favor of paragraphs 52 and 53 which clearly accepted the validity of the question as to whether divorced and remarried persons might be readmitted to Sacramental Communion. As such, a significant majority of the bishops directly revealed their own abandonment of the Principle of Non-Contradiction in regard to this issue.

Now, let us take a bishop at the Synod who was on the other side of this issue, and not only expressed his belief in the indissolubility of marriage, but also put this belief in practice by voting against anything which suggested the possibility of readmission to communion of the divorced and remarried (we have already here reduced our consideration to the “minority” of bishops).

If that bishop possesses a mind which has fallen prey to the denial of substantiality inherent in Modern Physics, and if he is also an evolutionist: then, despite the fact that the good instincts he has inherited from the past may indeed have led him to vote correctly, he is not at all established in those foundational principles which are necessary for truly “thinking with the Church”. His orthodoxy, his conservativism, in other words, is built on sand, and is eventually bound to crumble – if not in himself personally before his death, then in his spiritual children. He may believe in the indissolubility of marriage, but he has no substantial basis for so believing. He may believe in the concepts of mortal sin and sanctifying grace, but these beliefs fly directly in the face of his being in bed with Science and Evolutionary Theory. He has feet of sand. The only way that he can be firmly re-established in “thinking with the Church” is to return to Thomistic Metaphysics. And this very idea has most likely become a “Medieval” absurdity to him in the light of atomic and quantum physics and its denial of the Thomistic- Aristotelian concept of substantiality.

For hundreds of years, the Church has been in retreat before this enemy of reductive science, surrendering one vital organ of the Mystical Body of Christ after another to be ravaged by the world which science has built. This can be easily perceived, of course, in something like the present wide-spread denial of such doctrines as creation ex nihilo, Original Sin, or Transubstantiation. But these modern and glaring denials of specific doctrines were preceded by centuries of increasing prostitution of the Church to a world being constructed in direct contradiction to every one of the Beatitudes, and therefore a world in which virtually every institution came to function as an enemy of the life of Christ. It is science, and the unending technological development constituting its natural fruit, which ultimately is the source of the dominance and centralization of finance over all the institutions of society. It is science and technology which built the City of Mammon, which in turn necessitated the silencing of the Church in its teaching on Usury. It is science and technology which destroyed rural life, and necessitated the migration of the vast majority of persons to large cities, with all their ensuing evils. It is reductive science which has overcome scholasticism, befogged the Catholic sense in every realm, relativized all absolutes, and necessitated the descent of the Church into the world in order to dialogue and engage in ecumenical indifferentism with its fellow evolutionary travelers. It is reductive science which now eats away at the last fibers of our bishops’ ability to think in terms of immutable and absolute truth and the substantiality upon which these are erected (see my article Science: Original and Final Sin).

It can seriously be doubted, therefore, if there was even one bishop in the Synod who fully “thinks with the Church”, despite the fact that there was a significant minority that possessed the good will to accede to traditional Catholic doctrine.

The ultimate object of conquest necessary for the final and total triumph of Atheistic Scientism over the entire social order is, of course, the family. The entire structure of the family is built upon one fine line of ontological truth – the absolute indissolubility of the marriage bond (except through the death of one of the spouses) which constitutes a valid marriage. This, in turn, has been protected over all these centuries only by the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church. It is this sense of absoluteness and immutability in relation to all of Catholic doctrine which now hangs upon a delicate thread. And the means which Satan is using in his desperate effort to finally sever this thread is the Catholic episcopate itself.

It has been repeated ad nauseam over recent decades that the Catholic world got along just fine without Thomistic Metaphysics for twelve or thirteen hundred years. Such persons fail to realize that for all those centuries, the world was substantially real to all men. Their eyes, their senses of touch, smell, taste and hearing, all spoke of a substantial world, as did their natural minds. All this has been profoundly eroded by modern science. Spiritual childhood – and the innocence and simplicity of spirit which is truly natural in all that is human, and therefore absolutely necessary for perceiving and defending what is real and true – cannot be restored except through a fully conscious war being conducted against the effects of reductive modern science upon man’s mind, spirit, and heart.

In this combat, the Metaphysics of Thomas is the only intellectual tool capable of victory. Even more basic, it is the intellectual framework absolutely essential to even being able to perceive who the enemy truly is. The real enemy is not Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Kasper, Pope Francis, or any other individual or group of persons. The ultimate, but very immediate, enemy is Satan, who hundreds of years ago celebrated the nuptials between the Church and the world of secular, reductive Science, and now awaits the birth of his favored son.

We may rightly question whether there was even one Bishop at the Synod equipped with the substantial depths of understanding, the intellectual weapons, or the fortitude to engage in battle with such a foe.

We await Divine Intervention. It has been promised by God, Who is faithful.

James Larson