Divide and Conquer – The Church and the HHS Contraceptive Mandate
The Catholic Church in the Western world is under great attack, perhaps the greatest attack in history since the Roman Persecution. This is quite evident in the recent HHS Contraception Mandate of the Obama Administration. Since giving my talk on Spiritual Warfare to the Team Orthodoxy friends and family (to hear the talk-go to the Media Section and look under Team Orthodox Presents), I have been thinking a lot about how we are attacked personally, and how the Church is attacked. Keeping in mind that this is an all out war, one has to question how is the battle waged and won. One of the more prominent militaristic tactics used in war is “Divide and Conquer”. Let us discuss this military strategy before we apply it to the aformentioned topic of the Catholic Church and the local church communities.
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_and_rule) defines “Divide and Conquer as “a combination of political, military and economic strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures and prevents smaller power groups from linking up.”
From history, it goes on to say:
“Machiavelli identifies a similar application to military strategy, advising in Book VI of The Art of War (Dell’arte della guerra), that a Captain should endeavor with every art to divide the forces of the enemy, either by making him suspicious of his men in whom he trusted, or by giving him cause that he has to separate his forces, and, because of this, become weaker.”
Let us apply this tactic to the attacks on the modern day Catholic Church in the West. How does the Anti-Trinity(the World, the Flesh, and the Devil) seek to plunder us personally and in so doing, seek to plunder the Catholic Church. Here are some key steps in the process of conquering ofthe Catholic Church in the West
DIVISION: Separate the majority of the Teachers of the Faith from the True Faith
The mind of the anti-trinity is, politely put, double minded. The plague of relativism in the Western World is killing intellectualism and has been since the Protestant Reformation. The king of the sciences, theology, is becoming a joke on most Catholic campuses, and philosophy is almost lost, due in large part to the ignorance of metaphysics. Willful ignorance and hatred of the spiritual is a key player in forming and continuing the reign of the culture of death in our day. Remove God from the scene and you can now introduce all sorts of technologies and sciences that are completely devoid of God. The case now is that in most Catholic colleges, you have poorly formed students turned professionals who are unable to make correct moral, ethical, and theological conclusions. These are the majority of the teachers and professors in today’s colleges and places of learning and holding positions of authority in companies and in governments.
Heck I’ll say it…
A lot of Catholic Seminaries have also fallen prey to this as well. How does this work?
Poorly formed teachers->poorly formed priests/deacons->poorly formed laity etc.
This is not me saying the True Faith is being lost. One can easily locate orthodoxy if you look. To find it, you may have to travel, but it exists in small pockets. However, if one does not know what to look or watch out for, you’ll accept almost anything as truth. Sadly this is cyclical and the process will continue unless someone puts a stop to it. Many priests won’t pick up an encyclical by the Pope – WHY? They don’t think it applies to them. This is a scary thought. But there is hope and things can and will change. Something has to break here, and it will not be the Church.
DIVISION: Protestant Reformation – Largest Division in History
Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking us Catholics have all the problems. Protestant Colleges are dealing with the same problems and have since the 1600s. Everbody comes thinking he’s the next mega-church pastor with his skewed philosophy and theology and throws it into the mix of the theological program known as Protestantism. 30,000 protestant denominations with all differing ideas of morality and ethics have been born from this. The baby is infected with the same disease that plagues the mother. In this case, relativism and fundamentalism embrace and create a weird deformed offspring closely resembling that ugly dog that went viral years ago. If CS Lewis could see the protestantism that exists today, he’d be running to the arms of the Catholic Church so fast he’d set the ground on fire. He’d be part of the Anglican Ordinariate, obviously. I digress.
DIVISION: Separate the Faithful from their consciences
When the mindset of the world enters into the mind of the “Christian”, things get twisted. Lies become truths and truths become lies. What is the prevailing philosophy that the world holds onto? Is it not the “ME FIRST” mentality? It’s all about “What I want, what I feel, what makes me feel comfortable, satisfied, popular, liked, honoured etc”. When this becomes the mindset of the Christian, especially those who work in places of ecclesiastical authority, from laity, to employees within chanceries to Cardinals, things go very wrong. In today’s world, these “Professional Catholics” as coined by Michael Voris at RealcatholicTV.com, lose true Catholicism in exchange for a watered down, hippie, feel-good spiritualism not remotely resembling Catholicism, that instead demands social justice over and above holiness of life and the worship of God. We lose the idea of God the Father Almighty, Christ the King – the ferocious Lion of Judah, and the Holy Ghost sending fire and hurricane like winds. We replace Them with the Happy cloud God, Jesus the hippie humanitarian, and Navi from the old Zelda games. They reduce the idea that God demands your life to the simple idea that God wants you to feel good. Thank God this isn’t the Truth! If this hippie christianity was the truth, I would most likely find myself resigning to atheism and hanging in a closet somewhere.
How does this mentality create division? When the Catholic gets into his head that it is all about themselves, and that God Himself requires nothing of us, they begin to sacrifice any sort of religious or moral obligations on the altar of pride. Moral black and whites become varying shades of grey. The more we ignore our conscience, the more self-focussed we become. We separate ourselves from God and from our conscience. I believe this selfish mentality has existed from the Fall, however, with the backlash against anything seemingly Christian and puritanical in recent history, I believe this mentality is currently playing its most defining role and we are seeing the genocide of conscience on a global scale.
DIVISION: Separate the priests from one another
Back to the local church and how the anti-trinity creates division within it. We’ve spoken about the impact of bad catechesis on the laity and how that creates division within the person and between them and the True Faith. Now we will look at how the anti-trinity seeks to divide us from one another. For example let us draw attention to the local Ministerial priesthood.
A brief disclaimer before I begin: I am speaking solely about what I see in my diocese and in the dioceses surrounding me. This is not me saying this is the case for every diocese as I have heard of very good ones that do exist. However this is my experience.
Let’s take a journey back in time. The Priesthood before Vatican II was more of a brotherhood and less of a stand-alone prominent religious figure. You would see parish rectories filled with priests. Almost overnight, this deep self-centred mentality became the mainstream attitude in the western world, exemplified with the dramatic entrance of the sexual revolution. Similar to a pre-drunk friend showing up for dinner 2 hours late, looking for some free food and to finish off the merlot in the fridge, this selfish mentality stepped onto the world stage in all of it’s immodest ugliness, smelling of booze, and cheap perfume, and begins to knock on the doors of the churches, businesses, and families looking for a bed to sleep in for the night(or take up permanent residence). In an effort to reach out to the world, the Catholic Church endeavoured with the Second Vatican Council to “open the windows” of the Church to let in the wind of the Holy Spirit. The aforementioned homo-centrism(self centredness) that I liken to a lady of the night, saw this as a great opportunity to get her foot in the door and was welcomed in by the vastly naiive and allowed to raid the cupboards and medicine cabinets and to sleep on the couch(this is the PG version). Of course, this mentality was fueled and spread by the existence of Mass media.
In the wake of the Second Vatican Council with the sexual revolution following on the coat-tails of it’s closing, we see the sudden decline of faith in the Western World. Ironically, this is when we see the drop in numbers for priestly and religious vocations. Vatican II opened the window to the Holy Spirit but someone pulled the blinds down, making you think the window was still open, but in fact they closed and locked it. Sad but true. We see increasingly less priests, and now we are at the point where we spread them thin across the diocese.
These men no logner had the accountability they needed. They were left alone to be the kings of their own castle. Now relating back to the poor formation they recieved, these poorly formed priests with poorly formed consciences are left to their own devices. Enter the sexual abuse scandals at the beginning of the 21st Century. For reference see recent news: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46236534/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/.
Now the Faithful, with the aid of the Mass media, suspect our good priests. The priests can no longer mentor young men individually like they once did. St. John Bosco would be heartbroken. But in separating the lay faithful from the priesthood itself, we have created a great culture of distrust. More division!
DIVISION: Separate the faithful from one another
Just as rare as it is to find orthodox Catholics Priests, is finding laity with a passion for orthodoxy. Therefore the apathetic/liberal minded catholic is more common. Now, is it their fault? Partially. However, they have not had the opportunity to learn from an orthodox priest in a faithful roman catholic culture. There used to be family catechism classes, family pilgrimages, retreats, etc. Where are they?
The bigger question is, WHERE IS THE FAMILY?
DIVISION: Separate the Family
The anti-trinity has done a fantastic job at tearing down the traditional family unit, from the introduction and ease of divorce, to abortion and contraception, then to homosexual contractual relationships (aka Homosexual marriage to the modern world).
The anti-trinity loves to push the idea that God and His Church are power hungry fools, demanding people live in a constant state of guilt, enslaved to rules and regulations. If only they knew that God is Fathering us and the Church is a mother to us. But alas, just like the Israelites who said things were better in Egypt, this is what the world is saying. So the world is backlashing.
What are some of the fruits of this backlash?
1. Broken families:
Broken homes have increased almost a hundredfold since the sexual revolution:
“Major depression is the No.1 psychological disorder in the western world.(1) It is growing in all age groups, in virtually every community, and the growth is seen most in the young, especially teens. At the rate of increase, it will be the 2nd most disabling condition in the world by 2020, behind heart disease.”
It also states that: “10 times more people suffer from major depression now than in 1945”
According to Edward L. Glaeser, and Karen E. Norberg of Harvard Institute of Economic Research (http://www.canadiancrc.com/Youth_Suicide_in_Canada.aspx), “Suicide rates among youths aged 15-24 have tripled in the past half-century, even as rates for adults and the elderly have declined. And for every youth suicide completion, there are nearly 400 suicide attempts.”
They come to some startling conclusions:
“First, we suggest that many suicide attempts by youths can be viewed as a strategic action on the part of the youth to resolve conflicts within oneself or with others. Youths have little direct economic or familial power, and in such a situation, self-injury can be used to signal distress or to encourage a response by others. Second, we present evidence for contagion effects. Youths who have a friend or family members who attempts or commits suicide are more likely to attempt or commit suicide themselves. Finally, we show that to the extent we can explain the rise in youth suicide over time, the most important explanatory variable is the increased share of youths living in homes with a divorced parent. The divorce rate is more important for suicides than either the share of children living with step-parents or the share of female-headed households.”
53 Million children have been killed in the wake of Roe. V. Wade. “nuff said”.
THIS IS NOT UNITY! THIS IS NOT PROGRESS!
Finally, how does this relate to the Human and Health Services Contraceptive Mandate of the Obama Administration in the United States?
DIVISION: Separate the Church from the World
The Shepherd has been struck and the sheep have scattered. The Catholic Church in an almost freefall decline, due to it’s seeming loss of credibility due to it’s scandalous priests, it’s unformed and spineless clergy who know the truth but are too afraid to preach it, and to it’s laity not having a clue what the Church actually teaches due to a great lack of catechesis from the parish. Families are no longer Catholic families, but there is a 50/50 chance they will divorce anyway, so good luck relying on that. Parentless children, with parents more focussed on their own lives, texting, relationships, etc. The children are going it alone, and having to figure out the world by themselves. Even the Church is disunified in the eyes of the world. Catholics and Protestants are usually many times placed under one umbrella and 30,000 protestant ecclesial communities is not a sign of unity. The only thing remaining unified is the orthodox faithful, in union with the Pope and the Bishops in union with him. How small of a vocal group is that though in the grand scheme?
The Church in the West finds itself in a divided position and ready to be conquered. Out of 271 active bishops living in the United States in 2010 ( http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_Roman_Catholic_bishops_are_there_in_the_U.S.#ixzz1lLwRQ5s3), only 100 Bishops stood up and spoke against this Mandate this past weekend. Good on ‘em and God bless em – pray for these men! Cardinal Designate Dolan definitely dropped the hammer. However, their voices are not enough. This is not even half of the Bishops in the USA. Thus, Obama swoops down upon the American the people and in a move of criminal genius, with the help of that Apostate, Sebelius, mandates the Church comply with his presidential demands. I guess if you sleep with someone long enough, you have to start dealing with some of their demands,
“Honey if you love me you’ll…”
“SELL OUT YOUR CONSCIENCE!?!?!”
A moment…NO WE WON’T!
Well, this is a long winded way of saying, “US Bishops, kick yourselves into gear and start listening to the Pope”. They would not be in this situation if they had been obedient. This includes the orthodox and the progressive Bishops. From the sidelines, as Team Orthodoxy, we can only pray and encourage the laity and the clergy to be faithful, to pray and make sacrifice. We know as Canadians that if America does something, Canada will soon follow suit, and our Bishops are almost near silent in the face of controversial issues and it would be an easy defeat. should the government suddenly mandate the violation of Catholic conscience in this country, the Culture of Death would then own a continent and would be nearly unstoppable in it’s persecution of Catholics. If you’ve ever played Risk, this is a powerful step in ensuring world domination.
Can we turn this bus around before we fall headlong into perdition? Yes – emphatically yes. However, just as much as the world has plotted against the Church, the Church in America and Canada needs to make a strategic battleplan to get this reversed. Without this, even if this mandate is reversed, trust me, they’ll be back with more force than before. Just watch if you don’t believe.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m personally looking forward to going underground. This is where we’ll go if nothing changes, you know. And in the underground, surrounded by other orthodox catholic priests and laity, we will sing psalms and spiritual hymns like the early church, celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with utter reverance, and “Gather Us In” and clown masses will be a distant memory. I can only imagine.
In the Immaculata,