WHAT IS TRUTH?
The Beatification of Pontius Pilate
To suggest that one can know the truth about larger matters, such as the purpose of human life and the laws that govern it, is widely considered a sign of naiveté or, worse, a dangerous bigotry. Even the Pope, charged with preserving the dogmatic teaching of the Church, routinely questions the motive and morality of those who defend in all its particulars the Faith that has been handed down to us by the magisterium. (See: “Rise of the Neo-Casuists”)
Francis never seems to tire of labelling unnamed persons in the Church as rigid and unloving because they insist upon a strict adherence to traditional teaching on marriage and sexuality. (See: “Pope Francis attacks ‘fundamentalist’ Catholics, dismisses condom ban as unimportant”) And the media, sensing that in Francis they have at last found a Pope amenable to reason (as they define it), have been uncharacteristically flattering in their coverage of this papacy. You can almost hear the sigh of relief in certain quarters, “Finally, a Pope who gets it!” What precisely is it they believe the Pope gets?
The Pope gets, or so it seems to many, that there is no absolute truth, at least in terms of certain moral questions. (See: “Debacle at the Lateran – Part I”) There is perhaps no more concise and insightful a statement of the modern (and modernist) mindset to which many in the Church have succumbed than the words of Flannery O’Connor’s mad preacher Hazel Motes in the novel Wise Blood:
“I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else's, but behind all of them, there's only one truth and that is that there is no truth... No truth behind all truths is what I and this church preach!”
This is relativism, and although Pope Benedict XVI warned of its dangers (See: “What Is 'Relativism'?”), his warning has gone largely unheeded. To assert that one thing is true entails the corollary that its denial or opposite is false. If 2 plus 2 equals 4, then the proposition that 2 plus 2 equals 5 must be rejected. Such a rejection may involve wounding the feelings of those who warmly advocate the 2-plus-2-equals-5 position, in which they have invested their egos; but it will also open to them the possibility of embracing the truth and potentially save them from making disastrous mistakes based on falsehood.
That there is an appalling lack of fraternal charity in today’s society is painfully evident. So the message that we must follow Our Lord’s injunction to love one another as He loves us needs to be heard again and again. But love must be founded on truth. No parent who loves his child tells him lies or allows others to do so. And the Holy Father, if he genuinely cares for us, must express his love in the context of the truth.
There is something called the sin of human respect. (See: “timor mundanus as human respect”) It is seldom mentioned, which is why it tends to go unrecognized and often uncorrected. What could be wrong with human respect? How can it be a sin? Perhaps there is a problem in the language, in the translation from the Latin. The actual words are “timor mundanus”, which in their literal meaning can be rendered as “worldly fear”, often opposed to the fear of God.
This fear arises when we want others to think well of us, or we want to avoid the difficulties of a confrontation that may arise if we were to speak the truth. So, under the influence of this fear, we often keep quiet, rather than defend the Faith. Or even worse, we appear to give tacit assent to words and behavior we know to be wrong. It is all too easy to regard this fear as fraternal charity. We don’t want to upset anyone or hurt their feelings. We say we are considerate, when we are merely looking after our own comfort and ignoring the spiritual works of mercy enjoined upon us to instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner.
This sort of fear has always been with us, but it has gained strength in recent days and appears to be supplanting Catholic doctrine at the highest levels of the Church. The Synod on the Family and the problematic papal document Amoris Laetitiae – The Joy of Love – are more devoted to human respect than they are to respect for the truth as the Church has always taught it. (See: “The Modernist Ruse Behind the Bergoglian Pontificate”) And those who insist upon this truth risk papal rebuke, caricature and ridicule.
What is presented in place of the truth in our time is a false mercy that attempts to embrace all points of view, all lifestyles. Such mercy is wrongly identified as the core message of the Gospels, a kind of super-dogma to which all other considerations must be subordinated. And what is this super-dogma other than the sin of human respect?
Flannery O’Connor’s preacher, Hazel Motes, founds a new church he calls “The Church without Christ”. The aim of this new church is the abolition of the necessity to be redeemed by suffering. Here are some telling words from its sole member and preacher:
“What you need is something to take the place of Jesus, something that would speak plain. The Church Without Christ don’t have a Jesus but it needs one! It needs a new jesus! It needs one that’s all man, without blood to waste … Give me such a jesus, you people. Give me such a new jesus and you’ll see how far the Church Without Christ can go!”
Incredibly, we appear to be on the verge of discovering just how far the Church Without Christ can go. We now have someone to take the place of Jesus, a “new Jesus” that’s “all man, without blood to waste”. This “new Jesus” makes no judgment, prescribes no set doctrine or morality. We are not redeemed by him for we have no need of redemption. No cross. No blood. No sin, except an unmerciful insistence upon truth.
Sister Lucy spoke of diabolical disorientation in the Church. What does this mean? To become disorientated is to lose your sense of direction, to turn away from your proper course. But something is always in front of us, no matter which way we turn. A diabolical disorientation implies a turning away from the truth and a turning toward falsehood, for satan is the father of lies. And his great lie in our time is this “new Jesus” that vies to replace the true Christ.
We saw a visible disorientation in the liturgy following Vatican II: Mass was no longer celebrated “ad orientem”, that is, facing Jesus in the tabernacle; the priest was to turn his back on Christ and face the people. Now, this disorientation has progressed to the point where we are asked, not to worship Our Lord, but Our Lord is asked to “accompany” us as we wander where we will.
The “new Jesus” is the embodiment of human respect in the name of a false mercy. Just how far will the “new Jesus” take us down the road of disorientation? We know that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph in the end, but how long that triumph will be delayed and how much suffering that delay will bring upon us is something we don’t know. But we are not left powerless.
The Message of Fatima is given to us, as well as to Popes and bishops and world leaders. So long as we listen to Our Lady and do as She asks, we will keep our faces turned toward the truth, and our prayers and sacrifices will hasten the day when the true Jesus vanquishes the “new jesus.”
As we await Our Lady’s triumph, we can help hasten it by supporting this apostolate and all its works. The world must know its only hope and only help is in obedience to Our Lady and in loving Her Immaculate Heart. Help us to continue to proclaim Her Message.
We must work and pray ever more fervently that the Holy Father and the bishops will heed the requests of Our Lady of Fatima. (See: Petition to Our Holy Father — The Consecration of Russia and Petition to Our Holy Father — The Release of the full Third Secret)
We must also keep informed. Read the recent “Fatima Perspectives” (view here) and “Fatima News & Views” articles listed below.
View our YouTube videos of “Your Questions Answered by Father Gruner”, with a complete archive of our 256 programs found at archive.fatima.org/yqa.asp.
Visit our web page “The World Is on the Brink of a Nuclear War” (a.k.a. “Looming Danger of WWIII”) and our previous postings at “Looming Danger of WWIII Archive”.
Attend one of the “Our Lady’s Army of Advocates” conferences in 2016.
Latest Fatima News & Views
Our Rapid Response team went to Oklahoma on short notice to defend Our Lady — On the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption, a grievous insult was offered to the Mother of God in Oklahoma City, where public space was rented to a satanic group, to conduct a black mass featuring a blasphemous act called, "the consumption of Mary." The Fatima Center's Rapid Response Team went to Oklahoma City, bringing with them the Pilgrim Virgin statue, which was carried in procession at a Mass of reparation.
Diabolical Disorientation: Think You're Immune? Think Again! — Just over six months after the close of Vatican Council II, Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, issued a document entitled: "Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences regarding some sentences and errors arising from the interpretation of the decrees of the Second Vatican Council".
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