Words and pictures: Three (1970) Life Magazine articles chronicle the post-Vatican II revolution in the church.

The present Catholic crisis, comparable only to the turbulence of the Reformation period, closes in on Pope Paul as on no other man. And he has made no effort to conceal the pain it causes. Not long ago the Pope told Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen that he begins his day by reading mail from all over the world. “There is a thorn in almost every letter,” Paul said. “When I put my head against the pillow at night, it rests upon a crown of thorns.”

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Professor says: The main interest of Pope Paul VI’s birth control commission was to determine whether “the pill” could be licitly used.

February 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Documents now open to the public reveal a new story about the fascinating inner workings of the Pontifical Commission on Population, Family, and Birth-rate, commonly referred to as the “Birth Control Commission,” which was behind the critical papal encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Dr. Germain Grisez, emeritus Professor of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University and a close friend and advisor to Commission member Fr. John Ford, S.J., has made the documents available on his website, along with a narrative of the events surrounding the Commission’s work from 1964 to 1966.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Dr. Grisez revealed further information about the significance of these documents, which he believes stand to correct mistaken public perceptions about the events leading up to the issuing of Humanae Vitae.

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DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS


The Vatican document NOSTRA AETATE, proclaimed by Pope Paul VI, on October 28, 1965, makes a number of important points about Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism. And once a few inexcusably vague and misleading passages are suitably parsed and properly understood, it says nothing that any good Catholic would not (or should not) already know.

Unfortunately, most Catholics have never read NOSTRA AETATE, so it has often been misquoted and misused by some Catholics, as well as those of other faiths, to take unfair advantage, and to spread further confusion in the Catholic ranks.

I suggest you read the document for yourself. Note what is actually stated and what is not. Be very careful to make absolutely no assumptions about language therein which appears to reference certain events and/or covenants, but fails to specifically name them, describe, and/or explain their precise significance.

Also, pay particular attention to the following verses from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, which have often been taken out of context, in order to state something that St. Paul obviously never intended:

“theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:4-5)

Read the complete text of the St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.

The true meaning of the document:

Catholics are called to act with unbridled charity to all, no matter what their faith tradition. Unjust and unwarranted discrimination is always to be avoided, and the dignity of persons, along with respect for their religious freedom is always to be observed, without exception. Doing anything less constitutes a serious sin. Meanwhile, Catholics are bound to affirm and uphold all the authentic teachings of the Catholic faith. Compromising on ANY of these, constitutes a serious sin.

The false, liberal “take” on NOSTRA AETATE:

All religions are valid paths to God. Those of other faiths are no longer in need of evangelization, since they have their own covenant(s) and arrangements with God.  Catholics are obligated, out of guilt for past offenses, to “roll over” and “give in” any time a non-Catholic criticizes the teachings or the actions of the Church. To do otherwise is inconsiderate, hurtful, rude, and most significantly … politically incorrect … and being politically incorrect constitutes the “unforgivable sin” against liberals, progressives, and modernists, everywhere.

Read NOSTRA AETATE for yourself

Many people forget (and many more are too young to remember) how radically the introduction of the birth-control pill changed popular thinking and altered our approach to sexuality.


Not long ago, moral leaders of every description condemned contraception and agreed that if the practice ever became widespread it would inevitably lead to disaster.

Consider, for example, the words of Mohandas Gandhi: “There is hope for a decent life only so long as the sexual act is definitely related to the conception of precious life.”

Or listen to Sigmund Freud: “Moreover, it is a characteristic common to all perversions that in them reproduction is put aside as an aim. This is actually the criterion by which we judge whether a sexual activity is perverse–it departs from reproduction as its aim and pursues the attainment of gratification independently.”

In 1930, when the leaders of the Church of England broke from the previously universal Christian consensus and allowed for the use of contraceptives, an editorial in The Washington Post lamented that the move “would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality.”

Gandhi, Freud and The Washington Post were obviously not promoting a “Catholic” or “Christian” position. Their opposition to contraception was based on a simple, age-old understanding of human nature. In the 1960s Americans ignored such warnings and plunged headlong into the sexual revolution. Now, with the casualties of that revolution visible all around us, are we still foolish enough to believe that this generation understands human nature–and in particular human sexuality–better than all its predecessors?

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“Evil is no longer just a deficiency, but an efficiency, a living, spiritual, perverted and perverting being.”

During the General Audience on 15 November 1972 Paul VI delivered an address on the invocation of our principal prayer: “Our Father… deliver us from evil!”.

In this he confirmed the traditional doctrine on the Devil, and stressed the necessity of studying again and examining closely this chapter of Catholic doctrine.

Here are a few of the main points that (especially in these days) are worth seriously considering (especially if you happen to be a politician … or a bishop):

We find evil in the realm of nature, where so many of its expressions seem to speak to us of some sort of disorder. Then we find it among human beings, in the form of weakness, frailty, suffering, death and something worse: the tension between two laws-one reaching for the good, the other directed toward evil.

We come face to face with sin which is a perversion of human freedom and the profound cause of death because it involves detachment from God, the source of life.

Evil is not merely an absence of something but an active force, a living, spiritual being that is perverted and that perverts others.

“I put on the armor of God,” the Apostle tells us, “that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the Principalities and the Powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness on high.”

The Devil is the number one enemy, the preeminent tempter.

He is “a murderer from the beginning, . . . and the father of lies,” as Christ defines him. He undermines man’s moral equilibrium with his sophistry. He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities, so that he can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations.

Are there signs, and what are they, of the presence of diabolical action? And what means of defense do we have against such an insidious danger?

We can presume that his sinister action is at work where the denial of God becomes radical, subtle and absurd; where lies become powerful and hypocritical in the face of evident truth; where love is smothered by cold, cruel selfishness; where Christ’s name is attacked with conscious, rebellious hatred, where the spirit of the Gospel is watered down and rejected where despair is affirmed as the last word; and so forth.

Defense Against the Devil

Grace is the decisive defense. Innocence takes on the aspect of strength. Everyone recalls how often the apostolic method of teaching used the armor of a soldier as a symbol for the virtues that can make a Christian invulnerable. The Christian must be a militant; he must be vigilant and strong; and he must at times make use of special ascetical practices to escape from certain diabolical attacks. Jesus teaches us this by pointing to “prayer and fasting” as the remedy. And the Apostle suggests the main line we should follow: “Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. “

With an awareness, therefore, of the opposition that individual souls, the Church and the world must face at the present time, we will try to give both meaning and, effectiveness to the familiar invocation in our principal prayer: “Our Father . . . deliver us from evil!”

Read all of it for yourself

Pope Paul VI: “…The Smoke of Satan Has Entered the Temple of God.”

THURSDAY, 29 JUNE 1972

Referring to the situation of the Church today, the Holy Father affirms that he has a sense that “from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” There is doubt, incertitude, problematic, disquiet, dissatisfaction, confrontation. There is no longer trust of the Church; they trust the first profane prophet who speaks in some journal or some social movement, and they run after him and ask him if he has the formula of true life. And we are not alert to the fact that we are already the owners and masters of the formula of true life. Doubt has entered our consciences, and it entered by windows that should have been open to the light. Science exists to give us truths that do not separate from God, but make us seek him all the more and celebrate him with greater intensity; instead, science gives us criticism and doubt. Scientists are those who more thoughtfully and more painfully exert their minds. But they end up teaching us: “I don’t know, we don’t know, we cannot know.” The school becomes the gymnasium of confusion and sometimes of absurd contradictions. Progress is celebrated, only so that it can then be demolished with revolutions that are more radical and more strange, so as to negate everything that has been achieved, and to come away as primitives after having so exalted the advances of the modern world.

This state of uncertainty even holds sway in the Church. There was the belief that after the Council there would be a day of sunshine for the history of the Church. Instead, it is the arrival of a day of clouds, of tempest, of darkness, of research, of uncertainty. We preach ecumenism but we constantly separate ourselves from others. We seek to dig abysses instead of filling them in.

FOR A LIFEGIVING AND REDEEMING “CREDO”

How has this come about? The Pope entrusts one of his thoughts to those who are present: that there has been an intervention of an adverse power. Its name is the devil, this mysterious being that the Letter of St. Peter also alludes to. So many times, furthermore, in the Gospel, on the lips of Christ himself, the mention of this enemy of men returns. The Holy Father observes, “We believe in something that is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council, and to impede the Church from breaking into the hymn of joy at having renewed in fullness its awareness of itself. Precisely for this reason, we should wish to be able, in this moment more than ever, to exercise the function God assigned to Peter, to strengthen the Faith of the brothers. We should wish to communicate to you this charism of certitude that the Lord gives to him who represents him though unworthily on this earth.” Faith gives us certitude, security, when it is based upon the Word of God accepted and consented to with our very own reason and with our very own human spirit. Whoever believes with simplicity, with humility, sense that he is on the good road, that he has an interior testimony that strengthens him in the difficult conquest of the truth.

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Revival of Traditional Catholic practice may help protect the Pope from further attacks

One only has to look at old black and white footage of pontiffs prior to Paul VI to see how popes always used to enter the basilica being carried shoulder high in the sedia gestatoria. Not only that, but there was always a throng of people around the chair, not only the actual bearers but numerous chamberlains and nobility and a large number of guards: Swiss Guards, uniformed Gendarmes, the Palatine Guard and Noble Guard. These comprised the old papal court which Pope Paul VI abolished and which formed a kind of buffer zone between the Pope and the crowds, no doubt as much a practical defence measure as a piece of ceremony.

The use of the sedia continued until very recently and many are unaware that the last pope to use the sedia was actually Pope John Paul I. While the abolition of this ancient form of transport may have since been considered appropriate in the context of the late 20th century and the need to democratise the appearance of papal ceremonies, the reality has left the Pope an isolated and vulnerable figure separated from the deacons ahead and the MCs behind, one who appears all too often like the figure in the Third Secret of Fatima: a victim walking alone simply waiting to be attacked.

While there are bound to be some who would see the return of the sedia as yet another example of this Pope “turning the clock back”, in fact not only would it save an elderly man’s tired legs but it would allow more of the crowd to see him. Most importantly, it would actually insulate him from the kind of physical assault we saw at Christmas by virtue of the mob of people surrounding it (who could these days be swelled by Swiss Guards and the gendarme officers in suitably formal garb) to work alongside the suited officers at the perimeter.

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