Shepherds Turned Wolves
I can well imagine adherents of the Conciliar Church being scandalized that I could make such a statement. "How," they might ask, "could you possibly opt for the judgment of a little girl rather than that of two bishops, successors of the Apostles, lawful rulers in their diocese, the duly appointed shepherds of their flock?" A valid point and one that merits a serious reply. And the reply I would give them is a comment made by Dom Prosper Gueranger, one of the greatest Catholic scholars, concerning the public protest of a layman at the heresy of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in 428:
When the shepherd turns into a wolf the first duty of the flock is to defend itself. As a general rule, doctrine comes from the bishops to the faithful, and it is not for the faithful, who are subjects in the order of faith, to pass judgment on their superiors. But every Christian, by virtue of his title to the name of Christian has not only the necessary knowledge of the essentials of the treasures of Revelation, but also the duty of safeguarding them.
Well, should Bishop Sullivan and Fitzsimmons be considered as shepherds or as wolves? Is it not possible that the people of Christ the King parish really were "religious illiterates"? As if to prove this point, the Reverend John Weiss, a diocesan spokesman, stated that Christ the King "is the only parish in the diocese" in which the tabernacle "is still on the main altar of worship".
What credence can be given to a person or a parish in a minority of one? Superficially, this is a persuasive argument. I recollect a high priest asking whether it was not expedient that one man should die for the people. I recollect St. John Fisher making his solitary protest that King Henry VII was not head of the Church. I recollect, above all, St. Athanasius who was persecuted and excommunicated for refusing to accept the heresy of Arius who denied that Jesus Christ was the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, equal in every respect to the Father. This dogma of the Faith had been universally accepted and appeared unassailable, and yet, as the saying goes, the world woke one morning and groaned to find itself Arian. Few of the bishops, I might add, joined in the groaning-----they saved their disapproval for Athanasius who rocked the episcopal boat. They put so much pressure upon Liberius, a weak and vacillating pope, that he signed an ambiguous Arian formula and excommunicated the heroic defender of orthodoxy.
As this is being written in 1984, I can hardly not refer to George Orwell's classic novel with this title. When one reflects upon the current regime in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, it is impossible not to recollect the principle of "doublethink" utilized by the Party in this novel. It means ". . . the ability to believe that black is white, and what is more to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary". Thus, commenting upon the events at Christ the King, in the Kansas City Times, 1 May 1981, Father William Bauman, Pastor of St. Charles Church, said that the moving of the tabernacle does not relegate Christ to a lesser position, "but a clearer place of honor".
I am perfectly prepared to believe that when Father Bauman said this, he believed it; he knew it. I do not know his age, but he had probably received exactly the same seminary education as Msgr. Kearney. He had probably loved and venerated the Blessed Sacrament as fervently as Msgr. Kearney does, and, before the Council, would probably have given his life rather than accept the least diminution in the honor that should be given to our Eucharistic King. Yet now, in the best tradition of "doublethink", he knows, he really knows, that removing the Blessed Sacrament from the position of honor in the center of the altar constitutes placing it in "a clearer position of honor".
The fact that his former parish had been in a minority of one in not accepting the removal of the tabernacle from the high altar was pointed out to Msgr. Kearney by the Religious Editor of the Kansas City Star. Msgr. Kearney's reply deserves to be recorded and remembered; may God bless and reward him for it:
"It should have happened in every other parish," he declared. "The people were brainwashed and lied to when they were told we have to make these changes and that the Pope wanted the tabernacle moved. The mystery is not why Christ the King didn't do it, but why the others did!
The priests were also misled into believing that the changes were inevitable and necessary, but when we started investigating we found that these things were not mandatory." (Author's emphasis.)
The hero of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is a man called Winston Smith. In point of fact he is not much of a hero, and eventually he capitulates. He accepts that Big Brother is right; he believes that black is white, he knows that black is white, and he is happy to know this, and to be united in belief with Big Brother and his mindless, obsequious subjects. But Winston Smith had at least put up a fight. He had not been prepared, as almost everyone else was, to surrender his God-given powers of intellect, reason, and will without a fight. Because he had refused to accept the consensus opinion, he was considered to be mad (i.e., insane) but he reasoned, "Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad."
Winston Smith was not mad; St. Athanasius and St. John Fisher were not mad. But was Monsignor Kearney mad? Let me repeat the observations that he made concerning the alleged obligation of removing the tabernacle from the main altar:
1. The people were lied to-----this means lied to by their bishops.
2. The people were brainwashed-----this means that unethical manipulative techniques were utilized to deceive them, by bishops, or with the approval of bishops.
3. There has been no mandatory legislation approved by the pope commanding that the tabernacle must be moved from the main altar of worship-----this means that priests who keep their tabernacle on the high altar are not breaking Church Law; therefore attempts by bishops to coerce them into demoting it to a lesser position constitutes an abuse of power which they would be entitled to resist.
As we examine Msgr. Kearney's allegations, we must bear in mind that, as a diocesan spokesman delighted to point out, he was in a minority of one in his position. But, as we are living in 1984, we shall bear in mind the words of Winston Smith that "being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad". We must thus accept the possibility that Msgr. Kearney was right, and that if he is, this reflects very badly on the countless parish priests who have instigated or acquiesced in the barbaric "frenzy of destruction" perpetrated in the sanctuaries of tens of thousands of Catholic churches at a financial cost of millions of dollars, and at a spiritual and artistic cost that can never be calculated: "Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem tuam, poluerunt templum sanctum tuum."
Emphasis in bold,
the Web Master's.