Friday, April 2, 2010
God's Messenger

Five years before the scandal began to emerge in secular print, I had been prepared in my youth by a priest to whom my confidence is forever and irrevocably dedicated, for I do not trust him as a prince, but as himself. He may not be called ‘Venerable.’ The Church has certainly not yet named him ‘Saint’ or ‘Blessed.’ I may only call him ‘Beloved.’ Beloved Malachy—Father Malachi Martin.

As a child of the South-eastern corner of the American States, I grew up surrounded by souls, well-meaning as they were, who brutally assaulted the Church so dear to my heart with the wildest accusations about her practises and the continuous threat of my personal damnation. Their arguments being based on emotion and ill-informed prejudice, I often had occasion to take pride in the pristine philosophy of Roman Catholic theology and the immemorial structure of the Body of Christ.

Though at thirteen, I had been taught more than most and had studied more than most Catholics, I was by no means wise. I certainly could not distinguish between the essence and the accidents of the Church’s rites. To see a divorce between the two would have been most injurious to any young soul, and this revelation was creeping on me day by day as I realized more and more the differences between the post-Vatican culture in which I partook of the Sacraments and the Traditional teachings instilled by my parents.

Scandals committed by clergy and religious against the Church first erupted in my world through the news I read and the pervading ugliness in Novus Ordo churches and Masses. These were revolutions against doctrine primarily. The declining beauty of the churches my family attended (we changed parishes several times) was a necessary evil in fleeing from the heretical dissidence preached by our former pastors. It was either ironic or deliberately unkind that the bishop gave the beautiful sanctuaries to the Leftist priests, but then that Ordinary himself was the object of more egregious scandal but a few years ago.

‘Well before the year 2,000 there will no longer be a religious institute recognisable as the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church of today... There will be no centralised control, no uniformity in teaching, no universality in practice of worship, prayer, sacrifice, and priesthood.’ _Malachi Martin

Just so. Such statements and such facts had the power to wrench my peace into shambles, but Father Martin always had a way of putting me back together. Whenever the Pope bewildered me, or a primate scandalized me, there he was the—true Jesuit, full of Ignatian fire for the papacy and for the truth.

‘We’ve never sat in his chair. He is the man chosen by the Holy Spirit; stop trying to be Pope.’ Such words mean so much coming from a man who looks on the facts unflinchingly and quite willingly discusses them. The same line means very little from the Neo-Conservative Catholics practicing this ignominious rule: ‘never criticize a priest.’

The further addition of Father Malachy’s personal theories and opinions behind papal motives were stunning, humbling, and wholly convincing. Through his works of thinly veiled ‘faction’, I found myself moved not only to forgive, but even to understand the plight tearing Holy Mother Church apart. It is the same condition tearing mankind apart everyday, and it comes back to the grossly simple principle that man is fallen.

He is fickle, weak, self-centred, and choked with sloth. Man’s is the nature that may on one day hail the Great Rabbi as he rides into Jerusalem on a stately ass with palms and praise, and five days late foam at the mouth for his death. In an hour of precious intimacy, he vows to follow his beloved Friend even to death; not a day later he denies every knowing Him.

It is a daunting task, in the wake of these fresh scandals, to turn one’s eyes to the countenance of the Lord. His indignation would surely burn us to cinders, yet if we could look at Him, there would be no surprise in His face. He recoiled in horror already at Gethsemane, underwent the torment required for expiation on the cross, and pronounced the words of forgiveness even in the midst of His Passion.

Yet, one must learn to emulate Dismas and not Gesmas in order to be with Him in paradise. We must not expect God to prove Himself by rescuing us from torment, or that which we love.
Malachi Martin made the inexorable point that in trying to play the World's game, even in the name of charity and prudence, leads to servitude of Mammon. It must be a crucified, perhaps marginalized, Church to which we belong, not one exalted in this world.

Accept this then: Judas has manifested himself again. The calumny, torture, and death at the hand of the World are to follow.


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Warsaw, Poland
Domine, spero quia mundum vicisti. Lord, I trust that Thou hast overcome the world. Panie, ufam, żeś pokonał świat.
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