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 The Marvelous & No to Communism



St. Prisca

Dear TIA,

I just read the account of St. Prisca that you featured on your site on June 16, 2010. Having never before heard of this saint, I was struck by the length and trials of her martyrdom. Can you give some background on where the author got all this information?

;Ad Jesum per Mariam,

R.G.
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A Strong Tendency toward the Marvelous

Hi Marian,

I felt the need to share the following with you: As a result of raising three girls, I am the target of many mail-order catalogs. There is one, in particular (Chasing Fireflies: www.chasing-fireflies.com), that came within the past few days, and it has many, many costumes for little girls, in preparation for Halloween. Sadly, the cover of the most recent one is called "Wishcraft".

Regardless, it has many costumes that seem to reflect that no matter how strongly the Revolution tries to push the whole egalitarian garbage down our throats, the need for little girls to dress up as fairies (a.k.a. a rendition of angels??) and princesses, and little boys to dress up as knights or "men of power" remains as strong today as it always probably ever was. Almost twice as many pages show these types of costumes than those of the more macabre (and those are in the back of the catalog). It seems no surprise that the Disney Princesses, and other such princesses are so popular.

Obviously, our natural inclination is to see queens and kings, to look up to them for guidance, and to aspire to such a position. It's so sad that so many mothers discredit the importance of hierarchy, and attempt to suppress - or even fight against - the natural tendencies of girls to want to be princesses and of little boys to yearn for swords, shields, and the need to protect. If we don't need protection now, I don't know when we would need it more!! It is my hope that the natural and needed hierarchy will soon return to impose order on all this chaos!!

     Keep fighting the good fight.

     E.S.
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Olympics & the Supreme Being

Dear TIA,

Salve Maria!

In Margaret C. Galitzin’s excellent article exposing The Strange Message in the 2012 Olympic Opening, the photo of Act One has its roots in the French Revolution. According to Wikipedia, please see below:

The Festival of the Supreme Being, by Pierre-Antoine Demachy (1794).

Feast to the Supreme Being French Revolution
To inaugurate the new state religion, Robespierre declared that 20 Prairial Year II (8 June 1794) would be the first day of national celebration of the Supreme Being, and future republican holidays were to be held every tenth day – the days of rest (décadi) in the new French Republican Calendar. Every locality was mandated to hold a commemorative event, but the event in Paris was designed on a massive scale. The festival was organized by the artist Jacques-Louis David and took place around a man-made mountain on the Champ de Mars. Robespierre assumed full leadership of the event, forcefully – and, to many, ostentatiously – declaring the truth and "social utility" of his new religion.


We are being led down a most dangerous path.

     In Maria,

     C.C.
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Condemnations of Communism

Dear TIA,

Whether Dorothy Day showed heroic virtue or sanctity is not for me to say. Nor is it for you to immediately dismiss out of hand.

However, your attitude brings up a question I wish you would answer:

Does being a devout traditional Catholic require that one embrace one and only one political or economic philosophy?

I'd appreciate your commenting on this.

     In Christ,

     B.B.
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TIA responds:

Dear B.B.,

A Catholic is not required to embrace only one political or economic philosophy, insofar as the philosophy he assumes is not condemned by the Church. If it is condemned, he cannot accept it.

Communism was declared “intrinsically evil” by Pius XI in the Encyclical Divini Redemptoris (March 19, 1937), following many other condemnations. Here is how Pius XI presents it:

“3. This all too imminent danger, Venerable Brethren, as you have already surmised, is bolshevistic and atheistic Communism, which aims at upsetting the social order and at undermining the very foundations of Christian civilization.

“4. In the face of such a threat, the Catholic Church could not and does not remain silent. This Apostolic See, above all, has not refrained from raising its voice, for it knows that its proper and social mission is to defend truth, justice and all those eternal values which Communism ignores or attacks. Ever since the days when groups of 'intellectuals' were formed in an arrogant attempt to free civilization from the bonds of morality and religion, Our Predecessors overtly and explicitly drew the attention of the world to the consequences of the dechristianization of human society.

"With reference to Communism, Our Venerable Predecessor, Pius IX, of holy memory, as early as 1846 pronounced a solemn condemnation, which he confirmed in the words of the Syllabus directed against 'that infamous doctrine of so-called Communism which is absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and if once adopted would utterly destroy the rights, property and possessions of all men, and even society itself.' [1]

"Later on, another of Our predecessors, the immortal Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Quod Apostolici muneris, defined Communism as 'the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin.' [2] With keen intuition he pointed out that the atheistic movements existing among the masses of the Machine Age had their origin in that school of philosophy which for centuries had sought to divorce science from the life of the Faith and of the Church.

“5. During Our Pontificate We too have frequently and with urgent insistence denounced the current trend to atheism which is alarmingly on the increase. In 1924 when Our relief mission returned from the Soviet Union, We condemned Communism in a special Allocution [3] which We addressed to the whole world. In our Encyclicals Miserentissimus Redemptor, [4] Quadragesimo anno, [5] Caritate Christi, [6] Acerba Animi, [7] Dilectissima Nobis, [8] We raised a solemn protest against the persecutions unleashed in Russia, in Mexico and now in Spain.

"Our two Allocutions of last year, the first on the occasion of the opening of the International Catholic Press Exposition and the second during Our audience to the Spanish refugees, along with Our message of last Christmas, have evoked a world-wide echo which is not yet spent. In fact, the most persistent enemies of the Church, who from Moscow are directing the struggle against Christian civilization, themselves bear witness, by their unceasing attacks in word and act, that even to this hour the Papacy has continued faithfully to protect the sanctuary of the Christian religion, and that it has called public attention to the perils of Communism more frequently and more effectively than any other public authority on earth.”


Further on, the Pontiff warns against the snares of Communism and launches his famous condemnation:

“57. In the beginning Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity; but very soon it realized that it was thus alienating the people. It has therefore changed its tactics, and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery of various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that in themselves are good and attractive.

"Thus, aware of the universal desire for peace, the leaders of Communism pretend to be the most zealous promoters and propagandists in the movement for world amity. Yet at the same time they stir up a class warfare which causes rivers of blood to flow, and, realizing that their system offers no internal guarantee of peace, they have recourse to unlimited armaments.

"Under various names which do not suggest Communism, they establish organizations and periodicals with the sole purpose of carrying their ideas into quarters otherwise inaccessible. They try perfidiously to worm their way even into professedly Catholic and religious organizations. Again, without receding an inch from their subversive principles, they invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church.

"Elsewhere they carry their hypocrisy so far as to encourage the belief that Communism, in countries where faith and culture are more strongly entrenched, will assume another and much milder form. It will not interfere with the practice of religion. It will respect liberty of conscience. There are some even who refer to certain changes recently introduced into Soviet legislation as a proof that Communism is about to abandon its program of war against God.

“58. See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically evil, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error. And the greater the antiquity and grandeur of the Christian civilization in the regions where Communism successfully penetrates, so much more devastating will be the hatred displayed by the godless.”
(Original here)

We can say, therefore, that if a Catholic approves Communism or any of its derivatives, he frontally incurs the blatant condemnation of Pius XI and of the other Pontiffs he mentions.

It seems very much that this was the case of Dorothy Day, who supported and was involved in several of those movements, as was demonstrated in articles by Dr. Carol Byrne (here & here).

On the other hand, Capitalism, which has many accidental defects that have also been criticized by the Popes, is essentially a regime according to natural law, respecting the right of private property and encouraging free initiative. You may find the praise of Popes for these aspects of Capitalism in an article by Mr. Patrick Odou (here).

At TIA, however, we do not pretend that Capitalism is ideal. A series of article by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira analyzed the contemporary false dilemma between Capitalism & Communism (here). He presented the Catholic solution, based on the principle of subsidiarity: Feudalism, a solution already successfully applied in the past could also be an efficient system for the future.

You see, therefore, that although there is liberty to choose among social-political-economic regimes or philosophies, as you call them, a Catholic cannot choose Communism in any way or form.

We hope this may help you.

     Cordially,

     TIA correspondence desk

Posted October 4, 2012
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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA