Thursday 27 July 2017

Blessed Titus Brandsma, Pray for Us

Today is the Memoria of Blessed Titus Brandsma. May he intercede for the Church and for those who strive to bear witness to Jesus Christ as writers, bloggers and journalists.

As many readers know well, Blessed Titus Brandsma is a patron of journalists. Rorate Caeli recently published the letter that would soon see the intensification of Nazi persecution of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands.

It was a Circular of the Archbishop of Utrecht in the name of the Episcopate to the directors and editors-in-chief of Catholic periodicals, but as Rorate note, it was drafted by Titus Brandsma himself. It is well worth reading for it declares as historical record the public confrontation between the Church in the Netherlands and the Nazi regime, emphasising that, as Rorate record, the refusal of the Episcopate to allow Catholic periodicals to become organs of propaganda either for Communists or for the Nazi regime, since both ideologies run contrary to the Catholic Faith.

We inhabit an age of daily propaganda, in which the barrage of messages dominating the media in the West can rarely be reconciled with the timeless message of the Church, concerning both the reality of human dignity, the foundational principles that underpin formely Christian societies and most especially concerning man's identity, his place in Creation and the relationship with God into which he is called.

It is astonishing, bewildering, in fact, that whole media outlets within the Catholic Church now, often headed by clergy have become little but mouthpieces for the world's propaganda, unable to communicate, perhaps unable even to give assent, to those beautiful Catholic teachings which provide the framework to not only Salvation in Christ, but to any society that wishes to be built on a time-tested understanding of love, the love of God and love of neighbour.

The Catholic Church has entered a time of doubt in Herself and in Her Lord, and many have in truth turned against Her, in favour of the darkness and confusion of the world's dictates, propagated by the masters of our age. The intensification of the battle between light and darkness is visible in the media organs of the Church, as more and more concessions are seen to be granted to those who would advocate that man's happiness and glory resides in something else other than God, and that, in fact, mankind is self-sufficient, and has no real need for the Salvation offered by Christ, amounting to a rejection of the First Commandment and all that flows from it.

The cacophany of voices demanding that the Catholic Church moves with the times rise ever louder and seem to grow in number and these voices are even to be found from Catholic journals and Catholic media organs which should know better. Yet, it is worse than simply this, since we find that the rejection of Christ's teachings for mankind's Salvation is something now echoed among the Successors of the Apostles and this trend is not countered with resistance from Pope Francis. This has served to undermine the propagation of the Catholic Faith, confusion and doubt reigns supreme and more clergy and bishops appear to the Church and to the World as Apostles of doubt.

For the Church, this hour is critical. For the World, also. The Catholic Church has always defended human freedom, but not the freedom of the individual to behave or believe as if God does not exist. The Church has always defended liberty, but never liberty as a concept that gives licence to societies to exclude God from its public squares. The Church has always defended brotherhood as a good that sows concord and understanding among different peoples, but not a brotherhood that can be achieved through the denial of Catholic teachings and a rejection of the Church's Lord and Master.

At this hour, it looks to so many who observe the Catholic Church in the West that within four years, the water that has flowed onto the Barque of St Peter amounts to a second, but deadly baptism for the Church. The waters that have flowed up to the neck and seek the head of the the Body of Christ are those waters of the world that seek to drown the Church Herself, they are currents of thought that find their origin in the values of the Enlightenment, values that begin and find their origin in the Terror, in the murder of priests, nuns, religious, of those who refuse to genuflect to the values of an age that is godless.

Now, whatever issue we face, whatever agenda is espoused by the world, we see that in reality they amount to a rejection of God which can only serve the world's destruction. Identities founded purely in race, purely in sexuality, purely in gender, purely in political thought without reference to the divine will, without recourse to natural law, without giving mankind the hope that is Jesus Christ can never serve man's happiness and only speed the breakdown and destruction of society on both a natural and supernatural level. Tyrannies are formed in this culture. Dictatorships require a rejection of divine truth, they thrive on moral relativism.

This dictatorship now appears to be dominant in the Catholic Church, truth itself is being subverted and undermined. We must implore the aid of Blessed Titus Brandsma to reveal and to resist the dictatorship of relativism that seeks to ensnare God's children in a web of lies and a deceitful tyranny which believes it can itself master and apprehend Truth, under a cunning but empty form of love. This is a battle that Catholic journalists, bloggers and writers have a duty to fight.

May he intercede for us today from his place in Heaven and aid us in our work to resist the dictatorship of relativism both outside and inside the Church.

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