History of Apostasy in the American Church
Apostasy in America Part I
In this article we examine the roots of the American Church so as to better understand the history of the apostasy of generations of our family members in the United States from the vicar of Christ, and to gain greater appreciation for the tremendous blessing of faith, in spite of this, we were still able to receive.
We undertake this short but highly insightful study with a particularly keen interest in how the Baltimore Catechism became the primary tool used to inculcate false teachings that ultimately led Catholics in this country to acquiesces to the Great Apostasy.
Now, we ask: How are you going to rebut a false Catholic in this country when for generations the primary teaching document of the Catholic Church in the United States indoctrinated Catholics with a single lie so powerful they do not know the Catholic faith?
Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence, Session 8, Nov. 22, 1439 declared, “The Athanasian Creed”, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the Catholic faith. Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled, without a doubt he shall perish eternally.”
But the Basic Catholic Doctrine: Baltimore Catechism No. 2, Lessons 11-20, Revised Edition; Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1941 taught this: “168. How can persons who are not members of the Catholic Church be saved? Persons who are not members of the Catholic Church can be saved if, through no fault of their own, they do not know that the Catholic Church is the true Church, but they love God and try to do His will, for in this way they are connected with the Church by desire.”
How then can ignorance result in something positive? How can the loss of something result in the gain of something? How can not knowing something result in a positive movement? Then, how could ignorance which is not a positive thing propel one into the Kingdom of Heaven?
Apostasy in America
Bishop Carroll, the Independent American Spirit, Freemasonry and the Nascent Roots of the American Church [AMCHURCH], written by Pauly Fongemie, edited by True Catholics
Part 1: The Pre-Cardinal Gibbons Period
Some American Catholics may need reminding that after the American Revolutionary War in the eastern portion of what is now the United States, all of the land colonized elsewhere by Europeans West of the Mississippi remained Catholic to the core. The 13 original states had few Catholics and the culture, social mores and political ideas were Protestant, intensely so. It is important to know this because the Protestant east had a profound effect on the Church in America, since that ethic, born of the “enlightenment”, science over religion, and the rebellion against the Social Reign of Christ the King, was the dominant force.
But it would be 300 years before the American Church of dissent, double-faced, weak, and making it easy for liberalism to gain a firm foothold, would burst forth from the seeds sown by the Protestant colonies and their servants, primarily because of the strength of the Faith from the immigrants; and too, whatever liberalism existed in the diocese of Baltimore – Maryland being the only Catholic dominated state at the time – that distancing from Tradition of what Pope Leo XIII termed the heresy of “Americanism”, that is, the uniqueness of the American experience that merited a special consideration, did not include dissent from moral doctrine, unlike today’s American Church, now referred to on these pages as AMCHURCH, to distinguish it from Catholics who happen to be American but are Catholics first and uphold all the doctrine of the Church and her Tradition. Never before has this chasm appeared more gaping than that seen in the AMCHURCH’s virtual capitulation to the homo-promo, de facto, if not always de jure. While faithful Catholics are appalled at the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of the rights of sodomites, so much so that the states are supposedly barred from any redress, some of the Bishops, stalwart shepherds have recoiled with them, but all too many responded with nuanced objections that could not possibly be taken seriously by the enemy, let alone the dumbfounded, betrayed Catholic in the pew. We must point out that before the ignominious decision, silence from the pulpit draped the land like a funeral pall.
But at the time of the founding of the first See in Baltimore and for those blessed three centuries, at least the moral doctrine of the Church, the Divine and Natural Law were intact. Alas it would not always be so, for once liberalism in any form becomes deeply rooted, like an invasive, insidious crop of weeds, it is impossible to eject for any length of time. And that liberalism, however somewhat restricted, so poisonous and ruinous to the Will of Christ, began with America’s first prelate …
The American hierarchy began under Bishop John Carroll a Jesuit, soon after the See of Baltimore was established by Pope Pius VI in 1789. Bishop Carroll was not consecrated Bishop until the following year. Bishop Carroll’s vision for the American Church was that it should be made to conform to the New Republic which was not Catholic in its spirit, to say the least. One can say, without any exaggeration that Carroll was the “architect” of AMCHURCH. When he took his coronation oath, he dropped the traditional line about “Extirpating heretics” as he wanted to defer to the Protestants around him, hardly a Catholic principle. He did not want to be unduly bothered by Roman ties according to his own view of things.
Bishop John Carroll came from the famous wealthy landowning Carroll family of Carrollton, Maryland. He was born in Prince George’s County in 1735, the youngest son of an Irish merchant father, Daniel; his mother, Eleanor, nee Darnell, was even wealthier. When he was thirteen he was sent abroad to study at the Jesuit College of St. Omer’s in Flanders; that school was known for its commitment to “republicanism”. In 1753, he entered the Jesuit order and was ordained in 1769 when he was 34 and taught philosophy there for six years. When Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuits, Father Carroll came home to America. His older brother Daniel and his second cousin Charles who were lawyers played an important part in the American Revolution in quasi-Masonic undertakings, which the priest was drawn into. Charles Carroll, who helped finance the War against England was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, while Father Carroll’s brother Daniel joined the Masons officially, rising to the post of Master Mason, even though this was forbidden for Catholics. One can already discern the budding “Americanist” Catholic.
After the War, Fr. Carroll organized a group of priests to represent the interests of American clergy and religious in Rome. On March 12, 1788, the priests of Baltimore and its surrounds requested of the Holy See permission to elect from their own a bishop so as to be as free as possible “from suspicion” by their fellow countrymen. The Protestant atmosphere was deadly from the beginning. The Protestants who detested “Popery” were largely successful because of such Catholics’ willingness to go along. The reverse would never be true.
What is particularly galling is that so few Catholics, probably because they were educated in the government – i.e. Protestant – schools know that anti-Popish sentiment actually fueled the colonists’ rebellion, more than the Stamp Tax, in the practical sense. What really fired their gullet was the Catholic success in neighboring Canada under the French monarchy before the French revolution. Coupled with the Stamp Act, which was actually unjust, it was a foregone conclusion that armed conflict was in the offing. However, most of the colonials were simple tradesmen or farmers, with little spleen for insurrection that required bloodshed. The revolutionary leaders needed a greater cause to rouse them to action; the utter distrust they bore for the Papists among them was sufficient cause indeed. The ring leaders held regular Popery days, when the regular folk would parade around in protest against Papist ideas, culminating with the burning of an image of the Pope in effigy. After repeated propaganda demonstrations, the idea of rebellion was instilled although only incidentally associated, with the Pope, or the Catholic Church, for the Pope was not calling for warfare from his flock in the colonies. The marches, called Pope Days, were used to organize the ordinary folks, so that aroused, they were more easily induced to armed insurrection, a means to another end, for “Popery” would never be much of a threat in the 13 original states, as we have witnessed all our lives. [Source for the Pope Day demonstrations: PATRIOTS, A.J. Langguth, Touchstone Books, 1988, pp. 20-21; 56, 60; 75-76; 94. Langguth was a Protestant, an honest one.]
It is in times like these when emotion, not reason, has the upper hand, as Justice Kennedy just revealed in his decision to go with the majority sanctioning sodomy as a “right”.
It is really a disgrace that Daniel Carroll would underwrite the rebellion and be a contributory signer! But then, he was a Mason in his heart, long before official membership. Paul Revere and Company were Masons, not a coincidence! One of the other tactics they employed was arson – the deliberate burning of the private homes of some of the British officers posted to the colonies, a heinous undertaking especially since there were innocent women and children within. No amount of taxation justified this, no amount!
Pope Pius VI, while rejecting the request of the Fr. Carroll contingency to permanently choose their own bishop, which was contra the rule of the Church, he unwisely granted them a one-time dispensation. We all know how these indults work out, do we not, when it came for Communion in the Hand in our century, for instance. Fr. Carroll was elected after the first choice was too old and frail to undertake the Bishopric. The die was cast, AMCHURCH had just been baptized!
According to Hugh Nolan, Catholic historian, Bishop Carroll was just what the Founders were looking for in a Catholic leader. He could be molded to their liking, as he was quick to please. Most interestingly Benjamin Franklin, occultist and Mason, approved whole-heartedly of Carroll, which tells us much, does it not? For, he, too, was a Mason of the heart if not formal membership, discarding sound Catholic teaching that the Church and State are not to be entirely separate, as Christ has rights in society, instead opting for the Masonic ideal of complete separation of Church and State, the operating milieu the US has been absorbed by ever since its founding. But it did not stop with secular government for Bishop Carroll, for he wanted to apply the same principles to the Church, including the popular election of bishops by diocesan priests, a thoroughly Protestant notion. In fact, as Randy Engel put it he “envisioned the American Church as a private corporation.”[Book III, p. 512.] Can you imagine?! Mrs. Engel adds that “the whole history of the Church in the United States has been the gracious accepting of that change, a constant adaptation to that life in a new and secular environment.” [Ibid.]
Bishop Carroll placed tolerance of other religions, high on his list, in opposition to the Apostles, who, according German Church historian, Johan Döllinger, “knew no tolerance, no leniency toward heresies … the Apostles considered false doctrine destructive as a wicked example.”
He went so far as to petition the Holy See to use a vernacular liturgy instead of the Latin of Tradition. Rome compromised by letting him administer the other Sacraments in the vernacular, by which Rome meant the English tongue only.
Despite his liberal tendencies, Bishop Carroll was considered a morally good man who was very learned with charming social graces, that drew important men, such as George Washington to him. And yet, he was not known to be particularly devout and wrote no religious works; his single contribution to works of prayer was his composition, Prayer for Civil Authorities in 1800:
We pray Thee, O Almighty and Eternal God, Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy; that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue, with unchanging faith, in the confession of Thy name.
We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life our chief bishop, N., the Vicar of our Lord Jesus Christ in the government of His Church; our own Bishop, (or Archbishop,) N., (if he is not consecrated, our Bishop-elect); all other Bishops, Prelates, and Pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise among us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.
We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom, and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgments decreed, assist, with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude, the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people, over whom he presides, by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy Divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our role and government; so, that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge, and may perpetuate to us the blessings of equal liberty.
We pray for his Excellency the Governor of this State, for the members of the Assembly, for all Judges, Magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare; that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.
We recommend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy all our brethren and fellow-citizens, throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge, and sanctified in the observance of most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and, after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.
Finally, we pray Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith, and repose in the sleep of peace: the souls of our parents, relations, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation; and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of Divine worship, and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Prayer Source: Manual of Prayers by Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, P.J. Kennedy & Sons, 1888
So he did at least recognize and uphold, although he favored separation of Church and State, that it is Christ that must direct society and government. This is a prime example of the confusion and its complexity that is rife in the ideology of liberalism. No liberal can hope to ever escape it and must always compartmentalize matters in order to not recognize the inconsistency of his objectives. This is particularly true where Catholicism is concerned; most, if not every single liberal “Catholic” tends to dogmatize his own preferences, while making revealed dogma an option at best. He becomes, in fact, the very rigid person he fulminates against.
One of Bishop Carroll’s stellar accomplishments was in fostering vocations to the priesthood and establishing a seminary. He got the French Sulpician, who were known at that time for their orthodoxy and excellent educational standards to direct the first seminary.
Despite his independent spirit, he had one attribute that must have been his salvation – he had a tender devotion to Our Lady, who always surpasses the love of her clients. No man who places himself under her care can go far wrong for long. And so his seminarians were orthodox in doctrine. And so it went with the other bishops in the late 18th and 19th centuries, with most bishops complying with the Council of Trent decree that bishops have their own seminaries, although it was permitted to send candidates to Roman seminaries for more study; in some cases bishops who could have sent seminarians abroad declined to do so as they were not much attached to Rome, which the Holy See was aware of.
Yet orthodoxy and priestly sanctification were a priority. The First Provincial Council of Baltimore, 1829, was a hallmark of the need for sacerdotal perfection, and the need to avoid those scandals that Christ warned about. This zeal for rectitude, fidelity to vows and orthodoxy was important to another bishop more liberal than Carroll,, the very Americanist bishop of Charleston, John England.
This state of affairs, with orthodoxy prevailing even among the Americanists hierarchy would not last more than 50 more years, within which time the Holy See was able to blunt the rise of separatism and Americanism that was brewing beneath the surface. In those years Traditionalism became dominant once again, thanks to the strategy of putting bishops in place from Europe, such as the French born Sulpician Ambrose Maréchal as the third Bishop of Baltimore. However, it was at this point that Americanist sympathizers were once more on the move surreptitiously. For instance, Bishop Maréchal had no idea that behind his back two Irish prelates in Ireland had consecrated two American bishops. Although there were a number of exceptions, most of the troublemakers would arise from the Irish, and not the German or other European clergy. The fourth bishop of Baltimore was the pro-Roman James Whitfield, under whom the German dominated Redemptorist Order flourished.
It was during this period that Catholic schools were established, mixed marriages were discouraged and the condemnation of Masonry and other secret societies was issued.
But because there was still a strong anti-Rome strain within the American hierarchy and elsewhere, like Modernism, difficult to dislodge completely, Rome had to issue encyclicals against it. These letters were for the Universal Church, although they were directed toward the liberalist tendency simmering in here and in France. One of the most noted of these was Pope Gregory XVI’s 1832 encyclical, Miarari Vos, On Liberalism and Religious Indifferentism. In this letter the Pontiff also condemned “immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.”
The transformation of the Catholic Church in America to the American Catholic Church [AMCHURCH] picked up its pace in the latter half of the 19th century; it was spurred by the waves of Irish immigration after the great potato famine, and from German and the Slavic nations. That dichotomy between the Irish – the largest immigrant group, which favored a national Church and the other ethnic groups held, with a few exceptions. Just between the years 1852 to 1884, there was a gradual shift based on ecclesiastical politics. The enduring trend was toward episcopal collegiality, a policy for assimilation that was so total that it was perilous for the faith because the accommodation it favored toward secularism was so powerful.
One example, perhaps the most critical for future years and the further loss of a true and proper Catholic identity, was the American bishops’ nuanced version of the infallible, age-old dogma, Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus – Outside the Church, No Salvation, a three time declared ex cathedra definition. The Americanist bishops declared that the multiplication of sects occurs because there is no supreme tribunal among men to nullify them … etc. This is what we mean by nuance, or the shading of meaning by the clever imposition of words. Since the bishops do not define supreme tribunal, their statement seems reasonable on the surface. But here is a supreme tribunal, the Holy Roman Pontiff acting in unity with the Apostolic mandate. The very words of Christ, Whose Vicar on earth is the Pope, nullify the various denominations.
Bishop Spalding believed that encyclicals, such as Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors, condemning liberalism, were really directed to Europe and not America, which, of course, was mere wishful thinking. Truth is truth and applies always and everywhere and to every single soul.
That Pontiff announced the First Vatican Council to correct modern errors and revise Church legislation two days before he issued that encyclical. Just over three hundred years after the closing of the Council of Trent, Vatican I opened December 8, 1869. All of the American bishops attended. The most contested matter was papal infallibility, until then, intrinsically held and believed throughout the Church throughout Tradition; however, it was not generally true for all of the American bishops, as these dissenters claimed it was not “politic”. Indeed, for often truth is inconvenient for those with ambition for political goals. But the doctrine on papal infallibility was even more inconvenient for local collegiality, which would not be able to be autonomous as some of the bishops desired. Almost half of the US bishops opposed the doctrine. Bishop Peter Kenrick of St. Louis was among that unhappy number. he was also opposed to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception!
Interestingly, the Americanist Spalding was for the doctrine of papal infallibility and in the end all the American bishops complied with the Petrine doctrine. We must also note that any original dissent was strictly the sensibility of those particular members of the hierarchy, and not that of the laity, as was the compromising of the dogma, Extra Ecclesiam – the people were not opposed as their bishops who were uncomfortable with it because it seemed to them to be against to what America stood for, and it was! But it is the duty of the Catholic, including the Shepherd, to uphold dogma, whatever the sacrifice. Otherwise, one fails in the virtue of faith. The Founders were either actual Masons of high degree or one with them in spirit. The first amendment is actually religious indifferentism in practice, which serves the ideals of Masonry. End
Editor’s Concluding Note
The beginnings of this masonic indoctrination are easier to comprehend when we put ourselves back in time. As difficult as these things are to discover, they are equally easy to accept with a little good will once we have learned of them.
Read Part 2. The story thickens.
Apostasy in America Part II
We continue with our simple examination of the roots of the American Catholic Church so as to better understand the history of the apostasy of the United States from the vicar of Christ. The hope is that we may gain a deeper understanding of the great gift of faith we have received in spite of the great obstacles that stood in the way. Perhaps it will enable us to help save a soul.
The Baltimore Catechism was created and used to inculcate great truths required for one’s salvation. Eventually, however several dubious phrases were added that lead to beliefs which ultimately led to the destruction of whole Catholic communities and their families. Additional background on this matter can be found on our website under the Section Heresy and article Heresy: the Belief ‘Invicible Ignorance Saves.’
Some of us who know of the rampant false Catholicism in this country and who find weekly evidence of it in the jammed-packed parking lots of Novus Ordo meeting halls each Sunday, periodically ask ourselves how this apostasy could possibly come to be. Those false Catholics who receive the lamb outside the true Catholic house, are made unholy, so says St. Pope Gregory the Great; but the ungodliness of those who do was indeed proceeded by their willful ignorance of the faith. For it had been made possible for them to know, if they had so desired to do so. Ignorance is said by great saints to be the reason for many sins.
Augustine says (De Nat. et Grat. lxvii) “that some sin through ignorance.” Aquinas says, “It is thus that ignorance is the cause of sin: for instance, when a man knows that what he is killing is a man, but not that it is his own father; or when one knows that a certain act is pleasurable, but not that it is a sin.”
Therefore, not to know one must know the faith to be saved, is for some, the cause of sin. Not knowing the true Faith due to ignorance and the perpetuation of false teachings is also what makes holding the true Faith impossible, a faith without which one cannot be saved.
Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence, Session 8, Nov. 22, 1439 declared, “The Athanasian Creed”, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the Catholic faith. Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled, without a doubt he shall perish eternally.”
It turns out to be the subject of ignorance by which Catholics in America were easily lured.
After its first major revision, the Basic Catholic Doctrine: Baltimore Catechism No. 2, Lessons 11-20, Revised Edition; Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1941 begin teaching this: “168. How can persons who are not members of the Catholic Church be saved? Persons who are not members of the Catholic Church can be saved if, through no fault of their own, they do not know that the Catholic Church is the true Church, but they love God and try to do His will, for in this way they are connected with the Church by desire.”
The problem with this language, as its authors well-knew, is the ambiguity that it embodies. There is no greater impediment to the advancement of knowledge than the ambiguity of words. Emo Phillips astutely noted, “Ambiguity is the devil’s volleyball.” This ball call ‘ignorance’ got volleyed about until most all those in the ‘game’ were worn out. The apostate Vatican II architects and their freemason overlords were masters in the art of ambiguity. Edward Schillebeexks, the schismatic and progressive peritus of Vatican II wrote, “We have used ambiguous phrases during the Council (Vatican II) and we know how we will interpret them afterwards.”
They certainly did know. And now, we have what they deliverd.
In the piece below, we will build on last month’s Part I: Apostasy in America, which can be found on our website under Topics. By doing so, we should be able to see a little deeper into how ambiguity was woven into the fabric of the curriculum of the American Catholic Church, until, finally, it reached such a point that our parents and grandparents no longer knew, understood, or professed the most fundamental dogma of our Church. There is no salvation outside the Church, but this dogma was able to be subverted and undermined with a little twisting of the words. With this undermining of Catholic Church, the majority of Her members, high and low, became so perverted, and the Church sank deeper and deeper until She at last seems to be extinguished. Today, it is found in the small remnant stay at home Catholics who hold fast to the traditions.
Apostasy in America Part II
The Cardinal Gibbons Period
In 1877, Bishop James Gibbons gained the See of Baltimore. It was this Bishop who brought Americanism to the fore in the Church in the US. Catholics were told that separation of Church and State protected the Church from interfering with faith and morals, something we 21st century Catholics know all too well is anything but the case, but is becoming increasingly the opposite as the Church is targeted for losing its tax-exempt status, one step away from actual policy dictation or else more draconian measures. It always goes on the installment plane, the better to habituate the people with propaganda for internal compliance.
Under Gibbons, new Catholic immigrants were told to become Americanized, not only to learn the English language, which is more than reasonable, but Americanized to the point they became suffused with the Protestant ethos, social, political, and then ripe for the religious blending, which we have today so rigorously that most Catholics have no idea they are less Catholic than they are Protestant, effectively. It would take less than a hundred years for this to be accomplished. In 1889 Catholic University pf America, in Washington, DC, was established, becoming the center of lay and clerical Americanists.
In 1884 Pope Leo XIII issued Humanum Genus, On Freemasonry. Gibbons ignored its implications, promoting the secret, anti-clerical Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor, a Marxist, anarchist group. This organization was the origin of the American Federation of Labor that drew many Catholics, despite that it served as a cradle for American communism. Gibbons had a natural penchant for being attracted to this sort of effort as he had been much influenced in his younger days by the preaching of Fr. Isaac Hecker, the founder of the Paulists, who was the forerunner of the Pentecostal movement, non-judgmental approach to other religions, and notorious for its love of novelty, which is not truly Catholic to the say the least, and the arch defender of all things Americanist, which means that Catholicism must be distilled of its vigor and Truth.
Gibbons proved to be a scandal to the average Catholic of his day. He was the founder of American ecumenism, preaching from protestant pulpits, using their Bible, and praying their prayers! Vatican II enthusiasts had nothing on him He could be said to also be the great grandfather of Assisi, for 1893 he gave the opening and closing prayers at the infamous World Parliament of Religions, side by side with the likes of the Theosophist, Annie Besant, and even pagan witches! Not to convert them, but to commune with them! He was joined in his efforts by Bishop John Ireland of St. Paul. Ireland was an ardent admirer of Fr. Hecker, calling him the “flower of the American priesthood.” Ireland’s world view was that the Church should follow in the standards of secular knowledge.
But there were those American prelates who stood with the traditional faith, such as Archbishop Michael Corrigan of New York, Bishop McQuaid of Rochester, among others who were fierce opponents of Americanism, and they were backed by German-language American Catholics who wanted their own schools, apart from the Irish Americanist domination; but they were hampered by Gibbons and his allies who moved to squelch the movement.
When the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore opened on November 9, 1884, the division in the hierarchy was evident for all to see. Pope Leo XIII was concerned about the growing rebellion in America. This council would not be like the previous Plenary Councils, for the Holy See had convened it and wanted to remain in charge, but it backed off when Gibbons and his fellow Americanists complained.
At the First Plenary Council, the bishops called for a standard catechism, but with changes respective to provincial needs: “A catechism shall be written which is better adapted to the circumstances of this Province; it shall give the Christian Doctrine as explained in Cardinal Bellarmine’s Catechism (1597), and when approved by the Holy See, it shall be published for the common use of Catholics”. The clause recommending Bellarmine’s catechism as a model was added at the special request of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Bellarmine’s Small Catechism, Italian text with English translation, was published in Boston in 1853.
The wish of the bishops was not carried out and the First and Second Plenary Councils of Baltimore [1852 and 1866] repeated the decree of 1829. In the Third Plenary Council many bishops were in favor of a “revised” edition of a 1775 catechism by Archbishop Butler from Ireland, but finally the matter was given into the hands of a committee of six bishops. At last, in 1885, was issued A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Prepared and Enjoined by Order of the Third Council of Baltimore. Although the council had desired a catechism “perfect in every respect”, theologians and teachers criticized several points. Soon various editions came forth with additions of word-meanings, explanatory notes, some even with different arrangements, so that soon there was a considerable diversity in the books that go by the name of Baltimore Catechism.
AMCHURCH was well on its way.
Thus, on January 6, 1895, Pope Leo XIII came down hard on the errors of Americanism, with the first of two encyclicals, Longinqua Oceani, On Catholicism in the United States, the impetus being Gibbons’ participation in the World Parliament of Religions. While there are many memorable lines, there is one that stands out for me:
” … it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced.”
The Americanists feared that the appointment of an apostolic delegate would hamper them; Leo XIII addressed this directly, writing that such a delegate would be an asset, assisting them to correct errors, etc., and he asked them to submit to the Holy See. Two of the troublemakers at Catholic universities lost their position, but only temporarily for there were sympathizers in Rome, such as Cardinal Rampolla, who saw to it that one was made a Bishop – Keane – and the other, O’Connell, Rector of CUA. In less than 65 short years our last true Pope was dead and a freemason false one had assumed the Chair of Peter. Thirty short years afterward, by 1988, when the webmaster of TrueCatholics.org entered the seminary at its on-campus Theological College, dubbed “Theological Closet”, the whole university was furiously swarming with pedophile “clergymen.”
As the 20th century loomed on the horizon, Americanism had not only not gone underground, but like the true virus it was, it infected almost every part of the Church in America and was threatening the Universal Church… Aware of this unhappy condition, Pope Leo wrote his second encyclical on Americanism, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, – Concerning New Opinions, Virtue, Nature and Grace, with regard to Americanism or “on the heresy of Americanism”, 1899. It opened with reaffirming Vatican I’s infallible declaration on the deposit of faith, which is divinely revealed and must be kept faithfully, that is the meaning of Sacred Dogmas are to be retained, once declared, nor is the meaning ever to be departed from under the pretext of a deeper understanding.
Father Hecker’s errors were cited, among which was the declaration that the Church must accommodate her teachings and discipline to the spirit of the age. Pope Leo condemned Pentecostalism and the idea that external spiritual direction is superfluous to souls. He also admonished those who thought that the passive virtues were secondary to the active, which in effect was destructive to the religious life.
The pontiff also debunked the trend to lessen the Catholic truth on salvation so as to appear more palatable. Here are three paragraphs from that encyclical:
“From the foregoing it is manifest, beloved son, that we are not able to give approval to those views which, in their collective sense, are called by some “Americanism.” But if by this name are to be understood certain endowments of mind which belong to the American people, just as other characteristics belong to various other nations, and if, moreover, by it is designated your political condition and the laws and customs by which you are governed, there is no reason to take exception to the name. But if this is to be so understood that the doctrines which have been adverted to above are not only indicated, but exalted, there can be no manner of doubt that our venerable brethren, the bishops of America, would be the first to repudiate and condemn it as being most injurious to themselves and to their country. For it would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and would have the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world.
But the true Church is one, as by unity of doctrine, so by unity of government, and she is Catholic also. Since God has placed the center and foundation of unity in the chair of Blessed Peter, she is rightly called the Roman Church, for ‘where Peter is, there is the Church.’ Wherefore, if anybody wishes to be considered a real Catholic, he ought to be able to say from his heart the selfsame words which Jerome addressed to Pope Damasus: ‘I, acknowledging no other leader than Christ, am bound in fellowship with Your Holiness; that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that the Church was built upon him as its rock, and that whosoever gathereth not with you, scattereth.’
We having thought it fitting, beloved son, in view of your high office, that this letter should be addressed specially to you [Gibbons]. It will also be our care to see that copies are sent to the bishops of the United States, testifying again that love by which we embrace your whole country, a country which in past times has done so much for the cause of religion, and which will by the Divine assistance continue to do still greater things. To you, and to all the faithful of America, we grant most lovingly, as a pledge of Divine assistance, our apostolic benediction.”
Thus we know with certainty that the Holy See knew well the threat that was growing within American ecclesiastical circles, that an “American” Church was gathering adherents – AMCHURCH. And the train would have kept increasing its speed down the track of solidification, but for the death of Pope Leo and the election of Pope St. Pius X, not what the Americanists had hoped for or expected. They had banked on the election of their man in the Vatican, Cardinal Rampolla.
Pius X is best known for his scathing indictment of the synthesis of all heresies, Modernism, one of its heresies being that the State must have absolute autonomy, that religious authority should have no bearing, the absolute autonomy of the conscience, without regard to the formation of one’s conscience by the Divine Law, and the “evolution” of doctrine, that is, truth changes, except for their own formula that the “dogma” of the changing nature of truth cannot change, a contradiction and hypocrisy, to say the least. If the “dogma” that truth changes is to hold true it of itself, this, too, must change, and therefore, truth does not change – something that the modernists cannot abide with. However, they try to advance it, it must be a ruse, by deceit.
It was this Pontiff that instituted the Oath against Modernism, whereby religious superiors, sacred teachers, and those holding ecclesiastical offices had to take a vow of fidelity to the Deposit of Faith.
It would be the false Pope Paul VI (papal number 666) who would abolish this, setting Modernism and its Americanist counterpart, AMCHURCH, loose to prowl about like a lion devouring whatever it could within its pathway. And the rest is history as the phrase goes.
Editor’s Concluding Note
It is true, the rest is history. If it weren’t for the last several true Popes up through Pius XII, it is likely none of us would even be here. Being here discussing this is the point, as true Catholics who were given by the Almighty the time we needed to come back to the true Faith.
Vatican II ensnared virtually everyone is some way, shape or fashion. Those of us who escaped its snares were given just enough clues and intentional fortitude to see the Vatican II Destroyer Council for what it was. Look at your family members in the Novus Ordo and their small Latin- “mass” going sects like the SSPX and CMRI; the beginnings of this masonic indoctrination should be easier to see now after you have placed yourselves back in time.
Too often people believe the way things are today is the way things always were, when, in fact, as regards the Catholic Church, nothing could be farther from the truth. As difficult as it is to stumble upon and discover the insidious changes that occurred and ultimately dismantled all that is true, it is equally easy to acknowledge and accept them as the answers for why things turned bad, for those possessing the divine gifts of good will and love of the truth.