Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Either Liberalism or Catholicism

Catholicism or Liberalism.  The book with the pastoral letters and circulars of St. Bishop Ezequiel Moreno (1848–1906) helps to gain clarity.

Discussion by Wolfram Schrems *

As announced in the introduction to the biography of Ezequiel Moreno (1848–1906), here is a brief look at the strong and wise pastoral letters and circulars of the holy bishop, who was extremely popular among his diocesans.  A selection of these letters was translated this year by Konstantin Stäbler and published by Books on Demand on July 16, that is, on the same day as the hateful motu proprio to destroy the Mass.

Bishop Moreno put it clearly, memorably and “crisply”.  One reads the texts with great profit.  They are suitable as spiritual readings as well as objects of theological and historical studies.  As stated in the biography, Ezequiel was a man of pure intentions, a high level of education and exemplary fortitude.

Background: civil war and liberal uprisings

The translator explains the starting point for Bishop Moreno's work:

 “While the situation in Ecuador remained relatively calm until the 1890s, even after the murder of the great Catholic statesman Gabriel García Moreno, the founder of the Conservative Party of Ecuador, armed conflicts and civil wars between the two sides smoldered in Colombia as early as the 1850s  which culminated in the so-called Guerra de las Soberanías in 1860, when the Liberals successfully seized power under General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera.  Years of persecution of the Church followed ”(11).

Msgr. Moreno was appointed Vicar of Casanare in 1894 and Bishop of Pasto in 1895.  His greatest concern was the eternal fate of souls, which is why he was also a “pastor” in the true sense of the word.

Pastoral letter in Casanare

In the present volume, a pastoral letter from May 1, 1894 from his time in Casanare is first printed:

The basic message is, according to the everlasting teaching of the Church, which was then adopted by Pope Pius XI in 1925.  It should be confirmed that not only individuals but also peoples must submit to Christ (17).

The following passage will be particularly interesting for the present.  It is well known that some super-rich men can be called “philanthropists”, ie “people friends” or “people loving” (or also “benefactors”, Lk 22.25).  The holy bishop makes it clear that the Catholic missionaries are true friends of people and are willing to endure hardship and death for people:

 "Those who call themselves friends of mankind, Phi ... lan ... thro..pen (cymbalum tinniens [" ringing bell ", based on the words of St. Paul in first letter to the Corinthians]) never thought of it, just one step, to do for the good of the savages, and it cannot be reported, according to a wise writer, that even one of them shed a drop of blood in Japan or China to bring them out of their barbarism.  The Catholic Church, on the other hand, draws them to her heart;  at the price of the toil, the sacrifice, and even the life of her missionaries, she tries to instill in them the faith, civilization and heaven itself. Oh!  No denomination, no sect, no society does this, however philanthropic it may call itself ”(29).

First Pasto Epistle: Faith, Grace, Philosophy and Morality

As the newly appointed Bishop of Pasto, Fray Ezequiel impressed on his diocesans that "faith is necessary to obtain eternal salvation, for Jesus Christ made it clear that he who does not believe is condemned" (41).

The bishop notes the obvious, true faith drives out the dictatorship of demons:

Either Catholicism or Liberalism: The Book with Circular Letters [A quick search doesn’t offer an English translation] 

“To understand some of the enlightenment that faith has given the human mind, one need only remember the times preceding the preaching of the gospel to see the monstrous errors it dispelled with its brilliant and beautiful light  “(42).

 The “monstrous errors” are precisely those pagan atrocities and pachamamas that were, as it were, revived by the “Amazon Synod”.  As is well known, the council took place between the synod and the work of Bishop Moreno, which in Dignitatis humanae granted a certain legitimacy to the “monstrous errors” of human dignity.

 The evaluation of the ancient philosophers and sages by the bishop is extremely interesting and astute.  He traces the pagan debauchery, excesses and barbarism back to the false gods and notes the practical ineffectiveness of well-meaning and wise people:

 “Before the gospel was preached, there were men who are still called wise men today;  there were already men who are still called great philosophers today.  Yet despite their wisdom, the world remained in the same darkness with regard to God and morality.  She was still idolatrous and vicious, and sank deeper every day into the abyss of ignorance, superstition, immorality and barbarism.  People, even the wisest, showed themselves incapable of illuminating the peoples and bringing them out of the darkness and humiliation in which they found themselves ”(44).

 In doing so, he expresses what a secular historian has to state: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were the greatest pioneers of philosophy, indeed the inventors of it, but they played practically no role in their own time.  Only within the framework of the church did the best of Greek philosophy find its way into itself, so to speak, and could be made fruitful for the faith and actions of Christians.

 In addition, true faith makes everyone a "philosopher" in a certain sense:

“With the teaching of the gospel, people came into possession of knowledge through faith that they could never have known of themselves, even if they had extraordinary talent and had all devoted themselves to study without doing anything else.  And the most admirable part of it is that this lofty knowledge, this glorious science, this wisdom so far beyond that possessed by the few men who were called wise in ancient times, extended to all walks of life, even to them  most unfortunate and humble, and the people were more enlightened by faith than the most distinguished pagan philosophers.  That is why Minucius Felix exclaims: "It seems that all Christians were real philosophers, or that all philosophers had become Christians" "(46).

 Using a rhetorical device, the bishop points out that the moral-forming power of the gospel has been recognized even by one of its most determined enemies, and quotes this:

 “The divine book of the Gospel,” says one of them, “is the only thing necessary for a Christian, and it is the most useful even for those who are not Christians.  One only has to ponder it in order to feel love in one's soul for one's author and awaken in her the desire to fulfill his commandments.  Virtue has never been expressed in such a lovely and seductive language, nor has the deepest wisdom ever spoken with such admirable energy and simplicity ”” (48).

 It is a quote from the Pensées by J. J. Rousseau (!).

After a statement on the positive power of the Catholic faith for welfare and solicitude and for the containment of barbarism, contempt for women and cruelty, Ezequiel Moreno turns to the enemies of the Church.  These are "sons of the father of lies" and "messengers of the angel des non serviam".  They boastfully propagate “progress, riches, good fortune and all conceivable goods”.  But that never works in practice (57ff).

Lenten shepherd's letter 1897: Warning of secret societies and state interference

The destruction of morals is a conscious means which secret societies use to destroy the Catholic faith in the hearts of men and peoples (77).  The bishop therefore warns against any “dialogue” with unbelievers and enemies of the Church.  The state often interferes in church affairs and too many Catholics believe that they have to ingratiate themselves with the authorities, but no one can serve two masters, as Pope Pius IX in this context took note. (81).


The fifth pastoral letter is a call to atonement for a terrible desecration of the Blessed Sacrament by revolutionaries in Riobamba, Ecuador.  There are beautiful reflections on the Eucharist and real presence in the sacrament of the altar.  In the words of his religious father Augustine, he says that God could not have given more than Christ in the Eucharist (95ff).

The constant theme: liberalism as a gateway to arbitrariness, evil, anarchy, hostility to God

The circular that gives this volume the title: Catholicism or Liberalism (109) is particularly important.  (It is also already printed in the biography.) This is a profound analysis of liberalism following Donoso Cortés and Pope Leo XIII.  The bishop warns against any fraternization.  The occasion is a treatise by the priest Baltasar Vélem, who calls for reconciliation with liberalism.

In the other pastoral letters, the bishop points out God's approach: If people sin despite the warnings, God leaves them and they have to live with the consequences.  This is also relevant in times of the Corona dictatorship.  Sin is then the humiliation of the sinner.  At the political level, anarchism is the legitimate consequence of liberalism.  The consequences are murder, robbery, arson, and disaster (174).  Inner conformity with God also creates inner peace in situations of punishment (179).

Ezequiel is extremely critical of the sins of the press with their many lies and blasphemies, as well as the sins in the educational system, "which cry out to heaven because they turn against the children whom the divine Redeemer loves so much" (197).

If it is necessary to take up arms in defense of faith and the fatherland, one must do so; pacifism is inappropriate here (201).

The collective self-criticism expressed by the bishop, so to speak, is impressive and very worthy of heed for today:

"We are all more or less responsible for the evils we suffer as a nation, for we have all been more or less accomplices, if not the originators, of the sins that evoke the wrath of God" (203).


The holy bishop often deals with the same topics, so some things are repeated: repetitio docet.  The reader quickly gets used to the style of the bishop (which is of course somewhat foreign to us today) and likes to pick up the book.  Whether layman, priest or bishop, everyone can find inspiration and stimulation in this publication.  Thanks to the translator and editor for the excellent work.  There are a few more prescriptions than in the biography, but they are not worth mentioning.

 Our thanks go especially to the holy bishop, who offers his contemporaries and now us light and orientation.

Deo gratias.

Either Catholicism or liberalism, pastoral letters and circulars from Saint Ezequiel Moreno y Díaz, translated from Spanish by Konstantin Stäbler, production and publisher: BoD - Books on Demand, Norderstedt, 2021, 285 p., Distributed by, in Austria also

 * Wolfram Schrems, Mag. Theol., Mag. Phil., Catechist, Pro Lifer, heeded the advice of C. S. Lewis to consult literature from bygone eras in order to avoid the one-sidedness of the respective fashion.



Andy Gubla said...

There goes another lead balloon.

The anti-vaxx wagon has come to a halt with gearbox problems. Try reverse. It worked for the Italians in two WWs

Tancred said...

The Italians won WWI. If anything is falling apart, it’s your mental health.

susan said...

and big news today: UK gets rid of all 'covid' restrictions, while simultaneously Feybriel sharts himself after depression-downing multiple buckets of cheap English wine, and howls helplessly at the moon.....with a mask on.

AG said...

"UK gets rid of all 'covid' restrictions," The Brits took the pandemic seriously, embraced mass vaccination, distancing and masking rules seriously. That's why they keep bouncing back from the waves and spikes unlike the US which is held back by people who have checked in their intelligence at the doorway of superstition, faddism and manipulation by vested interests.
Yeehaaww, yawn.

Tancred said...

UK doesn’t have that many more deathvaxxed people, they just know omicron is a nothing burger.

susan said...

Actual headline TODAY...."Covid hospitalization data from San Francisco General Hospital...
72% of Covid patients are vaccinated (including 26% who are BOOSTED)"

Give it up've sharted all over your tutu and you look even more pathetic than ususal.

AG said...

Yeehaaw, as usual, offers as supporting evidence a catalog of fake news from even more dodgy sources. You need to do better than this, or, more probably, you can't.
Get help.

Tancred said...

Like the CNN talking points you ape aren’t fake news, Flamebrielle.

AG said...

CNN is one of the few credible 'Fact-Check' media organizations in the US. Fox is nothing more than 'News of the World' on television.
Facts and truth are mere inconveniences for that mob.
You should travel abroad old chap. You can do it with little difficulty now that you are triple vaccinated.

Tancred said...

No one watches CNN because like you, they always lie.

Catholic Mission said...

JANUARY 25, 2022
Matterella and Draghi are leftists and so do not interpret Vatican Council II with the Rational Premise but even Vigano and Schneider are not doing so . the liberals and conservatives are in the same leaky boat as unorthodoxy is rejected.

Sergio Mattarella and Mario Draghi were two leftist candidates who were vying for the presidential seat in Italy. Both have had their religious formation in the Catholic Church in the 1940’s when it was suggested that invisible cases of the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance were visible exceptions for the traditional strict interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus as held by the past Magisterium and the saints and popes. Like the rest of the Church they accepted the false premise i.e. invisible people are visible in the present times.LG 8, LG 14, LG 16 etc refer to visible non Catholics saved outside the Church in the present times.

Since the popes, from Pius XII did not correct the error in the Letter of the Holy Office , Pope Paul VI approved Vatican Council II also using the False Premise (invisible cases of LG 16 etc are visible examples of salvation outside the Catholic Church) instead of the Rational Premise ( invisible cases of LG 14,LG 16 etc are invisible in the present times).So the New Theology accepted by Mattarella and Draghi was outside the Church there is salvation and LG 8,LG 14, LG 16 etc are practical exceptions for the past extra ecclesiam nulla salus which was made obsolete, in the 1940’s and then again in 1965.

It is the same with Archbishop Carlo Vigano and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, they too accepted the New Theology of the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 and then Vatican Council II (1965).

None of them will affirm Vatican Council II (LG 8, LG 14, and LG 16, UR 3 etc) with the Rational Premise i.e. LG 8, LG 16 etc being hypothetical always, they are not objective exceptions for the Athanasius Creed.

They could affirm the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX today since there are no exceptions for Feeneyite EENS in Vatican Council II and the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 made a mistake when it interpreted the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance as being objective cases in the present times (1949).

No one is telling them that as Feeneyites they still can be Catholics who affirm the Athanasius Creed, Syllabus of Errors and Feeneyite EENS.They would meet the Four Marks of the Church, one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

Matterella and Draghi are leftists and so do not interpret Vatican Council II with the Rational Premise but even Vigano and Schneider are not doing so.

In the past when Michael Voris produced a good film which showed how the Catholic religion is a continuation of the Jewish religion and outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Abraham Foxman of the ADL objected and the Archbishop of Detroit told Michael Voris not to use the name Catholic for his media, at that time, Real Catholic TV. The Jewish Left was content.

Now if Archbishop Vigano and Bishop Schneider will affirm Vatican Council II with the Rational Premise, Abraham Foxman and the Jewish Left will protest and Pope Francis will approve clerical sanctions on Vigano and Schneider.There was a political precedent when Pope Pius XII and Archbishop Richard Cushing, imposed clerical sanctions on Fr. Leonard Feeney after the creation of the state of Israel.Fr.Leonard Feeney was not saying any thing new. He could not meet or see someone saved with the baptism of desire etc outside the Church.

So Archbishop Vigano and Bishop Schneider are not telling Catholics to accept Vatican Council II and to interpret it with the Rational Premise. They are leftist as Matterella and Draghi and have ‘good relations’ with the Jewish Left.if they advised Catholics to interpret Vatican Council II with the Rational Premise it would be assumed that they affirm Feeneyite EENS and the liberal rabbis would protest against their return to the old theology, without rejecting Vatican Council II.-Lionel Andrades

Catholic Mission said...

The Political Premise is an issue in the Catholic Church. If the Rational Premise is used to interpret Vatican Council II and other Magisterial Documents then there will be clerical sanctions imposed by the Vatican with the approval of the Left, on the priest or bishop.

With the Rational Premise there is harmony with Tradition ( EENS, Athanasius Creed, Syllabus of Errors ertc) and this is not welcome for the Left.

With the Rational Premise there can no more be the 'reforms of Vatican Council II', the 'new revelation and revolution with Vatican Council II' and the' the development of doctrine'.

It is only with the False Premise there can be a false New Theology which says outside the Church there is known salvation and which rejects the old theology which said outside the Church there is no salvation- since there can be no practical and known exceptions for us human beings.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano and Bishop Athanasius Schneider use the Political Premise, the False Premise to be politically correct with the Vatican and the Left.

The popes from Paul VI to Francis have used the Political Premise to interpret Vatican Council II and the popes from Pius XII have employed it to interpret extra ecclesiam nulla salus and the baptism of desire, baptism of blood and invincible ignorance- creating a new version, which is Cushingite and not Feeneyite.

So Archbishop Vigano and Bishop Schneider are avoiding clerical sanctions, like those imposed upon Fr. Leonard Feeney. They unethically use the False Premise to interpret Vatican Council II etc.

So there is no more mission as in the past, since the False Premise ( there are visible cases of no Catholics saved outside the Church) creates false exceptions (invisible cases of non Catholics saved outside the Catholic Church, without Catholic Faith and the baptism of water are exceptions for EENS).So the Athanasius Creed, Syllabus of Errors and dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, which was the theological basis for traditional mission is made obsolete.-Lionel Andrades