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Beware the Red Kettle: The Salvation Army and Abortion

December 21, AD2015
CS_RedKettle_WikipediaCommons
[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Catholic Stand, December 12, 2014. We are republishing here for your holiday consideration, since the message is still quite relevant today.]

It’s Advent and our thoughts naturally turn toward less fortunate souls, longing for basic niceties, and the call for selfless giving. Christ-like love, almsgiving, and prayer are staples of this anticipatory time which brings in the new Church year. The scripture readings at Mass remind us of those in need and our moral obligation toward them. What a sad statement about current times, then, that we are forced to look a gift horse in the mouth.

No, not the gifts we receive, but the gifts we give.

As the giving season continues, as well as the rest of the year, we are often hard-pressed to find a charity compatible with our moral values. The mainstay options of Girl Scouts, UNICEF, and the ALS Association have already been exposed as being bedfellows with unsavory sorts – like Planned Parenthood.

Although there are worthy, ethical alternatives, you won’t find them pushed by banks, schools, businesses, or even churches. You won’t encounter them as you fulfill Christmas wish lists at the local mall. But as Catholics, we are not called to be of the world – we are just temporary inhabitants in the world, on our way to Eternal Life. With this in mind, a Catholic is best served by a bit of research and discernment.

Does the Red Kettle Promote Our Values?

Ring-a-ling-a-ling — the bell beckons passers-by to drop their change into the red kettle of the Salvation Army (SA).Yet even charity isn’t as simple as it seems. What ethical problems surface when the SA is scrutinized? Shouldn’t we be concerned about the destination of our good deeds?

When it comes to large organizations, it isn’t enough to blindly give. As Catholics (or any Christians, for that matter), we have a moral obligation to hold charities accountable. Since there are many options, we are capable of making a difference by giving to good, morally sound organizations. In a past year, I wrote an in-depth piece outlining and providing sources to some very disturbing facts about the Salvation Army. Here, I offer an reiteration of what my research found.

What’s the Salvation Army’s Stance on Abortion?

On the surface, the beginning of the SA Positional Statement is morally sound. There is acknowledgment that all people are created in the image of God, and therefore have unique and intrinsic value.  They further state that human life is sacred, and that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. The Salvation Army also accepts that life beings at the moment of fertilization. So far, so good.

Later, in same section, there are shocking contradictions. The Salvation Army notes that termination can occur when “carrying the pregnancy further seriously threatens the life of the mother” or diagnostic procedures identify a fetal abnormality causing only a “very brief post-natal period”. Further, rape and incest also represent “special case[s] for the consideration of termination”. These exceptions portray a troubling contradiction to the professed “sanctity, unique dignity and respect” due to the “image of God” found in our unborn brethren.

Salvation Army and Planned Parenthood: What’s the Connection?

In order to determine collusion between the Salvation Army and Planned Parenthood, we must look at material cooperation as well as monetary support. While SA may not directly contribute to PP, there is evidence that they do partner with one another. Research by Life Decisions International has found this to be the case, and has placed the Salvation Army on their Dishonorable Mention list. Further, American Life League has also found a troubling connection between the two. Simply considering “all the good they do” is not enough to excuse or set aside this compromise of pro-life principles.

How About Contraception?

As we further peruse the SA website we can also find stated support of contraception in their international positional statement:

“A serious commitment to the protection and care of the unborn calls us to a commitment to the prevention of unwanted pregnancy through means such as access to reliable birth control ….”

Yikes, yet another position not in sync with Holy Mother Church! Don’t they know that oral and many other contraceptives (such as the IUD) are also abortifacients?

What Does the Salvation Army Teach About the Sacraments?

Here we find even more, compelling incompatibility. Founder William Booth completely rejected the Sacraments. Although for some years he continued to follow the Protestant tradition of two Sacraments – Baptism and the “Lord’s Supper” — he held they were purely symbolic, until finally he dispensed with them altogether. In practice, many adult recruits had never been baptized, nor was it required. In the end, Booth had come to the conclusion that not only were the Sacraments not vital, they were mistakes. Therefore, in his “Foundation Deed”, he abolished the Sacraments completely. This is definitely not a good match for Catholic charity.

Aren’t There Better, Moral Alternatives?

So how should we resolve our moral Advent/Christmas almsgiving conundrum? Do the good works performed by the SA outweigh their acceptance of abortion exceptions, support of contraception, and heretodox views?

In a word, no. After all, the options for charitable giving are vast. We are easily able to find a more ethical and life-affirming recipient for our alms. Rather than giving to a sect that has little moral common ground with Holy Mother Church, perhaps our focus should go to more suitable recipients.

Luke’s Gospel tells us, “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” (Luke 3:11) Surely, our pastors know of local families who are in need. Perhaps a young woman in your area finds herself pregnant during this season. Pregnancy Support Centers can always use help as well.

Using the comprehensive list provided by American Life League, we can also look for charitable opportunities, among organizations, that are ethically compatible with the teachings of Holy Mother Church. Among these: Food for the Poor, Habitat for Humanity, MaterCare International, Water.org and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Why not give a gift to some such person or group? How about you … do you have any ideas? Please share your suggestions with us!

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Birgit is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the pro-life movement. She has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 40 years. They have four children and nine living grandchildren (all age twelve and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest! Birgit can also be found on her personal blog Designs By Birgit and Facebook fan page Designs By Birgit, where she shares the pro-life memes she creates.

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  • SMTADUIB

    Fantastic post. Many local parishes have ways to serve the poor in their area.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Exactly – or we can even find the needy ourselves.

  • HammerDoc

    I much prefer “Food for the Poor.” Over 95% of money going to direct aid–both feeding the hungry AND helping them achieve the means to feed themselves.

  • dave

    This is a good one, 100% of your money goes to the mission, overhead funded by private donors. 100% Catholic too. http://heartsofjesusandmary.com/just-one-dollar-for-africa/

  • David Peters

    Thank you Birgit for this valuable information! This is an excellent article. I learned alot.

  • Tammy Rogers

    Help the Helpless is a Catholic organization that supports children in India. Minnesota based Sharing and Caring Hands is run by a selfless Catholic woman to help the homeless in a caring, compassionate way. I have not done extensive research on either but everything I’ve seen makes me confident that my financial support is being used for worthy purposes.

  • Cindy Ontko

    I first leanred about problems with the SA through American LIfe League. I agree with you. If you are a faithful Catholic who supports the Church’s position, then be careful about which organizations you are supporting. Since most people are limited when it comes to contributions, choose wisely. There are plenty of organizations that fully comply with Church teaching. Support them. The same thing applies to organizations that support Komen for cancer research. Give your money elsewhere. Be vigilant about making sure that not a penny of your money is going to Planned Parenthood. Thank you for reminding people about this topic.

  • JuanOskar JayMaynes

    I have put money into the red kettle over the years but should I stop because they’re a protestant sect that uses birth control? This giving thing is so confusing.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      JuanOskar, are you being facetious? The main point here is abortion – whether accepted for the ‘exception cases’, through abortifacient birth control, or collusion with Planned Parenthood. It’s not as if they were the only charity on earth! The fact that there are so many, morally sound, alternatives begs the question – why not direct our donations to an individual or organization that uphold the most basic of God’s commands? Love one another, thou shalt not murder!

  • CGDoc

    Tell me it ain’t so!

  • rosemarie kury

    I would also suggest giving to your local homeless shelters. They appreciate cash donations as well as clothing. After hearing about the Salvation Army several years ago, I won’t donate either. Cross International is another good Catholic organization. I give to the Food for the Poor and Cross instead of the CRS and the UCCB collection, because I know where the money is going. And if you really want to help Adopt a child or elderly person through Unbound, also a Catholic organization.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Thank you for the suggestions, Rosemarie.

  • Maggie

    Perhaps consider Aid To The Church In Need or CNEWA both of which are Papal Organizations. Do check them out.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Thanks, Maggie. I’ll check them out.

    • Lee B

      CNEWA is an excellent organization

  • Texas Catholic

    One lady from our parish (a convert in recent years) is working for the SA outside the Wal-Mart in our small town where I ran into her. She said she has been doing so for ten years. She says some people volunteer to collect for them at Christmas while others get paid. She said she gets paid. I didn’t ask her how much. I told her I had noticed the sign on the SA in the next town over where our parish is located — says it is “hiring” ringers for Christmas. She said they are still taking people.

    • Texas Catholic

      P.S. Just ran across this article. Pope tells head of Salvation Army in first audience that the Church and SA meet at society’s peripheries.
      http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/12/12/pope_salvationists_meet_catholics_at_peripheries_of_society/1114570

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      While I wholeheartedly agree that some goals are the same – feeding the poor, etc. – the sticking point is their (SA) acceptance of abortion in some instances, complete acceptance of contraception, and cooperation with Planned Parenthood. Although the SA is not all bad, I am confident that other agencies are much more compatible with Catholics seeking to partner with a charity. If such charities exist (and they do), why settle for a Protestant sect having so many irreconcilable differences?

      Bless Pope Francis and the SA General for coming together to discuss commonalities. As the Vicar of Christ, would we expect the pope to do anything less? On the other hand, the meeting was certainly not an across the board endorsement. Again. Many other, more suitable charities exist.

  • Rachel

    Cross Catholic Outreach!!! http://www.crosscatholic.org/ and your local chapter of St. Vincent de Paul. Thanks for the article…we are blessed with many good alternatives!!

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Yes, Cross Catholic Outreach is a good one! We participated in their Art for Kids project last Advent and I wrote about it in my personal blog.

  • Good Samaritan

    I donate to Samaritan’s purse.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll have to check them out as they are not listed at American Life League.

    • Nancy

      Wounded Warrior Project was given a flunking grade due to Exec.s taking millions for salaries. I am surprised you did not know that.

  • Florian

    I am grateful to know about this. I’m confused though as to why you believe the SA should accept the Sacraments – they are not a Catholic organization. As for S.A. I remember my grandmother telling me that when she was a child and my grandfather died at age 37 leaving my grandmother with 7 young children to care for, it was the Salvation Army that stepped in and helped – as well as her local Parish.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      I’m not saying that they should accept the sacraments, per se. They are, after all, a religion in their own right. What I’m saying is that they are not compatible with Church teaching. As Catholics, wouldn’t our money be better spent on charities that uphold the same ethical beliefs? There are plenty of organizations that meet this criteria. As a Protestant sect, that co-ops with Planned Parenthood, and accepts abortion exceptions, I’d think we’d move in another direction when looking to charities to which we should give.

  • Heather Irwin

    One thing to remember is that money donated at the kettles stays LOCALLY and directly funds the work your local SA service unit does to meet the basic needs of people in your own community: food, shelter, utilities. This work is vital, especially in places that don’t have a Catholic Charities office (and there are many, such as my community).

    We are very involved with our local SA because they meet needs that no one else in our community – or our area – can meet. Our SA service unit emphatically doesn’t pay for abortions or contraceptives, and, instead of partnering with our local PP, we work closely with our local crisis pregnancy center. And, yes, we’re Catholics. Faithful, magisterium-following Catholics.

    • Heather Irwin

      Also, your information about the USA SA and abortion is incorrect: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/salvation-army-usa-clashes-with-international-group-over-abortion

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      You will note that I don’t single out the USA branch of the SA in my article. Yet, since they are carried under the umbrella of the national group some of their funds go to there. There’s also the problem of them condoning contraception – some of which is abortifacient – as well as their known partnering with Planned Parenthood (the top abortion facility in the US). When there are so many solid prolife charities out there, I refrain from settling for one with whom I don’t share ethical positions of such magnitude.

      We’ll see if the General can get anywhere with the national group at their next meeting. In the mean time, I’ll refrain from supporting the SA.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      I’d also like to point out that the SA USA has no separate website or separate official stance. Therefore, anyone who researches the SA will only see their world-wide, official stances.

  • Martin Gran

    My coins will never drop into their kettles again!

    • I am sure glad it was just coins.

    • Martin Gran

      And what exactly do you drop into the red kettles? Aborted fetuses perhaps!

  • Yankeegator

    It is a protestant sect…

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Exactly! They denounce the Sacraments in addition to tolerating abortion exceptions and cooperating with Planned Parenthood.

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  • I should also add that we contribute to Food for the Poor and Guest House (rehab for addicted and alcoholic religious).

    • Lee B

      If an organization supports abortion in any way ,it is complicit in the murder and death of the innocent children in the womb. How, in any way can this be good, because they feed the poor, but murder their children.
      I would rather walk the streets and feed the poor myself

  • The Salvation Army does much good for the poor. I will continue to contribute to the Red Kettle.

  • RooforLife

    2 possibilities MaterCare International (MCI) is an association of Catholic Obstetricians
    and Gynecologists dedicated to improving the lives and health of
    mothers and their children both unborn and born throughout the world,
    through new initiatives of service, training, research, and advocacy, in
    accordance with the contemporary teaching contained in the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (St. John Paul II) and reiterated in the first Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est (God is Love)……
    Mercury One, Inc.

    PO Box 140489

    Irving, TX 75014-0489

    Phone:

    http://www.mercuryone.org

    Mission Statement: “We don’t stand between government aid and
    people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the
    government.”

    Motto: “Malice towards none and charity for all.”

    General Fund—efforts to “improve the human condition spiritually,
    emotionally, physically and mentally” one heart, one mind, one soul at a
    time.

    Israel Support Fund—Mercury One has committed to work in immediately
    sending two shipping cargo containers of medial and relief supplies to
    Israel. These supplies will be shared with the Israeli Defense Forces
    and Israeli hospitals. The hospitals we will be sharing these supplies
    with treat both Jews and Palestinians.

    Border Crisis—Support organizations at the border to supply food,
    clothing, water, and other relief to those children and families in most
    need. Money from this fund will also be used to support and provide
    relief to the organizations, families and individuals associated with
    protecting and defending the border as Mercury One recognizes the
    physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual toll on these individuals.

    Disaster Relief Fund—to help people and communities prepare for
    disasters, and when tragedy strikes these funds are used to help rebuild
    the lives and neighborhoods of those affected.

    Military and veterans—funds will be used to support active military
    and veterans, including those affected by the recent Fort Hood shooting,
    those suffering from PTSD, and those who have been otherwise injured
    serving our country.

    Values and Voices—Mercury One recognizes that a war over culture is
    taking place, and it looks to promote amazing music, art, books, and
    education wherever they are found. Donations to this fund will be used
    to support the values and voices of those who are developing culture in
    creative, honorable ways.

    Children—Donations to this fund will be used to protect children
    against human and sex trafficking, provide food and clothing to children
    in need, and support the children of military families

    No funding is provided for research purposes; no concerns found
    regarding life topics. Issues regarding organizational accountability
    and/or transparency as well as charity ratings are left to the potential
    donor for discernment….;. (both charities on ALL link~ http://www.all.org/charities?page=4

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  • JoAnne

    Save a Family Plan – “100% of all donations received by SAFP reaches the poor. This consistently has been accomplished since 1965. It is achieved by keeping administrative costs to a minimum. The operational costs are met by interest earned on short and long-term investments.” http://www.safp.org/history.html This is my favourite charity.

  • Donate to The Arc…I doubt that anyone would object to a program for the developmentally disabled!!

    • RooforLife
    • So what your saying, and I find it totally reprehensible, is that humans with intellectual disabilities are not entitled to education in all aspects of human sexuality which is a minor role of the Arc. The Arc provides money, housing, habilitation, supervision, sheltered workshops, foster parents, support groups for persons who have significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. The link assumes that these humans are less than human, have less rights than other humans, and are people not worthy of life. The characterization is wrong, inaccurate and discriminatory. I know because I was President of the local chapter and a member for years. The Arc is the single largest advocacy group for ID people and you should be ashamed of yourself. Not all disabled people are RC’s and should not be held to that standard. People with ID’s are humans…treat them as such as the Church usually ignores them.
      So tell me what’s a RC group which focuses on the needs of the developmentally disabled. Human decency precedes relgion, it does not flow from it.

    • Here is the organization which I headed that you bash:

      http://www.unitedarc.org/

      The organization serves all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, not just Catholics, but all severely disabled….through advocacy, job training and sheltered workshops, food, housing, love and honor…and yes, the profoundly disabled are sexual beings, so those issues in a small way are addressed,,,,not in the simplistic way your source describes…you insinuations are vile and totally unworthy of the mission of the Christ.

    • RooforLife

      This is a Catholic website hence this article is talking about funding certain things. You shared your link I looked it up on ALL and shared it. As a Catholic I do not want to fund groups that peddle the lie of safe sex, contraceptives and the like maybe some other Catholics don’t want to either. That’s my right like you can fund that or not. Maybe have the leadership contact ALL and let them know. Since Im not up on the help provided to people with disabilities in the CC I have to look more into it. but here is 2 links~
      for some Catholic Resources for persons with disabilities http://www.dioslc.org/ministries/disabilities
      1968, the Knights of Columbus has raised and donated more than
      $600 million to programs for people with intellectual and physical
      disabilities – Special Olympics ranks among the larger gifts the Order
      makes annually of time and money…..The Knights of Columbus commitment to Special Olympics and to hundreds
      of grassroots programs for people with intellectual and physical
      disabilities is an expression of our belief in the intrinsic worth of
      every human being…. http://www.kofc.org/un/en/service/affiliate/so/index.html
      NOTE: I have not seen a Catholic Charity that only helps Catholics ie pregnancy help, food for the poor, helping poor elderly etc.

  • TheWhiteLilyBlog

    Thank you so much for this post. It does matter to me, and I will now consider alternatives. The Sisters of Carmel are one such place, http://www.sistersofcarmel.com/), they celebrate only the traditional mass and their prayers fuel our efforts. Sisters for Life–please google them for contact–actually offer the Faith, I mean the Catholic Faith and not the faux lite version being promoted presently even in the highest levels of administration, to pregnant and post-abortion women and I am in present contact with one such young woman whom I think might have killed herself if it weren’t for their help, in New York city. And I would not neglect to give a donation to SSPX, whose position on the civic reign of Christ is completely unique. They still support it (that’s one of three changes from the Council that they are fighting). What that means in practice is that besides supporting the principle of the need that Christ be formally recognized in a nation’s foundation, like their constitution, SSPX supports the passage of laws even in secular nations that curtail the rights of others to sin according to the definition for sin the Church teaches, like a law against abortion or a law against homosexual actions, or for that matter, a law against usury or stock swindles. I know you might find it difficult to believe, but the present European Church does no longer promote such laws, telling us that our role is to ‘form consciences,’ which means that we should lead only by example, not by ‘coercion,’ which to them includes laws but even seems at times to include directly confronting sin, naming it, calling it out, or isolating sinners (denying them communion, for example) until they abandon their sin.

    There’s a direct connection between the Council and the promotion of secular, ‘free’ society where people kill or keep their babies etc. etc. according to their holy choice. American bishops are alone in the Church, well, excluding Africa, in their demand that abortion be re-criminalized, and I believe their position stems from the focused work of people such as the author of this post (because they came so late to their position, for one thing–they didn’t lead us to their position, we led them), who take their time to care about the details, like ‘some abortion is ok if you really really want one’ (i.e. rape, possible deformity of child, etc. etc.) and ‘contraception must be ok, you just can’t fight everything’ and so forth. We musn’t compromise wherever we see a way not to, even when that takes effort. I include divorce in my list, and THAT’s not easy to keep up!

    This might apply also to where we invest our money. My little IRA ‘matured’ recently, meaning I had the chance to choose where I invested it, and I found, just by googling around and using different search terms (like ‘ethical investing’ and so forth and picking up the right terms after a while, one of which was ‘bank profile’ which gives you a quick look at the general categories where an institution invests, and then you can get more specific from there), and anyway, I found a bank with an extremely high rating (banks get ‘grades’ according to the level of speculation in their loans, and other indicators) paying extremely high interest (2.25%, the highest I have seen on a 5 yr IRA–and it means their virtue is being rewarded, which real Catholics, not faux ones, still believe is the case) that makes loans only to small farms in their immediate locale. Not to Planned Barrenhood. Not to real estate speculation or junk construction loans. They didn’t want my out-of-town money, at first (they said they take only local investments and they didn’t need any money at the moment). But I just drove there, 135 miles, and they listened to my reasons and let me open the account. I’m saying, look around not only at donations but at your investments. (And btw, don’t shop Amazon!!!)

    It’s a hard luck life we got! But, Birgit Jones, it matters to me, so much, and you have given us valuable information here, and applied a rigorous standard. And what else should we expect of Catholics, whose baptism gives glowing membership in the Mystical Body of Christ. Merry Christmas, thank you.

    • A donation to SSPX?

      Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, stated on 22 December 2013 that the leaders of the Society are in schism, having departed from communion with the Church, but that the door is open for them if they change their attitude and accept the Catholic Church’s conditions and the Pope as the definitive criterion of membership. In another interview on 12 February 2014, he said there is no backdoor for admittance, but only the open door of acceptance of the doctrinal preamble presented to the society in 2012.

    • TheWhiteLilyBlog

      Dear Phil, Yes, he said that, along with many alarming statements from the present magisterium, some of which were unacceptable and even defaming to Muller himself, most of them internally contradictory, or contradictory with decisions made at a higher level than Muller. I would plead that the good, the single good, of SSPX holding on to the principle of the Catholic state, is worth–everything, to those of us who are active in the struggle against abortion and sexual immorality. They have kept open the possibility of laws against these social scourges, they have stayed right there on the Vatican’s front porch, knocking with the good old traditional doctrine, and they most certainly deserve our gratitude and our support.

    • I am unfamiliar with the “principle of the Catholic state”…could you briefly explain?

    • TheWhiteLilyBlog

      Phil, it’s a big topic for a com box, but basically it means that it is a good thing when the Catholic Church is in unity with the civic part of society, the state, regarding the fundamentals. This is how it was for about a thousand years–not counting the turbulent times of the dying Roman empire–right up to 1517 when Luther struck his first blow against the Church, shortly followed by England’s power grab. It was as much about destroying the regulated economics of the Catholic state (think, guilds) as about theology, but it all goes together, all under the name of a false freedom. Many Catholics struggled for a while, but most have eventually given in to the principle of secularism, which is how they made ‘peace’ among all the sects that sprang up after the rebellion. I think we had to wait the full five hundred years, right up to the present, to understand just how much secularism does not work, and now, if we cannot get the full state, at least not right away (because I still have hope!), we need the permission to enact what amounts to Catholic morals into law for all, and after Vatican II, with some highly tricky wording, that permission was very subtly withdrawn in favor of personal ‘dignity’ and other buzz words that mean we only get to convince people through our own good morals, we don’t get to press for laws. See Chicago’s Bishop Cupich’s statement on why he would not let priests participate in the 40 Days for Life–it isn’t ‘Catholic enough’ meaning it strongly calls for legislation. This is why I, an active pro-life person, appreciate so much that SSPX alone–they are the only ones, you will find it too–has stood up for this principle. Abortion cannot be a choice, just like a burqa cannot be a choice, if we want to eradicate them. Women need the back up of a law to protect them. If you stand outside an abortion clinic any Saturday morning, it will change your understanding of who is choosing what for whom.

      But I can’t cover anything in a com box. Would you google and read Quas Primas, Pius XI? It says it so well. There is no justice possible for anyone in a state that denies the first justice, the one we owe to God. Secularism is impossible, turns rogue. Religious liberty is a sham, a pretense–no two things are equal, not even operating systems, let alone religions (not the same as tolerance, though, what the Church held prior to the Council). There must be coherence between the fundamentals held by the Church and by the state, just like between a mother and a father, or friends. Otherwise there is confusion at critical points, and that’s the devil’s tool. Look how it is being used now–just enough confusion to let us hang ourselves. The Catholic state is something we could work toward–start slowly building a third party, the way they have done in Hungary, which would include converting people to the Faith, since a Catholic state is impossible without a tipping point of people in the state of grace–it’s disciplined state and you need enough people following that discipline for it to work. The traditional Church said a majority of the people had to be Catholic to legitimize a Catholic state.

      I appreciate your considerate answer, for not brushing me off, and have hope you’ll start pursuing the topic on your own.

    • Well, I did take some time and review the archives of SSPX and Fellay’s statements. I was quite taken aback with a thread of anti-semitism (though they attempt to skate around the issue.)..deicide and Jews? Come on now….I have also read their views of Pope Francis and ecumenism in their archives and the lack of outright condemnation of former Bishop Williamson who denied Shoah. It’s as if Vat II never existed. This is an organization of dissenting clerics I could never support. They give traditionalism a bad taste. The Southern Poverty law center, although a few facts are wrong like all SSPX priests were excommunicated, define SSPX as a hate group? I save my change for the bell ringers who feed the homeless….

    • TheWhiteLilyBlog

      Phil, please quote the exact anti-Semitic words. Then readers will see that by anti-Semitic is meant saying only the facts of the matter, and when you quote them, readers can fairly make up their own mind. They are as ‘anti-Semitic’ as pointing out anything wrong Jews do, today as well, as in Palestine. The Jews brought Christ to the Romans and demanded his death. SSPX wishes to retain the ancient language that states the facts, and that is all. And they didn’t condemn Williamson? They EXPELLED him, Phil. You get it right that they deny Vatican II, but you seem to act automatically scandalized about that, as if it were not possible that the Council could have been taken over by liberals even though you have the Synod on the Family as current evidence right before your eyes that Church meetings can be taken over, can be turned from the Truth, and must–must, by men of good will–be brought back to the truth. Phil, you don’t address the issues, and you didn’t just wake up to this topic, your familiarity with the buzz issues reveals it. You want to repeat the empty cliches without any details. The issues on the table are the civic reign of Christ the King, of which you earlier said you had never heard (but I wonder if you went and read Quas Primas!), ecumenism, and collegiality. Listen, let you condemn me here: I name the Council as the cause of enormous social and religious misery, and would set myself on fire to get us to simply deal with the content of the issues, argue it out as rational men, if I thought God would want me to. And I say that not as a Catholic only, but as a life-long civil rights activist who has seen the righteous cause of the African American community brought down, not by Jim Crow but by the defection of the Church to take leadership on that and more, on economics, and more, on the necessity of virtue as the only measure of worth (instead we got a ubiquitous ‘dignity’ everybody has and a bunch of rights that come with it) and to hide instead among the convenient ‘sister churches.’ SSPX sat down with Rome, they argued it out, and as Bishop Fellay simplifies it, Rome said, ‘That’s all very well and good. Clearly you honor tradition. Well, we are the new tradition. So get over yourselves and sign on.’ Just like that. Rome in those recent talks did not have arguments to refute the simple fact that the Council changed Catholic teaching on issues a, b, and c, to new teaching d, e, and f, as the SSPX theologians so clearly had laid out, but Rome has no right ever to do that, no pope does, we must only pass on what we have received from Christ and the apostles. In the case of the civic reign of Christ, passing that truth on will earn us martyrdom now. That is forbidden talk. That is what the powers that be are truly terrified of. That would mean using democracy to make a real change, including in economics. They would never permit it. And Rome knew it in 1962, and co-opted. She chose the role of well-paid curator of a museum known as the Faith. The Church has done so in the past, and eventually righted Herself. SSPX is trying to make that happen again. Yes, Williamson was a cad, but it took a while to come out, and at the time of his consecration, allies were far and few between for the only bunch to not only recognize what had happened at Vatican II but to fight. Haven’t you ever been wrong about somebody, or a mutual fund at least?

    • http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/01/04/sspx-leader-calls-jewish-people-enemies-of-the-church/

      It’s called skating around one’s beliefs….
      Frankly I wholly support Vat II and Francis….

    • Florian

      What Society? I thought the issue was the Salvation Army?

    • Well, it was, then a commentator suggested that that money be channeled to SSPX instead…which needed a response

    • TheWhiteLilyBlog

      Earlier comment he’s replying to.