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Dignare me laudare te Virgo Sacrata;

Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.


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 In a piece on the Rorate Caeli website Fr Richard Cipolla tells of his Protestant upbringing in part of Rhode Island where the Catholic portion of the population prayed to the Blessed Virgin under the title of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.[1]  In the course of his piece he says this:

“The first Archbishop of this country, John Carroll, wrote to Rome at that time that the United States was a radically different country and milieu when compared to Europe, and that the European model of Catholicism would not play well in a country that was both Protestant and secular.  Many years later, in the peculiar euphoria after World War II, the Jesuit priest John Courtney Murray wrote a famous book called “We hold these Truths” in which he claimed that the religious “freedom” in the United States was and would be in the future a positive milieu in which the Catholic faith would flourish.  Both Archbishop Carroll and John Courtenay Murray were right in their understanding that the United States was a different world from that of Europe and that how things were done ecclesiastically in Europe would not work well in the United States.  Both can be understood as vindicated by the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Religious Liberty, Humanae Dignitatis.”


Here Fr Cipolla attempts to defend American Catholics’ immersion in the Americanist heresy.  Clearly the heresy’s roots predate Leo XIII’s Letter to James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, Testem Benevolentiae (January 22, 1899), by almost 100 years.  Its underlying principle is, as Leo XIII taught in that Letter—

“that, in order more easily to attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age, relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions... not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith…” 


In putting Avery Dulles’ device of ‘the model’ in the mouth of Archbishop John Carroll Fr Cipolla is simply appealing to subjectivism as a ruling principle.  There is only one Catholic religion; it does not transmute into different ‘models’ because of local conditions.  Any attempt to make it do so inevitably brings harmful effects, effects such as the adoption by American Catholics of the Masonic paradigm of ‘religious freedom’ enshrined in the American Constitution which replaces moral liberty in respect of religion—which liberty encompasses, and encompasses only, the one true religion on earth, the Catholic faith—with the unfettered ‘liberty’ of the French Revolutionaries that one may embrace any religion or no religion at all.  This perversion of the truth was extended, of course, by 2,300 bishops of the Catholic Church—and the Pope who supported them—to the whole of the Catholic faithful in the Declaration of Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, with effects whose evil is yet to be determined.


If the Catholic religion has lost its influence in America it is because its prelates have gone out of their way to accommodate their faith to the Protestant and the secular.     The lamentation of American Catholics over their inability to prevail over the atheistic tendencies of the greater proportion of their fellows follows inevitably on their deference to the Masonic paradigm and—here is the greatest evil of all—THEY CANNOT SEE IT !


One does not know whether to laugh or cry over Fr Cipolla’s appeal to the authority of the heterodox Fr John Courtney Murray.  And as for Dignitatis Humanae…!  May God save us from the effects of that appalling document through the intercession of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.



Michael Baker

August 6, 2019Transfiguration of the Lord