"Fascist!!!!"... I can't tell you how many times I've had this 'F-bomb' hurled at me during my days as a police officer. My patented reply to the bongwater back-washers who were the usual tossers of such insults, was always, "What exactly is a fascist anyway...???" This question more often than not proved way to challenging for the protester, leaving them tongue-tied and with a face as red as the backdrop of their Che Guevara t-shirt. It also managed to shut them up, leaving me with only their inane environmental/social justice/yada-yada rantings and the stale smell of hemp that was permeating from their pores to deal with. But hey, they'd more often than not give up on trying to push this bull's buttons...Mission accomplished. But really, what does fascism look like?
For the past few months here in my area of Southeastern North Carolina, we have been blessed with a visiting priest traveling from up to 2 hours away, to offer the faithful of our area the Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the last Sunday evening of each month. It has given this area a nice break from the typical modernist fair that is normally offered to us. Hell, I just heard a couple of weeks back from the lips of a convalescing priest at my parish how, John the Baptist, about whom Christ had said, "among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist"~Matthew 11:11, was a bit to heavy handed and probably wasn't so great with kids! Even the subversive teachings of such parochial impostors are easier to deal with, when you know you have something to look forward to at the end of the month.
The only downside to this monthly reprieve is that it has given me a whole new insight as to what fascism truly is. And no, it is not the version being presented to the congregation of the parish hosting the TLM. They have been told that it is the people who attend the TLM who are the fascists. Especially the ones who frequent blogs that demand accountability in regards to illegal immigrants. For whatever reason, they've been told that should not attend this Mass. This is a parish that consistently fails to post this Mass in their parish bulletin announcements, despite their being requested to do so, well in advance. Despite its endorsement from the diocese and the desire for it from the faithful, the TLM in my area has had more hurdles thrown at it then one could imagine. But then again, I guess this should be expected. After all, the adversary hates Latin, doesn't he?
So again, what is fascism? Could it be the hiring of a law enforcement officer to stand watch over a Mass that one does not approve of? This is something I've seen for the past 5 weeks. I'm sure who hired the last one would have really appreciated the officers scowling cross-armed performance. Can it be a pastor who does not approve of the TLM, confronting an Altar Boy about a delay in the Mass he is about to serve? He showed not only pure disgust towards this young man in his demeanor, but he also showed disdain for one of his fellow priests in addressing his concerns. Concerns that the laity should be spared of, regardless of where you stand on matters within the Church (The Mass was running behind schedule and this priest came over and made a scene regarding going over the time that he'd contracted the police officer for). Maybe experiencing fascism is attending a parish where you are afraid of being 'outed' for your traditional views. A parish where if you dare to receive Communion on your tongue, our Lord, handle as He was handled by the Roman soldiers on Calvary, gets jammed into your mouth perpendicularly, delivered with a glare of disapproval for showing what is deemed as an act of excessive piety. A parish where if you dare to fall out of line, you will surely hear about it from your pastors more approving flock. So stay in line if you want to keep those prestigious positions that the lauded laity feel so compelled to hold and are willing to compromise for. Just remember what you are sacrificing in your fear of speaking up.
This is the face of fascism that I've witnessed in the past few months. Like the boy who points out the emperors wardrobe flaws, I'm not bringing up anything but what should be obvious. Why has it taken me so long? Well, I guess I've been struggling lately with the right approach in addressing the problems I've personally witnessed within our beloved Church. I've been hung up on trying to find the right level of charity in delivering my message and end I up remaining silent over it. This is another thing that the adversary seems to prey on in our own nature. We are so caught up in how our acts are to be perceived that we end up doing nothing. Our weaknesses are used by him and becomes his strength. As a retired police officer, I can honestly say that I'd rather look down the barrel of a perps gun, than have to stand up for some of the things that need to be addressed within the Church. But it's what we are called to do, isn't it?
Fascism is alive and well within our Church. It has bullied good people into silence and placed the laity in roles that 40 years ago did not exist and should not exist for them today. It is the placement of this laity which has given fascism its roots within the Church. It is what drives this forcible suppression to what it opposes most:traditional Catholicism. Sure it takes a leader to establish a fascist mentality in a parish, but it doesn't have any legs if it were not for the the sheep who do not want to disrupt the status quo. I know, I know, we are all in fact sheep, but let's make sure we are following the right shepherd and not giving 'legs' to a fascist parish. Time to 'man up', 'woman up', 'cowboy up' and most importantly, 'Catholic up'. Remember, the good Lord has no use for a coward, but the devil sure does.
Saint Michael the Archangel...
Defend Us in Battle!!!