Rorate Caeli

Radicati Editorial: ‘Mercyism’ is moralism

Editorial: Radicati nella fede, July 2016
Newsletter of the Catholic community of
Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy

This ‘mercyism’ which is so much in fashion is nothing other than moralism.

We can all see that it’s very much the fashion today to present the Catholic Church as always forgiving, welcoming and not judging. Those wishing to stay inside the new course of the modernized Church have to be like that. There are many priests in the Church who don’t dare make even one condemnation on sin – unless this condemnation follows the dictates of the dominant secular culture.  They then reprogram themselves as the silent merciful types and so seem to be blessing the most horrendous sins that become civil liberties under this 'mercyism'.

This 'mercyism' is nothing other than gloomy moralism: That 'Catholic deviation' which makes the Church concerned only about morality, almost completely neglecting the truths of the faith.

Certainly morality is important -- God forbid! But if morality doesn’t start from dogma, from God Himself,  it ends up being transformed into a gloomy  “instructions for use”.

At a glance, a Church like this, instead of being a sign of God, goes on at length in very tiresome proclamations a propos society and its rules, trying to please modern-day man; trying to please those (and there are many). who, while not being interested in the things of God, need in the immediate future, a 'useful' church to  accommodate men and their affairs.  A Church like this seems to suit churchmen, who throw themselves headlong into debates about 'values', hoping to recuperate the position they have lost in modern, agnostic, atheistic society.  Too many Pastors in this way, have transformed themselves into agents of modern morality and with the inference of “mercyism” attempt desperately to be liked in their re-found social usefulness.

What deception thinking morals more interesting than God! What deception thinking human morality has some attraction if it’s not related to God!

It is a situation which is extremely pitiful and has created an asphyxiating climate: a church apparently more 'practical' as it is immersed in current events, which are shown instantly to be repetitive and useless as they have abandoned man to a solitude without God.

This 'mercyism', inside moralism, is one of the darker ‘fruits’ of Naturalism: The Church by no longer referring to God, Revelation, the supernatural life and sanctifying grace, is in fact wavering on  what seems to be an “instructions for use” type of morality.

So what must the Church do then?  She must be a sign of God.

She must be a sign of God to men, She must be a sign of the miracle of grace that comes from Christ, the only One, Who can change hearts and make wills strong in their obedience to all of God’s law. The great pedagogy of Catholic Tradition and of the Saints throughout 2000 years of Christianity has always taught God first and then asked for a morality corresponding to His holiness.

Conversely, the modernized church entirely centred on man cannot do this anymore. It is a church that has lost its Divine centre and has to fill its terrible emptiness by wavering on morality. This morality without God, this modern church, will increasingly be debased because its morality is practicable only through human efforts.

'Mercyism' has precisely this aim: to give the new, naturalized Christianity a morality that’s easily reached, i.e. merely human.

The saints, on the other hand, by living in God, were a sign of His Holiness, asking of themselves and everyone else, holiness through God’s own sanctity: this is Christian morality! Further, they were a sign of the miracle of Grace, the strength of God Himself, which, when entering [our souls] causes the equally great miracle of our conversion.

This is why we are not interested in this 'mercyism', just as we are not interested in 'rigourism' as both are false and deceiving: both leave God out and man’s only need is God.

Vigilance against moralism in all its forms is essential if we want to see our lives prosper and continue to remain Catholics.

This is why we are more and more concerned about saving the Traditional Catholic Mass and why we didn’t start [our work] with debates on morality. We did this because the Old Mass is always a sign of God and the supernatural life, decisively, which is absent in the botched [liturgical] reform of recent decades.  The Catholic Mass of Ages is the prime and greatest antidote against the naturalist heresy which has as its outcome, the moralism heresy.

We’d like to say something to everyone: be it the fanatics of the welcoming church, which passes the gravity of sin over in silence; be it the neo-rigourist conservatives, who, rightly frightened by the immoral deviation inside and outside the Church, engage in a battle that seems to stop only at rules: dear friends, let’s worry about keeping our eyes fixed on God, let’s worry about the integrity of the Rite of Mass, then also the moral teaching will be recuperated.

We cannot be under any illusions though, the reverse will never happen, unless the battle for morality is traced back to God.  If it doesn’t start there, it is destined to get bogged down in the swamps of moralism which kills man by trapping him in himself.

Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana