My brain hurts, from trying to follow reports from Rome, in languages I imperfectly understand, about the relatio mentioned in my post yesterday. Let me recommend this morning’s synod briefing by Robert Royal (here) as the best and most reasonable summary of the riotous proceedings. To my mind, it becomes more apparent that a coup is being attempted, to foist a load of liberal rubbish on the world, and give it the appearance of revised Church doctrine. But to my relief, the best of the cardinals left by Saint John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, are aware of what is happening, and have begun to take action against it. We still have good men.

Let me also recommend a patient and attentive reading of Beati Immaculata — the long Psalm CXVIII — for some context on divine law, natural law, and ultimately civil law. It is an “ABC” on these matters, following the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and may be mastered through diligent prayer. (Our monks would break it down into eleven successive pairs of the eight-verse stanzas, to pray it carefully.)

And then, the remarkable encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on human liberty, Libertas (1879, here), which I don’t think has dated as an explanation of why the Church can make no truce with modernism. The modern man thinks he has a “right” to the manipulation of his own conscience. But our ability to err is not a right to err, and the perfect liberty which Christ bestows is freedom from the tyranny of sin and error. This liberty is ancient, indeed immortal, and can never be revised or “reformed.” On the contrary, the modern project to extend liberty — to discover and to legislate new liberties — is, “to tell the plain truth, of a vitiated kind, the fruit of the disorders of the age, and of an insatiate longing after novelties.”

“Insatiate.” There is no compromise to be had with the “reform” faction. Like the Islamists we have been dealing with, in another theatre, they will take each concession as a proof of weakness, and immediately press for more. It is suicidal foolishness to believe that one may negotiate with a serpent.

Set before me for a law the way of thy justifications, O Lord: and I will always seek after it. Give me understanding, and I will search thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart. Lead me into the path of thy commandments.