Thursday, July 12, 2018

Why Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” wrote poet Robert Frost. In the opening line to his famous poem, “Mending Wall,” Frost explores one of the mysteries of fallen human nature. Everyone feels both a need and aversion for order. His questioning of the role of walls tries to explain this contradiction.
Exercising the simple task of mending a stone wall on his farm, the poet works with his neighbor to repair the damages of time and weather that have thrown down stones from the barrier. He surveys the work of hunters who have created gaps by ferreting out hidden rabbits. The stone wall has breaches that “even two can pass abreast.”

Frost’s consideration of the stone fence can shed some light on the troubles on the American border. Truly “something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” There is a violent urge “that wants it down,” Frost declares with emphasis. There is a hidden sympathy for letting things run down, while there is a suspicion that order is needed.
The Nature of Borders
In the present debate about the border, there is something of Frost’s dilemma. A good part of the squabble about a border wall is not about the size and shape of an eventual barrier to bar those entering illegally.
The liberal rage against the wall has much to do with the nature of boundaries. Indeed, walls, borders and fences are manifestations of restraint. They indicate that there are differences between things on one side and the other. Limits affirm that some things are better left separate to keep the peace. Boundaries secure the property of individuals against those who have none. They protect the sovereignty of nations against those who might enter without permission or do them harm.
Thus, walls are not loved, because walls say “no.” Many mistakenly believe that any saying of “no” is hurtful and causes people to suffer. And so, radicals claim, fences must be eliminated; they are not inclusive. The earth belongs to everyone. Walls must come crashing down.
A Rousseauian Perspective
Thus, borders and walls have always had enemies that are ready to take them down.
Such is the case of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who already in the eighteenth century, promoted an anti-wall outlook. The famous French philosopher affirmed that “The first person who, having fenced off a plot of ground, and took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society.”
Rousseau further speculates saying “What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared by someone who, uprooting the stakes or filling in the ditch, had shouted to his fellowmen: Beware of listening to this imposter: you are lost if you forget that the fruits belong to all and the earth to no one!
Rousseau’s dramatic screed contains a major error that contrasts with the teachings of the Church and the experience of reality.
The Earth Is Made to Be Shared by All
The great error is the affirmation that the earth belongs to no one. Radicals might be surprised to learn that the Church teaches that the earth was made to be shared by all.
However, natural Law does not give rules about how the earth is to be shared. That was left to human reason. Thus, Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches: “Community of goods is ascribed to the natural law, not that the natural law dictates that all things should be possessed in common and that nothing should be possessed as one’s own: but because the division of possessions is not according to the natural law, but rather arose from human agreement which belongs to positive law, as stated above (Q 57, Arts 2,3). Hence the ownership of possessions is not contrary to the natural law, but an addition thereto devised by human reason.”
Thus, the antipathy for walls has some foundation in reality. Were there no sin or disorder, all mankind would live together harmoniously without boundaries.
However, the sad reality of experience is that disorder and sin do exist no matter how much the world tries to suppress them. Fallen humanity naturally resists the restraints of order that keep the unbridled passions under control. Walls are needed to keep the peace.
Keeping Peace and Harmony
Although the earth was made to be shared by all, fallen nature calls for private property, so that by caring for that which is strictly one’s own, peace and harmony of society are preserved. It is well known that what is common to all is often cared for by none. For as Aristotle points out if property is commonly owned, “complaints are bound to arise between those who enjoy or take much but work little and those who take less but work more.”
Justice thus demands that there be property and the walls that secure it. Saint Thomas Aquinas further observes that “quarrels arise more frequently when there is no division of the things possessed.”
These divisions that take the form of fences or walls are therefore needed to preserve harmony and prosperity. When individuals clearly know what belongs to them, they will make the most efficient use of their own resources. They will see themselves adequately compensated for their efforts. Everyone benefits from this division. Christian charity becomes possible since people possess that which can be given to others.
Thus, Saint Albert the Great affirms that “everybody is by nature inclined to pay more attention to what is his own than to what is common; so that if this will be better cultivated it will also grow to good fruition where all are concerned.”
The proper Christian concept of property with walls facilitates the well-being of a world shared by all. It avoids the savagery of Rousseau’s hellish world without fences where “the fruits belong to all and the earth to no one!”
Constant Mending
Returning to Frost’s poem, it is not enough that there be walls. They must also be periodically mended. It takes continuous effort to define those limits that separate farmers and farms. Unrepaired walls can also lead to quarrels and disputes. When borders become unclear, they can quickly degenerate into ambiguous situations that the same fallen human nature exploits to disturb the peace.
Even when harmony appears to reign, mended walls are needed. Frost playfully asks his neighbor what they are “walling in or walling out.” Frost observes that “my apple trees will never get across and eat the cones under his pines.”
To which the neighbor replies: “Good fences make good neighbors.” It is his age-old acknowledgment of fallen nature. He does not understand the theology of Original Sin or desire “to go behind his father’s saying.” He merely repeats the tradition handed down to him.
Likewise, so many do not understand the need for limits and restraint. They want to tear down walls because they say “no.” Those who defend order are like the neighbor who repeats axioms from time immemorial without understanding why saying “no” is essential.
They need to understand that walls exist because sin and disorder exist. People must overcome the mysterious attraction for disorder that haunts fallen humanity. Only by constantly restraining the unbridled passions can earth escape the Rousseauian hell.
Indeed, “something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” However, the alternatives without walls are much too disastrous to contemplate. It is far better to mend walls and make good neighbors than to take the descending road to a new barbarity.

Why Good Fences Make Good Neighbors - Return to Order: Frost’s consideration of the stone fence can shed light on the troubles on the urge “that wants it down,” but also the sympathy for the order it brings.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Why Society Needs to Cultivate a True Elite Class

There was a time when the nation was ruled by a group of people that set the course for the country. Their children usually followed in their footsteps. This group of people tended to consolidate their wealth and pass it along to future generations. They formed what has been called a social elite—one that possessed complex connections within society, a network of civil obligations, and many leadership commitments.
Like all things human, this social arrangement of leaders had its defects. No one can deny this fact. But neither can one contest the historic reality that this system did help usher in an era of American prosperity with a certain amount of social mobility, stability and national unity.

In the post-World War II period, this system was largely replaced by a meritocracy, based on personal talent. The new system sought to level all advantages of birth. It emphasized individual achievement and not contribution to society. It stressed intelligence not character.
A Social Revolution Turns Everything Upside Down
To effect this change, many social structures were changed. The university system was opened up to everyone. During the sixties, social conventions were turned upside down, and sexual mores were thrashed everywhere. Extreme individualism became the norm. All this was done in the name of social justice, personal fulfillment and equality.
This social revolution was supposed to create a more just society. And yet, the contrary happened. The social order has not improved. Inequality ratios have soared. Morality has plummeted and created an underclass of those without stable family life. Institutional and civic involvement has declined dramatically. Social trust at all levels has fallen. Government is dysfunctional, and the nation is polarized.
The Rise of New Elites
Instead of the old group of social elites, the nation is now run by a new group of meritocratic elites. Their children are now following in their footsteps. They also tend to consolidate and concentrate their wealth and pass it along.
Thus, the new social justice warriors are back on the warpath demanding the destruction of these new elites simply because they are elites.
They do not realize that all healthy societies must have elites. Destroying elites in a society will eventually lead to the forming of another set of elites. This is because there will always be those in society who take upon themselves the task of leading and directing affairs. There will always be a one percent, a top ten percent in any society. Taking out these top percentages will only give their place to others, usually less qualified.
Eliminating layers of elites is also the way to totalitarian governments, which insist upon absolute power.
Cultivating True Elites
The real issue is not eliminating but cultivating true elites who will fully carry out their proper role in society. The problem with the present elites is that they do not know how to carry out these obligations. The present model has created what Charles Murray calls “hollow elites” who have “abdicated their responsibility to set and promulgate the standards,” while keeping the benefits of their social status.
Unlike former elites, today’s new elites have fewer social or civic obligations; they are not compelled to be role models or set standards. The meritocratic elites are content to live separately in their gated communities, insulated from those outside.
They can still be called elites since they do assume some responsibility for directing society and industry. They have however lost the notion of what their proper role is. They do not know how to be true elites.
The problem is further complicated by a culture that has done everything to malign elites as exploiters of the people. Thus, many elites do not even wish to admit their status.
Not All Rich People Are Elites
If this is to be remedied, there are two main misconceptions about elites that need to be addressed.
The first misconception is the idea that being an elite simply means being rich. Thus, people become elites by the size of their bank accounts. They care only about themselves, ignoring the plight of the poor.
This idea of elites is entirely wrong. Such people are merely rich people. They play no major role in society beyond their contribution to the economy. They cannot be counted upon to act beyond their self-interest.
The Need for Representative Characters
Real elites are what sociologists call representative characters. They exist in all prosperous societies. They do not consist of rich people enjoying life. They are the movers and shakers who find fulfillment in seeking the common good. They are those who perceive the ideals, principles, and qualities that are desired and admired by a community or nation, and translate them into concrete programs of life and culture.
These representative figures serve to set the tone and harmonize society. They are embedded in the community and by their influence shape the demand, fashions, and trends of the day. By their devotion and self-sacrifice, they move society ahead toward excellence.
“Mankind would never have reached the present state of civilization without heroism and self-sacrifice on the part of an elite,” writes Ludwig von Mises. “Every step forward on the way toward an improvement of moral conditions has been an achievement of men who were ready to sacrifice their own well-being, their health, and their lives for the sake of a cause that they considered just and beneficial.”
Essential characteristics of elites have always been a notion of civic obligations, a spirit of sacrifice for community, and a celebration of civic virtue practiced in common. When elites are Christian, they will also have a great zeal for God, the Church and the practice of charity. These are obligations that are absent in the present meritocratic model centered in self-realization.
A Second Misconception
A second misconception about elites is that they are limited to those who are rich. Though wealth can be helpful in fulfilling their role, it is not essential.
Elites should exist at all levels of society, not just the highest ones. Elites can and do exist in small communities, occupations, schools and family groups. They are those who by their deeds, excellence or works, elevate the communities in which they are embedded. They need not have great wealth but do need great vision.
Such heroes, for that is what they are, are like leaven that rises without special planning or government intervention. These figures might include self-sacrificing clergy, devoted teachers, established farmers or selfless community leaders who draw and fuse society together and set the tone for their communities. They hold themselves up to high standards and commit themselves to being role models for those around them.
Shattered Unity and Common Purpose
American society today is coming apart. This is largely because, in the name of a leveling egalitarianism, so many of the social structures that held society together were discarded. Among these was the notion of true elites. In their place was put an individualistic model of achievement that shattered social unity and common purpose.
Many of the social ills that plague modern society are caused by the lack of elites. There is no one to harmonize society and provide vision and goals. Worst of all, modern culture discourages the idea of true and representative elites and proposes false and unrepresentative pseudo-elites who correspond to the worst and most selfish tendencies of a hedonistic culture.
Elites are not the problem. They will always exist, from among the highest to the lowest levels of society. The problem is cultivating true elites at all levels of society who can revitalize the culture and formulate a rich social life. This is especially true in times of crisis. Elites need to learn how to be elites again. And this will involve the enormous sacrifice of going beyond self-interest.

Why Society Needs to Cultivate a True Elite Class -

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

New Book Lighting the Way; Gives Hope

YORK, Penn. (June 5, 2018) An exciting new book addressing the restoration of America’s moral compass has just been released. Lighting the Way: Stories that Show How Our Culture Went Wrong and How We Can Restore Order is co-authored by John Horvat II and Norman Fulkerson. They put together a collection of essays and stories that represent hope for America.
“I contributed to this book because I want to show people that restoring order is something doable,” writes Horvat. “We put together a collection of stories and essays that illustrate the themes of Return to Order.”
John Horvat is vice president of The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property(TFP) and an acclaimed author. His book Return to Order has received eleven awards with over 315,000 copies in circulation. He has written hundreds of articles that have appeared worldwide, including in The Wall Street JournalThe Christian PostThe Washington TimesCrisis MagazineC-SPANAmerican Thinker, and The Stream.
Fellow TFP Member Norman Fulkerson is also the author of the widely praised book, An American Knight: The Life of Colonel John W. Ripley, USMC. His book won the Military Writers Society of America’s coveted 2010 Gold Medal for biography.

Order Now: Lighting the Way: Stories that Show How Our Culture Went Wrong and How We Can Restore Order

In Lighting the Way, the authors collected a wide variety of stories of both the good and the bad in society. These stories reflect America’s polarized state. Some will make readers shake their heads in disbelief and others that will fill them with wonder and joy.
“This work is written to give hope to countless Americans who believe America is worth fighting for,” says Fulkerson. “I meet these people and tell their stories.”
Those who liked Return to Order will certainly cherish Lighting the Way. The book is a part of the nationwide Return to Order campaign. For more information about this new book and the Return to Order campaign, or to schedule an interview with the authors, please call 717-309-7147 or e-mail

New Book ‘Lighting the Way’ Gives Hope - Return to Order

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Return of the Druids in Ireland

The_Return_of_the_Druids_in_Ireland_200x300 The Return of the Druids in Ireland
The Return of the Druids in Ireland
The abortion referendum in Ireland is over, and many are devastated by the tragic outcome. Some now conclude that Ireland has surrendered to the secular European agenda. It has lost its Catholic identity. The progressives are now giddy with joy proclaiming a new modern Ireland that has left behind the old.
However, there is nothing new in the present battle for the soul of Ireland. Throughout its history, the struggle for the Irish soul has always been over its Druids. Ireland only abandons the ardor of the Faith when it allows its hidden Druids to return and dominate.

What the Druids Believed
This is what has happened now. The Druid label fits perfectly on the political caste that has imposed divorce, same-sex “marriage” and now abortion on the Emerald Isle. The diviners, charmers, priest, magicians, astrologists and wizards of old were amazingly similar to their neo-pagan counterparts today.
The Druids’ principal doctrine supported a life without moral consequences since they believed the soul did not die but passed at death from one person to another. Although these frequenters of sacred oak groves are viewed as a priestly sect, they were quite secular. Their influence was much more social than religious since their role was mostly administrative and ceremonial. The Druids had no god of their own nor did they introduce any new divinity. They merely lived with the local gods as they were.
Finally, as a part of their duties, the Druids performed human sacrifices. It was their custom to have large wickerwork structures that were filled with people and then burned as part of their offerings to appease local divinities.
The Rise of the Neo-Druids
To those who have observed modern Ireland, these and other similarities make the Druid appear quite familiar. With the approval of abortion, modern Irish progressives are fully neo-Druids. With the killing of the unborn, they will lead the nation back to its cruel and barbarous origins. Likewise, they will be the bitterest opponents of Christianity, not to be appeased until the light of Christ is snuffed out. That is how it was in the past, and is again today.
What Does Saint Thomas Say About Immigration?
The battle for the Irish soul is over this return of the Druids. Abortion, same-sex “marriage” and divorce are the important issues that dominate the headlines, but the core debate is the titanic clash between two opposing irreconcilable worldviews.
The only way to fight Druids is with the bold audacity that so characterized Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, and which even today molds the fiery Celtic souls of those he brought into the Church.
The Way to Fight Neo-Druids
This helps explains the devastating loss of the abortion referendum. Neo-Druids are not moved by emotional pleas for the lives of innocent unborn babies. They promote their immolation. Barbarians only think about gratifying their unbridled passions; they care little for who they hurt. They follow their radical urges and are unimpressed by those who defend their views weakly or are mired in mediocrity.
The only way to fight Druids is with the bold audacity that so characterized Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, and which even today molds the fiery Celtic souls of those he brought into the Church. The dark passions and superstitions of the neo-Druids must be denounced and overturned. The liberating true Faith must be presented with zeal and daring.
The Example of Saint Patrick
Indeed, such was the scene on that fateful Easter vigil in 433 when a decree went forth over the kingdom of Erin that all fires were to be extinguished until the signal fire on the Hill of Tara was lit by the Druids at the royal palace. At the opposite end of the valley, atop the Hill of Slane, Saint Patrick kindled a massive Paschal fire in defiance. The Druids implored the king to take action for they claimed the “fire will blaze forever in this land unless it be this very night extinguished.”
What does Saint Thomas Aquinas say about Marriage?
By God’s protection, all efforts to put out this fire or harm the missionary archbishop failed, and the saint boldly led a procession with miter and crosier, arrayed in full episcopal attire, to the Hill of Tara where he confronted the Druids and put them to flight. The evangelization of Ireland began with this confrontation. Many of the Druids were so astonished that they requested Baptism.
What Impresses Druids
The example of Saint Patrick is full of lessons on how to deal with Druids and today’s neo-Druids. Druids are impressed by faith-filled certainty and conviction. They are intimidated by a manly courage that despises and challenges their myths and superstitions. They are marveled by ceremonial beauty. Above all, God showers His graces upon those who dare to confront the evils of the day. He blesses their actions. Such is the stuff of the legends and song that are so much a part of the poetic Irish soul.
Alas, this dramatic example was not heeded in the referendum on abortion. It was judged “prudent” that the Church play a subdued part in the debate over the taking of innocent lives. There were no dramatic challenges on the part of churchmen to denounce the promiscuous neo-Druid lifestyles that are so much a part of the abortion culture. There was no fire lit to illuminate the darkness of the postmodern wasteland that makes abortion so prevalent.
The Civilization of the Lie and Its Rejection of Truth
And that is why the center of the struggle for the Irish soul must always be over the return of its Druids. It is the only way Ireland will again be Catholic.
What is needed are fiery souls that will contest not just social issues, necessary for sure, but all the neo-Druid falsehoods that undermine the Faith. There must be an unapologetic proclamation of the Faith that defies the diktats of modern secular society. Ireland must implore Saint Patrick to raise new disciples who can rekindle the embers of Christianity that remain, so that the Pascal fire may yet continue to “blaze forever” on the Hill of Slane, and put the neo-Druids to flight.

The Return of the Druids in Ireland - Return to Order:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

With Cardinal Dolan’s Approval: Sacrileges, Immorality, and Madness

With_Cardinal_Dolans_Approval_Sacrileges_Immorality_and_Madness_300-300x200 With Cardinal Dolan’s Approval: Sacrileges, Immorality, and Madness
With Cardinal Dolan’s Approval: Sacrileges, Immorality, and Madness
On May 7, 2018, the fashion world’s Super Bowl was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
According to Wikipedia, “The Met Gala. . . is an annual fundraising gala. . . . It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. Each year’s event celebrates the theme of that year’s Costume Institute exhibition, and the exhibition sets the tone for the formal dress of the night, since guests are expected to choose their fashion to match the theme of the exhibit.1

“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”
This year’s theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, with the Met Ball launching an exhibit with the same name that runs from May 10 to October 8. For both the Met Gala and Exhibition the Holy See lent priceless liturgical vestments and other equally historic sacred objects.
The choice of theme and the exhibit’s design was Andrew Bolton’s, the Costume Institute’s Curator in Charge. Raised a Catholic, he lives with his homosexual partner, Thom Browne. It was Bolton who, over two years of negotiations and numerous trips to Rome, obtained the loan of the Vatican vestments and objects. His efforts received support from Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, Curia Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as well as the First Section of the Vatican’s Office of the Secretariat of State. During the negotiations, Bolton also consulted with the notorious Fr. James Martin, S.J., the “Rainbow Jesuit.”2
“What Is the Cardinal Archbishop of New York Doing Here?”
This question was raised by Timothy Cardinal Dolan himself, a special guest at the Met Gala, in a Press Conference on the morning of May 7.3
The New York Archbishop justified his presence by saying that the Church preaches the true, the good and the beautiful, which come from Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Since fashion reflects beauty, in this sense the Church has a connection with it.
What the Cardinal said is true from a purely doctrinal perspective. But he failed to add that true beauty, which proceeds from God, is a chaste, harmonious, and reverent one. He also failed to criticize the nudity and extravagance imposed today by fashion dictators.
Given the immorality of previous Met Gala balls, the Cardinal Archbishop of New York should have known that this year’s Gala was just as unlikely to have any “heavenly bodies” or “Catholic imagination.”4
A Prestigious Platform for Sacrilege, Immorality, and Madness
And what should have been expected indeed happened: The 2018 Met Gala was a fashion extravaganza of sacrilege, immorality, and madness.
No Catholic can be indifferent to Lana del Rey’s sacrilegious parody of Our Lady of Sorrows. This singer, incorporated a representation of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pierced by seven swords, atop her bodice. Raised Catholic,5 she declared that from religion “I take what I want and leave the rest.”Looking like an eccentric Jesus figure, actor and singer Jared Leto stood next to her for the pictures, using a lengthy priest stole and wearing a golden crown of thorns.6
Sign Here: Tell the Metropolitan Museum in NYC to Take Down Sacrilegious Exhibit
Nor can any Catholic who is faithful to his baptismal vows not be indignant seeing pictures of Victoria’s Secret model Stella Maxwell wearing a tight strapless column gown stamped with six large icons of Our Lady; actress Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a Neapolitan nativity scene on her head; or actress Zendaya Coleman dressed up as a back-and-cleavage-showing Saint Joan of Arc.
Other models and celebrities in indecent garb displayed halos of holiness over their heads in clear debauchery of the Catholic portrayal of angels and saints.
Ridiculing the papacy, Met Gala 2018 co-host and pop superstar Rihanna appeared in white, crowned with a bishop’s miter and wearing a strapless minidress and robe that revealed her scantily-covered bosom.
Actress Anne Hathaway was dressed in a red cardinal’s outfit, with a bare back and equally indecent, cleavage-displaying front. Rapper Nicki Minaj sported a cardinal-type flowing red cloak, and her impure top was not outdone by the front of her dress which was slit almost to her waist, revealing her bare legs when she walked. To media Minaj declared: “I’m dressed as the devil.” Another Victoria’s Secret model, Taylor Hill, wore a red-trimmed cleavage-showing black dress, a pectoral cross, and what looked like a cardinal’s red sash and pellegrina.
Almost all the women’s dresses were carefully designed to draw attention to intimate parts of the body. Many used transparent fabrics. One woman wore a dress that covered only one side of her body, leaving the other completely naked from head to toe.
Singer Katy Perry, who composed a song titled “Dance with the Devil,” came in a gigantic winged white angel costume and a skimpy golden minidress. Madonna, who has performed the most outrageous blasphemies during her career, came with a crucifix dotted crown, and wearing a black dress with two-and-a-half-inch-wide, see-through, full-torso cut-out Latin cross.
Sign Here: Tell the Metropolitan Museum in NYC to Take Down Sacrilegious Exhibit
Later that evening Madonna performed “Like a Prayer” on the museum’s staircase. Together with the young choristers from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel who sang in a surprise performance, earning praise from immoral Rihanna,7 Madonna was the night’s most highlighted entertainment.
“I Didn’t Really See Anything Sacrilegious”
Most shocking of all were Cardinal Dolan’s comments to Sirius XM radio8 on Tuesday, May 8, the day after: “I didn’t really see anything sacrilegious,” adding, “I may have seen some things in poor taste, but I didn’t detect anybody out to offend the Church.”
Speaking of Rihanna, who came dressed “as a pope,” the cardinal said she “was very gracious,” and joked about lending her a miter and that she had already returned it. He joked again about this immoral fashion icon administering the Sacrament of Confirmation: “I was teasing my auxiliary bishops, who were teasing me about Rihanna and I said, ‘Hey, you guys should not complain because she’s volunteered to do some confirmations.’”9 The Cardinal was generous in his assessment of the participants: “This was a crowd that was rather respectful of the sacred. They were all very respectful, very interested.”
And he concluded: “Anyway, it was a good time. What a great evening it was.”10
A Bondage Mask Amid the Sacred Vestments
As for the actual exhibit “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” it covers twenty-five galleries and 60,000 square feet.
In it are many mannequins for women with dresses modeled after clerical attire worn by bishops and priests. Many of the dresses are transparent and extremely revealing. Many others include crosses, chalices, Sacred Hearts, icons, and religious imagery. There is also a bondage mask (used in sexual perversions) covered in rosary beads.11One of the dresses featured a short black skirt with a sleeveless top and an icon of Our Lady on the front and back. Another dress, with a mostly transparent top, shows a naked Adam and Eve on its lower part.
“Fashions Will Greatly Offend Our Lord”
The sacrilegious Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination Met Gala and Exhibition remind us of the prophetic words of Saint Jacinta, the youngest Fatima seer. After the apparitions at the Cova da Iria, she received several private revelations, especially when in the hospital in Lisbon, where she later died. One day she told Mother Godinho (her guardian): “Fashions that will greatly offend Our Lord will appear. People who serve God should not follow fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same.”
She added: “The sins which cause most souls to go to hell are the sins of the flesh.”
With a directly supernatural illumination, this innocent girl, who died before she was ten years old, makes a statement that matches Saint Alphonsus Liguori’s Treatise on Morals almost word for word: “The sin against this precept [the Sixth Commandment]. . . is the vice that fills hell with souls”.12
Modesty Is the First Defense of Chastity
Since the sins of the flesh are the ones that lead most souls to Hell, the obvious conclusion is that all care must be taken to avoid them.
Modesty is chastity’s first defense. It is the enceinte, the curtain wall that defends the castle of purity. It is the garden that leads up to and adorns the palace.
The virtue of modesty leads us to great vigilance when it comes to fashions. For our way of dressing, while reflecting the beauty of virtue in our soul, should avoid everything that would lead others into temptation and sin.
Sign Here: Tell the Metropolitan Museum in NYC to Take Down Sacrilegious Exhibit
Fatima and the Vision of Hell
In the context of the sacrilegious Met Gala and Exhibition, how can we not recall the vision of Hell the three little Fatima shepherds had?
On July 13, 1917, as the first part of the Secret of Fatima, the Blessed Virgin showed Hell in all its horror to the three innocent children, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say very often, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’
“Upon saying these last words, she again opened her hands as in the preceding two months. The reflection appeared to penetrate into the earth and we saw, as it were, a sea of fire. Submerged in that fire were demons and souls in human shapes who resembled red-hot, black and bronze-colored embers that floated about in the blaze borne by the flames that issued from them with clouds of smoke, falling everywhere like sparks in great fires, without weight or equilibrium, amidst moans of pain and despair that horrified us and made us shake with terror (that must be when I shouted “aahhi” people said they heard). The devils had horrible and disgusting shapes of scary and unknown animals but were transparent like black burning coals. Scared and as if asking for help, we raised our eyes to Our Lady, who said with goodness and sadness:
“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go; in order to save them, God wants to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world.”
May these words of the Mother of God serve to confirm us in the Faith amid the stormy, sacrilegious world in which we live.
“Met Gala,” accessed May 11, 2018,
Cf. Jason Horowitz, “How the Met Got the Vatican’s Vestments,” The New York Times, May 3, 2018, accessed May 13, 2018,
Jim Fair, “Cardinal Dolan on the ‘Catholic Imagination,’” May 8, 2018, accessed May 13, 2018,
[USE CAUTION in accessing this article’s footnotes] Cf. “Met Gala 2017 Dresses,” Vogue, accessed May 13, 2018,
“Lana del Rey,” Wikipedia, accessed May 13, 2018,
Accessed May 13, 2018,
Claire Giangravè, “Sistine Chapel Choir Hushes then Wows a Raucous Met Gala Crowd, Crux, May 9, 2018, accessed May 13, 2018,
Joseph Sciambra, “Cardinal Dolan and Rihanna: ‘She’s Volunteered To Do Some Confirmations,” accessed May 13, 2018,
Thomas D. Williams, “Cardinal Dolan Says Nothing ‘Sacrilegious’ at Met Gala, ‘All Very Respectful,” Breitbart, May 9, 2018, accessed May 13, 2018,
Cf. Emily Smith, Raquel Laneri and Kate Sheehy, “Catholic-Themed Met Gala Includes Bondage Mask With Crosses,”, accessed May 13, 2018,
Homo Apostolicus, Tractatus IX, De Sexto Praecepto Decalogi.

With Cardinal Dolan's Approval: Sacrileges, Immorality, and Madness