The Devil’s Tabernacle

When I was still in grammar school an Irish missionary priest visited our home. His name was Father Patrick Shine. He had been a missionary in Africa. He was as a traditionalist before there were “traditionalists,” a friend of and guest at Saint Benedict Center when we were in Still River, Massachusetts. He once prophesied concerning himself: “When I have said a perfect Rosary I will die.” At his funeral a close friend of his related that Father Shine told him before he died that he had said a “perfect Rosary.”

His stories of the missions were not for the faint-hearted. They were graphic accounts of the real world of satanic paganism. And they were uplifting, as well, because he had so many stories of heroic sanctity and astounding conversions.

When he came into our home he immediately confronted the TV (only three channels, black and white) in the living room. He said: “I see you have the devil’s tabernacle enthroned.” “But,” my mother must have thought, “I only watch Lawrence Welk and I Love Lucy.” No apologies were offered to cushion the insult. And the insult was accepted but the TV stayed put.

What follows is a very good article on “the devils’ tabernacle” and how Catholic complacency has reaped the rewards of sixty years of swinging incense before it. The author does not mention movies, which, in my opinion, did even greater harm to Christian morality, if “harm” can be measured when it comes to dancing with the devil.

Yet, there is a glaring deficiency in the article I am linking to. There is no mention of the dilution of Catholic doctrine that predated the filth on the screen. Morals follow upon doctrine, not the other way around. What led to Beavis and Butthead was the liberal doctrine of the pre-Vatican II Church in western Christendom. Once it was accepted that one could be saved in any religion and, to believe otherwise, makes you a bigot, right morals didn’t have leg to stand on. Contraception came first, with some American bishops (Cushing, Boston) turning the other way while giving the green light for Catholics to vote for candidates who promised to repeal the law that made contraceptives illegal.

Enough said. Here is Tom Jay’s provocative article:

Crisis: I recently had a tooth extracted. Ignoring the collected wisdom of dental hygiene, I flossed irregularly and stopped going to the dentist before I was 17. If nothing hurts, it’s fine, right? Nearly 30 years later, decay reached the point where the tooth broke in half in the midst of a BLT on sourdough (fortunately, I could still finish my half and half). Now my tongue goes probing into the gummy vacancy where the tooth had been like Nemo seeking his mother. It got me thinking. What happened to my tooth is analogous to what has happened to basic moral principles in this country. Read the full article here.