Visiting St. Thomas II: Montecassino

The ancient* abbey where St. Thomas studied as a boy looms above the sweet little city of Cassino.

* That is, re-built…

…ater being destroyed completely by US bombs in February, 1944.

St. Thomas prayed at the tombs of Saints Benedict and Scholastica, which are now in a chapel below the high altar of the basilica.

The young student from nearby Aquino may have read this very biography of St. Benedict…

And this textbook of science…

He probably walked through this doorway (now preserved in the abbey museum).

And trod these floor tiles.

…In his treatise on justice in the Summa, St. Thomas considers some questions about criminal trials, including how many witnesses are required to establish a fact.

In the third objection in II-II q70 art2, St. Thomas quotes a medieval canon which decrees that, to establish a fact against a Cardinal, sixty-four witnesses are required.

This is of particular interest, considering:

St. Thomas approves of the (practically insuperable) requirement, with this argument:

The rule protects the Roman Church [that is, the College of Cardinals], on account of its dignity: and this for three reasons. First because in that Church those men ought to be promoted whose sanctity makes their evidence of more weight than that of many witnesses. Secondly, because those who have to judge other men, often have many opponents on account of their justice, wherefore those who give evidence against them should not be believed indiscriminately, unless they be very numerous. Thirdly, because the condemnation of any one of them would detract in public opinion from the dignity and authority of that Church, a result which would be more fraught with danger than if one were to tolerate a sinner in that same Church, unless he were very notorious and manifest, so that a grave scandal would arise if he were tolerated.

A lot to consider here; I promise to come back and discuss this thoroughly when I get back home.

In the meantime, though, we can say for sure that the judge in Massachusetts will not have such a high threshold, when it comes to allowing testimony. (Plus, McC is no longer a Cardinal anyway, as of summer 2018.)

In this case, I believe it will actually benefit the Holy See in the long run, that the word of one accuser–with plenty of circumstantial evidence to support what he has to say–will be allowed against this particular accused criminal.

There are a lot of facts that need to come out, and getting them out will, in the end, help the Church.

If you can hang tight until March, you will be able to read about many of those facts in Ordained by a Predator. Good Lord willing, the book will see print then.

2 thoughts on “Visiting St. Thomas II: Montecassino

  1. Lovely pictures.
    This is the first time for me reading & commenting on your blog.
    I understand you are in a “disturbing” situation concerning your blog, your bishop, and ultimately the man who ordained you.
    You are also hopeful in publishing a book you’ve written on your story as well as hopeful on winning your case through the “canon law” process in Rome.
    I pray for you & all who are victimized by those in authority.
    However, I am disheartened at statements you made against other victims, especially child victims of the hierarchy.
    I refer specifically to your choice of words – “kooky” theories of communist infiltration of the church- as it relates to James Grein (June 27, 2019). Also, a reference to an old, rather debunked argument used extensively in the 1990’s & early 2000’s against abuse victims- so called “recovered memories.”
    If you’d do more reading about history in the last 100 years, you’d see that infiltration of the church has been a goal of many organizations for centuries. Tactics used to gain such control include everything from lies & manipulation, word-smithing, labeling of undesired populations, violence, kidnapping & genocide. From the 1920’s on, some form of socialism has been at the root of this- most often either of Nazi or Communist extraction. What is not acknowledged or studied is the brutal victimization of children & vulnerable adults, who often already at a disadvantage, are further taken advantage of by people of authority working within a system that touts to “care” for them. Such victims are often revictimized by a network of others who don’t take the time & energy to listen to them, who blindly “trust the system”. This includes clergy, the medical & legal systems, educational & social groups, to name a few.
    How people in the Western world learned nothing from our brothers & sisters in Central & Eastern Europe & Russia after WW2 & especially the fall of communism is beyond me. Much of this hellish system was already implemented & in full force well before most of us were born. We are blessed to have the witness of people like St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. Cardinal Wyszynski, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the late Elie Wiesel, the “confession” of Bella Dodd, the interviews & homilies of Archbishop Sheen and many, many others.
    Even the so called “satanic panic” of the 1980’s & 90’s finds it’s roots in the ideologies that rose up during WW2.

    It’s willfull ignorance that has lead us to where we are today. Those who tried to speak up in the past as children/young adults were ignored, ridiculed, and even in some extreme cases, institutionalized – anything to shut them up.
    Now such tactics are being used against the rank & file, with the blessing of the highest levels, for even questioning what has become the status quo.
    It is going to be an uphill battle for at least a little while longer.
    Take a lesson from those who fought the Battle of Montecassino and won in May, 1944. Few understand the real battle was one first by the Polish Army contingent of the British military.
    These were men mainly from Eastern Poland, originally captured by the Soviets in early September, 1939-1940 & thrown into gulags.
    It was only through a general amnesty negotiated by the Allies that Stalin allowed some of these Polish men/soldiers to be freed. While they eventually made their way through Northern Africa (fighting Rommel), some went on to Italy (& other Western European countries) to liberate MonteCassino and many other places, for which they got no recognition, no heroes welcome. In fact, even after all that, and helping to free Western Europe, they were never allowed to go back home to be reunited with their families. Those that did were almost immediately shot to death by the communists who were allowed to take over their country.
    Please, I implore you, learn a little about history. Otherwise you are fighting a spiritual battle you don’t understand. Too many western clergy think that the “good guy” always wins. While that’s true, realize that many have not lived to see that day of freedom in their lifetimes. We do not know when the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart will come though we are assured it will.

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