Showing posts with label Tyler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tyler. Show all posts

Monday, 31 October 2016

BreXit : The Sickness

You're afraid of making mistakes. 
Don't be. 

If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you will never learn.

"Parts of Fight Club have always been true. 

Every guy I know feels let down by his father.

Even my father feels let down by his father."

Chuck Palahniuk, 
Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories (2004)

Wake up
Grab a brush and put a little (makeup)
Hide the scars to fade away the (shakeup)
Why'd you leave the keys upon the table?
Here you go create another fable

Why'd you leave the keys upon the table?
You wanted to

I don't think you trust in my self righteous suicide....

I cry when angels deserve to die...

Wake up
Grab a brush and put a little (makeup)
Grab a brush and put a little
Hide the scars to fade away the (shakeup)
Hide the scars to fade away the
Why'd you leave the keys upon the table?

Here you go, create another fable...

Why'd you leave the keys upon the table?

You wanted to

I don't think you trust in my self righteous suicide...
I cry when angels deserve to die
In my self righteous suicide
I cry, when angels deserve to die

Father! farther! Father! farther!

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit
Father, into your hands -
Why have you forsaken me?
In your eyes forsaken me?
In your thoughts forsaken me?

In your heart forsaken me, oh trust in my self righteous suicide

December 18, 1997. 
San Leandro CA. 

For a long time, Mr. LaRouche has been warning that the Baby Boomer generation of Americans (similarly the 68'er generation of Germans) is collectively leading the nation "off the cliff" so to speak, with its religion of environmentalism, money worship (monetarism), and pathalogical narcissism. 

Bob Ingraham takes us on voyage through the writings of Fabian Socialist H. G. Wells at the beginning of the 20th century with his call for radical Malthusian population reduction, world government, and Roman Empire style culture of bread and circus's so as to keep 95% of the remaining population content with entertainment and mindless sex. 

You might be familiar with the scenarios if you have read George Orwells 1984, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and similar books. 

Starting with the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945, the mindless Organization Man suburban culture, the constant threat of nuclear annihilation, and Trumanism (later known as McCarthyism), the effect on young people growing up in the upper middle class levels in particular created a Frankenstein monster that would later be unleashed under the strain of the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK, Jr, the Vietnam war, and the organizing of the drug-rock-sex counter culture by the Beat Poets with full backing of elements of the British and US establishments. 

In the words of Aldous Huxley, 

"There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. 

And this seems to be the final revolution." 

Huxley speaking at the Tavistock Clinic, 
California Medical School,
 UC Berkeley 1961

What is Sacrifice? 

 "For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of used motor oil.

And I have to foot the bill for nuclear waste and buried gasoline tanks and landfilled toxic sludge dumped a generation before I was born."

We Sacrifice.

How did our world get into such a mess? 

When and how did we start down the road to this catastrophe? 

What habits must we rip out of our institutions, and ourselves, if we, and our republic are to survive the ongoing, terminal disintegration of the entire world...?"

I am Ozymandias, King of Kings.

"Maybe self-improvement isn't the answer.

Tyler never knew his father.

Maybe self-destruction is the answer.

What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women.

My father never went to college so it was really important I go to college. 

After college, I called him long distance and said, now what?

My dad didn't know, so he said get a job.

When I got a job and turned twenty-five, long distance, I said, now what? 

My dad didn't know, so he said, get married.

How can I get married? I'm a thirty-year-old boy, and I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer I need."

"If we wish to cure the disease, we must go behind the mere symptoms, to identify the agency which those symptoms express. To discover the cure, we must discover the source of the sickness. To find the continuing source of this global civilization's sickness, the presently onrushing, systemic, global financial crisis, we must focus upon the pattern of decisions which continue, even today, to shape economic practice: not the mere statistical effects of that practice. It is the substance of Genghis Khan, not his statistical shadow, which constitutes the mortal threat to our civilization. In short, to overcome the danger, the U.S. government must reverse the policy-trend of the recent thirty-odd years.

...If precisely those policies are not soon introduced, to deal with an already hopelessly bankrupt set of international financial and monetary institutions, this is a bottomless crisis. In the case those policies are not introduced very soon, this planetary civilization would be doomed, doomed by a lack of moral fitness to survive, doomed to plunge into the post-modernist barbarism of a prolonged "new dark age"... 

Unless, we can detect and eradicate those policies and supranational institutions, which have caused the past thirty-odd years' decline in world economy, our culture is a dying culture, our nations, their populations, the casualties of a dying, global civilization.

Thus, modern European civilization, now somewhat more than six hundred years old, is, presently, dying. Nothing could save the present financial and monetary system itself. By the end of this century, perhaps sooner, it, in its present form, will be gone, either by responsible actions of key governments, or, lacking that remedy, by way of either hyperinflationary, or hyperdeflationary collapse, forever. As my own and other features in Executive Intelligence Review have repeatedly warned, this financial-monetary system is like a doomed, sinking ship; the passengers, the nations, the peoples, and the physical economy living within this civilization, could be saved, but only if they are willing to abandon that doomed ship itself. They could survive, but only if they give up, suddenly, those post-1964, radical changes in culture, which have doomed the present world economic order.

Unfortunately, the prevailing evidence warns us, that no more than a small minority of the populations and their doomed governments are yet willing, to support the policies needed to allow our nations to survive that global systemic financial crisis which has recently entered its terminal phase. For the moment, the boob-tubed majority of the pleasure-seeking populations of Europe and North America --most notably-- seem to have lost the will to grasp for anything but the next fleeting instant of momentary --or, should we better say, monetary-- pleasure.

We must view the majority of the people of most nations today, as like the pompous, doomed Akkadians of Biblical Belshazzar's Babylonian empire; most of the leading institutions of this planet appear to have lost that essential quality, moral fitness to survive. So, as the artist portrayed a similar circumstance, Belshazzar's Feast : once again, the moving finger writes; the new message is now nearly completed.

How did our world get into such a mess? 

When and how did we start down the road to this catastrophe? 

What habits must we rip out of our institutions, and ourselves, if we, and our republic are to survive the ongoing, terminal disintegration of the entire world...?"

Hey, you know what might help you deal with it?
Think of it this way, you and Emily are in the past and you can't be mad about the past. 
So, are you still mad about the Louisiana Purchase?

Pheebs, I don’t think anyone's still mad about that... *

Exactly! Because it's in the past!

* This, in fact, could not actually be further from the truth  - an awful lot of people still are really mad about that...

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The War Against The Oath-Takers

"Our Great War is a Spiritual War."

- Pope Tyler VII

E nomeni Matris et Filiae, Religiosum Coetum,


"For what we do presage is not in grosse,
For we be brethren of the Rosie Crosse;
We have the Mason word and second sight,
Things for to come we can foretell aright."

"The whole case between Masonry and Anti-Masonry, now on trial before the tribunal of public opinion, is consecrated in a single act. 

Let a single lodge resolve that they will cease to administer the oath, and that lodge is dissolved. 

Let the whole Order resolve that this oath shall be no longer administered, the Order is dissolved; for the abolition of the oath necessarily imports the extinction of all other landmarks." 

- John Quincy Adams

THE OZ TRIAL MARTY FELDMAN TWITS LONDON JUDGE LONDON, Tuesday (AAP). — Mr Marty Feldman, the writer and comedian, described an Old Bailey judge yester day as a "boring old fart". 

During his evidence in the Oz trial he asked Judge Argyle, "Am I waking you up? Am I speaking loud enough for you?"_ Then, at the conclusion of his evidence on behalf of one of the accused, Mr Richard Neville, Mr Feldman walked out across the floor of the court and dir ected this comment at the judge: 

"I don't think he knows I have been here, the boring old fart"

Mr Neville, 29, of Pal ace Garden Terrace, Ken sington. Mr James Ander son, 33, of the same address, and Mr Felix Den nis, 24. of Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, with Oz Publications, have pleaded not guilty to charges under the Obscene Publications Act. 

Dressed in faded denims and an open-necked, striped shirt, Mr Feldman entered the witness box and told the usher, "I don't want to affirm or take the oath. You just ask the questions and I will answer them. 

"If I swear on the Bible I think there is more obscenity in the Bible than in Oz. I don't practise any religion that you would accept. I have my own, but it doesn't have a book", Mr Feldman told the judge. 

While he was telling the court, quickly and quietly, about his television and radio shows, the judge interrupted, "I don't know if it matters, but I can't hear". 

Mr Feldman replied, "I think it matters. Would you like me to' give them over again?"

He said some of the cartoons in the 'Schoolkids issue' of Oz could be described as satirical art. Mr Feldman' said  he thought cartoons depicting Rupert Bear having sexual intercourse were funny. 

Answering Mr Neville, Mr Feldman said he thought the Old Testament was vicious and vengeful and added, "I think the Bible is un-Christian". 

Mrs Grace Bcrger, chair man of the National Council for Civil Liberties, told the jury that she did not object to her 15-year-old son contributing to the magazine. Her son, Vivian, had contributed to the 'Schoolkids issue' of Oz and had also drawn cartoons depicting Rupert Bear having sexual inter course. 

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow. 


The turning point in the ceremony of each degree is the Obligation, for it is that which marks the Apprentice an Apprentice, the Fellow Craft a Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason a Master Mason; consequently the subject is worthy of careful consideration in this connection, especially as there will be no need of a repetition of the discussion in our study of the Second and Third Degrees. 

Obligation, being a Latin word, literally means a “binding to”; it is more than an oath, and more than a vow, for it combines both, and it has been used, in one form or another, from antiquity. Philo described it as “the most common origin.” It must be remembered, however, that the guild of that day could enforce its oaths only within narrow limits; grave offences were necessarily turned over to the courts which administered the common law. At the present day oaths and obligations are in very common use, from the crowning of a king to the “swearing in” of a juror. “The world is held together by oaths and affirmations, administered by the proper authorities, to all rulers and officials of a high and low degree in State and municipalities, and in every phase of human society. Without official oaths the country would undoubtedly lapse into a state of disorder, confusion, and finally anarchy.” (Trestle Board, vol. xx, p. 247.) 

This right Freemasonry also enjoys, and for the same reasons, as another writer has expressed it: “In Freemasonry a number of men form themselves into a society, whose main end is to improve in commendable skill and knowledge, and to promote universal beneficence and the social virtues of human life under the solemn obligations of an oath. This liberty all human societies enjoy without impeachment or reflection.” 


It is difficult to believe, in the light of all this, that any sane person could attack Masonry for being an oath-bound Fraternity, especially since its oath is itself a symbol of those ties and obligations which everywhere bind men together; but such has been the case. The Roman Catholic attacks, from 1738 when Pope Clement the Twelfth issued the first papal bull against us, until the present year of grace, have all been principally aimed at our Obligation, a very inconsistent course in a society that authorises such a secret fraternity as the Jesuits. A few other churches and sects have followed suit, usually on the ground that Christ’s saying that “whatsoever is more than yea or nay cometh of evil,” makes oaths unchristian. Laying aside the false interpretations thus made of the Gospel text, this position is difficult to explain on the part of such organisations, for they use an obligation in the marriage ceremony of the most solemn kind, and their members often do not refuse to take oath when entering public office. 

The attack on Masonry made in America early last century, which used the Morgan affair as its subterfuge, and which was really a political scheme in disguise, grew savage in its condemnation of the Masonic Obligation, as is made clear by the words of one of its leaders, John Quincy Adams: “The whole case between Masonry and Anti-Masonry, now on trial before the tribunal of public opinion, is consecrated in a single act. Let a single lodge resolve that they will cease to administer the oath, and that lodge is dissolved. Let the whole Order resolve that this oath shall be no longer administered, the Order is dissolved; for the abolition of the oath necessarily imports the extinction of all other landmarks.” 

Of the penalties supposed to be attached to the Obligation, and which have especially aroused the animosity of the Anti-Masons, we have already spoken but more may be said in the present connection, with due reserves of secrecy; and I may say that I am herein much indebted to the illuminating article published in The Builder (vol. n, p. 135) by my friend and Colleague, Brother Robert I. Clegg. 


Commenting on one phase of the matter he writes: “Death by slow drowning was once by legal authority [in England—H.L.H.] established as a proper punishment… . Consider the following: In the curious ordinances of Henry VI. for the proper conduct of the Court of Admiralty of the Humber, are enumerated various offences of a maritime connection and their due punishments. To adhere closely to the character of the Court, and to be within proper jurisdiction of the Admiralty, the punishments were generally inflicted at low-water mark.” This court, he says, being composed of “Masters, merchants, and marines, with all others that do enjoy the King’s stream with hook, net, or any engine” (or implement), was addressed, when assembled, as follows: “You, Masters of the Quest, if you or any of you discover or disclose anything of the King’s secret counsel or of the counsel of your fellows (for the present you are admitted to be the King’s Counsellors) you are to be, and shall be, had down to the low-water mark, where must be made three times, O Yes! for the King, and then and there this punishment, by the law prescribed, shall be inflicted upon them; that is, their hands and feet bound, their throats cut, their tongues pulled out, and their bodies thrown into the sea.”

In the England of the seventeenth century the death penalty, and that in its most terrible forms, was often inflicted because of comparatively small offences such as petty theft. Oaths were so freely given and taken that every little organisation had its own, even the brotherhood of pig drivers!

If certain far-off echoes of these practices seem to be heard now and then in our own form it is because the Obligation was probably cast in its present mould in the early eighteenth century. This contention that the Penalties are thus of comparatively recent origin is apparently borne out by the fact that such Obligations as are found in the Old Charges are very brief and of quite a different character. I may cite, as one specimen of these, that found in the Harleian Mss. No. 2054, of the seventeenth century: “There are several words and signs of a Freemason to be revealed to you which as you will answer before God at the great and terrible day of Judgment, you keep secret and not to reveal the same to any in the hearing of any person whatsoever but to the Masters and fellows of the said society of Freemasons. So help me God.” (Spelling modernised.)

As to the agitation for the simplification of the Obligation, the Penalties more especially, much may be said pro and con. Archaic usages and obsolete terms, often unintelligible to the modern Mason, may be often found in the Ritual. Many are contending that these should be eliminated or modernised, as witness the following from Brother MacBride: “There are many errors in our ceremonies to be corrected, and not a few rude customs should be abolished, before our lodges can become what they ought to be, schools, in which men may learn the ways of right living and high thinking.” 

With the spirit of this I am in sympathy, but I have often felt, while witnessing the work in lodge, that these very “errors” and archaisms are valuable in that they link us up to a long past and thus give us the feeling, so much needed in a hasty age too often irreverent of the past, of historical continuity. But, on the other hand, other considerations connect up with the Obligation, and other issues are at stake, and I have long believed that the Penalties should be changed to conform, not only with common sense and practicality, but with the modern spirit of humanitarianism, of which Masonry itself was one of the first exemplars. 


After all, the one object of the Obligation, aside from its official function of legally binding men to the Craft, is to secure secrecy, is it not? And there is one little word often used by Masons which carries all this within itself. This word is often spelled as it is pronounced, “Hail,” but it is properly the Anglo-Saxon word “hele” (“ hell” is derived from it!) and means “to bury, or to cover up.” If “I hail” it means that down in the underground of my memory, far out of reach of the profane, I hide away all the affairs of my lodge, and all the secrets of my brother. Too much, perhaps, has already been written on the subject, but there is yet another angle of it which deserves a word. We use all our arts and influences to make the member realise his obligation to the Craft; should we not do as much to make the lodge realise its obligation to the member? A man spends a sum of money he can sometimes ill spare to join the Fraternity; he devotes much time to learning the lectures; he is admitted and entered as a member; and very often—very often indeed—the lodge itself does not do one thing to explain to that man its symbolism or to instruct him in its history! Is this right? I do not believe it is. I believe that every lodge should do its utmost to place the right type of literature in the hands of its members; that it should conduct courses of lectures and Masonic schools; that it should encourage and support study classes whenever possible; in short, that it should as completely fulfil its duties to the candidate as it asks the candidate to do for it.


General view

A vow is defined as a promise made to God. The promise is binding, and so differs from a simple resolution which is a present purpose to do or omit certain things in the future.

As between man and man, a promise pledges the faith of the man who makes it; he promises, wishing some other person to trust him, and depend upon him. By his fidelity he shows himself worthy of trust; if he breaks his word, he loses credit, by causing the other a disappointment which is destructive of mutual confidence — and, like faith, mutual confidence is important to society, for the natural law condemns all conduct which shakes this confidence. These statements do not apply to a promise made to God; it is impossible for me to deceive God as to my present intention, and He knows whether I shall be constant in the future: God, then, is protected against that disappointment on account of which the failure to fulfil a promise to a fellow-man is considered disgraceful. But, just as one can offer to God an existing thing, or a present action, so also one can offer Him a future action, and perseverance in the purpose of fulfilling it. That offering of perseverance is characteristic of avow. A subsequent change in one's purpose is a want of respect to God: it is like taking away something that has been dedicated to Him, and committing sacrilege in the widest sense of the word. Unlike the simple breach of a promise made to a man, a failure to give to God what has been promised Him is a matter of importance, a very serious offence.

This explanation shows us also how a vow is an act of religion, just as any offering made to God. It is a profession that to God is due the dedication of our actions, and an acknowledgment of the order which makes Him our last end. By adding to our obligations, we declare that God deserves more than He demands. Lastly we see why a vow is always made to God — for, as all our actions ought to be ultimately directed to Him, we cannot make a final promise of those actions to anyone but God. Promises made to the saints cannot be lightly neglected without detracting from the honour we owe them; but a failure in this respect, though grave in itself, is vastly less serious than breaking a vow, to which it bears some resemblance. These promises occasionally imply a vow. God is well pleased with the honour paid to His saints, and they rejoice at the glory given to God. We may then confirm by a vow the promise made to a saint, and likewise we may honour a saint by a vow made to God, as for instance, to erect in memory of some saint a temple for Divine worship.

The vow, moreover, is approved by God, because it is useful to man; it strengthens his will to do what is right. The Protestants of the sixteenth century, following Wyclif, declared themselves opposed to vows; but Luther and Calvin condemned only vows relating to acts which were not of obligation, the latter because he considered all good actions as obligatory, the former because the vow of a free action was contradictory to the spirit of the new law. Both denied that the vow was an act of religion and justified it by the simple human reason of strengthening the will. Certain recent tendencies have minimized the importance at least of vows made by members of religious communities. Errors of this kind are due to overemphasis of the fact that vows, and especially the perpetual vow of chastity, of religious life, or of missionary labour, do not imply any special instability in the person who makes them, but only the fickleness natural to the human will; and that instead of denoting the grudging service of a slave, they imply rather the enthusiasm of a generous will, eager to give and sacrifice beyond what is necessary, and at the same time so sincere in self-knowledge as to imitate warriors who burned their ships to cut off the possibility and even the temptation to flight. In the case of a will incapable of change, a vow would have no meaning; it were useless to offer a perseverance that could never be found wanting; for this reason it is not suitable to Christ, or the angels, or to the blessed in heaven.

Moral and theological considerations

A vow, even in an unimportant matter, presupposes the full consent of the will; it is an act of generosity towards God. One does not give unless one knows fully what one is doing. Every substantial error, or indeed every error which is really the cause of making a vow, renders the vow null and void. This condition must be properly understood; to judge of the effect of the error, it is necessary to know the will of the person making the vow at the moment of making it. One who can say sincerely, "if I had known this or that, I would not have made the vow", is not bound by the vow. If, however, one who is aware of some ignorance on the matter of a vow, but, in spite of that, generously decides to make it, knowing its general import and that it is in itself proper and commendable, such as the vow of chastity, for instance, is bound by it, as it is entirely valid. Lastly, the vows which accompany the entrance into a state, such as the vows of religion, can only be rendered void by some really substantial error. The good of the community requires this stability. For every vow whatsoever such knowledge and liberty are required as render a person capable of committing serious sin; though it does not follow that at the age when one is capable of committing mortal sin, one is capable of understanding the importance of a perpetual engagement. The object of a vow, according to the classical formula, must be not merely something good, but something better; whence it follows that no vow must be made to God of any unlawful or indifferent matter. The reason is simple: God is all holy and cannot accept the offering of anything which is bad or less good in its nature. Again, the object of the vow must be something that is humanly possible, for no one can be bound to do what is impossible. No man can make a vow to avoid all manner of sin, even the slightest, because this is morally impossible. The vow to avoid deliberate sin is valid, at least in persons who have made some progress in virtue. A vow may apply to a duty already existing or to acts which are not commanded by any law. A vow, being a personal act, binds only the person who makes it; but a superior, who makes a vow in the name of his community, may, within the limits of his authority, command the fulfilment of the vow. (As to the obligation of heirs, see section III of this article.) A vow binds according to the intention of the person who makes it; and this intention must be reasonable: in an unimportant matter, one cannot bind oneself under pain of grievous sin. In order to estimate the gravity of the matter, we distinguish between vows which affect isolated acts, and vows which relate to a series of acts. To an isolated act the well-known rule applies: The matter is grave if, in the hypothesis of an ecclesiastical command, it would oblige under mortal sin; but if the vow relates to a series of acts, then we must see what is truly important in regard to the end pursued. Thus every grave offence against the virtue of chastity, as it should be observed outside the married state, is a serious matter for the vow of chastity. The omission of one or two Masses or one or two Rosaries is not a grave matter in the case of a vow to be present at Mass or to say the Rosary every day. Every mortal sin is a grave offence against a vow to do what is most perfect; it is not the same with venial sin, even when deliberate; there must be a habit of committing acts which are certainly imperfect, in order to constitute a grave sin against this vow.

A vow is fulfilled by doing what has been promised, even without a positive intention of fulfilling the vow. One should personally fulfil the vow of some act or omission, promised as such as, for instance, the vow of a pilgrimage, but may fulfil through another such a vow as that of almsgiving, or donation or restitution of property. All obligation ceases when the fulfilment of the vow becomes impossible or harmful, or if the reason for the vow ceases to exist. (As to dispensation from vows, see section III.) A vow is a good action, but should be made with prudence and discretion; in the Christian life, love is better than bonds. We should avoid vows which are embarrassing, either because they are too numerous or because we may be unable to fulfil them (for failure to fulfil a vow is sure to be followed by sorrow which may endure for a long time); besides such vows as are not helpful to sanctification or charity. The more important the obligation the more careful reflection and preparation it requires. No objection can be made to reasonable vows made in order to increase the efficacy of prayer; but the vows to be commended above all are those which give us strength against some weakness, help us to cure some fault, or, best of all, contain the germ of some great spiritual fruit. Such are the vows of religion or missionary work.

Canonical aspect

Division of vows

The vow properly so called is made to God alone, but promises made to the saints have a certain resemblance to vows and are often accompanied by a vow, as we have already seen. A vow may be the act of a private person, or the act of a superior representing a community. In the latter case the community is only indirectly bound by the vow. The sentiment which leads a person to take a vow marks the distinction between absolute and conditional vows. The condition may be suspensive, that is to say, it may make the commencement of the obligation depend on the happening or the not happening of some future uncertain event; for instance, the words, "If I recover my health", make the obligation commence upon the recovery; or it may be resolutory, that is, it may have the effect of rescinding the vow, as if the person adds to the vow the words, "Unless I lose my fortune", in which case the vow ceases to bind if the fortune is lost. The same sentiment distinguishes between simple, or pure, vows, by which a person promises simply to do an act which is pleasing to God, and vows having some special end in view, such as another's conversion.

According to their object, vows may be personal, as a promise to do a certain act; or real, as a promise of a certain thing; or mixed, as a promise to nurse a sick person with one's own hands. They may also have reference to a single definite object, or leave the choice among two or three objects (disjunctive vows). According to the manner of their utterances, there are vows interior and exterior; vows express, and vows tacit or implied (as for instance, that of the subdeacon at his ordination); vows secret, and vows made in public. According to their juridical form, they may be private or made with the Church's recognition; and these last are divided into simple and solemn vows. Lastly, from the point of view of the dispensation required, vows are either reserved to the Holy See or not reserved. In itself the vow is a promise, and does not imply any surrender or transfer of rights; certain vows, however, according to ecclesiastical law, modify the rights of persons; such are the vows taken in religious orders.

Simple and solemn vows

Under RELIGIOUS LIFE we have seen how the distinction arose historically between simple and solemn vows, the names of which appear in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Various opinions have been expressed as to the matter of this distinction, and the question has not yet been decided. Some persons make the essential solemnity consist in the surrender of oneself which accompanies certain vows; this is the opinion of Gregory of Valentia (Comment. theol., III, D. 6, Q. vi, punct. 5) and many recent Thomists. But the surrender is found in vows which are not solemn, such as the vows of scholastics of the Society of Jesus, who would not be religious properly so-called, if their surrender differed essentially from that of the professed fathers. Moreover, the surrender really accompanies only a vow of obedience accepted in a religious order, while other vows are solemn, even without any question of obedience, such as the vow of chastity made by subdeacons.

In the opinion of Lehmkuhl (Theol. mor., I, nn. 64750) the solemnity of the vow consists in a spiritual consecration, the effect of which is that, after such a vow, a person is irrevocably set apart and appointed by the Church to serve God by the offering of that vow. This opinion has its attractive side, but does it agree with history? The vow of pilgrimage to the Holy Land was temporary and solemn. Or does it agree with the definition of law? Boniface VIII declares those vows to be solemn which are accompanied either by a consecration or by a religious profession. And lastly, does not the consecration logically follow the solemnity, rather than precede or cause it?

In spite of its complication and the forced explanations to which recourse is had, in order to escape from the difficulty, the opinion of Francisco Suárez (De religione tr. VII, c. ii, c.x, n.l; c.xii, nn.7-9; c.xiii, nn. 3, 8-13; c.xiv, n. 10) still finds distinguished defenders, especially Wernz (Jus Decretalium, III, n. 572). This opinion places the essence of the solemnity in the absolute surrender of himself by the religious, and the acceptance of that surrender by the religious order, which is accomplished by solemn profession, and also in the incapacity of a person who is bound by solemn vows to perform validly acts that are contrary to those vows; such as the incapacity to possess property, or to contract marriage. But historically this incapacity was not and is not always attached to solemn vows; the solemn vow of obedience does not as such involve any particular incapacity; and often solemn vows do not produce this effect. Will they be called solemn as being attached to the vow of obedience, and solemnized by the surrender of oneself?

But, apart from the arbitrary nature of these explanations, the vow of the Crusader was solemn without being attached to any more general vow of obedience; and we have seen that the surrender does not constitute the solemnity. For this reason we prefer a simple opinion, which, in accord with Vasquez (In I-II, Q. xcvi, d. clxv, especially n. 83) and Sanchez (In decalogum, 1, 5, c. 1, n. 11-13), places the material solemnity of vows of religion in the surrender followed by irrevocable acceptance; and with Laymann (De statu religioso, c. i, n. 4), Pellizarius (Manuale regularium, tr. IV, c. i. nn. 10-18). Medina (De sacrorum hominum continentia, l. 4, controv. 7, c. xxxviii), V. De Buck (De solemnitate votorum epistola), Nilles (De juridica votorum solemnitate), and Palmieri (Opus theol., II, pp. 445, 446) respects the ordinary juridical signification of the solemn act. The juridical solemnities are formalities to be observed in order to give to the act either its legal value or at least the more or less valuable guarantee of perfect authenticity. This very simple explanation accounts for the historical changes, both those which have reference to the number and conditions of vows, and those which concern their effects. It is natural that there should be greater difficulty in obtaining a dispensation from a solemn vow, and also that the Church should attach certain disabilities to such a vow. But these effects of solemn vows cannot constitute the essence of such vows. However this may be, canon law at the present day does not recognize any vow as solemn except the vow of chastity, solemnized by religious profession in an order strictly so called. The vows taken in religious congregations, like the simple vows which in religious orders precede the solemn profession, and also the complementary simple vows which follow the profession in some institutes, and lastly the final simple vows taken in certain religious orders in place of solemn profession, are, strictly speaking, private; but they derive a certain authenticity from the approval of the Church and the circumstances in which they are taken.

Obligation of the Heir

In itself the vow creates a personal obligation, which does not arise from the virtue of justice and which would seem to cease at the death of the person taking the vow. It is admitted, nevertheless, that heirs are bound to fulfil the vows called real, because they imply a promise to make over certain property or money; the origin of this obligation is the Roman law "De pollicitionibus", accepted as canon law. As to its nature, it is an obligation of religion, if the person making the vow has not made a bequest of the property by will. In this supposition the obligation would be of justice; but in the other cases, seeing that the law mentions no specific title, but simply declares that the obligation of the vow devolves on the heirs, we infer it devolves talis qualis, that is as a religious obligation.

The obligation of the vow is cancelled not only by the performance of the work promised, but also by the effective substitution of a better work, and by any circumstance which would have prevented the obligation from arising; as, for instance, if the work became useless, or unnecessary, or impossible. The obligation of the vow may also be annulled by lawful authority. We shall first sum up the generally accepted doctrine, and then endeavour to explain it briefly.

We must distinguish between the power to annul a vow and the power to dispense from the obligation to fulfil it. A vow may be annulled directly or indirectly. No vow can be made to the prejudice of an obligation already existing. If a person entitled to benefit under a previous obligation asserts a claim which is incompatible with the fulfilment of a vow, the fulfilment is prevented, and the obligation is ipso facto at least temporarily removed. Thus, a master may require the performance of services promised by the contract of hiring, without reference to any vow subsequently made; a husband may also require his wife to fulfil a conjugal duty. This is indirect annulment, which presents no difficulty. But besides this, certain persons, in virtue of a general power over the acts of others, may directly and finally annul all vows made by their subjects, or may prevent them generally from taking vows in the future. This power belongs to the father or guardian in the case of a minor, to the regular prelate, and even to the superior of religious congregations, in the case of professed religious; and, according to many authorities, to the husband, in the case of the married woman; and the person exercising this power of annulment is not required to prove the existence of just cause.

The power of dispensing, on the contrary, requires a just cause, less, however, than that which would suffice by itself to exempt from a vow. A still less reason is enough to commute the vow into another good work, especially if the latter is almost equivalent to the work promised. According to canon law, all vows made before solemn profession cease to bind by the fact of that profession, due regard being shown to the rights of third persons; and it is always permissible for a person to commute vows previously made into those of his or her religious profession, even when this is not solemn. When a vow is commuted by ecclesiastical authority, although the person who has taken the vow may always fulfil his obligation by doing the work originally promised, he is not in any case bound to do so, even if the substituted work becomes impossible. The power of dispensing and commuting belongs to those who have ordinary jurisdiction (besides the pope, the bishop and the regular prelate) over all vows not reserved to the pope and vows the dispensation from which does not prejudice the rights of third persons. Without the consent of the latter these rights cannot be prejudiced by a dispensation from the vow, except by the exercise of a supreme power over those rights, such as is possessed by the pope over the rights of religious congregations. Moreover, the power of dispensation may be delegated either in special cases or even generally: thus the confessors of the regular orders may grant dispensation from vows to their penitents-that is to persons whose confessions they are authorized to receive.

Dispensation from a vow is ordinarily justified by great difficulty in its fulfilment or by the fact that it was taken without due deliberation, or by the probability of some greater good either to the person taking it or to others, as, for instance, to a family, the State, or the Church. In dispensing from vows, the ecclesiastical superior does not dispense from any Divine law, but he exercises the power of the keys, the power of binding and loosing, in order to remit the debt contracted to God: and this power appears so useful to society, that, even if it had not been formally conferred by Christ, we might contend that it would always have belonged to the authority responsible for the public interests of religion. (See Francisco Suárez, "De religione", VI, Q. xviii.) The direct annulment of vows is more difficult of explanation; for no one can have a power extending so far as to interfere with the interior acts of another person. A son not yet arrived at the age of puberty may, even without the consent of his parents, make a promise of marriage; why does he appear to be unable, by reason of his tender age, to bind himself by any vow to God? We may observe that the distinction between direct and indirect annulment is not found in St. Thomas, or in Cajetan, but dates from a later period. With Lehmkuhl, we cannot explain this power without the intervention of ecclesiastical authority: in our opinion, the Church, in consideration of the weakness of minors and the condition of religious and married women, gives them a general conditional dispensation that is to say a dispensation at the discretion of the father, the superior, or the husband. The power to commute vows does not give the power to dispense from them; but the power over vows may, according to a probable opinion, extend also to oaths, and even to vows confirmed by oaths.

Reserved Vows

No person may, in virtue of ordinary powers, dispense from vows which the sovereign pontiff has reserved to himself. These vows are, first, all such as form part of a religious profession, at least in an institute approved by Rome, and this reservation applies also to vows taken by women belonging to orders, entitled to make solemn vows, but who in some countries take only simple vows. Besides these, five vows are reserved to the Holy See: the vow of perpetual chastity, the vow to enter the religious state (that is in an institution with solemn vows), a vow of a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles, to St. James of Compostela, or to the Holy Land. However, these vows are only reserved if they are made under grave obligation, with full liberty and unconditionally, and if they include the whole object of the vow. The reservation does not extend to accidental circumstances, for instance, to enter one order in preference to another, or to make a pilgrimage in this or that manner. In urgent cases, when there would be great peril in delay, the ordinaries may, if necessary, dispense even from reserved vows.

The vow of chastity

The vow of chastity forbids all voluntary sexual pleasure, whether interior or exterior: thus its object is identical with the obligations which the virtue of chastity imposes outside the marriage state. Strictly speaking, it differs (though in ordinary language the expressions may be synonymous) from the vow of celibacy (or abstinence from marriage), the vow of virginity (which becomes impossible of fulfilment after complete transgression), or the vow not to use the rights of marriage. The violation of the vow of chastity is always a sin against religion; it constitutes also a sacrilege in a person who has received Holy orders, or in a religious, because each of these persons has been consecrated to God by his vow: his vow forms part of the public worship of the Church. Some authors consider that this sacrilege is committed by the violation of even a private vow of chastity. Although a sin against the virtue of chastity is committed, there is no violation of the vow when a person without experiencing any sexual pleasure personally becomes an accomplice (as for instance by counsel) in the sin of another person not bound by a vow. Unless the person concerned is able honestly to abstain from all use of the rights of marriage, every simple vow of chastity constitutes a prohibitive impediment to marriage; sometimes, as is the case in the Society of Jesus, it becomes by privilege a diriment impediment; when joined to religious solemn profession, it has the effect even of annulling a previous marriage not consummated. Some theologians have expressed the opinion that the religious profession produced this effect by Divine law; but it is more usual at the present day, and it seems to us more correct, to see in this a point of ecclesiastical discipline. A person who, in defiance of his solemn vow, attempts to contract marriage, incurs the excommunication reserved to the bishop by the Constitution "Apostolicae Sedis". Marriage following after the simple vow of perpetual chastity has the effect of making the perfect fulfilment of the vow impossible, as long as the married state continues — therefore the observance of the vow is suspended, and the bishop or the regular confessor may give permission for the use of marriage. If the marriage is dissolved, the vow recovers its full force. We have already seen that the vow of the wife, taken at marriage, can be directly annulled by the husband, and that of the husband indirectly by the wife.

The Sovereign Pontiff may dispense from the vow, even the solemn vow, of chastity. History contains well-known examples of such dispensations; thus, Julius III permitted Cardinal Pole to dispense even priests who, at the time of the Anglican schism, had contracted marriage; Pius VII dispensed priests who were civilly married under the French Revolution. But such dispensations are only granted for exceptionally grave reasons; and even when a case is one of a simple vow of perpetual chastity freely and deliberately taken, the Holy See ordinarily grants a dispensation only in view of marriage, and imposes a perpetual commutation, such as the condition of approaching the sacraments once a month.

Historical views

Historically there are frequent instances of special vows in the Old Testament, generally under the form of offerings conditionally made to God — offerings of things, of animals, even of persons, which might, however, be redeemed; offerings of worship, of abstinence, of personal sacrifices. See for example the vow of Jacob (Gen., xxviu, 2022), of Jephte (Judges 11:30, 31), of Anna the mother of Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11), in which we find an example of Nazaritism, and the imprecatory vow of Saul (1 Samuel 14:24). In Deuteronomy, xxiii, 21-23, it is laid down that there is no sin in not making a promise to God, but that there is sin in delaying to pay the vow. The New Testament contains no express commendation of vows; but two instances of special vows are specially recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (xviii, 18, and xxi, 23). In both these passages, the vows are of the same nature as those of the Nazarenes. These particular vows were not unknown to the Fathers of the Church, especially to St. Ambrose, "De officiis ministrorum", III, xii (P.L., XVI, 168); St. Jerome, Epistle 130 (PL 22:1118 and St. Augustine, Sermon 148 (P.L., XXXVIII, 799). But the Church especially recognized the promise to devote one's life to the service of God; baptism itself is accompanied by promises which were formerly considered as genuine vows, and which contain in reality a consecration of oneself to Jesus Christ by the renunciation of the devil and paganism. At a very early period continence was professed by virgins and widows — and though this profession appears rather under the form of the choice of a state of life than a formal promise, in the fifth century it was considered strictly irrevocable.


About this page

APA citation. Vermeersch, A. (1912). Vows. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved October 4, 2016 from New Advent:

MLA citation. Vermeersch, Arthur. "Vows." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 4 Oct. 2016 <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Tomas Hancil and Joseph P. Thomas.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Milk (Not Mother's)

The apron and its symbolism

By Bro. F.R. Worts, M.A., P.A.G.D.C. HISTORY OF THE APRON1  There can be no doubt that the Masonic apron has been developed from the apron worn by operative masons in the middle ages. The few examples surviving show that the operative apron was fashioned from the skin of an animal, most probably a sheep. It was large enough to cover the wearer from chest to ankles, and its fall was held by a leathern thong which passed round the neck. From each side a thong, firmly stitched, enabled the mason to tie the apron round his waist, and the tied bow tended to fall as end-strings. The use of this rough apron continued for many centuries ; the woven apron used by modern masons is comparatively late; it came into use in the eighteenth century.  The earliest representations of the Freemason’s Apron are seen on the engraved portrait of Antony Sayer, the first G.M. of the modern Craft. (1717), and on the frontispiece illustration of Anderson’s first Book of Constitutions (1723). In the former, unfortunately, only the upper part of the apron is visible, and what appears to be the bib or flap is raised. In the second example a Tyler is bringing into the hall a number of aprons ; these have long tie-strings which seem to be of leather. They are also large, well capable of covering a man from chest to: ankles. The method of tying-on the apron was that of operative masons, with the bow and strings in front ; this method was continued later, even when silk or linen strings were used.  The leather apron died hard. Despite the use of softer materials from possibly 1740 onwards, it survived in use until at least 1811. The evidence of this is the first official reference to the apron found in the G.L. minutes of 17th March, 1731 : 2
Masters and Wardens of particular Lodges may line their white leather Aprons with white silk, and may hang their Jewels at white Ribbons about their Necks." (A.Q.C., x, p. 146.)
This regulation was repeated in the 1738 and in subsequent editions of the Constitutions up to and including Noorthouck’s edition (1784), which was the last edition before 1815.  Crowe contended that by 1738 linen had supplanted leather, but Rylands disagreed ; both scholars, however, thought it possible that in the 1730’s some masons were experimenting with fabrics other than leather for their aprons.3  We do not know when the very long aprons went out of use. Only four of Rylands' plates (Nos. 2, 8, 10, 23), depicting non-operative aprons, show the apron to be long. The most interesting of these is No. 23, dated 1754. It shows a group of six Masons and only one of them is certainly wearing a long apron. He is, presumably, the S.W. ; he wears a level as Collar-jewel, and his apron-flap is down. The sixth figure, probably the Tyler, with drawn sword and no Collar-Jewel, wears his flap up.  The early fashion of wearing the bib or flap up soon fell into disfavour. The flap was either cut off or worn down as a fall. Rylands' illustrations offer only two or three examples of the raised flap (Nos. 1, 1717; 23, 1754; 42, 1784). Of his pictures Nos. 1 to 38, no less than nine, it seems, have no flap; in the remainder the flaps are down.  It is evident from surviving aprons and illustrations of the early period that they were designed to be worn with the flap up and fastened, by means of a button-hole, to a button on the coat or waistcoat. Many of these old aprons have a button-hole in the flap, but there seems to have been a tendency amongst Master Masons to wear the flap down or to dispense with it altogether. 4 (See Illustrations c and g.)  From 1731 onwards the apron began to assume a more convenient shape, usually kneelength. Leather gave way to softer fabrics, silk, satin, velvet, linen, and chamois-leather. The flap, when retained, was either cut to a triangular form or in a semi-circular line. The latter was increasingly adopted-by M.M.’s, presumably to mark their distinctive rank. The lower part of the apron was sometimes squared off, but generally the corners were trimmed to give a semi-circular line, and the leather thongs were displaced by ribbons or strings.  According to Dermott (Ahiman Rezon, 1764, pp. 24-3 1), some " Modern" Masons, objecting to the working apron of the operatives, introduced a new mode of wearing their aprons upside down; what was formerly the lowest part was now fastened round the abdomen and the bib and strings hung downwards, dangling in such a manner as might convince spectators that there was not a working mason amongst them. Blackham states that this "subterfuge" was introduced between 1730 and 1740, but it was short-lived. 5  Before 1760, elaborately-painted or embroidered aprons came into fashion and continued to be favoured until the Union (1813). Many of these aprons were home-made, often artistically finished and adorned with symbolic designs. From 1760 onwards the printed and engraved aprons appeared, many of them being subsequently coloured by hand. (See Illustration n.)  The tendency to decorate Masonic aprons with symbolic designs began in the 1730’s, and between 1740 and 1790 this practice became widespread. These efforts were mostly crude, but many surviving examples reveal skill and taste. Indian ink, paint and embroidery were commonly used for this ornamentation. The most popular designs usually included the All-Seeing Eye, the Columns, and the Square and Compasses, all evidence of the advance of Speculative Masonry in the second half of the eighteenth century. (See Illustrations o, p, q.) Rylands sums up the matter thus: —
". . . by 1784 the apron was greatly reduced in size . . . for a long time there had been considerable laxity . . . and no definition laid down as to uniformity. So long as the material was white the face might be decorated with any number of Masonic symbols or other symbols without infringing the law, provided always that it did not interfere with the privileges of the Grand Officers, who used a purple edging to their aprons . . . The size had grown smaller and smaller. (See Illustrations a, b, l.)  . . . it was quite within the power of each mason to invent for himself almost any apron he pleased." 6
In the Library of the Province of Yorkshire (West Riding) is an apron dated about 1820. It is small, hand-made, of white linen edged with narrow light blue ribbon, and there is no other adornment. The strings are very long and of the same blue ribbon. The flap is down; it is cut to a semi-circular line; but it is also cut into two halves, each half forming a semi-circle, and the two parts being neatly edged with the blue ribbon. Among the "Antients" it became a common practice to draw or paint on their aprons the coat of arms of their own Grand Lodge, but in the main the Atholl Masons adopted the fashions of the "Moderns" ; indeed., they indulged their fancy even more freely than their rivals in the choice and use of embellishments. On 2nd September, 1772, the Atholl G.L. passed the following resolution: —
"It having been represented to the G.L. that several Brethren have lately appeared in public, with gold lace and fringe, together with many devices on their aprons, &c., which was thought inconsistent with the dignity, propriety and ancient custom of the Craft, Resolved and Ordered That for the future, no Brethren, Grand Officers excepted, shall appear with gold lace, gold fringe, gold embroidery, or anything resembling gold, on their Masonic clothing or ornaments." (Ahiman Rezon, 1807, pp. 90-91.)
This was simply a ban on gold decoration ; there was still no attempt to prescribe uniformity of design. BLUE RIBBONS AND BLUE SILK  The resolution of the Grand Lodge on March 17th, 1721, ordained that:
"None but the Grand Master, his Deputy and Wardens shall wear their Jewels in Gold or gilt pendant to Blue Ribbons about their Necks, and White Leather aprons with Blue Silk ; which Sort of Aprons may also be worn by former Grand Officers."
This was the first official mention of Blue Silk as a trimming for aprons, and it is clear that the Blue was originally reserved for Grand Officers. The Rawlinson MS., c. 1740, mentions: " Two Grand Masters aprons Lined with Garter blue silk and turned over two inches with white silk strings."  By 1745-50 Grand Officers were beginning to edge their aprons with purple ribbon. The light blue, gradually given up by the Grand Officers, was soon adopted by Master Masons, and since there was no official ruling on the subject (until 1815), blue-edged aprons became fairly common with the rank and file of the Craft from about 1745 onwards.  Uniformity and regularity in the material, design, form and decorations of the apron were not officially insisted upon by the United Grand Lodge until 2nd March, 1814. The pattern was submitted and agreed to on the 2nd May; then the order for a general uniformity was issued. The Constitutions (1815), p. 123, prescribed:

Washington's Masonic Apron

The apron is perhaps the most symbolically important emblem found in speculative Masonry.  It is made of pure white lambskin and is worn by every Mason to all Lodge events.  The apron is the first symbol explained to the Entered Apprentice (1st degree, Blue Lodge) and the first tangible evidence that he possesses of his admission into the fraternity.  What the Mason probably doesn't know at the time of his initiation is that the apron is also worn by temple Mormons and active practitioners of Wicca (witchcraft).
Fapron.gif (43137 bytes)The Mason is taught that the apron is an "emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason."  According to Joseph Fort Newton, author of The Words of a Great Masonic Divine, "…'by the lambskin,' the Mason is reminded of the purity of life and rectitude of conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides." 1

In the Mormon temple ceremony, the participant is presented with a green satin "fig leaf" apron. In the "Garden of Eden" portion of the ceremony, the character portraying Adam asks Lucifer, "What is that apron you have on?"  Lucifer answers, "It is an emblem of my power and Priesthoods." 2   Participants obediently follow the narrator's voice as he directs them to put on the apron that has already been explained to them twice as an emblem of Lucifer!

According to William Schnoebelen (former Mormon, Mason, and Witch; author of Mormonism's Temple of Doom), " magick, the apron is a symbol of magickal energy or planetary (astrological) force.  It is the badge or rank for the third degree; and represents (when green) the priestly office of Lucifer.  It is the magickal 'tool' of that degree.

"In this third degree of Wicca, the apron serves a practical, magickal purpose.  In this degree, through a bizarre ceremony called the Great Rite, one is initiated into the principle of sex magick (tantra yoga).  The apron is often used during this sort of ritual to help contain and channel sexual energy.  This is why it covers the genital serves rather like putting a lid on a teakettle to help bring it to a boil.  This channeling raises the Kundalini force and supposedly produces enlightenment when the Kundalini serpent strikes upwards and 'bites' you metaphysically at the base of the brain.

"...just as the stole is the emblem of authority in the Catholic Priesthood, so the green apron is the emblem of Lucifer's authority.  In every Satanic group I knew of, the hierophant (High Priest) always wore a green apron, usually of the finest silk or satin." 3

Schnoebelen gives this conclusion of the Mormon ceremony and use of the apron, " I saw Lucifer with his Priesthood apron—and as I received my own apron—I was convinced that Christianity reached its highest level of witchcraft in Mormonism.  Jesus, I had been taught as a witch, was a Medium of the highest order, who worked miracles by magick.  Now as I saw the priesthood of Lucifer transferred to Adam in the Apron, I knew it was true." 4