Vivamus molestie gravida turpis
“While the world changes,
the cross stands firm.”
- St. Bruno
by David Nussman
In a time of rampant confusion about even the most fundamental Catholic doctrines, a new website promotes unwavering commitment to the Church's authentic teachings.
Serviam USA was created by Doug Grane and Jason Jones earlier this year. The name is a response to Satan's rejection of the divine will. Satan said non serviam to God at the beginning of creation, meaning "I will not serve," whereas a faithful follower of Christ says the opposite: serviam, "I will serve."
The site links to articles — many penned by John Zmirak, senior contributor to The Stream — that announce and clarify Church teachings on the controversial issues of today.
Serviam drew attention to a satire piece by Zmirak comparing Fr. James Martin's subtle endorsement of homosexual activity to a cancer doctor encouraging tobacco users to keep smoking:
Dr. Martin has been using his bully pulpit as a leading oncologist at Walter Read. His goal? To dismantle stereotypes that afflict tobacco-using Americans. "They label people as 'cancer patients,' or 'emphysema victims,' or 'tongue amputees,' instead respecting of them as persons," Martin said. "And that is dehumanizing. It is wrong. It is time for the medical community to repent."
A satirical follow-up was added on September 18.
Grane, Jones and Zmirak know one another through the pro-life movement. Grane explained to Church Militant, "I spoke with him [Jason Jones] at a few pro-life events and kept in contact. Soon thereafter Jason introduced me to John."
"Inspiration for Serviam," Grane told Church Militant, "was a combination of factors." He cited three:
First, all the false teachings being advocated by the theological and political progressives needed pushback. Too much intellectual pride (non serviam) and obedience to the will of man. The answer? Humility and obedience to the will of God (serviam).
Second, John Podesta, Wikileaks in Oct. 2016 and his traitorous "Catholic Spring" involvement for revolution in the Church was a big motivator to found Serviam. Where was the outcry from Church leaders and the laity? Nothing much at all. Funding from George Soros for Catholic front groups like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, etc. needed a better response.
Third, the 16 papal encyclicals from 1832–1950 from six different popes against Modernism and explaining authentic Catholic social teaching (most prominently by Leo XIII) are de facto buried treasure that need to be brought to the fore and applied to our times.
Clarifying the Church's social teaching is central to Serviam's mission, and this often means reclaiming the concept of social teaching from leftist ideologues. For instance, several articles featured on Serviam debunk the myth that Catholics are morally obligated to endorse open-border policies. Issues like immigration, they point out, are matters of practical prudence, not theological or moral doctrine.
In an email correspondence with Church Militant, writer John Zmirak humorously remarked, "The very words 'Catholic social teaching' have been so hijacked that they're almost ruined for me. It's like the line in the theme song for The Flintstones: 'We'll have a gay old time!' You know that old meaning of the word, but it's hard to wash off the new."
Zmirak explained, "'Catholic social teaching' as most people use it is none of the three. It's not Catholic, it's anti-social and it's not Church teaching."
"Real Catholic social teaching," Zmirak wrote, "is a set of general principles that the Church lays out to offer laymen guidance in doing our jobs — sanctifying the secular order. It's not a grab-bag of entitlements."
A proper understanding of Catholic social teaching, Zmirak often argues at The Stream, means treating it as a rich intellectual tradition rather than a body of infallible doctrines.
As one section of the website notes, "Catholic social teaching is not justification for ever-increasing expenditures on a nation's welfare state. Conversely, it stresses the personal responsibility of mini-societies (i.e., families) comprised of a husband and wife, raising their children wherein each member has immeasurable dignity and value."
Church Militant has often warned fellow Catholics about the dangers of so-called social justice concerns. A particularly satirical episode of The Vortex in 2013 dubbed environmental and social justice issues "earth-bound bandwagons."
In an age when the faithful suffer from awful catechesis and unending confusion about even the most basic principles of morality, it is very easy for the well-meaning faithful to be deceived by the clever equivocations of 'social justice' Catholics. That is where groups like Serviam come in — to expose the deceit and distortions.
Vivamus molestie gravida turpis