Most Catholics know that it’s not good to be lukewarm. In fact, it’s bad — very bad. Afterall, no less than Our Lord and Redeemer Himself made this terrifyingly clear in Revelation 3:16, “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” It is the deadly sin of sloth, laziness of mind. The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists lukewarmness as a sin against God’s love and the very FirstCommandment (CCC 2094), the one Christ Himself reaffirmed as “the first and greatest commandment”: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.In the Old Testament, the prophet Jeremiah declares, “Cursed be he that doth the work of the Lord negligently.” St. John Vianney saidof “the dreadful state of the lukewarm soul” that his confessions and his communions bear no fruit which, far from making him more perfect and more pleasing to God, only make him more unworthy.” Our Lord Himself directed Saint Margaret Mary Alacoqueto pray fervently to“atone for the offenses which I have received from lukewarm and slothful hearts that dishonor me in the Blessed Sacrament.”He explained to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska,My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. These souls wound My Heart most painfully.” Lukewarmness among His flock is nauseating and personally painful to Jesus Christ. It is a sickness of the soul that predisposes it to mortal sin, spiritual death and damnation, and sincere Catholics work hard to keep from succumbing to it.  

And yet, today, lukewarmness is pandemic throughout the Catholic Church as never before. This is painfully obvious in the plummeting rates of participation in the sacraments; the slovenly disposition and dress of many of those few who actually do participate in the sacraments; the dearth of vocations; the sweeping ignorance of Catholic teaching and tradition; Catholic support for abortion, contraception, and the homosexual agenda; and the fact that most Catholics really don’t seem particularly concerned about any of the above. 

How did this happen? Fifty-plus years ago, many in the Church stopped teaching the faithful to fight lukewarmness and started teaching them to practice it. That’s how. 

This inversion was the crowning achievement of anti-Catholic clerics and theologianswho had long been seekingto remake the Church according to their modernist vision, ostensibly to make it less offensive to Protestants and “the modern world.” In the ambiguous languageof the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the cultural tumult of the mid-1960s, and the naivete of orthodox Catholics, they saw their opportunity and seized it. They forced structural changes into the ancient liturgical praxis of the Church, claiming the authority of a ruse called “the Spirit of Vatican Two”to validate their sabotage.   

Foundational elements of Catholic identity, particularly those potentially offensive to non-Catholics (e.g. extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, outside the Church there is no salvation) were rerouted, retrofitted or removed from public presentations of the faith. The 1,500-year-old Mass of the Ages was gutted and replacedwith a Protestant Bible camp sing-along. The Holy Eucharist was now to be doled out like free cheese samplesat Costco. The other sacraments were revised (see Ch.3), defanged and demystified. The priesthood was downsizedandemasculated. Rules on fasting were relaxed to the point of being almost nonexistent. Prayers and hymns were re-worded to reflect the Catholic Church’s new culturally compliant attitude. Andso much more.  

Institutional Lukewarmness had been installed and implemented; and it has been corrupting the human element of the Catholic Church ever since. 

A stark demonstration of the debilitating power of this systematic reconfiguration of the Church’s infrastructure is provided in the simple comparison of a prayer in its original form with its present-day iteration. This is the Prayer for Christian Unity from the Solemn Intercessionsat the Good Friday Celebration of Our Lord’s Passion. 

Prayer for Christian Unity 
Original versionfrom 1962 missal 
Prayer for Christian Unity Institutional Lukewarmnessversion from present-day missal 

Let us pray also for heretics and schismatics, that Our Lord would rescue them from all their errors and recall them to their holy Mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Church. Let us pray. Let us kneel down. Arise. 

Almighty and everlasting God, who savest all and wouldst that none should perish, turn Thy gaze to souls deceived and led astray by the devil; may they cast off the evil of their heresy and in true repentance of their errors return to the unity of Thy truth. 

Let us pray also for all our brothers and sisters who believe in Christ, that our God and Lord may be pleased, as they live the truth, to gather them together and keep them in his one Church.

Prayer in silence. Then the Priest says:

Almighty ever-living God, who gather what is scattered and keep together what you have gathered, look kindly on the flock of your Son, that those whom one Baptism has consecrated may be joined together by integrity of faith and united in the bond of charity.  

What does this prayer communicate to those hearing it? The original version immediately challenges them to understand and embrace the foundational truth that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. It reminds them of why this is the case: the Roman Catholic Church was and is the original Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself fromwhich all other denominations broke away via error, heresy and schism. And it teaches clearly that true love of neighbor consists of praying and working for their eternal salvation, not in trying to avoid offending them. What does the Institutional Lukewarmness version teach? “Hey man, Protestant, Catholic, whatever. Where all just one big Jesus church anyway. You do you. God’s cool with that” -– an attitude the Church used to condemn as the heresy of indifferentism. Note that this is just one of numerous examples. The same radical disparity in ethos is stunningly apparent in almost any side-by-side comparison of the prayers and practices of the Church before and after the installation of Institutional Lukewarmness: where they were once clear, inspiring and instructive; they are now incoherent, unnerving and confounding. 

Sadly, the destructive impact of Institutional Lukewarmness is multiplied exponentially by the fact that most Catholics today are blind to its existence. Six or so decades of consistent exposure to equivocation, error and heresy in seminaries, parishes, and Catholic schools have rendered the faithful incapable of detecting the vast chasm between actual Catholic doctrine and what today is branded as “Catholicism.” Thus, believing themselves to be living their faith, they are unwittingly propagating the faith-killing, God-nauseating mindset of Institutional Lukewarmness and inducing others to embrace it via “The New Evangelization.” As Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre observedin the immediate wake of the implementation of Institutional Lukewarmness, “… the master stroke achieved by Satan is to have thrown every one into disobedience by virtue of obedience.”

The fruit of all this is mass apostasy and damnation. Sooner or later, thinking adults conclude that a religion which neither knows nor believes in itself is a waste of time. Moreover, when faced with the overwhelming seductions of the modern world, they find the contemporary Church’s fractured, ambiguous moral “reasoning” woefully lacking as cause for resistance and, at times, even encouragement to surrender. Giving themselves over to sin and depriving themselves of the sacraments, these would-be faithful are as helpless before the demons as bleeding, semi-conscious swimmers in a pool of sharks. 

Then there is our crumbling society. Among those few Catholics who acknowledge that the Church has serious problems, many cite our increasingly secular and sinful society as the cause. They cannot comprehend that, in fact, the opposite is true. Catholic schools, in compliance with the dictates of Institutional Lukewarmness, long ago stopped teaching students about their Church’s foundational role in the gloriously radical historical anomaly known as Western Civilization. Thus, Catholic’s today cannot see the causal relationship between the surrender of the Church — the pillar and bulwark of the truth — and the collapse of civil society. They likely have never heard the words of Pope Saint Pius V admonishing,“All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics,” nor those of Pope Saint Pius X warning, “All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics.” They have likely never been introduced to the Church’s teaching on the social Kingship of Christ, “In Him is the salvation of the individual, in Him is the salvation of society.”Indeed, the state of society is a reflection of the state of the Mystical Body of Christ i.e. the Catholic Church. Without a robustly orthodox and faithful Catholic Church to sustain it, Western Civilization cannot stand. This pivotal truth was once taught by the Church and understood by all Catholics as the awesome and glorious cross they were privileged to bear as Ecclesia militansthe Church Militant. Today, Institutional Lukewarmness condemns this idea as jingoistic nonsense. 

And here we are: a Church in ruins, a society fully in the grip of Satan and souls primed for perdition. One is reminded of St. Paul’s ghastly description of the fate of those who “detain the truth of God in injustice” in chapter one of his epistle to the Romans“Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator… they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.”

Institutional Lukewarmness is a mockery of God, a perversion of the Magisterium and a peril to souls. It has depraved the Catholic hierarchy andmade their faithful flocks complicit in its treachery. 

ENOUGH! Catholics, this is utterly unacceptable. Many of you fight earnestly against personal lukewarmness, striving to please Our Lord and grow in holiness. So why do you accept Institutional Lukewarmness? Stop! Stop being Satan’s useful idiots. Stop giving your time, talent, treasure and tolerance to priests, parishes, bishops, dioceses, ministries,apostolatesfundraising campaigns, and schoolsthat — knowingly or unknowingly — promote Institutional Lukewarmness. 

Many will insist, “Not MY parish. Not MY bishop. Not MY school.” Really? Know the signs: 

  • Communion in the hand
  • Extraordinary ministers
  • Homilies in contradiction to traditional Catholic teaching
  • Shuffling Holy Days of obligation 
  • Altar girls
  • Non-sacred music in Mass
  • Parish ministries promoting beliefs and practices contrary to Catholic teaching
  • Ecumenical “interfaith” events
  • Evangelization efforts that hide or hedge Catholic doctrine 
  • Schools that inculcate students with ambiguous, erroneous and/or outright heretical interpretations of doctrine in the guise of “Catholic teaching”

If these are the norm at your parish or Catholic school, leave. Complaining to your pastor or bishop is almost assuredly a waste of time. They are aware of Institutional Lukwarmness and either embrace it or believe themselves powerless to do anything about it. Vote with your feet (and your wallets) and dump them! They will get the message … eventually.  

Leave the Catholic Church? Of course not. JOIN IT! Most Catholics under the age of 60 have experienced only a fraction of theglorious 2,000 year-old ecclesial patrimony that is their rightful inheritance by baptism. But the complete, original, inviolate Holy Mother Churchis still alive and well, and her fruits are profound and telling.For the protection and salvation of your soul and those of your family members, get to a traditional Catholic Church ASAP!   

You will find there, not the occasional courageous priest or inspiring speaker to help you battle lukewarmness, but the comprehensive Mystical Body of Christ of which the priests, sacraments, prayers, rubrics, music, art, architecture, liturgical calendar and more are singularly dedicated to empowering you to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.Most importantly, you will be able to offer worship that is truly worthy of God, for the praise and glory of His name, your good and the good of all His Holy Church. 

Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi– as we pray, so we believe, so we live. This is an ancient Catholic maximthat the implementors of Institutional Lukewarmness understood well and utilized to devastating effect: deformed prayers deform beliefs, lives and society. Their motivations for doing so are increasingly apparent. Catholics, beware Institutional Lukewarmness — Satan’s most effective ploy to date for duping souls off the narrow path to Heaven and onto the broad, easy path to Hell. 

A neglectu inspirationum tuarum, libera nos, Jesu.From the neglect of thy inspirations, deliver us Jesus!