Culture / Etiquette

A Catholic Gentleman’s Manifesto

3753395886_a590c5578c_oHello Everyone! My name is Dominic Cassella (aka The Hound), I am one of the Co-Founders of the Catholic Dormitory, and I would like to thank Sam for inviting me to be an occasional writer for the Catholic Gentleman.

The list below was originally posted on the Dormitory, but I believe it needs to be spread around a little more. As Catholic Gentlemen, we have an understanding that we are all called to be the servants of Christ and not our selves. However, beyond this we recognize that, although this may apply to all men, if a man does not follow the true Master always he is not a boy because he has sinned. He is just a man, who has fallen off his horse; tossed a rock into his mountain pack; or stubbled down the stairs. The manifesto below is just a list of guidelines which can almost apply to all of mankind (women included), simple because we are all called to know, love and serve God in ALL things. Yet despite this, it is nonetheless A Gentleman’s Manifesto more than anything else.

A Catholic Gentleman’s Manifesto:

  1. We first strive to remain faithful and loyal to Our Holy Mother Church, the Mystical Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Magisterium, the Vicar of Christ, and the One Triune God.
  2. We strive to know, love and serve Christ in all of our thoughts, words, deeds and omissions.
    1. The Pint, The Pipe, The Cross.
    2. The Good, The True, The Beautiful.
  3. We ask for forgiveness and we repent of our sins voluntary and involuntary.
  4. We strive to shine the light of Christ, to be His instrument, in all things.
    1. To preach God’s gospel always, and when necessary use words.
  5. We strive to heal our own wounds, and do our own work.
  6. We seek liberation from the ego.
  7. We strive to build a world that works for Christ, and thus for everybody.
  8. We dare greatly in pursuit of Christ’s vision for us.
    1. To unite our vision with Christ’s.
    2. To renounce status-seeking in favor of a purpose-driven life.
  9. We surrender emotional control in favor of emotional maturity.
  10. We exchange competence in violence for competence in non-violence.
  11. We give up divided attention so that we may practice Presence.
  12. We refuse to bow to fear of economic scarcity.
    1. We refuse to worship the false idols of money, success and careers.
  13. Women are not the source of our problems.
  14. We live chivalrous lives, with unending respect for women, our co-creators of mankind.
    1. Women and men are equal in the sense that they are complementary, not plainly equal in all things.
  15. Full blame rests on our shoulders.
    1. We take personal responsibility for the state of our souls and the souls within our care.
      1. The souls we scandalize and the souls that are brought closer to Christ, by Christ through us.
      2. Through the sake of HIS sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
  16. We understand at last what true Wealth is, and where it comes from.
    1. The physical, the mental and most importantly the spiritual.
  17. Morality is our daily habit: we exercise generosity, maintain strong determination, make diligent and sustained effort, give selfless Love, tell the Truth in all cases and all ways, discipline ourselves, show tolerance, seek wisdom, practice renunciation, and cultivate equanimity.
  18. We address all of the problems we are capable of solving.
  19. We will not turn against our Brothers.
  20. And we cannot turn against or shy from protecting and providing for woman.
  21. We are for the integrity of the interconnected individual who, listening to the passions of their hearts and the wisdom of their intellect finds the courage to act in the name of the Christ with the sign of the Cross in all things.

Originally Posted at the Catholic Dormitory.

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18 thoughts on “A Catholic Gentleman’s Manifesto

  1. couple of questions: 2.1 what do you mean by “The Pint, the pipe”; 3. How does one sin “involuntarily” when the catechism clearly states that sin is a deliberate conscious act? as for #10. I am competent in both. Violence when needed to protect my family and myself and non-violence when it is called for.

    • Good questions. What I mean by pint and pipe is that we are supposed sanctify all things for Christ, even the luxuries.

      Involuntary sin is a very interesting concept held in the Eastern Catholic Theology (Meaning fully Catholic) it refers to the detrimental effects on our soul that we do not necessarily willingly cause. This actually kind of requires an entire post for itself, and I am not exactly as qualified to write it. But essentially: involuntary sin is like tripping and falling and scabbing your knee. Voluntary sin is deliberately scabbing your knee. If you want to get any better you must attend to the healing of both, despite one being caused voluntarily and the other involuntarily. I suggest reading the Liturgy of the Byzantine Catholic Rites, as written by St. John Chrysostom. And Fr. Maximos Davies’ writings. Also try and listen to his lectures. But for a quick read on the topic just go to the Catholic Encyclopedia and read: “True liberty is not required for sin. A bad act committed involuntarily renders man responsible (propositions 50-51 in Denzinger -Bannwart, “Enchiridion”, nn. 1050-1).”

      As for competence in violence, I understand your point. However, I would consider defusing a violent situation or protecting one’s family as competence in non-violence. This is because the end is not violence itself, but to end violence.

      • http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14004b.htm “Angels dancing on pin-heads”. This entire article makes it impossible for any human being to be free from sin even for an infinitesimal moment, such as right after confession. Baloney. Let’s say that I am flipping through the TV channels and an R rated sex scene is on but I simply continue flipping without pausing or dwelling on the sin being displayed. According to the Enchiridion I have sinned just by being exposed regardless of the intent or length. Again, I say, Baloney. Satan batters me daily with memories of sins long past and forgiven as he tries to shake my faith. Again, according to this, just by being reminded “gaudium” I have sinned again. “Angels dancing on the heads of pins”. It is that sort of nth degree “reasoning” that caused Luther to confess 100s of times daily, and too many otherwise good Catholics to abandon the faith. There may have been a need for the Enchiridion at one point, doubtful, but it is not germane anymore.

        I agree that competence in non-violence includes defusing a potentially violent situation but life doesn’t work like that.

      • Mcrognale, I’m not exactly qualified on this subject either, but it’s my understanding that involuntary sin is caused when you take part in something that’s objectively sinful, only without knowledge that it is.

        For example, I was never properly taught that we are under binding obligation to go to Mass on Sunday. Looking back on it now, I wont deny that I had sinned to some extent, (although this can’t be mortal). If I was to pay for that offence in purgatory if not on Earth, I would say that would be more than fair.

        The reason this differs from your example is that avoiding a program like that is an objective act of virtue. Involuntary sin would only apply if what you willed was objectively evil, which in that case it most certainly wouldn’t be.

        A relevant scripture quote might be Luke 12:47 – 48:
        “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

    • Hi Anthony,
      Dominic, in point 3 above: “We ask for forgiveness and we repent of our sins voluntary and involuntary.” I have a serious issue with that point and #10 but I’ll concentrate on #3 for the moment. One cannot sin “involuntarily.” In the Catechism of the Catholic Church beginning at paragraph 1854 we read that sin is divided into two kinds mortal (go straight to hell if you die in it.) and venial. In each type of sin the act must be in full knowledge and voluntary. Dominic apparently has some knowledge of the Eastern Rite churches that I do not. They seem to have a sense of “involuntary” sin. Not quite sure but Dom knows that. So what I am saying Anthony is that we in the Roman Rite cannot sin involuntarily. The rest of my discussion in reply to Dom’s reply was more of an esoteric discussion of points he made.

      • I’m afraid this still isn’t representing the definition of involuntary sin. It means something slightly different than what it’s name sounds like.

      • Did you read the Catechism? The paragraph I cited was just a starting point. The Church does not recognize “involuntary” sin.

      • Hi Mcrognale, – it’s my understanding that a mortal sin is where the matter is ‘grave’, committed in full knowledge, and with full ascent (voluntarily), whereas, a venial sin in one where one or more of those conditions remain unmet.

  2. Dominic, “Hound,”

    This is an excellent idea; Christian men need to be reminded of their duty, and this manifesto is a noble attempt to restore these truths to some kind of mental awareness.

    I am a practicing Roman Catholic, and I find many of the points on this manifesto confusing. Many terms are left undefined, or at least unresolved. I agree in principle with Mcrognale’s objection to “involuntary sin.” If “involuntary” means in the Eastern understanding more than “without exercise of the will,” then it would be wise to either clearly define it, or remove the questionable word.

    Nor is unconditional preference of non-violence over violence Christ-like. The One who publicly rebuked the Pharisees (the established religious order) as “whitewashed tombs,” and drove the traders from the temple was the same one to bear the Cross without murmur. Take it simply as an example that there is a time and a place, as prudence dictates, proper to every good action, violent or not. Nor should we forget what violence the Crucifixion did to the empire of sin.

    Finally, simplicity should be key, for the sake of active memory and incorporation into everyday living. I humbly suggest that we discuss a revision along these lines:

    “We as Catholic laymen, expressing faith in the Triune God, loyalty to the Church of Christ, and the Bishop of Rome, resolve:
    To live the life of Christ in all things: in obedience and in self-determination, in silence and in speech, in action and inaction, in prayer and in work, in foresight and in execution, in defense and in attack, in gentle and unyielding strength, in spreading the Gospel to all nations, and in suffering all things as He has done before us;

    To defend His Bride, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in all that is Her Doctrine, and to obey in all that is Her discipline;

    To foster in our nation, wheresoever it be, a desire for truth, justice, unity, and faith;

    To Honor all men as alter Christi;

    To Defend all women as the daughters of Mary and Brides of the Holy Spirit;

    And To work as Saint Joseph and the community of Saints: grateful to God for our success and responsible to Him for our failures, mindful of our weakness, our imminent death and judgment, yet ever-hopeful in the promise of His redeeming Blood.

    Trusting in the Providence of Christ, and the Magnanimity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, We entrust this purpose, this desire to be Catholic Gentlemen of Faith, Integrity, and Honor to God, the Source of all that is Good.”

    This is my humble submission. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

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