The heresy of the ecumenists May 20, 2013Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, pr stunts, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return.
1 comment so far
Louie Verrecchio has a very revealing post on Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews – thus, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist. Cardinal Koch routinely makes statements that would have unquestionably been viewed as heresy just a few short years ago. And since Church Doctrine can never change………..(I add emphasis and comments):
If the most recent Holy Roman Pontiff to have been canonized, Pope St. Pius X, could suddenly be placed in the Holy See of today, like a frog dropped in a pot of boiling water, he would leap into action, the anathemas and condemnations flying from his mighty pen so fast it would make even Cardinal Burke’s head spin. [As much as I love Cardinal Burke, I think Pope St. Pius X might have more than a bit of concern about him. And yet he is as good a Cardinal as the Church has at present. That shows where we are at.]
As it is, the majority of Catholic prelates are doing backstrokes as the souls in their care perish from lack of a shepherd.
Enter Cardinal Kurt Koch.
According to a report in the Tablet, Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, on a recent visit to Jerusalem, stressed “no conversion for the Jews,” saying:
“We Christians must not bear witness in relation to the Jews to a path of salvation which is completely foreign to them, as we do with other religions. This is because the New Testament is built up totally on the basis of the Old Testament. The Catholic Church therefore does not have an organized Jewish mission, as certain Evangelical groups do.”
In speaking of “a path of salvation which is completely foreign” to the Jews, clearly His Eminence is referring to none other than Jesus Christ, who alone is the Way to everlasting life. [Both of these preceding statements are objectively true. Cardinal Koch is one of the most troubling prelates in the Church. Little surprise, then, that he is German (well,, German Swiss).]
How is it even remotely possible for anyone who holds the Catholic faith, much less a Prince of the Church (a title that means less with every passing day) [Ouch, but so true. That hits them where they hurt] to refer to Jesus Christ, Son of David and long-awaited Messiah, as “completely foreign” to the Jews? If a candidate for Confirmation said this, the bishop would be duty bound to deny him the sacrament!
And while it is true from the standpoint of formal structure that the Church does not have “an organized Jewish mission,” it is to the everlasting shame of all of her members that this is the case, especially those in the hierarchy who, like Cardinal Koch, place diplomacy and warm sentiments above the mission that Jesus Christ gave to His Church…….. [And that is exactly, precisely right. Koch, Dolan, Mahony, Ravasi, O'Brien,Tagle, Daneels, the list goes on and on, almost every single prince of the Church has either publicly declared heresy at some recent point, engaged in hideous scandal, failed to defend the Faith, or all three. It's a triple crown of massive fails!]
………in suggesting that the Jews stand in no need of conversion, Cardinal Koch is guilty of precisely the indifferentism condemned by Pope Pius VII, wherein “truth is confused with error, and the Holy and Immaculate Spouse of Christ is placed on the same level as heretical sects and even as Jewish faithlessness” (Post Tam Diurturnas)
[We must remind......] our fellow Catholics that the Church has been praying for the conversion of the Jews for many centuries, and for one simple reason. In the words of the Council of Florence:
The Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within Her, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, cannot become participants in eternal life but will depart ‘into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Mt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock… (Council of Florence, Dz 714).
Given the fact that Cardinal Koch no longer believes as much, I would suggest in all charity that we must pray for his conversion, that he might one day return to the Catholic faith. [I agree.]
There is a little hook at the end of Verrecchio’s post that I won’t paste, because he definitely deserves the hit. Go to his site and scroll down to the end, and see if you get the joke. It’s delicious irony. Brilliant.
Can anyone dispute what Mr. Verrecchio says? I can’t even begin to, and must admit I agree with all he says.
And Mr. Verrechio’s prescriptive advice for the faithful is spot on: we must pray for all our shepherds, from our parish priest to the highest princes, for their sanctification, conversion, and humble submission to God’s Will and acceptance of ALL the Truth He has revealed through His Church. More than that, we must also condition our bodies, will, and minds to accept mortification, and offer that mortification up for the conversion of all prelates or perhaps one particular cardinal or bishop. Such would be a tremendous work of spiritual mercy, and very edifying for your soul, irrespective if that Grace moves the soul of a particular prelate. I think a very large part of the reason we are in our current crisis is because lay Catholics (myself certainly included) haven’t been offering enough prayers and sacrifices on behalf of our spiritual leadership. I will try to do more.
One final note, I just thought to add after I hit the publish button! The reason I entitled this post the heresy of the ecumenists is that Cardinal Koch’s views are extremely common among those engaged in the modern, post-Vatican II “ecumenical” effort in the Church. Those involved, from priests to cardinals to lay people, routinely make statements revealing at least a marked indifferentist attitude, if not outright heresy. This statement from Koch is just the latest example. And, incredibly, such statements can even be found at the very highest levels of authority, at times. But it is critical to keep in mind that none of these statements is doctrinal, none of them are binding on a Catholic’s conscience, so we can and must remain free to disagree, even stridently. That’s all.
St. Jerome on some modern errors May 17, 2013Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Interior Life, Saints, secularism, self-serving, Tradition, Virtue.
1 comment so far
St. Jerome was one of the most irascible men ever to become a Saint, let alone a Doctor of the Church. He had a terrible temper and quite a mean streak. But, he composed the Latin Vulgate, the biblical text used in the Mass for centuries, and wrote some great exegeses on Christian doctrine.
In reading some of these ancient Fathers, it always amazes me how today’s errors are nothing new. The same errors always come up, over and over again, because men want to rule themselves, rather than submit to a transcendent God. And, we always seem to stumble over certain of the same ideas – would a loving God really allow souls to fall into hell (the answer: yes), must we really practice virtue, etc., etc? Basically, these issues get back to the original error: certainly God wouldn’t condemn wonderful ME!
Anyways, to St. Jerome, from his text Against Jovinian, AD 393, from The Faith of the Early Fathers, pp. 200-201.
It is our task, according to our different virtues, to prepare for ourselves different rewards…….If we are going to be equal in Heaven it woudl be useless for us to humble ourselves here in order ot have a greater place there……..Why should virgins persevere? Why should widows toil? Why should married women be continent? Let us all sin, and after we repent we shall be the same as the Apostles are! [This line struck me as being particularly apropos for so many protestants, who, mimicking Luther, feel that "faith" is all that is required for salvation, and that practicing virtue and avoiding sin is unnecessary. In fact, Luther counseled to "sin boldly, but have an even bolder faith." What Luther failed to realize, is that even having faith is a work. But his counsel is completely contrary to what the Church - guided by the Fathers, who were informed by the original Apostles - has always believed. We MUST practice virtue, spiritual and corporal, in order to be saved. For virtue gives witness to our faith, otherwise, it's just so many words]
If all rational creatures are equal, and by their own free will are, in view of their virtues or of their vices, either raised up to the heights or plunged down to the depths, and after the lengthy passage of infinite ages there will be a restitution of all things and but a single dignity for all the soldiers, how far apart will a virgin be from a whore? What difference between the Mother of the Lord and - it is impious to even say it! – the victims of public licentiousness? Will Gabriel and the devil be the same? The Apostles and the demons the same? The Prophets and pseudo-prophets the same? Martyrs and their persecutors the same? [Here St. Jerome attacks Origen's theory of "universal salvation," or the semi-Origenist position that while there will be a period of punishment, at the end of time, God will "restore all things" and bring everyone to salvation. But these same words can be applied to even greater effect to the universal salvationists of today, when they corrupt the virtuous with the presence of the immoral. I, for one, am thankful that St.'s Jerome and Augustine - among many, many others - crushed this error definitvely 1600 years ago. We need a new Jerome.]
Dang………wrong Georgia. I was getting ready to move! I add emphasis and comments:
Priests [priests!] and thousands of other Georgians broke through police barricades and forced gay rights activists to flee on Friday, cutting short their rally to mark the international day against homophobia. [I say, good for them, as long as they were non-violent]Holding banners saying “Stop Homosexual Propaganda in Georgia!” and “Not in our city!”, the demonstrators swarmed into a square in central Tbilisi where about 50 Georgians [50 whole people!] were rallying in support of gay rights. Police escorted the gay rights supporters onto buses and drove them away to avoid violence.Several people, including some journalists, received minor injuries, Georgian media said.“We won’t allow these sick people to hold gay parades in our country,” said Zhuzhuna Tavadze, brandishing a bunch of nettles and adding that she was ready to fight.
Get your pro-life on at the annual National Right to Life conference at the Hyatt Regency DFW June 27-29. Registration is (yikes!) $95. Couples get a $5 break. There is childcare available. You an register here.
There are many, many speakers, mostly a bevy of evangelical protestants. But, Fr. Frank Pavone will apparently get out of his cell in Amarillo and be there, along with Brother Paul O’Donnell, FBP from Minneapolis.
Headliners include O. Carter Snead, Wesley J. Smith, Chet McDoniel, David Barton, and Reggie Littlejohn. I know!
I will bet money they don’t talk about contraception very much. But we’ll never be rid of abortion in this country, until all the churches oppose contraception and most of the people stop using it. And it will take the Catholic Church getting serious about her opposition to contraception, again, in order to make both happen. But we’re not even there, yet.
Impurity is a punishment for pride May 10, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Society, scandals, foolishness, Ecumenism, error, sexual depravity, catachesis, self-serving.
I heard some great lines in a sermon today. I don’t think this sermon will make it on Audio Sancto. But I jotted down just a few of the more memorable statements, because I think they help diagnose the enormous collapse of morality in our society. The lines were:
- Impurity is a punishment for pride
- Chastity is a reward for humility
- Pride makes us turn inward, and the more we turn inward, the more prideful we become
In our present culture, there is probably no more rampant grave sin than unchastity. Whether it’s porn use, self-abuse, actual infidelity, serial divorce and remarriage, fornication, or just plain ogling members of the opposite sex (which seems rampant even among females these days), the number of people lost in sins of unchastity are enormous, and still growing. The statistics are damning: a majority of American women now look at porn regularly, whether married or not. For men, the number who use porn weekly is well over 80%, and that is likely under-reported. Actual physical infidelity (as opposed to infidelity involving only self-abuse) is skyrocketing, with almost half of all married women now reporting they have made a lie of their wedding vows at least once in their married lives. I don’t think I even need to go into the others: suffice it to say, almost half the babies born in this country are now born out of wedlock.
I don’t think I need to write much about the statements above. I think my good readers can figure out how impurity stems from pride, and how pride and selfishness tend to feed on themselves, until one becomes, by almost imperceptible steps, a moral monster. It used to be that things like adultery could get one totally barred from “polite” society, but if such rules were reimposed suddenly today, the number of the polite would be quite small, I’m afraid. Porn used to be something one only found in seedy parts of town (and before that, it was very, very difficult to find), but now its available anytime in virtually any home. And people literally raised by TV and narcissism-feeding advertising messages don’t have the moral framework to overcome the now multiplicitous temptations. There is little question in my mind, that rampant porn use tends to lead to adultery and/or fornication, those lead to divorce or babies out of wedlock, which tend to breed more little unhappy narcissists, etc., etc. Societal suicide, by small steps. Someone should write all this down, to preserve the knowledge so that a future society won’t fall into the same traps we have.
But it all starts with the ultimate narcissism: that we may be as gods. That is the chief conceit of this age, that God either does not exist, or that if He does, he certainly wouldn’t be so mean and judgy as to condemn someone as wonderful as I am. Sadly, you can find reinforcement for such beliefs in almost every Catholic Church in this country today. Disbelief in hell is just another form of pride, a way of telling each other how wondeful we are.
Which reminds me of what I thought the instant the priest said “impurity is a punishment for pride.” My mind immediately jumped to Martin Luther, his titanic pride (which existed long before his fall into apostasy and schism), and his serial unchastity. Father Luther loved the table, he loved the bar, and he really loved the bar wench. But he was wracked with guilt, but primarily over the latter. So what does a prideful man do when he’s confronted by a sin his pride prevents him from overcoming? He invents a proud new religion! A religion which conveniently eliminated moral behavior as a necessity for salvation!
It would be funny, if so many souls weren’t at stake.
Before I begin, the photo below is extremely disturbing. This photo is not suitable for children at all, nor those with sensitive consciences. I found it extremely disturbing.
I have blogged about the ongoing and worsening plight of Christians in the Mideast many times. It is an unbearable fact that our government has been backing forces in the Mideast which have been, and continue to, engage in a nightmarish persecution of Christians. The Obama administration, no stranger to persecuting Christians, drove Mubarak out of Egypt and helped usher the radical Muslim Brotherhood into power. Attacks against Egyptian Christians have escalated terribly since these radical islamists came into power.
In Iraq, the idiotic US war to try to install a liberal democracy in a place where none has ever existed, amongst the most illiberal people in the world, instead engendered a huge increase in radicalism islamism and the brutal persecution of the ancient Christian (specifically, Catholic) minority. 3/4 or more of Iraqi Christians had to flee the onslaught of violence they were subjected to as a result.
And in Syria, home to the oldest Christian population in the world, Christians are being told by the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” really nothing but a puppet of Saudi wahhabist terrorists and the increasingly radical Turkish regime, that they may either convert, leave, or die. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have already driven from Iraq, are now being subjected to new tortures, while Syria’s 2.5 million Christians are fleeing to Lebanon in droves. They will soon run out of places to run to, at least in the Mideast, and the great islamist purging of Christians -aided and abetted by our government – will be complete.
I found the photo below on the Pertinacious Papist blog, accompanied by the following text:
A Chaldean Catholic in our community sent this image along with an email. The image carried the caption:
“POOR CHRISTIANS….. “UNFORTUNATELY OUR WESTERN MEDIAS NEVER MENTION THE SUFFERING OF THE CHRISTIANS IN SYRIA … WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION. PLEASE SEND THIS MESSAGE TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES”
In the email, the Chaldean correspondent wrote:
“Atrocities that the Muslim terrorists are committing in Syria. We have too help the Syrians and especially the Christians who are being slaughtered by these atrociously wicked terrorists. My heart is crying for what is taking place in Syria and unfortunately instead of the West taking action they sit idle and allow Syria to disintegrate and the Syrians be butchered.”
Of course the media doesn’t report these atrocities, it doesn’t serve their interests. And the is about nothing if not serving their own, especially political, interests. That’s one of the main reasons why this country has fallen so far. But, even more to the point, most in the media frankly hate Christians, many are fallen Christians themselves, probably burdened with all manner of whacked-out consciences, and so they try to pretend that muslims are sweet, innocent, and exotic “others,” others who have been put upon by the evil West and especially the Church, and certainly far superior to the “bible-humping” “Christofascist” psychopaths who love to pretend they’re so much better than everyone else and are who richly deserve everything they’re getting at the hands of the innocents they’ve so long oppressed. Yes, oppressors like this:
I made the photo as small as I could. You can click on it to make it bigger if you are so inclined. This little girl was obviously raped horrifically before being brutally murdered. I have studied the photo, as unpleasant as that was, and I believe it to be genuine. Her torturers tried to cut off her left breast, but must have given up, for some reason. There have been numerous reports from France, Sweden, Denmark, and other “Christian” countries, of young girls about this age being repeatedly gang-raped by groups of muslim men and boys. Sometimes over twenty men take part in these attacks, and the physical damage alone can be beyond mention, but I’ll say one word: colostomy. All for failing to wear a burqa or hijab – in a Christian country! Or at least a formerly Christian one! If you don’t believe me, click here.
We must pray, pray, pray for these suffering Christians. And we must lobby our government to stop giving aid and comfort to those who would murder others simply for being of another faith. Not that it will do much good with our current muslim-in-chief, we still must stand for what is right and defend the many Catholics and other Christians suffering at the hands of these barbarians. And we must steel ourselves for a future where this kind of thing could be occurring in our country (I know, it already does, but thankfully rarely as of yet) on a near daily basis. Europe is likely to see more and more of the above as it becomes increasingly islamized.
And yet, we have Catholics, with very high authority in the Church, whose highest priority with regard to islam is to credentialize it via ecumenism.
Lord, have mercy on that girl, and on us.
Prayer request May 9, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Admin, Domestic Church, Ecumenism, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, sadness, Virtue.
Please pray for a friend of the family who was bitten by a copperhead snake last night. She did not even know she was bit until much later. She had to go to the hospital and has been in intensive care. She has 6 children, the oldest of which is 8, and is a recent convert to the Faith who is really struggling with opposition to her conversion within her own home. So, would you, in your charity, pray for Lydia C and her recovery and continued conversion?
She also has a son with severe development disabilities. He is in need of almost constant care. That, coupled with twin babies, means this mother has her hands terribly full. Perhaps you could also add William C. to your prayers, for a miraculous healing, and for the conversion of Lydia’s family?
Many, many thanks!
The great Benedictine Dom Prosper Gueranger was the father of the modern liturgical reform. In France, he sought to restore the liturgy, which had been devastated by the twin blows of radical Jansenism and the predations of the French Revolution. In actuality, the first of those two was far more damaging than the latter, at least to the liturgy. For the Jansenists posited a brutally simplified liturgy, which in many respects encompassed the same changes as were made after the most recent Council. Before I provide Gueranger’s principles, I will give you a brief description of the Jansenist’s severe changes to the Mass, which were inspired by their crypto-Calvinism and much “enlightenment” thinking. The following description comes from Dom Alcuin Reid’s The Organic Development of the Liturgy, pp. 41-42:
[Abbe Jacques Jube, one of the principle architects of the Jansenist liturgy, but whose reforms were very typical.....] …wanted no more than one altar in his church. “The words Sunday Altar were inscribed upon it for no one was to celebrate Mass there except on Sundays and feast days. Once Mass was over this altar was promptly and completely stripped, just like all the altars in the Latin Church on Holy Thursday after the morning office. At the actual time of celebration the altar was covered with a cloth, but even there were neither candles nor a cross. [Jansenists, like the protestants they so frequently imitated, were very nearly iconoclasts. They stripped churches bare of religious art and decor. I should add that the altar was frequently a bare table-type altar] It was only in going to the altar that the priest was preceded by a large cross, the same which was carried in processions and the only one in the church. Arriving at the foot of the altar, he said the opening prayers, and the people answered in a loud voice. He next went to a chair at the epistle side of the sanctuary. Here he intoned the Gloria and the Credo, without, however, reciting either of them through; nor did he say the Epistle or Gospel. He only said the collect. [The implication is that either the choir, or others completed these prayers and readings. In some Jansenist Masses, the laity performed some of the readings, and these were almost always in the vernacular]. He did not usually recite anyting that the choir chanted. The bread, the wine and water, were offered to the celebrant in a ceremonious way, in which there was nothing blameworthy; for this was a long-standing custom in many of the churches of France. But to these offerings of the sacrificial elements was joined that of the season’s fruits. In spite of inconveniences these fruits were placed upon the altar. [This is something commonly seen in more "progressive" parishes] After they had been offered, the chalice, without veil, was brought from the sacristy. Both deacon and priest held it aloft, reciting the Offertory prayer together……..but they recited the formula aloud to show that their offering was being made in the name of the people. The entire Canon, as might be expected, was likewise recited aloud. [Again, to show that the Sacrifice was being made in the name of the people] The celebrant let the choir say the Sanctus and Agnus Dei. The blessings which accompanied the words: Per quem haec omnia…….were made over the fruits and vegetables on the altar, and not over the bread and wine.”
As can be seen, the Jansenist Mass contained many elements which predated the changes made with the Novus Ordo by 300 years. The Jansenists eventually became numerous enough to hold their own, illicit synod, at a town called Pistoia. This synod, and the changes to the Mass it recommended (some of the above, vernacular readings, other “enlightened” changes) were strongly repudiated and condemned by the Holy See. At that time. But 200 years after the Synod of Pistoia, many of the same changes were formally endorsed by the Vatican.
These Jansenist changes were illicit on several grounds. One, they were frequently made without episcopal approval (though, as this heresy went on, many bishops did sadly come to endorse it, especially in France). Secondly, they were sudden, violent changes, imposed often against the will of the people. They were not, then, truly organic changes to the liturgy, which should normally be small steps taken over time, with general approval and episcopal oversight. Thirdly, as was pointed out by the Holy See, these changes were actually offensive to Catholic theology on numerous grounds. The Mass really became very anthropocentric, focused on man, and the focus shifted away from God. Finally, the Mass became less a Sacrifice of propitiation offered to God for the forgiveness of our constant sins, but became more a tool of instruction and for sharing Scripture. Again, that reveals the marked protestant influence (and Calvinism was raging in France at the time), as well as foreshadowing the deliberate focus on instruction and Scripture in the Novus Ordo.
Finally, to get to Dom Prosper Gueranger’s seven principles of liturgical reform, these are taken from the same book, pp. 29-30:
- A liturgical form drawn up to satisfy the requirements of literary pretensions can never last.
- The reform of the Liturgy, if it is to last, must be brought about, not by the learned, but must be done with due reverence, and by those invested by competent authority. [It should, in other words, really trickle up from below, rather than being imposed from the top down]
- In the reform of the Liturgy one needs to guard against the spirit of novelty, restoring ancient forms that have become defective to their original purity, and not abolishing them.
- Abbreviation is not liturgical reform: the length of the Liturgy is not a defect in the eyes of those who should devote their lives to prayer. [I have been told apocryphal stories of 20 minute Low Masses in the pre-Novus Ordo days. I have never seen that. I have seen 15 minute Novus Ordos, and even 30 minutes on Sunday. The shortest TLM I've been to was right at 30 minutes, on a weekday, with no sermon. Sunday High Masses typically last an hour and a half, or more. The average for a weekday Low Mass is about 40 minutes.]
- To read large quantities of Sacred Scripture in the office [or the Mass] does not satisfy the whole obligation of priestly prayer, because to read is not to pray.
- There is no foundation to the distinction between public office and private office because there are not two official Prayers of the Church…..
- It is not an evil that the rules of divine worship are numerous and complicated, because the cleric is trained with such diligence that he is perfectly able to accomplish the great Opus Dei……… [and, the laity can follow along quite well in the Latin/vernacular missals provided for that purpose]
The corollary to these liturgical principles, which are founded on respect for Tradition and plain reason, is Gueranger’s denunciation of the anti-liturgical heresy. This post is already quite long, so I won’t go into that much here, except to say that the Novus Ordo as it is presently offered in most locales is in many respects quite contrary to both the positive principles espoused above, and the negative proscriptions of the anti-liturgical heresy Gueranger denounced 150 years ago.
The imposition of the Novus Ordo was an enormous novelty, the first time in the 2000 year history of the Church that an entirely new Liturgy, fabricated by a small committee of self-anointed experts, was imposed on the Church. Some may point to the Council of Trent as doing something similar, but Reid and many other students of the liturgy note that is not really the case. First of all, Trent allowed venerable Masses with a long Tradition (200 or more years) to remain. For the first two decades after the Novus Ordo, there was no such “indult” granted to the Traditional Mass.
Secondly, all Trent really did was codify and slightly simplify the dominant Gallico-Roman Mass being offered throughout most of the Catholic world. It did not impose a new Mass which was very different from what had gone before. There was an elimination of some of the long sequences which had proliferated during the Middle Ages, sequences which made the Mass frequently approach or exceed 3 hours on certain feast days, and a rationalization of some of the Propers which had been distorted over time, but that’s about it. So, the core of the Mass, I would say well over 95%, remained exactly as it had been before. This includes the ancient Canon, now completely removed from the Novus Ordo (Eucharistic Prayer 1 being quite different from the Canon), which dates back to at least the 3rd century in essentially the same form as today. It is very possible the Canon has carried forward from apostolic times in essentially the same form as today, or at least with great similarity.
One final note. As Dom Reid points out, it is very possible for liturgical reform to fail. There have been reforms of the Breviary and the Mass which have not succeeded in the Church’s long history. Those reforms which were made along the lines of Gueranger’s principles have almost universally been long lasting and successful. But those which deviated from those principles, like Cardinal Qugnonez’ 16th century changes to the Breviary and the Jansenist changes to the Mass, have tended to die out.
I have written on a number of occasions that knowledge of the beliefs and practice of the early Church is fatal to protestant belief. For the early Church constantly put forth the same views, the same Doctrine, as the Catholic Church of today. What they believed, we believe. What they practiced, we practice.
A trifecta of short quotes address some items of prime interest to Catholic-protestant relations. The first deals with the Primacy of Peter. Protestants, starting with the former Father Luther, totally reject the idea of an authoritative Church on earth, with formal Doctrine coming down from both Sacred Tradition, and Scripture. In fact, almost all protestant sects totally reject the idea that there could be ANY foundation to the Christian Faith outside the Bible. But this is ludicrous, it took about 300 years to determine which books actually make up the Bible (and protestants threw out many books, like 1-2 Maccabees, because they provided great support for Catholic beliefs that did not fit into Luther’s very strange belief system), so what guided the Church in those formative years, when much of the Bible was in doubt? It was Tradition. We see the dread effects of the lack of Authority in the protestant sects today, with tens of thousands of competing groups, each believing slightly differently (or very differently) from the others, each claiming its own interpretation is sacrosanct, each, in effect, condemning the others, at least to one degree or other. It is this rejection of Authority, and the Truth that guides it, that is at the heart of our cultural collapse today, where almost all persons, including devout protestants, believe that “truth” is up to the individual reviewer of Scripture (this was in fact Luther’s original concept, but when people started getting too crazy even for him, he clamped down with very-Catholic like structured beliefs for his particular sect), and that each person’s inalienable “right” to determine their particular “truth” can never be criticized, much less condemned, by another.
Without Authority, there is NO unity. No unity of belief, and no unity in practice. Thus, we have pro-abort evangelicals and pro-sodomite marriage anglicans, to name just two of hundreds or thousands of such deviations. Sadly, the Catholic Church, in its recent attempts to be “ecumenically” appealing to the protestants, has imbibed and even informally espoused much the same mentality.
In the latter half of the 4th century, St. Optatus of Milevis wrote the following, regarding the Primacy of Peter:
You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chari was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head……of all the Apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all. Neither do other Apostles proceed individually on their own; and anyone who would set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. [that is exactly what the protestants have done, in rejecting the Authority instituted by Christ for His Church in the person of the Pope] It was Peter, then, who first occupied that chair, the foremost of his endowed gifts…[St. Optatus then goes on to list all the successors of Peter to that point in time]……….I but ask you to recall the origins of your chair, you who whish to claim for yourselves the title of Holy Church.
Another huge area of difference between protestants and Catholics is the need for Sacramental Confession – confessing one’s sins to a priest, acting in persona Christi. Protestants say they can just “confess their sins directly to God.” I wonder how many actually do this? When I was a protestant, I may have sort of done this a little, but not with much thought, and never in so many words. God instituted the Sacrament of Confession in order to demonstrate the gravity of sin (it never being easy to tell someone else your failings), to show how seriously one must prepare for the Sacrament, to provide a very visible and salutary act of forgiveness for our sins, often stirring great spiritual advances, and to reinforce the priest’s role, through Christ, in the economy of salvation (among many other reasons). Suffice it to say, knowledge of sin and repentance for same is very frequently glossed over in many protestant sects, if not totally ignored. Once again, we have seen a protestantizing influence in the Church in the past several decades, with vast swaths of Catholics never availing themselves of this vital Sacrament. The sacrilege these Catholics regularly engage in by receiving the Blessed Sacrament in a state of mortal sin must be heartbreaking to Our Lord.
Certainly God never threatens the repentant; rather, He pardons the penitent. You will say that it is God alone who can do this. True enough; but it is likewise true that He does it thorugh His priests, who exercise His power. What else can it mean when He says to His Apostles: “Whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven?” (Matt 16:19, Jn 20:23) [You can also add James 5:15-16] Why should He say this if He were not permitting men to bind and to loose? Why, if He were permitting this to His Apostles alone? Were that the case, He would likewise be permitting them alone to baptize, them alone to Confer the Holy Spirit, them alone to cleanse the pagans of their sins; for all of these things are commissioned not to others but to the Apostles. But if the loosing of bonds and the power of the Sacrament is given to anyone in that place, either the whole is passed on to us from the form and power of the Apostles, or nothign of it can be imparted to us by whatever decrees…….If, then, the power of both Baptism and Confirmation, greater by far than charisms, [I hope protestants, and Neo-Catachumenal way and other "charismatic" Catholics, get this] is passed on to the bishops, so too is the right of binding and of loosing.
The final subject I wanted to address in this post is that of works being meritorious of salvation. This was something Luther totally, violently rejected. Father Luther held the deformed view that man is irredeemably corrupt, that we are so totally fallen and depraved by Original Sin that all our works, even done in cooperation with Grace in the state of Grace, are totally worthless. Only “faith” could save us, with the “grace” that comes from this “faith” being totally gratuitous and totally unrelated to any of our works. Luther used the analogy of snow covering a dunghill to show how this graciness worked. James chapter 2 completely repudiates Luther’s view, so Luther wanted to eliminate that book from the New Testament, but his followers convinced him that was a step which would drive people away from him in vast droves, so he kept it. But, Luther did go so far as to modify Romans chapter 3 to support his view (adding the word alone to St. Paul’s phrase “we are saved by faith”). This view of “saved by faith alone” has severely deformed Christianity, so that we have people who claim all one must do is make a one time act of faith to merit eternal salvation. Is it any wonder so many professing Christianity are so devoid of virtue?
Catholics, of course, have always believed that our works, if done in a system and the state of Grace, are meritorious of salvation. [I want to add that this does not mean that Catholics believe that our works alone can save us. But works are necessary for salvation. They must be done in the state of Grace to be meritorious, which state requires reception of the Sacraments, avoidance of sin, and cooperation with God's Will] This view is abundantly supported by Scripture and Tradition, and is simply sensible by reason. But Luther also had no place for Thomist reasoning, which he detested. He in fact stated that sin was no big thing, provided one had faith to offset it. He even counseled to sin boldly, provided one also believed boldly. How one correlates this with Christ’s dictum not to sin, His constant mention of hell, and how Christ counseled to take up His Cross and follow Him, is rather difficult to explain. Even more, isn’t having faith a work of sorts? Luther struggled with this final question, and the Calvinists rose up, partially, in response to it. They believed that faith was something that just happened to the very small number of the elect, the predestined. If there was every an ideology that taught people, in effect, not to give a damn, it’s Calvinism.
Repudiating the above, 1200 years before Luther was born, was St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, in a letter sent to Bishop Constantius in AD 379:
Each of our merits will hang in the balance, and it is often inclined to this side or that by the superior weight either of our good works or of our degenerate crimes. IF evil deeds turn the scale, alas for me! But if good, then pardon is at hand. No one is free of sin; but where good works prevail, sins are lightened, overshadowed, and covered up. On the day of judgment either our works will assist us or they will plunge us into the abyss, as if dragged down by a millstone.
I will try to post more quotes from Church Fathers related to various doctrinal matters as they come up. I pray you found this at least a little edifying.
Check out Video Sancto! May 6, 2013Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, contraception, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Thanks to reader Terry C, I have been made aware of a sort of “video sancto,” the efforts of a Youtuber who has taken Audio Sancto sermons and added some photos to make a sort of video sancto. I don’t know about you, but I do have a hard time sitting still and listening to a sermon in pure audio. I frequently will listen to sermons online while performing another task, but in that instance I frequently get absorbed in the task and tune out parts of the sermon. Either way, I wind up missing some. In trying out this video sancto, it seems the video aspect helps keep my attention focused. Whomever is doing this has put together many hundreds of videos, some of which are really video captures of sermons given of a priest speaking on camera, while others are like I just described, audio with relevant photos added. They are to be commended for their efforts, putting these hundreds of videos together was not a trivial task.
Below is a great sermon by a priest you’ve heard here many times before, on holy purity. We see in our very impure, unchaste culture how women and children have been tossed by the wayside – often willingly and happily by women themselves! – in the terrible culture of sexual license and all the nightmares it has engendered: contraception, divorce, multiple marriages, abortion, and now massive attempts to completely destroy marriage by redefining it into meaningless. The good priest in the sermon explains at great depth the virtue of purity and shows how it relates not merely to the sexual aspect of souls, but to how men and women relate to each other, the action of the Church in the Mass through the priest, and many, many others too comprehensive to describe.
When the priest in the sermon ties purity to the priest’s action at the Mass….wow.
It reminded me of a post Fr. Z had over the weekend, about a Mass where a religious sister pretends to offer it all the way up to the Offertory, with a priest then taking over. As the priest says “cheating on God, betraying his trust and blessing.” And how.
This same priest gave a sermon at a beautiful nuptial Mass over the weekend that I pray goes up on AudioSancto. I so wish my family had been there to hear it, because the priest established clearly and by great logic the straight line our culture has taken from the former Fr. Luther’s revolt to the present state of abject moral degernacy and destitution that reigns in the culture today. It is a sermon that should convert any soul reasonably open to Grace. Given that half those in attendance were protestant (and who were reminded not to approach to receive the Blessed Sacrament, Deo Gratias), it was quite a bold act, a witness to Truth that left me both edified and ashamed of my own inaction in such opportunities to witness.
If I really believe that salvation outside the Church is all but impossible, in practical terms, then I really need to change how I approach many relations in my life. I have behaved profoundly uncharitably in failing to effectively evangelize others, praying that God would work a miracle of Grace. But God needs vehicles, human vehicles, for that Grace! And that has been my failure.
I pray you find the sermon moving. The “video sancto” channel is here.