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Pope Leo XIII’s condemnation of divorce and the undermining of the Sacrament of Matrimony November 6, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, SOD, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

I am not sure how many people are reading the excerpts I’m posting from the great bio of Pope Leo XIII I have been reading.  In the interest of time, I will simply say that I pray our popes will again speak with this kind of Catholic voice, with so great clarity and precision.  This kind of charitable concern for souls is desperately needed at the highest level of the Church again:

….we here address ourselves to you, Venerable Brothers, with especial affection, and earnestly beseech you to display your priestly zeal and pastoral vigilance in kindling in the souls of your people the love of our holy religion, in order that they may thereby become more closely and heartily attached to this chair of truth and justice, accept all its teachings with the xiii_leodeepest assent of mind and will, and unhesitatingly reject all opinions, even the most wide-spread, which they know to be in opposition to the Doctrines of the Church.  [The Church does not “search” for the Truth.  The Church is the Bride of Christ, the Church is His Mystical Body, the Church has all the Truth necessary for salvation.  Unfortunately, it is clear that our current pope does not understand this.]

On this point the Roman Pontiffs who have come before us, and last, of all, Pius IX, of saintly memory, especially in the Council of the Vatican, had present to their minds the words of St. Paul: Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ (Col II:8); hence they lost no needful opportunity to condemn spreading errors and mark them with apostolic censure.  All these condemnations we, following the example of our predecessors, confirm and renew from this apostolic seat of truth, beseeching fervently, at the same time, the Father of lights that all the faithful, being perfectly of one accord and agreeing in sentiment, should be of one mind with us and speak the same thing.  [Oh what clarity!  But I must note with dismay that the upholding of doctrine from one papacy to the next which had been such a constant feature for centuries has lost its vigor and, some may even say, broken down in the past several decades.  What was once taught so forcefully is now doubted, disputed, or held to be obsolete. Even the most orthodox/traditional pope of the past 5 decades stated that Vatican II was a “counter-Syllabus,” referring to the Syllabus of Errors of Blessed Pius IX.  Somewhere, somehow, the machine broke down]

Your duty it is, Venerable Brothers, to bestow unremitting care on scattering the seeds of the heavenly doctrines broadcast over the field of the Lord; to make Catholic teaching penetrate, in good time, into the minds of the faithful; to plant it deeply there, and to keep it safe from admixture with corrupt doctrines.  The more active the enemies of religion are to teach the unlearned, the young especially, which clouds their intellect and corrupts their morals, the more should you exert yourselves to establish not only a well-adapted and solid method of instruction, but a method in every way, both in letters and in discipline, in conformity with the Catholic faith, especially as regards mental philosophy, on which they right teaching of all other sciences depends in a great measure – a philosophy such as shall pave the way  for divine revelation instead of aiming at overturning it; which shall defend revealed truth, as in their Leo XIII-2writings did the great Augustine and the Angelic Doctor, and the other teachers of Christian wisdom.

The best way of training youth, however – that which conduces to preserve the integrity of both faith and morals – should begin from early childhood and in the Christian home. [It is in faith and morals that the transmission of the Faith has most broken down] Unhappily, the Christian family in our times has been sadly disturbed, and can only recover its proper dignity by being governed by the laws under which it was placed in the Church by the Divine Author of both.  By raising the matrimonial contract, in which He willed us to see the sign of His own union with the Church, to the dignity of a Sacrament, he not only sanctified the union of husband and wife, but also provided the most efficient helps for both parents and children to fulfill their mutual and respective duties, and thereby the more easily attain to everlasting life and the happiness of the present.

But impious laws, taking no account of the sacredness of this great Sacrament, placed it on the same level as all merely civil contracts; [did not the “Relatio” do very nearly that, pretend that divorce and remarriage is not such a big thing and certainly not an impediment to the Blessed Sacrament?] and the deplorable result has been that citizens, desecrating the holy dignity of marriage, have lived in legal concubinage instead of Christian matrimony; the married pair have violated the fidelity pledged to each other; the children born to them have refused them obedience; and what is most scandalous and most baneful to public morality, very often unhallowed love was followed by fatal quarrels. [divorce] All these unhappy and deplorable results must move your zeal to warn your faithful peoples assiduously and fervently to have a reverent regard for the Doctrine of the Church on Holy Matrimony, and to observe scrupulously the laws of the Church regulating the mutual duties of parents and children. [“Move your zeal…..”  Wouldn’t that be nice!  But that is hardly true of the vast majority of prelates today, who actively encourage the breakup of marriages with their annulment mills and policies that demand civil divorce before an annulment can be considered!  When did any of you last hear any priest or bishop personally preach against the evils of divorce?  It’s as much a forbidden topic as is contraception – and that correlation is not at all accidental.  Now we have prelates saying “We’ve done such an abysmal job catechizing people probably the majority of marriages today are invalid.”  But the answer is not to end this scandal by drastically improving catechesis, but to give up teaching all together and just go with the sinful flow!  “We’ve tried Pope-Leo-XIII-1900nothing, man, and we’re all out of ideas.”]

From this we shall obtain one blessed fruit – that every member of Christian society will reform his own conduct and outward manner of living.  The decayed and degenerate trunk of a tree puts forth shoots that are worse still and bear unhappy fruit.  So does the moral evil which infects the tree of domestic life become a contagion which communicates its virus to the community and  yields a baneful harvest for public life. [And Christ cursed the fruitless tree, a very significant act, since that fig tree was adjacent the path by which the Pharisees and Scribes entered the old temple.  It was Christ cursing the fruitless Jewish faith.]

On the contrary, where Christian families are governed by the law of Christ, all their members are habituated by degrees to cherish religion and piety, to look with horror on false and pernicious doctrines, to practice virtue, to obey their superiors, and to control that tendency to self-seeking which is at the root of human degeneracy and degradation……

…….The waning of truth – not only of the truths of the supernatural order which are known by the light of faith, but of natural truth, both speculative and practical; the prevalence of the most insidious errors and disorders is everywhere increasing.  

The most potent cause of such moral ruin is the separation, the attempted apostasy, of actual society from Christ and from His Church, in which alone resides the virtue sufficient to repair all the enormous evils done it.

———-End Quote———-

But what happens when huge swaths of the Church, up to and including its very highest levels, separate themselves from the Faith as it has been believed and practiced for 2000 years?  Where is the world to turn when the Church turns itself inside out?


1. TG - November 6, 2014

I just saw an article in a Christian website (I think they are associated with the American Family Association) that Pope Francis to the Vatican has invited evangelicls like Rick Warren to discuss marriage. A lot of evangelicals have more courage speaking against homosexuality than I’m sorry to say Catholics. Maybe they’ll convert him on this topic.

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