St. Pius V Knew that “Ecumenism” and “Dialogue” Only Aided the Spread of Heresy August 9, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Glory, history, Papa, Restoration, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
From a short biography of St. Pius V, who took on leadership of the Church in a time of decadence, retreat, and widespread heresy amid the rising protestant revolution, and in a few short years managed to largely right the Barque of Peter and, more than anyone else, launched the Church upon the great revival known as the Counter-Reformation, which solidified the Church’s presence and mission in the world for nearly 400 years.
Pius V knew that one of the major reasons for the explosive growth of protestantism over the 50 odd years prior to his ascent of the Chair of Peter was doctrinal laxity in the Church, and a weak-willed spirit of compromise which actually revealed a grave lack of Faith in the Church and the Truths Christ reveals through Her. This lack of faith was most prevalent among the bishops and clergy, far too few of which had the wherewithal to fight the protestant heresies with all the myriad arms Christ supplies to His Church.
St. Pius V, thankfully, recognized the source of the crisis and took immediate and effective steps to rectify the situation. From pp. 27-29:
The deplorable state in which Pius V found the Church on becoming Pope made him apply himself with the utmost unremitting energy to getting rid of abuses and corruption. He had to deal with an inherited situation that might have seemed ruinous but for Christ’s promise that the gates of hell will never prevail. Repeated yieldings and compromises on every front had allowed protestantism to spread, with its negation of the supernatural, of the priesthood and the Sacraments; and it appeared to triumph in more and more places, affording proof that it was not so much authoritarianism as laxism that, by refusing to issue clear commands and set fixed limits, engendered false creeds, individual rebellion, and contestation.
Not only had feeble resistance to the innovators been offered by Emperor and Catholic sovereigns, but also, in spite of Trent, false hopes had continued to be entertained – it seems even by Pius V’s very predecessor – of winning protestants by making concessions to them regarding the rite of Communion, and ecclesiastical discipline. [How much that sounds like today! Note that all those efforts at conciliation failed miserably and only emboldened the protestants that they were in the right! So Yves Congar kneeling before a shrine to Luther during Vatican II – and the other numerous bows made to modernists/the world by himself and many others – were always doomed to fail – fail, that is, assuming one has the best interests of the Church and souls at heart. If one is a partisan of the world and error, then the modernists succeeded at VII and since likely beyond their wildest dreams]
The guiding principle in all that Pius V undertook was the exact and rigorous application of the decrees of the Council of Trent [and the Tradition of the Church]; and it was thanks to his determined energy that these decrees did not remain a dead letter, as those of some previous Councils, such as Constance and Lateran. The magnitude of Pius V’s achievement is moreover measured by the fact of his reforms having been successfully applied not only in Italy and Europe, but throughout the Catholic world then being expanded by the discovery of new continents………
…….[Pius V] reminded the Cardinals that not least among the causes of the spread of heresy was the lax and unedifying life led by many of the clergy and urged them all to do penance, avoid luxury, and reform their style of living………”It is an established fact,” he wrote to one bishop, that bad priests are the ruin of the people, and that odious heresy, introduced by force, has no other aim than that of corrupting the faithful.”…………
And, to show that there is nothing new under the sun, a bit more, from p. 33:
…….Abolition of priestly celibacy was advocated by Emperor Maximilian as a solution to the supposed dearth of vocations, and this solution was supported by certain of the Cardinals. Against this, Pius V unequivocally reaffirmed celibacy and at the same time the obligation of wearing clerical dress and the religious habit – for then, as now, attempts were being made in various ways to make the clergy lose their outwardly recognizable characteristics.……..[It’s all ultimately the same heresy, the same battle. Good vs. Evil. Light vs. Dark. Christ vs. satan.]
I find the example of St. Pius V very heartening, because, while things were probably not quite as bad during the height of the protestant revolution as they are today (there were still quite numerous/populous bastions of faith/orthodox belief then, today the rot is universal save a few isolated pockets of belief here and there), he does show how quickly one man, one very good, saintly pope, can turn things around. It may be God’s will that the Church be permitted to continue to suffer from horrific leadership and practical apostasy among most of the episcopate and clergy, but it may also be that His will can be moved to have pity on us by great efforts of prayer and penance.
One can hope, anyway.