More on Ruby’s Rant: A Headless Church is No Church
© Copyright 2011, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)
In answering the initial homealone article under this topic, “In Defense of Home Alone — Rebutting Ruby’s Rant,” Griff Ruby has finally revealed for examination the fatal flaw in the arguments of ALL Traditionalist ministers attempting to condemn those who keep their faith at home for abandoning the Church. He peevishly objects that no one is addressing “his” points (WHAT points?) and claims this is because they are unable to do so since his points are irrefutable. Really?
Let us take a few pages then to scuttle the following statements Ruby made in condemning the stance of those who refuse to avail themselves of Traditionalists. In a brief response to “”Rebutting Ruby’s Rant,” Ruby writes, “It [my article] can never once cite any instance in which the Church has ever taught that Her LAWFUL ministers must ALL be disregarded (amounting to a repudiation of Her SACRED VISIBILITY), as though the whole Church could ever continue for even a second as the same entity while being wholly deprived of Her HIERARCHY,” http://en.allexperts.com/q/Catholics-95 … iction.htm). To ferret out the fundamental errors in this statement, let us number, then address, them.
Lawful ministers without a true pope?
First of all, let us take on the question of whether Traditionalists are even members of the Catholic Church. What does Father Thomas Kinkead tell American Catholics in the catechism in which so many were instructed in Catholic schools in the 1940s and 1950s, before the decline of the Church? In his “An Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism,” #4, Fr. Kinkead writes in Q. 115: “What is the Church? A. The Church is the congregation of all those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same sacraments, AND ARE GOVERNED BY THEIR LAWFUL PASTORS UNDER ONE VISIBLE HEAD.” The Baltimore Council’s approved catechism (#3) for adults also written by Rev. Kinkead tells us in the answer to question # 494 that lawful pastors are “those in the Church who have been appointed by LAWFUL AUTHORITY and who have therefore a right to rule us.” Note that this says nothing of the supposedly “valid” bishops who have created these priests; it mentions only LAWFUL authority.
This is because, as the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Apostolicity explains: “In tracing the mission of the Church back to the Apostles, no lacuna can be allowed; no new mission can arise; but the mission conferred by Christ must pass from generation to generation through an uninterrupted LAWFUL succession. The Apostles received it from Christ and gave it in turn to those legitimately appointed by them and these again selected others to continue in the work of the ministry. ANY BREAK IN THIS SUCCESSION DESTROYS APOSTOLICITY, BECAUSE THE BREAK MEANS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW SERIES WHICH IS NOT APOSTOLIC…AN AUTHORITATIVE MISSION TO TEACH IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, A MAN-GIVEN MISSION IS NOT AUTHORITATIVE…This Divine mission is always to continue the same, hence it must be transmitted with its Divine character until the end of time, i.e., there must be an unbroken, LAWFUL SUCCESSION which is called Apostolicity… IN ALL THEOLOGICAL WORKS, THE SAME EXPLANATION OF APOSTOLICITY IS FOUND, BASED ON THE SCRIPTURAL AND PATRISTIC TESTIMONY JUST CITED,” (http://www.catholicity.com/encyclopedia … icity.html )
“One must also prove that in this total line no one of his predecessors either acquired his position illicitly, or even though he may have acquired it legitimately, ever lost it. For a purely physical succession proves nothing at all,” (De ecclesia Christi, by Msgr. G. Van Noort; listed as an approved theologian by Rev. J. C. Fenton, American Ecclesiastical Review). Such power also must be “TRANSMITTED ACCORDING TO THE CANONICAL RULES IN FORCE AT THE TIME. WHOSOEVER, THEREFORE, HAS NOT RECEIVED JURISDICTION ACCORDING TO THOSE RULES…REMAINS WITHOUT IT…,” (Revs. Devivier and Sasia, Christian Apologetics, Vol. II, 1924. Their work was personally commended by Cardinal Merry del Val and was read by Pope St. Pius X.) “OBVIOUSLY IT REQUIRES A MANUAL AND VERBAL TRANSMISSION OF AUTHORITY IN AN UNBROKEN LINE BACK TO THE APOSTLES AND CHRIST. HE ALONE HAS LAWFUL AUTHORITY WHO IS LAWFULLY COMMISSIONED. Any break with the past is certain proof that this apostolicity of origin has been lost,” (Rev. Joseph H. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Evidence for Our Faith, 1952). “Though a schismatic body would be in possession of the true faith and Sacraments, it would not therefore be Apostolic as a church. SINCE A TWOFOLD POWER OF ORDERS AND JURISDICTION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE CHURCH [BY CHRIST], ONE CANNOT BECOME A SUCCESSOR OF THE APOSTLES IN THE FULL SENSE OF THE WORD, NOT BEING DULY ORDAINED AND INVESTED WITH JURISDICTION…” (Rev. W. Wilmers S. J., Handbook of the Christian Religion, 1891).
“Even if valid orders exist, where jurisdiction is lacking there is no real apostolicity. Schism, as well as heresy, destroys apostolic succession,” (Rev. Thomas Cox, “Pillar and Ground of Truth,” 1900). In his “Manual of Christian Doctrine,” written for religious congregations and Catholic institutions of higher learning, seminary professor Rev. John Joseph McVey wrote in 1926: “Q. 60: Who after the pope are lawful pastors of the Church? A. The bishops who have been canonically instituted, i.e., who have received from the Sovereign Pontiff a diocese to govern. Q. 73: Why is it not sufficient to be a bishop or priest in order to be a lawful pastor? A. Because a bishop must also be sent into a diocese by the Pope, and a priest must be sent into a parish by the bishop. In other words, a pastor must have not only the power of order, but also THE POWER OF JURISDICTION,” (emph. McVey’s). “Q. 77: How is the power of jurisdiction communicated? A. Priests receive their jurisdiction from the bishop of the diocese; bishops receive theirs from the pope; and the Pope holds jurisdiction from Jesus Christ. A bishop who did not have his spiritual powers from the Pope, a pastor who did not have his from the lawful bishop, would be AN INTRUDER OR SCHISMATIC,” (emph. McVey’s). Not only are Traditionalist “priests” and “bishops” illicitly ordained and consecrated, without a true pope they possess NO jurisdiction whatsoever.
Now LAWFUL pertains to jurisdiction, not orders, and since the bishops who ordain traditional priests have no jurisdiction from the pope, either to call priests, erect seminaries or to delegate these priests for their duties — all of which is mandated by and provided for in the 1917 Code of Canon Law based on the teaching of the General Councils and the Roman Pontiffs — these priests cannot possibly be lawful. This teaching in Kinkead’s catechism is taken directly from the Council of Trent, which reads: “If anyone says that those who have not been rightly ordained nor sent by ecclesiastical or canonical authority, but come from a different source, are lawful ministers of the word and of the Sacraments, let him be anathema.” The Vatican Council teaches that “If anyone thus speaks, [denying] that the Roman Pontiff has the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in those things that pertain to faith and morals, but also in those that pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world…OVER THE PASTORS AND THE FAITHFUL ALTOGETHER AND INDIVIUDALLY; LET HIM BE ANATHEMA,” (DZ 1831).
Here, in predictable Traditionalist fashion, Ruby commits the error of assuming what he has yet to prove concerning the Church’s true teachings where lawful pastors are concerned. Those adhering to the scholastic method recognize this fallacy of argument as PETITIO PRINCIPII, or begging the question. If Mr. Ruby were truly acting as a Catholic journalist, dealing as he does in matters of sacred theology, he would be adhering to these rules. Where and how does he ever prove that any Traditionalist minister alive today is certainly valid and licit? This board and those run by other like-minded Catholics have consistently and categorically used the scholastic method and Church teaching to refute the groundless arguments presented by Traditionalist ministers (see the section on clerics on this board). Ruby is acting as a Traditionalist apologist/publicist. His uninformed reference to epikeia, which canonists have repeatedly cautioned against, is a sure indication of this. Again, see the board, and hear what the Church herself says on this topic. Who is Mr. Ruby to claim anything when he offers no explanation, no scholastic proofs and provides no references to justify his position? How could any of us writing today possibly assume we are the equals of trained theologians writing pre-1959, and therefore need not rely on their studies and expertise to direct our own research on this soul-rending crisis in the Church?
“Sacred visibility:” what makes the Church visible?
Sacred visibility — Here we have an error in scholastic argument in the DIVISION of points to be considered. Ruby takes the separate point of visibility outside of its collective context as presented to us in the Baltimore Council’s approved catechism (#3) for adults written by Rev. Thomas Kinkead, (1885). In Q. 522 of Kinkead’s catechism, we read: What are the attributes of the Church? A. The attributes of the Church are three: authority, infallibility, and indefectibility. Q. 519: How do we know that the Church must have the four marks and three attributes usually ascribed or given to it? A. We know that the Church must have the four marks and three attributes usually ascribed or given to it from the words of Christ given in the Holy Scripture and in the teaching of the Church from its beginning. Q. 520: Can the Church have the four marks without the three attributes? A. The Church CANNOT have the four marks without the three attributes, because the three attributes necessarily come with the marks and WITHOUT THEM THE MARKS COULD NOT EXIST. Q. 525: What do you mean by the authority of the Church? A. BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH I MEAN THE RIGHT AND POWER WHICH THE POPE AND THE BISHOPS, AS THE SUCCESSORS OF THE APOSTLES, HAVE TO TEACH AND GOVERN THE FAITHFUL. Infallibility, of course, means the Church cannot err in faith and morals, (Q&A 526) and indefectibility means that the Church, as Christ constituted it, will last until the end of time, (Q&A 543).
And finally, in Kinkead’s Catechism #4 (see above) we read: “Q. 117: Who is the visible head of the Church? A. Our Holy Father the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the visible head of the Church. Q. 118: Why is the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the visible head of the Church? A. The Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the visible head of the Church because he is the successor of St. Peter, whom Christ made the chief of the apostles and the visible head of the Church.” Speaking once again of all the attributes in relation to visibility, Fr. Kinkead teaches: “Q. 127: In whom are these attributes found in their fullness? A. These attributes are found in their fullness in the Pope, THE VISIBLE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, whose infallible authority to teach bishops, priests and people in matters of faith or morals will last to the end of the world.” (Kinkead’s Catechisms should be kept on the bookshelves of every Catholic, and readers should review the important sections of these catechisms for themselves.)
First of all, Ruby is asking us to believe that those bishops not in communion with a true pontiff possess this authority, contrary to the teachings of the Church. Second, he is asking us to completely overlook the necessity of the papacy and its accompanying infallibility in order for the four marks to exist. Third, he bashes those keeping the faith at home for denying the existence of authority sans infallibility, when clearly authority is defined as the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. What part of “no Pope, no visible Church; no papacy, no attributes; no attributes, no marks” is it that you can’t understand Mr. Ruby? Or is it simply that by failing to mention the three attributes altogether and insisting the Traditional “church” and her ministers have the four marks without the attributes, you can handily deal the papacy out of the equation entirely? This is precisely the reason the Church has insisted that only Scholasticism may be used to explain Her teachings and has enforced rules to govern how this system must be used.
How does the Church define “Hierarchy”?
What is the Church’s official definition of the hierarchy? There are hierarchy of orders and hierarchy of jurisdiction. If we speak of the hierarchy of orders, we mean bishops, priests and deacons (by Divine institution). But the hierarchy of jurisdiction means only the Pope and bishops, for they alone have the authority to teach and govern the Church by Divine institution, (from Donald Attwater’s Catholic Dictionary, 1941). This hierarchy of jurisdiction is the authority referred to in Kinkead’s definition above of the three attributes, which specifically mention the Pope and the bishops. This is really rather amusing, since so many Traditionalist (bishops) do not even pretend to possess ordinary jurisdiction, ergo they have no authority and cannot pretend to possess any of the four marks. So Mr. Ruby, please do hasten to explain how it is that since we have no true pope to grant jurisdiction to the bishops, and these bishops freely admit they have no jurisdiction, we could possibly have authority, the marks or valid hierarchy? If Traditionalist “clergy” cannot even exhibit that level of knowledge of the Catholic faith Fr. Kinkead once expected of average adult Catholics, doesn’t this in itself show the farcical nature of their operations?!
Henry Cardinal Manning’s treatise, “The Holy Ghost and the Church,” breaks down the Church’s hierarchical makeup as follows. “From the indissoluble union of the Holy Spirit with the Church flows the three properties of Unity, Visibleness and Perpetuity,” and the unity that Manning speaks of here is a higher unity than that which is included as a mark of the Church. This unity “is the intrinsic unity of intelligence, will and organization, generated from within by the unity of the Person and the operation of the Holy Ghost, [who conveys infallibility to Christ’s Vicar]. The property of Unity is not extrinsic and constitutional, but intrinsic and essential. Next the property of Visibleness is a necessary consequence of the constitution of a body or a society of men bound by public laws of worship and practice. Lastly, Perpetuity is a necessary consequence of the soul with the body, of the Spirit with the Church.
“From the same indissoluble union flow next the endowments [attributes] of the Church; namely, INDEFECTIBILITY in life, and duration, INFALLIBILITY in teaching and AUTHORITY in governing the flock of Jesus Christ. THESE ARE EFFECTS SPRINGING FROM THE SAME SUBSTANTIAL UNION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITH THE CHURCH AND RESIDE BY AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY IN THE MYSTICAL BODY,” (“Cabinet of Catholic Information”). Fr. Kinkead tell us in his Catechism #4, Q&A 134-135 that “The Church derives its undying life and infallible authority from the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, who abides forever with it…[makes it] one, holy and Catholic and unites and sanctifies its members throughout the world.” By defying the laws of the Church as regards who indeed She considers to be her lawful pastors, Traditionalists cease to correspond to the description given above: “A society of men bound by public laws of worship.” Canon Law is public law, and Traditionalists do NOT observe it where resorting to Traditionalist ministers is concerned. (See Can. 2261 and infamy of law articles on this board.)
Ruby accuses those of the “home alone” persuasion of “canonical pessimism,” which, he says, “is borne, not of theological thought, nor canonical thought, nor logic, nor common sense, nor doctrinaire Catholicism. It is borne of a suspicious and untrusting mentality, of mental unbalance and negative attitudes. And, I think, it is borne of laziness. Tired of driving three hours each way to attend Mass…” (see http://en.allexperts.com/q/Catholics-95 … iction.htm). It is clear that Ruby has not bothered to read the works of those he falsely accuses or to trace out their arguments and research; he has seen something he doesn’t like or agree with and has condemned it out of hand.
If Mr. Ruby could once abandon his unfounded opinions and proceed in his arguments from theological truths, he might actually be able to contribute in some way to answering the questions he blames others for leaving unanswered. In examining a total of 11 pages, Ruby has written only on the topic of why we “need” the ministrations of unlawful pastors and must go to untold lengths to avail ourselves of these ministrations. There is not ONE quote from a papal document, not one mention of a council, no testimony of the saints, nothing from Canon Law, not even a mention of the works of theologians pre-Vatican 2. Instead, we find quotes from some St. Pius X Society cleric, who also neglects to cite sources, and an “anti-sedevacantist” who does the same. He entertains us with humorless jokes and accuses homealoners and others of throwing out the Baby Jesus with the “filthy bathwater of canonical pessimism,” a term he admits he coined himself. Ruby accuses homealoners of secretly attending Traditional, even Novus Ordo services, so is saying we are not only hypocrites, but schismatics cut off from the Church. He later simply refers to us as heretics. Proof, Mr. Ruby; even reporters for the scandalous rags known as tabloids are required to substantiate their statements or lose their credibility. As observed above in other instances of Ruby’s writings, this is yet another instance of errors in scholastic argument. This time it is the all-too-familiar AD HOMINEM or personal attack, the all-time favorite of Traditionalists. As Rev. Joseph Walsh S. J. relates in his 1940 work “Logic,” debaters and attorneys “with a weak case sometimes resort to it deliberately.” No wonder Traditionalists universally favor this scholastic error.
The Traditionalist heresy on authority
But overall, Ruby accuses stay-at-home Catholics of negativity because we concentrate on what the Church isn’t rather than what She “is.” What she is, unfortunately, is headless; we have only drawn out the logical conclusions of the Church’s teaching concerning this unprecedented event in Her history. Until this sad condition is remedied (and only God Himself can accomplish this) or the Second Coming occurs, the Church is trapped in a bizarre state very comparable to suspended animation. Explaining why this is indeed the case is not negativity; it is merely demonstrating that we cannot follow our wants and desires where Mass and Sacraments are concerned because God’s law forbids us to do this. The real issue here is a false idea of authority, and the inability of Traditionalists to identify this serious error and denounce it. This is nothing less than the heresy of Fideism, condemned by Pope Pius IX, (DZ 1666, 1676). Fideists claim that certitude must depend on authority without first determining whether such authority is valid, “but authority…cannot be the supreme criterion of certitude,” (Catholic Encyclopedia, fideism); and no better description of traditionalist reliance on floating bishops and priests is available.
The Catholic Encyclopedia further says that “Denying intellectual knowledge, [fideism] ruins faith itself…The Catholic doctrine on this question is [that] Revelation, indeed, is the supreme motive of faith in SUPERNATURAL truths [but]…Human reason is capable (physically able) of knowing the moral and religious truths of the NATURAL order…It can prove with certainty the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and can acknowledge most certainly the teaching of God; that however, in the present conditions of life, it needs (of moral necessity), the help of revelation to acquire a sufficient knowledge of all the natural truths necessary to direct human life according to the principles of natural religion, (Vatican Council, De Fide Cath.).” In other words, Fideists teach that a pagan could not use his reason to arrive at a belief in God based on the things God made. They believe that all authority, which must be the rule of certitude, is somehow rooted in Divine revelation and is transmitted by traditions in society and the common consent of the culture or race. This is what many Traditionalists refer to as “Catholic sense,” meaning THEIR sense of things Catholic as derived from those they believe to be in positions of authority.
The Catholic Encyclopedia calls the original heresy of Traditionalism, condemned by Pope Pius IX, “a kind of Fideism.” But instead of grounding everything in divine revelation only, the original Traditionalists grounded it mainly in TRADITION and focused on language. They held language as divinely revealed, and believed it was the engine that propelled tradition. Sauvage, who also wrote on Fideism, observes that: “Authority, whatever be the way or agency in which it is presented to us, cannot of itself be the supreme criterion or rule of certitude. For in order to be a rule of certitude, it must first be known as valid, competent and legitimate, and reason must have ascertained this before it is entitled to our assent, (cf. St. Thomas, I-II, ii, a. 1).” The present neo-Traditionalists join their errors to those of Nicholas of Autrecourt, condemned in 1347, who also denied that certainty can be had in various matters and evidence from one thing can be used to draw conclusions in other cases, (DZ 553-556, 567). This is how we know these Traditionalists today do not differ in the least from the original Fideistic Traditionalists of the past — all the same ingredients of this heresy are still at work among them. Primarily they condemn those who dare to question their failure to ascertain that their clerics possess validity, liciety and apostolicity. In other words, they deny that anyone can use their reason to determine, from Church teaching and Canon Law, that Traditionalist ministers are questionably valid and illicit. They hold their own opinions superior to anything that can be produced from laws, decisions and teachings of the Church existing before the reigns of John 23 or Paul 6, (depending on the Traditionalist sect weighing in) while officially holding that these same teachings must be held by Catholics as issuing from the One, True Church founded by Jesus Christ.
Ruby exhibits this attitude when he terms as “schmoes” those presenting decrees from the Holy Office and Sacred Congregations proving the existence of schism. The “schmoes” Ruby refers to just happen to hold doctorates in Canon Law, and, unlike any Catholics writing today, are duly approved by legitimate authority pre-V2. These theologians forgot more in their lifetimes than Ruby will ever know. This is anti-intellectualism and rejection of true authority in action. If laziness is an issue here, let’s talk about those suffering from spiritual sloth, who abhor even the thought of studying their faith, another good example of anti-intellectualism. Another lingering ingredient of the Traditional heresy is the belief held by today’s Traditionalists that because they are greater in number than homealoners, this makes them superior in some way. Nineteenth century Traditionalists believed that the common consent of the “faithful” could be used to shore up the true nature of authority; 21st century neo-Traditionalists believe their claim to authenticity and a generic sort of unity somehow supplies for any lack of due diligence needed to prove their ministers are lawful pastors. The home-alone tag applied to stay-at-home Catholics by today’s Traditionalists reflects their repugnance, perhaps fear, of anything not in the mainstream, even if their idea of mainstream includes only a modest number of dissidents who have broken away in some manner from Rome to found non-Catholic sects.
Woe to Traditionalists
Ruby is wrong when he accuses the anti-Traditionalists of believing that “the Church has failed, the Gates of Hell have triumphed, and God’s promises are lies.” He misinforms his readers in telling them that all those opposing his heroes use only “various ancient anathemas, modern Canons, anonymous policies, and other such ‘rules’ as ‘proof’ that our traditional clergy have no legitimacy.” Modern Canons yes; these have been quoted here regularly. But not without the solid backing of papal encyclicals, constitutions, teachings from the General Councils, and pre-V2 commentary on these from approved sources. If this does not demonstrate the mind of the Church, nothing will. Clearly Ruby is clueless concerning how the Church expected those defending Her to write, nor has he bothered to read the very pieces he criticizes. Contrary to his representation, those who “pray and watch” rather than traipse groupie fashion after these traditional “priests,” are a hopeful lot, and have said so on numerous occasions. Generally they believe that even if it requires an outright miracle, God will see to it that His Church is restored, even if only briefly, before the consummation because He promised us it would last until the end. We know that end is near because Daniel foretold that Antichrist would come and the Sacrifice would cease, and the unanimous opinion of the Fathers and St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori tell us this applies to the Holy Sacrifice as well. We have witnessed this with our own eyes and still they will not believe. It is not canonical pessimists who have denied authority in the Church and assailed Her indefectibility: it is Ruby and those like him who actually think the Church can be bereft of its head, bereft of the assistance of the Holy Ghost, and continue to function as the true Church. Christ told us what would happen when the Shepherd was struck: the sheep would be scattered, and he would see to the little ones, (Zach. 13:7; Matt. 26: 31). How could this mean that there still would be priests or a sacrifice?
Those who care to inform themselves of such things can read Rev. Leo Haydock’s commentary on this verse. It begins: ”Awake O sword against my shepherd, and the man that cleaveth to me: strike the shepherd…” Haydock comments: “The sword implies all the torments that Christ endured…He explains this of Himself, only instead of strike, He says (Matt. 26: 32) ‘I will strike,’ as the sword was directed by God.” When the members of the Sanhedrin accosted Christ, were the Apostles yet commissioned as priests to say Mass? No; they would not receive their mission from Christ until after the Resurrection, nor would Peter as pope. Doesn’t Christ imply here that He and His Father will actually allow the shepherd to be struck, and is not this the key to Christ’s comment in Gesthemane at His arrest: “How will the prophecies be fulfilled, that so it must be done?” Painful as it is, the Shepherd must be struck. But as Haydock notes, “Christ takes care of His little flock, and is always one with God the Father.” God the Father and God the Son are in charge; THEY direct the Church from Heaven, since Christ is the invisible Head of the Church. What is happening in the world must happen; it is the fulfillment of prophecy. Christ rules His Church from Heaven until the accomplishment of His will on earth and has no need of these Traditionalist ministers, since His Sacrifice has ceased on earth, yet is offered eternally in Heaven. It is incomprehensible that these so-called bishops would presume to receive their “commission” directly from Christ, when this is clearly not His will. Woe unto them, for God is not pleased.
Every Traditionalist should read about the punishment God meted out to Core, son of Levi, and his followers, (Num., Ch. 16) for rebelling against Moses and Aaron. Verse 1-4 explains how Core, Dathan, Abiron, and others, followed by 250 “leading men of the synagogue,” told Moses that he had taken too much upon himself and that his (Core’s) group had the Lord on their side. They proposed to offer up sacrifices of their own on behalf of the people. Moses told them to go ahead, and he would ask God to choose whose group was holy, Core’s or those remaining faithful to Moses. He then said that if Core and his followers were swallowed up by the earth before the eyes of everyone for their sins, it would prove that God had indeed sent him, Moses, to do all things. “And immediately as he had made an end of speaking, the earth broke asunder under their feet…and opening her mouth, devoured them,” (vs. 31-32). Rev. Haydock comments on these verses: “The crimes of these men, which were punished in so remarkable a manner, was that of schism, and rebellion against the authority established by God in His Church; and their pretending to the priesthood without being lawfully called and sent; the same is the case of all modern sectaries. Let them dread a similar punishment; not only the authors of such wicked pretensions, BUT ALSO THOSE WHO CONSENT TO THEM,” (emphasis Haydock’s). “They believed in the same God, yet because they took upon themselves to sacrifice, they were forthwith punished by God, and their unlawful sacrifices to God could do them no service…If we give any encouragement to schismatics, or go to their meetings, we must expect to be involved in their sins.” Sorry Mr. Ruby, but our “canonical pessimism” obviously is sanctioned by God.
Ruby jeers at homealoners, saying that they are a dying breed. Traditionalists need to read the theologian Van Noort’s conception of their pseudo-church, given below; it is the closest thing approaching what Traditionalists are today, proving handily that they are the ones who are a legend in their own minds. Yet even this conception could never apply to Traditionalists because it assumes that whatever surfaces will be an exact replication, and Traditionalists have omitted from their operations the very core of the True Church’s being: the papacy. This is the most glaring omission of all; the one that should have tipped off all self-respecting Catholics from the beginning. Without apostolic authority, there can be no Church.
“Apostolicity of membership follows as an inescapable consequence of apostolicity of government. A MORAL BODY, DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT CONSTANTLY UNDERGOES CHANGE AND RENOVATION IN ITS PERSONNEL, REMAINS NUMERICALLY THE SAME MORAL BODY SO LONG AS IT RETAINS THE SAME SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND THE SAME AUTHORITY. This should be clear from the fact that corporations like General Motors, or RCA Victor, or nations like the United States, France, or Switzerland, remain the same corporate or political entities, and are represented before national or international tribunals as the same moral body even though there is vast fluctuation in their personnel. Please note the word, “numerically;” the same society. A MERE SPECIFIC LIKENESS WOULD NEVER SATISFY THE REQUIREMENT OF APOSTOLICITY.
“Just for the sake of argument — even though it cannot actually happen — let us conjure up some church which would bear a merely specific likeness to Christ’s Church; a church which would be like it in all respects except numerical identity. Imagine, now, that the Church planted by the apostles has perished utterly. Imagine, whether you make it the year 600, 1,500, or 3,000 — that all its members have deserted. Imagine, furthermore, that out of this totally crumpled society a fresh and vigorous society springs up and then, after a time, is remodeled perfectly to meet the blueprints of the ancient but now perished apostolic structure. Such a process would never yield a church that was genuinely apostolic, that is, numerically one and the same society which actually existed under the apostles’ personal rule. There would be a brand new society, studiously copied from a model long since extinct. The new church might be a decent imitation. It might be a caricature. One thing it definitely would not be is apostolic,” (from “De Ecclesia Christi,” by Monsignor G. Van Noort, S.T.D).
It’s over, folks; the Church is in God’s hands — it has been there all along. When Catholics might have had a chance in the very beginning to preserve apostolicity and elect a true pope, they sinfully neglected to do so. The Invisible Head of the Church is calling the shots now and nothing we do will change His plans because prophecy must be fulfilled. His ways of preserving the Church may not be to the liking of many, but He knows exactly who and where His own are, throughout the world. He has preserved it precisely because He promised to do so, and His ways are not our ways. He knows his flock’s sincere desire that the papacy be restored, and with it the visible Church, that She might triumph over Her enemies. He knows that they refuse to offend Him by receiving sacrilegious sacraments and attending fruitless masses. He knows their hearts. Either He will restore the Church miraculously — and some pre-Vatican 2 commentators on the end times believe this — or He will suddenly appear for the Final Judgment; the decision is out of our hands. The Gallicanist dream of a Church without a pope is a heresy condemned at the Vatican Council, and yet Traditionalists are living that heretical nightmare today. Why any sincere Catholic truly informed about the situation in the Church would turn to anything outside pre-V2 teachings and laws for their information, when papal and conciliar documents, also authoritative catechisms on this subject are readily available is a mystery. The operation of error however is truly diabolical, and only fervent prayer for a miracle of grace will deliver any of us from the fate of Core. The Vatican Council was the final clarion call for our age and its obscuration and diminution has brought us all, literally, to our knees.
One quote, taken as absolute truth, would have forewarned all those believing the Church could ever exist without her true head: “From Peter and through him, all, therefore, began…A clear and precise conception of the primacy and privilege is necessary to a clear and precise conception of the Church. Unless it be first distinctly apprehended, the doctrine of the Church will always be proportionately obscure. THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH DOES NOT DETERMINE THE DOCTRINE OF THE PRIMACY, BUT THE DOCTRINE OF THE PRIMACY DOES PRECISELY DETERMINE THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH.” (The Vatican Council Decrees in Their Bearing on Civil Allegiance, Henry Cardinal Manning, 1875). This Good Friday, we remember the betrayal of Judas; Christ’s warning that the Good Shepherd, and in turn His Vicar, will be struck; the example of His Passion, that only great suffering and even death will accomplish His Father’s will; the flight of the Apostles, and finally, His ultimate triumph. Return to the foot of the Cross, that all might merit the grace of true conversion and final perseverance.