Pope Pius XII orders women (oh my!) to engage in Catholic Action

Pope Pius XII orders women (oh my!) to engage in Catholic Action

+St. Lawrence Justinian+

The infantile pratings of Traditionalists admonishing women to be silent in Church as St. Paul teaches in I Cor. 14:34 (and silent everywhere else as well, it seems) give no context to this use of Scripture and only belies their basic ignorance of the Church’s true position on this subject. So in order to refute these errors regarding the Church’s stand on women and the role they must play in defending the faith, the following teaching of TRUE Church authorities, not self-appointed Traditionalist popes, should be observed. From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

“The Catholic Church has made no doctrinal pronouncement on the question of women’s rights in the present meaning of that term. It has from the beginning vindicated the dignity of womanhood and declared that in spiritual matters man and woman are equal, according to the words of St. Paul: “There is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). The Church has also jealously guarded the sanctity of home life, now so disastrously infringed by the divorce evil, and while upholding the husband’s headship of the family has also vindicated the position of the mother and wife in the household. Where family rights and duties and womanly dignity are not violated in other fields of action, the Church opposes no barrier to woman’s progress.

“Although women are not capable of receiving the power of sacred orders, yet they are capable of some power of jurisdiction. If a female, therefore, succeeds to some office or dignity which has some jurisdiction annexed to it, although she cannot undertake the cure of souls, yet she becomes capable of exercising the jurisdiction herself and of committing the care of souls to a cleric who can lawfully undertake it, and she can confer the benefice upon him (cap. Dilecta, de major. et obed.). Abbesses and prioresses, consequently, who have acquired such jurisdiction can exercise the rights of patronage in a parochial church and nominate and install as parish priest the candidate whom the diocesan bishop has approved for the cure of souls (S.C.C., 17 Dec., 1701). Such female patron can also, in virtue of her jurisdiction, deprive clerics subject to her of the benefices she had conferred upon them, by withdrawing the title and possession.” This is chronicled also by Regine Pernoud in her Women in the Days of the Cathedrals.

The most recent teachings on this subject however, come to us from the pen of Pope Pius XII in 1957. And it most specifically mentions the role of women in teaching the faith, and how they are to conduct themselves in this regard. Owing to the length of his address, only the following excerpts have been selected form the 197-58 editor of  The Pope Speaks.

 

 

In commenting on these papal addresses, other accusations by the misogyny set in Traddie land should also be dealt with.

First of all, regarding the charge against a lack of charity where Traditionalists are concerned, notice that Pope Pius XII identifies truth as the ultimate charity, and the truths presented on this site are not our own but come from approved Catholic authors, something so-called Traditionalist clergy definitely are not. Yet the one and most important truth — the truth on which all that is written here hinges — is never so much as mentioned by Traditionalists. That truth is the unanimous teaching of theologians, which Pope Pius XII and other pontiffs have endorsed as binding in conscience, that none of the Sacraments are ever to be administered where doubt of their validity has been established. And such doubts, issuing from the Roman Pontiffs themselves throughout the centuries, have been publicly presented by this author for over 30 years.

Secondly, in castigating this writer for the use of the work The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics by Rev. Ignatius Szal, (Catholic University of America canon law dissertation, 1948), some very important points are omitted. The decisions rendered by the offices of the Holy See, Congregations and popes Szal quotes in his work are not taken as a whole, nor are his conclusions referenced by the castigator. Any Catholic may receive Penance and Extreme Unction form the hands of a validly ordained priest in danger of death, but such few priests remain it is not even worth discussing. And even if this were the case, the teaching of the Church on this matter presumes the Roman Pontiff would supply the needed jurisdiction and this is now impossible. Both Szal and Bancroft (see https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/7-recent-articles/revisiting-communicatio-in-sacris/) agree that even were there a Roman Pontiff to supply, it would be best to forego these ministrations out of respect for the Sacrament. But who considers this? It is all me, me, me and my needs, not reverence for Christ-instituted Sacraments — at the hour of death no less!

Szal wrote before the issuance of Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, a mere reorganization and reiteration, with a few additions, of Pope St. Pius X’s previous papal election law. Invoking his supreme authority as Roman Pontiff, Pius XII forbids the violation of any papal laws during an interregnum, and should they be so violated he declares the attempted acts null and void. Again, there is no mention by Traditionalists, not even a whisper, of this binding papal law. For they know full well it leaves them dead in the water, without even a shred of hope that their operations could ever be considered valid, far less licit. So many papal laws have been violated by Traditionalists it defies the imagination.

And as for Ngo dinh Thuc, the omissions and errors they claim have been made in his case are irrelevant minutiae based on assumptions. They are meant to deflect from the real issue here — Thuc’s actions during an interregnum were rendered null and void by Pope Pius XII and his own defection form the faith; end of story. And to the complaint that these articles are too long — get over it. One either wants to learn the truth or not; it cannot be encapsulated in tiny little bites of info intended for children. Encyclicals and addresses by the popes are much longer than most of the articles here and are liberally quoted on this site. In the day, Catholics were expected to read and study them. Think of the size of the Summa and many other doctrinal works by saints and theologians. I suppose they are not worthy of any study or consideration, either.

And so, getting back to Pope Pius XII’s address posted above, we see that:

  • The Church is “the only authoritative interpreter of supernatural revelation,” including the text on St. Paul’s admonition for women to remain silent (p. 419).
  • If women remain under the direction of certainly legitimate pastors (and this excludes Traditionalists), accept all the Church’s teachings and observe Her directives, they can be secure in their undertakings, and those undertakings will have the authority and stability of the Church Herself! (p. 419)
  • No true Catholic can choose to do whatever he likes in matters relating to the ascertainment of material facts and their relation to religious and moral matters in defiance of the pope’s ecclesiastical magisterium. This is what Traditionalists do in disregarding Canon Law and blatantly ignoring papal directives. Pius XII identifies as the Church’s divine mission the obligation of defining “truth and error involved in a given line of conduct or a particular manner of acting.” Isn’t this what is being done by pointing out the invalidity of Traditional clergy?!
  • Practicing those truths found in dogma and doctrine, “in living charity, which inspires good works and is absolutely required for the plentitude of faith” is essential. “The person who exercises this apostolate must obviously be filled with this charity. He passes it on as he teaches the Gospel… The first token of success in your apostolate will be your possession in abundance of this treasure of the love of God” (p. 420-21).
  • “If your purest intentions are misinterpreted, you still have no reason to give way to discouragement… None of your efforts are lost; God sees them and takes them into account… In all those areas where the Catholic woman works… she must follow the specific religious and moral principles which the Church, and particularly the popes, have usefully and clearly defined. The Apostolic See does not simply tolerate your action, it enjoins you to exercise the apostolate, to devote your efforts to fulfilling the Christian’s great missionary duty, that all the lost sheep may be assembled in one fold and under one shepherd” (p. 424-25).
  • This initiative of the lay apostolate is perfectly justified even without a prior explicit ‘mission’ from the hierarchy… Personal initiative plays a great role in protecting the faith and Catholic life, especially in countries where contacts with the hierarchy are difficult or practically impossible. In such circumstances, the Christians upon whom this task falls must, with God’s grace, assume all their responsibilities. It is clear however that, even so, nothing can be undertaken against the explicit or implicit will of the Church or contrary in any way to the rules of faith or morals, or to ecclesiastical discipline” (p. 425).

Hmmmm… Let me see. The pope tells me to exercise this apostolate. Forget that I am a miserable sinner; so was St. Mary Magdalene, St. Augustine, St. Margaret of Cortona, and hundreds of other saints. He advises me that I have a great missionary duty to reclaim the lost sheep. He states that I do not need any permission from ecclesiastical authority to do this, and that such initiative is not only justified but necessary to protect Catholic life and faith. Moreover, when contact with the hierarchy is virtually impossible as it is in our situation, I am not only allowed but commanded to take on the responsibilities of the hierarchy insofar as the law and Church teaching allows.

Now the Church’s will is expressed in Her ecumenical councils and the decisions of the popes and the Sacred Congregations. These teachings clearly state that no Catholic is to receive the Sacraments from the hands of a schismatic, regardless of the circumstances. In a case of doubt, (Can. 15 — ecclesiastical discipline), a doubtful Sacrament is no Sacrament according to the canonists Woywod-Smith (also others) and must be avoided. Moral theologians teach the same regarding the Sacraments (Prummer, McHugh and Callan, others), as pointed out in earlier blog posts. During an interregnum, none of the laws made by the popes can be violated, and if they are, those actions are null and void. This is not to mention that without the Pope there is no Church and no Catholic society, as Pope Pius IX teaches. The Church has never forbidden Catholics to stay at home and practice their faith in the absence of the hierarchy, and this is proven by Pope Pius XII’s words above.

Women are not excluded from fulfilling their duties imposed by the popes; Pope Pius XII makes this clear. All the accusations regarding stay-at-home Catholics acting as mini-popes fall to the ground when what Pope Pius XII teaches illustrates they are only following papal directives. Those who hang on the words of these Traditionalists, who are truly the ones assuming the role of mini-popes, never examine the proofs presented here from the Roman Pontiffs, the Ecumenical Councils and approved theologians. Nor do they demand any proofs from those they cozy up to. All is feel good and me, me, me in Traddie land just the way they like it. Uncharitable? Not according to Rev. Felix Sarda-Salvany in his Liberalism is a Sin. He eloquently states,

“The good of all good is the divine good, just as God is for all men the neighbor of neighbors… the love due to a man ought always to be subordinated to that due… to Our Lord. The degree of our offense towards men can only be measured by the degree of our obligation to Him… Therefore to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a true act of charity. Not to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a sin.” And so Rev. Sarda explains that the great saints and Church Fathers did not hesitate to use imprecations, execrations, irony and colorful language to crush the heretics they opposed. And if our neighbor is displeased, outraged, humiliated or even if some material injury comes to him, if it is truly in the service of God, to protect others from dangers against faith or for the neighbor’s own good, then it is not an option but an obligation. “When we correct the wicked by punishing or restraining him, nonetheless do we love them. This is charity and perfect charity.”

Persecution is the fifth mark of the Church. Let the heathen rage and press forward.

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Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc possessed no special faculties or ordinary jurisdiction

Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc possessed no special faculties or ordinary jurisdiction

+St. Rose of Lima+

A reader has suggested that I refute a recent attack on my person by a Lefebvre and Thuc defender who suggests that because I promoted and participated in a “papal election” and am a member of the female sex I should maintain perpetual silence and be subject to my male counterparts. (I have heard this many times over the years from male Traditionalists who either are unable or unwilling to do the research necessary to defend their defenseless position.) To begin with, I owe no male any obedience save my husband and then I owe such obedience only as long as it does not contradict anything in way of the faith. Thankfully, my husband has never stood in the way of anything I believed I was required to do regarding my faith, even though he is a convert and has had nothing but horrible examples from Traditionalists regarding what a true male Catholic should be.

Secondly, I have no male counterparts in defending the faith to whom I owe any obedience because none of them are validly or licitly ordained or consecrated, and those laymen pretending to defend the faith under the Traditional banner are nothing more than modern-day Protestant reformers. This has been proven consistently from Church law and teaching so does not need to be reiterated here. I also have repeatedly pointed out on this site that not only am I allowed to defend the faith, I am obligated to do so despite my failings regarding the election of a false pope simply because Pope Pius XII and Church law commands me to do so. This is explained in the article “Where Is Your Imprimatur?” which has been posted on the articles page of my website for many years.

St. Vincent Ferrar did not elect a false pope but he supported one for 22 years, and he was a saint who worked many miracles! No one ever suggested he cease his activities because he made a mistake in good faith and caused others to follow a false pope.  I campaigned only to elect a true pope, never the individual actually elected, who I voted for only as a last resort when no others appeared for the “election.” I have explained all this at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/introduction/how-i-became-involved-in-a-papal-election-and-supported-a-traditionalist-antipope/ but would like to add the following regarding the election facts that so many can never seem to get straight:

Prior to the election, I promoted an imperfect council which I felt was more in keeping with the Church’s teaching on papal elections. That was before I understood that none of those with valid orders could participate in such a council owing to communicatio in sacris and other issues. Once I realized that, I then promoted a papal election, but I never promoted the person later elected, foolishly believing instead a true bishop would show up at the last minute. The person elected was a last-ditch choice because there were no other options, or so those “electing” him were led to believe at the time.  Six people attended the election, held at a second-hand store in Belvue, Kansas on July 16, 1990: myself, the “pope-elect,” his parents and a couple from Michigan who had known him for many years.  All the original followers eventually departed after I began to expose his errors in 2007, except for his mother.  Any followers he has now have been collected since then.

Of course those who are now renewing the attack on the stay-at-home position by referencing the false papal election are supporters of Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc, a man who resigned his position under Popes Pius XI and Pius XII to accept a new position under the false pope Paul 6 as titular bishop of Bulla Regia. Thuc’s followers hold that he received “special faculties” (privileges) from Pope Pius XI on March 15, 1938 which gave him the necessary jurisdiction to perform episcopal consecrations without a papal mandate. The English translation of the privilege bestowed on Thuc by Pope Pius XI reads: “By virtue of the plenitude of powers of the Holy Apostolic See, we appoint as our legate Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc, titular bishop of Saigon, whom we invest with all the necessary powers for purposes known to us.” No one in Traditional circles ever mention, as far as I’m aware, that these privileges were granted to Thuc in his capacity as a legate to Vietnam for the Apostolic See. Those reporting the existence of these faculties do not cite any canons governing them or note the circumstances that might have a bearing on the nature of the faculties.

Once a legate resigns his office, as Thuc resigned the offices of Vicar Apostolic of Vinh Long (and Titular Bishop of Saesina, Vietnam on November 24,1960, held since January 8,1938), his faculties cease. While he did not resign them to a true Roman Pontiff as Canon 268 stipulates, that really has no bearing on his special faculties. Understanding the types of jurisdiction Thuc held is essential to this case, since neither his powers as a legate or his position as a titular bishop entitle him to any real jurisdiction.

“Titular bishops… cannot perform any episcopal function without the authorization of the diocesan bishop; for as titular bishops they have no ordinary jurisdiction. They can, however, act as auxiliary bishops, i.e. they may be appointed by the pope to assist a diocesan bishop in the exercise of duties arising from the episcopal order but entailing no power of jurisdiction” (Catholic Encyclopedia under bishops). So Thuc could never act to consecrate anyone unless he acted only as a co-consecrator under the bishop of the diocese, if there had been any true bishop under whom he could function. As a titular bishop he did not possess ordinary jurisdiction, or really any jurisdiction of his own at all. As a legate he might have possessed ordinary power, but “The legate goes with ordinary jurisdiction over a whole country or nation,” thereby limiting Thuc’s powers to Vietnam only(see the Catholic Encyclopedia under this topic).  But under the heading regarding legates in Canon Law, Can. 265 states: “…The Roman Pontiff has the right to send legates to any part of the world with or without ecclesiastical jurisdiction.” So without the actual confirmation and itemization of the “necessary powers” granted by Pope Pius XI, no one can be certain that any jurisdiction at all was even granted. While Canon 268 states the office of the legate does not expire with the death of the Roman Pontiff, once again, the faculties granted could only apply to Vietnam. Nowhere does it state in the Canon Laws regarding legates that a legate’s power or jurisdiction, even if granted, is considered universal.

That a wide interpretation of such a privilege is not permissible is found in Can. 67, which explains that: “The extent of a privilege must be judged from the wording of the document, and its scope must not be extended or abridged.” And Can. 79 legislates that where written proof is lacking concerning the nature of a privilege, “no one may cite such a privilege in the external forum… unless he can furnish legal proof that he has received that privilege.”  These special faculties are said by Traditionalists to have been renewed by Pope Pius XII in 1939, but no document that we have ever seen confirms this. No official document issued either by Pope Pius XI or Pope Pius XII appears to exist stating what those powers might be, so no one knows the true nature of these privileges unless it is noted in the Acta Apostolica Sedis. In a doubt of law or fact, the law ceases, anyway (Can. 15), although that axiom only works for Traditionalists when they wish to claim exemptions from laws that they cannot excuse themselves from obeying according to Divine law or the law itself. As explained in our Lenten blog series, however, such doubts do not apply where the Sacraments are concerned for where validity is in question, especially in the case of Holy Orders, — where there is a doubt if some Sacramental act is valid — the act is not to be performed and if performed is null and void.

One cannot speculate about any such other powers he might have held, designated by Pope Pius XI as “necessary faculties,” when the Sacraments are at issue. These faculties would need to be spelled out and, in any case, could not be said to amount to the universal jurisdiction granted only to cardinals as explained above in Can. 67. We have only one very faded and vague document granting Thuc the faculties he did possess, which could not have applied to any territory besides Vietnam.  But all this is really irrelevant given Thuc’s later actions, which really indicate he lost all rights he ever had to exercise any powers he might ever have received.

Canons 429 and 430

Sede impedita is a Latin term used in Canon Law to refer to an impediment to possessing episcopal sees and their vacancy, whether by death of the bishop, resignation, transfer or privation. Rev. Charles Augustine defined sede impedita in Canon 429 as a “quasi-vacancy,” leading into, in the minds of the material/formal crowd, a perpetually impeded see when applied to the See of Rome. This quasi-vacancy, however has its limitations and conditions. It occurs in cases of exile officially declared, captivity, and mental or physical inhabilitas or incapability. This, according to Woywod-Smith’s commentary, can and does encompass a wide range of possibilities. Some of these include physical and mental debility (listed by Augustine), physical impossibility, inability to travel owing to war or natural disaster, etc. As both Canons 429 and 430 stress, the vacancy is to be filled within set time limits and the bishop is expected to actually occupy his see within four months, according to Augustine. Until this is possible, a vicar capitular is appointed to administer the diocese.

This Canon is enlightening because it goes into detail concerning the “privation” of the see owing to excommunication. This Augustine defines as the “canonical” death of a bishop. Although it is mentioned elsewhere in the Code, excommunication for heresy is not included under this Canon specifically. But if it was mentioned it would be considered a “tacit resignation,” incurred by the fact itself, or ipso facto, as Canon 188 no. 4 states. Such resignation would be effective immediately and would require no acceptance, only evidence of the facts in the case.

Thuc resigned his offices in Vietnam in 1960 after being appointed Archbishop of Hue by John 23, a position, of course, which he never actually received. This was three years before the war began in earnest in Vietnam resulting in the death of his brother Ngo dinh Diem.  He and his brother would later be accused of graft, corruption and persecution of Buddhists during the period between 1960-1963, and perhaps even earlier, before the war prevented him from returning to Vietnam. He went from being Archbishop of Hue to titular bishop of Bulla Regia in 1968 under Paul 6. It could easily be the case that he lost any offices he ever possessed in Vietnam owing to exile or war, as stated under Can. 429, or that he forfeited his special privileges owing to abuse and deserved to be deprived of them, as mentioned in Canon 78.

Canons 2314 and 188 no. 4

But most importantly, Thuc tacitly resigned his office under Can. 188 no. 4, as Canon Law states, when he received his appointments as Archbishop of Hue and titular Bishop of Bulla Regia from the usurper Paul 6. Traditionalists cannot on the one hand condemn everything the Novus Ordo does as heretical and hold its ministers innocent of heresy. Canon 2314 on heresy states: “All apostates from the Christian faith and each and every heretic or schismatic incur the following penalties: (1) ipso facto excommunication; …(3) If they have joined a non-Catholic sect or have publicly adhered to it, they incur infamy ipso facto, and if they are clerics and the admonition to repent has been fruitless, they shall be degraded. Canon 188 no. 4 provides, moreover, that the cleric who publicly abandons the Catholic faith loses every ecclesiastical office ipso facto and without any declaration.”  

Communicatio in sacris differs from simple heresy

Rev. Charles Augustine in his Canon Law commentary defines the non-Catholic sects referred to in regard to Can. 2314 as “Any religious society established in opposition to the Catholic Church, whether it consists of infidels, pagans, Jews, Moslems, non-Catholics, or schismatics.” In this case, it is schismatics. Formal membership is required for the delict to occur, according to the law, and no more formal membership exists than to be a minister in such a sect. The heretical act is expressed by either joining the sect or expounding its beliefs. In his dissertation The Delict of Heresy (1932), Rev. Eric MacKenzie, A.M., S.T.L., J.C.L. states: “In either case, the delinquent incurs first the basic excommunication inflicted on simple heresy. In addition, as a penalty for his aggravated delict, he incurs juridical infamy ipso facto, whether or no there is further official action by the Church.” Attwater’s Catholic Dictionary defines infamy as “A stigma attached in canon law to the character of a person…” Juridical infamy or infamy of law is a special punitive penance or vindicative penalty attached to certain grave offenses. It includes “repulsion from any ministry in sacred functions and disqualification for legitimate ecclesiastical acts.” (Under Can. 2294, Revs. Woywod-Smith qualify these acts as invalid.) Also, under Can. 188 no. 4, one who has engaged in non-Catholic worship “no longer has any rights or powers deriving from [an ecclesiastical] position,” (Ibid).

Concerning the exception made by Can. 2261 §2 MacKenzie relates: “If a priest has incurred more than a simple excommunication — [if he has] resigned his office by joining a non-Catholic sect,” he cannot even assist at marriages. And of course with the penalty for infamy of law comes loss of jurisdiction, if it was ever granted, so neither can he hear confessions or preach, even at the request of the faithful, because such acts would be null and void. And regardless of any existing censures, MacKenzie explains that to make use of Can. 2261 §2 requires that “the power of jurisdiction [be] already possessed.”

If these individuals attacking this site would actually do the research the Church demands that they do to present the truth to those who are seeking it, they would know that the powers they assign to Thuc are bogus. The only reason this site exists is that they fail to do their due diligence. Helping those desperate to maintain the status quo in a world devoid of all spirituality is a fruitless task. The status quo long ago vanished, and we find ourselves in the midst of the time following the death of Antichrist that St. Thomas Aquinas anticipated. Those who cannot accept that would have ranged themselves on the side of the Jews following the destruction of their temple in 70 A.D., as Christ prophesied. We too have seen the destruction of our temples of worship. But nothing, as St. Paul says, can keep those of us who choose to follow only Him from the love of Christ.

Those who think so little of the heresies of communicatio in sacris committed by Lefebvre, Thuc and other Traditionalists who once embraced the Novus Ordo and celebrated its false mass should consider the words below written by Fr. Frederick Faber:

“If we hated sin as we ought to hate it, purely, keenly, manfully, we should do more penance, we should inflict more self-punishment, we should sorrow for our sins more abidingly. Then, again, the crowning disloyalty to God is heresy. It is the sin of sins, the very loathsomest of things which God looks down upon in this malignant world. Yet how little do we understand of its excessive hatefulness! It is the polluting of God’s truth, which is the worst of all impurities.

“Yet how light we make of it! We look at it, and are calm. We touch it and do not shudder. We mix with it, and have no fear. We see it touch holy things, and we have no sense of sacrilege. We breathe its odor, and show no signs of detestation or disgust. Some of us affect its friendship; and some even extenuate its guilt. We do not love God enough to be angry for His glory. We do not love men enough to be charitably truthful for their souls.

“Having lost the touch, the taste, the sight, and all the senses of heavenly-mindedness, we can dwell amidst this odious plague, in imperturbable tranquility, reconciled to its foulness, not without some boastful professions of liberal admiration, perhaps even with a solicitous show of tolerant sympathies.

“Why are we so far below the old saints, and even the modern apostles of these latter times, in the abundance of our conversations? Because we have not the antique sternness? We want the old Church-spirit, the old ecclesiastical genius. Our charity is untruthful, because it is not severe; and it is unpersuasive, because it is untruthful.

“We lack devotion to truth as truth, as God’s truth. Our zeal for souls is puny, because we have no zeal for God’s honor. We act as if God were complimented by conversions, instead of trembling souls rescued by a stretch of mercy.

We tell men half the truth, the half that best suits our own pusillanimity and their conceit; and then we wonder that so few are converted, and that of those few so many apostatize.

“We are so weak as to be surprised that our half-truth has not succeeded so well as God’s whole truth. Where there is no hatred of heresy, there is no holiness.

“A man, who might be an apostle, becomes a fester in the Church for the want of this righteous indignation,” (emphases added).

(The Precious Blood, published in 1860)

 

 

 

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This World of Darkness

This World of Darkness

+Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary+

I don’t think there is much doubt about the times we live in or how quickly the world is descending into that abyss that is the abode of the devil himself. There are signs everywhere we care to look. Families are in crisis and chaos, despair is rampant, children are bewildered at how their world has been turned upside down and parents are at a loss regarding how to explain what is happening. Suicide and marital strife have increased, substance abuse has skyrocketed, and mental illness is on the rise.

America stands poised on the verge of a civil war and George Soros has advised his media army and ANTIFA troops that if they do not win now, the opportunity to impose the New World Order many not come again any time soon. There is talk of the three percenters, those standing in the wings ready to respond to the call to fight for their country should there be an attempt to impose socialism by force. They claim to have an army at the ready as well. All are on high alert, and the tipping point can be anything or nothing at all.

Caught in the middle is the average Joe and Jane, and those without the tools provided by spiritual awareness may believe they are prepared for what lies ahead, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is spiritual warfare, and those not fighting it in the name of Christ the King have no idea what they are fighting for or how to win this war. Listen to what St. Paul tells us about the battle we are fighting and how we must be armed to fight it:

“Be strengthened in the Lord and in the might of his power…  Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice.  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).

“By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints:  And for me, that speech may be given me, that I may open my mouth with confidence, to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in a chain, so that therein I may be bold to speak according as I ought” (Ephesians 6: 10-19).

These Scripture verses have never been so true for those of us in this country as they are today. It is this armor we so desperately need, not bullet-proof vests, assault weapons or other survival gear. All that will be of no use whatsoever unless their judicious employment is governed by the faith that is in us, the laws of God, and the words of the Gospel. Our faith alone will protect us from the devil, but faith in what and in whom? Only that faith in the Blessed Trinity and the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, as She always existed and will continue to exist in Heaven until the very end. We live in the evil day. And if we wish to stand in all things perfect, we must arm ourselves solely with the truth, as Christ preached it and the Church confirmed it, not someone’s idea of that truth. That truth, Rev. Leo Haydock tells us in his commentary, pertains to doctrine and leading a good life, and in keeping our baptismal promises.

What are our baptismal promises? That we love God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourself. That we keep the commandments, serve God in His Church, and advance in wisdom and perfection. But primarily and most importantly, our baptismal promises are all about renouncing Satan, all his works and all his pomps, We may think that the evils that haunt us now are caused by the principalities and powers, our rulers, and they are. But as Rev. Haydock explains, these people are themselves ruled by the fallen angels, apostates all, and they are now allowed to tempt men. These apostate angels also are the cause of natural disasters and wars. Because the Church no longer visibly exists, God has unleashed his fury on earth and has allowed these evil spirits to rule over the world, since they rejected the King He sent in His only begotten Son.

We must ever be ready to be at peace even with our neighbors who wish to go to war with us; force should be our last resort. This is the Gospel of peace, the combat boots with which we must march in order to fight. Christ did not come to triumph over His enemies by use of the sword, but by spiritual means. Only when these fail must we defend ourselves, for that lively faith which is our shield works only by charity. It is true we may be called to fight God’s war in order to prevent the establishment of that evil system of Socialism condemned by the Church, but in all this we must not forget charity, which banishes any motives of revenge or malice.

We must be praying and watching; praying always that we avoid the evils of sin and resist temptation. Watching over ourselves with great care throughout the day that we not offend God in any way, sanctify all that we do and grow to love Him more and more. Praying especially for the grace of final perseverance, we must be always watchful lest death take us by surprise and rob us of our crown. The following prayer is a great guard against sudden death and a comfort to those who fear they will be deprived of their senses before they leave this earth.

No one knows the day or the hour of our death. We may die in our sleep tonight or during the cataclysms that are approaching. Therefore watch, and replenish your lamps with the oil of prayer, for we know not at what hour the bridegroom cometh.

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God’s people are paying the price for neglecting interior devotion

+ St. Martha +

I apologize for the long delay in posting this; sometimes life just gets in the way! But I do want to continue along this theme of the Church’s existence in the end times so that no stone is left unturned in understanding and appreciating the role we must play spiritually in this time period. Many years ago, I saved some material that will help in this task and have now found additional helps from the same source. I will try to present these over the next few months, as time permits.

As explained in a comment to my last blog, during an interregnum where the hierarchy including the cardinals are truly Catholic, the ability to perpetuate the papacy continues indefinitely. When the cardinals and bishops all become corrupt and cannot provide truly Catholic candidates for the papacy, then that potentiality ceases and the election is invalidly posited. Never in the history of the Church was there ever a time when papal electors everyone believed to be Catholic elected a man who was not a Catholic himself in order to usher in a “new order” in the Church. As St. Robert Bellarmine and the Church has always taught, a man must be Catholic to be elected pope and Catholics alone can elect him. There are numerous proofs that John 23 — Angelo Roncalli — was not Catholic, was not worthy of election and violated Pope Pius XII’s papal lection law prior to the conclave that “elected” him. The Great Revolt spoken of by St. Paul did not begin with the people – it began with the hierarchy. The people simply followed them into error just as they did at the time of the Protestant re-formation, and this includes Traditionalists. As the shepherd, so the flock.

In ages past, the election of a man suspected of heresy or apostasy could not have come about without outrage and opposition on the part of those who loved the Church. Such occurrences always resulted in a disputed election and rival “popes,” until the matter was sorted out. How do we know these men were not Catholic and could not have validly elected a pope? We know because later they went on to participate in Vatican 2 and promote the Novus Ordo Missae. We cannot even call those pretending to be popes since the death of Pope Pius XII antipopes, because no one has risen up against them claiming to be a true pope canonically elected, and this is a totally unprecedented occurrence.  Instead we must call them usurpers who have taken the papal throne by force and remain unchallenged, and this can only correspond to one event mentioned in Holy Scripture: the Great Apostasy or Revolt.

For only once in the Church’s history can it happen that She is given over to the power of Satan and her leaders fall out of their places in the Church, (stars falling from heaven in St. John’s Apocalypse — Rev. E. S. Berry), and that is during the time of Antichrist. As explained before, he who withholdeth must first be taken out of the way, as described by St. Paul in 2 Thess. 2: 6-7 and St. John in Apoc. 12: 5. Henry Cardinal Manning has identified this personage as Christ’s own  Vicar, for the Church must undergo the same Passion endured by Our Lord. Then the Great Revolt, fomenting since the Protestant Revolt and coming to a head in the early part of the last century, culminates in the election of the Man of Sin, as taught by Pope Paul IV in his papal bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. Only during an interregnum is a pope not reigning, and this means his seat is open for grabs by those who wish to establish a Church made with human hands on the ruins of the true Church of Christ. Antichrist saw his golden opportunity and wasted no time seizing it. But he had planned all this out well ahead of time and waited in the wings until his prophet prepared the way.

We were not left a default process for papal elections because it was always assumed there would be true Catholic hierarchy to elect. However, God who gave us the Church is equally capable of withdrawing it from us for sins committed. And who could ever deny that the sins committed by Catholics for the past several centuries have not pierced the vaults of heaven and so aggrieved God that He has meted out this punishment? Yes, He promised to be with us unto the consummation, and so He is with the faithful. And yes again, His Church lives on in His Mystical Body and its members, for He was always its true Head, although many forget this and have no appreciation or realization that valid priests and bishops were only a conduit through whom God’s graces flowed. True Catholic hierarchy take Christ’s place only in the sense that they are allowed to act as dispensers for Christ in His stead, but only when they have received certainly valid and licit orders. And that is just the bare minimum of what is required of them, holiness of life being above all the most important. We have been over all of this before.

It is not as though we have any lack of proof that the men responsible for electing these usurpers abandoned their faith and embraced a non-Catholic sect: it is all too apparent. Nor is there any evidence lacking that papal election law was flagrantly violated and the Church immediately plunged into “aggiornamento” or renewal as a result. In reading Catholic works regarding the Americanists and the Modernists, one will find it was all planned long ago. We lost the Mass and Sacraments for the very same reason the Israelites lost their sacrifice, as Daniel prophesied: because of sin. The Popes begged us to engage in Catholic Action and defend the papacy and we ignored their pleas. We cannot regain what we lost unless and until God wills it and He may very well not so will it. The Church had to have a pope only for as long as She lasted and there are reasons to believe She has finished her mission, at least for now. What God has planned for Her next is beyond the veil, and we cannot see it because it is a mystery known only to God.

Those who believe the Church will never fail forget that Divine Revelation itself tells us there is such a time when She will at least appear to fail temporarily, for indeed, “How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?” (Matt. 26: 54).  We know that he who withholdeth has been taken away, and that following this event the Great Revolt began with the election of John 23. Afterwards, the Man of Sin was revealed, Paul 6, and he completed the process, begun by Roncalli, of abolishing the Mass and Sacraments. Nearly all the faithful have gone into captivity to other religions, and this may well last 70 years or more, as it did with the Jews. We are in our 62nd year. But because to whom much is given much is expected, why should we Catholics, gifted with a Redeemer and purchased with His blood, expect that we would not be punished even more severely than the Jews, whose gifts of grace were not even close to ours?

Those struggling to understand how the Church will last unto the consummation must separate in their minds the Church as She once existed juridically and the Church as she now exists. She is the same Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, as She has always been from the beginning, She is that Church headed by Christ Himself. He may have seen fit to remove the visible and physical elements of Her existence, in punishment for our sins, but Pope Pius XII taught the Church will ever exist incorporated in His Mystical Body. We read from the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi:

“For Peter in view of his primacy is only Christ’s Vicar; so that there is only one chief Head of this Body, namely Christ, who never ceases Himself to guide the Church invisibly, though at the same time He rules it visibly, through him who is His representative on earth. After His glorious Ascension into Heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter, too, its visible foundation stone. That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head is the solemn teaching of Our predecessor of immortal memory Boniface VIII in the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctam; and his successors have never ceased to repeat the same. They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth.”

And while that vicar is not visible to us today, we can yet adhere to all he and his predecessors taught in their lifetimes, knowing that God preserves their infallible decrees in Heaven, since He binds all that His Vicars teach. Therefore they reign together still, even though the pope is no longer visible to us on earth at this particular time, a time Christ warned us in Matt. 24 that would be like no other. We find this confirmed in Apoc. 12: 5. Why then are we surprised to find His words are true?

Those insisting they must have Mass and Sacraments are no different than the Israelites of old who were obsessed with the exterior aspect of their religion — the Temple itself, their festivals and devotions, their animal sacrifices, but not their spiritual responsibilities and the observance of God’s laws. Because of this obsession God first removed their temple from Shiloh and then removed it once again from Jerusalem following the death of Our Lord. They forget, sadly, that in Heaven there is no temple or Church per se, and that Jesus Himself is both the Altar and the Sacrifice. Nor will we receive Holy Communion or the other Sacraments in Heaven, for then we will see God face to face and will possess Him entirely. These teachings, however, are not intelligible to those who can accept and understand only exterior and material signs and an earthly existence. They see Heaven merely as a continuation of their lives on this planet, entirely excluding the supernatural transformation that will take place once we leave this earth and are finally admitted to the halls of Heaven.

As Fr. Demaris explains his excellent tract, They Have Taken Away My Lord, written for those without priests or Sacraments during the French Revolution:

“As children of God, according to the witness of Sts. Peter and John, we participated in the priesthood of Jesus Christ to offer prayers and promises. If we are not entitled to sacrifice on visible altars, we are not without offering, since we can offer it in worship by our love in sacrificing Christ ourselves to His Father on the invisible altar of our hearts. Faithful to this principle, we shall gather all the graces that we would have been able to gather had we been able to assist at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass. Charity unites us to all the Faithful of the universe who offer this divine sacrifice, or who assist at it. If we lack a material altar and sensible species, there are no longer any in Heaven where Jesus Christ is offered in the most perfect manner.

“Yes, my children, the faithful who are without priests, offer their sacrifice without temple, without minister and without anything sensible. It needs only Jesus Christ to offer it. “For the sacrifice of the heart, where the victim must be consumed by the fire of love for the Holy Ghost, it requires to be united to Jesus Christ,” said St. Clement of Alexandria, “by words, by deeds and by heart.”

Where was the Catholic army, the Church Militant, that should have risen up and overthrown Roncalli, dismantled Vatican 2 and liberated the Church? The army that, to better glorify God as He is intended to be glorified, was willing to Sacrifice all for Him rather than dishonor Him? Because Catholics did not fight for the Church according to Her own laws and teachings, God has turned away His face from us. Worshipping Him at the heavenly altar is all we have left until He comes again, and surely given what is happening in this world that cannot be far away. O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell…

 

 

 

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The Mystical Passion of the Church

+St. Pius I+

 

We modern-day Magdalenes and St. Johns, who witnessed the Church in Her death throes in our youth, now watch helplessly as Our Lord’s Mystical Body, entrusted to His Mother, fights for its very existence. For are we not held in the crossing of her arms, just as His physical Body was held, as she promised Juan Diego at Tepeyac Hill? And like the Magdalene, have we not followed Our Lord to his tomb, there to discover the sleeping Roman soldiers set to guard it, soldiers who can only represent the useless attempts of earthly principalities and powers to interfere with the designs of God, the fulfillment of prophecy? And the angel who told us He was risen, was it not perhaps St. Michael, guardian of the Church and the papacy, who in the end shall stand and fight for the people of God?

How significant that when Mary Magdalene saw the empty tomb she immediately said, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” Who else is “they” but the Jews and their Sanhedrin, who the Holy Women and the Apostles suspected would steal Our Lord’s Body to prevent its veneration? Did they indeed steal it? No, and Catholics today should not blame them either for the passion and death of the Church. Christ Himself vacated the tomb, and left his burial cloth draped across His would-be final resting place. That winding sheet is the symbol not only of his Divinity and Infinity but is proof as well of the fact that His Church, like its Divine Founder, cannot perish or be contained for long in any earthly tomb. Members of Christ’s Mystical Body yet exist and will exist until the end of time. We exist in those three symbolic days that the early Christians believed Jesus to be gone forever, not realizing He had promised to rise again. But is it Christ Himself who shall be the one to come and restore the Church in Heaven, or will the Church be revived for a time on earth?

Where was Christ at the time the tomb was found empty? He was right there with the Holy Women, and they did not even know it. He was disguised as a gardener, hidden from them, and had undergone that spiritual transformation that prompted Him to gently warn Mary Magdalene not to touch Him, because He had not yet ascended to His Father in Heaven. Was this a prefigure of the fact that the Church in Her passion and death, following Her resurrection and subsequent triumph over that death, would exist, but not as She had formerly? Would exist in a miraculous way, just as the Resurrection was miraculous, guided by the Holy Ghost and comforted by Our Lady? Christ established the papacy before his death, but he did not give St. Peter the power of Divine jurisdiction until after His Resurrection. Christ was the Head of His Church while on earth, and that Church could not have two heads. He designated Peter as the head meant to succeed Him, but he did not grant Him the keys until shortly before the Ascension. The doctrine of the papacy and its two keys is alive and will always exist; but those keys will not be given to another pope unless and until the Church is restored.

In the meantime, Christ is Head of the Church, just as He was even after His death but before the Resurrection. He had made the apostles priests and bishops and had instituted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; He had made Peter his designated successor. But did St. Peter have the power to act, did the Apostles say Mass and distribute the Sacraments during those three days? No; they could not have done so, at least for the faithful publicly, because they had not yet received jurisdiction; their commission from Christ. This they received from Our Lord shortly before his Ascension, just as Peter received the power to exercise his commission. If Christ’s passion and death was the template for the passion of His Mystical Body, as certain spiritual writers claim, then why aren’t those who are insisting they must attend Mass and receive the Sacraments today drawing out this analogy?

There is no doubt that we are indeed enduring this mystical passion, but why is there no appreciation of the mystical significance of our current situation? One explanation, surely, is that the interior life is absent in so many today. No one “considers in the heart.” All of Holy Scripture carries a meaning deeper than many realize; St. Jerome tells us that every word of the Scriptures is rich in symbolic application. If we all are to fill up what is wanting to Christ’s Passion in our own lives, won’t that filling up follow the pattern of the Master in every particular? We are speaking of actual Church doctrine in referring to the exercise of jurisdiction and the establishment of the papacy. Certainly in this, especially, the plight of the faithful would comply in every detail.

So until the Ascension, there was no Mass and no Sacraments. At the Ascension Christ rises to rejoin His Father, but remains the invisible Head of the Church. In Apocalypse 12 we discover that the woman in labor to give birth is Our Lady, who delivered Our Lord to the world, to be pursued by the evil dragon as her children are pursued today.  But the particular child in Apoc. 12, “taken up to God and His throne” cannot be Christ, since he is “taken up.” It must be a human being then, not a Divine being, for Christ ascended to the Father by His own power and was not “taken up.” Some interpret this as a suspension of the functionality of the juridic Church on earth with Christ only heading the Church for a time. We are ripe for punishment, not favors, but none can believe God would ever be so “cruel.” They entirely dismiss the true idea of the very Sacrifice He offered for us in opening the gates of Heaven: it is suffering and deprivation that satisfies the Divine vengeance and opens the sluice gates of Divine mercy, not consolations and rewards.

If Christ’s death on the Cross is fraught with signs in the sun, moon and stars, as it was, then the climax of the death of His Mystical Body also will be fraught with the same. Could the three days in the tomb signify the oft-predicted three days of darkness? Some believe that it could. And then Christ’s Resurrection could only prefigure the resurrection of His Church on earth. And when she emerges from the tomb, She will be transformed in some appreciable way, purified by Her sufferings and sanctified by Her Divine founder. Christ will once again commission Her Popes and bishops, if not personally then by other means. When He departs, the Holy Ghost will arrive to assist in the re-evangelization of the world.

At least that is what many so ardently believe, and as mentioned in our last blog, it is a possibility. But as time rolls inexorably onward, it appears to be a seemingly remote one. Christ’s presence on earth for only 40 days following the Resurrection should tell us something: the Church, if indeed She is to be restored before the Second Coming, will remain on earth only briefly, mirroring the life of Our Lord. Those longing for this triumph and glorious restoration must understand that nowhere is it promised to us save by private revelations. In the opinion of some it is at least suggested in Scripture. But there is no guarantee that it will occur and indeed, given the way those pretending to represent Our Lord and His true Church have betrayed Him, drawing to themselves those who should be his most loyal subjects, there is no basis for supposing that we have merited such a grace from the hands of God.  We find the following words in the book of Daniel regarding the workings of Antichrist: “And strength was given to him against the continual sacrifice because of sins, and truth shall be cast down on the ground… (Dan. 8:12).” And again, we read in Dan. 9:5: “We have done wickedly and revolted.”

Do those calling themselves true Catholics have any real conception of what has happened here? Do they have the slightest idea of the enormity of their sins and the offense God has taken because of them? Sacrilege was punished in the early Church with the severest form of public penance. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “Real sacrilege is the irreverent treatment of sacred things as distinguished from places and persons. This can happen first of all by the administration or reception of the sacraments (or in the case of the Holy Eucharist by celebration) in the state of mortal sin, as also by advertently doing any of those things invalidly… Sometimes the guilt of sacrilege may be incurred by omitting what is required for the proper administration of the sacraments or celebration of the sacrifice, as for example, if one were to say Mass without the sacred vestments.” Origen tells us our lot in the Latter Days will be worse than that of the Jews, and Bossuet says that seeing how severely God punished the Jews for so many centuries, we should tremble when St. Paul warns us on the part of God that our ingratitude will bring down a similar punishment.

But all believe they shall receive a reward on earth, a time of peace, without any suffering or effort, minus any sacrifice of their own will in obedience to God’s law. They do not stop to think that the Final Judgment, as terrifying for sinners as it is, would bring us to Heaven where we could worship Christ forever around His eternal altar or to Purgatory where at least we would have hope of attaining eventually to this worship. Is not this infinitely better than any earthly peace? The triumph of the Church on earth is a most wonderful and worthy event to hope for, and we must hope for it, but we must not let the representations of this event so blind us that we lose sight of God’s ultimate plan for His creation, which may be nothing like what we imagine. Because if we expect the triumph must occur in a certain way before the Last Judgment and in His infinite wisdom Our Lord determines that it will occur in some other way, or perhaps not at all, then certainly what He warned us against — that He will come as a thief in the night — will be our fate. We must expect nothing and be ready for anything.

Remember the Jews who believed the Messiah would come as a mighty earthly king and vindicate them? It reminds a person of the belief that a grand restoration of the Church and confounding of her enemies in the eyes of all will take place — a visible vindication. St. Augustine wrote, Fr. P. Huchede tells us in his History of Antichrist, that “The events pertaining to the end of the world will happen in the manner they have been foretold, but as to their accidental circumstances, God alone knows the order in which they will take place. He has revealed nothing explicitly on this point and consequently our knowledge of them is confined to mere conjecture. Experience alone will put us in possession of the desired information.” Our experience tells us that many have been greatly mistaken about the length of Antichrist’s reign, the coming of the two witnesses, the identity of he who withholdeth, the state of the Church during this time period and many other details.  Predictions about Antichrist and his exploits were all taken literally and were blown up entirely out of any reasonable proportion. This is what has led so many to believe that Antichrist has not yet come, and the Mass has not ceased.

Traditionalist ideas of entitlement to spiritual goods against God’s Holy will and their followers’ desensitization to all things sacred and truly holy amounts to presumption and resisting the known truth, the sin against the Holy Ghost which will not be forgiven if it persists until death. If only they would do penance as those inhabitants of Nineveh and Tyre did, they could hope for a stay of execution, but this this seems entirely foreign to them. Therefore, it is not inappropriate for anyone to say, seeing the world as it is today: “But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand… Watch ye therefore, praying at all times that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that are to come and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21: 28,36).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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