By T. Stanfill Benns
In 2005 I wrote an article entitled “Counterfeit Catholics: Neo-Liberalism, Modernism and the Traditionalist Stance.” I have since separated it into several articles as the indicators of various heresies multiply in the Traditionalist movement. But the term has become quite popular, and accurately describes an entire array of people who call themselves Catholics, from the Novus Ordo crowd to Old Catholics and Anglican Catholics right down to Traditionalists. Many of them know that there are questions concerning the reception of the Sacraments and the exclusive use of the Latin Mass. They know, but they do not investigate. As a friend recently pointed out, they are reminiscent of those intended in the following phrase found in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4: “And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.”
And as Rev. Michael Muller wrote in his “The Catholic Dogma: ― Extra Ecclesiam Nullus Omnino Salvatur,” (1888): “The following persons are guilty of the sin of heresy… Those who could know the Church, if they would candidly search, but who, through indifference and other culpable motives, neglect to do so” Rev. Muller also notes that that St. Thomas Aquinas labels as “rank heretics” those who fail to submit to the divine teaching authority of the Head of the Church. Revs. McHugh and Callan, in their “Moral Theology, A Complete Course,” also note that positive doubt, deliberately entertained with full knowledge, also constitutes heresy.”
We cannot save our separated brethren from themselves anymore that we can raise our arms and fly. And it is wise, once they have indicated their obstinacy, to cease all discussion of the true faith with them. We cannot pray with them, but we certainly can pray for them; and we do. For decades we have said, with them in mind, the Fatima prayer: “O my God, I believe I adore I hope in and I love Thee. And I beg pardon for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope in and do not love Thee.” There also is another prayer that can be said, taken from “The Ladies Pocket Prayerbook,” 1950:
“O God, the lover and preserver of peace and charity, grant to all our enemies peace and true charity, and bestow upon them remission of all their sins, and powerfully deliver us from their snares, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who livest and reignest world without end, Amen.”
And finally, we feel the prayer below to St. Josaphat is most fitting. Josaphat was a bishop of Vitebsk, Russia, who spent his entire life fighting and refuting the errors of the schismatics there. He died at the hands of these very schismatics on Nov. 12, 1623. Pope Pius XII says of St. Josaphat:
47. “When he was murderously sought out by abandoned enemies of the Catholic name, he freely offered himself to the murderers, and gave himself as a victim to bring about as soon as possible the return of his dissident brethren. He was the outstanding martyr for Catholic faith and unity at that period, but not the only one; not a few both of the
clergy and the laity received the same palm of victory after him; some were
slain with the sword, some atrociously flogged to death, some drowned in the Dnieper, so passing from their triumph over death to Heaven. ” (Orientales Omnes Ecclesia).
Prayer to St. Josaphat
May God grant that thy blood, O St. Josaphat, which thou didst shed for the Church of Christ, be the pledge of union with this Apostolic See, a union for which thou always didst long, and which thou didst fervently implore day and night from the God of all Goodness and all Power. In order that this may one day come to be, We earnestly desire to have thee as an unfailing advocate before God and the Heavenly Court.”
Other prayers for unity
We recently posted prayers for the unity of the entire Catholic Church (Church Unity Octave, Jan. 18-25) to the site blog, prayers we have said privately for years. Pope Leo XIII first suggested these prayers in 1897 when he asked Catholics to pray for Christian unity by reciting a novena. Later, the actual Church Unity Octave was established and blessed by Pope St. Pius X in 1909, who set the dates for the Octave. Prayers begin with the date of the Chair of St. Peter (Jan. 18) and end with the Conversion of St. Paul, (Jan. 26). Pope Benedict XV extended its observance to the Universal Church on Feb. 25, 1916. All today should join in these prayers.
Unity Octave Prayers
Priest: How the Sacred Heart must grieve to behold so many divisions among Christian Churches separated from the one true Church He founded. Pray that Christ’s plea may be realized:
ANTIPHON: (Cantor) Ut omnes unum sint, sicut tu Pater in me* et ego in te; ut et ipsi in nobis unum sint, ut mundus credat* quia tu me misisti. (John 17: 21)
(Translation: That they may all be One, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that Thou has sent me.)
V. (Priest) “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter;”
R. (All) “And upon this Rock I will build My Church.”
Priest: LET US PRAY. O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst say to Thine Apostles: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you,” regard not our sins but the Faith of Thy Church, and grant unto her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will. Who livest and reignest, God forever and ever. All: Amen.
Prayer to Our Lady, Help of Christians, to Protect the Church
All: Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and our Mother, thou seest how the Catholic Faith is assailed by the devil and the world – that Faith in which we purpose, by the help of God, to live and die – Do thou, O Help of Christians, renew thy victories as of old, for the salvation of thy children.
To thee we entrust our firm purpose of never joining assemblies of heretics. Do thou, all holy, offer to thy Divine Son our resolutions and obtain from Him the graces necessary for us to keep them unto the end. Bring consolation to the visible head of the Church – support the Catholic Episcopate; protect the clergy and the people who proclaim thee Queen. Hasten, by the power of thy prayers, the day when all nations shall be gathered around the Supreme Pastor. Amen.
Priest: Mary, Help of Christians,
ALL: Pray for us.
(Those praying the Octave are asked to direct each day to the following intentions):
Jan. 18: The return of all the “other sheep” to the one fold of St. Peter, the One Shepherd.
Jan. 19: The return of all Oriental Separatists to Communion with the Apostolic See.
Jan. 20: The submission of Anglicans to the Authority of the Vicar of Christ.
Jan. 21: That the Lutherans and all other Protestants of continental Europe may find their way back to the Holy Church.
Jan. 22: That Christians in America may become one in communion with the Chair of St. Peter.
Jan. 23: The return to the Sacraments of lapsed Catholics.
Jan. 24: The conversion of the Jews.
Jan. 25: The Missionary conquest of the world for Christ.
This is how we love our enemies and those who have strayed from Christ’s fold. But as Rev. Felix Sarda says, “We can love our neighbor when displeasing him, when opposing him, when causing him some material injury and even, on certain occasions, when depriving him of life.” This is true whenever such action is necessary for an enemy’s own good, the good of a third party “or simply for the greater service of God…If we act for his good, it is evident that we love him…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,” (“Liberalism Is a Sin,” 1899).
Rev. Sarda proudly styles himself an Ultramontane; the Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Index personally commended his book. We likewise lay claim to the title Ultramontane and in imitation of Rev. Sarda show no quarter to the enemy. Nevertheless, we are bound to pray for them by Christ’s command, and this we do. As St. Bernard urged, “Pray and hit out with the stick.” We would scarcely be Catholic if we failed in either regard.