+Feast of All Saints+
Today is an excellent opportunity to return to the dogma regarding the Communion of Saints as taught by the Church. This teaching does not over-stress the exterior aspects of religion as Traditionalists do today, emphasizing instead interior devotion, something many Catholics are not familiar with. The Catholic religion was never intended to be a social club where all your fellow Catholics and neighbors could see each Sunday what a good Catholic you are simply because you pray the Mass and approach the communion rail. At the 1951 Lay Apostolate Congress, Cardinal Gracias quoted Pope Pius XII as deploring those Catholics who use religion “as an insurance against risks or a system of practices to obtain favors from heaven; or who think themselves religious because they keep some conventional habits (empty routine formalism) or have a certain superficial piety.” The good pope, as quoted in Dom Chautard’s, Soul of the Apostolate told Catholics they must “Give the very first place to the formation of the interior spirit without which all exterior action is futile and must be looked upon with suspicion.”
Such a formation of the interior spirit is the Catholic’s connection and communication as a member of the Church militant with Our Lord, His Blessed Mother and the Communion of Saints. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes the communion of saints as “the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices. The participants in that solidarity are called saints by reason of their destination and of their partaking of the fruits of the Redemption (1 Corinthians 1:2 — Greek Text).” In Mystici Corporis, Pope Pius XII teaches: “…No prayer, even the most private, is lacking in dignity or power, and all prayer is of the greatest help to the Mystical Body in which, through the Communion of Saints, no good can be done, no virtue practiced by the individual members, which does not redound also to the salvation of all.”
Under the subject ‘Church,’ the Catholic Encyclopedia states: “The Church is divided into the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Triumphant… The doctrine of the visibility [of the Church] in no way excludes from the Church those who have already attained to bliss. These are united with the members of the Church Militant in one communion of saints. They watch her struggles; their prayers are offered on her behalf. Similarly, those who are still in the cleansing fires of purgatory belong to the Church. There are not, as has been said, two Churches; there is but one Church, and of it all the souls of the just, whether in heaven, on earth, or in purgatory, are members (Catech. Rom., I, x, 6). But it is to the Church only in so far as militant here below — to the Church among men — that the property of visibility belongs.”
Given the above, if we live on earth, and at least can count ourselves members of the Mystical Body, even if only by desire, we are still semi-visible members of Christ’s Church. So how are we not the Church itself, members of this body representing the Church Militant on earth?! Our critics, contradicting the teaching of Pope Pius XII, as noted in our last blog, say we cannot be the Church on earth without the bishops (and surely they must include in that number the pope!). The other two elements of the Mystical Body still communicate with us and we with them – the Communion of Saints in Heaven and the Church Suffering in Purgatory. How then is it that we could possibly say the Church, incorporated as She is in Christ’s Mystical Body, has ceased to exist?
Rev. Leonard Goffine writes in his Devout Instructions: “Why has the Church appointed this feast? (of All Saints):
- To honor God in His Angels and in his Saints, in whom He has shown Himself so wonderful, and to thank Him, as the author of all sanctity, for the benefits He has bestowed upon them. 2. To put us in lively remembrance of the communion of saints ; that is, of all true children of the Church, whether they belong to the Church militant on earth, to the Church suffering in purgatory, or to the Church triumphant in heaven ; but more particularly to cause us to consider, with earnestness, the communion of the saints in heaven with us, who are yet combating on earth. 3. To encourage us to strive for the like sanctity with them, and to teach us that it is by no means impossible ; for if thousands of men could become saints, why should not we, who can do all things through Him Who strengthens us, and has sent the Holy Ghost for our sanctification? 4. To pay honor to those saints to whom no particular day in the year is dedicated. 5. That, in consideration of so many intercessors, God may grant us perfect reconciliation, may give us a share in their merits, and may grant us the grace of one day sharing in their joy in heaven. By whom was this feast instituted? By Pope Boniface IV., who, in the year 610, appropriated the Pantheon (that is, the temple of all gods) to the divine ser vice of Christians, dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin and all saints, and commanded this feast in honor of all saints to be celebrated at Rome every year. Gregory IV., in the year 840, extended this feast to the whole Church, and transferred it to the 1st of November.”
That is the Church Catholics are supposed to be communing with primarily, not fellow “Traditionalists” who can offer them only a certain measure of commiseration, often confuse them on matters of Church teaching and not infrequently are a source of scandal and cooperation in sin. Anyone who routinely engages in daily spiritual reading knows this has always been the case. Thomas a’ Kempis tells us in his Imitation of Christ that “The greatest saints avoided the company of men as much as they could and chose to live to God in secret… It is easier to keep retired at home than to be able to be sufficiently upon one’s guard abroad. Whosoever, therefore, aims at arriving at interior and spiritual things, must, with Jesus, go aside from the crowd… For God, with His holy angels, will draw nigh to him who withdraws himself from his acquaintances and friends.” No one in any sense is advising here that if legitimate pastors existed to offer the Holy Sacrifice and conduct other public devotions that Catholics could ever neglect devotion to Mass and Sacraments; but this is not the case today. Those who seek Mass and Sacraments outside the laws of the Church and endorse and associate with those who violate those laws cannot be members of Christ’s Mystical Body, and certainly are not members of His visible Church on earth. As Pope Pius XII teaches in Mystici Corporis, only those who obey the laws of the Church can belong to Her Mystical Body.
One saint attending the Vatican Council even objected to the stress laid upon the visible Church by theologians who he believed neglected the Church’s interior aspects. According to one biographer of St. Anthony Mary Claret, commenting on the Vatican Council definition, “[The saint], as the relevant passages in his Notes on a Plan and his many letters to Pope Pius IX reveal, had a mystical conception of the pope. His ecclesiology did not accord completely with that of Pope Pius IX, since, in the Saint’s view of the Church, the mystical and interior aspects of the Communion of Saints outweighed the aspects of the visible and perfect society, which were stressed by the Pope’s theologians. But it was precisely the Saint’s mystical sense of the Church that surrounded the pope, the vicar of Christ the Lord, with a special halo of even greater brilliance than the one accorded him by an ecclesiology founded on power, authority and sovereignty.” As quoted in our last blog, St. Claret believed that Christ would separate the sheep from the goats based on the acceptance of infallibility as taught by the Church or its rejection, so Traditionalists beware.
Many base their belief on the necessity and validity of Traditionalist priests and bishops on the premise that Christ promised the pope and hierarchy would last until the consummation, but that is not what Our Lord said. He said only that he would be with them until the consummation. The consummation comes after Antichrist’s reign and during that time there will be no Sacrifice; this is the unanimous opinion of the Early Fathers as quoted by Henry Cardinal Manning. So Christ will be with them personally, if they keep the faith, but not in an official capacity. One truth cannot contradict the other. Peter’s faith will not fail, and it has not failed; the men since Pope Pius XII’s death are not popes and cannot be popes, else Peter’s faith would have failed. Trads deny this promise every time they insinuate any or all of the usurpers could be true popes and heretics at the same time. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. The same Christ who took away the one who withholdeth will uphold His Church amidst all the trials and tribulations She suffers during Antichrist’s reign; He is the head of the Church and will never fail Her. Cardinal Manning explains this below in his The Present Crisis of the Holy See:
“We have already seen reason to believe that as our Divine Lord delivered Himself into the hands of sinners when His time was come, and no man could lay hands upon Him, until of His own free will He delivered Himself over to their power, so in like manner it shall be with that Church of which He said, “Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” As the wicked did not prevail against Him even when they bound Him with cords, dragged Him to the judgment, blindfolded His eyes, mocked Him as a false King, smote Him on the head as a false Prophet, led Him away, crucified Him, and in the mastery of their power seemed to have absolute dominion over Him, so that He lay ground down and almost annihilated under their feet; and as, at that very time when He was dead and buried out of their sight, He was conqueror over all, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven, and was crowned, glorified, and invested with His royalty, and reigns supreme, King of kings and Lord of lords, — even so shall it be with His Church: though for a time persecuted, and, to the eyes of man, overthrown and trampled on, dethroned, despoiled, mocked, and crushed, yet in that high time of triumph the gates of hell shall not prevail. There is in store for the Church of God a resurrection and an ascension, a royalty and a dominion, a recompense of glory for all it has endured. Like Jesus, it needs must suffer on the way to its crown; yet crowned it shall be with Him eternally” (p. 67).
“Let no one, then, be scandalized if the prophecy speaks of sufferings to come. We are fond of imagining triumphs and glories for the Church on earth — that the Gospel is to be preached to all nations, and the world to be converted, and all enemies subdued, and I know not what, until some ears are impatient of hearing that there is in store for the Church a time of terrible trial: and so we do as the Jews of old, who looked for a conqueror, a king, and for prosperity; and when their Messias came in humility and in passion, they did not know Him. So, I am afraid, many among us intoxicate their minds with the visions of success and victory, and cannot endure the thought that there is a time of persecution yet to come for the Church of God. Let us hear, therefore, the words of the prophet Daniel.
“Speaking of the person whom St. John calls the Antichrist, whom he calls the king that shall work according to his own will, the prophet Daniel says,” “He shall speak words against the High One,”— that is, the Almighty God — “and shall crush the saints of the Most High.” Again he says, “It — that is, the power of this king — “was magnified even unto the strength of heaven: and it threw down of the strength, and of the stars, and trod upon them. And it was magnified even to the prince of the strength; and it took away from him the continual sacrifice, and cast down the place of his sanctuary.” Further, he says, “The victim and the sacrifice shall fail, and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation” (Daniel, Chaps. 7, 8 and 9). I might add more, but they are enough, for in the Book of Apocalypse we find a key to these words. St. John, evidently referring to the Book of Daniel, writes of the beast, that is, the persecuting power which shall reign on the earth by might, “It was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them…The Holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist, and of these prophecies of Daniel, without a single exception, as far as I know, and they are the Fathers both of the East and of the West, the Greek and the Latin Church — all of them unanimously — say that in the latter end of the world, during the reign of Antichrist, the holy sacrifice of the altar will cease” (p. 68). And that is the whole story in a nutshell.
But here we have a contingent claiming to be Catholic in a supposed Church without a true pope, denying such a thing could ever happen and insisting they still have Mass and Sacraments. Recently some seem to be admitting it could be the end times but they have developed a new-found courage only because they have secured for themselves a new savior — a “woke” Novus Ordo “bishop,” a man ordained in 1968 who is not even a certainly valid priest according to the laws and teachings of the Catholic Church, far less a bishop. This conquering hero is announcing the New World Order is about to triumph and is sounding the alarm; already they are hailing him as the next pope. And, of course, this is coming from the Recognize and Resist bunch. Here we see realized the very situation Cardinal Manning warns against above. These self-proclaimed Catholics will not undergo the sufferings endured by Christ, they will not tolerate the Passion renewed in His Church and they will not accept the fact that the visible Church may never return — their triumph may be only in Heaven.
Cardinal Manning, concluding his work, tells us that in explaining these events, he is: “enabled with the most perfect certainty, from the word of God and from the interpretations of the Church.” It is he who tells us in his works that the pope will be taken away for a time, the Holy See will be occupied by alien forces, the Sacrifice will cease and the faithful will be scattered; that the Church will all but disappear — and he bases this on Holy Scripture, the Fathers and the Church Herself. In citing all these sources, on his own authority as a Cardinal of the Church who was known as a champion of the papacy, he is a million times more qualified to rightly teach us on this matter than any living, self-appointed “expert” today. If we cannot have certainty on this matter, and Manning tells us we can, (although his certainty does not find favor with Traditionalists), then those who disagree must admit they have doubts regarding a matter concerning eternal salvation — the necessity of a canonically elected pope to whom we owe obedience in order for the juridical Church to exist. Anytime there are two sides to any issue, there is room for doubt. As we have repeatedly intoned in articles and blog posts to this site, the Church forbids us to receive the Sacraments or risk our eternal salvation in a matter of doubt according to the unanimous opinion of theologians. A doubtful pope is no pope, doubtful Sacraments are no Sacraments, but Traditionalists seek their next new Messiah in defiance of any laws and teachings that emanated from the continual magisterium over the centuries.
And Manning is not the only one who believed that during the time of Antichrist, “the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it was in the beginning, invisible, hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking-places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were, from the face of the earth. Such is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early centuries.” His friend and fellow cardinal, Louis-Edouard Cardinal Pie of Poiters, wrote the same: “It is certain that as the world draws towards its end the wicked and the seducers will increasingly have the upper hand. Faith will hardly be found any longer on earth; that is to say that it will have all but completely disappeared from the institutions of the world. Even believers will scarcely dare to profess their beliefs publicly and collectively. The scission, the separation, the divorce of societies from God, which is given by St. Paul as a sign of the approaching end (“…nisi venerit discessio primum…”) will become each day more absolute. The Church, though of course still a visible society, will be increasingly reduced to individual and domestic proportions. She… will see every inch of Her territory under attack. Surrounded on all sides, as the other centuries have made Her great, so the last will strive to crush Her. And finally the Church on earth will undergo a true defeat: “…and it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” (Apocalypse 13:7) The insolence of evil will be at its peak.” In another work, he is quoted as saying the Church then will consist of Catholics scattered here and there, who know and communicate with one another.
Now in stating this, are these two great cardinals not indeed saying that the Church will consist mainly of the laity? Are they not predicting, based on Holy Scripture and Church teaching, that we will have no pope, no priests to say Mass because there is no Sacrifice and hence no juridic Church? Were they ever accused of heresy in saying such things? Of denying that the laity alone is the Church and the Church as Catholics once knew it would cease to exist? And what of the certainty Cardinal Manning speaks of, that certainty which all of us must have when we believe what is taught by approved theologians? Manning has established that certainty. The “evidence” provided for the other position, which holds that the Church will last until the very end with Popes, bishops, priests and the laity intact, cannot point to any solid proofs comparable to those quoted by Cardinal Manning to document their case. Nor can they, unless they wish to endorse in some manner or form either the current Novus Ordo usurpers or accept as their head one who has been affiliated at some point with this sect. Much of what they believe is based on private prophecy, which is something Catholics are never required to accept as absolute truth; they may accept it or reject it as they see fit. Truly what St. Anthony Mary Claret said at the Vatican Council about the winnowing of the wheat being associated with infallibility or its rejection, a comparison Cardinal Manning repeats in the work quoted above, is the very crux of the matter. And frighteningly, Manning gives us a description of Antichrist’s marks which fits Traditionalists to a “T” — more so than their Novus Ordo counterparts.
“Antichrist, and the antichristian movement, has these marks: first, schism from the Church of God; secondly, denial of its Divine and infallible voice; and thirdly, denial of the Incarnation. It is, therefore, the direct and mortal enemy of the One Holy Catholic and Roman Church — the unity from which all schism is made; the sole organ of the Divine voice of the Spirit of God; the shrine and sanctuary of the Incarnation and of the continual sacrifice.” Traditionalists have abandoned the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs, setting up their own Church, and embrace non-Catholic clergy, fulfilling marks one and two. They ridicule their Novus Ordo brethren who attend Novus Ordo services, but they forget one thing: those belonging to the Novus Ordo at least do not claim to be members of a church without a pope; they believe they need a pope to be the Catholic Church! Traditionalists deny the Incarnation right along with their Novus Ordo brethren because their clergy can offer only a parody of the Mass and cannot confect the Sacraments. How do they deny the Incarnation? By denying the necessity of obedience to the Roman Pontiffs who established the papacy. If they believe Christ was truly the Son of God come to earth, how could they fail to obey His Vicar who speaks in His name? Therefore, tragically, they fulfill all three marks.
Cardinal Pie described the duties of those living during with Antichrist’s reign as follows: “Now, in this extremity, what will be the remaining duty of all true Christians, of all men of faith and courage? The answer is this: spurred on to ever greater vigour by the apparent hopelessness of their predicament, they will redouble their ardour in prayer, their energy in works, and their courage in combat so that their every word and work cries out together:
“Oh God, Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name,
on earth as it is in Heaven, Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven,
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven, Sicut in coelo…et in terra!”
“And they shall still be murmuring these words as the earth is snatched from beneath their feet. And just as of old, after a comparable calamity, the Roman Senate and every rank of the state once went forth to greet the conquered consul Varro on his return and to honour him for not despairing of the Republic (“…quod de re publica non desperasset…”), so shall the celestial senate, all the choirs of angels and all the ranks of the Blessed come out to welcome the generous athletes who have continued the combat to the end, hoping against hope itself, “…contra spem in spem…” (Romans 4:17). Come, Lord Jesus.”
Returning to our treatment of the Communion of Saints, if we are truly acting in league with all the Saints and martyrs in Heaven, we would be following the formula above. So why are so many followers and not leaders, during this time of the Church’s Passion on earth, behaving as Judases and Peters, when the Church needs them the most? In an address to those engaging in Catholic Action, Pope Pius XII taught: “No one is permitted to be idle and lazy while so many evils and dangers impend, and while those who are on the other side are working so hard to destroy the very basis of the Catholic religion… It is only too clear that in the transformation of the whole world as it is today, all of humanity is called to assume responsibilities that it has never known in the past… One cannot hope to solve these problems by a negative attitude or a simple warning against false shepherds. What is needed is the active presence of pioneers who are fully conscious of their double vocation, as Christians and humans, and who are bent on assuming their responsibilities to the full, knowing neither peace nor rest until they have transformed the environment of their lives to the command of the Gospel.”
The Pope has spoken, as he did on so many occasions, but no one hears his voice, the voice of Christ Himself. It is not within our power to compel them to listen, anymore than Our Lord could force the Jews to recognize Him as the Messiah. Prophecy is being fulfilled again, and it has nothing to do with the triumph of the Church on earth. On the contrary, it has everything to do with the Church’s total obliteration. Personal Antichrist — the Man of Sin — has come and gone, but his system remains, in mockery of the papacy established by Christ. Each false pope retains the same agenda set by Roncalli and Montini — this was demonstrated by the names chosen by the usurpers after the death of P6 — John Paul I and John Paul 2. Each usurper is then the reincarnation of Montini and indeed sport their own false prophets. So while Paul 6 has passed, his legacy lives on and becomes more diabolical with each successor. Until the entire system is torn down, he will not be completely absent from the scene. Therefore, when Antichrist is destroyed by Christ’s coming, he and all his successors will be thrown into the lake of fire even though he is not physically alive any longer. Satan wishes his own kingdom and its leaders to be eternal in its teaching just as the papacy is eternal, and Montini was the progenitor of that teaching.
As Manning says in his work, The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, even the opinions (not unanimous) offered by the Fathers on the subject of Antichrist and his reign could not fully assess Scripture prophecy, “because the events of the world are continually and progressively interpreting and explaining, from age to age, the meaning of these predictions.” In other words, we simply do not know; we can have no certainty in many of these matters. But we do know what we have seen with our own eyes and what has transpired in our lifetimes, and that is reality. We cannot say with any certainty whether Christ will restore His Church or come for the Final Judgment, no matter how much we would like to see the Church’s restoration. But we do know, if we study the matter and examine the evidence objectively, that Paul 6 fulfilled all the predictions found in Holy Scripture regarding Antichrist. A New World Order political figure might yet be set up to appear to fulfill this prophecy, but this is only an attempt to divert attention from the fact that Montini was the real deal. And what Mass will this Antichrist abolish – the “mass” of Traditionalists? The posing of this question gives a sneak preview of where the Novus Ordo and the Traditionalists may be going. All such an abolition is intended to do is to make it appear they are the true Church in order to deceive what remains of the elect.
Now we approach the feast of All Souls, another part of the Church Triumphant. Let us turn our prayers in their direction and comfort them in their sufferings, as members of Christ’s Mystical Body.