+Feast of the Circumcision+
JANUARY, MONTH OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS
“Thou shalt call His Name Jesus. For He shall save His people from their sins.” — Matt.1:21
Prayer Society Intention for January:
Dearest Jesus, by the invocation of Thy Holy Name, deliver this country and the whole world from impending ruin! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
First Friday Jan. 6 and First Saturday Jan. 7
Mystical Body, Pt. 3
Before leaving the subject of the Mystical Body of Christ it seems fitting to note that during the entire course of the infallible encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, written by Pope Pius XII in 1943, emphasis placed by the Pope on Christ as the Head of His Body can be found prolifically throughout this encyclical. It is significant that Pope Pius XII addressed the matter of the Mystical Body as he did, seeing that it could not be addressed by the Vatican Council in its 1869-1870 sessions. This was owing to the early suspension of this council because civil war had broken out in Rome. There is reason to believe, as we’ve noted in other articles, that because the Church itself was not specifically addressed by the Vatican Council, Pope Pius XII intended to widen the scope of its definition by writing his encyclical. He had wished to call a council, as had Pope Pius XI, but, like his predecessor, had been warned by his advisors that it would likely be hijacked by modernists already exercising majority control in the Church, even in the 1950s.
Several important issues are addressed by the pope in this encyclical that would later become major factors in the Church following the false Vatican 2 council, and I do not believe that this was a coincidence. They would be further addressed in the infallible decrees Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, Mediator dei and Humani generis, also in Ad sinarum gentum and the letter of excommunication regarding Leonard Feeney — Suprema haec sacra. This is explained in what follows below.
Mystici Corporis Christi — salient points
- Christ is the founder, supreme Head, support and Savior of the Mystical Body, the true dispenser of all the Sacraments. “In virtue of the juridical mission by which our divine Redeemer sent His apostles into the world, as He had been sent by the Father, it is He who through the Church baptizes, teaches, rules, looses, binds, offers sacrifices. Christ our Lord wills the Church to live His own supernatural life and by His divine power permeates His whole body and nourishes and sustains each of the members… Christ so sustains the Church and in a certain sense lives in the Church, that She is, as it were another Christ.”
- “Although the juridical principles on which the Church rests and is established derive from the divine constitution given to it by Christ and contribute to the attaining of its supernatural end, nevertheless that which lifts the Society of Christians far above the whole natural order is the spirit of our Redeemer who penetrates and fills every part of the Church’s being and is active within it until the end of time as the source of every grace and every gift and every miraculous power.”
- The Vicar of Christ is the ordinary head of the Mystical Body reigning on earth and all must adhere to him loyally to be counted as a member of that Body. But Christ alone, reigning invisibly, is chief Head.
- Bishops are the pastors of their own dioceses, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, from whom they receive directly their ordinary jurisdiction. This is stated in the encyclicals Ad sinarum gentum and Ad apostolorum principis as well. It is an article of faith binding on Catholics for belief.
- The laity are active members of the Mystical Body, especially those in the married state and those who are involved in Catholic Action. Christ has need of His members, and He wills that He receive help from these members to carry out the work of redemption.
- “…Far from the truth is the dangerous error of those who endeavor to deduce from the mysterious union of us all on this Christ a certain unhealthy quietism. They would attribute the whole spiritual life of Christians and their progress in virtue exclusively to the action of the divine spirit, setting aside and neglecting the collaboration which is due from us… Those who strive earnestly to reach the height of Christian perfection at the same time to the best of their power should stimulate others to attain the same goal. All this the heavenly spirit does not will to affect unless they contribute their daily share of zealous activity… and so we desire that all who claim the churches their mother should seriously consider that not only the clergy and those who have consecrated themselves to God and the religious life but the other members of the mystical body of Jesus Christ as well have each in his degree the obligation of working hard and constantly for the building up and the increase of this Body… Energetic zeal is of the highest importance and of the greatest weight especially in the present circumstances.”
- “Now since its founder willed the social body of Christ to be visible, the cooperation of all its members must also be externally manifest through their profession of the same faith and their sharing of the same sacred rites, through participation in the same Sacrifice and the practical observance of the same laws. Above all it is absolutely necessary that the supreme head, that is the vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, be visible to the eyes of all…” This is reiterated in Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis in 1945, to be observed specifically during an interregnum. This ages-old definition of the Church, as defined by St. Robert Bellarmine, differs from St. Bellarmine’s original definition in two aspects. One, as Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton notes, is that it does not admit those putatively baptized as true members of Christ’s Mystical Body and two, in St. Bellarmine’s definition there is no mention of obedience to Church laws.
- “Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed… It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit… For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins…”
- “If anyone unhappily falls and his obstinacy has not made him unworthy of communion with the faithful, let him be received with great love, and let eager charity see in him a weak member of Jesus Christ. For, as the Bishop of Hippo remarks, ‘it is better to be cured within the Church’s community than to be cut off from its body as incurable members.’ As long as a member still forms part of the body there is no reason to despair of its cure; ‘once it has been cut off, it can be neither cured nor healed.”
- “Likewise, We must earnestly desire that this united prayer may embrace in the same ardent charity both those who, not yet enlightened by the truth of the Gospel, are still outside the fold of the Church, and those who, on account of regrettable schism, are separated from Us… For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church. Therefore may they enter into Catholic unity and, joined with Us in the one, organic Body of Jesus Christ, may they together with us run on to the one Head in the Society of glorious love.”
- Emphasis is placed on the interior life versus the exterior organization of the Mystical Body: “Our divine Savior governs and guides the society which He founded directly and personally. For it is He who reigns within the minds and hearts of men and bends and subjects their wills to His good pleasure, even when rebellious… By this interior guidance He, ‘the shepherd and Bishop of our souls’ not only watches over individuals but exercises His Providence over the universal Church, whether by enlightening and giving courage to the Church’s rulers for the loyal and effective performance of their respective duties or by singling out from the body of the Church, especially when times are grave, men and women of conspicuous holiness who may point the way for the rest of Christendom to the perfecting of His Mystical Body. Moreover, from heaven Christ never ceases to look down with a special love on His spotless spouse, so sorely tried in Her earthly exile and when He sees Her in danger saves Her from the tempestuous sea, either Himself or through the ministry of His angels or through [Mary], help of Christians…”
- “The Church, a perfect Society of its kind, is not made up of merely moral and juridical elements and principles. It is far superior to all other human societies. It surpasses them as grace surpasses nature, as things immortal are above all those that perish. Such human societies, and in the first place, civil society, are by no means to be despised or belittled; but the Church in its entirety is not found within this natural order any more than the whole of man is encompassed within the organism of our mortal body. Although the juridical principles on which the Church rests and is established derive from the divine constitution given it to it by Christ and contribute to the attaining of its supernatural end, nevertheless that which lifts the Society of Christians far above the whole natural order is the spirit of our Redeemer, who penetrates and fills every part of the Church’s being AND IS ACTIVE WITHIN IT UNTIL THE END OF TIME AS THE SOURCE OF EVERY GRACE AND EVERY GIFT AND EVERY MIRACULOUS POWER.” And yet Catholics cannot entirely comprehend the enormity of the workings of this spirit.
- “For indeed we are not ignorant of the fact that this profound truth of our union with the divine Redeemer and in particular of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost and ourselves, is shrouded in darkness by many a veil that impedes our power to understand and explain it both because of the hidden nature of the doctrine itself and of the limitations our human intellect… requires of us… There is question here of a hidden mystery, which during this earthly exile can only be dimly seen through a veil, and which no human words can express. The Divine Persons are said to indwell inasmuch as they are present to beings endowed with intelligence in a way that lies beyond human comprehension, and in a unique and very intimate manner which transcends all created nature, these creatures enter into relationship with Them through knowledge and love.”
- “Before concluding, We cannot refrain from again and again exhorting all to love holy Mother Church with a devoted and active love. If we have really at heart the salvation of the whole human family, purchased by the precious Blood, we must offer every day to the Eternal Father our prayers, works and sufferings, for her safety and for her continued and ever more fruitful increase. And while the skies are heavy with storm clouds, and exceeding great dangers threaten the whole of human Society and the Church herself, let us commit ourselves and all that we have to the Father of Mercies, crying out: ‘Look down, we beseech Thee, Lord, on this Thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ did not hesitate to be betrayed into the hands of evil men and to undergo the torment of the Cross’” (Office for Holy Week; end of Mystici Corporis Christi quotes).
Church membership today
Reading the above, it might be thought that one cannot regain Church membership after returning from material heresy and/or schism. But here we have to consult our catechism to learn that while we indeed did commit heresy and schism as participating members of the Novus Ordo and Traditional sects, we never intended to commit mortal sin or even realized we were sinning at all. In fact we intended to honor God by adhering to what we believed to be left of His Church. It is only by refusing to investigate the pray at home “option” that one sins mortally, because then the truth has been revealed. Yes, one can still be invincibly ignorant, but it is very difficult in this day and age. As stated before, Canon 2200 says we must observe the censure for heresy and schism until cases can be heard and decided, if this is ever possible.
And yet we need not consider ourselves formally expelled from the Church for many different reasons, from a Canon Law perspective. We were the victims of fraud and there were many other mitigating circumstances. If we are truly sorry for incurring these censures and have spent time doing penance and making reparation, the sections of Canon Law governing censures says we must be absolved. Because it is doubtful that all the conditions necessary for incurring censure existed in these cases, this likely means that, as with all other canon laws, a doubt of facts in these cases means the censure was not incurred. Above, Pope Pius XII talks about those who are not baptized members and baptized members who have separated themselves from the Church by schism.
Here we see an illustration taken from an old Baltimore Catechism that best demonstrates the predicament in which those involved in non-Catholic sects find themselves today. Only valid water Baptism, public abjuration of all errors and three years of penance qualifies us to be actual members of the Mystical Body and securely aboard the Barque of St. Peter. One cannot return to something they never belonged to.in the first place. There is a notable difference in desiring “unconsciously,” as Pope Pius XII states above, to be a member when not baptized or separated from the Church by schism (those shown with leads but not a ladder to the boat), and to explicitly desire to rejoin a society to which one once belonged, according to the very laws laid down by that same society which must be obeyed to fulfill conditions of membership. Those who are members by desire alone, although not actually IN the Mystical Body, can still be saved, but they are not able to participate in the many graces available to those who are actual members of Christ’s Mystical Body.
This is why Pope Pius XII says above that they are thereby deprived of many special gifts. Pope Pius IX taught that no one is able to pretend to know who is or is not saved by and implicit desire for Baptism or Church membership because this is something God alone can determine. “Only those who have been baptized, who profess the true faith, who have not miserably separated themselves from the fabric of the Body and who have not, by reason of very serious crimes, been expelled by legitimate authority, ARE ACTUALLY TO BE COUNTED AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH,” (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis). And in The American Ecclesiastical Review, “Questions and Answers,” January 1958, Rev. Francis J. Connell wrote: “Those who are not actual members of the Church can be sanctified and saved if they are invincibly ignorant of their obligation to join the Church and are in the state of sanctifying grace, since such persons have an implicit desire of membership in the Church. But they are not to be reckoned as members of the Church — not even invisible members.” (Rev. Connell was Msgr. Fenton’s teacher.) Msgr. J. C. Fenton: “That one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church ACTUALLY AS A MEMBER, but it is necessary that at least he be united to her by desire and longing,” (“Pope Pius XII and the Theological Treatise on the Church,” The American Ecclesiastical Review, December 1958).
This teaching then, later elaborated upon at great length in the condemnation of Fr. Leonard Feeney, Suprema haec sacra, was never intended to be the prelude to ecumenism as some calling themselves Traditionalists have falsely stated. Rather it upholds a centuries-old teaching of the Church and gives no blank check whatsoever to those who wish to be saved in this manner. In fact this condemnation lays out specifically the conditions that must be fulfilled to attain to salvation in such circumstances, and they cannot be and are not applicable to those who simply profess to be Christian and do not exhibit a heroic act of love for Our Lord and whatever may constitute His true Church. Outside the Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, there can be no salvation except in certain instances where exceptions are made by the Church Herself. And God alone can be the judge of when those instances occur.
We can only reiterate here the prayer Pope Pius XII quoted in ending his encyclical. Christ did not hesitate to be betrayed for us. And while we are obligated to protest the betrayal of His Church lest others be deceived, we must never see ourselves as anything but resigned and willing victims in this betrayal by our own. As loyal members of His Mystical Body, we must count ourselves as privileged to undergo whatever is wanting to His Passion and gladly endure the rejection and opprobrium, reserved for those who refuse to dishonor the Sacrifice and the Sacraments He left us as proof of His love.
What in the World…
An emergency case is scheduled to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 6 that could entirely change the course of American history, although SCOTUS is not likely to rule in favor of the Plaintiff, Raland Brunson, one of four brothers supporting the suit. Brunson is asking the Justices to overturn the 2020 elections and declare that representatives who voted to confirm the election are ineligible to hold office, now or in the future. Brunson v. Alma S. Adams: et al, sues those members of Congress who voted down a proposed 10-day audit of the 2020 elections Jan. 6, 2021. Brunson contends that by doing so, they violated their collective oaths of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic” and thereby committed treason. Should the Supreme Court rule that Congress was at fault, all the members of Congress involved, as well as a sitting president and vice-president, could presumably be removed from office and forbidden to hold any U.S. government position again. Former vice-president Michael Pence also would be barred from holding office again. Some 388 members of Congress could be affected.
Consequentially, it is alleged that the Supreme Court then could facilitate the swearing-in of the rightful president and vice president. At least this is what Brunson is requesting. Brunson alleges that members of Congress, despite being “properly warned” that a credible threat had been advanced by enemies of the Constitution, violated their oaths and, essentially, “unilaterally violated the rights of every citizen of the U.S.A. and perhaps the rights of every person living, and all courts of law.” He claims that failure to investigate evidence already collected proving the 2020 election was highly irregular constitutes “fraud on a scale like never before seen, adding, “Fraud vitiates whatever it touches.” This isn’t about a rigged election – it is about failure to investigate the possibility of election fraud. As we have seen in the examination of Canons 103-104, fraud changes everything. Not to consider the possibility that it has been perpetrated — to fail to investigate credible proofs that it exists — is an act of treason, whether it involves Church or state. Remember that the subversion of the Church began with an act of election fraud. Declassified documents show that psychological warfare was waged against the Church for over a decade before the elections of John 23 and Paul 6 were engineered by CIA operatives. Same game, different day. Sadly no one is the wiser.
If the Supreme Court decides in favor of this case, it could save what is left of the republic, if that is possible. The odds are not good, but stranger things have happened. Deciding against Brunson would effectively close the doors on admitting any possibility that election fraud actually exists or the election system in this country is in dire need of reform. And it would effectively deny the fact that the United States has successfully been subverted from within for decades, just as the Communists themselves predicted long ago it would be. SCOTUS can either play the role of hero or villain — their choice. But God is in control and whatever comes of this fits somehow into His plan for our redemption.