+Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary+
We address yet another accusation: “You believe in a Church that has defected and is not visible.” This time someone else is being accused, but it has been the primary objection to what I have presented here for years. One wonders if anyone has ever bothered to really read and understand the true meaning of visibility, which is secured by the four marks. Or to fully understand and comprehend the fullness of the four notes or marks themselves, which, in reality, could still exist if those claiming to be Catholic would abandon their schismatic sects and obey the teachings of the Church regarding the marks. Could they exist in their fullness? No, not without the hierarchy, which necessarily includes a canonically elected pope. But all of these guarantees of faith yet exist de jure, if not de facto; that is, by right if not in fact. Apostolicity of mission, that is apostolic succession, is only one of three components of apostolicity, which will be demonstrated below. And while we do not have a true pope, cardinals or bishops, we do have the wealth of teachings left by the continual magisterium to guide the Church, and this supplies in part for the absence of the hierarchy.
As for claims in various articles and by certain theologians that the Church, ”can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men,” we can only say that this is a statement open to interpretation; and regarding the hierarchy, one that fails to take into account the time of Antichrist, the cessation of the continual sacrifice and St. Paul’s prophecy that he who withholdeth (the Roman Pontiff) will be taken out of the way. The true Church could never become corrupt in faith and morals, of course, but could appear to do so (among those believing the Novus Ordo church was the true Church). As for the Sacraments, the necessary Sacraments are still available to us and the substitutes for the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist confer graces, when the actual Sacrament is not available. Since the Sacrifice of the Mass has ceased, it is impossible to obtain these graces in any other manner. However, we also may obtain graces by prayer and good works. So it is not as though we are bereft of the means to obtain grace.
Since the latest claim is based on our supposed denial of the Church’s visibility, let us see what is actually said by theologians about this property of the Church. (Bolded text is used to emphasize points for later comment.)
The material visibility of the Church involves no more than that it must ever be a public, not a private profession; a society manifest to the world, not a body whose members are bound by some secret tie. Formal visibility is more than this. It implies that in all ages the true Church of Christ will be easily recognizable for that which it is, viz. as the Divine society of the Son of God, the means of salvation offered by God to men; that it possesses certain attributes which so evidently postulate a Divine origin that all who see it must know it comes from God.
Formal visibility is secured by those attributes which are usually termed the “notes” of the Church — her Unity, Sanctity, Catholicity, and Apostolicity (see below). The proof may be illustrated in the case of the first of these. The unity of the Church stands out as a fact altogether unparalleled in human history. Her members all over the world are united by the profession of a common faith, by participation in a common worship, and by obedience to a common authority.
Msgr. G. Van Noort, S.T.D, Christ’s Church
On page 12 and 13 he writes: It is due to the institution of Christ himself that the Church is visible; this proposition is certain. That the Church is visible follows necessarily from the fact it is a real society, for there can be no genuine society in the world of men unless it be visible… It is one thing to ask whether the church which Christ founded is a public society and quite another to ask whether that society can be recognized as the true Church of Christ by certain distinguishing marks. It’s being formally recognizable presupposes it’s visible, but the two are not identical. Furthermore, the present discussion centers on the visible character of the Church insofar as it is a society. No one denies that the church’s members were visible for they are flesh and blood people, but some do question whether by the institution of Christ Himself these members are bound together by external bonds so as to form a society that can be perceived by the senses, a society of such a nature that one can readily discern who belongs to it and who does not. Mark well the words “the institution of Christ Himself,” for the question is precisely this: did Christ personally found a visible church, one which, by its very nature, would have to be an external public society so that the invisible church could not possibly be the true Church of Christ? For once one proves that the one and only Church which Christ founded is visible from its very nature, then it necessarily follows that an invisible church such as that to which Protestants appeal is a pure fiction and that all the promises which Christ made to his church refer to a visible church. Note lastly that to insist on the Church’s being visible is not to claim that all its elements are immediately apparent to the senses. Just as a man is really visible even though one cannot see his soul directly, so too the church must be adjudged truly visible even if some element which is an essential part of its makeup cannot be seen directly, provided that this element be by its very nature joined to and eternally manifested by some visible element.
From the threefold bond which Christ himself imposed it was indicated above how our Lord founded the church by enjoining on his disciples the profession of the same faith, participation in the same rights and obedience to the same authority. It is by these bonds that the church is drawn into unity and held together. Without them there is simply no Church of Christ. Now since these bonds are external things which people can see, they necessarily make the Church an external, visible society. One can discern, using one’s external senses, which men profess the same doctrine, frequent the same sacraments and obey the same rulers. It is then clear that the Church is visible by the very institution of Christ or in other words that its visibility flows necessarily from its very nature.
This conclusion is corroborated by the manner of speaking employed by Christ. The apostles and the earliest fathers who clearly had in mind a visible society whenever they spoke of the Church. Christ compares his Church to a Kingdom, to a flock, to a house, to a net set down into the sea, to a field producing wheat and weeds, to a city built on a mountain peak. He teaches besides that sinners whose reformation is proving difficult are to be reported to the Church. The apostles called the Church a body in which many members are joined together and are mutually interdependent, the House of God in which pastors live, the pillar and mainstay of truth, the flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed the bishops as shepherds. The earliest Fathers urged the absolute obligation of belonging to the Church of Christ and clearly teach that it is easily discernible. They could have done neither were the Church not visible. A further consideration is the fact that long before this the prophets had described the Kingdom or Church of the Messiah as a very high mountain which attracts people to itself precisely because it can be seen from anywhere. (End of Van Noort excerpt)
(Comment: Given these two sources, and they do not differ in teaching from any of the other sources consulted, it can be determined that at least materially, the Church as professed by flesh and blood, stay-at-home Catholics publicly on the Internet constitutes visibility. They all profess the same doctrine, frequent the same Sacraments and their substitutes, engage in the same worship and obey the popes, councils and Canon Law. So how does the teaching and belief of the true Church as demonstrated on this website not constitute as much visibility as is possible today?)
And as for apostolicity, claimed by those who pretend their invalid priests and bishops provide them with this mark of the Church against all Church teaching to the contrary, those objecting to this website and its content have completely misrepresented the meaning of this mark as will be seen below.
Apostolicity is the mark by which the Church of today is recognized as identical with the Church founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles. It is of great importance because it is the surest indication of the true Church of Christ, it is most easily examined, and it virtually contains the other three marks, namely, Unity, Sanctity, and Catholicity… the Church is called Apostolic, because it was founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles. Apostolicity of doctrine and mission is necessary. Apostolicity of doctrine requires that the deposit of faith committed to the Apostles shall remain unchanged. Since the Church is infallible in its teaching, it follows that if the Church of Christ still exists it must be teaching His doctrine. Hence Apostolicity of mission is a guarantee of Apostolicity of doctrine… The writings of the Fathers constantly refer to the Apostolic character of the doctrine and mission of the Church. St. Cyprian (Ep. 76, Ad Magnum): “Novatianus is not in the Church, nor can he be considered a bishop, because in contempt of Apostolic tradition he was ordained by himself without succeeding anyone.” Billot emphasizes the idea that the Church, which is Apostolic, must be presided over by bishops, who derive their ministry and their governing power from the Apostles. Apostolicity, then, is that Apostolic succession by which the Church of today is one with the Church of the Apostles in origin, doctrine, and mission.
…The very fact of separation destroys [Anglican] jurisdiction. They have based their claims on the validity of orders in the Anglican Church. Anglican orders, however, have been declared invalid. But even if they were valid, the Anglican Church would not be Apostolic, for jurisdiction is essential to the Apostolicity of mission. A study of the organization of the Anglican Church shows it to be entirely different from the Church established by Jesus Christ.
Rev. E. S. Berry, The Church of Christ, Vol. 1
Historians use the term to designate the Church as it existed in the days of the Apostles; with theologians, it means that the Church is, in some manner, derived from the Apostles. In this sense the Church is Apostolic in origin, doctrine, and ministry. The Church is Apostolic in origin, because it is and must ever remain, the identical society founded by Christ and organized through the ministry of the Apostles; it is Apostolic in doctrine, because it teaches the self-same truths that Christ committed to its custody in the persons of the Apostles. Finally, the Church is Apostolic in ministry (or succession), because the authority which Christ conferred upon the Apostles has come down through an unbroken line of legitimate successors in the ministry of the Church.
A formal, or legitimate, successor not only succeeds to the place of his predecessor but also receives due authority to exercise the functions of his office with binding force in the society. It is evident that authority can be transmitted only by legitimate succession; therefore, the Church must have a legitimate, or formal, succession of pastors to transmit apostolic authority from age to age. One who intrudes himself into the ministry against the laws of the Church receives no authority, and consequently can transmit none to his successors.
No one can be a legitimate successor in any society unless he receive due authority therein; it follows, therefore, that there can be no legitimate successor in the Church of Christ who has not received jurisdiction either directly or indirectly from her supreme authority. But, as will be proved elsewhere, supreme authority in the Church of Christ was committed to St. Peter and his lawful successors, the bishops of Rome: consequently all legitimate succession, or Apostolicity of ministry in the Church, depends upon communion with the chair of Peter and is lost the moment that communion is severed. Hence no particular part of the Church is indefectibly Apostolic, save the see of Peter, which is universally known by way of eminence as the Apostolic See.
(Comment: Therefore, there are three parts of apostolicity. The first two parts yet exist as long as Catholics are faithful to all the doctrinal teachings of the Church. It is only the third part that is absent, and that is because all the bishops defected and those pretending to be bishops were never validly ordained or consecrated. The defection of the bishops at Vatican 2 is hardly the fault of the faithful. If we want to know why there is such doctrinal confusion today it can be cited as proof that there are no true bishops ruling the Church, for the two go hand in hand. Can we have apostolicity of doctrine without apostolicity of mission? If we adhere to the teachings of the Church as taught prior to the death of Pope Pius XII, when true bishops yet existed, yes: for the teaching of the Church is a living thing and it shall never cease to exist.
In the above, Berry also refutes the de facto, de iure arguments advanced by Sedevacantists regarding the V2 usurpers. The Sedes require competent authority to declare the usurpers heretics, and since none to their mind exist, they believe that they remain at least de iure in office. This is the denial of the teaching found in Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, which clearly states no such declaration is necessary, and even the secular authority can remove a pope who deposes himself through heresy from office. Canon Law itself also states this regarding the need for a declaration. Since Cum ex… is the parent law for all canons concerning heresy, and Canon Law itself declares that in a doubt of law one is to follow the old law (Can. 6 §4), there is no excuse for this false teaching put forward by these Sedevacantists. What a thorn in their side Cum ex… must truly be!)
Thesis.—The Church of Christ is necessarily Apostolic in origin, doctrine, and ministry.
That the Church is in some sense Apostolic, is a dogma of faith as appears from the Nicene Creed: “I believe in one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Apostolicity of ministry and of doctrine have been de- fined, at least implicitly, by the Vatican Council: “If anyone should say that it is not by the institution of Christ, and therefore not by divine right, that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in his primacy over the whole Church, . . . let him be anathema.” l
“The Holy Ghost was not promised to the successors of Peter that He might reveal to them a new doctrine, but that He should assist them to preserve religiously and faithfully expound the revelation, or deposit of faith, handed down by the Apostles.”
PROOFS from Reason and Scripture. The thesis is a self-evident truth, rather than a proposition to be demonstrated.
- a) Origin. Christ instituted but one Church through the ministry of the Apostles, and to none other did He give any authority to organize a church in His name. Consequently a church existing at any time since then, is either the identical Church established by Him, and therefore Apostolic, or it is not that identical Church, and therefore in no wise the Church of Christ, but merely a false claimant having no right to exist.
- b) Doctrine. Our Lord committed the teaching of all His doctrines to the Apostles and promised to be with them until the consummation of the world: “Teach all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you . . . And behold, I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.” He also promised to them the Spirit of Truth, to remain with them forever guiding them in all truth: “I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete that he may abide with you forever . . . he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.” Christ has either failed in His promises, or the Church must ever preserve and teach all truths committed to her through the ministry of the Apostles. In other words, the Church must be Apostolic in her doctrine even to the consummation of the world.
- c) Ministry. It is evident that there can be no authority in the Church save that which comes directly or indirectly from her Divine Founder, Jesus Christ. But there is not the slightest intimation in Scripture or tradition that Christ ever promised to confer authority directly upon the ministers of the Church; consequently it can only be obtained by lawful succession from those upon whom Christ personally and directly conferred it, e., from the Apostles. In other words, the Church must be Apostolic in her ministry by means of a legitimate succession reaching back in an unbroken line to the Apostles.
Unity of Doctrine
PROOFS. /. From Scripture. Christ commissioned His Apostles to “teach all nations . . . all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” He also promised to be with them “all days even to the consummation of the world,” and to send upon them the Spirit of Truth to abide with them forever, and to bring to their mind all things whatsoever He had taught them. Consequently the Church must teach all the doctrines committed to her; she must teach them to all nations and at all times, even to the consummation of the world — a mission made possible by the abiding presence of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth. But in thus proclaiming all the doctrines of Christ, to all people, at all times, the Church enjoys the most perfect unity; her doctrines are the same at all times and in all places
Unity of profession
Unity in the profession of faith is a natural consequence of the unity of doctrine; a mere corollary to be explained rather than proved. Members of a society must accept its principles, or teachings, at least in word and action, for he who rejects the very principles of a society by word or act, thereby rejects the society itself and ceases to be a member. Therefore, every member of the Church must accept its teachings, i. e., he must make at least an outward profession of faith, “for with the heart we believe unto justice; but with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” Since this outward profession concerns the one faith taught by the Church, it will be essentially the same for all its members; in other words, there will be unity in the outward profession of faith.
Unity of Worship
PRELIMINARY REMARKS. Unity of worship, known also as liturgical unity, refers especially to acts of public worship, in which the faithful participate in their capacity as members of a society, the Church. It applies only to those things that are of divine institution, which may be summed up in the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments.
Nature of Holiness
The English word holiness originally meant wholeness, soundness, or health. It is now used almost exclusively as an equivalent of the Latin sanctitas, from the verb sancire, — to set apart, to dedicate. Therefore a thing is holy (sanctum) when set apart or devoted in some manner to God, and holiness or sanctity is the state or condition of the thing thus set apart and devoted to God. Holiness also includes the idea of being pleasing to God because of some union or conformity with Him. Finally, that which serves to manifest holiness is also said to be holy. Hence we have a three-fold holiness, — physical, moral, and manifestative.
- a) Physical Holiness consists in the consecration or dedication of a thing in some manner to the honor and glory of God. It is also called real because it is often connected with inanimate things (res in Latin). In this sense a church, an altar, or a chalice is said to be holy. Persons are also holy in this sense if consecrated to God in some special manner.
- b) Moral Holiness consists in the consecration of the will to God by conforming it to His will. Moralists usually define it as that moral uprightness by which a person is made like to God and united with Him through charity.
- c) Manifestative Holiness, as the name indicates, is any external evidence that a person or thing is holy and pleasing in the sight of God.
When applied to the Church, it may mean (a) that the Church is to endure for all time; (b) that she teaches all the doctrines of Christ and uses all the means instituted by Him for salvation; (c) that she is destined for all men; or (d) that she is spread throughout the whole world.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem briefly explains the Catholicity of the Church in these various senses: “It is called Catholic, then, because it extends over all the world from one end of the earth to the other; and because it teaches universally and completely one and all the doctrines which ought to come to man’s knowledge concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly; and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins which are committed by soul and body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and in words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts.”
Christian Apologetics, Rev. Devivier
In saying that the true Church is necessarily apostolic, we mean that she must profess the doctrine taught by the apostles: this is apostolicity of doctrine; then, that she must be able to trace her descent from the apostles through the succession of her lawful heads: this is apostolicity of ministry or government. Apostolicity of doctrine is the logical and indispensable consequence of the unity required in the true Church. The necessity of this characteristic is rarely disputed, but it is of little service as a note, as a positive means of discerning the true Church. Hence we shall dwell more particularly on the apostolicity of ministry. We have shown above, pp. 303 f., 318 f., that all authority in the Church has been really bestowed upon the apostles. This authority must, as we shall prove, pass to their successors.
Art. II — The Church of Rome Possesses the Four Positive Notes of the True Church.
- The Church of Rome Possesses Unity
- The Church is One in Doctrine. — Throughout the whole world we find the children of the Church chanting and professing the same creed, accepting the same precepts, the same sacrifice, the same sacraments. And if we go back to apostolic times we find the same identity of doctrine.
The Church, moreover, possesses a principle which necessarily sustains unity of belief: she professes as an essential dogma that all must accept every doctrine which she proclaims to be of faith, under pain, if they persist in error, of being ejected from her bosom.
- The Church of Rome Possesses Sanctity
The Church of Rome is holy in her final end, which is the sanctification and the salvation of the faithful. She is holy in the means she employs; in her dogmas, which are attacked only because of their sublimity and because many of them transcend, as to their essence, the limit of human reason; in her moral teaching, to which even her adversaries pay homage, which proscribes all vices, inculcates all virtues, and culminates in the perfection of the evangelical counsels; in her sacraments, fruitful sources of grace and holiness; in her worship, the most spiritual which ever existed, the purest and freest from immoral or superstitious practices. She is holy, finally, in the members who faithfully follow her precepts; only those who refuse to conform to her teaching, and thus incur her condemnation, fail to witness to her sanctity.
Catholic means universal. The application of this word to the Church means that at every period of her existence, after the adequate diffusion of the Gospel, she must extend morally throughout the whole world, and be everywhere the same.
Everywhere the same; for true Catholicity supposes unity of doctrine and of communion, otherwise the Church in China, for example, would not be the same as the Church existing in Brazil; and it would be false to say that it is one and the same Church in Brazil and in China. Hence it is evident that a collection of sects having nothing in common but a name (it is well known that this is the present condition of Protestantism), even though its various elements are spread throughout the entire world, cannot merit the name of Catholic or universal religion.
- The Church of Rome Possesses Apostolicity.
- The Doctrine of the Church of Rome Goes back to THE Time of the Apostles. — Her doctrine of today is the same as that of the apostles. In speaking of the unity of doctrine in the Church we demonstrated a complete identity between the oldest creeds or professions of faith, the writings and decisions of the first ages and those of our time.
Protestants claim, it is true, that after the first centuries the Church of Rome created new dogmas; for example, that of the real presence, purgatory, and the invocation of the saints. We have replied to this objection (p. 332). Moreover, such a statement is worthless unless proved. It is necessary to show when and how these dogmas were introduced into the Church; this our opponents have never done, and for a good reason. Meanwhile what is stated without proof the Church has a right to deny without proof, for she is in possession. She does not, however, lack proof: she has history to testify how zealously in the first ages popes and bishops opposed all doctrinal innovations. Hence they would have offered the same opposition to the introduction of the important dogmas contested by Protestants. They did not do so, for ecclesiastical history, so watchful in matters of this kind, is silent on this point. Perhaps it will be said that all the members of the Church, pastors and flocks in all parts of the world, agreed to admit without protest such numerous and grave innovations. In the first place, this hypothesis is absurd; in the second, the heretics of that period would not have failed to make themselves heard: condemned as innovators by the Church, they would have seized the opportunity to reproach her with her own innovations. (End of Devivier quotes.)(Comment: If we substitute the entire history of the teachings of the magisterium for the lack of apostolic succession, and accept all these truths as binding, including the necessary avoidance of all Traditional clergy, there is no reason why Catholics could not claim to possess the four marks as they are described above. All that has ever been maintained on this site is that Traditionalists cannot and do not possess them. The attributes of authority, infallibility and indefectibility must exist for the four marks to exist. Authority can be found in all the binding papal documents, the teachings of the Councils and Canon Law, which yet exist. Infallibility is demonstrated in these documents and indefectibility means these infallible teachings will exist and be obeyed by flesh and blood Catholics until the consummation. Given the facts and circumstances existing today there is simply no other way to explain the meaning of the Church’s indefectibility, which Pope Pius XII described as follows: “If this indefectibility is a matter of experience it remains nonetheless a mystery, for it cannot be explained naturally but only by reason of the fact, which is known to us by divine revelation, that Christ, who founded the Church, is with Her in every trial to the end of the world” (address to the Roman Curia, delivered December 4, 1943).
So who is it that Pope Pius XII considers to be the Church? This question is answered below.
We Are the Church
“The faithful, and more precisely the laity are stationed in the front ranks of the life of the Church, and through them the Church is the living principle of society. Consequently, they must have an ever-clearer consciousness, not only of belonging to the Church, but of BEING THE CHURCH, that is, of being the community of the faithful on earth under the guidance of their common leader, the Pope, and the bishops in communion with him. THEY ARE the Church, and therefore even from the beginning, the faithful, with the consent of their bishops, have united in associations directed to the most diverse types of human activity. The Holy See has never ceased to approve and praise them,” (The Catholic Church in Action, by Michael Williams, quoted from an address delivered by Pope Pius XII Feb. 20, 1946, to the newly made cardinals).
But what happens when there is no pope or bishops?
“The initiative of the lay apostolate is perfectly justified even without a prior explicit ‘mission’ from the hierarchy… Personal initiative plays a great part in protecting the faith and Catholic life, especially in countries where these 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, (emph. mine). It is clear however that – even so – nothing can be undertaken against the explicit and implicit will of the Church, or contrary in any way to the rules of faith, morals or ecclesiastical discipline,” (Address to the 14th Congress of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations, Sept. 29, 1957.)
“In a wide and loose sense, when the whole Catholic Church is considered as existing in the midst of heretics, schismatics, and the heathen, even the laity may be considered as forming a portion of the hierarchy. With this agrees the expression of St. Peter, calling the general body of Christians in the countries to which he is sending his epistle “a kingly priesthood” and “a holy nation” (1Peter 2: 9). Saint Ignatius, writing to the Smyrnaeans, salutes “the Bishop worthy of God and the most religious presbytery, my fellow servants the deacons and all of you individually and in common.” So at the Mass, the priest turning to the people bids them pray that his and their sacrifice may be acceptable to God and at the incensing before the Sanctus the acolyte, after the rite has been performed to all the orders of the clergy within the sanctuary, turns toward and bows to the laity and incenses them also.” Catholic Cabinet of Information, various authors, p. 131).
In earlier days, I spent much time urging Catholics to engage in Catholic Action. Pope Pius XI tells us not to do so is a sin of omission, which can be grave in some cases, and it would seem that this is one of those cases. I have tried to do my part with this site. Many excerpts from papal addresses on this topic can be found at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/2-the-church/the-popes-on-catholic-action/ What I am about to say may offend some readers, but if anyone is guilty of facilitating the denial of visibility and negating the three attributes and four marks, insofar as we can possess them today, it is Traditionalists as a body. They have destroyed apostolicity of origin and doctrine by committing communicatio in sacris with their invalid clergy. The only way that the Church can fulfill Her mission on earth until the consummation under the present circumstances is to faithfully adhere to the doctrines taught by Christ and His Church regarding Apostolic Succession. Therefore, they must do the thing they most abhor and become stay-at-home Catholics. As Rev. Devivier teaches, “Apostolicity of doctrine is the logical and indispensable consequence of the unity required in the true Church.”
If Traditionalists en masse would abandon these hirelings and imposters and place their energies toward becoming a truly visible Church, obedient to the continual magisterium, the Church could be restored to the best of lay abilities and be made a recognized presence once again on this earth. We are the Church militant, engaged in a warfare on this earth that is neither recognized nor appreciated for what it truly is. Our calling to do battle as members of the Catholic faith is a deadly serious business. There is no time to entertain light-mindedness or flights of emotional fancy. Longing for those comforts and consolations of the past is only a refusal to face the very stark realities facing us today and indicates a lack of faith and longsuffering. Catholics may fear they cannot worthily aspire to martyrdom, but they are being called to become at least martyrs in spirit. They may long for Mass and Sacraments but today we cannot pretend to receive them unless we are literally willing to sell our souls to obtain them.
It is high time Traditionalists faced the ugly fact that to remain where they are is a full-fledged denial that communicatio in sacris means today what it meant in the 1950s, the 1700s, the 1600s, the 1500s and before. In true Modernist fashion, whether they realize it or not, they shout with everything they are and believe that doctrine evolves, and that because it evolves, they can validly attend Mass and receive the very Sacraments their Catholic forbearers eschewed as fatal to the faith, dying rather than tasting their poison. True Catholics can choose to obey what the Church teaches or join the rest of the world in its sure march to hell.