Vol 10 Issue 23 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
June 10, 2017 ~ Ember Saturday in Summer
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Trinity Sunday
3. Saint Barnabas
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
Ember Saturday, as has been said many times before, is the day normally set aside for the ordination of priests along with the orders that lead up to the priesthood. The priesthood is necessary in the relationship mankind has with God. The just Abel offered a sacrifice, the immaculate lamb, which sacrifice was pleasing to God while that of Cain was rejected. Today one may ask what makes the Sacrifice that a priest offers today an acceptable Sacrifice—and I write this with fear—because a sacrifice of itself is not necessarily pleasing—this can be observed many times in the Old Testament, be it that offered by Saul (1 Kings 13:9ff) and the prophets repeating the displeasure of the sacrifices of the Israelites due to their unfaithfulness (cf. Isa. 65:3; Jer. 44:3; Osee 3:4 and 6:6). When the Temple was built, only those sacrifices offered within her confines were acceptable and the altars set up by Jeroboam in the Kingdom of Israel (3 Kings 12:26) were not to God. Our Lord, Himself, addressed the woman at the well in Sichar: You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know when she attempted to equate the worthiness of the sacrifices of the Samaritans with that of the sacrifices offered in the Temple: Our fathers adored on this mountain, and you say, that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore. (John 4:21, 20) The Catholic Church has forbidden Catholics to assist at the Liturgical ceremonies of the schismatics, not in a denial of the validity, but in the knowledge that these liturgical acts are performed outside the Church and therefore not the Church offering God a pleasing sacrifice, but wounding the Body of Christ.
Tragically, too many Catholics seek outside the Church the attendance at Mass and the reception of the Sacraments—yes, claiming they are valid—but refuse to acknowledge that such a participation not only sets them outside the Church, but it disfigures the Body of Christ and the reception and attendance are void of any sanctifying grace. Catholics, if they wish to remain true to the Church and receive fruitfully the Sacraments, must make sure they are being received by priests who belong to the Church—they must be sent by their bishop, but a bishop that is also part of the Church—not spurious, not old catholic, not orthodox, and not one who is not united with the Roman Catholic Church in that of not participating in the unity of the Church.
As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
An Argument for Sedevacantism
by Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
Second Contradiction: The Infallibility of the Pope, to believe or not to believe?
The opening of the Second Vatican Council was done with the normal fanfare and television coverage that now became part of many lives. The first Session was from October 11 to December 8, 1962. According to Ralph Wiltgen (cf. The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, 1967, New York: Hawthorne), this session dwelt mainly with the changing the Liturgy and rejecting the Schemas. He clearly points out that there were two distinct and opposite parties. One was what he called the conservatives, that is, reiterating the Catholic Faith in a clear and precise form. The other was what he called the liberals, that is, Modernists who wanted to change the faith completely. He names as “conservative” leaders Cardinals Ottaviani, Bacci, and Ruffini. He names as “liberal” leaders Cardinals Alfrink, Frings, Bea, Koenig, Lienart Suenens, Montini. All the “liberals” were made Cardinals by Angelo Roncalli with the exception of Lienart and Frings. Their periti were all participants of the La nouvelle théologie, such as Joseph Ratzinger who was theologian for Frings and Edward Schillebeekx who was theologian for Alfrink along with those theologians chosen by Angelo Roncalli to the Council: Hans Kung, Yves Marie-Joseph Congar (forbidden by Pius XII to teach and publish), Jean-Guenolé-Marie Daniélou, Henri-Marie Joseph Sonier de Lubac (forbidden to teach and whose books were condemned by Pius XII), and Marie-Dominique Chenu (forbidden to teach and writings placed on index under Pius XI and Pius XII). The Council was obviously stacked and Ralph Wiltgen admits that these “liberals” were provided all the support they needed to change the direction of the Church.
Not only does Ralph Wiltgen see the applause of the progressives or Modernists humiliating Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani whenever possible, but as Ottaviani was placed to head the Theological Preparatory Commision by Angelo Roncalli, he also notes that Roncalli does not support Ottaviani. As the first session ends and Ottaviani attempts to have the Schema on the Church passed, he finds opposition by the “liberals.” Wiltgen continues:
The Cardinal proceeded to stress the caliber of the membership of the Theological Preparatory Commission; which had prepared the schema on the Church. It had consisted of thirty-one members, with thirty-six consultants from fifteen countries. Most of these men were university professors or professors in major ecclesiastical institutions of learning in different parts of the world. Each had several publications of outstanding importance to his credit, and some of these were used as textbooks in seminaries and universities. As a result, the Theological Preparatory Commission had considered itself intellectually equipped to carry out the weighty task of drawing up a schema on the Church. It had, moreover, borne in mind the pastoral aspect of the Council. (op. cit. p. 56.)
The objections to Ottaviani were such that, as Wiltgen writes:
The last speaker that day was Bishop Luigi Carli of Segni, Italy. He maintained that certain Council Fathers had carried their ecumenical preoccupations to excess. It was no longer possible, he charged, to speak about Our Lady; no one might be called heretical; no one might use the expression “Church militant”; and it was no longer proper to call attention to the inherent powers of the Catholic Church. . . .
Cardinal Bacci of the Roman Curia expressed belief that the Council Fathers were in accord on the doctrinal substance of the document, and that the schema would prove satisfactory after some corrections had been made in the style. Bishop Giulio Barbetta of the Roman Curia took issue with Bishop De Smedt, insisting that the text was neither triumphal nor clerical in tone, nor legalistic. (ibid. 57)
But these “conservative” Cardinals faced an invisible wall created by Angelo Roncalli and the Modernists.
On the first day of the debate on the schema, Cardinal Alfrink had called for a careful coordination of texts in order to avoid useless repetition in the Council agenda. This proposal, whose adoption was to alter profoundly the organizational structure of the Council, as well as the future form and content of the schemas, was supported in the following three meetings by Cardinals Leger, Suenens, and Montini.
. . . . December 5, carrying out the suggestions of the four cardinals, Pope John founded a new Coordinating Commission “to coordinate and direct the work of the Council.” It was to be composed exclusively of cardinals, with Cardinal Cicognani as President, and Cardinals Lienart, Dopfner, Suenens, Confalonieri, Spellman, and Urbani as members. (ibid. 58)
. . . . Pope John under the same date approved the norms which were to govern the Council in the interval between the first and second sessions. The first of these norms stipulated that, during that period, all the schemas should “be subjected once more to examination and improvement” by the Council commissions. This implied, of course, that not only the schema on the Church would have to be revised, but the dogmatic constitutions as well which had been attacked by Father Schillebeeckx and the Dutch bishops.
All the norms were read to the Council Fathers at the morning meeting ofDecember 6, and they were recognized by the liberals as yet another victory over the Curia. (ibid. 58)
. . . The German theologian Father Joseph Ratzinger called the absence of any approved Council text at the end of the first session “the great, astonishing, and genuinely positive result of the first session.” The fact that no text had gained approval was evidence, he said, of “the strong reaction against the spirit behind the preparatory work.” This he called “the truly epoch-making character of the Council’s first session.” (ibid. 59)
Father Kung called the rejection of the schema on the sources of revelation “a great step in the right direction. It was something all of us in Germany had hoped for. But being a very small minority, we did not dream it possible.” In conclusion, he said that “perhaps the most decisive outcome of the first session is the realization on the part of the bishops that they, and not merely the Roman Curia, make up the Church.”
Bishop Sergio Mendez Arceo of Cuernavaca, Mexico, said at the end of the session, “It has been a most successful Council.” He noted that some Council Fathers had complained that there was too much talking and even too much repetition on the Council floor. “But I feel,” he explained, “that this was necessary, if we were all to find out what the others’ thoughts were. St. Peter’s basilica, where our meetings were held, was like a giant pressure cooker which rapidly and profoundly transformed the outlook of the bishops of the entire world.”
Rejection of schemas and rapid transformations of outlook were the earmarks of the first session of Vatican II. (ibid. 59-60)
In other words, the Council was of taken out of the hands of Catholic Cardinals and theologians faithful to the Universal Magisterium of the Church and placed in the hands of the Modernists who rejected past teachings in the guise of evolving understandings of Church teaching.
Pope St. Pius X condemned Modernism in the Encyclical, Pascendi dominici gregis, of September 8, 1907. The philosophical core of Modernism is Phenomenology, or experience as the bases of knowledge. This excludes objective reality separate from experience and it also rejects Divine Revelation separate from human experience. Therefore, the Modernist claims that the experiences at the time of the Apostles was different then the experiences at the time of the Middle ages with in turn is different then the experiences of the Modern World which means the faith of the Apostles will be different then the faith of those living in the Middle Ages which in turn will be different then the faith of those living in the Modern World. As such, looking at the Historical approach of the Modernists, they will attempt to explain why people believed as they did according to the age they lived in and why one in the Modern World will not have the same faith though one might use the same expressions. This is what Pius X confirms when he discusses each application of the Modernists in the following capacities:
I. the philosopher
II. the believer,
III. the theologian,
IV. the historian,
V. the critic,
VI. the apologist,
VII. the reformer.
Here it would be appropriate to review Pascendi dominici gregis and what Pius X wrote concerning each:
I. The philosopher
Now, to begin with the philosopher, the modernists place the foundation of their religious philosophy in that doctrine which is commonly called agnosticism. Perforce, then, human reason is entirely restricted to phenomena, namely, things that appear, and that appearance by which they appear; it has neither the right nor the power to transgress the limits of the same. Therefore, it cannot raise itself to God nor recognize His existence, even through things that are seen. Hence, it is inferred that God can by no means be directly an object of science; yet, as far as pertains to history, that He is not to be considered an historical subject. —Moreover, granting all this, everyone will easily see what becomes of Natural Theology, of the motives of credibility, of external revelation. These, of course, the modernists completely spurn, and relegate to intellectualism, an absurd system, they say, and long since dead. Nor does the fact that the Church has very openly condemned such portentous errors restrain them, for the Vatican Synod so decreed: “If anyone, etc.,” [see n. 1806 f., 1812].
. . . Religion, whether this be natural or supernatural, must, just as any fact, admit of some explanation. But the explanation, with natural theology destroyed and the approach to revelation barred by the rejection of the arguments of credibility, with even any external revelation utterly removed, is sought in vain outside man. It is, then, to be sought within man himself; and, since religion is a form of life, it is to be found entirely within the life of man. From this is asserted the principle of religious Immanence. Moreover, of every vital phenomenon, to which it has just been said religion belongs, the first actuation, as it were, is to be sought in a certain need or impulsion; but, if we speak more specifically of life, the beginnings are to be posited in a kind of motion of the heart, which is called a sense. Therefore, since God is the object of religion, it must be concluded absolutely that faith, which is the beginning and the foundation of any religion, must be located in some innermost sense, which has its beginning in a need for the divine. Moreover, this need for the divine, since it is felt only in certain special surroundings, cannot of itself pertain to the realm of consciousness, but it remains hidden at first beneath consciousness, or, as they say with a word borrowed from modern philosophy, in the subconsciousness, where, too, its root remains hidden and undetected . . . “Science and history are included within a twofold boundary: one external, that is the visible world; the other internal, which is consciousness. When they have reached one or the other, they are unable to proceed further, for beyond these boundaries is the unknowable. In the presence of this unknowable, whether this be outside man and beyond the perceptible world of nature, or lies concealed within the subconsciousness, the need of the divine in a soul prone to religion, according to the tenets of fideism, with no judgment of the mind anticipating, excites a certain peculiar sense; but this sense has the divine reality itself, not only as its object but also as its intrinsic cause implicated within itself, and somehow unites man with God.” This sense, moreover, is what the modernists call by the name of faith, and is for them the beginning of religion.
. . . From this, moreover, Venerable Brothers, comes that absurd affirmation of the modernists, according to which any religion according to its various aspects is to be called natural and also supernatural. From this, consciousness and revelation have interchangeable meanings. From this is the law according to which religious consciousness is handed down as a universal rule, to be equated completely with revelation, to which all must submit, even the supreme power in the Church, whether this teaches or legislates on sacred matters or discipline.
Yet in all this process, from which according to the modernists, faith and revelation come forth, one thing is especially to be noted, indeed of no small moment because of the historico-critical sequences which they pry from it. For the unknowable, of which they speak, does not present itself to faith as something simple or alone, but on the contrary adhering closely to some phenomenon, which, although it pertains to the fields of science and history, yet in some way passes beyond them, whether this phenomenon be a fact of nature containing some secret within itself, or be any man whose character, actions, and words do not seem possible of being reconciled with the ordinary laws of history. Then faith, attracted by the unknowable which is united with the phenomenon, embraces the whole phenomenon itself and in a manner permeates it with its own life. Now from this two things follow: first, a kind of transfiguration of the phenomenon by elation, that is, above its true conditions, by which its matter becomes more suitable to clothe itself with the form of the divine, which faith is to introduce; second, some sort of disfiguration, (we may call it such) of the same phenomenon, arising from the fact that faith attributes to it, when divested of all adjuncts of place and time, what in fact it does not possess; and this takes place especially when phenomena of times past are concerned, and the more fully as they are the older. From this twofold source the modernists again derive two canons, which, when added to another already borrowed from agnosticism, constitute the foundations of historical criticism. The subject will be illustrated by an example, and let us take that example from the person of Christ. In the person of Christ, they say, science and history encounter nothing except the human. Therefore, by virtue of the first canon deduced from agnosticism whatever is redolent of the divine must be deleted from His history. Furthermore, by virtue of the second canon the historical person of Christ was transfigured by faith; therefore, whatever raises it above historical conditions must be removed from it. Finally, by virtue of the third canon the same person of Christ is disfigured by faith; therefore, words and deeds must be removed from it, whatever, in a word, does not in the least correspond with His character, state, and education, and with the place and time in which He lived. A wonderful method of reasoning indeed! But this is the criticism of the modernists.
(To be continued)
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
FEAST OF THE HOLY TRINITY
This festival is celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost, because as soon as the apostles were instructed and consoled by the Holy Ghost, they began to preach openly that which Christ had taught them.
Why do we celebrate this festival?
That we may openly profess our faith in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which is the first of Christian truths, the foundation of the Christian religion, and the most sublime of all mysteries; and that we may render thanks, to the Father for having created us, to the Son for having redeemed us, and to the Holy Ghost for having sanctified us.
In praise and honor of the most Holy Trinity, the Church sings at the Introit of this day’s Mass:
Blessed be the holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to him, because he hath shown his mercy to us: (Tob. xii.) O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth! (Ps. viii. 1.) Glory be to the Father, etc.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Almighty, everlasting God, who hast granted to Thy servants, in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of Thy, majesty, to adore the Unity: grant that, by steadfastness in the same faith, we may ever be defended from all adversities. Thro’.
EPISTLE (ROM xi. 33-36.) O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him? For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be glory forever. Amen.
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