Vol 10 Issue 24 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
June 17, 2017 ~ Our Lady on Saturday
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Trinity Sunday
3. Saint Ephraim
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
Avoiding negativity was one of the calls of changing the Catholic Church during the Second Vatican Council. There was no longer to be the talk of Hell, it was only to be that of Heaven. There was no longer going to be that of what made false religions false, but what made them true. It was no longer to be held that the spirit of the world was evil, but seeing the good in the evil by somehow pretending the evil does not exist. Catholics living with a second or third man or woman are no longer adulterers, but a path of discernment. Sodomites are our brothers, sinners just as we are—and since we don’t call ourselves sinners neither do we call them, but are to embrace them (because it’s all about feeling good). Souls are not to be saved, but the world is to be saved in its materialistic paradisiac possibility as a utopia. Now we are hearing that it is not ISIS or the Taliban that we should fear, but Catholics who hold there is no denying Hell or the absolute necessity of salvation in the Catholic Church—and that to hold such beliefs is worst than ISIS and the Taliban (cf.
This paradigm change in no longer calling good good and evil evil but rather evil good and good evil is certainly a process that prevents our children from recognizing what is reality. It brings us back to the original question asked of Christ by Pontius Pilate and continually asked by the world: What is Truth? (cf. John 18:38) The world, guided by the Prince of Lies, rejects the answer not by showing otherwise, but by ignoring the Truth, walking away from the Truth, turning its back on the Truth, condemning the Truth even though it knows it is so doing. So, what is presented? Behold the man! A disfigured Christ that cannot be the Truth because it is barely recognizable and if it were, the world would have to acknowledge the guilty of betraying Him, of denying Him, of scourging Him, of mockingly crowning Him as king by words and deeds. No, this cannot be the Truth and to prove it, the world crucifies Him in the most unique way that no one could imagine but yet they do so—because they would not accept the Truth. That group of leaders is the main group that today volitionally seeks continually the crucifixion of the Truth because it would lose its power: It is better that one man should die than that the whole nation should perish (cf. John 11:50 and 18:14). Do we believe in the Truth? Or do we join the bandwagon and find ourselves calling, along with the whole world, for its death? Actually, maybe we are just like the Apostles and disciples and just run away while Christ is Crucified—not even a John or Mary Magdalen at the foot of the cross!
As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
Is the Chair of Peter Vacant?
An Argument for Sedevacantism
by Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
Second Contradiction: The Infallibility of the Pope, to believe or not to believe?
II The Believer
. . . . [F]or the modernist believer it is established and certain that the reality of the divine definitely exists in itself, and certainly does not depend on the believer. But if you ask on what then the assertion of the believer rests, they will reply: In the personal experience of every man.—In this affirmation, while they break with the rationalists, to be sure, yet they fall in with the opinion of Protestants and pseudomystics [cf. n. 1273]. For they explain the subject as follows: that in the religious sense a kind of intuition of the heart is to be recognized, by which man directly attains the reality of God, and draws from it such conviction of the existence of God and of the action of God both within and without man, that it surpasses by far all conviction that can be sought from science. They establish, then, a true experience and one superior to any rational experience. If anyone, such as the rationalists, deny this, they say that this arises from the fact that he is unwilling to establish himself in the moral state which is required to produce the experience.
2082 . . . . When these errors have once been admitted, together with others already mentioned, we shall express below how open the way is to atheism. It will be well to note at once that from this doctrine of experience joined with another of symbolism, any religion, not even excepting paganism, must be held as true. For why should not experiences of this kind not occur in any religion? In fact, more than one asserts that they have occurred. By what right will modernists deny the truth of an experience which an Islamite affirms, and claim true experiences for Catholics alone? In fact, modernists do not deny this; on the contrary some rather obscurely, others very openly contend that all religions are true. But it is manifest that they cannot think otherwise. For on what basis, then, should falsity have been attributed to any religion according to their precepts? Surely it would be either because of the falsity of the religious sense or because a false formula was set forth by the intellect. Now the religious sense is always one and the same, although sometimes it is more imperfect; but that the intellectual formula be true, it is enough that it respond to the religious sense and to the human believer, whatever may be the character of the perspicacity of the latter. In the conflict of different religions the modernists might be able to contend for one thing at most, that the Catholic religion, inasmuch as it is the more vivid, has more truth; and likewise that it is more worthy of the name of Christian, inasmuch as it corresponds more fully with the origins of Christianity.
. . . . [M]odernists understand tradition thus: that it is a kind of communication with others of an original experience, through preaching by means of the intellectual formula. To this formula, therefore, besides, as they say, representative force, they ascribe a kind of suggestive power, not only to excite in him who believes the religious sense, which perchance is becoming sluggish, and to restore the experience once acquired, but also to give birth in them who do not yet believe, to a religious sense for the first time, and to produce the experience. Thus, moreover, religious experience is spread widely among the people; and not only among those who are now in existence, but also among posterity, both by books and by oral transmission from one to another.—But this communication of experience sometimes takes root and flourishes; sometimes it grows old suddenly, and dies. Moreover, to flourish is to the modernists an argument for truth; for they hold truth and life to be the same. Therefore, we may infer again: that all religions, as many as exist, are true; for otherwise they would not be alive.
III The Theologian
[T]he study of the modernists in the theological arena . . . is a question, indeed, of conciliating faith with science, and this in no other way than by subjecting one to the other. In this field the modernist theologian makes use of the same principles that we saw employed by the philosopher, and he adapts them to the believer; we mean the principles of immanence and symbolism. Thus, moreover, he accomplishes the task most easily. It is held as certain by the philosopher that the principle of faith is immanent; it is added by the believer that this principle is God; and he himself (the theologian) concludes: God, then, is immanent in man. From this comes theological immanence. Again, to the philosopher it is certain that the representations of the object of faith are only symbolical; to the believer, likewise, it is certain that the object of faith is God in Himself; so the theologian gathers that the representations of the divine reality are symbolical. From this comes theological symbolism. . . [T]o speak at once about symbolism, since such symbols are symbols with regard to their object, but with regard to the believer are instruments, the believer must first of all be on his guard, they say, lest he cling too much to the formula, as formula, but he must make use of it only that he may fasten upon the absolute truth, which the formula at the same time uncovers and covers, and struggles to express without ever attaining it. Besides, they add, such formulae are to be applied by the believer insofar as they help him; for they are given as a help, not as a hindrance, with full esteem indeed, which out of social respect is due the formulae which the public magisterium has judged suitable for expressing the common consciousness, as long, of course, as the same magisterium shall not declare otherwise. But regarding immanence what the modernists mean really, is difficult to show, for they do not all have the same opinion. There are some who hold on this subject, that God working in man is more intimately present in him than man is even in himself; which, if rightly understood, bears no reproach. Others on this matter lay down that the action of God is one with the action of nature, as the action of the first cause is one with that of the second cause, which really destroys the supernatural order. Finally, others so explain it in a way that causes a suspicion of a pantheistic meaning; yet this fittingly coincides with the rest of their doctrines.
Now to this axiom of immanence is added another which we can call divine permanence; these two differ from each other in about the same way as private experience does from experience transmitted by tradition. An example will illustrate the point, and let us take it from the Church and the sacraments. The Church, they say, and the sacraments are by no means to be believed as having been instituted by Christ Himself. Agnosticism stipulates this, which recognizes nothing but the human in Christ, whose religious conscience, like that of the rest of men, was formed gradually; the law of immanence stipulates this, which rejects external applications, to use their terms; likewise the law of evolution stipulates this, which demands time and a certain series of circumstances joined with it, that the germs may be evolved; finally, history stipulates this, which shows that such in fact has been the course of the thing. Yet it is to be held that the Church and the sacraments have been mediately established by the Christ. But how? All Christian consciences, they affirm, were in a way virtually included in the conscience of Christ, as the plant in the seed. Moreover, since the germs live the life of the seed, all Christians are to be said to live the life of Christ. But the life of Christ according to faith is divine; thus, also, is the life of Christians. If, then, this life in the course of the ages gave origin to the Church and the sacraments, quite rightly will such an origin be said to be from Christ, and be divine. Thus they effect completely that the Sacred Scriptures also are divine, and that dogmas are divine.—With this, then, the theology of the modernists is essentially completed. . . .
IV The historian
Certain of the modernists who have given themselves over to composing history, seem especially solicitous lest they be believed to be philosophers; why, they even profess to be entirely without experience of philosophy. This they do with consummate astuteness, lest, for example, anyone think that they are imbued with the prejudiced opinions of philosophy, and for this reason, as they say, are not at all objective. Yet the truth is that their history or criticism bespeaks pure philosophy; and whatever conclusions are arrived at by them, are derived by right reasoning from their philosophic principles. This is indeed easily apparent to one who reflects.—The first three canons of such historians and critics, as we have said, are those same principles which we adduced from the philosophers above: namely, agnosticism, the theorem of the transfiguration of things by faith, and likewise another which it seemed could be called disfiguration. Let us now note the consequences that come from them individually.—According to agnosticism, history, just as science, is concerned only with phenomena. Therefore, just as God, so any divine intervention in human affairs must be relegated to faith, as belonging to it alone. Thus, if anything occurs consisting of a double element, divine and human, such as are Christ, the Church, the sacraments, and many others of this kind, there will have to be a division and separation, so that what was human may be assigned to history, and what divine to faith. Thus, the distinction common among the modernists between the Christ of history and the Christ of faith, the Church of history and the Church of faith, the sacraments of history and the sacraments of faith, and other similar distinctions in general.—Then this human element itself, which we see the historian assume for himself, must be mentioned, such as appears in documents, raised above historical conditions by faith through transfiguration. so, the additions made by faith must in turn be dissociated, and relegated to faith itself, and to the history of faith; so when Christ is being discussed, whatever surpasses the natural condition of man, as is shown by psychology, or has been raised out of the place and the time in which He lived, must be dissociated.—Besides, in accord with the third principle of philosophy those things also which do not pass beyond the field of history, they view through a sieve, as it were, and eliminate all and relegate likewise to faith, which in their judgment, as they say, are not in the logic of facts or suited to the characters. Thus they do not will that Christ said those things which appear to exceed the capacity of the listening multitude. Hence from His real history they delete and transfer to faith all his allegories that occur in His discourses. Perhaps we shall ask by what law these matters are dissociated? From the character of the man, from the condition which He enjoyed in the state; from His education, from the complexus of the incidents of any fact, in a word, if we understand well, from a norm which finally at some time recedes into the merely subjective. They aim, of course, themselves to take on the character of Christ and, as it were, to make it their own; whatever, in like circumstances they would have done, all this they transfer to Christ.—Thus then to conclude, a priori and according to certain principles of philosophy which they in truth hold but profess to ignore, they affirm that Christ, in what they call real history, is not God and never did anything divine; indeed, that He did and said as a man what they themselves attribute to Him the right of doing and saying, taking themselves back to His times.
V The Critic
Moreover, as history receives its conclusions from philosophy, so criticism takes its conclusions from history. For the critic, following the indications furnished by the historian, divides documents in two ways. Whatever is left after the threefold elimination just mentioned he assigns to real history; the rest he delegates to the history of faith or internal history. For they distinguish sharply between these two histories; the history of faith (and this we wish to be well noted) they oppose to the real history, as it is real. Thus, as we have already said, the two Christs: one real, the other, who never was in fact, but pertains to faith; one who lived in a certain place and in a certain age; another, who is found only in the pious commentaries of faith; such, for example, is the Christ whom the Gospel of John presents, which, according to them is nothing more or less than a meditation.
. . . . After the documents have been distributed in a twofold manner, the philosopher is again on hand with his dogma of vital immanence; and he declares that all things in the history of the Church are to be explained by vital emanation. But either the cause or the condition of vital emanation is to be placed in some need or want; therefore, too, the fact must be conceived after the need, and the one is historically posterior to the other.
Then again there is place for the philosopher, who enjoins upon the historian so to exercise his zeal as the precepts and laws of evolution prescribe. Thereupon the historian examines the documents again; examines carefully the circumstances and conditions which the Church has experienced for period after period: her conserving power, the needs both internal and external which have stimulated her to progress, the obstacles which have been in her way, in a word, everything whatsoever which helps to determine how the laws of evolution have been kept. Finally, after this he describes the history of the development in broad outlines, as it were. The critic comes in and adapts the rest of the documents. He applies his hand to writing. The history is finished. . . The whole business is carried on through apriorism; and indeed by an apriorism reeking with heresy. Surely such men are to be pitied, of whom the Apostle would have said: “They become vain in their thoughts . . . professing themselves to be wise they became fools” [Rom. 1:21-22]; but yet they move us to anger, when they accuse the Church of so confusing and changing documents that they may testify to her advantage. Surely they charge the Church with that for which they feel that they themselves are openly condemned by their own conscience. . . .
(To be continued)
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
INTROIT: The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because he was well pleased with me. (Ps. xvii.) I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory &c.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name; for Thou never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost establish in Thy steadfast love. Thro’.
EPISTLE. (i John iii. 13-18.) Dearly beloved, Wonder not if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death; whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shut up his bowels from him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
EXPLANATION. People who are really pious have always something to suffer from the wicked world, as, Jesus foretold, but they do not cease to love their persecutors as their best friends, and are ready, if necessary, to give their life for their enemies, as Christ did. Thus should all Christians act; for the love of our neighbor and even of our enemies is a universal command, a law that binds all; it is the life of the soul. Hatred deprives the soul of this life and makes man a murderer, because hatred is the beginning of murder, and often ends in homicide. By love we know the true Christians. (John. xiii. 35.) St. John even considers love the certain sign of being chosen for eternal life, when he says: We know, we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. Alas! how few will be chosen from among the Christians of to-day, because there is so little love among them! Empty compliments, assurances of friendships &c. love appears only in words, only on the tongue; and such idle, ephemeral, worthless love is found everywhere in this world; but that which is love in truth and reality, which shows charity to the suffering, how rare it is! and yet only to this love is promised eternal life, because it alone rests on the love of God.
GOSPEL (Luke xiv. 16-24.) At that time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant, at the hour of supper, to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out, and see it; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house being angry, said to his, servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house maybe filled. But I say unto you, that none of these men that were invited shall taste of my supper.
What as to be understood by this great supper?
The Church of Christ on earth, in which His doctrine and His most precious Flesh and Blood are given as food to those who belong to her; also the Church triumphant in heaven, in which God Himself, in the beatific vision, is the nourishment. This supper is called great, because God Himself has founded the Church; because the Church embraces heaven and earth, hence many belong and will belong to her; and because having ended the contest on earth, she will last forever in heaven. There the saints of God will enjoy the Highest Good for all eternity, and will have nothing to wish for, since all their desires will there be realized. O, what happiness it is that we are invited to His supper, and as guests are nourished by the teachings of Christ, and by His most sacred Flesh and Blood.
Who is it that prepares the super?
It is Christ, the God-Man, who for our benefit has not only instituted His Church to which He has entrusted doctrine and the Sacrament of His Flesh and Blood, but has gained eternal salvation for us by His passion and death, and who has invited us first by the prophets, who foretold Him and His divine kingdom, and afterwards by His apostles, and their successors to His great supper.
Who are they who excuse themselves?
They are principally the Jews who bound by pride and avarice to earthly possessions, and blinded by the pleasures of the world, did not recognize Jesus, and remained outside of His church. By him who said he had bought a farm are understood those who by constant anxieties about the possession of earthly goods, and the riches of this world, become indifferent to eternal salvation. By him who had bought five yoke of oxen, is to be understood that sort of busy men who are so burdened with worldly affairs that they find no time to work for heaven, for they even appropriate Sundays and festivals to their worldly affairs. By him who had. taken a wife, and could not come, are represented the carnal, impure men who have rendered themselves by their lusts incapable of spiritual and heavenly joys. Since these different classes of people do not wish to have part in the heavenly banquet, God has excluded them and called others.
Who are meant by the poor, the feeble, the blind and the lame?
The humble and submissive Jews, the publicans, also the Samaritans and the Gentiles, who did not reject Jesus and His doctrine as did the proud, high-minded, carnal Scribes and Pharisees to whom Jesus spoke this parable. The former faithfully received Him, entered His Church, and became participators in eternal happiness. This is daily repeated, because God excludes from the kingdom of heaven those proud, avaricious, and carnal Christians who are ever invited by His servants, the priests, to the enjoyment of holy Communion, but who reject the invitation. On the contrary God welcomes the poor, despised people, the penitent sinners, by separating them from the love of the world by the inspiration of His grace, and by the adversities which He sends them. Thus, in a measure, He forces them to take part in the spiritual joys of a sincerely pious life in His Church on earth, and in the heavenly bliss of His Church in heaven.
SUPPLICATON. I thank Thee, O most merciful Jesus that Thou hast called me into Thy Church, permitting me so often to share in the banquet of Thy love, and that by Thy sufferings and death Thou hast obtained the joys of heaven for me. Urge me as seems pleasing to Thee, compel me by temporal trials that by the use of these graces I may obtain the place which Thou hast prepared for me in heaven.
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