1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
3. Saint Bridget
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
It is fitting to make a commentary on the events that happened last week here in Las Vegas in so far as I am living here. First, giving thanks to Our Lord and Our Lady, no one in our parish was harmed. Two weeks earlier there was the Life is Beautiful festival, and despite the depravity of many of the concerts during the festival, it is always in our prayers that everyone is safe and that no tragedy happens, especially since we are literally in the middle of it, and we cannot wish evil on our enemies—only justice and that the sinner be converted. The event planners work with me since the parishioners must be able to enter to assist at Mass. Yet security cannot be disregarded. It was perhaps the presence of a traditional Roman Catholic Church with its intercession that everyone be safe, that spared, therefore, the carnage taking place downtown by a man who took the lives of the 58 persons attending the Country Music Festival a week later next to a large Novus Ordo Church (Holy Redeemer). Why? Because this man stayed, during the Life is Beautiful festival, in a high rise room just a few hundred yards from the Church, but overlooking the main stage of the event; a second main stage is across from the church.
This month of the Holy Rosary, Catholics are reminded of the victories that have taken place against the evil forces that have plagued the world in opposing the faithful of the Catholic Church, first from Albigensianism (remember Bergoglio going to a Waldensian Church to ask for pardon) and Mohammedanism (remember Wojtyla and Bergoglio joining with the Mohammedans and claiming we worship the same God) and Protestantism (in which all the Conciliar popes have made sure to have pictures taken to show they are brothers in the same faith as the Protestants) to Communism (which Roncalli and Montini supported and which Bergoglio believes in). Mary’s victories don’t end here, for in the end her Immaculate Heart triumphs and therefore those of us praying her Rosary have been given the signal grace, through her intercession, to remain faithful to her Divine Son, Jesus Christ. We are still able to receive the Sacraments and attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of which the Conciliar Vatican II Church, just as the other enemies of the Church, tried to deprive us. The Rosary reminds us, if we meditate on the mysteries, that the Son of Mary is God and that Mary is the Mother of God, that Christ came to Redeem us and obtained this redemption through His death on the Cross, that He rose from the dead, just as we will, and why He was buried just as we ought to be buried, that the Holy Ghost dwells in the Church as her Soul (Life-giving Source) and that Mary, faithful to God and immaculate, was taken body and soul to heaven to reign as Queen with her Divine Son, and from where she continues to intercede for us, her devoted children. May we always be faithful to saying the Rosary.
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
Fourth Contradiction: Unity or Disunity?
As one who studies these documents can testify, there was no change in the position the Church takes toward the need of those separated from the unity of the faith to return to the Catholic Church and that Catholics cannot participate in, but only observe the event if assigned by proper ecclesiastical authority in the position of reporting on the event. A public debate between Catholics and non-Catholics would require the same, ecclesiastical approval and competency. This can be seen in its application when the Archbishop of Utrecht, Johannes Cardinal de Jong, wrote the following Pastoral Letter with the Bishops of Holland:
In the near future, from the 22nd of August to the 5th of September, the “Ecumenical Council of Churches” will hold a Congress to deal with the subject “The Plan of God and the Disorder of the World.” This Congress on so vital a subject will be held in our own country, in Amsterdam, and will undoubtedly attract the attention of many of our Catholic people. For this reason alone, we deemed it Our duty to address a Pastoral Letter to you on the subject.
Many non-Catholic Christians have for a long time been distressed by the division which exists among Christians in religious matters. They see that this division is contrary to the precept of Our Lord Jesus Christ and that it necessarily leads to consequences which are harmful to the salvation of men. This anxiety has given rise to the so-called Ecumenical Movement, which seeks to bring about a new religious unity among all who are willing to acknowledge Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour. Shortly before the latest world war, this Movement achieved a more permanent organization by forming what is called the Ecumenical Council of Churches; and the Congress soon to be held in Amsterdam will be the first complete Congress of this Ecumenical Council of Churches.
Beloved Faithful, the Catholic Church too—and no one more than she—is grieved by the division among Christians in religious matters. She too understands how harmful are its consequences. Moreover, she freely grants that these efforts toward a new religious unity are motivated in many cases by a right intention. But notwithstanding all this she knows that she cannot take part; and consequently the Holy Catholic Church can in no way participate in the Amsterdam Congress.
The reason why she holds aloof is not the fear of loss of authority, nor any merely tactical consideration; but it is this alone: The Catholic Church knows that she must absolutely stand firm in the faithful performance of the commission entrusted to her by Jesus Christ.
For she is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, which Jesus Christ established, in order, through her, to make His work perennial; she is the Mystical Body of Christ, the Spouse of Christ. In her the unity which Christ willed exists forever, because of His promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against her (Matt. 16: 18). For this reason, the division among Christians can be ended in one way only, by return to the Church, by return to that unity which in her has remained intact. If the Church were to take part in the efforts to create a new religious unity, and were to do so on a par with others, she would by that very fact concede that the unity which Christ willed has not endured in her, and hence that strictly speaking the Church of Christ does not exist. Never can she make such a concession: for she is the one holy Church of Christ, the one Mystical Body of Christ, the one Spouse of Christ. She must precisely by her abstention constantly proclaim that in her the unity which Christ willed has been preserved and that in her this unity is ever accessible to all.
There is also another reason which shows that this abstention is imperative. True unity cannot exist without unity of faith; and this is being daily more fully realized also by many members of the Ecumenical Movement. But how can this unity of faith be secured? Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded Peter and the other Apostles, and their successors, to preach the Gospel in His name and by His authority: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me” (Luke 16: 10). To this end He promised them the assistance of His Holy Spirit. By the power of this Holy Spirit the Supreme Pontiffs and the Bishops, as the successors of Saint Peter and of the other Apostles, have preserved the revealed truth inviolate and proclaimed it with infallible authority; and they will not cease to do so until the second coming of the Lord. He who accepts their word accepts the word of Christ, and by that very fact enters into the unity of the faith. How, then, could the Supreme Pontiff and the Bishops enter into a discussion with others to consider whether they might not perhaps have misunderstood the word of divine revelation and taught human doctrine instead of divine truth? This would amount to defection from the faith, rejection of the promise of Christ, doubting the power of the Holy Spirit. Never could they do such a thing. They have but one course, to preach constantly the doctrine of Christ with infallible authority, and so preserve the unity of the faith.
For these reasons the question of participation by Catholics in the Amsterdam Congress cannot even be considered. Nevertheless, we will follow its proceedings with interest. For it springs from the deep and sincere desire of many persons who wish to acknowledge Christ as their God and Saviour, to attain to the unity which Christ willed. How indeed could We, who are placed by the Holy Spirit, under a Successor of Saint Peter, to keep the Church united and to extend it, remain indifferent or cold toward a sincere effort for unity? It cannot be a matter of indifference to Us whether this Congress is to be an advance or a retrogression; it will be an advance if it nourishes a desire for the Mother Church and for the unity which is hers; it would be a retrogression if it should result in the wide acceptance of a sort of unity very different from that which Christ gave.
A return to the Mother Church—that, Beloved Faithful, is the one way to true unity. Yet, as we all know, there is an inveterate prejudice against taking this course. Because of the divergences which existed at the time the division began, now that the breach has gone on widening for centuries, the dissidents are so far away from and so foreign to the Church that they no longer understand her language. In many cases a return to the Church is impossible without a grave interior struggle and great personal sacrifices. There can be no sincere return unless the human mind be enlightened and the human will be moved by the grace of God. And we know that God wants us to pray to Him for the outpouring of His grace.
Wherefore We earnestly invite you all, priests and faithful people, to pray fervently. Pray during these days for those who are taking part in the Congress and for the countless other non-Catholic Christians who eagerly look for unity, who really adhere to Christ and live in His love, who although separated from the flock of Christ, yet look to the Church, sometimes without fully realizing it, as the one door of salvation. Pray first for those who are in a position of leadership among non-Catholic Christians; they have a great personal responsibility for the simple faithful depend on their guidance, having often not sufficient talents to arrive at a true understanding of the matter through their own efforts. Pray to our heavenly Father, who “will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Pray to Him through Jesus Christ, who is “always living to make intercession for us” (Heb. 7: 25). Pray to Him in the one Holy Spirit, who gives life to the one Mystical Body of Christ. Pray that all may attain to that true unity which is not man-made but was given to this world by Christ Our Lord.
But remember, Beloved Faithful, that your example is needed no less than your prayers. In other days, defection from the Church was occasioned by the unworthy lives of many Catholics. The Church herself put an end to that by the salutary reform which was effected (in the head and in the members) by the Council of Trent. And so now the greatest encouragement toward a return to the Church will be our manifestation of the holiness of our faith by the holiness of our lives and works.
If in other times, in their defense of Catholic unity, Catholics were not always guided by a spirit of charity, and were therefore not mindful of the words of the Apostle “doing the truth in charity” (Eph. 4;15), and consequently were not entirely free from blame for the alienation which took place between ourselves and non-Catholic Christians, such certainly was not the spirit of our Holy Mother the Church. For she is and ever remains the holy Church; holy in her worship, in her Sacraments, in her Sacrifice, and in the communication of the supernatural life which she imparts through these means. She remains holy in her doctrine, which comes from God and leads to God; holy in her laws, which aim only at the glory of God and the salvation of men; holy as the mother of great Saints in every age. And this holiness is a constant proof of her divine origin. The members of the Church, however, are and remain men; in whom what is human—sometimes indeed too human (Mit brennender Sorge)—may break out; and these human and at times too human elements can be a source of scandal and prevent many persons from seeing the true holiness of the Church.
And therefore also in these times we have a grave obligation in conscience. Now that a strong and manifest desire for unity has arisen among many persons who acknowledge Christ, it is imperative that our whole lives should be imbued with the spirit of Christ; and that in all our activities, in every walk of life, we should seek only Christ and the spread of His Kingdom. Now if ever we must especially observe that precept of Christ, “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Now if ever we must manifest in our own lives the holiness of the Church. God grant that all may recognize this duty; and in its fulfillment, may the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ, “help our infirmity” (Rom. 8: 26).
Finally, Beloved Faithful, We order that in all churches which belong to the ecclesiastical Province of the Netherlands, and in all chapels of which a rector is in charge, a solemn Mass or at least a Missa cantata be offered, to obtain from God that all may share in the unity of the Church. The Mass will be the one indicated in the Roman Missal as the votive Mass for the removal of schism. We trust that you will be united as closely as possible in this Holy Sacrifice.
And let this Our Pastoral Letter be read in the usual way from the pulpit during all the Masses which are publicly announced, in all the churches of Our Ecclesiastical Province and in all chapels of which a rector is in charge, on Sunday the 22nd of August.
Given at Utrecht, 31 July, 1948.
Signed by the Archbishop of Utrecht and the Bishops of Breda, Roermond, Haarlem, and Bois-le-Duc. (Canon Law Digest III, 531-536; Periodica, 37-390 (Tromp). The Catholic Mind, 1948, p. 718.)
(To be continued)
Fr. Leonard Goffine
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
At the Introit of the Mass the Church prays for the peace which God has promised by His prophets: Give peace, O Lord, to them that patiently wait for thee, that thy prophets may be found faithful: hear the prayers of thy servant, and of thy people Israel. (Ecclus. xxxvi. 18.) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. (Ps. cxxi. 1.) Glory etc
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O Lord, inasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee, let Thy merciful pity rule and direct our hearts, we beseech Thee. Thro’.
EPISTLE. (I Cor. i. 4-8.) Brethren, I give thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus, that in all things you are made rich in him, in all utterance and in all knowledge: as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ who also will confirm you into the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
EXPLANATION. St. Paul shows in this epistle that he possesses true love for his neighbor, because he rejoices and thanks God that he enriched the Corinthians with different graces and gifts, thus confirming the testimony of Christ in them, so that they could without fear expect His arrival for judgment. —Do thou also rejoice, with St. Paul, for the graces given to thy neighbor, for this is a mark of true charity.
GOSPEL. (Matt. ix. 1-8.) At that time, Jesus entering into a boat, passed over the water, and came into his own city. And behold, they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son; thy sins are forgiven thee. And behold, some of the Scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth. And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? whether it is easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (then said he to the man sick of the palsy): Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. And he arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it feared, and glorified God who had given such power to men.
EXPLANATIONS. I. Those who brought this sick man to Christ, give us a touching example of how we should take care of the sick and help them according to our ability. Christ was so well pleased with their faith and charity, that He cured the man sick of the palsy, and forgave him his sins. Hence we learn how we might assist many who are diseased in their soul, if we would lead them to God by confiding prayer, by urgent admonitions, or by good example.
II. Christ did not heal the man sick of the palsy until He had forgiven him his sins, by this He wished to teach us, that sins are often the cause of sicknesses and other evils, by which we are visited, and which God would remove from us if we were truly repentant. This doctrine Jesus confirmed, when He said to the man, who had been sick for thirty-eight years: Sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee. (John v. 14.) Would that this were considered by those who so often impetuously demand of God to be freed from their evils, but do not intend to free themselves from their sins, which are the cause of these evils, by a sincere repentance.
III. “He blasphemeth.” Thus thought the Jews, in their perverted hearts, of Christ, because they believed that He in remitting the sins of the sick man, usurped the rights of God and thus did Him a great injury; for it is blasphemy to think, say, or do any thing insulting to God or His saints. But these Jews did not consider that they by their rash judgment calumniated God, since they blasphemed Christ who by healing the sick man, and by numerous other works had clearly proved His God-head. If Christ so severely reprimanded the Jews, who would not recognize Him as God, for a blasphemous thought against Him, what will He do with those Christians who, though they wish to be adorers of God and His Son, nevertheless, utter blasphemies, curses, and profanations of the holy Sacraments?
IV. When Jesus saw their thoughts, He said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? This may be taken to heart by those who think that thoughts are free from scrutiny, and who never think to confess their evil and shameful thoughts. God; the most Holy and most just, will, nevertheless, not leave a voluntary unchaste, proud, angry, revengeful, envious thought unpunished, any more than an idle word. (Matt. xii. 36.) The best remedy against evil thoughts would be the recollection that God who searches the heart sees them, and will punish them.
[Message clipped] View entire message