December 23, 2017 ~ Ember Saturday
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Vigil of Christmas
3. Saint Gregory of Spoleto
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
With this issue we want to extend to all our readers a most blessed filled Christmas.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. (Psalm 97)
From the moment God promised our first parents, Adam and Eve, a Redeemer Who would come to restore the relationship they and all their posterity lost as a result of their sin, faith no longer rested in knowing God created man for heaven, but that truly a Redeemer would come. Dependent on that faith in the future Redeemer would be God’s willingness to accept reconciliation and the granting of His pardon of sin. But faith in the coming Redeemer was lost among the sons of Adam. Not wanting to observe the laws God imposed upon man to live the life he was created to live, even after being given a life of opportunity, God was forced to destroy mankind with a flood during the time of Noe. The devastation of this flood was not sufficient to turn the sons of Noe to a belief that this world was not the only life of man, but that a future life was promised. Forsaking God, man was left to his own ruination except for a man named Abraham. With Abraham, God renewed His promise to send the Redeemer. Taking into consideration that the posterity of Abraham would not, of their own, keep the faith in the Promise of the Saviour and look toward heaven, God chose to intervene sufficiently to fulfill His promise that the Redeemer would be a direct descendant of Abraham. Directly intervening, God sent Moses to save the Israelites, not just from slavery, but from Egyptian assimilation. The purification of the Israelites through 40 years of desert dwelling was not just to be a type of the Lenten season, but a true necessity to divorce the children from the pagan worship of their parents by absenting it completely from their lives—they had to wander and thereby never have a chance to set up another altar to a pagan God. With Josue they entered a promised land that had to be conquered and then defended. The continuous battles kept the small nation united; being unable to settle quietly, they had no desire to absorb their enemy’s pagan God’s, rather they were forced to reject everything. Once David did conquer the Philistines, the peace in the time of Solomon may have allowed for the building of the Temple, but it also brought coexistence with the pagans. With the adaptation of the way of life of the pagans, Israel departed from the unity of faith and Juda only gave superficial service to God as a sign of its once greatness. Still, God intervened by sending Prophets to condemn the faithlessness of the Jews and Israelites and support those who were faithful in the expectation of the coming salvation. The Prophets, inspired by God, had to encourage the people, as their official leaders had departed from the true worship and sought only their own position. They would take the Prophecies and misinterpret them that either the Prophets were wrong since salvation from their enemies was not granted, or claim they themselves were the saviour only to have the people taken into captivity. God’s choice of Prophets is known only to him—some seemingly not cooperative, as Jonas when told to preach to the Ninivites as a sign that the Israelites were less open to the Word of God then the pagans (The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood–Isaias 1:3). But the period until the Messias did come was not for naught as the signs and wonders predicting the person of the Messias became clearer to where no one who had the least light of faith could not recognize Him when He arrived (Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel –Isaias 7:14). They were like the Protestants and the Modernists; they know the Scriptures but seek only that which confirms what they believe, while ignoring the fact that those exact references prove they are in error. A perfect example of this is found in Scripture. The prophecy of Micheas 5:2: And thou, Bethlehem Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Instead of asking for the birthplace of the Christ, they instead claim only His abode, Galilee, as seen in John, chapter 7. The Pharisees chided Nicodemus when he raised the point that the truth should be found out about the Christ: They answered, and said to him: Art thou also a Galilean? Search the scriptures, and see, that out of Galilee a prophet riseth not. (v. 52; cf. Isa. 9:1-2) Yet, if one did, one would see several prophets, including Elias and Eliseus that arose out of Israel and not Judea; and, fulfilling the prophecy embedded in that of Samson: Because thou shalt conceive and bear a son, and no razor shall touch his head: for he shall be a Nazarite of God, from his infancy, and from his mother’s womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines (Judges 13:5) as also the meaning of the Hebrew word meaning sprout as referenced to the coming Messias in lsaias 11:1, Jeremias 23:5 and 33:15, Ezechiel 17:22 as also Zacharias said the house of David would be separated (6:12). This is why Matthew points to the prophesies after the Christ is taken to Nazareth: And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene. (2:23) That is, the application of calling Jesus a Nazarene should have announced Who He was, not from where He was. Every time one looks at the Crucifix, the acronym INRI sets this fact as significant, to which the Evangelist John had spent a large section (chapter 7) to reproach the leaders of the Jews for not accepting. John also points out in the same chapter that the faithful Jews did see the fulfillment of the Prophecies in the Christ.
As one sees the Christ fulfilling the Promise to Adam and Eve, to Abraham, to Moses and to David and the fulfilling of the prophecies of the Prophets, one’s faith is renewed every year with the placing of the Nativity scene in the heart of the home. Christmas isn’t over on December 25, rather it has been remembered as the Gospel. Mary was the first to hear the good news as she was asked to be the Mother of the Messias: Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33) It was then revealed to her cousin Elizabeth: And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Luke 41-43) Then Saint Joseph was informed in his turmoil: But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. (Matt. 1:20). After the birth of the Christ, the Angels announce the Gospel to the shepherds of Bethlehem: And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. (Luke 2:10-11) Simeon and Anna, the prophetess, both waiting for the Christ, recognized Him when Mary and Joseph brought the Child to the Temple for the rite of Presentation—knowing He, as the only-begotten first born, had to be presented: Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation. (Luke 2:29-30) The Wisemen from the East recognized the star prophesied by Balaam: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near. A star shall rise out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel. (Num. 24:17). In their heart, as we read in the same book and as Saint Paul says to the Romans (cf. Rom. 2:25), they recognized the Gospel, And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:11).
When Christ manifested Himself, first to John and his disciples (John 1) and then those disciples gathered about Him (John 2), He confined the epiphany to the Israelites. Just as the first to know the Gospel were the descendants of Abraham at His birth, and afterwards manifested Himself to the nations, so in His public life He also manifested Himself afterwards to the Nations (as the Apostles would first preach to the Hebrews and then to the Nations). That is exactly how the Scriptures reveal the history of salvation and how it has been accomplished. 2017 years after the birth of the Christ, faithful Catholics still carry the Gospel message exactly as it has been handed down. Many have tried to change the Gospel, but neglect the words of Christ: Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. (Matt. 5:17). Saint Paul reminded the early Christians of this: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. (Gal. 1:8) This Gospel has been preached to all the ends of the world and the Birth of the Saviour is recognized throughout the world, even by those who do not wish to acknowledge Him—but do so by the very fact of celebrating Christmas.
All the faithful and benefactors of Saint Joseph are remembered in the Christmas Masses offered.
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
Sixth Contradiction: Holy Mass: A Sacrifice or a Meal?
It was a call to reject the Mass as the renewal of the Sacrifice on Calvary. One could not be quiet and devout, for then one would be lazy. In other words, those who had spent their school years learning Latin, studying the Mass with all its history and symbolism, meditated upon and prepared to properly participate by receiving holy Communion through freeing one’s soul from sin and fostering virtue were lazy. And those who didn’t care about Mass and wanted to be entertained had now the true understanding of Mass? Chatting? Attend a Novus Ordo service and that is all one hears today; but if one attends the holy Sacrifice of the Mass then one will see the attention of the faithful. But these words of Giovanni Montini would be repeated over and over to all Catholics who would voice objection to the sacred “Changes” of his religion.
On January 15, 1967, Louis Leakey announced he discovered pre-human fossils in Kenya. Calling it Kenyapithecus africanus, he tried to pass it on as an early development of man—but later it was proved to be only an early ape with no more closeness to humans than modern apes. Giovanni Montini, too, was trying to develop the theory for Catholics that supposedly early forms of Mass were discovered by his Conciliar Liturgists that were closer to the Holy Mass offered by Christ when in reality these forms they invented were closer to the Protestant Lord’s Meal and in no way represented the Sacrifice Christ offered.
The changes, as experimentation, were gradually transforming Churches more and more into Protestant halls. Statues were thrown out, altars were removed and tables inserted. Latin was no longer being heard; Communion was being passed out like bread to the line of recipients as in a soup kitchen; music was becoming more and more profane and befitting the dance hall or orgies of a night club.
This was why faithful Catholics were no longer attending their parish church, but seeking a parish where the priest still offered the Holy Mass (Yes, in resistance—but somehow the bishops had not dared to forbid priests to say the Tridentine Mass yet.).
The year 1968 brought the Prague Spring under Alexander Dubcek, but it would be crushed before the end of August. In 1968 Catholics were seeking Churches where an elderly pastor insisted on saying the Tridentine Mass, but they too would eventually find out that he had been forced to retire and some new, long-haired narcissist was ready to introduce the radical changes that “were long overdue.”
The results of a commission that was set up by Angelo Roncalli during the Second Vatican Council (March, 1963) to study the possibility of the use of contraceptives, was released in 1968. Just by announcing a commission unscrupulous Catholics had interpreted it as a signal that contraceptives are permissible. By July of 1965 a Gallup poll, in asking Catholics in the United States if the Church would approve of contraceptives, sixty-one percent said yes. They were stunned when Giovanni Montini released Humanae vitae on July 25, 1968, in which he declared, and rightly:
We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.
Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (Par. 14)
But it was the Tale of Two Cities. For those caught in the Vatican II spirit, it was the moment to reject Church authority and, as John Courtney Murray in Dignitas Humanae, claim that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty. (Par. 1) For those not wanting to believe Giovanni Montini had completely given up the faith it was a moment that, shaken by the faith-shattering documents of Vatican II and Montini, finally something sounded Catholic again. It is the only document brought up by conservatives within the Conciliar Church that they can point to and say: The Church hasn’t changed and why the anti-abortion/pro-life movement seems the only stance they cling to in the Conciliar Church. Yet, in that same Church, by 1970 there were as many Catholics as non-Catholics using the pill, that is, two-thirds of all Catholic women (three-quarters of women under 30) were taking the pill as a means of contraception. Nothing close to Catholicism would be issued from the Vatican after this encyclical.
The 1968 presidential elections in the United States highlighted the aggressive radicalism prevalent in society with riots and assassinations, but still conservatism was strong and most of the population still rejected the overthrow of order in society. For the Catholics the radical spirit of Vatican II was overtaking their churches. Kumbaya was now being sung in the Church with a plea for social justice and help for the starving people of Biafra. As Montini said, you didn’t go to Church to pray any more, you went there to participate in a movement. Were true Catholics cold toward the starving children of Biafra? No! But forgetting to pray meant that man without God could solve the problems of the world and it made the Sunday Mass a fundraiser for charity and no longer to give adoration to God. The Church was becoming even more empty. Priests were once thought to lead Catholics in prayer, and now they seemed to lead them in protests and movements. Nuns were once thought to exemplify the faith of Christ in their self-sacrificing life to the least of the brethren in schools, hospitals and orphanages; now they were only seen demonstrating in front of government buildings. Definitely the Catholic could see that such actions were not conducive to spirituality and how to get to heaven. Again, here are the words Our Lord spoke to Pilate: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. (John 18:36)
By 1969 it was clear that college youth had lost a sense of community and in the search of identity were increasingly being hooked on drugs and rock-and-roll that would produce both Woodstock between August 15-18 and the Altamont Free Concert on December 6, and only produced scenes of hedonism mixed with disorientation and anarchy. When police raided the Stonewall Inn on June 28, where sodomists localized, the sodomists turned it into an opportunity to riot for their immorality—but coincidently it was also when the strain of the AIDS virus (HIV) began its entry into the United States that would spread among and affect these sodomists (cf. http://www.voanews.com/a/a-13-2007-10-30-voa66/331077.html —Retrived September 2, 2016.). Even further into depravity, the followers (mostly young women) of a psychopath named Charles Manson would live in a commune that thrived on theft and drugs and would eventually go on a murder spree from August 9-10 at the bidding of their guru. But a following of a cult leader, no matter where it led, seemed to be what was happening wthin the Conciliar Church, for Giovanni Montini was leading Catholics from the Faith into a New Order religion and, despite the extant of allowing the worship of man in the sanctuary and removing the presence of Christ, his followers were willing to accept whatever their guru Giovanni Montini demanded.
Instead of providing a sense of stability, the Conciliar Church would add to the sense of identity lost, not only for its youth, but for all its members. Catholics could no longer say: I believe in one, holy Church, for unity of faith was lost and holiness was lost to those now assisting at the experimentations and witnessing the weekly changes. How? No longer were Catholics believing the same, for some Catholics held to the belief of no salvation outside the Church and others believed in universal salvation. Some Catholics believed in transubstantiation and the Mass as the renewed Sacrifice on Calvary and others believed in transignification and Mass as a memorial of the Lord’s Supper. Holiness was no longer witnessed during the narcissistic celebrations which called participants to brotherhood instead of sanctification—in fact attendance at Mass was plummeting—attendance at Mass always being expression of one’s commitment to God. Instead of renouncing the world and serving Christ in holiness, nuns were told to cast off their habits and go out and embrace the world. As the young people in the world embraced rock-and-roll, so the Conciliar Church embraced rock-and-roll for the young people in the Church. By February 14, 1969, Catholics were told that the popular Saints they prayed to, such as St Valentine, St Christopher, St Ursula, St George, etc., were not saints, but myths, and now they would no longer be celebrated. If the Church lied about these Saints (that is, that at least they were Saints) then what else did the Church lie about? If, as our youth were told now by Conciliar clergy, the Church was not correct to tell its members children must obey their parents—such as when they say not to date when too young, not to listen to rock-and-roll or attend rock-and-roll concerts, to be home at a specific time—or it was a sin, what is that Church now telling its members is a sin and will no longer be? That is what the Conciliar Church hatched: Unfettered, untrained, untaught and inexperienced youth trying to live free and discover happiness but realizing the world is not free and nor does it bring happiness and so they rebelled against the Church.
On April 3, 1969, Paul VI presented his moto proprio Missale Romanum, where he set aside adoration and expiation for celebration (understood as “party”) in a humanistic service:
In conclusion, we wish to give the force of law to all that we have set forth concerning the new Roman Missal. In promulgating the official edition of the Roman Missal, Our predecessor, St. Pius V, presented it as an instrument of liturgical unity and as a witness to the purity of the worship the Church. While leaving room in the new Missal, according to the order of the Second Vatican Council, “for legitimate variations and adaptations,” we hope nevertheless that the Missal will be received by the faithful as an instrument which bears witness to and which affirms the common unity of all. Thus, in the great diversity of languages, one unique prayer will rise as an acceptable offering to our Father in heaven, through our High-Priest Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit.
(To be continued)
Dr. Pius Parsch
The Church’s Year of Grace (1957)
THE VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS
This day you shall know that the Lord is coming
1. Christmas Eve holds a very unique position among vigils. Usually a vigil is an anticipated night-watch. However, for December 24 this is not the case since the real night-watch for Christmas (lately also at Easter) has been retained, the Midnight Mass being the Mass of the Vigil. Christmas Eve is no vigil in the old-Roman sense, rather it is a fore-feast after the Greek style, viz., a Sacrifice celebrated on the previous day after None. The day bears only a trace of penitential atmosphere with much joyous expectation. Emotions run high–undoubtedly stimulated by the popular custom of exchanging Christmas gifts. And most families have their own observances, customs that should be preserved from generation to generation.
The liturgical texts express wholehearted confidence in the coming of the Redeemer. A scene and an episode are used to good advantage. The scene is that of the sealed heavenly gate. When our first parents were driven out of paradise, its door was closed, guarded by a cherub and the flaming sword. It would remain for the Messiah to open that door and enter. Today we stand before this door expectantly. And on our lips is the day’s very appropriately chosen theme song, Psalm 23:
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