Vol 10 Issue 18 ~Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
May 6, 2017 ~ Saint John before the Latin Gate
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Third Sunday after Easter
3. Saint Stanislaus
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
This week most Catholics will be looking forward to commemorating the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.
There is the expression, De Maria numquam satis (Of Mary there is never enough) quoted by Saint Louis Marie DeMontfort from Saint Bernard, which holds true if it leads to her Son who is inseparably united to His Church. Saint John quotes the words of Mary: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. (John 2:5). It is the only command Mary gives—but to all. The last scene, but it is presented as a continuation, is the Church with Mary: All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. (Acts 1:14) It may seem a simple description, but the mention of prayer and Mary stirs up in the mind the scene of faithful Catholics gathered together praying the Rosary before the beginning of Mass because where Mary truly is, there is Christ and where Mary truly is, there is the Church. This is to show that Mary leads her children to her Divine Son and in seeking Jesus, if one finds Mary, one will find Christ. But if that devotion to Mary doesn’t lead one to Christ, it is not a true devotion. One sees this in the numerous false apparitions which place the supposed apparition above the Church, and, when confronting the supposed seer or devotee of this seer the response is: Are you calling me a liar? Well, no one wants to call anyone a liar, but true visions and apparitions are subjective and private and do not come under the deposit of faith—which means the vision can be repudiated with no detriment to remaining completely Catholic. The demand to accept is the first sign of the disingenuousness of the author or its promoter. If one reflects upon the simple Bernadette who is always humble and places everything in the hands of the priest and the Church it only follows that she would also humbly obey when the Bishop puts her in a convent. If one looks at the seers of Fatima, they, too, simply obey. The visions one reads of nuns having in the convent (e.g., Saint Catherine Laboure, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, etc.) are not because the nun let everyone know, but because their confessor made it known—the nuns usually completely oblivious to the outcome of what was requested of them. If one goes back to the miracles God permitted to happen to attest to the veracity of the vision, one sees the undeniable, be it the spring at Lourdes or the dancing Sun at Fatima. There are no claims to past events or simple abstract claims to future calamities that false seers present as evidence—it is clear that the seers of Fatima were not liars, nor the beautiful Bernadette.
Those who do accept an apparition cannot place it outside the authority and teaching Magisterium of the Church.
As we commemorate the hundredth anniversary and re-read the accounts of the apparition for each month we should take the message to heart: Prayer and sacrifice for so many souls go to perdition because there is no one to pray for them. So Catholic join with Mary in the Rosary to prepare their hearts to be united with Christ as He offers Himself to the eternal Father before Mass and thereby joining with the Church where Mary is in the midst and hearing those words
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
First Contradiction: The Authority of the Pope, to obey or not to obey?
While hearing about aggiornamento (modernization), there was also the constant talk of returning to the early Church, the ressourcement, spear headed by Hans Urs Von Balthasar and Karl Rahner (with collaboration of the liberal Protestant Karl Barth), and having adherents like Joseph Ratzinger, Hans Kung, Yves Congar, Edward Schillebeeckx, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Louis Bouyer (Lutheran convert), and Jean Daniélou among other leading neo-Modernists, or “Nouvelle Théologie“. Rejecting the Neo-scholasticism and the Council of Trent, these theologians wrote of wanting to return to the faith found in the early Fathers of the Church, its liturgy, and sacraments, while at the same time claiming the ever upward and evolving of the Church. Louis Bouyer presents this in his work, The Church of God (1982—English translation of the French edition of 1970), where, in his preface he writes:
Even before the beginning of the twentieth century, people spoke of the “Century of the Church.”. The early unfolding of modern “ecumenism” (of Protestant origin), as well as the currents of thought that developed in Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism, seem to have verified this prediction throughout the first half of this century, particularly since the First World War. Then John XXIII convoked a council. By the very fact that it became a reality, and through its reverberations, seemed to have accomplished something beyond all expectation—and results that to some extent were a complete surprise.
. . . By the same token, with all that it produced or gave rise to, the council can be understood and fairly evaluated only if it is put into the context of an entire movement: the Church’s rediscovery of herself. . .
Needless to say, it was long before the council—even before anyone spoke of it—that this problem had been at the center of our research and meditation. Readers who are familiar with our work on the Virgin Mary, Le Trone de la Sagesse, may remember that it was to have been followed by another volume, dealing precisely with the Church, before still another work on the created universe. Consequently, for many years our thoughts have been oriented toward what the fathers of the Church called the Christian oikonomia. The works were to have proceeded from anthropology, concentrated on the person of Mary as the type of Christian perfection, to sociology, in order to end with the cosmology of Christianity. It is the central volume of this trilogy that we present today.
It is central because of its place in the development of our reflections, but it is clear that in this we are merely part of our own time. For the subject is also central in the preoccupations of Christians of our age. We will not hesitate, then, to say that here will be found the heart, as it were, of our Christian experience and of all the thoughts it gives rise to in us.
Yet this centrality of view supposes a prior vision of the Christian personality in its eternal vocation, as we tried to sketch in Le Trone de la Sagesse and which, perhaps, we shall one day take up again in a broader perspective. But it is also situated within the heart of an interpretation of the meaning of the world, of divine creation, of its fallen and redeemed history in accord with the fullness of the plan of creation and salvation. This is the object of the third volume of our attempt at a synthesis of the Christian oikonomia, which will be devoted to the Cosmos: within the perspectives of this divine glory, in the biblical sense, of which the world is to be the effulgence ad extra, just as the Divine Word is its glow ad infra.
As a matter of fact, this last work has been long in progress in an effort to come to grips with the unfolding of Christian revelation and its interpretation, along with a philosophical reflection upon the totality of the experience of man when left to his own devises and his own lights, at least as they appear to be. The central intent of this study has to be a Christian interpretation of what is called the “modern scientific vision of the world. ” Even if we are a long way from following Fr. Teilhard de Chardin in all his conclusions, we shall join him in the Problematik, which he managed to make famous. . . . [M]odern science has become a typical product of that encounter of human research with Christian revelation to explain the rational order of the world that is supposed by our science and that it can be conceived only in a climate of thought which, if not Christian, is at least dependent upon Christianity or results from it. Yet the development in science and technology which is its inevitable result, albeit a product that reacts against its own source, has yet to be fully achieved (and undoubtedly never can be). A Christian interpretation of it ought to come down to a criticism of the present moment through a philosophy enlightened by the total experience of Christian man. In this way it might sketch the needed complement to what we have discovered, as well as the rectification of our undertaking as proposed by revelation-which is itself at the very source of Christianity.
. . . [O]nly an essay of Christology (inseparably a theology of the Word, of revelation of the word of God in Jesus Christ, and a hermeneutics of history in general and biblical and Christian history in particular) can give the preceding studies their central perspective. That means raising our vision through our own experience and transcending to its supreme object. This object then reveals itself as the subject which is, at once, quite different from and quite close to what we might call another experience in which our experience is contained: the experience of the Source Being and the supreme end upon which our own being depends.
But in Jesus Christ this divine subject and the human subject become one, and their union in Christ is but the principle of a union which is to become universal. This oneness is revealed to us by the Divine Spirit, who is both its motor and its term. Thus our Christology ought to reach its end and completion in pneumatology. Indeed, both of them will have to be transcended (together with our entire vision of the creative and saving economy) in the unfathomable vastness of the deity, in the luminous darkness of the source of all things: the invisible Father, “from whom all fatherhood, in heaven as on earth, derives its name.”
And Joseph Ratzinger not only considers the Council of Trent as fossilizing the Catholic Faith, but always formulates the doctrines of faith in a Teihardian pantheism, such as Tracey Rowland’s presentation of his concept of Revelation:
In his Conciliar commentaries Ratzinger is clearly in favour of the approach taken to Revelation in Dei Verbum and in various places contrasts it with the approaches taken at Trent and Vatican I. He notes that whereas Vatican I starts from the natural knowledge of God and considers ‘supernatural’ Revelation only in close connection with this idea, in order to proceed immediately to the question of its transmission in scripture and tradition, in Dei Verbum the question of the natural knowledge of God is put at the end and God’s revealing activity described within a comprehensive survey of salvation history. The starting point is now the notion of God as a person whose Revelation is personal. Further, whereas Vatican I used the expression ‘the eternal decree of his will’, which carries strong juridical overtones, Vatican II spoke of ‘the sacrament of his will’: ‘[I]nstead of the legalistic view that sees Revelation largely as the issuing of divine decrees, we have a sacramental view, which see law and grace, word and deed, message and sign, the person and his utterance within the one comprehensive unity of the mystery.
Such an understanding of Revelation gives priority to the dialogue which takes place between God and the human person and in turn feeds into the Trinitarian anthropology of Gaudium et spes, of which Ratzinger strongly approved. It is no mere ‘theistically coloured’ account of Revelation, but one which pays due regard to the significance of each of the processions within the Trinity. The movement of Revelation proceeds from God (the Father) to humanity through Christ, and admits the faithful into fellowship of God in the Holy Spirit. The purpose of this dialogue between God and the human person is not so much the transmission of information but rather the transformation of the person in the life of the Trinity. For Ratzinger this is not a matter of removing the intellectual component of faith but understanding it as a component in a wider whole. He believes that ‘the act of faith is an event that expands the limits of individual reason’ and ‘brings the isolated and fragmented individual intellect into the realm of Him who is the logos, the reason, and reasonable ground of all things, and all mankind’. (Ratzinger’s Theology: The Faith of Benedict XVI, preface.)
Basically, and as Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. points out in his “La nouvelle théologie où va-t-elle? (1946), one would say: The words of the Bible don’t change, but the meaning changes according to the times, circumstances and comprehension of the reader and, as such becomes the living Word. There is, then, no absolute Truth.
Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical, Humani generis (August 12, 1950), agreed with Garrigou-Lagrange, writing:
5. If anyone examines the state of affairs outside the Christian fold, he will easily discover the principle trends that not a few learned men are following. Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.
6. Such fictitious tenets of evolution which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and immutable, have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy which, rivaling idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism, since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences.
7. There is also a certain historicism, which attributing value only to the events of man’s life, overthrows the foundation of all truth and absolute law, both on the level of philosophical speculations and especially to Christian dogmas.
8. In all this confusion of opinion it is some consolation to Us to see former adherents of rationalism today frequently desiring to return to the fountain of divinely communicated truth, and to acknowledge and profess the word of God as contained in Sacred Scripture as the foundation of religious teaching. But at the same time it is a matter of regret that not a few of these, the more firmly they accept the word of God, so much the more do they diminish the value of human reason, and the more they exalt the authority of God the Revealer, the more severely do they spurn the teaching office of the Church, which has been instituted by Christ, Our Lord, to preserve and interpret divine revelation. This attitude is not only plainly at variance with Holy Scripture, but is shown to be false by experience also. For often those who disagree with the true Church complain openly of their disagreement in matters of dogma and thus unwillingly bear witness to the necessity of a living Teaching Authority.
9. Now Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions. Rather they must come to understand these same theories well, both because diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths.
10. If philosophers and theologians strive only to derive such profit from the careful examination of these doctrines, there would be no reason for any intervention by the Teaching Authority of the Church. However, although We know that Catholic teachers generally avoid these errors, it is apparent, however, that some today, as in apostolic times, desirous of novelty, and fearing to be considered ignorant of recent scientific findings, try to withdraw themselves from the sacred Teaching Authority and are accordingly in danger of gradually departing from revealed truth and of drawing others along with them into error.
11. Another danger is perceived which is all the more serious because it is more concealed beneath the mask of virtue. There are many who, deploring disagreement among men and intellectual confusion, through an imprudent zeal for souls, are urged by a great and ardent desire to do away with the barrier that divides good and honest men; these advocate an “eirenism” according to which, by setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attacks of atheism, but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma. And as in former times some questioned whether the traditional apologetics of the Church did not constitute an obstacle rather than a help to the winning of souls for Christ, so today some are presumptive enough to question seriously whether theology and theological methods, such as with the approval of ecclesiastical authority are found in our schools, should not only be perfected, but also completely reformed, in order to promote the more efficacious propagation of the kingdom of Christ everywhere throughout the world among men of every culture and religious opinion.
12. Now if these only aimed at adapting ecclesiastical teaching and methods to modern conditions and requirements, through the introduction of some new explanations, there would be scarcely any reason for alarm. But some through enthusiasm for an imprudent “eirenism” [Ecumenism]seem to consider as an obstacle to the restoration of fraternal union, things founded on the laws and principles given by Christ and likewise on institutions founded by Him, or which are the defense and support of the integrity of the faith, and the removal of which would bring about the union of all, but only to their destruction.
(To be continued)
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
The Church continues to rejoice and praise God for the Resurrection of Christ and sings accordingly at the Introit of this day’s Mass: Shout with joy to God all the earth, alleluia: Sing ye a psalm to his name, alleluia. Give glory to his praise, alleluia, allel. allel. (Ps. lxv.) Say unto God: How terrible are thy works, O Lord! In the multitude of thy strength thy enemies shall lie to thee. Glory & c.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O God, who showest the light of Thy truth to such as go astray, that they may return to the way of righteousness, grant that all, who profess the Christian name, may forsake whatever is contrary to that profession, and closely pursue what is agreeable to it. Through etc.
EPISTLE. (I Peter ii. 11-19.) Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims to refrain yourselves from carnal desires, which war against the soul, having your conversation good among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by the good works which they shall behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation. Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God’s sake: whether it be to the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of the good: for so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honor all men: Love the brotherhood: Fear God: Honor the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thanks-worthy, in Jesus Christ our Lord.
EXPLANATION. St. Peter here urges the Christians to regard themselves as strangers and pilgrims upon this earth, looking upon temporal goods only as borrowed things, to which they should not attach their hearts, for death will soon deprive them of all. He then admonishes them as Christians to live in a Christian manner, to edify and lead to truth the Gentiles who hated and calumniated them. This should especially be taken to heart by those Catholics who live among people of a different religion; for they can edify them by the faithful and diligent practice of their holy religion, and by a pure, moral life lead them to the truth; while by lukewarmness and an immoral life, they will only strengthen them in their error, and thus inure the Church. St. Peter also requires the Christians to obey the lawful authority, and therefore, to pay all duties and. taxes faithfully, because it is the will of God who has instituted lawful authority. Christ paid the customary tribute for Himself and Peter, (Matt. xvii. 26.) and St. Paul expressly commands that toll and taxes should be paid to whomsoever they are due. (Rom. xiii, 7.) St. Peter finally advises servants to obey their masters whether these are good or bad, and by so doing be agreeable to God who will one day reward them.
ASPIRATION. Grant me the grace, O Jesus! to consider myself a pilgrim as long as I live and as such to use the temporal goods. Give me patience in adversities, and so strengthen me, that I may willingly obey the lawful authority, though its laws and regulations should come hard and its tribute press upon me.
GOSPEL. (John xvi. 16-22.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. Then some of his disciples said one to another: What is this that he saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me, and, because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that he saith, A little while? We know not what he speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him, and he said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while and you shall see me. Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.
What is the meaning of Christ’s words: A little while and you shall not see me; and again a little while and you shall see me?
St. Chrysostom applies these words, which Christ spoke to His apostles a few hours before His passion, to the time between the death of Jesus and His Resurrection; but St. Augustine, to the time between the Re
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