Vol 10 Issue 12 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
March 25, 2017 ~ Feast of the Annunciation
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Laetare Sunday
3. Saints Castulus and Felix
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
I was listening to a report where in a public high school in Maryland there were admitted 18 year old young men who just entered illegally into the United States and raped a young fourteen year old girl. A woman as spokesperson defended the public-school system by saying the public school must and ought to allow anyone under 21 the right to enroll in the high school and not be denied—in fact not to ask their background or motive. This is all in the name of equality and non-discrimination and tolerance. I applaud her outspokenness in defense of the public school system and without any sympathy of what happened to the young girl that the most important objective is protecting those 18 and older young adults who see an open door to prey on innocent young people because she did not try to hide this fact: Liberals and progressives must defend the position, which is at the sacrifice of protecting our children, that they must allow criminals and molesters and drug dealers and perverts and terroristsin the country and in the schools without question and provide them open access to our children because if they don’t they are not open-minded and tolerant.
I still do not know why Catholic parents send their children to a public school system that professes itself openly as anti-Catholic, atheist, the promoter of sodomy and charged to pervert the morals of the children in so-called sex-education classes. When you go by a public middle school or high school it appears that the only thing the children are learning is how to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on each other. In the newspapers you read of teachers regularly eloping with their young student. You inquire of your children what they learned and they don’t know even basic concepts. Is there not a point where a parent must ask why send their child to this school—is it just for free babysitting? Is it worth putting your child through perverse settings and dangers of a deranged students killing them? We ask ourselves why do our children no longer have the faith and yet we subject them to indoctrination 6 hours each day five days each week for at least twelve years and all the while neglecting to bring them to Holy Mass where they can breathe the fresh air of grace and hear the truth of Christ. The Church, already in the nineteenth and especially the beginning of the twentieth century, stressed the importance of sending Catholic children to Catholic schools because Holy Mother Church knew it would lead to loss of faith and morals. She was right. Do we think public schools are any better today? Catholic parents must come together and find a common means to raise their children with an education and atmosphere that supports the faith of their children, not forces the children to deny their faith.
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
3. The Church Possesses the Attributes of Authority, Infallibility and Indefectibility
St. Athanasius addresses Bishop Epicetus concerning the Arians who rejected the Council of Nicea (325):
Such were the contents of the memoranda; diverse statements, but one in their sense and in their meaning; tending to impiety. It was for these things that men who make their boast in the confession of the fathers drawn up at Nicæa were disputing and quarrelling with one another. But I marvel that your piety suffered it, and that you did not stop those who said such things, and propound to them the right faith, so that upon hearing it they might hold their peace, or if they opposed it might be counted as heretics. For the statements are not fit for Christians to make or to hear, on the contrary they are in every way alien from the Apostolic teaching. For this reason, as I said above, I have caused what they say to be baldly inserted in my letter, so that one who merely hears may perceive the shame and impiety therein contained. And although it would be right to denounce and expose in full the folly of those who have had such ideas, yet it would be a good thing to close my letter here and write no more. For what is so manifestly shown to be evil, it is not necessary to waste time in exposing further, lest contentious persons think the matter doubtful. It is enough merely to answer such things as follows: we are content with the fact that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor did the fathers hold this. But lest the ‘inventors of evil things Romans 1:30 ‘ make entire silence on our part a pretext for shamelessness, it will be well to mention a few points from Holy Scripture, in case they may even thus be put to shame, and cease from these foul devices. (Epistula ad Epictetum 3; Letter 59).
St. Augustine, the great expounder of the Faith and opponent of heresies, pens these lines: Many tongues and various heresies speak in opposition . . . hasten to the tabernacle of God, hold fast to the Catholic Church, depart not from the rule of truth, and you will find in this tabernacle asylum from the tongues which wag in opposition. (Enarr. in Psalmos 30. 3. 8.) Further, he instructs:
The Catholic Church wages war against all heresies. It can give battle, but it can never be vanquished. All heresies have gone forth from it [the Church] like useless branches pruned from a vine; but it remains itself firmly fixed in its roots, in its vine, in its love. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. (De Symbolo ad Catechumenos, 1, 6.—as quoted in Van Noort)
Having quoted Augustine, one must also then turn to the other great Doctor of the Church, Thomas Aquinas, who in speaking of the faith expressed in the Creed, wrote:
The universal Church cannot err, since she is governed by the Holy Ghost, Who is the Spirit of truth: for such was Our Lord’s promise to His disciples (John 16:13): “When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth.” Now the symbol is published by the authority of the universal Church. Therefore it contains nothing defective.
[Because] As the Apostle says (Hebrews 11:6), “he that cometh to God, must believe that He is.” Now a man cannot believe, unless the truth be proposed to him that he may believe it. Hence the need for the truth of faith to be collected together, so that it might the more easily be proposed to all, lest anyone might stray from the truth through ignorance of the faith. It is from its being a collection of maxims of faith that the symbol [Greek] takes its name. (S. Th. IIa IIae, 1, 9)
The Church is the guardian and teacher of the revealed word of God as the Vatican Council teaches:
Moreover, in order that we may satisfactorily perform the duty of embracing the true faith and of continuously persevering in it, God, through His only-begotten Son, has instituted the Church, and provided it with clear signs of His institution, so that it can be recognized by all as the guardian and teacher of the revealed word.(Sess. III, Dogmatic Constitution concerning the Catholic Faith, cap. 3; cf. D 1793).
Van Noort, therefore, says that the primary object of infallibility belong specifically:
1. Decisions on the canon, or the material extent, of Sacred Scripture, or on its true meaning in passages dealing with faith or morals.
2. Decisions acknowledging and explaining the records of divine tradition.
3. Decisions on the selection of termsin which revealed truth is to be presented for belief (dogmatic terminology, creeds, dogmatic decrees).
4. Decisions on doctrines directly opposedto revealed truth(condemnation of heresies). For he who knows with infallible certainty the truth of a proposition knows with the same infallibility the falseness of a contradictory or contrary proposition. (p. 109f)
It extends, as Ott states, to the truths of the Church teaching on faith and morals, which are not formally revealed, but which are closely connected with the teaching of Revelation. (op. cit.) Here one can reference what the Vatican Council (Sess. III, cap. 3) stated as quoted above:
. . . Our predecessors have always expended untiring effort to propagate Christ’s doctrine of salvation among all people of the world.And with similar care they have watched that the doctrine might be preserved genuine and pure wherever it was received.Therefore, the bishops of the whole world, sometimes singly, sometimes assembled in councils, following the long-standing custom of the churches and the form of the ancient rule, reported to this Apostolic See those dangers especially which came up in matters of faith, so that here where the faith can suffer no diminution, the harm suffered by the faith might be repaired . . . . (cf. D 1836)
Pope Pius XII reiterated that infallibility in the ordinary teaching in faith and morals when he wrote in Humani generis (1950):
Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the Sources of Revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. [Cfr. Litt. Enc. Mystici Corporis Christi, A.A.S., vol. XXXV, p. 193 sq.] Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian faith. (par. 27)
Ott (op. cit.) mentions these as pertaining to faith and morals and therefore infallibility:
1) Theological conclusions;
2) Historical facts;
3) Natural truths of reason; and
4) Canonization of saints.
Therefore, if a Council, such as the robber Council of Ephesus or the Council of Basle, the Synod of Pistoia, and Vatican II, does not teach the universal Truths of the Catholic Church, it is not a true Council, be it “Pastoral”, “Synodal” or “Ecumenical”.Nor can a true Pope approve of such a Council or Synod.If a Pope were to approve doctrines contrary to the universal teaching of the Church, he would no longer be representing Christ, and would not be His Vicar here on earth.
In conclusion we may take the words of Saint Paul to heart: “Remember your superiors, who spoke to you the word of God.Consider how they ended their lives, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever” (Hebr. 13:7-8).
For this reason the Fathers of the Vatican Council laid downnothingnew,but followed divine revelation and the acknowledged immutable teaching of the Church as to the very nature of faith, when they decreed as follows:All those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written or unwritten Word of God, and which are proposed by the Church as divinely revealed, either by a solemn definition or in the exercise of its ordinary and universal Magisterium (Sess. 3, c. 3).
Here one may ask: How can the Church, as a whole, be infallible? It is not that each individual is infallible. It is not that a cleric is infallible, or even a theologian. Rather, one looks at the Constitution of the Church, which is founded on Peter and the Apostles, whose successors are the Pope and the Bishops. They (Pope and Bishops), when they speak in one voice, or when the Pope, as the visible representative of Christ and head of the college of bishops, speaks for the whole episcopacy, possesses the divine guidance of the Holy Ghost to teach infallibly concerning matters of faith and morals, that is, to teach that a doctrine or moral must be absolutely believed or observed without exception.
The Church expresses the infallibility of the Pope in these words: The Pope is Infallible when He speaks ex cathedra (de fide). Since there is no dispute that the Church is infallible, the infallibility of the Church in its entirety will not be further discussed. It is true that there is no dispute that the Pope is infallible, but it must be discussed since it is disputed by what is meant by the infallibilty of the Pope—for Sedevacantists claim the fallible universal teachings on faith and morals of those usurping the Chair of Peter proves they are not popes, while those who might admit the fallible teachings, claim it is because Popes are not infallible unless the Church accepts them as infallible. After the Vatican Council of 1870, which defined the Infallibility of the Popes, Bishop Joseph Fessler, the Secretary General of the Council, wrote a defense of the teaching of papal infallibility. In this work, approved by Pius IX—the Pope who convoked the Council and approved the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church which contains the teaching on Papal Infallibility as well as the teaching on the Papal Office—one reads the following:
. . . [T]he final cause of the foundation of the Church was not that the Hierarchy might govern, and that the laity might obey, but that every one might find salvation in her. . . [I]t is the will of God that the Pope and the Bishops should instruct and govern the Church, of course . . . in that ordinary sense in which the words have ever been understood, and the thing practised in the Church. To the Pope and to the Bishops, in the person of Peter and of the rest of the Apostles, was the whole truth of Revelation committed by Jesus Christ, the Founder of the holy Church. This truth is preserved by them, with a true and earnest watchfulness, as a precious treasure entrusted to them by God, and laid up in their keeping, to be imparted, either by themselves or by their assistants, the priests, to all who, by a true acceptance of this truth and by Baptism, have either already found admission into her, or who shall hereafter find admission. This is what the Pope and the Bishops, according to the will of God, teach. But it is also the will of God that they should govern the Church. This means that they should lead on their way to heaven the faithful committed to their pastoral care by means of the truth which they have received, as also by the means of grace which they have received to administer, and by virtue of that spiritual power with which, in the third place, they are endowed. This they know right well, and bear it always in mind: that in their ministrations they should always, and before all things, as their first duty, follow the example of their Divine Redeemer, the first and highest Pastor of souls, who hath said to them, ‘I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done unto you’. ‘Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.’ ‘He who will be great among you, let him be your servant; and he who will be first, let him be your minister, like as the Son of Man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many.’ This ministration for the good of souls is exercised in very different ways: sometimes with loving and sometimes with zealous words; sometimes with instruction by word of mouth, and sometimes with words of written admonition, after the fashion of the Apostles, in the doctrine and love of Christ. (True and False Infallibility, pp. 41-43)
This corresponds as what was written above. That is, everything the Pope binds on the Universal Church must lead, of itself, to the salvation of the members of the Church.
(To be continued)
Fr. Leonard Goffine
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT.(LAETARE)
The Introit of this day’s Mass, which begins with the word Laetare, is as follows: Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her; rejoice with joy you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (Isai: lxvi. 10. 11.) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. (Ps. cxxi. 1.) Glory be to the Father, etc.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who justly suffer for our deeds may be relieved by the consolation of Thy grace. Through etc.
EPISTLE (Gal. iv. 22-31.) Brethren, it is written that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-woman and the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the bond-woman was born according to the flesh; but he of the free-woman was by promise: which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar: for Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born accord