Vol 10 Issue 16 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
April 22, 2017 ~ Easter Saturday
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Quasimodo Sunday
3. Saint Adalbert
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
Dear Reader:One might remember Quasimodi simply as the main character in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it points specifically to the name given to the Mass on the first Sunday after the Resurrection: Quasi modo geniti infants (as newborn infants). The Church has chosen this passage from St Peter’s First Catholic Epistle (2:2) to address the newborn children of God who had received the Sacrament of Baptism on the Vigil of the Paschal festivities. These newly baptized are being instructed that they are to believe in what they do not see but now know, that they are to do the good commanded even though they cannot see the consequences of the good performed, and they are to suffer even though they cannot see the reward for all the suffering endured. No one could see the victory of Christ when He died on the Cross, but it broke the chains that bound us to Satan. No one living could see Christ risen from the dead but to whom He appeared; yet He did rise and the empty tomb was the sign—the sign that He brought each one eternal life if they believed in Him [Last week we talked of what faith requires and will not repeat.]. As the Church instructs these newborn children, she also brings out a perennial reflection upon the Sacrament of Penance. This Sacrament is a boundless sign of Christ’s Mercy. Through the Sacrament of Baptism one obtains the forgiveness of all sin, Original sin committed by our first parents which all inherit and actual sin which is the sin one personally committed. But what would save one if one had the misfortune after Baptism to fall back into sin? There could not be a second redemptive act, a second baptism, as Christ died once and for all (cf. 1 Peter 3:18 and 2 Corinthians 5:15); but Christ did continue in Sacramental form the forgiveness of sins found already in the Old Testament (cf. Lev. 16). To make a worthy confession may the baptized Catholic remember one should thoroughly examine one’s conscience to know one’s sins, evoke contrite sorrow, have resolved not to commit the sins again (mortal absolutely), tell the number and kind of sin to the priest and fulfill the penance the priest imposed. Salvation is only obtained if one departs this life with God’s sanctifying grace. If one, no matter the circumstances, dies with unforgiven grave sin (includes original sin) on one’s soul, there is no salvation. This is why the very first act of Christ, upon His first encounter with His Apostles was to bestow this forgiveness and to grant its administration upon all baptized who sincerely repented after having fallen into sin. May Catholics, simply as children, ask this forgiveness.
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
Pope Leo XIII continues, in Satis Cognitum, to address the Authority in the Church and sums in up in this way:
Apostolic mission was not destined to die with the Apostles themselves, or to come to an end in the course of time, since it was intended for the people at large and instituted for the salvation of the human race. For Christ commanded His Apostles to preach the “Gospel to every creature, to carry His name to nations and kings, and to be witnesses to him to the ends of the earth.” He further promised to assist them in the fulfilment of their high mission, and that, not for a few years or centuries only, but for all time – “even to the consummation of the world.” Upon which St. Jerome says: “He who promises to remain with His Disciples to the end of the world declares that they will be for ever victorious, and that He will never depart from those who believe in Him” (In Matt., lib. iv., cap. 28, v. 20). But how could all this be realized in the Apostles alone, placed as they were under the universal law of dissolution by death? It was consequently provided by God that the Magisterium instituted by Jesus Christ should not end with the life of the Apostles, but that it should be perpetuated. We see it in truth propagated, and, ‘as it were, delivered from hand to hand. For the Apostles consecrated bishops, and each one appointed those who were to succeed them immediately “in the ministry of the word.”
Nay more: they likewise required their successors to choose fitting men, to endow them with like authority, and to confide to them the office and mission of teaching. “Thou, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus: and the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same command to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also” (2 Tim. ii., 1-2). Wherefore, as Christ was sent by God and the Apostles by Christ, so the Bishops and those who succeeded them were sent by the Apostles. “The Apostles were appointed by Christ to preach the Gospel to us. Jesus Christ was sent by God. Christ is therefore from God, and the Apostles from Christ, and both according to the will of God . . . . Preaching therefore the word through the countries and cities, when they had proved in the Spirit the first-fruits of their teaching they appointed bishops and deacons for the faithful . . . . They appointed them and then ordained them, so that when they themselves had passed away other tried men should carry on their ministry” (S. Clemens Rom. Epist. I ad Corinth. capp. 42, 44). On the one hand, therefore, it is necessary that the mission of teaching whatever Christ had taught should remain perpetual and immutable, and on the other that the duty of accepting and professing all their doctrine should likewise be perpetual and immutable. “Our Lord Jesus Christ, when in His Gospel He testifies that those who not are with Him are His enemies, does not designate any special form of heresy, but declares that all heretics who are not with Him and do not gather with Him, scatter His flock and are His adversaries: He that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth” (S. Cyprianus, Ep. lxix., ad Magnum, n. I).
9. The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. “There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition” (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. “No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic” (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88).
The need of this divinely instituted means for the preservation of unity, about which we speak is urged by St. Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians. In this he first admonishes them to preserve with every care concord of minds: “Solicitous to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. iv., 3, et seq.). And as souls cannot be perfectly united in charity unless minds agree in faith, he wishes all to hold the same faith: “One Lord, one faith,” and this so perfectly one as to prevent all danger of error: “that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. iv., 14): and this he teaches is to be observed, not for a time only – “but until we all meet in the unity of faith…unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (13). But, in what has Christ placed the primary principle, and the means of preserving this unity? In that – “He gave some Apostles – and other some pastors and doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (11-12).
Wherefore, from the very earliest times the fathers and doctors of the Church have been accustomed to follow and, with one accord to defend this rule. Origen writes: “As often as the heretics allege the possession of the canonical scriptures, to which all Christians give unanimous assent, they seem to say: ‘Behold the word of truth is in the houses.’ But we should believe them not and abandon not the primary and ecclesiastical tradition. We should believe not otherwise than has been handed down by the tradition of the Church of God” (Vetus Interpretatio Commentariorum in Matt. n. 46). Irenaeus too says: “The doctrine of the Apostles is the true faith…which is known to us through the Episcopal succession…which has reached even unto our age by the very fact that the Scriptures have been zealously guarded and fully interpreted” (Contra Haereses, lib. iv., cap. 33, n. 8). And Tertullian: “It is therefore clear that all doctrine which agrees with that of the Apostolic churches – the matrices and original centres of the faith, must be looked upon as the truth, holding without hesitation that the Church received it from the Apostles, the Apostles from Christ and Christ from God….We are in communion with the Apostolic churches, and by the very fact that they agree amongst themselves we have a testimony of the truth” (De Praescrip., cap. xxxi). And so Hilary: “Christ teaching from the ship signifies that those who are outside the Church can never grasp the divine teaching; for the ship typifies the Church where the word of life is deposited and preached. Those who are outside are like sterile and worthless sand: they cannot comprehend” (Comment. in Matt. xiii., n. 1). Rufinus praises Gregory of Nazianzum and Basil because “they studied the text of Holy Scripture alone, and took the interpretation of its meaning not from their own inner consciousness, but from the writings and on the authority of the ancients, who in their turn, as it is clear, took their rule for understanding the meaning from the Apostolic succession” (Hist. Eccl., lib. ii., cap. 9).
Wherefore, as appears from what has been said, Christ instituted in the Church a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under the gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own. As often, therefore, as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by every one as true. If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man. “Lord, if we be in error, we are being deceived by Thee” (Richardus de S. Victore, De Trin., lib. i., cap. 2). In this wise, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? without separating himself from the Church? – without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching? For such is the nature of faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and reject others. Faith, as the Church teaches, is “that supernatural virtue by which, through the help of God and through the assistance of His grace, we believe what he has revealed to be true, not on account of the intrinsic truth perceived by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself, the Revealer, who can neither deceive nor be deceived” (Conc. Vat., Sess. iii., cap. 3). If then it be certain that anything is revealed by God, and this is not believed, then nothing whatever is believed by divine Faith: for what the Apostle St. James judges to be the effect of a moral delinquency, the same is to be said of an erroneous opinion in the matter of faith. “Whosoever shall offend in one point, is become guilty of all” (Ep. James ii., 10). Nay, it applies with greater force to an erroneous opinion. For it can be said with less truth that every law is violated by one who commits a single sin, since it may be that he only virtually despises the majesty of God the Legislator. But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honour God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith. “In many things they are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me the many things in which they are will not profit them” (S. Augustinus in Psal. liv., n. 19). And this indeed most deservedly; for they, who take from Christian doctrine what they please, lean on their own judgments, not on faith; and not “bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. x., 5), they more truly obey themselves than God. “You, who believe what you like, believe yourselves rather than the gospel” (S. Augustinus, lib. xvii., Contra Faustum Manichaeum, cap. 3).
For this reason the Fathers of the Vatican Council laid down nothing new, but followed divine revelation and the acknowledged and invariable 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. iii., cap. 3). Hence, as it is clear that God absolutely willed that there should be unity in His Church, and as it is evident what kind of unity He willed, and by means of what principle He ordained that this unity should be maintained, we may address the following words of St. Augustine to all who have not deliberately closed their minds to the truth: “When we see the great help of God, such manifest progress and such abundant fruit, shall we hesitate to take refuge in the bosom of that Church, which, as is evident to all, possesses the supreme authority of the Apostolic See through the Episcopal succession? In vain do heretics rage round it; they are condemned partly by the judgment of the people themselves, partly by the weight of councils, partly by the splendid evidence of miracles. To refuse to the Church the primacy is most impious and above measure arrogant. And if all learning, no matter how easy and common it may be, in order to be fully understood requires a teacher and master, what can be greater evidence of pride and rashness than to be unwilling to learn about the books of the divine mysteries from the proper interpreter, and to wish to condemn them unknown?” (De Unitate Credendi, cap. xvii., n. 35).
It is then undoubtedly the office of the church to guard Christian doctrine and to propagate it in its integrity and purity. But this is not all: the object for which the Church has been instituted is not wholly attained by the performance of this duty. For, since Jesus Christ delivered Himself up for the salvation of the human race, and to this end directed all His teaching and commands, so He ordered the Church to strive, by the truth of its doctrine, to sanctify and to save mankind. But faith alone cannot compass so great, excellent, and important an end. There must needs be also the fitting and devout worship of God, which is to be found chiefly in the divine Sacrifice and in the dispensation of the Sacraments, as well as salutary laws and discipline. All these must be found in the Church, since it continues the mission of the Saviour for ever. The Church alone offers to the human race that religion—that state of absolute perfection—which He wished, as it were, to be incorporated in it. And it alone supplies those means of salvation which accord with the ordinary counsels of Providence.
Having covered extensively the teaching of the Church regarding her Constitution and holding to that teaching, it is now necessary to address the present crisis found in the Catholic Church where the claimant to the chair of Peter is found wanting in possessing the Catholic Faith. The following may be stated:
1. The Church was founded by Christ to bring men to salvation.
2. As a divine institution, it is endowed with infallibility, indefectibility and authority to achieve its purpose.
3. As visible head of the Church, the Pope is infallible when teaching the Universal Church what it must believe regarding Faith and Morals to obtain salvation; the Pope holds primacy of authority in governance of the Church, whom all members of the Church must obey or be considered schismatic, that is, excluded from salvation.
The above was necessary to present, because it must be clear that Sedevacantist clergy do know what the Church teaches and that those who hold the position of Sedevacantism are not “hiding” Church teaching.
Now it must be shown, in light of the teachings above, why one can say those who claim to be holding the chair of Peter are not, in fact, possessors of the keys of the kingdom of God.
(To be continued)
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER,
CALLED DOMINICA IN ALBIS
Why is this Sunday called Dominica in Albis or White Sunday?
Because on this day the neophytes laid aside the white dress which, as emblem of their innocence, they received on Holy Saturday, and put on their necks an Agnus Dei, made of white wax, and blessed by the pope, to remind them always of the innocence for which they were given, and of the meekness of the Lamb Jesus. For which reason the Church sings at the Introit: As newborn babes, alleluia: desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (I Pet ii. 2.) Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob. (Ps. lxxx.) Glory, &c.
COLLECT. Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who have completed the paschal solemnities may, through Thy merciful bounty, ever retain them in our life and conversation. Through.
EPISTLE. (I John V. 4-100.) Dearly Beloved, Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the spirit which testifieth that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater: for this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself.
INSTRUCTION. As in his gospel, so in his epistles, and especially in this, St. John proves the divinity of Christ which had been denied by some heretics. He says that Christ had come to purify all men from sin by water and blood, that is, by His blood shed on the cross for our reconciliation, and by the water of baptism to which He has given the power, the divine effect of His blood, and has thus proved Himself the divine Redeemer. This His divine dignity is attested by the Holy Ghost who lived in Christ and worked through Him with His fulness, and when sent by Him after our Lord’s Ascension, produced most wonderful effect in the apostles and the faithful. As now on earth three, the Spirit, water, and blood, give testimony of Christ’s divinity and agree in it, so also in heaven three, the Father, who calls Him His beloved Son, (Matt, iii. 17.) the Word, or the Son Himself, who wrought so many miracles, the Holy Ghost, when He descended upon Him at the baptism in the Jordan, (Luke iii. 22.) give testimony of His divinity, and these also agree with one another in their testimony. If Christ is truly God, then we must believe in Him, and this faith must be a living one, that is, it must prove fertile in good works, and this faith conquers the world by teaching us to love God above all, to despise the world with its pleasures, and to overcome it by indifference. Let us strive to have such faith, and we shall overcome all temptations and gain the eternal crown.
ASPIRATION. O Lord Jesus! strengthen me by a lively faith in Thy divinity, so that I may not succumb in the spiritual combat against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and be eternally lost.
GOSPEL. (John xx. 19-31.) At that time, When it was late that same day, the first of the week and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when, they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he said to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.* Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, you may have life in his name.
Why does Christ so often wish peace to the apostles?
To show that He only, by His death and resurrection, has made peace between God and man, and that His followers should be known by their harmony. (John xiii. 35.) There is a threefold peace: peace with God, by avoiding sin; peace with ourselves, that is, a good conscience; peace with our neighbor, by the exercise of charity. This threefold peace is necessary for our salvation.
Why did Jesus breathe upon the apostles when giving them the power to forgive sin?
To show that as bodily life was once given to Adam by the breath of God, so should the spiritual life be given henceforth by the apostles and their successors, through the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Penance, to the children of Adam who were spiritually dead.
Why did God permit Thomas to doubt the Resurrection of Christ?
That Thomas, as well as we, says St. Gregory, should be strengthened in humble belief in the Resurrection of Christ, and that all doubts should be removed.
[Message clipped] View entire message