All the world’s a stage, Shakespeare
Vol 10 Issue 17 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
April 29, 2017 ~ Saint Peter of Verona
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Good Shepherd Sunday
3. Saint Catherine of Siena
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
Shakespeare wrote the play, As You Like It (1600) in which he has one of the characters stating: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. Such a statement is no truer than today, where everything has become a drama and everyone acts a part that is scripted for them. It is particularly disheartening that so many feel they have to take their script from television—but it seems that the media has such a sway over those who have no sense of purpose that they eagerly grab it and try to act out the part. Truly humanity is like a sheepfold and each of us is like a sheep in the sense that generally we follow: And seeing the multitudes, he had compassion on them: because they were distressed, and lying like sheep that have no shepherd (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34). Our Lord, knowing that so few wish to take the effort to live the lives His heavenly Father planned for them, but as sheep follow the easiest course, the path of least resistance, where the grass seems greener and all the other thoughtless sheep run. Therefore He places Himself as the Good Shepherd who is portrayed in Psalm 22:
The Lord ruleth me (pastors me or is my Shepherd—Hebrew רֹ֝עִ֗י): and I shall want nothing. He hath set me in a place of pasture. He hath brought me up, on the water of refreshment: He hath converted my soul. He hath led me on the paths of justice, for his own name’s sake. For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it!
Our Lord invites the sheep to sit down in the green pastures where He feeds them: And he commanded them that they should make them all sit down by companies upon the green grass. . . And they all did eat, and had their fill. (Mark 6:39, 43). He gives the call to His sheep: Follow me(cf. Matt. 9.9, 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22; and John 21:22). The true Shepherd laid down His life for His Sheep (John 10:11) but He provided Shepherds and Guardians (τὸν Ποιμένα καὶ Ἐπίσκοπον=episcopon, bishop) which Saint Peter brings out in his Catholic Epistle: For you were as sheep going astray; but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls (1 Peter 2:25). By following the Church who governs us through the Bishops can we be assured of not being led astray—and this takes us to the Church being Apostolic, i.e., built upon the Apostles—no bishop, no Church. Regarding the Prince (leader) of the Apostles, we have the continuation of the series: Is the Chair of Peter Vacant.
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?
If one delves into the history of most heretical and schismatic sects, speaking of only those that directly departed from the Catholic Church, they did so not in a sudden split, but rather gradually. The Church did not want to separate the wheat from the cockle (cf. Matt. 13:24 ff.) and did everything to bring the erring back to the Truth. This can be witnessed in the Epistles, where Saint Paul, speaking of the controversy in Corinth, reproves the Church there:
For first of all I hear that when you come together in the church, there are schisms among you; and in part I believe it. For there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you. When you come therefore together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord’ s supper. . . . Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep. (1 Cor. 11:18-22, 27-30.)
Again, he admonishes the Galatians:
I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. (Gal. 1:6-9.)
Yet, he tells Titus: A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid: Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment. (Titus 3:10-11)
Saint John, in his First Epistle, indicates that these who oppose truth eventually leave of their own accord:
[A]s you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us. (1 John 2:18-19)
This is particularly evident when the innovators came along in the Sixteenth Century. They called the Roman Church “the Babylon of the Apocalypse, the synagogue of Satan, the society of Antichrist” (cf. Martin Luther, On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, October of 1520). The Church, though pronouncing excommunication on Luther in July of 1520 had spent years trying to keep him in the faith, but were forced to publicly condemn him. Yet, it was Martin Luther who actually rejected reconciliation:
As far back as 10 July, when the Bull was only under discussion, he scornfully defied it. “As for me, the die is cast: I despise alike the favour and fury of Rome; I do not wish to be reconciled with her, or ever to hold any communion with her. Let her condemn and burn my books; I, in turn, unless I can find no fire, will condemn and publicly burn the whole pontifical law, that swamp of heresies” [(De Wette, op. cit., 466.) H. Ganss: Martin Luther, Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IX.]
The foregoing was introduced to show why, at first, amongst traditional Catholics, there was not an immediate condemnation of the Modernists and their actions due to their (traditional Catholics) spirit to be faithful. However, there was an immediate condemnation by the Modernists of traditional Catholics who rejected their errors, and the Modernists were quick to expel priests and laity from their parishes. In fact, though Angelo Roncalli was introducing teachings that were erroneous, no thought was given to the possibility that he was not a valid Pope. They therefore gave the benefit of the doubt that his teachings were valid.
Councils have been called frequently in the history of the Church. The first being the Council of Jerusalem (cir. 54 A.D.). Though many may count the first Ecumenical to be the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), there had been twenty or twenty-one accepted Ecumenical Councils. So the fact that an Ecumenical Council had been called by Angelo Roncalli raised no concern. However, the goal for this council was presented as Aggiornamento which, of itself, roused the Catholic sensus that something was wrong. It was a word one would never forget even if mispronounced, because it encapsulated everything Angelo Roncalli would initiate. It also implied that the “old” spirit that every Catholic embraced was to be swept away and replaced by the “new”. Angelo Roncalli described it thus: “Throw open the windows of the church and let the fresh air of the spirit blow through”, and “Renew your wonders in our time, as though in a new Pentecost” (Humanae Salutis, October 4, 1962). The Holy Ghost was out, the spirit of the world was in—and everything was changed to SPIRIT. As one Catholic of the time stated: They (the Conciliar Church) gave up the (Holy) Ghost.
One of the proposals of the Council was to address the problem of Clericalism, defined as the clergy abusing the laity by demanding the laity serve them as lords, the laity accepting their position as subjects, as opposed to the clergy serving the laity by administering the Sacraments and Spiritual treasures of the Church to them. Clericalism had been a perennial problem in the Church due to the weakness of human nature. This may be why Our Lord specifically used the washing of the feet as a rite of sacrifice even before He instituted the Holy Eucharist before his Passion and Death. In doing so, he warned the Apostles: “Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master, and Lord; and you say well for so I am. If then I being your Lord and Master have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that, as I have done to you, so do you also.”(John 13:12ff).
Catholics had the patience to understand that Christ uses human instruments, and the Church, through her Popes, Councils and saints, constantly reminded the clergy of their obligations toward the laity. However, the modernization or updating resulting from this council did nothing to rein in Clericalism, but instead became even more bureaucratic and oppressive toward the laity. Now, it was no longer the parish priest who had care of the souls entrusted to him, but the gauntlet of a parish office of busy-body women the lay person had to come up against and pass through.
The Modernization was Modernism, it was updating the faith to coincide with the Modern Secular World: “The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character”. (In Sollemni SS. Concilii Inauguratione, October 11, 1962.) This phrase, “the way in which it is presented is another”, was used as a semantical tool not to change words, but to change meanings. Church equated to Mystery and Mystery equated to Sacrament and the Church became a Sacrament, a Holy Communion, or a Sacramental Communion. That is, there is a Eucharistic Celebration whenever the People of God gathered together, with no reference at all to Transubstantiation and the Presence of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread and wine which is offered in a perpetual sacrifice—no, the only presence of Christ in a Eucharistic setting was the people of God assembled and celebrating. Nor was the Church based on an understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ, so-well treated by Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical, Mystici Corporis Christi(June 29, 1943), which Pope Leo XIII also described in Satis cognitum(June 29, 1896), drawing from Scripture and the Fathers of the Church. It negated the Sacraments as the source of sanctification and presented the Church as a human entity centered on humanistic evolvement. Of course, this was not completely evident before Vatican II, but it was undeniable afterwards. Definitely, aggiornamento, and its unholy spirit was disturbing the peace of the Church even prior to Vatican II. And the new Pentecost it brought with it was clarified by Leon Suenens: The Second Vatican Council emphasized the Church as the People of God on pilgrimage, at the service of the world. (A New Pentecost, p. 2)
In the Preface to his Book, A New Pentecost, Suenens states in 1974:
To those who at this moment are distressed because they cannot recognize—in the confusion and the changes of today—the Church of their childhood or even that of yesterday, this book offers a message: be of courage, the power of the Holy Spirit is at work deep within the heart of his Church, breathing into it a fresh youthfulness. It is the Spirit who is our living hope for the future.
When Vatican II was announced, hopes were high. Just before the Council opened, Pope John XXIII suggested that we should read the Acts of the Apostles and relive the time when the disciples were together in the upper room preparing to receive the Spirit. “joined in continuous prayer, along with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus … ” (Acts I, 14). Pope John prayed and asked the Lord: “Renew your wonders in this our day give us a new Pentecost.”
The Council came, and it was an inestimable grace. It opened new vistas and charted fresh ways for renewing the Church, but it entrusted to the future the task of bringing to full fruition the consequences of the logic implied in the Council’s fundamental decrees. The Fathers at the Council were not unaware that the work which remained exceeded men’s capacities to realize it. and they said so clearly: “The Spirit endows and directs the Church with various gifts, both hierarchical and charismatic, and adorns her with the fruits of his grace (cf. Eph. 4, 11-12; 1 Cor. 12, 4; Gal. 5, 22). By the power of the Gospel he makes the Church grow, perpetually renews her, and leads her to perfect union with her Spouse.”)
We should reflect on these words. We must look to the Spirit beyond men and their limitations. Future historians will say that the Council opened a few windows in the upper room and let in the first breeze of springtime. But they will add, no doubt, that the “mighty wind” of Pentecost had yet to fill “the whole house” in which the disciples were sitting.
We should not be surprised, then, that Pope Paul VI in his turn took up the prayer of John XXIII and asked the Lord to grant us a “new Pentecost.” He has expressed this wish insistently and frequently, saying that the Church today needs first and foremost the miracle of Pentecost: the wind and fire and spiritual power which is the Holy Spirit.
These words are not idle, for as the site for Leon Suenens on the John Carroll University web pages states:
When Pope John XXIII called the world’s bishops to Rome for a council that lasted four years (1962–1965), he found in Suenens a man who shared his views on the need for renewal in the Church. When the first session fell into organizational chaos under its weight of documents, it was Suenens who, at the invitation of the pope, rescued it from deadlock and essentially set the agenda for the Council. If Pope John opened the window, it was Suenens who pulled back the curtains so that fresh air could circulate. Dialogue with other Christian denominations as well as other religions, the expanded role of the laity, modernization of canonical religious life for women, religious liberty, collaboration and co-responsibility in the Church were among the causes he advocated.
Pope Paul VI, who succeeded Pope John in June, 1963, made Cardinal Suenens one of the four moderators of the Council and in the opinion of many Church historians he was the animateur and the star among them.(Retrieved on April 26, 2016 from http://sites.jcu.edu/suenens/pages/cardinal-suenens/)
One need not go into his role of introducing the Charismatic Movement into the Modernist Church, disenfranchising many who had left the Protestant sects because of the bizarre antics of these emotional high pursuers and who cared nothing of faith or family.
(To be continued)
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE SECOND SUNDAY
Because of the joyous Resurrection of Christ, and the graces flowing to us on account of it, the Church sings at the Introit of the Mass: The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord, alleluia; by the word of the Lord the heavens were established, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. (Ps. xxii.) Glory be to the Father, &c.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O God, who in the humility of Thy Son hast raised up a fallen world; grant to Thy faithful a perpetual joyfulness; that whereas Thou hast rescued them from the perils of eternal death, Thou mayest bring them to the fruition of everlasting joy. Through &c.
EPISTLE (i Pet ii. 21-25.) Dearly beloved, Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, did not revile; when he suffered, he threatened not; but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly; who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.
EXPLANATION. St. Peter teaches the Christians patience in misery and afflictions, even in unjust persecution, and for this purpose places before them the example of Christ who, though most innocent, suffered most terribly and most patiently. Are we true sheep of the good Shepherd if at the smallest cross, at every word, we become angry and impatient?
ASPIRATION. O Lord Jesus! grant me the grace to follow Thee, my good Shepherd, and not to complain and make threats whenever I am reprimanded, reviled or persecuted for justice sake.
GOSPEL (John x. 11-16.) At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth; and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.
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