Vol 10 Issue 21 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
May 27, 2017 ~ Saint Bede the Venerable
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Sunday after the Ascension
3. Saint Augustine of Canterbury
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
As last weekend the children received their First Communion, so this Sunday many of the older children will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Originally Confirmation was administered immediately after Baptism and, even to today in Hispanic Countries, the Bishop does it to all children baptized but not confirmed each time he comes to the parishes during his visitation. The remaining countries have adopted that of waiting, like First Communion, until that of the child reaching the age of reason (7 years). The reason was that some of Church Fathers looked at the reception of the Holy Ghost as being so important and necessary before reception of the other Sacraments that one could not receive their First Communion until after Confirmation. The Church has since been able to bring a clearer understanding in her sacramental theology—because surely even the Apostles received the Holy Eucharist before Pentecost—and the effects of the Sacrament to uphold tradition but also allow children to receive Holy Communion at the age of reason and recommend withholding—except in danger of death—Confirmation to when the children are about the age of 11 and upwards. With modern understanding of the psychology of the individual, naturally speaking it is at the same age that children move from concrete understanding to more conceptual understanding and this sacramental assistance seems apropos to the child that needs the wisdom and understanding in grasping the reality that transcends the physical reality they live in. The waiting for the adolescent years as a sociological rite of initiation or transitioning into adulthood confirmed by a ceremony is not why Confirmation is called Confirmation, but having confirmation retain the meaning of “strengthening”. The sociological aspect attributed to this sacrament by the Conciliar Church rationalizes the benefit of the Sacrament and why the Conciliar Church waits until the child is 15, where one can observe that the vast majority of teenagers have nothing more to do with the Church. It is needed that the faithful do not take this Sacrament to lightly because the plenitude of the Holy Ghost is given in the Sacrament, the perfection and seal of God’s Grace. Unfortunately such an attitude of indifference was found even before Vatican II as this Sacrament was no longer given its importance in the Catholic Church here in United States—being that Catholic Schools prepared their students to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Sixth grade as part of the curriculum but the Catholic children unable to attend Catholic Schools were seemingly neglected. The CCD classes didn’t retain the children after they made their First Holy Communion by not informing the congregations of the need for their children to receive this important Sacrament and providing intervention in Catholic Families to insure the children were enrolled in classes when they arrived at the proper age. As the Bishop administers the Confirmation upon his visitation, perhaps today the priest must take a greater role in inquiring and requiring the faithful who are not confirmed (including adults) a mandatory participation in instruction and preparation—this may also help our young adults to not fall into the sects that have a thin veneer of Catholicism but are not part of the Catholic Church—such as those who talk of the necessity of baptism but not the ministry of the priest or the constitution of the Church.
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?
On the local level, in the local parish church, there was no apparent change until 1962. Then a new Missale Romanum was published with the first change to the Canon of the Mass since at the latest Gregory I (590-604). Instead of changes to the Canon throughout the centuries, for this Canon was made obligatory of all clergy celebrating Mass in Latin, even for all variations of rites, there were only changes in the other parts of the Missal. And even Gregory I added only the words diesque nostros in tua pace dispones (and dispose our days in thy peace) The Council of Trent taught at the Twenty-second Session (September 17, 1562):
And since it is fitting that holy things be administered in a holy manner, and this sacrifice is of all things the most holy, the Catholic Church, that it might be worthily and reverently offered and received, instituted the sacred canon many centuries ago, so free from all error [can. 6], that it contains nothing in it which does not especially diffuse a certain sanctity and piety and raise up to God the minds of those who offer it. For this consists both of the words of God, and of the traditions of the apostles, and also of pious instructions of the holy Pontiffs. (cap. iv.; cf. DB 942.)
And declared de fide: Canon 6: If anyone says that the canon of the Mass contains errors, and should therefore be abrogated: let him be anathema (cf. n. 942; DB 953).
Regarding the title, Canon of the Mass, Adrian Fortescue writes:
One can only conjecture the original reason for its use. Walafrid Strabo says: “This action is called the Canon because it is the lawful and regular confection of the Sacrament” (De reb. eccl., xxii); Benedict XIV says: “Canon is the same word as rule, the Church uses this name to mean that the Canon of the Mass is the firm rule according to which the Sacrifice of the New Testament is to be celebrated” (De SS. Missæ Sacr., Lib. II, xii). It has been suggested that our present Canon was a compromise between the older Greek Anaphoras and variable Latin Eucharistic prayers formerly used in Rome, and that it was ordered in the fourth century, possibly by Pope Damasus (366-84). The name Canon would then mean a fixed standard to which all must henceforth conform, as opposed to the different and changeable prayers used before (E. Burbridge in Atchley, “Ordo Rom. Primus”, 96). In any case it is noticeable that whereas the lessons, collects and Preface of the Mass constantly vary, the Canon is almost unchangeable in every Mass. Another name for the Canon is Actio. Agere, like the Greek dran, is often used as meaning to sacrifice. Leo I, in writing to Dioscurus of Alexandria, uses the expression “in qua [sc. basilica] agitur”, meaning “in which Mass is said”. Other names are Legitimum, Prex, Agenda, Regula, Secretum Missæ. (Fortescue, A. (1908). Canon of the Mass. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.)
Exactly 400 years later after this decree of the Council of Trent, Angelo Roncalli, rejecting the Council Decree and the decision of previous popes to even consider changing the unchangeable canon, inserting the name: Saint Joseph. There are various stories—it may be difficult to prove any, but all attempts to justify this act are merely to detract from the reality: A teaching of the Church which was considered unchangeable was changed. It reversed what the Council of Trent had decreed and essentially what Pope Pius V decreed to prevent such a change:
From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all our thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove with God’s help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this purpose….
. . . . and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses.
. . . . Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. (Quo primum tempore, July 14, 1570.)
All priests who read this document knew that the Missale Romanum of Pius V, under the decree of Quo primum, was not setting the Tridentine Mass on the same par as the Scriptures. What they understand was that the Roman Rite was now required as published by the Holy See and that the Holy See was safeguarding the Eucharistic Sacrifice. What they also grasped was that the same Canon of the Mass that had always been said, and was hated by the Protestants, was still to be said without any change.
Finally, the teaching of the Church in relation to the Jews became askewed. Sacred Scripture, in the New Testament, has it written: Jesus said to them [the Jews]: If you were blind, you should not have sin: but now you say: We see. Your sin remaineth. (John 9:41.) The Church reminds the Jews and Christians that as long as one refuses to accept Christ as the Incarnate word of God, one is as Saint John writes thrice: Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son (1 John 2:22.); and: Every spirit that dissolveth Jesus, is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world(1 John 4:3); and: For many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: this is a seducer and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7.) It applies to all, Jew and Gentile.
In the Liturgy of Good Friday the Church prays for the unfaithful Jews, that is, those Jews who refuse to acknowledge the works God performed for them to believe in Him and in His Christ, and therefore unbelieving:
Let us pray also for the unbelieving Jews, that our God and Lord will lift the veil from their hearts so that they may also acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ.
Almighty and eternal God, you do not refuse mercy even to the Jews. Hear our prayers in behalf of their blindness, so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, Christ, and be led out of their darkness. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Then the Church prays for the Gentiles:
Let us pray also for the pagans, that almighty God will dispel the blindness of their hearts, so that they may renounce their false gods and be converted to the living and true God, and his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our God and Lord.
Almighty and eternal God, you desire not the death of sinners but that they should live. Mercifully hear our prayers and lead those who are in darkness from the worship of false gods to union with your holy Church for the glory of your holy name. Through our Lord.
Catholics believe there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church and, as such, join with Christ Who, on the Cross, died for all. Such an act of charity, to pray for the conversion of non-Catholics, cannot be blameworthy—at least it is not for Catholics. In 1960, Angelo Roncalli removed the word perfidis or unbelieving. One could not say that it now meant the Jews were believing, but it brought confusion to Catholics as to the relationship the Jews had in the redemptive act.
Pius XII had, more than any other world leader, intervened to stop the persecution of Jews during World War II—yet, he, more than any other world leader, was blamed for the death of Jews. As the Pope, as the visible Head of the Catholic Church, alone he should be accountable for assisting the Catholic Faithful in a secular world that rejected all his attempts at obtaining peace. When, in 1945, he speaks to Catholic Cardinals of the sufferings the Catholic clergy and faithful suffered in concentration camps, he is condemned by the same Jews—who had the power but who would not pay the price to obtain the freedom of their own people—for not mentioning the sufferings of the Jews under Nazism. This act of blaming the Catholic Church for the death of Jews under Hitler shows an ulterior motive as did also the setting the number of dead to six million: The Jews were using it to force societal opinion on their side to obtain something, and Catholics began to see it was an attempt to force the Church to reject her own teachings regarding salvation. It wasn’t the first time. The case of Edgardo Mortara in the middle of the 1800’s brought down the papal states as the Jews turned societal opinion against Pope Pius IX.
One cannot say that Catholics, prior to 1960, were anti-Semitic. It is simple logic: Catholics are not Jews, nor do Catholics practice Jewish customs of which the Apostle Paul was adamant to eliminate from Christianity. Jews are not Catholics, nor are they forced to practice Catholic customs. Yet, Catholics were told they were anti-Semitic in 1960 by Angelo Roncalli, and not only had he taken out the word “unbelieving” in the Good Friday Solemn Liturgy, but invited a group of Jews to meet him, greeting them with the words, I am Joseph, your brother. (Cf. L’Osservatore Romano, 19 October, 1960, in which he also says: To be honest, there is a large gap between those who accept only the Old Testament and those who add the New Testament to it as well, as [their] supreme law and guidance. This distinction does not, however, impede the brotherhood that derives from our common origin, since we are all children of the same heavenly Father, and so this should always shine forth before all people, and should be put into practice through charity.)
It is not that the Popes have always been protectors of the Jews when they were being persecuted. It was that these Jews were invited to work with Augustine Bea in drawing up a document for the Council on Catholic-Jewish relationships (which became Aetate Nostra) and not acknowledging that there were theological and political differences that could not be reconciled. They had to be converted to be saved. They had been joined to the leaders in almost every attack on Catholicism. And now they were demanding that Catholics apologize and pay for centuries of anti-Semitism.
By 1962, the book Plot against the Church [A badly translated English edition was printed in 1967] under the pseudonym of Maurice Pinay (a collaboration of bishops and priests under the direction of Joaquín Sáenz Arriaga) was circulating, exposing the Jewish-Marxist connection and its direct attacks on the Catholic Church. The Blue Army, founded by Fr.Harold V. Colgan in 1946, was so named in opposition to the Red Army of Communists, and Catholics were being informed in meetings of the evils of it. It was dedicated to spreading the message of Fatima, in which Our Lady predicted Russia would spread her errors and as a means to convert Russia, devotion to her Immaculate Heart was to be propagated among Catholics. Now Catholics were being told the enemy was not Russia and Communism; Catholics were being told it was Catholics persecuting Jews, not Jews rejecting Christ, that was erroneous (even though Scripture and history showed the opposite, i.e., that the Jews persecuted the Christians, the Jews supported Mohammed and the Moors against the Christians, the Jews were the leaders of the Marxist dictatorships that persecuted the Christians).
In fact, the Church has historically opposed persecution of the Jews and demanded toleration:
Gregory I (590-604) Sicut Judaeis: Just as the Jews ought not to be permitted to presume to do in their synagogues more than the law allows them, so they ought not to suffer restriction of those privileges accorded them.
Decretals of Gregory IX (1227-1241): Be advised that you ought not to allow the Jews to construct anew synagogues where they have not had them. Indeed, if old ones fall, or threaten to fall, the Jews may be permitted to rebuild them. They may not, however, enhance them or make them larger or more attractive than they were known to be previously. In any case, they should clearly have the right to be tolerated in their old synagogues and observances.
(To be continued)
Fr. Leonard Goffine
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
This Sunday and the whole week should serve as a preparation for the festival of Pentecost, that we may be enabled by good works and pious devotional exercises, to receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost. At the Introit the Church sings: Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to thee, allel. My heart hath said to thee: I have sought thy face, thy face, O Lord, I will seek: turn not away thy face from me, allel. allel. The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? (Ps. xxvi. 7-9.) Glory be to the Father, etc.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH.Almighty, everlasting God, grant us ever to have a will devoted to Thee, and to serve Thy majesty with a sincere heart. Through &c.
EPISTLE. (i Peter iv. 7-11.) Dearly beloved, be prudent, and watch in prayers. But before all things, have a constant mutual charity among yourselves; for charity covereth a multitude of sins. Using hospitality one towards another without murmuring: as every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the words of God: if any man minister, let him do it as of the power which God administereth; that in all things God may be honored through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
EXPLANATION. The practice of the virtues which St. Peter here prescribes for the faithful, is an excellent preparation for the reception of the Holy Ghost, for nothing renders us more worthy of His visit than true love for our neighbor, the good use of God’s gifts; and the faithful discharge of the duties of our state of life. Strive, therefore, to practise these virtues and thus make yourself less unworthy of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Say daily during the week the following prayer:
Come, Holy Spirit, who hast assembled the people of all tongues in unity of faith, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy divine love.
GOSPEL. (John xv. 26-27., to xvi. 1-4.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whomsoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things I have told you, that, when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you.