Vol 10 Issue 25 ~Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
June 24, 2017 ~ Nativity of John the Baptist
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Third Sunday
3. Saint William
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
When I am reading commentaries and deciding what would be beneficial for the readers of the Newsletter, I admit that I am subjective—that is, I chose what to place in the Newsletter.Of course I will only place here what is appropriate for the Catholic and in no way be derogative to the Catholic Faith, but in conformity to her teachings. That said, and because the Newsletter is to support and assist faithful Catholics in living their Catholic Faith, there is direction in leading my readers. What I find amusing is the various organizations that claim immunity from subjectivism and insist their presentations are objective. An example would be the PEW Research Center, that claims the following:Anonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. Now, supposedly the non-partisan would mean independent and objective. But it isn’t, because they choose the questions, they choose the sources, they choose the subjects and thereby give it the direction by deciding to put those commentaries that they need to give credence to their ideas and leaving out those commentaries they are opposed to those ideas in order to give the direction they want: Liberal Democracy. It is the same with the SPLC (or better, Satan’s Provider of Legal Counsel), an organization that claims to be specifically for Civil Rights, but is the most hateful (after the ADL) organization that is bent on destroying Christian Morality at any cost—and they seem to have the funds to do so and thereby take away the civil rights of the vast majority of Americans. The following link gives one a taste of how hateful and harmful they are: https://www.mercatornet.com/features/view/splc-a-poverty-project-whose-aim-is-to-destroy-christian-pro-family-groups/19970. Remember, not once have they condemned an “Islamic” attack that expresses these peoples’ complete hate for Christianity and Western Civilization; but they will attack a “granny” who voices opposition to Sodomy. After so many calls of wolf, even the Justice Departments are beginning to be leery of their accusations. As Shakespeare phrases it in his Romeo and Juliet, that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, can be rephrased here as, one who hates hates even if one says it is not hate. It must be that semantics makes the difference, that is, using euphemisms changes what is wrong into something that is right; and expressing it euphemistically must be sufficiently convincing to these people that their extreme leftist liberalism is beneficent to society when in fact it is destroying society. Catholics need to remember that always the “I” is subjective—never objective—and does whatever for a reason the I posits. Beware of those, then, who say they are being totally objective.
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
Second Contradiction: The Infallibility of the Pope, to believe or not to believe?
The following is the final section taken from Pope Saint Pius X’s Pascendi dominici gregis (1907) condemnation of Modernism:
VI The Apologist
But let us pass on to the apologist. He, too, among the modernists depends in a twofold manner upon the philosopher. First, indirectly, taking history as his subject matter, written at the dictation of the philosopher, as we have seen; then directly, having obtained his doctrines and judgments from him. Hence that precept widespread in the school of the modernists that the new apologetics should resolve controversies over religion by historical and psychological investigations. . . . The end which he places before himself for accomplishment, is this: to win a person thus far inexperienced in the faith over to it, that he may attain this experience of the Catholic religion, which according to the modernists is the only basis of faith. A twofold way is open to this: one objective, the other subjective. The first proceeds from agnosticism, and it strives to show that that vital virtue is in religion, especially the Catholic religion, which persuades every psychologist and likewise historian of good mind that in its history something of the unknown must be concealed. To this end it is necessary to show that the Catholic religion, as it exists today, is exactly that which Christ founded, or that it is nothing other than the progressive development of that germ which Christ introduced. First, then, it must be determined of what nature the germ is. This, furthermore, they wish to prove by the following formula: The Christ announced the coming of the kingdom of God, which was to be established shortly; and that He Himself would be its Messias, that is, the divinely given founder and ordainer. Then it must be shown in what way this germ, always immanent and permanent in the Catholic religion, has evolved gradually, and according to history, and has adapted itself to succeeding circumstances, taking to itself from these vitally whatever of the doctrinal, cultural, and ecclesiastical forms was useful to it, but meanwhile overcoming such obstacles as met it, scattering its enemies, and surviving all attacks and combats. Yet after it has been shown that all these, namely, obstacles, enemies, attacks, combats, and likewise the vitality and fecundity of Church have been of such nature that, although the laws of evolution appear unimpaired in the history of the Church, yet they are not alike to be fully developed by the same history . . . .
Yet while by reciting arguments the new apologists struggle to proclaim and bring conviction to the Catholic religion, of their own accord they grant and concede that there is much in it which offends. With a kind of ill-concealed pleasure they even declare repeatedly and openly that they find errors and contradictions also in the field of dogma; yet they add that these not only admit of an excuse, but, which should be an object of wonder, that these have been produced rightly and lawfully. Thus, even according to themselves much in the Sacred Books within the field of science and history is affected by error. But they say that here it is not a question of science or history, but only of religion and morals. There science and history are a kind of covering with which the religious and moral experiences are bound, so that they may be more easily spread among the masses; since, indeed, the masses would not understand this otherwise, a more perfect kind of science and history would not have been a help but a harm to them. But, they add, the Sacred Books, because they are religious by nature, necessarily possess life; now, life also has its own truth and logic, quite different from rational truth and rational logic, rather of an entirely different order, namely, the truth of comparison and proportion not only with reference to the medium (so they themselves call it) in which it is lived, but also with reference to the end for which it is lived. Finally, they proceed to such a point that, abandoning all restraint, they assert that whatever is evolved through life, is entirely true and legitimate.–Now We, Venerable Brethren, for whom there is one, unique truth, and who regard the Sacred Books thus, “that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author” [see n. 1787], declare that this is the same as giving the lie of utility, or the officious lie to God Himself, and We assert in the words of St. Augustine: “Once some officious lie is admitted against so high an authority, there will remain not a clause in those books which, according as it will appear to anyone difficult to practice or incredible of belief, is not referred according to this same pernicious rule to the plan and purpose of a lying author.” [Letter 28, c. 3 (ML 33 [Aug. II], 112, 3)] Therefore it will happen, as the same Holy Doctor adds: “In these, namely the Scriptures, everyone will believe what he wishes; what he does not wish, he will not believe.”—But the modernist apologists move forward rapidly. They also concede that in the Sacred Books such reasonings are frequently discovered which attempt to prove a certain doctrine without rational foundation; such kind are those which rest upon the prophecies. And they defend these as a kind of artifice for preaching, which are made legitimate by life. What more? They admit, rather, they assert that Christ Himself manifestly erred in indicating the time of the coming of the kingdom of God; and this should not seem strange, they say, for He, too, was bound by the laws of life! Again, what about the dogmas of the Church? These also abound in open contradictions; but in addition to the fact that they are admitted by vital logic, they are not opposed to symbolic truth; for in these it is a question of the infinite, to which belong infinite considerations. Finally, they so prove and defend all this that they do not hesitate to profess that no more noble honor is shown the Infinite than the affirming of contradictions about Him.—But when a contradiction is approved, what will not be approved?
VII The Reformer
Finally, a few words must be said about the modernist as a reformer. What we have said thus far shows abundantly with how great and keen a zeal for innovating these men are carried away. Moreover, this zeal extends to absolutely everything which exists among Catholics. They wish philosophy to be reformed, especially in ecclesiastical seminaries, so that, after relegating scholastic philosophy to the history of philosophy along with the other obsolete systems, youth may be taught modern philosophy which alone is true and in accord with our age.—To reform theology, they wish that that which we call rational have modern philosophy as a basis, but they demand that positive theology be based especially upon the history of dogma.—They also demand that history be written and be taught according to their method and modern prescriptions. Dogmas and the evolution of the same, they declare, must be brought into harmony with science and history.—As regards catechesis, they demand that only those dogmas be noted in catechism, which have been reformed, and are within the capacity of the masses. As for worship they say that external devotions are to be reduced in number, and that steps be taken to prevent their increase, although some who are more favorable toward symbolism show themselves more indulgent on this score.—They cry out that the government of the Church must be reformed in every respect, but especially on the disciplinary and dogmatic side. Thus, both within and without it is to be brought in harmony with the modern conscience, as they say, which tends entirely towards democracy; so to the lower clergy and to laity itself appropriate parts in the government should be assigned, and when authority has been unified too much and too centralized, it is to be dispersed.—The Roman congregations they likewise wish to be modified in the performance of their holy duties, but especially that which is known as the Holy Office and is also called the Index. Likewise, they contend that the action of ecclesiastical authority must be changed in the political and social fields, so that it may at the same time live apart from civil affairs, yet adapt itself to them in order to imbue them with its spirit.—In the field of morals they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are to be placed before the passive, and should be put ahead of them in practice.—They desire that the clergy be prepared to practice the ancient humility and poverty; moreover, that in thought and deed they conform with the precepts of modernism.—Finally, there are some who, giving heed to the words of their Protestant masters, desire the removal of holy celibacy itself from the priesthood—What, then, do they leave untouched in the Church, that is not to be reformed by them or according to their pronouncements? (Cf. DB 2072-2104)
(To be continued)
Fr. Leonard Goffine
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE THIRD SUNDAY
At the Introit of the Mass the Church calls upon all to invoke our Lord: Look Thou upon me, and have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am alone and poor. See my abjection and my labor, and forgive me all my sins, O my God. (Ps. xxiv.) To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul. In Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. Glory etc.
COLLECT. O God, the protector of them that hope in Thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: multiply Thy mercy upon us, that, guided and directed by Thee, we may so pass amid temporal goods as not to lose the eternal. Through etc.
EPISTLE. (i Pet: v. 6-11.) Dearly beloved, Be you humbled under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation: casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you. Be sober and watch: because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you and confirm you and establish you. To him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
EXPLANATION. In this lesson St. Peter teaches that if we would be exalted we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. This necessary humility shows itself in us by giving ourselves and all our cares up to the providence of God who, as St. Augustine says, provides for one as for all. We should not fail, however, to be sober and circumspect, and not think ourselves secure from the lusts of the world. The devil like a lion seeking prey, desires the ruin of our souls, tormenting us by temptations and afflictions. By confidence in God’s help we can and should resist him, especially when we consider that after the trials of this life the crown of glory will be our portion for all eternity.
Be sober and watch. (i Peter, v. 8.)
Sobriety is the mother of vigilance; intemperance is the mother of sloth and of numberless other vices which cast many souls into the jaws of the devil who, like a hungry lion, goes about day and night seeking for prey. Woe, therefore, to those who because of their drunkenness live, as it were, in constant night and in the perpetual sleep of sin! How will they feel when, suddenly awakened by death, they find themselves before the judgment seat of God burdened with innumerable sins of which they were unconscious, or of which they wished not to know they were guilty! Who can number the sins committed in a state of intoxication, sins for which the drunkard cares nothing, for which he has no contrition, and has not confessed, because the light of reason is extinguished, his life is a senseless stupor, and he is therefore unconscious of his thoughts, words and actions.
But will the divine Judge find no sin in such persons? Will He permit the shameful deeds committed while intoxicated, the curses, blasphemies, sneers, detractions, outrages, and scandals to remain unpunished? He who demands an account of every idle word, will He demand no account of the time so badly spent, of the money so uselessly squandered, families neglected, church service unattended, education of children omitted, and the other great sins committed? They will indeed excuse themselves, pleading that these sins were committed involuntarily, or as a joke, when they were intoxicated; that their intoxication was excusable, as they were not able to stand much; but will God be content with such excuses? Will they not add to their damnation? That they took more than they could bear of the intoxicating drink, deprived themselves of the use of reason, and thus voluntarily caused all the sins they committed while in that state, is what will be punished.
What then can they expect? Nothing less than the fate of the rich man spoken of in the gospel, who on account of his debaucheries was buried in hell; where during all eternity his parched tongue was not cooled by one drop of water. (Luke xvi. 22.) Yes, this will be the place of those unconverted drunkards of whom St. Paul says that they will not possess the kingdom of God. (i Cor. vi. 10.) How rare and how difficult is the conversion of a drunkard, because with him as with the unchaste this habit becomes a second nature, and because he generally abuses the remedies: the holy Sacraments of Penance and the Altar.
This should certainly deter any one from the vice of drunkenness; but those who are not thus withheld, may consider the indecency, the disgrace, and the injury of this vice, for it ruins the body as well as the soul.
Is it not disgraceful that man endowed with reason, and created for heaven, should drown that reason in excessive drink, degrading his mind, his intellectual spirit, the image of God, rendering it like the brute animals, and even lower than the beasts. “Are not the drunkards far worse than the animals?” says St. Chrysostom. Yes, not only on account of their drunkenness, but far more so because of the shameful position of their body, their manners, their speech, their behavior. How disgracefully naked lay Noah, although he was intoxicated not through his own fault, exposed in his tent to the ridicule of the impudent Cham! (Gen. ix. 21.) Even the heathen Spartans considered the vice of drunkenness so disgraceful that they were in the habit of intoxicating a slave, and bringing him before their children that they might be disgusted with such a state.
Finally, that which should deter everybody from this vice is its injuriousness. It ruins the body as well as the soul. By surfeiting many have perished, (Ecclus. xxxvii. 34.) and it has ruined the health of many more. Who hath woe? whose father hath woe? who hath contentions? who fall into pits, who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? Surely they that pass their time in wine, and study to drink off their cups? (Prov. xxiii. 29. 30.) Daily observation confirms this truth of Scripture, and the miserable old age, accompanied by innumerable weaknesses and frailties of one addicted to drink is a sufficient testimony of the injuriousness of this vice.
GOSPEL. (Luke xv.1-10.) At that time, The publicans and sinners drew nigh unto Jesus to hear him. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them. And he spoke to them this parable, saying: What man of you that hath an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing: and coming home, call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance. Or what woman having ten groats, if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat, which I had lost? So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.
What moved the sinners to approach Jesus?
The goodness and benevolence with which He met the penitent sinners. Do you also humbly and trustingly approach Him, and you may rest assured that, even if you are the greatest of sinners, you will receive grace and forgiveness.
What is Christ’s meaning in the parable of the lost sheep and groat?
He expresses by this His desire for the salvation of the sinner, His joy and that of all heaven when a sinner is converted. Moreover, He shows the Pharisees, who in vain self-righteousness avoided all intercourse with acknowledged sinners, and who murmured at the goodness of Jesus, that the sinner, being truly unhappy, deserves our compassion rather than our anger.
Why do the angels rejoice more over one sinner who does penance than over ninety-nine just?
Because the places of the fallen angels are thus refilled; because the angels see how the good God rejoices; because they find their prayers for the conversion of sinners granted, as St. Bernard says: “The tears of the penitents are wine for the angels;” because, as St. Gregory says, “the true penitents are usually more zealous than the innocent.”