August 26, 2017 ~ Our Lady of Czestochowa, opn!
1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
3. Saint Joseph Calasanctius
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
In a world that is in turmoil, in constant flux, in revolt against itself, it has always been comforting that the Church has always been a rock that never shifts because the Church is not built on sand. It is particularly true also when one goes into the church—a reflexion of the Church—where, too, there is nothing changed (of course I am speaking of the Roman Catholic Church, not the Conciliar Church). It is both inspiring to see those Catholics who go to church and take advantage of the treasure hidden in the field (cf. Matt. 13:44) that is available if they leave the world behind; but also saddening that so many Catholics fail to seek it. What treasure does the Catholic find in the church? The Garden of Eden, where one can converse with God just as the first man and woman conversed with God in the afternoon air (cf. Gen. 3:8f). Catholics, through baptism, have been re-admitted into the earthly paradise on earth, allowed to pass between the cherubim with the sign of the cross and testifying their adoption as God’s children by touching and signing themselves with the sanctified water at the entrance. There should be nothing in the Church but the living waters of grace and the Tree of Life (Christ) in the middle of the garden, surrounded by all the fruit bearing trees (saints). The peace and tranquility that this enclosed garden brings to the soul is only missed because one does not look at going into the wilderness alone to pray (cf. Mark 1:35), but only as one forced into a room to be deprive of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil: the world, the flesh and the devil. One’s thoughts are still on the things of the world with no trust that Our Father in heaven will take care: Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt. 6:31-33) Our Lord Himself commands: Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. (Matthew 11:28) And further, Christ said to them: Come apart into a desert place, and rest a little. For there were many coming and going: and they had not so much as time to eat. And going up into a ship, they went into a desert place apart. (Mark 6:32) For Catholics, as has always been, the importance, therefore, of keeping out everything that is profane—speech, music, objects, behaviour—is what keeps the enclosed garden a place of prayer (cf. Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46) and why, even as children, one is instructed that to violate the sanctity of God’s dwelling place on earth by such deeds was a sin. May our churches and chapels be a place where, as the prayer of the Mass for the Dedication of a Church expresses it, God hears the prayers of His people and grants that all who implore His blessings in this church may joyfully receive the favors they ask; for, too, the Introit declares: Awesome is this place; it is the house of God and the gate of heaven; and it shall be called the court of God. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and faints for the courts of the Lord.
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
Fourth Contradiction: Unity or Disunity?
Regarding Mary, the attempts at compromise destroyed any true doctrine about Mary as well as displeased the Protestants anyway, for Wiltgen places this episode in his book:
Professor Oscar Cullmann, a guest of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, gave a lengthy press conference at the end of the Council in the course of which he said: “We cannot pass over in silence the disappointment that we experienced at seeing the title of ‘Mediatrix’ given to Mary. . . . The fact that the text on Mary, after so much discussion as to where it should be placed, should have finally become the concluding chapter of the schema on the Church—a decision which was in fact intended to weaken Mariology—has in reality made it even stronger, because everything stated about the Church culminates, so to speak, in this chapter.”
He went on to observe that, in the light of the many ceremonies honoring Mary during the Council, and also of the statements made about her by both Pope John and Pope Paul, it must be concluded “that Mariology at this Council has in general been intensified to a degree which is not in keeping with the ecumenical tendencies of Protestantism. . . and with a return to the Bible. Our expectations in this connection have not been fulfilled.” It was clear, he said, “that we could not require the surrender of a teaching and tradition which belongs to the very kernel of Catholic piety.” What he had expected, however, was “a weakening of emphasis, not some sort of revision of the fundamental relationship to the Virgin Mary.” (Ibid., 158-159)
And to see where these neo-Modernists derived their source of belief you have only to look at that of Giovanni Montini’s reference for collegiality. The Vatican Council (1870) stated in the dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus (cf. DB 1828) concerning the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff in relationship to the jurisdiction of the bishops:
This power [Primacy] of the Supreme Pontiff is so far from interfering with that power of ordinary and immediate episcopal jurisdiction by which the bishops, who, “placed by the Holy Spirit” [cf. Acts 20:28], have succeeded to the places of the apostles, as true shepherds individually to feed and rule the individual flocks assigned to them, that the same (power) is asserted, confirmed, and vindicated by the supreme and universal shepherd, according to the statement of Gregory the Great: “My honor is the universal honor of the Church. My honor is the solid vigor of my brothers. Then am I truly honored, when the honor due to each and everyone is not denied.” (St. Gregory’s letter to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria, I, 8, c. 30 (PL 77:933C)
Pope Gregory had written Eulogius the following:
Your Blessedness has also been careful to declare that you do not now make use of proud titles, which have sprung from a root of vanity, in writing to certain persons, and you address me saying, As you have commanded. This word, command, I beg you to remove from my hearing, since I know who I am, and who you are. For in position you are my brethren, in character my fathers. I did not, then, command, but was desirous of indicating what seemed to be profitable. Yet I do not find that your Blessedness has been willing to remember perfectly this very thing that I brought to your recollection. For I said that neither to me nor to any one else ought you to write anything of the kind; and lo, in the preface of the epistle which you have addressed to myself who forbade it, you have thought fit to make use of a proud appellation, calling me Universal Pope. But I beg your most sweet Holiness to do this no more, since what is given to another beyond what reason demands is subtracted from yourself. For as for me, I do not seek to be prospered by words but by my conduct. Nor do I regard that as an honour whereby I know that my brethren lose their honour. For my honour is the honour of the universal Church: my honour is the solid vigour of my brethren. Then am I truly honoured when the honour due to all and each is not denied them. For if your Holiness calls me Universal Pope, you deny that you are yourself what you call me universally. But far be this from us. Away with words that inflate vanity and wound charity.
And, indeed, in the synod of Chalcedon and afterwards by subsequent Fathers, your Holiness knows that this was offered to my predecessors. And yet not one of them would ever use this title, that, while regarding the honour of all priests in this world, they might keep their own before Almighty God. Lastly, while addressing to you the greeting which is due, I beg you to deign to remember me in your holy prayers, to the end that the Lord for your intercessions may absolve me from the bands of my sins, since my own merits may not avail me. (Registrum epistolarum, viii, 30; PL 77:933 C.)
Pius IX took the quote to express papal primacy does not take away a bishop’s right to govern his diocese and Gregory I implies the same and such an understanding was not in dispute until re-aligning collegiality to no longer refer to when the bishops gather for an oecumenical council, but that no bishop, of himself could govern his faithful (flock), but bishops together governed the faithful (flock). The apostles, while with Christ, were a college with Judas holding the purse and Christ as Head; but when Christ Ascended into heaven, the Apostles established their Churches and ritual. The College of Cardinals was a term well known and expressed the Cardinals assisting the Pope. It may be well to refer to the article on Cardinalsby Sägmüller in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), under the section of College of Cardinals to have an understanding of the term College and why it does not apply to bishops:
The cardinals, as already said, are a corporation, a college after the manner of the cathedral chapters. When the latter ceased to lead any longer the vita canonica or common life, they became corporations recognized by the canon law, with free administration of their property, chapter-meetings, autonomy, disciplinary authority, and the right to have and use a seal. That the members of the chapter (capitulars, canons) were the only counsellors and auxiliaries of the bishop helped to round out the position of the former, and to unite them as against the other clergy of the cathedral, all the more so as this right of the capitulars to co-government of the diocese (partly by counsel, concilium, and partly by consent, consensus) was constitutional and recognized by the canon law. The cathedral chapters reached their fullest development as corporations early in the thirteenth century, when they obtained the exclusive rights of episcopal elections. In a similar way the cardinal-bishops, cardinal-priests, and cardinal-deacons came to form a corporation, by the fact that since Alexander III (1159-1181) they alone had the right to elect the pope, they alone were his immediate assistants at Mass, and were his only counsellors in all important matters. Since 1150 the corporation of the cardinals becomes more and more known as a collegium, though such synonymous terms as universitas, conventus, cætus, capitulum are occasionally used. The dean or head of the College of Cardinals is the Bishop of Ostia; the sub-dean is the Bishop of Porto. The dean is the successor of the former archpriest, the first of the cardinal-priests, known since the twelfth century as prior cardinalium presbyterarum; he is also to some extent the successor of the archdeacon, known since the thirteenth century as prior diaconarum cardinalium. The archpriest was the immediate assistant of the pope at ecclesiastical functions. The archdeacon, as supervisor of the discipline of the Roman clergy and administrator of the possessions of the Roman Church, was, after the pope, the most important person in the papal court. During a vacancy, as above stated, both archpriest and archdeacon, together with the chief notary (primicerius notariorum), governed the Apostolic See. When later on the cardinals became a corporation that included bishops among its members, one of these bishops must naturally assume the headship; it could be no other than the Bishop of Ostia, whose immemorial right it was to bear the pallium at the consecration of the newly-elected pope, in case the latter were not yet a bishop, and to whom fell later the privilege of anointing the Roman Emperor, and of taking in general councils the first place after the pope. As president of the college it is the duty of the dean to convoke the same, to conduct its deliberations, and to represent it abroad.
As a legal corporation the cardinals have their own revenues, which are administered by a camerlengo (camerarius) chosen from their own body (not to be confounded with the cardinal camerlengo, administrator of the papal estate), and to some extent the successor of the former archdeacon or prior diaconorum cardinalium. In the Middle Ages the revenues of the College of cardinals were considerable. They were jointly entitled, among other dues, to a share of the moneys paid into the papal treasury on such occasions as the conferring of the pallium, confirmation of bishops, also by nations and fiefs that acknowledged the sovereignty or protection of the Holy See. Therefore, since the thirteenth century, the cardinals have had their own treasury (F. Schneider, “Zur älteren päpstlichen Finanzgeschichte” in “Quellen und Forschungen aus italien. Archiv und Bibl.”, IX, 1 sqq.). Nicholas IV allotted to the College of Cardinals (18 July, 1289) one half the revenues of the Apostolic See, i.e. of the pallium taxes, the dues for confirmation of bishops (servilit communio), the “census” or tribute from the countries subject to the pope, the Peter’s-pence, the visitation dues (paid in on the occasion of their visits to Rome, visitatio liminum apostolorum, by all archbishops, by bishops immediately subject to the Holy See or confirmed and consecrated by the pope, and by abbots freed from episcopal jurisdiction and immediately subject to the Holy See), besides other sources of revenues. The common revenue of the College of Cardinals is now inconsiderable; hence the rotulus cardinalicius, or dividend paid yearly to the cardinals resident in Rome, is comparatively small.
Precedence or rank among the cardinals is regulated according to the three orders above described, and in each order according to seniority. In the order of bishops, however, seniority is not according to date of reception in the cardinalitial body, but according to the date of episcopal consecration. This means that when a cardinalitial office is vacant, the cardinal next in rank of seniority can choose (optare) the vacant office. Thus the oldest of the cardinal-bishops can choose the office of Dean of the College; he becomes at the same time Bishop of Ostia, since according to ancient custom the Dean of the Sacred College is always the Bishop of Ostia. However, in the interest of their dioceses, and apart from the bishoprics of Ostia and Porto, the cardinal-bishops are allowed to make such option but once. The jus optionis is also customary for the other two orders, both within each order, and from one to the other, given the necessary qualifications for such elevation. A cardinal-deacon, already ten years in the Sacred College, holds the jus optionis ahead of a cardinal-priest of later creation, provided, however, that there remain in the college ten cardinal-deacons (Paul IV, “Cum venerabiles”, 22 Aug., 1555, in “Bullar. Rom.”, VI, 502 sqq.; Sixtus V, “Postquam verus”, § 7, 8, 3 Dec., 1587, ibid., VIII, 810 sqq.; Benedict XIII, “Romani Pontifices”, § 5, 7, 7 Sept., 1724, ibid., XXII, 94 sq.; Clement XII, “Pastorale Officium”, § 8, 10 Jan., 1731, ibid., XII, 226; L. Brancatius, “Dissertatio de optione sex episcopatuum”, Rome, 1692).
As one can see, Bishops do not come together to elect their head, they are not ranked, and they do not incorporate as one body (except at a Council).
Giovanni Montini took the quote of St Gregory I to seemingly minimalize the primacy to accommodate the Orthodox and Protestants while, in reality, denying local bishops the authority to rule their faithful because bishops would now be obliged, as part of a college, to conform to the rest of the college.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre saw this and opposed introducing a new concept as Ralph Wiltgen notes in his book:
It was easy to conceive, said the Archbishop, that “three, four, or five bishops in a national episcopal conference will have more influence than the rest and will take over leadership.” This he called “a danger to the teaching and pastoral authority of the individual bishop, who is the divinely constituted teacher and pastor of his flock.” Referring specifically to the conference of archbishops of France, he said that at times this conference would issue a joint statement on social or pastoral questions. “It is then very difficult for an individual bishop to disagree with the public stand that has been taken, and he is simply reduced to silence.” Archbishop Lefebvre called this “a new and undesirable power over the diocesan bishop.”
He went further, saying that it was “a new kind of collectivism invading the Church.” The present tendency in the Council hall, he said, was to make national episcopal conferences so strong that “individual bishops would be so restricted in the government of their dioceses as to lose their initiative.” An individual bishop might contradict a national episcopal conference, “but then his clergy and laity would be in a quandary, not knowing whether to follow their own bishop or the conference.”
A restrictive influence was already at work in the Council, the Archbishop maintained, “because minority groups in various nations are not speaking out as they should, but are silently going along with their national episcopal conferences.” What was needed, he said, “at this Catholic Council,” was not a grouping of Council Fathers on national or linguistic lines, as hitherto, “but a grouping . . . on international lines, by schools of thought and special tendencies.” In that way, it would be possible to see what the bishops thought, rather than what the nations thought. “For it is the bishops, not the nations, that make up the Council.” (op. cit., 89-90)
(To be continued)
The Ecclesiastical Year (1880)
INSTRUCTION ON THE TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
The Introit of the Mass is the prayer of a troubled soul, entreating God for assistance against its enemies: Incline unto my aid, O God: O Lord, make haste to help me: let my enemies be confounded and ashamed, who seek my soul. Let them be turned backward and blush for shame, who desire evils to me. (Ps. lxix) Glory etc.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Almighty and merciful God, of whose gift it cometh that the faithful do Thee homage with due and laudable service: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may run without stumbling to the attainment of Thy promises. Through etc.
EPISTLE. (ii Cor. iii. 4-9.) Brethren, such confidence we have through Christ towards God: not that we are sufficient to think any thing of ourselves, as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God, who also hath made us fit ministers of the New Testament, not in the letter, but in the spirit: for the letter killeth: but the spirit quickeneth. Now if the ministration of death, engraven with letters upon stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which is made void: how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather in glory? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more the ministration of justice aboundeth in glory.
EXPLANATION. St. Paul speaks in the epistle, from which this extract is taken, of the conversion of the Corinthians, which he accomplished not by his own ability, but with the help of God, who made him a minister of the New Testament, a teacher of the true religion of Christ. The New Testament by the grace of the Holy Ghost recalls the sinner from the death of sin, reconciles him to God, and thus enlivens and makes him pleasing to God; whereas the letter of the Old Law, which contains more external ceremonies and fewer commandments, changes not the man, but rather destroys him, that is, threatens with death the transgressor of the law instead of freeing him from sin and reconciling him to God, thus permitting him to die the eternal death. St. Paul preached the true religion of Christ, which vivifies, justifies, and sanctifies man. If the ministry of Moses was so glorified by God, that his countenance shone, when he returned from Mount Sinai, where God gave him the law, how much more dignified and glorious must be the ministry of the New Law. Learn from this to esteem the office of preaching, and be humble like St. Paul, who trusted not in himself but in God, to whom he ascribed all honor.
GOSPEL (Luke x. 23-37.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see. For I say to you that many prophets and kings have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them. And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying: Master, what must I do to possess eternal life? But he said to him: What is written in the law? how readest thou? He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said to him: Thou hast answered rightly: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering, said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him, went away; leaving him half dead. And it chanced that a certain priest went down the same way, and seeing him, passed by. In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan, being on his journey, came near him: and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine; and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him: and the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him, and whatsoever, thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee. Which of these three, in thy opinion, was neighbor to him that fell among robbers? But he said: He that showed mercy to him. And Jesus said to him: Go, and do thou in like manner.
Why does Christ call His disciples blessed?
Because they had the happiness which so many patriarchs and prophets had desired in vain, namely: of seeing Him and hearing His teaching. Though we have not the happiness to see Jesus and hear Him, nevertheless we are not less blessed than the apostles, sin
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