Missing a Millennium
by Thomas A. Droleskey
What's a Thousand Years Among Friends? seven months ago discussed The Ravenna Document, a product of
the "Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church." At the heart of The Ravenna Document is the embodiment of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's view, expressed in his Principles of Catholic Theology, that the heretical and schismatic Orthodox should not be required to accept a concept of the doctrine of Papal Primacy that he, Ratzinger, asserts positivistically did not exist in the First Millennium of the Catholic Church:
After all, Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, in the same bull in which he excommunicated the Patriarch Michael Cerularius and thus inaugurated the schism between East and West, designated the Emperor and the people of Constantinople as "very Christian and orthodox", although their concept of the Roman primary was certainly far less different from that of Cerularius than from that, let us say, of the First Vatican Council. In other words, Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. (Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 198-199)
This view, which distorts the truth of the the First Millennium and consigns the doctrinal developments of the Second Millennium to little than than "optional" if they prove to be "obstacles" in the path of false ecumenism's apostate notion of "unity" with certain Protestant sects and with the Orthodox. Doctrinal developments of the Second Millennium, however, are just as binding as the ones of the First Millennium. Each compromises integral parts of the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted to His Catholic Church from which no one may dissent legitimately, either in part on in whole.
Pope Pius XI made this very clear in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:
These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment "Love one another," altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you." For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful? For example, those who affirm, and those who deny that sacred Tradition is a true fount of divine Revelation; those who hold that an ecclesiastical hierarchy, made up of bishops, priests and ministers, has been divinely constituted, and those who assert that it has been brought in little by little in accordance with the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that marvelous conversion of the bread and wine, which is called transubstantiation, and those who affirm that Christ is present only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognize the nature both of a sacrament and of a sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial or commemoration of the Lord's Supper; those who believe it to be good and useful to invoke by prayer the Saints reigning with Christ, especially Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who urge that such a veneration is not to be made use of, for it is contrary to the honor due to Jesus Christ, "the one mediator of God and men." How so great a variety of opinions can make the way clear to effect the unity of the Church We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians. But We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.
The selective dispensing (or redefining) of the dogmatic decrees and papal pronouncements of the Second Millennium is one of fundamental building blocks of Modernism. It is at the heart of "interreligious dialogue" between the counterfeit church of conciliarism and the Orthodox. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is using his General Audience talks each Wednesday to use his New Theology to deconstruct the Fathers of the Church in order to make them witnesses in behalf of conciliarism, which is why the Scholasticism of the Second Millennium, which Ratzinger/Benedict believes has obscured the "true" meaning of the Fathers, must be jettisoned in perfect accord with the precepts of the New Theology condemned by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950:
Unfortunately these advocates of novelty easily pass from despising scholastic theology to the neglect of and even contempt for the Teaching Authority of the Church itself, which gives such authoritative approval to scholastic theology. This Teaching Authority is represented by them as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle in the way of science. Some non Catholics consider it as an unjust restraint preventing some more qualified theologians from reforming their subject. And although this sacred Office of Teacher in matters of faith and morals must be the proximate and universal criterion of truth for all theologians, since to it has been entrusted by Christ Our Lord the whole deposit of faith -- Sacred Scripture and divine Tradition -- to be preserved, guarded and interpreted, still the duty that is incumbent on the faithful to flee also those errors which more or less approach heresy, and accordingly "to keep also the constitutions and decrees by which such evil opinions are proscribed and forbidden by the Holy See," is sometimes as little known as if it did not exist. What is expounded in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the nature and constitution of the Church, is deliberately and habitually neglected by some with the idea of giving force to a certain vague notion which they profess to have found in the ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks. The Popes, they assert, do not wish to pass judgment on what is a matter of dispute among theologians, so recourse must be had to the early sources, and the recent constitutions and decrees of the Teaching Church must be explained from the writings of the ancients. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's efforts to base certain aspects of false ecumenism on his warped view of the history of the First Millennium are not confined to defining the terms of "dialogue" with the Orthodox. No, these efforts seem as though they are foundation for how the scions of the counterfeit church of conciliarism intend to "dialogue" with the heretical and schismatic Anglicans. That great friend of Catholic doctrine, Walter "Cardinal" Kasper, made this clear last week:
The Vatican has said that the time has come for the Anglican Church to choose between Protestantism and the ancient churches of Rome and Orthodoxy.
Speaking on the day that the Archbishop of Canterbury met Benedict XVI in Rome, Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council of Christian Unity, said it was time for Anglicanism to "clarify its identity".
He told the Catholic Herald: "Ultimately, it is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong?
"Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic and Orthodox - or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the 16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain difficult decisions."
He said he hoped that the Lambeth conference, an event which brings the worldwide Anglican Communion together every 10 years, would be the deciding moment for Anglicanism.
Cardinal Kasper, who has been asked to speak at the Lambeth Conference by the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: "We hope that certain fundamental questions will be clarified at the conference so that dialogue will be possible."
We shall work and pray that it is possible, but I think that it is not sustainable to keep pushing decision-making back because it only extends the crisis."
His comments will be interpreted as an attempt by Rome to put pressure on the Church of England not to proceed with the ordination women bishops or to sanction gay partnerships, both serious obstacles to unity.
They have come at an extremely sensitive time for the Anglican Communion, as cracks between different factions in the church are beginning to show ahead of the conference in July.
Dr Rowan Williams faces rebellion from conservative and liberal Anglicans over homosexuality and women bishops.
The Rt Rev Gene Robinson, the Anglican bishop of New Hampshire, whose attempts to enter into a civil union with his gay partner have angered conservative Anglicans, plans to attend the public events of the conference despite the fact that he has not been invited by Dr Williams.
On the other side of the spectrum, rebel conservative bishops, headed by Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, dismayed by the Archbishop of Canterbury's refusal to condemn homosexuality outright, plan a rival conference in the Holy Land in June.
Ecumenical dialogue between Rome and the Anglican Communion ground to a halt in 2006. Cardinal Kasper said at the time that a decision by the Church of England to consecrate women bishops would lead to "a serious and long lasting chill".
But last month the Church of England's Legislative Drafting Group published a report preparing the ground for women bishops, who are already ordained in several Anglican provinces. Williams faces historic choice, says Vatican cardinal
There are so many errors in Walter Kasper's comments that it is hard to know where to begin. Two will be identified here.
The first error to note in Kasper's comments concerns his accepting the Anglican sect as "church" which has "decisions" to make. The "Anglican Church" has no right to exist. It is a false church, a false religion. The only "decision" that individual Anglicans have to make is to convert to the true Church, the Catholic Church, without any conditions whatsoever. The Anglican sect is not a "church" with a valid orders and sacraments, is it?
Pope Leo XIII made this clear in Apostolicae Curae, September 15, 1896:
For the full and accurate understanding of the Anglican Ordinal, besides what we have noted as to some of its parts, there is nothing more pertinent than to consider carefully the circumstances under which it was composed and publicly authorized. It would be tedious to enter into details, nor is it necessary to do so, as the history of that time is sufficiently eloquent as to the animus of the authors of the Ordinal against the Catholic Church; as to the abettors whom they associated with themselves from the heterodox sects; and as to the end they had in view. Being fully cognizant of the necessary connection between faith and worship, between "the law of believing and the law of praying", under a pretext of returning to the primitive form, they corrupted the Liturgical Order in many ways to suit the errors of the reformers. For this reason, in the whole Ordinal not only is there no clear mention of the sacrifice, of consecration, of the priesthood (sacerdotium), and of the power of consecrating and offering sacrifice but, as we have just stated, every trace of these things which had been in such prayers of the Catholic rite as they had not entirely rejected, was deliberately removed and struck out.
In this way, the native character or spirit as it is called of the Ordinal clearly manifests itself. Hence, if, vitiated in its origin, it was wholly insufficient to confer Orders, it was impossible that, in the course of time, it would become sufficient, since no change had taken place. In vain those who, from the time of Charles I, have attempted to hold some kind of sacrifice or of priesthood, have made additions to the Ordinal. In vain also has been the contention of that small section of the Anglican body formed in recent times that the said Ordinal can be understood and interpreted in a sound and orthodox sense. Such efforts, we affirm, have been, and are, made in vain, and for this reason, that any words in the Anglican Ordinal, as it now is, which lend themselves to ambiguity, cannot be taken in the same sense as they possess in the Catholic rite. For once a new rite has been initiated in which, as we have seen, the Sacrament of Order is adulterated or denied, and from which all idea of consecration and sacrifice has been rejected, the formula, "Receive the Holy Ghost", no longer holds good, because the Spirit is infused into the soul with the grace of the Sacrament, and so the words "for the office and work of a priest or bishop", and the like no longer hold good, but remain as words without the reality which Christ instituted.
Many of the more shrewd Anglican interpreters of the Ordinal have perceived the force of this argument, and they openly urge it against those who take the Ordinal in a new sense, and vainly attach to the Orders conferred thereby a value and efficacy which they do not possess. By this same argument is refuted the contention of those who think that the prayer, "Almighty God, giver of all good Things", which is found at the beginning of the ritual action, might suffice as a legitimate "form" of Orders, even in the hypothesis that it might be held to be sufficient in a Catholic rite approved by the Church.
With this inherent defect of "form" is joined the defect of "intention" which is equally essential to the Sacrament. The Church does not judge about the mind and intention, in so far as it is something by its nature internal; but in so far as it is manifested externally she is bound to judge concerning it. A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do (intendisse) what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a Sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed. On the other hand, if the rite be changed, with the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church and of rejecting what the Church does, and what, by the institution of Christ, belongs to the nature of the Sacrament, then it is clear that not only is the necessary intention wanting to the Sacrament, but that the intention is adverse to and destructive of the Sacrament.
All these matters have been long and carefully considered by ourselves and by our venerable brethren, the Judges of the Supreme Council, of whom it has pleased Us to call a special meeting upon the 16th day of July last, the solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. They with one accord agreed that the question laid before them had been already adjudicated upon with full knowledge of the Apostolic See, and that this renewed discussion and examination of the issues had only served to bring out more clearly the wisdom and accuracy with which that decision had been made. Nevertheless, we deemed it well to postpone a decision in order to afford time both to consider whether it would be fitting or expedient that we should make a fresh authoritative declaration upon the matter, and to humbly pray for a fuller measure of divine guidance.
Then, considering that this matter, although already decided, had been by certain persons for whatever reason recalled into discussion, and that thence it might follow that a pernicious error would be fostered in the minds of many who might suppose that they possessed the Sacrament and effects of Orders, where these are nowise to be found, it seemed good to Us in the Lord to pronounce our judgment.
Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.
It remains for Us to say that, even as we have entered upon the elucidation of this grave question in the name and in the love of the Great Shepherd, in the same we appeal to those who desire and seek with a sincere heart the possession of a hierarchy and of Holy Orders.
Perhaps until now aiming at the greater perfection of Christian virtue, and searching more devoutly the divine Scriptures, and redoubling the fervor of their prayers, they have, nevertheless, hesitated in doubt and anxiety to follow the voice of Christ, which so long has interiorly admonished them. Now they see clearly whither He in His goodness invites them and wills them to come. In returning to His one only fold, they will obtain the blessings which they seek, and the consequent helps to salvation, of which He has made the Church the dispenser, and, as it were, the constant guardian and promoter of His redemption amongst the nations. Then, indeed, "They shall draw waters in joy from the fountains of the Savior", His wondrous Sacraments, whereby His faithful souls have their sins truly remitted, and are restored to the friendship of God, are nourished and strengthened by the heavenly Bread, and abound with the most powerful aids for their eternal salvation. May the God of peace, the God of all consolation, in His infinite tenderness, enrich and fill with all these blessings those who truly yearn for them.
We wish to direct our exhortation and our desires in a special way to those who are ministers of religion in their respective communities. They are men who from their very office take precedence in learning and authority, and who have at heart the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let them be the first in joyfully submitting to the divine call and obey it, and furnish a glorious example to others. Assuredly, with an exceeding great joy, their Mother, the Church, will welcome them, and will cherish with all her love and care those whom the strength of their generous souls has, amidst many trials and difficulties, led back to her bosom. Nor could words express the recognition which this devoted courage will win for them from the assemblies of the brethren throughout the Catholic world, or what hope or confidence it will merit for them before Christ as their Judge, or what reward it will obtain from Him in the heavenly kingdom! And we, ourselves, in every lawful way, shall continue to promote their reconciliation with the Church in which individuals and masses, as we ardently desire, may find so much for their imitation. In the meantime, by the tender mercy of the Lord our God, we ask and beseech all to strive faithfully to follow in the path of divine grace and truth.
We decree that these letters and all things contained therein shall not be liable at any time to be impugned or objected to by reason of fault or any other defect whatsoever of subreption or obreption of our intention, but are and shall be always valid and in force and shall be inviolably observed both juridically and otherwise, by all of whatsoever degree and preeminence, declaring null and void anything which, in these matters, may happen to be contrariwise attempted, whether wittingly or unwittingly, by any person whatsoever, by whatsoever authority or pretext, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.
Obviously, these words apply just as much to the sect that is the counterfeit church of conciliarism and its Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service and its other "reformed" rites (episcopal consecration, priestly ordination, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Reconciliation) as they do to the Anglican sect. These words of Pope Leo XIII demonstrate forcefully and infallibly the perpetually binding judgment that the Anglicans do not have valid orders and valid sacraments. Walter Kasper rejects this, as he made clear in an address on May 24, 2003:
As I see the problem and its possible solution, it is not a question of apostolic succession in the sense of an historical chain of laying on of hands running back through the centuries to one of the apostles; this would be a very mechanical and individualistic vision, which by the way historically could hardly be proved and ascertained. The Catholic view is different from such an individualistic and mechanical approach. Its starting point is the collegium of the apostles as a whole; together they received the promise that Jesus Christ will be with them till the end of the world (Matt 28, 20). So after the death of the historical apostles they had to co-opt others who took over some of their apostolic functions. In this sense the whole of the episcopate stands in succession to the whole of the collegium of the apostles.
To stand in the apostolic succession is not a matter of an individual historical chain but of collegial membership in a collegium, which as a whole goes back to the apostles by sharing the same apostolic faith and the same apostolic mission. The laying on of hands is under this aspect a sign of co-optation in a collegium.
This has far reaching consequences for the acknowledgement of the validity of the episcopal ordination of another Church. Such acknowledgement is not a question of an uninterrupted chain but of the uninterrupted sharing of faith and mission, and as such is a question of communion in the same faith and in the same mission.
It is beyond the scope of our present context to discuss what this means for a re-evaluation of Apostolicae Curae (1896) of Pope Leo XIII, who declared Anglican orders null and void, a decision which still stands between our Churches. Without doubt this decision, as Cardinal Willebrands had already affirmed, must be understood in our new ecumenical context in which our communion in faith and mission has considerably grown. A final solution can only be found in the larger context of full communion in faith, sacramental life, and shared apostolic mission.
Before venturing further on this decisive point for the ecumenical vision, that is a renewed communio ecclesiology, I should speak first on another stumbling block or, better, the stumbling block of ecumenism: the primacy of the bishop of Rome, or as we say today, the Petrine ministry. This question was the sticking point of the separation between Canterbury and Rome in the 16th century and it is still the object of emotional controversies.
Significant progress has been achieved on this delicate issue in our Anglican/Roman Catholic dialogues, especially in the last ARCIC document The Gift of Authority (1998). The problem, however, is that what pleased Catholics in this document did not always please all Anglicans, and points which were important for Anglican self-understanding were not always repaid by Catholic affection. So we still have a reception problem and a challenge for further theological work.
It was Pope John Paul II who opened the door to future discussion on this subject. In his encyclical Ut Unum Sint (1995) he extended an invitation to a fraternal dialogue on how to exercise the Petrine ministry in a way that is more acceptable to non-Catholic Christians. It was a source of pleasure for us that among others the Anglican community officially responded to this invitation. The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity gathered the many responses, analyzed the data, and sent its conclusions to the churches that had responded. We hope in this way to have initiated a second phase of a dialogue that will be decisive for the future of the ecumenical approach.
Nobody could reasonably expect that we could from the outset reach a phase of consensus; but what we have reached is not negligible. It has become evident that a new atmosphere and a new climate exist. In our globalized world situation the biblical testimonies on Peter and the Petrine tradition of Rome are read with new eyes because in this new context the question of a ministry of universal unity, a common reference point and a common voice of the universal church, becomes urgent. Old polemical formulas stand at odds with this urgency; fraternal relations have become the norm. Extensive research has been undertaken that has highlighted the different traditions between East and West already in the first millennium, and has traced the development in understanding and in practice of the Petrine ministry throughout the centuries. As well, the historical conditionality of the dogma of the First Vatican Council (1869-70), which must be distinguished from its remaining obligatory content, has become clear. This historical development did not come to an end with the two Vatican Councils, but goes on, and so also in the future the Petrine ministry has to be exercised in line with the changing needs of the Church.
These insights have led to a re-interpretation of the dogma of the Roman primacy. This does not at all mean that there are still not enormous problems in terms of what such a ministry of unity should look like, how it should be administered, whether and to what degree it should have jurisdiction and whether under certain circumstances it could make infallible statements in order to guarantee the unity of the Church and at the same time the legitimate plurality of local churches. But there is at least a wide consensus about the common central problem, which all churches have to solve: how the three dimensions, highlighted already by the Lima documents on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (1982), namely unity through primacy, collegiality through synodality, and communality of all the faithful and their spiritual gifts, can be brought into a convincing synthesis.
A Vision of Christian Unity for the Next Generation
This is simply apostasy of the highest order. Apostolic succession is not "an historical chain of laying on of hands running back through the centuries to one of the apostles"? The perpetually binding nature of Apostolicae Cenae needs to be re-evaluated? No member of the Catholic Church is free to assert such things and remain a Catholic in good standing (see Number 9, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)
The dogmatic decrees of the [First] Vatican Council are historically conditioned? Oh, please do not even attempt to say that Kasper is not reflecting the exact view of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on the "time-conditioned" nature of past dogmatic decrees and/or papal encyclical letters. Ratzinger/Benedict has told us in his very words that he believes this precise thing, a proposition that has been condemned by that Vatican Council and to which he, Ratzinger, had to swear against in The Oath Against Modernism.
Ah, but this is why, you see, Walter Kasper does not believe that there is any need to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of Anglicans to the Catholic Church, who he clearly believes have true bishops and true priests. It is simply up to the Lambeth Committee to chart its own "direction," to determine, in Kasper's words, whether Anglicans belongs more "to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic and Orthodox," which leads to the second major error in Kasper's recent remarks: that the patriarchies of the East constituted a separate "church" prior to the Greek Schism of 1054. No such "church" existed.
This is where the efforts to re-define the doctrine of Papal Primacy in order to advance "dialogue" with the Orthodox as per Principles of Catholic Theology and The Ravenna Document meet up with Kasper's "challenge" to the Anglicans to discern their "identity." Kasper is signaling quite plainly that it is possible for those Anglicans willing to effect a reunion with Rome, albeit Rome in conciliar captivity, along the same lines as that being proposed as a possible solution to the Orthodox in The Ravenna Document if the upcoming meeting of the Lambeth Committee "continues" on the path of the Protestantism of the Sixteenth Century in which the Anglican sect has its very origins. "High Anglicans" would be permitted their place in the One World Church without necessarily agreeing to every jot and tittle of those "historically conditioned" decrees of the Second Millennium.
"Pluriformity in unity," to use Kasper's words, "diversity in unity," to "unity in multiplicity" and "multiplicity in unity," to use Ratzinger/Benedict's words.
Lost in all of this willingness to subject immutable truths to the "historical-critical" method of Hegelian analysis is the fact that one is either a Catholic who assents to all of the truths contained in the Deposit of Faith, or he he is not. How absurd is it to ask Protestants to determine whether they belong to the Protestantism in which their sects had their origins? The Anglican "church" has no right from God to exist. It is a false religion. Its adherents are in need to be converted unconditionally to the Catholic Church.
A sign outside of an Episcopal "church" building in Westport, Connecticut, reads: "Our Church is 2,000 years old. Our thinking is not." The first part of that statement is a lie. The second part could apply equally both to most of the members of the "Anglican Communion" and to the leaders of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Oh, the leaders of the counterfeit church of conciliarism will "hold the line" on women's ordination to the priesthood and is opposed to women "bishops" in the Anglican sect. They are more than willing to make whatever accommodations to the "traditional" Anglicans (Anglo-Catholics, as they are called) are necessary to dispense with dogmas which are "historically conditioned" by the circumstances of the moment in which they were decreed. Such thinking is certainly not 2,000 years old. It is perfectly in line with Protestantism itself. Such thinking is not of God, which means, of course, that is is from the devil himself.
Any effort made by conciliarists to "re-evaluate" Apostolicae Curae will find legions of "conservatives" in the conciliar structures nodding their heads up and down like bobblehead dolls. Some "conservatives" will attempt to reassure us that there is "nothing binding" about Apostolicae Curae, that there is "precedent" to be found in finding "fault" with a decision of Pope Leo XIII, that of the "reversal," by the then Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger, on July 1, 2001, of the condemnation of forty propositions of the late Father Antonio Rosmini by Pope Leo XIII in 1887.Gee, those poor goofs from the past were so time-conditioned that it is a good thing that the Modernists came along to "correct" them, huh? Such efforts to rationalize more and more apostasy and betrayal set up quite an interesting paradox for the future: why should conciliarism's "proclamations" not be considered "historically conditioned" and thus themselves subject to endless "re-evaluations" in the future. Such is always the path that is trodden by schismatics and heretics. Attack one truth of the Catholic Faith, you see, and belief in al other truths will collapse over the course of time.
At least some in the Motu world, especially priests in the Motu communities, might try to bend over backward to claim that there would be "nothing official" in a conciliar "re-evaluation" of Apostolicae Curae, that we must remember that the conciliar Vatican has since 1980 required "priests" from Anglicanism to be "ordained" de novo in order to function as such its structures. Any possible "change" would have to be viewed, we might be told, in light of the earlier adherence to Apostolicae Curae during the false reign of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, who, like Giovanni Montini/Paul VI before him and Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict after him, did nevertheless treat the non-"archbishop" of Canterbury as a "bishop," asking him to join him in administering an apostolic "blessing" to the people. Calls would be made by some unwilling to call apostasy by its proper name for an "urgent clarification" to be made between the previous stand in conformity with Apostolicae Curae and a "re-evaluation" of its text to accommodate a mass "conversion" of "High Anglicans" (Anglo-Catholics), should it turn out to be the case that such a reevaluation winds up being is made in order to effect such a mass "conversion."
The "High Anglicans" are now at the point, it appears, of breaking en masse from the mess that is the Worldwide Anglican Communion, oblivious to the fact that that mess is the direct result of King Henry VIII's and Queen Elizabeth I's respective breaks from the Catholic Church. Such "High Anglicans" have gritted their teeth and accepted one dogmatic and pastoral development after another that they know to be opposed to the truth. Whether these "High Anglicans" have reached their breaking point remains to be seen.
It is, though, interesting to point out that efforts to rationalize away--or to minimize the significance of--conciliarism's re-definitions of the very nature of dogmatic truth as the foundation of its multiple defections from the Catholic Faith demonstrate the same sort of high degree of "tolerance" for error that has been demonstrated by the "High Anglicans" for most of the past seventy-eight years since the Lambeth Committee authorized the use of a certain means to prevent the conception of children by married couples who found themselves in "grave" circumstances. Then again, conciliarism shares with Anglicanism a fundamental common foundation: a rejection of at least parts of the Deposit of Faith as they have been entrusted by Our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the true Church that He created upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, and such a foundation leads to the floodgates of more and more errors over the course of time before it is impossible for any sane human being not to recognize apostasy for what it is and then to flee from it without any hesitation at all.
We must have no "toleration" for heresy, especially when it involves pretending that the dogmatic decrees of the Second Millennium were "shewed" because of reliance upon Scholasticism. Father Faber, a convert from Anglicanism, thank you, very much, in 1845, explained in The Dolors of Mary/The Foot of the Cross and in The Precious Blood how we are to view heresy:
The love of God brings many new instincts into the heart. Heavenly and noble as they are, they bear no resemblance to what men would call the finer and more heroic developments of character. A spiritual discernment is necessary to their right appreciation. They are so unlike the growth of earth, that they must expect to meet on earth with only suspicion, misunderstanding, and dislike. It is not easy to defend them from a controversial point of view; for our controversy is obliged to begin by begging the question, or else it would be unable so much as to state its case. The axioms of the world pass current in the world, the axioms of the gospel do not. Hence the world has its own way. It talks us down. It tries us before tribunals where our condemnation is secured beforehand. It appeals to principles which are fundamental with most men but are heresies with us. Hence its audience takes part with it against us. We are foreigners, and must pay the penalty of being so. If we are misunderstood, we had no right to reckon on any thing else, being as we are, out of our own country. We are made to be laughed at. We shall be understood in heaven. Woe to those easy-going Christians whom the world can understand, and will tolerate because it sees they have a mind to compromise!
The love of souls is one of these instincts which the love of Jesus brings into our hearts. To the world it is proselytism, there mere wish to add to a faction, one of the selfish developments of party spirit. One while the stain of lax morality is affixed to it, another while the reproach of pharisaic strictness! For what the world seems to suspect least of all in religion is consistency. But the love of souls, however apostolic, is always subordinate to love of Jesus. We love souls because of Jesus, not Jesus because of souls. Thus there are times and places when we pass from the instinct of divine love to another, from the love of souls to the hatred of heresy. This last is particularly offensive to the world. So especially opposed is it to the spirit of the world, that, even in good, believing hearts, every remnant of worldliness rises in arms against this hatred of heresy, embittering the very gentlest of characters and spoiling many a glorious work of grace. Many a convert, in whose soul God would have done grand things, goes to his grave a spiritual failure, because he would not hate heresy. The heart which feels the slightest suspicion against the hatred of heresy is not yet converted. God is far from reigning over it yet with an undivided sovereignty. The paths of higher sanctity are absolutely barred against it. In the judgment of the world, and of worldly Christians, this hatred of heresy is exaggerated, bitter, contrary to moderation, indiscreet, unreasonable, aiming at too much, bigoted, intolerant, narrow, stupid, and immoral. What can we say to defend it? Nothing which they can understand. We had, therefore, better hold our peace. If we understand God, and He understands us, it is not so very hard to go through life suspected, misunderstood and unpopular. The mild self-opinionatedness of the gentle, undiscerning good will also take the world's view and condemn us; for there is a meek-loving positiveness about timid goodness which is far from God, and the instincts of whose charity is more toward those who are less for God, while its timidity is searing enough for harsh judgment. There are conversions where three-quarters of the heart stop outside the Church and only a quarter enters, and heresy can only be hated by an undivided heart. But if it is hard, it has to be borne. A man can hardly have the full use of his senses who is bent on proving to the world, God's enemy, that a thorough-going Catholic hatred of heresy is a right frame of man. We might as well force a blind man to judge a question of color. Divine love inspheres in us a different circle of life, motive, and principle, which is not only not that of the world, but in direct enmity with it. From a worldly point of view, the craters in the moon are more explicable things than we Christians with our supernatural instincts. From the hatred of heresy we get to another of these instincts, the horror of sacrilege. The distress caused by profane words seems to the world but an exaggerated sentimentality. The penitential spirit of reparation which pervades the whole Church is, on its view, either a superstition or an unreality. The perfect misery which an unhallowed touch of the Blessed Sacrament causes to the servants of God provokes either the world's anger or its derision. Men consider it either altogether absurd in itself, or at any rate out of all proportion; and, if otherwise they have proofs of our common sense, they are inclined to put down our unhappiness to sheer hypocrisy. The very fact that they do not believe as we believe removes us still further beyond the reach even of their charitable comprehension. If they do not believe in the very existence our sacred things, how they shall they judge the excesses of a soul to which these sacred things are far dearer than itself?
Now, it is important to bear all this in mind while we are considering the sixth dolor. Mary's heart was furnished, as never heart of saint was yet, yet with these three instincts regarding souls, heresy, and sacrilege. They were in her heart three grand abysses of grace, out of which arose perpetually new capabilities of suffering. Ordinarily speaking, the Passion tires us. It is a fatiguing devotion. It is necessarily so because of the strain of soul which it is every moment eliciting. So when our Lord dies a feeling of repose comes over us. For a moment we are tempted to think that our Lady's dolors ought to have ended there, and that the sixth dolor and the seventh are almost of our own creation, and that we tax our imagination in order to fill up the picture with the requisite dark shading of sorrow. But this is only one of the ways in which devotion to the dolors heightens and deepens our devotion to the Passion. It is not our imagination that we tax but our spiritual discernment. In these two last dolors we are led into greater refinements of woe, into the more abstruse delicacies of grief, because we have got to deal with a soul rendered even more wonderful than it was before by the elevations of the sorrows which have gone before. Thus, the piercing of our Lord with the spear as to our Blessed Lady by far the most awful sacrilege which it was then in man's power to perpetrate upon the earth. To break violently into the Holy of Holies in the temple, and pollute its dread sanctity with all manner of heathen defilement, would have been as nothing compared to the outrage of the adorable Body of God. It is in vain that we try to lift ourselves to a true appreciation of this horror in Mary's heart. Our love of God is wanting in keenness, our perceptions of divine things in fineness. We cannot do more than make approaches and they are terrible enough. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally as The Dolors of Mary in England in 1857, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 291-205.)
Another gift of this devotion is a vehement and intelligent hatred of sin. It is useless for the hatred to be intelligent unless it also be vehement, and worse than useless for it to be vehement unless it be intelligent as well. In these days what our loyalty to God most needs is sternness to the disloyal. This should be shown first and foremost to ourselves. Whom do we know to be so disloyal as ourselves? What resistance to grace, what contempt of warnings, what neglect of inspirations, what slovenliness of performance, make up our lives! If we hated sin, as we ought to hate it, purely, keenly, manfully, we should do more penance, we should inflict more self-punishment we should sorrow for our sins more abidingly. Then, again, the crowning disloyalty to God is heresy. It is the sin of sins, the very loathsomest of things which God looks down upon in this malignant world. Yet how little do we understand of its excessive hatefulness! It is the polluting of God’s truth, which is the worst of all impurities. Yet how light we make of it! We look at it, and are calm. We touch it and do not shudder. We mix with it, and have no fear. We see it touch holy things, and we have no sense of sacrilege. We breathe its odor, and show no signs of detestation or disgust. Some of us affect its friendship; and some even extenuate its guilt. We do not love God enough to be angry for His glory. We do not love men enough to be charitably truthful for their souls. Having lost the touch, the taste, the sight, and all the senses of heavenly-mindedness, we can dwell amidst this odious plague, in imperturbable tranquility, reconciled to its foulness, not without some boastful professions of liberal admiration, perhaps even with a solicitous show of tolerant sympathies. Why are we so far below the old saints, and even the modern apostles of these latter times, in the abundance of our conversations? Because we have not the antique sternness? We want the old Church-spirit, the old ecclesiastical genius. Our charity is untruthful, because it is not severe; and it is unpersuasive, because it is untruthful. We lack devotion to truth as truth, as God’s truth. Our zeal for souls is puny, because we have no zeal for God’s honor. We act as if God were complimented by conversions, instead of trembling souls rescued by a stretch of mercy. We tell men half the truth, the half that best suits our own pusillanimity and their conceit; and then we wonder that so few are converted, and that of those few so many apostatize. We are so weak as to be surprised that our half-truth has not succeeded so well as God’s whole truth. Where there is no hatred of heresy, there is no holiness. A man, who might be an apostle, becomes a fester in the Church for the want of this righteous indignation. We need St. Michael to to put new hearts into us in these days of universal heresy. But devotion to the Precious Blood, with its hymning of the Church and its blazoning of the Sacraments, will give us Michael's heart and the craft to use Michael's sword. Who ever drew his sword with nobler haste, or used his victory more tenderly, than that brave archangel, whose war-cry was, All for God? (Father Frederick Faber, The Precious Blood, published originally in England in 1860 and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 270-271.)
How much indignation was there when Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI dared to offend the honor and glory and majesty of God by esteeming the symbols of false religions in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 17, 2008? How much indignation was there on the occasions when Ratzinger/Benedict has gone into one mosque and two synagogues to be treated as an inferior to "hosts" who reject the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? How many people really, really care about the simple fact that Bishop George Hay declared the immutable truths of the Catholic Faith condemning such blasphemous displays when he wrote the following?
The spirit of Christ, which dictated the Holy Scriptures, and the spirit which animates and guides the Church of Christ, and teaches her all truth, is the same; and therefore in all ages her conduct on this point has been uniformly the same as what the Holy Scripture teaches. She has constantly forbidden her children to hold any communication, in religious matters, with those who are separated from her communion; and this she has sometimes done under the most severe penalties. In the apostolical canons, which are of very ancient standing, and for the most part handed down from the apostolical age, it is thus decreed: "If any bishop, or priest, or deacon, shall join in prayers with heretics, let him be suspended from Communion". (Can. 44)
Also, "If any clergyman or laic shall go into the synagogue of the Jews, or the meetings of heretics, to join in prayer with them, let him be deposed, and deprived of communion". (Can. 63) (Bishop George Hay, (The Laws of God Forbidding All Communication in Religion With Those of a False Religion.)
Just another "historically-conditioned" statement that can be dispensed with at will? No, not at all, no more than the declarations of the councils of the Second Millennium or of such papal bulls as Apostolicae Curae are "historically-conditioned." No truth is "historically-conditioned. It is because it is. Each truth, whether in the Order of Grace or in the Order of Nature, is immutable because God, Who is Truth, is its Author. God cannot change, and those who say that He can permit His truths to be understood in mutually contradictory ways at different times are His enemies, not His servants upon earth no matter the sincerity with which they hold the condemned propositions of Modernism and its offspring, the New Theology.
As Father Faber noted, we must hate our sins, each of which has worsened the state of the Church and that of the world, first and foremost. We must make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world on a daily basis, offering up our prayers and sufferings and sacrifices to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, especially by means of praying as many Rosaries each day as the duties of our states-in-life permit. We must also remember that God has known from all eternity that we would be living in these exact conditions and that the graces He won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls are sufficient for us to lift high the crosses that we must bear as we cling to true bishops and true priests in the Catholic catacombs who do indeed hate heresy and who thus make no concessions to conciliarism or to the legitimacy of those who seek to exercise ecclesiastical authority in its name.
The final victory belongs to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We can help to bring about this victory by our daily fidelity to Our Lady's Fatima Message. What are we waiting for?
Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints