New Meaning to the Term "Devil's Advocate"
Thomas A. Droleskey
There comes a point when commenting on the absurd becomes absurd in and of itself. This is one of the reasons that I chose in 2004 to discontinue regular commentary on matters pertaining to domestic partisan politics and public policy. What's the use of wasting one's time commenting on the "trees" of particular issues that are only part of the larger "forest" in which they are contained, that is the forest of a world which is in the devil's grip as a result of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King?
By way of amplification, you see, there will be no amelioration of social problems as long as individual men and their nations refuse to submit themselves completely, without any exception whatsoever, to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church. It is the devil who wants men to get excited about this or that issue du jour in order to distract them from the fact that the world in which we live takes the shape it does because the One he hates, Christ the King, has been dethroned and is kept from being enthroned anew in large measure because the conciliar church has made its "reconciliation" with the very revolutionary principles responsible for the rise of the modern secular state. The modern world lives in an absurd construct of anthropocentric positivism and relativism. People are either going to see this or they are not. My past articles on this subject, which have been collected into Volumes 1 and 2 of Restoring Christ as the King of All Nations (Volume 2 may not be a "dead issue"), have said all that I think can be said without contributing to the absurdity of the moment.
Similarly, there does come a point when commenting on the absurdity emanating from Rome in Modernist captivity is itself an exercise in tedium that winds up making absurdity seem credible. How many times can it be pointed out that men such as Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., Cap., among others, know next-to-nothing of the Catholic Faith and "read" Sacred Scripture as though the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church is no more binding on their consciences than it is for the likes of Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson? This should be rather evident by now. Efforts to point out the obvious, tedious of their very nature, become counterproductive when most people accept Modernism's Hegelian premise that truth can contradict itself and that there is "continuity" in "discontinuity." Enough of this insanity is enough.
Additionally, it is almost impossible on a purely natural level to keep up with all of the insanity of conciliarism by means of commenting on every jot and tittle of it. New assaults on the Faith are launched regularly, if not daily, making it difficult to choose which particular volley, if any, needs to be returned. Modernist "missiles" are launched from Rome and from diocesan chancery offices and allegedly "Catholic" institutions of "learning" seemingly every day. Not even a thorough deployment of a "space-based missile defense system" would be enough to explode these "incoming" missiles on a daily basis. One can only shake his head as he confronts the plethora of statements from conciliarists that assault the sensus Catholicus. One's time is better spent praying Rosaries than by paying attention to absurdity after absurdity emanating from the conciliarists.
To wit, it was just about a year ago that Father Cantalamessa said the following about the salvation of the Jews:
If Jews one day come (as Paul hopes) to a more positive judgment of Jesus, this must occur through an inner process, as the end of a search of their own (something that in part is occurring). We Christians cannot be the ones who seek to convert them. We have lost the right to do so by the way in which this was done in the past. First the wounds must be healed through dialogue and reconciliation.
I do not see how a Christian who really loves Israel cannot hope that the latter will one day come to the discovery of Jesus, whom the Gospel describes as "glory to the people Israel" (Luke 2:32). I do not think this is proselytism.
But now what is most important is to do away with the obstacles we have placed to this reconciliation, the "bad light" in which we have placed Jesus in their eyes. Also the obstacles present in language. How many times the word "Jew" is used in a pejorative or negative way in our way of speaking!
Since the Second Vatican Council, relations between Christians and Jews have improved. The decree on ecumenism has given Israel a separate status among religions. For us Christians, Judaism is not "another religion," but rather an integral part of our own religion. We worship the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who for us is also the God of Jesus Christ. (Zenit, September 30, 2005)
"We Christians cannot be the one who seek to convert them." This means, of course, that there is no urgent need to seek their conversion, making a mockery of the work of the Apostles by implying that their own work of seeking the conversion of the Jews was either unnecessary or has been eclipsed in light of "historical" events such as World War II. Father Cantalamessa, like Benedict XVI himself, who has not imitated Saint Peter by seeking the conversion of Jews when addressing them directly in person, believes that the salvation of individual Talmudic Jews is assured, that they do not need to convert to the Catholic Church to be saved. For this novel apostasy to be true, however, the following must be false:
Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you as you also know: This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that he should be holden by it. For David saith concerning him: I foresaw the Lord before my face: because he is at my right hand, that I may not be moved. For this my heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced: moreover my flesh also shall rest in hope. Because thou will not leave my soul in hell, nor suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to the the ways of life: thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David; that he died, and was buried; and his sepulchre is with us to this present day. Whereas therefore he was a prophet, and knew that God hath sworn to him with an oath, that of the fruit of his loins one should sit upon his throne.
Foreseeing this, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ. For neither was he left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted therefore by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath poured forth this which you see and hear. For David ascended not into heaven; but he himself said: The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make they enemies a footstool.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified.
Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren?
But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ., for the remission of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.
And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation.
They therefore that received his word were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of the bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:22-42)
In effect, you see, Father Cantalamessa, echoing the ethos of the Second Vatican Council and each of the conciliar popes from 1958 until our present day, is saying this: "That was then, this is now. Saint Peter did what he did in his day. It is no longer appropriate to speak as he did." In other words, the first pope, chosen directly by Our Lord Himself, did not give us the chief example, following his being filled with the Holy Ghost, of how to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people from Whom Our Lord took His Sacred Humanity and whose salvation He earnestly desires by their formal membership in the Catholic Church prior to their deaths.
Is the following passage from the Acts of the Apostles yet another example of an "inappropriate methodology" that had its place once in time but it is longer to be used given the "history" that has occurred between then and now?
But the author of life you killed, whom Go dhath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And in the faith of his name, this man, whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened; and the faith which is by him, hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all.
And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:15-19)
Ah, yes. Saint Peter used the "c" word, "converted." No longer appropriate? Men can be saved absent a conversion even after hearing the truth proclaimed? The Gospel of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour does not need to be proclaimed to every human being on the face of the earth? The missionaries were wrong to go to foreign lands to convert others?
Perhaps Father Cantalamessa would consider Saint Stephen's discourse to the Jews yet another example of the "history" that has put Our Lord "in a bad light" to the followers of the Talmud today:
Then the high priest said: Are these things so?
Who said: Ye men, brethren and fathers, hear. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charan. And said to him: Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.
Then he went out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charan. And from thence, after his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein you now dwell. And he gave him no inheritance in it; no, not the pace of a foot: but he promised to give it him in possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. And God said to him: That his seed should sojourn to a strange country, and that they should bring them under bondage, and treat them evil four hundred years. And the nation which they shall serve will I judge, said the Lord; and after these things they shall go out, and shall serve me in this place.
And he gave him the covenant of circumcision, and so he begot Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob; and Jacob the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, through envy, sold Joseph into Egypt; and God was with him. And delivered him out of all his tribulations: and he gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharao, the king of Egypt; and he appointed him governor over Egypt, and over all his house.
Now there came a famine upon all Egypt and Chanaan, and great tribulation; and our fathers found no food. But when Jacob had heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent our fathers first: and at the second time, Joseph was known by his brethren, and his kindred was made known to Pharao. And Joseph sending, called thither Jacob, his father, and all his kindred, seventy-five souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt; and he died, and our fathers.
And they were translated into Sichem, and were laid in the sepulchre, that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hemor, the son of Sichem. And when the time of the promise drew near, which God had promise to Abraham, the people increased, and were multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose in Egypt, who knew not Joseph.
This same dealing craftily with our race, afflicted our fathers, that they should expose their children, to the end they might not be kept alive. At the same time was Moses born, and he was acceptable to God: who was nourished three months in his father's house. And when he was exposed, Pharao's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; and he was mighty in his words and in his deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.
And when he had seen one of them suffer wrong, he defended him; and striking the Egyptian, he avenged him who suffered the injury. And he thought that his brethren understood that God by his hand would save them; but they understood it not. And the day following, he shewed himself to them when they were at strike; and would have reconciled them in peace, saying: Men, ye are brethren; why hurt you one another?
But he that did the injury to his neighbor thrust him away, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge over us? What wilt thou kill me, as thou didst yesterday kill the Egyptian? And Moses fled upon this word, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begot two sons.
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the desert of mount Sina, an angel in a flame of fire in a bush. And Moses seeing it, wondered at the sight. And as he drew near to view it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
I am the God of thy fathers; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses being terrified, darest not behold. And the Lord said to him: Loose the shoes from thy feet, for the place wherein thou standest, is holy ground. Seeing I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, am am come down to deliver them. And now come, and I will send the into Egypt.
This Moses, whom they refused, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge? him God sent to be prince and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out, doing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the desert forty years.
This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel: A prophet shall God raise up to you of your own brethren, as myself: him shall you hear. This is he that was in the church in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on mount Sina, and with our fathers; who received the words of life to give unto us, Whom our fathers would not obey; but thrust him away, and in their hearts turned back into Egypt, saying unto Aaron: Make us gods to go before us. For as for this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. And God turned, and gave them up to serve the host of heaven, as it is written in the books of the prophets: Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me for forty years, in the desert, O house of Israel? And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god. Rempham, figures which you made to adore them. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
The tabernacle of this testimony was with our fathers in the desert, as God ordained for them, speaking to Moses, that he should make it according to the form which he had seen. Which also our fathers receiving, brought in with Jesus, into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David Who found grace before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
But Solomon built him a house. yet the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands, as the prophet saith: Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool. What house will you build me? saith the Lord; or what is the place of my resting? Hath not my hand made all these things?
You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you also. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them ho foretold of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him.
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. and he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him. And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord Jesus, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death. (Acts 7:1-59)
None of the conciliar popes has been willing to give this discourse anew to the Talmudic Jews of our own day? Is not this just as relevant now as it was nearly two millennia ago? The final lesson of this chapter from the Acts of the Apostles is stark: Stephen forgave his persecutors, thus contrasting the mercilessness of the men of the Old Dispensation, seeking to kill rather than to forgive, with the forgiveness of the New and Eternal Covenant that was ratified by the shedding of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer atop the heights of Calvary on Good Friday. A Catholic forgives his enemies and his persecutors. He prays for them. He prays for the conversion of those who are outside of the Church. He wants to assist at Holy Mass with the ones who were once the enemies of Christ and His Holy Church. He wants to wait on line with them to enter into the hospital of Divine Mercy that is the confessional. He wants to pray Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary with those who had formerly pierced the sword of sorrow through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by means of their own hardness of heart and their attacks upon her Divine Son's true Church.
The prayers of Saint Stephen from eternity won the conversion of his chief persecutor, Saul of Tarsus. Was Our Lord Himself wrong to have spoken to Saul as he was en route from Jerusalem to Damascus to engage in yet another persecution of Catholics? And while the Apostle to the Gentiles, Saint Paul, did indeed write in his Epistle to the Romans that the conversion of the Jews is an important sign of end times, that they would be grafted back onto the vine, he went on to say:
And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
And this is to them in my covenant: when I shall take away their sins.
As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. For as you also in times past did not believe God, but how have obtained mercy, through their unbelief; so these also now have not believed for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all. (Romans 11:26-32)
The people of the Old Covenant are dear to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He wants us, Saint Paul is saying, who have been the beneficiaries of His gratuitous Mercy to be the instruments by which the sons and daughters of Abraham may know that Mercy in their own lives as members of the Catholic Church, the true vine onto which all men at all times and in all places are to grafted. There is an urgency to convert each soul of each living human being. Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast day in the calendar of Tradition is today, October 3, "adopted" two missionaries to be her spiritual brothers, for whom she prayed before she died in 1897. She is a Patroness of Missionaries worldwide. Was Pope Pius XI wrong to have named her as a patroness of the missionaries seeking the conversion of all people to the Catholic Church?
Saint Paul put it this way in his Epistle to the Hebrews:
Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines. (Hebrews 13:8-9)
Saint Paul proclaimed Our Lord to the Hebrews, exhorting us to do the same. Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever. It is indeed a strange doctrine to contend that not proselytizing the Jews of the Talmud today is at all compatible with Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever.
Pope Eugene IV issued the bull Cantate Domino during the Council of Florence in 1441:
The holy Roman Church believes, professes, and preaches that 'no one remaining outside the Catholic Church, not just pagans, but also Jews or heretics or schismatics, can become partakers of eternal life; but they will go to the everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels,' unless before the end of life they are joined to the Church. For the union with the body of the Church is of such importance that the sacraments of the Church are helpful to salvation only for those who remaining in it; and fasts, almsgiving, other works of piety, and the exercise of Christian warfare bear eternal rewards from them alone. And no one can be saved, no matter how much alms, he has given, even if he sheds his blood for the name of Christ, unless he remains in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.
This is the de fide teaching of the Catholic Church. It is clear that the conciliar popes and men such as Father Cantalamessa reject, at least implicitly, this dogmatic teaching. One will look in vain for anything in the Second Vatican Council that deposes and thus overturns this decree of the Council of Florence, as if such an absurdity were possible, you understand, which it is not. The pastoral praxis of the Church in her human elements today rejects the decree, to be sure. The decree itself stands as the truth that it is, all contemporary pastoral praxis and the errors of ecumenism notwithstanding.
Father Cantalamessa has no credibility when he discusses the "meaning" of Sacred Scripture, as he demonstrated a few weeks ago when repeating the shopworn canard that the "real" miracle in the story of Our Lord's multiplication of the loaves and fishes was that He inspired the people in the crowd to share with others what they had brought with them but were hiding for themselves. Indeed, Father Cantalamessa has no credibility at all when discussing the Catholic Faith in general, as he demonstrated in 2002 when preaching on Good Friday in the Basilica of Saint Peter, right in front of John Paul II, and stating that Protestant "churches" and even non-Christian religions exist by the will of God and that they are valid means of salvation.
Here is a substantial part of the homily he delivered on Good Friday, March 29, 2002, from his own website:
Another way that Christ draws all people to himself is by drawing close to others. To those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, imprisoned, strangers, persecuted for the sake of justice, defenceless ... "You did it to me" (Mt 25,40). This way is not restricted either to believers alone.
The Council says that "the Holy Spirit offers the possibility of being made partners to all mankind, in a way known to God, in the Paschal Mystery" (Gaudium et spes, n. 22). Only God knows how this happens; but we know that it happens, if we know how to interpret Christ's words.
What is true and valid in the world religions
Now we come to the most relevant question: Can we admit that there is still another way in which Christ draws everyone to himself, namely, by using what is true and valid in the other religions? The Council and the Magisterium have not ruled out this possibility, which is now being actively explored by theology.
Indeed, those who live in direct contact with the great non-Christian religions testify to the good that millions of people can receive from them and to the profound spiritual life and prayer that they nourish among the people.
The delicate point is to know whether this recognition obliges us to detach the other religions from the Incarnate Christ and from his Paschal Mystery. Some people think we should, and place the elements of truth and goodness they contain in relation with the eternal Word and the Spirit of God. They say that as the persons of the Holy Trinity were active in the world before Christ came, these elements too were active in the world before the coming of Christ and continue to be active even after his Resurrection. They are not dependent on the mystery of Christ, but are parallel to it, in a relationship of complementarity, not one of subordination.
However, we have to ask the question. In order to recognize in other religions their dignity in the divine plan of salvation, is it necessary to detach them from the Paschal Mystery of Christ; or, instead, can we really obtain the same result by keeping them associated with it?
Infinite value of Christ's Cross
"A specific event", it is pointed out, "limited in time and space, such as Christ, cannot exhaust the infinite potentiality of God and of his Word". True, but it can draw what it takes for the salvation of a world that is finite too from this potentiality! If we believe that the blood poured out on the cross is the blood of a God-made-man, we do not find it an exaggeration to affirm that "just one drop of this blood can save the entire world", cuius una stilla salvum facere totum mundum quit ab omni scelere (From the hymn Adoro te devote).
Christ's offer of salvation is for all; all are sons and daughters of the Father
Let us ponder deeply, I say this to my brother theologians, before we make a move of such incalculable importance. The philosopher who in the last century exclaimed: "God is dead. We have killed him!", when he realized the consequences of this event, wrote right away, "What were we doing when we cut this earth off from its sun? In what direction do we move now? Far away from all sun? Are we not rushing downward? And backwards, sideways, forwards, on every side?" (F. Nietzsche, Joyful Wisdom, [La gaia scienza, n. 125]). Let us avoid repeating the same error of cutting off a major part of humanity from its sun, which is Christ.
During the Jansenist controversy, the fashion was to make crucifixes keeping the arms almost parallel to the body, with a narrow space between the arms and the body. This was done to assert that Christ did not die for all, but only for the small number of the chosen and predestined. A terrible persuasion which with great toil the Church rejected. Let us not return to crucifixes with narrow arms. Let us keep the arms wide open to embrace the whole world. Let us safeguard the cosmic dimension of the event of Calvary. What was celebrated on Golgotha on the first Good Friday, which we celebrate every year on this day, is indeed a "Hymn of the Universe".
One thing is certain and this must be the starting point for every Christian theology of religions: Christ gave his life for love of all humanity, because all are creatures of his Father, all are his brothers and sisters. Christ made no distinctions. His offer of salvation, at least that, is certainly universal.
In removing such a great part of humanity from him, the greatest wrong is done to that portion of humanity, not so much to Christ nor to the Church. It is not possible to start by affirming: "Christ is the supreme, definitive and normative offer of salvation which God made to the world", without recognizing at the same time — as Christians — a requirement and a right of all to belong in some way to this way and to benefit from this salvation.
"Is it realistic", you might ask, "to continue believing in a mysterious presence and influence of Christ in religions that existed long before him and feel no need at all, after 20 centuries, to receive his Gospel?". There is in the Bible a thought that can help us respond to this objection: the humility of God, the hiddenness of God. "Truly, you are a hidden God, O God of Israel, the Saviour" (Is 45,15, Vulgate).
God is humble in creating. He does not put his label on everything as men and women do. It is not written on creatures that they have been made by God. It is left to them to find it out. In a poem by Hölderlin, there is an important truth: "God creates the world as the ocean creates the continents: by withdrawing". How long did it take for man to recognize to whom he owed his being, to recognize who had created the heavens and the earth for him? How long will it be before everyone succeeds in recognizing him? For this reason does God cease to be Creator of all things? Does he stop warming with his sun those who know him and those who do not know him?
The same happens with the Redemption. God is humble in creating and in saving. Christ is far more concerned that all people be saved than whether or not they know who is their Saviour. Latens deitas, a hidden godhead (from the hymn, Adoro te devote), who is also Christ in the Eucharist. The greatest wonder, at the moment of passing from faith to vision, will not be to discover the omnipotence of God, but his humility.
Our Lord "is far more concerned that all people be saved than whether or not they know who is their Saviour"? Then why did He commission the Apostles as follows on Ascension Thursday?
And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. (Mk. 16: 15-16)
The defined teaching of the Catholic Church on salvation means nothing to Father Cantalamessa, who was quoted recently by Zenit in a manner evocative of his March 29, 2002, Good Friday sermon:
Has our Christian faith changed? No, as long as we continue to believe two things: First, that Jesus is, objectively and in fact, the only mediator and savior of the whole human race, and that also those who do not know him, if they are saved, are saved thanks to him and his redeeming death. Second, that also those who, still not belonging to the visible Church, are objectively "oriented" toward her, form part of that larger Church, known only to God.
"That larger Church, known only to God"? There is no "larger" Church known only to God. There is only the Catholic Church. Pope Leo XIII noted the following in Satis Cognitum, December 8, 1896:
For this reason the Church is so often called in Holy Writ a body, and even the body of Christ - "Now you are the body of Christ" (I Cor. xii., 27) - and precisely because it is a body is the Church visible: and because it is the body of Christ is it living and energizing, because by the infusion of His power Christ guards and sustains it, just as the vine gives nourishment and renders fruitful the branches united to it. And as in animals the vital principle is unseen and invisible, and is evidenced and manifested by the movements and action of the members, so the principle of supernatural life in the Church is clearly shown in that which is done by it.
From this it follows that those who arbitrarily conjure up and picture to themselves a hidden and invisible Church are in grievous and pernicious error: as also are those who regard the Church as a human institution which claims a certain obedience in discipline and external duties, but which is without the perennial communication of the gifts of divine grace, and without all that which testifies by constant and undoubted signs to the existence of that life which is drawn from God. It is assuredly as impossible that the Church of Jesus Christ can be the one or the other, as that man should be a body alone or a soul alone. The connection and union of both elements is as absolutely necessary to the true Church as the intimate union of the soul and body is to human nature. The Church is not something dead: it is the body of Christ endowed with supernatural life. As Christ, the Head and Exemplar, is not wholly in His visible human nature, which Photinians and Nestorians assert, nor wholly in the invisible divine nature, as the Monophysites hold, but is one, from and in both natures, visible and invisible; so the mystical body of Christ is the true Church, only because its visible parts draw life and power from the supernatural gifts and other things whence spring their very nature and essence. But since the Church is such by divine will and constitution, such it must uniformly remain to the end of time. If it did not, then it would not have been founded as perpetual, and the end set before it would have been limited to some certain place and to some certain period of time; both of which are contrary to the truth. The union consequently of visible and invisible elements because it harmonizes with the natural order and by God's will belongs to the very essence of the Church, must necessarily remain so long as the Church itself shall endure. Wherefore Chrysostom writes: "Secede not from the Church: for nothing is stronger than the Church. Thy hope is the Church; thy salvation is the Church; thy refuge is the Church. It is higher than the heavens and wider than the earth. It never grows old, but is ever full of vigour. Wherefore Holy Writ pointing to its strength and stability calls it a mountain" (Hom. De capto Eutropio, n. 6).
Also Augustine says: "Unbelievers think that the Christian religion will last for a certain period in the world and will then disappear. But it will remain as long as the sun - as long as the sun rises and sets: that is, as long as the ages of time shall roll, the Church of God - the true body of Christ on earth - will not disappear" (In Psalm. lxx., n. 8). And in another place: "The Church will totter if its foundation shakes; but how can Christ be moved?...Christ remaining immovable, it (the Church, shall never be shaken. Where are they that say that the Church has disappeared from the world, when it cannot even be shaken?" (Enarratio in Psalm. ciii., sermo ii., n. 5).
He who seeks the truth must be guided by these fundamental principles. That is to say, that Christ the Lord instituted and formed the Church: wherefore when we are asked what its nature is, the main thing is to see what Christ wished and what in fact He did. Judged by such a criterion it is the unity of the Church which must be principally considered; and of this, for the general good, it has seemed useful to speak in this Encyclical.
It is so evident from the clear and frequent testimonies of Holy Writ that the true Church of Jesus Christ is one, that no Christian can dare to deny it. But in judging and determining the nature of this unity many have erred in various ways. Not the foundation of the Church alone, but its whole constitution, belongs to the class of things effected by Christ's free choice. For this reason the entire case must be judged by what was actually done. We must consequently investigate not how the Church may possibly be one, but how He, who founded it, willed that it should be one. But when we consider what was actually done we find that Jesus Christ did not, in point of fact, institute a Church to embrace several communities similar in nature, but in themselves distinct, and lacking those bonds which render the Church unique and indivisible after that manner in which in the symbol of our faith we profess: "I believe in one Church." "The Church in respect of its unity belongs to the category of things indivisible by nature, though heretics try to divide it into many parts...We say, therefore, that the Catholic Church is unique in its essence, in its doctrine, in its origin, and in its excellence...Furthermore, the eminence of the Church arises from its unity, as the principle of its constitution - a unity surpassing all else, and having nothing like unto it or equal to it" (S. Clemens Alexandrinus, Stronmatum lib. viii., c. 17). For this reason Christ, speaking of the mystical edifice, mentions only one Church, which he calls His own - "I will build my church; " any other Church except this one, since it has not been founded by Christ, cannot be the true Church. This becomes even more evident when the purpose of the Divine Founder is considered. For what did Christ, the Lord, ask? What did He wish in regard to the Church founded, or about to be founded? This: to transmit to it the same mission and the same mandate which He had received from the Father, that they should be perpetuated. This He clearly resolved to do: this He actually did. "As the Father hath sent me, I also send you" (John xx., 21). "Ad thou hast sent Me into the world I also have sent them into the world" (John xvii., 18).
But the mission of Christ is to save that which had perished: that is to say, not some nations or peoples, but the whole human race, without distinction of time or place. "The Son of Man came that the world might be saved by Him" (John iii., 17). "For there is no other name under Heaven given to men whereby we must be saved" (Acts iv., 12). The Church, therefore, is bound to communicate without stint to all men, and to transmit through all ages, the salvation effected by Jesus Christ, and the blessings flowing there from. Wherefore, by the will of its Founder, it is necessary that this Church should be one in all lands and at all times. to justify the existence of more than one Church it would be necessary to go outside this world, and to create a new and unheard - of race of men.
That the one Church should embrace all men everywhere and at all times was seen and foretold by Isaias, when looking into the future he saw the appearance of a mountain conspicuous by its all surpassing altitude, which set forth the image of "The House of the Lord" - that is, of the Church, "And in the last days the mountain of the House of the Lord shall be prepared on the top of the mountains" (Isa. ii., 2).
But this mountain which towers over all other mountains is one; and the House of the Lord to which all nations shall come to seek the rule of living is also one. "And all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go, and say: Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the House of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths" (Ibid., ii., 2-3).
Explaining this passage, Optatus of Milevis says: "It is written in the prophet Isaias: 'from Sion the law shall go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' For it is not on Mount Sion that Isaias sees the valley, but on the holy mountain, that is, the Church, which has raised itself conspicuously throughout the entire Roman world under the whole heavens....The Church is, therefore, the spiritual Sion in which Christ has been constituted King by God the Father, and which exists throughout the entire earth, on which there is but one Catholic Church" (De Schism. Donatist., lib. iii., n. 2). And Augustine says: "What can be so manifest as a mountain, or so well known? There are, it is true, mountains which are unknown because they are situated in some remote part of the earth But this mountain is not unknown; for it has filled the whole face of the world, and about this it is said that it is prepared on the summit of the mountains" (In Ep. Joan., tract i., n. 13).
Furthermore, the Son of God decreed that the Church should be His mystical body, with which He should be united as the Head, after the manner of the human body which He assumed, to which the natural head is physiologically united. As He took to Himself a mortal body, which He gave to suffering and death in order to pay the price of man's redemption, so also He has one mystical body in which and through which He renders men partakers of holiness and of eternal salvation. God "hath made Him (Christ) head over all the Church, which is His body" (Eph. i., 22-23). Scattered and separated members cannot possibly cohere with the head so as to make one body. But St. Paul says: "All members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body, so also is Christ" (I Cor. xii., 12). Wherefore this mystical body, he declares, is "compacted and fitly jointed together. The head, Christ: from whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly jointed together, by what every joint supplieth according to the operation in the measure of every part" (Eph. iv., 15-16). And so dispersed members, separated one from the other, cannot be united with one and the same head. "There is one God, and one Christ; and His Church is one and the faith is one; and one the people, joined together in the solid unity of the body in the bond of concord. This unity cannot be broken, nor the one body divided by the separation of its constituent parts" (S. Cyprianus, De Cath. Eccl. Unitateccl. Unitate, n. 23). And to set forth more clearly the unity of the Church, he makes use of the illustration of a living body, the members of which cannot possibly live unless united to the head and drawing from it their vital force. Separated from the head they must of necessity die. "The Church," he says, "cannot be divided into parts by the separation and cutting asunder of its members. What is cut away from the mother cannot live or breathe apart" (Ibid.). What similarity is there between a dead and a living body? "For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the Church: because we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones" (Eph. v., 29-30).
Another head like to Christ must be invented - that is, another Christ if besides the one Church, which is His body, men wish to set up another. "See what you must beware of - see what you must avoid - see what you must dread. It happens that, as in the human body, some member may be cut off a hand, a finger, a foot. Does the soul follow the amputated member? As long as it was in the body, it lived; separated, it forfeits its life. So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a heretic - the life of the spirit follows not the amputated member" (S. Augustinus, Sermo cclxvii., n. 4).
The Church of Christ, therefore, is one and the same for ever; those who leave it depart from the will and command of Christ, the Lord - leaving the path of salvation they enter on that of perdition. "Whosoever is separated from the Church is united to an adulteress. He has cut himself off from the promises of the Church, and he who leaves the Church of Christ cannot arrive at the rewards of Christ....He who observes not this unity observes not the law of God, holds not the faith of the Father and the Son, clings not to life and salvation" (S. Cyprianus, De Cath. Eccl. Unitate, n. 6).
Conciliarism's apologists, including Father Cantalamessa, just ignore papal encyclical letters such as Satis Cognitum that reaffirm the consistent, perennial teaching of the Catholic Church concerning her Divine Constitution. Father Cantalamessa is saying, ad nauseam, it should be noted, that it is "nice" but not necessary to belong to the Catholic Church to save one's soul, that other people are pretty much assured of their salvation no matter what they believe because God wills for all men to be saved. This embrace of the erroneous notion of "universal salvation" propagated by the late Father Hans Urs von Balthasar confuses the distinction between God's will for all men to be saved and the fact that men must seek to cooperate with the graces won for them on the wood of the Holy Cross by the Divine Redeemer in order to be saved. It is possible for a formal member of the Catholic Church to lose his salvation if he dies in a state of final impenitence, that is, a state of unrepentant Mortal Sin. One wonders if Father Cantalamessa, a man who believes in the pernicious error of the "invisible church," accepts this as true.
The Most Reverend Donald Sanborn has put the matter of conciliarism's new understanding of the Church, which His Excellency describes quite correctly as the "new ecclesiology," as follows in the following article:
The New Ecclesiology: An Overview:
The new ecclesiology reduces the Church of Christ to an amalgam of many different churches with different and opposing doctrines, disciplines, and hierarchies. Membership in this great and broad Church of Christ is subject to degrees. The more elements you have, the better off you are, and the closer you are to the “fullness,” which is found in the Roman Catholic Church.
It is something like bingo. If your card has all the numbers, you have the “fullness” — you have bingo. But even if you miss bingo, your card could be half filled or a quarter filled. While you do not have bingo, your card nevertheless has value, since you have an imperfect collection of what makes up bingo.
Everything in this new ecclesiology is “partial” and “full.” You are partially Church of Christ if you are non-Catholic, but fully if you are Catholic. Catholics are in “partial communion” with non-Catholics, but wait for the day when they can be in “full communion,” i.e., when Modernism erodes the faith enough that people will not care anymore if they are Protestant, Orthodox, or Catholic. Likewise these non-Catholic churches are means of salvation to the extent that they possess valid sacraments and true doctrines. This is as silly as saying that an aircraft has the capacity to take you to Europe to the extent that it has a half a tank of fuel. The fact that it is lacking the other half of the fuel means that you and your fellow passengers are going to be food for the eyeless aquatic creatures that inhabit the dark depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
In other words, the true Church of Christ is not a collection of true elements, like a pile of rocks, but is a unified essence, a single thing, just as Christ, its head, is one Person. What is outside of Christ cannot be “partially Christ.” You cannot be partially a member of Christ, and partially not, any more than you could be partially someone’s son, and partially not. Essence does not admit of degrees or separable parts. Either the whole essence (nature) is there, or none of it is there. Imagine a gas station that advertised that it sold a product “with elements of true gasoline.” Imagine an airline that boasted of a fleet of aircraft which possessed “elements of true airplanes,” or bragged that its pilots had “elements of true pilot training.” Imagine if a waiter put a steak in front of you, and said that it came from an animal that had “elements of true cow.” I think the point is made.
“Elements” of the true Church of Christ do not constitute any false sect as a partial member of the Church of Christ. The “elements” are stolen, like so much booty, from the Catholic Church. They are false churches, sects, and their use of Catholic doctrine and Catholic sacraments is under false pretense and sacrilegious. They are involved in a shameful lie when they present themselves as true Christianity, and their lie should be exposed and condemned.
But let the popes speak. I have prepared a triple-column comparison of the new ecclesiology and the traditional ecclesiology. In the third column, I draw the conclusion from the comparison.
I have reduced the comparison of the two systems to four questions:
- Whether schismatic and/or heretical churches are part of the Church of Christ?
- Whether it is possible to be part of the Church of Christ without being submitted to the Roman Pontiff?
- Whether it is true that in every valid celebration of the Eucharist, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church becomes present?
- Whether the Holy Ghost uses schismatic and/or heretical sects as means of salvation?
Read it, and see if you can honestly say that Vatican II is not guilty of heresy (The New Ecclesiology: Documentation.)
Not be outdone by the preacher to his household, Benedict XVI said a few days ago that "tolerance" of different religions can "never be mistaken by indifference." More paradox and contradiction, ladies and gentlemen. What does Benedict mean by "indifference"? Indifference to what? Indifference to the Catholic Faith? Indifference to the "larger" "Christian church"? Indifference to what, precisely? Indifference to the new ecclesiology of conciliarism? Indifference to the "new theology" of which he is a prime champion.
The popes of Tradition have taught from time immemorial that conversion to the Catholic Faith is indeed a free will decision made by individual men in response to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. They have taught that the Church, as a good and wise Mother, recognizes the necessity of tolerating the private practice of false religions in certain cases so as not to do violence to human free will. This is quite different, however, from asserting that we must tolerate the propagation of false religious ideas and beliefs in civil society, worse yet that such ideas and beliefs can make a positive contribution to the betterment of human society, no less the salvation of the souls of men.
Pope Leo XIII wrote about this in Libertas, June 20, 1888:
Yet, with the discernment of a true mother, the Church weighs the great burden of human weakness, and well knows the course down which the minds and actions of men are in this our age being borne. For this reason, while not conceding any right to anything save what is true and honest, she does not forbid public authority to tolerate what is at variance with truth and justice, for the sake of avoiding some greater evil, or of obtaining or preserving some greater good. God Himself in His providence, though infinitely good and powerful, permits evil to exist in the world, partly that greater good may not be impeded, and partly that greater evil may not ensue. In the government of States it is not forbidden to imitate the Ruler of the world; and, as the authority of man is powerless to prevent every evil, it has (as St. Augustine says) to overlook and leave unpunished many things which are punished, and rightly, by Divine Providence. But if, in such circumstances, for the sake of the common good (and this is the only legitimate reason), human law may or even should tolerate evil, it may not and should not approve or desire evil for its own sake; for evil of itself, being a privation of good, is opposed to the common welfare which every legislator is bound to desire and defend to the best of his ability. In this, human law must endeavor to imitate God, who, as St. Thomas teaches, in allowing evil to exist in the world, "neither wills evil to be done, nor wills it not to be done, but wills only to permit it to be done; and this is good.'' This saying of the Angelic Doctor contains briefly the whole doctrine of the permission of evil.
In other words, toleration of false religions does not signify that they have something to contribute to the common good. They do not. Indeed, false religions pose a grave danger to souls, arising from the devil himself to lead people out of the true Church. Understand this and understand it well: the devil is deliriously happy that fallen away Catholics, among others, are "singing the praises of the Lord" in Protestant sects. The adversary is happy whenever human beings do not have belief in and access to the sacramental absolution of their Mortal Sins committed after baptism and when they are not fed by the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the God-Man in the Holy Eucharist. The adversary and his minions are particularly pleased when men abandon the hyperdulia (the super honor) paid to the Mother of God, Mary most holy. Oh, no, false religions, Dignitatis Humanae to the contrary notwithstanding, have nothing to add but lies and ruin, both eternal and temporal, to men and to their societies.
But, to judge aright, we must acknowledge that, the more a State is driven to tolerate evil, the further is it from perfection; and that the tolerance of evil which is dictated by political prudence should be strictly confined to the limits which its justifying cause, the public welfare, requires. Wherefore, if such tolerance would be injurious to the public welfare, and entail greater evils on the State, it would not be lawful; for in such case the motive of good is wanting. And although in the extraordinary condition of these times the Church usually acquiesces in certain modern liberties, not because she prefers them in themselves, but because she judges it expedient to permit them, she would in happier times exercise her own liberty; and, by persuasion, exhortation, and entreaty would endeavor, as she is bound, to fulfill the duty assigned to her by God of providing for the eternal salvation of mankind. One thing, however, remains always true -- that the liberty which is claimed for all to do all things is not, as We have often said, of itself desirable, inasmuch as it is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.
And as to tolerance, it is surprising how far removed from the equity and prudence of the Church are those who profess what is called liberalism. For, in allowing that boundless license of which We have spoken, they exceed all limits, and end at last by making no apparent distinction between truth and error, honesty and dishonesty. And because the Church, the pillar and ground of truth, and the unerring teacher of morals, is forced utterly to reprobate and condemn tolerance of such an abandoned and criminal character, they calumniate her as being wanting in patience and gentleness, and thus fail to see that, in so doing, they impute to her as a fault what is in reality a matter for commendation. But, in spite of all this show of tolerance, it very often happens that, while they profess themselves ready to lavish liberty on all in the greatest profusion, they are utterly intolerant toward the Catholic Church, by refusing to allow her the liberty of being herself free.
And now to reduce for clearness' sake to its principal heads all that has been set forth with its immediate conclusions, the summing up in this briefly: that man, by a necessity of his nature, is wholly subject to the most faithful and ever enduring power of God; and that, as a consequence, any liberty, except that which consists in submission to God and in subjection to His will, is unintelligible. To deny the existence of this authority in God, or to refuse to submit to it, means to act, not as a free man, but as one who treasonably abuses his liberty; and in such a disposition of mind the chief and deadly vice of liberalism essentially consists. The form, however, of the sin is manifold; for in more ways and degrees than one can the will depart from the obedience which is due to God or to those who share the divine power.
For, to reject the supreme authority to God, and to cast off all obedience to Him in public matters, or even in private and domestic affairs, is the greatest perversion of liberty and the worst kind of liberalism; and what We have said must be understood to apply to this alone in its fullest sense.
Next comes the system of those who admit indeed the duty of submitting to God, the Creator and Ruler of the world, inasmuch as all nature is dependent on His will, but who boldly reject all laws of faith and morals which are above natural reason, but are revealed by the authority of God; or who at least impudently assert that there is no reason why regard should be paid to these laws, at any rate publicly, by the State. How mistaken these men also are, and how inconsistent, we have seen above. From this teaching, as from its source and principle, flows that fatal principle of the separation of Church and State; whereas it is, on the contrary, clear that the two powers, though dissimilar in functions and unequal in degree, ought nevertheless to live in concord, by harmony in their action and the faithful discharge of their respective duties.
But this teaching is understood in two ways. Many wish the State to be separated from the Church wholly and entirely, so that with regard to every right of human society, in institutions, customs, and laws, the offices of State, and the education of youth, they would pay no more regard to the Church than if she did not exist; and, at most, would allow the citizens individually to attend to their religion in private if so minded. Against such as these, all the arguments by which We disprove the principle of separation of Church and State are conclusive; with this super-added, that it is absurd the citizen should respect the Church, while the State may hold her in contempt.
Others oppose not the existence of the Church, nor indeed could they; yet they despoil her of the nature and rights of a perfect society, and maintain that it does not belong to her to legislate, to judge, or to punish, but only to exhort, to advise, and to rule her subjects in accordance with their own consent and will. By such opinion they pervert the nature of this divine society, and attenuate and narrow its authority, its office of teacher, and its whole efficiency; and at the same time they aggrandize the power of the civil government to such extent as to subject the Church of God to the empire and sway of the State, like any voluntary association of citizens. To refute completely such teaching, the arguments often used by the defenders of Christianity, and set forth by Us, especially in the encyclical letter Immortale Dei, are of great avail; for by those arguments it is proved that, by a divine provision, all the rights which essentially belong to a society that is legitimate, supreme, and perfect in all its parts exist in the Church.
Lastly, there remain those who, while they do not approve the separation of Church and State, think nevertheless that the Church ought to adapt herself to the times and conform to what is required by the modern system of government. Such an opinion is sound, if it is to be understood of some equitable adjustment consistent with truth and justice; in so far, namely, that the Church, in the hope of some great good, may show herself indulgent, and may conform to the times in so far as her sacred office permits. But it is not so in regard to practices and doctrines which a perversion of morals and a warped judgment have unlawfully introduced. Religion, truth, and justice must ever be maintained; and, as God has intrusted these great and sacred matters to her office as to dissemble in regard to what is false or unjust, or to connive at what is hurtful to religion.
From what has been said it follows that it is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, or writing, or of worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature to man. For, if nature had really granted them, it would be lawful to refuse obedience to God, and there would be no restraint on human liberty. It likewise follows that freedom in these things may be tolerated wherever there is just cause, but only with such moderation as will prevent its degenerating into license and excess. And, where such liberties are in use, men should employ them in doing good, and should estimate them as the Church does; for liberty is to be regarded as legitimate in so far only as it affords greater facility for doing good, but no farther.
Who believes in the separation of Church and State as a legitimate adaptation to "the times" while protesting that "tolerance can never be mistaken for indifference"? That's right, Benedict XVI, who believes that the conciliar church must eschew "proselytism" in order to engage in "interreligious dialogue" as the precondition for developing a "mutual understanding" amongst adherents of different religions. Go tell that to Saint Patrick or to Saint Boniface or to Saint Hyacinth. Go tell that to Our Lady, who brought about the conversion of nine million people to the true Faith in the Americas following her apparitions on Tepeyac Hill and who besought Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia in the Cova da Iria to pray for the conversion of sinners. Go tell that to Our Lord, who taught us the following parable about the necessity of seeking out the lost sheep:
Now the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him. And the Pharisees and the 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 neighbours, 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. (Lk. 15: 1-7)
Enough of attempting to point out the obvious. Enough. A new, counterfeit religion has been created by the conciliarists. This counterfeit religion has many of the appearances of Catholicism. As Bishop Sanborn noted above, however, one does not win at bingo if he has an incomplete card, one is not in good hands onboard on an airplane if his pilot has "elements of pilot training." Those who deny, even in the capacity of "private theologians," the defined teaching of the Catholic Church have defected from the Faith and have placed themselves outside of the true Church, whether or not they recognize or accept this fact. Such men become, whether wittingly or unwittingly, devil's advocates, that is, men who are advocating ideas and beliefs contrary to the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church, something that pleases the devil no end as souls are confused and bewildered over and over again.
Although I will save a discourse on our own journey, both spiritual and geographic, of the past five months for some future posting in the next week or so, suffice it to say for the moment that we have learned much from the bishops and priests we have met since we left Wisconsin in late-April and resumed our full-time life in our motor home. We are grateful to each and every single one of these shepherds we have met. They have helped us so very much!
Mind you, this is no way meant as a disparagement to the priests or lay people we have known in the catacombs for many years and who may look askance at us now over our embrace of sedevacantism. Not at all. It is simply to say that we have been helped in recent months to see the situation facing Holy Mother Church in an entirely new light, one that is clear to us. We disparage no one who disagrees with us. We are grateful, however, to those who have helped us in recent months.
Indeed, we see nothing but Catholicism in each of the sedevacantist venues where we have worshiped in the past five months. We see nothing but Catholics seeking to save their souls--and striving to learn more about their Faith as they do so. Modernism is an admixture of truth and error, not Catholicism, which is why it is important to keep oneself unspotted by conciliarism and its many snares.
As I have been imploring in recent months, may each of us bear with each other charitably in these times of apostasy as we flee from all of the errors of conciliarism and seek to offer up to God through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart all of the trials and sufferings that are part and parcel of this time in salvation history. May our charitable forbearance with each other despite whatever differences we may have with one another be used by Our Lady profitably to help bring about the Triumph of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and the restoration of Tradition in the Church and of Christendom in the world.
As we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits during this month of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, may we keep in mind the following plea that is included at the end of the Pope Saint Pius X's Oath Against Modernism:
Pray for the Restoration to come.
Vivat Christus Rex! Vivat Maria Immaculata!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Saint Remigius, pray for us.
Saint Wenceslaus, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gregory Lalamont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Lawrence Justinian, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.