No Ambiguity Here
by Thomas A. Droleskey
As noted in Valuing Affronts to Christ the King, there are times when the ambiguities and contradictions and paradoxes of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and his band of apostates of the counterfeit church of conciliarism give way to open clarity. Ratzinger/Benedict himself has, as noted yesterday, propagated a notion of dogmatic truth that has been condemned solemnly by the authority of the Catholic Church and is opposed even to reason and logic on the merely natural level. The false "pontiff" has rejected the "ecumenism of the return" and has endorsed the condemned thesis of the "separation of Church and State." Ratzinger/Benedict has been most clear in his contempt for the First Commandment as he has entered two synagogues and one mosque and as he has esteemed the symbols of false religions. There has been no ambiguity from him in any of these matters.
Similarly, there was no ambiguity from William "Cardinal" Levada, the prefect of the conciliar Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, when he said the following in an interview with the "Whispers in the Loggia" website in early-2007:
The role of the Church in that dialogue between an individual and his or her God, says the Cardinal, is not to be the first interlocutor, but the role is indispensable. "We believe that the apostles and their successors received the mission to interpret revelation in new circumstances and in the light of new challenges. That creates a living tradition that is much larger than the simple and strict passing of existing answers, insights and convictions from one generation to another.
But at the end of the day there has to be an instance that can decide whether a specific lifestyle is coherent with the principles and values of our faith, that can judge whether our actions are in accordance with the commandment to love your neighbor. The mission of the Church is not to prohibit people from thinking, investigate different hypotheses, or collect knowledge. Its mission is to give those processes orientation".
This was apostasy when it was uttered last year. This is apostasy now. This is a direct contradiction of what William Levada had swore to uphold when he took The Oath Against Modernism prior to his ordinations as to the sub-diaconate and diaconate and prior to his ordination to the priesthood on December 20, 1961:
I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.
Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.
Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.
I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .
Mirroring his mentor, Ratzinger/Benedict, Levada has felt free to defy the Church's anathemas and to break his solemn Oath that he promised to keep "faithfully, entirely, and sincerely," guarding them "inviolate" as he in no way deviated" from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing."
This seems not to matter to those who are content to have "Motu Masses" offered mostly by pretend "priests" who must keep their mouths shut about defections from the Faith represented by Ratzinger/Benedict's embrace of the "separation of Church and State" and his and Levada's propagation of an anathematized notion of dogmatic truth that runs contrary even to reason and logic on the natural level. And, of course, this seems not to matter to "conservative" Catholics in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism who continue to do variations of the "Rosemary Woods Stretch" to try to "prove" that conciliarism is not a deviation from the Faith at all or that it is a logical "progression" of the Faith. Logical "progressions, however," do not contradict anything that have gone before them. Who cares about how many souls are damaged as God is offended as a result of these deviations from the Faith?
The "holly jolly" gang in the conciliar Vatican is also composed of Walter "Cardinal" Kasper, the President of the "Pontifical" Council for Promoting the Unity of Christians, who has stated his defections from the Faith quite clearly without ever being contradicted or disciplined in any way by either the late Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II or Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. Kasper has written to pro-abortion Talmudic rabbi and "papal" "knight" David Rosen on February 13, 2008, in which he said that Ratzinger/Benedict's reformulated Good Friday "prayer" for the Jews for use in the Motu communities " no longer speaks about the conversion of the Jews as some Jewish critics wrongly affirm." That's a pretty clear rejection of the work of the first Pope, Saint Peter, on Pentecost Sunday. And it was the same Walter Kasper who addressed the heretical Anglicans on May 24, 2003, stating the following about Pope Leo XIII's infallible declaration against the validity of Anglican "orders," Apostolicae Curae, September 15, 1896:
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. A Vision of Christian Unity for the Next Generation
Nothing is stable, nothing is secure in the minds of these Modernists. Nothing at all, as Pope Saint Pius X noted in Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907:
It is thus, Venerable Brethren, that for the Modernists, whether as authors or propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor, indeed, are they without forerunners in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our predecessor Pius IX wrote: "These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts." On the subject of revelation and dogma in particular, the doctrine of the Modernists offers nothing new. We find it condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX, where it is enunciated in these terms: ''Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the progress of human reason"; and condemned still more solemnly in the Vatican Council: ''The doctrine of the faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human intelligences to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that sense of the sacred dogmas is to be perpetually retained which our Holy Mother the Church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth." Nor is the development of our knowledge, even concerning the faith, barred by this pronouncement; on the contrary, it is supported and maintained. For the same Council continues: "Let intelligence and science and wisdom, therefore, increase and progress abundantly and vigorously in individuals, and in the mass, in the believer and in the whole Church, throughout the ages and the centuries -- but only in its own kind, that is, according to the same dogma, the same sense, the same acceptation.
Walter Kasper's own rejection of the "ecumenism of the return," a view that was stated most explicitly by Ratzinger/Benedict in Cologne, Germany, on August 19, 2005, was critiqued in an out-of-print book six years ago in a section that deal also with the writing of Father Joseph Ratzinger:
By way of background on this issue, we note that when Cardinal Ratzinger was still Father Ratzinger, a former peritus of the Council, he provided in his Theological Highlights of Vatican II the following explanation of the Council's teaching on Christian unity and Church membership:
"The new text describes the relationship between the Church and non-Catholic Christians without speaking of "membership." By shedding this terminological armor, the text acquired a much wider scope. . . . The Catholic has to recognize that his own Church is not yet prepared to accept the phenomenon of multiplicity in unity; he must orient himself toward this reality. . . . Meantime the Catholic Church has no right to absorb the other Churches. The Church has not yet prepared a place of their own, but this they are legitimately entitled to. . . . A basic unity--of Churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church--must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it. (Joseph Ratzinger, Theological Highlights of Vatican II, pp. 61, 68, quoted in an out-of-print book, 2002, at p. 349.)
This remarkable text, which Cardinal Ratzinger has never repudiated, declares that the Magisterium can "shed" its own established terminology on membership in the Church, that the Bride of Christ had neglected to "prepare" itself for acceptance of the "reality" of non-Catholic confessions, that organizations indisputably founded by mere men in a rebellion against divine authority have a positive right to exist and be given "a place" by the one true Church, and that Protestants need not convert to Catholicism unless they are "motivated" to do so. In all candor, we do not see how Father Ratzinger's opinions here could have avoided censure during the reign of any preconciliar Pope.
As we have already demonstrated abundantly, these opinions are quite in line with the current thinking of Cardinal Ratzinger's fellow German bishop, Cardinal Walker Kasper, the new head of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. We have noted that in the Italian journal Adista, Kasper declared "today that we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would 'be converted' and return to being 'Catholics' This was expressly abandoned by Vatican II." Any Catholic should be horrified to see the head of a pontifical council ostensible devoted to "Christian unity" placing contemptuous quotation marks around the very words converted and Catholics. According to Cardinal Kasper, Vatican II "abandoned" what the Holy Office in 1949 describe as "the teachings of the encyclicals o the Roman Pontiffs on the return of the dissidents to the one true Church" and "the Catholic truth regarding...the only true union by the return of the dissidents to the one true Church."
And yet the context of Kasper's remarks in Adista was a defense of DI [Dominus Iesus] against Protestant critics! Nor did Cardinal Ratzinger offer any correction of Kasper's opinion, which Kasper expressed within days of his elevation to the rank of cardinal. These finds do not inspire confidence that DI represents a major course correction in the Church's postconciliar drift from her prior clarity of teaching about the condition of the dissidents who need to return to the one true Church.
Before Vatican II, it was perfectly obvious that there could that there could never be Christian unity unless the Orthodox and the Protestants assented to every single point of Catholic doctrine, thus becoming Catholics themselves. It is just as obvious that anyone who prescinds from even the least point of Catholic doctrine can never be united with us. As Pope Leo XIII taught in Satis Cognitum: "The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium."
Equally obvious is that to embrace the whole of Catholic doctrine without reservation is necessarily to turn away from the human institutions in which that doctrine was more or less corrupted, and to turn instead toward the Catholic Church, in which the Deposit of Faith has always been preserved undefiled. That is what conversion means. Even in today's ecumenical confusion, we still hear about the "conversion stories" of ex-Protestants.
How, for example, could any Lutheran came to an acceptance of the whole of Catholic teaching under the influence of God's grace, yet continue to insist upon belonging to an organization named after a psychotic, foul-mouthed, womanizing drunkard of a monk, who ran off and married a nun, indeed the greatest arch-heretic in Church history, who referred to the Vicar of Christ as an "ass-head."? What cold the husk of Luther's decrepit human organization possibly offer any Lutheran that is not found in superabundance in the Roman Catholic Church? Could anyone who would cling to the notion of belonging to Luther's version of a church ever be in union with us? On the other hand, if the Lutherans, by some miracle of grace, all suddenly decided to abjure every one of Luther's errors--in which case, why would they wish to be associated any longer with the name of Luther?--the Catholic Church would have no reason, much less a duty, to make a "place" for Luther's "church." It would simply cease to exist as a separate organization, the Lutherans having become Catholics. Is this really something that is debatable today? Apparently so.
That Christian unity can somehow be accomplished without all Christians becoming Catholics is one of the Zen-like notions that abound in postconciliar thinking. But not only has Cardinal Ratzinger never retracted Father Ratzinger's opinions, we also now find that they have become Vatican policy at the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Nor does it appear that DI [Dominus Iesus] in any way reproves Kasper's opinions. To the contrary: in discussing DI [Dominus Iesus] with the press, Cardinal Ratzinger affirmed his own support for the novel notion of "reconciled diversity" that we discussed earlier:
"Question: So then, after the publication of your document, is the ecumenical formula of 'reconciled diversity' still valid?
"Ratzinger: I accept the concept of a reconciled diversity, if it does not mean equality of content and the elimination of the question of truth so that we could consider ourselves one even if we believe and teach different things. To my mind this concept is used well, if it says that, despite our differences, which do not allow us to regard ourselves as mere fragments of a Church of Jesus Christ that does not exist in reality, we meet in the peace of Christ and are reconciled to one another, that is, we recognize that our division as contradicting the Lord's will and this sorrow spurs us to seek unity and to pray to him in the knowledge that we all need his love."
Notice that Ratzinger acknowledges that we could not consider ourselves one with Protestants unless we all believed in the same things. But in the meantime he proposes that "despite the difference" we can all be "reconciled to one another" as we "seek unity." Ratzinger does not explain--because quite obviously he cannot explain--how we can ever "find" unity with Protestants without their return to the one true Church Nor does he explain what it is that Catholics are "seeking" in terms of "unity," given that they already have the true Faith in the unity of the one true Church. Perhaps this is why Ratzinger has declared that "for the moment, I wouldn't dare venture to suggest any concrete realization, possible or imaginable, of this future Church. We are at an intermediate stage of unity in diversity."
Thus, according to Cardinal Kasper and (it would appear) Cardinal Ratzinger, there are no longer any dissidents who must return to the one true Church, but only "Christians engaged in a joint ecumenical "search for unity." The notion that the conversion and return of non-Catholics to the Catholic Church has suddenly been replaced by some other (as yet undefined) "model" of unity obviously has important implications for our understanding of DI. For if a return to the one true Church is no longer seen as necessary for Christian unity, then it can hardly be necessary salvation as such. This would men that the members of heretical and schismatic confessions, are presumed by DI to be adequately secured in their salvation, without need of formal membership in the Catholic Church and recourse to her sacraments. (out-of-print book, 2002.)
Readers of this site know full well that article after article of mine has discussed Ratzinger and Kasper's continued enunciation of the views criticized in the passages above from that out-of-print book. As I have demonstrated repeatedly on this site in recent years, neither Ratzinger or Kasper have abjured any of their previous statements. Indeed, Ratzinger has been reiterating the entirety of his apostate views as "Benedict XVI" and he has given Kasper free rein to say what he wants without providing the least bit of correction or contradiction, thus damaging further a Catholic's understanding of the true nature of the Church and on the necessity of seeking with urgency the unconditional conversion of non-Catholics to her maternal bosom.
Also part of this "holly jolly" gang of conciliarists in the Vatican is Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., Cap., the "preacher" to the "papal" household. Father Cantalamessa's multiple defections from the Catholic Faith have been critiqued on this site numerous times, including in Say What,Father Cantalamessa? over two years ago now. Father Cantalamessa, who said in his Good Friday sermon on April 2, 2002, that Protestant sects exist because God "positively wills" them to exist, has implied that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour did not perform any miracles of multiplying loaves and fishes to the feed the multitudes and he has said that the following about the Church's mission to seek the conversion of the Jews to the true Faith:
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. (Zenit, September 30, 2005.)
The Catholic Church never "loses" her duty to convert anyone to the true Faith. Cantalamessa is an apostate whose understanding of the Faith has been corrupted by the "New Theology" and by the Catholic "Charismatic" Renewal which he joined in 1977 at an "ecumenical" "Pentecostalist" rally in Kansas City, Missouri (see From Pentecostalism to Apostasy by John Vennari). He said in his 2002 Good Friday sermon:
“It is more important that men and women become holy,” Cantalamessa said, standing in the center of a magnificent basilica erected to celebrate the earthly might of Catholicism and the papacy, “than that they know the name of the one Savior.” (National Catholic Reporter)
Cantalamessa's apostate view of the Faith was expressed once again with great clarity and not even a little bit of ambiguity in a "homily" he wrote for the Second Sunday of Advent. Here are several relevant excerpts:
Last time we meditated on Paul's conversion as a metanoia, a change of mind, in the way of conceiving salvation. Paul, however, did not convert to a doctrine, be it also the doctrine of justification through faith; he converted to a person! Before a change of thought, his was a change of heart, the encounter with a living person. Often used is the expression "stroke of lightning" to indicate a love at first sight that sweeps away every obstacle; in no case is this metaphor more appropriate than for St. Paul.
Let us see how this change of heart shines from the text just heard. He speaks of the "surpassing worth" (hyperechon) of knowing Christ, and it is known that in this case, as in the whole Bible, to know does not indicate only an intellectual discovery, having an idea of something, but a vital and profound bond, an entering into relation with the object known. The same is true for the expression "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share in his sufferings." "To know sharing in sufferings" does not mean, obviously, to have an idea, but to experience suffering.
It so happened that I read this passage in a particular moment of my life in which I also found myself before a choice. I was concerned with Christology, I had written and read so much on this argument, but when I read "that I may know him," I understood all of a sudden that that simple personal pronoun "him" (autòn) contained more truth about Jesus Christ than all the books written or read about him. I understood that, for the Apostle, Christ was not an ensemble of doctrines, heresies, dogmas; he was a living person, present and very real who could be designated with a simple pronoun, as is done, when one speaks of someone who is present, indicating him with the finger.
The effect of falling in love is double. On one hand there is a drastic reduction to one, a concentration on the person loved that makes all the rest of the world pass to a second plane; on the other hand, it renders one capable of suffering anything for the person loved, accepting the loss of everything. We see both these effects realized to perfection at the moment in which the Apostle discovers Christ: "For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse."
He has accepted the loss of his privileges of "Jew of Jews," the esteem and friendship of his teachers and fellow countrymen, the hatred and commiseration of all those who did not understand how a man like him was able to allow himself to be seduced by a sect of fanatics without art or position. In the second Letter to the Corinthians is found the impressive list of all the things suffered for Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:24-28).
The Apostle himself found the word that alone contains all: "Christ has made me his own." It could also be translated as seized, fascinated, or with an expression of Jeremiah, "seduced" by Christ. Those in love do not hold back, it has been done by so many mystics at the height of their ardor. I have no difficulty, therefore, imagining Paul who, in an impetus of joy after his conversion, shouts alone to the trees on the seashore that which he would later write to the Philippians: "Christ has made me his own! Christ has made me his own!" (Father Cantalamessa's 2nd Advent Sermon)
This Modernist effort to separate the "person" of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ from the doctrines that He Himself has revealed and entrusted to His Catholic Church for their eternal safekeeping and infallible explication for the salvation of the men for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross is blasphemy of the highest order. How can there be a "division" between what Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has taught and His Person? The Act of Faith which we pray every day teaches us that God Himself has revealed His truths to us:
O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God, in three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost: I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.
It is not possible to love Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ truly and perfectly unless one submits to everything He has revealed to us through His Catholic Church without one iota of dissent. Cantalamessa rejects this, dismissing doctrines that have been defined and defended by the authority of the Catholic Church, which is guided infallibly in these proclamations by the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, and dismissing as irrelevant the heresies that have come from the devil to deceive souls that have been denounced, condemned and anathematized by Holy Mother Church under the inspiration and protection of the same God the Holy Ghost. To love God we must hate heresy, as Father Frederick Faber noted in The Dolors of Mary/The Foot of the Cross:
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 mind. 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? (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally in England in 1857 under the title of The Dolors of Mary, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 291-295.)
Some reflexive defenders of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI in the "resist and recognize" camp who are indemnifying the false "pontiff" at present just as "conservatives" (and I used to be one!) did with Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II might protest that Cantalamessa's views are his "own," that they do not reflect the mind of the "Supreme Pontiff," Benedict XVI. Au contraire. Father Raniero Cantalamessa's attempts to drive a wedge between the "Person" of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Doctrine reflect the min of Joseph Ratzinger absolutely perfectly, revealing both of them to have expelled themselves from the ranks of the Catholic Church as they offend God by daring to blaspheme Him with their falsehoods that deceive so many souls in the process.
Leaving aside Ratzinger/Benedict's "general audience" addresses on the epistles of Saint Paul the Apostle that have been reviewed on this site in
Attempting to Coerce Perjury and will be the subject of tomorrow's article, Ratzinger/Benedict said the following in a question and answer session with priests of the Diocese of Rome
on May 13, 2005, when taking "canonical possession" of the Basilica of San Giovanni Laterano, an occasion on which he announced the appointment of William Levada as his own successor as the prefect of the conciliar Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and announced that he was placing the "canonization" of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II on the "fast track:"
Romano Guardini correctly said 70 years ago that the essence of Christianity is not an idea but a Person. Great theologians have tried to describe the essential ideas that make up Christianity. But in the end, the Christianity that they constructed was not convincing, because Christianity is in the first place an Event, a Person. And thus in the Person we discover the richness of what is contained. This is important. (To the Clergy of Rome (May 13, 2005)
There are two "essential" blasphemies contained in this brief answer, which was evaluated--and critically so--by a "resist and recognize" writer shortly after it was made.
First, Ratzinger/Benedict believes, along with Cantalamessa and other Modernists, that the "Person" of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can be understood apart form His teaching. This is blasphemy against Our Lord. This is a disservice to the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Second. Ratzinger/Benedict blasphemes unnamed "great theologians" who have "tried to describe the essential ideas that make up Christianity. This is a not-so-veiled attack on the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas whom he accuses of "constructing" a "Christianity" that was not "convincing." According to Ratzinger/Benedict, therefore, the work of the Council of Trent, which relied upon the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, was not "convincing," which is why he almost never references its dogmatic pronouncements, believing them to be "corrupted" by the filter provided by Scholasticism and by the lack of "participation" by representatives from the various schismatic and heretical Orthodox sects.
Ratzinger/Benedict believes that he can dismiss the solemn declarations of the Council of Trent and of the [First] Vatican Council that the Orthodox do not accept. He praised The Ravenna Document (critiqued on this site in
What's a Thousand Years Among Friends? and
Missing a Millennium) once again on December 15, 2008:
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 15, 2008 (Zenit.org).- There have been significant steps forward in dialogue with the Orthodox regarding the relationship between papal primacy and the synodality of the Church, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope recalled these advances when he addressed Friday the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The council reflected last week on the "Reception and Future of Ecumenical Dialogue."
In his address, the Holy Father mentioned progress, both at the level of theological dialogue and at the level of ecclesial fraternity, with the Orthodox Churches and the ancient Churches of the east.
In this regard, he particularly pointed to the joint Catholic-Orthodox statement from the end of 1997 on "Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority." That advance, known as the "Ravenna Document" (because the Church representatives met in Ravenna, Italy) "certainly opens a positive perspective of reflection on the relationship that exists between primacy and synodality in the Church, a discussion of crucial importance in relations with our Orthodox brothers, and which will be the object of deepening and discussion in upcoming meetings," the Pontiff said.
Benedict XVI recalled that Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I made explicit reference to this issue when he addressed the synod of bishops in Rome in October.
In addition to this positive dialogue, the Holy Father noted, "A sincere spirit of friendship between Catholics and Orthodox has been growing over these years."
This is shown, he said, in the "many contacts established between leaders of the Roman Curia and bishops of the Catholic Church with leaders from the various Orthodox Churches, as well as visits to Rome and particular Catholic Churches by leading figures from the Orthodox. Ratzinger Praises Ecumenical Headway on Primacy
This is what The Ravenna Document says about the immutable doctrine of Papal Primacy that Ratzinger has told us in Principles of Catholic Theology should not be imposed upon the Orthodox:
It remains for the question of the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of all the Churches to be studied in greater depth. What is the specific function of the bishop of the “first see” in an ecclesiology of koinonia and in view of what we have said on conciliarity and authority in the present text? How should the teaching of the first and second Vatican councils on the universal primacy be understood and lived in the light of the ecclesial practice of the first millennium? These are crucial questions for our dialogue and for our hopes of restoring full communion between us.
We, the members of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, are convinced that the above statement on ecclesial communion, conciliarity and authority represents positive and significant progress in our dialogue, and that it provides a firm basis for future discussion of the question of primacy at the universal level in the Church. We are conscious that many difficult questions remain to be clarified, but we hope that, sustained by the prayer of Jesus “That they may all be one … so that the world may believe” (Jn 17, 21), and in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we can build upon the agreement already reached. Reaffirming and confessing “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4, 5), we give glory to God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has gathered us together. (The Ravenna Document.)
How, then are the maximum demands to be decided in advance? Certainly, no one who claims allegiance to Catholic theology can simply declare the doctrine of primacy null and void, especially not if he seeks to understand the objections and evaluates with an open mind the relative weight of what can be determined historically. Nor it is possible, on the other hand, for him to regard as the only possible form and, consequently, as binding on all Christians the form this primacy has taken in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. . . .
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 is a total distortion of history and of the Catholic Faith as Ratzinger/Benedict distorted the true history of the First Millennium and made it appear as though the "form" of Papal Primacy only took its "present" shape in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Both assertions are lies.
Pope Leo XIII explained that the doctrine of Papal Primacy was understood and accepted by the Greeks in the First Millennium:
First of all, then, We cast an affectionate look upon the East, from whence in the beginning came forth the salvation of the world. Yes, and the yearning desire of Our heart bids us conceive and hope that the day is not far distant when the Eastern Churches, so illustrious in their ancient faith and glorious past, will return to the fold they have abandoned. We hope it all the more, that the distance separating them from Us is not so great: nay, with some few exceptions, we agree so entirely on other heads that, in defense of the Catholic Faith, we often have recourse to reasons and testimony borrowed from the teaching, the Rites, and Customs of the East.
The Principal subject of contention is the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff. But let them look back to the early years of their existence, let them consider the sentiments entertained by their forefathers, and examine what the oldest Traditions testify, and it will, indeed, become evident to them that Christ's Divine Utterance, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, has undoubtedly been realized in the Roman Pontiffs. Many of these latter in the first gates of the Church were chosen from the East, and foremost among them Anacletus, Evaristus, Anicetus, Eleutherius, Zosimus, and Agatho; and of these a great number, after Governing the Church in Wisdom and Sanctity, Consecrated their Ministry with the shedding of their blood. The time, the reasons, the promoters of the unfortunate division, are well known. Before the day when man separated what God had joined together, the name of the Apostolic See was held in Reverence by all the nations of the Christian world: and the East, like the West, agreed without hesitation in its obedience to the Pontiff of Rome, as the Legitimate Successor of St. Peter, and, therefore, the Vicar of Christ here on earth.
And, accordingly, if we refer to the beginning of the dissension, we shall see that Photius himself was careful to send his advocates to Rome on the matters that concerned him; and Pope Nicholas I sent his Legates to Constantinople from the Eternal City, without the slightest opposition, "in order to examine the case of Ignatius the Patriarch with all diligence, and to bring back to the Apostolic See a full and accurate report"; so that the history of the whole negotiation is a manifest Confirmation of the Primacy of the Roman See with which the dissension then began. Finally, in two great Councils, the second of Lyons and that of Florence, Latins and Greeks, as is notorious, easily agreed, and all unanimously proclaimed as Dogma the Supreme Power of the Roman Pontiffs.
We have recalled those things intentionally, for they constitute an invitation to peace and reconciliation; and with all the more reason that in Our own days it would seem as if there were a more conciliatory spirit towards Catholics on the part of the Eastern Churches, and even some degree of kindly feeling. To mention an instance, those sentiments were lately made manifest when some of Our faithful travelled to the East on a Holy Enterprise, and received so many proofs of courtesy and good-will. (Pope Leo XIII, Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1894.)
Those interested in truth cannot hide the fact that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict is a master distorter of the history of the Church as he blasphemes Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself and the saint upon whom His Holy Church has relied for so much guidance in her dogmatic councils, Saint Thomas Aquinas. Alas, a man who divide the "Person" of Our Lord from His Doctrines, an exercise of pure Modernism, can quite easily distort and misrepresent history.
As is the case with Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI does not believe that the Faith is a "collection" of dogmas. He has told us this in his own words as "Benedict XVI:"
According to Father Lombardi, the Bishop of Rome said that "the substance of Christianity should not be considered a package of dogmas." And the best way to witness to God is to proclaim him in everyday life, "with love, faith and hope," the priest added.
The Holy Father explained that the Catholic faith requires having "our feet on the ground and our eyes fixed toward heaven," Father Lombardi said. Pastoral work, the priest continued, "helps to see the beauty of all God's gifts." (Zenit, July 24, 2007.)
We cannot love Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ if we do not accept the simple truth that He Himself has revealed His Doctrines to us for our sanctification and our salvation and that to dismiss those Doctrines as somehow detracting from anyone's "love" of Him is nothing other than the work of the devil.
Yes, good readers, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., Cap., is of one mind and heart with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI concerning the fact that one can indeed "love" Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ without adhering to each of His Doctrines and without hating the heresies that have arisen and been condemned by the Church's solemn authority over the centuries. There is no ambiguity about this whatsoever.
Father Cantalamessa's Modernism is such that he projects it onto Saint Paul by saying the Apostle to the Gentiles converted to a "Person," not a "doctrine." Father Cantalamessa, it is like this: Saint Paul the Apostle, like any other convert, converted to the Catholic Faith after Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ appeared to Him on the road to Damascus, thereafter becoming one of the chief apostles of His doctrines. Saint Paul saw no division between the "Person" of the Divine Redeemer and His doctrines.
Using Saint Paul as an empty vessel into which he can project his own Modernism, Father Cantalamessa dismisses as irrelevant the use to which the former Saul of Tarsus's epistles have been used by the Scholastic Fathers and the dogmatic councils of the Catholic Church by saying that they were not written to furnish "future generations in which to exercise their theological acumen," thereby once again blaspheming God the Holy Ghost, Who knew full well how Saint Paul's writings would be used to defend the Faith against heresies, including the heresies of the Protestant Revolt:
The Pauline Year might be revealed as the providential occasion to close a whole period of discussions and disagreements linked more to the past than to the present, and to open a new chapter in the use of the Apostle's thought. To return to his letters, in the first place the Letter to the Romans, for the purpose for which they were written was not, of course, that of furnishing future generations with a gymnasium in which to exercise their theological acumen, but that of edifying the faith of the community, formed in the main by simple and illiterate people. "For I long to see you," he wrote to the Romans, "that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine" (Romans 1:11-12). (Father Cantalamessa's 2nd Advent Sermon)
The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, inspired Saint Paul to write what he did as he did for every age in salvation history until the Second Coming of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Last Day at the end time, not simply for the "faith" community" of Saint Paul's time.
Moreover, Cantalamessa's dismissive attitude of the Doctrine of Justification in light of the general loss of the sense of the sin that has occurred as result of the Protestant Revolt and of conciliarism itself once again shows just how much he does not love Our Lord, Who does indeed want all men to come to a knowledge of Him and His Doctrines as He has revealed them through His true Church. As one can see from the passages below, Cantalamessa exhibits a Pentecostalist's contempt for "doctrine" in favor of the "interior movement of the 'spirit' that replaces the work of the true Spirit, God the Holy Ghost, with a false spirit of emotion and irrationality:
I believe it is time to go beyond the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. What is at stake at the start of the third millennium is no longer the same as at the beginning of the second millennium, when at the heart of Western Christianity the separation took place between Catholics and Protestants.
To give but one example, the problem is no longer that of Luther and of how to liberate man from the sense of guilt that oppresses him, but how to give again to man the true meaning of sin which has been totally lost. What sense does it make to continue to discuss how "justification of the godless comes about," when man is convinced of not having need of any justification and says with pride: "I accuse myself today and I alone can absolve myself, I the man"?
I believe that all the age-old discussions between Catholics and Protestants about faith and works have ended up by making us lose sight of the main point of the Pauline message, often shifting attention from Christ to doctrines on Christ, in practice, from Christ to men. That which the Apostle is anxious above all to affirm in Romans 3 is not that we are justified by faith, but that we are justified by faith in Christ; it is not so much that we are justified by grace, but that we are justified by the grace of Christ. The accent is on Christ, more than on faith and grace.
After having two preceding chapters of the Letter presenting humanity in its universal state of sin and perdition, the Apostle has the incredible courage to proclaim that this situation has now radically changed "through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus," "by one man's obedience" (Romans 3:24; 5:19). The affirmation that this salvation is received by faith, and not by works, is most important, but it comes in the second place, not in the first. The error has been committed of reducing to a school problem, in the interior of Christianity, what for the Apostle was an affirmation of a more vast, cosmic and universal event.
This message of the Apostle on the centrality of Christ is of great importance today. Many factors have lead in fact to put his person in parenthesis today. Christ does not come into question in any of the three liveliest dialogues taking place today between the Church and the world. Not in the dialogue between faith and philosophy, because philosophy is concerned with metaphysical concepts; not of historical reality as is the person of Jesus of Nazareth; not in the dialogue with science, with which one can only discuss the existence or nonexistence of a creator God, of a project of evolution; not, finally, in the interreligious dialogue, where we are concerned with that which religions can do together, in the name of God, for the good of humanity.
Asked about what they believe in, few even among believers answered: I believe that Christ died for my sins and has risen for my justification. And few answered: I believe in the existence of God, in life after death. Yet for Paul, as for the whole of the New Testament, faith that saves is only faith in the death and resurrection of Christ: "if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). (Father Cantalamessa's 2nd Advent Sermon)
Unfortunately for Father Cantalamessa, Protestantism is from the devil. It was fought by the Catholic Counter-Reformation, which was from God. Father Cantalamessa, who believes, remember, that false religions are positively willed by God to exist and that they can work "together, in the name of God, for the good of humanity," takes a thoroughly Protestant view of Justification that was condemned in no uncertain terms by the Council of Trent, a council that is supposed to bind Cantalamessa's conscience under penalty of Mortal Sin.
Not that it matters to Father Cantalamessa, here are the six dispositions that must exist in a soul for it to be Justified as taught by the Catholic Church:
4. The dispositions required for justification. The Church teaches that adults, excited and aided by grace, must bring certain dispositions in order to be justified. These dispositions are not required in children under the age of reason; the Church supplies for this lack in them, since they are incapable of producing these acts. This is not to say that man prepares himself for justification, since to do so is impossible without the grace of God. God must draw him to these acts of disposition by actual grace.
The Council of Trent teaches that there are six dispositions required for justification:
(1) faith, which consists in believing and holding as true those things which God has revealed and promised;
(2) fear of divine justice;
(3) hope that God will treat us mercifully through love for Jesus Christ;
(4) A beginning of the love of God, whom we must love as the source of all justice;
(5) Hatred and detestation for sin.
(6) The resolution to receive baptism (or the sacrament of penance in the case of those already baptized and in mortal sin), in order to begin a new life and to observe the commandments of God and of the Church.
So we see that the Church is insistent that man, under the influence of grace, cooperate in his own justification. As Saint Augustine put it, “Christ effects salvation in the impious, but not without the impious…He who has made you without your help will not justify you without your cooperation.” (His Excellency
Bishop Donald A. Sanborn, Critical Analysis of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.)
Father Cantalamessa's views on Original Sin mirror those of Ratzinger/Benedict's, as will be seen in the article to be posted tomorrow, Thursday, December 18, 2008, "Orthodox Heterodoxy." And Cantalamessa does not believe that it is necessary for followers of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to be of one mind on "doctrinal" issues as what "matters," he asserts, is our "faith" in Him. This is Protestantism. This is Modernism. This is heresy.
Pope Pius XI, writing in Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937, taught us to avoid using the word "faith" in empty, vague ways that have nothing to do with the teaching of the Catholic Church:
Faith in Christ cannot maintain itself pure and unalloyed without the support of faith in the Church, "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. iii. 15); for Christ Himself, God eternally blessed, raised this pillar of the Faith. His command to hear the Church (Matt. xviii. 15), to welcome in the words and commands of the Church His own words and His own commands (Luke x. 16), is addressed to all men, of all times and of all countries. The Church founded by the Redeemer is one, the same for all races and all nations. Beneath her dome, as beneath the vault of heaven, there is but one country for all nations and tongues; there is room for the development of every quality, advantage, task and vocation which God the Creator and Savior has allotted to individuals as well as to ethnical communities. The Church's maternal heart is big enough to see in the God-appointed development of individual characteristics and gifts, more than a mere danger of divergency. She rejoices at the spiritual superiorities among individuals and nations. In their successes she sees with maternal joy and pride fruits of education and progress, which she can only bless and encourage, whenever she can conscientiously do so. But she also knows that to this freedom limits have been set by the majesty of the divine command, which founded that Church one and indivisible. Whoever tampers with that unity and that indivisibility wrenches from the Spouse of Christ one of the diadems with which God Himself crowned her; he subjects a divine structure, which stands on eternal foundations, to criticism and transformation by architects whom the Father of Heaven never authorized to interfere.
Pope Leo XIII, writing in Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896, explained that there can be no "union" of Christians unless there is "agreement of minds and wills," something that Raniero Cantalamessa rejects categorically in his sappy Pentecostalist heresies that are shared by the apostle of the New Theology, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who expresses himself in slightly more opaque and obtuse ways than Cantalamessa but who agrees completely with his "preacher" that there is a division between "doctrine" and the "Person" of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:
Agreement and union of minds is the necessary foundation of this perfect concord amongst men, from which concurrence of wills and similarity of action are the natural results. Wherefore, in His divine wisdom, He ordained in His Church Unity of Faith; a virtue which is the first of those bonds which unite man to God, and whence we receive the name of the faithful - "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. iv., 5). That is, as there is one Lord and one baptism, so should all Christians, without exception, have but one faith. And so the Apostle St. Paul not merely begs, but entreats and implores Christians to be all of the same mind, and to avoid difference of opinions: "I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms amongst you, and that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Cor. i., 10). Such passages certainly need no interpreter; they speak clearly enough for themselves. Besides, all who profess Christianity allow that there can be but one faith. It is of the greatest importance and indeed of absolute necessity, as to which many are deceived, that the nature and character of this unity should be recognized. And, as We have already stated, this is not to be ascertained by conjecture, but by the certain knowledge of what was done; that is by seeking for and ascertaining what kind of unity in faith has been commanded by Jesus Christ.
The heavenly doctrine of Christ, although for the most part committed to writing by divine inspiration, could not unite the minds of men if left to the human intellect alone. It would, for this very reason, be subject to various and contradictory interpretations. This is so, not only because of the nature of the doctrine itself and of the mysteries it involves, but also because of the divergencies of the human mind and of the disturbing element of conflicting passions. From a variety of interpretations a variety of beliefs is necessarily begotten; hence come controversies, dissensions and wranglings such as have arisen in the past, even in the first ages of the Church. Irenaeus writes of heretics as follows: "Admitting the sacred Scriptures they distort the interpretations" (Lib. iii., cap. 12, n. 12). And Augustine: "Heresies have arisen, and certain perverse views ensnaring souls and precipitating them into the abyss only when the Scriptures, good in themselves, are not properly understood" (In Evang. Joan., tract xviii., cap. 5, n. I). Besides Holy Writ it was absolutely necessary to insure this union of men's minds - to effect and preserve unity of ideas - that there should be another principle. This the wisdom of God requires: for He could not have willed that the faith should be one if He did not provide means sufficient for the preservation of this unity; and this Holy Writ clearly sets forth as We shall presently point out. Assuredly the infinite power of God is not bound by anything, all things obey it as so many passive instruments. In regard to this external principle, therefore, we must inquire which one of all the means in His power Christ did actually adopt. For this purpose it is necessary to recall in thought the institution of Christianity.
We are mindful only of what is witnessed to by Holy Writ and what is otherwise well known. Christ proves His own divinity and the divine origin of His mission by miracles; He teaches the multitudes heavenly doctrine by word of mouth; and He absolutely commands that the assent of faith should be given to His teaching, promising eternal rewards to those who believe and eternal punishment to those who do not. "If I do not the works of my Father, believe Me not" (John x., 37). "If I had not done among them the works than no other man had done, they would not have sin" (Ibid. xv., 24). "But if I do (the works) though you will not believe Me, believe the works" (Ibid. x., 38). Whatsoever He commands, He commands by the same authority. He requires the assent of the mind to all truths without exception. It was thus the duty of all who heard Jesus Christ, if they wished for eternal salvation, not merely to accept His doctrine as a whole, but to assent with their entire mind to all and every point of it, since it is unlawful to withhold faith from God even in regard to one single point. (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)
It is unlawful to withhold from God even in regard to one single point. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and Raniero Cantalamessa do not believe this. They believe that men can be "followers" of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ without accepting everything that He has revealed to us through His true Church, thereby corrupting the very meaning of the word "Faith" as taught by Holy Mother Church.
As Pope Pius XI noted in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, has not God revealed all of the truths taught by Holy Mother Church? How is it possible for any man to dissent knowingly from any one of these truths and yet remain in good standing with Him?
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.
Once again, good readers, those who want to see the truth of the multiple defections from the Catholic Faith in the allocutions and writings of the conciliarists will do so. Others will keep pretending that "private" views do not result in defections from the Faith and/or that there must be "some way" to reconcile outright contradictory statements with each other.
For our part, however, we must in these Ember Days (today, Friday and Saturday) of Advent in the eight days remaining before Christmas intensify our daily prayers in reparation for our own sins, which have indeed worsened the state of the Church Militant on earth and the world, and for those of the whole world, especially those of the conciliar revolutionaries who must perforce blaspheme God as they project into Him their own false conceptions of Him in order to justify a revolution that has offended Him mightily and devastated so many millions upon millions of souls around the world.
These daily acts of reparation, which should center around assistance at a true offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition by a true bishop or a true priest who makes no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds and be complemented each day by praying as many Rosaries as our states-in-life permit, must be given by us to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. Our Lady will use whatever we give her for the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, for the good of the Poor Souls in Purgatory and for the conversion of unrepentant sinners and of non-Catholics to the true Faith.
Christmas joy awaits us in eight days. Our annual celebration of Christmas reminds us that the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity Who was made Man for our salvation in the Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, condescended to be born in utter poverty, humility and anonymity in the cradle in the stable in the cave in Bethlehem. That little Baby Jesus beckons us to welcome Him every day by means of our worthy reception of Him in Holy Communion, and He beckons us to unite our minds to His Mind as He has discharged It in Holy Mother Church and our hearts to His Most Sacred Heart, Which was formed out of and beats as one with the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother.
The apostasies of the day will pass. The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be made manifest. And the Babe born for us in Bethlehem, Whose Most Sacred Heart beats us with such love in the tabernacles of true Catholic churches in the catacombs, awaits our efforts as His consecrated slaves through His Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to plant a few seeds for the day when all men and women will indeed be of one mind with His and one heart with His as they exclaim as members of the Catholic Church:
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
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