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June 29, 2004

Pray for the Pope Always

by Thomas A. Droleskey

This is the date on which Saint Peter, the Rock upon which the Church was founded by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, was crucified upside down on Vatican Hill in the year 67 A.D., thus commencing the 256 year period of episodic persecution against the true Church by the authorities of the secular Roman Empire. Each of the first twenty-nine Successors of Saint Peter were martyred as the forces of secularism and Roman imperialism sought to crush out the infant Church in the manner that King Herod the Great sought to crush out the infant Jesus shortly after His Nativity in Bethlehem. Try as evil rulers have during the past two millennia, however, the Church founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, remains as a Sign of Contradiction in the midst of a world today that is eerily similar to that in which Saints Peter and Paul lived and gave up their lives to bear witness to the true Faith.

The Catholic Church is the Mystical Bride of Christ, Who is her Invisible Head. She will last until the end of time despite all of the assaults waged against her by the enemies of the God-Man from without. She will last until the end of time despite all of the efforts of her members, including each one of us, to undermine her authority by our sins and our indifference and our bad example. She will last until the end of time despite this current epoch of novelty that has been embraced by one pope after another since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. She will last until the end of time despite all of the multifaceted and inter-related problems that beset her at present. The jaws of Hell will never prevail against the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church headed on earth by the Successor of Saint Peter, the Vicar of Christ.

The current occupant of the Throne of Saint Peter, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, is thus deserving of our prayers and our penances and our sacrifices. Filial piety requires us as sons and daughters of the Church, incorporated therein by means of our Baptism, to love our Holy Father and to see in him our link back to Saint Peter himself. Authentic love is, as I have noted many times on this site and in my articles in the printed pages of Christ or Chaos, not an empty headed sentiment. Authentic love is an act of the will, the ultimate expression of which is to will the good of the other. Our love for the Holy Father, therefore, is not premised on an uncritical acceptance of everything he says and does as being received from the hand of God when those words and actions are contrary to the patrimony to the Church and actually help, however unwittingly, to advance the agenda of Modernity despite the Pope's believing that the contrary is true. Our love for the Holy Father is premised on our acceptance of the authority he has received as the Successor of Saint Peter to be our spiritual father on earth and our desire for him to exercise that authority in complete fidelity to what his predecessors prior to 1958 have shown to be the best path to preserve the unity of Faith within the Church and to bring others into the true Sheepfold of Christ.

Thus, it is not disloyal or disrespectful for a son or a daughter of the Catholic Church to remonstrate with his or her spiritual father to point out the absolute clarity and lack of ambiguity found in the great encyclicals of Popes Gregory XVI and Blessed Pius IX and Leo XIII and St. Pius X and Pius XI, for example. It is not to express "anger" when one points out that there has been a lack of papal supervision of the appointment of bishops and a lack of governance when wayward bishops have done and said things that have placed the salvation of souls and thus the good of the Church and the world in jeopardy. It is not to be possessed of the "democratic spirit" to point out the novelties of this pontificate and how they are they undermine the very things that the Pope says he wants to advance, including the restoration of legal protection for all innocent human life from the first moment of fertilization until the moment of natural death willed by God.

To wit, a gentleman sent me his side of correspondence he has been having with a diocesan ordinary, who shall be otherwise unidentified here. The bishop had read "A Law Unto Himself," an article that was posted originally on this site and then reprinted in The Remnant. The bishop said that the article was filled with anger. I believe the article was a factual review of the alarming state of affairs that prompted the Holy Father to appoint the disgraced Bernard Cardinal Law as the Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four major basilicas in Rome. I pointed out how the Holy Father, who we are told by his apologists does not want to govern the Church too firmly lest he run the risk of a major schism, can indeed assert himself and run the risk of alienating Catholics disaffected by the thoroughly irresponsible actions of men like Cardinal Law when he wants to do so. This is simply a matter of fact. It is a fact that saddens me more than anything else. What the bishop saw as anger is really an expression of sadness on my part. I am saddened by the fact that my spiritual father, in whose presence I have been a number of times in the past twenty-six years, does not see the harm of the events of the past forty-five years and is unwilling to take decisive action to restore the fullness of the Faith of our Fathers, especially by recognizing the universal and perpetually binding nature of Pope Saint Pius V's Quo Primum. this is to say nothing of the many other things that can sadden the heart of a Catholic who understands that there can be no compromise with the spirit of the world, including the abomination of having Hindu "priests" offer false worship in the Chapel of the Apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on May 5, 2004.

Sadness, though, must not be mistaken for a lack of faith in the Omnipotence and Omniscience of God, Who has known from all eternity that these events would take place during our lifetimes. As I noted a few months ago, our faith must never be shaken by this or that scandal or this or that abomination. Our faith in the indefectibility of the Catholic Church must be absolutely unshakable. I do not pretend to understand why these things are occurring. I know, though, that the graces won for us on Calvary by the shedding of every single drop of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood are sufficient for us to bear the crosses we are asked to bear in the life of the Church at present. The present situation is one of a chastisement, to be sure, that may not be resolved until some pope actually does consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. There are many complex and inter-related forces that have been at work in the world for about six to seven centuries that made their way into the Church herself by the time of the early Twentieth Century, as John Vennari has pointed out in The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita. Other than that, though, we have to accept the simple fact that many of the things that we hear and see emanating from Rome will be understood fully only in eternity, when all of God's mysterious plan will be seen by the elect who have persevered to the point of their dying breaths in states of sanctifying grace. This does not mean that we remain inert and impassive in the midst of the difficulties that face us. But it does mean that we must never lose our faith and that we must never stop praying for the Holy Father, who has presided arguably over the worst pontificate in history, and his bishops to return to the sure path of Tradition.

Many saints gave up their lives over the course of the past two millennia to bear witness to the truths and the traditions of the Church that have been cast aside, at least in a de facto if not de jure manner, in the past forty-five years or so. We need to learn from these great saints, not apologize for their not having embraced the novelties of ecumenism and ambiguity of language that have been the hallmarks of the conciliar and postconciliar eras. Our current Holy Father needs to recover the voice of the first Pope, Saint Peter, who said:

Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath, raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here before you whole. 'This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner.' Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven, given to men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4: 10-12).

Praying for the Holy Father to recover the glories of Tradition, which built Christendom and safeguarded it against the onslaught of heretics and infidels and revolutionaries, we celebrate this great feast day of the martyrdom of the founders of the Church in Rome, Saints Peter and Paul (who was put to death on June 30), as Catholics who have total confidence in Our Lord's promises to His Holy Church, mindful that we must rid ourselves of sin and sinful influences in our own lives and be assiduous in our prayers before the Blessed Sacrament and the Mother of God if we want to be instruments of building up the Church and helping to plant seeds for the day when a Pope will once again reign monarchically and govern decisively for the glory of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, pray for us.

Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.









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