Friday, May 9, 2008
Prior to Vatican II, Catholic teaching--as documented in Sacred Tradition for almost 2 millennia--was that God specially created (formed) the first human being (Adam) body and soul from the "slime of the earth" meaning from non-living but pre-existent matter. See Humani generis full text HERE...of Pope Pius XII, 1950 no.’s 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 for example as follows:
35. It remains for Us now to speak about those questions which, although they pertain to the positive sciences, are nevertheless more or less connected with the truths of the Christian faith. In fact, not a few insistently demand that the Catholic religion take these sciences into account as much as possible. This certainly would be praiseworthy in the case of clearly proved facts; but caution must be used when there is rather question of hypotheses, having some sort of scientific foundation, in which the doctrine contained in Sacred Scripture or in Tradition is involved. If such conjectural opinions are directly or indirectly opposed to the doctrine revealed by God, then the demand that they be recognized can in no way be admitted.
36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith. Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.
37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is no no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.
38. Just as in the biological and anthropological sciences, so also in the historical sciences there are those who boldly transgress the limits and safeguards established by the Church. In a particular way must be deplored a certain too free interpretation of the historical books of the Old Testament. Those who favor this system, in order to defend their cause, wrongly refer to the Letter which was sent not long ago to the Archbishop of Paris by the Pontifical Commission on Biblical Studies. This letter, in fact, clearly points out that the first eleven chapters of Genesis, although properly speaking not conforming to the historical method used by the best Greek and Latin writers or by competent authors of our time, do nevertheless pertain to history in a true sense, (my emphasis throughout) which however must be further studied and determined by exegetes; the same chapters, (the Letter points out), in simple and metaphorical language adapted to the mentality of a people but little cultured, both state the principal truths which are fundamental for our salvation, and also give a popular description of the origin of the human race and the chosen people. If, however, the ancient sacred writers have taken anything from popular narrations (and this may be conceded), it must never be forgotten that they did so with the help of divine inspiration, through which they were rendered immune from any error in selecting and evaluating those documents.
39. Therefore, whatever of the popular narrations have been inserted into the Sacred Scriptures must in no way be considered on a par with myths or other such things, which are more the product of an extravagant imagination than of that striving for truth and simplicity which in the Sacred Books, also of the Old Testament, is so apparent that our ancient sacred writers must be admitted to be clearly superior to the ancient profane writers.
Thus, it should be readily apparent that Adam would have had no parents human or animal. Moreover, the first woman Eve appeared through an act of God's special creation in which physical material was taken from Adam in some way and formed into the first female. The salient point here is that the first woman was directly formed by God from part of the first man. Wo-man means “out of man.”
This first sexually complimentary human couple (Adam and Eve) was created by God with preternatural gifts including a direct relationship with God and both physical and spiritual eternal life.
After failing the test of obedience which God imposed upon them, Adam and Eve lost their direct relationship with God and physical death became a permanent reality for the human race thereafter.
Perennial Catholic teaching demands that all human beings who have ever lived emanate from Adam and Eve by direct physical propagation. There is no way to accept polygenism (multiple first parents or groups of first humans) of any kind and remain faithful to Sacred Tradition (Humani generis no. 37). The sin of disobedience that Adam and Eve committed must be personally attributable to them and them alone in order for original sin to be "passable" to all other human beings except Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. If Adam and Eve were not literally the first human parents specially created by God, the “creation” tenet of Christianity no longer exists. Once that is destroyed, the second tenet (fall from grace) can no longer be imputed to the entire human race and the third tenet (redemption through Christ’s salvific work on the Cross) becomes unnecessary and likewise falls. If the tripartite Catholic formula “Creation, Fall, Redemption” is abandoned the entire Creed upon which the Roman Catholic Faith is based likewise falls of its own weight. Therein we have a completely different religion—another Gospel!
Another Gospel e.g. (Gal. 1: 8-9) is strictly warned against by St. Paul in the strongest terms. That is precisely what is at risk if it is true that Vatican II adopted the New Theology of Teilhard de Chardin as Atilla Sinke Guimaraes, Wolfgang Smith and others maintain. This issue must be faced and addressed by the Holy See if thoughtful and concerned Roman Catholics of good will are to be properly served by the Church of Christ.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
God made pre-humans into people, Vatican newspaper says
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- While apes evolved naturally into pre-human creatures, it was the will and desire of God that turned them into humans, an article in the Vatican newspaper said.
"The formation of human beings necessitated a particular contribution by God, though it remains that their emergence was brought about by natural causes" of evolution, it said.
The article, published in the May 5-6 edition of L'Osservatore Romano, was written by Italian evolutionary biologist Fiorenzo Facchini.
The article said that, "when the biological conditions necessary for supporting a being capable of reflective thought were attained, the will of God, the creator, freely desired it, and man came to be."
The article posed the question: Does this mean that humans evolved from chimpanzees?
"No, it might be better to say that at some point God willed a spark of intelligence to light up in the mind of a nonhuman hominid and thus came into existence the human as a being, as a subject capable of thought and the ability to decide freely," it said.
So rather than picturing it as humans descending from the apes, it said, humans ascended or rose up from the animal kingdom to a higher level, thanks to the hand of God.
As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in 1968 when he was Father Joseph Ratzinger, God wanted to create a being that could know him and be able to turn to him, the article said.
The emergence of the human is neither a casual or accidental event, nor is it something that was "strictly necessary," demanded by God or the evolutionary process, it said.
Evolution could have ended at the pre-human stage, it said, but thanks to "the free choice of God," humans emerged from their pre-human ancestors.
This divine intervention "does not represent an unwarranted intrusion (of theology) in the field of science -- as is the case with intelligent design -- but is called for in order to explain the presence of man's spirit" which cannot come from or evolve out of the material world, the article said.
The movement from being a creature of the animal and physical world to also the spiritual was a gift from God "even if it came at the end of a natural process of evolution," it said.
Note: Very crafty language (they think) there, with all the nice pious touches; truly worthy of the contempt of all faithful Catholics and true men of the (real, hard) sciences. We find a true gnosis at work in this oracle:
"God willed a spark of intelligence to light up in the mind of a nonhuman hominid and thus came into existence the human as a being".
So God created the "non-human," the "prehuman," not "man" as attested in sacred scripture. This "spark of intelligence...in the mind," which intelligence is nowhere evident in such a statement, is a long way from home, the living immortal soul which we must by all means save, and which is taught in sacred scripture and tradition.
But we see more: "humans ascended or rose up from the animal kingdom to a higher level...".
Ascended...rose... What a (new and imaginative) faith, granting the wishful premises of "the scientific community" but not the ends! Not even in a time when Darwin himself has been all but scrapped (except as inspiration) by the scientists themselves, having been proven so wrong at so many levels, necessitating so many radical revisions, dying the death of a thousand (nay, more!) qualifications...
But then again scientism can't lose, for as with all lies, it doth spin and spin and spin---and how shall the little layman know? The poor Vatican. It is as if one need simply put the Modernist conception of "God" (read: Mysterious Process) in front of anything metaphysical which the oracle "scientists" (who fake at being "empiricists") place at the top of their Credo and the Modernist sycophants will bow and adore. No need for mystery here, not even in the face of the immensity of Creation. The new Gnostic's will "explain" it all... soon enough!
"This divine intervention 'does not represent an unwarranted intrusion (of theology) in the field of science -- as is the case with intelligent design'.
Ah! So much then for Intelligent Design as we have come to know it. One fell swoop! No 'intrusions' allowed! Classic Modernism.
The last I heard the Vatican's competence did not extend to the secular epistemology of what passes for science these days, much less paleontology; and, to say the very least, it is unseemly in the extreme for Churchmen (unless they are looking for applause) to pronounce on such wildly speculative matters as if it were part of the Creed. For too long now we have watched the present occupants in Rome pronouncing on what they should not ---and failing to pronounce on what they ought.
Which, of course, is suggestive that the real aim in all of this is to supplant one philosophy---employing the requisite pious language of course---with another: namely to oust St. Thomas and Being (Exo. 3:14) for Teilhard and becoming. This will not surprise any who read Henri De Lubac's apologetic for his friend Teilhard decades ago (and of course De Lubac was given the red hat by JPII). Vatican II was of, by and for Teilhard's world view, top to bottom, which is why it is crumbling together with that world view---infuriating ideologues like Richard Dawkins and based on a million unprovable conjectures and a robust faith---as must all who oppose St. Thomas; because for Thomas facts and reason mattered, and true facts are deduced from true facts, while, for the rest, flights of imagination (labeled "paradigm shifts" Ha!)reveal their puniness; hubris is a puniness by definition, and that "a little error in the beginning [must become here as everywhere] a great error in the end".
Though by subscribing to the globalist club metaphysics and alternative grand narratives, the Vatican thinks it might become more acceptable to the other globalist ruling powers, it is a sad, tragic affair, and we are left simply to watch with more than a little interest the horrific spectacle of apostasy as error (which must always fall of its own weight) and credulity makes fools of these very (confused or conniving?) popes of Vatican II, pronouncing on what they know not. But how it all dovetails so nicely with Vatican II's (and specifically Joseph Ratzinger's long espoused) evolution of dogma.
In any case, we can safely add this new imaginative mountain range of Darwinian conjectures and faith to the Vatican II New Age Creed even as we expose, curse and condemn it as we would any other who tried to murder our mother. Thieves come only to rob and kill, whatever the rationale.
While faithful Catholics are keen to the differences between genuime hard science and that bastard child "scientism, ideologues will ever be impervious to facts and reason. All that matters for them is the agenda, i.e., who is "in" and who is "out".---Stephen Hand
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
"Several characteristics appear in the texts...that point to the evolutionist conception as the foundation of conciliar doctrine." p.201
"...the doctrinal substratum of conciliar ambiguity appears to be a new vision of the universe, of man, of the Church and of God Himself...there is a subjacent doctrine supporting ambiguity in the conciliar documents and that this doctrine is evolution." p. 202
"The Council is consistent in that it takes to the final consequences the premises of evolutionary ambiguity and hesitation; it concludes that the Church must always subject herself to a continuing reform." p. 202
"One may conclude that the underlying thought that oriented the Council, besides containing an evolutionist substratum in its texts and indicating a 'Copernican' transformation of the vision of the universe and man, adopts a specific concept of Church: a Church in continual reform which, in turn, presupposes or generates--depending upon how you look at it--a 'sinful Church'." p. 205
"Is not this conciliar view of the Church disorienting for a Catholic? How can one admit that she, the light of the world, may present her truth as wavering and ambiguous? How can one imagine that she...now shows herself to be hesitating in her dogma, unsteady in her morals, fragmented by contrasting opinions?" p. 206
Guimaraes' contention is very important in my view--I recommend that everyone at least read his book. He has identified a problem which Wolfgang Smith also brought to the world's attention in his Teilhardism and the New Religion, 1988, Tan in which the evolutionary construct of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin including his cosmic Christ and point Omega were said to influence the neo-modernists who eventually gained control of the Council. From everything I know including the change to a metaphorical interpretation of the first 12 chapters of Genesis contra 2 millennia of Sacred Tradition, these two astute writers would appear to have spoken rightly. JPH
It is extremely difficult to resolve the unwillingness of the Conciliar Church to confront homosexuality in the Catholic Priesthood with what was always and everywhere taught by the church--homosexual practice cannot be condoned--plain and simple. To teach otherwise now is to revoke the law of non-contradiction or to engage in language deconstruction.
If it is true that up to half the "Catholic" Priesthood in the United States is either actively homosexual (practicing) or positively predisposed to same--is this an effect of the Conciliar changes with respect to faith and morals, a cause of those changes or an unrelated fact?
A great deal of anecdotal data strongly suggest that the Second Vatican Council represents a kind of turning point--after which Catholic seminaries in the United States became sympathetic to homosexual inclination if not outright practice. It is difficult to account for such a radical change other than through a titanic alteration in faith and morals the nature of which seems intuitively to require the kind of "New Theology" promulgated in the wake of Vatican II.
The most recent Vatican pronouncement on homosexuality in the Priesthood departs from Tradition in seeming to encourage if not sanction the ordination of males who have had a known inclination to either engage in homosexual relations in the past or those who have been attracted to same in more than a passing way. The language selected by the Holy See is ambiguous to say the least. A candidate is only discouraged if there has been a deep-seated and chronic habitual practice of homosexual activity. There is a great deal of room for interpretation especially in light of the fact that young candidates have not had sufficient time to develop a chronic or habitual practice of homosexual acts in many cases due to their age or living arrangements. The fact that so many US seminaries are openly hostile to heterosexual candidates while openly accepting and encouraging of blatantly effeminate males is symptomatic of the severe derangement which now exists.
One cannot help but wonder whether the current sexual crisis in the Catholic Church with regard to homosexual abuse of post-pubescent males by Priests and Bishops is but a symptom of a much larger reality--the homosexualization of the Priesthood--an obvious reflection of the post-Conciliar abandonment of Traditional morality as perennially taught by the pre-Conciliar Catholic Church.
This is a problem which must be addressed head-on by the Holy See in order not to be seen as secretly condoning the problem. Pope Benedict XVI failed to properly respond to the obvious "elephant in the room" during his recent visit here choosing instead to "address it at another time." Catholics of good will now await his definitive disciplinary handling of this terrible blight on the Church of Christ--unfortunately, long overdue.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Is it possible to say that the post-Conciliar Church is a new religion, and if so, how can it be considered as Catholic?
sspx.org © 2008, orginal HERE...
The answer to this question is found in the final declaration of the International Symposium of Theology organized by the Society of St. Pius X and attended by 62 traditional Catholic theologians in Paris in October 2002. The purpose of the statement was to put together a synthesis of the teaching of Vatican II, and to clarify the main principles upon which it differs from the teaching of the Magisterium. These broad lines can be helpful for us in interpreting the documents of the post-Conciliar Church, and refuting its errors. They demonstrate beyond all doubt that Archbishop Lefebvre was right when he affirmed that the spirit of Vatican II is not just an abuse of some liberal theologians and bishops, but that it is contained in the very texts of the Council itself. If the liberals continually refer to the texts of Vatican II, it is because from these texts themselves emanates, under the sweet appearance of kindness and dialogue, the stench of naturalism, of the corruption of the Faith.
The theologians affirmed that there are eight main, fundamental attitudes that underlie all the post-Conciliar changes, which eight philosophical principles masquerading as religion make of Vatican II the introduction of a new religion, all within the exterior structure, hierarchy, language and ceremonies of the Catholic Church. Allow me to list them for you.
There is no attempt to hide the desire for newness, that is of a new and different religion, despite the assertion that the Faith has not changed. A transformation is required "too on the religious level," following the "real social and cultural transformation" of our "new age of history" (Gaudium et Spes, §4). Hence the need for an aggiornamento, bringing religion up to date with our times. One of the great means for bringing about this novelty, whilst appearing to profess the same doctrines, is the teaching "that in Catholic doctrine there exists an order or ‘hierarchy’ of truths" (Unitatis Redintegratio, §11). It is consequently possible, they say, to hold on to only the most fundamental truths, discarding or putting the others aside. This is the basis of the novelty of ecumenism and dialogue, which is truly a new religion, for it requires Catholics to accept the beliefs of other believers.
2) The Overturning of Ends
The heart of our holy religion is man’s vocation to "praise, reverence and serve God," as the catechism teaches us. Not so for Vatican II. Man is no longer ordered to God, but to man. It is the service of man rather than the service of God which is its final end; "it is man, therefore, who is the key to this discussion" (GS, §3), for "man is the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake" (ibid., §24), and so consequently the purpose of religion is for man to "fully discover his true self" (ibid.). How could it be any differently, since the very same document on the Church and the Modern World declares that: "Believers and unbelievers agree almost unanimously that all things on earth should be ordained to man as to their center and summit" (§12). The dignity of the human person has been so far inflated as to deny the obvious fact that man is entirely ordered to the greater honor and glory of Almighty God. This is the basis of the new religion of man proclaimed by Paul VI on December 7, 1965, during his discourse for the closing of Vatican II: "We more than anyone else practice the worship of man."
3) "Conscience" Is the Source of Religion
No longer must the Catholic make an act of Faith, based upon the authority of God who reveals, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. The deliberate elimination of this concept from the Vatican II document on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) is not accidental. Tradition is no longer a separate source of Revelation, handing down an unchanging, objective content, but is now a "life-giving presence," "the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they (i.e., believers) experience" (ibid. §8), and thus it "makes progress in the Church" and consequently "the Church is always advancing towards the plenitude of divine truth." Such an evolving and changing concept of Tradition would not be possible unless religious truth, like right and wrong itself, were to find it source in the personal conscience of each man. This is the clear presupposition of the document on religious liberty, Dignitatis Humanae, as Archbishop Lefebvre himself pointed out (cf. They Have Uncrowned Him, p.172). Examples of statements to this effect are that "truth can impose itself on the mind of man only in virtue of its own truth" (Dignitatis Humanae, §2), which forbids any authoritative teaching by the Church or its representatives, or any exclusive promotion of objective truth by a Catholic state. Conscience must discover its own truth internally. Likewise the statement that "it is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of the divine law" (ibid., §3). Truly it is a new religion that substitutes personal conscience for the teaching of the Magisterium.
4) The Liturgy is a Celebration
A memorial is celebrated, whereas a sacrifice is offered. The celebration of the community, otherwise called the memorial of the Last Supper, has taken the place of the sacrifice of the Cross in post-Conciliar theology. Consequently it is the congregation of the people that is the principal agent for the celebration in the new rite, no longer simply participating or cooperating in the priest’s sacrifice. If the ministerial priesthood is indeed distinguished from the priesthood of the faithful, in practice its functions are absorbed into those of the general priesthood of the faithful, whom they simply represent in a celebration. Hence such statements as this, concerning those who have been "incorporated into the Church by baptism": "The sacred nature and organic structure of the priestly community is brought into operation through the sacraments and the exercise of virtues" (Lumen Gentium, §11). Consequently, if the New Mass is the expression of a new religion, it is because it obliterates the true, sacrificial function of the hierarchical priesthood, submerging it as a part of a community celebration.
5) The Church has Become a "Sacrament"
The revolutionary definition with which the document on the Church, Lumen Gentium, begins is the key to the undermining of the whole supernatural order. Instead of the traditional definition of Church as the "congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff" is substituted a whole new definition that "the Church …is in the nature of a sacrament —a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men" (§1). The Church is consequently only a sign or a means of salvation, and is no longer the only Ark of Salvation. Hence it is no longer considered as being identical to the visible Roman Catholic Church, but extends as far as all humanity, without which it could not be a sign of unity among all men. This is the meaning of the statements that the Church of Christ "subsists in the Catholic Church" (ibid., §8) and that "many elements of sanctification and truth are found outside its visible confines" (ibid.). According to these principles, the Catholic Church can no longer maintain the unique privilege of her divine constitution and mission. It is a sign of a new religion that all that the post-Conciliar Church can ask for is freedom, and not for the recognition of the truth, nor for the commandments of God, nor for her divine mission to teach, govern, and sanctify. This is explicitly stated in Vatican II’s message to the world’s governments of December 8, 1965: "She [the Church] only asks you for freedom."
6) "Humanity" Coincides with the Kingdom of God
This is a direct consequence of the distinction that is made between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church. The Church of Christ is the sign of the unity of all mankind because of what it symbolizes: "It shows to the world that social and exterior union comes from a union of hearts and minds" (GS, §42). However, it is manifestly not a supernatural union of grace which is here symbolized. It would not make any sense, for such a union can only be brought about inside and through the Catholic Church. The social and exterior union that is aimed at has nothing to do with the supernatural union of grace, but is "the good to be found in the social dynamism of today, particularly progress towards unity, healthy socialization and civil and economic cooperation" (ibid.). Such is the new universality of a Church whose function has become the promotion of human values, all founded on the rights of man, and falsely based upon the Gospel: "In virtue of the Gospel entrusted to it the Church proclaims the rights of man: she acknowledges and holds in high esteem the dynamic approach of today which is fostering these rights all over the world" (ibid. §41). Amongst other things, this new concept of the Church’s role with respect to humanity is a denial of the Social Kingship of Christ, and an official approval of the secularization of states. The new mission to promote the "union of the family of man" (ibid. §42), i.e., One World Order, is another aspect of a new religion.
7) The Spiritual Unity of Mankind
A direct consequence of the identification of mankind and the kingdom of God, it is presented in the form of different degrees of Communion or belonging to the Church. Despite the "differences that exist in varying degrees," concerning doctrine, discipline, or the structure of the Church, the decree on Ecumenism declares of non-Catholics: "Men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church" (UG, §3). The immediate consequences are:
the Church’s repentance "ceaselessly renewing and purifying herself" (GS, §21) for its own past faults (and not just for those of its members),
and that conversion is no longer to be imposed on non-Catholics, baptized or not,
because all Christians are already united to Christ through baptism, as is stated by the Decree on the Church: "these Christians are indeed in some real way joined to us in the Holy Spirit" (LG, §15),
and non-Christians are ordered towards the people of God, for "those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways" (ibid., §16) and they possess in their religion the "seeds of the word" (Ad Gentes, §11).
This practical denial of the doctrine "Outside the Church no salvation" is also one of the key elements of a new religion, and changes the whole way that Catholics see themselves and their Faith.
There is an explanation of the supposed unity of the human race. It is the teaching on salvation contained in the document on the Church and the modern world, Gaudium et Spes, in the infamous §22 that proclaims the new humanism. The thesis is that by His Incarnation God saved every human being, uniting every man to Himself by taking our human nature: "For, by his incarnation, he, the son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man." No longer is there any need for faith, the keeping of the commandments, or for love of the Cross to be united with God. Vatican II claims that by taking our human nature Christ "fully reveals man to himself" so "that the mystery of man truly becomes clear." The role of the Incarnation is consequently purely natural. It supposedly saves man by showing himself what it is to be a man. Man’s natural knowing of his human nature is substituted for eternal salvation. One is reminded of the words of Our Lord: "For what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his soul" (Mt. 16:26). Here the substitution of a new religion is absolutely radical. In such an optic-salvation has nothing to do with being saved from original or actual sin or being delivered from the everlasting punishments that we have merited. It is simply an awareness of what it is to be a man.
It consequently cannot be denied that Vatican II attempts to constitute a new religion in radical rupture with all of Catholic Tradition and teaching, a new religion whose principal purpose is to exalt the natural dignity of the human person and to bring about a "religious" unity of mankind. However, the subtle cleverness of this operation must also be noted. It is the traditional hierarchical structure of the Church, its Mass, its devotions and prayers, its catechisms and teachings, and now even its Rosary that have all been infiltrated with the principles of the new religion. This new religion has been swallowed down unwittingly by many Catholics precisely because it hides, as a caricature, behind the outward appearance of Catholicism. The end result is a strange mixture of Catholicism and the new religion.
This is the reason for which we have every right to condemn the post-Conciliar revolution for the new religion that it is, while at the same time we must respect the offices and functions of those who hold positions in the Church. Likewise, we must admit that many Catholics in good faith still retain the true Faith in their hearts, believing on the authority of God, Who reveals divine truth through the Catholic Church, although it is often tainted to varying degrees by the principles of the new religion. Consequently, it does not at all follow from the fact that the Vatican II religion is truly a new religion, that we should maintain that we are the only Catholics left, that the bishops and the pope have necessarily lost the Faith, and that we must not pray for them or respect their position in the Church. This false assertion of the sedevacantists is much too simple, and does not account for the complicated mixture of the new religion and the elements of Catholic Faith and life that is the reality that is actually happening in the Novus Ordo. Our duty is not to condemn and excommunicate, but to help Catholics of good faith in the modern Church to make the necessary discernment, in order to totally abandon the new religion, embrace Tradition, and remain Catholic. Such must be the goal of our conversations on the subject. [Answered by Fr. Peter Scott]
From The Commonitory By St. Vincent of Lerins
"Cling to Antiquity". St. Vincent writes: "Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic, as the very force and meaning of the word shows, which comprehends everything almost universally. And we shall observe this rule if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is plain that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent if in antiquity itself we eagerly follow the definitions and beliefs of all, or certainly nearly all, priests and doctors alike." MORE...
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Historically/Traditionally, practising Catholics were especially loathe to avail themselves of the Holy Eucharist (Communion) during Mass without first confessing their serious (mortal) sins to a Priest, understanding that to do so was a gravely sinful act in itself which was not only contrary to Sacred Tradition but to Sacred Scripture as well:
"Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself" (I cor. 11: 27-29) and CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church) #1385.
The reason of course was that in the sacred host was to be found substantially* the true body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ—in the "form" of unleavened bread—referred to as the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist, (Lk. 22: 19-20); (Mt. 26: 28) and CCC #'s 1365, 1366, 1367, 1374, 1376, 1378 & 1381 referencing the Council of Trent (1551) DS 1641 and 1651 and St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 75, 1. It was traditionally taught and intuitively understood that nothing impure (sinful) must be brought into contact with the sinless Jesus Christ, sacramentally and substantially present there. Communicants therefore, understood the necessity of being/remaining free from serious (mortal) sin when partaking of Holy Communion—hence the practice of providing pre-mass confession liberally in every diocese. Since the completion of the Second Vatican Council however, the need for Catholics to be in a state of grace--(i.e. without serious sin) through confession of their sins to a Priest--has all but disappeared from the minds of the faithful if one is to judge by the evidence.
For the past 4 decades it has become commonplace to see virtually everyone at Mass receive Holy Communion. It is clear from abundant sociological studies on the subject that the vast majority of Catholics in the United States avail themselves of Confession very infrequently or not at all. This is perplexing since the neo-pagan age in which we now live and the rampant immorality which abounds--to which everyone is exposed--is several orders of magnitude worse than anything which existed prior to the second Vatican Council. The only logical conclusion is that large numbers of Roman Catholics routinely receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin. For many this is no doubt a matter of ignorance re: the sinful nature of receiving while not in a state of grace; a result of either inadequate or virtually absent catechesis—in which case the existence of invincible (unintentional) ignorance must be seriously entertained. For others it may well be purposeful for a variety of reasons including the fear of confessing ones sins to a Priest, inadequate knowledge of how to proceed with a proper confession or some combination of these including lack of proper disposition with regard to one’s faith (sloth).
While any number of factors could theoretically have contributed to the current problem of widespread improper reception of the Holy Eucharist, the one factor which seems to be most positively linked to it is the Second Vatican Council itself. This devastating problem was simply not seen prior to Vatican II and appeared immediately thereafter. The temporal relationship suggests that it is one of cause/effect. It would be interesting to subject this hypothesis to a retrospective study including the possibility of conducting a multivariate statistical regression analysis--in which all of the relevant factors were ranked for degree of association/correlation with improper reception of the Holy Eucharist. One wonders why such a study has not been conducted when it could not be more clear that Vatican II was followed by almost universally negative consequences for the Catholic Church and the faithful re: widespread and severe deterioration in faith and morals, marked reduction in mass attendance, evangelical zeal, vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life, unprecedented instances of clergy homosexual abuse of minor’s primarily of post-pubescent males, widespread liturgical abuse and failure to adhere to even the most basic elements of the official rubrics, a marked tendency toward figurative/metaphorical interpretation of scripture in the area of biblical exegesis particularly the first 12 chapters of Genesis, among other serious problems. It is hard to imagine anyone seriously contending that these were positive post-conciliar developments.
One is hard-pressed to identify any actual positive changes which developed in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. In way of fairness and intellectual honesty however, some possibilities which do come to mind are; a return to and deeper study of Sacred Scripture and the Father’s of the Faith in concert with a less formulaic/manualistic approach to moral theology. Rather than a list of negatives to be avoided (a minimalist approach) the Church began to stress the fundamental underlying truths which flow naturally from a high Christology and a human anthropology which is appropriately grounded in the Imago Dei—that is, a more positive kind of moral theology grounded in the “3” theological virtues of faith, hope and love. Catholics were encouraged to engage their faith more deeply, to become more truly transformed in Christ through the grace of the Holy Spirit rather than limiting themselves in simple obedience to a largely negative list of “don’ts” or “Thou shalt not’s.” Some would also include the deeper understanding and commitment the Catholic Church has made in the areas of Social Justice especially the immorality of Total War and the need to reduce and eventually eliminate all Nuclear Weapons. Others would include the larger role for the laity—which might have been positive had it occurred without deprecation of the elevated role traditionally reserved for the Clergy, especially the Catholic hierarchy. The new notion of a priesthood of all believers was entirely unprecedented however and anti-Catholic in fact very Protestant in the fashion of the theology of Martin Luther.
In addition to the negative features outlined above, reduced post-Conciliar belief in Papal Primacy and the increasing importance of Collegiality are directly traceable to the documents of Vatican II as is the marked alteration in the meaning of the “Church of Christ” as can be seen from the entirely new post-Conciliar definition; [the Church of Christ “subsists” in the Roman Catholic Church] where before it was crystal clear that the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Christ were identical. That is to say, the Second Vatican Council appears to have created a “Church of Christ” which is larger or more encompassing than the Roman Catholic Church which seems to become perhaps the widest or fullest “stream” or current in the great "river" which is the "Church of Christ." Never before had the phrase “subsists in” been utilized. This represents a complete alteration in meaning and thus doctrine where Extra Ecclesium Nulla Sullus (no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church) is concerned. On the basis of first principles of being the two definitions appear to be incompatible. Either the Church of Christ is in fact the Roman Catholic Church and no other, or it is not in which case it can be virtually anything else except the Roman Catholic Church. To erect an entirely new doctrine by which the Church of Christ is both the Roman Catholic Church plus something more is to render the 1965 or so years of Catholicism unintelligible from this person's perspective. If this is not the case, the writer would appreciate being corrected by an appropriate authority; as the logic and reason involved appear to be incontestable.
Admittedly, had it not been for Sacred Tradition including multiple prior Magisterial pronouncements which with great specificity identified the Roman Catholic Church as the only one, Holy, Apostolic and universal Church of Christ with the Roman Pontiff at its head (Vicar of Christ on Earth), the metaphysical slight of hand which has often been invoked to explain this dilemma might have sufficed. Either these multiple prior official pronouncements were a true reflection of the teaching of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit or they were not. If true, the new view in which the "Church of Christ" is said to “subsist” in the Roman Catholic Church must of logical necessity be false. For that matter, it would seem impossible to harmonize the scriptural injunction to preach the Gospel of Christ to the 4 corners of the Earth if in fact the Gospel entrusted to the Catholic Church is in no way to be preferred over any other Gospel provided by any other Church.
It seems logically incontestable that if the Church was correct for almost two thousand years in claiming that the Roman Catholic Church is the true and only "Church of Christ", it must be incorrect now--given the new definition of "Church of Christ." Moreover, if it was incorrect for almost 2000 years, there is no reason to believe it is correct now--since it would be clear that the Church had not been protected by the Holy Spirit from error—a fundamental tenet of Roman Catholicism. This dilemma seems rationally insurmountable to the author.
In addition it is more than curious that part and parcel of the Second Vatican Council was the total abandonment of the precise Thomistic language which had up until that time marked the pronouncements of other ecumenical councils. The most recent Conciliar language is extremely ambiguous to say the least which is the very opposite of the scholastic precision which marked prior Conciliar documents and for that matter pre-conciliar papal encyclicals. One is prompted to ask: Why was it suddenly necessary for the hierarchical clergy to depart from the tried and true scholastically precise language, itself a well-established part of the Tradition of the Church? Why replace that which was crystal clear in meaning with language which is inherently ambiguous and with time has been interpreted in diametrically opposite ways by Traditionalists and Neo-modernists (Progressivists) alike? If the Second Vatican Council was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit why would such inherently contradictory changes have been forthcoming—incompatible as they are with almost two thousand years of Catholic Tradition? One might wonder whether the Progressivist Conciliar Fathers became convinced that the Catholic Church had been in error for almost 2 millennia and rather than leave the Church entirely, decided to retain its power structure and to slowly transform it to a kind of generic Protestantism (in stages) through the use of purposely ambiguous language. Or, perhaps the Progressivist Council Fathers simply abandoned their Catholicism in favor of various post-modern philosophies and the contextual(form) criticism of the German school and much of the theology which followed the Protestant Reformation. These are questions which beg to be answered by appropriate Magisterial authority.
It is a matter of record that multiple pre-Vatican II popes specifically warned against the abuses of the modernists including Pope St. Pius X in his famous Pascendi Dominici gregis. After several decades of quiescence thereafter, the modernists seem to have reappeared in a more virulent form under the guise of the neo-modernists (Progressivists) led by Pope John XXIII and Cardinal Montini (later Pope Paul VI) who clearly triumphed over the so-called theological conservatives during the Second Vatican Council. Whether they had by then too liberally infiltrated the Hierarchy or instead the Conservatives were simply “asleep at the switch” in a kind of episcopal sloth--remains open to question.
In any case, despite the many positive features associated with Pope Benedict’s recent trip to the United States, multiple serious quandaries remain for those thoughtful Roman Catholics who sincerely desire to make logical sense of the new theology of Vatican II and the post-Conciliar promulgation of same. If one is to abide by the scriptural attestation to “test everything; hold fast what is good”, (I Thes. 5: 21) the biblical instruction “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves, You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7: 15-16) takes on particularly insightful meaning. Pope John Paul II wrote persuasively that there should be no inherent contradiction between faith and reason. It is in that sense that the enumerated questions are raised.
*In scholastic philosophical terms the bread had undergone transubstantiation, in which the "substance" had been changed from that of bread to that of the body of Jesus Christ while the "accidents" remained the same that is, in the "form" of a wafer. Recall that all substance is composed of matter and form.
"It follows that the separated churches and comminities as such, though we believe they suffer from the defects already mentioned, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of Salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church..."
seems more than a bit ambiguous in light of pre-conciliar language regarding the necessity to be baptized member in good standing (in a state of grace) of the Roman Catholic Church under the direction of the Roman Pontiff in order to be saved.
Moreover it seems intuitively obvious and logically irrefutable that the temporal relationship to the altered (Vatican II induced) ecclesiology with regard to Extra-Ecclesium Nulla Sullus (no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church) and the severe loss of Priests and members of the various orders of religious post 1965 is one of cause and effect. If it is no longer necessary to be a Catholic “Christian” why should anyone subject themselves to the restrictions which accompany the Catholic Priesthood and Religious life? Why not simply be a Catholic lay person or a non-Catholic “Christian?” Could this be the reason why so many Priests and Religious abandoned their vows?
In my experience, very few Catholic Priests who say Mass utilizing the Novus Ordo ever refer to the "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" as if what transpires therein is no longer primarily a re-presentation of the perfect sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the Cross of Calvary. Moreover, why was the Mass changed in such a way as to make the words of institution incompatible with scripture—“Take this all of you and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for many” so that sins may be forgiven." The Novus Ordo language has been altered to say "for all" rather than “for many?” This strongly suggests universal salvation at least implicitly if not explicitly so. It would seem more than innapropriate to alter the Traditional and scripturally pricise language--upon which the language of the Mass was based--on such a momentous doctrinal point, particularly since for almost 2 millennia it was rendered "for many." (Mt. 26: 28; Mk. 14: 24)
While Christ's sacrifice clearly has the ability to atone for the sins of the whole world, Traditional Catholic teaching is that Christ's atoning (salvific) work is only applied to a specific subset of the world's people--those who are Baptized and remain in a state of grace (friendship) with the Lord Jesus Christ. New Testament scripture; specifically the actual words of Jesus Christ indicate that not all are saved--the "gate is narrow" that leads to salvation (Mt. 7: 13-14).
What/Where is the Roman Catholic Church?
What explains the tremendous amount of "bad fruit" which has been forthcoming since the close of the Council in 1965? “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16)
This site explores these questions and more in an attempt to place the Second Vatican Council in proper perspective.