Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Catholic Speaks at the Glenn Beck Rally

Editor's Note:

This speech by Philosopher Patrick Lee is outstanding and is completely faithful to Traditional Catholic teaching on the matters adressed.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

By Patrick Lee
Catholic Advocate HERE...

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the life of good deeds that God has prepared in advance . . .”

There is a struggle in our culture today between two visions of the world and our place within the world. On one side of the struggle, many people—especially many in the mainstream media, and in the elite places of government and academia—believe that the supreme good is autonomy or choice, and emphasize this to such an extent that they tend to deny any objective meaning and value in the world.

Each of the speakers tonight selected a text to comment on. I selected Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the life of good deeds that God has prepared in advance, that we should walk in them.” This text challenges us to rededicate ourselves to basic truths about God and our place in the world.

These people believe—or tend toward believing—that each of us has the right to fashion for himself what will be meaningful and valuable. On this view, there is no inherent meaning and value that we must adhere to. And so, on this view, it is a matter of choice who is and who is not worthy of respect and protection of our laws. It is a matter of choice that we can use or dispose of some human beings for the benefit or convenience of others.

On this view too, it is simply a matter of choice what marriage will be—whether it is between a man and a woman, whether it is between two or three, five or seven—because on this view marriage does not have an objective nature.

And on this view, since autonomy is more important than anything else, and public expressions of religion make some people uncomfortable, we have no actual duty to express gratitude in a public manner to a transcendent Creator.

But there is another vision of the world—and that is the vision that we are here tonight to represent and forthrightly proclaim. This is the vision expressed in the text from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the life of good deeds that God has prepared in advance, that we should walk in them.”

This text clearly affirms three things: First, God has created the world, we are not the creators—God is the Creator. Second, God has a plan for this world, and so we should try to conform our mind and conduct to God’s plan. And third, God has endowed this world with an objective meaning and value that is inherent within it. Autonomy is a good—but it is good only as a means, it is not the supreme good.  (Editor's bold emphasis) We are not the creators of what is truly worthwhile, rather we discover and respond to the objective meaning and value that God has created in the world.

This basic truth is also affirmed in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights . . ."

Therefore, since it is God, not us, who is the Creator of meaning and value in the world, we owe to God thanks and reverence for the great blessings he has given to us. And this is true of us not only as individuals but also as a country. This country has been truly blessed in countless ways. Truly, as the song says, America is beautiful, and God has shed his grace on her.

And therefore we have a solemn duty as a community to thank God publicly for his many blessings. Every chance we have we should be able to express publicly and clearly a prayer along the lines of the one that used to be said in public schools at the beginning of each day:  "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.” This is not the establishment of religion or of any particular religion—it is simply an acknowledgment of a real communal debt.

Likewise, what marriage is, is not up to our choice—what marriage is, is not up to our whims, preferences or desires. Rather, marriage has an objective nature, and we as a community must respect the true nature of marriage. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, the sharing of lives bodily as well as emotionally and spiritually, in the kind of union that would be naturally fulfilled by having and raising children together. It is not within the prerogative of our autonomy, of our choice—and it is not within the prerogative of judicial fiat—to attempt to change the objective nature of marriage.

Concerning life: We as a nation, we as a community, must recognize the fundamental and equal inherent dignity possessed by every human being, simply in virtue of being a human being.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that ALL men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights"—all human beings—not just those whose lives are convenient or non-burdensome to us—are endowed by their Creator with equal and inherent dignity and rights.

We must not place choice and autonomy above God-given unalienable rights. The culture that emphasizes autonomy to the exclusion of truth is a denial of the most basic principle upon which our country is founded, namely, all human beings possess an equal and inherent fundamental dignity, and no class of human beings can with justice enslave, use, experiment on, or deliberately kill, other innocent human beings for their own purposes.

This was the principle at stake in the 19th century with the issue of slavery and in the 20th century and is also at stake with the civil rights movement. This is the same principle that is at stake, in the central debates of our times about abortion and euthanasia. Just as all human beings, no matter what the color of their skin, deserve equal protection of the law, in the same way, all human beings, no matter what their age or degree of development, deserve equal protection of the law.

Thus, public gratitude to the Creator, the real nature of marriage, and the real basis of the equal dignity of all human beings—these are truths, not choices, these are truths, not optional creations by us. For we are God’s handiwork, and God is the Creator, and it is his plan that we are called on to live out.

Finally, Our Lord tells us that at the end of the world he will ask us what we did for the least of his brethren. Did we stand up for children who are being indoctrinated to think that religion is a mere private matter, and almost always hateful and bigoted?

Did we stand up for women and children who are gravely imperiled by the profound confusion concerning the true nature of marriage? And did we stand up for the defenseless unborn human beings who are being discarded in garbage cans or ripped to shreds in the name of autonomy?

So, let us resolve, with God’s grace, to respond with courage and urgency, to these profound injustices. May we, with God’s grace, and with the fellowship of each other, walk in the life of good deeds that God has prepared in advance.

Dr. Lee was invited by Glenn Beck and David as the Catholic speaker at the America’s Divine Destiny event held at the Kennedy Center on August 27 the day before the massive rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. In addition to Beck and Barton, head of Wallbuilders, other speakers included Rabbi Daniel Lapin, founder of Toward Tradition, and Rev. Miles MacPherson, pastor of The Rock Church in San Diego. A sold-out crowd of 2,500 attended the Kennedy center event, which can be viewed here.

Dr. Patrick Lee is John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Institute of Bioethics at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is nationally known as a pro-life speaker and debater.

Having taught at Franciscan University since 1984, Lee is the author of numerous articles and reviews as well as several books, including, with Robert P. George, Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008 and Abortion and Unborn Human Life, Washington, DC: Catholic University of America, 1996.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What should we think of the Sedevacantists? HERE...

What should we think of the Sedevacantists?
NB: Some of the examples are in reference to the late Pope John Paul II

In the face of the scandal of a pope who can sign Dignitatis humanae, radically change the liturgy of the Mass, codify a new ecclesiology, or make himself the protagonist for an aberrant ecumenism, etc., some have concluded that the last popes cannot have been true popes, or else that they have lost the pontificate because of such scandals. They refer to the discussions of the great counter-Reformation theologians on the loss of the pontificate (through abdication, insanity, heresy, etc.) and argue thus:

he who is not a member of the Church can’t be its head.

but a heretic is not a member of the Church,

now, Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI are heretics,

therefore, they are neither members nor head of the Church,

and so all their acts are to be completely ignored.

But then again, the argument continues, the same scandals are true of all the world’s diocesan bishops, who are also consequently non-members without authority; and the Catholic Church must be identified only with those who have not compromised the Faith and who refuse communion with these “popes” or “bishops.” A minority of these will elect their own “pope” (e.g. the communities at Palmar de Troya, Spain, or Saint Jovite, Canada).

The argument’s strength is in the real scandal of the Conciliar authorities’ impetus given to the Church’s “new direction”; its weakness is in not being able to prove that any of these authorities are formal heretics. (Editor's NOTE: or in positing a solution which does not demand Divine miraculous intervention)

You are a “material” heretic without knowing it if you objectively contradict what God has said but through no fault of your own;

you are a “formal” heretic if you do pertinaciously contradict what God has said, i.e., knowing that you’re denying what God has said and wanting to do this anyway.

Now, the ordinary way for the Church to ascertain pertinacity and enforce the consequences of one’s heresy by either excommunication and/or loss of office, is through authoritative monitions* to the delinquent which he spurns (1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 2314, §1). But nobody can authoritatively admonish the pope (canon 1556), and the bishops can only be admonished by their superior, the pope (canon 1557), who has not done so.

* To have canonical force, they must come from one's superior (cf., canon 2233). The point is not only the crime but also its imputability must be notorious (canon 2195; 2197).

Therefore, pertinacity, and so formal heresy, cannot be proven. (Editor's NOTE: Some Traditional Catholics argue that the Pope, Cardinal or Bishop who knowingly advocates or promulgates heresy or apostacy or should by virtue of rank and education know better is, ipso-facto removed from office)

But could pertinacity not be presumed from the insistence of these popes on the new ways, and this in the face of all tradition and its present-day witnesses? Perhaps; but not socially i.e., as regards loss of office, etc., which must not be presumed but proven, otherwise societies would collapse. (Editor's NOTE: while perhaps true, this reason cannot be a sufficient answer for why such a prelate does not in fact lose office since it rests only upon the disastrous consequences not the truth of the prelates condition before Jesus Christ who knows all. Admittedly, this is a troublesome and it would appear debatable issue)

The argument does not prove its point, and becomes less probable when you consider that there are other explanations for the “material heretic” pope [see section a below], and it becomes quite improbable when you consider its dangers [b] or consequences [c].

The liberal mind-set of a Pope Paul VI or a Pope John Paul II can be an explanation of their wanting to be Catholics and their simultaneous betrayal in practice of Catholicism. They accept contradictions; with a subjective and evolutive mentality, this is to be expected.* But such a frame of mind can be convinced of heresy only by way of authority....

* A little example: "At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church committed herself irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture (Editor's NOTE: this is putting the cart before the horse. Nothing in Traditional Catholicism supported the notion of ecumenism, rather, the non-Catholic sects were encouraged to return to the fold of the one true church), thus heeding the Spirit of the Lord, who teaches people to interpret carefully the 'signs of the times'" (Ut Unum Sint, §3). If it is because of the "signs of the times" that the Conciliar Church has launched herself into ecumenism, how are we to know that the venture will be irrevocable? What does a Pope John Paul II mean by such absolute terms?

The Church is indefectible (PRINCIPLE 3) not only in her faith and means of sanctification, but also in her monarchical constitution (PRINCIPLE 4), comprising governing power i.e., jurisdiction, hence Vatican I’s profession that Peter will have perpetual successors.

Now, we can understand a break in the line of popes from the death of one to the election of the next, and that it may drag on.

But is indefectibility preserved if there is no pope since 1962 or if there is no one with ordinary jurisdiction whom the sedevacantists can point out as such? (Editor's NOTE: this is a very disturbing problem which would appear to have no answer in the natural realm)

The Church is visible (PRINCIPLE 3) and not just a society composed of those who are joined by interior bonds (state of grace, same faith,...). A society is recognized and maintained as such by its authority (its efficient cause).

If the Church has not had a pope since the days of Vatican II, then there are no more cardinals legitimately created. But then how is the Church to get a pope again, as the current discipline grants only to cardinals the power to elect a pope?

The Church could have ordained that non-Cardinal “electors of the pope” be capable of doing it, but we cannot go by any other way than the current discipline which ordains that cardinals elect him.

A few sedevacantists hold that he has been or will be directly designated by private revelation from heaven.

There are spiritual consequences of sedevacantism:

sedevacantism is a theological opinion, and not a certitude. To treat it as a certitude leads to condemning with temerity traditional Catholics who disagree;

and invariably it leads to one’s recognizing no spiritual superiors on earth. Each becomes, in practice, his own little “pope,” the rule of faith and orthodoxy, the judge of the validity of sacraments.*

*Consider the arguments from "Bishop" Vezelis, the Schuckardt movement, etc.: It is said that Cardinal Lienart, who ordained Archbishop Lefebvre a priest and consecrated him a bishop, was Freemason, and so all his ordinations were invalid; and so we must consider invalid all the sacraments of those he ordained, and of those they ordained... In fact, whereas that Lienart was a Freemason is only an unproven allegation of one writer; and Church teaching is that we must accept as valid his sacraments anyway, if he used the correct external rite (unless he revealed a contrary internal intention, which he did not). Moreover, Archbishop Lefebvre was consecrated by three bishops in 1947, which sacrament was surely therefore valid. Cf. ON RUMORS AND THEIR SOURCE for more information on this matter.

This being so, we ought not to associate with, or, receive the sacraments from them, most especially if they set up sedevacantism as a certitude which all have to accept.

The Post-Conciliar Church . . .

A New Religion



Featured in the Q&A section of the April 2003 issue of The Angelus,
this answer was long enough to warrant itself as an article

Is it possible to say that the post-Conciliar Church is a new religion, and if so, how can it be considered as Catholic?

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.

1) Novelty

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. MORE...

What/Where is the Roman Catholic Church?

In light of Traditional Catholic dogma/doctrine, how should the Second Vatican Council be viewed ? Is it consistent with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and prior Magisterial teaching?

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.