Why you Should do the Marian Consecration A.D. 2017 C.L.F….
A.D. 2017 C.L.F. is the Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima
Why you should do the Marian Consecration ….
Guest Post By: Julia-Anne Therese
In life, when we want something, we more than likely ask our parents for it. When a guy wants to propose to his girlfriend, he should ask her dad. When we want to be able to gain permission to do something, we ask our parents. We are trying to gain something through it. Now, what if you could get closer to Jesus by asking His Mother to help you? That is something that for probably many of you seems second nature but in a lot of ways it does not at the same time. Mary is the one human in all of human history that is the closest to Jesus. No one will surpass her and not anyone will ever come close. She said “yes!” to the Angel Gabriel to have Jesus be conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s body was made to have the son of God. With that said, in Mary’s humility, she always pointed towards to Jesus. She silently adored Him as He was in her womb. She pointed to him at the Wedding of Cana. It is no wonder that we Catholics turn to Mary so much.
One way that throughout the centuries, people have turned to Mary is by the fact they consecrated themselves to Jesus through Mary. It is a way to serve our Lord better and to help Him be there more in our lives. The formalized version of this Total Consecration dates back to St. Louis de Montfort in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries through his book True Devotion of Mary which led to Preparing for Total Consecration of Jesus through Mary. Throughout time, there have been other priests who have created books for the Total Consecration, but it is essentially the same thing: 33 days of preparation for giving yourself totally and completely to Jesus through Mary on a Marian feast. Once you do it, you should renew it every year on the same Marian feast hypothetically, but sometimes people do switch around Marian feasts.
There are many articles online that explain why you should do the Total Consecration. The Saints have done it and advocated it throughout the ages. If you love Mary and Jesus and grow closer to them, it is a great way to do so! People can have spiritual warfare as part of it, but persevere – Mary will also help you! After all, she did crush Satan’s head.
But why not regardless do it this year …. For Fatima
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. To this day, when Our Lady appeared to the shepherd children of Fatima is one of the best known Marian apparitions, and to think it is just within the past 100 years! There are so many reasons that even if you have already consecrated yourselves to Jesus through Mary for Our Lady of Fatima. The start date is April 10, which is the Monday of Holy Week. But why Our Lady of Fatima? Here is a few reasons ….
- The 100th Anniversary is on a Saturday: As part of the Consecration, you should go to Confession and Mass as part of it. Unless we make a habit of it, it can be hard to go to Daily Mass during the week because of work. But because it is on a Saturday, you are able to do all of those things since you do not have any obligations of a job! Plus Saturday is typically reserved as Mary’s day.
- May is Mary’s month. May is a month that we honor Mary. What more to show a way that you want to grow closer to her than growing closer to Jesus?
- The final war will be between Satan and the family: Revealed to be the final secret at Fatima, the final war that Satan will engage in is the war of the family. We see that battle being alive and well through the fact that there are so many broken families in today’s society. What more to be a witness on earth by having your spouse and you (with your family) do the Total Consecration? That will give you the spiritual strength to get through any hardship that gets in the way.
- It is a way to grow spiritually post-Lent: Since the first day of preparation just so happens to be during Holy Week, it is a great way to continue the graces you received during Lent of being more prayerful during the Easter season! Once you have consecrated yourselves, you are naturally going to be wanting to be more prayerful!
There you have it. Four reasons why you should do it during this 100th year of Fatima.
Stay tuned for a future post on resources!
Exclusive Interview With His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider by Rorate_Caeli
Please take a couple minutes to read this very instructive and informative interview of His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider by Rorate_Caeli , it clears up many misconceptions and questions that the faithful may have regarding the current state of the Church and the Pope.
POST-SYNOD CHURCH & UNBELIEVERS IN THE HIERARCHY
Rorate Caeli: In the recent Synod, we will not know the legal impact it will have on the Church for some time, as it’s up to Pope Francis to move next. Regardless of the eventual outcome, for all intent and purposes, is there already a schism in the Church? And, if so, what does it mean practically speaking? How will it manifest itself for typical Catholics in the pews?
H.E. Schneider: Schism means according to the definition of the Code of Canon Law, can. 751: The refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with those members of the Church who are submitted to the Supreme Pontiff. One has to distinguish the defect in belief or heresy from schism. The defect in belief or heresy is indeed a greater sin than schism, as Saint Thomas Aquinas said: “Unbelief is a sin committed against God Himself, according as He is Himself the First Truth, on which faith is founded; whereas schism is opposed to ecclesiastical unity, which is a lesser good than God Himself. Wherefore the sin of unbelief is generically more grievous than the sin of schism” (II-II, q. 39, a. 2 c). The very crisis of the Church in our days consists in the ever growing phenomenon that those who don’t fully believe and profess the integrity of the Catholic faith frequently occupy strategic positions in the life of the Church, such as professors of theology, educators in seminaries, religious superiors, parish priests and even bishops and cardinals. And these people with their defective faith profess themselves as being submitted to the Pope. The height of confusion and absurdity manifests itself when such semi-heretical clerics accuse those who defend the purity and integrity of the Catholic faith as being against the Pope – as being according to their opinion in some way schismatics. For simple Catholics in the pews, such a situation of confusion is a real challenge of their faith, in the indestructibility of the Church. They have to keep strong the integrity of their faith according to the immutable Catholic truths, which were handed over by our fore-fathers, and which we find in in the Traditional catechisms and in the works of the Fathers and of the Doctors of the Church.
Rorate Caeli: Speaking of typical Catholics, what will the typical parish priest face now that he didn’t face before the Synod began? What pressures, such as the washing of women’s feet on Maundy Thursday after the example of Francis, will burden the parish priest even more than he is burdened today?
H.E. Schneider: A typical Catholic parish priest should know well the perennial sense of the Catholic faith, the perennial sense as well of the laws of the Catholic liturgy and, knowing this, he should have an interior sureness and firmness. He should always remember the Catholic principle of discernment: “Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus”, i.e. “What has been always, everywhere and from all” believed and practiced. The categories “always, everywhere, all” are not to be understood in an arithmetical, but in a moral sense. A concrete criterion for discernment is this: “Does this change in a doctrinal affirmation, in a pastoral or in a liturgical practice constitute a rupture with the centuries-old, or even with the millennial past? And does this innovation really make the faith shine clearer and brighter? Does this liturgical innovation bring to us closer the sanctity of God, or manifest deeper and more beautiful the Divine mysteries? Does this disciplinary innovation really increase a greater zeal for the holiness of life?” As concretely to the innovation of washing the feet of women during the Holy Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday: This Holy Mass celebrates the commemoration of the institution of the sacraments of the Eucharist and the Priesthood. Therefore, the foot washing of women along with the men not only distracts from the main focus on Eucharist and on Priesthood, but generates confusion regarding the historical symbolism of the “twelve” and of the apostles being of male sex. The universal tradition of the Church never allowed the foot washing during the Holy Mass, but instead outside of Mass, in a special ceremony. By the way: the public washing and usually also kissing of the feet of women on the part of a man, in our case, of a priest or a bishop, is considered by every person of common sense in all cultures as being improper and even indecent. Thanks be to God no priest or bishop is obliged to wash publicly the feet of women on Holy Thursday, for there is no binding norm for it, and the foot washing itself is only facultative.
PRIESTLY FRATERNITY OF ST. PIUS X (SSPX)
Rorate Caeli: A non-typical situation in the church is the Priestly Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Why does Your Excellency think that so many Catholics are afraid of the SSPX or anxious about any association with it? From what Your Excellency has seen, what gifts do you think the SSPX can bring to the mainstream Church?
H.E. Schneider: When someone or something is unimportant and weak, nobody has fear of it. Those who have fear of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X ultimately have fear of the perennial Catholic truths and of its demands in the moral and the liturgical domain. When the SSPX tries to believe, to worship and to live morally the way our fore-fathers and the best-known Saints did during a millennial period, then one has to consider the life and the work of these Catholic priests and faithful of the SSPX as a gift for the Church in our days – even as one of the several instruments which the Divine Providence uses to remedy the enormity of the current general crisis of the faith, of the morals and of the liturgy inside the Church. In some sectors of the SSPX there are, however, as it is the case in every human society some eccentric personalities. They have a method and a mindset which lack justice and charity and consequently the true “sentire cum ecclesia,” and there is the danger of an ecclesial autocephaly and to be the last judicial instance in the Church. However, to my knowledge, the healthier part corresponds to the major part of the SSPX and I consider their General Superior, His Excellency Monsignor Bernard Fellay, as an exemplarily and true Catholic bishop. There is some hope for a canonical recognition of the SPPX.
THE SYNOD AND PAPALOTRY
Rorate Caeli: Back on the Synod, while focusing on tradition, does Your Excellency believe that the changes in the Roman liturgy post-Vatican II contributed to the current crisis in the Church, the crisis of marriage, the family and societal morality in general??
H.E. Schneider: I wouldn’t affirm this in such a way. Indeed the very source of the current crisis in the Church, the crisis of marriage, of the family and of the morality in general is not the liturgical reform, but the defects in faith, the doctrinal relativism, from which flows the moral and liturgical relativism. For, if I believe in a defective manner, I will live a defective moral life and I will worship in a defective, indifferent manner. It is necessary first to restore the clearness and firmness of the doctrine of faith and of morals in all levels and, from there, start to improve the liturgy. The integrity and the beauty of the faith demands the integrity and the beauty of one’s moral life and this demands the integrity and the beauty of the public worship.
Rorate Caeli: Still on the Synod, it is clear to those with eyes to see that Pope Francis caused confusion instead of clarity in the Synod process, and encouraged a turn toward rupture by elevating the role of Cardinals Kaspar and Danneels, Archbishop Cupich, etc. What is the proper attitude a Catholic should have towards the pope in these troubled times? Are Catholics obliged to make their views known and “resist” as Cardinal Burke said in an interview last year with us, even when their views are critical of the pope?
H.E. Schneider: For several past generations until our days there reigns in the life of the Church a kind of “pope-centrism” or a kind of “papolatria” which is undoubtedly excessive compared with the moderate and supernatural vision of the person of the Pope and his due veneration in the past times. Such an excessive attitude towards the person of the Pope generates in the practice an excessive and wrong theological meaning regarding the dogma of the Papal infallibility. If the Pope would tell the entire church to do something, which would directly damage an unchangeable Divine truth or a Divine commandment, every Catholic would have the right to correct him in a due respectful form, moved out of reverence and love for the sacred office, and person of the Pope. The Church is not the private property of the Pope. The Pope can’t say “I am the Church,” as it did the French king Louis XIV, who said: “L’État c’est moi.” The Pope is only the Vicar, not the successor of Christ. The concerns about the purity of the faith is ultimately a matter of all members of the Church, which is one, and a unique living body. In the ancient times before entrusting to someone the office of a priest and of a bishop, the faithful were asked if they can guarantee that the candidate had the right faith, and a high moral conduct. The old Pontificale Romanum says: “The captain of a ship and its passengers alike have reason to feel safe or else in danger on a voyage, therefore they ought to be of one mind in their common interests.” It was the Second Vatican Council, which very much encouraged the lay faithful to contribute to the authentic good of the Church, in strengthening the faith. I think in a time in which a great part of the holders of the office of the Magisterium are negligent in their sacred duty, the Holy Spirit calls today, namely the faithful, to step into the breach and defend courageously with an authentic “sentire cum ecclesia” the Catholic faith.
TRADITION AND ITS ENEMIES FROM WITHIN
Rorate Caeli: Is the pope the measure of tradition, or is he measured by tradition? And should faithful Catholics pray for a traditional pope to arrive soon?
H.E. Schneider: The Pope is surely not the measure of tradition, but on the contrary. We must always bear in mind the following dogmatic teaching of the First Vatican Council: The office of the successors of Peter does not consist in making known some new doctrine, but in guarding and faithfully expounding the deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles (cf. Constitutio dogmatica Pastor aeternus, cap. 4). In fulfilling one of his most important tasks, the Pope has to strive so that “the whole flock of Christ might be kept away from the poisonous food of error” (First Vatican Council, ibd.). The following expression which was in use since the first centuries of the Church, is one of the most striking definitions of the Papal office, and has to be in some sense a second nature of every Pope: “Faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith” (First Vatican Council, ibd.). We must always pray that God provides His Church with traditional-minded Popes. However, we have to believe in these words: “It is not for you to have knowledge of the time and the order of events which the Father has kept in his control” (Acts 1: 7).
Rorate Caeli: We know there are many bishops and cardinals – possibly the majority – who want to change the Church’s doctrinal language and long-standing discipline, under the excuses of “development of doctrine” and “pastoral compassion.” What is wrong with their argument?
H.E. Schneider: Expressions like “development of doctrine” and “pastoral compassion” are in fact usually a pretext to change the teaching of Christ, and against its perennial sense and integrity, as the Apostles had transmitted it to the whole Church, and it was faithfully preserved through the Fathers of the Church, the dogmatic teachings of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Popes. Ultimately, those clerics want another Church, and even another religion: A naturalistic religion, which is adapted to the spirit of the time. Such clerics are really wolves in sheep’s clothing, often flirting with the world. Not courageous shepherds – but rather cowardly rabbits.
ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
Rorate Caeli: We hear a lot about the role of women in the Church today – the so-called “feminine genius.” Women obviously have played a critical role in the Church since the beginning, starting with the Blessed Virgin Mary. But liturgically, Christ made His position crystal clear, as have pre-Conciliar popes. Does Your Excellency believe that female involvement in the liturgy, whether it’s women taking part in the Novus Ordo Mass or girl altar boys, has played a positive or negative role in the Church the last four decades?
H.E. Schneider: There is no doubt about the fact that the female involvement in the liturgical services at the altar (reading the lecture, serving at the altar, distributing Holy Communion) represents a radical rupture with the entire and universal tradition of the Church. Therefore, such a practice is against the Apostolic tradition. Such a practice gave to the liturgy of the Holy Mass a clear Protestant shape and a characteristic of an informal prayer meeting or of a catechetical event. This practice is surely contrary to the intentions of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council and there is not in the least an indication for it in the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy.
THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS
Rorate Caeli: Your Excellency is well known for celebrating the traditional Latin Mass in many places around the world. What does Your Excellency find to be the deepest lessons learned from saying the Latin Mass, as a priest and as a bishop, that other priests and bishops may hope to gain by saying the traditional Mass themselves?
H.E. Schneider: The deepest lessons I learned from celebrating the traditional form of the Mass is this: I am only a poor instrument of a supernatural and utmost sacred action, whose principal celebrant is Christ, the Eternal High Priest. I feel that during the celebration of the Mass I lost in some sense my individual freedom, for the words and the gesture are prescribed even in their smallest details, and I am not able to dispose of them. I feel most deeply in my heart that I am only a servant and a minister who yet with free will, with faith and love, fulfill not my will, but the will of Another. The traditional and more than millennial-old rite of the Holy Mass, which not even the Council of Trent changed, because the Ordo Missae before and after that Council was almost identical, proclaims and powerfully evangelizes the Incarnation and the Epiphany of the ineffably saintly and immense God, who in the liturgy as “God with us,” as “Emmanuel,” becomes so little and so close to us. The traditional rite of the Mass is a highly artfully and, at the same time, a powerful proclamation of the Gospel, realizing the work of our salvation.
Rorate Caeli: If Pope Benedict is correct in saying that the Roman Rite currently (if strangely) exists in two forms rather than one, why has it not yet happened that all seminarians are required to study and learn the traditional Latin Mass, as part of their seminary training? How can a parish priest of the Roman Church not know both forms of the one rite of his Church? And how can so many Catholics still be denied the traditional Mass and sacraments if it is an equal form?
H.E. Schneider: According to the intention of Pope Benedict XVI, and the clear norms of the Instruction “Universae Ecclesiae,” all Catholic seminarians have to know the traditional form of the Mass and be able to celebrate it. The same document says that this form of Mass is a treasure for the entire Church – thus it is for all of the faithful. Pope John Paul II made an urgent appeal to all bishops to accommodate generously the wish of the faithful regarding the celebration of the traditional form of the Mass. When clerics and bishops obstruct or restrict the celebration of the traditional Mass, they don’t obey what the Holy Spirit says to the Church, and they are acting in a very anti-pastoral way. They behave as the possessors of the treasure of the liturgy, which does not belong to them, for they are only administrators. In denying the celebration of the traditional Mass or in obstructing and discriminating against it, they behave like an unfaithful and capricious administrator who – contrary to the instructions of the house-father – keeps the pantry under lock or like a wicked stepmother who gives the children a meager fare. Perhaps such clerics have fear of the great power of the truth irradiating from the celebration of the traditional Mass. One can compare the traditional Mass with a lion: Let him free, and he will defend himself.
RUSSIA NOT YET EXPLICITLY CONSECRATED
Rorate Caeli: There are many Russian Orthodox where Your Excellency lives. Has Alexander of Astana or anyone else in the Moscow Patriarchate asked Your Excellency about the recent Synod or about what is happening to the Church under Francis? Do they even care at this point?
H.E. Schneider: Those Orthodox Prelates, with whom I have contact, generally are not well informed about the internal current disputes in the Catholic Church, or at least they had never spoken with me about such issues. Even though they don’t recognize the jurisdictional primacy of the Pope, they nevertheless look on the Pope as the first hierarchical office in the Church, from a point of view of the order of protocol.
Rorate Caeli: We are just a year away from the 100th anniversary of Fatima. Russia was arguably not consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and certainly not converted. The Church, while ever spotless, is in complete disarray – maybe worse than during the Arian Heresy. Will things get even worse before they get better and how should truly faithful Catholics prepare for what is coming?
H.E. Schneider: We have to believe firmly: The Church is not ours, nor the Pope’s. The Church is Christ’s and He alone holds and leads her indefectibly even through the darkest periods of crisis, as our current situation indeed is. This is a demonstration of the Divine character of the Church. The Church is essentially a mystery, a supernatural mystery, and we cannot approach her as we approach a political party or a pure human society. At the same time, the Church is human and on her human level she is nowadays enduring a sorrowful passion, participating in the Passion of Christ. One can think that the Church in our days is being flagellated as our Lord, is being denuded as was Our Lord, on the tenth Cross station. The Church, our mother, is being bound in cords not only by the enemies of Christ but also by some of their collaborators in the rank of the clergy, even sometimes of the high clergy. All good children of Mother Church as courageous soldiers we have to try to free this mother – with the spiritual weapons of defending and proclaiming the truth, promoting the traditional liturgy, Eucharistic adoration, the crusade of the Holy Rosary, the battle against the sin in one’s private life and striving for holiness. We have to pray that the Pope may soon consecrate explicitly Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, then She will win, as the Church prayed since the old times: “Rejoice O Virgin Mary, for thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world” (Gaude, Maria Virgo, cunctas haereses sola interemisti in universo mundo).
Prayer and Penance
The surprising thing to many is that I haven’t had much to say lately. Yes, I have been very busy at finishing my semester at Ryerson University in Toronto this is true. I have also been a busy father to my children, and a husband to my wife. Like many of you I am sure, the recent events in the World, and the Church, have taken a bit of hold on me. It was even suggested to me by a very holy priest that their are times that require silence. This is one of those times. Not silent as in not doing anything, but silent as in prayer and penance.
I have been recently reading a book by a Russian Catholic lady named Catherine Doherty called “Welcome Pilgrim”. I haven’t finished it yet so I cannot give a solid recommendation for it, but so far it is wonderfully spiritual and Catholic. I needed something a little lighter to read to help give me a little lift in spirits, so far this book has been the medicine that my soul required.
Catherine said that she was taught by her parents from a very young age that one should ALWAYS have two hands lifted to God, one hand with prayer, and the other hand with penance. How beautiful. Talk about keeping it simple and true. Sometimes I could get a little congested with all the doctrinal material that I read and be to concerned about what I know about God. What’s most important is having a relationship with God, knowing God. Yes, of course as a catechist I have to know about God, but I also have to know God as well. It can be a subtle trap set by the devil. I’m much more aware of it now and pray for the proper balance of knowing about God and having an intimate relationship with him.
My dear friend and priest Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus from the Vatican always states that “Theology is best learned on ones knees“. This is so true. When praying the Rosary so many of my theological questions have been answered by thoughts and inspirations. I don’t mean that all of a sudden some voice speaks in my ear, but the answer to a question seems to be answered at times. I believe this can happen for anyone who prays the Rosary. You should try it!
Back to prayer and penance. For this Advent Season I am going to try and willingly take a posture of prayer and penance with both arms lifted up to God. I ask that my readers please join me in this posture and encourage their friends and family to do the same. Let us praise, reverence, and serve God. We can attend an extra Mass throughout the week, fill the food bins for the needy, say an extra decade of the Rosary, and the list goes on. There are so many Novenas that can be said, just Google Catholic Novenas. Once again, please join me in lifting up our arms to God in this time of Advent in prayer and penance.
One more thing before I go. As far as Confession is concerned, why not go every couple of weeks? You don’t have to be in mortal sin to go to Confession, you can go to receive the graces and confess any venial sins. Usually when in the confessional I will ask the priest for forgiveness for the sins that I do not even know that I have committed. It is a good habit to go to Confession a couple of times a month, and so many graces are received from just going.
May Almighty God protect us from the World, the devil, the heretics, and ourselves!
What About Papal Infallibility?
Pope St Pius X pray for us!
It is important for people, especially the faithful, to realize that it is only under the strictest conditions that the Pope can actually speak infallibly, and that Pope Francis HAS NOT spoken infallibly on any issues and probably won’t. This does not mean that we should not listen to him, because we should. We should try and listen with an obedient disposition, but also realize because he speaks so often and off the cuff that he may err at times. This is why the press office of the Vatican has so often had to give clarifications.
It is also very important to understand that Bishops can and will make statements and possibly even teach heresy. We have seen this lately, especially in Germany! The faithful are NOT bound to follow ANY teaching that is contrary to an already established Dogma of the Faith. In fact, it would be a sin against Faith were the faithful to follow a new teaching that they knew was erroneous. As Catholics we have a responsibility to do our homework and find out what the Church actually teaches ; claiming ignorance is not really an option.
I’m going to get straight to the point. Dogma CANNOT change. All of this synod hoo-haa can do nothing to change what GOD HAS ALREADY REVEALED! God is immutable, He cannot change, and neither can the Truth become something contrary to what it is. Here is an example : someone wants you to believe that a chair is actually a chandelier, and that person has convinced many people in the room with fancy words and tricky philosophies that the chair has somehow evolved into a chandelier. But you know that chandeliers hang from the ceiling and give off light, and you still see people sitting their bottoms on chairs, not chandeliers. This doesn’t mean that the chair is a chandelier. The chair is still a chair even if everyone in the room is now saying that the chair is a chandelier. The Truth is the Truth!
So here goes, I’m going to type it now! Even if the Pope were to try and change the teaching, it wouldn’t, and couldn’t be changed ! There, I said it. The Pope is supposed to be a guardian and protector of the Faith, that is it! If the Pope teaches something contrary to the “constant and very firm” teaching of Jesus Christ through His Church, then we CANNOT follow that teaching, WE MUST STAY FAITHFUL TO CHRIST!
We need to pray for the Pope and the Bishops, especially the Bishops that are spewing heresy ; they NEED our prayers!
Here is a good article written by Father Parochus from the site What’s Up With the Synod? Give it a look
No, the Church is not infallible because the Pope is infallible. It’s the other way around.
One of the more upsetting results of this Synodal chaos is the division it is creating between believing and sincere Catholics. Sadly, one of the more dire results of the last 50 years of non-catechesis has been a grave defect in the knowledge of most of the faithful on the limits and nature of papal infallibility.
Today I received the following note from a friend:
“I am now arguing with my pro-life friends about the petition. They see any lack of papal obedience as shocking and scandalous. Grrrrrrr. Have you written about it? What can I send them to show how wrong they are.”
I recommended that she google the terms “papolatry,” that is gaining wide use recently, and the newer and perhaps somewhat more technical term “hypermontanism”. I added, “Ultramontanism = Good. Hypermontanism = Bad.”
In the interests of our charitable duty to instruct the ignorant, WUWTS offers the following brief explanation of the traditional understanding of papal infallibility, from a bona fide member of the clergy. …HJMW
Crash Course in the Church’s Infallibility.
The Church is not infallible because the Pope is infallible.
It is the other way around.
The pope is infallible because the Church is infallible.
Jesus the Divine Teacher continues to teach in this world the “message of truth”, which he originally gave to the Apostles and through them to the world. This is the Deposit of Faith and Morals. It contains primarily supernatural knowledge about God and how to get to Heaven to see and rejoice in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit forever. This revealed treasure also contains a crystal-clear reaffirmation of the Natural Law of right and wrong, “the observance of which is also necessary for eternal salvation”(Humane vitae). If I turn my back on God the Creator I can’t get to Heaven.
In her constant and very firm teaching the Church is protected by Christ. She will not betray Him or His teaching. She is infallible.
The Pope has the keys. He can even command us what to think. Or rather, he can bindingly declare what Christ has taught, and therefore what God has said, and requires that we believe. But Christ will NOT let His Church be bound into error. So…
When the Successor of Peter, teaching on a matter of Faith and Morals, AS Successor of Peter , binds the universal Church to believe or to absolutely and “definitively ” hold a particular truth, he shares in the infallibility of the Church.
We are only required to believe that the Pope is infallible when all the above conditions are fulfilled. We are very safe in following the teaching of Pope Saint Pius X, in his Catechismo maggiore, that the pope is infallible “only” (soltanto) under those conditions.
From the “Catechismo magiore” of Pope Saint Pius X:
199. Quando è il Papa infallibile?Il Papa è infallibile allora soltanto che nella sua qualità di Pastore e Maestro du tutti i cristiani, in virtù della suprema sua apostolica autorità, definisce una dottrina intorno alla fede o ai custumi da ternersi da tutta la Chiesa.
“soltanto” = “only,” as in, “at no other time or in no other way”.
This means it is impossible for the pope to *bindingly* contradict the constant and very firm teaching of the Church.
But by ambiguity, implication, association, action, or in other ways, the pope can sow doubt. As unfortunately we have been seeing these days.
end of article.
Fifth Article of the Apostle’s Creed continued…
; the third day He rose again from the dead
In this post I am going to be not so much catechizing on What we believe, but more on how we put what we believe into practice. So, how we can practice and grow in our faith. It is of course an excellent practice to learn as much as one can about our beautiful Catholic Faith, but we must put this knowledge and faith into practice, to truly grow into a deeper more fruitful relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! All Catechesis, must be Christ-centered!!!
Being a member of the Marian Catechist Apostolate demands that we not just grow in our doctrinal and catechetical learning, but also spiritually. We need to have a balance of doctrinal and spiritual development, that balances ones complete make up as a Marian Catechist and as a member of the Church Militant on earth. I believe it can become a temptation at times to believe because we are learning about God, that we are getting to know God in a better way. I have to say that this is not always true. In fact, many of the so-called brightest theologians and scripture exegetes have turned out to be heretics, apostates and in some cases even atheists! One that immediately comes to mind is Martin Luther and John Calvin, their are many , many more. In fact, they are in our midst today ,and not just an anomaly of the distant past.
We can actually put into practice what we learn in the Articles of the Apostle’s Creed. How you say? Certainly, on Sundays and our Holy Days of obligation we attend Mass faithfully. Even more, if at all possible, we should be attending Holy Mass as often as possible, not just limited to the Holy Days of obligation. Their are other pious practices that will help us to grower closer to our Lord and His Holy Mother. The daily praying of the Holy Rosary is actually praying, and meditating on the Gospel itself! Another practice that Marian Catechists do is to pray the daily Angelus at least two times a day.
Traditionally, Wednesdays were a day to especially honour St Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus and the chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I can tell you from personal experience, that St Joseph’s intercessory ability is awesome! He has helped me in many tough situations. Please build a strong relationship with this most great Saint, second only to Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos) . Here is a link to an ancient prayer to St Joseph that I choose to say everyday, it can also be used as a 9 day Novena prayer. Once again, prayers to St Joseph are very powerful and always answered! This is what my patroness Saint, Teresa of Jesus says of St Joseph, “I know by experience,” says St. Teresa of Avila, “that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.”
So on Fridays, in commemoration of Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross, we are obliged to perform some act of penance or mortification. Ouchhh!!! Did you say mortify? Yes, I did! This does not mean, nor do I suggest that you whip or flag yourself half to death. Some people still may do this, but any penance or mortification should also be discussed with one’s spiritual advisor! I am only touching on a couple suggestions. This can be as simple as abstaining from meat, or having a computer fast for that day. It is meant to help unite yourself with our Lord and His Passion and death. A small token to add to the Mystical Body in Heaven and Earth. It also helps us to aquire virtue, especially in temperance. Practicing penance and mortification helps by bringing our unruly passions into check through practice. Remember, we “practice our Faith”. I have to admit, I have a sweet tooth! It is a tough one for me, but its easier when I offer it up to our Blessed Lord ! It helps to bring that particular passion into check.
Of Course, we cannot forget the day dedicated to our Lady, Saturday. Saturday is the day that we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honour our Lady, whose Faith remained unshaken on that Holy Saturday, and never faltered. She had Faith and Hope that Her most Holy Son, Jesus Christ would indeed rise from the dead, as He said He would. In honour of Her, we can light a votive candle for Our Lady’s intentions, or honour her by just spending a little more time meditating on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. For those who have a devotion to our Blessed Mother, I might suggest the book True Devotion to Mary by St Louis Marie de Monfort . This book is a masterpiece of Marian devotion and is a favourite of mine and was a favourite of St John Paul II. His papal motto “Totus Tuus”, meaning, all yours, was borrowed from St Louis de Monfort!
Til next time,
may Almighty God Bless us, and protect us from the World, the devil, and ourselves!!!