December 2018-The Sin Of Today
Sacred Scripture says: “be not silent upon her iniquity.” (Jeremias 51:6) What is the KEY sin of today, from which all others flows? It is this sin we need to aim at, because all of the others will fall away of their own accord, if this sin is vanquished.
The key sin of today is the exaltation of our own private judgment above the judgments of God, His holy Church, and the hierarchy He has placed over us.
Private judgment originated with the Protestant Revolt five centuries ago. The Revolters exalted private judgment against the judgment of the Church. They promoted private interpretation of Sacred Scripture against the authority of the Church to interpret Scripture. “Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.” (II Peter 1:20)
Jesus founded a Church and gave the Church the authority to keep the Faith He taught complete and sound throughout all ages. “And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.” (Matthew 18:17) Saint Paul tells us there should be: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5) To be Christian, we must all believe the same thing and also believe what was believed at the time of Jesus and handed down to us by the Apostles and their true successors.
Judgment on many issues in the Church are left solely to the hierarchy of the Church. Saint Paul said: “Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28) If the Bishops are placed to rule the Church of God, the Church of God in turn is obliged to obey their Bishop. To the Apostles and their successor, Jesus said: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.” Saint Paul says: “Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief.” (Hebrews 13:17)
As Catholic Christians, to use the term used by Saint Vincent of Lerins, we are obliged to be obedient to our Bishop. The Bishop in turn is obedient to the Pope and the Pope in turn should be obedient to Jesus Christ.
In the 1960's and 1970's this was all turned upside down, when the man claiming to be Pope started teaching false doctrine. The Bishops also joined in with him. And so, following the advice of Saint Paul, we departed from them. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” (Galatians 1:8)
And so many tried to sort things out on their own. Where should we go? And thus the season of private judgment began. When the sheep (Bishops) turn out to be wolves in sheep's clothing, we must desert them, because they have deserted Jesus Christ by their treachery. (Matthew 7:15)
Some today cite the precedent of the Western Schism, when there were first two, then three men claiming to be Pope. And yet, few are actually obedient to a Pope. Instead, they pick and choose what they will believe and whom they will obey and how much they will obey him. This is private judgment.
Saint Antoninus reports of the Western Schism: “Although it is necessary to believe that there is but one supreme head of the Church, nevertheless, if it happens that two Popes are created at the same time, it is not necessary for the people to believe that this one or that one is the legitimate Pontiff; they must believe that he alone is the true Pope who has been regularly elected, and they are not bound to discern who that one is; as to that point, they may be guided by the conduct and opinion of their particular pastor.” 1 In the Western Schism the faithful followed their Bishops, who in turn made a judgment about which claimant to the Papacy to follow. No one followed private judgment, but obeyed their Bishops. The Bishop in turn was obedient to the claimant to the papacy he had discerned was truly Pope. In most cases the Bishops would consult with theologians and canonists in their area and would agree with each other on which claimant to follow.
But isn't today different? There are differences, but the duty to be subject to the Pope remains for all Catholic Christians. And this duty applies not only to the faithful, but to priests and bishops. Authority comes from Jesus Christ through the Pope to the Bishops of the various dioceses.
In Psalms (56:11) we read: “And meet impudent dogs, they never had enough: the shepherds themselves knew no understanding: all have turned aside into their own way, every one after his own gain, from the first even to the last.” There is much to consider here. “The shepherds themselves knew no understanding.” The shepherds are the Bishops that went into Vatican II with no understanding. They approved the most vile heresies and walked out as leaders of a non-Catholic sect, which they called the Conciliar Church or the Church of the Council (Vatican 2).
The prophet Osee (3:4) tells us: “For the children of Israel shall sit many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without altar, and without ephod, and without theraphim.” The king here is the Pope, the princes are the Bishops. Without a Pope and Bishops eventually we have no Sacrifice of the Mass offered that is pleasing to Almighty God. The Ephod is the vestment of the High Priest and could be considered similar to the Tiara of the Pope. The theraphim is a priestly garment." (Judges 17:5)
“Then he said: I saw all Israel scattered in the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd: and the Lord said: These have no masters: let every man return to his own house in peace.” (II Chronicles 18:6) This is where Catholics were in the 1960's, our shepherds all deserted us. In this terrible time, we could not heed Saint Anotninus' advice and follow our Pastor, because we had no Pastor. The prophet Isaias (53:6) explains what happened to us: “All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” We all turned to our own way and made private judgments.
Unfortunately, many have taken judgments, which are reserved to the hierarchy of the Church into their own hands. Although the hierarchy deserted us in the 1960's there was a solution. “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones.” (Zacharias 13:7) God will have mercy on us, when we return to Him and to obedience to Him and the hierarchy He has appointed.
A question arises, aren't the Traditionalist bishops and priests our bishops and pastors? Yes, some may use this terminology, but if you read their technical articles, they admit that they are not the Bishop of our Diocese nor the Pastor of our Parish. Daniel Dolan was interviewed for a book, The Smoke of Satan: “We're faced with a vacuum of authority; the papacy has been vacant for more than twenty years now, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Our people need to receive the sacraments, and for this they need priests, and it takes bishops to make priests. And this is precisely the role that Bishop Pivarunas and myself play. We don't claim to possess any ordinary jurisdiction or the power of excommunication. We have moral authority, but we don't boss people around. We're sacramental bishops, and traditionalist communities simply can't survive for very long without sacramental bishops.” 2 What he is saying is that he and Mark Pivarunas are not our Pastors. And so we cannot look to them for guidance, they do not have jurisdiction, which means the right to speak in the Name of Jesus Christ. We have no obligation of obedience to them and in fact cannot render them obedience.
And so, to whom should we turn? We have a duty to be subject to Jesus Christ and His holy Church. When our Pastor deserts, we look to our Bishop. When our Bishop deserts we look to the Pope. When the Pope deserts, we look to Jesus Christ and then look for the Pope Jesus has sent us. From Vatican II until 1990, the Papacy indeed was vacant. The right and duty of the Church is to supply herself with a Pope. In fact, as a perfect society, the Church always has a means to supply herself with a head.
This was discussed by bishops, priests and laity from the early 1970's, until an election was finally completed on July 16, 1990. Among bishops who considered the election of a Pope were Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1976 and 1988) and Bishop Peter Martin Ngo-Dihn Thuc. (1981 to 1983) Among priests were many, beginning with Father Joachin Saenz-Arriaga, who was joined by Fathers Aldolpho Zamora and Moises Carmona. Bishop Ngo-Dihn consecrated bishops in 1981 in order to preserve apostolicity of Orders until a Pope could be elected. He did so, because of his advanced age, not knowing how long it would take to assemble a conclave. Many who were in these discussions in the early 1980's became Thuc Bishops, including Fathers George Musey, Louis Vezelis, Robert McKenna, etc.
Today is a time of decision. “And Elias coming to all the people, said: How long do you halt between two sides? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.” (III Kings 18:21) We have two real claimants to the Papacy, and many false paths of private judgment. And so, if Francis is Pope, then it is time to go back to the Novus Ordo, accept Vatican II completely, etc. If Michael is Pope, then it is time to get behind him.
Other than these two options are paths of private judgment where there is no safety. There is safety in following our Pastor, our Bishop and the Pope. The Pope appoints a Bishop over us, who in turn appoints a Pastor over us. As we see in the Western Schism, that even if we follow the wrong Pope as many did, we are still safe in obedience. We are not safe outside of the hierarchy. Today the choice should be clear. And so, as Pope, We ask you: “How long will you sit on the fence and halt between two sides?”
Are Traditionalist Priests And Bishops Our Pastors?
Do Traditionalist Bishops Claim to be the Bishop of Our Diocese?
Father Glover wrote an article, which the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has reprinted on authority:
By his ordination every priest receives the radical power to absolve, but to exercise this power validly he must receive also the power of jurisdiction; for, in the sacrament of penance the priest acts as a judge, and a judge must have authority over those whom he judges or his sentence is not binding.
1. The following have ORDINARY jurisdiction (as attached to their office):
*the Pope over the whole Church
*the Bishop over his diocese's flock
*the pastor over his parishioners 3
Father Glover was a Canon Lawyer prior to Vatican II. He taught Canon Law at the SSPX seminary in Econe in the 1970's. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais of the same Society wrote: “Jurisdiction is the fact that the bishop gives a flock to his priests, or that the Pope designates a flock for a bishop by giving him a diocese. Jurisdiction is the power which a superior has over his flock and which a pastor has over his sheep.”
What this means is that the Pope, Bishop of the Diocese and the Pastor of a parish are our pastors. Other priests and Bishops are not. Ordinary authority is that attached to an office, such as Pope, Diocesan Bishop and Pastor. All other authority is delegated for some purpose by someone possessing ordinary authority.
When Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications from the four SSPX Bishops, the SSPX prepared a media brochure, which states: “3. Consecrating a bishop without a papal mandate would be a schismatic act if jurisdiction (e.g., a territory to govern) was given to the newly consecrated bishops. But Archbishop Lefebvre never did this, and made it clear that he was only consecrating "sacramental bishops" to perform such episcopal duties as administering confirmations and ordaining priests.” 4 Archbishop Lefebvre did not consecrate Bishops for any diocese, therefore we know that these four bishops are not the bishop of any diocese. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais wrote: “Your traditional priests—for they are your priests—your traditional bishops and your traditional parishes, have no ordinary authority, but an extraordinary authority which is a supplied authority.” 5
Father Anthony Cekada wrote an article to prove that Traditionalist Bishops have not been excommunicated by the law forbidding bishops to consecrate bishops without the authority of the Pope. He argues that Pope Pius XII, who instituted that excommunication intended only in the case of a bishops, who consecrate a man as bishop for some specific diocese. He then states: “No traditional Catholic bishop - at least none of our acquaintance - has been consecrated to the episcopacy and then received illegal designation and title to a diocese established by the Roman Pontiff. Traditional Catholic bishops are consecrated for no diocese.” 6
Therefore we must conclude that no Traditionalist is the Bishop of any diocese, therefore they have no authority over us.
Bishop Daniel Dolan confirms this: “Some claim I left the Society of St. Pius V simply because I wanted to become a bishop at any price, but this is preposterous. The main reason I left was because of personal conflicts with Fr. Kelly. He exercised a strong cult-like leadership. He was a bit of a Francis Schuckardt type-very charismatic and manipulative. And not having a bishop in the Society made the situation especially taxing. But I certainly wasn't looking to better myself by becoming a bishop. … We're faced with a vacuum of authority; the papacy has been vacant for more than twenty years now, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Our people need to receive the sacraments, and for this they need priests, and it takes bishops to make priests. And this is precisely the role that Bishop Pivarunas and myself play. We don't claim to possess any ordinary jurisdiction or the power of excommunication. We have moral authority, but we don't boss people around. We're sacramental bishops, and traditionalist communities simply can't survive for very long without sacramental bishops.” 7
Do Traditionalist Priests Claim to Be Our Pastors
Bishop Mark Pivarunas of the CMRI writes:
In an excellent article on this topic, Traditional Priests, Legitimate Sacraments, Fr. Anthony Cekada makes reference to moral theologians who teach that there is a moral obligation for priests without faculties to administer the Sacraments when the faithful are in serious need:
When priests who have the cura animarum (care of souls) are lacking, other priests are bound out of charity to administer the sacraments.… in serious need for a community, [such priests] are bound to administer the sacraments, even at the risk of their lives, as long as there is reasonable hope of assisting and there is no one else who will help.” This obligation binds under pain of mortal sin. (Merkelbach 3:87. Father Cekada's emphasis) . . . . 8
The care of souls is given to the Pope for the whole world, the Bishop for his diocese and the Pastor for his parish. Father Cekada is stating that Traditionalist priests are not Pastors, because they do not have the care of souls. He argues that, when there are no Pastors, other priests are obliged to supply the spiritual needs of the Faithful.
Surprisingly Father Cekada did not quote Canon 682: “The laity has the right to receive from the clergy the spiritual goods and especially the necessary means of salvation according to the rules of ecclesiastical discipline.”
The Society of Saint Pius X agrees in answering Frequently Asked Questions: “Therefore, we answer that these traditional priests do have jurisdiction, that is neither territorial nor ordinary, but supplied in view of the needs of the faithful.” 9
Although some Traditionalist priests call themselves pastors in actual fact they are not, and in their official publications, the various publications admit this fact, as noted in quotes above. Therefore we must conclude that Traditionalist priests and bishops are not our Pastors.
1 Studies in Church History, volume 2, page 530
2 From The Smoke of Satan, pages 101-2 Emphasis mine.
7 From The Smoke of Satan, pages 101-2 Emphasis mine.