September 2020- How Can You Rebel Against Church Officials, When You Tell Us Rebellion Is Revolting?
In this issue of the Olive Tree there is an article on Revolution, That Is Revolting. Our position appears to contradict the thrust of this article. However, we must understand some important points. Some say, by leaving what calls itself the Catholic Church, we are rebelling against the authority God has established. We are rebelling against our Pastors, who God as appointed over us. "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. For this is not expedient for you." (Hebrews 13:17)
Let us begin with, when can we resist our Pastor? The answer is simple, when he ceases to be our Pastor.
There are two reasons we can come to the conclusion a Pastor has ceased to be our Pastor. The first is when his superior removes him from office. By no longer obeying this man, we are not rebelling, but waiting for our superior, usually the Local Ordinary, also called the Bishop of the Diocese to send a replacement. And the same is true of our own Bishop, who can be moved or removed by the Pope, and the Pope will appoint a replacement.
There is another reason a man can cease to be our pastor, that is by leaving the Catholic Church, because a man cannot have authority in a Church he is not a member of. The Code of Canon Law provides that a cleric who publicly abandons the Catholic Faith, which he does by public heresy, loses every office he may have in the Church immediately and without any need of declaration. (See Canons 188, paragraph 4 and 2314, Paragraph 1, note 3)
Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis Christi, paragraph 22 stated: "Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed." In the next paragraph he stated: "For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy."
Saint John Chrysostom tells us of heretics, commenting on Hebrews 13:17, which We quoted above: "If indeed in regard to Faith, flee and avoid him;" Further on he notes: "Moreover, 'Judge not that ye be not judged' (Matthew 7:1) concerns life, not faith:"
Saint Paul tells Bishop Titus (3:10): "A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid: Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment." Note well, Titus is a Bishop and the Office of Bishop includes the duty of addressing and removing heretics. In fact, the Bishop of a Diocese may handle a case of a heretic that becomes public in his diocese. Those who think the warnings are necessary, should remember what the Douay-Rheims reminds us of in a note on these verses: "'By his own judgment': Other offenders are judged, and cast out of the church, by the sentence of the pastors of the same church. Heretics, more unhappy, run out of the church of their own accord, and by doing so, give judgment and sentence against their own souls." If Saint Paul was addressing anyone other than a Bishop, he would simply say to avoid heretics.
Saint Paul tells the Galatians (1:8-9): "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. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema."
We have learned the truths of the Catholic Faith from our basic catechisms, and we know that truth does not change. Modernism teaches that was true and good for someone a century ago, can be false and bad today. Joseph Ratzinger used this principle in comparing Vatican II with the Syllabus of errors from a century before. He called Vatican II a counter-Syllabus, meaning Vatican II declared that what was false in the mid nineteenth century became true a century later at Vatican II.
For more information, please read: What Can People Judge In Regard To Heresy