June 2021: Question Everything?
In the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s, Catholics began questioning what was happening in the Spirit of Vatican II, and so we should have. These same Catholics took action, especially when what was coming from the pulpit was simply not Catholic, it was heresy. Saint John Chrysostom comments on Hebrews 13:17: "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." He continues: "How then does Paul say, 'Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves'? Having said above, 'whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation' (c. ver. 7), he then said, 'Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.' What then (you say), when he is wicked should we obey? Wicked? In what sense? If indeed in regard to Faith, flee and avoid him; not only if he be a man, but even if he be an angel come down from Heaven; but if in regard to life, be not over-curious."
In matters of Faith we must judge and flee those who deliver another Gospel as Saint Paul said: "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) As We wrote in Our book, Will the Real Catholic Church Please Stand Up, we must make such judgments in matters of Faith, and if we have left the Conciliar Church under George Bergoglio, who claims to be Pope Francis in any manner, we have already judged. This includes those in the Apostles of Jesus and Mary under their public title, the Sacerdotal Fraternity of Saint Pius X (SSPX) at one end to the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI) at the other end and any group in between. We have voted with our feet that George Bergoglio and the bishops and priests in union with him are not our pastors, but have deserted us by heresy. No other reason justifies departing from obedience to them.
Now after making the judgment that the Vatican II Conciliar Church is not the Catholic Church some Traditional minded Catholics have begun educating themselves and become experts in Sacramental Theology and Canon Law, judging whether or not someone is a valid priest or bishop or whether or not such a priest or bishop has any authority in the Catholic Church. And this includes priests and bishops of the Traditionalist movement making such judgments. However, judgment in many matters is reserved exclusively to the Church herself.
Today people are more concerned about valid Sacraments than they are in making sure they are truly in the Church founded by Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church. The sign out front might say Catholic, but we already know that many of these buildings are not actually run by Catholics, but by someone else. That is why we left the Conciliar Church, which has stolen not only our properties, but also our name, Catholic.
We hear Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, (EENS) outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation, and yet those speaking of this may be outside of the Catholic Church themselves. From our basic catechism we learn about the Church. We should also study the Roman Catechism also called the Catechism of the Council of Trent or the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Trent Edition. In there we learn: "It is the unanimous teaching of the Fathers that this visible head is necessary to establish and preserve unity in the Church." Jesus founded a hierarchical Church on Peter and the Apostles, when He said: "He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you." (John 20:21) A Pope is necessary to send others into the vineyard to preach as Saint Paul observes: "And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15)
Read the tenth chapter of Saint John's Gospel. In the first verse we read: "Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber." And so how can we know who has entered by the door? First of all, who has the keys to that door? To Peter and his successors Jesus said: "And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 16:19) Some may say, but you have just proven that there is no Pope. No, what we have proven is that the claimant in Rome is not Pope. A Pope is still necessary, it is simply not necessary that he be in Rome as history has proven in the past. The claimant in Rome, such as Anacletus II may be an Antipope, while the true Pope, such as Innocent II, is in exile elsewhere. Authority comes from Jesus through his Vicar the Pope through the Bishops ruling the various dioceses on down to the Pastors and other priests and deacons in those dioceses.
When there is confusion in who is truly Pope, one looks for the Pope. When one does not find him in Rome, one looks elsewhere. When one does not find him at all, then the the next step is to elect a Pope, because only a Pope can restore order. The result of ordaining priests, which Archbishop Lefebvre began doing in the 1970's did not restore Order. The consecration of Bishops, which began with Bishop Peter Martin Ngo-Dihn Thuc in 1981 did not restore Order. Both actions led to more fragmentation, when a Godly action will lead to unity. Pope Leo XIII states: "But the Epsicopal order is rightly judged to be in communion with Peter, as Christ commanded, if it be subject to and obeys Peter; otherwise it necessarily becomes a lawless and disorderly crowd." (Satis cognitum, paragraph 15) Aren't the Traditionalist bishops a disorderly crowd with no unity among them. Even those of the same mindset in regard to the status of the Papacy, the sedevacantists are not in union with each other, which shows that their position is at best incomplete.
We have wandered from our point. There are certain things all Christians must make decisions on. When we hear heresy, we leave, because the apparent Pastor bringing us heresy has left Jesus and His holy Church. However, many things are beyond our competence to judge as Christians, but belong exclusively to the hierarchy of the Church.
Let us consider some of the burning questions often discussed and who has the authority to give an authoritative answer:
Was Archbishop Lefebvre validly ordained and consecrated by the Mason Lienart? The answer to this question is reserved exclusively to the Pope for an authoritative answer.
Were the Consecration performed by Bishop Peter Martin Ngo-Dihn Thuc in 1981 valid or was Ngo-Dihn insane? The answer to this question is reserved exclusively to the Pope for authoritative answer.
Is the New Rite of Ordination valid? The answer to this question is reserved exclusively to the Pope.
Any today are usurping Papal Authority by rendering their own decisions in these matters and then proceeding on their conclusion. They appeal to the alleged emergency, but have failed to do anything to end the emergency in question. They appeal to several Canonical principles. However, the legitimacy of such application is reserved exclusively to the Pope. In fact, the Catholic Church has two forms of authority, ordinary and delegated. Ordinary authority is attached to an offices, such as Pastor, Bishop and Pope. Delegated is delegated by Canon Law or by someone with Ordinary authority, which is why the Bishop of a Diocese is also called an Ordinary. Traditionalists have stretched Canon 209 or performed what one priest before Vatican II called Canonical Gymnastics in order to establish a third form of authority, supplied. However, it is debatable whether one is permitted to use such authority in the cases mentioned in Canon 209. In regard to the validity of the Sacraments, we are obliged to take the safest course.
True, some of these things may apply to current cases, but only the Pope may judge on these matters. The duty of Christians is to find Christ's Vicar and submit to his authority. Even if one makes an incorrect decision here, God will supply here as He did in the Western Schism. No one in the Western Schism desired to not be subject to the Pope. Their only question was, who was Pope, for we desire union with Jesus through His Vicar. Today we should have the same desire and stop questioning everything.