Modernism, so clearly condemned by Pope St. Pius X as the 'synthesis of all heresies,' is nothing other than the application of Liberal principles to the realm of Doctrine, Theology, History and Apologetics; that is to say, to the whole field of religion. What was liberalism outside the Church becomes Modernism within it. Moreover, it is the most vicious form of Liberalism, for it masquerades under the cover 'defending religion' and of being 'spiritual'
The 'Liberal Catholic' or Modernist is 1) A believer that progress and evolution are universal laws applicable to all of reality, above all to man and hence to truth; 2) Anthropocentric, believing man rather than God is at the apex of creation and hence a self-validating source of truth; 3) Has a hatred of metaphysics as is manifested by his denial of Revelation as a source of truth; and 4) Has no sense of the supernatural because he denies man is made in the image of God and that he has fallen from his high estate. Hence he sees nothing in nature that can be perfected by grace.
Vatican II � the modernization of the Church
What happened at Vatican II is that all the Liberal ideas were adopted as Catholic. Maritain's impossible dream of uniting the Feasts of Joan of Arc and the storming of the Bastille became a reality. Man - every man - was said to be dignified by his very nature, a dignity that persists in him even in the absence of his conforming himself to any divine model . 'Religious freedom' is said in turn to have 'its foundation in the dignity of the human person...' and hence, 'in religious matters man is to be guided by his own judgment.' This means that every individual has the right to choose for himself what is true and false; what is right and wrong; what he will believe or not believe. And what is this other than the absolute sovereignty of the individual and his independence of God's authority. Vatican II does not limit itself to teaching that man has the 'right' to believe anything he wants, but also adds that no one should hinder him in teaching what he believes to others. Further, this right is to be recognized 'in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right...' Teachers of false religions do not even have to be sincere and of good will, for this right 'continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it.' Finally, we are told this 'right' was revealed by God to the Church - that it is part of Divine Revelation!
What, in the practical order, does this mean? It means that a person can propagate any error he wishes - no matter how harmful - and even he knows it to be wrong - and that the state must safeguard him in his right to do so. He could for example, teach Marxism (is this not indoctrination?) in the schools, or advocate that every child have a homosexual experience so as to freely choose his lifestyle. But that this principle is declared to be part of divine revelation is even more unbelievable. This means that Christ who lived and died to bring us the Truth, Christ who said 'go and teach all nations... teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you' also taught that it was perfectly fine with Him if mankind ignored everything He said. It means that mankind is free to tell lies about God (i.e., to blaspheme God) with impunity. If the principle of Religious Liberty is true, if man is to be his own judge in religious matters, what need is there for the Church? No wonder Pope Gregory XVI called this idea 'insane.'
Consider some of the consequences: This principle, impelled by its own impotence, inevitably gives birth to endless differences and contradictions. In the last analysis, one is forced to recognize as valid, any belief that springs from the exercise of private judgment, be it collective or individual. Dogma becomes replaced by mere opinion and religious opinion is in turn reduced to matters of 'feeling.' As a result, the Modernist inevitably sees doctrines, not as 'fixed,' but rather as 'fluid' historical expressions of Catholic belief. Individuals grow and develop; are influenced by their experiences and the changes wrought in society by an ever increasing technology. Man has, over the course of time, come to a deeper understanding of his own nature and of God. Hence it is only natural that doctrines or beliefs should also 'develop' or 'evolve.' As Paul VI expressed it, 'if the world evolves, should not man's religion also evolve?' In the last analysis faith becomes the expression of one's religious sense and religion the expression of a collective religious experience.
One might ask why the Modernist is not an atheist. The answer lies in the fact that radical atheism raises as many problems as does the traditional faith. Not of course difficulties of a metaphysical nature, for nothing is more foreign to Modernism than metaphysics; but difficulties on the psychological and historical plane, which is to say, those which pertain to the human order. How does one explain religiosity whose universal presence is ascertained by the historian and how can one remove all significance from such an important part of human life?
There are only two possibilities open to the Catholic Modernist. Either indifferentism or the fostering of some kind of universal religion based on the least common denominator (Syncretism). The post Conciliar hierarchy desires the latter, but the erstwhile faithful have chosen, or rather, been driven to the former.
Surely, it is clear that a man, who under the plea of rational liberty has the right to repudiate any part of Revelation that may displease him, cannot logically quarrel with another man who, on the same grounds, repudiates the whole! Not only is one creed as good as another; no creed is as good as any. Modern man is tired of all the individualistic and subjective religious controversy that has resulted, and being totally unfamiliar with traditional concepts, cannot understand religious exclusively. For him the supernatural is vaguely identified with the superstitious, faith with credulity, firmness with fanaticism, the uncompromising with the intolerant, and consistency with narrowness of outlook. The very idea that a given religion should have the 'fullness of the truth' appears to him both incongruous and offensive. Hence he not only holds one religions to be as good (or bad) as another, but that all religions should be relegated to the 'private sector' of our lives. They may be psychologically useful, even uplifting, but they have no role in the public forum. All he asks of his fellow man is a modicum of 'sincerity' and 'good will,' and that he keep his religious views to himself. Modern man has become completely indifferent to metaphysical principles.
On the other hand, man's need for belief and ritual seems to be inborn. And hence, in line with Modernist principles, the coming world religion can be envisioned as a combination of the different religious senses in a new synthesis. Inevitably such a synthesis must smooth off all the sharp edges and distinctions. Hence we have the whole idea of the people of God -defined variously as those 'baptized in Christ,' and as 'all men of good will.' This is the basis of the entire post-Conciliar Ecumenical effort.
CHAPTER XIV, part 3
THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.
MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH
Further sequence of a modernist outlook
It further follows that no religion, and no code of morality can be allowed to hold a position of prominence in the state. Civil authority is obliged to treat all denominations and points of view, be they good or bad, as equal. Religion and the divine law is no longer able to influence society because the Modernist State cannot give it any more recognition than it does to Satanism. Authority is no longer seen as derived from God, but rather from 'the people' who are in turn easily manipulated. Now in point of fact, no state can exist without laws; and laws will inevitably reflect a code of morality. By exiling the Church a vacuum is created which is readily filled by secular humanists, Socialists, Freemasons and other groups capable of influencing the vote.
One of the most shocking aspects of the post-Conciliar Church is its rejection of the idea of a 'Catholic State.' It is not only rejected, but seen as an 'evil' to be destroyed. This is why the 'pope' and hierarchy, with a 'mandate from Vatican II,' have actually gone to such Catholic countries as Spain and Portugal and Bolivia and induced them to change their Constitutions - to declare that Catholicism is no longer, and can no longer be the religion of the country. And it naturally follows from such attitudes that there should be absolute freedom of worship, the blatant spread of Communist ideas, the supremacy of the State, secular education, , civil marriage and divorce, abortion and euthanasia. The net result is that the Moonies, Freemasons and Rastafarians and Atheists are treated on an 'equal footing' with those who adhere to Divine Revelation.
Even more extraordinary is the post-Conciliar Church's bland acceptance of Marxist economics and ideology which is nothing but liberalism on the social and economic planes. John XXIII is said to have 'baptized' socialism; Vatican II refused to condemn this demonic form of government; Paul VI praised the Chinese and Cuban experiments; John Paul I embraced Nikodim as he died and had his funeral services said within the Vatican precincts after the Orthodox Russian Church in Rome refused to have anything to do with this KGB agent; John Paul II has denied that the right to 'private property' is part of the Church's teachings; refuses to condemn Liberation Theology which is playing havoc throughout the world; recognizes and cooperates with the atheistic government of Poland which has imposed endless horrors on his own people. Not one of these 'popes' has criticized Marxist doctrine, and all of them dream and advocate some kind of amalgam with Communism.
Again, in the realm of morality, no absolute values are to be embraced. Hell and sin are virtually banished from the post-Conciliar vocabulary. What is considered to be convenient for most people (again, often in practice a well organized minority) is legislated by the 'neutral' state, a process that allows such abominations as abortion and euthanasia to become the 'law of the land.' Private morality is only limited by the need to protect others from the ravages of any one individual's passions. This new moral outlook is propagated under the title of 'situation ethics,' and we find the Catholic Theological Society of America stating that homosexuality and adultery can be considered acceptable, so long as they are, in the pseudo scientific terms of modern psychology, 'self-liberating, other-enriching, honest, faithful, socially responsible, life-serving and joyous.' Those that argue that this statement was condemned by the Vatican should explain why this condemnation only occurred after the laity had raised noisy objections; why none of these individuals had to make a public recantation; and why they all continue to be priests 'in good standing' teaching in post-Conciliar seminaries. Those who explain away this inactivity as an 'abuse' should consider the teaching of Vatican II which Paul VI insists is part of the Supreme Magisterium.
'The faithful should blend modern science and its theories and the understanding of the most recent discoveries with Christian morality and doctrine. Thus their religious practice and morality can keep pace with their scientific knowledge and an ever advancing technology...' (Gaudium et Spes).
Beyond this, all hierarchy in values, in person, and in function has been eliminated. Just as in the intellectual order, the 'shackles' of Revelation were rejected in the name of 'free thought' and 'untrammeled reason,' just as in the social realm Kings who ruled by divine right (i.e., by the laws of God) have been replaced by 'peoples' democracies ruled by the basest of men, so also in the spiritual realm, 'shudras' have become theologians and a false egalitarianism is foisted on the laity. Thus for example, the fact that a priest is a man set apart with special privileges and even greater responsibilities is decried. Under the banner of 'collegiality,' the Bishops encroach upon papal authority. Priest's 'senates' are created to vie with the authority of bishops. The laity have preached to them a false concept of 'the priesthood of the People of God' (a favorite theme of Luther) which allows them to claim the authority of the clergy, and they are even told that it is they who 'confect' the Sacrament at Mass - the priest only presides. And to bring all this home, the 'hierarchical' structure of the sanctuary is destroyed at great expense; the laity are invited to handle the sacred vessels, and to 'sit around' the 'table' rather than to kneel at the altar rail, thus to better join the 'president' in the 'eucharistic meal.' Nothing will satisfy the forces of rebellion until they rule the world under the cover of the 'lumpen-proletariat,' and the based concepts of brutalized man (such as Russia's 'Gulags,' Hitler's death camps, or for that matter, the acceptance of abortion and euthanasia) become the statistical norm for proper thinking. As Proudhon said, 'Satan is the first revolutionary,' and his theme song will always be 'release Barabbas and Crucify Christ' - a perfectly 'democratic' legalism that allows for his ends to be achieved.
The response of Pius X
Despite the continuous and repeated condemnation of liberalism by every pope from Pius VII to Leo XIII, liberal ideas continued to spread within the bosom of the Church. Things became so serious that in 1907 Pius X was forced to once again condemn these false ideas under the heading of Modernism in his Syllabus Lamentabili Sane (July 3, 1907) and Encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis (Sept. 8, 1907). Because his terminology differs slightly from that used above an analysis of this important document is pertinent.
According to Pius X Modernism consists of 1) Agnosticism, defined by him as that philosophy which holds that 'human reason is confined entirely within the field of phenomena.' This is equivalent to a rationalism which rejects both Intellection and Revelation. It follows that Natural theology, the motives for credibility, the preambles of the faith, and all that pertains to the higher intellect is swept aside. The acceptance of such a philosophy means that one cannot ever really know the truth because the phenomena each person experiences is different. Thus it follows once again that each person's beliefs are of equal value and should be given equal respect. 2) Since God can neither be inferred nor conceived in such a system, and since many modernists believe in God it becomes necessary to explain the source of religious ideas. Modernists attempt to get around this problem by appealing to terms they think the Church will find acceptable. Faith is said by them to be based on an internal sense which arises from man's need for God 'welling up from the depth of the unconscious under the impulse of the heart...' Pius X called this 'vital immanence,' and the last analysis this is nothing other than a 'good feeling,' or in current theological terminology, 'experiential Christianity.' 3) Everything is in a state of flux. All creation is evolving towards some higher 'point Omega.' Truth or dogmas, being reflections of man's religiosity, also evolves. This is called by the Modernist 'development of dogma' or 'ongoing revelation.' Dogmas are explained away as 'symbols' and the Sacraments as 'faith-nourishing signs.' 4) History, Biblical Exegesis, and indeed all of Religion must be judged by science and the modern outlook, which is to say, by Modernist principles. This is nothing other than a complete inversion, for it is science and the modern world which should be judged by the true religion.
We see in these four principles the essence of Aggiornamento, the program advocated by the post-Conciliar Church. Bernard Reardon defined Modernism as 'the attempt to synthesize the basic truths of religion and the methods and assumptions of modern thought, using the latter as necessary and proper criteria. Hence a 'modernist; interpretation of Christianity... will be one which seeks to reconcile the essentials of doctrine with the scientific outlook characteristic of the modern world.' As M. Loisy said, 'the avowed modernists form a fairly definite group of thinking men united in the common desire to adapt Catholicism to the intellectual, moral and social needs of today.' In a similar manner, Il Programma dei Modernisti stated 'our religious attitude is ruled by the single wish to be one with the Christians and Catholics who live in harmony with the spirit of the age.' Much more insightful is the definition of the philosopher George Santayana: Modernism is 'the love of all Christianity in those who perceive that it is all a fable. It is the historic attachment to his Church of a Catholic who has discovered that he is a pagan... It is the last of those concessions to the spirit of the world which half-believers and double-minded prophets have always been found making; but it is a mortal concession. It concedes everything; for it concedes that everything in Christianity, as Christians hold it, is an illusion.' No wonder Pius X said these 'schemers... are proposing a universal apostasy...' (Editae saepe), and that 'they should be beaten with fists.'.
So extensive was the problem that Pius X had to dismiss all but two professors from the Pontifical Catholic University in Washington which now 'forbids' the making of the Sign of the Cross because it is unecumenical. He followed a similar patter in in other Catholic institutions and seminaries, excommunicated those who would not accept the Church's constant teaching and placed a host of books on the Index. When shortly thereafter a friend told Pius X that Modernism in the Church had been destroyed, the Pontiff disagreed and prophesied that it would soon be back, and in stronger form than ever. Needless to say the Modernists immediately went 'underground' while doing everything possible to undermine Pascendi and Lamentabili by denying that they were binding on the Catholic conscience (de fide). Because of this Pius X promulgated a Motu Proprio Praestantia Scripturae (Nov. 1907) he in which, using his 'full Apostolic authority,' he declared that anyone who dared to defend any of the condemned propositions of Modernism as outlined in these documents was ipso facto excommunicated - with lifting of this excommunication simply reserved to the sovereign Pontiff. Then in September of 1910 he promulgated his 'Oath against Modernism' which every prelate from sub-Deacon to Cardinal had to repeat every time he received a promotion, and which every professor and seminary rector was obliged to repeat before being given his appointment. Obviously, the Council Fathers at Vatican II had repeated the oath innumerable times. Among other things this Oath required them to state:
'I... firmly embrace and accept all and everything that has been defined, affirmed, and declared by the unerring magisterium of the Church, especially those chief doctrines which are directly opposed to the errors of this time.... I reject the heretical invention of the evolution of dogmas, passing from one meaning to another, different from that which the Church first had... I hold most certainly and profess sincerely that faith is not a blind religious feeling bursting forth from the recesses of the subconscious, .. but the true assent of the intellect to the truth received extrinsically ex auditu...I adhere with my whole soul to all the condemnations, declarations, and prescriptions which are contained in the Encyclical letter, 'Pascenci' and in the Decree 'Lamentabili'...'
The Oath against Modernism was abrogated by Paul VI, along with the Index.
CHAPTER XIV, part4
THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.
MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH
Church and Millennarianism
The idea that the Church and the modern world can somehow come to terms is an impossible dream. Its paradigm is that of the Father seeking to join the Prodigal Son in desiring to eat of the swill that he was feeding to pigs. One cannot play with fire without the risk of betting burnt. 'What fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?' (2 Cor. 6:14). How can the true Church embrace a world that in the language of the historian is 'post-Christian' and in that of the psychiatrist 'alienated from God?' Those who would 'revolutionize' the Church would do well to remember the warning of the Jacobean Illuminato (Freemason) and leader of the French Revolution named St. Just: 'Whoever stops half-way in revolution digs his own grave!'
A modernist Church however has a problem. A Church that proclaims the absolute dignity of the human person and every individual is both capable of and has the 'right' to choose what he will believe, a Church that bestows on error has the same rights as truth, a Church that believes that truth itself evolves and that she no has no mission to teach what Christ taught, a Church that has lost the sense of the sacred and believes that the Church which Christ established 'subsists' as much in other ecclesiastical bodies as in her own, a Church that teaches that other religious communities have access to salvation without her, is a Church that has lost her raison d'etre.
It boggles the mind to find the 'Vicar of Christ' proclaiming that his Church 'is seeking itself... With a great and moving effort, it is seeking to define itself, to understand what it truly is,' or that the Council itself should state that 'Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth.' Given such statements, What roles has the new Church chosen to play? The answer lies in being the 'servant of the world,' in being the 'avant-guard' of a 'new humanism' and 'universal culture' based on 'wholesome socialization' so that man can act in consort to build a 'better world' in the future. But first mankind must be united.
The function of the new Church is to be the 'catalyst' of this unity: 'The Church is a kind of sacrament of intimate union with God, and the unity of all mankind, that is, she is a sign and an instrument of such union and unity.. At the end of time, she will achieve her glorious fulfillment. Then... all just men from the time of Adam will be gathered together with the Father in the Universal Church.' In these statements taken from the documents of Vatican II, one recognizes a thinly disguised millennarianism. They continue: Of course the Church 'recognizes that worthy elements are to be found in today's social movements, especially in an evolution towards unity, a process of wholesome socialization and of association in civic and economic realms...,' and hence she must join and encourage all such elements, and she must 'wipe out every ground of division so that the whole human race may be brought into the unity of the family of God.' Her priests are instructed 'every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent.' Elsewhere we are given further insights into this proposed unity. 'Recent psychological research explains human activity more profoundly. The human race is passing from a rather static concept of reality to a more dynamic, evolutionary one... Thus little by little, a more universal form of human culture is developing, one which will promote and express the unity of the human race... The Church further recognizes that worthy elements are to be found in today's social movements, especially in an evolution towards unity, a process of wholesome socialization and of association in civic and economic realms.... It is a fact bearing on the very person of man, that he can come to an authentic and full humanity only through culture, that is through the cultivation of natural goods and values... The Church believes she can greatly contribute towards making the family of man and its history more human... Thus we are witnesses of the birth of a new humanism, one in which man is defined first of all by his responsibility towards his brothers and towards history' (All from Vatican II).
How can the hierarchy expect modern mind to be impressed with this type of sophomoric rambling?. How can the Church retain its self respect in declaring such to be either the 'supreme magisterium'(Paul VI) or 'the authentic teaching of the magisterium'(John Paul II). All these statements falsify the nature of man, the true ends and purposes for which he was created, and the raison d'etre of the Church. Further, they are based on a variety of parochial and theoretical sociological assumptions that have no basis in reality. The concept of man's inevitable 'progress,' his 'dynamic' and 'evolutionary' character, and the idea that through a 'process of wholesome socialization' we are 'building a better world' is nothing but disguised Teilhardianism and Marxism. To expect people who think like this to be concerned with metaphysical principles, spiritual values, or even the validity of the sacraments, is absurd.
Yet it is on just these false bases that the new Church would foster the creation of a 'new humanism' and found its concept of 'unity.' As Paul VI has said, 'the time has come for all mankind to unite together in the establishment of a community that is both fraternal and worldwide... The Church, respecting the ability of worldly powers, ought to offer her assistance in order to promote a full humanism, which is to say, the complete development of the entire man, of all men... to place herself in the Avantgarde of social action. She ought to extend all her efforts to support, encourage and bring about those forces working towards the creation of this integrated man. Such is the end which the [new] Church intends to follow. All [post-Conciliar] Catholics have the obligation of assisting this development of the total person in conjunction with their natural and Christian brothers, and with all men of good will.' This is what Paul VI elsewhere calls 'the new economy of the gospel.' And why did Montini throw in his lot with such ideas? 'Because,' as he has said on more than one occasion, 'we have confidence in man, because we believe in that fount of goodness which is each and every heart.' Rousseau could not have said it better!
According to Brian Kaiser, John XXIII saw Christian unity as a necessary precursor to the 'unity of all mankind.' It is as it were, the first step to be achieved. Thus the periti at the Council developed the concept of 'imperfect communion.' The various Christian communities that are 'outside full communion' with the Catholic Church must be integrated with her. 'All those who believe in Christ (whether as God or as an 'ethical leader' is never specified) and have received baptism are in a certain communion with the Catholic Church, through not a perfect one.' They contain 'elements' such as 'the written Word of God, the life of grace, the theological virtues and the interior gifts of the Holy Spirit,' and hence, with them 'the Church is linked for various reasons.' It is with these groups that 'unity' is first of all to be established.
What is lost sight of is that the reason the Protestants lack 'perfect' unity is because they reject the fullness of the faith, and accept, in various degrees, the whole liberal spectrum of false ideas that we have outlined in the preceding paragraphs. In any event, unity with the Protestants on the part of the Church is a pure chimera. Apart from the fact that the 'Prodigal son' must return to the bosom of the Father,' and not the other way around, no two Protestants even within a given denomination fully agree - accept by accident - on what they should believe. Among them, every shade, degree and variety of belief in the Christian dispensation finds easy lodgment. One can almost speak of a 'sliding scale' of disbelief which finds its only 'unity' in 'protesting' against the fullness of the faith. Yet it is to accommodate such groups that the Post-Conciliar Church has changed her doctrines and her liturgy. Let us note however that these changes have all been in a one-way direction. What doctrine of the traditional Church have the various 'ecclesiastical communities' accepted that they formerly rejected? Absolutely none. What ecclesiastical traditions have our 'separated brethren' adopted? Again, absolutely none. Yet look at the many that the neo-Protestant Church of Vatican II - the 'Church of the latter-day Modernists' - has abandoned, or if not positively rejected, at least allowed to fall into disuse. What Protestant 'house of worship' resembles the sanctuaries we knew as children, and what Neo-modernist Church of the Post-Vatican II era cannot be confused with that of a Reformation sect? As Michael Davies has pointed out with regard to the various 'agreed statements' made with the Anglicans: 'The agreement on the Eucharist and the Ministry does not affirm the Catholic position in a single instance where it conflicts with Protestantism.' And yet we must concede that a certain kind of 'unity' has been achieved between the Post-Conciliar church and the various Reformed 'ecclesiastical communities.' The reason is clear. The Post-conciliar Church is itself a 'Neo-Protestant' Church. It is more at home with the Reformers than it is with its own parents.
* * *
Aggiornamento is truly and appropriately the foundation and leitmotiv of the post-Conciliar Church. At heart it is nothing other than the Church coming to terms with Liberalism and Modernism, or more exactly, adopting Liberalism and Modernism as its own. This is why it manifests itself as the desire to change the Church and to bring her thinking into line with that of the modern world -a world which has for centuries rejected the Church that Christ established -a world in Rebellion against the divine order.
And ultimately, what is this desire to change the Church other than the Rebellion of man against God - the refusal of man to submit to the divine order? Thus we are brought back to the fact that Satan was the first Revolutionary conspirator, the first to cry out for Aggiornamento. It was he induced Eve to reject (disobey or refuse to submit to) the divine order established by God in the Garden of Eden. The powers and principalities of this world make the same offer to rebellious man. Reject the divine order, establish a human order, and ye shall be as Gods.
CHAPTER XIV, part 5
THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.
MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH
'Americanism' and other FOOTNOTES to CHAPTER XIV
(1) The Major Addresses of Pope Pius XII, Vol. II, Vincent Yzermans, ed. St. Paul, Minn.: North Central Publ. 1961.
(2) The Everlasting Gospel.
(3) As one Benedictine monk said to me, 'the only thing in the Creed which he really believed was the phrase the 'Holy Catholic Church'.
(4) A changing truth can never satisfy the soul's need for absolute values nor command the adherence of man. Believing Catholics may be reduced to a Remnant; the Sacraments and Priesthood itself may be destroyed, but the Catholic Faith, being True, can never be destroyed. If there were only to be one believing Catholic left alive, the Church would reside in him.
(5) Those who so loudly proclaim that the function of the Church is to serve would do well to consider the words of Chesterton: The problem with 'the cult of service is that, like so many modern notions, it is the idolatry of the intermediate, to the oblivion of the ultimate. It is like the jargon of the idiots who talk about Efficiency without any criticism of Effect. The sin of Service is the sin of Satan: that of trying to be first where it can only be second. A word like Service has stolen the sacred capital letter from the thing which it was once supposed to serve. There is a sense of serving God, and even more disputed, a sense of serving man; but there is no sense in serving Service... The man who rushes down the street waving his arms and wanting something or somebody to serve will probably fall into the first bucket-shop or den of thieves and usurers, and be found industriously serving them.'
(6) 'In my opinion,' says Malcolm Muggeridge, 'if men were to be stationed at the doors of the Church with whips to drive worshippers away, or inside the religious orders specifically to discourage vocations, or amongst the clergy to spread alarm and despondency, they could not hope to be as effective in achieving these ends as are the trends and policies seemingly now dominant within the Church (Something Beautiful For God).
(7) Being 'up to date' implies a continuing process of change. The only way to come to terms with the concept of Aggiornamento is to relate it to some fixed principle.
(8) It is an ancient principle enunciated among others by St Augustine, that man must choose between 'the love of self reaching to the contempt of God, an earthly city; and the love of God reaching to the contempt of self, a heavenly one.' It is what Leo XIII called the ceaseless warfare between naturalism and the Supernatural life of Grace.
(9) Both the Church and the Revolution recognized that the choice lay between Christianity and the Revolution. Modernists like Lammenais and Maritain have always dreamed of blending them. Consider Maritain's desire to blend the Feast of St. Joan of Arc with that of the Storming of the Bastille.
(10) Msgr. Gaume, Catechism of Perseverance, Dublin: Denzinger, 1888. (La Revolution, Recherche Historiques, I, 18.
(11) Liberalism holds that man's dignity lies in this absolute and self-centered 'freedom.' In order to realize his true dignity man must cast off all the restricting shackles of tradition (i.e., of revelation, and hence the Church). Satan has always promised his followers a false 'liberty.' As the serpent said to Eve, 'Ye shall be as gods.' St. Paul warns us against those who 'would 'promise men liberty, while themselves the servants of corruption' (2 Pet. 2:19). St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that 'the end at which the devil aims is the revolt of the rational creature from God... This revolt from God is conceived as an end, inasmuch as it is desired under the pretence of liberty (or autonomy)'(Summa, III Q. 8, A. 1). Christ promised us the Truth - His Truth - would make us free. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Freedom, as modern man understands the term, would bring us to the Truth. As Jean Paul Sartre and the anarchist Bakunin have both said: 'If God exists, I am not free. But I am free, therefore God does not exist!'
(12) If all men are free to decide for themselves and if no external authority exists, then it follows that not only are they free, they are also equal. Fraternity or 'brotherly love' is promised to those who buy this illusion. From a Catholic point of view man is neither created in a vacuum nor autonomous. Rather, he is a created by God for a purpose, and his true dignity and liberty lies in fulfilling that purpose which is the Glory of God. His dignity lies in conforming to that Image in which he was created; hence in knowing the truth of God and in obeying the laws of God. When he departs from these his dignity is shattered. This is why Cardinal Pie stated that the Rights of Man are the denial of the Rights of God. The trilogy in question has been condemned by a whole series of Popes starting from Saint Pius V and including Pius VII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X. Despite this John Paul II declares '1789 and its Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens developed the conditions for a responsible society which still remains a goal for our generation for Christians.' The French hierarchy goes even further and declares that 'fundamentally, the concepts of Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood are Christian ideas' (Didasco, Belgium, Jan-Feb. 1969). Father Avril, in an article violently attacking Archbishop Lefebvre stated that 'the slogan 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity' is magnificently Christian' (L'Express, Paris, Sep. 6, 1976).
(13) Vatican II teaches that 'in religious matters man is to be guided by his own judgment.' I have avoided the use of the word 'conscience,' because the word is subject to multiple interpretations. For the modern this 'still small voice' is equivalent to his private judgement or 'feelings,' and hence it can be in opposition to the laws of God ('I feel women have a right to abort their children.') For the Catholic theologian, conscience is what guides man in the application of God's laws to specific circumstances. God's laws cannot err, but conscience can. Therefore the Church seeks to 'properly form' the conscience of its members.
(14) The most important discussion of this topic can be found in Rev. Dr. Felix Sarda y Salvany, Liberalism is a Sin. (What is Liberalism?) Ill.: TAN, 1986.
(15) See Chapter II on the Magisterium.
(16) 'Americanism' was a North American variant of Liberalism condemned by Leo XIII in his Encyclicals Longinqua (1895) and In Amplissimo (1902). Americanism was an attempt on the part of some members of the hierarchy to reassure Protestants that Catholics were truly American and without obligatory obedience to Rome and that the Church in America had a special character all of its own. Old world Catholicism was unenlightened, superstitious, and bogged down with external practices. It was overly concerned with the 'Passive Virtues' such as poverty, chastity and obedience. American Catholicism was different. It was 'dynamic,' and 'red-blooded.' It was not concerned with doctrinal details that divided them from Protestants. These could in the practical order be ignored. And hence it could easily fit into the Protestant American scene. Leo XIII noted that the 'watering down' by Catholics of doctrinal differences was nothing other than hypocrisy. (See, Abbe Felix Klein, Americanism: A Phantom Heresy, Kansas: Aquin, 1951; and Robert Cross, The Emergence of Liberal Catholicism in America, Mass.: Harvard, 1958; Charles Maignen, Father Hecker, is he a Saint? London: Burns Oates, 1899.
(17) Liberalism as a philosophy was created by individuals who were outside the Church, and which, in the practical order, gave birth to secular democracy (a government 'from below' rather than 'from above'), and to an economic system which as Leo XIII said, 'laid on the toiling millions a yoke little better than slavery.' Modernism arose within the Church (Both Loisy and Tyrrell were priests who claimed, even after their condemnation, to be 'Catholic.').
(18) The Modernist denies intellection. For him man cannot arrive at the 'preambles of the faith' by the use of his intellect. In essence, he denies both the Transcendence of God and His Immanence in creation. He denies the transcendence of truth, and the immanence of truth in man (that man can be enlightened by grace). This is nothing other than to deny that man is capable of the Supernatural Life of Grace.
(19) A reality in the post-Conciliar Church, but not in the 'Church of All Times.'
(20) 'Human nature, by the very fact that is was assumed, not absorbed, in Him, has been raised in us to a dignity beyond compare, for by His Incarnation... the Son of God, in a certain way united Himself with each man' (The Church in the Modern World)
(21) Man may be free to believe error, but he can never have the right to do so. (Similarly, just as man has the freedom to murder, he can never have the right to do so.) One does not have the right to abuse one's intellect which is given one to know the truth. Error can never have 'rights.' Only truth has rights.
(22) One readily comes across such expressions as 'visceral' and 'experiential' Christianity. As Father Greely's study pointed out '69 of the bishops and only 45% of the priests agreed that 'faith means essentially belief in the doctrines of the Catholic faith,' whereas 46% of the bishops and 69% of the clergy would agree that faith is 'primarily an encounter with God and Jesus Christ rather than an assent to a coherent set of defined truth.' (Chapter V for source.)
(23) Jean Borella, Le Sens du Surnaturel, Paris: La Place Royale, 1986.
(24) It is this synthesis that the post-Conciliar Church hopes to bring about. John Cotter, A Study in Syncretism, Canadian Intelligence Publication, Box 130, Flesherton, Ontario, Canada.
(25) Inevitably Barabbas is chosen over Christ. History is replete with examples of how small pressure groups can manipulate the 'popular will.' Revolutions never come from 'the people,' but from small numbers of conspirators. The new Church is a perfect example. The number of people who wanted change were miniscule. Modernists, having infiltrated and captured the 'organs' of the Roman Church, proceeded to proclaim that they were 'democratizing' its character in accordance with the 'will of the People of God.' All protests were ignored and every psychological method known to man short of physical violence was used to make the faithful comply.
(26) This is a clear cut rejection of the Kingship of Christ, of the necessity of patterning Christian society on divine principles.
(27) The assumption that 'secular education' is in any sense of the word 'neutral' is absurd. Children are inculcated from infancy with the pseudo-religious ideas of the liberal philosophers, and prepared in every way to accept a world that is insane and even stupid. 'Success,' not 'sanctity' becomes the 'ideal.' By the time they complete a college education, they either join the 'system,' or are spewed forth as 'misfits.' Few escape the devastating effects of a secular education whose avowed aim is to teach men to 'think for themselves' rather than to 'think correctly.' The end result is that the great majority do not think at all. (The average American is said to watch television 60 hours a week!) By traditional standards, modern man is probably the least educated collectivity that has ever lived upon the face of the earth. He may be 'literate,' but he is 'ignorant.' In passing, one would like to call attention to the almost total destruction of the Catholic educational institutions that has followed in the wake of Vatican II. They have indeed 'self-destructed' by achieving an aggiornamento with the secular institutions around them.
(28) The scandal of annulments granted on 'psychological grounds.'
(29) It is amusing to note that John Paul II who delighted in the establishment of a socialist government in Spain was upset when they made abortion legal.
(30) According to several polls, 80 of post-Conciliar Catholics use artificial means of birth control. Traditional Catholics who use birth control recognize it as a sin against God, but post-Conciliar Catholics believe they have a right to decide such things - once again based on their innate dignity and religious freedom. And this attitude is encouraged by the greater majority of their clergy. There is no longer any difference in the moral practice of Catholics and non-Catholics.
(31) It is true that all men are equal in essence, that all will be judged by god, and that each and every soul is precious to its Maker. but individuals are not equal in merit and will not be equal in glory; they are not equal in knowledge, intelligence, in common sense and wisdom. As Nesta Webster points out in her excellent book on the French Revolution (Calif.: Omni, 1958), 'It is doubtful indeed whether liberty and equality can exist together, for whilst liberty consists in allowing every man to live as he likes best, and to do as he will with his own, equality necessitates a perpetual system of repression in order to maintain things at the same dead level.' As Leo XIII said, 'that ideal equality about which they (the modernists) entertain pleasant dreams, would be, in reality, the levelling down of all to a condition of misery and degradation.' The Church's teaching is well summed up by Pius XII: 'In a people worthy of the name, those inequalities which are not based on whims, but on the nature of things... do not constitute an obstacle to... a true spirit of union and brotherhood. On the contrary, so far are they from impairing civil equality that they show its true meaning, namely that... everyone has the right to live his own personal life honorably in the place and the condition in which... Providence has placed him' (Christmas Message, 1944).
The only way for equality to become a reality in the social realm is for men to be subjected to the severest form of despotism. The only way in which the conflicting ideals of liberty and equality can be resolved is on the basis of 'justice.' Now justice in turn, unless we allow it to be defined by the 'private judgement' of individuals or groups (despots or the state), if it is to have any 'objective' character at all, brings us back to the teachings of the Church relative to the social order. either we strive to 'build the city of God' on earth, or we submit ourselves to what must eventually become an unmitigated slavery. If we buy the ideologies of the modern world, as Vatican II does, then we have 'nothing to gain but our chains.'
'Far back in ancient times we were the first to cry among the masses of the people the words 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,' words many times repeated since those days by stupid poll-parrots who from all sides round flew down upon these baits and with them carried away the well-being of the world, true freedom of the individual, formerly so well guaranteed against the pressure of the mob. The would-be wise men the intellectuals, could not make anything out of the uttered words in their abstractions; did not note the contradiction of their meaning and inter-relation; did not see that in nature there is no equality, cannot be freedom: that Nature herself has established inequality of minds, of characters, of capacities, just as immutably as she has established subordination to her laws: never stopped to think that the mob is a blind thing, that upstarts elected from among it to bear rule are, in regard to the political, the same blind men as the mob itself, that the adept, though he be a fool, can yet rule, whereas the non-adept, even if he were a genius, understands nothing of the political...
(32) Reason is a discursive faculty which requires both correct premises and proper logic to come to a valid conclusion. Truth does not depend on reason but rather, reveals itself and becomes explicit with the help of reason. This is why reason is called a 'handmaid' of the Intellect. Now reason receives its 'food,' what it reasons about, from above and from below. From above by means of Intellection or Revelation;, from below from observed phenomena or from psychological experience. To place reason at the apex of the human being is to deny both Intellection and Revelation.
(33) As John McKee said: 'If theology is faith seeking understanding, modernism is disbelief seeking repose. A modernist is a man who has lost it: therefore he has to fill the traditional dogmas with new content...' (The Enemy Within the Gate, Texas: Lumen Christi, 1974).
(34) The use of the word 'symbol' in the context of Modernism can give rise to confusion. According to Pius X, for the Modernist, dogmatic 'formulas stand midway between the believer and his faith; in their relation to the faith they are inadequate expressions of its object and are usually called symbols... in so far as they are symbols it is quite impossible to maintain that they absolutely contain the truth.' To speak of the Scriptures or traditional art as being 'symbolic' in this sense would be quite wrong.
(35) Roman Catholic Modernism, Calif: Stanford Univ. Press. 1970.
(36) 'The essential object of the movement... was, above all to remain on Catholic ground... to destroy the absolutist character of her theology and above all, to remold the intellectual system and teachings of the Church.' L'eglise et la France, 1925.
(37) The contents of this oath is de fide, oaths being, according to Father Tanqueray, part of the Extraordinary Magisterium. The Church could never ask a person to swear an oath to error.
(38) Address to Priests at Varese, Feb. 6, 1963, and The Church in the Modern World, Paragraph 16.
(39) Cath. Doc. 1576 and 77.
(40) It is not my intention in this book to deal with Protestantism as such, except in so far as the defence of 'sound doctrine and pure faith' demands. ON the other hand, to quote Chesterton, I have no intention of using 'that peculiar diplomatic and tactful art of saying that Catholicism is true, without suggesting for one moment that anti-Catholicism is false...' Saint peter Julian eymard expresses well the thought of the Church when he states:
'People often say 'It is better to be a good Protestant than a bad Catholic.' This is not true. That would mean at bottom that one can be saved without the true Faith. No, a bad Catholic remains a child of the family, although a prodigal, and however great a sinner he may be, he still has a right to mercy. Through his Faith, a bad Catholic is nearer to God than a Protestant is, for he is a member of the household, whereas the heretic is not. And how hard it is to make him become one!'
Actually, Protestantism is hardly a religion as such apart from the fact that it represents the general tendency of modern man to 'protest' against all the true Church stands for. The genuine Protestant creed is now hardly held by anybody - least of all, by the Protestants. It began with 'Faith without works' and has ended with 'Works without faith.' The shibboleth of today is 'It does not matter what a man believes, it is what he does that matters. Give me a man who lives for his fellow men! That is Christianity!' so completely have most Protestants lost faith in the creeds of Calvin and Luther, that they have almost forgotten what it was they said. (Both, for instance, denied free will). In practice, included under the term Protestantism would be those who are in fact agnostics, atheists, hedonists, investigators, theists, theosophists, followers of eastern cults and jolly good fellows living like beasts that perish. Finally, many Protestants (meaning Lutherans, Calvinists, Presbyterians, etc.,) live lives that are in fact far finer than their theology or ideals would inculcate, for their lives are manifest with many 'good works' that they do for no conceivable reason (if we take their theology seriously). Catholics on the other hand, to use the words of St. Thomas More, see 'man's duty to God as so great that very few serve Him as they should do.' Only the saints in any way approach in their lives the ideals to which a Catholic aspires (again, if we take his theology seriously).
CHAPTER XV, part 1
'Under the name of the New Church, the post-Conciliar Church, a different Church from that of Jesus Christ is now trying to establish itself: an anthropomorphic society allowing itself to be carried away in a movement of wholesale capitulation under the pretext of rejuvenation, ecumenism and adoption.'
Father Henri de Lubac, S.J.
Two Churches compared
It should be abundantly clear that the 'New' and 'post-Conciliar' Church is both strikingly new and strikingly different from the Church as it has existed through the ages. The old Church was and is unabashedly 'triumphant,' felt it had the fullness of the truth and proclaimed it with a 'militarism' that seemed at times both offensive and arrogant. The new Church, having achieved an Aggiornamento with the modern world, is more 'open,' 'gentle,' 'lovable,' and 'accommodating;' it is one that is 'free of mediaeval rigorism' and 'makes no demands.' The traditional Church saw its function as one of teaching Mankind the truths entrusted to by Christ as 'a precious pearl' by Christ; the new Church is trying 'to define itself' and proclaims it is seeking the truth along with the rest of mankind. The old Church called those who disagreed with her teachings on even a single point 'heretics' while the new Church sees them, even if they deny the very existence of God, as 'separated brethren' having equal 'access to the Community of salvation,' and hence seeks to 'dialogue' with them 'on an equal footing.'
In a similar manner, the old Church saw itself as 'static' and unchanging while the new Church considers itself 'progressive,' 'evolutionary' and 'dynamic.' Hence where the old Church claimed to exist in saecula saeculorum -throughout the ages, the new one repeatedly emphasizes her 'contemporaneous' character and proclaims in the words of her 'popes' that she represents a 'new Advent,' a 'new Epiphany' and a 'new Pentecost'. In a similar manner, where the old Church saw herself (as distinct from her members) as a perfect society - the spotless 'Bride of Christ,' the new one declares she 'the mark of Cain' stamped upon her forehead, and that she has been deficient in her doctrinal teachings.
Where the old Church saw man as created in the image of God, but deformed and stained with original sin, the new Church sees him as having progressed from some primitive condition, as ever advancing towards some higher state of existence, as more mature, more informed and hence as more intelligent than his predecessors. Where the old Church saw man's dignity as dependent upon his conforming himself to his divine prototype, the new Church declared man was dignified by his very nature. The consequences of this shift are enormous. Where the former view sees man's intellect as clouded by his 'fall,' and hence in need of a Revelation in order to know the truth, the new one declares that man is himself, because of his innate dignity, the source of truth, and that he is, in religious matters, 'to be his own judge.' (This is what 'Religious Liberty' is all about.) But if man is no longer envisioned as fallen in nature and possessed of a 'clouded' intellect, he has no need for Redemption and for a Revelation to know the truth. The 'fall' has been replaced by an 'Ascendency,' and man instead of God becomes the source of truth.
The old Church saw its function as facilitating every individual soul's entry into heaven. She encouraged the faithful to strive for personal perfection: 'be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.' The new Church while not denying such (that is not her way, for as John XXIII said, 'the Church should not be against anything.') stresses her obligation and desire to be of 'service and fellowship' to the world, of helping mankind to 'to be more human,' and of fostering those elements in the world which are leading towards 'wholesome socialization,' a 'universal culture,' and a 'new humanism.' Her 'internal mission' is one of 'uniting' mankind so that all men of good will can work together towards some utopian future in this world. For her salvation inevitably becomes a 'communitarian' rather than an individual affair. This has its reflection on the social and political plane. Where the old Church was unequivocally against Marxism in all its forms, the new Church is clearly favors Socialism and Communism. Where the old Church desired a theocracy in which the spiritual authority, vested in the Papacy cooperated with the State in the governance of the world, the new one favors some kind of world government under the United Nations or some parallel secular organization. The 'future above' has been replaced by the 'ahead below.' Supernaturalism is replaced by Naturalism, the Kingship of Christ by that of the Kingship of Man.
Similar shifts in attitude occurred in liturgical areas. Where the old Church wished by means of her rites to make the sacred present to man, the new one desires to declare that man himself is intrinsically 'sacred.' This is why in the new 'mass' the priest turns away from God and towards the congregation. This is why the old liturgy 'accomodated' itself to God, while the new one, according to Paul VI, 'accomodates' itself to modern man. This is why the old Church so carefully preserved the manner of prayer established for her by Christ and the Apostles, while the new one prefers a liturgy written by a Freemason with the help of non-Catholic 'observors.' In the old Church nothing was more sacred than the Words of Consecration used in the Mass and bestowed on her in detail (in specie) by Christ Himself. In the new Church these words were changed - the very words of Christ were altered, thus rendering the 'Confection' of the Sacred Species dubious if not invalid. All the changes make man rather than God the 'ontological' center of the action. Altars turned into tables, Sacristies into naves, priests into presidents and the true immolative Sacrifice into a Protestant 'memorial.' Similar changes for similar reasons have been made in all the other sacraments And in order to minimize the possibility of a return to sanity, the new Church has so drastically changed the rite of Episcopal Ordination as to render the Apostolic Succession itself most dubious. Where the old Church was surrounded with the beauty and the mystery of the sacred, the new has has surrounded herself with the ugliness and banality of modern man.
CHAPTER XV, part 2
The open Church
These changes, despite the gradual manner in which they were introduced, produced chaos. The Church lost her monolithic character. The old Church was a 'closed' society. One accepted its teachings in toto or one excluded oneself from membership. The new Church became an 'open' society frankly describing itself as 'pluralistic.' It accepted a spectrum of beliefs not dissimilar to the Anglicans with their 'High,' 'Low,' and 'Middle' categories, or the Jews with their 'Orthodox,' 'Conservative' and 'Liberal' synagogues.
Initially Catholics divided themselves into groups - the traditionalists who rejected the doctrinal and liturgical changes in toto; the conservatives who disliked the changes and interpreted everything in the best possible and most conservative light; the liberals who while often impatient at the slow rate of change, were nevertheless delighted, and the greater majority of Catholics, used to trusting their clergy, who went along with all the changes in 'obedience.'
After 25 years these groups continue to exist, though their make up and attitudes have shifted. The traditionalists have remained a fairly stable, small but slowly increasing group. In almost every city of the world one can find a priest who says the old Mass and who is supported by a congregation ranging from a handful to hundreds. The number of young people with large families at such masses is remarkable. The second group, the 'Conservative Novus Ordo Catholics,' tend to be older, brought up in the traditional Church, and accepting with reluctance the changes mandated from Rome. They tend to pick out conservative priests and parishes where their sensibilities are least offended. Their attitudes however have undergone considerable change over the years. Exposed as they constantly are to innovative doctrines and changes their parents would never have tolerated, they have become immune to heresy and often adopt modernist attitudes without being aware of them. They take great solace in actions of the hierarchy such as getting nuns and priests to dress in an appropriate manner or speaking out against abortion, and entertain the dream that the new Church is 'returning to tradition.' They ignore the fact that fundamental doctrinal and liturgical changes (Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae) remain unchanged. The catch-word for this group is 'obedience.' It is this intrinsically Catholic attitude, coupled with a false understanding of the principles of obedience, that keeps these people from being fully traditional. Consisting mostly of older priests and parishioners, this group is bound to diminish due to attrition associated with age.
The most significant change has occurred in the Catholic for whom religion has been more a social and cultural matter than a spiritual one. This represents the greater majority of modern day 'Catholics' and includes both those who accepted the changes because they found them satisfying and pleasant, and the children brought up within the new Church. In essence this group has, from the traditional point of view, been totally 'de-Catholicized.' Should they seek to become traditional they require the same catechical training that any non Catholic or 'pagan' would.
The Liberal group remains strong. The fact that many of the more extreme liberals have seemingly left the Church is misleading. Most of the hierarchy still fall within this category, including those in Rome from whom authority emanates and who believe they are leading the Church in the 'avant-guard' of social change (the phrase is Paul VI's). In some parts of the world they represent the dominant Catholic presence under a variety of names the most well know of which is Liberation theologian.
Finally mention must be made of drop in conversions and the enormous exodus that has occurred. Priests and Nuns in the thousands and laymen in the millions. Here figures are hard to come by as many of the 'lapsed' when polled still claim to be Catholic. But the number of masses, communions (despite the fact that the 'faithful' are no longer taught the need to be in a state of grace) baptisms etc., has fallen off precipitously. Several studies show that the children of former Catholics no longer even identify themselves as 'lapsed.' All this is hardly surprising when one considers the banality of the new Church. Those who initially declared that Vatican II and the new 'mass' would bring millions into the Church, now tell us that they are not engaged in a 'numbers game.' Despite this, one should not think the new Church is in the process of disappearing. It fulfills a certain psychological need and while allowing (tolerating) those who take their religion seriously, provides others with the illusion that they can please both God and man with a minimum of effort.
This brings us back to the basic problem. Is the post-Conciliar Church the Church that Christ established? Does it teach what he taught and obey what he commanded? A Catholic believes that 'without [the] faith it is impossible to please God,' and hence that he must be in 'com-union' with the Church that Christ established if he is to save his soul. How is he to recognize that Church with certainty?
CHAPTER XV, part 3
How to identify the True Church?
For those who believe that Christ is God, that He founded a visible Church, that He entrusted this Church with all things necessary for our salvation, and that all Revelation ceased with the death of the last Apostle - principles which are the sine qua non for being Catholic - the problem is somewhat simplified. It is but a matter of finding that Church which He established, the Church that teaches and worships in the manner that He taught, the (not 'a') Church which has added and subtracted nothing from the original content, the 'precious pearl' with which He entrusted it. Such a Church is obviously unchanging. It is, as the earliest of Creeds attests, is 'ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC.'
Immediately we have a problem. Almost every sect in existence, including the post-Conciliar establishment, uses the Apostles Creed and claims to have these qualities. Hence it is that we must examine the meaning of these terms with care and see precisely how they apply.
The marks of the True Church: UNITY
The quality of 'UNITY' demands that the Church that claims to be Christ's must be 'one' with the Church he established 2000 years ago. The post-Conciliar or new Church, if words have meaning, denies by definition its identity with the pre-Conciliar or old Church. The earlier establishment, always claimed that her teachings, her practices, and her governance were those established by Christ and the Apostles. Indeed, a necessary criteria for any teaching to be considered Magisterial was such an identification. Thus it is with justice that Vatican II teaches that the Church which Christ established 'subsists' in the post-Conciliar communion: the word subsist excluding identity and exclusivity.
This principal of unity is so critical that, as the Holy Office stated, it is part of the faith itself. 'The Unity of the Church is absolute and indivisible, the Church has never lost its unity, nor for so much as a time, ever can.' To deny it is to deny that one is speaking of the Catholic Church. Even if there was only one believing Catholic left alive, unity would reside in him. It is an intrinsic quality of the Church.
The post-Conciliar Church teaches she has lost her Unity. She blames herself rather than those who departed from her bosom for this 'scandal.' Indeed, the re establishment of this lost unity is her 'internal mission' and the basic thrust of her Ecumenical effort. The point is critical. If she believed she possessed unity, she would insist that the other 'ecclesiastical communities' return to her fold and she would concede nothing to their errors. But convinced she has lost her unity, she concedes everything. What principle have any of the Protestant sects given up in order to foster unity with her? Absolutely none. And what principle has she not sacrificed; what doctrine has she not subverted, on the altar of Ecumenism? She has prostituted her liturgy, destroyed her sacraments and even altered the very words of her Founder to achieve this goal.
In no clearer way could the post-Conciliar Church announce that she has radically separated herself from the Church established by Christ.
The marks of the True Church: APOSTOLICITY
If the Church is defective in UNITY, it follows that it is also defective in 'APOSTOLICITY.' It has not only abandoned the Apostolic doctrines, it has also abandoned the Apostolic 'rites,' and replaced them with rites of purely human origin. It has not replaced them with other and alternative Apostolic rites such as those to be found in the Eastern Churches, but with rites that all intents and purposes are a mixture of the Lutheran and Anglican services created to deny her fundamental doctrines, rites the development of which was under the direction of a known Freemason. It has even presumed within these rites to change the very words of Christ, her founder.
But her lack of Apostolicity goes even further. The Apostolic Succession which is passed down through her bishops - the 'descendents of the Apostles' has been tampered with. If it has been rendered invalid, as indeed is most likely, then her priests are not ordained and their sacraments in turn, little more than 'faith supporting' ceremonies. The only sacraments left intact - and this only potentially since her clergy feel free to change things at will - is marriage (where the priest is only a 'witness') and Baptism, which she shares with almost every Christian community. Thus she constantly speaks of the Unity of the People of God baptized in Christ.
CHAPTER XV, part 4
The marks of the True Church: CATHOLICITY
The Church is called 'CATHOLIC' because the truths she teaches are Universal. As such, all creation must bow to such truths, as to the divine Name itself -in Heaven, on earth and in Hell. Consequently, these same doctrines are taught throughout the entire world, and no Catholic can deny any teaching which the Church declares or has declared to be true. Truth not only partakes of Universality in space, but also in time - or more precisely, its essence is timeless and eternal. Such being so these doctrines can in no way change. Thus, as St. Albert the Great said, 'the faithful can develop in the faith, but the faith cannot develop in the faithful.' The proper grace assured to the magisterium is by no means the grace of substituting a new revelation for what has been once and for all revealed, but, quite on the contrary, the grace of never wandering or allowing the faithful to wander from its true meaning.
Now here again the post-Conciliar Church is defective. She has declared as magisterial, and therefore as true, the entire contents of Vatican II. But Vatican II clearly contains doctrines that are entirely new and different. Not only new and different, but in direct contradiction to those taught by the traditional Church prior to the Council. Now either Truth can contradict itself or God and the Church have lied to us. The universality of truth precludes self-contradiction for God cannot be divided against Himself. Hence we must conclude that either the new or the old Church is false.