Why are you not Catholic? Until the Second Vatican
Council the Catholic Church correctly claimed to be the sole religion by which
men can be saved, under the terms of its mandate from Jesus Christ as He
ascended into heaven.
This is not really an impertinent or strange
question. If your ancestors include any from the shores of the Mediterranean as
remote as India, or from the entire continent of Europe (except Finland) and
its neighboring islands as far out as the Azores and Iceland, the odds
overwhelmingly favor their having been Catholic for centuries.
Were they all deluded or stupid? Illiteracy and
stupidity are not synonyms. Before the invention of printing
literacy was comparatively rare. When Jesus Christ sent forth His
Apostles He instructed them to teach and preach His Message, all
of it, not to teach us barbarians to read. Nowhere did He command them
to write, though several eventually wrote. Literate or not, we were to be
informed of His ordinary means of salvation, and the penalty for refusal of His
entire Message is damnation, for refusal to believe God, Who is eternal Truth.
In justice, therefore, His entire Message must be
available to all generations for all time. Be it one word less than entire, it
is not His Message. Where is it
available outside the Catholic Church, which has protected, preserved, and
preached it for nineteen centuries?
Why should anyone wish to join a pack of perverts?
Actually, perverts have joined us wholesale. Former Communist Party official
Manning Johnson testified in 1953 before the House Un-American Activities
Committee: “Once the tactic of infiltration of religious organizations was set
by the Kremlin … the Communists discovered that the destruction of religion
could proceed much faster through infiltration of the Church by Communists
operating within the Church itself. … it would be
necessary to concentrate Communists in the seminaries. … This policy … was
successful beyond … expectations.”
In the early 1950s, Mrs. Bella V. Dodd, former
high-ranking official of the American Communist Party, testified before the
same HUAC: “In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order
to destroy the Church from within.” and “Right now they are in the highest
places in the Church.” She predicted changes so drastic that “you will not
recognize the Church.”
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand: “Bella Dodd told my
husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no
fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican ‘who were working for us’.” (Latin
Mass Magazine, Summer 2001)
Part of the Message is that toward the end will come an apostasy. To apostatize it is necessary to be
Catholic. It would appear that most Catholics have
followed those who have infiltrated the Church from the top into a noteworthy
apostasy. This apostasy is noteworthy for not only change and omission in the
Message but glaringly for its refusal to preach and teach the Message. Jesus
Christ will not be with us all days if we will not preach His entire, immutable
Message to all, everywhere, at all times. Since the Second Vatican Council what
passes for the Catholic Church has stopped preaching in favor of dialogue with
false “religions.” We convert individuals in order to save their individual
souls. A “religion” has no soul, and cannot be saved. We are to teach, not to
discuss, seek new interpretations, accommodate the age, or compromise.
What remains of our shrinking civilization we owe
to the Catholic Church and its nineteen centuries’ preservation of the revealed
message of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The chief
reason for decay and disappearance of order in the world is the moral
abdication of the Catholic Church under control of usurpers who have changed
every traditional attitude and practice of the Church beyond recognition, over
the last five decades. All who have followed the last five “popes,” attended
their false worship, followed their new laws, and been “educated” in their
perverted schools have unwittingly left the Catholic Church. The non-Catholic
usurpers have presumed on the great Catholic virtue, obedience, largely secured
through misunderstanding of papal infallibility.
Religion is defined as man’s relationship to God.
Such relationship is necessarily achieved on God’s unchanging terms,
communicated by His unchangeable revelation. There can exist, therefore, only
one true religion, alone meriting salvation. Apostates characteristically
The Church may never recover from this final,
almost universal apostasy. Until now, however, it has rebounded more than once
from fearful disaster. The Church needs none of us. When North Africa fell we
gained the Vikings and Slavs. Latin America replaced England and Scandinavia.
The world teems with people to replace us.
The world will not long outlive the Catholic
Church, which alone pleases God and renders Him proper worship. The
non-Catholics of the world must, in their own interest and defense, become
Catholics. True Catholics are traditional Catholics, who adhere to what the
Church has taught everywhere at all times. Jesus Christ’s message, being
perfect, permits no modification. He has obliged all to believe it all, and to
be baptized, in order to be saved, and all who believe not shall be condemned.
All who accord partial or selective belief, or advocate opposing belief, disbelieve
the Eternal Truth. Not only do they lack faith in God, they hold Him a liar.
Nor can they escape by denying His existence.
Laymen lack authority. We were always taught to bring converts to
the priests for instruction. They would guide the prospective Catholic into the Catholic Church. Due, however, to
the changes imposed by infiltrating usurpers, we are rapidly losing our
legitimate clergy. As things appear, we shall eventually lose them all.
But the Japanese Catholics, without clergy for two
and a half centuries, preserved their faith, and were visible enough to
persecute. The English, largely deprived of the chance to practice Catholicism
for roughly the same length of time, preserved the faith in pockets, under
murderous laws which stigmatized the religion to which nearly all had adhered
for nine centuries as high treason.
We are not alone. We can lose our ordinary means
of salvation (the Lord gives, the Lord takes away), but we remain Catholic
members of the Catholic Church, whether or not visible. A major characteristic
of our religion is that very thing, the lack of which exposes and condemns the
new “Conciliar Church,” the missionary effort.
We can instruct you. Anyone can baptize you. All he needs is
sufficient water to flow, the proper form of words, and the intention to
accomplish what the Catholic Church intends by the ceremony, even though he
himself believes that nothing is accomplished thereby.
All inquiries welcome.
Hilaire Belloc wrote in his 1929 book Survivals and New Arrivals:
“It has become more and more
clear in the last generation, and with particular acceleration since the
latest and immense catastrophe of the Great War, that the Faith preserves
whatever, outside the Faith, is crumbling: marriage, the family, property,
authority, honour to parents, right reason, even the arts. This is a political
fact - not a theory. It is a fact as large and as certain as is a neighbouring
mountain in a landscape.
“If the influence of the Church declines,
civilization will decline with it and all the effects of tradition. It is a
commonplace with educated men that the Catholic Church made our civilization,
but it is not equally a commonplace - as it ought to be - that on her continued
power depends the continuance of our civilization. Our
civilization is as much a product of the Catholic Church as the vine is the
product of a particular climate. Take the vine to another climate and it will
Religion creates stability. Instability
contributes to insanity. Insanity currently rides high, and governs most
countries. Our civilization declines because its mother has abdicated. Not only
has she stopped civilizing, she has joined the revolution, and leads in mass
production of instability and insanity.
St. Paul predicted such a catastrophe in Chapter II, Second Epistle to
the Thessalonians. We find another indication in St. Luke’s Gospel, 18:8: “But
yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find,
think you, faith on earth?”
But the Church insists that Jesus Christ promised
His Church that He would be with it all days, to the end of the age. His
condition is ignored. He commanded His Apostles to teach all nations all that
He had taught them, and placed the ultimate penalty on rejection. The New
Church has stopped almost all missionary activity. It thereby forsakes Him.
Why should He be with it? A covenant obliges both parties.
God cannot in justice condemn for rejection of
falsehood. We must conclude that His Revelation is true, complete, unchangeable. We must, then, accept His entire Revelation on
faith in its Divine Revealer. Without faith, says St. Paul (Hebrews 11:6), it
is impossible to please God. If, however, we accept all but one or two minor
points, and differ ever so little from Divine Revelation, we no longer operate
on faith, but on personal judgment. This is the timeless Catholic position. For
nineteen centuries we adhered to this to the death.
How could we be sure? We had St. Peter and his
successors in the only remaining Apostolic See. Each successor, or pope, was
charged with accepting from his predecessor everything Jesus Christ left us,
and passing on the same complete Revelation, neither augmented nor diminished,
without change, to his successor. That was his job and his purpose.
He expounded and defined when necessary. He
condemned prevalent evil or heresy - the Greek word for choice or selection. We
were to accept, not choose. This was stability. This was
authority. This was sanity. And all the world - not
merely we Catholics - benefited. This was civilization.
In 1958 Pope Pius XII died - and was replaced by
an ineligible. To be pope one must be Catholic. John XXIII was the second
antipope of that name and number. He had a history of heresy and Freemasonry.
He convoked a Council which completely destroyed unity and order in the Catholic
Church, with disastrous consequences for our civilization and our world. In his
fourth recorded announcement of intention to convoke a Council, he claimed
sudden and instantaneous divine inspiration. He let it be known that his
Council would re-examine every doctrine of the Church except papal
infallibility. For what purpose? Not one was subject
to modification. Nothing new is Catholic.
The Council revolted, sixty per cent voting to
refuse the agenda. Council rules required two-thirds vote to carry all matters,
but had John XXIII sent them home, how would he have drummed up support for his
program of change? For this he needed their involvement, and the appearance of
divided responsibility. Was there then a plot? What has happened to the Church
could not have happened by accident. It was certainly no accident that the only
matter available for discussion was the maverick presentation on the liturgy -
the Church’s public worship, established by God Himself. John pushed the
document, and would have signed it. He had, after all, issued a modified
Missal. But he died, to the accompaniment of fulsome masonic elegies, unique in
Montini, another ineligible, by reason of multiple
public heresy, was elected by John’s packed Conclave, and, as Paul VI, re-convoked
a Council already on record in heresy. He then signed and promulgated that
utterly un-Catholic liturgy document, on which he later mendaciously based
replacement of our sacramental system. Our Latin Mass went first, followed the
same day by the sacrament of Holy Orders, which, though needed to celebrate
Mass, are not required to preside at an assembly. Our Mass is by definition the
unbloody re-presentation of Christ’s redemptive, propitiatory sacrifice on
Calvary. Also by definition, our sacraments are instituted by Jesus Christ to
give grace. All have been replaced by rituals of human origin, incapable of
producing grace. Our Church, we are to believe, can correct Jesus Christ, and
has done so.
These “corrections” were imposed under obedience
upon a clergy and hierarchy which should have known better. In fact,
acceptance/obedience violated their ordination and consecration oaths to the
doctrine of the Council of Trent and against modernism, just as the imposition itself exceeded the competence and opposed the purpose
of the papacy. When we consider in addition that all these oath-breakers were
by the same innovations deprived of their ordinary means of grace and ordered
into idolatry, we need not be surprised when they fall into other depravity. But
Rome, having imposed the climate, now pretends to disapprove its natural
We also hear from Rome that divorce should be
discouraged in the courts. It should never reach the courts. Marriage is not a civil matter; it existed before governments. According
to Church law, everyone sufficiently mature and capable of understanding
matrimonial obligations has the right to marry. Natural rights are not
conferred by civil government, but fall instead under rights guaranteed by
government - many marry in pursuit of happiness.
But the Second Vatican Council in its Gaudium et Spes, The Church in the Modern World,
changed matrimonial purposes and priorities. Subsequently we have seen
multiplication of almost automatic annulments. These have brought about major instability
in the basic unit of society and civilization, the family, and consequent scorn
for all religious authority. The New Church has forfeited the right to correct
civil government out of its field.
The Second Vatican Council continued to provide heresies for Paul VI to
promulgate as Catholic doctrine. For example, paragraph eleven of its
Declaration on Religious Freedom reads: “In the end, when He completed on the
Cross the work of redemption whereby He achieved salvation and true freedom for
man, He also brought His revelation to completion.”
This bald statement is unnecessary in and
completely unrelated to context. It is either incredible stupidity or devious
purpose, and opposes Catholic doctrine. It contradicts Christ Himself at the
Last Supper: “I have yet many things to
say to you but you cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12) It removes from His revelation (1) His
resurrection, (2) His explanation of His fulfilment of the prophecies, (3) His
establishment of the sacrament of Penance, (4) St. Thomas’ skepticism and its
dissipation, (5) John 21:15-17 (Feed My sheep), used to establish the primacy
of St. Peter and the papacy, (6) His mandate and mission to His Church, (7) His
Ascension, and (8) the descent of the Holy Ghost.
St. Paul wrote in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, 15:14: “And if
Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain:
and your faith is also vain.”
Divine Revelation was complete early in the Second
Century, at the death of the last Apostle. Nevertheless the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the
Church to non-Christian Religions opens with the words Nostra Aetate - In our age - and breaks forth into one long
paean of praise for every kind of error, even ascribing holiness to these false
religions. It waxes lyrical over Islam and post-Christian Judaism - both
founded on outright rejection of Christ.
This mindset spells disaster for the missionary
effort which Christ commanded. If man-made religions are channels of grace and
lead to salvation, who are we to disturb them? If the Apostles had believed
such nonsense, who would ever have heard of Christianity? The Age must conform
to the Church, not the Church to the Age. In lieu of missionary effort the New
Church dialogues with its organized enemies. Did Christ not say: “He that is
not with Me is against Me?” (Matt. 12:30)
What is the purpose of dialogue? To find common ground for negotiation. What ground can be
common to us and to those who reject Christ’s divinity? Yet it is always the
New Church which compromises. The open enemies stubbornly hold their lines. With what result? Continued loss of our
religious influence. For whose benefit?
A strong Church would support a strong
civilization, which would encounter far fewer problems. We might not need the
services of a New World Order - a one-world government. A one-world government
needs a one-world religion - a Masonic common denominator to which everyone can
supposedly subscribe without sacrifice of belief or principle - a set of
compromises achieved by those without authority to compromise what belongs not
to them but to God.
The New Church has entrenched itself, and perverts
our great virtue of obedience to misrule us.
Among its tools are the national bishops’
conferences, which simulate democracy. Formerly each diocesan bishop was
responsible directly to Rome. Now he must waste valuable time on a semi-annual
circus whose agenda comes from Rome with predetermined results. No bishop now
dares speak out; he must first gain approval of his peers. This is Rome’s provision
against the few bishops who may awake to the status quo, or its transient aspect. Rome, of course, appoints
bishops in the first place, and seldom for knowledge or piety.
tool is the 1983 Code of Canon Law, a replacement needed to try to justify the
Second Vatican Council and its Great Renewal, both of which seriously violated
the Law in force when imposed.
A third tool, if anyone reads it, is The Catechism of the Catholic Church,
introduced by our Koran-kissing fourth consecutive antipope October 11, 1992. A
page and line count develops that of its 599 pages of catechetical text just
over 25% is copied from documents of the Second Vatican Council and official
pronouncements of its four “papal” authorities and implementors. What can be said
for the orthodoxy or necessity for salvation of a catechism one fourth of which
was available to no Catholic from A.D. 33 to 1962?
A fourth tool, designed to fragment traditional
Catholics, is Ecclesia Dei, the
Commission which purports to grant permission for the traditional Mass, which
needs no permission. If we are silly enough to have no qualms about the
undoubted validity of the new, idolatrous replacement for the Mass, the local
bishop may, at his own discretion, assign a priest whose ordination may or may
not be valid, to celebrate in one or two parishes on a regular or irregular
schedule, not our traditional Mass but John XXIII’s 1962 illegal modification
thereof. This Missal retains the first prayer of the Canon, Te igitur, in which all present are
united with that heretical, antipapal apostate, una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro Benedicto [Ritus servandus in celebratione missae, VIII - De Canone Missae usque
ad Consecrationem, 2, Ubi dicit: una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. (page lxxix)],
whatever that means. If we harbor no doubt of the 1969 rite of “mass,” why can
we not stomach this idolatrous innovation like everyone else? Why should our
wishes overcome the mere wish of Paul VI?
Most of today’s Catholics don’t know they have
been robbed. Of those who know, few realize the extent of the robbery. It
surpasses belief. The rot is universal; responsibility lies at the top. To keep
the faith we must ignore the usurpers and their misgovernment.
We came close to a like crisis in 1903. Cardinal
Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro had obtained 29 of 52
votes for the papacy. Cardinal Puzyna (Cracow) delivered Austria-Hungary’s
veto. At the close of World War I, the Tiger of France, the Prime Minister of
Great Britain, and the President of the United States, all members of
Rampolla’s Masonic Fraternity, dismembered Austria-Hungary in the name of
self-determination, which was applied to neither Ireland nor Italy, nor even to
the peoples of Austria-Hungary, the putative beneficiaries. So when Angelo
Roncalli emerged from the 1958 Conclave, there had been no Catholic government,
no Holy Roman Emperor, to veto him.
We had a real crisis in 1130 A.D. with the
election of Pietro Pierleone, Anacletus II. In eight years he nearly destroyed
the Church. But in the Middle Ages all Western Civilization was Catholic. In
1138 the German Holy Roman Emperor brought an army to Rome and restored order.
The Church held the Second Lateran Council and wiped out everything done by
Anacletus II, now listed as an antipope. But the Germans are no longer all
Catholic, and are not directly concerned with current antipopes.
So what course shall we take? Many leave the
problem to God. It is not His problem; it is ours. Historically men solved it.
Diagnosis helps. We received this one years ago:
“… the income tax and phunny
money ploys of Big Brother were conducted in exactly the same spirit, and often
in exactly the same manner, as the Second Vatican Council. Modernism is a
philosophical and spiritual disease which also struck root … in the profane sphere.
The monetary realists and strict interpretation tax students are set up and
used the same way traditionalists are. The same enemy is behind both drives for
spiritual and secular idolatry, so why … two methods when one works so
admirably? The introduction and acceptance of a counterfeit, when the legal
standard has never been abolished lawfully … was performed dozens of times
around the world in regard to money; so why not try it with things spiritual?
The psychology is the same; and it worked for them, but the U. S. Constitution
remains, and so does the Church, however many ignore it or pretend that their
conciliar monstrosity is the same thing. There is no need for usurpation of
power - just get the counterfeit (money or doctrine or morals) accepted, never
mind abolishing the legal and established medium of exchange or dogma. That is
the significance of Paul’s ‘wishing.’ He couldn’t use power he never had … but
if people want to believe him pope - fine! Same result - universal loss of
faith, neglect (or destruction) of the sacraments, and
so on …”
We can certainly refuse
recognition and obedience to usurpers. We have worldwide communication. Perhaps
we can effect a worldwide boycott on contributions and
collections. Perhaps parishioners everywhere can participate in class action
suits to recover Church property from the apostates in possession. Perhaps we
can reacquaint the world with what the clergy has ceased to preach. It is all
on record - no thanks to the New Church’s book-burnings.
last five incumbents of the Holy See popes? Whether or not popes,
they obviously strayed from the purpose of the office, and exceeded its
competence by massive innovation and updating, presented as improvement. They
have “corrected” the popes of nineteen centuries, and improved Christ’s eternal
Revelation beyond recognition. Do you
believe them popes?
The papacy is our standard of unity, the first
mark of the Church. We have not been united in doctrine or practise since 1958.
If we had a pope we would all agree with him, in perfect unity. On what day of which month have we all ever agreed with Pius XII’s
reputed successors? But no bishop will admit the vacancy of the Holy See.
Everyone needs a pope with whom to disagree. Not one bishop will argue with us;
he would argue with himself forty to eighty years ago.
He would encounter the Vatican Council of 1870,
and at least five papal condemnations of the last century.
Vatican I (Dogmatic Const. on the Catholic Faith,
34): …faith is not the same as a philosophical system of teaching that has been
worked out and then turned over to the human mind to be further developed, but
it has been entrusted as a Divine deposit to the Church for protection and for
infallible interpretation. When, therefore, the Church explains the meaning of
a dogma this interpretation is to be maintained in all future time, and it can
never be deviated from under pretence of a more profound investigation.
Among the sixty-five
errors of the modernists condemned by Pope St. Pius X (Lamentabili sane) July 3, 1907:
“53. The organic institution of the Church is not immutable.
Like human society, Christian society is subject to perpetual evolution.
“54. Dogmas, Sacraments, and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only
interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have
increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ
latent in the Gospel.
“58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in
him, and through him.
“59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times
and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be
adapted to different times and places.
“64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning
God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be
For holding any of these five propositions, one is
automatically excluded from the Catholic Church.
Every Sunday Catholics must assist at the three
principal parts of the Mass - Offertory, Consecration, and Priest’s Communion.
So the “Church” provides new worship devoid of these three principal parts. Can
Catholics fulfil their obligation? Have the clergy not an obligation in Canon
Law to provide the ordinary means of salvation? Can their failure bind the laity to their idolatrous substitute?
We have been given an infallible test: “By their
fruits ye shall know them.” This comes close to a command. We are to apply this
test. No one can deny the baneful effects of the Second Vatican Council. But
who gave us this disaster? And could genuine popes promulgate obvious heresies
in its decrees and documents? So we must look at the Conclaves which produced
such fruits. The 1958 Conclave gave us an impossible pope. We know this by his
fruits. But he was the fruit of the Conclave, which we must know and evaluate
by its fruits. It matters not how this was accomplished, whether by setting
aside the election of a proper pope or not. Still less can it matter who was
supposedly elected. The glaringly obvious fact is that the Conclave produced an
impostor - an antipope who even took the name and number of an antipope. That
is all we need on which to proceed to correction - to the recovery of the
religion founded by Jesus Christ.
The Catholic Church, so it taught us, is one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Whatever its current
replacement is or calls itself, it is none of these. To obtain or retain
membership in this sole means of salvation we must be united in belief with
Catholics of all times and places in the entire and immutable body of doctrine
and law revealed by Jesus Christ to His Apostles, who were constituted Apostles
by His mandate to teach all nations. This mandate itself is part of that vital
Revelation. The missionary effort, as well as the doctrine, comes under Apostolic. The Conciliar “Church” of
the Second Vatican Council of 1962-1965 has extinguished the missionary effort,
which is now considered insulting to non-Catholics; it may somehow imply that
they are wrong. So they dialogue with each other to determine which of Christ’s
doctrines appeal to them, though He has obviously demanded belief in His entire
Message. Just as obviously, if we fail to spread His entire Message we fail to
comply with His Message, and we are not Catholic either. Formerly we could rely
on the clergy for this essential function. But even those who still hold all
the doctrine have largely ceased preaching it. If we wish to remain Catholic we
must assume this duty. So bear with us if we annoy you. You can’t be worse off;
you may as well listen.
Look at the bright side! Since the practice of
Catholicism has become virtually impossible, you can convert without the
necessity of fulfilling many of the obligations of the world’s strictest moral
code. (If we were not absolutely convinced, we could not live with its
restraints. We might, as do some, kill rather than convert opponents.) If we can’t find a confessor or a Mass, who can fault us for not
using them? And who will know we are Catholic unless we tell them? Of
course, we favor telling them.
Let us remove personality from the argument, in
order that all will more readily appreciate the message. Laymen lack
ecclesiastical authority, though we are bound to know, profess, and propagate
our religion. As our first pope wrote (I Peter 3:15): “But sanctify the Lord Christ in
your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason
of that hope which is in you.” So ask!
We need not understand everything we believe. The
human mind has limits. But nothing that Christ and His Church teach contradicts
reason, least of all the omnipotence of God. Truth is not subject to human
reason. Contrary truths cannot exist. Scientific “truths” often depend on
To whom was the birth of Jesus Christ revealed? To the priests in the Temple? Or to some shepherds? To whom
did Jesus preach? To those in charge at the Temple? Or
to the poor, wherever He found them?
To whom did He entrust His Message? To the chief
priests, the scribes, the rulers, the figures of authority? Or to
timorous, comparatively uneducated men, of a despised race (including a
tax-collector!), from a remote and troubled backwater of the Empire? And
these few established His Church throughout the known world. Has Christ not
shown that the power lay not in the messengers but in the Message?
And we, unlike our apostate clergy, hierarchy, and
“pope,” provide the same powerful Message. None of us would dare accommodate it
to the times. Nor did His Apostles.
They evangelized the known world, from Britain to
India, most of which knew three Apostles at most. Yet the identical doctrine
was received everywhere, throughout times when literacy was at a premium,
without the shadow of equivalent of our mass media.
The message was spread with authority: Accept this Divine Revelation or take the
fearful consequences. This is an integral part of the message, and requires
a teaching authority. There is only one Divine Revelation, to preach which is
required one sole teaching authority - one Catholic Church to last as long as
it continues to propagate the same Divine Revelation. Certainly no other
organization, religious or not, can fulfill this requirement. We are presented
this Divine Revelation to accept for our salvation or to reject for our
damnation. To increase, decrease, select, modify, or re-interpret is to reject.
It is one, complete, immutable, eternal message. Immutability is essential to
“You are free to believe what you wish,” we hear. No we are not!
“You don’t want some one telling you what to
believe.” We certainly do! We demand
credible authority. We very much doubt our independent judgment in a matter of
such grave consequences. And we know of only one credible authority. Can we bet
our salvation on Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, or Pat Robertson, even if they
agreed? What about Luther, Cranmer, and Calvin? Where were they when Divine
Revelation was completed nearly fourteen centuries earlier? Was no one saved
before they appeared? And who now holds their unchanged selective Catholicism?
God lives in eternity, which is NOW - without
beginning, without end. Time itself is His creation. It is impossible that He
be subject to His own creation. He has, so to speak,
no time to change His mind. His revealed truth is always now. He revealed it in
stages to His creatures, whom he created in His own
time. What He wishes to reveal was complete at the death of the last Apostle,
He, the Supreme and only necessary, non-contingent
Being, revealed that He created all things, visible and invisible, including
the otherwise unthinkable order in the universe, from nothing, by the power of
His Will. Was there somewhere, at some time, some man who could have done this?
Or some one who could have organized or devised means, plans, methods, or had
time enough available for this? Or whose mind could comprehend the problems,
not least of which would be the raw material? Or whose strength could equal the
He revealed that He is one God in Three Divine
Persons. Yet literally billions of men refuse or deny this. They seriously
believe that anything which they cannot understand (such as electrical or nuclear energy?), with their
comparatively infinitesimal minds, cannot exist.
The Second Divine Person of the Most Holy Trinity
redeemed mankind from the supernatural effects of original sin and established
the perfect religion (defined as man’s relationship to God), as only a Divine
Person could. Yet millions have seriously tried to improve, update, modify,
interpret, or select from this monumental work, which has outlasted all human
institutions in history, despite the incompetence of its human representatives
and the efficiency of its persecutors, the latest of whom have recognized a
human right to religious freedom - i. e., we may disbelieve God!
We cite two books from the New Testament, which we
accept on the authority of the Catholic Church as the inspired word of God - part of the aforesaid revelation:
St. Matthew’s Gospel
28:19 -20. Going therefore, teach ye all
nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all
things whatsoever I have commanded you.
St. Mark’s Gospel 16:15-16. And he said to them: Go ye into the whole
world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved: but he that
believeth not shall be condemned.
Evidently religious freedom is not a divine right.
A religion which recognizes such a right is not a divine institution. The new
“Catholic Church” recognizes this right as divine, and urges that it become a
civil right. But it grants no such right to the traditional Catholic.
Please note the difference between redemption and
salvation. Christ has redeemed all
men, as only He could, from original
sin and its consequences. To be saved,
man must consciously cooperate with
the graces He has made available through His Church.
Our Divine Redeemer placed another condition for
salvation (Matthew 18:3): …. amen I say to you, unless
you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the
kingdom of heaven.
Little children learn, largely by instruction and example; they do not question. Many years pass before they become adults
capable of providing instruction and example to their own children. They thus
become, so to speak, equals of their parents. But we are all God’s children,
without the slightest chance to acquire an adult-to-adult relationship with
Him. None of His creatures can, by definition, teach or advise Him or become
His equal. Especially can we not restrict or regulate Him. He teaches and rules us.
He has chosen as His medium the Catholic Church which He founded. Included in
His revelation we find a clear prophecy that His Church, too, will virtually
succumb to apostasy - which we may avoid by holding to tradition (cf. II Thess.
ii, 14). Did he not ask (Luke 18:8): But yet the Son of
man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?
Could the phrasing of this question not imply that
He will shut down the process when it has forgotten its purpose?
* * * * * * * * *
We hope that we have captured your interest. Now
we shall target particular positions. It is said that on religion there are
only two logical positions, Catholicism and atheism. You either believe God or
you deny that He exists. If you are an atheist, or even an agnostic, please
read on. If you believe in God, even vaguely, you may well skip to the next
line of asterisks. (*)
Not all non-Catholics believe in God. Most
Catholic laymen have not wasted time arguing His existence. We quote Walter
Farrell O.P., A Companion to the Summa,
Volume I, pp. 29 sqq., edited:
Not all have the appetite for fighting, or time
and ability to finish the fight. Salvation depends on winning the battle.
Therefore infallible authority has emerged to protect those shunted out of the
battle by force of circumstances. By that authority, one who cannot follow the
intricacies of proof, through inability or lack of leisure time, knows beyond
question that human reason, by its own power, can certainly know the existence
of God. Authority is necessary, not because its truth is beyond reason, but
because everyone must know of God’s existence for his individual life. He who
has grasped the proof needs no authority.
Proof requires thinking, which requires preliminary
notions, such as the abstract notion of potentiality and actuality. A block of
marble has the potential to be sculpted into an actual statue, the aptitude for
receiving this further perfection, the quality to be changed. We call this
process “becoming,” “change,” or sometimes “development” - the motion from
potentiality to actuality, from the capability of receiving perfection to the
perfection received. The process involves: (1) a starting point prior to the
change and containing the potentiality, a thing which exists and has the
capacity for becoming something else, for receiving an added perfection; (2)
the reality of the process of change which proceeds from the potential to the
actual; (3) the product of the change, the actual needed perfection. We must
hold fast to the fact of a distinct difference between the potentiality and its
realization. Otherwise we are forced into denial of both, or denial of change. In either case we
hold that a motion from nowhere goes nowhere, or that contradictories are
identical, that no distinction exists between the undeveloped and the
developed, between marble blocks and statues.
The particular value of clarity in this notion of
change is that it demonstrates the utter necessity of explaining every realized
potentiality, every perfection, by an explanation external to the realized
potentiality itself. It emphasizes the truth that a developed perfection is not
its own explanation, it has not developed itself, nor is it explained by the
potentiality which it perfected.
Another value, for our purpose of proving the
existence of God, is had from the difference this process of becoming or change
brings out between the action of God and of creatures. On this basis of
becoming we argue from effects to causes in created causes and effects. Where
the cause is divine, the fundamental question remains the same, explanation of
a perfection not self-explanatory, that has not produced itself. The transition
here is not from potentiality to its actualization but from non-being to being.
There are only two possibilities for proof of the
existence of anything: the direct proof offered by sense experience, and
inferential or a posteriori proof. If
all other possibilities can be ruled out, inferential or a posteriori proof gives complete certitude. No other proof of
existence is possible, no a priori proof is valid, because existence in no way enters into the very nature of
created things; we cannot argue from the nature of things to their existence,
as we can argue from the nature of man to the spirituality of his soul.
Existence enters into the very nature of God, but
cannot be presupposed in proof of His existence.
We have no direct sense knowledge of God’s
existence. We are reduced, therefore to inferential or a posteriori proof, proof of cause from its effects.
The first proof proceeds from the fact of motion.
Since nothing that is moved moves or changes itself, the unquestionable fact of
movement or change in the world about us forces us to conclude to the existence
of a first mover who is not himself moved.
This proof merits explanation: “Nothing moves or
changes itself” means only that a thing cannot be, relative to the same goal,
merely moveable and already moved, merely changeable and already changed; for
the starting point and the goal of the process of becoming are necessarily
different. The mere aptitude for receiving motion is not its own completion.
The common sense fundamental behind this phrase, then, is simply that what is
not possessed cannot be bestowed; and the very notion of potentiality is the
absence of perfection that is not possessed but so far is not, for, unless we
maintain that contraries are identical, a potentiality is not its own
This argument goes beyond the cause of change to
the cause of that which is changed, beyond the cause of becoming to the cause
of being. For the immediate cause of change alone is itself in process of
becoming by its very causality; the mover of a potentially moveable thing is
himself moved by the very movement by which he moves this thing, he becomes
something other than he was. Unless we come to a cause which produces that which is subject to
change, to a cause that does not itself become something other than it was, the
process of becoming or change cannot start.
The term “mover” is used of the first and of
secondary movers only in a proportional sense; for the first mover is the cause
of being and is himself unchanged, while secondary movers are causes of change
and are themselves changed in their action. It is to this unique first mover
that the argument concludes.
A not uncommon supposition is that since this
particular movement is caused by another, this latter by another, and so on,
there is no need for further explanation since it is taken for granted that the
world is eternal. Since, then, you can never reach the end of a chain of
movers, there is no mystery about the present movement. The fallacy lies in the
fact that without a beginning the whole process could not start; no one of
these previous movers is sufficient explanation of itself and its effect on
others, yet a sufficient explanation must be found if the fact of movement is
to be intelligible, if we are not to have something coming from nothing. The
haze of distance or the weight of time do not obliterate the necessity of
explanation any more than they offer a positive explanation. To be satisfied
with this is to be satisfied with the removal of the question to more obscure
quarters, comforted by its consequent vagueness. Plainly, unless we come to a mover
that is in no way dependent we have not explained the existence of the movers
who are undoubtedly dependent either for their actual movement or for the power
to move; where the effects are patently present the cause ultimately explaining
them is not to be denied.
Two things are to be particularly noted about this
first proof of the existence of God: the narrowness of the conclusion and the
independence of the argument from the elements of time. The argument adheres
rigidly to the limits of its premises: it concludes to a first mover unmoved -
and to nothing more. Nothing more can be concluded from the sensible fact of
motion with which the argument started. Because there is movement, there is a
cause of cosmic movement which is itself unmoved. The argument is not a
sputtering flame to be extinguished by the simple expedient of blanketing it
with centuries. There is no question here of movement beginning in time. It is
not a question of present reality demanding a cause in the past. It is simply a
question of the universe as given, movement or change as experienced, and the
conclusion that such a movement or change is unintelligible without a first
mover communicating movement to all things. Time makes no difference. If the
eternity of the world were to be proved tomorrow beyond all doubt, this proof
would be in no way affected; the fact of change is there, the effect is with
us, its cause cannot be denied.
The background for the other four proofs is
exactly the same as for this first one. Keeping the preliminary notions,
explained above, well in mind and holding to the detailed explanation of this
first proof, the others can be seen readily. The point at issue is always the
same: the existence of perfection that did not previously exist.
The second proof proceeds from causality or the
activity of things. Here it is a question of the existence of an efficient
cause, the external agent by whose operation a thing exists, the question of
the hen that laid an egg, the thunderbolt which struck a man dead, the storm
that battered a ship into helplessness. The starting point is again the
sensible world. We see in that sensible world an order of efficient causes
dependent one on the other for their causality - the powder which propels the
shell, which in turn crashes into a storage tank of gasoline, and this throwing
out a sheet of flame in the heart of a city, and so on. We find nothing that is
the cause of itself. Precisely because of this impossibility of a cause causing
itself, the efficient causes of the sensible world force the conclusion that a
first efficient cause exists which is itself uncaused.
It is impossible for a cause to cause itself for
the same fundamental reason as exposed in the first argument, namely, because
the starting point and the goal of change, the potentiality and its
realization, cannot be identical. Otherwise we are identifying opposites,
saying that the potentiality is the actuality. Here again, the argument is
really stronger than it looks; for the only alternative is not merely identifying
opposites; it is identifying non-reality with reality, non-being with being,
for the transition is not from potentiality to actuality but from the purely
privative condition of nothingness to existence. We must note again that the
term “cause” is used not identically but proportionally of the first and
Against this argument may be offered the
difficulty of living causes where the dependence is not immediately obvious.
But no one living cause explains the efficacy of the species to which it
belongs and from which it derives its power to cause. Yet that efficacy must
have its explanation. Infinite regress gets us nowhere: without the first
uncaused cause there will be no effects produced by any cause no matter how
many eons are placed between the beginning of things and the world of today. It
is not a question of time, nor is the question made more difficult by adding a
few million years to the world’s age. Attention must again be called to the
strict adherence of the conclusion to the evidence in hand: the argument
concludes to the existence of a cause that is itself uncaused, nothing more.
Either of these two arguments suffices to demonstrate the existence of God;
their effectiveness is not a matter of accumulative evidence. They are merely
different angles of focus on the same spectacle of divinity, rising from
different starting points in the sensible world.
The third proof proceeds from our experience of
the contingency or defectibility of things: If any beings exist whose essence
is not one with their existence (that is, which are contingent), then a being
exists whose essence is its existence (that is, an absolutely necessary being
on whom the others are contingent). We see things that can have or lose
existence, that begin and cease to exist, that are born and die. If all things
were of this nature, if existence is not essentially natural to anything, then
nothing would ever exist; which is patently false in view of the existing
world. If things are capable of beginning to exist or of ceasing to exist,
then, since they do in fact exist and cease to exist, that capability is
fulfilled, that potentiality is realized, and a potentiality cannot realize
itself. Much less can nothingness produce that which is the subject of realized
No physically necessary being explains its own
necessity but receives it (an
actualized potentiality). So the necessity of the species is not explained by
the species itself; “a multitude of contingent things do not make a necessary
thing any more than a multitude of idiots make one intelligent man.” This
necessity must be explained by a necessary being that does not receive necessity, but that is its necessity. Again time makes no
difference. An infinite chain of beings that receive their necessity, or of beings which are not necessary,
neither complicates nor explains the difficulty; it merely tries to dodge the
problem by hiding under accumulations of immediate causes or of years.
The fourth proof argues from the perfection of
things. The argument proceeds from the world of reality, not necessarily of
sense experience or impressions. The real world includes things we understand
as well as things we feel, love, justice, friendship, things we can never grow
in the garden or meet on the street but which are decided realities.
We speak here of only the absolute perfections
that carry the note of perfection in themselves, not the relative which are
perfections only because of their order to something else. Examples of absolute
perfections are animality, rationality, life, existence. These can be roughly
classified by stressing the point that they are in themselves either strictly
limited or completely limitless.
As examples of strictly limited, we may mention
animality or humanity. A man is no less an animal than a lion; nor has a sickly
boy less humanity than a strapping giant. These things imply definitely fixed
limits. They either are or are not fully possessed; there is no question of
having a little or a great deal of them. To exceed or to fall away from their
fixed limits means the complete loss of that perfection. Of the limitless
perfections are life, goodness, existence, and so on. If there are limits to
these perfections in this or that individual or species, the limitation comes
not from the perfection itself. We note the source of limitation when we speak
of human life and animal life, though it never occurs to us to speak of human rationality or animal animality.
Proof of God’s existence proceeds precisely from
unlimited perfections. Characteristically these perfections are possessed by
different kinds of being in an analogous, not an identical, way. We speak of a
good stone, a good fruit, a good horse, or a good professor according as each
has its due perfection. The professor’s goodness is not the same as the fruit’s
goodness. There is proportionality, not identity. These perfections are
realizable in degrees; thus a man may be bad, of mediocre virtue, of more than
average virtue, and ultimately a saint.
In the world about us we see these perfections
existing in things that are more or less good, more or less true, and so on; we
see life within human limits, animal limits, plant limits. Now these limited
degrees of limitless perfections can be explained only by the existence of
something to which these perfections pertain in their fullness, something which
does not possess this or that degree of goodness, truth, life, but which is, by
its very nature, limitless goodness, limitless truth, limitless life.
Certainly these limited degrees of limitless perfections
are not explained by the natures which possess them. For what flows from the
essential principles of a nature is had in its fullness; humanity is not
something a man achieves after a long struggle. Moreover, perfections which
flow from nature do not vary: the spoiled lapdog is not less animal as the days
pass, the puppy does not grow into his animality. Yet in the world about us
these limitless perfections of goodness, life, and the rest are not had in
their fullness and they vary with an infinite variety.
The explanation, then, must be sought outside the
natures which possess a limited edition of a limitless virtue, that is, in some
extrinsic source which has the perfection perfectly. Otherwise we meet the
fundamental obstacle erected by an identification of contraries, of a
potentiality bringing about its own realization, indeed of the absence of
perfection bringing about the presence of perfection. These limited editions of
limitless virtues are received virtues; they are explicable only by some being who has not received them but
to whom they belong, in their limitlessness, by the very nature of that being.
Nor is this a jump from the ideal to the real order. It is not a matter of
having an ideal rule by which we may measure these perfections; but of having a
real, existing cause by whose action these realities have been brought into
The fifth proof proceeds from an ordered
multiplicity to an ordering unity. The order of the world, which is at the
starting point of this proof, furnished one of the most constant evidences of
the existence of God to men through the ages. It appealed to Greek poets and
philosophers; in unphilosophic form it was preserved in the Sacred Writings of
the Hebrews; primitive peoples appealed to it in their origin myths. It has
been not only one of the most ancient of the proofs but one of the most
popular. It has been accepted as genuine by the uneducated who were unable to
follow its philosophical implications; and, at the same time, was the only
proof given a measure of respect by Immanuel Kant.
The fifth proof proceeds as the other four,
demanding no more, resting on just as solid a foundation. It begins with
observed facts and employs the same fundamental principle that opposites are
not identical. The quest to explain order leads to a supreme intelligence.
All about us we see things devoid of intelligence
acting for an end, as is evident from their always, or generally, acting in the
same orderly way to obtain the best result. Evidently these actions are placed,
not by accident, but on purpose. As things devoid of intelligence do not act
for an end unless they be directed by some intelligence, we must conclude that
a supreme intelligence exists which directs all natural things to their end.
And this supreme intelligence we call God.
Now that there are no more atheists among you, we
return, let us fondly hope, to illogical readers.
* * * * * * * * *
Jesus Christ commanded His Apostles to preach His message, not their own, not even
their own interpretations. He obliged us all to accept, not to modify, the
Church which He founded. Catholics accept his entire Revelation, complete at
the death of St. John, the last Apostle. The Church is often accused of
introducing additional doctrines, at various Councils and/or by numerous popes.
There is a difference between holding a doctrine and defining the same
doctrine. The earliest definitions were Creeds, which contained major essential
beliefs. Everyone held the rest implicitly. There was simply no point in
defining doctrines universally held at all times. Definitions became necessary
only when universally held doctrines were denied, misinterpreted, added to, or
questioned, usually by an innovative priest or bishop of the Church, who would
use his pulpit and position to create a schism. But even these schisms served
to date Catholic doctrines. We find agreement between schismatics and Catholics
on the great bulk of doctrine. We know when the schismatics left us. We know
they would never accept Church authority after leaving. So the doctrines on
which we and they agree were held by both at the time they left us. And not too
many intended to leave us. But the Church in self-defense defined the
heretofore undefined, original, true doctrine, condemned the heresy (choice),
and let the heretics (choosers) choose also to accept the divine authority or
leave. It is hardly surprising that the Council of Trent, in the wake of the
Protestant Revolt, was most prolific in definitions.
Let us now examine what we shall term paradoctrine, the myriad private
revelations, many of which show every sign of lunacy or absurdity. We have no
intention of saddling you with any of them. We have everything needed for
salvation from the original Deposit of Faith, complete at the death of the last
Apostle, St. John. There have been reports of private revelations over the
centuries. If belief in these were required for salvation, many of our poor
deprived ancestors never had a chance.
Private revelations, even if undoubtedly true, can
bind no one except those who directly receive them. But, we are told, the Church
approves them. Church approval is based on non-contradiction of Catholic
dogma and morals in the message, not on the truth, credibility, or authenticity
of its content. Nor can it be argued that certain catastrophic events cannot
have happened because the seer(s) would have told us. It simply does not follow
that a seer sees or hears anything outside the particular subject of the
private revelation, especially if the undisclosed condition or fact is ascertainable
by natural means, such as inquiry or observation.
Some private revelations are so obviously false
that their pilgrims and devotees must deliberately deceive themselves. How, for
instance, can one seriously accept that the Blessed Virgin told a seer that a
third party, sacramentally married for decades, with several grown children,
should divorce her husband? What was his offense? Failure to believe and
financially to support the Medjugorje visionaries. A South American seer has
heard from Jesus that He will soon return and tell us the truth. When Paul VI
asked the Jesuits how to convince people to accept all his innovations, they
recommended multiple private revelations.
In our time, when what appears as God’s Holy
Church has removed all our certainties, we tend piously to follow any
“supernatural” pipeline from heaven back to stability, and to thank God for
granting new hopes never previously needed. A drowning man will grasp at
We have been asked for our authority. Whenever a
theologian issues a dogmatic or moral treatise he must submit it to the Church
for approval from the official censor (Nihil
obstat = Nothing impedes), and for permission to publish (Imprimatur = let it be printed), from
the local Ordinary (diocesan bishop). We have no mission from the Church.
But we cannot find a recognizable authority to
which we may submit our treatise. We could easily recognize proper authority by
its traditional aspect and by its pursuit
of the missionary effort. [Art thou he that art to come, or look we for
another? And Jesus making answer said to them: … the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Matthew 11:2-5.)]
If such an organization were visibly in action
there would be little need for our effort. Shall we refrain from propagating
the Gospel because those who were sent to spread it have disobediently refused
their commission? [….
Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, who followeth not us (who was not sent): and we forbade him.
But Jesus said: Do not forbid him. For
there is no man that doth a miracle in my name and can soon speak ill of me.
For he that is not against you is for you. (Mark 9:37-39)]
Were we to cite or quote the source of every
dogmatic or moral argument we use, the footnotes would exceed our argument.
They would, however, show that all our sources bear official approval of the
Church prior to 1958. We need invent nothing. It has all been taught for
centuries. If we knew nothing of it we could not pass it on. If no Catholic
passes it on, an essential characteristic of the Church is gone.
Convinced as we are that Catholicism is essential
to salvation, we are obliged to present this ultimate necessity to everyone. It
would be criminal to keep this to ourselves. Hell is forever, and we wish this
horror for no one. Please consider that:
God created all things, large and small, living
and lifeless, spiritual and corporeal, visible and invisible, natural,
preternatural, and supernatural, from nothing to perfection. Nothing exists
that He did not create. He is the only necessary Being. It follows that nothing
and no one can be His equal; no creature can attain equality with the Source of
contingent upon its own creation. There can be only one God, and no creature,
however capable or intelligent, can comprehend Him, establish rules for Him, or
set limits for Him. He is the Author of all limits, rules, laws, and life. He
wields absolute power over all creation. He does and permits nothing without
purpose, which often we cannot know or understand.
So why did this utterly happy, self-sufficient
Being create such a sorry lot as us?
To know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this
world, and to share His utter happiness in heaven.
Knowing God is not the same as defining
Him. The two do not stand or fall together. By identifying the two, the
Agnostic confounds inability to define with total inability to know—distinct
problems to be treated separately, since knowledge may fall short of definition
and be knowledge still. The process of knowing God thus becomes a process of
correcting our human concepts. The correction consists in raising to infinite,
unlimited significance the objective perfections discernible in men and things.
This is accomplished in turn by denying the limiting modes and imperfect
features distinctive of created reality, in order to replace these by the
thought of the All-perfect, in the plenitude of whose Being one undivided
reality corresponds to our numerous, distinct, partial concepts. In the light
of this applied corrective we are enabled to attribute to God the perfections
manifested in intelligence, will, power, personality, without making the
objective content of our idea of God merely the human magnified, or a bundle of
negations. The extreme of Anthropomorphism, or of defining God in terms of man
magnified, is thus avoided, and the opposite extreme of Agnosticism discounted.
Necessity compels us to think God under the relative, dependent features of our
experience. But no necessity of thought compels us to make the accidental
features of our knowledge the very essence of His being. The function of
denial, which the Agnostic overlooks, is a corrective, not purely negative,
function; and our idea of God, inadequate and solely proportional as it is, is
nevertheless positive, true, and valid according to the laws which govern all
We can neither love nor serve what we know not. We
can certainly know God’s existence by His visible creation, which has no other
possible or credible origin, as we have shown. We can love God as our Creator,
as we love our parents and more remote ancestors, without whom we would not
exist. But serve? Have we not free will? Is there no great urge to serve what
we see as our own interests?
Surely we can know Him, as much as He and our
spiritual capacity permit, through His own Revelation. He has therein disclosed
that He is One God in Three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Ghost, equally eternal and eternally equal in all things. Before He revealed
this no man could have imagined it. So in the revealing itself, He proved it,
and demanded belief as a condition of sharing His utter happiness in heaven.
Genesis relates that God said (1:26): “Let us make
man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the
sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every
creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.” [Let us make man to our image...
This image of God in man, is not in the body, but in the soul; which is a
spiritual substance, endued with understanding and free will. God speaketh here
in the plural number, to insinuate the plurality of persons in the
Deity. - Challoner Bible comment]
Why did God wait till fulfillment of the
prophecies of the Redeemer to reveal the Holy Trinity? It is not for us to
question His motives. But did not the fulfillment constitute part of the proof?
Did the elite of the Jews not reject both this fulfillment and the ultimate
proof that Christ rose from the dead by His own divine power? Might not their
ancestors have rejected the same Revelation of the Holy Trinity at any stage of
their history? We have all met men who cheerfully admit that they know all
there is to know, and conclude that anything beyond their own comprehension
cannot exist. So God conceivably put off their test in charity until necessary. But we can be sure that He had
better reasons, due, perhaps, to His eternal knowledge of all creation in all
stages, and to His flawless judgment. We can be sure also that we cannot tell
Him what kind of God we can accept. With the free will with which He has
endowed us we must choose whether to serve Him or not. He has told us “He that
is not with Me is against Me.” (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23) And “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John
14:15) And “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy
whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first
commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.”
(Matthew 22:37-40) And “Be not afraid of them who kill the body and after that
have no more that they can do.” But “Fear ye him who, after he hath killed,
hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you: Fear him.” (Luke 12:5)
History has no better attested fact than the
coming of Christ, which all prior generations awaited and prophesied, and all
since have celebrated as fulfillment of prophesy and basis for our
civilization, and even our calendar. His coming had a purpose, Redemption, and
a lasting effect. Neither could have been accomplished by a being only human,
or redemption would have been achieved at some time over the millennia since
the fall of Adam. Even a cursory reading of the Old Testament will demonstrate
the universal longing. Redemption itself proves the Fall. Without Original Sin
why would mankind need Redemption?
Redemption comes through the infinite merits of
Jesus Christ Who died for us all. “Greater
love than this no man hath,” He said (John 15:13-14), that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if
you do the things that I command you.” No man! Man is a finite being. All our perfections are limited,
even our love for our children. We cannot even begin to imagine God’s infinite love for His creatures, especially His rational creatures made in His own
“For this is good and acceptable
in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:3-4) What keeps us
from the embrace of this boundless love? Our mindless preference for our own
free will when and where it opposes God’s unquestionable limitless benevolence
and eternal truth.
The Catholic attitude to God’s message is summed
up in the prayer: “I believe in Thee, O my God, because Thou art the Eternal
Truth.” All mankind has been redeemed by Christ’s sacrificial death on Calvary.
But universal salvation is condemned as heresy. “…he that believeth
not shall be condemned.” - (Mark 16:16)
Belief is neither blind nor sufficient. St. Peter
wrote in his First Epistle: “But sanctify
the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that
asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you.” (3:15) and: “… if you invoke as Father him who, without
respect of persons, judgeth according to every one’s work: converse in
fear during the time of your sojourning here.” (1:17)
St. James’ Epistle reads: “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own
selves. For if a man be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he shall be
compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he beheld
himself and went his way and presently forgot what manner of man he was. But he
that hath looked into the perfect law of liberty and hath continued therein, not
becoming a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work: this man shall be
blessed in his deed.” (1:22-25) and “So
faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say:
Thou hast faith, and I have works. Shew
me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou
believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and
tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon
the altar? Seest thou that faith did cooperate with his works and by works
faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham
believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the
friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith
only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by
works, receiving the messengers and sending them out another way? For even as
the body without the spirit is dead: so also faith without works is dead.”
We must put our money where our mouth is. Who
rewards a disobedient servant? So how shall we obey? How shall we know our
obligations? By asking God’s constituted authority - His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, which has recorded all.
HERESY (The Catholic Encyclopedia,, Vol. VII,
257): “It cannot be pleaded in attenuation of the guilt of heresy that heretics
do not deny the faith which to them appears necessary to salvation, but only
such articles as they consider not to belong to the original deposit. ..... two
of the most evident truths of the depositum
fidei are the unity of the Church and the institution of a teaching
authority to maintain that unity. That unity exists in the Catholic Church, and
is preserved by the function of her teaching body: these are two facts which
anyone can verify for himself. In the constitution of the Church there is no
room for private judgment sorting essentials from non-essentials: any such
selection disturbs the unity, and challenges the divine authority of the
Church; it strikes at the very source of faith. The guilt of heresy is measured
not so much by its subject-matter as by its formal principle, which is the same
in all heresies: revolt against a Divinely constituted authority.”
ERROR (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V, page
525): ..... one way or another the product of ignorance. Besides the lack of
information it implies, it adds the positive element of a mental judgment, by
which something false is held to be true, or something true avouched to be
false. The subject matter ..... is either the law itself (one is astray in
affirming or denying the existence of a law, or ..... the inclusion of some
individual case under its operation) or a fact, or circumstance of fact (one
labors under an equal misapprehension, but with regard to a fact or aspect of a
When an agent deliberately omits means calculated
to dispel his error, or purposely fosters it, it is called affected error.
..... not so styled to indicate that it is simulated, but rather to point out
that the erroneous tenet has been studiously aimed at. When the error is the
offspring of sheer unrelieved negligence, it is termed crass. ..... [minimally
INADMISSIBILITY OF THEORETICAL DOGMATIC TOLERATION
(Vol XIV, pp. 765-6): Such toleration implies
indifference towards truth and, in principle, a countenancing of error; hence
it is clear that intolerance towards error as such is among the self-evident
duties of every man who recognizes ethical obligations. Inasmuch as this
dogmatic intolerance is a prominent characteristic of the Catholic Church, and
is stigmatized by the modern spirit as obstinacy and even as intolerable
arrogance, its objective justification must now be established. We will begin
with the incontestable claim of truth to universal recognition and exclusive
legitimacy. Just as the knowableness of truth is the fundamental presupposition
of every investigator, so also are its final attainment and possession his
goal. Error itself, as the opposite of truth is intelligible only when there is
an unchangeable norm of cognition by which the thinking mind is ruled. .....
Nowhere is dogmatic intolerance so necessary a
rule of life as in the domain of religious belief, since for each individual
his eternal salvation is at stake. Just as there can be no alternative
multiplication tables, so there can be but a single true religion, which, by
the very fact of its existence, protests against all other religions as false.
But the love of truth requires each man to stand forth as the incorruptible
advocate of truth and of truth alone. While abstract truth, both profane and
religious, asserts itself victoriously through its impersonal evidence against
all opposition, its human advocate, involved in personal contest with
adversaries of flesh and blood like himself, must have recourse to words and
writing. Hence the sharp, yet almost impersonal clash between opposing views of
life, each of which ..... is thoroughly convinced that it alone is right. But
the very devotion to truth which supports these convictions determines the kind
of polemics which each believes himself called on to conduct. He whose sole
concern is for truth itself, will never besmirch his escutcheon by lying or
calumny and will refrain from all personal invective. Conscious that the truth
for which he fights or in good faith believes he fights is, by reason of its
innate nobility, incompatible with any blemish or stain, he will never claim
license to abuse. ..... He may, however, by a fair counter-stroke parry an
unjust, malicious, and insulting attack, since his adversary has no right to
employ invective, to falsify history, to practise sordid proselytism, etc., and
may, therefore, be driven without pity from his false position. These principles
apply universally and for all men .....
If, therefore, the Catholic Church also claims the
right of dogmatic intolerance with regard to her teaching, it is unjust to
reproach her for exercising this right. With the imperturbable conviction that
she was founded by the God-man Jesus Christ as the “pillar and ground of truth”
(I Tim., iii, 15) and endowed with full power to teach, to rule, and to
sanctify, she regards dogmatic intolerance not alone as her incontestable
right, but also as a sacred duty. If Christian truth like every other truth is
incapable of double dealing, it must be as intolerant as the multiplication
table or geometry. The Church, therefore, demands, in virtue of her Divine
commission to teach, the unconditional acceptance of all the truths of
salvation which she preaches and proposes for belief, proclaiming to the world
with her Divine Founder the stern warning: “He that believeth and is baptized,
shall be saved : but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mark xvi, 16).
If, by conceding a convenient right of opinion or a falsely understood freedom
of faith, she were to leave everyone at liberty to accept or reject her dogmas,
her constitution, and her sacraments, as the existing differences of religions
compel the modern state to do, she would not only fail in her Divine mission,
but she would end her own life in voluntary suicide. As the true God can
tolerate no strange gods, the true Church of Christ can tolerate no strange
Churches beside herself, or, what amounts to the same, she can recognize none
as theoretically justified. And it is just in this exclusiveness that lies her
unique strength, the stirring power of her propaganda, the unfailing vigor of
her progress. A strictly logical consequence of this fundamental idea is the ecclesiastical
dogma that outside the Church there is no salvation. Scarcely any article of
faith gives such offense ..... occasions so many misunderstandings ..... owing
to its supposed hardness and uncharitableness. Yet this proposition is
necessarily and indissolubly connected with the principle of the exclusive
legitimacy of truth and with the ethical commandment of love for truth. Since
Christ Himself did not leave men free to choose whether they would belong to
the Church or not, it is clear that the idea of the Christian Church includes
as an essential element its necessity for salvation. In her doctrine the Church
must maintain that intolerance which the Divine Founder Himself proclaimed:
“And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the
publican” (Matt., xviii, 17). This explains the intense aversion which the
Church has displayed to heresy, the diametrical opposite to revealed truth (cf.
I Tim., i, 19; II Tim., ii, 25; Tit., iii, 10 sq.; II Thess. ii, 11). .....
Döllinger writes .....: “The Apostles knew no tolerance, no leniency towards
heresies. Paul inflicted formal excommunication on Hymenaeus and Alexander. And
such an expulsion from the Church was always to be inflicted. The Apostles
considered false doctrine as destructive as a wicked example. With weighty
emphasis Paul declares (Gal., i, 8): ‘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.’ Even the gentle John forbids the community to offer hospitality to
heretics coming to it, or even to salute them” (Christentum und Kirche,
Ratisbon, 1860, pp. 236 sq.) [minimally edited].
instruct you? Yes, but it would take all our time for years.
All the instruction ever needed is already in print.
Let us recommend
Belief of Catholics, by Ronald Knox (for brevity)
Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales (as included after
Father Patrick Danehy’s treatment of Penance.)
of Catechetical Instruction,
edited (1928) by Rt. Rev. Msgr. John Hagan, Rector, Irish College, Rome (four
Companion to the Summa, Walter Farrell O.P. (four volumes)
Catechism No. 2 or 3 (before 1958)
Replies, Rumble & Carty. (three volumes)
Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man, by G. K.
Chesterton; (for enjoyment)
Be absolutely sure to avoid the Dutch and French Catechisms,
Decrees & Documents of the Second Vatican Council,
all Papal Encyclicals since 1958, and
the new (1992) Catechism of the Catholic Church.