Pope to Celebrate Protestant Schism

Michael Matt asks “what will it take” to waken up the “neo-Catholics” (we call them diocesan Catholics)  –  those in the pews who are going along with the “reforms” of Vatican II, albeit, some at least, less than willingly.

I ask the same question. Since the February newsletter has been dropping through letter boxes,  I’ve had calls from concerned Catholics here in Scotland, stressed out about what they are witnessing in their parish Mass, but still not joining up the dots. One caller actually said she had been so proud of the new Pope, that he was portraying a great image of the Church with his concern for the poor and so on, but now she was concerned about this Lutheran celebration.

“Proud” of this awful Pope? Gimme, I mean GIMME strength! Yet these callers are lovely people, genuinely concerned about the liturgical abuses they are witnessing – as a matter of interest, two of these callers who were unknown to each other, rang about the same priest.

Anyway, are Catholics right to be shocked at the news that Pope Francis will actually participate – indeed play a leading role – in the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Protestant schism?  Or do we all need to “chill out” – it’s no big deal, really? Those of the latter view, remember, need to demonstrate how it came to pass that the Holy Spirit misinformed all the previous popes, prior to Vatican II, so that they condemned ecumenism and forbade Catholics from participating in ecumenical activities. If the Holy Spirit is truly leading the present Pope to do something which his predecessors have condemned, then we need answers. How can that be?  Over to you! 

152 responses

  1. I do wonder if Pope Francis actually knows anything about Martin Luther at all? Is he aware of his apostasy, his renunciation of his religious vows, of what he said about the Mass and the papacy etc? If he does not know then he is woefully ignorant. If he does know but still chooses to celebrate Luther…well it is impossible to make sense of it. I wish we could sit him down in front of our editor and get her to question just what he thinks he is doing!

      • I wonder if God ever forgave Luther?

        Editor: that’s a strange thing to wonder about. We know that God always forgives the repentant sinner. What would make more sense, would be if you wondered if Luther ever repented.

    • I wonder if Pope Francis actually knows (or cares) about the Catholic Faith. I wish he has as much respect for it as he clearly does for Lutheranism.

        • TonyBuck,

          So, we’re first to hear from you – WOW! You just gotta be one of those people they keep telling us lives on Mars. WOW! What’s it like up there? Weather wise, I mean – obviously there are no news outlets…

    • Around 1500, there were Catholic priests in Rome who after saying “Hoc est Corpus Meum” at the Consecration, muttered quietly to themselves “Bread thou art, and bread thou wilt remain.”

      Blame these guys – and all the other corrupt guys in the Catholic hierarchy at the time – for the Reformation; don’t blame Luther and the Protestants !

      • TonyBuck,

        Re: paragraph 1…

        And you obtained that “information” – from where? I’m presuming you weren’t around personally at the time, so would like to see your source for that claim, please and thank you… I mean, even Martin LUTHER believed in the Real Presence. So, source, please, please and thank YOU!

        Re: paragraph 2…

        Shucks, of course. Who’d even THINK of blaming Martin Luther and the Protestants for anything – heavens above, they’re canonisable saints now, and the way things are going we’ll soon be revering Martin Luther as a Doctor of the Church. Archbishop Lefebvre eat your heart out!

  2. As Sister Lucia of Fatima foretold: Diabolical Disorientation. At all levels in the Church. Nothing more, nothing less.

  3. If the Holy Spirit is truly leading the present Pope to do something which his predecessors have condemned, then we need answers.

    Editor indeed we do! Celebrating Luther and the horrors his schism caused is outrageous! For anyone who does not already know, check this link and be prepared to be shocked.

    Another question – Souls are in danger, has anyone heard ANY bishop comment on this – what on earth is going on?

    http://traditioninaction.org/religious/e043-Blasph.htm

    • Gerontius

      Will check out your link later but I have to issue a word of warning about the TIA website – I’m not convinced that they’re not sedevacantists. Not sure, but I don’t visit their site any more and use their material even less 😀

      No bishop will oppose this in Scotland. They’ve long sold their souls to ecumenism and inter-faith-ism… Sad, but true.

      • Thanks Editor, your warning about the TIA website duly noted

        I hadn’t realized that you had doubts about TIA.
        Any other dubious sites I should know about?
        I don’t want to commit another fox’s paw

        • Gerontius,

          Can’t think of any – except all and every sedevacantist site, the novus ordo watch gang and – oh yes – The Remnant (kidding!)

  4. First – please stop insulting the Pope. He is the shepherd and supreme pontiff whether you like him or not. Your remarks about Francis will only confirm ordinary Catholics in liking and admiring him.

    Second, the Reformation – which led to the Catholic Reformation – was the best thing that ever happened to the Catholic Church, waking up the old medieval Church and saving it from crumbling into dust.

    • Tony Buck,

      Firstly, nobody is ~”insulting” the Pope despite the fact that he routinely insults us – with bells on. We are duty bound to oppose anyone in authority who is preaching error and endangering the Faith, and if he’s not doing that, well I’m a shrinking violet.

      About the “old medieval Church” (the one minus the Holy Spirit, I presume) were you saying these things before Vatican II ? Or are you too young to remember life as a Catholic in a non-crisis-ridden Church?

      Oh and What do you mean by “Catholic Reformation”? You’re making it up as you’re gong along, Tony lad. Away back to Mars and take the recipe for Thornton’s chocolate with you ‘cos, as I’ve pointed out before, we at Catholic Truth are keen to save the earth because it’s the only planet with chocolate. You can change that Tony – away you go … Next ship to Mars in less than an hour. Safe trip!

      • Editor,

        Sorry, I couldn’t resist continuing “Tony Buck’s” anti-logic to its logical conclusion. If the Protestant revolt was the best thing that ever happened to the Catholic Church, then I suppose that Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Our Lord was the best thing that ever happened to humanity, since it sent Him to the Cross and enabled Him to redeem us….funny thing, though, I don’t seem to see Judas’ feast day anywhere in my Angelus calendar…..

    • Dominie Mary,

      I haven’t seen the latest Dici – must check it out. Since Bishop Fellay was the first person to identify Papa Francis as an “outright Modernist” it would be a pity of he thought he’d try his hand at diplomacy, just when things are going from bad to worse to worse again. Hopefully, not… Perhaps keeping his powder dry for good reason. Time will tell…

    • DominieMary,

      That seems to be a standard complaint about the Society, esp. among “Resistance” types who have no other fodder for their defective cannons, and even from an occasional blogger here, like CatholicConvert1. However, if you sign up for the DICI email list, you will see all manner of commentary about all the latest scandals in Rome – frequently from Father Alain Lorans, but others as well.

      • RCA Victor,

        I understand – I do get the Dici alerts but I think Dominie Mary means that there has been no statement from Bishop Fellay himself – although I don’t know that for sure. To clarify… I don’t know for sure that that is what DM means, and I don’t know for sure if there’s been a statement from Bishop Fellay but I suspect he realises that if he issued a statement every time Papa Francis speaks his nonsense, he would do nothing else. Michael Matt said as much in the video above.

        DM isn’t, I’d wager, a member of the daft Resistance (to nothing) band of not so merry men.

        • Thanks, Editor, you said what I was about to say, namely, that Bishop Fellay has a worldwide Society to oversee and the Faith to pass on. He can’t come running to the microphones to denounce every new scandal. Besides, that’s OUR job!!!

  5. I just received a booklet from the Fatima Center, compiled by John Vennari, entitled “The Revelations of the Holy Face of Jesus.” In Chapter VII he discusses Dr. Bella Dodd and the Communist infiltration of the Church, as she testified in the early 1950s to the House Un-American Activities Committee and in her speeches around the country. Excerpt:

    She explained that the tactic was to destroy not the institution of the Church, but rather the Faith of the people, and even to use the institution of the Church, if possible, to destroy the Faith through the promotion of a pseudo-religion – something that resembles Catholicism, but is not quite the real thing.

    “Not quite the real thing” was officially instituted (though, according to Fr. Gruner, never actually promulgated) by the appearance of the Novus Ordo, and the Vatican has been moving step-by-step towards the destruction of the Faith ever since, using the “boiled frog” technique. Since Francis the Destroyer appeared on the scene, however, the mask of incremental destruction has been torn off, and the scourging of the Church by her enemies is in full and frightening view and proceeding full steam ahead to its horrifying conclusion – that is, unless the Consecration is performed.

    So no doubt this sudden change of tactic and greatly accelerated process will have some of the “mainstream” faithful quite disturbed (those who take their faith seriously, that is) – I suspect small numbers of them will turn to the SSPX, or to the Fraternity, or ICK, or sedevacantism, but I also suspect that the majority will simply leave the Church and appear in Protestant houses of worship.

  6. This is old news, and to quote from the website of The Vatican and the fruits of modern scholarship:

    “The next step for Catholic research on Luther was to uncover analogous contents embedded in different theological thought structures and systems, carried out especially by a systematic comparison between the exemplary theologians of the two confessions, Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther. This work allowed theologians to understand Luther’s theology within its own framework. At the same time, Catholic research examined the meaning of the doctrine of justification within the Augsburg Confession. Here Luther’s reforming concerns could be set within the broader context of the composition of the Lutheran confessions, with the result that the intention of the Augsburg Confession could be seen as expressing fundamental reforming concerns as well as preserving the unity of the church. “

    • WACJ

      I was equally as shocked reading that just now as the very first time I read it on the Vatican website.

      Reflect: “… two confessions, Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther….”

      The Vatican place the Angelic Doctor, on an equal footing with the heretical and blasphemous Luther. And you, professing to be a Catholic, see no problem with that or I presume you’d have said so.

      Please do not talk of “the fruits of modern scholarship” in this matter. Martin Luther’s own writings reveal him as a nasty man, a heretic and a blasphemer.

      Name any scholar, modern or otherwise, who has quoted Luther’s evil words with approval. Even his own biographer noted that by the end of his life he was an arrogant man who would brook no opposition. Ever so humble. No wonder Papa Francis has taken a shine to him.

      Oh yeah, a modern Catholic WOULD put Luther on an equal footing with one of the Church’s greatest saints – but no true Catholic would dream of doing so.

      • The Pope, and his predecessor, have used Lutheran thinking to elucidate some things, and document I quoted is based on such scholarship, ancient and modern.

        I am not an expert on Luther, but I briefly studied with one of the foremost Catholic historians, in the UK, on this period, and The Catholic Reformation (as he himself termed it).

        • WACJ will you please name this ‘foremost Catholic historian’. As bloggers here know, many modern so-called ‘Catholic’ historians are anything but.

          Eamonn Duffy FBA, FSA, Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow and former President of Magdalene College, is more than entitled to your description, as a glance at his Wikipedia page shows.

          As he correctly describes the period to which you refer as the Counter-Reformation and not the Catholic Reformation, I doubt that he is your former mentor.

          In his seminal work The Stripping of the Altars he challenges and successfully exorcises the completely Protestantised view that the pre-Reformation Church was in a state of decay and in need of reform.

          To quote from an introduction, this work: …offers a fundamental challenge to much that has been written about the pre-Reformation Church. Eamonn Duffy recreates fifteenth-century English lay people’s experience of religion, revealing the richness and complexity of the Cathoicism by which men and women structured their experience of the world and their hopes within and beyond it. He then tells the powerful story of the destruction of that Church – the stripping of the altars – from Henry VIII’s break with the papacy until the Elizabethan settlement. Bringing together theological, liturgical, literary, and iconographic analysis with historical narrative, Duffy argues that late mediaeval Catholicism was neither decadent nor decayed but was a strong an vigorous tradition, and that the Reformation represented (a) violent rupture.

          Beware of ‘the fruits of modern scholarship’. They are very likely to be poisoned fruits, poisoned by the Modernism, WACJ, that influences every word you write here.

          • I would say Eamonn Duffy doesn’t deny The Church was in need of some reform, but he may disagree with some reform as to what was necessary.

            Most right thinking Catholics, for example, would surely condemn selling indulgences?

            I won’t name The Scholar, a priest. However, he ranks amongs the finest scholars.

            • WACJ

              The Church never sold indulgences and was not therefore in need of reform on that score. Some corrupt Churchmen sold indulgences in the same way that many more corrupt Churchmen of today illicitly introduced the abuse of Communion in the hand and permit extraordinary ministers of holy communion at every Mass against the strict restrictions of Pope John Paul II. This is a completely different proposition altogether.

              • Throughout the time, the now Saint, Pope John Paul was reigning no document equivalent to the recent one on The Mandantum was issued by him, and throughout his reign, as now, The Roman Missal contains The Rite for Commissioning EMHC.

                Funds from selling indulgences, it is said, paid for the building St Peters, and The Crusades.E Duffy “The Stripping of The Altars p 208.

                No one has said human fertility was dependent on which Form of Holy Mass was celebrated though.

            • Then I would say that you have completely misunderstood or, more likely, wilfully misrepresent what Eamonn Duffy has said in his book in its entirety. Even in the minor (in his book) matter of indulgences, which only those with pro-Protestant, pro-Lutheran sympathies will seize on, Duffy does not mention ‘funds from selling indulgences’ as you wrongly suggest. He speaks of the faithful ‘contributing to charitable causes’ which indicates a world of difference in piety and devotional intent.

              It is a pity that you cannot name ‘The Scholar’, a priest, and it is not too bright or honest of anyone to claim such an ally, whose degree of ‘fineness’ and orthodoxy of scholarship cannot be revealed and tested by all involved in the debate.

              • Anyone reading Mr Duffy can clearly see what he means by his chosen terminology, and his reservations about the practice. The only thing that we can quibble about is his terminology, and not the practice of which he speaks,

                He is, of course, not the only historian in the world. Indeed there are countless thousands. He writes history not dogmatic truths.

                If these exchanges are seen by you as a debate then you also misunderstand the term debate.

                • And can you clearly see what Eamonn Duffy means, taking his book in its entirety, and not merely in the short chapter that preoccupies you? And that you clearly see what he means in that very chapter is debatable. Yes – debatable. I do not ‘misunderstand the term debate’, but, like most reasonably well-educated people, I do not restrict my use of a word to its primary sense.

                  • No serious Catholic Scholar disputes that, even if in a limited sense, and only in some quarters, Indugences were sold. No one!

                    • As usual you do not answer questions. You are now implying, if you are responding to me, that I dispute that indulgences were sold. Where, pray did I say any such thing? I was familiar with ‘The Pardoner’s Tale’ possibly before you were born! What I am saying, in case anyone else is interested, is that the ‘buying and selling of indulgences’ is a Protestant charge levelled at the Church, which approved no such practice. Venial men, like Chaucer’s Pardoner ‘sold’ indulgences. That is universally accepted to have been evil. What Duffy does is to allow us a glimpse into the devotion of simple souls, who, while they were ‘scammed’ by such evil men, nevertheless had much good and meritorious intent.

                      I await an apology for your mistaken accusation re my understanding of my native language😕.

        • WACJ

          Luther’s admonition: “Destroy the Mass and you will destroy the Catholic Church”

          That’s all I need to know scholarly about Luther. Perhaps those of you who defend the New Mass, incorporating Luther’s ideas, would do well to reflect on his words.

          • Athanasius

            I find it odd that you regularly accept praise, and adulation, for your knowledge and scholarship and yet Pope Benedict did NOT lift the excommunication of Martin Luther, as you claim, and the only time this quote (“Destroy the Mass and you will destroy the Catholic Church”) appears anywhere is when you quote it on this site at least twice. No other source can be found for it

            And yet you demand other people cite documents that an idiot could source to prove The One, Holy, Apostolic Church, especially at The SVC, and in the person of the Pope, has a different understanding of Holy Scripture and Tradition to you. You may disagree with what The Magisterium currently says, but as such a deep profound researcher why not do the research yourself, and not quote “facts” you have not sourced?

            • Tolle Missam, tolle ecclesiam, ( destroy the Mass and you destroy the Church) was indeed a quotation from Martin Luther and was also used by Cardinal Newman. Just take the trouble to Google it and you will see that Athanasius was right.

              • Actually people attribute a different translation, to that given by Anathansius, to Luther but no-one cites the source for the attribution. Much the same as was done by Athanasius in relation to Pope Benedict and Luther.

  7. http://www.dici.org/en/news/pope-francis-visits-evangelical-lutheran-church-in-rome/

    Pope Francis invited questions from the congregation when he visited the above Church in November 2015. A Lutheran woman married to a Catholic Italian man expressed her pain at not being able to receive Communion in the Catholic Church alongside her husband.

    What does he say? He basically left the answer to her conscience, and three Cardinals were present and heard what he said. Pope Francis is disingenuous in not giving a straight answer to the woman. He was not willing to express Catholic teaching on why non Catholics cannot receive Communion.
    But, that would have been seen as a retrograde step in the ecumenical and dialogues stakes. No evangelisation allowed.

    Cardinal Kaspar was one of the three Cardinals present. With the Synod of the Family late last year where a push for divorced and remarried Catholics being allowed to receive Communion as a matter of conscience. The impression is now being given that Non Catholics should be allowed to receive Communion.

    • It is perfectly logical that our Modernist hierarchy is set to commemorate Luther. Benedict XVI was behind the Catholic/Lutheran agreement, afterwards lifting the excommunication on Luther. Now Francis makes further advances to his like-minded Lutheran reformers. It wasn’t for no reason that our senior Churchmen eradicated almost everything of the ancient Faith after Vatican II. There was an end game and that end game was unity in Protestantism. It began with a parallel of Luther’s vernacular meal service, called the New Mass of 1969, was followed by Catholic regret and self-blame over the 16th century schism, and is set to end in a new Lutheran type reformed Church with a little Catholic decoration for sensibility’ sake. It’s treachery beyond belief, a counter-counter-Reformation. Luther would have loved it!

      • Athanasius,

        I didn’t know that Benedict had lifted the excommunication of Luther. What a horror! But these servants of human respect always operate in the same way. Viz., the American Psychological Society voted in 1974 to eliminate homosexuality from their list of mental disorders, as a result of relentless pressure by homosexual militants – and that became the legitimizing basis of their assault on marriage and the family (not to mention free speech, religious freedom and the right of association). Likewise, a Luther restored to “full communion” was the means to celebrate his alleged “spirituality,” “gifts,” etc. and pave the way for the Church to officially become just another Protestant sect, as you say.

        • RCA Victor

          The ridiculous thing is that excommunications cannot be lifted posthumously on heretics and schismatics who died without demonstrating any remorse for their errors. Consequently, the lifting of Luther’s excommunication is meaningless. The man died a heretical and schismatic priest who even broke his vow of celibacy. But these Modernists know that it looks and sounds good for a Pope to declare the lifting of Luther’s excommunication, even if it is meaningless. It helps advance ecumenism.

      • Athanasius

        Meanwhile, make sure that Pope Pius X11 goes to the end of the canonisation queue in case that puts a spanner in the works.

  8. The Editor has suggested commentators correct errors as they arise.

    For many decades The Catholic Church has worked towards reconciling differences with The Lutherans, but the question of lifting the excommunication on Martin Luther has never been answered, and some are hoping it will happen in 2017.

    In 1983, the then Pope John Paul, now Pope Saint John Paul, preached in a Lutheran Church, and spoke of the contribution Martin Luther had made to The Church, and society, and as late as 2011 Cardinal Koch guardedly said co-operation between the two Communions was a “two way street” when asked about the excommunication.

    It is unfortunate that some pose as experts on every topic, and others treat them a Guru.

    May I suggest people would do better to consult The Vatican website, and recognised Church documents, still used by The Magisterium, as true expressions of Tradition and Holy Scripture, rather than sit at the feet of self educated, and proclaimed, sages?

    • WACJ

      Churchmen should NOT have been working towards reconciling differences – truth and error cannot be “reconciled”. Errors must be corrected, refuted.

      Read the following encyclical which is on the Vatican website
      . It contradicts and condemns entirely, what Pope John Paul II did by preaching in a Lutheran Church etc – as scandal which you endorse. Well, read the encyclical which I have copied and pasted for you here and tell me which of these Popes is right and which wrong. Which one DID have the Holy Spirit at his elbow as he wrote and which had the Holy Spirit at his elbow as he did the very opposite. God, remember, is immutable, unchanging. By the way, allow me to emphasise the fact that the encyclical to follow is on the Vatican website, since you consider that a litmus text of trustworthiness…

      MORTALIUM ANIMOS

      ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI
      ON RELIGIOUS UNITY
      TO OUR VENERABLE BRETHREN THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES,
      ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS, AND OTHER LOCAL ORDINARIES
      IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE.

      Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

      Never perhaps in the past have we seen, as we see in these our own times, the minds of men so occupied by the desire both of strengthening and of extending to the common welfare of human society that fraternal relationship which binds and unites us together, and which is a consequence of our common origin and nature. For since the nations do not yet fully enjoy the fruits of peace – indeed rather do old and new disagreements in various places break forth into sedition and civic strife – and since on the other hand many disputes which concern the tranquillity and prosperity of nations cannot be settled without the active concurrence and help of those who rule the States and promote their interests, it is easily understood, and the more so because none now dispute the unity of the human race, why many desire that the various nations, inspired by this universal kinship, should daily be more closely united one to another.

      2. A similar object is aimed at by some, in those matters which concern the New Law promulgated by Christ our Lord. For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little. turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.

      3. But some are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians.

      4. Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity? Who would dare to say that he loved Christ, unless he worked with all his might to carry out the desires of Him, Who asked His Father that His disciples might be “one.”[1] And did not the same Christ will that His disciples should be marked out and distinguished from others by this characteristic, namely that they loved one another: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another”?[2] All Christians, they add, should be as “one”: for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength. These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; and these men, so far from being quite few and scattered, have increased to the dimensions of an entire class, and have grouped themselves into widely spread societies, most of which are directed by non-Catholics, although they are imbued with varying doctrines concerning the things of faith. This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed.

      5. Admonished, therefore, by the consciousness of Our Apostolic office that We should not permit the flock of the Lord to be cheated by dangerous fallacies, We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil; for We are confident that by the writings and words of each one of you the people will more easily get to know and understand those principles and arguments which We are about to set forth, and from which Catholics will learn how they are to think and act when there is question of those undertakings which have for their end the union in one body, whatsoever be the manner, of all who call themselves Christians.

      6. We were created by God, the Creator of the universe, in order that we might know Him and serve Him; our Author therefore has a perfect right to our service. God might, indeed, have prescribed for man’s government only the natural law, which, in His creation, He imprinted on his soul, and have regulated the progress of that same law by His ordinary providence; but He preferred rather to impose precepts, which we were to obey, and in the course of time, namely from the beginnings of the human race until the coming and preaching of Jesus Christ, He Himself taught man the duties which a rational creature owes to its Creator: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all, in these days, hath spoken to us by his Son.”[3] From which it follows that there can be no true religion other than that which is founded on the revealed word of God: which revelation, begun from the beginning and continued under the Old Law, Christ Jesus Himself under the New Law perfected. Now, if God has spoken (and it is historically certain that He has truly spoken), all must see that it is man’s duty to believe absolutely God’s revelation and to obey implicitly His commands; that we might rightly do both, for the glory of God and our own salvation, the Only-begotten Son of God founded His Church on earth. Further, We believe that those who call themselves Christians can do no other than believe that a Church, and that Church one, was established by Christ; but if it is further inquired of what nature according to the will of its Author it must be, then all do not agree. A good number of them, for example, deny that the Church of Christ must be visible and apparent, at least to such a degree that it appears as one body of faithful, agreeing in one and the same doctrine under one teaching authority and government; but, on the contrary, they understand a visible Church as nothing else than a Federation, composed of various communities of Christians, even though they adhere to different doctrines, which may even be incompatible one with another. Instead, Christ our Lord instituted His Church as a perfect society, external of its nature and perceptible to the senses, which should carry on in the future the work of the salvation of the human race, under the leadership of one head,[4] with an authority teaching by word of mouth,[5] and by the ministry of the sacraments, the founts of heavenly grace;[6] for which reason He attested by comparison the similarity of the Church to a kingdom,[7] to a house,[8] to a sheepfold,[9] and to a flock.[10] This Church, after being so wonderfully instituted, could not, on the removal by death of its Founder and of the Apostles who were the pioneers in propagating it, be entirely extinguished and cease to be, for to it was given the commandment to lead all men, without distinction of time or place, to eternal salvation: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations.”[11] In the continual carrying out of this task, will any element of strength and efficiency be wanting to the Church, when Christ Himself is perpetually present to it, according to His solemn promise: “Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world?”[12] It follows then that the Church of Christ not only exists to-day and always, but is also exactly the same as it was in the time of the Apostles, unless we were to say, which God forbid, either that Christ our Lord could not effect His purpose, or that He erred when He asserted that the gates of hell should never prevail against it.[13]

      7. And here it seems opportune to expound and to refute a certain false opinion, on which this whole question, as well as that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring about the union of the Christian churches depends. For authors who favor this view are accustomed, times almost without number, to bring forward these words of Christ: “That they all may be one…. And there shall be one fold and one shepherd,”[14] with this signification however: that Christ Jesus merely expressed a desire and prayer, which still lacks its fulfillment. For they are of the opinion that the unity of faith and government, which is a note of the one true Church of Christ, has hardly up to the present time existed, and does not to-day exist. They consider that this unity may indeed be desired and that it may even be one day attained through the instrumentality of wills directed to a common end, but that meanwhile it can only be regarded as mere ideal. They add that the Church in itself, or of its nature, is divided into sections; that is to say, that it is made up of several churches or distinct communities, which still remain separate, and although having certain articles of doctrine in common, nevertheless disagree concerning the remainder; that these all enjoy the same rights; and that the Church was one and unique from, at the most, the apostolic age until the first Ecumenical Councils. Controversies therefore, they say, and longstanding differences of opinion which keep asunder till the present day the members of the Christian family, must be entirely put aside, and from the remaining doctrines a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, and in the profession of which all may not only know but feel that they are brothers. The manifold churches or communities, if united in some kind of universal federation, would then be in a position to oppose strongly and with success the progress of irreligion. This, Venerable Brethren, is what is commonly said. There are some, indeed, who recognize and affirm that Protestantism, as they call it, has rejected, with a great lack of consideration, certain articles of faith and some external ceremonies, which are, in fact, pleasing and useful, and which the Roman Church still retains. They soon, however, go on to say that that Church also has erred, and corrupted the original religion by adding and proposing for belief certain doctrines which are not only alien to the Gospel, but even repugnant to it. Among the chief of these they number that which concerns the primacy of jurisdiction, which was granted to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. Among them there indeed are some, though few, who grant to the Roman Pontiff a primacy of honor or even a certain jurisdiction or power, but this, however, they consider not to arise from the divine law but from the consent of the faithful. Others again, even go so far as to wish the Pontiff Himself to preside over their motley, so to say, assemblies. But, all the same, although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor. Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act. it does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ.

      8. This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise? For here there is question of defending revealed truth. Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world in order that they might permeate all nations with the Gospel faith, and, lest they should err, He willed beforehand that they should be taught by the Holy Ghost:[15] has then this doctrine of the Apostles completely vanished away, or sometimes been obscured, in the Church, whose ruler and defense is God Himself? If our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was to continue not only during the times of the Apostles, but also till future ages, is it possible that the object of faith should in the process of time become so obscure and uncertain, that it would be necessary to-day to tolerate opinions which are even incompatible one with another? If this were true, we should have to confess that the coming of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, and the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, and the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have several centuries ago, lost all their efficacy and use, to affirm which would be blasphemy. But the Only-begotten Son of God, when He commanded His representatives to teach all nations, obliged all men to give credence to whatever was made known to them by “witnesses preordained by God,”[16] and also confirmed His command with this sanction: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.”[17] These two commands of Christ, which must be fulfilled, the one, namely, to teach, and the other to believe, cannot even be understood, unless the Church proposes a complete and easily understood teaching, and is immune when it thus teaches from all danger of erring. In this matter, those also turn aside from the right path, who think that the deposit of truth such laborious trouble, and with such lengthy study and discussion, that a man’s life would hardly suffice to find and take possession of it; as if the most merciful God had spoken through the prophets and His Only-begotten Son merely in order that a few, and those stricken in years, should learn what He had revealed through them, and not that He might inculcate a doctrine of faith and morals, by which man should be guided through the whole course of his moral life.

      9. These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment “Love one another,” altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ’s teaching: “If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you.”[18] For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful? For example, those who affirm, and those who deny that sacred Tradition is a true fount of divine Revelation; those who hold that an ecclesiastical hierarchy, made up of bishops, priests and ministers, has been divinely constituted, and those who assert that it has been brought in little by little in accordance with the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that marvelous conversion of the bread and wine, which is called transubstantiation, and those who affirm that Christ is present only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognize the nature both of a sacrament and of a sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial or commemoration of the Lord’s Supper; those who believe it to be good and useful to invoke by prayer the Saints reigning with Christ, especially Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who urge that such a veneration is not to be made use of, for it is contrary to the honor due to Jesus Christ, “the one mediator of God and men.”[19] How so great a variety of opinions can make the way clear to effect the unity of the Church We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians. But We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ’s believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.

      10. So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: “The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly.”[20] The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that “this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills.”[21] For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one,[22] compacted and fitly joined together,[23] it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.[24]

      11. Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. Did not the ancestors of those who are now entangled in the errors of Photius and the reformers, obey the Bishop of Rome, the chief shepherd of souls? Alas their children left the home of their fathers, but it did not fall to the ground and perish for ever, for it was supported by God. Let them therefore return to their common Father, who, forgetting the insults previously heaped on the Apostolic See, will receive them in the most loving fashion. For if, as they continually state, they long to be united with Us and ours, why do they not hasten to enter the Church, “the Mother and mistress of all Christ’s faithful”?[25] Let them hear Lactantius crying out: “The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned, which will be lost and entirely destroyed, unless their interests are carefully and assiduously kept in mind.”[26]

      12. Let, therefore, the separated children draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, the Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to that See, We repeat, which is “the root and womb whence the Church of God springs,”[27] not with the intention and the hope that “the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”[28] will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government. Would that it were Our happy lot to do that which so many of Our predecessors could not, to embrace with fatherly affection those children, whose unhappy separation from Us We now bewail. Would that God our Savior, “Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,”[29] would hear us when We humbly beg that He would deign to recall all who stray to the unity of the Church! In this most important undertaking We ask and wish that others should ask the prayers of Blessed Mary the Virgin, Mother of divine grace, victorious over all heresies and Help of Christians, that She may implore for Us the speedy coming of the much hoped-for day, when all men shall hear the voice of Her divine Son, and shall be “careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”[30]

      13. You, Venerable Brethren, understand how much this question is in Our mind, and We desire that Our children should also know, not only those who belong to the Catholic community, but also those who are separated from Us: if these latter humbly beg light from heaven, there is no doubt but that they will recognize the one true Church of Jesus Christ and will, at last, enter it, being united with us in perfect charity. While awaiting this event, and as a pledge of Our paternal good will, We impart most lovingly to you, Venerable Brethren, and to your clergy and people, the apostolic benediction.

      Given at Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the 6th day of January, on the Feast of the Epiphany of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in the year 1928, and the sixth year of Our Pontificate.

      PIUS XI END.

      As for your unkind jibe – no-one here is “posing as an expert”. The very fact that you think it takes an expert to know and expound elementary Catholic teaching and morals, speaks for itself. Any numpty should be able to see that it makes no sense for a Pope to praise and thank God for splitting Christendom, for causing confusion and chaos for generations, for allowing the blood of martyrs to be spilt in defence of the one true Church, if there IS no “one true Church”. Think, think, think, WACJ, and when you’ve done that, think again.

      • Editor

        I realise, with sorrow, we may not reconcile our differing understanding of certain Church documents, and their application.

        However, at length some commentators were claiming that it woz bennie that dun it, and the excommunication was lifted.

        The point I am making is that the dialogue goes back decades – for good or ill we will have to disagree – and the issue of excommuncation is ongoing, but some here pose as an expert on every topic, and are assuming a claim to infallability, and are seen by some in that light, and they are not and they should not be.

        • WACJ,

          Your stock-in-trade appears to be exaggeration and evasion. No one here has ever posed as an expert, nor has anyone claimed to be infallible. That is ridiculous and you should be ashamed of yourself for making such false statements. As for evasion, note your reaction to Mortalium Animos: “I realise, with sorrow, we may not reconcile our differing understanding of certain Church documents, and their application.” There is only one possible understanding of this Magisterial document, and that is what the text itself says. Only someone who has drunk the Vatican II Kool-Aid would fall back on an imaginary “differing understanding,”: thus attempting, with transparent dishonesty, to create wiggle-room for his erroneous arguments. The same Kool-Aid, in fact, with which Cardinal Ratzinger, with appalling arrogance, imagined himself justified in claiming that Gaudium et Spes is a “counter-syllabus.”

          You want legitimize your own private judgment? I recommend the Lutheran “Church.”

          • RCA Victor

            I agree with you. I note in particular that WACJ has vanished since I again asked him to prove his heterodox statement that ecumenism is consistent with pre-Vatican II teaching. He just refuses point blank to answer with evidence to back his claim. I’m not surprised, since there is no presentable evidence. But it just shows that while he wants others to acknowledge personal errors, he refuses to acknowledge his own more serious ones.

        • Who alone,

          I take it you mean there are different ways of interpreting Mortalium Animos, which editor posted for you to read.

          I’d be very interested to learn how you interpret that document and how you think it should be applied today. It seems very clear to me – and it is infallibly binding BTW. How many ways can you interpret a condemnation of ecumenical activities of the kind now commonplace, and a statement of welcome when the Protestants decide to return to the one Church of Christ? I can only see one interpretation, which is not to have these ecumenical meetings and Protestants must convert back to the Catholic Church.

          I look forward to you interpretation.

          • Encyclicals are not always, and in fact very rarely, an exercise in Papal infallibility, and three conditions must be met for them to be so: 1) the subject is a matter of faith or morals, 2) the pope must be teaching as supreme pastor, and 3) the pope must indicate that the teaching is infallible within the document itself.

            • The Pope is also speaking infallibly when he repeats a teaching always believed in the Church. You forgot that one. So, Mortalium Animos has to be infallible teaching since it is repeating what has always been believed until the errors of Vatican II. There is even a document on the Vatican website to clear up the confusion caused by Vatican II and one of the things that is explained is why we cannot talk about “Church” in regard to the Protestant “ecclesial communities”. That’s on the Vatican website.

              • Repetition of an idea does not, of itself, make it an authentic statement of truth. There was very little ecumenism at the time of the early fathers, and that might be why they didn’t define it! It is a mistake to claim the cloak of infallibity for everything ever said, no matter how often. That is why God, in his love and mercy, has given The Church The Office of Peter, and the successors to The Apostles, to guid eus, and properly draw on the store of things old, and new.

    • WACJ

      I am always willing to accept correction of any errors I post, as my Catholic duty dictates. As regards my claim that Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Luther, I was wrong and I accept your correction with thanks.

      It seems this widespread rumour arose from an address given to Lutherans by Pope John Paul II, who declared, speaking of Luther, that excommunication ends with death. This was taken by some as a suggestion by the Pope that Luther’s excommunication was no longer effective or important. The Pope also made apologies on behalf of the Church for all wrongs done to Lutherans at the time of the Reformation, which was itself a great scandal. The Catholic Church is indefectible and cannot therefore be guilty of sin.

      I am reminded here of the lament of Pius XII who predicted that a time was coming when some would want to make the Church feel remorse for her historical past. This is precisely what happens when modern Popes start offering apologies to heretical and schismatic sects for historically defending the true faith against their errors.

      At any rate, correction noted and accepted. I have never claimed to be infallible, after all!

    • WACJ

      It occurs to me that you never did accept my correction of a much more serious error posted on this blog.

      You may recall that you stated that ecumenism was consistent with pre-Vatican II teaching, against which error I asked you to provide Magisterial proof. In fact, I asked several times and on all occasions you ignored my request.

      Perhaps now that you’ve set the bar, so to speak, you will follow your own advice and finally present the requested evidence or retract your heterodox statement.

      • When I last heard, to enter in full canonical status with The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, The SSPX need to affirm the teachings of The Second Vatican Council, and its subsequent documents. The recent, and current, occupants of The See of Peter, and the wider Magisterium, believe, and proclaim that their teaching is wholly consistent with Tradition and Holy Scripture. I cannot add to what they say.

        • Absolute rubbish. Nobody has to “affirm the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and its subsequent documents.” There is nothing infallible about Vatican II and apart from teachings which were just repeated that had always been believed, such as the Pope as Supreme Pastor, nothing is binding in its documents.

          The Fathers of Vatican II refused to define anything at the Council. Actually, Pope Paul VI said, in an audience on January 12, 1966, said that the Council “had avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner dogmas affected by the mark of infallibility.” (cf. the declaration of the Theological Commission of March 6, 1964, and repeated by the Council’s General Secretary on November 16, 1964: “In view of conciliar practice and the pastoral purpose of the present Council, this sacred Synod defines matters of faith or morals as binding on the Church only when the Synod itself openly declares so.” Note, it never did declare anything binding.

          You are also wrong about the Church authorities insisting the SSPX declare full acceptance of Vatican II. The opposite happened. I recall Pope Benedict saying that there was room for legitimate criticism or refusal of certain things.

          The SSPX hold the same position on ecumenism as all of the pre-Vatican II popes, which is why they cannot agree that all religions are equal before God. Were all those popes wrong?

          • No one in The Vatican today says all religions are equal, because it is only through Jesus Christ that anyone can be saved, but it does,in effect, say other faiths may be of value as a tool of pre-evangelisation tool, and a valid human experience, prior to them accepting The Gospel.

            • Who alone,

              Well find anything in Mortalium Animos which backs up this theory that other faiths have value etc.

              • My faith is not dependent on the interpretation of one, or a limited number, of document(s), but the constant teaching espoused by The Successors of The Apostles in Full Communion with the Bishop of Rome.

                • Who alone,

                  Absolutely rubbish! If your faith were the same as the constant teaching of the Popes, you would see that there is no continuity between all the popes prior to V2 and the present popes.

                  Post Vatican II it’s like a different religion altogether. Do you think Pope Francis approves of Pius XI teaching in Mortalium Animos? He can’t or he wouldn’t be doing the very opposite – LOL!

                • WACJ

                  “My faith is not dependent on the interpretation of one, or a limited number, of document(s), but the constant teaching espoused by The Successors of The Apostles in Full Communion with the Bishop of Rome.”

                  But you don’t know the teaching of the Church and the Magisterium!

                  You claimed, for example, that ecumenism is consistent with pre-Vatican II Church Magisterial teaching, but when asked to provide proof you went silent. You simply don’t know your faith, WACJ. You’re a Modernist who likes the soft Church of today, just admit to it.

                  • I actually answered you elsewhere. The documents are owned by The Church, and not The Church by them. They are to be interpreted by the living Church in Communion with The Pope, and The Successors to The Apostles, and in no other way.

                    • What does that mean “owned by the Church and not the Church by them” – that sounds like another way of saying the teachings can be changed at the will of a particular pope.

                      You cannot say that Mortalium Animos can be interpreted by “the living Church” so that it is actually being contradicted. Interpretation and contradiction are not the same thing, but opposites.

                      What will you do if the next pope re-affirms in public the traditional teaching of the Church on ecumenism, and tells us to stick to Mortalium Animos, no more ecumenical meetings etc? Will you obey that?

                    • WACJ

                      No, you did not answer elsewhere and now you’re trying to waffle. Get the proof to back you claim that ecumenism is consistent with pre-Vatican II teaching or retract your heterodox assertion. And please, don’t try to waffle with spurious arguments based on the Modernist perversion of “Living Tradition,” which is also a condemned error.

                • WACJ,

                  Take note of what Athanasius has said about your persistent refusal to provide evidence – as requested many times – to substantiate your claims to Catholic fidelity, when it is clear that you do not know the Faith. Very clear.

                  I wish to add but one word of warning, WACJ. It is a grave sin against the Holy Spirit, to deny the manifest truth. That is what you are doing by clinging to your Modernist lies. Think on, as they say south of the border. It could not be clearer, the difference between the teachings of pre-Vatican II popes and the post-Vatican II popes, notably on ecumenism. You must see that, and yet you refuse to admit it. That, objectively (since I cannot read your soul) is a very grave sin.

                  • As you know The SSPX in particular, but presumably every Catholic, has been told to be in Communion with Rome, and to be in line with Tradition and Holy Scripture, the teaching of The SVC and later documents have to be assented to.

                    • WACJ

                      I think you’ll find that it’s the Vatican authorities since the SVC who are not in communion with previous Church teaching, not the SSPX, which merely remains faithful to what has been handed down.

                      As for Vatican II defining nothing new. You’re right, Vatican II was a mere pastoral Council that was declared non-doctrinal.

                      However, that pastoral Council has since been portrayed as a doctrinal, defining Council with authority to introduce new and dangerous doctrines into the Church, namely religious liberty and ecumenism. You say these are consistent with the past yet refuse to offer the evidence. In other words, you tell lies and you use false obedience to the Pope and a pastoral Council to defend perversion of Catholic doctrine. You are not an honest personm WACJ, you’re a Modernist deceiver.

                      I’m sorry to be so blunt, but weeks of exchanges with you on various subjects concerning the faith have convinced me that you are not educated in your religion and you are most certainly not objective.

          • I believe you will find The SVC didn’t define anything NEW. That is the important difference. Everything it said was based on Tradition and Holy Scripture, and the mandate given to The Church.

            • I think you really and truly don’t know the faith as someone has already said about you. Vatican II didn’t define anything, that’s what the Pope said at the outset, that it wouldn’t be a dogmatic Council, just pastoral. But the periti at the Council admitted that they went into the schema when the bishops left and inserted ambiguous statements that could be interpreted liberally. Also, as you say nothing new was defined because that would mean that heresy was officially taught by the Church and Jesus promised that wouldn’t happen, but new teachings were brought in just the same, ecumenism being the best example. That contradicted previous teachings which is why it is not and can never be official Church teaching.

              I wondered if this would help you to see the situation more clearly
              http://www.fisheaters.com/traditionalcatholicism.html

            • WACJ

              We both know that the documents of Vatican II are full of ambiguities, “time bombs” as the late Michael Davies rightly termed them. They were written up by Modernists with great guile and the devil’s cunning.

        • I have noted, as has everyone else, that you are avoiding the ecumenical consistency question like the plague. For the 5th time, please back up your claim that ecumenism is consistent with pre-Vatican II teaching with evidence from Church teaching.

          • Ecumenism = dialogue. No way can dialogue be in conflict with The Church as Jesus himself, and His Apostles, used methods. There will, of course, come a point where, as in John’s Gospel when some refused to accept his teaching on The Eucharist, that the discourse must end. I do not have to cite any particular document, as you choose to deny their teaching, whereas The Church says they are not optional.

            • What do you mean by “The Church”? If you read the encyclical Mortalium Animos, the Pope makes very clear that Catholics can “nowise” (his word) take part in these ecumenical meetings.

            • WACJ

              That is no proper response to my request. Stop the waffle and provide the proof from pre-Vatican II teaching that the Church favours ecumenism. If you can’t provide official documentation then don’t bother responding with more waffle.

            • WACJ

              I forgot to mention that the Church does not “dialogue” with heretics and schismatics, she invites them back to the true religion and commands absolute obedience to the truths handed down.

              As for “Ecumenism = Dialogue,” where have you been hiding these past 50 years. Are you saying that you are ignorant of all those Catholic/Protestant services that go on all the time in the name of ecumenism? What have these got to do with dialogue. I’ll assume you’re unaware of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s Argentina ecumenical record, particularly the event at which he knelt to receive the blessings of various Protestant ministers in front of a crowd of 7000 wtnesses. What has that to do with dialogue?

              And what about the Cardinal in America, whose name escapes me right now, who renewed his baptismal promises before a female Protestant minister. What has that to do with dialogue?

              I could reel off a thousand such scandals that people like you try to put down to dialogue, but what’s the point. You’re not interested in truth.

  9. Phew, Ed. Might I humbly refer here to a comment I have just put above in response to one of WACJ’s posts, in which I refer to Eamon Duffy’s the Stripping of the Altars in this context of Pope Francis’s (and previous popes) disgraceful betrayal of the Church of Christ.

    • Christiana

      You bring an important book into the discussion – and it is one of the best and most interesting offerings to have emerged on the process of Reformation. But I am not quite sure you are right that a lively popular culture is, by that token, in no need of Reformation.

      Canon Duffy’s argument is aimed at the slack historical thinking that, because the Reformation had become “popular” in the English Church by 1690, it had also been popular back in 1530. He challenged this assumption and investigated medieval parish inventories, churchwardens’ accounts, wills and donations, demonstrating that the old regime had been massively popular and that it took several generations to change cultural perceptions. The battle between radical Reformation and Counter (or Catholic) Reformation simply made some people give up on going to church at all or attend only unwillingly. The change was abrupt, badly explained and top-down (not unlike the changes of the 1970s which upset many here). Look at the Innes Review of Scottish Catholic History and you will see that very similar research results have been found for Scotland – one of Edinburgh’s Episcopalian priests has diligently catalogued several hundred Sarum Use service books and fragments, demonstrating the same massive popularity. Duffy and the Innes are right: for both England and Scotland, pre-Reformation customs, developed locally over many centuries, were deeply entrenched and massively popular.

      But being popular does not mean being incorrupt. People did not understand the biblical pericope they heard and certainly did not understand Mass propers. Because the High-Mass form was still normal, things were more participatory than after 1570 but there were all sorts of superstitions with private masses and legions of uneducated priests. The late Mgr McRoberts, who founded the Innes Review, commented on the superstitions in, e.g. Paisley’s Arbuthnott books and young Mr Newman had a depressing catalogue in his “Tracts”. The high-level corruption, absentee Italians being made English bishops, an English Cardinal making his son an archdeacon and so on, is beyond dispute – as is of course the notorious sexual exploits of the cardinal-archbishop of St Andrews.

      So it mis-represents Canon Duffy’s argument to say the pre-Reformation western church was not in need of reform. His argument is that corrupt or not, England’s parish liturgy was popular. This is where “commemoration” can help. If we call to mind the historical situation it becomes obvious (St John Paul’s point in his Catechism) that mistakes were made on both sides. There was a clear need for reform but intemperate advocacy was met by intransigent obscurantism. Many of the leaders, on both sides, were needlessly extreme – be it Knox or Oglivie there is not much difference. The quieter leaders, Borromeo or Cranmer or Pole did what they could but were enmeshed in others’ extremism. The outcome was that a Church divided between east and west for five hundred years saw the western church sub-divide between Roman-Catholic and Reformed traditions for another five hundred.

      Bishop Francis has surely got it right: understanding – commemorating – the past is the way forward. Canon Duffy’s brilliant book helps that commemoration and you are right to draw attention to it.

      • John Dowden

        That’s the first time I’ve seen St. John Ogilvie juxtaposed to Knox as an extremist on the Catholic side of the Reformation. You have either taken leave of your senses or your intellectualism is more rationalist than religionist, which equates more or less to a similar madness.

        • Anthanasius,

          I am far from certain what this has to do with Christina’s interesting points but, setting cod psychology to one side, take any complaint up with head office. Their line is “per commemorare il 500° anniversario della Riforma”. That Reformation – which Canon Duffy (rightly) sees as a process – was imported to Scotland, on one side by a radical wing (the foreign-inspired Dr Knox) and by a reactionary wing (the foreign-educated Fr Ogilvie). In the process of Reformation, be it Radical or Catholic/Counter Reformation there is perfectly fair contrast between the two priests.

          Bishop Francis deliberately opted for the lowest possible level of commemoration for Ogilvie – his intransigent extremism was fully equal to Knox’s except it got him hanged for treason: for the Vatican now is not the time to be holding up advocates of political terrorism as examples. The Church of Sweden is a different case, a swift, national adoption of Reformation, leaving much of the old order intact.

          I guess your fundamental problem in understanding the Vatican is the editor’s mistranslation: Bishop Francis did not mention “Protestant Schism” – his theme is commemorating “Reformation” and that was a long process on all sides. You may recall that an obscure church historian, one Dr A.G. Roncalli, made his scholarly reputation investigating the long and detailed process of Reformation in the Italian north – ongoing into the seventeenth century. Riforma, Controriformo, it is (as Canon Duffy makes clear) an important cultural process – by commemorating which we can more on.

          • John Dowden

            “Bishop Francis deliberately opted for the lowest possible level of commemoration for Ogilvie – his intransigent extremism was fully equal to Knox’s except it got him hanged for treason: for the Vatican now is not the time to be holding up advocates of political terrorism as examples.”

            Behind all the intellectualism, this is what you’re really about. You are well educated yet so utterly blind in faith. You appear to have no idea how ridiculous your comparison between Knox and St. John Ogilvie is. I mean, it’s staggering ignorance accompanied by arrogance!

            • It ought, in principle, to be possible to discuss things objectively without being offensively personal.

              Knox put forward the most extreme stuff on government and got himself detested by Elizabeth I (and the whole monstrous regiment of women ever since). Ogilvie, when France was beset with regicide and England had only just been saved from Spanish tyranny and a seventeenth-century version of Twin Towers, thought it wise to invite continued attempts to assassinate James VI. One was as extreme in their political theology as the other and the pair of them had picked up the infection by living so long in foreign hotbeds of extremism.

              We need to be objective in commemorating – with Francis – the different sides of the Reformation. Disagree if you like but I think comparing the two Johns is a reasonable and have tried to offer reasonably informed comment.

              Refute it if you can but lay off the personal abuse.

              • Dowden

                There are, I’m afraid, only two sides to the Reformation that fit with objective truth. One is the 2000-year-old Catholic Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. The other a heretical and schismatic man-made parody called Protestantism. Therefore, the only commemoration that should be considered worthy is a commemoration of martyrs like John Ogilvie, a Catholic saint who was butchered for speaking the truth.

                While I am sure that there are many well meaning Protestant people around today who believe firmly in what they think and say, I cannot respect or condone their error.

                I’m sorry if this offends but I’m not Pope Francis or any of those other Modernist prelates who serve human respect more than divinely revealed truth. I say it as it is, as all the Popes from the Reformation to Vatican II said it.

                • Athanasius,

                  I am not sure of your historical credentials but I do know the general historical line is that there was a multi-faceted movement in Europe which meant that by 1648 the Western church was, everywhere, purged of abuses which had been widespread by 1448. Many sides to it – one explored in great and fascinating detail by Dr Roncalli.

                  It seems you struggle to be accurate with both Luther’s German and his Latin but careful with Ogilvie being “butchered for speaking the truth”. Unlike contemporary France, there was no “butchery” – he was hanged for treason and the exact doctrine that got him into trouble was by no means accepted by all on his own side. Nor was it the official line.

                  The invitation – and acceptance of “commemoration” is far more likely to move things forward than re-fighting partisan wars by ignoring historical accuracy.

                  Still, if it takes an allegedly “die-hard protestant” to defend the bishop of Rome from his own right-wing, that is progress of a sort.

                  • Dowden

                    St. John Ogilvie was hanged, drawn and quartered for preaching Catholicism, not for treason. In other words, he was butchered.

                    Treason was just a fake charge that would never have held up in any just court of law in light of Magna Carta. The same trumped up charge was used against St. Thomas More and others. Everyone knows why they were murdered, and it wasn’t for treason. It was Henry VIII who was treasonous to God and His Holy Church in order to satisfy his adulterous inclinations.

                    As for clerical abuses at the time of the Reformation, these have always been in the Church to some degree through bad priests. I mean, even Our Lord had Judas Iscariot amongst His Apostles. But the abuses of certain Churchmen, even if widespread, was no excuse for rebellion against the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Holy Church, the Mass, the Sacraments, etc. There was a lot more underlying the Reformer’s agenda than the failings of some clerics. But I think you know that!

                    • Athanasius,

                      I wonder if, in the course of your historical researches, you have encountered Dwight D. Eisenhower’s wise words on skunks?

                      Say what you like, John Ogilvie was not “butchered”. Sentenced according to law to be hanged, drawn and quartered for his treasons, yes, but James VI ordered clemency – he was hanged. It would have been perfectly possible, as the Law then stood, to have brought a prosecution on religious charges – for his saying of what our friend Luther saw as the popish mass. But James VI (the target of the Jesuitical assassination plots) said no and gave explicit directions to the Privy Council to investigate only Ogilvie’s political doctrine of regicide and to prosecute only for treason, if the evidence warranted. In the event, Ogilvie gave enough evidence of treasons enough to get himself hanged several times over.

                      Your Magna Carta stuff is way adrift: it was abrogated almost immediately and was (unlike Edward I’s re-grant) no part of English law. Ogilvie’s treasons were, in any case, tried under the laws of Scotland.

                      Read the Law Report: the trial was entirely just, the procedure scrupulous and the panel’s guilt abundantly obvious from his own treasonable words, his disrespectful demeanour before His Majesty’s Judges and his childishly insulting remarks to a distinguished jury of his peers. Dr Tartaglia’s unconvincing attempt to pass all this off as defending religious freedom cut absolutely no ice in Rome and scheduling an extremely urgent coffee morning with the Queen of the Belgians avoided any high-level commemoration of the sorry episode. There is a message in what gets commemorated by head office. Listen to it.

                      For the rest, Chancellor More was much more careful not to get caught out but slipped up with a careless remark and got convicted of treason – since Henry VIII was never actually married to his sister-in-law, the Princess Dowager (an un-dispensed canonical impediment of Public Honesty), he can hardly be accused of adulterous motives.

                      It is not difficult to get mere historical facts straight. .

                    • Dowden

                      Henry VIII was indeed married to his sister-in-law. He received a special indult from the Pope to marry her. And he was indeed an adulterer driven to break from the Church because of his adultery. His many wives, and their tragic ends, testifies as to the nature of the man who founded your religion, and why.

                      As for St. Thomas More and other noble martyrs of the time, we all know, including you, that the charges of treason raised against them were fictitious and the courts they were tried in were of the kangaroo kind. Please do not insult my intelligence by arguing to the contrary. Historical record defies your idiotic claims. St. Thomas, like St. John Ogilvie, was murdered for his Catholic Faith, no other reason or “treason” as fidelity to the true religion was then viewed.

                      Now, I have no intention of wasting further time with you. You keep returning here to cause trouble with your inaccurate and underhand insinuations. It is quite evident what you’re up to. Why not find yourself a nice wee Anglican blog where you’ll feel at home? You can debate there the finer points of the new Anglican policy of admitting “gay” and women clerics! I doctor of your word spinning talent is bound to be able to make that unChristian development sound almost Scripturual.

                    • Athanasius

                      LBJ, remember, endorsed Ike’s remarks on skunks: even if you cannot face up to correcting errors you have posted, best advice is to cut the bluster and learn know when you are out of your depth.

                      Failing which, do try to get things straight. Julius II was asked, and agreed, to issue a bull allowing Henry VIII to marry the Princess Dowager, his brother’s widow, and dispensed the happy couple from the impediment of Affinity. But affinity here was created by marriage and Catherine swore her marriage had never been consummated. That left the impediment of Public Honesty (she had been betrothed to Arthur even if never married) and Julius had not been asked to dispense with that. But undispensed impediment – no marriage, no marriage no adultery. Fornication if you like but then Henry VIII’s matrimonial judges, Cardinals Campeggio and Wolsey, fathered a pair of indiscrimate children apiece. Quite simple to understand really: in his bachelor days Henry was no worse than the average Cardinal he was acquainted with.

                      The More charges were far from “fictitious” – a Grand Jury found a true Bill of Indictment, a long document containing nine separate items. The case went to trial before Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer: the Lord Chancellor, 8 peers, 3 officials and 7 professional justices, sitting with a Petty Jury. More (a former Lord Chancellor) was free to defend himself and (no mean lawyer) actually managed to argue his way out of all but one point (head). Here the jury (deciding on the facts) simply did not believe his denials and he was convicted on one head. He had given prior notice of intention to enter a plea to “a-void” judgement, i.e. attack the legality of the indictment, and was heard (on the legal issue) by the Commission after verdict. The justices – the professional lawyers – heard him out but found against him. All this is massively documented: Derrett (1964) on the More trial, Elton (1972) on all Cromwell’s treason trials and Kelly, Karlin and Wegener (2011) on the jury. Against them you cite “we all know”. The clear insult to intelligence here is the suggestion that this amazingly long-drawn out and rigorous legal rigmarole can be called a “kangaroo” court. In fact More very nearly got away with it except on a single head where the jury found him guilty as charged.

                      The storm of abuse you raise distracts nobody. Mistranslate Luther, misspeak Campeggio, misrepresent Ogilvie’s sentence and that says all a reader needs to know. Readers can decide if “Historical record defies your idiotic claims”. But do, if you can, read the record we are commemorating first.

          • Dowden,

            YOUR fundamental problem is that you don’t understand the Catholic Church and the nature of this crisis which means that the Pope, filled with the nonsense of ecumenical activity, wouldn’t DREAM of speaking about the Protestant schism. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a Protestant schism. One of these days the penny will drop, but right now, he’s spiritually blind. You know the feeling.

            And for the record, I didn’t “mistranslate” anything. I just refuse to be a useful idiot. I know that “celebrate” was the original term and only changed to appease those of us who have sufficient Catholic sense, intelligence and elementary knowledge, to know that no Catholic worthy of the name would dream of celebrating a schism. And ditto we refuse to be fobbed off with a change of vocabulary. YOU be a useful idiot if you want to be, but don’t ask those of us who know what is going on, to join you.

            And don’t equate our saint and martyr, St John Ogilvie with that unfaithful (fill in the rest of the adjectives, I’m trying to be polite) priest, Knox. No comparison. One a canonised saint in Heaven, the other, who knows. One dreads to think…

      • Dowden,

        “Canon Duffy” is a layman. One who has had the privilege of being driven by me in my humble car to ensure that he didn’t miss his train. Long story, don’t ask. Clue: after a day spent with the theology “experts”, I couldn’t wait to see the back of him. He caught his train.

        PS haven’t time to read your entire post but expect the same old same old. Maybe tomorrow, after I’ve had my porridge…

        • Editor,

          I’ll phrase this carefully in case it makes you choke on your porridge but who says a layman or a lay woman cannot be a canon in the English church?

          Eamon Duffy is a Canon of Ely Cathedral, which is the diocese for Cambridge in the darkest Fen. I don’t know who fixed him up with the appointment but his successor at Magdalene, the retired Archbishop of Canterbury, probably put in a good word.

          Canon Duffy it is.

          • Dowden,

            You are rather comically referring to the “Honorary Canon” title bestowed by some daft Anglican, but in fact, Mr Duffy is a Catholic layman. We don’t recognise any level of Anglican orders or titles or whatever. So Mr Duffy is a Catholic layman who has presumably accepted the “honour” of being an “honorary canon” in the C of E. Crackers.

            The fact of the matter is, Mr Duffy is a Catholic and a layman. If some inter-faith activist Hindu chooses to name him as one of their latest gods, he won’t actually BE one. Get it now?

            Mr Duffy is a Catholic layman. End of.

            • Editor,

              Can we have some clarification on “we”? The Magisterium of this Blog? The editor adopting the Royal and Pontifical plural? Écône (pardon the circumflex)?

              As regards Rome, Anglican titles are recognized there – the present Bishop Emeritus invited an “Archbishop of Canterbury” to preach there and the beardie in cope and simple mitre who turned up looked suspiciously like President Duffy’s successor at Magdalene. In accepting his own installation at Ely, Canon Duffy can only be recognizing his own title in the English Church. Bishops of Rome are, it seems, as happy to recognize English titles as are Irish-born laymen to accept them. The mainstream “We” do clearly accept them: it is mere courtesy.

              Seems as if your “we” refers here to some ecclesial body, other than the Roman Church. If memory serves, this is the same “we” who refuses, by virtue of the magisterium invested in her, to accept the decree, issued in explicit response to the repeated requests of the faithful for an infallible judgment on their petition, canonising John XXIII. If “we” are of such a mind-set, the rest of us can recognize ourselves to be in the good company of “them” – Saint John was happy to recognize “His Grace” of Canterbury in that first ecumenical meeting more than 50 years ago.

              So who is/are “we”?

              • Dowden

                There is no “Bishop Emiritus” in Rome, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, according to the autoritative ruling of Leo XIII, is actually just the Archlayman of Canterbury in fancy ecclesiastic dress. According to this Vicar of Christ, whose magesterial ruling has never been questioned, much less revoked, by the Holy See, the Apostolic Succession was broken in the CofE.

                • Athanasius,

                  No one ever said there was a “Bishop Emiritus” in Rome: he is “emeritus” – retired, not a muslim official (root word is meritus not miror).

                  Leo XIII’s rulings are now long past their sell-by – the Dutch Touch has changed the facts, Pius XII changed the rules on ordination (without making the contradiction – sorry, development of doctrine – explicit) and everyone ducked out – sorry, expressed “prudent doubt” – on the Graham Leonard issue Cardinal Hume raised.

                  In any event, in canon law the question of orders is separate from jurisdiction and while you may think he is an archlayman, that would be an ecumenical question. Mr Welby and President Williams have been recognised as Archbishops of Canterbury by both Bishop Francis and Bishop Emeritus Benedict – both of whom have themselves abandoned fancy titles and heraldic triple crowns. And neither has countenanced childish, sectarian jibes against proddie-dog Archlaymen. Let it go.

          • Ed will choke even more on her porridge as she ponders that he’s a fairly recently appointed Etheldreda Ecumenical Canon of Ely Cathedral. However, he describes himself as a cradle Catholic and is widely known in and out of academia as Professor Duffy so it seems a little odd for anyone to use this merely honorific title (one among several others) in general reference to him.

            • Christina,

              Spot on. The agenda is always to undermine Catholicism, and to suggest that the C of E (and other Protestant sects) are equal to the Catholic Church. Never works, but it seems to make Dowden feel better. Let’s keep him in our prayers. Who knows, he may follow in that wonderful line of treasured converts from Anglicanism which includes Blessed John Henry Newman (Cardinal Newman) and G.K. Chesterton.

              • Nice idea but I am not likely to become a treasure – or add to the collection of scalps.

                But what is the routine?

                We all queue up to say we are entirely wrong and that the Roman church is entirely right.

                But then, once we are in the bosom (as the saying goes) we all march right out again, over the road to the SSPX because they are entirely right and the Roman Church has been getting it wrong since 1962, 1958 or 1955 (depending on which bit of the SSPX you think is entirely right).

                Sorry, but you might like to think what this blog’s continued sniping at Vatican errors looks like to outsiders.

                I suspect Scotland’s own dear Fr Len Black is going to be on his own on this one (except of course for Mrs Fr Black). I have some idea of where I am coming from but no idea where, exactly, you think all we treasures should be headed.

                • Dowden

                  The SSPX is not outside the Church, as you insinuate. It is absolutely unified in the Apostolic Faith handed down unaltered through the ages up to Vatican II.

                  But I can see why you would wish to publicly undermine this Catholic institution. Nice try but no Brownie points.

  10. WACG

    And while you are tearing away at the thinking you can try and fit in a wee thought for John Ogilvie, The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales and even the ordinary Catholics who are still suffering for their faith, mostly at the hands of these so-called Christians.

  11. WACG

    I confess to not knowing too much about the fate of those who are excommunicated, maybe you, as a judge, could enlighten me but I read once, or maybe saw it on the radio, that it meant that the soul gets handed over to the devil.

    What puzzles me is how they will go about getting the soul back. Will poor Henry Kissinger, RIP, be
    called into action again or, as I suspect, will the devil be only too happy to hand Martin`s back when the ban gets lifted?

  12. I am still waiting for any priest, Cardinal to make a public stand on the damage the Pope has done and continues to do to Holy Mother Church. All I seem to read is some vague speech and this “Circus” of Francis goes on. I think he is testing the water on his destruction of the faith. There is no open opposition and correction of the faith. He has an open hand at destroying everything in his path. What will it take for the clergy to start doing their job! What is it they fear?
    The laity (faithful) are doing everything in their power because they love Christ and his Church.
    We are either for Christ or against, there is no middle ground.
    God Bless,
    Jacinta

    • Jacinta,

      Things are beginning to turn now, with more priests and bishops speaking out. See, for example, our latest thread on Bishop Schneider.

  13. Editor,

    Your report alleging “Pope to celebrate Protestant schism”, is fairly typically for this blog: careless and inaccurate – fecund error posing as Catholic Truth. The Italian text says: Sua Santità Francesco ha in animo di prendere parte ad una cerimonia congiunta fra la Chiesa Cattolica e la Federazione Luterana Mondiale, per commemorare il 500° anniversario della Riforma, in programma a Lund, Svezia, lunedì 31 ottobre 2016. [Testo originale: Italiano]. This in Catholic-“Truth”-speak becomes the news “that Pope Francis will actually participate – indeed play a leading role – in the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Protestant schism”.

    The Vatican often drops the ecumenically unhelpful title “pope” (and neither of the living bishops of Rome has ever used the old triple-crown heraldic device): you intrude “pope” in your translation. The word “Protestant” is not used by Bishop Francis: you intrude it where it is not used. “Schism” is nowhere mentioned by the Vatican: again you intrude it. The word “celebrate” appears nowhere in the announcement: the event is a commemoration, not a celebration: the notion of celebration is an intrusion in a sad apology for a translation.

    Bishop Francis is off to Sweden to join the start of a year of commemoration for the half-millennium of a major event in European history, the Reformation, conventionally dated from 31 October, 1517. Commemorate, not celebrate. Reform, not schism. Take part, not lead. And not a trace of anti-Prodesdan sentiment in the Vatican text, however much that may still appeal to the tribal instincts of Irish and Irish-American bigotry (the video clip you post has its fair share).

    Time and more than time to bury the old bigotry. When the 400-anniversary of the Ogilvie execution came along, Bishop Francis had no wish to join in endorsing his fellow-Jesuit’s sorry determination to get himself executed for theological hair-splitting. Rather than give credence to a seventeenth-century version of Jihadi John, Bishop Francis found he had a pressing engagement on the same day – morning coffee with the Queen of the Belgians as it turned out. He sent a retired cardinal to represent him, with clear instructions not to take a delegation and – just in case the local archbishop did not get the Belgian bun message – the Vatican nuncio was instructed not to attend but to find the most junior member of the legation on the diplomatic list and send him.

    There is, rightly, no place for the negative bigotry of old Counter-Reformation warriors but much to be said for commemorating positive aspects of the Reformation: per commemorare il 500° anniversario della Riforma.

    Get with the programme but, if not, keep the translation honest.

    • I think we all know that they dropped the word “Celebration” and substituted “Commemoration” after an outcry from Catholics who couldn’t believe what they were reading. It’s still a celebration if you read the prayers and readings from the service which Pope Francis is going to LEAD.

      The rest of you post is insulting and anti-Catholic so I will leave others to respond to that. You final sentence is a joke – all of what you’ve written is dishonest and completely inaccurate historically. Calling the Pope “Bishop Francis” is disgraceful. I seem to remember you from previously on this blog and I think I’m correct in saying you are a Protestant yourself. It’s a pity you are making it so obvious.

      • As with events surrounding the First World War the term generally used is to commemorate rather than celebrate. That terminology for such occasions is probably a universal norm.

    • John Dowden,

      It is to be expected from you, a diehard Protestant, to try to put a respectable face on what the Vatican has announced and to berate any Catholic who is appalled by the sell out. Truth is the Pope has no business appreciating the life and errors of an excommunicated heretic, or indeed recognising Protestantism in any way other than for its divisional, heretical, rebellious, anti-Apostolic spirit which all Catholics should be warned to avoid under pain of mortal sin.

    • Too right, Therese. I hope against hope that nobody will be tempted to engage with him again – it’s such a pointless waste of time.

      • Therese & Christina,

        After a less than stimulating hour suffering the predictable questions and even more predictable “answers” and the even MORE predictable applause on BBC’s Question Time, I’ve neither the energy nor the time to correct all of Dowden’s nonsense. I just HAD to comment on his promise to bury his old bigotry 😀

        Now, I’ve got a mirror or two in my humble home, so I know when it’s time to catch up on my beauty sleep!

        • Editor,

          Thanks be to God for those most excellent and ardent defenders of the Holy Faith.who contribute here. Edifying and uplifting hardly comes close to describing their good works.

          May God bless them, one and all.

  14. Here are a few excerpts from John Vennari’s new booklet, distributed by The Fatima Center, The Revelations of the Holy Face of Jesus:

    “How does a Catholic sin against Faith?
    A: A Catholic sins against Faith by apostasy, heresy, indifferentism and by taking part in non-Catholic worship. (JV’s emphasis)

    If we consult the Catechism of the Council of Trent’s treatment of the Second Commandment, it teaches that those who support heresy, and ‘distort the Sacred Scriptures from their genuine and true meaning’ are guilty of sins against the Second Commandment. Thus, those who distort the meaning of Scripture, namely Protestants, are, in the objective order, guilty of this sin, because their perversion of Sacred Scripture is an irreverence to the Holy Word of God.

    Our Lord explained to Sister Lucy on May 29, 1930:
    ‘There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

    1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
    2. Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity;
    3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of Men;
    4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;
    5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her Holy Images.’

    We see that they [these blasphemies] come not only from atheistic or Godless men. Rather, these five blasphemies are, in a way, constitutive elements of all non-Catholic religions. It is the ‘doctrinal blasphemy’ spoken of by Father Janvier. For example:

    Most Protestants refuse to believe in Our Lady’s Perpetual Virginity, nor do they recognize Her as Mother of Men.

    Most Protestants sow in the hearts of their children indifferences to Our Lady, and teach them not to honor Her images.

    And…false religions are a sin against the First Commandment, which is one of the three Commandments that Our Lord has specifically mentioned to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre as deserving particular chastisement of our time.”

    [Note to Pope Francis: wherever the word “Protestant” appears in the above excerpts, substitute “Lutherans.”]

    • RCA Victor,

      Lutherans ARE, of course, Protestants, as are Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostalists… et al. They all protest against the authority of the Catholic Church founded by Christ,

  15. For the Pope to celebrate the reformation is a slap in the face to the martyrs who died for the Faith. While the Church apologises to all and sundry for the wrongs that Catholics are supposed to have inflicted, nobody ever apologises to Catholics for all we have suffered.
    I wonder what the heather priests would think about Pope Francis celebrating Protestantism. Those brave men travelled the country celebrating Mass for the those who had remained loyal to the Faith at the reformation. What about the Faithful who gathered, in fear of their lives, at the Mass stones in lonely glens to practice their banned religion? They would surely feel betrayed. One thing that is ironic is that the Rome Lutheran church is actually more catholic looking than many Catholic churches.

    THE MASS STONE IN THE GLEN

    In a lonely Highland valley
    Hidden far away from view,
    Lies one of Scotland’s Mass stones
    Known only to a few.
    ‘Twas there our forebears gathered
    In the shadow of the Ben,
    To kneel and humbly worship
    At the Mass Stone in the glen

    Our priests like wolves were hunted down
    Dear God ’twas surely hard,
    That from the right to worship Thee
    Thy children were debarred.
    But still they bravely bore
    Their cross, Those simple Scottish men,
    Were proud to share Thy Calvary
    At the Mass Stone in the glen.

    No more upon the hill top
    The sentinel stands guard.
    The heather priests, those holy souls
    Have gone to their reward,
    And we who worship God in peace
    Can bless those fearless men,
    Who kept the Faith for Scotland
    At the Mass Stone in the glen.

    God Bless the glens of Scotland,
    Every rock and mountain pass.
    ’twas those same glens that under God
    Preserved for us, the Mass.
    And if the day should come again
    Our Faith will call for men,
    She will not find them wanting
    At the Mass Stone in the glen.

    • Vianney,

      What a beautiful poem – who is the author? I bet it’s famous and I’m showing one of the many gaps in my knowledge again, but what the heck.

      • Editor, It’s actually a song though I don’t know who the author is. I am thinking of including it in my next album, ha ha. There is also an Irish version though in Ireland they call them Mass rocks instead of stones.

    • This thread starts with mistranslations of a Vatican statement on the Lutheran commemoration, distorting what was actually said to make it seem reprehensible: it is duly taken as a fact that the pope is “celebrating the reformation” as a slap in the face to the martyred dead. If that were not misinformation enough, Athanasius then adds:
      “Luther’s admonition: ‘Destroy the Mass and you will destroy the Catholic Church’
      That’s all I need to know scholarly about Luther. Perhaps those of you who defend the New Mass, incorporating Luther’s ideas, would do well to reflect on his words.”

      These are not, in truth, Luther’s words and it serves no purpose to elevate non-words to an “admonition”. As A.N. Other (late of this parish) has noted, chapter and verse for this alleged admonition are never given (beyond someone citing “Google” for endless but still unreferenced re-postings). Outside the sectarian bubble, it is immediately obvious why none is to be found: the translator of “Deutsche Messe und Ordnung des Gottesdiensts” and ardent reformer of the Catholic Church intended to “destroy” neither mass nor church. The “admonition” offered is entirely implausible.

      Any meaningful commemoration needs to be honest and accurate – can “Catholic Truth” aim for less?

      Luther distinguished between parochial High Mass (which he restored to its traditional vernacular form and returned to the traditional rite of administering communion in both kinds to the laity) and the very many private, non-communicating, Low Masses, bought and paid for from legions of uneducated priests by an ignorant, gullible and superstitious populace. It was selling this “Popish” Mass (in the intemperate language of contemporary pamphlet warfare) – and the associated sale of indulgences – that Martin Luther opposed.

      Scholarship (as in “die-hard Protestants” like young Mr Newman) knows only Dr Luther’s riposte to Henry VIII (“O miserum illum defensorem Ecclesiae papisticae” – as he seemed in 1522). There Luther argues that since people have done away with private masses (and the whole financial structure of chantries and convents connected with them), “we have vanquished the whole of popery”: Triumphata uero Missa, puto nos totum Papam triumphare”.*** This is as near chapter and verse as it gets: fact is “Contra Henricvm” (1522) is not talking about the Eucharist as such but private Masses and not about the Catholic Church but the Papacy. A gross, and obviously sectarian, misquotation /mistranslation of the Latin here.

      Again “die-hard protestants” who know history will be reminded of the briefing paper (Schmalkaldische Artikel, 1537), prepared in case Trent turned out to be a meeting of the whole western church, not just a party conference of the Roman-Catholic side. The document certainly notes “Wenn Die Messe fällt, so liegt das Papsttum” but this is not Luther’s saying: it is a quotation from what controversialists such as Cardinal Campeggio alleged. It is clearly “them” not “us” speaking: Sie fühlen’s wohl …töten sie uns alle…. And it is the papacy “they” think will be ruined, not the Catholic Church. As it turned out the papacy’s loss of revenues from selling indulgences and private Masses was enormous but not ruinous. Touch of exaggeration there but the voice is the cardinal’s, not Luther’s: gross misquotation/ mistranslation, again obviously sectarian, of the German here.

      But there is a common thread in all this fecund error. First distort “commemorate the anniversary of the Reformation” into “celebrate Protestant Schism”. Then twist “ruining the papacy” into destroying “the Catholic Church”, turn an attack on stipendiary Masses into an assault on the Eucharist itself and, finally, mis-attribute Cardinal Campeggio’s statement about the papacy to wicked bogey-man Dr Luther talking about the entire Catholic Church.

      For the unregenerate sectarian, as the man said, “That’s all I need to know scholarly about Luther.”

      The rest of us ought to get on with honest commemoration of what the evil proddie bogey-man actually said. In commemorating an unhappy episode, where (as St John Paul made clear) errors were made on both sides, Bishop Francis can move things forward – the Lutheran archbishop offered to include him in a significant national anniversary and he has graciously accepted her invitation. Vt Vnum Sint.

      *** Since chapter and verse have been called for the details are: Martinus Luther, Contra Henricvm: 1522 edition, unpaginated, (section Super Missam Totum Papisti cum regnum edificatum), reprinted “Opera Omnia” vol. II (1557) fol. 564r (Google has digitised copies of both from the Bavarian Royal Library).

      • Dowden,

        “This thread starts with mistranslations of a Vatican statement on the Lutheran commemoration, distorting what was actually said to make it seem reprehensible…”

        You are making a big deal about the “mistranslation” – I’ve already pointed out elsewhere on this thread that I didn’t “mistranslate” but ignored the change in terminology (brought about to appease the complainants) to emphasise that it really IS a celebration – read the prayers and readings and tell me it’s not a celebration.

        But, whatever, to “commemorate”, as if a positive thing, that evil event in the history of Christendom, is a scandal, every bit as much as a “celebration”. So, stop and think, forget about scoring points against me, and face the fact that whether the forthcoming event to mark the Martin Luther and his Merry Men is a “commemoration” or a “celebration” is a moot point. It shouldn’t be happening, chum, and it will stand forever as evidence of the fact that Pope Francis is one of the worst pontiffs ever – oh and that makes him one of the worst Bishops of Rome as well!

        As for this clutching at straws about whether Martin Luther said “destroy the Mass” or “destroy the papacy” and you destroy the Church – what DIFFERENCE does it make? In Catholicism everything is intertwined. We cannot have the Church which Christ founded without a pope. However bad. So, “destroy the papacy” shows Luther’s hatred of the Church just as much as if he’d said “destroy the Mass”. Same difference.

        You really don’t have a clear mind, Dowden, and you get so caught up in trying to show us all how “educated” you (think you) are, that you nearly always fail to see the wood for the trees.

        Gerragrip.

        • Editor

          I grew up with the idea of being faithful in small things (fidelis in minimo et in maiori). So, on your argument, the Scots answer to the plain fact that “x” does not translate, faithfully, as “y” but as “z”, is: disnae matter. Luther did not, in truth, say “x” he said “y”: disnae matter. Sorry, it does matter – and we have that principle from an authority we ought to heed.

          We are about to commemorate a major event which shaped the Western church, reforming it – as young Dr Roncalli once explained in great detail – but also dividing it, with the English and the Swedes going one way, the Italians and the Portuguese another. Commemorating – calling to mind – those days is the way to move forward but to do so requires honesty – being faithful even in small things: not attacking people for triumphalist “celebration” of what they simply “commemorate” or attacking the wickedness of things Luther never ever actually said.

          For “Catholic Truth” to mistranslate the Vatican may be a simple mistake. Persist in the mistake, once it has been pointed out, and that becomes, in plain words, dishonest. Equally quoting a man who only ever wrote in Latin or German is difficult (one imagines) if one is ignorant of Latin and German but a mistake is a mistake. Ignorance is always to be excused but if a mistake is stubbornly held, even when it has been made apparent, again that is simply dishonest.

          So the difference it makes is that if Catholic Truth is not faithful in small things it is not to be trusted in bigger ones.

          Inviting people to discuss something the Vatican did not say is just not fair. Athanasius, making Luther seem to say something he did not say, is entirely reprehensible. In John Wycliffe’s (faithful) translation of the Vulgate: “He that is true in the least thing, is true also in the more; and he that is wicked in a little thing, is wicked also in the more.”

          Wicked Editor. Wicked Athanasius.

          • Dowden

            “Persist in the mistake, once it has been pointed out, and that becomes, in plain words, dishonest.”

            We here at Catholic Truth have been pointing this out to you for a long time regarding your allegiance to a demonstrably heretical and schismatic religion, yet you have chosen to ignore the fact.

            • Athanasius,

              The problem with “demonstrably heretical and schismatic religion” is that if such things were indeed “demonstrable” we would all quickly come to agree.

              Anglicans are in the happy position of never having to go any further than making a declaration that the “historical formularies” of the Church of England are “historical formularies”. Nobody is saying they are true or false, they simply are – Mr Newman happily signed up to the 39 Articles as being compatible with Trent. But if the attempt to “demonstrate” theological “truth” has failed for 500 years, it is never going to work now: try saying private revelation is a load of old codswallop and you would have got a very upset, but still unconvinced, Lord Bishop of Birmingham!

              But commemorating the documented facts of the age of reformation is a different matter. Say “puto nos totum Papam triumphare” can be translated as “we will destroy the catholic church” and it suggests one cannot tell one’s emeritus from one’s elbow, let alone appreciate a neat ablative absolute. Argue “Luther’s” “so liegt das Papsttum” means “we will destroy the catholic church” and it suggests your modern languages are just as suspect and cannot tell a cardinal from a heretic (historically speaking). Wriggle as much as you like, unless you can meet valid criticism you are, demonstrably, wrong. I suspect you know that: iti sapis potanda ti none.

          • Dowden,

            “Wicked Editor. Wicked Athanasius.”

            What was that about adults should be able to discuss without personal abuse?

            As for Mr Duffy accepting the Anglican title – listen, I gave you a huge clue earlier when I told you that, some years ago, I couldn’t wait to offload him at the railway station when he was my passenger – I made sure he caught that train! I’d spent an entire day listening to his liberal nonsense. He’s just one more pseudo-Catholic. I was astonished when I heard friends praising his book “Stripping of the altars” as an accurate record of the period, truly astonished and said to more than one that perhaps his research will make him think again about his “liberalism”. Doesn’t seem so, if he’s accepting Anglican titles.

            However, as one great Catholic once said about converts going from Catholicism to Protestantism: “we get the roses from your garden, you get the thorns from ours” or something like that, might’ve been weeds. Same difference, really – sense is the same. I wonder who said that? Can’t remember, may have been Chesterton, a convert from Anglicanism to Catholicism himself. Not sure. Doesn’t make the sense of the quote any less true, does it, Dowden? Same with Luther who said so many shocking things that the odd slip of the keyboard to misquote him is actually an act of charity. In any event, you’re welcome to Duffy. He’s not really a kosher Catholic, to mix my metaphors, so to speak!

            • Editor,

              I will say nothing about a lady’s age however mixed her metaphors, but since I, for one, will never see thirty again, I do wonder if you know what English-speakers under 30, the little Dowdens so to speak, think “wicked” means?

              But if we are to commemorate past events, President Duffy’s book really is very good. It is massively researched. Professor Duffy has used this to vividly recreate a lost English world. Canon Duffy’s example has also encouraged Scottish researchers to parallel work and the Innes Review of Scottish Catholic History has fully explored a lost Scottish world of popular religion. Although there are now no members of his own denomination’s clergy capable of continuing his scholarly work, Mgr McRoberts has found a very worthy successor in one of Edinburgh’s Episcopalian priests.

              It is all carefully and impartially done: have a look at it all and you will deepen your understanding of tradition. Lots of pre-1370 stuff was lost in 1570 and, since Pius V was no sort of expert, his New Order (now the Extraordinary Form) turned out to be a lot less “pristine” than he imagined.

              Commemorating the past, calling it to mind, really can help understand and reconcile differences, and points to a common heritage of pre-1370 liturgy which was, very visibly, nearer to Orthodox custom.

              But these ecumenical questions do have to be answered using honest historical methods – Fr Innes’ merry band and St Ethelburga’s splendid Ecumenical Canon Duffy can reach parts other traditionalists cannot reach.

              It’s wicked.

              • Dowden

                There are no denominations in Christianity other than the Catholic one, since Christ’s mystical body cannot be severed. Branches cut off from the root are not denominations, they are dead or dying branches.

                Furthermore, there is no ordained clergy in Protestantism, least not in God’s eyes.

                • Dearie me!

                  What on earth makes you think the likes of Old St Paul’s is “protestant”? – have a look, they are further up the candle than the Dead Popes’ Society. No ordained clergy there? – do pay attention. The Voice of Athanasius is the Eye of God? Or is that another of your mistranslations from Old High German, Ja som klobása?

                  Cheer up and commemorate with Francis, you know it makes sense.

              • Dowden,

                I think you’ve misunderstood my reference to Duffy’s book Stripping of the Altars – I haven’t read it but believe my thoroughly sound friends who say it’s terrific. Gives the truth about the Reformation, they tell me, exposes the lies for what they are – lies. That surprised me, only because of the modernist drivel he spoke at the in-service course I attended.

                The rest of your post, as ever, is obscure and from what I think you are trying to say, wholly inaccurate. Still, let’s leave it there. Not only is life too short, but, as I think you indicated in your recent comment, getting shorter all the time 😀

  16. I heard ? on the above youtube clip that some saint or other said that when the Lord returns, there will only be enough faithful Catholics to fill St. Peter’s Square. Lol! Does anybody know the identity of same saint?

    • Christina,

      Many thanks for that illuminating link. No wonder a history teacher I once knew opined that it was impossible to be an historian and a Protestant. Anybody reading that junk with an open mind would treat the entire so-called Reformation with the contempt is manifestly deserves.

    • Christina,

      There are some really shocking things in that link that Martin Luther said and the sources are all given, so nobody can claim they’re made up. I was struck by the things he said about Jews. Maybe if the Pope knew that he would think twice about celebrating the Reformation.

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