Abuse of Power To Ban Church Services?

From SSPX District of Asia…

The question of the resumption of masses will probably be addressed in the near future. In the meantime, according to the directives of our superiors, services and masses at the usual times are not held in our chapels, either during the week or on Sundays. In doing so, are we obeying a just order from the State for the common good? Or is it an abuse of temporal power that the Church must tolerate out of prudent realism? We have asked Father Jean-Michel Gleize, professor of Ecclesiology at the seminary of Ecône, for his clarification.

“Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its reaching and practice-not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion -it is a public crime to act as though there were no God.” (note 1).

1. These strong words of Pope Leo XIII are not the expression of an outdated vision. For in them the Vicar of Christ points to the very principle of the Christian social order, an order which is necessary because it is an expression of divine wisdom. Cardinal Billot gave its theological justification in the second part of his Treatise on the Church (note 2).

2. This order finds its deep root in the very nature of man and in his gratuitous elevation to a supernatural order. Man’s external goods ( wealth) are ordered to his bodily well-being, and man’s bodily well-being is ordered to his natural spiritual well-being, that is to say, to the natural good of his soul, and this natural good of the soul is itself in some way ordered to the supernatural final end, to man’s supernatural union with God, for which the Church is responsible; it is so to the exact extent that the natural good of the soul is the necessary, though not sufficient, condition of the supernatural good, since grace presupposes nature. This hierarchy of goods entails the hierarchy of powers to which it is incumbent to procure these goods (note 3).

The Church has to ensure the exercise of the worship due to God

3. The power of the State has (among other things) the purpose to preserve public health, in its own order (which is the good of the body) and to neutralise for this purpose the harmful effects of a contagious disease. The power of the Church has the purpose in its own order to ensure the exercise of the worship due to God and to determine for this purpose by means of precepts the concrete conditions of Sunday sanctification. In order to be distinct, each in its own order, the power of the state and the power of the church must not be separated (note 4), for the good which falls to the state is not in fact an ultimate end; it is itself ordained at the end of the supernatural order.

St. Thomas explains this very clearly in De regimine, Book I, Chapter XV: “It is to the Pope that the care of the ultimate end is entrusted, and to him must be submitted those whom the care of the intermediate ends beholds, and it is by his orders that they must be directed. » (n° 819). The Pope thus exercises an “architectural” power vis-à-vis the Heads of State, and this expression means that the Pope has responsibility for the ultimate end, according to which the Heads of State are obliged to organize the entire government of society.

4. Health, which is one of the principal aspects of man’s bodily well-being, has something to do with sanctity, for it is ordered in some way to the exercise of worship and the sanctification of Sunday. Indeed, even if it is not enough to be healthy to be a saint, and even if one can be a saint without being healthy, ordinarily, in order to be able to go to Mass on Sundays, to be healthy is one of the conditions required. The role of the State is therefore to preserve public health (and to neutralize an epidemic) in order to achieve the best condition for the exercise of worship, for which the Church is responsible, and to make ordinarily possible holiness.

Pope Leo XIII says that “in a society of men, freedom worthy of the name consists in the fact that, with the help of civil laws, we can more easily live according to the prescriptions of the eternal law” (note 5). The State is therefore in this instance, as elsewhere, dependent on the Church and subordinate to Her, to the exact extent that its role is to place the temporal good for which it is responsible at the service of the eternal good, for which the Church is responsible. “The temporal”, says Billot, “must see to it that nothing prevents the realization of the spiritual and establish the conditions of grace under which it can be freely obtained”. And he adds that the temporal end “must put no obstacle in the way of the spiritual end, and if it were to oppose it, it should favor the spiritual, even at the cost of its own prejudice” (note 6).

These words are astonishing in the eyes of simple reason, but true words in the eyes of reason enlightened by faith. For “it is better to enter eternal life with one eye than to be cast into the fire of hell with two eyes” (note 7).

For the State, to prohibit or limit worship is an abuse of power

5. Consequently, to prohibit or limit worship in order to neutralize an epidemic would be, on the part of the power of the State, not only illegitimate (by abuse of its temporal power, which cannot as such relate to the exercise of worship) but even absurd, since the ultimate purpose of neutralizing the epidemic must be to promote the exercise of worship. Unless we assume the radical inversion of ends and substitute disorder for order: instead of health (with the neutralization of the epidemic) being ordered to the exercise of worship, it would be the exercise of worship (with its restriction and prohibition) that would be ordered to health.

And this is unfortunately what we see in the present circumstances, and which justifies the recent statement of Bishop Schneider: “Men of the Church give more importance to the mortal body than to the immortal soul of men” (note 8). This can be explained by the radical inversion introduced by the Second Vatican Council: it is no longer the State which is subordinate to the Church and to the service of the Church, but the Church which has become dependent on the States.

It is not for the state to forbid or restrict the worship in the name of health; it is for the church to decide the conditions of worship in the light of circumstances…

6. It may happen that, from the point of view of contingency, which is that of concrete circumstances, it may not be possible to provide sufficient public health and to neutralize the contagion of a disease, so as to make it possible to practise worship in the ordinary way. It is then up to the ecclesiastical authority – and to it alone – to determine the particular form of the exercise of worship required by the circumstances, and to make it possible by relying on the secular arm. The State could thus, for example, put at the disposal of the Church sufficiently large spaces where the faithful could attend Mass while remaining confined to their vehicles.

In the worst case, the Church could dispense its faithful from attending Mass and there again rely on the resources, technical and financial, which the State would place at its disposal to broadcast massively in homes television broadcasts of the celebration of Mass. Situations and solutions may be very diverse; but in any case the Church has the power to decide the conditions under which the total order is to be established, the total order according to which the exercise of worship is a higher good to which the good of public health is to be ordered. It is not for the state to forbid or restrict the worship in the name of health; it is for the church to decide the conditions of worship in the light of circumstances, seeking, as it has the duty and power to do, the support and assistance of temporal power.

7. This necessary and normal hierarchy of powers was still largely in effect in the Catholic cantons of Switzerland at the beginning of the 20th century. Even in the wake of the great upheavals that had shaken the Christian social order throughout Europe, the political authorities in the Valais, for example, had only limited power in the churches and could only intervene diplomatically to recommend to the church authorities that the health measures necessitated by the Spanish flu epidemic be respected. “It is therefore not surprising to find in the decree of the Council of State of 25 October 1918: “The ecclesiastical authority will prescribe the necessary hygiene measures with regard to the churches and the celebration of divine services”.

In doing so, the clergy had the choice of the measures it wished to apply without any question of financial or legal reprisals. As a result, the various letters addressed to the parishes are more like a succession of recommendations seeking to protect sensitivities rather than a firm political decision. A second circular concerning more specifically burials stipulates that the coffin should be taken directly to the cemetery for burial and that the burial mass should be celebrated only in the presence of the immediate family and after burial. Once again, the letter ends with a diplomatic note: “We hope that you will understand the need for these measures designed to remove the danger of contamination as far as possible and that you will comply with my instructions”, which is quite different from the letters addressed to the various trades, which end instead with a reminder of the possible sanctions if the measures are not followed.

It is interesting to note that this same circular, dated July 20, 1918, was found in the Episcopal archives of Sion, but a small handwritten footnote was added to it: “We would like to receive on this subject directions from the Vicar”. Political authority is not universally authoritative … “(note 9). When, one hundred years later, the apostate States of the twenty-first century unilaterally decide to prohibit or restrict the exercise of worship, in the name of health, the Catholic faithful of course react under the guidance of their pastors not as fanatical reactionaries, but as prudent and realistic people, and they tolerate (note 10) or patiently endure unjust decisions contrary to supernatural prudence. But under no circumstances can they be held to a true act of the virtue of obedience to what remains in reality an abuse of power.

“What does it profit man if he gains the whole universe if he loses his soul?”

8. All of this can be explained by a final cause. From this point of view, the power of the Church is to the heads of state like the power of a caretaker to a care assistant. The assistant carer carries out the dosage of medicines as much as is required for the health of the body, which the caretaker is in charge of. Likewise, the head of state must ensure the good order of society as much as is required for the salvation of souls, for which the Church is responsible. For man should seek health and wealth only in so far as it is required – as St. Ignatius says – to save his soul: “What does it profit man if he gains the whole universe if he loses his soul? (Mt, XVI, 26). What use is it to man to win the victory over the epidemic if he neglects the sanctification of his soul, losing the habit of going to Mass on Sundays? The ancient liturgy of the Church provided for a Mass in times of epidemic and the rubrics said that such Masses should be celebrated “with great participation of the people”….     Father Jean-Michel Gleize

Notes:
(1) Leo XIII, Encyclical Immortale Dei of November 1, 1885, ASS, vol. XVIII (1885), pp. 163-164.
(2) Louis Billot, L’Eglise. III – L’Eglise et l’Etat, Courrier de Rome, 2011.
(3) Louis Billot, op. cit. no. 1183.
(4) The separation of Church and State was condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in the Encyclical Vehementer nos. of 11 February 1906.
(5) Leo XIII, Encyclical Libertas of 20 June 1888, ASS, vol. XX (1887), p. 598.
(6) Louis Billot, op. cit. no. 1182.
(7) Mt, XVIII, 9.
(8) Bishop Athanasius Schneider, “Interview with Diane Montagna” published on The Remnant and translated on Jeanne Smits’ Blog, page of 28 March 2020.
(9) Laura Marino, La Grippe espagnole en Valais (1918-1919), thesis presented at the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne for the degree of Doctor of Medicine, 2014, pp. 182-183. Thesis on deposit on the University of Lausanne archives site, http://serval.unil.ch under the reference BIB_860E861187545.
(10) This explains the appearance of the concordat regime, with the definition of certain so-called “mixed” subjects. Cf. Billot, n° 1247 et sq.

Source

Comment – note video clip in the above introduction, added by the Editor of Catholic Truth.

Share your thoughts on Father Jean-Michel-Gleize’s article.  IS the UK Government abusing its power by restricting the power of the church authorities to make decisions about Mass and various church services?  Oh, and what about this… MPs are being allowed an extra £10,000 expenses for working from home – see The Times report here – so why not pay something to the Church for having to make alternative arrangements for the worship of God?  Any chance of that happening before Hell freezes over?  Share your thoughts on that, as well – within the confines of the House Rules!   

30/4: Feast of St Catherine of Siena… 

Comment:

In the traditional calendar, the Feast of St Catherine of Siena falls on 30 April.  This great saint did not hesitate to rebuke popes for their negligence, famously calling on one to resign if he would not or could not do his duty to root out “bad priests who poison and rot that garden” (the Church).

Today, more than ever, we need to seek the intercession of St Catherine of Siena, for the contemporary popes, especially our current Pope, Francis. 

Share your favourite prayers, novenas, quotes, information about St Catherine,  to help us to learn more about this great saint and Doctor of the Church.  What does she teach us, that we can use for the betterment of the Church at this time of crisis? 

St Catherine of Siena, pray for us!   

Traditional Latin Mass Under Threat? 

April 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A leaked letter allegedly sent by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the presidents of bishops’ conferences inquiring about the experience with Pope Benedict XVI’s allowance of the traditional Latin Mass (Summorum Pontificum) has caused a stir in some traditionally-minded Catholic circles. Fears abound that the result of the survey could be a restriction of the Latin Mass.

The traditional Catholic website Rorate Caeli published yesterday a letter dated March 7, 2020, with the name of Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), on it. The letter addresses the presidents of the bishops’ conferences and includes a set of questions to bishops whose due date for a reply is July 31, 2020.  To read entire report, click here
 

 

 

 

Comments invited…  

Coronavirus & the Unfolding of the Fatima Prophesy About Chastisement

From the Fatima Center…

Our Lady of Fatima,
pray for us!

So, all the models about astronomical death tolls and the collapse of medical systems due to the Wuhan virus have proven wrong, as even Governor Cuomo of New York admitted on April 14:

“The president’s projection, Peter Navarro’s projection, CDC’s projection, White House Coronavirus task force projection, then the Gates model, Columbia model, Cornell model. They were all wrong, and it’s good news…”

The “president’s projection” and the “White House Coronavirus task force projection” are both the work of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. Both of these characters operate within the web of Bill Gates- and George Soros-funded organizations whose overall strategy is the creation of a globalist New World Order to which Donald J. Trump is the only remaining impediment, as Jeffrey Sachs complained at the Vatican as seen in this remarkable video.

People everywhere are beginning to realize they’ve been had by the “experts” and the state governors who continue to strangle social and economic life with preposterous lockdowns to which there are so many exceptions that no one can seriously think they have saved us from millions of deaths from a virus that, in the end, will be no more deadly than the bad flu seasons accepted as a fact of life.

Nowhere is the evil of this suddenly emergent tyrannical regime more apparent than in this interview of Dr. Fauci by one Peter Hamby which appeared in Vanity Fair. Hamby asked Fauci if people who wish to engage in illicit sexual encounters using “apps” such as Tinder may do so despite the lockdowns. Fauci’s answer is devastating to the whole rationale for the lockdowns:

“If you’re willing to take a risk — and you know, everybody has their own tolerance for risks — you could figure out if you want to meet somebody. And it depends on the level of the interaction that you want to have. If you’re looking for a friend, sit in a room and put a mask on, and you know, chat a bit. If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk.”

So, according to Fauci, one can assume the risk of contracting the virus by way of immoral sexual encounters, but no one may assume the “risk” of attending Mass or going to work in “non-essential” businesses! That is, the state will not permit the “risk” of doing what is right while turning a blind eye to immoral activity that really is risky, both physically and spiritually — including abortion.

It could not be clearer that the lockdown regime has nothing to do with “saving lives” and everything to do with social engineering for the “post-COVID world”. On the pretext of a virus, normal social and economic activities are forbidden while abominable sins are allowed to continue without restriction.

This monumental fraud is, quite simply, the devil’s work. And it is yet another sign of the diabolical disorientation of the Church that not only are the Church’s leaders willing to suppress Catholic worship at the command of Caesar, but are themselves exploiting the command of Caesar to participate in social engineering that involves, to quote Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostsolique, “a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which… brings Socialism in its train.” To quote the dreadful Easter Sunday letter from Francis to “the Popular Movements,” which says nothing about Christ: “I hope that this time of danger will free us from operating on automatic pilot, shake our sleepy consciences and allow a humanist and ecological conversion…. You are the indispensable builders of this change that can no longer be put off.”

That a mere virus would be the pretext to accelerate the end stage of civilizational apostasy is something perhaps no one saw coming — at least not this writer. But here it is. How much longer, one wonders, will Heaven defer the chastisement owing to a world in rebellion against Christ and to the defection of a Catholic hierarchy that has de facto abandoned His divine commission to make disciples of all nations? Source – Fatima Center (emphasis added)

Comment: 

It surprises me that Chris Ferrara does not seem to believe that this lockdown of the world is the beginning of the chastisement of which Our Lady warned at Fatima.  It seems to me that the closure of churches, the disappearance of priests and bishops, including those traditional priests regarded by some of us as having been sent by God to see us through this diabolical disorientation, makes that conclusion undeniable.   Share your opinion – maybe you consider that the chastisement will begin in some more ostentatiously dramatic fashion?

Cowardly clergy hiding away and denying the faithful the sacraments is pretty dramatic in my book, and I believe there is more to come, but that the Fatima prophecies are unfolding before our very eyes, seems undeniable to me.

Our Lady warned that Russia would spread her errors:  Russia’s major error was Communism, which has spread far and wide, including to China which is now a key Communist threat to the world and is heavily involved, in most sinister fashion, in this Coronavirus “crisis”.  Our Lady warned of a chastisement if the Pope failed to consecrate Russia as prescribed. Russia was the first nation on earth to publicly deny the very existence of God. That has to be corrected. Yet,  successive popes have failed to obey  God’s Fatima Message.  I see the current lockdown state of the world – with the cowardly clergy centre-stage – as the beginning of the Fatima prophesied chastisement.  What about you?  What do you think?   

Peter Hitchens On Loss of Our Liberty – A Lonely, Sane Voice in the Madness …

Comment:

Peter is considered a rebel by his peers in the media.  He is certainly a voice crying in the wilderness.   

Is his voice one with which you find yourself agreeing?  Or are you with the majority who believe (according to the polls and anecdotal evidence) that the Government measures are necessary – and a good thing? 

And what about his comments regarding social pressure e.g.  to wear face masks or be prohibited from entering shops? Will you continue to obey the State or will you join Peter and rebel? 

What about his predictions of a financially painful future, where we will all – rich and not so well off – be poorer, in order to pay for these measures? 

His remarks about those who were threatening to take the Government to court over Brexit but are not saying a word about the Government crackdown on our civil liberties now, resonated with me – what about you?  As did his rebuke to the churchmen who disappeared off the scene faster than the cowardly apostles in that first Holy Week. 

Peter admits that everything he says about this situation may be wrong – what do  you think: IS he wrong? 

Vatican Protects Pope Francis’ Image: Can’t Be Seen Endorsing Whisky – Come again? Is this a wind-up?

Pope Francis guffawed with laughter at his own joke – whisky is the real holy water

From the Daily Record… 

Footage of Pope Francis holding up a bottle of Scotch and proclaiming it “the real water of life” was censored by the Vatican ahead of a new documentary about seminarians at the Scots College in Rome.

The footage featured the Holy Father accepting a bottle of Oban malt from a group of Scottish student priests at a reception at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace last year.

But Vatican media insisted Il Papa’s quip was cut from the film – narrated by Daniela Nardini – before broadcast this Sunday.

Director Tony Kearney, whose Solus Productions made the one-hour documentary Priest School, followed the Scots seminarians over 18 months in 2018 and 2019.

He said: “We filmed the students meeting with the Pope in the Apostolic Palace. One of them was tasked with giving the Pope a bottle of malt, because they know he likes whisky.

“He was really down to earth with them all and when they handed him the bottle, instead of just handing it to his assistant as he normally would with a gift, he held it up and said ‘Questa e la vera acqua santa’, which means ‘This is the real holy water.’

“He guffawed with laughter and it was a real ice-breaker with the students and put everyone at ease.

“But we’d agreed that the Vatican’s media office would be allowed to approve all of our footage before we broadcast it. So we sent them the files and when they sent it back, that bit of him saying that was cut out.

“We were really annoyed at first, but they insisted they didn’t want the Pope to be seen to be endorsing whisky. I think it’s quite funny how guarded his image is.

Comment:

It’s interesting that the Vatican acted swiftly to protect the Pope’s “image” on this occasion when a loud silence followed his assurances to atheists that they would be saved no matter what, no need even to believe in God let alone become a Catholic, and silent, too, on the confusion caused by Amoris Laetitia and the Pope’s endorsement of those living in adulterous unions receiving Holy Communion.  Then there’s the whole pagan worship scandal within the Vatican itself.  How did that go with the papal “image”?  These are just the first examples which spring to mind of a Pope whose “image” is the least of his worries.  It’s his lack of divine and Catholic Faith which really matters and he’s proven himself to be short of that, big time.  And that is definitely nothing to laugh about.  You’re welcome to share your shock thoughts about this Pope’s “image” – robustly if you please, but within our House Rules 😀      Source