13 January 2016

Keeping Reality in Mind as So Many Catholic Leaders Prepare to "Commemorate" the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolution

"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]"

The above words of Pius XI in Mortalium Animos were true when he wrote them.  They remain true today.  The inanity of Catholics in any way celebrating or commemorating, unless it is to condemn the event, the heresy and schism of Martin Luther, ought to be obvious.  That it isn't obvious to many is just one sign of the mess we are in.

A reader of this blog sent me a link to an article on the Archdiocese's Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (yes, there is one) that details their eager preparation for the 500th anniversary of Luther's revolt next year.  Any member of the faithful with Catholic sensibility should read it, preferably with Holy Water and an adult beverage nearby. The office urges parishes to enter into "parish-based, lay dialogues" with Lutheran congregations "to foster greater unity of the church"es" (sic).

Terrific. Just what we need. One can only hope that the parish-based, lay-leaders of these dialogues will do the same fine job of passing along Lutheranism to their parishioners that they have done in passing along Catholicism in the recent past.


Lynne said...

I have a year to prepare. I will create a post for Facebook that will possibly (probably?) offend my Protestant friends but I will post it because I want to make clear that I in no way support the revolt that happened 500 years ago.

Are we near the End yet?

Catholic Mission said...

Roberto Mattei accepts this invisible-visible distinction made by the contemporary magisterium. It is not irrational for him.It is not heretical. Since he uses this same reasoning to interpret Vatican Council II

Pete said...

Interestingly, Jaques Barzun's great, dense tour de force, "Dawn to Decadence" begins at the beginnings of protestantism. It is a real tough book to read. So much wisdom and knowledge packed so tightly. I recommend it.

Christophe said...

All that needs to be commemorated is the text of Exsurge Domine:

With the advice and consent of these our venerable brothers, with mature deliberation on each and every one of the above theses, and by the authority of almighty God, the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own authority, we condemn, reprobate, and reject completely each of these theses or errors as either heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds, and against Catholic truth.