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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

It’s Time for True Filial Submission to Francis and Vatican II!

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It’s Time for True Filial Submission to Francis and Vatican II!

Francis apparently does not like Traditional Catholics. And, unfortunately, rather than offering up his displeasure and showing us the same compassion he shows believers of every other religion, he has proven to be extraordinarily rigid in our regard. Of course we should pray for him, but his recent Responsa as Dubia also provides us an opportunity to finally acquiesce to his demands, which should help improve relations in the near term.

 

In case we missed it in his letter to bishops regarding Traditiones Custodes, the Responsa ad Dubia helpfully quotes a key passage from the letter relating to Vatican II:

“In the Letter sent to the Bishops of the whole world to accompany the text of the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, the Holy Father says: ‘Because ‘liturgical celebrations are not private actions, but celebrations of the Church, which is the sacrament of unity’ (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 26), they must be carried out in communion with the Church. Vatican Council II, while it reaffirmed the external bonds of incorporation in the Church — the profession of faith, the sacraments, of communion — affirmed with St. Augustine that to remain in the Church not only ‘with the body’ but also ‘with the heart’ is a condition for salvation (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 14).’ The explicit refusal not to take part in concelebration, particularly at the Chrism Mass, seems to express a lack of acceptance of the liturgical reform and a lack of ecclesial communion with the Bishop, both of which are necessary requirements in order to benefit from the concession to celebrate with the Missale Romanum of 1962.”

Of course we should pray for Francis, but his recent Responsa as Dubia also provides us an opportunity to finally acquiesce to his demands, which should help improve relations in the near term.

In context, the passage relates specifically to concelebration and the laity are, thankfully, excused from needing to discern if concelebration really is “a condition for salvation,” as Francis suggests (It seems unlikely). All of us, however, can meditate on, and abide by, the exemplary guidance provided in the last sentence quoted from the letter sent to bishops, which cites Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium and St. Augustine.

And so we turn to Lumen Gentium no. 14, which begins with the following paragraph:

“This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.”

This generally reaffirms the Catholic teaching that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church and thus provides no obstacle for Traditional Catholics. Indeed, we may find it somewhat odd that Francis has directed us to Lumen Gentium no. 14 since it fundamentally opposes his ecumenical outreach. In any case, we can be grateful that Francis has reminded us that there is no salvation outside the Church.

So, according to Lumen Gentium, salvation requires: the visible bonds of “profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion”; and, perseverance in charity.

The next paragraph in Lumen Gentium no. 14 provides the direct source material for the Traditiones Custodes letter and Responsa ad Dubia quotes:

“They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a "bodily" manner and not ‘in his heart.’ (12*)”

Watch the Latest from RTV - THE INTOLERANT POPE: Francis Cancels Faithful Catholics

 

So, according to Lumen Gentium, salvation requires: the visible bonds of “profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion”; and, perseverance in charity. The person who does not persevere in charity may be in the Church in a “bodily manner” but not “in his heart.” The formulation may sound somewhat odd, but clearly “perseverance in charity” must relate to sanctifying grace if it dictates whether a Catholic is “saved” or not. Again, Traditional Catholics can agree with the need for Catholics to persevere in charity and remain in the state of sanctifying grace. Still, the “in his heart” reference is somewhat vague.

Thankfully, Supplementary Note 12* refers to the passage from St. Augustine’s “On Baptism, Against the Donatists” which provides the reference for the “in his heart” language in Lumen Gentium. The passage is complicated but we need only to focus on how it relates to Lumen Gentium:

“For Peter says that in the Ark of Noah, ‘few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God).’ 1 Peter 3:20-21 Wherefore, if those appear to men to be baptized in Catholic unity who renounce the world in words only and not in deeds, how do they belong to the mystery of this ark in whom there is not the answer of a good conscience? Or how are they saved by water, who, making a bad use of holy baptism, though they seem to be within, yet persevere to the end of their days in a wicked and abandoned course of life?. . . Certainly it is clear that, when we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body, since all who are within in heart are saved in the unity of the ark through the same water, through which all who are in heart without, whether they are also in body without or not, die as enemies of unity. As therefore it was not another but the same water that saved those who were placed within the ark, and destroyed those who were left without the ark, so it is not by different baptisms, but by the same, that good Catholics are saved, and bad Catholics or heretics perish.”

For purposes of the Lumen Gentium passage, the essential point is that even Catholics must have a good conscience (i.e., state of grace) to be saved — “good Catholics are saved, and bad Catholics or heretics perish.” Good Catholics are those who follow Our Lord’s commandments and are thus considered “in the heart” of the Church. Nothing in this passage even hints at a sentimental meaning of being “in the heart” of the Church.

Although Francis uses the “in the heart” image in a way that differs (deviously, it seems) from the sources he cites — Lumen Gentium and St. Augustine — we can safely rely on the meaning of the cited sources since the entire point of the Traditiones Custodes drama is that Catholics must follow Vatican II.

Now that we know that the sources cited for the sentence found in both the letter to bishops regarding Traditiones Custodes and the recent Responsa ad Dubia simply say that one must be a Catholic who actually believes and practices the Faith to be saved, we can evaluate how this relates to Francis’s war against Traditional Catholics.

First, we should recognize that although Francis uses the “in the heart” image in a way that differs (deviously, it seems) from the sources he cites — Lumen Gentium and St. Augustine — we can safely rely on the meaning of the cited sources since the entire point of the Traditiones Custodes drama is that Catholics must follow Vatican II. Indeed, we would be opposing Vatican II if we followed Francis’s meaning, and we know he does not want us to oppose Vatican II.

Second, we should consider that Francis’s false ecumenism, inter-religious efforts, support of LGBTQ lifestyles, and encouragement of sacrilegious Communions all place his “heart” outside of the Church, so we cannot in good conscience join our hearts to his, so to speak, until he decides to return to the unity of the Church. In this way, his great yearning to be of one heart with us will give him a worthy incentive to rectify his conscience.

As such, we cannot possibly know whether we should follow the dubious Roche Dubia until we have received unambiguously Catholic responses from Francis to the Brandmüller, Caffarra, Meisner, and Burke Dubia.

Third, because both the key sentence from Francis’s letter to bishops and the corresponding Lumen Gentium passage list “profession of faith” as the first requirement for being bound to the Church “in a visible way,” it should be obvious that only those who actually profess the Catholic Faith, and reject the errors opposed to such profession, have the minimum qualification, and rights, to promulgate any statement regarding who is in body and heart of the Church. As such, we cannot possibly know whether we should follow the dubious Roche Dubia until we have received unambiguously Catholic responses from Francis to the Brandmüller, Caffarra, Meisner, and Burke Dubia.

Finally, because Francis has repeated in the Responsa ad Dubia this key sentence from his letter to bishops regarding Traditiones Custodes, we have every right to submit to it with true filial devotion. This submission leads us, if we wish to maintain a clean conscience, to reject all of Francis’s anti-Catholic initiatives. In so doing, we will be supporting him as true Catholics should, much better than those scoundrels and sycophants around him (and in Chicago) who refuse to remain “in the body” and “in the heart” of the Church.

God is good and wants us to remain faithful to His Church in these times, when even the supposed successor of Peter cannot stop denying Him. May the Blessed Virgin Mary help us to always remain truly Catholic and obtain for us the grace to fight against the infernal forces that have infiltrated the Church.

St. Augustine, pray for us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

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Last modified on Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

Robert Morrison is a Catholic, husband and father. He is the author of A Tale Told Softly: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Hidden Catholic England.