As you know, prior to Vatican II many popes warned against Liberalism and Modernism because they sincerely believed that those ideas would harm Catholics. In general, they told us that “if you accept these errors, certain evil results will occur.” At Vatican II, John XXIII opened the door to ideas that had been condemned by his predecessors. Men like Yves Congar, Augustin Bea, and Henri de Lubac stepped in and persuaded the Council Fathers to accept the previously condemned ideas, many of which were disguised with ambiguity. What happened when Catholics accepted the errors the popes had warned about?
How can you be so very sure that God wills every religion in the world other than the Catholicism of your youth?
For over sixty years, we have seen a proliferation of all the evils in the Church about which the pre-Vatican II popes warned. Some people argue that these developments flow not from changes introduced at Vatican II but from broad societal change. This might be persuasive if it were not for the fact that those Catholics who retain the pre-Vatican II beliefs and practices have not experienced the same evils, at least not to the same extent. It is obvious that the pre-Vatican II popes were correct.
Certainly there are many nominal Catholics who want the Church to adopt the ideas that the popes had always condemned because they do not like what the Church has always said about non-Catholic religions and certain moral issues. But nobody is forced to be a Catholic. Those who do not want to accept what the Church has always taught could freely join one of the countless Protestant churches, or even form their own.
Going back to your opposition to proselytism, we can all understand your basic point, even though it conflicts with Our Lord’s call for us to teach the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). If you really believe that it is evil to try to change a single person’s religious beliefs through talking to them about Catholicism, how can you find it permissible to underhandedly change an entire religion from the inside, while telling believers that nothing has changed? Even a pagan or atheist would find such a devious project to be cruel and unjust, and yet is precisely what the innovators have done to Catholics. You also do this.
If we all need to stop eating meat to save the environment (because cow flatulence is so bad), what do they think nuclear bombs will do to the environment? These are the geniuses you would follow instead of the Church’s saints?
And here is another interesting thing about the Vatican II revolution. The ecumenical spirit obviously encourages all Christians to practice their chosen religion without being persecuted by Rome. You, as the man who represents himself to the world as the pope, would never think of condemning Baptists or Methodists, let alone shutting down their churches or persecuting them. Why, then, do you allow those in your hierarchy to do this to those Christians who happen to call themselves Traditional Catholic? Why, indeed, do you do these things to us?
You praised Blaise Pascal earlier this year and so surely you are familiar with his famous wager, in which he demonstrates how foolish it would be to act as though God did not exist. We can apply his same reasoning to the post-Vatican II ecumenism.
Suppose we all have to make a choice: you must either follow what the Church has always taught and be a Catholic, or else you can adopt any Christian set of beliefs (including Catholicism). If it is true that one must follow what the Church has alway taught to be saved, then those who do so will be saved, and those who follow non-Catholic religions will be lost. On the other hand, if all baptized souls can be saved by following any form of Christianity, then all baptized souls are saved regardless of which option they choose. Therefore, the only way you can be lost is by following a non-Catholic religion if, as the Church has always taught, there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church (absent the standard exceptions). Thus, the only logical choice is to follow what the Church has always taught.
We can apply this to you in two ways, both as a fellow sinner trying to make it to heaven, and in your capacity as the bishop dressed in white. As a fellow sinner, why would you bet your eternal salvation on the post-Vatican II ideas that have been so obviously disastrous? While you were in the seminary, you probably heard the grand forecasts that ecumenism would lead to unity and overflowing Catholic churches. Just the opposite happened — Catholics abandoned the Faith of their fathers in droves, filled with bitterness and sadness. All the prophets of change were wrong, and many were apparently malicious. Would you trust these fools with your eternal salvation?
May God grant you the grace you need to save your soul, honor God, and lead many souls to heaven. When He does give you the grace, accept it. Otherwise, we hope to never see the place that Satan has prepared for you.
But your situation is unique because you have taken such great responsibility upon your shoulders. It is bad enough that you will not choose to follow what the Church has always taught, but it is infinitely worse that you have occupied the papacy to prevent others from following the religion of all the saints. Indeed, you want to wipe that “rigid” and “backward” religion off the face of the earth, even though you would protect every other Christian religion. How can you be so very sure that God wills every religion in the world other than the Catholicism of your youth? All the saints would tell you that you have it exactly backwards.
Your occupation of the papacy exposes you to greater peril if you harm God’s Church and deprive Him of the love He wants to receive from souls. But it also allows you to do something heroic at this moment. You can choose between one of the lowest places in hell or a high place in heaven. Your role at this moment in salvation history therefore acts like a magnifier of the eternal consequences we all face. You can honor God and become a great saint if you reject the anti-Catholic spirit that has poisoned so many souls since Vatican II. With so many people praying for you, it seems that God will grant you the grace to do so.
But perhaps you would hesitate because so many “great people” support your efforts. Is it odd to you that many of your great friends who tell us to “trust the science” on the environment also tell us we are bigots if we say that men cannot become pregnant? And why are these great friends of yours pushing for World War III? If we all need to stop eating meat to save the environment (because cow flatulence is so bad), what do they think nuclear bombs will do to the environment? These are the geniuses you would follow instead of the Church’s saints?
You can be a great saint but you have to first be a great man, and you are running out of time. Many of us would offer our lives to help you convert, because we want to see you in heaven. May God grant you the grace you need to save your soul, honor God, and lead many souls to heaven. When He does give you the grace, accept it. Otherwise, we hope to never see the place that Satan has prepared for you. We pray that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Undoer of Knots, intercedes on your behalf to obtain everything you need to choose heaven over hell.
In Christo Rege,
Michael J. Matt | Editor, The Remnant
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