Conservative and Traditional Catholic apologists have spilled a lot of ink over the years explaining how Catholics and Muslims either do or do not worship the same God. Conducting a web search on the topic results in a cavalcade of apologetic websites promising to explain, often in painstaking detail, one or the other side of the issue. Why? Because, of course, a few lines from two documents of Vatican II which refer to Muslims seem to indicate that Catholics and Muslims worship the same God. If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to attempt to cut through the morass created by the repeated attempt to “explain” these few lines by apologists on both sides and simplify this issue to its essentials.
First the “Dogmatic Constitution” (which teaches no new dogma) Lumen Gentium (LG) paragraph sixteen offers the following words regarding the Muslims:
But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.
The urgent need of a saintly and courageous Pope to govern and guide the Church in the early years of the ill-fated 20th century is evident from the description of the sad condition of the times that was given by Pope St. Pius X himself in his first Encyclical, E supreme apostolatus Cathedra, in which he wrote that on ascending the Chair of Peter (1903) he was “terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today.” “Who can fail to see,” he asked, “that at the present time society is suffering more than in any past age from a terrible and radical malady which, while developing every day and gnawing into its very being, is dragging it to destruction. You understand, Venerable Brethren, that this disease is apostasy from God.”
“Truly,” he concluded, “nothing is more allied with ruin, according to the saying of the Prophet (King David): For, behold, they that go away from Thee shall perish (Ps. 72.27).”
It was Joseph Goebbels, master Nazi propagandist and a trusted confidant of Hitler, who is credited with The Big Lie:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
The Big Lie approach of the Nazis duped the German masses and The Big Lie approach of Modernists has similarly duped many of the faithful, in particular from among the Neo-Catholics. Try this simple substitution for the words of Goebbels:
“[Pope] Benedict did not intend to renounce the munus petrinus, nor the office, or the duties, i.e. which Christ Himself attributed to the Head of the Apostles [Peter] and which has been passed on to his successors. The Pope intended to renounce only the ministerium, which is the exercise and concrete administration of that office.” – Vittorio Messori
There have been some interesting developments in Rome over the past several months, which have brought to light some curious aspects of the Papal resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The widely read Vittorio Messori – “the most translated Catholic writer in the world” - recently published an article in Corriera della Sera, in which he discusses a newly published study by Stefano Violi, esteemed Professor of Canon Law at the Faculty of Theology in Bologna and Lugano. Professor Violi’s study, which includes a detailed examination of the Latin text of the Papal resignation, argues that Pope Benedict did not intend to completely renounce the Papal office, but only the active exercise thereof. His intent was essentially to split the Papacy in two, thereby transforming the Papal Monarchy into a Papal Diarchy. In Messori’s words:
Reprinted from The Remnant 2004...
The following letter from Dietrich Von Hildebrand, who was described by Pope Pius XII as the 20th century Doctor of the Church, is not without interest in view of the recent critiques appearing in The Remnant of the article "Why Vatican II was Necessary", which appeared in the March 2004 issue of Crisis magazine.
In view of my almost totally negative attitude to the Council set out in my book Pope John’s Council, I felt very uneasy some years ago when reading certain enthusiastic remarks concerning Vatican II in Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s Trojan Horse in the City of God. Compared with Dr. Von Hildebrand I am an intellectual pygmy, and I wrote to him explaining the fact that I was very unhappy about our disagreement, particularly with regard to such instances as his praise for the official documents and "the greatness of the Second Vatican Council" found on page 1 of his book. He replied as follows in a letter, dated 22 April 1976:
(Corrado Gnerre is a philosopher and cooperator with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate)
Translated for The Remnant by J. Martin
A typical error of the post-conciliar Church is to not want to be attentive to the reality of things. The Life of Grace falls ... one does nothing. The sense of sin diminishes ... one does nothing. Families are falling apart ... one does nothing. Civil weddings are increasing and in some areas of Italy are more numerous than religious ones ... one does nothing. Young people have forgotten the obligation and the value of premarital chastity ... one does nothing. State laws transposing increasingly dominant ethical relativism ... one does nothing. It's all right, it's useless to worry about it.
A typical error that occurs in two attitudes. The first attitude is a minority which is silent before the wreckage. They are in a sense always appreciative and – in a sense – almost hoping that the trend will continue in this vein. It is – let's face it – the attitude of those Catholics who do not have a clear conscience, with many disorders in private life. In this way they hope to silence their conscience believing that after all the wreckage proves that Catholic morality cannot be fully respected and obeyed, and that it needs to change radically.
Ideo mittit illis Deus operationem erroris ut credant mendacio
There is a shadow over the world. It darkens societies and snuffs the candles in the sanctuary. It creeps around corners and billows over houses. Good people see it, but they don’t know what to do. How do you fight a shadow? How do you crush a phantasm? There’s no substance there, nothing to push or shove. Nothing works.
So what is this strange amorphous thing, this Mystery of Iniquity? How can we understand it?
Sometimes, the most complex, inexplicable things are not so hard to understand once the blinders are off. I’m a counseling psychologist—no theologian or scientist—but, like all who hold the Catholic Faith, I have eyes to see. After nearly forty years of studying the human mind, analyzing the root of emotional conflict, moral perversions, and intellectual error, this is how it looks to me:
Quite simply, the darkness is the result of a thought process disorder. Masquerading as philosophy and science, the disorientation has spread through the Church from top to bottom, corrupting minds and shaking the intellectual and philosophical foundations of Western civilization.
A new religion has the world in its grip.
Guardian Angels and Televised Mass in Chartres for the First Time Ever
The Remnant’s team here in the States is bound for France this week. God willing, we will once again be walking with our traditional Catholic brothers from all over the world on the grand Pentecost Pilgrimage of Notre-Dame de Chrétienté to Chartres.
I ask readers to please keep their 60 fellow American pilgrims in their prayers as we once again attempt the 3-day pilgrimage across France. The now 23-year-old U.S. Chapter of Our Lady of Guadalupe will remember all of the readers of The Remnant in their prayers every day on the road to Chartres.
This year the organization responsible for the Pilgrimage to Chartres is offering an opportunity for their American brothers and sisters to spiritually accompany the pilgrims in a special way. It is called the Guardian Angels Chapter and it is for people who cannot make the pilgrimage but wish to be present spiritually.
The Raramuri are a tribe of Native Americans inhabiting the extremely rugged, mountainous region of western Chihuahua in the Republic of Mexico. Those outside of the tribe commonly refer to them as "Tarahumara" and the mountains they inhabit are referred to as the "Sierra Tarahumara." An integral part of the Raramuri culture is running. For the Tarahumara, running is more than simply sport, although it is certainly that. For them it is also wrapped up in their indigenous religious beliefs and ceremonies.
The Tarahumara are not native to these mountains. In pre-Colombian times they inhabited the more docile and more fertile areas that spread out in the plains to the east of these mountains. Pressure from European and Mestizo settlers who moved into these areas forced the Raramuri into their current climes, and they have adapted fairly well. They largely depend upon subsistence agriculture to survive. Drought and accompanying famine is a familiar scenario for these people.
[Note: Ascension Thursday is the day we begin the Pentecost Novena prayers—not on Sunday! This is yet another “novelty” from the Conference(s) of Catholic Bishops, and another bitter fruit of the Spirit of the Second Vatican Council. A disgrace to not only Christ, but to the Paraclete, Who came to confirm the teachings of Christ, showing us how to love God, His Church, and all that She teaches.]
AT THE FOOT of Mt. Olivet He had suffered; from its summit He ascended into heaven. There, on Mt. Olivet, He appeared to them, more gracious and irresistibly attractive than ever. He surely must have permitted them to kiss His sacred wounds in loving farewell. First His Blessed Mother must have come, then St. Peter, St. John, and the other Apostles and disciples. “And lifting up His hands, He blessed them.” (Luke 24:50.) He raised His hands on high, to show that the blessing He would give was of heaven. We may believe that He made the holy sign of the cross. We do not know what words He used in blessing them. Perhaps those tender words of the prayer after the Last Supper, “Holy Father, keep them in Thy name,” bless, protect them, “whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one as We also are.” (John 17:11.)
(The Remnant October 31, 1978)
In renouncing the ceremony of coronation, Pope John Paul I eliminated the touching reminder of death which was a part of it. During the ceremony a cleric would appear before the new pontiff, burn a wisp of flax, and cry out: Sic transit gloria mundi! “Thus passes the glory of the world. Remember that you are a mortal man.”
For some time I have been wanting to write about what was often called “a happy death”, or, to be more exact, a good death, bona mors, from the supernatural viewpoint. The present season of the Liturgy, coinciding with the recent unexpected and sudden demise of Pope John Paul I, creates a favorable moment for the subject.
The late Pope, in renouncing the ceremony of coronation, eliminated also the touching and significant reminder of death which was a part of it. During the ceremony a cleric would appear before the new pontiff, burn a wisp of flax, and cry out: Sic transit gloria mundi! “Thus passes the glory of the world. Remember that you are a mortal man.”