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Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

In 1846, Blessed Pius IX began his first papal encyclical, Qui Pluribus (On Faith and Religion), by describing his purpose in writing to the Church’s bishops:

“Its purpose is to urge that you keep the night-watches over the flock entrusted to your care with the greatest possible eagerness, wakefulness and effort, and that you raise a protecting wall before the House of Israel; do these as you battle with episcopal strength and steadfastness like good soldiers of Christ Jesus against the hateful enemy of the human race.”

In his 1928 encyclical on religious unity, Mortalium Animos, Pope Pius XI wrote that Christian unity can only be achieved through the process of non-Catholics returning to the “one true Church”:

In his June 5, 2024 General Audience, Francis announced his intention to publish a document on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in September:

“We are passing through this month dedicated to the Sacred Heart. . . This is why I am pleased to prepare a document that brings together the precious reflections of previous Magisterial texts and a long history that goes back to the Sacred Scriptures, in order to re-propose today, to the whole Church, this devotion imbued with spiritual beauty. I believe it will do us great good to meditate on various aspects of the Lord’s love, which can illuminate the path of ecclesial renewal; but also says something meaningful to a world that seems to have lost its heart. I ask you to accompany me in prayer, during this time of preparation, with the intention of making this document public next September.”

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

One of the aspects of Vatican II that its liberal defenders seem to ignore these days is the Council’s defense of freedom of conscience, especially in religious matters, as set forth in the Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae:

“On his part, man perceives and acknowledges the imperatives of the divine law through the mediation of conscience. In all his activity a man is bound to follow his conscience in order that he may come to God, the end and purpose of life. It follows that he is not to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his conscience. Nor, on the other hand, is he to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience, especially in matters religious. The reason is that the exercise of religion, of its very nature, consists before all else in those internal, voluntary and free acts whereby man sets the course of his life directly toward God.”

In his The Liturgical Year, Dom Guéranger described the great transformation that took place on the first Pentecost:

“These hundred and twenty disciples need but to speak of the Son of God, made Man, and our Redeemer; of the Holy Ghost, who renews our souls; of the heavenly Father, who loves and adopts us as His children: their word will find thousands to believe and welcome it. Those that receive it shall be called the Catholic Church, that is, universal, existing in all places and times. Jesus had said: ‘Go, teach all nations!’ The Holy Ghost brings from heaven both the tongue that is to teach, and the fire (the love of God and of mankind), which is to give warmth and efficacy to the teaching.” (Volume 9, p. 281)

On May 2, 2024, Rorate Caeli published a “Call for the Resignation of Pope Francis,” setting forth numerous crimes and heresies committed by Francis. Originally signed by seventeen reputable Catholics, the lengthy “Major Statement” concluded with the following:

“For you know, venerable brothers, that these bitter enemies of the Christian name, are carried wretchedly along by some blind momentum of their mad impiety; they go so far in their rash imagining as to teach without blushing, openly and publicly, daring and unheard-of doctrines, thereby uttering blasphemies against God. They teach that the most holy mysteries of our religion are fictions of human invention, and that the teaching of the Catholic Church is opposed to the good and the prerogatives of human society.” (Blessed Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus)

As profitable and enlightening as it is to reflect on how Mirari Vos condemns the specific novelties of Vatican II, though, we might draw greatest value from the encyclical if we can truly appreciate what it said about the permissibility of novelties in general.

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Go, get thee down: thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, hath sinned. They have quickly strayed from the way which thou didst shew them: and they have made to themselves a molten calf, and have adored it, and sacrificing victims to it, have said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 32-7-8)

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