Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist
Within the span of four decades, the leadership of the Catholic Church set forth two radically different views on the path for world peace. In the first, Pope Pius XI began his 1925 encyclical about the Feast of Christ the King, Quas Primas, with an emphasis on the role of Jesus Christ:
“In the first Encyclical Letter which We addressed at the beginning of Our Pontificate to the Bishops of the universal Church, We referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord.”
Among many other disturbing statements in the Roche/Francis Responsa ad Dubia, we find a reference to the so-called “irreversible” nature of liturgical reform:
“When Pope Francis (Address to the participants in the 68th National Liturgical Week, Rome, 24 August 2017) reminds us that ‘after this magisterium, after this long journey, We can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible’ he wants to point us to the only direction in which we are joyfully called to turn our commitment as pastors.”
Whether we think of him as an anti-pope or merely one of the the worst popes in history, the fact remains that Francis has arrogated to himself a power that no pope can ever have: to reshape the Holy Catholic Church to fit the anti-Catholic objectives of the globalists. Even if we consider him to be far worse than his immediate predecessors, though, we have to look back to the pre-Vatican II popes if we want to find Successors of Peter who assiduously defended the Mystical Body of Christ. And when we read the great encyclicals of the popes who warned about the Liberal and Modernist errors that were threatening the Church prior to Vatican II, we are struck by the way in which everything has changed. Pope Francis attacks Catholics for believing what the pre-Vatican II popes said we must always believe to remain Catholic.
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 preparation for Our Lord’s Nativity, many of us have recited the St. Andrew Novena since November 30th, repeating fifteen times a day this petition for God to hear our prayers:
“Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen”
For good reason, faithful Catholics have condemned Francis’s Traditionis Custodes for its unfair and dishonest attack on the Tridentine Mass and the Catholics who love it. There is no legitimate way to interpret the July 16, 2021 motu proprio in a favorable light, and those who try to do so generally expose themselves as enemies of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless, we know that God can bring good out of evil, and He has permitted Tradtionis Custodes for the benefit of those who love Him and seek to be saints (Romans 8:28).
A Pew Research Center survey of 6,485 U.S. adults from September 20-26, 2021 (Few Americans Blame God or Say Faith Has Been Shaken Amid Pandemic, Other Tragedies) yielded further evidence that the fruits of Vatican II’s ecumenical experiment have been putrid. The headline findings from the survey included the following:
- Catholics twice as likely as Protestants to say people who don’t believe in God can go to heaven
- Most Catholics, but not most Protestants, say some non-Christian religions can lead to eternal life
Details of the survey indicate that only 16% of Catholics surveyed (compared with 31% of all Christians) replied that “my religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life in heaven.” In addition, 72% of Catholics responded that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” and 61% of Catholics responded that “some non-Christian religions also can go to heaven.” Presumably an even higher percentage of Catholics would have responded that non-Catholic religions can lead to heaven were it not for the fact that 10% of so-called Catholics responded that they did not believe in heaven.
Indeed, if Francis’s version of Catholicism is right, how can we avoid the conclusion that the efforts of St. Edmund Campion were misguided at best and very likely wicked?
In a 1957 interview with Fr. Agustin Fuentes, Sister Lucia described one of the reasons why she was convinced that we are living in the end times:
“She [the Blessed Virgin Mary] said to my cousins as well as to myself that God is giving two last remedies to the world. These are the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These are the last two remedies which signify there will be no others.”
Faithful Catholics generally heed this good counsel by saying the Rosary every day and practicing at least some special devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Even so, perhaps we undertake these devotions out of a sense of pious duty, without appreciating the practical significance of looking to Mary in these perilous times.
In his 1943 encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ, Mystici Corporis Christi, Pope Pius XII wrote of the resemblance between Jesus Christ and His Church:
“From the outset it should be noted that the society established by the Redeemer of the human race resembles its divine Founder, who was persecuted, calumniated and tortured by those very men whom He had undertaken to save.”
“Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
The First Vatican Council’s decree on Faith sets forth the basis for our believing all the truths which the Catholic Church teaches:
“Since human beings are totally dependent on God as their Creator and Lord, and created reason is completely subject to uncreated truth, we are obliged to yield to God the Revealer full submission of intellect and will by faith. This faith, which is the beginning of human salvation, the Catholic Church professes to be a supernatural virtue, by means of which, with the grace of God inspiring and assisting us, we believe to be true what He has revealed, not because we perceive its intrinsic truth by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself, Who makes the revelation and can neither deceive nor be deceived.”