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Where is the True Faith Today??
About a year ago, Mother Miriam- one of the few holdouts from the "Counciliar Church" AKA "The Reformed Church of Vatican II" with a few functioning brain cells left finally lost the plot with a video posted on YouTube entitled "CANCELED PRIESTS: Can They Still Say Mass? | Mother Miriam" in which she formulated the thesis that priests are absolutely obedient to their bishops under all circumstances. I heartily disagreed, and wrote as follows:
"I disagree with Mother Miriam. Obedience is at the service of the Faith. The Faith is not at the service of obedience. The priest has a solemn duty and obligation to dispense the sacraments to the faithful who request it when they would otherwise sin by receiving the sacraments from a heretical priest, and have not recourse to the ordinary means. Furthermore, Mother Miriam acts as though canon law is the highest authority in the church. It is not. Apart from the Divine Law and the Natural Law, we have Customary Law, which may NOT be abrogated by any ecclesiastical authority, NOT EVEN THE POPE.
"When it is manifest that a superior has an evil intent, even if his command is not directly sinful, the subordinate has a duty to disobey. For example, suppose the abbot of the monastery orders a monk, under holy obedience, to cut down all the apple trees in the orchard. But the monk, from years of experience, knows that such an action would cause undue hardship for the monks, perhaps even starvation over the winter. Instead, he would probably request an urgent chapter meeting that would question the sanity of the abbot, while in the meantime not only refusing to obey, but even going so far as to prevent other monks from carrying out the order.
St Paul, for example, resisted St Peter to his face when the latter insisted gentles must be circumcised. St Paul insisted St Peter was transgressing the jurisdiction of his authority and causing harm to souls by confusing the Old and New covenants. St Paul realized the Old Covenant had been superseded by the New, and defended the integrity of the Faith. In like manner priests who resist Pope Frantic in his efforts to suppress Tradition and promulgate the errors of Vatican II are defending the integrity of the Faith, and neither pope nor bishop can order them to cease and desist.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. You are our only hope!"
My comment garnered some interesting replies. But the one I would like to hone in on is from "Viva Cristo Rey" and is as follows:
"No, a priest does not have the duty to provide the sacraments. A priest represents the bishop and is his hand. He only has authority from the bishop who can remove his faculties at any time. There are true emergency cases where a priest can help with the sacraments when no one else is available - such as a dying person. But to claim a priest can just do this on his own is nonsense. That is why we are not permitted to attend an Orthodox service or any Mass that is outside of the authority of the bishop."
Up to a point Viva Cristo Rey is correct. The priest very much is under the authority of a bishop, and must be "incardinated" in order to administer the sacraments, especially that of Confession (also called the Sacrament of Penance or, in Vatican II parlance, the "Sacrament of Reconciliation"). The Bishop in turn is under the authority of the Pope or the Holy See (a term which makes this wolf cringe- the proper Latin translation is Holy Seat, as in the Chair of Peter).
But the principle and foundation of incardination is what theologians call the "apostolic mandate", flowing from one of the four marks of Holy Mother Church: One, Holy, Universal (Catholic), and Apostolic. This wolf expostulated that concept in the following reply:
"You are correct in the sense that every priest MUST have an Apostolic Mandate, which comes from the Chair of Peter, and no man may take it upon himself to enter the Holy Priesthood, or being ordained a priest, to be consecrated bishop without an apostolic mandate. And that is why many regard the act that Archbishop Lefebvre did on June 29th, 1988 as being essentially a schismatic act, or at least a grave act of disobedience.
"That being said, once a cleric is given an apostolic mandate, it cannot be withdrawn at the mere whim of the bishop, and certainly not because said priest is acting to defend the faith- even against his bishop should the latter become heretical. It is in THIS sense that a priest has a duty to defend the faith, and a supplied jurisdiction to administer the sacraments and offer Mass for the Living and the Dead. If your logic were true, the devil could hold the church hostage just by turning the Holy Father from his calling, and then having him appoint evil bishops who persecute anybody defending the faith. That is nonsense. Every human being has a sacred duty and obligation to find the truth, adhere to it, and defend it even at the price of his blood. Those who blindly obey and insist all will be well need to meditate on the first Sorrow of Our Lady (The 4th Joyful Mystery) where Simeon prophesied that the Child would be Sign that would be contradicted, to the rise and fall of many in Israel.
"Those people who at this point don't think that the Abomination of Desolation has entered the Church and Rome has become the Seat of the Antichrist are just kidding themselves, and can expect a VERY bad end. Stop pretending Pius XII is still the pope. You are correct it is a grave sin to attend any Orthodox service, or that of any Vagus Priest or Bishop without an Apostolic Mandate, but the proper distinctions must be made."
Viva Cristo Rey, in turn, expounded upon his reply:
"I agree with you that distinctions must be made; but they must be properly made. Under canon law, a priest has no authority/jurisdiction outside of his bishop/superior and acts on his behalf. Yes, a bishop can both order a priest to stop saying Mass publicly and can even remove his faculties altogether. Apostolic mandate is only had if using the proper hierarchical structure. A priest has a duty to obey his bishop or superior, hence the vow. It is not blind obedience. Because one must always discern if something is sinful or not. As long as it is not a sin a priest by his vow must obey.
"Your comparison about the devil with my logic is nonsense. Christ preserves His Church and would never allow the devil to hold it hostage. Christ uses hierarchy and brings about his will regardless of evil. That is the whole story of the bible.
"Clearly no one mentioned Pius XII.
"The Catholic faith works whether you like the pope or not. My fidelity to him is not out of convenience but because it is asked of us. To believe that Rome has lost the faith is itself heretical. So you can say I'm kidding myself all you want; but as for me, I will keep my fidelity with my priest, bishop, and Pope."
This attitude is so typical of many Catholics today, especially those within the structure of the "Vatican II Reformed Church", which bears no resemblance to the Apostolic Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, all protestations to the contrary. Therefore I would like to carefully dissect this comment and point to all the fallacies, dogmatism, and assumptions contained therein, in the light of Fatima, sound prophecy, Scripture, and Tradition. This will be done in the form of a reply to Viva Cristo Rey.
"First off, you cite Canon Law, as though that were a legal and juridical entity in and of itself, as Americans cite their Constitution. This is legal positivism. As St Paul says: 'The letter of the law kills, the spirit of the law gives life'. All law must ultimately be based upon what God has decreed, and God has not given us a dead letter, but authority which derives from jurisdiction, of which there are three: Mother and Father (parents and family guardians), the Holy Father (and priests and bishops, our immediate spiritual superiors in each individual case), and the King (civil government, contractual obligations, such as in a place of employment or as a contractor, or a landlord, etc.). Now, God Himself did give us the Ten Commandments as a framework for Right Reason, that we might acquire an Informed Conscience, and this is no small thing. So, ultimately, our following the moral law strikes a balance between submission to LAWFUL authority and acting according to the dictates of an informed conscience, always recalling the dictum of St Paul: Against Charity there is no Law.
"Our first pope, St Peter, was faced with a dilemma. We find, after Pentecost Sunday, the Apostles still preaching and praying in the Jewish Temple, an act that would positively- and rightly- be prohibited by Canon Law today. But St Peter still felt himself bound in a certain way to the Chair of Moses, and tried to accede to the authority of the High Priest. Finally, this dilemma reached a climax when he was forbidden to preach about Our Lord Jesus Christ, to which he replied: 'We ought to obey God, rather than men.' (Acts of the Apostles, Chapter Five, verse 29, Latin Vulgate Douay Rheims translation)
"Moreover, while the scriptures are largely silent about the shortcomings of the other Apostles and Evangelists, either keeping them anonymous, as in the incident in the Garden of Gethsemane where one disciple, in absolute cowardice, fled naked from the soldiers recorded in Mark, or only mentioning things in the vaguest terms. But not so Peter. His denials are minutely recorded in St John, his lack of faith after walking on the water which caused him to sink, his suggestion that Our Lord forego His Passion which was met with rebuke 'Get behind me, satan!', his Judaizing which was repudiated by St Paul, and in Holy Tradition, when he was fleeing Rome, Our Lord confronting him, and asking 'Peter, where are you going?' All this seems to be the Apostles protesting that Peter, though indubitably given the headship of Holy Mother Church and universal authority, was nevertheless still a weak man and often in need of correction. This modern sense that we must be totally subordinate to church authority and check our brains and heart at the proverbial door is completely alien to the pages of scripture and also the writings of the fathers and doctors.
"Rather, I submit this attitude largely dates from the First Vatican Council and the promulgation of the 'Infallibility of the Pope', a doctrine which is essentially circular and somewhat comical, but which nevertheless is interpreted by many of the faithful as the Roman Pontiff having some sort of gnostic superpower to which even bishops and cardinals are not privy, and so rather it is their duty simply to obey, obey, and obey.
"You state that 'Apostolic mandate is only had if using the proper hierarchical structure.' I daresay you have it backwards. The hierarchical structure presupposes the Apostolic Mandate. Now I fully agree with you that a priest MUST have an Apostolic Mandate. I know of a priest, Fr Martin Navarro, who was told by his mentor that he had a vocation, and he presumed this constituted an Apostolic Mandate and had himself ordained by an Old Catholic Bishop. I think he was given very bad spiritual advice but I do not presume to judge him, though at the same time I would not receive the sacraments from him. In the same vein are certain priests who have themselves consecrated Bishops by 'Thuc line' or Old Catholic prelates. They forget Our Lord's words 'I am the Gate, and any who enter the pasture by another means, the same are robbers' referring to all who dare to become ordained or elevated outside the purview of the Holy Seat.
"In that vein I have agonized over the Episcopal Consecrations performed by Archbishop Lefebvre against the wishes of the Holy Father John Paul II. But I have come to the conclusion he was acting in good conscience in defending the Faith against the perfidious 'reforms' allegedly mandated by Vatican II, and the illegal promulgation of the 'New Mass of Paul VI'. And even the Pope John Paul II never forthrightly excommunicated the archbishop, but merely cited canon law- as though he could not void the whole code with the stroke of a pen. And subsequently, calling the statements issued by the Vatican concerning the SSPX 'confused' would be a vast understatement.
" 'The Catholic faith works whether you like the pope or not.' Indeed it does. Moreover, the issue here is not whether I like the pope. The issue here is whether the pope is acting within his jurisdiction, which is primarily as the defender of the faith and promoter of truth. Just because the pope makes an utterance does not automatically imply it is of the Faith or in concord with the Faith. His utterances must be in accord with what has always and everywhere been taught by Holy Mother Church.
" 'To believe that Rome has lost the faith is itself heretical.' That Rome has lost the Faith is a demonstrable fact. In no way can statements made by 'Pope Francis' in Amoris Laetititae, to say nothing of 'Tutti fruiti', be reconciled with the Apostolic Faith. Twas Our Lady of La Salette who said that 'Rome will lose the Faith and become the Seat of the Antichrist'.
" 'Christ preserves His Church and would never allow the devil to hold it hostage.' Our Lord Jesus Christ guaranteed that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church- that is, the Deposit of Faith would always be preserved. Meanwhile, many of the Church Fathers, if not all, were of the opinion that the False Prophet of the Apocalypse will be an apostate pope. That could very well be the case in our day.
"What I do know is that we have Our Lady of Fatima, the Most Holy Rosary, and the Brown Scapular. These appear to be God's weapons appointed for our time. Our Lady of Fatima assures us her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Now, if I see the Pope and Bishops fulfill her requests and the glorious conversion of Russia and great things happening, then shame on me if I do not run into the arms of Rome. But in the meantime: 'As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord'"