St. Ignatius Loyola July 31st

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St. Ignatius Loyola July 31st

Posted on July 31, 2015

St. Ignatius Loyola -Traditional Catholic Saint Of The Day For July 31st

Youngest son of Don Beltrán Yañez de Oñez y Loyola and Marina Saenz de Lieona y Balda (the name López de Recalde, though accepted by the Bollandist Father Pien, is a copyist’s blunder).

Born in 1491 at the castle of Loyola above Azpeitia in Guipuscoa; died at Rome, 31 July, 1556. The family arms are: per pale, or, seven bends gules (?vert) for Oñez; argent, pot and chain sable between two grey wolves rampant, for Loyola. The saint was baptized Iñigo, after St. Enecus (Innicus), Abbot of Oña: the name Ignatius was assumed in later years, while he was residing in Rome. For the saint’s genealogy, see Pérez (op. cit. below, 131); Michel (op. cit. below, II, 383); Polanco (Chronicon, I, 51646). For the date of birth cfr. Astráin, I, 3 S.

I. CONVERSION (1491-1521)

At an early age he was made a cleric. We do not know when, or why he was released from clerical obligations. He was brought up in the household of Juan Velásquez de Cuellar, contador mayor to Ferdinand and Isabella, and in his suite probably attended the court from time to time, though not in the royal service. This was perhaps the time of his greatest dissipation and laxity. He was affected and extravagant about his hair and dress, consumed with the desire of winning glory, and would seem to heve been sometimes involved in those darker intrigues, for which handsome young courtiers too often think themselves licensed. How far he went on the downward course is still unproved. The balance of evidence tends to show that his own subsequent humble confessions of having been a great sinner should not be treated as pious exaggerations. But we have no details, not even definite charges. In 1517 a change for the better seems to have taken place; Velásquez died and Ignatius took service in the army. The turning-point of his life came in 1521. While the French were besieging the citadel of Pampeluna, a cannon ball, passing between Ignatius’ legs, tore open the left calf and broke the right shin (Whit-Tuesday, 20 May, 1521). With his fall the garrison lost heart and surrendered, but he was well treated by the French and carried on a litter to Loyola, where his leg had to be rebroken and reset, and afterwards a protruding end of the bone was sawn off, and the limb, having been shortened by clumsy setting, was stretched out by weights. All these pains were undergone voluntarily, without uttering a cry or submitting to be bound. But the pain and weakness which followed were so great that the patient began to fail and sink. On the eve of Sts. Peter and Paul, however, a turn for the better took place, and he threw off his fever.

So far Ignatius had shown none but the ordinary virtues of the Spanish officer. His dangers and sufferings has doubtless done much to purge his soul, but there was no idea yet of remodelling his life on any higher ideals. Then, in order to divert the weary hours of convalescence, he asked for the romances of chivalry, his favourite reading, but there were none in the castle, and instead they brought him the lives of Christ and of the saints, and he read them in the same quasi-competitive spirit with which he read the achievements of knights and warriors. “Suppose I were to rival this saint in fasting, that one in endurance, that other in pilgrimages.” He would then wander off into thoughts of chivalry, and service to fair ladies, especially to one of high rank, whose name is unknown. Then all of a sudden, he became conscious that the after-effect of these dreams was to make him dry and dissatisfied, while the ideas of falling into rank among the saints braced and strengthened him, and left him full of joy and peace. Next it dawned on him that the former ideas were of the world, the latter God-sent; finally, worldly thoughts began to lose their hold, while heavenly ones grew clearer and dearer. One night as he lay awake, pondering these new lights, “he saw clearly”, so says his autobiography, “the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus”, at whose sight for a notable time he felt a reassuring sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing of his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought. His conversion was now complete. Everyone noticed that he would speak of nothing but spiritual things, and his elder brother begged him not to take any rash or extreme resolution, which might compromise the honour of their family.

II. SPIRITUAL FORMATION (1522-24)

St. IgnatiusWhen Ignatius left Loyola he had no definite plans for the future, except that he wished to rival all the saints had done in the way of penance. His first care was to make a general confession at the famous sanctuary of Montserrat, where, after three days of self-examination, and carefully noting his sins, he confessed, gave to the poor the rich clothes in which he had come, and put on garment of sack-cloth reaching to his feet. His sword and dagger he suspended at Our Lady’s altar, and passed the night watching before them. Next morning, the feast of the Annunciation, 1522, after Communion, he left the sanctuary, not knowing whither he went. But he soon fell in with a kind woman, Iñes Pascual, who showed him a cavern near the neighbouring town of Manresa, where he might retire for prayer, austerities, and contemplation, while he lived on alms. But here, instead of obtaining greater peace, he was consumed with the most troublesome scruples. Had he confessed this sin? Had he omitted that circumstance? At one time he was violently tempted to end his miseries by suicide, on which he resolved neither to eat nor to drink (unless his life was in danger), until God granted him the peace which he desired, and so he continued until his confessor stopped him at the end of the week. At last, however, he triumphed over all obstacles, and then abounded in wonderful graces and visions.

It was at this time, too, that he began to make notes of his spiritual experiences, notes which grew into the little book of “The Spiritual Exercises”. God also afflicted him with severe sicknesses, when he was looked after by friends in the public hospital; for many felt drawn towards him, and he requited their many kind offices by teaching them how to pray and instructing them in spiritual matters. Having recovered health, and acquired sufficient experience to guide him in his new life, he commenced his long-meditated migration to the Holy Land. From the first he had looked forward to it as leading to a life of heroic penance; now he also regarded it as a school in which he might learn how to realize clearly and to conform himself perfectly to Christ’s life. The voyage was fully as painful as he had conceived. Poverty, sickness, exposure, fatigue, starvation, dangers of shipwreck and capture, prisons, blows, contradictions, these were his daily lot; and on his arrival the Franciscans, who had charge of the holy places, commanded him to return under pain of sin. Ignatius demanded what right they had thus to interfere with a pilgrim like himself, and the friars explained that, to prevent many troubles which had occurred in finding ransoms for Christian prisoners, the pope had given them the power and they offered to show him their Bulls. Ignatius at once submitted, though it meant altering his whole plan of life, refused to look at the proferred Bulls, and was back at Barcelona about March, 1524.

III. STUDIES AND COMPANIONS (1521-39)

Ignatius left Jerusalem in the dark as to his future and “asking himself as he went,quid agendum” (Autobiography, 50). Eventually he resolved to study, in order to be of greater help to others. To studies he therefore gave eleven years, more than a third of his remaining life. Later he studied among school-boys at Barcelona, and early in 1526 he knew enough to proceed to his philosophy at the University of Alcalá. But here he met with many troubles to be described later, and at the end of 1527 he entered the University of Salamanca, whence, his trials continuing, he betook himself to Paris (June, 1528), and there with great method repeated his course of arts, taking his M.A. on 14 March, 1535. Meanwhile theology had been begun, and he had taken the licentiate in 1534; the doctorate he never took, as his health compelled him to leave Paris in March, 1535. Though Ignatius, despite his pains, acquired no great erudition, he gained many practical advantages from his course of education. To say nothing of knowledge sufficient to find such information as he needed afterwards to hold his own in the company of the learned, and to control others more erudite than himself, he also became thoroughly versed in the science of education, and learned by experience how the life of prayer and penance might be combined with that of teaching and study, an invaluable acquirement to the future founder of the Society of Jesus. The labours of Ignatius for others involved him in trials without number. At Barcelona, he was beaten senseless, and his companion killed, at the instigation of some worldlings vexed at being refused entrance into a convent which he had reformed. At Alcalá, a meddlesome inquisitor, Figueroa, harassed him constantly, and once automatically imprisoned him for two months. This drove him to Salamanca, where, worse still, he was thrown into the common prison, fettered by the foot to his companion Calisto, which indignity only drew from Ignatius the characteristic words, “There are not so many handcuffs and chains in Salamanca, but that I desire even more for the love of God.”

In Paris his trials were very varied — from poverty, plague, works of charity, and college discipline, on which account he was once sentenced to a public flogging by Dr. Govea, the rector of Collège Ste-Barbe, but on his explaining his conduct, the rector as publicly begged his pardon. There was but one delation to the inquisitors, and, on Ignatius requesting a prompt settlement, the Inquisitor Ori told him proceedings were therewith quashed.

We notice a certain progression in Ignatius’ dealing with accusations against him. The first time he allowed them to cease without any pronouncement being given in his favour. The second time he demurred at Figueroa wanting to end in this fashion. The third time, after sentence had been passed, he appealed to he Archbishop of Toledo against some of its clauses. Finally he does not await sentence, but goes at once to the judge to urge an inquiry, and eventually he made it his practice to demand sentence, whenever reflection was cast upon his orthodoxy. (Records of Ignatius’ legal proceedings at Azpeitia, in 1515; at Alcal´ in 1526, 1527; at Venice, 1537; at Rome in 1538, will be found in “Scripta de S. Ignatio”, pp. 580-620.) Ignatius had now for the third time gathered companions around him. His first followers in Spain had persevered for a time, even amid the severe trials of imprisonment, but instead of following Ignatius to Paris, as they had agreed to do, they gave him up. In Paris too the first to follow did not persevere long, but of the third band not one deserted him. They were (St.) Peter Faber, a Genevan Savoyard; (St.) Francis Xavier, of Navarre; James Laynez, Alonso Salmerón, and Nicolás Bobadilla, Spaniards; Simón Rodríguez, a Portuguese. Three others joined soon after — Claude Le Jay, a Genevan Savoyard; Jean Codure and Paschase Broët, French. Progress is to be noted in the way Ignatius trained his companions. The first were exercised in the same severe exterior mortifications, begging, fasting, going barefoot, etc., which the saint was himself practising. But though this discipline had prospered in a quiet country place like Manresa, it had attracted an objectionable amount of criticism at the University of Alcalá. At Paris dress and habits were adapted to the life in great towns; fasting, etc., was reduced; studies and spiritual exercises were multiplied, and alms funded.

The only bond between Ignatius’ followers so far was devotion to himself, and his great ideal of leading in the Holy Land a life as like as possible to Christ’s. On 15 August, 1534, they took the vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre (probably near the modern Chapelle de St-Denys, Rue Antoinette), and a third vow to go to the Holy Land after two years, when their studies were finished. Six months later Ignatius was compelled by bad health to return to his native country, and on recovery made his way slowly to Bologna, where, unable through ill health to study, he devoted himself to active works of charity till his companions came from Paris to Venice (6 January, 1537) on the way to the Holy Land. Finding further progress barred by the war with the Turks, they now agreed to await for a year the opportunity of fulfilling their vow, after which they would put themselves at the pope’s disposal. Faber and some others, going to Rome in Lent, got leave for all to be ordained. They were eventually made priests on St. John Baptist’s day. But Ignatius took eighteen months to prepare for his first Mass.

IV. FOUNDATION OF THE SOCIETY

By the winter of 1537, the year of waiting being over, it was time to offer their services to the pope. The others being sent in pairs to neighboring university towns, Ignatius with Faber and Laynez started for Rome. At La Storta, a few miles before reaching the city, Ignatius had a noteworthy vision. He seemed to see the Eternal Father associating him with His Son, who spoke the words: Ego vobis Romae propitius ero. Many have thought this promise simply referred to the subsequent success of the order there. Ignatius’ own interpretation was characteristic: “I do not know whether we shall be crucified in Rome; but Jesus will be propitious.” Just before or just after this, Ignatius had suggested for the title of their brotherhood “The Company of Jesus”. Company was taken in its military sense, and in those days a company was generally known by its captain’s name. In the Latin Bull of foundation, however, they were called “Societas Jesu”. We first hear of the term Jesuit in 1544, applied as a term of reproach by adversaries. It had been used in the fifteenth century to describe in scorn someone who cantingly interlarded his speech with repetitions of the Holy Name. In 1522 it was still regarded as a mark of scorn, but before very long the friends of the society saw that they could take it in a good sense, and, though never used by Ignatius, it was readily adopted (Pollen, “The Month”, June, 1909). Paul III having received the fathers favourably, all were summoned to Rome to work under the pope’s eyes. At this critical moment an active campaign of slander was opened by one Fra Matteo Mainardi (who eventually died in open heresy), and a certain Michael who had been refused admission to the order. It was not till 18 November, 1538, that Ignatius obtained from the governor of Rome an honourable sentence, still extent, in his favour. The thoughts of the fathers were naturally occupied with a formula of their intended mode of life to submit to the pope; and in March, 1539, they began to meet in the evenings to settle the matter.

Hitherto without superior, rule or tradition, they had prospered most remarkably. Why not continue as they had begun? The obvious answer was that without some sort of union, some houses for training postulants, they were practically doomed to die out with the existing members, for the pope already desired to send them about as missioners from place to place. This point was soon agreed to, but when the question arose whether they should, by adding a vow of obedience to their existing vows, form themselves into a compact religious order, or remain, as they were, a congregation of secular priests, opinions differed much and seriously. Not only had they done so well without strict rules, but (to mention only one obstacle, which was in fact not overcome afterwards without great difficulty), there was the danger, if they decided for an order, that the pope might force them to adopt some ancient rule, which would mean the end of all their new ideas. The debate on this point continued for several weeks, but the conclusion in favour of a life under obedience was eventually reached unanimously. After this, progress was faster, and by 24 June some sixteen resolutions had been decided on, covering the main points of the proposed institute. Thence Ignatius drew up in five sections the first “Formula Instituti”, which was submitted to the pope, who gave a viva voce approbation 3 September, 1539, but Cardinal Guidiccioni, the head of the commission appointed to report on the “Formula”, was of the view that a new order should not be admitted, and with that the chances of approbation seemed to be at an end. Ignatius and his companions, undismayed, agreed to offer up 4000 Masses to obtain the object desired, and after some time the cardinal unexpectedly changed his mind, approved the “Formula” and the Bull “Regimini militantis Ecclesiae” (27 September, 1540), which embodies and sanctions it, was issued, but the members were not to exceed sixty (this clause was abrogated after two years). In April, 1541, Ignatius was, in spite of his reluctance, elected the first general, and on 22 April he and his companions made their profession in St. Paul Outside the Walls. The society was now fully constituted.

V. THE BOOK OF THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES

This work originated in Ignatius’ experiences, while he was at Loyola in 1521, and the chief meditations were probably reduced to their present shapes during his life at Manresa in 1522, at the end of which period he had begun to teach them to others. In the process of 1527 at Salamanca, they are spoken of for the first time as the “Book of Exercises”. The earliest extant text is of the year 1541. At the request of St. Francis Borgia. The book was examined by papal censors and a solemn approbation given by Paul III in the Brief “Pastoralis Officii” of 1548. “The Spiritual Exercises” are written very concisely, in the form of a handbook for the priest who is to explain them, and it is practically impossible to describe them without making them, just as it might be impossible to explain Nelson’s “Sailing Orders” to a man who knew nothing of ships or the sea. The idea of the work is to help the exercitant to find out what the will of God is in regard to his future, and to give him energy and courage to follow that will. The exercitant (under ideal circumstances) is guided through four weeks of meditations: the first week on sin and its consequences, the second on Christ’s life on earth, the third on his passion, the fourth on His risen life; and a certain number of instructions (called “rules”, “additions”, “notes”) are added to teach him how to pray, how to avoid scruples, how to elect a vocation in life without being swayed by the love of self or of the world. In their fullness they should, according to Ignatius’ idea, ordinarily be made once or twice only; but in part (from three to four days) they may be most profitably made annually, and are now commonly called “retreats”, from the seclusion or retreat from the world in which the exercitant lives. More popular selections are preached to the people in church and are called “missions”. The stores of spiritual wisdom contained in the “Book of Exercises” are truly astonishing, and their author is believed to have been inspired while drawing them up. (See also next section.) Sommervogel enumerates 292 writers among the Jesuits alone, who have commented on the whole book, to say nothing of commentators on parts (e.g. the meditations), who are far more numerous still. But the best testimony to the work is the frequency with which the exercises are made. In England (for which alone statistics are before the writer) the educated people who make retreats number annually about 22,000, while the number who attend popular expositions of the Exercises in “missions” is approximately 27,000, out of a total Catholic population of 2,000,000.

VI. THE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE SOCIETY

Ignatius was commissioned in 1541 to draw them up, but he did not begin to do so until 1547, having occupied the mean space with introducing customs tentatively, which were destined in time to become laws. In 1547 Father Polanco became his secretary, and with his intelligent aid the first draft of the constitutions was made between 1547 and 1550, and simultaneously pontifical approbation was asked for a new edition of the “Formula”. Julius III conceded this by the Bull “Exposcit debitum”, 21 July, 1550. At the same time a large number of the older fathers assembled to peruse the first draft of the constitutions, and though none of them made any serious objections, Ignatius’ next recension (1552) shows a fair amount of changes. This revised version was then published and put into force throughout the society, a few explanations being added here and there to meet difficulties as they arose. These final touches were being added by the saint up till the time of his death, after which the first general congregation of the society ordered them to be printed, and they have never been touched since. The true way of appreciating the constitutions of the society is to study them as they are carried into practice by the Jesuits themselves, and for this, reference may be made to the articles on the . A few points, however, in which Ignatius’ institute differed from the older orders may be mentioned here. They are:
1.the vow not to accept ecclesiastical dignities;
2.increased probations. The novitiate is prolonged from one year to two, with a third year, which usually falls after the priesthood. Candidates are moreover at first admitted to simple vows only, solemn vows coming much later on;
3.the Society does not keep choir;
4.it does not have a distinctive religious habit;
5.it does not accept the direction of convents;
6.it is not governed by a regular triennial chapter;
7.it is also said to have been the first order to undertake officially and by virtue of its constitutions active works such as the following:
◾foreign missions, at the pope’s bidding;
◾the education of youth of all classes;
◾the instruction of the ignorant and the poor;
◾ministering to the sick, to prisoners, etc.

The above points give no conception of the originality with which Ignatius has handled all parts of his subject, even those common to all orders. It is obvious that he must have acquired some knowledge of other religious constitutions, especially during the years of inquiry (1541-1547), when he was on terms of intimacy with religious of every class. But witnesses, who attended him, tell us that he wrote without any books before him except the Missal. Though his constitutions of course embody technical terms to be found in other rules, and also a few stock phrases like “the old man’s staff”, and “the corpse carried to any place”, the thought is entirely original, and would seem to have been God-guided throughout. By a happy accident we still possess his journal of prayers for forty days, during which he was deliberating the single point of poverty in churches. It shows that in making up his mind he was marvelously aided by heavenly lights, intelligence, and visions. If, as we may surely infer, the whole work was equally assisted by grace, its heavenly inspiration will not be doubtful. The same conclusion is probable true of “The Spiritual Exercises”.

VII. LATER LIFE AND DEATH

The later years of Ignatius were spent in partial retirement, the correspondence inevitable in governing the Society leaving no time for those works of active ministry which in themselves he much preferred. His health too began to fail. In 1551, when he had gathered the elder fathers to revise the constitutions, he laid his resignation of the generalate in their hands, but they refused to accept it then or later, when the saint renewed his prayer. In 1554 Father Nadal was given the powers of vicar-general, but it was often necessary to send himm abroad as commissary, and in the end Ignatius continued, with Polanco’s aid, to direct everything. With most of his first companions he had to part soon. Rodríguez started on 5 March, 1540, for Lisbon, where he eventually founded the Portuguese province, of which he was made provincial on 10 October, 1546. St. Francis Xavier followed Rodríguez immediately, and became provincial of India in 1549. In September, 1541, Salmeron and Broet started for their perilous mission to Ireland, which they reached (via Scotland) next Lent. But Ireland, the prey to Henry VIII’s barbarous violence, could not give the zealous missionaries a free field for the exercise of the ministries proper to their institute. All Lent they passed in Ulster, flying from persecutors, and doing in secret such good as they might. With difficulty they reached Scotland, and regained Rome, Dec., 1542. The beginnings of the Society in Germany are connected with St. Peter Faber, Blessed Peter Canisius, Le Jay, and Bobadilla in 1542. In 1546 Laynez and Salmeron were nominated papal theologians for the Council of Trent, where Canisius, Le Jay, and Covillon also found places. In 1553 came the picturesque, but not very successful mission of Nuñez Barretto as Patriarch of Abyssinia. For all these missions Ignatius wrote minute instructions, many of which are still extant. He encouraged and exhorted his envoys in their work by his letters, while the reports they wrote back to him form our chief source of information on the missionary triumphs achieved. Though living alone in Rome, it was he who in effect led, directed, and animated his subjects all the world over.

The two most painful crosses of this period were probably the suits with Isabel Roser and Simón Rodríguez. The former lady had been one of Ignatius’ first and most esteemed patronesses during his beginnings in Spain. She came to Rome later on and persuaded Ignatius to receive a vow of obedience to him, and she was afterwards joined by two or three other ladies. But the saint found that the demands they made on his time were more than he could possibly allow them. “They caused me more trouble”, he is reported to have said, “than the whole of the Society”, and he obtained from the pope a relaxation of the vow he had accepted. A suit with Roser followed, which she lost, and Ignatius forbade his sons hereafter to become ex officio directors to convents of nuns (Scripta de S. Igntio, pp. 652-5). Painful though this must have been to a man so loyal as Ignatius, the difference with Rodríguez, one of his first companions, must have been more bitter still. Rodríguez had founded the Province of Portugal, and brought it in a short time to a high state of efficiency. But his methods were not precisely those of Ignatius, and, when new men of Ignatius’ own training came under him, differences soon made themselves felt. A struggle ensued in which Rodríguez unfortunately took sides against Ignatius’ envoys. The results for the newly formed province were disastrous. Well-nigh half of its members had to be expelled before peace was established; but Ignatius did not hesitate. Rodriguez having been recalled to Rome, the new provincial being empowered to dismiss him if he refused, he demanded a formal trial, which Ignatius, foreseeing the results, endeavoured to ward off. But on Simón’s insistence a full court of inquiry was granted, whose proceedings are now printed and it unanimously condemned Rodriguez to penance and banishment from the province (Scripta etc., pp. 666-707). Of all his external works, those nearest his heart, to judge by his correspondence, were the building and foundation of the Roman College (1551), and of the German College (1552). For their sake he begged, worked, and borrowed with splendid insistence until his death. The success of the first was ensured by the generosity of St. Francis Borgia, before he entered the Society. The latter was still in a struggling condition when Ignatius died, but his great ideas have proved the true and best foundation of both.

In the summer of 1556 the saint was attacked by Roman fever. His doctors did not foresee any serious consequences, but the saint did. On 30 July, 1556, he asked for the last sacraments and the papal blessing, but he was told that no immediate danger threatened. Next morning at daybreak, the infirmarian found him lying in peaceful prayer, so peaceful that he did not at once perceive that the saint was actually dying. When his condition was realized, the last blessing was given, but the end came before the holy oils could be fetched. Perhaps he had prayed that his death, like his life, might pass without any demonstration. He was beatified by Paul V on 27 July, 1609, and canonized by Gregory XV on 22 May, 1622. His body lies under the altar designed by Pozzi in the Gesù. Though he died in the sixteenth year from the foundation of the Society, that body already numbered about 1000 religious (of whom, however, only 35 were yet professed) with 100 religious houses, arranged in 10 provinces. (Sacchini, op. cit. infra., lib.1, cc,i, nn. 1-20.) For his place in history see . It is immpossible to sketch in brief Ignatius’ grand and complex character: ardent yet restrained, fearless, resolute, simple, prudent, strong, and loving. The Protestant and Jansenistic conception of him as a restless, bustling pragmatist bears no correspondence at all with the peacefulness and perseverance which characterized the real man. That he was a strong disciplinarian is true. In a young and rapidly growing body that was inevitable; and the age loved strong virtues. But if he believed in discipline as an educative force, he despised any other motives for action except the love of God and man. It was by studying Ignatius as a ruler that Xavier learnt the principle, “the company of Jesus ought to be called the company of love and conformity of souls”. (Ep., 12 Jan., 1519).

Source: 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia found online at Catholicity.Com

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Catholic Christendom #6

http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/07/27/catholic-christendom-6/

Catholic Christendom # 6

Posted on July 27, 2015 by Father Peter Carota

For the first 279 years, thousands and thousands of Catholics would be persecuted for refusing to deny their faith in Jesus Christ or worship false gods. They would not even put a tiny piece of incense on the pagan god’s altars.

For this they were put in dungeons, forced to work in the metal and salt mines, sold into slavery, fed to wild beasts, tortured in the cruelest ways possible, and finally killed.

The 11 worst Roman persecutions were as follows:
◾Nero, A.D. 67,
◾Under Domitian, A.D. 81,
◾Under Trajan, A.D. 108,
◾Under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, A.D. 162,
◾Severus, A.D. 192,
◾Under Maximus, A.D. 235,
◾Under Decius, A.D. 249,
◾Under Valerian, A.D. 257,
◾Under Aurelian, A.D. 274,
◾Under Diocletian, A.D. 303.
◾Persecutions began again by Julian the Apostate, A.D. 361.

Almost all of the Catholics, and christians, know anything about our beginning. They especially do not know that under the Roman Emperors, it was also a serious crime to have any of the scripture scrolls, (that now are bound together into what is called the Bible).

At that time there were no printing presses to condense all the scrolls into one book or to mass produce the Bible. So if any Catholic was found with any part of the Scriptures, they were arrested and tried and tortured to death.

It is very good to read everyday the daily list of saints and how they died in the Roman Martyrology. With sadness you read the vile ways these early Catholics were tortured to death.

The Apostles, and their disciples, were pushed by the Holy Spirit to travel and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church all over the known world, (Roman Empire and India). The prayers, testimony and blood of these early Apostles and martyrs, eventually conquered the Beast, the pagan Roman Empire.

In the year A.D. 312, Constantine was ready to advance on Rome to conquer it at the Milvian Bridge. Jesus appeared to him, showing him a sign of the cross in the sky, and said, ‘In Hoc Signo Vinces’, (In this sign conquer). He told him to put this cross on all his armor and standards and he would defeat the powerful pagan Roman Empire. He did, and Constantine won the decisive battle against Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge and went on from their to conquer all of the Empire. Maxentius drowned in the Tiber River.

Constantine was not a Catholic at this time, but his mother, St. Helen, was. He met in Milan with the Emperor Licinius, (who ruled the Balkans), and signed the Edict of Milan that agreed to tolerate Catholics along with other pagan religions. It would no longer be illegal for them to be Catholics.

‘When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I, Licinius Augustus, fortunately met near Mediolanurn (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred; whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule. And thus by this wholesome counsel and most upright provision we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation. We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion.

Moreover, in the case of the Christians especially we esteemed it best to order that if it happens anyone heretofore has bought from our treasury from anyone whatsoever, those places where they were previously accustomed to assemble, concerning which a certain decree had been made and a letter sent to you officially, the same shall be restored to the Christians without payment or any claim of recompense and without any kind of fraud or deception, Those, moreover, who have obtained the same by gift, are likewise to return them at once to the Christians. Besides, both those who have purchased and those who have secured them by gift, are to appeal to the vicar if they seek any recompense from our bounty, that they may be cared for through our clemency. All this property ought to be delivered at once to the community of the Christians through your intercession, and without delay. And since these Christians are known to have possessed not only those places in which they were accustomed to assemble, but also other property, namely the churches, belonging to them as a corporation and not as individuals, all these things which we have included under the above law, you will order to be restored, without any hesitation or controversy at all, to these Christians, that is to say to the corporations and their conventicles: providing, of course, that the above arrangements be followed so that those who return the same without payment, as we have said, may hope for an indemnity from our bounty. In all these circumstances you ought to tender your most efficacious intervention to the community of the Christians, that our command may be carried into effect as quickly as possible, whereby, moreover, through our clemency, public order may be secured. Let this be done so that, as we have said above, Divine favor towards us, which, under the most important circumstances we have already experienced, may, for all time, preserve and prosper our successes together with the good of the state. Moreover, in order that the statement of this decree of our good will may come to the notice of all, this rescript, published by your decree, shall be announced everywhere and brought to the knowledge of all, so that the decree of this, our benevolence, cannot be concealed.’

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know our Christian history. God always prevails after much suffering.

Post Number 4 on Catholic Christendom

Post Number 4 on Catholic Christendom.

Great advice from Father Carota:

“Those who have obeyed His Catholic Church’s 2000 year old teachings, preached the Gospel, shown love and helped the poor, will rule with Him forever. Those who have obeyed their own pleasure seeking passions in this life and have failed to show charity, will have the devil as their prince and ruler forever.”

Christ the King, Have Mercy on us!

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http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/07/25/catholic-christendom-4/

Catholic Christendom # 4

Posted on July 25, 2015

Christendom has to do with Jesus Christ being King, boss, over all people nations and creation. He is literally this because He created us and redeemed us on the Cross.

The New Testament, literally begins with the Gospel of Matthew with the Royal lineage of Jesus Christ. This genealogy is traced through the royal tribe of Judah, and King David. But those kingdoms of David and Solomon were only temporal and prefigurations of the Jesus’ temporal and spiritual kingdom, but more specifically, His perfect eternal kingdom that has yet to be completely realized.

St. Robert Bellarmine shows that the church fathers taught that when the Angel Gabriel says: “The Lord will give Him the throne of David His Father.” it means a spiritual and eternal kingdom, and not the temporal and carnal kingdom of King David so that Jesus might reign “over the house of Jacob forever“.

At the time of Jesus’ coming, the Israelites had lost their earthly power to the Romans. So when the Father sent Jesus Christ to be their messiah and king in a spiritual and eternal way, most of the Jews rejected Him because they were looking for a worldly king. The Jews are still looking for this purely worldly messiah to come and give them a worldly kingdom. That is why they lay up all their treasures, (jewelers and bankers), in this life and forget about storing up treasures in the eternal kingdom of heaven. (The word jewelry comes from the word Jew.)

Jesus’ power comes from His Father who anointed Him messiah, not from the conquest of territory or being chosen by the people to be their king. For this reason, we always see Jesus fleeing from the crowds who want to make them their worldly messiah and king. Their small minded concept of a messiah and king had to be rejected, because His kingship will endure long after this world no longer exist. (“for the former things are pass away” (Apocalypse)

“and we look for new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13).

In the Gospel of St. John on the Feast of Christ the King, Jesus says to Pontius Pilate : “My kingdom is not of this world”. What He meant was that His kingdom had nothing to do with worldly honors, wealth and power. He had already rejected that kingship when the devil offered all this to Him, ‘if only He would adore him’. His kingship comes from above, from His divinity, that is hidden in His humble humanity.

Jesus’ Kingship is over the devil too.

“Now will the prince (royal) of this world be cast out.” John 12: 31.

“Thus did God disarm the principalities and powers. He made a public show of them, leading them off captive, triumphed in the person of Christ.” Col. 2: 15.

“For this the Son of God appeared that He might undo the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8.

His kingship liberates us from the prince of darkness, (the devil), and restores us as sons of God.

Jesus did not come into a palace, but but was born a king in an animal’s pen.

“Behold they that are clothed in soft garments, are in the houses of kings.” Matt. 11: 8.

But His Father honors Him with the royal star and by foreign kings who come to worship Him and give Him royal gold. The Jewish king Herod, who should have recognized Him, obeyed Him and adored Him, instead attempts to destroy Him.

This Divine King was condemned for the crime of “claiming to be King of the Jews” as was evident by what was written on His cross. He was born a King, crowned a King (crown of thorns) and died a King.

If Jesus had at that time started a temporal kingdom in Israel, after His ascension into heaven, it would have had to last. But as we know, many countries have overrun and ruled over Israel since the time of Christ.

Jesus promised that at the end of time, (and I hope it is soon), He will come in all His Divine Glory and power, surrounded by His angels. No longer will men be able to mock Him and disobey Him. All will be subject to Him as king, whether they like it or not.

Those who have obeyed His Catholic Church’s 2000 year old teachings, preached the Gospel, shown love and helped the poor, will rule with Him forever. Those who have obeyed their own pleasure seeking passions in this life and have failed to show charity, will have the devil as their prince and ruler forever.

Meanwhile we are somewhere between the first coming of Jesus as a humble suffering servant King who came “to serve and not to be served”, and the Eschatological times. We are in what should be Christendom time where Jesus is our Eternal, Spiritual and Temperal King. But we only find specks of Christendom in a few churches and families. For this reason we are working to restore Jesus’ rule over all.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics who try to love, obey and adore Our King, Jesus Christ. He is our all powerful King who saves us from the devil, from eternal damnation and protects us every day.

Catholic Christendom – Part 3

Catholic Christendom # 3 from the TraditionalCatholicPriest.com.

http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/07/24/catholic-christendom-3/

Posted on July 24, 2015

Catholic Christendom is founded on, what all other Catholic beliefs and practices are founded on, the whole Holy Bible, (the Old and the New Testament), and tradition. Our faith is based is not only on what Jesus taught and did in the New Testament, but also on what came before Him and led up to His coming, the Old Testament.

But we Catholics hold the 4 Gospels, (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), in the highest regards when it come to understanding Christianity. This is because only in the Gospels do we find the actual words that Jesus said. They also contain everything else He taught and did in His 3 years of public ministry.

Then comes the Acts of the Apostles, epistles of the apostles and the Book of Revelation. And finally comes the Old Testament. In this part of the Bible we find these historical facts;

◾How God created man and woman and everything else.
◾The rebellion and fall of Eve and Adam.
◾The flood and Noah.
◾Abraham’s call to be the father of God’s people.
◾The miraculous conception of Isaac.
◾Jacob and his 12 sons that form the 12 tribes of Israel,
◾Joseph sold into Egypt.
◾Jacob and his other 11 sons moving to Egypt.
◾Moses’ liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt through God’s plagues.
◾The 40 years in the desert.
◾Joshua miraculous entering into the promise land without any war.
◾The great priests prophets, and judges, Eli and Samuel.
◾King Saul, King David, King Solomon.
◾The exile into Babylonia.
◾The writing and teaching of the prophets.
◾The liberation of Israel by the Machabees brothers.

In the Old Testament we see God making a covenant with the Patriarch Abraham by circumcision of the first born male and the sacrifices of animals. God promised to multiply his descendants to be as numerous as the stars of the sky. He will be their God, and they will be His people. God chooses only men to lead and only men are marked with the sign of the covenant, circumcision.

Then we see God leading his people through Moses. He is chosen by God to be the intermediator between God and HIs people. God reveals His divine laws through him and demands that the Israelites obey them. If they obey God’s loving laws, they receive God’s protection and blessings. When they disobey God’s law, they were cursed or killed. These laws also came with instructions on what punishment was to be applied to anyone who broke them, including death. From this is where the idea of capital punishment comes from.

God also revealed specific, exact laws on all their religious practices too. On what tribe priests would come from, how rites and sacrifices were to be made, keeping holy the Sabbath, what vestments were to be worn, how the priests and people had to purify themselves before praying and exactly what objects He wanted to be used in these Jewish rituals.

His laws were also very demanding on morals, like homosexual sex, stealing, adultery, lepers, abusing the poor and aliens. When these laws were broken, He punished them by either fire, earthquakes or snakes. Moses also was ordered by God to punish them by slaughtering them when they adored the golden calf. It is clear in the Old Testament that God’s law are not to be broken, and if they are there are severe consequences.

Finally Joshua leads the Israelites into the Promised Land, a country filled with cities, buildings and vineyards that God gives them without any battles. They are given other peoples buildings or orchards and vineyards with out every having to build them or plant them. The Promised Land is a prefigurement of Christendom or what I will call a ‘Theodom’.

At the beginning living in the Promise Land, God continues to lead and punish His people through His chosen priests, prophets and judges. Samuel is one of the greatest and holy ones. God always would correct His people by raising up a prophet to guide them.

Then the people cry out to God to give them a king to rule them like all the other tribes around them. He warns them of the taxes, wars, their giving of their young men as warriors and their women as cooks and all the other cost that it will cause them. Nevertheless, He concedes to their wishes and this is where, you could say, when Theocracy began.

God is the true King, and the kings of Israel were only to be His ministers. But the kings often forgot this and disobeyed God. King Saul was hand picked by God, yet he turns evil and tries to kill David, besides breaking other laws set down by God.

King David is a king after God’s own heart. Yet he too sins gravely and is punished for it. But God forgives him and gives him a promise that his kingship would last forever. That was the hope of Israel, that a King, Messiah and Prophet would come from the descendants of King David who would liberate them from all the oppressors and heal all their wounds.

His son, King Solomon, is greatly endowed with gifts from God. With his fathers materials, silver and gold, he builds two things, the Great Temple for God and a palace for him as king in Jerusalem. (We see here the two parts of Theocracy, God first, the king second). He is a great king, judge and disciplinarian. Yet he falls because of his lust for women, which cause him to allow his pagan concubines to practice and teach to the Israelites their evil false religions. Because of this, the Theocracy is divided. Queen of Saba and Solomen_TISCHBEIN, Johann Friedrich AugustQueen of Saba amazed by the wisdom of King Solomon

Later on, because of the continual breaking of God’s law by worshiping and sacrificing to false gods, the Israelites are taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Theocracy is completely destroyed because of the Israelites worshiping of false gods. They reaped what they had sown.

The Machabees brothers begin to battle to free Israel from forced pagan worship and the covering over of their circumcision, the mark of the covenant. They again enforced God’s laws and they were blessed.

Then in the fullness of time, God in His love and mercy, sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus to be the King Messiah He had promised them.

He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
Born of the house of His servant David.
Through His holy prophets He promised of old
That He would save us from our enemies,
From the hands of all who hate us. Canticle of Zachariah.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know the constant love and concern God has shown on His people, the Israelites before, and now on us, the Catholics, through Jesus Christ Our King.

St. Christina Virgin and Martyr

St. Christina Virgin and Martyr

http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/07/24/st-christina-virgin-and-martyr/

Posted on July 24, 2015

Saint Christina was the daughter of a rich and powerful magistrate named Urban. Her father, who was deep in the practices of paganism, had a number of golden idols. His young daughter broke them, then distributed the pieces among the poor. Infuriated by this act, Urban became the persecutor of his own daughter. He had her whipped with rods and thrown into a dungeon. Christina remained unshaken in her faith. Her tormentor brought her forth to have her body torn by iron hooks, then fastened to a rack beneath which a fire was kindled. But God watched over His servant and turned the flames back toward the onlookers, several of whom perished.

The torments to which this young girl was subjected would seem as difficult to devise as to imagine; but God was beside her at all times. After a heavy stone was attached to her neck, Saint Christina was thrown into the lake of Bolsena, but was rescued by an Angel and seen wearing a stole and walking on the water, accompanied by several Angels. Her father, hearing she was still alive, died suddenly amid atrocious sufferings. A new judge succeeded him, a cruel pagan experienced in persecuting the Christians. He tried to win her by reminding her of her nobility, suggesting she was in serious error. Her reply infuriated him: “Christ, whom you despise, will tear me out of your hands!” Then Saint Christina suffered the most inhuman torments. The second judge also was struck down by divine justice. A third one named Julian, succeeded him. “Magician!” he cried, “adore the gods, or I will put you to death!” She survived a raging furnace, after remaining in it for five days. Serpents and vipers thrown into her prison did not touch her, but killed the magician who had brought them there. She sent them away in the name of Christ, after restoring the unfortunate magician to life; he was converted and thanked the God of Christina and the Saint. Then her tongue was cut out.

The Saint prayed to be allowed to finish her course. When she was pierced with arrows, she gained the martyr’s crown at Tyro, a city which formerly stood on an island in the lake of Bolsena in Italy, but has since been swallowed up by the waters. Her relics are now at Palermo in Sicily. Her tomb was discovered in the 19th century at Bolsena, marked with an inscription dating from the 10th century.

Excerpted from Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 9.

Christendom Explained, Part II

We need to storm heaven with our prayers for a return of Christendom! Please read the second post from Father Carota explaining the meaning of Christendom. It is easy to tell what is holy by the fruits. When the bastille was stormed, the prison held only 7 prisoners. When a country is ruled by a just Catholic leader, under the authority of Christ the King, society is well ordered (resulting in fewer crimes and prisoners). We clearly do not have that anywhere in the world at the moment. Where can we go to begin Christendom again? Any ideas???

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http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/07/23/catholic-christendom-2/

Catholic Christendom # 2

Posted on July 23, 2015

Catholic Christendom means a part of the world where the Catholic Church had great influence and power over religion, governments and politics. It means that Jesus Christ is the King over the Church and government. Jesus Christ deserves this power over all the Church, states, people, and things because first;

◾He created us and the Universe,
◾He purchased us, (redeemed us), from the devil, by dying on the cross.
◾He made all things new in Him.

Jesus relegates His power and authority to His vicar on earth, the pope. He is to be the prime minister who is head over a hierarchical Church consisting of cardinals, bishops, abbots, abbesses, religious and priests. These delegates are meant to have temporal authority over emperors, kings, queens, princes, mayors etc. Religious authorities rank first, then emperors, then empresses, kings, queens, princes, and on and on down the authority line.

Men have been given by God authority over their wives and families to love them, to keep them Catholic, to protect and to provide for them. Mothers have authority over their children and the eldest sibling has authority over younger ones. (You still find Catholic belief when Hispanics confess; ‘not respecting or obeying their elders’).

The only country on earth where there is still any vestige of this, is the Vatican State. Other than this tiny State, there is no longer any other place. There were places where the Catholic Church still had influence in the government. But that has since changed. The masons have systematically infiltrated every country where this Catholic influence was. They accomplished this through what is call ‘filibusters’, (which is to put slowly masons in government positions and then to overthrow the government and pass laws and constitutions against the Catholic Church).

In their book, ‘The Freemasons in America: Inside the Secret Society’ by H Paul Jeffers, you read about this happening in Florida, Louisiana and Texas. Where the masons are, there you will find the star or what is really a pentagram. The pentagram is the five pointed star represented the earth, air, fire, water and spirit that wiccans use. Remember they believe in a new age spirituality and their magazine here in the USA was called that. They put the pentagram star in the USA flag. Texas is known as the lone star state.

So what most traditional Catholics would think of when they say Christendom, is a hope that someday, by a miracle, there will be a return to Catholicism and governments like what was lived in Emperor Charlemagne’s time. In the mean time, it is simple a dream and a personal commitment to Christ the King in our families.

They believe, in and try to live, this hierarchical authority paradigm in their traditional Catholic parishes to some extent and in their homes where the man is the head of his family. You can still see some traces of this in the vow of obedience religious take to obey their superior.

This is greatly emphasized by the Society of St. Pius X. They keep in mind that Jesus has been dethroned in the Church and in society. They attempt to live this in their parishes and families.

Michael Davies wrote a great small book on Christendom called; ‘The Reign of Christ the King’.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know that Jesus is our King and that we love Him and want to obey Him. He, God. is a powerful King who protects those who live under His rule and obey Him. It would be heaven if we had holy people in authority in the Church and in government with whom we could obey and work for the good of society. We could use all the money to build beautiful churches, we could have free Catholic schools, hospitals, orphanages, libraries, retreat houses, parks and homes.

Our society under secular and masonic leaders is not working. We live in the illusion that we live under democratic government. No, the two parties are just two big shows. They both are run by the people behind the scenes. We get all excited to try to elect Romney, because he is the lesser of two evils. He is the one who made government medical care mandatory in Massachusetts. Look what ‘Justice’ Roberts did in the Supreme Court.

When the French Revolution armies stormed the Bastille in July 14, 1789, they found 7 people, 4 forgers, 2 mad men and 1 pedophile. Under this ‘great Democratic system’ we have millions of people in prisons here in the United States.

Long Live Christ The King. Que Viva Cristo Rey.

Christendom Explained

We need to keep praying for the return of Christendom. One day for sure, and it might be soon, man will see what happens when God’s laws are not followed. Please read Father Carota’s initial posting on Christendom. Christ the King, have mercy on us!

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http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/07/22/catholic-christendom-explained-part-1/

Catholic Christendom Explained Part 1

Posted on July 22, 2015

Because most traditional Catholic believe in Christendom, (and are praying for its restoration), I think it is of utmost importance at this time in history to study the meaning and historical development of Christendom. It is of great importance now as we have seen the Supreme Court of the USA and democratic voting tear down God’s laws and replacing them with man’s laws.

I will attempt to do this by using the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia article on Christendom, other sources and my own knowledge, to explain;

◾What the word Catholic Christendom means.
◾Where it comes from in the Bible.
◾Its Christian Catholic beginning in the Roman Empire under Constantine.
◾The destruction of the Roman Empire by the Barbarians.
◾The muslim conquest of the major part of Christendom.
◾Its golden time under Charlemagne in Northern Europe.
◾Its expansion.
◾Its growth to be beyond just one nation and one language.
◾Its comparison with Christendom under an emperor and the monarchy.
◾The great influence of Monasticism on it in the time of St. Bernard.
◾The crusades effect of protecting, unifying and dividing Christendom.
◾The development from God’s laws, to Canon laws, (Church laws), and Christendom’s demise when countries developed their own civil laws.
◾How corruption, worldliness and nepotism of popes, cardinals, bishops and clergy wrought havick on Christendom.
◾The constant struggle between God’s rights, Church rights and governments rights.
◾Luther’s revolution that dealt the last blow to Christendom in Europe.
◾King Louis XIV of France ignores Jesus’ invitation to help restore Christendom in 1684 by not honoring His Kingly Sacred Heart.
◾The French Revolution against Christendom.
◾The Vendee’s counter revolution in France.
◾President Moreno’s attempt to rule Ecuador under Christendom, (1860).
◾The 1917 atheistic revolution of Russia that spread its error all over the world.
◾The Cristeros attempt to bring about Christendom in Mexico in 1927.
◾The spiritualization of the concept of Christendom and that moved away from the temporal Kingship of Jesus.
◾The pope’s encyclicals on Christendom.
◾Where are we know.
◾What can we do to restore Christendom in our temporal world.

Some of you, who read this, have never heard of the concrete temporal ruling of Jesus Christ King, through the Catholic Church over emperors and Governments. These emperors are given power from God through His Church, to enforce God’s laws in government and society.

But there are also those of you who possibly know much more than I do about Christendom. But we all are concerned about what is happening today as we see the attempt to change or remove God’s laws in the Church, (Synod), in governments, (Supreme Court), in society and in our families.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics who desire our Loving Lord, Jesus Christ King rule over our souls, families, Church, society and governments. We know that atheistic governments and court rulings are not making society better or our world safer. God can.

Pray, Hope, Chilax and Don’t Worry!

We share Fr. Nix’s thoughts on Pope Francis and the upcoming Synod. The bottom line is there is nothing to fear because God is in control of his Church. Take a chill pill and just keep praying!

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http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/07/19/fr-nix-on-papal-infallibility-part-2/

Fr. Nix On Papal Infallibility Part 2

Posted on July 19, 2015

INFALLIBLE? PART 2 OF 2

2015-07-16 FATHER DAVID NIX

A lightning strikes the basilica of St Peter’s dome

One of the surprising things I have seen among priests and the faithful under the Pontificate of Pope Francis is that certain people who used to hate the word “obedience,” maybe five years ago, now go on quoting obedience like they were St. John of the Cross!

I walked into a tea-house yesterday and I got surrounded by three adults older than me who first wanted to know what I was, why I had a long black robe on and what I thought of Pope Francis. As to the third, I simply said that the first words of Jesus and John the Baptist were “Repent and Believe” and that the measure of a Pope will be to the extent that the people heard that same call to repentance and faith (because repentance and faith are the only portals of hope and love.)

Now that I think about it, judgment of a Pope does not belong to a priest like me, but to God…and maybe a bit to history, many centuries in the future: A pope will ultimately not be judged on his popularity, but whether he is bringing consciences to life—or allaying consciences to remain asleep. Thus, it’s my job as a priest not to judge the Pope, but to remain obedient and to preach the Gospel.

There is excitement and concern, from the left and right respectively, that the October 2015 “Synod on the Family” will change Church teaching on divorced and remarried receiving Holy Communion as well as those in homosexual unions being allowed to receive Holy Communion. You might imagine that I don’t participate in the excitement of “the left” that doctrine might change, but did you know that I don’t participate in the concern to “the right” either?

Here’s why: A synod does not carry the weight of infallibility. In my last post, I explained the levels of infallibility, the highest being the Sacred Scriptures, which speak clearly on the above issues of sexuality and worthy communion in Matthew 19:9 and 1 Cor 11:26-29. The Council of Trent is another example of an aspect of Divine Revelation that is both infallible, and speaks clearly on the sacraments of Marriage and the Eucharist.

However, a synod does not only not have the weight of infallibility, but there is precedent for error in a synod! This synod was the 18th century Synod of Pistoia where Jansenism was promoted. It’s crafty that Satan may be tempting the Church nowadays more towards presumption of God’s mercy, than the despair of God’s mercy within the Jansenism of the 18th century. He’s tricky with that pendulum swing!

I hope I’m wrong, but I predict error coming in the October 2015 Synod of the Family, followed by Divine Intervention. This is not because I’m a Savonorola prophet of doom, but on a very natural level, because of the manifest and public, shameless teaching of the Cardinals who have been recently promoted in these matters, as reported byLife Site News:

Cardinal Godfried Danneels: The retired former archbishop of Brussels was a special appointment by Pope Francis to the 2014 Synod of Bishops. In addition to wearing rainbow liturgical vestments and being caught on tape concealing sexual abuse, Danneels said in 2013 of the passage of gay “marriage”: “I think it’s a positive development that states are free to open up civil marriage for gays if they want.”

Cardinal Walter Kasper: A few days into his pontificate Pope Francis praised one of Cardinal Kasper’s books, and then selected the cardinal to deliver the controversial keynote address to the consistory of cardinals advocating his proposal to allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive communion in some circumstances. This proposal led to the high-profile debate at the first Synod of Bishops on the Family. Cardinal Kasper has again been selected as a personal appointee of the pope to the second Synod and regularly meets with Pope Francis. Kasper defended the vote of the Irish in favor of homosexual “marriages”, saying: “A democratic state has the duty to respect the will of the people; and it seems clear that, if the majority of the people wants such homosexual unions, the state has a duty to recognize such rights.”

Archbishop Bruno Forte: The archbishop of Chieti-Vasto was appointed Special Secretary to the 2014 Synod by Pope Francis. He is the Italian theologian who was credited with drafting the controversial homosexuality section of the infamous midterm report of the Synod which spoke of “accepting and valuing [homosexuals’] sexual orientation.” When questioned about the language, Forte said homosexual unions have “rights that should be protected,” calling it an “issue of civilization and respect of those people.”

Father Timothy Radcliffe: In May, Pope Francis appointed the former Master of the Dominican Order as a consultor for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace despite his well-known support for homosexuality. Writing on homosexuality in 2013, he said: “We must ask what it means, and how far it is Eucharistic. Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift.” In a 2006 lecture he advocated “accompanying” homosexuals, which he defined as “watching ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ reading gay novels, living with our gay friends and listening with them as they listen to the Lord.”

Bishop Johan Bonny: The bishop of Antwerp in Belgium has just been named as one of the delegates to the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family despite open dissent on homosexual unions. While being named as a delegate to the synod may not in itself constitute a major promotion, what is unique about Bonny is the extremity and clarity of his dissent. “Inside the Church, we must look for a formal recognition of the relational dimension that is also present in many homosexual, lesbian and bisexual couples,” he said in a December 2014 interview. “In the same way that in society there exists a diversity of legal frameworks for partners, there must be a diversity of forms of recognition in the Church.”

Let me (Fr. Nix, now) be very clear that I am obedient to Rome and the Bishops, but no Bishop can change the words of Jesus Christ and what He said about divorce or what the Holy Spirit has said through the Apostle Paul on acting out any sexual sin (heterosexual or homosexual.) Pray hard that I’m wrong about error coming down the pipes of this October Synod, but if I’m not, just remember that a synod can not change the words of Jesus Christ. This is not a Protestant who believes in Sola Scriptura. That is why I wrote on the hierarchy of doctrine in my last post, quoting Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical on the Sacred Scriptures and Councils of the Magisterium.

I hope I’m wrong, but if I’m right and the synod disseminates error, “the right” will frenzy on how to explain the doctrinal confusion and “the left” will frenzy on how to rejoice over the doctrinal confusion.Either approach would be both unnecessary and superfluous. As I wrote above, there is precedent in history for error to be found in a synod, and no synod can change the articulated faith and morals of Holy Mother Church, especially as found in Scripture, Councils, Creeds, Patristics and Ex-Cathedral statements. A synod is none of these.

As Padre Pio said, “Pray, Hope and Don’t worry.” God will straighten it out and we’ll all be fine. Chilax, as the niños say, even if things go down bad in October.

The Lost Virtue of Hope

Hope grounded in Christ and his Church is the only way to true peace on this earth. Hope is sincerely lacking in the modern man. If men had hope they wouldn’t be using porn, they wouldn’t be killing themselves at alarming rates, they wouldn’t be abusing their bodies with drugs, etc. . . Hope allows man to see beyond their current problems and refocuses their gaze on the road to salvation which really is all that matters in this world. God is hope.

We also need to as a society, in our high schools and colleges, is teach the virtues to our children. We have lost complete track of them and how they help us live a good Catholic Christian life.

Please read the article below from a Christendom College student, Abigail C. Reimel on the virtue of hope.

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http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2015/07/16/the-necessary-virtue-of-hope/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ignitumtoday%2FsKWO+%28IgnitumToday%29

The Necessary Virtue of Hope

Published on July 16th, 2015 | by Abigail C. Reimel –

During any phase of transition, the importance of the theological virtues of faith and love are always emphasized. One is counseled to have faith that God will bring the best result out of the situation, while being reminded to either love those also struggling or to be very loving to the one who is facing the changes alone. While these are very important pieces of advice, often the incredibly important virtue of hope is lost in the mix.

Hope is of extreme importance in a Christian life, especially when in the middle of difficult or confusing times. Though faith in God can help assuage worry, and love can help overcome the sadness over what is being left behind, hope is the virtue which lifts one out of the situation and anticipate the future with joy. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote in his beautiful encyclical Spe Salvi, “Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well” (2).

Because times of change involve many decisions and actively considering all the possible problems to come, a person leans on faith to take care of what he does not have time to consider, and love to help him feel better in the moment. But ultimately it is hope which is needed to reach that interior peace which allows one to look beyond the present pain, to find joy in the struggle, and to muster the strength to reach for the good that is ahead. Through hope one can be at peace about what is to come, and thus handle the immediate concerns with a clear mind.

Through hope, that person can embrace the trials directly in front of him with the attitude which will bring him to more positive endings, and enable him to weather even the hardest storms of life, for the sake of reaching that promise of joy. Whether it is a time of transition, when hope is especially easy to lose but extremely important to have — when so much of life is uncertain and it is hard to grasp onto anything that brings lasting joy — or a time when the state of politics or a more personal grief are weighing heavily and bringing distress, hope is the calm in the storm. Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI reminds Christians in his encyclical that this necessary hope is imprinted in each one of them, imprinted in the heart of every person, but which Christians have special access to through the Gospels.

“To come to know God — the true God — means to receive hope” (3), the dear Pope counseled the Church. And in these times, it truly is the hope within each Christian heart which slowly but surely transforms the world, by transforming each modern disciple interiorly, enabling each of them to extend the Good News to the lost sheep around them. This hope burns within them because their Shepherd found them first, and wrote a stunning love letter special for them, to encourage them when life is hard by reminding them that there is always a reason to hope, found in Him.

“The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of new life” (2). This is why converts are always so passionate about their newfound faith, and also why the Catholic Church has stood the test of time: because Christ has lit the fire of hope in the souls of His children, and the joy which has filled them empowers them to face each day’s challenges with grace while ultimately praying for the day when all lives will be joined together in Christ’s New Earth.

And that is why, more personally and immediately, I find myself in need of this missing virtue. For “[m]an’s great, true hope which holds firm in spite of all disappointments can only be God — God who has loved us and who continues to love us ‘to the end,’ until all ‘is accomplished’ (cf. John 13:1 and 19:30)” (27). Often in the midst of transition and trials, I start to rely and look only at myself, when ultimately it is the faith in God that will center me, the love of God that will comfort me, and the hope to be found in Him which will empower me to approach the worst of situations with positivity, while bearing them for the sake of the good to be achieved.

So, with Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI, through the blessing of our God, I invite you to join me in this journey, to invite hope back into our lives, and rediscover the way God will use it to transform us.