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Vatican Support for UN Agenda 2030 Is Threatening to Children

Semi-Conservative Novus Ordo organisations (Voice of the Family) declare that Vatican support of UN Agenda 2030 poses immediate threat to the lives of children.

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: PAPAL SUPPORT FOR UN 2030 AGENDA POSES IMMEDIATE THREAT TO LIVES OF CHILDREN

Voice of the Family is today publishing an in-depth analysis of the United Nations’ Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) and their potential impact on the lives and well-being of children and the wider family. The SDGs consist of 17 goals and 169 targets that nation states have committed themselves to achieve by 2030. The analysis also examines the support offered to the UN agenda by Pope Francis and other representatives of the Holy See.

The briefing explores:

  • The goals and targets of the UN SDGs that pose a threat to lives and wellbeing of children, born and unborn
  • The real meaning of the language of “sexual and reproductive health”
  • The destructive consequences of existing UN “sexual and reproductive health programmes” and the planned expansion of such programmes
  • The connection between the SDGs and moves to impose destructive “comprehensive sexuality education” worldwide
  • The strong support for the SDGs expressed by Pope Francis
  • The further support for the SDGs offered by the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers, the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
  • The increasing convergence between the Vatican and the sex education agenda of the UN, as seen most clearly in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and the “sexuality education” programme produced by the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Voice of the Family invites you to share this briefing widely, especially with your bishops and clergy, in order that they may be informed of the immediate and serious threat posed to children and the family by the support offered by Pope Francis and Vatican bodies to these aspects of global anti-life and anti-family agenda.

Pope Pius XII and False pope Francis

Original Post on Novus Ordo Watch

Pope Pius XII destroys Amoris Laetitia and Francis’ False-Mercy Gospel

What a breath of fresh air it is to hear a true Pope speak, a genuine Vicar of Christ, through whom is heard the voice of St. Peter. Clarity reigns, confusion and doubt are put aside, and orthodoxy is affirmed. And it is no wonder, for every true Pope is a true shepherd of the flock of Christ: “…the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers” (Jn 10:4-5).

The “voice of strangers”, by contrast, is heard in the insufferable drivel put out by the Vatican II antipopes — all six of them, by the way, not just Francis –, and this is becoming more and more evident with every day that passes.

On May 15, the semi-traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli published five magnificent magisterial contributions of Pope Pius XII (1939-58) condemning the then-emerging “new morality”, more commonly known today as “situation ethics”, which is essentially a morality that “is not based in effect on universal moral laws … but on the real and concrete conditions or circumstances in which men must act, and according to which the conscience of the individual must judge and choose” (Pius XII, AddressSoyez Les Bienvenues).

These five documents consist of four papal speeches and one instruction of the Holy Office, and we are happy to reproduce them on this web site. They are of tremendous value and provide a direct refutation of the doctrine of the impostor “Pope” Francis (Mr. Jorge Bergoglio), whose false-mercy gospel, especially as expressed in his controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia, puts forth a de facto situation ethics, any protestations to the contrary notwithstanding (cf. his Address to Jesuits of Oct. 24, 2016, in which he speciously warns of “falling into situationalism”).

The five documents in question are the following:

You can read each document in full by clicking on its link.

There is nothing left of the Bergoglian drivel about “accompaniment”, “discernment”, or (his distorted concept of) “mercy” after Pius XII is done with him.

Let’s go ahead now and examine some very specific examples of where Francis’ false teaching is clearly condemned by Pope Pius XII.

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “And so they were imprisoned in this rationalistic mentality, which did not end with them. Because in the history of the Church – although often the Church Herself has condemned rationalism, illuminism – later it often happened that it fell into a theology of ‘yes, you can, no you can’t; up to this point, thus far.’ And it forgot the strength, the liberty of the Spirit, this rebirth of the Spirit that gives you liberty, the frankness of preaching, the proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Homily of Apr. 24, 2017)

POPE PIUS XII: “The ‘new morality’ affirms that the Church, instead of fostering the law of human liberty and of love, and of demanding of you that dynamics which is worthy of the moral life, instead bases itself almost exclusively and with excessive rigidity, on the firmness and the intransigence of Christian moral laws, frequently resorting to the terms ‘you are obliged’, ‘it is not licit’, which has too much of an air of a degrading pedantry.” (Radio Message La Famiglia of Mar. 23, 1952)

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “There also exists a constant tension between ideas and realities…. So a third principle comes into play: realities are greater than ideas. This calls for rejecting the various means of masking reality: angelic forms of purity, dictatorships of relativism, empty rhetoric, objectives more ideal than real, brands of ahistorical fundamentalism, ethical systems bereft of kindness, intellectual discourse bereft of wisdom” (Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, n. 231). / “Recognizing the influence of such concrete factors, we can add that individual conscience needs to be better incorporated into the Church’s praxis in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage. Naturally, every effort should be made to encourage the development of an enlightened conscience, formed and guided by the responsible and serious discernment of one’s pastor, and to encourage an ever greater trust in God’s grace. Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal” (Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 303).

POPE PIUS XII: “The distinctive mark of this morality is that it is not based in effect on universal moral laws, such as, for example, the Ten Commandments, but on the real and concrete conditions or circumstances in which men must act, and according to which the conscience of the individual must judge and choose. Such a state of things is unique, and is applicable only once for every human action. That is why the decision of conscience, as the advocates of this ethic assert, cannot be commanded by ideas, principles and universal laws…. Such judgments of conscience, howsoever contrary they may seem at first sight to divine precepts, would be valid before God, because, they say, in the eyes of God a seriously formed conscience takes precedence over ‘precept’ and ‘law.’” (Address Soyez les Bienvenuesof Apr. 18, 1952)

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “This way of living attached to the laws, distanced them [=the Pharisees] from love and from justice. They followed the laws and they neglected justice. They followed the laws and they neglected love. They were the models. And for these people Jesus had only one word (to describe them): hypocrites.” (Homily of Oct. 31, 2014)

POPE PIUS XII: “This personal view of things spares man the necessity of having to ask himself, at every instant, whether the decision to be taken corresponds with the paragraphs of the law or to the canons of abstract standards and rules. It preserves man from the hypocrisy of pharisaical fidelity to laws; it preserves him both from pathological scruples as well at from the flippancy or lack of conscience, because it puts the responsibility before God on the Christian personally. Thus speak those who preach the ‘new morality.’” (Address Soyez les Bienvenues of Apr. 18, 1952)

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “The divorced who have entered a new union, for example, can find themselves in a variety of situations, which should not be pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classications leaving no room for a suitable personal and pastoral discernment. One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity [!], generous self giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins…. The Synod Fathers stated that the discernment of pastors must always take place ‘by adequately distinguishing’, with an approach which ‘carefully discerns situations’. We know that no ‘easy recipes’ exist” (Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 298). / “Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws’ rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well. He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us” (Homily of June 9, 2016).

POPE PIUS XII: “It will be objected, however, that such abstinence [for people in an adulterous union] is impossible, that heroism such as this is not feasible. At the present time, you can hear and read of this objection everywhere, even from those who, because of their duty and authority, should be of quite a different mind. The following argument is brought forward as proof: No one is obliged to do the impossible and no reasonable legislator is presumed to wish by his law to bind persons to do the impossible. But for married people to abstain for a long time is impossible. Therefore they are not bound to abstain: divine law cannot mean that. In such manner of argument, a false conclusion is reached from premises which are only partially true. To be convinced of this, one has simply to reverse the terms of the argument: God does not oblige us to do the impossible. But God obliges married people to abstain if their union cannot be accomplished according to the rules of nature. Therefore, in such cases, abstinence is possible.” (Address Vegliare con Sollecitudine of Oct. 29, 1951; cf. Denz. 804)

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “In education we are used to dealing with black and white formulas, but not with the grey areas of life. And what matters is life, not formulas. We must grow in discernment. The logic of black and white can lead to abstract casuistry. Discernment, meanwhile, means moving forward through the grey of life according to the will of God. And the will of God is to be sought according to the true doctrine of the Gospel and not in the rigidity of an abstract doctrine.” (Q&A with Male Religious on Nov. 25, 2016)

POPE PIUS XII: “This personal view of things spares man the necessity of having to ask himself, at every instant, whether the decision to be taken corresponds with the paragraphs of the law or to the canons of abstract standards and rules. It preserves man from the hypocrisy of pharisaical fidelity to laws; it preserves him both from pathological scruples as well at from the flippancy or lack of conscience, because it puts the responsibility before God on the Christian personally. Thus speak those who preach the ‘new morality’” (Address Soyez les Bienvenues of Apr. 18, 1952). / “The authors who follow this system [of situation ethics] hold that the decisive and ultimate norm of conduct is not the objective right order, determined by the law of nature and known with certainty from that law, but a certain intimate judgment and light of the mind of each individual, by means of which, in the concrete situation in which he is placed, he learns what he ought to do” (Holy Office Instruction Contra Doctrinam of Feb. 2, 1956).

These examples should suffice to make our point, although they could be multiplied pretty much ad infinitum. While Francis may try, now and again, to give plausible deniability to his false ethics by “warning of situationalism” or by saying that our consciences must be formed “in light of the Gospel”, these are just instances of empty rhetoric meant to help the people swallow his spiritual poison. They allow Francis to “confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed”, as Pope Pius VI once described a favorite tactic of heretics (see Bull Auctorem Fidei, introd.).

It is amply clear that the Gospel most certainly does not back up Francis’ false morality. “He whom thou now hast, is not thy husband”, our Blessed Lord told the adulterous Samaritan woman (Jn 4:18) without much “tenderness”. It was simply the blunt truth about the “concrete situation” she found herself in, and she needed to hear it for the sake of her own soul. There was nothing to “discern”.

Similarly, the words spoken by St. John the Baptist as he “accompanied” the adulterous King Herod were: “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife” (Mk 6:18). He did not state that it was “less than ideal” for the king to be in adultery with his sister-in-law, because it was not less than ideal. It was wrong.

For a more in-depth critique of Francis’ (im)moral theology as found in Amoris Laetitia, we suggest you listen to our special-edition TRADCAST 013. You can access it here, free of charge.

We very much commend the people at Rorate Caeli for disseminating these five beautiful and very timely documents of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII. We do wonder, however, how it is that Rorate Caeliand their fellow semi-traditionalists do not realize the conundrum this puts them in.

After all, they believe that Francis is as true of a Pope as Pius XII was, yet they seem to take for grantedthat because Pius XII condemned the Bergoglian ethics, therefore Pius XII is right and Francis is wrong. On what, however, do they base this assumption? Why do they automatically conclude — and surely expect their readers to do the same — that Francis is refuted by Pius XII? Why could one not conclude, if one believes that Francis is a true Pope, that Francis is correcting Pius XII? If Francis can be wrong on such a serious matter, why couldn’t Pius XII have been?

Those who want to argue that Pius XII trumps Francis because Pius came earlier and, in any case, a future Pope will annul Francis’ teaching, should understand that Pope Leo XIII dismissed such argumentation as impermissible and as betraying a flawed understanding of the Papacy:

[I]t is to give proof of a submission which is far from sincere to set up some kind of opposition between one Pontiff and another. Those who, faced with two differing directives, reject the present one to hold to the past, are not giving proof of obedience to the authority which has the right and duty to guide them; and in some ways they resemble those who, on receiving a condemnation, would wish to appeal to a future council, or to a Pope who is better informed.

(Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Epistola Tua)

Leo XIII went on to speak about the specific duties of Catholic journalists, which in our day could probably be extended also to bloggers, at least inasmuch as they do the work of journalists:

The task pertaining to them [=journalists] in all the things that concern religion and that are closely connected to the action of the Church in human society is this: to be subject completely in mind and will, just as all the other faithful are, to their own bishops and to the Roman Pontiff; to follow and make known their teachings; to be fully and willingly subservient to their influence; and to reverence their precepts and assure that they are respected. He who would act otherwise in such a way that he would serve the aims and interests of those whose spirit and intentions We have reproved in this letter would fail the noble mission he has undertaken. So doing, in vain would he boast of attending to the good of the Church and helping her cause, no less than someone who would strive to weaken or diminish Catholic truth, or indeed someone who would show himself to be her overly fearful friend.

(Leo XIII, Epistola Tua; underlining and italics added.)

We note with great interest that Rorate Caeli calls situation ethics a “heresy”, thus implicitly accusing “Pope” Francis of heresy. That a lack of pertinacity should keep Francis from being a genuine heretic can be ruled out, since he is on record stating that he remembers the controversy about situation ethics at the time he was a seminarian, scornfully shrugging off the threat as a “bogeyman” (see Address to Jesuits of Oct. 24, 2016, p. 3).

Another interesting point of note is that Rorate refers to the five documents of Pius XII they have made available, as “magisterial”. This is correct, of course, but we do wonder how many people in the semi-traditionalist recognize-and-resist camp would call three papal speeches and a radio message “magisterial” if the author were not Pius XII but Francis. Perhaps the folks at Rorate would, but most semi-trads bend over backwards to point out how Francis’ teaching, short of appearing in an encyclical, isn’t part of the Magisterium.

We recently produced a mini podcast on Pius XII’s condemnation of Francis’ false morality. You can listen to it here:

Lest there be any confusion about what we’re saying: Of course Pope Pius XII’s condemnation of situation ethics trumps Francis’ false ethics. But that’s because Pius XII was a true Pope and Francis is a fake one. Since Rorate and the other semi-trads continue to try to square the circle by insisting that Francis is nevertheless a true Pope, their position becomes a travesty of Catholic teaching on the Papacy.

Vatican II Theatrics – Irreverent? Sacrilegious? Not Catholic. #5

Are you a Catholic? Do you attend the Traditional Catholic Mass or the modernist Novus Ordo Mass?

Episode 4 of some more videos showing the invalid Novus Ordo Mass and other ‘performances’ which are at least irreverent, but mostly qualify as sacrilegious….if only they were actually Catholic… they are not.

 

‘Priestly Dignity’ in Breakdancing

Nuns dancing with the un ‘Divine’

Modernist sprinkling

Easter praise

the Gospel?

Jumping and clapping at the altar

Unfortunately, there will be more episodes of Vatican II Theatrics…
Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Stock Alert: STRL Is Positioned To Gain Big

Sterling Construction (STRL: NASDAQ) is positioned to gain big over the coming weeks.

Thanks to the National Inflation Association for shining light on STRL. They sent out the suggestion Monday August 28th, when the price was $10.25 per share. As of the close Tuesday August 29th, it was already up to $11.99 per share.

To give an example of the gains that are available, in a little over a day, options at the $12.50 price, expiring in December 2017 had already gained over 150% ! But what is fueling this stock?

Sterling Construction is an infrastructure company based just outside of Houston, TX.

But that’s not all. Even before Hurricane Harvey devastated the area, the company was highlighted to gain from national transportation projects. Now, add in all of the Houston area projects that they could bid on during the rebuild phase after Hurricane Harvey, and this company could hurdle it’s all time highs in value.

 

strl2

 

As you can see, there is some resistance in the $13 range…but if it can clear the $14 range, there is not much to hold it back.

Of note, in NIA’s suggestion, they had mentioned that it could reach $15-$20.

Con: On the flip side, Unicorn Bay has STRL’s book value listed at only $4.86.

Whether or not you decide to enter a position on STRL, consider donating some of your profits to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

-Travis

JMJ – IOGD

First Vatican Council and “Perpetual Successors”

Original Post on Novus Ordo Watch

Does Vatican I disprove Sedevacantism?

The “Perpetual Successors” Objection

After the objection that “you guys are just a bunch of Protestants!!”, probably the most frequently-made argument against Sedevacantism is that our position contradicts the teaching of the First Vatican Council that St. Peter will have “perpetual successors”. If there hasn’t been a true Pope in decades, how then can we maintain that there is a perpetual succession of Popes?

We have addressed this argument on this site before, but a dedicated post on the issue is in order.

Our response will be twofold. We will demonstrate that (1) the objection from perpetual successors is actually based on a misunderstanding of the teaching of Vatican I; (2) even if the objection were notbased on a misunderstanding, it would still not refute the sedevacantist position.

Vatican I’s Teaching on “Perpetual Successors”

Contrary to the common misconception, the First Vatican Council, which convened from 1869-1870 and was approved by Pope Pius IX, did not teach that there would be a Pope at all times. It did indeed use the phrase “perpetual successors”, but what precisely it taught regarding this is best understood when we examine closely the precise wording of the dogma and understand the context in which it is written. To ensure we understand Vatican I correctly, we will look at the council’s entire First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, from the very beginning up until the point where the council teaches its doctrine regarding perpetual succession. This quote is a bit lengthy but we want to make sure that no one can say, “You’ve taken this out of context.”

Here, then, is the whole context:

“The eternal Pastor and Bishop of our souls” [1 Pet. 2:25], in order to render the saving work of redemption perennial, willed to build a holy Church, in which, as in the house of the living God, all the faithful might be contained by the bond of one faith and charity. Therefore, before His glory was made manifest, “He asked the Father, not only for the Apostles but also for those who would believe through their word in Him, that all might be one, just as the Son Himself and the Father are one” [John 17:20f.]. Thus, then, as He sent the apostles, whom He had selected from the world for Himself, as He himself had been sent by the Father [John 20:21], so in His Church He wished the pastors and the doctors to be “even to the consummation of the world” [ Matt. 28:20]. But, that the episcopacy itself might be one and undivided, and that the entire multitude of the faithful through priests closely connected with one another might be preserved in the unity of faith and communion, placing the blessed Peter over the other apostles He established in him the perpetual principle and visible foundation of both unities, upon whose strength the eternal temple might be erected, and the sublimity of the Church to be raised to heaven might rise in the firmness of this faith. And, since the gates of hell, to overthrow the Church, if this were possible, arise from all sides with ever greater hatred against its divinely established foundation, We judge it to be necessary for the protection, safety, and increase of the Catholic flock, with the approbation of the Council, to set forth the doctrine on the institution, perpetuity, and nature of the Sacred Apostolic Primacy, in which the strength and solidarity of the whole Church consist, to be believed and held by all the faithful, according to the ancient and continual faith of the universal Church, and to proscribe and condemn the contrary errors, so pernicious to the Lord’s flock.

Chap. 1. The Institution of Apostolic Primacy in Blessed Peter

So we teach and declare that according to the testimonies of the Gospel the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church of God was promised and was conferred immediately and directly upon the blessed Apostle Peter by Christ the Lord. For the one Simon, to whom He had before said: “Thou shalt be called Cephas” [John 1:42], after he had given forth his confession with those words: “Thou art Christ, Son of the living God” [Matt. 16:16], the Lord spoke with these solemn words: “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jona; because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I shall give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” [Matt. 16:17 ff.]. And upon Simon Peter alone Jesus after His resurrection conferred the jurisdiction of the highest pastor and rector over his entire fold, saying: “Feed my lambs,” “Feed my sheep” [John 21:15 ff.]. To this teaching of Sacred Scripture, so manifest as it has been always understood by the Catholic Church, are opposed openly the vicious opinions of those who perversely deny that the form of government in His Church was established by Christ the Lord; that to Peter alone, before the other apostles, whether individually or all together, was confided the true and proper primacy of jurisdiction by Christ; or, of those who affirm that the same primacy was not immediately and directly bestowed upon the blessed Peter himself, but upon the Church, and through this Church upon him as the minister of the Church herself.

If anyone then says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not established by the Lord Christ as the chief of all the apostles, and the visible head of the whole militant Church, or, that the same received great honor but did not receive from the same our Lord Jesus Christ directly and immediately the primacy in true and proper jurisdiction: let him be anathema.

Chap. 2. The Perpetuity of the Primacy of Blessed Peter among the Roman Pontiffs

Moreover, what the Chief of pastors and the Great Pastor of sheep, the Lord Jesus, established in the blessed Apostle Peter for the perpetual salvation and perennial good of the Church, this by the same Author must endure always in the Church which was founded upon a rock and will endure firm until the end of the ages. Surely “no one has doubt, rather all ages have known that the holy and most blessed Peter, chief and head of the apostles and pillar of faith and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race; and he up to this time and always lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors, the bishops of the holy See of Rome, which was founded by him and consecrated by his blood. Therefore, whoever succeeds Peter in this chair, he according to the institution of Christ himself, holds the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. “Therefore the disposition of truth remains, and blessed Peter persevering in the accepted fortitude of the rock does not abandon the guidance of the Church which he has received.” For this reason “it has always been necessary because of mightier pre-eminence for every church to come to the Church of Rome, that is those who are the faithful everywhere,” so that in this See, from which the laws of “venerable communion” emanate over all, they as members associated in one head, coalesce into one bodily structure.

If anyone then says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema.

(Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor AeternusDenz. 1821-1825; underlining added.)

Those who would like to read the rest of the constitution may do so here; but the remainder, which explains the nature of the primacy and the infallibility of the papal magisterium, is not relevant to the issue of perpetual succession. (Note: This document is called the “First” Constitution on the Church of Christ because there was going to be a second constitution as well. Unfortunately, the council had to adjourn abruptly in 1870 and never reconvened, so the second constitution never came to be.)

In the above-quoted portion of Vatican I, then, the council is setting forth its teaching regarding the “institution, perpetuity, and nature of the Sacred Apostolic Primacy”. Chapter 1 spells out how Christ instituted this primacy by conferring it on St. Peter, and Chapter 2 explains that this primacy originally conferred on St. Peter perdures equally in all of his lawful successors, until the end of time. In other words, the Petrine primacy did not die with St. Peter, as some heretics claim. Rather, all true Popes, until the end of time (“perpetually”!), enjoy the exact same primacy over the entire Church that was originally given to St. Peter.

That is the teaching of Vatican I. That is what is meant by “perpetual successors”. The council taught that St. Peter would have “perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church” (perpetuos successores in primatu super universam Ecclesiam). This has absolutely nothing to do with the idea that there will always be a Pope at every point in time — something that is obviously refuted not only by common sense (since each Pope is mortal, there will always be an interregnum between the death of one Pope and the election of another) but also by a perusal of Church history.

We can verify that we have understood the teaching of Vatican I correctly by examining the theological manuals on the topic that were produced after the council. For example, we find this verified in Fr. Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 282; in Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey’s Manual of Dogmatic Theology, vol. 1, n. 210; in Fr. Joachim Salaverri’s On the Church of Christ, nn. 294ff.; and in Mgr. Gerard van Noort’s Dogmatic Theology, vol. 2, nn. 59ff.

Even if it were true that there must always be a Pope…

For the sake of argument, however, let us assume that the foregoing is not correct and that Vatican I indeed teaches that there will always be a Pope, at every point in Christian history.

All this would mean is that there is right now, at this very moment, a legitimate successor to St. Peter. By no means would it follow that that successor is Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) in Vatican City. In fact, this can be positively excluded as a possibility because we already know that he and his five predecessors of infelicitous memory cannot be valid successors, and the evidence proving that cannot be refuted by pointing to the perpetual successors dogma, because this dogma doesn’t identify those very men as the true successors. In other words, that Roncalli, Montini, Luciani, Wojtyla, Ratzinger, or Bergoglio should be legitimate successors to St. Peter is obviously not part of the dogma.

The most that such a “there will be a Pope at all times” doctrine could do is force us to conclude that someone is currently Pope, but it is certainly someone other than Francis or any of the Vatican II Modernists. Perhaps there could be a true Pope imprisoned or hiding in a catacomb. Such a thing might appear fanciful to some, and perhaps it is, but it certainly would not be incompatible with the notion that there is a true Pope at the current time.

The conclusion we can draw from all this is: No matter how you look at it, the “perpetual successors” argument against Sedevacantism is defeated.

The Perpetuity of the Church and Papal Interregna

Now, certainly, we are required by our holy Catholic Faith to believe that the Church will endure until the end of time (see Salaverri, On the Church of Christ, nn. 288, 294ff.). She was founded by God as a perpetual institution for the salvation of men. But just as she cannot cease to exist, neither can she fail. This latter consideration alone disqualifies the Novus Ordo Sect from being the Catholic Church because it does not teach the true Faith, and, especially on account of its invalid pseudo-sacraments, it does not sanctify souls. It is simply not the ark of salvation.

Sedevacantists do not hold that the Catholic Church has ceased to exist or even — unless perhaps the end of the world should be imminent — that the papal succession has ended. Rather, the succession of Popes has been interrupted, even if for an unusually long time. It will continue whenever the God whose Providence governs all things, wills it to.

How will the papal succession resume? We do not know for sure; but this is what distinguishes genuine Catholic Faith from the pseudo-faith of heretics: The Catholic has genuine divine Faith in God and His promises and therefore is not in need of having all the answers: “Faith … must exclude not only all doubt, but all desire for demonstration” (Catechism of the Council of TrentPart I, Article I; italics added).

Perhaps the most cogent explanation for exactly how the papal succession can easily resume, is found in the theological position first developed by the sedevacantist bishop Michel-Louis Guérard des Lauriers (1898-1988), a Dominican theologian who taught at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. Readers who are interested in exploring the Guerardian thesis, commonly known as the “material-formal theory” or “sedeprivationism”, may do so by reading this article.

We shall not try now to examine or evaluate this position. Rather, we would simply like to point out that the current state of holy Mother Church is dire, but it is simply not the case that there are no answers whatsoever to resolve it, as the material-formal thesis demonstrates. Bp. Guerard des Lauriers, incidentally, was the main author of the famous Ottaviani Intervention sent to Paul VI in 1969 to expose the errors in the Novus Ordo Missae (“New Mass”).

People who are quick to argue that “God would never allow such a lengthy interregnum!” should realize that what we know God will never allow is for the Papacy to fail. That is what can never happen. But the Papacy does not fail by there not being a Pope for a time; it would fail by someone like Francis being Pope, as we demonstrate in this article and in this video. We have to remember that no Pope does not mean no Papacy. The only way one can affirm as true Vatican I’s teaching about the Papacy is to hold that Jorge Bergoglio is not the Pope.

In 1892 — 22 years after the First Vatican Council’s dogma regarding perpetual successors — the Jesuit Fr. Edmund James O’Reilly published a book entitled The Relations of the Church to Society (download free here or purchase here). In this work, he touched upon the question of an extended interregnum and how it would relate to the perpetuity of the Church and the promises of Christ:

The great schism of the West [1378-1417] suggests to me a reflection which I take the liberty of expressing here. If this schism had not occurred, the hypothesis of such a thing happening would appear to many chimerical. They would say it could not be; God would not permit the Church to come into so unhappy a situation. Heresies might spring up and spread and last painfully long, through the fault and to the perdition of their authors and abettors, to the great distress too of the faithful, increased by actual persecution in many places where the heretics were dominant. But that the true Church should remain between thirty and forty years without a thoroughly ascertained Head, and representative of Christ on earth, this would not be. Yet it has been; and we have no guarantee that it will not be again, though we may fervently hope otherwise. What I would infer is, that we must not be too ready to pronounce on what God may permit. We know with absolute certainty that He will fulfil His promises; not allow anything to occur at variance with them; that He will sustain His Church and enable her to triumph over all enemies and difficulties; that He will give to each of the faithful those graces which are needed for each one’s service of Him and attainment of salvation, as He did during the great schism we have been considering, and in all the sufferings and trials which the Church has passed through from the beginning. We may also trust He will do a great deal more than what He has bound Himself to by His promises. We may look forward with a cheering probability to exemption for the future from some of the troubles and misfortunes that have befallen in the past. But we, or our successors in future generations of Christians, shall perhaps see stranger evils than have yet been experienced, even before the immediate approach of that great winding up of all things on earth that will precede the day of judgment. I am not setting up for a prophet, nor pretending to see unhappy wonders, of which I have no knowledge whatever. All I mean to convey is that contingencies regarding the Church, not excluded by the Divine promises, cannot be regarded as practically impossible, just because they would be terrible and distressing in a very high degree.

(Rev. Edmund J. O’Reilly, The Relations of the Church to Society[London: John Hodges, 1892], pp. 287-288; underlining added.)

Nothing more needs to be added to this — Fr. O’Reilly has hit the nail on the head. In fact, a few pages earlier, he specifically states that even if during the Western Schism none of the three papal claimants had been the true Pope and the Chair of St. Peter had been vacant all that time, this too would not have been contrary to the promises of Christ:

We may here stop to inquire what is to be said of the position, at that time, of the three claimants, and their rights with regard to the Papacy. In the first place, there was all through, from the death of Gregory XI in 1378, a Pope — with the exception, of course, of the intervals between deaths and elections to fill up the vacancies thereby created. There was, I say, at every given time a Pope, really invested with the dignity of Vicar of Christ and Head of the Church, whatever opinions might exist among many as to his genuineness; not that an interregnum covering the whole period would have been impossible or inconsistent with the promises of Christ, for this is by no means manifest, but that, as a matter of fact, there was not such an interregnum.

(O’Reilly, The Relations of the Church to Society, p. 283; underlining added.)

Thus we see that the frightful situation Holy Mother Church is in today, while certainly distressing and extraordinary, is simply not impossible and not contrary to the teaching of the First Vatican Council.

We must beg God day and night to bring this horrific ordeal to a speedy end. Let us recall that He permits all trials — including this mysterious, bizarre, and confusing ecclesial anomaly — for the sake of His elect (cf. Mt 24:24). Although it is not given to us to understand the counsels of Divine Providence, we have absolute certitude from our Faith that God is all-good, all-powerful, and all-knowing; He is entirely in control.

The Church must suffer the Passion of her Founder

The key to understanding what has happened to the Catholic Church since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958 lies in understanding that as the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church must suffer in a mystical way the Passion of her Founder. In a set of lectures delivered in 1861, the illustrious Cardinal Henry Edward Manning left to the world some invaluable instruction in this regard:

As the wicked did not prevail against Him [our Lord Jesus Christ] even when they bound Him with cords, dragged Him to the judgment, blindfolded His eyes, mocked Him as a false King, smote Him on the head as a false Prophet, led Him away, crucified Him, and in the mastery of their power seemed to have absolute dominion over Him, so that He lay ground down and almost annihilated under their feet; and as, at that very time when He was dead and buried out of their sight, He was conqueror over all, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven, and was crowned, glorified, and invested with His royalty, and reigns supreme, King of kings and Lord of lords,— even so shall it be with His Church: though for a time persecuted, and, to the eyes of man, overthrown and trampled on, dethroned, despoiled, mocked, and crushed, yet in that high time of triumph the gates of hell shall not prevail. There is in store for the Church of God a resurrection and an ascension, a royalty and a dominion, a recompense of glory for all it has endured. Like Jesus, it needs must suffer on the way to its crown; yet crowned it shall be with Him eternally. Let no one, then, be scandalised if the prophecy speak of sufferings to come. We are fond of imagining triumphs and glories for the Church on earth,— that the Gospel is to be preached to all nations, and the world to be converted, and all enemies subdued, and I know not what,— until some ears are impatient of hearing that there is in store for the Church a time of terrible trial: and so we do as the Jews of old, who looked for a conqueror, a king, and for prosperity; and when their Messias came in humility and in passion, they did not know Him. So, I am afraid, many among us intoxicate their minds with the visions of success and victory, and cannot endure the thought that there is a time of persecution yet to come for the Church of God….

The holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist, and of [the] prophecies of Daniel, without a single exception, as far as I know, and they are the Fathers both of the East and of the West, the Greek and the Latin Church— all of them unanimously,— say that in the latter end of the world, during the reign of Antichrist, the holy sacrifice of the altar will cease. In the work on the end of the world, ascribed to St. Hippolytus, after a long description of the afflictions of the last days, we read as follows: “The Churches shall lament with a great lamentation, for there shall be offered no more oblation, nor incense, nor worship acceptable to God. The sacred buildings of the churches shall be as hovels; and the precious body and blood of Christ shall not be manifest in those days; the Liturgy shall be extinct; the chanting of psalms shall cease; the reading of Holy Scripture shall be heard no more. But there shall be upon men darkness, and mourning upon mourning, and woe upon woe.” Then, the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it was in the beginning, invisible, hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking-places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were, from the face of the earth. Such is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early centuries….

The Word of God tells us that towards the end of time the power of this world will became so irresistible and so triumphant that the Church of God will sink underneath its hand — that the Church of God will receive no more help from emperors, or kings, or princes, or legislatures, or nations, or peoples, to make resistance against the power and the might of its antagonist. It will be deprived of protection. It will be weakened, baffled, and prostrate, and will lie bleeding at the feet of the powers of this world.

Does this not describe our times with frightening accuracy?

Keep in mind that this is not simply “Cardinal Manning’s opinion”, as many will surely now be quick to object. No, this “is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early centuries”, as His Eminence makes clear.

The following links provide more information about how our current times relate to what Catholic Tradition has held from the beginning must come to pass before the consummation of the world:

Some practical advice on how to be a Catholic today, is given in the following post:

Concluding Thoughts

In summary, we can say that the Catholic dogma on St. Peter’s perpetual successors in the primacy does not preclude an extended period of time in which there is no Pope. Rather, what it teaches is that whenever there is a Pope, he will share equally in the primacy once conferred upon St. Peter. There will never be a true Pope who does not possess the same prerogatives as Simon Peter himself, and this is so by divine institution and will remain so in perpetuity.

All those who espouse a recognize-and-resist position and think that the doctrine of Vatican I requiresus to accept Francis as a valid Pope, are encouraged to read closely and in full the council’s Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, linked above, and to ask themselves if they can seriously affirm of Jorge Bergoglio what the council affirms of all the successors of St. Peter — perpetually.

Almighty God appears to be allowing this great calamity as a test of our Faith to purify His elect: “…blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed” (Jn 20:29; cf. Mt 24:24). God has a strict right to demand from us a sincere Faith, that Faith without which it is impossible to please Him (cf. Heb 11:6). But such a genuine Faith does not require explanations or demonstrations because it believes entirely on the authority of God revealing, who can neither deceive nor be deceived: “For we walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7).

It is men’s failure to believe, their indifference even to what God has revealed, that has brought this great tribulation upon us all: “…because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity” (2 Thess 2:10-11; cf. Lk 18:8). Hence our Blessed Lord exhorts us, today no less than in 33 AD: “…be not faithless, but believing” (Jn 20:27).

We must therefore guard our Faith at all times and not needlessly expose it to danger. One of the greatest dangers to Faith found in the world today is the Novus Ordo Sect and its apostate head, “Pope” Francis. It exemplifies the very “operation of error” mentioned by St. Paul and is responsible for the loss of Faith in countless numbers of souls.

It is of the greatest importance to realize that Francis occasions the loss of faith in all who accept him as a true Pope: those who submit to him — by denying the dogmas he denies; as well as those who don’tsubmit to him — by denying the Catholic teaching on the Papacy.

The true Faith is our greatest treasure.

Let us pray, then, for an unshakable Faith and not fail to unite it to hope (cf. 1 Jn 3:3) and charity (cf. Lk 7:47; Jas 2:24) so that we may, by the grace of God, one day hear the words: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34).

Catholic Teaching vs False pope Francis on “Irregular Unions”

Original Post on Novus Ordo Watch

The Joy of Real Catholicism…

Goodbye, Amoris Laetitia:

The Real Catholic Position on “Irregular Unions”

For the last 14 months we have heard words like accompaniment, integration, discernment, walking together, dialoguing, listening, etc., ad nauseam, specifically with regard to those who live in what the Novus Ordo Sect euphemistically calls “irregular unions” — in other words, people who live in adultery, in fornication, or in unnatural relationships.

After two turbulent and controversial Vatican synods on the family, which convened in 2014 and 2015, respectively, the world was anxiously awaiting “the Pope’s decisive judgment on the matter”. What was “Pope” Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, going to do? How was he going to decide the issues the synod participants had been fighting over?

Francis finally issued his long-anticipated landmark document, the “Apostolic Exhortation” Amoris Laetitia, on April 8, 2016. But far from clarifying the matter, the document was written in such deliberately vague, ambiguous, and confusing fashion that 14 months later, the Novus Ordo world is still trying to figure out what Francis actually decided!

Are unrepentant public adulterers and fornicators now permitted to receive “Holy Communion” and absolution in the Novus Ordo Sect, at least in principle? After Amoris Laetitia, we have heard everything from “yes” to “no” to “maybe”. It was, however, Francis himself who clarified that the right answer is basically “yes”. He said as much in his response to a letter sent to him from the “bishops” of Buenos Aires; he said as much to “Archbishop” Bruno Forte before releasing the document; and he is saying as much if he refuses to condemn what was just perpetrated by “Bishop” Ángel Macín of Reconquista, Argentina, namely, a special Amoris Laetitia “Mass” in which unrepentant public adulterers were officially integrated as now being worthy to receive the Novus Ordo sacraments.

None of this is surprising. Amoris Laetitia is loaded with heresy and blasphemy, as we showed in our podcast dedicated to the release of this infernal document. Francis opted to effectively get rid of the concepts of adultery, fornication, and sodomy as mortal sins and replaced them with the smoother-sounding “irregular situations” that are “not fully the objective ideal” of marriage. Sin was reinterpreted from being a transgression of the divine law to being an imperfect realization of holiness. By that logic, one might as well say that an abortionist has “not fully” realized the objective ideal of being a pediatrician. Maybe that will be taught in Mr. Bergoglio’s next document.

Francis’ heresies and errors on holy matrimony are so glaring that there is simply no excuse. A year ago, he went on record stating that in his view, an unmarried couple’s lifelong fornication constitutes areal marriage “because of their fidelity”. The fact that “fidelity” refers to keeping one’s marriage vow, which two fornicators obviously haven’t taken, must not have occurred to the garrulous apostate from Argentina.

If you add to all this Francis’ new guidelines to speed up annulments, then you can see what is really going on: Francis is trying his darndest to destroy holy matrimony and cause great confusion in people’s minds about the pertinent issues, all under the popular guise of “mercy”.

At this point, many people who mean to be faithful Catholics don’t know at all anymore just what is the right way to behave towards those living in sin. Yes, in sin — not just in an “irregular situation”. For this reason, we thought it prudent to share with our readers an essay on this very topic by Fr. Donald F. Miller, written in the 1950s. It directly answers the question of how a faithful Catholic is to act towards those who are not validly married but live as if they were.

Read the article carefully and notice how it expresses the true Catholic notion of charity with regard to public sinners — a charity that is often tough and uncomfortable, but that truly aims at the salvation of the erring sheep’s souls. Mercy is not something Francis just discovered. The Catholic Church has known, cherished, professed, taught, and practiced genuine mercy towards sinners from the very beginning of her existence. Francis, by contrast has distorted the concept into an approval, toleration, or downplaying of sin.

Fr. Miller’s article first appeared in the March 17, 1957 issue of The Liguorian.


HOW TO ACT TOWARD INVALIDLY MARRIED CATHOLICS

by Fr. Donald F. Miller, C.SS.R.

Some guiding principles for those who face the too common problem
of an invalid marriage in the circle of their family or friends

ONE of the most common and difficult moral problems that must be faced by Catholics today is that concerning the right attitude to be taken toward Catholics who have publicly renounced the grace of God by entering an invalid marriage. Sometimes parents have to face the problem when a son or daughter takes this fateful step. Other relatives, friends, neighbours, business associates, fellow parishioners, not infrequently run into the same thing. All want an answer to questions like these: “How should we act toward a relative or friend who has chosen to live publicly in a state of sin? Must we avoid them? May we keep up some contact with them? May we or should we help them in any way?”

The problem is so common in this divorce-ridden world of ours, that it needs to be thrashed out as thoroughly as possible. When that is done, it will be seen that some rules can be set down that are very definite and seriously binding in conscience, while other principles must be asserted that leave much to the honest judgment of the individual Catholic in a set of particular circumstances.

This important study will deal, therefore, first, with the difficulties surrounding this touchy problem; second, with certain principles that can be set down; third, with a few practical recommendations.

Let it be noted carefully that we are speaking, not of divorced and remarried persons in general, but of informed Catholics who attempt marriage after a divorce, or with a divorced but validly married person. The principles set down will apply in some measure to Catholics who marry outside the Church, but who could be rightly married before a priest. In this case, however, it is far easier for the sinner to return to the grace of God by having the marriage rectified in the Church, and Catholic friends and relatives will ordinarily concentrate on achieving that end. The difficult cases are those in which a Catholic insists on living as if married to a person with whom there can be no valid marriage in the eyes of God and of His Church. What attitude is to be taken toward such Catholics?

I. THE DIFFICULTIES

ALL the difficulties connected with deciding on a right mode of conduct toward such as these arise from the fact that two different kinds of obligation must be weighed carefully against each other.

A. On the one hand, there is the obligation of not giving scandal by any manifestation or appearance of approval of the invalid marriage.

Scandal is defined as any wrong words, actions, even omissions, that may incite or assist or facilitate or contribute to the sins of others. Note two things in this definition: 1) that it is a wrong or evil word, action or omission contributing to the sin of another, that carries the stigma of scandal; good or virtuous actions, which someone might twist into their own purposes of evil, are not sins of scandal; 2) that practically any sort of help or encouragement given to another in his sins would involve scandal if it resulted from the bad actions, words or omissions.

In the case of those who commit the great public sin of entering an invalid marriage, and who continue to live in the habitual sins of an invalid marriage, it is entirely sinful to give, before, at, or after the so-called marriage, any sign of approval of the sins. That would be like saying: “I think you are doing the right thing, despite Christ’s clear statement that he who puts away his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery. I accept your marriage, even though I know God cannot accept it, and Christ cannot accept, and the Church cannot accept it.” It is easy to see how such words from a relative or friend, or actions easily interpreted as meaning the same thing, will contribute to and make easier the continuation of the sins of one invalidly married.

There is another reason for the fact that any approval of a Catholic’s bad marriage constitutes scandal. It makes it easier for person not yet married to yield to the temptation, if it arises, of entering a similar sinful and invalid marriage. No one can possibly doubt that the frequency with which this moral tragedy overtakes Catholics today is due in large measure to the fact that many Catholics do in some way give their blessing and approval to such invalid marriages. One can realistically imagine many a Catholic who has fallen in love with a divorced person saying to himself (or herself): “So-and-so is a Catholic and he married after a divorce, or married a divorced person. He’s getting along fine. All his friends and relatives have accepted his marriage as if it were as good as any other. It won’t be so bad if I do the same thing.”

The danger of such scandal prompted the apostles, in the inspired words of the New Testament, and even Our Lord Himself, to make some stern statements in regard to the treatment of those who publicly renounced Christ and His doctrine. Thus, St. Paul, in 2 Thessalonians, 3:6: “We charge you, brethren, in the name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to withdraw yourselves from every brother who lives irregularly, and not according to the teaching received from us.” Again in 3:13 of the same letter, “If anyone does not obey our word by this letter, note that man and do not associate with him, that he may be put to shame. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” And St. John, in his second epistle, filled as it is with repetitions of his familiar theme of the necessity of fraternal charity, still has this to say: “Anyone who advances and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. . . . If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house, or say to him welcome. For he who says to him welcome, is a sharer in his evil works.”

Our Lord Himself has equally severe words, to be understood always in the light of His great hatred of scandal. Of the offender who, after repeated correction, will not hear the Church, he says, “Let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican.” (Matt. 18/17).

Thus the case for not giving scandal by any sort of approval of the sins of an invalidly married Catholic, must be made very strong. Of course the greatest scandal, and the first scandal, is given by the Catholic who enters the invalid marriage, and thereby sets an evil example that others may follow. It must be the desire and the duty of other Catholics not to increase that scandal by taking sides with the sinner through any show of approval for his sins.

B. On the other hand, this urgent and clear obligation must be weighed against the duty of charity toward sinners. It is an essential part of Catholic teaching that God wants no sinner, not even the greatest, to be lost; that there is hope for every sinner until death has actually sealed his fate forever; that it is the duty of every Catholic to desire, to pray for, and, in so far as he has the power, to work for the conversion of sinners, especially of those to whom he is bound in some way.

The difficulty is to exercise this charity in such a way as to eliminate any real scandal. When it is remembered that scandal is given only when some kind of approval is expressed or manifested for the sin of entering an invalid marriage, certain guiding principles can be set down. But there are always two extremes to be avoided.

The first is that of erroneously making the danger of scandal a reason for cutting off every form of charity to the sinner and thus practically slamming the door against his return to the grace of God. This is sometimes motivated more by selfishness and resentment than by any real spiritual desire to avoid scandal. Thus, a Catholic family, naturally feeling that it has been deeply disgraced by the defection of one of its members who has entered an invalid marriage, might be merely expressing its personal resentment in withholding all signs of charity toward that person. Thus they may so embitter the one fallen, and the illicit partner who may be more or less ignorant of the evil of the marriage, that even if both became free to marry validly, or able in some other way to escape their sinful state, they would not do so.

THE other extreme is to make charity a cloak for so complete and warm-hearted an acceptance of the invalidly married couple that it amounts to approval of the evil itself, encourages them to be content in their sins, and encourages others to commit the same grave sins. All charity toward public sinners of any kind must be inspired and marked by the desire to help them escape from their sins. It is no longer charity, but rather the most terrible form of unkindness, to encourage a person to be satisfied with his sins.

It is obvious, then, from this interplay of various considerations and obligations toward the invalidly married, that the solution of individual cases is not always easily decided upon. To help toward such solutions the following principles are laid down.

II. PRINCIPLES

1. Before a Catholic enters an invalid marriage toward which he seems to be tending, every reasonable effort should be made by relatives and friends to dissuade him (or her) from taking this step.

The obligation mentioned here begins as soon as a Catholic with whom a relative or friend has some influence is seen to be going steady with a person who cannot be married before God. Right here is where many Catholics are guilty of grave sin. Not only do they not warn a close relative or friend against the rising danger of an invalid marriage, but they even promote and encourage regular dates between a couple that cannot validly marry. It is the same kind of grave scandal as to approve or encourage the invalid marriage in which it can so easily result. Few divorced Catholics have not at times been victims of diabolic advice from friends that they should find “a pal (of the opposite sex) and go out and have a good time.” Catholics should not even invite to their homes or their parties other Catholics who they know will be acccompanied by a steady date whom they cannot validly marry.

Besides avoiding such scandal, good Catholics – parents, brothers and sisters, good friends – of one who has started company-keeping with a person who cannot be validly married, will marshal every argument and every bit of influence they possess to save the one whom they love from the great danger in which he has placed himself.

2. It is a mortal sin of scandal for any Catholic to express or show approval of an attempted but invalid marriage of a Catholic.

Certainly this is true of direct words of approval. For one Catholic to say to another who is about to marry a divorced person, or after a divorce, “Even if the Church refuses to accept your marriage, I do,” or, “It’s too bad the Church doesn’t get up to date and recognize marriages like yours,” or, “I don’t blame you for this marriage; you’re in love and that’s all that matters,” is direct approval, direct scandal, clearly mortal sin.

But one can show approval of an invalid marriage without putting it into direct words. Here many Catholics infected with secularism or the world’s un-Christian outlook on things, often fail seriously. The truth is that to take any part in the preparations for and the ceremony and celebration of the invalid marriage of a Catholic is a show of approval and therefore serious scandal. This holds for parents and all members of the immediate family of the one attempting the marriage, as well as for friends.

Thus it would be seriously wrong for Catholics to attend “showers,” engagement parties, pre-wedding dinners for Catholics about to attempt an invalid marriage.

It would be seriously wrong to send wedding presents or congratulatory cards to such persons.

It would be seriously wrong to attend the wedding ceremony, either as a member of the wedding party or as a mere guest, or to go to the breakfast or banquet served after the wedding.

It would be seriously wrong to help the invalidly marrying Catholic to find, rent, buy or furnish living quarters to be used after the wedding.

It would be seriously wrong to offer hospitality, assistance or facilities for the honeymoon of the invalidly married Catholic.

All these actions can be readily recognized as the equivalent of saying to the Catholic who is, according to the words of Christ, entering publicly into a life of sin, “I don’t see anything wrong with what you are doing. May you be most happy in your sins.”

3. After a Catholic has entered and settled down in an invalid marriage, loyal Catholics may not give direct or indirect approval of the situation, but they should be guided by true and sincere charity in the attitude they take toward the person.

The first and most necessary object of all fraternal charity is to help one’s neighbours reach heaven. Scandal is the greatest sin against charity precisely because it means turning a person away from heaven. When the scandal of showing approval of the public sins of another has been diligently avoided, there still remains the duty of doing anything within one’s power to win the person away from his sins and back to the road to heaven.

Thus it must not be thought that in all cases of invalidly married relatives or friends, Catholics should completely ostracize and avoid them. St. Paul, in one of the admonitions quoted above, commands Christians not to look upon sinners as enemies, but rather to admonish them as brothers. There must be a desire for the conversion and salvation of the one gone astray; and prudent means must be used to express and fulfill the desire.

However, circumstances differ so widely in this matter that it is difficult to lay down universal rules. The individual Catholic must himself weigh his obligation not to give scandal against his obligation of charity toward the sinner and make the best decision he can with the help of God’s grace. At the same time, a few sample solutions of the problem may be given.

a. Sometimes charity itself will suggest that a most effective way of “admonishing the sinner” (to use St. Paul’s phrase) is to sever all social relations with him (or her). This is true especially in cases where family ties have been strong; where the one entering the invalid marriage had obviously expected family and friends to be just as kind and affectionate after the invalid marriage as before; where it is prudently judged by the family and friends that the rupture of social relations will bring home to the outcast the evil of his state and the desire to escape it.

b. Sometimes charity to others than the invalidly married person requires an almost complete break with that person. In a family of many children, in which the oldest married outside the Church (or even in the case of a cousin or uncle or aunt doing the same thing), the mother and father might prudently decide that the surest, and possibly only adequate, way of impressing on the growing and teen-aged children the evil of a bad marriage is to sever relations with the one who chose such a “marriage.” In these cases, too, there is usually a good effect on the latter, in that the sadness of his (or her) spiritual state will be more clearly recognized.

c. Sometimes, and here we may say most often, the right program to adopt is that of keeping up a limited contact with the one who has severed himself from the sacraments of the Church, with at least the hope that in due time the person will be willing to accept solid spiritual advice.

We say limited contact, because there always remains the obligation of avoiding any manifest approval of the bad marriage. Thus the family or friends of an invalidly married couple may not invite the latter to occupy a guest room in their house just as any truly married couple might be invited to do. They should not spend vacations with them, thus publicly supporting their pretence of being validly married in the eyes of God.

But apart from such things, a certain amount of social contact may be kept up so long as there is a flicker of hope of being able to help the person spiritually in the end. In such contacts, the friend or relative will use opportunities to urge the invalidly married Catholic to pray daily, to attend Mass, at least on Sundays, to read spiritual books that may eventually provide the motives for a break with sin. It should be remembered that nagging, that is, using every opportunity to berate, condemn and scold the person, will never accomplish much, except perhaps to stiffen him in the rejection of grace.

III. PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS

Catholics should be aware that this problem is one on which they are bound to be misunderstood and misinterpreted by many non-Catholics. They will be accused, even when they do what their consciences dictate, of adopting a “holier-than-thou” attitude, of being intolerant and bigoted and hypocritical, of proudly sitting in judgment on sinners.

None of these charges will be justified, and none should be worried about, if they keep clearly in mind their own spiritual objectives. They want to prevent sin, and that is why they must not give the scandal of showing any approval of what Christ (not they) called a sinful and invalid marriage. They want to save sinners, and that is why they do what they think best to bring about the conversion of anyone who has publicly renounced Christ’s teaching about marriage.

Three recommendations are offered to Catholics who face the problem of dealing with invalidly married Catholics.

1. Be humble. Remember your own sins, which Christ has forgiven. Be mindful that you, too, might have severed yourself publicly from Christ’s Church, except for His grace. Suppress personal resentment and anger based on a feeling that you have been disgraced by the action of one dear to you. Think often of this: If you had been a truer and a better loved one or friend, you might have prevented the tragedy that occurred.

2. Explain your position simply and clearly to the invalidly married relative or friend, and to others who have a right and a need to know. When you have charted your course according to the principles set down in this article, let it be known, and with it your sole desire to help the wanderer back into the fold of Christ.

3. In doubt, lean to the side of kindness. Let there be no room in your heart for personal bitterness, the least tinge of contempt for any sinner, the slightest pretext of making a final judgment. Give no scandal of approval of a bad marriage, but in all other things let kindness reveal your desire for the salvation of one who has turned away from Christ and His sacraments for the love of a human being. Never stop praying for that soul, never stop hoping for its salvation; never stop looking for an opportunity to help it back to the fold of Christ.