"What do you ask of the Church of God?
The godparent answers with one word: "Faith."
The minister of the Sacrament then asks:
"What does faith give you?"
The godparent answers:
Whereupon, the priest adds:
"If, then, you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and thy neighbor as thyself."
Faith! This is the gateway into the supernatural life. This is the rebirth of the human creature in water and the Holy Ghost.
What is it that the Church gives to those who wish to be baptized? The Church gives them supernatural faith. But there is something that must first be present in the soul of the candidate for Baptism. The Church cannot simply give faith to someone. What is it that transpires in the silence of the soul, unobserved by those around it?
It is God Himself Who gives the initial interior grace of supernatural faith. Even before the Sacrament of Baptism is administered, supernatural faith is already present. Its presence, however, is as it were embryonic. For this reason the Church through Her appointed Minister asks the person: "What do you ask of the Church of God?" In other words, what is it that you want but yet do not have to a sufficient degree? This is particularly true of an infant that is as yet unable to express itself through the instrumentality of its body. To all appearances, the infant seems helpless and unintelligent. But, is it? It may not be articulate, but it is still a rational soul. And it is in this rational soul that God implants the supernatural grace that will, if it bears fruit, lead that infant soul to God.
The same is true of adults. They have already received supernatural grace when they ask to be baptized because they would otherwise be unable to elicit even this act.
The request and desire for Baptism is already a sign of the presence of supernatural grace in the soul. This is the reason why the Church teaches that failing the reception of the visible Sacrament of Baptism, those who have a desire to receive it already have supernatural grace in them. And, as we know, only God can give this grace.
Because it is impossible to please God without true faith, the Church jealously guards the entire deposit of faith and watches over its proper teaching with the eyes of an eagle. Likewise, this is the reason why the Church, after the example of Jesus Christ, does not commit the teaching of the faith to just anyone. The teaching authority in the Church is confided only to the Apostles and to their legitimate successors.
And, because the beginning of justification and salvation starts with supernatural faith, it is this that the devil attacks before anything else. The devil even suggests humanitarian activity that is often mistaken for acts of supernatural charity, while undermining the fundamental faith of his victims.
The purpose of the Mosaic Law was to prepare the people for the coming of Christ. And because the Talmudic temple and synagogue, whether of priests or scribes, rejected Christ, they and their followers past, present and future cannot be justified.
As St. Paul says in his epistle to the Romans: "Brethren, the will of my heart, indeed, and my prayer to God, is for them unto salvation.
For I bear them witness, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, not knowing the justice of God, and seeking to establish their own, have not submitted themselves to the justice of God" (Rom. 10, 1-3).
St. Paul insists on the true purpose of the law: "For the end of the law is Christ, unto justice to every one that believeth. For Moses wrote, that the man who does that justice which is of the Law shall live by it. But the justice that is of faith says, `Do not say in thy heart: Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring down Christ); or, Who shall descend into the abyss? (That is, to bring up Christ from the dead).
But what does it say? `The word is near thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart' (that is, the word of faith, which we preach).
For if thou confess with thy mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and believe in thy heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart a man believes unto justice, and with the mouth profession of faith is made unto salvation"(Ibid. 10, 4-10).
We come, finally, to the crux of the matter, so to speak. Namely, How is the faith professed with the mouth unto salvation?
How are those who have received the supernatural grace of faith, and therefore, the grace of justification, to be assured that it is not mingled and corrupted with either devilish deception or self-willed distortion? Since there is but one faith, there must be a reasonable explanation for the many faiths, each claiming to be the true faith. Not only that, but there must be some way that God's providence protects us from errors regarding the faith. In the depths of this psychological abyss lies the battle ground between grace and corrupted, fallen nature. This is where justification begins before it is even professed with the mouth unto salvation. That is to say, this is where the action is. This is where the devil intrudes his lies and false suggestions; this is where the heresies are born; this is where the will becomes obstinate in its proud error. From this psychological depth, where intellect is commanded by a perverse will not to accept truth, comes forth the many false prophets and false religions.
But, how does God protect us? The protection must be there because God is a loving Father Who wills our salvation just as He willed our justification.
St.Paul, the scribe of the Holy Spirit gives us the answer to that crucial question:
`How then are they to call upon him in whom they have not believed?" he says. Meaning by this, that although the initial grace is there, it is like a blank blackboard upon which information must be written. As if to say: "Lord, I want to believe. Teach me what I am to believe." And, for this reason, St. Paul continues: "But how are they to believe him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear, if no one preaches? And how are men to preach unless they be sent? As it is written: `How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace; of those who bring glad tidings of good things!"(Ibid. 10, 14-15).
It was the custom in Catholic countries to hold a ceremony of departure for missionaries to foreign lands. During the ceremonies, while these words of Scripture were read, the faithful kissed the feet of the missionaries. A truly beautiful gesture of genuine faith and understanding of the importance of mission activity. The missionaries went into some of the most barbaric lands to bring the Gospel of peace. And their reward? Quite often they died horrible deaths at the hands of the people whom they desired to lead to peace and happiness.
Going back further in time to those days when Jesus still walked this earth with His Apostles, we must keep in mind the many instances when Jesus warned against false teachers _ false prophets.
He warned that they would come. Do you understand the implication of this warning? It means exactly what it says: False teachers will come!
That there were always false teachers and prophets is a fact of history. For, strictly speaking, every false religion since Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden has been built on the preaching of a false teacher.
Our Lord is speaking of future events. And, the closer human history draws to that moment in time when Jesus Christ returns again, the more numerous become the false teachers.
Error will not become qualitatively different, it will become quantitatively universal. In effect, a Great Apostasy. After all, there are only so many things that can be denied and rejected. It becomes, then, only a question of how widespread the dissemination of the errors becomes.
The first thing to recognize is the fact that there are many false teachers _ imposters, if you will _ who come among the faithful to steal their faith away. Anyone who does not recognize this is already either one of the false teachers or among their willing victims.
By getting the faithful to profess with their mouths a distorted faith, the false teachers lead them to uproot the interior belief that at first justified them. The destruction viewed on the surface is not as important as the destruction worked in the depths of the human soul. This is why the Church cannot remain indifferent nor idle in the face of error and disobedience. For, these two elements separate a person from the only means of justification and salvation: The Roman Catholic Church.
Let us consider some of the pertinent words of Scripture alluding to the existence of these false teachers.
We already know that they will come amongst us as if they shared the same faith and customs with us. Only by gradual stealth will they insinuate their errors into the minds of the sheep. Little by little, they will seek out the weaker sheep _ the faithful that are open to doubt _ and will do just that: they will suggest doubts at first. Then, when the victim shows signs of weakness, the villain will draw that unfortunate soul into his web of error.
You cannot tell a ravenous wolf when it comes looking like a lamb. Only when the wolf is close enough to pounce on the unsuspecting lamb does the frightful reality reveal itself. But, then, it is too late. The lamb, the sheep, has been isolated from its shepherd. Its cries for help can no longer be heard because the wolf, emulating the devil chokes off the cry, stifles it, so that only eternal death remains for that miserable creature. Thus dies the sheep that would not heed its shepherd.
Before exposing the false teachers of our day, let us consider some of the words of Scripture on this point so as to be convinced not only of the existence of these false teachers _ as opposed to true teachers _ and the serious consequences of not being able to distinguish one from the other.
Jesus was instructing His Apostles to be alert and on their guard against false prophets:
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them" (Matt. 7, 15). Our Lord makes this statement and then gives some practical examples from nature. He seems to indicate that we ought not have much difficulty in distinguishing these false prophets from the genuine, just as we have no difficulty telling the difference between a tree that bears good fruit and one that does not. The bad tree is not kept and cultivated. It is cut down and cast into the fire.
Then our Lord says: "Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.7, 21). We find here that same distinction between interior grace and its absence. Interior grace is that which moves the soul to do the will of God; its lack resorts only to superficiality, to lip-service, to hypocrisy, to deception.
Then our Lord goes on to say: "Many will say to me in that day: `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in they name, and cast out devils in thy name, and work many miracles in thy name?' And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity!'" (Ibid.7,22-23).
Clearly, then, we have three kinds of `workers of iniquity' mentioned by our Lord. We will encounter those who will claim to teach in His name; we will meet with those who `cast out devils' in His name; and we will even witness those `working miracles' in His name. Yet, for all that, it is our Lord Himself Who warns us: "I will declare to them, `I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity!'"
With what words can the immensity and gravity of these events be sufficiently expressed so that the faithful will become convinced of the treacherous evil approaching them? The heart grows sad to witness the many who have already given themselves over to such false prophets, thinking all the while (Or at least stifling their conscience) that they are `serving God'.
For the sake of economy of space, the many texts of Holy Scripture warning against false teachers will not be quoted.
In order to distinguish between the true shepherds and pastors of faithful Roman Catholics and the false shepherds and pastors, we begin by stating several dogmatic truths which every Catholic must believe. Rejection of these dogmatic truths constitutes heresy; to disobey the conclusions that flow from these dogmatic truths ends in schism. Both these spiritual conditions of mind and will are censured with excommunication from the Body of the Church.
It must be held as Pope Pius XII teaches in the Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis, that the Church is a single, undivided, visible Body.
St. Paul frequently asserts that "Christ is the Head of the Body of the Church"(Col. 1,18). Pope Leo XIII states in his Encyclical Letter Satis cognitum that "the Church is visible because she is a body." This, of course, confirms what Pope Pius XII said: "Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely `pneumatological' as they say, by which many Christian communities though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond."
Those who claim to believe in the visible Church, such as most traditionalist heretics, are confronted with a fact which they cannot circumvent. Namely, they must explain themselves in the light of Holy Scripture upon which the Catholic tradition is based that no one can preach or teach in the name of Christ or His Church, who has not received a mission to do so. The words of St. Paul are not to be taken lightly, nor are they to be interpreted other than the Church understands them.
He says: "How shall they believe him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how are men to preach unless they be sent?"
Indeed, how are men to preach unless they be sent? This means nothing less than what the Church has traditionally called `mission.'
It will be shown that no one among the Modernists, irrespective of high or low rank, has a mission to teach, sanctify and govern in the name of the Church. Likewise, it will be shown that none of those who style themselves as `traditional' Catholics have a mission to preach, sanctify, and govern in the name of the Church.
Since both extremes _ the Modernists on the `left' and the Traditionalists on the right _ are equally in error, it will suffice to apply the conclusions that follow to both groups indiscriminately.
We may set aside the more obvious heretics by simply directing the attention of any and all honest Catholics to the blatant heresies that are universally preached. Among these are to be found: religious indifference, denial of hell and purgatory, denial of transubstantiation and consequently the Real Presence, the denial of original sin. These are just a few heresies openly and boldly taught in every church and school.
Canon Law makes specific those things which are merely taught in general. Such things are how to deal with those who hold some office in the Church and fall into heresy. What can the Church do in such cases? It is futile to assume that a clergyman holding office who embraces heresy will step down from his office. Anyone who would expect that might just as well expect shrimp to whistle. Yet, the Church must do something. And so She does.
Canon 188 states: "There are certain causes which effect the tacit resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of law, and hence is effective without any declaration."
Among such `certain causes which effect tacit resignation of an office' is "if he has publicly fallen away from the Catholic faith" (c.188, §4). All those whom the world perceives to be ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic Church and who hold any office whatsoever _ no distinction having been made by the law _ have publicly fallen away from the Catholic faith, and therefore, must be deemed to have tacitly resigned. What is true of the village priest is also true of the most prominent member of the Catholic hierarchy, viz., a pope.
Unless a person wishes to do violence to one's intelligence and the faith, there is no other conclusion than that such churchmen have lost their mission.
Now, what of those who claim that they have not embraced any heresy nor are schismatics? Their claims can only be submitted to objective fact.
This holds true for all those on the left side, so to speak, and openly espouse and promote heresy.
What of those on the `right side' of orthodoxy? What of the Traditionalists? Who are they and what are they?
They claim that they are `saving souls' and `saving the Church.' Among them are valid priests and even some have received valid episcopal consecration. But, are they Roman Catholic priests and bishops?
They lack mission. That is, they have not been sent by any Church authority. In fact, almost every one of them denies Church authority either explicitly or implicitly.
These ministers differ from the heretics of years gone by only in accidentals. Essentially, they are of the same mind-set. They claim to hold an office _ or, they hold an office without claiming to do so (something which is even more idiotic), yet they are unable to produce the least shred of proof for their claim.
They claim the office of an ambassador. For, that is what St. Paul calls himself and all those like him: ambassadors of Christ. Can they deny that they go about as preachers of God's word and as pastors of souls? They pretend that the entire Church has fallen into heresy except themselves. Because even error must follow some kind of logic, they are forced to admit (though they refuse to pronounce the words) that Christ has abandoned His Church _ a thing which even they themselves know is not true.
Since they act as ministers by preaching, administering Sacraments, and governing the credulous faithful, it is only right to ask them for their credentials. Since they are ambassadors, it follows that they must have letters from the higher authority that has sent them. Let them show these letters.
But, they will all chant the same chorus: "These are extraordinary times! These are extraordinary times!
These persons who undertake the ministry or serve as ambassadors of Christ under the pretext of `extraordinary times' are generally of not the best quality, while those ordinary pastors are men of responsibility and prudence. The holders of ordinary power denounce the `extraordinary' ones as not having any charge or mandate from the Master.
And how is it that the Catholic laity listened to them and believed them without so much as getting some kind of assurance of their commission and approval of our Lord, whose representatives they claim to be? Is it not a form of folly to leave the true Church merely on the faith of preachers who have no legitimate mission from Christ?
There are few Catholics who do not know that a priest must be under a Bishop. How, then, can we explain the strange attraction of the laity to such clergy whom they surely know do not have any kind of mission?
Mission is given either immediately or mediately. It is given mediately when one is sent by another who has the power from God of sending, according to the order which he has appointed in the Church. Such was the case with all those great Saints and Patriarchs who went to foreign lands to found the Church. They did not go on their own, they received the mission from a legitimate Superior, as Timothy received the mission from St. Paul.
As a Religious, I received my mission from the highest authority in the Franciscan Order. And, I continue in that mission because it has not been retracted by a legitimate higher authority. This mission is from God although proceeding through the channel established by the Church guided by the Holy Ghost.
The only other way that someone can receive a mission is the immediate mission. This immediate mission is when God Himself commands and gives a charge, without going through the medium of ordinary authority which God has placed in the prelates and pastors of the Church.
St. Peter and the Apostles were sent after receiving the commandment from our Lord Himself: "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." Moses likewise received his mission to Pharaoh and to the people of Israel.
Now, those clergymen who refuse to submit to higher authority in the Church have received no mission either in the ordinary way or in the extraordinary way. This being the case, how have they undertaken to preach?
"How shall they preach, unless they be sent?"
These traditionalist or half-traditionalist ministers have no ordinary and mediate mission. Either they must justify themselves by claiming that they were sent by the people or by the bishop who ordained them. But, if the laity have done this, then they must present the proof. This is something they cannot do. Only heretics claim that laymen can give them a mission and provide priestly faculties. There is nowhere in Scripture where the people or any earthly power has given a mission.
The contrary is true. It has ever been the express practice of the Church that ordination is given by the imposition of hands of other pastors and bishops. Even in cases where the people expressed their desires, as in the case of some great saints, the ordination was by means of imposition of the hands of the bishop. It was by the imposition of the hands of the Apostles that the seven deacons were ordained. And this custom and practice has come down to the present day from the Apostolic Constitutions. The earliest Councils and Doctors of the Church have borne witness to this fact. Besides, the laity have no mission. They cannot give to another what they themselves do not have. How can the people give an authority which they do not have?
St. Paul, speaking of the priesthood and the pastoral order says: "Neither doth any man take the honor to himself but he that is called by God, as Aaron was" (Heb.10,4). Aaron was consecrated by the hands of Moses, who himself was a priest as testified to by King David in his Psalm 98, 7: "Moses and Aaron among his priests and Samuel among those who call upon his name".
So, whoever would claim his mission, must not do so as coming from the people. Aaron was not called by the people and none of us are called in this way either. The pastors are greater than the people. Furthermore, mission is not given without a blessing. The people remain the sheep, and the shepherd remains the shepherd.
Knowing that this avenue of their claim to mission is blocked, many of them go the other way and claim that since they have their mission from those bishops who once ordained them. In this way they mingle some truth with their fiction. This is the tactic that certain individuals adopt to give themselves some kind of justification within the Church, although, oddly enough, they quite inconsistently do not claim to have mission. These are the ministers who function without a mission, yet do that which only one having a mission can do.
Do any of these Traditionalists have an immediate mission, that is, an extraordinary mission from God?
The need for having a mission is so important that even these `traditionalists' seek elsewhere for a mission other than in the ordinary mission. Thus, they would have us believe that they were sent by God according to an extraordinary mission. They say, furthermore, that this was necessary because the ordinary mission had been destroyed and abolished. Or, as one of these stated: "The law is no longer binding because there is no Pope to enforce it."
These traditionalist heretics find safety in numbers. Besides this sense of security, the way is wide open for every brand of deviant doctrine.
The defenders of these heretics blindly follow the errors of their leaders and confuse the Catholic Church with their unfounded claims.
In the first place, anyone claiming an extraordinary mission should not be believed unless he can prove this mission by miracles. As most of us already know, the words of our Lord are proving themselves in the many alleged `miracles' being worked in His name. If we accept such claims without proof, how will we ever be able to judge the true from the false. That there will be many false miracles and false prophets cannot be denied?
No one claiming to be sent extraordinarily has ever been received unless he had this letter of credibility from the divine Master.
Moses was sent directly by God to govern the tribes of Israel. Moses wanted to know the name of him who sent him. And when he learned the name of the Almighty, he still asked for signs and patents of his commission. God was not offended by this request. On the contrary, He gave Moses three kinds of prodigies and marvels which were as three attestations in three different languages of the charge which was given to him. This was done so that should anyone not understand one of them he might understand the others.
So, if these traditionalist heretics allege extraordinary mission, they should be able to show some extraordinary works. Otherwise, we are not obliged to believe them or obey them.
Moses clearly shows the necessity of proof for the one who would claim to speak extraordinarily. When Moses begged for the charisma of eloquence, he only asked for it after receiving the power to work miracles. By this, he teaches us that it is more necessary to have the authority to speak than to have the ability to be eloquent.
St. John the Baptist was not even completely extraordinary. Nevertheless, his mission was authenticated by his conception, nativity and also by his extremely austere life which was in itself miraculous.
As for the Apostles who truly received an immediate mission from Christ, they, too, sealed the authenticity of their extraordinary mission with miracles. We are told in the Scriptures that they performed many miracles. Even parts of their clothing, their shadow, often served to cure the sick and to cast out devils. We are told in Acts that by the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done amongst the people (Acts 19,5). Other texts of the Scriptures can readily be brought forward to attest to this method of procedure on the part of God.
What shall we say, then, of those who claim `extraordinary times' for their `extraordinary mission'? Can we excuse them when even Christ was not excused but proved His mission with miracles? Shall we accept blindly and foolishly anyone who would come speaking what we want to hear and allege that he has received an extraordinary mission? Are these modern-day `extraordinary missionaries' exempt from the need to show proof?
Observe what our Lord says to His listeners and interlocutors: "As my Father hath sent me I also send you" (John 20, 21); He says: "My doctrine is not mine, but of him that sent me" (Ibid.7, 16); and again: "You both know me, and you know whence I am; and I am not come of myself" (Ibid. 28).
Our Lord worked miracles in order to give authority to his mission and even goes so far as to insist that had He not done the works among the Talmudic Israelites which no other man had ever done, they would not have sinned because of their disbelief.
Who can ignore what our Lord spoke in still another place: "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? Otherwise believe for the works themselves" (Ibid.11,12).
If then, these `extraordinary missionaries' have received an immediate and extraordinary mission, we should not be embarrassed to ask them to prove this claim by miracles.
There is another important point to consider in this connection. It is this: An extraordinary mission must not be received when it is rejected by the ordinary authority which God established in the Church. The reason is this: We are obliged to obey our ordinary pastors under pain of being heathens and publicans, that is, schismatics. This being so, how can we place ourselves under any other discipline than theirs?
These `extraordinary missionaries' would not last long if the people remained loyal and obedient to those exercising an ordinary mission.
Since our God is not the Author of division but of unity, those should be held suspect who come independently of the ordinary authority which God will always provide as the ordinary means of salvation. God does not authorize opposing pastors, one ordinary and another extraordinary.
But such is the situation we observe today: the ordinary pastors are overwhelmed by the extraordinary ones thus creating two different Churches.
Be assured, you will never find a legitimate extraordinary vocation that has not been received and approved by the ordinary authority.
St. Paul was certainly called extraordinarily. Nonetheless, the mission he received was received from the ordinary authority and this ordinary authority is called a mission from the Holy Ghost. We find this to be true without exception throughout the entire history of the Church in both the Old and the New Testaments.
Once again, consider intently the words of St. Paul: "No man takes the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was" (Heb.5,4). What is this `honor'? It is the honor of the pastoral mission.
There are some who make their claim to mission on the basis of an `invisible Church' that gives them their authority. This false idea is sometimes expressed in the illusive sophism as follows: "The salvation of souls is the supreme law." By this they mean that there is no law which they are bound to obey except their own which they foolishly fancy to be motivated by their zeal to save souls.
There is any number of clergymen roaming around the world prostituting their priesthood for some material security. There are still others who fancy themselves `called' to be Religious who boldly claim an `extraordinary vocation' while circumventing the laws of the Church and the ordinary authority which God has provided.
You may be certain that none of these mentioned have received either an extraordinary mission or an ordinary mission. This being the case, faithful Catholics seriously concerned for the salvation of their souls and the souls of their families must not received such imposters. For that is exactly what they are: They are imposters; they are the false prophets of which our Lord spoke; and, finally, they are the spiritual `wolves in sheep's clothing' who finally devour the imprudent sheep.
God did not abandon the true Roman Catholic Church. He provided true shepherds, albeit few, but nevertheless He has provided us with at least one or two genuine shepherds whose mission is truly ordinary.
It is safe to say that the only true source of genuine ordinary mission in the universal Roman Church comes visibly to us through the heroic efforts of Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc.
And, among those who claim some kind of lineage through this genuine Archbishop many are false prophets and have entered the sheepfold not through the door ..
Whenever a priest presents himself as a genuine Roman Catholic priest, you can easily verify his true nature by asking him: "Who is your Bishop? From whom do you receive your mission?"
If he is honest and true, he will be able to answer these simple questions without shame or evasion. If he is not with an orthodox Bishop, reject him as you would reject the devil himself. For, in truth, such a priest has become a demon and will eventually destroy your supernatural life of grace.
Here follows at least a limited list of false prophets, false Religious and headless clergy.
Alleged Religious Societies, Congregations and Orders embracing one or the other heretical error or schismatic group
All independent clergymen whether having valid Holy Orders or putative Holy Orders. There are too many to list; and there are even more whose names are unknown.
The principles whereby clergymen of whatever rank are shown to be with a mission or without have universal application.
Anyone presenting himself to Roman Catholics as a legitimate priest or as a legitimate Religious community should be reported to the Bishop's Office, 3376 Mt. Read Blvd., Rochester, NY 14616.
Remember: There are no headless priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Those who have succeeded in stealing episcopal consecration are without any mission.
The number of bishops possessing ordinary mission recognized and exercised by these same bishops directly connected with Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc is very small. These are the bishops who recognized Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc as their ecclesiastical superior in view of the fact that the Apostolic See is vacant. The only ecclesiastical mission not destroyed by the great apostasy is that handed down by this courageous Vietnamese Archbishop.
I am fully aware of the angry shouts and weeping and gnashing of teeth that the above position will cause. Nevertheless, it is the painful duty of a shepherd to watch over the sheep entrusted to him by divine law.
May the grace of God enlighten all those mentioned and those not mentioned with a genuine desire to serve the Lord by returning to that grace which they received on the day of their ordination. The yoke we have accepted on the day of our ordination is truly sweet, and the burden of our office is truly light _ in comparison with the yoke and burden which pride and prejudice exert on the soul. Suffering is short, punishment is eternal. To all retribution will be made.
1 Proof of this is found in official documents of the Church that have not been falsified.
2*Now located in Filmore,NY under a "Bro. Michael Dimond, OSB)
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