The Bishop Speaks

Bishop Louis Vezelis O.F.M.

Those who prefer to live on the surface of their faith will not long persevere in the true faith. They will not persevere because they will not have sufficient grounds upon which to base their judgments and their actions.

Like so many reeds blowing in the wind, they will bend in every direction until, weary from it all, they will choose the path of least resistance: The broad path that leads to perdition.

Nothing can be more important for our salvation than to know how and when we are working in cooperation with divine grace.

Certainly, there are any number of heretics and schismatics and idolaters who delude themselves into thinking that divine grace is guiding them. They have this assurance from the fact that the enemies of God and truth continue to spread their lie of "diversification."

The word "diversity" is just another buzz-word that really means "indifferentism." That this is true and very common today may be seen from the description of indifferentism: Indifferentism is the mental attitude and conviction that a person can fulfill his religious obligations in any type of religion.

Essentially, this is the mental attitude of the Ecumenism promoted by Karol Wojtyla and all those who follow him.

By his actions and words, this imposter pope embodies the oft-repeated statement: "All religions are equally good."

Logically, then, this statement must mean that polytheism is as good as monotheism, that the adoration of idols is as good as adoration of the one true God, that the religious orgies of pagans and Satanists are as good as the high spirituality of Christian saints.

The all-holy God cannot be indifferent as to how He is honored or dishonored. Likewise, it cannot be left to the discretion of the individual to select a religion at his own good pleasure. Since there is but one true God, there can be but one true religion.

Before continuing the instruction on grace, it has come to my attention that some preliminary facts must be communicated to the reader. Pope Pius XII stated in the Encyclical "Humani generis" (1950):

"When the Popes in their Acts intentionally pronounce a judgment on a long disputed point then it is clear to all that this, according to the intention and will of these Popes, can no longer be open to the free discussion of theologians."

Thus, anyone who would obstinately deny what the Church teaches concerning Baptism of desire and Baptism of blood is a heretic as to the faith and a schismatic as to disobedience to the teaching and governing authority of the Church.

There are different theological grades of certitude _ as they are called.

The highest degree of certitude appertains to the immediately revealed truths. The belief here is based on the authority of God Revealing (fides divine _divine faith), and if the Church through Her teaching vouches for the fact that a truth is contained in Revelation, one's certitude is then also based on the authority of the infallible teaching authority of the Church (fides catholica _ Catholic faith).

If truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are "de fide definita' _ on defined faith.

Catholic truths or doctrines on which the teaching authority of the Church has finally decided, are to be accepted with a faith which is based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica _ ecclesiastical faith). These truths are infallibly certain as dogmas proper.

Then, there are teachings that are proximate to the Faith (sententia fidei proxima). Such a doctrine which is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation, but has not yet been fully promulgated as such by the Church.

Something that is ranked as "theologically certain" (theologice certum) is a doctrine on which the teaching authority of the Church has not yet finally pronounced, but whose truth is guaranteed by its intrinsic connection with the doctrine of revelation. Such truths are also styled "theological conclusions".

Common teaching (sententia communis) is doctrine, which in itself belongs to the field of the free opinions but which is accepted by theologians generally. One must be very cautious when dealing with `common opinion' because herein lie many discrepancies.

Theological opinions of lesser grades of certitude are called probable, more probable, well-founded (sententia probabilis, probabilior, bene fundata). Those opinions that are regarded as being in agreement with the consciousness of Faith of the Church are called `pious opinions' (sententia pia).

The least degree of certitude is possessed by the tolerated opinion (opinio tolerata). The `tolerated opinion' is weakly founded but is tolerated by the Church. This means that anyone who would accept this kind of opinion is not a heretic.

Those theologians who deny infallibility to the ordinary and usual form of Papal teaching are missing the point. As Pope Pius XII affirmed concerning this false opinion: "Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: `He who heareth you, heareth Me'; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine." (Humani generis, August 12, 1950).

Every Catholic has an obligation to know with clarity and certainty what the Church teaches, depending upon the circumstances of each person. Pious indifference to solid doctrine is not a legitimate reason for deliberately ignoring this obligation. In reality, the frequently encountered `pious indifference' to doctrine is not genuine piety.

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