What is the Church's position concerning the many "Catholic" Publishers that have surfaced in the past years producing volumes of misleading doctrines, yet all claiming to be somehow `divinely inspired' or `called to this ministry'?
In the first place, no one is `called' to any kind of public ministry in the Church on one's own initiative. This is the fundamental error of Protestantism which holds to private interpretation of the Scriptures, and as a logical consequence, the personal guidance of the Holy Ghost.
More souls are misled by this dangerous subjectivism than by direct temptations of the devil. Here we are dealing with the devil, of course, but under a very subtle manifestation. This is the `noonday devil,' the devil when he appears as light instead of darkness. This `light' and `darkness,' of course, are to be understood in a spiritual or psychological meaning.
Most people are familiar with the more obvious temptations of the devil to lead mankind into sin. These are the sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit, such as pampering the flesh and pride in its different manifestations.
A more subtle form of temptation is less obvious to the untrained because it disguises itself as religious zeal and devotion. After all, who could fault devotion, say, for example, to the Blessed Virgin Mary? Or, who could condemn zeal for the honor and glory of God and the salvation of souls? One would think that only the devil would be opposed to such `Catholic action.' And, following that seemingly correct conclusion, one would be justified in reproaching and denouncing those who would dare to interfere in such `holy' activity.
Today, there is a great confusion of duties among Catholics. This is not only true of Catholics, but we are dealing with a subject that is of primary importance and interest to Roman Catholics. For this reason, we confine ourselves to deal with this question as it affects those who claim to be Catholic.
There are many young people who throw themselves into religious activity _ certainly, able to justify themselves by the constant urgings of John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla). They have short-circuited their vocations to a life of total dedication to God in the Holy Priesthood or Religious Life by pretending to `serve God' while wishing to spend their lives in the comfort, both physical and spiritual, of worldly values.
In a word, they see themselves somewhat as Protestant ministers: married, with a small family, and a comfortable `job' preaching religion. To be sure, these `Catholics' would be the last to admit that their thinking and acting has become totally Protestant. And then again, perhaps some of them would not!
Nonetheless, the truth is there: They have become the willing dupes of anti-Catholic clergymen who themselves have embraced the errors of Protestantism _ each according to his or her subjective `truth,' and in disregard for objective truth.
How do they justify this attitude of theirs and its subsequent expression? How else but to invoke the `spirit of Vatican II" or, more directly, the `Second Vatican Council'?
Because the `Second Vatican Council' was by heretics for the purpose of promoting a universal apostasy from the Roman Catholic Church, it cannot be a Council of the Catholic Church. Its purpose was to lead the faithful into a universal apostasy. How then, can all those who fancy themselves `called' promote genuine Catholic doctrine and devotion when they are devoid of supernatural grace? The very first element required is that they be in the true Church. For, God does not send messages nor work miracles to affirm and confirm falsehood.
Working inductively, that is, from the particular to the general, we are forced to confess that the morality of people has become so corrupt that rather than struggle with the immense work of reforming bad manners and morals, it has been decided to simply change the doctrine from which all true morality proceeds. It's a kind of application of the saying: "If you can't beat them, join them!"
Using the safer side of wisdom, we might apply the words of St. Paul: "Preach the word, be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and teaching. For there will come a time when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap up to themselves teachers according to their lusts, and they will turn away their hearing from the truth and turn aside rather to fables. But thou be watchful in all things, bear with tribulation patiently, work as a preacher of the gospel, fulfill thy ministry." (2 Timothy, 4, 2-5).
Having corrupted `sound doctrine' and undermined sound morality, the next thing that had to be changed was the Church Law. Pretending to `upgrade' the Church to the times, the Canon Law was carefully edited to exclude all those things that protected the faith and discipline of the Church.
The first of these was preparing the way for the spread of the Anti-Christ's religion, that is, Talmudic-Freemasonry. Then, in order to open the floodgates to every new doctrine and the distortion of the true doctrine, the laws of the Church concerning censorship of religious books and periodicals was abolished.
This, of course, is designed to stifle any effort on the part of faithful Bishops and Priests to forbid the publication of questionable or suspect ideas concerning religious matters. Especially is this true of apparitions, revelations, prophecies and miracles.
The effects of this undermining of the Church's prudent approach to such difficult matters has led to the absurd proliferation of `apparitions,' `revelations,' `prophecies' and `miracles.'
It should be understood that a new Church requires new laws to protect and promote it. Thus, the `revision' of Canon Law was made to facilitate the spread of religious errors in doctrinal and mystical matters.
Oftentimes, individuals will publish what they deem to be `apparitions' or `revelations.' And to justify this publicizing of what they claim are special, extraordinary communications of God with them, they quote the supposed words of Pope Urban VIII who reigned from 1623-1644. Namely, "In cases which concern private revelations, it is better to believe than not to believe, for, if you believe, and it is proven true, you will be happy that you have believed, because our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if it have been true, because you believed it to be true."
That seems to be the justification of choice. However, these words attribute to Pope Urban VIII are taken out of context because this same Pope decreed that private revelations may not be published without approbation.
How can we explain this obvious contradiction? It is very simple. If Pope Urban VIII made that statement as quoted above, it can only refer to the inner attitude of the person claiming to have received the revelation. It is an error to pretend that Pope Urban VIII is giving authorization for such persons to publish their private revelations. Even if the Mother of God, or whoever may be the person perceived, should request that some message be delivered for the good of the faithful, it is de rigeur that authorization must first be received from competent Church authority.
There is no doubt in the mind of the Church that the private revelations have been made in every age. Holy Scripture and the process of the canonization of saints give us ample examples. Even when the Church approves them she does not make them the object of Catholic faith, but as Pope Benedict XIV states, she simply permits them to be published for the instruction and edification of the faithful. The assent to be given such private revelations is not, therefore, an act of Catholic faith, but one of human faith, based upon the fact that these revelations are probable and worthy of credence.
But, before such revelations can be deemed and judged probable and worthy of credence, a competent authority must pass judgment on them. Therefore, to claim that a Pope has somehow `authorized' the publication of private revelations simply because he may have stated that the subject of the revelation, that is, the person supposedly receiving the revelation may believe it to be true provided this is done in good faith, is far from the mind of the Church. Anyone who would insist upon a contrary view is already showing bad faith.
Besides, we have been warned numerous times by our Lord and the Holy Scriptures that many false prophets have gone out into the world, and that near the end of time there will be many false apparitions.
No amount of profuse humility is sufficient to justify the spread of private revelations without the authorization of competent ecclesiastical authority.
The Code of Canon Law as published and observed by the Roman Catholic Church since the year 1918 is the only Church Law that has the force of law in the Church. All the demolishing efforts of John Baptist Montini (the anti-pope Paul VI) avail nothing. No Roman Catholic may safely follow the invalid changes made by this anti-pope nor anything done by his successors in their brazen and seemingly unimpeded rush to ruin the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.
The only legitimate case of private revelation given the approbation of the last valid and legitimate Pope, Pope Pius XII, has been the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1918. Even these apparitions and messages are not binding on the conscience of the Catholic faithful. The most that can be said of these apparitions is that they deserve human credence based on the evidence surrounding them that cause them to be worthy of credence.
Those who would venture to publish private revelations without competent ecclesiastical approbation in our age are highly suspect as to their right intentions. This is made all the more evident by the mere fact that these people are intelligent enough to absolve themselves from the need for competent approbation by citing those who would encourage them to follow their dangerously suspect illusions.
All genuine supernatural manifestations of whatever degree are the work of God's grace. Unless a person is well-versed in the mechanisms of how the Holy Ghost works and knows the principles of the discernment of spirits, it is not possible to distinguish between the works of supernatural grace and demonic influence, or plain human deception.
Such a work on the discernment of spirits is available through The Seraph. The cost is deliberately small to barely cover the cost of printing and mailing so that no one could have an excuse for not having a copy close at hand in these evil days _ as St. Paul might well call them.
You may order a copy of Discernment of Spirits by Bishop Louis Vezelis, O.F.M., D.D. for $6.00 (postage is included). The Bishop had been sent by the Minister General of the Franciscan Order to establish the Franciscan Religious life in Korea in 1957. He has made a lifetime study of all the mystics, especially St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Avila, and the Franciscan mystics. He has lived as a hermit in a small Korean village for eight years. He has also studied Oriental philosophy and Buddhism in particular.
If those who constitute the visible hierarchy, Bishops and Pope, embrace heresy, what are the consequences for the Church? Does the Church cease to exist, or does it become a Church of the Laity _ as it seems to have become today?
M.D., London, England
The Roman Catholic Church, because it is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ continuing His mission of salvation in the world, is indefectible. This means that no matter what may happen to the visible Church, no matter how small the remnant of Catholics may be due to the Great Apostasy foretold by St. Paul, the Church will never be destroyed but will exist until the Second Coming of Her invisible Head, Jesus Christ.
The Church will endure until the end of time as we know it. Pope Leo XIII stated in His Encyclical "Satis cognitum": "The Church of Christ is one and everlasting." Indefectibility includes the Church's essential immutability (unchanging) of her teaching, her constitution, and her liturgy. Accidental changes are not included in this concept of indefectibility.
Some practical conclusions:
1. Indefectibility requires that the Church must endure as it was established by Jesus Christ. But, the Church was established on the prophets and the apostles. Therefore, the Church must and will endure with a visible hierarchy.
2. The existence of a visible hierarchy is essential to the Church. This means that in the most extreme situation, there must be at least one valid and legitimate successor of the Apostles, that is, a Bishop.
3. Without a visible hierarchy continuing the Apostolic tradition, there is no true Church. But, this would contradict the promise of indefectibility. Therefore, the Apostolic tradition must and will continue.
4. Bishops, Cardinals and Popes who have embraced the errors of Modernism are heretics. They are heretics because they have departed from the essential teachings, constitution and liturgy of the Church.
5. Heresy excludes from membership in the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, heretics _ whoever they may be _ are excluded from membership in the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. (Cfr. Pope Pius XII:THE MYSTICAL BODY OF JESUS CHRIST AND OUR UNION IN IT WITH CHRIST. Encyclical Letter, Rome, 1943).
6. According to the laws of the Church which express and protect the life of the Church, anyone holding any office in the Church _ this means Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes _ who fall into public heresy automatically loses any office which he held.
Canon 188 of the Church's law 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 (c.108). These causes are: (1) If the holder of the office has pronounced religious vows, except as provided in canon 584 regarding benefices; (the latter become vacant only three years later, or in the case of parishes, one year later); (2) if after his appointment he has failed to assume the office within the prescribed time; (3) if he has accepted another office incompatible with the first, and has taken peaceful possession of the same; (4) if he has publicly fallen away from the Catholic faith; ).
That portion of Canon 108 which pertains to the case of heretics is what interests us here.
Those Bishops, Cardinals and Popes (assuming that they are valid and legitimate to begin with, of course) who fall away from the Catholic faith have ceased to hold any office which they may have had. This is accomplished by simple operation of law and is effective without any declaration.
But, the last "Popes," since Pope Pius XII and all the Bishops and Cardinals united to them have fallen away from the Catholic faith; therefore, they have lost any office they may have held. And this by operation of law, effective without any declaration.
7. Roman Catholics have an obligation to cease supporting such heretics as "Bishop" Matthew Clark of Rochester, NY, "Cardinal" Mahony of Los Angeles, "Cardinal" Tony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, and all the other alleged Bishops and Cardinals, as well as the present usurper of the Chair of Peter, Karol Wojtyla.
8. Heresy cuts off from the Body and Soul of the Church. Now, anyone who does not belong to the Body of Church nor to the Soul of the Church is outside the Church. The same is true for anyone who associates with heretics: such persons suffer the same penalty as the heretics whom they support.
It is our Lord Himself Who warned that many errors would be preached by false prophets. The saintly Roman Pontiff, Pope Pius XII _ so hated by the enemies of truth, who cannot pass up an opportunity to vilify him _ also warned the entire Church through his Encyclical Letters against these false prophets wearing the mask of Catholicism.
If ever an honest history is written of our century, we will find that unlike the "Man of the Century" (Author Jonathan Kwitny's title of a book glorifying Wojtyla), the true "men of the century" will be the true Popes of the Roman Catholic Church: Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI and the greatest of them all: Pius XII. And among all the noble prelates _ Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals - there is one, maligned South Vietnamese Archbishop: The man who really saved the Church of our latter days: Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc _ The Churchman who alone has preserved the Apostolic succession in the true Roman Catholic Church.
Return to Contents
Return to Homepage.