The planned chaos existing not only in the world but, especially, in the Roman Catholic Church, makes clarification of positions essential.
The words of Pope Pius IX that were written as an introduction to the last legitimate Ecumenical Council since the Council of Trent are only too true and tragically applicable to our days of confusion.
Pope Pius IX wrote: "Our Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, and Redeemer of mankind, before returning to His Heavenly Father, promised that He would be with the Church Militant on earth all days, even to the consummation of the world.
Therefore He has never ceased to be present with His beloved Spouse, to assist her when teaching, to bless her when at work, and to aid her in danger.
And this His salutary providence, which has been constantly displayed by other innumerable benefits, has been most manifestly proved by the abundant good results which Christendom has derived from oecumenical councils, and particularly from that of Trent, although it was held in evil times.
For, as a consequence, the sacred doctrines of the Faith have been defined more closely and set forth more fully; errors have been condemned and restrained; ecclesiastical discipline has been restored and more firmly secured; the love of learning and of piety has been promoted among the clergy; colleges have been established to educate youth for the sacred warfare and the morals of the Christian world have been renewed by the more accurate training of the faithful and by the more frequent use of the sacraments.
Moreover, there has resulted a closer communion of the members with the visible head and an increase of vigor in the whole mystical body of Christ; the multiplication of religious congregations and of other institutions of Christian piety; and such ardor in extending the kingdom of Christ throughout the world, as constantly endures, even to the sacrifice of life itself.
But while we recall with due thankfulness these and other signal benefits which the divine mercy has bestowed on the church, especially by the last oecumenical council, we cannot restrain our bitter sorrow for the grave evils which are due principally to the fact that the authority of that sacred synod has been contemned, or its wise decrees neglected, by many.
No one is ignorant that the heresies proscribed by the Fathers of Trent, by which the divine teaching (magisterium) of the Church was rejected, and all matters regarding religion were surrendered to the judgment of each individual, gradually became dissolved into many sects which disagreed and contended with one another until at length not a few lost all faith in Christ.
Even the Holy Scriptures which had previously been declared the sole source and judge of Christian doctrine began to be held no longer as divine but to be ranked among the fictions of mythology.
Then there arose and too widely overspread the world that doctrine of rationalism, or naturalism, which opposes itself in every way to the Christian religion as a supernatural institution, and works with the utmost zeal in order that after Christ, our sole Lord and Savior, has been excluded from the minds of men, and from the life and moral acts of nations, the reign of what they call pure reason or nature may be established.
And after forsaking and rejecting the Christian religion, and denying the true God and His Christ, the minds of many have sunk into the abyss of Pantheism, Materialism and Atheism, until, denying rational nature itself and every sound rule of right, they labor to destroy the deepest foundations of human society.
Unhappily, it has yet further come to pass that, while this impiety prevailed on every side, many, even of the children of the Catholic Church have strayed from the path of true piety; and by the gradual diminution of the truths they held, the Catholic sense has become weakened in them. For led away by various and strange doctrines, wrongly confusing nature and grace, human science and divine faith, they are found to deprave the true sense of the doctrines which our holy Mother Church holds and teaches, and to endanger the integrity and the soundness of the Faith.
Considering these things, how can the Church fail to be deeply stirred? For, even as God wills all men to be saved, and to arrive at the knowledge of the truth; even as Christ came to save what had perished and to gather together the children of God who had been dispersed, so the Church, constituted by God the mother and teacher of all nations, knows its own office as debtor to all, and is ever ready and watchful to raise the fallen, to support those who are falling, to embrace those who return, to confirm the good and carry them on to better things.
Hence it can never forbear from witnessing to and proclaiming the truth of God, which heals all things, knowing the words addressed to it: `My Spirit that is in thee and my words that I have put in they mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth from henceforth and forever' (Is.lix.21).
WE, therefore, following the footsteps of our predecessors, have never ceased as becomes our supreme apostolic office from teaching and defending Catholic truth, and condemning doctrines of error. And now, with the bishops of the whole world assembled round us and judging us, congregated by our authority and in the Holy Spirit in this oecumenical council, We, supported by the Word of God written and handed down, as We have received it from the Catholic Church, preserved with sacredness and set forth according to truth, have determined to profess and declare the salutary teaching of Christ from this Chair of Peter, and in sight of all, proscribing and condemning, by the power given to Us by God, all errors contrary thereto."
The errors of which Pope Pius IX spoke are today being promoted from the Chair of Peter itself! It is for this reason that we who have been maliciously labeled "sede vacantists" are bound in conscience to hold and declare that the seat of Peter has been vacant since the death of our last legitimate Pope, Pope Pius XII.
We are "sede vacantists" because we are Roman Catholics. And, because we are Roman Catholics, we cannot in conscience have anything to do with the many spurious mini-sects that were spawned after the infamous and deceitful "Second Vatican Council."
No one today can claim either `confusion' or `ignorance' of the true situation in the Church. Intellectual honesty and sound supernatural piety impose upon us the obligation to contemn the heretical and schismatic clergy from the lowest to the highest.
No one can claim to be a loyal and true Roman Catholic who does not believe and defend all that the Church teaches. No one can claim to be a genuine Roman Catholic who boldly affirms the errors of those who occupy the places of authority in the Church while brazenly refusing the proper obedience to the true successors of the Apostles.
No one can claim to be a Roman Catholic, priest or laity, who scandalously reject the teachings and discipline of the Church. For, whether explicitly or implicitly, these individuals fall into heresy and schism ipso facto.
It must be said, therefore, that there are two extremes into which Catholics have fallen: the broad spectrum of the Modernist Church and the narrow confines of the many Traditionalist sects. The true Church is to be found pressed between both these extremes.
The true Roman Catholic Church is to be found there, where not only all the truths of the Church are taught; where fruitful Sacraments are administered, but also where the four marks of the true Church are clearly visible.
Therefore, no one is worthy of the name `Roman Catholic' who does not abide by the teachings of the Church and who does not manifestly respect and obey the only remaining legitimate authority in the Church. To their eternal shame, therefore, are to be counted as heretics and schismatics all those who adhere to the false apostate Church as well as all those who heap sacrilege upon sacrilege by their open rebellion against the authority of the Church as it is today visible in the valid and legitimate successors of the Apostles.
For the sake of clarity and to avoid any confusion, let it be known to one and all that anyone presenting himself as a "Roman Catholic bishop" in the line of Msgr. Ngo Dinh Thuc after August 24, 1982 is not a legitimate bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, but is an usurper of the kind that the Church suffered in years past.
More than at any other time in history, we are all bound to be circumspect in view of the fact that the words of our Lord are eminently true today: Our Lord said that in the last days there will be so many false teachers coming in His name and appearing very Catholic _ even to the point of deceiving the elect, if that were possible.
The elect will not be deceived by even the most `Catholic' appearance of these false prophets and teachers. They will not be deceived because they will have the first visible sign of the elect: A profound and genuine humility after the example of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Those who do not have this kind of humility will fall prey to the lies and seductions of those false teachers. And, together they will all fall into that abysmal pit wherein the blind leading the blind are bound to fall.
The simple test for genuine Catholicity is the following: Do you believe all that the Roman Catholic Church believes and teaches? Where do you go to fulfill your duties as a Catholic? If you attend the Mass of a priest who is not in union with a valid and legitimate bishop (There is only one in the United States), then you are not a Roman Catholic. There are so many mini-sects headed by renegade clergymen that it would be difficult to name them all.
Bear in mind the words of Pope Pius IX concerning the matters of religion surrendered to the judgment of each individual. This erroneous attitude reigns particularly among those who style themselves as "Traditionalist" Catholics. A true Catholic needs no other descriptive adjective than simply "Roman Catholic."
It is our Faith, living and true, that ultimately defines and describes us.
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