“The really alarming weakness in the Church’s present state is due to the slowness of the moral revival among the rank and file of the members. Despite protesting minorities, notwithstanding occasional leadership, the great mass of Christian people remain complacent, unaware both that the position of the Church in contemporary society is humiliating and that the cause of that humiliation is their own timid compromise with a secularism inconsistent with tenets the holding and advancement of which are the Church’s chief reason for being.”
Fr. Bernard Iddings Bell, The Atlantic Monthly, 1942
Whether they accept it or not Protestants relied on the authority of the Catholic Church to know which scriptures are part of the Canon of Sacred Scriptures, and which are not. If it weren’t for the Catholic Church we would not have our Bibles today.
In 382 A.D Pope Damasus gathered the bishops in Rome in order to form the Canon of Sacred Scriptures which includes the Old and New Testament.
The following is the decree of the Roman Synod concerning the Canon of Scripture.
Acts of the Roman Synod, 382 A.D
Likewise it has been saud: Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic CHurch accepts and what she ought to shun.
The order of the Old Testament begins here:
Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Josue Nave one book, Judges one book, Ruth one…
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Sin is a thought, a word, an action, contrary to the law of God. By sin, my children, we rebel against the good God, we despise His justice, we tread under foot His blessings. From being children of God, we become the executioner and assassin of our soul, the offspring of hell, the horror of heaven, the murderer of Jesus Christ, the capital enemy of the good God.
O my children! if we thought of this, if we reflected on the injury which sin offers to the good God, we should hold it in abhorrence, we should be unable to commit it; but we never think of it, we like to live at our ease, we slumber in sin. If the good God sends us remorse, we quickly stifle it, by thinking that we have done no harm to any body, that God is good, and that He did not place us on the earth to make us suffer.
Indeed, my children, the good God did not place us on the earth to suffer and endure, but to work out our salvation. See; He wills that we should work to-day and to-morrow; and after that, an eternity of joy, of happiness, awaits us in heaven.O my children! how ungrateful we are! The good God calls us to Himself; He wishes to make us happy for ever, and we are deaf to His word, we will not share His happiness; He enjoins us to love Him, and we give our heart to the devil. The good God commands all nature as its Master; He makes the winds and the storms obey Him; the angels tremble at His adorable will; man alone dares to resist Him.See; God forbids us that action, that criminal pleasure, that revenge, that injustice; no matter, we are bent upon satisfying ourselves; we had rather renounce the happiness of heaven, than deprive ourselves of a moment’s pleasure, or give up a sinful habit, or change our life. What are we, then, that we dare thus to resist God? Dust and ashes, which He could annihilate with a single look.
By sin, my children, we despise the good God. We renew His Death and Passion; we do as much evil as all the Jews together did, in fastening Him to the Cross. Therefore, my children, if we were to ask those who work without necessity on Sunday: “What are you doing there” and they were to answer truly, they would say, “We are crucifying the good God.” Ask the idle, the gluttonous, the immodest, what they do every day. If they answer you according to what they are really doing, they will say, “We are crucifying the good God.”
O my children! it is very ungrateful to offend a God who has never done us any harm; but is it not the height of ingratitude to offend a God who has done us nothing but good? It is He who created us, who watches over us. He holds us in His hands, like a handful of hair; if He chose, He could cast us into the nothingness out of which he took us. He has given us His Son, to redeem us from the slavery of the devil; He Himself gave Him up to death, that He might restore us to life; He has adopted us as His children, and ceases not to lavish His graces upon us. Notwithstanding all this, what use do we make of our mind, of our memory, of our health, of those limbs which he gave us to serve Him with? We employ them perhaps in committing crimes.
The good God, my children, has given us eyes to enlighten us, to see heaven, and we use them to look at criminal and dangerous objects; He has given us a tongue to praise Him, and to express our thoughts, and we make it an instrument of iniquity,–we swear, we blaspheme, we speak ill of our neighbor, we slander him; we abuse the supernatural graces, we stifle the salutary remorse, by which God would convert us; we reject the inspirations of our good guardian angel.
We despise good thoughts, we neglect prayer and the Sacraments. What account do we make even of the Word of God? Do we not listen to it with disgust? How miserable we are! How much we are to be pitied! We employ in losing our souls the time that the good God has given us to save them in. We make war upon Him with the means He has given us to serve Him; we turn His own gifts against Him!
Let us cast our eyes, my children, upon Jesus fastened to the Cross, and let us say to ourselves, ” This is what it has cost my Saviour to repair the injury my sins have done to God.” A God coming down to the earth to be the victim of our sins! A God suffering, a God dying, a God enduring every torment, because He has put on the semblance of sin, and has chosen to bear the weight of our iniquities!
Ah! my children, at the sight of that Cross, let us conceive once for all the malice of sin, and the abhorrence in which we should hold it. Let us enter into ourselves, and see what we ought to do to repair our past sins; let us implore the clemency of the good God, and let us all together say to Him, from the bottom of our heart, ” O Lord, who art here crucified for us, have mercy upon us! Thou comest down from heaven to cure souls of sin; cure us, we beseech Thee; cause our souls to be purified by approaching the tribunal of penance; yes, O God! make us look upon sin as the greatest of all evils, and by our zeal in avoiding it, and in repairing those we have had the misfortune to commit, let us one day attain to the happiness of the saints.”
Using the Bible Alone, can you determine which books belong in the Bible? Where is the Bible’s canon explained?
Using the Bible Alone, can you tell who wrote each book of the Bible?
How did the Early Church manage to evangelize the pagan Roman Empire without a set Bible Canon?
Who has the authority to arbitrate between Christians who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit into contradictory interpretations of the Bible?
If all the authority a Christian needs is in the Bible, why are there thousands of denominations, with their own pastors or elders leading them?
Using the Bible Alone, can you show where the Bible teaches that it itself is sufficient?
Using the Bible Alone, can you explain the concept of the Trinity, and how the Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son?
e) The procreation and education of children is not the primary end of marriage.
“Marriage and married love are by nature ordered to the procreation and education of children. Indeed children are the supreme gift of marriage and greatly contribute to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: “it is not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18), and “from the beginning (he) made them male and female” (Mt. 19:4): wishing to associate them in a special way with his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). Without intending to underestimate the other ends of marriage, it must be said that true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it is directed to disposing the spouses to co-operate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Saviour who, through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.
“Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realise that they are thereby co-operating with the love of God the creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. This involves the fulfilment of their role with a sense of human and Christian responsibility and the formation of correct judgments through docile respect for God and common reflection and effort; it also involves a consideration of their own good and the good of their children already born or yet to come, an ability to read the signs of the times and of their own situation on the material and spiritual level, and, finally, an estimation of the good of the family, of society, and of the Church. It is the married couple themselves who must in the last analysis arrive at these judgments before God. Married people should realise that in their behaviour they may not simply follow their own fancy but must be ruled by conscience — and conscience ought to be conformed to the law of God in the light of the teaching authority of the Church, which is the authentic interpreter of divine law. For the divine law throws light on the meaning of married love, protects it and leads it to truly human fulfilment. Whenever Christian spouses in a spirit of sacrifice and trust in divine providence carry out their duties of procreation with generous human and Christian responsibility, they glorify the Creator and perfect themselves in Christ.
“Among the married couples who thus fulfil their God-given mission, special mention should be made of those who after prudent reflection and common decision courageously undertake the proper upbringing of a large number of children.
“But marriage is not merely for the procreation of children: its nature as an indissoluble compact between two people and the good of the children demand that the mutual love of the partners be properly shown, that it should grow and mature. Even in cases where despite the intense desire of the spouses there are no children, marriage still retains its character of being a whole manner and communion of life and preserves its value and indissolubility. (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, paragraph 50)
Not only is it nowhere stated or implied in this passage that the procreation of children is the primary purpose of marriage, transcending all other purposes, but it is implied that this primary purpose is equalled in importance by what are in fact the secondary purposes. The correct doctrine is succinctly set out in Canon 1013 of the 1917 Code: “The primary end of marriage is the procreation and upbringing of children.”
The erroneous nature of this doctrine is highlighted by the astonishing suggestion that only those who have “prudently reflected” and made a subsequent “decision” should raise “large” families. The truth is that Catholic parents should leave the size of their families entirely to divine providence, unless there are proportionately grave reasons for limiting them by partial or total abstinence.
The perversion of this doctrine by Vatican II is worthy of note not only as a departure from Catholic doctrine, but also as an incitement to vice and depravity. It is precisely because God instituted marriage and the reproductive act proper to marriage primarily as a means to the procreation of new life, and only secondarily for other lawful ends such as the fostering of mutual love between husband and wife and the allayance of concupiscence, that it is unlawful to seek the pleasures proper to matrimony while deliberately frustrating their natural fecundity. In other words, the false doctrine spread in this passage paves the way to the justification of marital onanism and every other sort of unnatural perversion.
It is perhaps not surprising that this passage drew very severe criticism from the two weightiest theologians present at the Council, Cardinal Ottaviani, prefect of the Holy Office, and Cardinal Browne,6 superior-general of the Dominicans. The former, speaking as the eleventh of twelve children of a labouring man, recalled the Scriptural doctrine and Catholic tradition of trusting to Providence rather than thinking it necessary to limit the size of families, and ironically pointed out that, if the text of this decree was to be considered correct and Catholic, this fitted in well with another notion heard for the first time at Vatican II – namely the notion that the Church had previously been in error (see item (q) below). The latter, in two interventions, showed how the desire to teach a fashionable doctrine (according some special rôle to romantic love among the ends of matrimony) was threatening to undermine the Church’s traditional doctrine. And although some changes in the text of the decree were made in the light of these interventions, nothing is plainer than that the adjustments were cosmetic and that the underlying errors remain in the text.
Theological censure: ERRONEOUS
(f) The Jews are not presented in Scripture as rejected or accursed.
“It is true that the Church is the new people of God, yet the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this is followed from Holy Scripture.” (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religious Nostra Aetate, paragraph 4).
For evidence of the true doctrine in relation to this remarkable assertion, we may start with Our Lord’s parable recorded in Matthew 21:33-45 and the Church’s traditional interpretation of it. “The rejection of the Jews and the conversion of the Gentiles are here foretold, as Christ teaches in verse 43,” says Cornelius a Lapide in his commentary on this passage.
Then, of course, there is Matthew 27:25: “And the whole people, answering, said: His blood be upon us and upon our children.” Presumably something follows from this passage in Holy Scripture, and one wonders what the Fathers of Vatican II had in mind. For the traditional Church teaching in relation to that passage, we return once again to Cornelius a Lapide, where he comments on it:
“And thus they [the Jews] have subjected, not only themselves, but their very latest descendants, to God’s displeasure. They feel it even to this day in its full force, in being scattered over all the world, without a city,7 or temple, or sacrifice, or priest or prince… ‘This curse,’ says St. Jerome, ‘rests on them even to this day, and the blood of the Lord is not taken away from them,’ as Daniel foretold (Daniel 9:27).”
And out of interest, if we were asked which, out of all the Vatican II passages that we are offering, we believed to be the most difficult to explain away even with the most subtle debating devices, we should probably choose this one. We do not maintain that it is more definitely heretical than the others, but it does seem to present the fewest escape routes, especially as the Fathers of Vatican II expressly elected to have their doctrine judged against Holy Scripture, which is explicit in making it absolutely clear that the Jews have been collectively reprobated for their part in the Crucifixion. (Numerous other texts from the New Testament could be quoted to this end, but we think we have already given enough evidence.)
Theological censure: HERETICAL.
(g) Christians and Jews have a common spiritual heritage.
“Since Christians and Jews have such a common spiritual heritage, this sacred Council wishes to encourage further mutual understanding and appreciation.” (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate, paragraph 4)
The Church teaches that, far from Christians and Jews having a common spiritual heritage, the most significant feature of what the Jews of the Christian era have inherited from their spiritual ancestors, those who engineered the Crucifixion, consists of the total rejection of the Incarnate God and also of the Old Testament Covenant. The Church has always instructed her children to pray for the conversion of “the perfidious Jews” (as in the liturgy for Good Friday).
It is interesting to note that, deplorable as it is, this text represents a softening of the error which was originally proposed for the agreement of the Council Fathers. Originally it was stated that Christians had derived a great patrimony from the Jews, leading Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer to point out that:
“Christians, however, have received the patrimony which they have inherited from the ancient Jewish people, and not from the Jewish people of the present day. The Jewish people of the present day cannot be described as in all respects faithful to the revelation of the Old Testament, as they refuse to accept the Messias who was the cause of the entire Old Law. The Israelites of the present day are rather the successors of those whom St. Peter declares to have delivered Jesus to death and whom St. Paul declares that the justice of God has abandoned to have a hardened heart (Acts 3:13; 5:20; Romans 10:3; 11:7). Hence it does not seem right to speak in the same way concerning the Jews of old, who were faithful to God and the Messias to come, and concerning the Jews of the present time. From the former, the Church has received and faithfully kept her patrimony, while the Jews of the present day, on the contrary, impoverish that patrimony by their infidelity. For the same reason it also follows that dialogues with Jews should be introduced only with great caution, as the custom is – or at least always was – in the Church. Moreover the Council ought not to abandon this custom except under the influence of grave reason which ought to be explained to the faithful.” (Acts of the Second Vatican Council III:III, p.161)
Because “heritage” is a word that is vague enough to allow a number of different meanings to be extracted from this passage, we do not dare brand it with a more severe ecclesiastical censure than that given below: a censure which, though it does not appear in the table given by Father Cartechini, is discussed elsewhere in his work and is frequently recognised and used by Catholic theologians and by the Roman Congregations. We think it worth emphasising this passage notwithstanding its relatively mild censure, because it so clearly shows the heretical animus of the Council, ever eager to say what would please liberal politicians and journalists, especially by flattering the Jews, and quite dismissive of the need to guard unsullied the deposit of faith, to protect the faithful from their enemies, and to rebuke and recall to their duties that perfidious race, once the chosen people, but now under a curse until, around the time of Antichrist, the return of the prophet Elias secures their conversion.
Theological censure: OFFENSIVE TO PIOUS EARS.
(h) Past dissensions with Muslims should be forgotten.
“Over the centuries many quarrels and dissensions have arisen between Christians and Muslims. The Sacred Council now pleads with all to forget the past, and urges that a sincere effort be made to achieve mutual understanding…” (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate, paragraph 3)
(i) This recommends that we refrain from studying that part of the history of the Catholic Church which deals with the heroic efforts of our Catholic ancestors against the Muslim hordes which time and time again have come close to over-running Europe. We presume that all we need to say about the plea to forget the past is that the past should be studied with great assiduousness and learnt from, for insights into both the Catholic Church and her demonically-inspired enemies. It is not surprising that during the few short years which have passed since the promulgation of this monstrous recommendation by the robber-Council, the Muslims have rapidly risen to a point at which they are now once again within striking distance of taking over Europe, and even – unprecedentedly – the United Kingdom, in which they have had the effrontery to establish their own “government” independent of queen and parliament, an outrage for which no single trial, expulsion or execution for treason has yet been initiated. It is the fate of those who “forget the past” to have to re-learn its lessons by painful experience.
(ii) A moment’s reflection reveals that the passage is pregnant with still graver errors also, for it inescapably implies that the “quarrels and dissensions” in the past have been at least partially the fault of the Catholic Church. How does it imply this? It does so by placing the two parties to the disputes on equal footing, as though the Immaculate Bride of the Divine Lamb were just another belligerent cult like Mahometanism. And it implies it again by the advice it offers towards resolving the quarrels and dissensions of the past. This advice implies fault on both sides; for if that were not the case, the correct advice would be (a) that those who have quarrelled with and dissented from the Church should recognise that they were at fault, and (b) that they should be urged to mend their ways and make reparation for the past.
And indeed this will come as no surprise to those who have noted that, in its Decree on Oecumenism (paragraph 3), Vatican II attempts to blame the Catholic Church for the defection of heretics from her ranks: “…More serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.”
One can refute this disgusting assertion in two ways.
In the first place, since the Catholic Church has the Divinely instituted right and obligation (a) to tell the people what they must believe and (b) to govern them – in short, the right and duty to have the final say – it is naturally impossible that any “quarrels and dissensions” which have remained unresolved can be her fault. In other words, any person or institution who has quarrelled with the Catholic Church is inescapably at fault for having refused to submit to her judgement. 8
In the second place, the notion that the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Spotless Bride of Christ, whose soul is the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Unity, should be the cause of quarrels and dissensions, can perhaps best be described as fantastic. It is as ludicrous to suggest that the Church was responsible for the quarrels and dissensions that have arisen between Christians and Muslims as to suggest that Our Lord was responsible for the “quarrels and dissensions” with which the Gospels are filled and which culminated in His judicial murder. This is not to deny that Our Lord was “a sign which shall be contradicted” (Luke 2:34), of course, nor that He “came not to send peace but the sword” (Matthew 10:34), nor yet that both those observations apply to Our Lord’s Church no less than to Himself. But the notions that Our Lord and His Church are in any way to blame for the contradiction and “the sword”, and that the conflicts of the past have arisen from “lack of mutual understanding” have only to be stated for their blasphemous implications to be exposed. Far from there being “lack of mutual understanding”, it need hardly be said that Our Lord and His Church have always understood their enemies perfectly. And quarrels and dissensions between the Church and the rest of the world are caused simply by the refusal of men and nations to submit to the Church’s wise, loving, tender maternal guidance and rule.
(iii) It denies the truth that the Catholic Church is as perfect in her practice (where this consists of considered policy rather than of the occasional actions of individual Catholics) as she is in her teaching.9
Theological censure: in (i) it is at least TEMERARIOUS; in (ii) it is BLASPHEMOUS; in (iii) it is ERRONEOUS.
Original source: http://www.holyromancatholicchurch.org/heresies.html
To be continued…
St. Justin Martyr is important for many reasons, in fact, Pope Benedict XVI says that he is “the most important of the second-century apologist Fathers.”Of course, St. Justin’s name is usually paired with his fate; however, it’s also important to note him, as many were in the early years, as a convert to the faith. Reviewing our text, we learn that Justin Martyr was born “about twenty miles to the north of the City of David in the ancient biblical town of Shechem” around the year 100 A.D.
D’Ambrosio explains that Justin grew up in a pagan family, and during the time, it would be desirable to become one of the popular cloak wearing philosophers who were gathering their many disciples. In the last month, listening to one of Bishop Robert Barron’s podcasts, Bp. Barron that if any of us desire to become men and women…
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