A Catholic Pope Part Two|
On this day of Mardi Gras - Shrove Tuesday - with the emphasis on preparing for Lent by shedding vice, Father Wathen encourages the soul with a celebration of what Catholicism truly is and should always be in application under the guidance of a truly Catholic Pope. In reading through his eleven points of what joy and peace of soul will return when a Catholic Pope once again sits on the Throne of Peter it is enough to willingly and enthusiatically embrace the sackcloth and ashes of the next 45 days. For though these are dark and terrible times, there is a light at the end of this barren tunnel and Catholicism will have its glorious day in the sun again just as the Son has promised. It's guaranteed!
Father James F. Wathen
"It should not need saying that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart is not the most important thing; the Third Secret of Fatima is not the most important thing; the threat of world empire and enslavement is not the most important thing; who is the Pope is not the most important thing: The most important thing is that we save our souls. Heaven lasts forever, and Hell lasts forever. And he who does not save his soul, loses it."
"Arise, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, and cast us not off to the end.
Why turnest thou thy face away? and forgettest our want and our trouble?
For our soul is humbled down to the dust: our belly cleaveth to the earth.
Arise, O Lord, help us and redeem us for thy name's sake." (Psalm 43:23-26 - Introit of Sexagesima Sunday).
Be all that as it may, we may still give some thought to that Catholic prelate who will, despite all odds, some day assume the throne of St. Peter. What might we expect, hope, and pray that a Catholic pope would do in fulfillment of his high office?
The pope is the spiritual father of the Catholic faithful. This means that he has direct and immediate authority over every Catholic; and it means that he is responsible for the souls of all his children in the Faith. This is the significance of his titles as the Vicar of Christ and the Holy Father. This means, further, that the pope, in the place of Christ, possesses the threefold prerogative and duty to teach, govern, and sanctify the faithful, all of whom are of the "household of the Faith." The salvation of his Catholic children is his chief obligation, on account of which He has been given all the spiritual sovereignty of Christ over them:
"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven." (Matthew 16:18, 19).
"When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: "Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith to him: "Feed my lambs" [the laity].
He saith to him again: "Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me? He saith to him: yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith to him: "Feed My lambs."
He said to him the third time: "Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me?" Peter was grieved because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou Me? And he said to Him: Lord, Thou knowest all things: Thou knowest that I love Thee. He said to him: "Feed My sheep" [the clergy]. (John 21:15-17).
He will be gentle and fatherly in calling his children back to the norms of true Catholic living, saving his execrations for the truly hard and hostile, the avowed enemies of Christ and His Church. He will remind them that their lives must befit that of the most pure life of the saints and angels in Heaven, who cease not, day and night, praising the Triune God with the doxology, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory."
In what follows I make an sketchy effort to particularize what a Catholic pope should do, without any consideration of the present condition of the Church, as what I say here can be said to have been the duty of all the popes, including St. Peter the Apostle. These thoughts are given in an effort to recall to the reader the basics of Catholic living, which many seem to have forgotten or allowed themselves to be diverted from.
1. A Catholic pope would remind all his children that the central and all-important element of in their lives is the love of Christ, the God Man, their Savior, Lord, and King. First and foremost, the Catholic Faith centers the Catholicís devotion on Christ, Who must be the primary concern and object of all his striving. In the words of St. Benedict, "Let nothing be preferred to the love of Christ." He will quote to his children the following words of Christ, in order to emphasize to them that salvation is not to be presumed, but must be merited and hard won:
"Every one therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in Heaven.
But he that shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in Heaven.
Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.
For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man's enemies shall be they of his own household.
He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me, is not worthy of Me.
And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth Me, is not worthy of Me.
He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for Me, shall find it" (Matthew 10:32-39).
In this connection, he will invite all priests and religious to return to the original ideal of their vocations, which was not some kind of "ministry," but sanctity, in imitation of Christ, for Whom they renounced the world and its legitimate pleasures. He will invite all religious to return to the example and Rule of their illustrious founders, many of whom are canonized saints. And he will issue a call to the young men and women of the Church to abandon the world and follow Christ. In a few years, the seminaries and novitiates will be filled with candidates, who will rejoice in the traditional renunciations, who will enthusiastically change their names and their garb in order the more perfectly to be identified with Christ, and the thousands of men and women who carried the same cross before them. Forgotten will be talk of allowing priests to marry; it will be with the new aspirants as it was with the priests of centuries gone by, who renounced marriage and family, not because the Church required it, but because they wished to be identified with the most pure and virginal Christ, the Eternal High Priest of the New Law. It was with the following words that our Lord has invited young men and women through the centuries to live as He lived:
"If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, follow Me.
And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for My name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting" (Matthew 19:21, 29).
2. A Catholic Pope will issue a new symbol of the Faith, wherein he reaffirms clearly and definitively those doctrines which one must believe effectively for salvation, giving most particular emphasis to the Doctrine of Hell, which has been compromised and left unmentioned in recent years. "Whoever wishes to be saved must before all else must adhere to the Catholic faith...This is the Catholic faith, and anyone who does not believe it fully and firmly cannot be saved...He must preserve this faith whole and untarnished; otherwise he shall most certainly perish forever." (Athanasian Creed).
When I use the word effectively, I have in mind modern Catholics who do not deny Catholic doctrine, they simply have no idea what it is; to them it is a matter of indifference; nor does it concern them when they hear the doctrines of the Church twisted or truncated or denied. Increasingly, they talk like Protestant Evangelicals and donít even know it.
3. A Catholic pope will reaffirm and redefine the Sacred Doctrine of Exclusive salvation, Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. In doing so, he will reassert once and for all that for membership in the Catholic Church, it is absolutely necessary to receive Sacramental Baptism, all the opinions of saints and theologians of former times notwithstanding.
4. A Catholic Pope will reaffirm that for salvation one must keep the Ten Commandments and the Six Precepts of the Church. He will reestablish the Sunday as the Christian Sabbath (from midnight to midnight), and restore the Holydays of Obligation.
5. A Catholic Pope will set about a thorough recodification and promulgation of all the laws of the Church, many of which seem to have been discarded, even though they still bind all Catholics and all men. These include condemnations and censures for those who in any way aid and abet the machinations of the Jews, the "Synagogue of Satan," and their many subversive instruments and fronts, Communism, Freemasonry, the United Nations, International finance, the New World Order, and all secret societies.
Furthermore, he will apply the laws of the Church to all his subjects without regard to their rank or name, to cardinals, bishops, priests, the rich and the poor, the "high and the mighty," as well as ordinary Catholics.
6. A Catholic Pope will make it clear that the true Church neither tolerates nor justifies heresies of any descriptions, nor their proponents. All those who belong to false religions and denominations have set themselves against God and His Christ, Who is the only religious Teacher of men. He will tell them that we will neither pray with them, nor discuss theology with them. Those who refuse to enter the Church may not enjoy its riches.
7. A Catholic Pope will restore the traditional Liturgy of the Roman Rite, the Liturgy of the Missale Romanum, In doing so, he will be doing nothing more than obeying the law imposed by Pope St. Pius V in 1570, from which all deviation is sacrilegious and Revolutionary.
The myopic see the Missale as nothing more than a set of rubrics and a liturgical calendar, which could be lawfully altered or replaced by any of St. Piusí successors with or without a reason. In fact, the Missale sets forth the manner of worship whereby the Faith of the Apostles, particularly the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, is celebrated and the Sacrifice of the New Law is offered to almighty God for those of the Latin Tradition. The Liturgy of the Roman Rite is not merely "a way of saying Mass." It is the worshipful _expression and all-capitulating Act of the ancient Faith, which gave rise to a whole culture, to its own music, art, architecture, a true intellectualism and theology. More important, it elevated the manners and morals of the Catholic people of Europe and beyond to the most civilized mode of living that the world has ever known, more orderly and godly, more liberated and urbane, more humane and respectful than that of any other people.
More important still, the Liturgy of the Roman Rite is the source of the authentic spirituality of the Western Church, which produced more saints, converted more nations, inspired more men to become priests, and civilized more peoples than any of the other Rites of the Church, blessed and noble as they are. This Liturgy is the inexhaustible font of the grace of Christian sanctification for us Catholics of the Latin Tradition because its communicates to us the fruit of the Mysteries of Christ, as they are commemorated and re-presented annually in the Christological cycle. The spirituality of the Roman Liturgy was codified in the Rule of St. Benedict, the father of Western monasticism. This was the Rule which governed the lives and guided to sanctity and salvation countless thousands of men and women in the Latin Church for over fifteen hundred years.
The fruit of the anti-liturgy of the Second Vatican Council and Pope Paul VI is, to put the very best face on it, nil. Those who say that the Traditional Mass and the New Mass, and the Missale Romanum and the New Missals (however many there are or will be) are the same are egregiously dishonest and/or culpably stupid. It is this hypocritical dishonesty and studied close-mindedness that will damn modern Catholics.
8. A Catholic Pope will issue most stern warnings to the Catholic faithful and to the world concerning its present unbridled immorality. Most particularly will he condemn in most excoriating language such rampant sins as fornication, adultery, divorce, abortion, contraception, homosexuality, pedophilia, usury, pornography, prostitution, hedonism, drug trafficking, warmongering and war-making, imperialism, and the exploitation and subjugation of the poor and the defenseless, which is the single goal of International Communism and the New World Order. He will impose the severest penalties upon Catholics who use their money and power to engage in or encourage such sins and enterprises.
Specifically, he will restore the traditional discipline of the Sacrament of Matrimony, and put an end to its wholesale violation by bishops and people through what they call "Decrees of Nullity." This is only another of the scandalous fruits of the aforementioned Council.
9. A Catholic Pope will take what steps are necessary to assure the universal Church that the Sacramental rites are indubitably valid.
10. A Catholic Pope will require that all priests and bishops receive conditional ordination and/or consecration where there is the slightest possibility of invalidity of orders.
11. A Catholic Pope will require that for an indefinite time, once a year, perhaps on the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, that all married couples renew their marriage vows in a public ceremony and that this renewal be duly recorded. This is to insure that, at some future time, none of them claim that his or her marriage is invalid and might be annulled. Should any couples refuse to participate in this ceremony, they should be declared to be living in concubinage and must separate from each other immediately. Children of these relationships must be considered illegitimate.
All that is said here concerning a Catholic pope pertains to what his spiritual children need from Him for their salvation. Salvation is impossible without integrity of belief; salvation is impossible without moral perfection; salvation is impossible without the power of the Sacraments, through which the grace of Christ's Cross is communicated to souls; salvation is impossible unless we offer almighty God an acceptable Sacrifice, whereby His anger toward this "sinful and adulterous generation" is appeased.
It should not need saying that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart is not the most important thing; the Third Secret of Fatima is not the most important thing; the threat of world empire and enslavement is not the most important thing; who is the Pope is not the most important thing: The most important thing is that we save our souls. Heaven lasts forever, and Hell lasts forever. And he who does not save his soul, loses it.
I challenge the defenders of Pope John Paul II to find among the volumes of his public utterances and writings single one whose subject was these words:
"For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).
"And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished" (Mark 9:42, 43).
"Be not afraid of them who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will shew you whom you shall fear: Fear ye him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you: Fear him" (Luke 12:4, 5).
"Then He shall say to them also that shall be on His left hand: Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).
The greatest error and breach of the Second Vatican Council, under the auspices of Pope Paul VI, was that it either caused or worsened the disorientation of the Catholic faithful from their concern for their salvation to matters which, by comparison were temporal and valueless. A Catholic pope will awaken in his children that holy fear and realism without which no man will devote himself sufficiently to the "one thing necessary."
"O My Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell."
Again on a personal note, I beg everyone who has been praying for me to continue with all confidence. Coming through this crisis depends on the mercy of God, which may be won through persistent petitions. Of course, I do not deserve special treatment, but He will grant it if it pleases Him. I thank again everyone who has sent me his good wishes, assurances of prayers, and financial help. I send my priestly blessing and encourage everyone to use Lent as a time of atonement.
Father James Wathen
For past articles of Making Sense of Sensus Catholicus, see 2005ssc.htm Archives