In Defense of the Deposit of Faith|
From the Indult to Natural Family Planning to attending the Novus Ordo to correct Nomenclature of the Sanctifier, we must do all we can to shade out the gray areas and put things in clear black and white so others can see there is only one way to live the True Faith: Completely!
Father James F. Wathen
"'Natural family planning,' or contraception, or whatever other name you give it is a sin against the Natural Law, which forbids any interference in the act of marital intercourse whatsoever. The Church cannot permit any mitigation of this law, because the matter is beyond its authority (just as homosexuality is). There are absolutely no exceptions to this law, as certainly as there are no exceptions to the law that says that those who are not married are forbidden all sexual pleasure."
Father James Wathen
There is a DVD which I recommend. It is called Unlocking the Mystery of Life, and it deals with the subject of my article Intelligent Design. This is a quality production and truly fascinating. You can learn about this and other videos at www.illustramedia.com.
Now and then I receive an e-mail in which the sender asks practical questions. I do my best to answer them. This week I received such an e-mail which had four questions. It occurred to me that others might have the same questions, so I am including the answers here.
1. I have a friend who is well-educated, comes from a Traditional family, all of whom go to a Society (SSPX) Mass, and who could go to a Society Mass herself. She goes to the Indult Mass because it is in a nicer church than the Society Mass. What exactly could I tell her to get her to stop going to the Indult Mass?
People should know that attending the Indult Mass represents a very serious compromise of their faith. Before a bishop allows the Traditional Latin Mass in one of his churches, according to papal direction, he exacts this commitment: Those to whom the Mass is made available must give a verbal acceptance to the Second Vatican Council and to the New Mass. Whether they know it or not, everyone who attends the Indult Mass makes the same implicit commitment. In the days of the Roman persecutions, a (Catholic) Christian could escape martyrdom if he would burn the tiniest pinch of incense before one of the (countless) Roman gods. The commitment which the Pope and bishops require is that pinch of incense.
There are other problems connected to the New Mass, none of which is trivial. For one thing, the Novus Ordo Missae desecrates the church in which it is offered. Also, in my humble opinion, Communion in the Hand is another act of desecration, inflicted upon the Sacramental Body of Christ directly. The law requires that, once a church or oratory has been desecrated, Catholic services may not be held there until it is properly reconciled.
A further problem pertains to the Hosts in the tabernacle, which are distributed during the Indult Mass. Probably these Hosts were consecrated during one of the parish Masses, which are regularly offered. There is real doubt as to the validity of the consecration of the New Mass, hence, these Hosts are doubtfully consecrated also. One cannot be certain one is receiving Christ or plain bread.
Yet another problem pertains to the celebrant of the Indult Mass. If he was ordained in the New Rite of Ordination, which was introduced in 1967, his orders are very dubious, so gravely so that there is reason to question whether he can forgive sins in the Sacrament of Penance or offer Mass.
If your friend persists in going to the Indult Mass after hearing these disturbing considerations, it would seem that her problem is more than just a desire to attend Mass in a more attractive environment.
2. We know a few families who practice family planning for one reason or another. Is there any good literature we could get that tells that it is wrong under any circumstances? Weíve seen Pius XIIís work that gives some exceptions when it is allowed.
I wrote several pages on this subject in Who Shall Ascend?, which I hope you will read. There is a pamphlet written by the mother of fourteen which is right "on target," but I do not know where copies can be obtained. I know of nothing else. Nor do I know of many priests who condemn "natural family planning" for the grave sin that it is. I summarize the issue here:
"Natural family planning," or contraception, or whatever other name you give it is a sin against the Natural Law, which forbids any interference in the act of marital intercourse whatsoever. The Church cannot permit any mitigation of this law, because the matter is beyond its authority (just as homosexuality is). There are absolutely no exceptions to this law, as certainly as there are no exceptions to the law that says that those who are not married are forbidden all sexual pleasure.
The first step the subverters of the moral law always take is to coin a euphonious name for the sin. There is nothing natural about "natural family planning." On the contrary, it is completely unnatural; it effectively vitiates the nature of the marital act by prohibiting the two from having relations when the wife is most desirous of same, and when she is most desirable to her husband, according to the nature of things.
One of the important duties of the priests who helps a couple to prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony is to emphasize most strongly that this way of life is the way in which God has called them to serve Him in the Church. They should marry with the understanding that God expects them to have children and to rear them in the holy Faith. They must understand further that when they marry they are committing themselves to the will of God and the good of the Church. Therefore, if they should discover that their life is very difficult, due to the fragile health of the wife or husband, due to the expectation of more children than it appears they will be able properly to take care of, due to one or several abiding circumstances which try them sorely, it is Godís holy will that they deal with these things in a spirit of faith and resignation to the divine wisdom. God does not promise women that they will not die in childbirth, or that all their children will reach adulthood, or that the husband will not have a disabling accident, or that our warmongering government might not send him off to be killed or maimed, or that the socialists will not debauch the money to render it worthless. Before they marry, let them both implore almighty God to take their marital assent to mean that in return for His constant providence and grace, they will suffer all things patiently for the purification of their souls and the salvation of themselves and their children. Neither, to make things easier on themselves, will they violate their marriage bed with the unnatural and impure sins of the pagans.
3. My brother and sister see nothing wrong with going to the Novus Ordo wedding or funeral if it is "important." I gave them The Great Sacrilege, but so far they donít see the seriousness of the matter. Is it a mortal in their case.
The brother and sister in this case have been poorly instructed in the matter of the New Mass. It is a sacrilege, in any form a sacrilege. It is devised to be a sacrilege, and no circumstance can make it anything else. Therefore, it is always a mortal sin for the priest who says it and for every person who attends it for any reason whatsoever.
As I tried to explain in the book just mentioned, it takes prayer and some very serious thinking to realize how evil the New Mass is, and how intensely those who created it hated Christ, the Mass, and the most host Sacrament of the Eucharist. It takes time for anyone to realize that we are in the midst of the World Revolution, one of whose purposes is to destroy the Catholic Church and every vestige of it, to destroy it because they love and serve Satan. It is because people come to these realizations only slowly and with great difficulty, that it is hard to convince them that they must stay away from the New Mass, and from the churches where it is offered. If these conclusions seem extreme, consider what happens throughout the world on Sunday in parish churches. No honest-minded person can reach any other conclusion than that there is within the Church some perverse force, driving the priests and people to turn the Mass into a noisy, showy, tasteless, self-gratifying demonstration, which could only be grievously offensive to the sovereign God of Heaven. Let the same individual explain to himself how it is that the authorities protect this kind of abomination, and at the same time persecute all the priests and people who seek to worship God through the venerable Latin Mass.
4. What is the difference between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit?
There is no difference whatsoever. The Latin word Spiritus accorded with the German, Geist, which word became Ghost in English. It went through French as Esprit, into English as Spirit. It is my guess that in the phasing out the first term, which took place in the early 1960s, subversives in the Church intended a subtle attack on the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Since God is a pure spirit, He may be described as "a Holy Spirit." But the term, Holy Ghost, can only be used to refer to the Third Person. We should use both terms, but very deliberately keep the old formula of the Sign of the Cross, "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
5. Someone else asked me this question: In Sacred Scripture, what does Our Lord mean when he says, "Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect"? Obviously, it seems to mean what it says, but no human creature apart from Our Lady is perfect. And since God does not command the impossible, what does this mean exactly?
I answered: To be saved, one must die in the state of grace, a state of the love of God. This is a state of minimal perfection. Those who die in this state must atone for their sins in Purgatory before they can be admitted into Heaven. Through their purgation, their charity is perfected.
I continue to get word of people in many places praying for my recovery, for which I am very grateful. Also, I receive cards and letters from well-wishers, and contributions of money. Most kind. I implore the good God to bless all those who have befriended me.
For those who want to help Father or write him, you can do so at:
Father James F. Wathen
P.O. Box 15152
Evansville, IN 47716
For past articles of Making Sense of Sensus Catholicus, see 2006ssc.htm Archives