Down through the ages, One Authority has stood alone as the one most persecuted. This Authority, suffering the slings and arrows from those who think man has a better idea, has remained steadfast despite its attackers continuing to turn a blind eye to the eyes of Faith by aiming at the bullseye of Truth. In their heart, the apostate archers know they're wrong, but still they fire away at True Catholicism. Yes, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church remains the only target that is fair game to assault. Why is it that the only ones who respect this Authority, namely the Traditional Bishops, are most cautious in overstepping their boundaries? The Answer: Total respect and awe for what Christ has established.
"When a Catholic states, for example, that one must return the stolen thing, or behave chastely, or refrain from cruel amusements or the like, he speaks with an authority that the hearer, owned by whatever sin the Christian is reproving with his noble example and his exhortation, will resent and not want to hear. The Christian can be sent away, banished, punished, killed, or what not, but one cannot truly or fully silence that little voice in their conscience that continues repeating what the Christian told them. No matter how well one kills off the messenger, the message itself lives on."
Griff L. Ruby
Surely, it must be one of the truly anomalous historical facts, something that, without the eyes of the Faith, cannot make the least bit if sense. I refer to the way the early Church was treated by the ancient world at large. Here you had a large and growing community of people who lived decent and honorable lives, who were honest, hard working, tax paying, full of help and charity for those in need, occasionally even working miracles in providing health to the sick and other wonders, serving honorably and fighting valiantly where conscripted into various armies, and in short, being the sort of people that any reasonable person would want for neighbors.
And yet one mysteriously and unaccountably finds these people persecuted, killed off, ill-spoken of, falsely and ridiculously accused of the worst possible crimes, and casually put to death by all the most violent and horrific means then imaginable, and society at large even thought good of so killing these noble people off. Even the fact that they died nobly and bravely, though impressive to many of those in immediate proximity as to see what a good death these people made, utterly failed to impress society at large.
Those with no religion would have to wonder why in the world that should be. It doesn't make any sense at all. It really is one of those things of which secular historians would have to declare "we really cannot imagine how in the world this could have happened. It makes no sense at all." If they had been criminals, had they been sleazy, had they been full of scandals and perversions, subversives or any of the like it would have all made sense. And yet by all accounts they were none of those things and there is no evidence that anybody even back then seriously thought otherwise.
Even more mysteriously, neither does one find evidence during those centuries that the citizens of the ancient Roman Empire - the noble as well as the rank and file - were in any other respect the least bit barbaric. One instead finds people who seem to hold honor as something to be respected, admired, and most of all practiced; who admire virtue, beauty, honestly, diligence, and so forth.
How in the world could such obviously honorable people as the ancient Christians provoke such grave dishonor from the general run of Roman society at large? How indeed considering they were mostly comprised of those who were also quite obviously an honorable people?
From a secular perspective one is constrained to concede that this mystery admits to no solution. "It's just one of those things, you know?" However, with the eyes of Faith, the answer presents itself readily enough. It comes down to a fundamental weakness in every system of "being honorable" which is not Christian. When one does not have God, one must instead have something else which is their god, at least implicitly and functionally, if not religiously. Today there are people whose god is money or football or lust or fame or themselves or any of a myriad other things to choose from which are all alternative to the living God. Therefore any attempt for a person owned by whatever god they have, whatever sin they have, will necessarily turn a blind eye to the one area where their sin is.
For example, many idealistic persons weigh their merit purely in how they treat others. Perhaps they might be able to say "I have wronged no one" because they measure their honorability in how they treat others. But nothing in their morality addresses what they do that does not affect others, i. e. what they do by themselves. Now along comes Christianity and it has no such "holes" in its moral standards. So the person of any other system of "morals" finds themselves at a disadvantage in comparison to the Christian.
It is not merely that the Christian system of morals claims itself superior to any other system of morality. Practically every system of morality would assert its superiority to all others. No, the difference is (and only the eyes of Faith can see this) that the one thing that sets the Christian morality apart from all others is that its claim to superiority is valid, and deep down, everyone knows this. For the Law of God is written on the hearts of all, and no matter how much any of us may attempt to kill any of it off, "searing their conscience, as it were, with a branding iron," we cannot escape knowing what that Law is and what it demands of us.
When a Catholic states, for example, that one must return the stolen thing, or behave chastely, or refrain from cruel amusements or the like, he speaks with an authority that the hearer, owned by whatever sin the Christian is reproving with his noble example and his exhortation, will resent and not want to hear. The Christian can be sent away, banished, punished, killed, or what not, but one cannot truly or fully silence that little voice in their conscience that continues repeating what the Christian told them. No matter how well one kills off the messenger, the message itself lives on.
This is the nature of the authority we Christians have had in the world since the coming of Jesus Christ Himself, and which a mere 12 men could impress upon a whole world. It is what claim the Church has always had from then until now, and the reason its opponents have most hated Holy Mother Church. Study the history of all heresies and you'll find that each opposed the Catholic Church most of all and most directly, and the others, if at all, only as an afterthought. Indeed, there is almost a kind of camaraderie among the sects as they unite only in their opposition to the one authoritative standard: the Roman Catholic Church founded by Christ.
In the first part of the twentieth century this camaraderie began to be officialized into the form of what the Protestants forming it began to call the Ecumenical movement. With this "movement" they founded the World Council of Churches, and in short came to "recognize" practically all forms of Protestantism, excluding only those few way out there on the fringes, oddball cults, self-professed non-Christians, and most pointedly, Catholics. It wasn't so much that Catholics were excluded, but that Catholics stayed aloof from such ecumenical movements and groups and gatherings.
And even there, the Protestants were not growing tolerant towards the authoritative religion, but instead hoping to subvert it by having it place itself on par with all the Protestant sects, and that was the one thing Catholicism could never do. "If you would be united, unite yourselves under the See of Peter by being received into the Catholic Church," the Church would repeatedly beckon, to no avail. What the Protestants wanted was not that "we Protestants should come to you Catholics," but that "you Catholics should come to us," which can only be done by relinquishing the authoritative role appointed by Christ, the true goal sought by the Protestants.
As is commonly known, Vatican II changed all of that policy. The new Vatican institution it defined into existence (and which walked off with more than 99% of all the Church's resources, people, lands, money, you name it) is by its very nature no longer bound by the responsibilities of Christ to His Church and the world. Therefore they too have now taken their place in the ecumenical movement, and it is only we traditional Catholics who remain aloof as the Church must always be, of any such ecumenical endeavor. So once again we are invited to step down from the position of authority appointed to us by Christ in order to be received by them, or we can continue to speak for Christ in the world and continue our exile and rejection by the world.
It is authority itself which is hated by the world. Even when it is properly used it is not pleasant, and only all the worse when abused. It is only caution which prevents our traditional Catholic bishops from being more assertive. Feeling their way through a situation they have not come to fully comprehend, they have proceeded with caution, some might say undue caution, ever afraid of acting beyond the scope of their authority. For he who acts beyond his authority loses credibility and undermines what authority he still validly possesses. And sadly, even with such caution, such actions beyond a Catholic's authority nevertheless have occurred, as for example when one traditional Catholic bishop attempts to impugn or dismiss or even outright reject communion with any of his fellow traditional Catholic bishops.
At all times we ordinary rank and file traditional Catholics must remember and put at top the ultimate standards of right and wrong. Those standards are so high that no one can override them, no matter what lawful authority they do wield. One of those standards is that the Catholic bishops shall cooperate and work together and recognize each other. However, our bishops do have authority to put out those who will not live by a Christian standard, to maintain and regulate their respective orders and congregations, and indeed the authority to impose the Gospel on the whole world. We laymen can do a world of good by doing everything in our power to encourage (through our dutiful obedience) everything in which they have authority, and discouraging what few instances of going beyond their authority some have at times fallen into, by flatly refusing to accept their unjust and rash accusations against their fellow traditional Catholic bishops. Our loyalty is to the traditional Church as a whole and not merely to this or that group, order, or (where things may so degenerate) faction.
The authority lawfully wielded by our few traditional bishops continues to be the one reproof to the fallen world. As there no longer exist arenas and colosseums in which to feed us to the lions, the world's present tack has largely been to ignore us, treat us with silence, keep us out of the public view as much as it is within their power. But that will not last long. As we grow in numbers, and as those united to us in spirit find their home in the Church by joining us, we will increasingly become impossible to ignore. Also, as various other groups and religions who may as yet still take a stand for some few good public issues (even many Protestants and Moslems and some Jews oppose abortion, "fetal tissue" experimentation, the homosexual agenda, the communistic agenda, and so forth), but with time those groups fall one by one.
In the end it is we traditional Catholics who alone will be left standing when the others have fallen. Protestants have little idea how much their churches have changed, the things tolerated or even approved of now that were condemned only a generation ago, the slide into slovenly "God as my bosom buddy my pal"-ism that has already rejected the role of suffering in our lives ("Christ suffered; we don't need to, after all we all just might be raptured so see you there or in the air"), the sinfulness of contraception and personal unchastity, the need for reverence before God, and so forth. Even abortion is ceasing to be much of a concern to many Protestant groups that fought it so heroically only a generation ago. And the Novus Ordo is also going in the same direction, freed as it is from the Chair of Peter. All hail collegiality. Increasingly we traditional Catholics are resented as the source of authority to oppose the evils in the world, and we are already becoming the gathering place of all those souls who will not go along with "the program."
And truth to tell, the Novus Ordo folks are already beginning to lay the groundwork for the next persecution to come. In 1998 the Vatican released supposed "archives" on the inquisition (actually mere Protestant fabrications) as to the supposed evils of the crusades and inquisitions. Here is what many, who mistake the source for the Catholic Church, are now saying officially "Yes, Foxe's Christian Martyrs was right; Lorraine Buettner was right; Jack Chick was right, we killed all those millions of poor Christians by slow torture during the inquisition, and for that we are sorry." Well it's easy for them to be "sorry" as everyone knows they didn't do it.
You can't lay the blame for any supposed "evils of the inquisition" or abuses thereof at the feet of the Novus Ordo as it did not exist back then. The Novus Ordo conciliar "church" was born in 1964, so do the math. It is only we traditional Catholics who were there, and we who indeed sponsored the inquisition (but not whatever abuses), though we do most certainly maintain that the Protestant fabrications about it are just that, mere fabrications with no real basis in history whatsoever, no matter what the Vatican may say to smear us traditional Catholics.
No, no one is going to blame them, as the whole world knows as well as we that the Novus Ordo religion (and "church") had no existence back in the days of the crusades and inquisitions, but that our traditional Catholic Church did. We are the only target of that piece of hate literature, as we were the ones back then telling the world that it would not be allowed to teach error or mislead souls. We alone are the ones saying that now, standing firm to what we profess every day in the Act of Faith - "I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches because Thou hast revealed them Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived." We realize that often times our voice is muted by the lack of press coverage. But our voices won't be so muted as we grow more numerous.
Griff's book is available from iUniverse.com Books for $26.95 or can be read on-line at www.the-pope.com We at The Daily Catholic strongly urge you to share it with all you can for that could be the gentle shove that moves your friends back to where the True Faith resides forever, rooted in the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church as Christ intended and promised.