In part four today will I focus on the moral and canonical consequences of following the non-Catholic directives emanating from the Œconomia nova and what that means with regards to those who remain part of the Œconomia nova, whether as conservatives, Catholics, or apostates, again using certain parallels between the Œconomia nova of the Church of England and that of the Novus Ordo organization. God holds each one of us responsible to seek the truth and not be content with mediocre approximations or with any compromise with those who have no alliance with the Holy Ghost.
(4) they must demonstrate the theological, moral and Canonical ramifications of the deliberate and contumacious adherence of these propositions of the Johannine-Pauline council, both as regards to the Bishops of the time and to the laity and clergy who remain materially adhered to the structures that were brought forth by the Johannine-Pauline council and its modernist proponents;
My guess is that this is where the actual or canonical loss of office actually was meant to figure in, as if the loss of their offices was due to heresy rather than transfer to another incompatible office or total abandonment and neglect in favor of an alien set of duties and regulations and teachings and mandates, as I outlined in Part Two. A different thing to discuss is the personal and moral ramifications of retaining membership in an organization that increasingly defines itself and its purposes in a heretical manner and as something more and more plainly opposed to the known purposes of God.
There are some who seem to take the extreme position that sheer membership in that organization must, in all cases, be in and of itself positively sinful, perhaps something on par with being a card-carrying Freemason. But that position is untenable. It is quite true that the advance of the false religion within that organization has pushed and squeezed the few and fewer remaining Catholic parts to locations of ever greater obscurity and silence, but obviously, at the instant of its outset, all of its members were Catholics and conversely, all Catholics were members of it. I doubt that situation lasted more than a matter of seconds, however, but it remains a part of the current definition of the current situation that at least some portion, however small, of the Church would continue as some portion, again however small, of that Vatican organization, which of itself simply IS that Œconomia nova.
In order to be one of those few remaining Catholics who are members of that organization, it is not enough to be merely of good faith, to be in some honest ignorance of the real Faith and Church and of their most sacred obligation to belong to it. Such persons, while reasonably and charitably described as "Catholic-at-heart," are not Catholics in fact. This would refer to people who are "conservatives," the kind who believe in things as explained in The Wanderer or Catholics [sic] United for the Faith or EWTN. God can be merciful towards their ignorance, or respectful of their good faith and intentions, but their baptism (assuming it's valid) simply brings them into the same exact position as any validly baptized Protestant who is similarly ignorant but full of good faith and intentions to follow Christ as best they (imperfectly) know how. Their material heresy (as visibly asserted and celebrated through their explicitly non-Catholic manner of worship - remember the law of prayer and belief Lex orandi, lex credendi) locks them outside the visible body of the Church, even if some likely will still be united to the soul of the Church.
No, in order to be one of the few actual remaining Catholics within that apparatus, functioning today simultaneously in both God's original Œconomia and the Œconomia nova, one must be able to practice the whole of their Faith clearly and openly. The various "Indults" of 1971, 1984, and 1988 provided a way, to which the current "Motu Proprio" of 2007 is the natural successor, for actual Catholicism to be practiced within certain limited corners of that organization. One other possible home therein for some real Catholics might be some obscure and barely-known alternate Rite, as yet uncorrupted even this late (but that cannot last), as all of the major and better-known Rites have since been Novus Ordo-ized. While tolerated, it is clear that these Catholics are in no way the main or even a significant part of what goes on there, correspondingly, neither can they look to their Vatican leadership for their true spiritual guidance or doctrinal point of reference.
In a similar manner, English Catholics under the persecution of King James, but desiring to remain as Catholics and to be able to practice and believe their Catholicism openly while also desiring to remain as loyal subjects to the British Crown, would achieve this by following Lord Calvert and moving to the American colony that would later on become the nucleus of the State of Maryland. The "benign neglect" of British royalty for its own colonies that made this possible also meant that the English Catholics had no voice in parliament or any other official or public aspect of British life and affairs, and led to that "taxation without representation" which the colonists would ultimately come to find so offensive.
Regarding the documents of Vatican II itself, Lumen Gentium itself only escapes a charge of heresy on the technicality that, while creating and expressing permission for ministers with Catholic jurisdiction to function as such without answerability to the Vatican leadership (a notion that can and must be interpreted in a purely juridical sense, thus removing it from the realm of doctrine), it attempts no actual assignation of such "extra-organizational" jurisdiction to any actual groups or religions in particular. And, interpreting it juridically to mean a distinction between the Church and the Vatican apparatus, such "extra-organization" jurisdiction would apply quite naturally and properly to all portions of the Church that would soon come to be subsisting outside that organization.
As to the remaining documents, several of them actually do attempt to ascribe such jurisdiction to schismatic or heretical bodies (Orientalium Ecclesiarum and Unitatis Redintegratio), and ultimately even to other religions (Nostra Aetate and Gaudium et Spes), in claiming them to be the ecclesial means of salvation to those who follow them. Another document would actually grant rights not only to erroneous persons but to religious error itself in the realm of public teaching and official beliefs (Dignitatis Humanae).
Other documents would mandate conspicuously destructive policies, such as the desacralization of many of the Church's functions and actions, the elimination of meditative orders and destruction of the cloister. The problems of these documents were carefully hidden in passages that one would think they could read in some different and more harmless sense, at least until they could look much closer and in detail, something a vast majority had no real time to do until after they had signed and returned home.
Some, sadly far too many, seemed to feel that now that they had signed up to these crazy and radical propositions they were somehow bound by them. Others took the tack of thinking that if it is possible for these things to have been signed and promulgated, then they must (somehow) be acceptable, though they one and all would have been at a loss to explain how, or else forced to come up with some truly bizarre and creative rationalizations. And as I stated above, many came away wondering what that whole thing had been about, feeling they had accomplished nothing, that nothing relevant came of it, and that it would all soon be simply forgotten.
Those who actually wanted to destroy the Church (characterized as being "from the Rhine" by Fr. Ralph Wiltgen in his book The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber, since so many of them came from there) are quite a different story, however. Their clear and deliberate malice and hatred of all things Catholic was so conspicuous from the very beginning that one has to marvel that they weren't tarred and feathered and run out of Vatican City from the moment of their first darkening the door of the Council. But instead, justice fell silent as these clowns were permitted not only access, but even to remold the Council to their own wicked designs. After the Council, while all the rest returned to what they expected to be business as usual, these villains, knowing they had just been given carte blanche to do as they please and then impose it on everyone else, began cooking up all the specifics of their new religion.
Why should the catechisms be denuded of everything Catholic? Why should the liturgy be denuded of everything Catholic? Why should the people now suddenly be taught to be slovenly and indifferent to their (former) religion? Why should the priesthood be denuded of all the minor orders and also the major order of the Subdeacon? Why should the validity of the sacraments be at best impaired and at worst outright destroyed, give or take the particular sacrament? Why should every attempt to preserve the Catholic Faith and priesthood be slapped down hard and fast as though they were pests and vermin to be eliminated, while everything of any kind that destroyed the Catholic Faith and priesthood was positively encouraged and always jealously protected and guarded as though it were some endangered species? Why the smashing of altars, the removing of altar rails and kneelers, the abolition of chant and sacred hymns in favor of grungy folk songs better fitted to the roadhouse than to any house of worship?
What Catholic could ever be party to such things? Only one utterly without faith, or one who is extraordinarily ignorant. And truth to tell, there has always been more than enough ignorance to go around. Such ignorance does not a Catholic make, and increasingly it really cannot be excused. There does, after all, come a point at which ignorance is culpable, and by that point, in any particular soul's journey, it becomes invalid for them to claim, "Oh, I didn't know any better." Oh yes they did. But they were unwilling to face the obligations of knowing better than that. Real Catholic Faith hears the calling of the Holy Ghost to return to the Church, to Tradition, as the Church most visibly sets Herself apart from all that is not of the Church today.
If someone is really a person of genuinely good faith and intention, and their ignorance sincere and inculpable, they must, upon learning of Tradition, be motivated to learn more about it, be drawn to it, fascinated by it, at least intrigued, to be willing to pull on this thread and follow it no matter where it leads, because it is worth knowing, in fact the most valuable choice a person can make in this life. Perhaps a person might even, for a time, fear Tradition or hate it, because they in fact love it, but cannot bring themselves to admit that to themselves.
But there are those who learn of Tradition, and its miraculous survival today, and their only response is "Never mind all that, what's on TV?" It means nothing to them. There is no echo of the Holy Ghost's call, nothing in them that says, "Here I am. What can I do for my Creator and Lord?" I shudder to contemplate the final outcome of such persons. They shall not be found innocent.
In part five, I will go on to discuss the means by which such events - as has happened - all fit within the doctrines regarding Holy Mother Church, and how God is continuing to make good on His promises to preserve His Church, indefectibly.
Griff L. Ruby
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 DailyCatholic 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.