As promised in part five today I will briefly 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.
As a way of review, in part one I dealt with "authority", part two I delved further into the official loss of Catholic offices on the part of Pope and most bishops. Then in part three I addressed the genesis of Œconomia nova and how it parallels with other apostasies in the past, only on a much larger scale that has created a far longer duration of confusion, collusion, and abdication of their offices and the holy Catholic Faith, and last week in part four I continued this string, focusing 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.
(5) how exactly are we to contextualize these occurrences to the doctrines of Holy Mother Church as set forth in the Encyclical letters of the Roman Pontiffs, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the approved theologians of the illustrious schools;
This finally begins to get down to the point that is nearest and dearest to my heart, and also the one chief complaint I have regarding so many of my sedevacantist colleagues. They all do such a brilliant job of proving WHERE the Church ISN'T that they run a significant risk of conveying the mistaken impression THAT the Church ISN'T, something I am certain that most of them have no intention of doing. Until I had discovered what I know, I had to regard the Sede Vacante finding as an interesting opinion, one worthy of discussion, but hardly conclusive. The evidences for it are truly compelling, but the questions it raises simply went unaddressed by them, perhaps even almost, systematically ignored. This was intolerable for me, as it would be intolerable to anyone with any real claim to even the faintest Catholic sentiment.
It is not, however, required to come up with anything complex or obscure or creative in order to address this item. The danger, or concern, is that it would seem, especially to certain sedevacantist perspectives, that at some point the Church just stopped, and that is all. They can easily enough prove that the Vatican apparatus today is not the Church. They can easily enough prove that its leader is no Roman Catholic Pope (at least in the strictly and technically Petrine sense of what that word means). They can easily enough prove that its "bishops" and "priests" with their Novus Ordo religion and religious services (they are not Masses) are not Catholic bishops and priests, and furthermore that all but some relative handful of the most elderly are not even validly consecrated or ordained.
All of these things they easily and handily prove, to the utter satisfaction of any and every honest and serious inquirer. But then I want to ask them, "And...?" For them it is as if they are asking back, "and what?" It is like they seem to have this blind spot that prevents them from seeing this huge gap running all up and down the warp and woof of their proven findings. But it all comes down to a really simple question: "Where IS the Church?" All that one really needs to do is answer that one simple question in order to "contextualize these occurrences [discussed in previous installments of this series] to the doctrines of Holy Mother Church as set forth in the Encyclical letters of the Roman Pontiffs, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the approved theologians of the illustrious schools."
What I can never, for the life of me, understand is why anyone would even bother to pretend to be a Catholic, and then not positively rejoice to learn, "THERE is the Catholic Church!" and sure enough, there, where I point, and nowhere else, She indeed is, resplendent in all of Her awesome miraculous grace-giving glory, all four Marks positively glistening throughout with the glory of the Son of God. You don't have to be some brilliant theologian or canonist or scholar to see the truth of it. The powerful work of Grace in the lives of its members, not merely to make them "good people" in some humanly natural sense (which any "church" can do), but to impart to them that sacred quality of holiness, to bring people to finally overcome serious sins that formerly besot them, to mold saints and call all persons to that high and holy standard worthy of Heaven that God desires for all of us, that is what one finds where I point.
And yet at the same time, if by any chance you do happen to be some brilliant theologian or canonist or scholar, and honest and thorough in your appraisal of what each and all of these sciences teach, once again they all point one to the exact same thing as I do. It is easy enough to identify who Her visible ministers are, and to recognize their authority and its legal source, if only one but looks. There are some, hopefully many I pray, who simply hear, see, go, and are thereafter blessed, as souls continue to be added to the Church every day. But then there are the others. Despite all of this, all of this is just not enough for them.
Their problem isn't really theological. Neither is it doctrinal or canonical, no matter how much they may protest to the contrary. No, their problem is psychological, in their cognitive failure to see the obvious truth. Or else their problem is moral, in that they don't wish to see the truth. If ever there were something wrong with what I have to say, then why is it that no real objection to it has ever surfaced? Of course, were (per impossible) even what I point to also not the Church, despite there being far more evidence of its being the Church than would be sufficient to send a man to the electric chair without fear of mistake, then one would be thrust back to having to solve, once again, that other most basic problem, where, therefore, IS the Church?
What would those who refuse to see the Truth of what I say have to point to as being "the Church"? Who can they say possesses real hierarchical status in the Church? Vatican heretics who aren't even Catholics? Mysterious and unknown phantoms, none of whom can be identified? No one at all? Let whoever would contest what I have to say come up with something better than these! To be placidly content with any of these "alternatives" is something that no Catholic could ever do.
As to that specific "where" the Church is, I will address for the next question asked in part six. But regarding the current question, all of those considerations are solved simply by showing where the Church is, something that I, unlike all too many other sedevacantists, am more than willing and able to do.
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.