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October 21, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 201
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Appreciation of the Infallibility of the Church
Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. We turn today to the issue of Infallibility and what it means in respect to doctrine and faith and morals for the Church cannot teach error because it was founded by the Son of God Himself. For the thirty-seventh installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE CHURCH
The Church cannot teach error, because it was founded by Jesus Christ, God Himself. He sent forth His Apostles with full powers to preach His Gospel. He said: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21). “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever…But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you” (John 14:16, 26).
By the infallibility of the Catholic Church is meant that the Church, by the special assistance of the Holy Ghost, cannot err when it teaches or believes a doctrine of faith or morals.
Christ promised: “All power in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me. God, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the Consummation of the world” (Matthew 28:26). If Christ is with the Church all days, it cannot err in teaching; it cannot lead men away from God.
“Infallibility” is often distorted by enemies of the Church to mean “impeccability,” and therefore derided. In fallibility is freedom from error; impeccability is freedom from sin. In an institution established by God for the salvation of men, error in doctrine is unthinkable.
Every teacher in the Church, from the Pope down to the humblest priest, like all of the faithful, is capable of falling into sin. But in the Catholic Church because of the promise of Infallibility, the Holy Ghost cannot permit the purity of a single doctrine to be stained.
Jesus Christ promised to preserve the Church from error. If His prediction and promises were false, then He would not be God, since God cannot lie. Christ said: “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” If therefore the Church falls into error, the gates of hell certainly would prevail against it. It hasn't in nearly 2000 years!
Christ promised: “I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever…He will teach you all the truth” (John 14). If the Church can err, then the Holy Spirit cannot abide in it and Christ has failed to keep His promises any thing absolutely impossible.
A doctrine of faith is something we must believe in order to be saved. A doctrine of morals is something we must do in order to be saved. For example, we must believe the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity; that there are Three Divine Persons in One God. We must believe that Jesus Christ is God. We must believe in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s immaculate conception.
Of things we must do are these: we must go to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation: we must fast and abstain when our bishops so order; we must receive Holy Communion at least once a year. We must obey the Ten Commandments.
Tomorrow: The Infallibility of the Church part two
Events that happened this day in Church History
On this day 1,689 years ago the 31st successor of Peter passed away. Pope Saint Eusebius who died a martyr's death, one of the last Sovereign Pontiffs to die in such a way for on the horizon was the Emperor Constantine who, through his Edict would free Christianity from Roman persecution and help nourish it throughout the world. But nothing nourished the Church more than the blood of the martyrs and during Eusebius' reign he offered himself for the Church, fending off schism and being put to death eventually by the Emperor Maxentius on this date in 310. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for October 21:
Death of Pope Saint Euseubius, 31st successor of Peter who is elected on April 18, 309. During his pontificate the plemics about the apostates continue, bringing the Church almost to the point of schism. But he succeeds in maintaining a position of firmness and pardon, only to suffer martyrdom in Sicily at the hands of the Roman Emperor Maxentius who deports him there along with Saint Heraclius.
Death of Saint Hilarion, abbot and aesthetic who was born in Palestine and lived a life of solitude even while establishing many monasteries. He died on the Island of Cyprus where he had retired to after seventy years of dedication to the Lord.
Death of Saint Ursula, virgin who was martyred along with thousands of other virgins in Cologne, Germany by pagan Huns. Many legends surrounding these virgins and Ursula have cropped up and a church was built in their honor.
Pope Conon, 83rd successor of Peter, begins his reign which would last until September 21, 687 when he was supposedly poisoned. Born in Thrace, his pontificate was deeply disturbed by the anarchy which prevailed in the Church. He was often the victim of the sly followers of the Byzantine Emperor.
Alberto de Morra, chancellor of Rome is chosen Pope Gregory VIII. As the 173rd successor of Peter, his pontificate would only last two months. He was highly thought of by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and would without doubt have succeeded in solving the grave disagreement between the Church and the Empire had his pontificate been longer. He assisted in every way the Christians in the Holy Land.
Death of Italian master painter, sculpturer and refurbisher Giovanni Paolo Panini who was the architect for the interior of St. Peter's Square and many other sculptures and paintings inside and outside the great basilica including the inner dome above the altar as well as the inner dome of the Pantheon.
Pope John Paul II appoints three new bishops in the Netherlands in an attempt to resussitate the faith among the Dutch which is in serious jeopardy of revolt and apathy in this once great Catholic stronghold.
SIMPLY SHEEN: True character goes deeper than the surface
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"Many a tree as it stands in the forest looks fair, fine, solid and valuable, but when it is cut down and sawed for use reveals rottenness, cross grain and knots. Social conformity to low standards may give the appearance of goodness, but in the judgment of God the true character is revealed."
The clarion sounds as a wake-up call to Catholics as we provide a review of all past articles on the Church today
Like our other feature series, we present installments 1 through 105 of this series which is a set blueprint for Catholics everywhere to take up the banner of truth in defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we prepare for this glorious event - the second coming of Christ and the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Second Pentecost, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the Advent of Peace. To read any of the over one-hundred previous installments in this long on-going series, click on the Archives ofWHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?
Today is the Twenty-ninth Thursday in Ordinary Time and tomorrow we commemorate the Twenty-ninth Friday in Ordinary Time with Saturday being Ordinary Time as well shared with the Feast of Saint John of Capistrano, priest and religious missionary, and the Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday leading up to WORLD MISSION SUNDAY. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Thursday, October 21, 1999
First Reading: Romans 6: 19-23
Psalms: Psalm 1: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 49-53
Friday, October 22, 1999
First Reading: Romans 7: 18-25
Psalms: Psalm 119: 66, 68, 76-77, 93-94
Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 54-59
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Civic responsibility in respect to God's laws crux of special guide on issues being sent to every Catholic by NCCB
Hoping to prevent the problems that have arisen in past elections as to the clarity of the Church's stance on such issues as abortion, capital punishment, human rights, etc. the National Catholic Conference of Bishops will be sending out to every parishioner in the country a detailed guide on Church teaching so voters cannot claim ignorance as many have done in the past. Through this guide they will realize the extreme responsibility before God to vote for those who uphold and exemplify the Gospel message in preserving human dignity and the Sanctity of Life. The guide does not speak on candidates, only issues, but that should be enough to inform Catholics as to their moral right to vote for the right person. For more, click on Bishops' guide
US BISHOPS TO RELEASE GUIDE FOR CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US bishops' conference
will release a pamphlet early next year to every Catholic
in America listing their civic and moral responsibilities
The booklet, "Faithful Citizenship: Civic Responsibility
for a New Millennium," will outline the Church's teachings
on a number of issues, including abortion, debt relief for
poor nations, the death penalty, assisted suicide, and
"moral priorities for public life," but the bishops
stressed that it will not a listing of candidates'
positions or voting records and is not an attempt to tell
Catholics how to vote. They have issued such guides during
every presidential election year since the mid-1970s.
Countering expected arguments that the bishops have
breached the separation of church and state, the document
claims that the Church "as an institution also has a role
in the political order." They added, "The Church's
participation in public affairs does not undermine but
enriches the political process and affirms genuine
The bishops said in a statement, "We urge our fellow
citizens to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign
rhetoric critically, and to choose their political leaders
according to principle, not simply party affiliation or
Other principles in the pamphlet include respect for human
rights and fair economic policies. "The economy must serve
people, not the other way around," they said, adding a call
for basic rights for workers such as "productive work,"
decent and fair wages, and the right to join unions.
Pope continues on theme of the virtue of love during his Wednesday Papal Audience
The Holy Father continued with his theme of the theological virtue of charity and how we cannot possibly love God if we do not love our neighbor as Jesus asks. It was the fourth in a series on the Theological Virtue of Charity during his regular Wednesday Papal Audience yesterday in St. Peter's Square where over 15,000 gathered under threatening skies to hear the Pope. The full text of his talk will be carried in Monday's issue in The Vicar of Christ Speaks. He thanked all in attendance for their prayerful support and good wishes on his 21 year pontificate. For more, click on Wednesday Papal Audience.
VIRTUE OF CHARITY: LOVE OF GOD, LOVE OF NEIGHBOR
VATICAN (CWNews.com) - The virtue of charity was the theme
given by Pope John Paul II during his general audience on
Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
The Pope said charity has two closely related dimensions:
the love of God and love of another. "It is not possible to
love God if one does not love his brothers," said the Holy
Father to pilgrims from around the world under a sky which
threatened a deluge of rain. He added that the love that
impels all Christians towards their neighbors is "the
extension of the merciful kindness" of God for Man.
He concluded, "Only those who allow themselves to be
involved with their neighbors and by their needs, clearly
show their love for Jesus. To be closed or indifferent to
the 'other' means to be closed to the Holy Spirit, to
forget Christ and to negate the universal love of the
Church in Vietnam is like a flower ready to bloom according to Archbishop McCarrick
Returning from a tour with two other American bishops, Newark's Archbishop Theodore McCarrick expressed great optimism as to the Faith in Vietnam, citing the growing Catholic population, reverence and enthusiasm he saw throughout the country especially during festivities for the nation's patroness Our Lady of La Vang. He expressed concern over the government's curtailment, however, of the Church and limiting only 20 seminarians a year. Without those restrictions Vietnam's seminaries would be teeming. For more, click on Vietnam findings.
NEWARK ARCHBISHOP HIGHLIGHTS BLOSSOMING OF FAITH IN VIETNAM
ROME (CWNews.com) - "In Vietnam there is a blossoming of
faith that truly represents a new spring," said Archbishop
Theodore McCarrick of Newark, recalling his recent visit to
the Asian country together with other American bishops.
The prelate, chairman of the US Bishops' International
Policy Committee, also said in an interview published on
Tuesday by the Italian newspaper Avvenire that "it would be
great if the Pope could see all this personally."
Archbishop McCarrick explained that the aim of the trip was
to "express our solidarity with the Catholic Church in
Vietnam, to demonstrate that we are united in the love of
Jesus, even though we are separated by an ocean." He
pointed out that they wanted to "pay a visit of
reconciliation," and to "thank the Vietnamese for their
witness of faith, and for all the people of good will they
have sent to the United States."
Regarding the trip, the archbishop said that he had a "very
positive" impression during his visit. "There is a
blossoming of faith among the people that has really
impressed me," he said. He recalled the pilgrimages to the
Marian sanctuary of La Vang, where "thousands of faithful
always fill the place to pray."
Nevertheless, the archbishop said that there is still some
resistance from the government to the work of the Church.
He noted that the "Catholic Church practically has no
access to mass media," and the government "does not allow
more than 20 candidates every two years" at the seminary,
denying entrance to many young people.
Vatican lashes out at UN for imposing sanctions on countries that punish innocent civilians because of the actions of their leaders
Speaking on behalf of the Holy See, permanent observer to the UN Archbishop Renato Martino railed against their agenda that is "inhuman and immoral." Rather than looking out for the welfare of the whole person, the UN, by their actions, are dictating that human dignity and worth mean nothing as they continue to sell out to those advocating abortion and contraception. He was especially upset that the UN levees sanctions against nations who refuse to go along with this culture of death agenda or impose the sanctions to punish a leader for his actions when in effect the latter suffers little but the people bear tremendous suffering because of the sanctions. While he didn't mention Iraq, it was the perfect example and with the pending Papal visit in December, it is very much on the Church's mind. For more, click on UN sanctions.
UN SANCTIONS INHUMAN, IMMORAL WHEN WEAK, INNOCENT HURT
VATICAN (CWNews.com) - For the Holy See, the economic
sanctions imposed by the United Nations to punish regimes
which do not follow its directives "are a provocation whose
consequences are inhuman and immoral," said Archbishop
Renato Martino, permanent observer of the Holy See to the
United Nations in New York on Tuesday, within the framework
of the 54th session of the UN's General Assembly.
Archbishop Martino said that if "precise measures" against
countries are "inevitable and justifiable" when their
leaders "represent a threat against international peace and
security," "the economic sanctions against an entire
population in general, and more vulnerable groups in
particular, require a special attention and a different
"The weak and the innocent cannot pay for faults for which
they are not responsible," he said and imposing sanctions
by the United Nations "should not cause famine and the
death of anyone in the world," nor harm the health or
education of the children." He added, "A provocation having
such consequences is inhuman and immoral."
Although the archbishop did not specifically cite Iraq
during his speech, the allusion to the embargo imposed on
the regime of Saddam Hussein was not missed by many, Iraq
being at the center of the interests of the Holy See
On Wednesday, Vatican sources said that the major
difficulties which remain for the planned trip by Pope John
Paul II to Iraq in December, are mainly due to the Iraqi
government itself, which has still not offered an official
invitation to the Pope, than from the opposition of the
United States or Britain to the trip.
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the
CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
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September 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today again I call you to become carriers of my peace. In a special way, now when it is being said that God is far away, He has truly never been nearer to you. I call you to renew prayer in your families by reading the Sacred Scripture and to experience joy in meeting with God Who infinitely loves His creatures. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
October 21, 1999 volume 10, no. 201 DAILY CATHOLIC