Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist
In his 1846 encyclical, Qui Pluribus, Blessed Pius IX charged the Church’s shepherds with protecting the purity of the Catholic Faith:
“So, in accordance with your pastoral care, work assiduously to protect and preserve this faith. Never cease to instruct all men in it, to encourage the wavering, to convince dissenters, to strengthen the weak in faith by never tolerating and letting pass anything which could in the slightest degree defile the purity of this faith.”
“Almighty and eternal God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we kneel before Your Majesty, and thank You from the depth of our soul for the inestimable gift of the Catholic Faith, which you have deigned to reveal to us through Jesus Christ, True God and True man. We received this divine light in holy baptism and have promised You to keep this faith inviolate until death.” (Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s prayer for the triumph of the Catholic Faith.
One of the prayers immediately before Communion in the Traditional Latin Mass expresses the profound desires of Catholics to be delivered from all that can separate us from God:
“O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who according to the will of the Father, through the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, hast by Thy death given life to the world: deliver me by this, Thy most sacred Body and Blood, from all my iniquities and from all evils; and make me always adhere to Thy commandments, and never suffer me to be separated from Thee. Who with the same God the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, God, forever and ever.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ established the Holy Catholic Church to safeguard and propagate the truths and graces He wants all men to accept so that they may honor God and save their souls. As a general matter, it is this fact, rather than our particular liking of Catholic teachings and practices, that leads most faithful Catholics to belong to the Catholic Church. As such, the most important thing we need from the Church’s hierarchy is the faithful transmission of those truths and sacraments that Jesus entrusted to His disciples.
“The results that have followed the Council seem cruelly opposed to the expectation of all, to begin with that of Pope John XXIII, then that of Paul VI . . . The Popes and the conciliar Fathers were expecting a new Catholic unity and, on the contrary, we have gone towards a dissension which, to take again the words of Paul VI, appears to have passed from self-criticism to self-destruction.” (Cardinal Ratzinger, 1985, quoted in Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s They Have Uncrowned Him, p. 231)
“The Holy Spirit does not always prevent the necessary consequences of our negligence.” (Fr. Alvaro Calderon, Prometheus: The Religion of Man, p. 201)
Those who love the true Catholic Faith know firsthand how lost we would be without it. Through the Catholic Church we have the salutary truths entrusted to it by Our Lord and the Sacraments He instituted. Nothing is more precious than this gift of the Faith that God has given us, and if we truly love another person we would want them to have the same gift.
Although the competition for most heretical and dangerous statements is fierce in the new document from the Synod on Synodality, Instrumentum Laboris, paragraph 20 offers this top contender:
“[A] synodal Church is founded on the recognition of a common dignity deriving from Baptism, which makes all who receive it sons and daughters of God, members of the family of God, and therefore brothers and sisters in Christ, inhabited by the one Spirit and sent to fulfil a common mission.”
In his Letter to Friends and Benefactors from the Feast of St. Joseph in 1978, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre wrote of the “great mystery” of the Church’s crisis, which he called the passion of the Church:
“Providence has allowed this painful crisis in the Church for our sanctification and in order to give more brightness to the pure gold of its doctrine and its means of redemption. This passion of the Church is a great mystery, for it reaches chiefly its hierarchy, its scholars, who seem to no longer know who they are and the reasons of their being appointed.”
Archbishop Lefebvre arguably did more to explain the nature of the Church’s crisis than anyone else since Vatican II, but he nonetheless saw it as a “great mystery.” Moreover, he believed that God permitted the terrible crisis “for our sanctification and in order to give more brightness to the pure gold of its doctrine and its means of redemption.”
Although many colleges no longer teach Shakespeare’s plays, the fact remains that he was arguably the greatest master of the English language to ever write. If we were to find a new play from him, the world would take notice. If the play happened to be a devout portrayal of the trials and hopes of persecuted Catholics, Catholics would rejoice. It is an even more extraordinary blessing that God allowed him to conceal the devout Catholic allegory within a play that was performed before James I’s court.