Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist
“There is only one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one can be saved.” (Innocent III and the Fourth Ecumenical Council of the Lateran, 1215)
“This is magisterium: the Council is the magisterium of the Church. Either you are with the Church and therefore you follow the Council, and if you do not follow the Council or you interpret it in your own way, as you wish, you are not with the Church. We must be demanding and strict on this point. The Council should not be negotiated in order to have more of these... No, the Council is as it is.” (Francis, January 30, 2021 Address)
Blessed Pius IX’s words about “liberty of conscience and worship” from his 1864 encyclical, Quanta Cura, likely sound familiar to many faithful Catholics:
"Liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society.”
While it has always been the case that fallen human beings are prone to both lying and believing lies, many of us have observed a remarkable increase in the propensity of seemingly intelligent people to believe preposterous lies in recent years. In many instances, those of us who have refused to believe those lies have been ostracized by family members, colleagues, and those we had considered friends. How, we must ask, do these otherwise normal people not only believe these preposterous lies but also defend them as though their lives depended upon it?
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)