I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. (1917)
The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart…(1929)
These words of Our Lady, spoken to Sr. Lucia of Fatima, have long been well-known to tradition minded Catholics.
In this, the 100th anniversary year of the Fatima apparitions, they are receiving wider attention still; with the primary focus of many commentators being on the repercussions of the popes’ failure to heed Our Lady’s request.
In this post, I would like to direct readers’ attention toward the promised rewards; in particular, the period of peace, after which we will perhaps be better suited to respond to the needs of our present day.
What does Our Lady mean by “peace”?
Considering her words in context, one may be tempted to believe that it primarily means the absence of “wars and persecutions against the Church,” but conditions such as these do not so much constitute peace as they are a result of peace.
That peace of which Our Lady speaks is, of course, the peace of Christ; that which is best understood as the fruit of conversion; e.g., as she stated, if her requests are met, Russia will be converted and there will be a period of peace.
With this in mind, we may come to understand that the current state of affairs, with Russia having already spread her errors far and wide, is one in which both the Church and the world stand in desperate need of conversion.
How are we to understand “conversion”?
The Catholic Encyclopedia provides a very useful and concise definition:
In the Latin Vulgate (Acts 15:3), in patristic (St. Augustine, Civ. Dei, VIII, xxiv), and in later ecclesiastical Latin, conversion refers to a moral change, a turning or returning to God and to the true religion…
The “true religion” is, of course, that religion established by Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, and it is found in the Holy Catholic Church alone; His Mystical Body.
It is only in communion with the Church, therefore, that one may know the peace of Christ; yes, even on earth, and this in spite of the fact that we reject the chimeras of those who, both within the Church and without, strive for a Utopian ideal.
As Our Lord said:
These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
At this, I presume that the intimate connection between conversion and the peace of which Our Lady spoke is perfectly plain.
So too is the necessity of calling on those outside the Church to enter her – including the Orthodox and the so-called “separated brethren” with whom the post-conciliar popes have been pleased to engage in endless “ecumenical” dialogue.
Even so, the question remains:
What does it mean, on a practical level, to dwell within the Mystical Body of Christ as one converted, both individually and socially, in such a way as to realize peace?
For insight into this question, we will turn to Pope Pius XI, who in my estimation occupies a rather special place in the message of Fatima as evidenced by the fact that Our Lady spoke of him by name even before his elevation to the Chair of St. Peter.
With this in mind, let us now consider the 1922 Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio – The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.
In the opening paragraphs of this, the first Encyclical of his pontificate, the Holy Father referred to the Petrine ministry as a “ministry of peace and reconciliation.”
Here, the inextricable link that exists between conversion (reconciliation) and peace is cited yet again. This time, however, we find an important addition; namely, the necessary role played by the Vicar of Christ in leading mankind along the way. Keep this point well in mind as we proceed.
The Holy Father went on to lament, in spite of the fact that WWI had ended, “the nations of the earth had not as yet found true peace,” and the reason is simple:
Because men have forsaken God and Jesus Christ, they have sunk to the depths of evil. (ibid.)
The Holy Father then went about expounding upon the remedy that is suggested in the very title to his Encyclical; namely, the only way for man to realize the peace of Christ, is to dwell within the Kingdom of Christ – that is the Holy Catholic Church – such that Our Lord may “reassume His rightful place as King of all men, of all states, and of all nations.” (ibid.)
Three years later, in 1925, Pope Pius XI articulated in greater detail precisely what this means in the Encyclical, Quas Primas – On the Feast of Christ the King, wherein he called upon all of mankind – including every nation and every ruler of nations – not to “neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ.”
When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. (ibid.)
Three years later still, in 1928, this same Holy Father promulgated the Encyclical Mortalium Animos, wherein he condemned in no uncertain terms the aforementioned endless ecumenical dialogue that is so commonplace in our day; ostensibly carried out in search of Christian unity:
For the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it. (cf Mortalium Animos 10)
[NOTE: The teachings set forth in the aforementioned Encyclicals of Pope Pius XI – teachings utterly incompatible with the conciliar faith – are no less than providentially given. This is perhaps suggested by the dates of their promulgation; in the years between 1917 and 1929 as mentioned in the opening. I would encourage you to read or re-read them carefully.]
In review, it is clear that the attainment of peace is intimately tied to the faithfulness of the Holy Father in several important ways; specifically, with respect to his duty to:
– Proclaim and insist upon the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King
– Call to conversion those outside the Church
– And last but far from least, to grant the request made by Our Blessed Lady concerning the consecration of Russia
The first of these two activities are readily recognizable as part and parcel of the ordinary means by which the Church Militant carries out her mission; guiding the world in such way as to make the peace of Christ a present reality, even as we dwell in this vale of tears.
The consecration of Russia, however, appears to constitute something extraordinary, but this is not so; even as the outpouring of grace that Our Lady promised in return may be considered something extraordinary. (Indeed, all grace is a gratuitous gift of God and in some sense extraordinary).
NB: The consecration of Russia is not to be considered an extraordinary activity that supersedes, or adds to, the ordinary activity of the Church.
Why is this such an important point?
Fr. Gruner consistently insisted that the consecration of Russia is necessary, and that no other pious act, though it may merit grace, will suffice in leading us out of the present crisis. He was most certainly correct.
In hearing that the consecration is uniquely necessary, however, it seems that many have taken this to mean that the ordinary activity of the Church – the mission of baptizing the nations and teaching them everything whatsoever that Jesus commanded; safeguarding the doctrine of the faith from any all attacks – is in some way insufficient in light of our present circumstances.
In other words, one may mistakenly believe that the Church, prior to Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima, was in some way lacking; unable as it were to meet the needs of the present day, as if the following teaching is not always and everywhere true:
“[The Holy Catholic Church is] perfect in its nature and in its title, possessing in itself and by itself, through the will and loving kindness of its Founder, all needful provision for its maintenance and action.” (Pope Leo XIII, 1885, Immortale Dei)
This raises a question:
If indeed the Church has ever been a perfect society with all needful provision, then how are we to understand the consecration of Russia as necessary?
As the famed canonist, Fr. Gregory Hesse, explains in great detail HERE, consecration has always been not only an ordinary activity of the Church, is at times a necessary activity; one that she has always been perfectly capable of performing.
Fr. Hesse points out that in addition to setting something apart for the service of God, consecration can also be an act of atonement or reparation; at times, sanctifying or re-consecrating that which has been desecrated.
As Our Lord made plain in the Divine Commission, every nation on earth belongs to Him; each one is an object to be set apart in service to Him.
So why Russia, and why now?
Fr. Hesse explains:
With the help of corrupt and evil American businessmen the Soviet Union started to preach the satanic religion of Atheism to the whole world. The world’s largest country became “the evil empire” as Ronald Reagan called it so aptly. Its evil influence was extended rapidly by dedicated and fanatical dictators, agents, and the evil allies of communism in the West …
Already in the 1930’s Stalin sent secret agents into the Western seminaries and into the Vatican, until communism finally flooded the Sacred Aula of St. Peter’s Basilica during the Second Vatican Council, [emphasis added] where the petition to speak out against communism disappeared together with any further intention to dedicate an entire document to the Mother of God.
The incessant attacks against Christendom by the communists and their allies were so efficient that by the time the Iron Curtain was torn down, this barrier against the formerly Christian West was not needed anymore, the latter having become a cesspool of atheism, abortion, sin, corruption, liberalism, and blasphemy … There can be no doubt for any informed person that the source of all this evil was Russia.
Fr. Hesse concludes:
It can easily be seen why RUSSIA has to be consecrated more than any other individual country. [Emphasis in original]
Has to be consecrated… Note very well that the great canonist argues that this would be necessary even if the Fatima apparitions never happened.
With this in mind, the apparitions are best understood as manifestations of Our Lady’s maternal solicitude; pointing out certain dangers in an extraordinary way.
[NOTE: The timing of her appearance also corresponds to the momentous events that were unfolding in Russia at the time, as pointed out HERE.]
We can also understand the Fatima apparitions as something extraordinary with respect to the way in which they made Our Lord’s desire concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary most perfectly plain; similar to the way in which the Sacred Heart devotions were made known to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
With respect to the latter, the Catholic Encyclopedia states:
In approving the devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Church did not trust to the visions of St. Margaret Mary; she made abstraction of these and examined the worship in itself.
Let us be clear: It was always well within the Church’s ability to discern that both of these devotions, to the Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart, coincide perfectly with God’s will. The apparitions themselves served to make known their timeliness and deepened our understanding of God’s will.
NB: Even if Our Lady had not deigned to appear at Fatima, the Church, under the headship of the pope, has always possessed all that she needed in order to recognize the evils previously described (the errors of Russia), as well as the means to combat them, including consecration.
Short of recognizing this, one may be tempted to focus almost exclusively on the necessity of the consecration of Russia; treating all of the other ordinary means of combating the present evil (which has been made manifest in the Church herself primarily by way of the Second Vatican Council and all of its rotten fruits) as if these other ordinary means are, at best, of only secondary importance if not practically pointless.
My friends, are we not witnessing precisely this phenomenon among certain traditional apostolates today; including the one founded by Fr. Nicholas Gruner?
At this, one may find cause to flirt, God forbid, with despair, as clearly the Church has long been deprived of a pope willing to do what is necessary to combat the present evil; that the world may come to know the peace of Christ.
So what is a faithful Catholic to do?
First of all, we must not fail in our own duties; in particular, as it concerns those requests made by Our Lady at Fatima that pertain to all of us, among them:
Turning away from sin and amending our lives; praying the Rosary daily; making sacrifices for the conversion of poor sinners; taking part in First Saturdays Communion of Reparation; wearing the Brown Scapular, etc.
While it is true that only the pope can carry out the necessary consecration of Russia as requested, we mustn’t discount the value of our prayers and sacrifices in drawing down God’s graces; thus aiding not only in our own personal sanctification, but also in forestalling and perhaps lessening the severity of the coming chastisement.
Our pious acts and offerings may even hasten the day when a faithful Holy Father will be given to us, at long last doing as Our Lady has asked.
Our desire for peace, and our concern for the salvation of souls even beyond our own, in addition to urging us to prayer and sacrifice, should also move us to grow in our knowledge of the one true Faith and doing our best to share it with others; an activity that necessarily entails condemning those errors that threaten the innocent.
This important point is being overlooked by far too may in our day, as if the peace of Christ is an all-or-nothing proposition that hinges solely upon the consecration of Russia.
In Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, Pope Pius XI said that it is in teaching her doctrine that the Church provides “a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today … leading mankind toward a universal peace.”
He noted, however, that even as he wrote in 1922, not all who speak in the name of the Church uphold their duty to teach rightly, saying:
Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.
My friends, the paragraph above describes every single member of the sacred hierarchy who champions the Second Vatican Council, whereby, as mentioned, the errors of Russia have been made manifest in the Church herself!
In conclusion, it is not enough to simply encourage the consecration of Russia as requested by Our Lady; an act that does not, properly speaking, supersede or add to the ordinary activity of the Church.
In order to uphold our own duty as soldiers for Christ, laboring to make known the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ, the same of which Our Lady spoke at Fatima, we must also vigorously combat the errors of Russia wherever they are found – that is, the errors that entered the Church at Vatican II – regardless of who may be spreading them.
Thank you once and again for edifying the True, the Beautiful, and the Good that only Holy Mother Church Is this side the veil, as the Mystical Body of Christ, His perfect as Heavenly Society of the faithful, the Church Militant, here on earth. Please note though, as you write the following in your last paragraph:
“…we must also vigorously combat the errors of Russia wherever they are found – that is, the errors that entered the Church at Vatican II – regardless of who may be spreading them.”,
you create an internal contradiction founded in the rejection of the law of non-contradiction, which is the very foundation of the “errors of Russia”, then made manifest throughout the entire world, in their final form, as positive atheism. That is, this evolutionary way of thinking, which has been coddled, nurtured, and placed writ large from the likes of the mind of Joseph Ratzinger, as himself a principle architect of Modernism, ultimately resulting in an embrace of contradiction the likes of which indeed can only cause the cosmos to shudder; just look around.
The perfect as Heavenly Society of the Mystical Body of Christ in this world, Holy Mother Church, has not as She cannot, allow into Her very bosom error, as you have written to the contrary here in this essay as, “the errors that entered the Church at Vatican II”. If there ever was an ipso-facto recognition of reality as truth, it is here Louie. The ipso-facto recognition of this truth lies foundationally in the reality as Reality and therefore to be known in the miserable and perfectly imperfect mind of man with metaphysical certitude, that WHEREVER ERROR IS FOUND, that same place where it is found, simply CANNOT BE the Church founded by Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God, as God Himself. Simply edified, the Church of Jesus the Christ simply cannot both be the perfect as Heavenly Society in this world and NOT BE the perfect as Heavenly Society in this world. That is a metaphysical absurdity as it places an affront to Truth, in His law of non-contradiction. Wherever there is error in Universal Teaching, as true north is true north and as gravitational forces are gravitational forces, there the Catholic Church cannot be, until the end of time, or indeed the Son of God made Man erred in Matthew 16:18. Discern 2 Thess 2, 3-11. We are there, as “…he who holdeth do hold. Until he be taken out of the way.” Just to be perfectly clear, the bombastic diatribe, “True or False Pope”, implodes under its very own weight of error, the likes of which is assisting in leading souls to perdition, on page 19. There, Siscoe and Salza quote the authentic Vatican Council and then misapply precisely as exactly, just what the Council proclaimed infallibly about the person of the Holy Roman Pontiff. The Council commanded that the person of the Pope, “SHOULD” remain until the end of time (in Perpetua). They actually as literally changed the word of the infallible Council from “should” remain to “WILL” remain, and they repeat their error over and over and again, as it suits their purpose and whether knowingly, they are as thus teaching error. In the end, this seemingly implacable reticence to accept the reality that the Chair of Saint Peter is vacant, as it has been since Roncalli effected the pose as the Pontiff in 1958, and in effect then, he imposed the mirror image of the Chair of Peter in praxis, is an embrace of the vice of cowardice, the likes of which would be present in the Great Apostasy. Careful discernment of 2 Thess 2 makes it clear with metaphysical certainty, just who Saint Paul is speaking of in the third person, masculine, pronoun, as “he”. We now live the reality of Saint Paul having said this 2,000 years ago. There is no “he” as “himself”, who has lived 2,000 years from the time of Saint Paul until our time. Therefore, there is only one person, one man specifically, in the cosmos who “he” can be, as “he” has lived in succession, and that is the Holy Roman Pontiff, as the Successor of Saint Peter. The embrace of cowardice occurs next, in the knowing of exactly what Saint Paul inerrantly proclaimed would occur in the midst of the “rebellion” (Apostasy), as “…he who holdeth, do hold. Until he be taken out of the way”, and that is the revelation of the person of the Antichrist, through all the preternatural power allowed for, by Satan. Amen. Alleluia. I pray this helps. In caritas.
If the errors of Russia have infected all those who support the Second Vatican Council, then by definition they are not members of the Catholic Church. For they profess a faith laden with errors. Churchmen who denounce the errors of modernism are the true Church. It is they who can convert Russia and the World since it is they who are proclaiming Truth. I wish all Catholics would stop looking to the purveyors of error and the panacea of a false consecration to solve the world’s ills. Any consecration by Bergolio is by definition a curse and a blasphemy.
Talk about a “metaphysical absurdity as it places an affront to Truth, in His law of non-contradiction”, what about these two paragraphs from an encyclical of Pope Pius IX that planted the “mustard seed” and laid a destructive but solid foundation for the so-called “errors that entered the Church at Vatican II” (especially the error now widely accepted as the freedom or right to follow what one’s own (“invincibly ignorant”) conscience tells them even if it’s flat out wrong or a mortal sin (adultery) but still “ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ANY GUILT IN THIS MATTER BEFORE THE EYES OF THE LORD” (see also below): “IT MUST, of course, be held as a matter of faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved, that this Church is the only Ark of Salvation, and that whosoever does not enter it will perish in the flood.
ON THE OTHER HAND, IT MUST LIKEWISE BE HELD AS CERTAIN that those who are affected by ignorance of the true religion, if it is invincible ignorance, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ANY GUILT IN THIS MATTER IN THE EYES OF THE LORD” Just trying to connect the dots for the “invincibly ignorant” who continue to think the errors only started with Vatican II.
Good evening johnjobilbee,
Please provide a hyperlink for that encyclical, such that we can read the entire context of Pius IX, as an internal contradiction simply cannot exist within the bosom of the Universal Magisterium. As you know and you write, “extra ecclesia nulla salus” is a deFide teaching, and as such, requiring the assent of the will and if necessary the suppression of the errant intellect, holding the pain of eternal suffering in hell. If there is an “apparent contradiction” that has “occurred”, that occurrence can only be a deception, which reflects onto the man who claims the Chair of Saint Peter, as true Peter in union with his Bishops retains the charism of Ecclesiastical Infallibility in their teaching, that which protects Holy Tradition from error. In caritas.
“It is the great reality; it is the reality, which will be laid bare in heaven for us. I think that that is what is going to strike us at the moment of our death: “I did not know that I was so dependent on God, that all depended on Our Lord Jesus Christ for my salvation; I did not realize that; now I discover, I discover the reality, I discover that God is all, that Our Lord Jesus Christ is all for my salvation, He is all for my redemption.” And we will regret at that moment that we did not spend our lives in this total dependence on God, in this total dependence on Our Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation and for the salvation of souls.”
“May we acquire a missionary spirit, transmitting this Divine Fire to souls by the example of a living faith which returns everything to God and to Jesus Christ, enlightening souls on the infinite wisdom of God, His goodness, His mercy, accustoming souls to humility before God, to adore His will, to totally depend upon Him, associating souls with the conquest of the reign of Our Lord, of His Sacred Heart and of the reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
There will be true and universal peace in Christ indeed, and His Bride Catholic Church. We might be weeks from beginning of the end of the 5th age of the Church out of 7 according to approved Catholic prophecies.
This closure of 100th anniversary of Fatima has Apocalypse 12 written all over it, insinuated even by conciliar popes JPII:”According to the divine plan, “a woman clothed with the sun” (Rv 12: 1) came down from heaven to this earth to visit the privileged children of the Father.”( 13 May, 2000)
and Benedict XVI: “It speaks of dangers threating the faith and the life of Christian, and therefore the world. And the importance of Novissimi (End Times).” (May, 2010)
Could September 23rd indeed have something to do with it the Great Sign?
And then the pain of Chastisment both manmade and Divine since no Consecration is in site:
Let us all pray and fast for the loved ones who are far away from Christ that he may give them grace to convert before it is too late.
That’s the only “context” needed to see. He says in first paragraph “that outside the Apostolic Roman Church NO ONE CAN be saved, but, ON THE OTHER HAND (red flag alert) THOSE (outside the Apostolic Roman Church) CAN be saved. It’s a very obvious contradiction. Really don’t need to read whole encyclical to see that, imo.
Its silly to see how neocats are in such an uproar over how Pope Francis is the first Pope that wants to allow those in a state of mortal sin to receive Holy Communion but when you think about it Pope Pius IX was actually the first Pope that allowed those in a state of mortal sin to receive ETERNAL SALVATION. So which Pope would you say really has the better deal going for those in a state of mortal sin?
Would that for but one day I could serve You worthily!
Thomas a Kempis
Pope Pius IX, in the second paragraph you quote, says that those with invincible ignorance of the true religion are without guilt in this matter ; he does not say weather they are saved or not.
(Did they live their lives searching for truth, following the law inscribed into their hearts? …)
Without a link to the full text from which you quote we cannot draw any further conclusion.
In support of Holy Mother Church and in this particular case, In Caritas, I present the below from Quas Primas concerning the inerrancy and infallibility of the Catholic Church in Her teachings to the universal flock on faith and morals.
22. History, in fact, tells us that in the course of ages these festivals have been instituted one after another according as the needs or the advantage of the people of Christ seemed to demand: as when they needed strength to face a common danger, when they were attacked by insidious heresies, when they needed to be urged to the pious consideration of some mystery of faith or of some divine blessing. Thus in the earliest days of the Christian era, when the people of Christ were suffering cruel persecution, the cult of the martyrs was begun in order, says St. Augustine, “that the feasts of the martyrs might incite men to martyrdom.” The liturgical honors paid to confessors, virgins and widows produced wonderful results in an increased zest for virtue, necessary even in times of peace. But more fruitful still were the feasts instituted in honor of the Blessed Virgin. As a result of these men grew not only in their devotion to the Mother of God as an ever-present advocate, but also in their love of her as a mother bequeathed to them by their Redeemer. Not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy. We may well admire in this the admirable wisdom of the Providence of God, who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men’s faith, aroused from its lethargy, has shown itself more vigorous than before.
[NB] As a result of these men grew not only in their devotion to the Mother of God as an ever-present advocate, but also in their love of her as a mother bequeathed to them by their Redeemer. Not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy.
You are correct Ursala, there is no contradiction. We are all born damned by original sin. Invincible Ignorance deals with culpability and not salvific grace necessary for salvation. That grace is only attainable through the sacraments of the Church, from the merits of Our Savior’s Passion.
johnjobilbee: This is not a new teaching of Pius XI. The “invincibly ignorant concept” was addressed by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa –
See Article 2, Objection #5, and St. Thomas’s answer to it.
Question 76. The causes of sin, in particular
Is ignorance a cause of sin?
Is ignorance a sin?
Does it excuse from sin altogether?
Does it diminish sin?
Article 1. Whether ignorance can be a cause of sin?
Objection 1. It would seem that ignorance cannot be a cause of sin: because a non-being is not the cause of anything. Now ignorance is a non-being, since it is a privation of knowledge. Therefore ignorance is not a cause of sin.
Objection 2. Further, causes of sin should be reckoned in respect of sin being a “turning to” something, as was stated above (I-II:75:1). Now ignorance seems to savor of “turning away” from something. Therefore it should not be reckoned a cause of sin.
Objection 3. Further, every sin is seated in the will. Now the will does not turn to that which is not known, because its object is the good apprehended. Therefore ignorance cannot be a cause of sin.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Nat. et Grat. lxvii) “that some sin through ignorance.”
I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Phys. viii, 27) a moving cause is twofold, direct and indirect. A direct cause is one that moves by its own power, as the generator is the moving cause of heavy and light things. An indirect cause, is either one that removes an impediment, or the removal itself of an impediment: and it is in this way that ignorance can be the cause of a sinful act; because it is a privation of knowledge perfecting the reason that forbids the act of sin, in so far as it directs human acts.
Now we must observe that the reason directs human acts in accordance with a twofold knowledge, universal and particular: because in conferring about what is to be done, it employs a syllogism, the conclusion of which is an act of judgment, or of choice, or an operation. Now actions are about singulars: wherefore the conclusion of a practical syllogism is a singular proposition. But a singular proposition does not follow from a universal proposition, except through the medium of a particular proposition: thus a man is restrained from an act of parricide, by the knowledge that it is wrong to kill one’s father, and that this man is his father. Hence ignorance about either of these two propositions, viz. of the universal principle which is a rule of reason, or of the particular circumstance, could cause an act of parricide. Hence it is clear that not every kind of ignorance is the cause of a sin, but that alone which removes the knowledge which would prevent the sinful act. Consequently if a man’s will be so disposed that he would not be restrained from the act of parricide, even though he recognized his father, his ignorance about his father is not the cause of his committing the sin, but is concomitant with the sin: wherefore such a man sins, not “through ignorance” but “in ignorance,” as the Philosopher states (Ethic. iii, 1).
Reply to Objection 1. Non-being cannot be the direct cause of anything: but it can be an accidental cause, as being the removal of an impediment.
Reply to Objection 2. As knowledge, which is removed by ignorance, regards sin as turning towards something, so too, ignorance of this respect of a sin is the cause of that sin, as removing its impediment.
Reply to Objection 3. The will cannot turn to that which is absolutely unknown: but if something be known in one respect, and unknown in another, the will can will it. It is thus that ignorance is the cause of sin: for instance, when a man knows that what he is killing is a man, but not that it is his own father; or when one knows that a certain act is pleasurable, but not that it is a sin.
Article 2. Whether ignorance is a sin?
Objection 1. It would seem that ignorance is not a sin. For sin is “a word, deed or desire contrary to God’s law,” as stated above (I-II:71:5). Now ignorance does not denote an act, either internal or external. Therefore ignorance is not a sin.
Objection 2. Further, sin is more directly opposed to grace than to knowledge. Now privation of grace is not a sin, but a punishment resulting from sin. Therefore ignorance which is privation of knowledge is not a sin.
Objection 3. Further, if ignorance is a sin, this can only be in so far as it is voluntary. But if ignorance is a sin, through being voluntary, it seems that the sin will consist in the act itself of the will, rather than in the ignorance. Therefore the ignorance will not be a sin, but rather a result of sin.
Objection 4. Further, every sin is taken away by repentance, nor does any sin, except only original sin, pass as to guilt, yet remain in act. Now ignorance is not removed by repentance, but remains in act, all its guilt being removed by repentance. Therefore ignorance is not a sin, unless perchance it be original sin.
Objection 5. Further, if ignorance be a sin, then a man will be sinning, as long as he remains in ignorance. But ignorance is continual in the one who is ignorant. Therefore a person in ignorance would be continually sinning, which is clearly false, else ignorance would be a most grievous sin. Therefore ignorance is not a sin.
On the contrary, Nothing but sin deserves punishment. But ignorance deserves punishment, according to 1 Corinthians 14:38: “If any man know not, he shall not be known.” Therefore ignorance is a sin.
I answer that, Ignorance differs from nescience, in that nescience denotes mere absence of knowledge; wherefore whoever lacks knowledge about anything, can be said to be nescient about it: in which sense Dionysius puts nescience in the angels (Coel. Hier. vii). On the other hand, ignorance denotes privation of knowledge, i.e. lack of knowledge of those things that one has a natural aptitude to know. Some of these we are under an obligation to know, those, to wit, without the knowledge of which we are unable to accomplish a due act rightly. Wherefore all are bound in common to know the articles of faith, and the universal principles of right, and each individual is bound to know matters regarding his duty or state. Meanwhile there are other things which a man may have a natural aptitude to know, yet he is not bound to know them, such as the geometrical theorems, and contingent particulars, except in some individual case. Now it is evident that whoever neglects to have or do what he ought to have or do, commits a sin of omission. Wherefore through negligence, ignorance of what one is bound to know, is a sin; whereas it is not imputed as a sin to man, if he fails to know what he is unable to know. Consequently ignorance of such like things is called “invincible,” because it cannot be overcome by study. For this reason such like ignorance, not being voluntary, since it is not in our power to be rid of it, is not a sin: wherefore it is evident that no invincible ignorance is a sin. On the other hand, vincible ignorance is a sin, if it be about matters one is bound to know; but not, if it be about things one is not bound to know.
Sorry. I meant Pope Pius IX.
johnjobilbee: One of the tactics of Modernist’s and other enemies of Christ and His Church is to take things out of context or simply quote one or two paragraphs of a writing which they use to try to make their position seem true.
You do need to read the whole encyclical and you also need to know that the teaching of invincible ignorance was NOT a contradiction of Pope Pius IX’s. See how it was taught by St. Thomas Aquinas which I included in a different post.
Dear Ursula, Tom A, and Katherine,
In earnest desire to flesh this out to the best of, at least and certainly my miserable ability to do so, here is the link to QUANTO CONFICIAMUR MOERORE —the encyclical of Pope Pius IX in question: http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P9QUANTO.HTM
and as from the EWTN library–the best I could do expediently.
For the sake of posterity, this is firstly– an encyclical, secondly–addressed to Cardinals and the Bishops of Italy, thirdly–it is explicitly a teaching instrument of the Pontificate which is denouncing errors of the time in doctrine, and in conclusion then, this document embraces the charism of Ecclesiastical infallibility as it is the Holy Father teaching in communion with his Bishops and if it were not protected with the charism of infallibility, then the gates of hell would prevail against Christ’s Mystical Body, His Bride, the Holy Catholic Church.
If attention is drawn to paragraph “7”, where Pope Pius IX first identifies errors in the understanding of doctrinal teaching, this is where he also uses the term in discussion, “invincible ignorance” (aka, I. I. ). Now find copied and pasted the second part of para–7:
“There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.”
He begins by identifying the I. I. in question as: “Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace.” In this statement he deems what the Church knows and has known therefore since Pentecost, and that is, in the case of those truly possessing in their intellects, I. I. , and are living their lives as he described them to be, these people are able to obtain, “eternal life”, by virtue of their “honest lives” lived as willing to “obey God”, yielding them salvific “grace” and “divine light” by means of “efficacious virtue”. The definition of “efficacious” being that which “contains the power” to achieve the result which is sought after. Thus, Pope Pius IX taught infallibly that those who are truly I. I., holding the privation of knowledge due to no fault of their own, that which according to St. Thomas, could not be “overcome” through study, achieve eternal life by virtue of their lives lived consistent with the natural law written on the miserable human creature’s heart, yearning to “obey God” while living their “honest lives”, in earnest, and through this “efficacious virtue” (that virtue which holds in itself the power to achieve the result, which here is “eternal life”) “of divine light and grace”.
In closing, this we are called to believe with the assent of our will, and perhaps requiring the suppression of our intellect which may not be able to reason this through rightly (as opposed to this teaching of the Holy Pontiff being “wrongly reasoned” in and of itself, which would mean in an ipso-facto understanding that he was not a true Pope at all, as the only alternative answer, to preserve the deFide understanding of Ecclesiastical infallibility, without which the gates of hell would prevail against Christ’s Church). As an aside, based upon Pope Pius IX saying:
“Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.”,
that all the babes who die in utero, will not suffer eternal hell and as thus perhaps enter Limbo.
I pray this helps. In caritas.
It is great that Louis refers to Fr. Hesse, a traditional Catholic theological giant with a personality and way of speaking unlike any other.
The same day as this article was published the professionally remastered talk of Fr. Hesse on the Real Third Secret of Fatima (arguably his most popular talk of all time) was also published. This talk is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HmNBCbkoVQ
A YouTube playlist containing all of Fr. Hesse’s talks is here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5YQm5CNAWMKlY98c68qqesRL4LPm_wz9
Here are timestamps of notable parts and statements of Fr. Hesse in his above talk:
24:12 – About the contradiction of Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) of publicly stating that the Third Secret is about the End Times and then later he says it is nothing else other than the 1981 FAILED attempt on Pope John Paul II’s life. About how the 1960 date provides clues why the Vatican publication in 2000 doesn’t make sense.
25:39 – “And it’s quite interesting to see that both Archbishop Bertone and Cardinal Ratzinger – not to forget Cardinal Sodano, the Secretary of State – HASTENED to affirm that the Third Secret MUST be essentially dealing with the poor present Pope’s fate in 1981.”
26:00 – Why the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II can’t be the proper interpretation of the Third Secret.
27:40 – More about how the interpretation offered by Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) is wrong/false.
28:38 – About how the Vatican-published Third Secret text only containing a vision but no words is a clue that it’s an incomplete publication (not the full Third Secret).
29:23 – “Andrew Cesanek in the #64 issue of the Fatima Crusader has rightly pointed out that this is wholly incredible. It is impossible that the Third Secret would consist only of a vision. He has also proven that […] he delivers conclusive proof with all the details needed that EVEN IF this published vision was authentic, it would only be one of the two parts of the Secret.”
37:05, 52:26 – About Cardinal Ratzinger’s incorrect statement about prophecy which contradicts what the Church Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, and St. John of the Cross said about prophecy.
39:05 – About how someone may have had access to the Third Secret and the safe that it’s kept in.
40:29 – “Whatever it is […] the Vatican must have a very serious reason for publishing a document that cannot hold: NO WAY, pretending that this would be the Third Secret.”
40:45 – About the mass media’s strange and interesting way of dealing with the Third Secret of Fatima.
42:24 – “It’s no guesswork that the fact that there was no enemy reaction as we call that, means something. The fact that there was no enemy reaction means a lot.”
43:13 – “Maybe some people have an educated guess on who is going to be the next Pope. Maybe some people know a lot more about these things than I do and consider the possibility that the next Pope might not be a Pope at all. St. Francis of Assisi predicated a long sedevacancy. He did that, that’s a fact. Whatever it means. It’s a fact, it’s a printed fact that St. Francis of Assisi predicted that there will be an extended time of sedevacancy when the Church will be in great disaster and when false doctrines will be preached by that man who was not canonically elected.”
46:58 – About how software can reproduce handwriting and how the Third Secret publication handwriting could be made by software.
48:01 – “The fact that we see a photocopy of a handwriting, doesn’t mean it’s Sister Lucia’s handwriting. If they admittedly were capable of presenting an old lady in a badly put on habit as Sister Lucia in 1991, then they might as well invent the whole so-called conversation between Sister Lucia and Archbishop Bertone. How would I know that an archbishop, a secretary of the Congregation, who makes a statement that this whole publication, this Third Secret has ended that period of [history of] tragic human lust for power and evil – such an idiotic statement – then why would I believe that his conversation with Sister Lucia is authentically reported? Why? How do I know – we’re all human beings, we’re all capable of sins. How do I know that he is not capable of lying? I have absolutely no guarantee for that: on the contrary. A ridiculous publication like the one we’re facing is rather indicating a lie. Or think of the fact about what Cardinal Ratzinger said in 1984 and what he’s saying now: that’s absolutely contradictory.”
49:17 – More on how Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) called part of Vatican II an anti-document to Pope Pius IX’s syllabus. “Why would I presume that such a man is always saying the truth? Now Cardinal Ratzinger cannot sue me for having called him a liar. I didn’t call him a liar. I’m just saying: why would I presume that he is not? What guarantee do I have that he is not? Do I have any proof whatsoever that this publication is not entirely a fabrication? No. But I do have proofs that at least parts of it are fabricated. So I have to conclude that we are dealing not only with a hoax, but we are dealing with a strategically intended hoax.”
51:14 – “Why would they waste their time with a ridiculous publication like that if it wasn’t for a definite purpose? I said it before and I say it again: I do not know why that publication was done now, I do not know what is the strategic purpose of this strategic diversion, of this deception, of this perception management. But I know it is perception management. It is deception: diversion.”
52:04 – “And I say it again: It has to be and it cannot be anything else: it has to be the diversion from what I believe to be the actual Secret of Fatima announcing Vatican II, the apostasies, the heresies after Vatican II, and [heresies] IN Vatican II.”
52:26 – On the error Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote about prophecies and the blasphemous heresy he said about the Immaculate Heart.
53:40 – “And in Vatican II we are facing similar and other heresies. Therefore, I cannot see any other sense in that quoted publication [the supposed Third Secret released by the Vatican in 2000] but to hide the disastrous effects and disastrous contents of a council that I do not believe for one minute was a [valid] council and that I do not believe for one minute was [an act of] the [infallible] Magisterium of the Church.”
54:35 – “And at the same time I refuse to believe that something can be Ordinary Magisterium – which is what the documents of Vatican II claim to be – that would not have received the permission for print by the Popes or the Magisterium prior to 1960 [or prior to the 1960s].”
55:10 – About a priest who claimed to have heard the real Third Secret.
57:02 – “[…] The Third Secret MUST be something – Cardinal Ratzinger said that in 1984 – it must be something that is entirely coherent with the messages of Our Lady in La Salette and other approved messages. There is one common thing to La Salette, 16th century Quito in Ecuador, and Our Lady of Good Success: approved Marian apparitions. They all talk about that chastisement to come. They all talk about the errors that are going to be spread in the Church. They all talk about the crisis of the Faith. And in 1984 Cardinal Ratzinger said the Third Secret is entirely coherent with these Marian apparitions. Now he says [the Third Secret] is in the past and only dealing with the assassination attempt.”
59:15 – Fr. Hesse comments on why there is no outcry of priests, bishops, cardinals, religious, and lay faithful and why they keep on following the Vatican despite this obvious cover-up. Fr. Hesse categorizes priests into four different groups: those who blindly obey superiors without questioning, the brainwashed, the “just plain stupid”, and the group who see through the lie of the publication but they don’t want to lose their money, retirement, position, etc.
1:02:12, 1:15:45 – On obedience and true vs. false obedience (excess vs. defect).
1:05:19 – Fr. Hesse talks about Cardinal Stickler.
1:07:40 – “Cardinal Stickler looked at me and said something you have to think about (in a negative way). Cardinal Stickler said, ‘My dear friend, you will have to learn to let others do the thinking for you.’ You can’t believe how shocked I was. […] Cardinal Stickler is one of the few people who probably managed to see me speechless.”
1:09:03 – Fr. Hesse’s answer to Cardinal Stickler to which the Cardinal grunted in response. Fr. Hesse: “I do let others do the thinking for me: You let 40 years of Church history, I: 1900 years.”
1:10:44 – Fr. Hesse talks about the human government aspect of Rome and how many prelates (and lay faithful) fall into papal idolatry.
1:14:54 – “To consider 1981 as an event important enough to be the Third Secret is certainly one of the many forms of idolatry.”
1:15:09 – “Sources told me that on more than one issue Cardinal Ratzinger was not in agreement with the Pope and offered his retirement, offered his relieve, but the Pope kept him.”
1:15:45 – Fr. Hesse talks about obedience and competing concepts of obedience by Doctors of the Church.
1:17:59 – Fr. Hesse talks about how the Vatican cover-up and lies about the Third Secret of Fatima is an indication that the Church crisis is worsening. Fr. Hesse talks about how the consecration of Russia has not been properly done.
1:19:59 – Fr. Hesse answers the question whether he thinks it is suspicious that the Vatican didn’t release the (incomplete) publication of the Third Secret until Fr. Malachi Martin died.
1:20:42 – Fr. Hesse talks about what he thinks the Third Secret of Fatima could have been. “It has to be one thing: […]” “[…] And [Our Lady] knew NOTHING about Vatican II? Who’s going to believe that? She knew about those 55 or 60 million people that died in World War II and she knew NOTHING about ONE BILLION Catholics being deprived of the truth by what is going on since Vatican II? She didn’t know about that? That is impossible. It’s not improbable: it’s impossible.”
1:23:14 – “The Third Secret of Fatima must – it’s bound to contain the crisis of the Faith since Vatican II. Therefore, it must in some way mention Vatican II. There is no way around that.”
1:24:02 – Pope John XXIII’s deal with Moscow about which he lied in public.
This “invincibly ignorance concept” of St Thomas Aquinas has absolutely , positively nothing to do with the “ii” concept of Pope Pius IX whose “ii” concept is about those OUTSIDE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH gaining eternal salvation. St. Aquinas writings says nothing about that at all. And besides I’m already familiar with this and St. Augustine’s views on I.I. because these are same exact quotes neos use all the time but as I asked last week is there any other besides these two Doctors that have anything to say about I.I (and since no one answered I assume there isn’t) because 2 outbof 33 Doctors that doesn’t exactly qualify it as “something the Church has always taught” as many neos always say. But getting back what they say really doesn’t matter and is irrelevant anyway because they say NOTHING about gaining eternal salvation outside of the Catholic Church which is the main and only thing I was saying has never, ever being taught before Pope Pius IX did in 1854.
You use ON THE OTHER HAND to introduce the second (there IS salvation outside of the Catholic Church) of two CONTRASTING points (there IS NO salvation outside of the Catholic Church) https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/on-the-other-hand
And since no one answered the first time I’ll ask this question again: Which Pope offers , Pope Francis (Holy Communion) or Pope Pius IX ( Eternal Salvation) a better deal for those living in a state of mortal sin?
“For ignorance itself, in those who do not want to know, is without doubt a sin; and, in those UNABLE to know, is the penalty of sin. In NEITHER case, then, is there a JUST EXCUSE, but in BOTH CASES there is a JUST CONDEMNATION.” ~ St. Augustine
“Even ignorance which belongs to them who are, as it were, simply ignorant does not excuse anyone so as to exempt him from eternal fire, even were his failure to believe the result of NOT HAVING HEARD AT ALL what he should believe. It was not said without reason: “Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations who HAVE NOT KNOWN THEE” (Psalm 78:6), and ” He shall come from Heaven in a flame of fire to take vengeance on those who DO NOT KNOW GOD.” (Thess. II 1:7-8). ~ St. Augustine
Point taken Johnjobilbee. Still, you didn’t show that Pius X actually taught that SALVATION outside the Church was possible. As I understand the interpretation at the time was that people who had no way of knowing the Catholic Faith, who have searched for Truth and followed the law inscribed into their hearts all their lives, would be instructed in the Catholic Faith before their death, by a missionary priest or, in absolute necessity, by an Angel from Heaven.
You are right in that the expression “on the other hand…” would signal a qualification of the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.
An unfortunate turn of phrase by someone who genuinely wished to respond to one of the errors of the time, or perhaps the first major “linguistic event” undermining dogma whilst avoiding clearcut heresy???
Cor Iesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis!
Correction: In my post above I meant of course Pope Pius IX, and not Pius X. Sincere apologies.
St Pius X ora pro nobis!
Hello Ursula, because he says they are “NOT subject to GUILT in this MATTER.” NOT subject to GUILT in what MATTER? Well, The MATTER that states in the previous paragraph that “outside of the Apostolic Roman Church NO ONE can be saved” and those “who DO NOT enter will perish in the flood.” So, imho, since there is NO GUILT in this MATTER that would mean that those “NOT GUILTY IN THE EYES OF THE LORD” but OUTSIDE of the Church CAN be saved and those who DO NOT enter WILL NOT perish in the flood” since they are “NOT GUILTY IN THIS MATTER IN THE EYES OF THE LORD.”
He gives no indication whatsoever that they would be “instructed in the Catholic faith before there death” in fact, by using the phrase “on the other hand” sounds like he’s trying to say the exact opposite of that.