In follow up to yesterday’s post, here I offer commentary on those portions of the so-called Declaration of the truths relating to some of the most common errors in the life of the Church of our time (Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, et al) that are noteworthy for the grave danger to souls that they most certainly represent.
Yes, the Declaration does touch on certain truths of the faith, but even without the numerous errors and omissions highlighted below, it is far from an act of courage for cardinals and bishops to repeat doctrines that are already plainly known to everyone worthy of the name Catholic.
For this reason, I will not play the part of the cheerleader; as if said Declaration is a praiseworthy attempt to remedy the grave offenses that are being heaped upon Our Blessed Lord on a near daily basis by the raging heretic Jorge Bergoglio. Much less will I turn a blind eye to the Council of which he is a true son.
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of “traditional” Catholic media personalities and outlets that are doing exactly this; Steve Skojec, Michael Matt, and the editors of the Rorate Caeli blog among them.
If these men take the time to read the following, one can only hope that they will be moved to do the right thing; namely, to offer a retraction, apologizing to readers for “jumping the gun” as it were, and setting the record straight by joining me in warning the innocent. Let us hope and pray that they find the humility to do so.
The Declaration states:
After the institution of the New and Everlasting Covenant in Jesus Christ, no one may be saved by obedience to the law of Moses alone without faith in Christ as true God and the only Savior of humankind (see Rom 3:28; Gal 2:16). (Art. 4)
The Jews and their servants in Rome are not going to be happy with this, which is a step in the right direction. Even so, it must be noted that the wording is convoluted. Why, for instance, did the authors find it necessary to place the word “alone” in this sentence?
It appears as though they wish to leave themselves an out; a basis for being able to claim when the lox and cream cheese hits the fan to say: Oh heavens no, we’re not saying that the Law of Moses has been replaced by the New and Everlasting Covenant, much less that it is void! We only mean to say that Jesus is necessary too!
The authors of the Declaration cite Romans 3:28, which states:
For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law.
Note that St. Paul says without the works of the law – period – he does not say without the works of the law alone. How telling it is that the authors of the Declaration have chosen to mirror the arch-heretic Luther in adding “alone” where it does not belong; even while citing the very same verse!
They also cite Galatians 2:16, which states:
But knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; we also believe in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Fair enough, but why not include St. Paul’s straightforward explanation as to why works of the Mosaic law are useless?
For Christ Jesus is our peace, who hath made both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, the enmities in his flesh: Making void the law of commandments contained in decrees … (cf Ephesians 2:14-15) [Emphasis added]
The answer seems evident enough. The authors of the Declaration cannot speak of the Jews as plainly as St. Paul, or St. Peter, or as any of the popes prior to 1958 did for one reason and one reason alone; they are men-of-the-council, and they simply cannot bear to acknowledge Nostra Aetate – 4 for what it is, heresy.
Moving on, the next article is even more flimsy:
Muslims and others who lack faith in Jesus Christ, God and man, even monotheists, cannot give to God the same adoration as Christians do, that is to say, supernatural worship in Spirit and in Truth (see Jn 4:24; Eph 2:8) of those who have received the Spirit of filial adoption (see Rom 8:15). (Art. 5)
Here, the Declaration is at pains to invite the erroneous opinion that Muslims “give to God” – meaning, the one true God – real worship; it’s just not supernatural worship. That they may technically be “monotheists” is of no matter; their “one god,” Allah, is a false god.
Cardinal Burke has publicly stated in the past that Muslims and Catholics do not worship the same God. One wonders why he couldn’t bring himself to do so in this case? Then again, no surprise; Burke’s spinelessness is legendary.
The Declaration goes on to pay homage to recent inductee into the Conciliar Hall of Fame, Paul VI:
“Our [Christian]religion effectively establishes with God an authentic and living relationship which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out towards heaven” (Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, 53). (Art. 10)
No, “other religions” do not have their arms stretched out towards heaven, but rather Hell. Once again, the Council’s influence rears its ugly head and religious indifferentism is plainly invited.
Having thrown a bone to Paul VI, the authors of the Declaration see fit to feed “Francis” by stating:
A woman who has conceived a child within her womb is forbidden by natural and Divine law to kill this human life within her, by herself or by others, whether directly or indirectly (see John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 62). (Article 16)
Now, this is entirely true. That said, the denial of this truth is not among the “most common errors in the life of the Church of our time,” the stated purpose of the Declaration. In fact, this is one of the few doctrines that Jorge manages to get right. So why is it even there? Perhaps it is just to show the world that they are fair and balanced. Who knows.
In its treatment of marriage, the Declaration quotes the Almighty Council as follows:
“By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et spes, 48). (Art. 19)
This citation illustrates very well the folly of looking to the Council for authentic Catholic doctrine. This same article from Gaudium et Spes also states:
For the good of the spouses and their off-springs as well as of society, the existence of the sacred bond no longer depends on human decisions alone. (ibid.)
Note the order; “good of the spouses” first, “off-spring” second. As readers of this space know very well, the Council (and Paul the Pathetic afterwards in Humanae Vitae, a text the Declaration also cites) was determined to refrain from teaching the true ends of marriage in their proper order; the procreation and education of children coming first, the mutual help of the spouses, second.
The Council, in this same Constitution, deliberately equivocated on this doctrine, stating:
While not making the other purposes of matrimony of less account, the true practice of conjugal love… (Gaudium et Spes 50)
In other words, the ends of marriage are equal; none taking precedence over the other. This is simply false, but the Declaration invites the innocent to view Gaudium et Spes as dependable its treatment of marriage nonetheless.
HYPOCRISY ALERT: The Declaration goes on to say:
All authority on earth as well as in heaven belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore, civil societies and all other associations of men are subject to his kingship so that “the duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2105; see Pius XI, Encyclical Quas primas, 18-19; 32). (Art. 29)
In the articles referenced from Quas Primas, Pope Pius XI (1925) makes it exceedingly plain that every single human being, as well as all the nations of the earth as nations, have “the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ.”
Note, this duty is public. The Holy Father states that this duty is incumbent upon civil leaders acting “not only [as] private individuals but also [in their capacity as] rulers and princes.” This means that the State, just as much as every individual, has a sacred obligation toward the one true faith; the Holy Catholic faith.
Do the authors of the Declaration really believe this? If they do, then they cannot but condemn the Declaration on Religious Liberty of Vatican Council II, which turned the obligation of the State on its head by stating:
This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right. (DH 2)
In other words, where the Holy Roman Catholic Church makes plain both the individual’s and the State’s duty to render public reverence and obedience to Christ the King, and that necessarily includes His Church, “which is the kingdom of Christ on earth” (Pius XI, QuasPrimas 12), the Council saw fit to insist that the State legislate the supposed “right” for all concerned to neglect this duty in favor of a false religion, or none at all, however one may see fit.
The Council further set itself in opposition to the Social Kingship of Christ as articulated so beautifully in Quas Primas when it stated:
The council exhorts Catholics, and it directs a plea to all men, most carefully to consider how greatly necessary religious freedom is… In order that relationships of peace and harmony be established and maintained within the whole of mankind, it is necessary that religious freedom be everywhere provided with an effective constitutional guarantee and that respect be shown for the high duty and right of man freely to lead his religious life in society. (cf DH 15) [Emphasis added]
In this, the Council had the audacity to use the same words as Pius XI:
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. (Quas Primas 19) [Emphasis added]
Did you get that? Pius XI, reaffirming what the true Church of Christ has always infallibly taught, is declaring that true peace and harmony are only realized in being “subjected to the sweet and saving yoke of our King” (Quas Primas 3).
The Council is saying, No, the way to ‘peace and harmony’ is found in religious freedom!
And yet, the authors of the Declaration lead the innocent to believe that these two texts are perfectly compatible with one another.
As a quick review of their public positions make plain (Burke and Schneider in particular), the authors of the Declaration do not really believe what Quas Prima states; rather, they are proponents of the Declaration on Religious Liberty – a text that is entirely irreconcilable with authentic Catholic doctrine. They are, after all, devoted men-of-the-council.
In articles 32-34, the Declaration offers reflection on the nature of Holy Mass, which apart from scrutiny may appear to many as praiseworthy. And yet, the discerning reader will detect the unmistakably bitter taste of Protestant poison.
The Declaration quotes Paul VI (of all people) in stating that the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is “offered by him [the priest] in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body.” (Art. 33)
Here we find the detestable theology of the Novus Ordo, wherein the Holy Sacrifice is said to be offered in the name of the faithful (the “members of His Mystical Body”).
In the Traditional Latin Mass, by contrast, the priest prays:
Accept, O Holy Father, Almighty and eternal God, this spotless host, which I, your unworthy servant, offer to You, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offenses and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians living and dead… [Emphasis added]
Later, he prays:
Accept, most Holy Trinity, this offering which we are making to You … Through the same Christ our Lord.
The error should be obvious; the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not offered in the name of the people, but rather on behalf of, or for, the people. It can perhaps be said that the priest makes the offering in the name of Christ, but it is more accurate to say that he does so in persona Christi, such that the Sacrifice is offered by Christ Himself, “By Him, with Him, and in Him.”
So, let’s recap, shall we. The authors of the Declaration:
– Deliberately avoid stating the simple fact that the law of Moses is void and therefore of no avail whatsoever toward salvation.
– Deliberately avoid stating the simple fact that the Muslims worship a false god.
– Quote Paul VI in saying of the practitioners of false religions, “their arms [are] stretched out towards heaven.”
– Join the Council in refusing to plainly state, and thus obscuring, the proper ends of marriage; the procreation and education of children being first.
– Make a mockery of the Kingship of Christ inasmuch as they remain proponents of the Council’s Declaration on Religious Liberty, making it seem as if these doctrines (the latter being false) are compatible.
– Espouse the Protestantized theology of the Novus Ordo in quoting Paul VI who said that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered in the name of the faithful.
With all of this in mind, would you dare to publicly proclaim that the Declaration “Reads like a Neo-Syllabus of Errors?” Would you inform your children that it represents “a significant and historical attempt to re-establish the fundamentals of Catholic belief?”
This is how Steve Skojec of the One Peter Five website summed it up.
Would you hand the Declaration to a sincere seeker of tradition saying, “FAITHFUL SHEPHERDS: Burke, Schneider Defend Truth in Time of Crisis?”
Michael Matt of the Remnant did just that.
Would you disseminate the text of the Declaration with neither comment nor warning to innocent persons who consider you a reliable source of Catholic truth?
This is exactly what Rorate Caeli did.
I can well imagine that I may be inviting criticism from those who will whine about “circular firing squads” and the like. I fully expect ad hominem attacks from persons too weak to directly address the points raised above, dismissing this post by accusing me of the dreaded “S” word – sedevacantism – even though I have never staked such a claim beyond my conviction that Jorge Bergoglio isn’t even Catholic.
This isn’t personal with respect to the men named above. Presumably, all of us are seeking the same goal. It’s about our readers. It’s about service to the truth – all of it – without compromise. Sometimes, the right thing for those of us with a public voice to do is to state, “I got it wrong.”
Believe me, I know. I’ve done it plenty; even though there was a price to pay for doing so.
So, will Steve Skojec, Michael Matt, and the editors at Rorate Caeli do the right thing?
Let us pray that they receive the grace necessary to do so, for their own good and for the good of those souls over which they have influence.