WHAT IS THE INDEFECTIBILITY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?
And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [Matt. xvi. 18].
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 [Matt, xxviii. 20].
In today's progressive world there have been many requests that the Church be up with the times. But we must ask ourselves, "Can the Catholic Church 'update'? 'Reform'? 'Modernize'? Or reinterpret its teachings?" This is a question that confronts both Catholics and those who claim to be Christians, yet look to the Catholic Church for tradition and stability. To basically understand the answer to these questions would involve an in-depth study of the constitution of the Church [For a definition of the Church, I would refer you to the title in this series: What is the Catholic Church?], which is impossible in this short treatise. Here, I wish only to address the question of "change" versus "unchanging" in the Catholic or universal Church ["catholic" being but the Greek word for "universal"].
From Our Spiritual Father
Vladyka +Joseph Thaddeus
"Another Fool For Christ"
In all things discussed as regards the "Catholic" Church, it must be understood that the Roman Jurisdiction is but one part of that which is the CATHOLIC CHURCH.
The Holy Apostles themselves attest to the fact that Jesus Christ did in Fact ordain and consecrate them to His service. And that on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on all of them.
Following the commandments of Jesus Christ, several of the Holy Apostles did indeed GO OUT INTO THE WORLD, preached, taught, and performed many miracles in the name of Jesus Christ. To the Greeks, the Syro-Chaldean, the Coptic, the Ethiopians, the Balkans, Russia, Ukraine, and several other geographical areas or nations, including India where the Apostle Thomas taught and preached too.
Thus, the Indefectibility of the "Catholic Church" rests not singularly on the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church as a result of their claim and understanding of Matt. xvi. 18, but on The Greek Orthodox, the Syro-Chaldean, the Coptic, the Syriac Orthodox, the Russian Orthodox, The Ukrainian Orthodox and more.
What brought about that which is termed "Orthodoxy" today as national churches would take too long for us to go into here.
What must be understood is that the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church (Rome) had begun to do such things not before sanctioned by the "WHOLE" Church and thus in about the 800's A.D. when alterations appeared which was unheard of by the eastern part of the Church (called "Orthodox" today) and by which the culmination of unity was split by the Roman Jursidiction's schism from the "CATHOLIC" Church in 1054A.D.... causing for it to become the "Roman Jurisdiction" of the Catholic Church while Orthodox Catholic Christians maintained that which had been down through time and history
Thus, on reading this particular article (or any other) it must be thoroughly understood that they are reflective only upon that which appertains to the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church and not necessarily to the whole Church, even though certain portions of the article could be applied thereto.
With what has been happening within the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, has included those who are "Uniates" (Those who claim to be 'Orthodox' in their worship, but are at the suffrage of the various Pope's over time and thus apply many parts of their theological 'witness' on "Rome's" terms than upon true "Orthodoxy".
However, as we go forward in this 21st Century, there is much confusion among the people who are parishioners of the "Roman" Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church and those who are parishioners of the "Orthodox" jurisdiction of the Catholic Church. And what we are witnessing is an amalgamation as prophesied in the Holy Bible, leading to the ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT and the ONE WORLD CHURCH of which the Roman Jurisdiction is leading many into in these times since their Vatican II Council.
It would behoove all our Roman Brothers and Sisters, along with all Orthodox who truly remain faithful to the ancient Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, to put aside elitism, arrogancy and pride as regards who is or is not the FIRST among equals so that the advancement of what Jesus Christ established can be more fully and faithfully understood. Such an action is an action in humility that would reach out to others for that which is coming in due time, the Last Times, the End Days, the Apocalypse.
For when we are judged, it will not be upon who is the FIRST AMONG EQUALS, but on the faith of each individual, be he clergy or parishioner. The Clergy of the true remnant Church will be judged far more harshly for their arrogance and elitistic attitudes which is a barrier to the fullness of the faith in both spirit and truth!
Isn't it enough that there are serious and grave problems within the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church which is spreading to include many of the Orthodox too? With such on-going through out the world, it will be most difficult for those would-be faithful to differentiate one from the other and they would, like others have, give up in disgust!
What has begun cannot be stopped by Man! Only Jesus Christ Himself can put a stop to it! But when that happens, it may be to late! While those of us who are clergy of either the Roman Jurisdiction's FAITH (no longer under Papal Rule because of the serious and grave errors spelled out by the Traditional Fundamentalist "Catholic") or clergy of the Orthodox (who see similarities within the various nationalistic "Orthodox" Churches and wish to remain faithful to their traditions too)... there is ample room for all to come together in accomplishing a "safe haven" or "safe ship" for both faithful and clergy alike who may become the remnant faithful of that which has been handed down from the Holy Apostles. This does not mean that one has to give up their various traditions which span time and history, for it is the Faith Delivered Once and For All by the Apostles that we cling to. Together, although under our different traditions, can we work together in maintaining the truth so that the ship of faith does not flounder on the rocks and shoals of error and heresy as it is happening to many of the "mainline" 'Roman' and 'Orthodox' Churches today.
The most common bond that we do share in, is that we are fighting against the same enemies of Jesus Christ and the Holy Theotokos (Virigin Mary) which is the Great Deceiver, the Evil One, the Devil who has entered the Church through the Freemasons and other groups. Humanism, Synchrestic Ecumenism, Hominism and many other errors, deceitful theologies and more, is affecting and having an effect upon the whole face of Christendom itself. As such, there are fewer "safe havens" to which one can turn.
We can provide that 'safe haven' through not only our faith, but working together while we have little time remaining.
+Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D.
When Christ founded His Church upon Peter and the Apostles [Matt. xvi. 18 and xviii. 18], it was to be the means of salvation, the new covenant [Matt. xxvi.26ff; Mark xiv.22ff; Lukexxii.l9ff; 1 Cor. xi.25] "until he comes" [1 Cor. xi.26] "in virtue of an everlasting covenant" [Hebr. xiii.20]. This attribute of the Church which Christ founded is called indefectibility or perpetuity.
The Indefectibility of the Church, therefore, is the doctrine that the Church, as Christ founded it, will last until His Second Coming. This is to be understood that the Universal Church, as a divine institution, cannot change its essential internal and external character and still remain the Church Christ founded. To comprehend what this entails, one must understand what are the essential marks of the Church. These marks are One, Holy, Catholic (or universal) and Apostolic. But these marks are addressed to the" mission of the Church", or its raison d'etre. The Church was instituted by Christ to teach, to sanctify, and to govern. This is the "mission" of the Church, in order to bring all men to salvation: "Now this is everlasting life, that they may know thee, the only true God, and him whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ" [John xvii.3]. Pope Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum of June 29,1896, explains this point accordingly:
Therefore the Church is a society divine in its origin, supernatural in its end and in the means proximately adapted to the attainment of that end; but it is a human community inasmuch as it is composed of men. For this reason we find it called in Holy Scriptures by names indicating a perfect society. It is spoken of as the house of God, the city placed upon the mountain to which all nations must come. But it is also the fold presided over by one Shepherd, and into which all Christ's sheep must commit themselves. Truly it is called the kingdom which God has raised up and which will stand forever. Finally it is the body of Christ — that is, of course, His mystical Body, but a body living and duly organized and composed of many members; members indeed which have not all the same functions, but which, united one to the other, are kept bound together by the guidance and authority of the head.
Now these threefold commands, or "mission of the Church," we find enjoined by Christ upon the Apostles in Sacred Scripture, where he says:
All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 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 [Matt, xxviii. 18- 20].
The command to teach is evident in those words quoted above from the Gospel of Matthew, which are found again in that of Mark:
Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved [xvi.16].
Saint Luke writes this account of our Lord addressing the Apostles:
He who hears you, hears me; and he who rejects you, rejects me; and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me [x.16].
And Saint John relates these words Christ spoke to the apostles after his Resurrection:
As the Father has sent me, I also send you [xix.21]
In the Acts of the Apostles, the efforts of the apostles to evangelize are recorded, starting with Peter's discourse after the apostles had received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Saint Paul defends his ministry of evangelizing the Gentiles in these words, which also bring out the mission of the Church:
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved." [Joel ii.32; Acts ii.21]. How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? But how are they to believe him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear, if no one preaches? And how are men to preach unless they be sent?. . .Faith then depends on hearing, and hearing on the word of Christ [Rom. x.13,14, 15,17].
And so we may take the words of Fr. Devivier, who comments as follows upon this office of teaching:
"The method of teaching used by the Church is twofold. Ordinary teaching is that which is given every day by the bishops, or by their delegates and under their supervision, the priests, by preaching, catechism, courses in theology, etc. Extraordinary teaching is that given by the Pope or Councils, when they proclaim a dogma or condemn an error. Extraordinary teaching is not at all necessary in order that a dogma should become obligatory as a matter of Faith. If that were required, the dogma of the Holy Eucharist, for instance, would not have been obligatory before the eleventh century (1178), and, in our own days, the dogma of the visibility of the Church, that of her indefectibility, etc., would have been left open to belief or denial, because they have never been solemnly defined. The Church can no more err in her ordinary, universal and constant teaching than in her dogmatic definitions; the promises made by Jesus Christ suffer no exception. To be a heretic therefore, it is enough to knowingly deny a doctrine set forth by the ordinary and uniform teaching of the whole Church" [Rev. W. Devivier, S.J., Christian Apologetics Vol. II, transl. Rev. Joseph C. Sasia, S.J., Joseph F. Wagner, Inc. New York, 1924, p. 140].
To which the Vatican Council (I) holds for our belief:
The eternal Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (cf. 1 Pet. ii. 25), in order to render the saving work of redemption lasting, decided to establish His holy Church that in it, as in the house of the living God, all the faithful might be held together by the bond of one faith and one love. For this reason, before he was glorified, he prayed to the Father, not for the apostles only, but for those also who would believe in him on their testimony, that all might be one as he, the Son, and the Father are one (cf. John xvii. 20f).
Therefore, just as he sent the apostles, whom he had chosen for himself out of the world, as he himself was sent by the Father (cf. John xx. 21), so also he wished shepherds and teachers to be in his Church until the consummation of the world (Matt, xxviii. 20).
The office of sanctifying is found in these words:
Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit [Matt, xxviii.20].
As also, among the other Sacraments, that which shows the institution of the Sacrament of Penance:
As the Father has sent me, I also send you. . .Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained [Johnxix.21-22].
This is confirmed by the words of St. Paul:
Let a man so account us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God[l Cor. iv.l]
The Church dispenses the Seven Sacraments "through which all true justice either begins, or being begun is increased, or being lost is restored" [Council of Trent, Sess. VII, intro. ].
To govern is a necessity evident in any society, and thus Rev. Devivier writes:
As in any visible society, there must be direction in the Church, or the right to govern itself in order to attain to its proper end. So also in the Catholic Church, Christ appointed Peter and the apostles and invested them with the threefold power to legislate, judge, and execute laws "for a society always implies law, and law implies the right to judge its guilty transgressor and the right to impose penalties proportionate to the crime [Op. cit., p. 145].
We find this investiture in these words of Christ, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" [Matt, xxviii. 18-20], and specifically to Peter:
I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [Matt, xviii. 19].
That the Apostles made use of their authority is clearly seen in the Acts of the Apostles, as well as their Epistles.
To fulfill this divine "mission", and being divinely instituted, the Church has three attributes: Indefectibility, Infallibility, and Authority. All three attributes are closely bound to one another.
In considering the attribute of the Indefectibility of the Church, it is necessary that the Church, as the only means of salvation instituted by Christ, not only be present at all times and in all places, but also that she leach the immutable "truth" at all limes and in all places, that she minister the same Sacraments al all times and in all places, and that her visibility expressed in her hierarchical structure be present al all limes and in all places:" One Lord, one faith, one Baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and throughout all, and in us all" [Eph. iv.5-6]. Pope Leo XIII expressed this adequately in his above mentioned Encyclical on the Unity of the Church:
But Christ's mission is to save that which had perished, namely, not some nations or peoples, but the whole human race, without distinction of time or place. The Son of man came that the world might be saved through Him (John iii. 17). For there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts iv. 12). The Church, therefore, is bound to communicate without limit to all men, and to transmit through all ages, the salvation effected by Jesus Christ, and the blessing flowing therefrom. Therefore, by the will of its Founder, it is necessary that this Church should be one in all lands and at all times. To justify the existence of more than one Church it would be necessary to go outside in this world, and to create a new and unheard-of race of men.
We must constantly stress that it is the same teachings, the same sacraments, the same composition of government. Be it in the early Church, in the Middle Ages, or in Modern times, the same doctrine was and is to be held which Christ, the Eternal Word, taught. Ludwig Ott, in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, can sum up, therefore, the idea of indefectibility as follows:
In saying that the Church is indefectible we assert both her imperishableness, that is, her constant duration to the end of the world, and the essential immutability of her teaching, her constitution and her liturgy. This does not exclude the decay of individual churches and accidental changes [Bk. 4, Pt. 2, par. 12].
Again, as the Church is a divine institution, she is assured that this divine assistance will be given her to fulfill her mission by her Head: "I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever" (John xiv. 16). It is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies which envisage an eternal bond between God and His People, referring to Christ and to His kingdom, the Church. Isaias foretells:
His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and forever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this"[ix. 7].
Incline your ear and come to me: hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the faithful mercies of David [Iv. 3].
Which is reiterated by Jeremias in these words:
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, and will not cease to do them good: and I will give my fear to their heart, that they may not revolt from me [Jer. xxxii. 40].
Daniel foresees the Church amidst the worldly kingdoms, which will pass away, but itself remaining:
But in the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and his kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand forever [Dan. ii. 44].
Which prophecies saw their fulfillment in the words the Angel Gabriel exchanged with the Virgin Mary, at the Annunciation:
And the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he shall be king over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end [Luke i. 32-33].
That the early Church accepted the indefectibility of the Church as such may be read in the extant writings of those Fathers of the Church who lived in this era. St. Ignatius of Antioch, who died a martyr in the beginning of the second century, wrote: "The Lord permitted myrrh to be poured on his head that He might breathe incorruption upon the Church " [Ep. 17, 1]. St. Irenaeus, an early apologist for the Church, affirms that the preaching of the Church, thanks to the efficacy of the Holy Ghost, "is immutable and always remaining the same." [Adv. haer. iii, 24,1]. St. Augustine draws the indefectibility of the Church from its foundation upon Christ: "The Church will totter when her foundation totters. But how shall Christ totter?...as long as Christ does not totter, neither shall the Church totter in eternity" [Enarr. in Ps. ciii, 2, 5; cf. Enarr. in Ps. 47,7etlx.6].
And this same faith was taught at the Vatican Council (I) in its dogmatic constitution on Faith:
For all the many marvelous proofs that God has provided to make the credibility of the Christian faith evident point to the Catholic Church alone. Indeed, the Church itself, because of its marvelous propagation, its exalted sanctity, and its inexhaustible fruitfulness in all that is good, because of its Catholic unity and its unshaken stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable proof of its own divine mission.
Consequently, the Church, like a standard lifted up for the nations (cf. Isa. xi. 12), not only calls to herself those who have not yet believed, but also she proves to her own children that the faith they profess rests on a most solid foundation. To this testimony is added the efficacious help of the supernatural power. For the most merciful Lord stirs up and helps with His grace those who are wandering astray, so that they can "come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. ii. 4); and, never abandoning anyone, unless He is abandoned, He strengthens with His grace those whom He has brought out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter ii. 9), so that they may remain in this light. Therefore, the position of those who have embraced the Catholic truth by the heavenly gift of faith and of those who have been misled by human opinions and follow a false religion is by no means the same, for the former, who have accepted the faith under the teaching authority of the Church, can never have any just reason for changing that faith or calling it into question. In view of all this, let us give thanks to God the Father, "who has made us worthy to share in the lot of the saints in light" (Col. i. 12), and let us not neglect so great a salvation, but "looking towards the author and finisher of faith, Jesus" (Hebr. xii. 2), "let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering" [(Hebr. x. 23); D1794].
To those who would claim the Church has and can change, there has only been rejection on the side of the Magisterium of the Church. This is because she can only accept and transmit the truth. Pope Clement XI condemned this error of Paschal Quesnel in 1713:
Truths have descended to this, that they are, as it were, a foreign tongue to most Christians, and the manner of preaching them is, as it were, an unknown idiom, so remote is the manner of preaching from the simplicity of the apostles, and so much above the common grasp of the faithful; nor is there sufficient advertence to the fact that this defect is one of the greatest visible signs of the weakening of the Church and of the wrath of God on his sons--l Cor. xiv.21 [prop. 95; D1445].
And Pope Pius VI condemned this error of the Council of Pistoia in his Constitution Auctorem Sdeiof August 28,1794:
The proposition, which asserts "that in these later times there has been spread a general obscuring of the more important truths pertaining to religion, which are the basis of faith and of the moral teachings of Jesus Christ," -heretical [D1501].
The errors of the Modernists were already condemned by Pope St. Pius X on July 3,1907, in the Decree Lamentabili:
The organic constitutions of the Church is not unchangeable; rather, the Christian society is just as subject to perpetual evolution as human society is [D2053]. Dogmas, sacraments, hierarchy -- both their notion and their reality — are nothing but evolutions and interpretations of Christian thought which caused the tiny seed, hidden in the Gospel, to grow through external accretions and brought it to fruition [D2054].
But let us go back to our original question. With the above understanding of what the Church teaches regarding her indefectibility, can we say that the Church may change? Absolutely not! In her teachings of Faith and Morals, in her Liturgy and Sacraments, and in her Hierarchical structure she must be found the same. Is it possible for a Pope to change any of these? No. The Pope, as head of the Catholic Church, expresses what the universal Church believes. Thus the famous proverb: Vti Petrus, ibi Ecclesia [St. Ambrose, Enarr. in Ps. xl. 30]. This is particularly expressed in the decisions of a Pope being determined infallible (Papal Infallibility) as also lawful Ecumenical Councils.
Referring again to Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical on Christian Unity, we find him instructing us that:
Hence, from the very earliest times the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have been accustomed to follow and with one accord to defend this rule. Origen writes: "As often as the heretics allege the possession of the canonical Scriptures, to which all Christians give unanimous consent, they seem to say: "Behold the word of truth is in the houses." But we should not believe them and not abandon the primary and ecclesiastical tradition. We should not believe other than as has been handed down by the tradition of the Church of God" (Vetus Interpretatio Commentariorum in Matt., n. 46). Irenaeus also says: "The doctrine of the apostles is the true faith. . .which is known to us through the episcopal succession.. .which has reached even to our age by the very fact that the Scriptures have been zealously guarded and fully interpreted" (Contra Haereses, 1. 4, c. 33, n. 8). And Tertullian: "It is therefore clear that all doctrine which agrees with that of the apostolic churches ~ the matrices and original centers of the faith -- must be looked upon as the truth, maintaining without hesitation that the Church received it from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, and Christ from God...We are in communion with the apostolic churches, and by the very fact that they agree among themselves we have a testimony of truth" (De Praescript., c. 31). And thus Hilary: "Christ teaching from the ship signifies that those who are outside the Church can never grasp the divine teaching; for the ship embodies the Church where the Word of life is deposited and preached. Those who are outside are like sterile and worthless sand: they cannot understand" (Comment. inMatt. 13, n. 1). Rufinuspraises Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil because "they studied the text of Holy Scriptures alone, and took the interpretation of its meaning not from their own inner consciousness, but from the writings and on the authority of the ancients, who in their turn, as is clear, took their norm for understanding the meaning from the apostolic secession" (Hist. Eccl., 1. 2,c.p.9).
And this is the expressed wording in the definition of Papal Infallibility by the Vatican Council (I):
And so, faithfully keeping to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of God our Saviour, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and for the salvation of Christian peoples, we, with the approval of the sacred Council, teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, acting in the office of shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, possesses through the divine assistance promised him in the person of St. Peter, the infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals; and that such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are therefore irreformable because of their nature, but not because of the agreement of the Church (D1839).
This article does not permit a full explanation of the infallibility of the Church, which will be covered in its own thesis [For a further study of Infallibility, I refer you to the title in this series: Is the Church Infallible?!]. Yet, let me insert that the admittance the Church is a divine institution, guided by the Holy Ghost, is the key to understand its inerrancy. The intrinsic basis of the infallibility of the Church lies in the assistance of the Holy Ghost, which was promised to her especially for the exercise of the teaching office: "And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you shall know Him, because He will dwell with you, and be in you" (John xiv. 16-17).
This St. Irenaeus stresses against the Gnostic error that the promulgation of the Church is always the same, because she possesses the Spirit of the Holy Ghost: "Where thy Church is, there is also the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church and all grace; but the Spirit is truth" (Adv. haer., iii. 24,1), and where he states the Church as "the house of the truth," from which false teaching is excluded (iii. 24,2). Again he informs us that the unfalsified tradition of the apostolic teaching is guaranteed by the uninterrupted succession of the Bishops from the Apostles downwards. "They have received the certain charisma of the truth according to the pleasure of the Father, with the succession in the office of Bishop" (iv. 26,2). And the Roman Catechism teaches: [Tjhis one Church, because governed by the Holy Ghost, cannot err in delivering the discipline of faith and morals; so all other societies, which arrogate to themselves the name of Church, because guided by the spirit of the devil, are necessarily sunk in the most pernicious errors both of doctrine and morals [Part I, ch. X]. Again, the Vatican Council (I) instructs and lays before us the correct belief:
To satisfy this pastoral duty, Our predecessors have always expended untiring effort to propagate Christ's doctrine of salvation among all people of the world. And with similar care they have watched that the doctrine might be preserved genuine and pure wherever it was received. Therefore, the bishops of the whole world, sometimes singly, sometimes assembled in councils, following the long- standing custom of the churches and the form of the ancient rule, reported to this Apostolic See those dangers especially which came up in matters of faith, so that here where the faith can suffer no diminution, the harm suffered by the faith might be repaired. However, the Roman Pontiffs on their part, according as the condition of the times and the circumstances dictated, sometimes calling together ecumenical councils or sounding out the mind of the Church throughout the whole world, sometimes through regional councils, or sometimes by using other helps which divine Providence supplied, have, with the help of God, defined as to be held such matters as they had found consonant with Holy Scripture and with apostolic tradition. The reason for this is that the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of St. Peter not that they might make known new doctrine by His revelation, but rather, that with His assistance they might religiously guard and faithfully explain the revelation or deposit of faith that was handed down through the apostles. Indeed, it was this apostolic doctrine that all the Fathers held and the holy orthodox Doctors reverenced and followed. For they fully realized that this See of St. Peter always remains untainted by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord and Savior made to the prince of His disciples, "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren" [Lukexxii.32;D1836].
Now, if the Church could err in her opinion, consequences would arise which would be incompatible with the sanctity of the Church. There would be no guarantee that we are taught the same doctrines, receiving the Sacraments, obeying the Church. Rather, as Pope Leo XIII writes in his Encyclical on the Unity of the Church:
Therefore, as appears from what has been said, Christ instituted in the Church a living authoritative, and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of Truth, He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own. As often, therefore, as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine in virtue of an everlasting covenant [Hebr. xiii.20] revelation, it must be believed by everyone as true. If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man. "Lord, if we be in error, we are being deceived by Thee" (Richard of St. Victor, De Trin., 1. 1, c. 2). In this manner, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? -without separating himself from the Church? - without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching? For such is the nature of faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and reject others...
For this reason the Fathers of the Vatican Council laid down nothing new, but followed divine revelation and the acknowledged and immutable teaching of the Church as to the very nature of faith, when they decreed as follows: "All those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written or unwritten Word of God, and which are proposed by the Church as divinely revealed, either by a solemn definition or in the exercise of its ordinary and universal Magisterium" (Sess. 3, c. 3).
Therefore, if a Council, such as the robber Council of Ephesus or the Council of Basle, the Synod of Pistoia, and Vatican II, does not teach the universal Truths of the Catholic Church, it is not a true Council, be it "Pastoral", Synodal or "Ecumenical". Nor can a Pope approve of such a Council or Synod. If a Pope were to approve doctrines contrary to the universal teaching of the Church, he would no longer be representing Christ, and would not be His Vicar here on earth.
In conclusion we may take the words of Saint Paul to heart:
"Remember your superiors, who spoke to you the word of God. Consider how they ended their lives, and imitate their faith. (8) Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever" [Hebr. xiii.7-8].
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Return To: Apostasy Index
A Review of the Oratory Catechism and Overview of Sedevacantism in General
Responses to Review and Overview
The Great Apostasy
Day of the Lord and Signs of His Coming - Covering
About the "Oratory Catechism"
Who Decides in this war between Christ and Chaos?
What Is The Indefectibility of the Catholic Church?
The Decrees of Vatican II Compared
with Past Church Teachings Regarding:
>Ecumenism >Non-Christian Religions>Sacred Scripture
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"Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater"
"Show forth fruits of Repentance" (St. John the Baptist)
"YOUR ACTIONS SPEAK SO LOUD about you,
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The Founding of Orthodoxy
How Many Times
Is Christianity Collapsing? A
theological evaluation regarding T.B.N. and its so-called ministers!
Demise of Marriage And Dissolution of the Family
Abouna's Two Cents Worth
or at his new website at:
www.freewebs.com/abouna_gregori/ (blogs, guest-book, memorial page and more)
Amber Alert Information on missing Children
Before, During and after the Lenten Season, Pascha or Easter:
How Many Times
Is Christianity Collapsing? A theological evaluation regarding T.B.N. and its so-called ministers!
Part II -Is Christianity Collapsing?
The Demise of Marriage And Dissolution of the Family
» Abouna's Two Cents Worth or at his new website at:
www.freewebs.com/abouna_gregori/ (blogs, guest-book, memorial page and more)
Amber Alert Information on missing Children
Before, During and after the Lenten Season, Pascha or Easter:
It is one's duty as a true Christian which rests upon the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith established by Jesus Christ, that one continues on the path, the struggle in this life to: Learn the meaning of Pascha (Easter) and the Life of Christ, His teachings and their importance for all who call themselves Christian:
He Is Risen Indeed
Click on either the above Icon or any of the following links to learn more!
Pascha - Lenten Season - Easter
● Lent Message (New)
● The Institution of Lent ● Turning The Other Cheek ● Hating One's Parents ● Violence and the Kingdom ● The Last Events of Christ
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and Other Hard Sayings of Jesus Christ
● Who are the Modern Day Pharisees and Sadducees who abuse the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ? ● What is a Safe Church (New)
A Message from Our metropolitan Archbishop - UPDATED
Our Primate's Message Archives - 2006
Our Primate's Message Archives 2004-2005
Go To: Apostasy & the Roman Jurisdicition of the Catholic Church
Go To: Abouna Gegroi 2 cents worth Go to: Daily Commemorations.
When Viewing a News Article click on the link to Return to "Home Page" or Daily News for 2006. For Daily/weekly News and Information Archives click on one of the follwoing:
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Our Daily/Weekly News and information gathering has enlarged. As a result, we will be posting, on the entry page, only those current News and Informational Items for the day/week. All other news and informational items for previous days in the month will be moved to our Archive Pages for that month and year, as shown above...
Also... It is suggested you view the article and especially the related commentary opinion having to do with your telephone, internet and other activities since the defeat of one of the extension provisions of the Patriot Act by clicking here...
From Our Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot and Primate, +Joseph Thaddeus (Stanford), OSB, SSJt., Ph.D.
A Fool For Christ who believes
"Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater"
(Why the Photo Image as seen above? See Quotes for September-October-November 2005 from "Franklin")
Apostle1.com, Apostle1.org and Apostle1.net
We are an educational, News-informational and research Web Site dedicated to providing such as befits those who seek things pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith and life.
Also Know that:
We, at apostle1.com do cause for "Point" and "Counterpoint" discussions at our web site. This is sometimes the same way in which authors and writers do in order to bring about both sides or arguments in discussions or about some issues affecting the Church as a whole. Abbot +Gregori and our Metropolitan Archbishop do this from time to time. Many have a limited understanding of what celibacy means and we can only ask: What part of CELIBACY does one not understand?
However, it has come to our attention that un-named individual(s) think it wise and not harmful to start attacking by taking copyrighted materials to use in their own web site without permission, per se: as for an example, the subjects pertaining to "Homosexuals" and "Homosexuality in the Church," etc. for the purpose of advancing their own causes to start their attacking of other(s) which is not bound in and with the Church, but with a personal agenda of self-image because of anger, hate, fear and worse. They are Roman in attitude and practice, but not Orthodox, although calling themselves "Orthodox" even "Celtic".
It is understood, according to information and belief, that three of his/her/their websites may have been closed by former service providers due to complaints against him/them for internet terrorism, spewing "hate" and causing for an individual whom he/they discuss, to be exposed to potential physical harm which happened in the early part of the 2005 when they thought themselves wise in their own conceit, for things of more than 13 years in the past. What part of "Hate" - "Exposing another to threats of losing life" - "Internet Terrorism" does he/they not understand? Now, under other domain names, the same/similar hate messages re-occur against the same individual.
We find them to be un-orthodox and un-Christian in spirit and truth for they continue to argue things of the past that is not a part of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, and (in fact) go against the very commandments of Jesus Christ! And those who do such are, it is opined upon investigation and in most instances, the very one(s) who had been or are under ban as excommunicated individuals posing as duly ordained clergy who had been a part of this jurisdiction (and so many numerous others) in times past.
Apostle1.com's NOTE: A few have sent us inquiries as to why we post information and/or articles relating to what might be considered as political and sometimes from other Protestants . And the reply is much the same as it states on the entry page.... We Are:
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an Educational, News, Informational and Research Web Site dedicated to providing such as befits those who seek things pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith and life for various
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While the answer and question above is not sufficient for some to understand, we take the view (which we believe is ORTHODOX) that all things pertinent to life and living affects, and has an effect, upon not just our belief (Orthodox), but (for many) the way in which we act in accordance with our belief, our very faith.
Because this is a highly Protestant Country in which we live, having an effect upon the laws of the land, we should know something of what is on-going and where efforts by those denominations may affect and have a intrinsic effect on our very laws, for such does have an effect upon our daily lives as Orthodox Catholic Christians.
If one is not cognizant of the real events happening both locally and in the world, although many are removed from the world... one will not know what to expect or what to do, or how one can or cannot act which might betray one's faith and accrue the wrath of civil authorities as laws change. Yet, we are also reminded that these things must happen and it was for that which there exists many early Christian Martyrs and Saints.
While we can remove ourselves from the world, we still live in it. And for the faithful, theirs is a struggle for knowledge and understanding. All things are pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith which is the very foundation of Christianity. As such, we can not abandon them and leave them blind to events and happenings.
What we post as related to those things similar to various articles which might have a political theme or non-Orthodox Catholic Christian content of sorts ... does not mean or imply that we are supportive of, for, or against something articulated in an article, so much as it is NEWS and our faithful should be made aware, for such may be the very thing that will impact their day-to-day life. It is for them, their free will... to judge the relevancy.
Remember, not all Protestants, especially hard core cultic groups such as "Charismatic" - "Evangelical" "Promise Keepers" "Church of Christ" "Methodism" "Pentecostals" "Jehovah's Witnesses" "Mormons" and other people are not so generous in their viciousness toward anyone and anything that appears "Catholic" whether of the Roman or Orthodox jurisdictions, for they do not know or want to learn that which makes them "different" in their walk and talk as being far from the roots of Christianity.
Remember, it is the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church which has more outwardly shown that it can be one of the most vicious toward those who are not Roman but are very much "Catholic" - for the sun and moon does not rise and set on the Vatican (Latin or Roman) jurisdiction as to who is or is not "Catholic" for the Roman jurisdiction split (schismed) from the roots of "Catholicism" which is founded in what is termed and called today as "Orthodoxy".
Any good article or piece of information will be considered so long as it is not defamatory or slanderous toward an individual when not based on TRUTH or FACT, or which is altered out of context from its original publishing by recognized sources.
+Joseph Thaddeus (Stanford), OSB, SSJt., Ph.D.
“I prefer a defeat accompanied by humility to a victory accompanied by pride.”
Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ. The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...
The workings of Holy Spirit will not be daunted by those who attempt to cause disruption! It is for these and other reasons that you are urged to read what true repentance and forgiveness means for real "Christians".
"It would be better to have ten (10) true repentant X-felons who ask for and give true forgiveness than it would be to have one (1) non-x-felon or common person whose self-righteousness exceeds even the Pharisees, Sadducees, the gossip mongers, slanderers and un-repentant; for the repentant x-felon understands the true meaning of the Church's purpose as being the spiritual hospital." (siq) +Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D., Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot, Primate
Yes... "Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater..." (1992-Fr. Alan Stanford)
One can ask, "What part of 'Prejudice' and 'hate' do you not understand? Are you a complacent person? In light of the saying, examine yourself! You may be surprised if you are honest with yourself for your soul may convict you before Jesus Christ convicts you in the times to come!
tested by some trial you should try to find out not why or through whom it came,
but only how to endure it gratefully, without distress or rancor."
St. Mark the Ascetic.
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalms 32:1-2
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Saint Jude Thaddeus (Helper of the Hopeless) and The Thaddean Fathers (SSJt.)
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AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY
Is Christianity At The Cross Roads?
As The World Goes, So Goes The Church
Anomalies in Ecclesiology of Contemporary Orthodox Churches
Attempts at Coming to An Understanding of Orthodox Catholic Christianity
A Response to two articles: “Pedophilia Condoned (Approved) By Islam” & “Dalai Lama With Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Others"
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Orthodox Catholic Christian Fasts, Feasts, and Daily Prayers
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