Sunday, July 08, 2007

Letter of the law of faith

The press seems to be in a tizzy over the Holy Father's new Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum and the accompanying explanatory letter to the bishops of the world. To hear some people tell it, the Pope is completely against the reforms of the Second Vatican Council-something he himself refutes in the text of the document.

What the Pope does do is reaffirm realities that Catholics the world over have forgotten about the way that we worship as a people.

The first reality that the Pope deals with is the fact that the Church never abandoned the traditional Mass that was codified at the Council of Trent, the Tridentine Mass. Because of this, the Pope takes the position that if enough of the faithful request the use of the Missal of 1962, the last under which that form of the Liturgy was promulgated, then they have a right to it. Further, Benedict makes the decree that the priests celebrating that form of the Sacred Liturgy must have the knowledge of Latin and of the Missal necessary to do so.

Rather than abandon Mass in the vernacular tongue, the Pope affirms that Mass in the tongue of the people is the ordinary norm, but that the people have a right to the traditional Mass (and Benedict affirms that it remains the traditional Mass of the Roman Rite, but it is used in extraordinary, not ordinary norms), and its use should not be discouraged.

This is not crazy my friends-this is part of the faith of the Church.



At Monday, July 09, 2007 12:57:00 AM, Blogger Joltin' Django said...

Have you noticed that the media is all atwitter over a portion of the Tridentine Mass that calls for the conversion of Jews? How come the MSM can't get equally worked up when, say, radical Islamists in the Middle East say that Israel should be destroyed for the 1,098,639th time ... ?!

At Monday, July 09, 2007 9:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, this is one of the greatest pronouncements in modern Church history. Deo gratias. Laus tibi Christe. -Adam Groves

At Monday, July 09, 2007 12:14:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

I could not agree more. I think this is the beginning of the "reform of the reform" and the cleansing and purification of the Church that Benedict has often spoke of.

At Thursday, July 12, 2007 7:56:00 AM, Anonymous Bill Robertson said...

What do you think of the Pope approving of an article that states the non-Catholic Christian community is defective, is not the true Church and cannot provide a "path to salvation"?

At Thursday, July 12, 2007 10:14:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

There is only one true Church-that is Catholic teaching, and always has been. The Pope was reaffirming what has been the constant teaching of the Church for time immemorial.

In our genuine and sincere desire to work together with other Christians for the common good of society (a good thing), Catholics have forgotten that teaching and many mistakenly believe that the Church no longer teaches it-this is not correct. Work with other Christians to do what is right, yes-but also remember the true identity of the Catholic Church-One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. There are no other churches...there is one Church. Other ecclesial communities are operating outside of the Church.

The Pope does not say, note, that Protestants are going to burn in Hell. Even if he himself believed that (I don't and I am sure the Pope does not either) he knows that God alone is the final judge of the Last Things. What he did say is what orthodox Catholics believe to be true: The Catholic Church is the only true Church founded by Jesus Christ our Lord, whose authority comes directly from Him, through His apostles, and their successors the Bishops. Period. That is the truth as the Catholic Church teaches it, always has been, and always will be.

I could water it down for the purpose of sounding mushy and just trying to get along-but I think that is wrong-people who do this are either lying to others on pupose just to butter over the matter, or they have deceived themselves. I won't commit that error.

At Thursday, July 12, 2007 1:43:00 PM, Anonymous Bill Robertson said...


If the Pope said that only the Catholic Church can provide a "path to salvation" doesn't that infer that non-Catholics will not be saved and will thus burn in Hell?

At Thursday, July 12, 2007 2:33:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

No, here's why:

If you really and genuinely have no knowledge that the Church is, well, the Church, you cannot before God be held accountable for that which you have no knowledge of.

If, on the other hand, you do know that the Church is what it professes to be and you still do not embrace it, that is quite another matter.

Those who don't know the Truth now are going to all find out some day, and the "path" will indeed be illuminated.

See the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."

At Friday, July 13, 2007 11:48:00 AM, Anonymous Bill Robertson said...


Thanks for your response. I respectfully disagree with anyone's contention that they have the one and only true Church, but appreciate your explanation.



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