The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference has reached a “landmark agreement” with the Lutherans in their local jurisdiction, espousing public heresy and encouraging the mortal sin of communicatio in sacris (which we have written of not a few times elsewhere).
After wading through the bishops’ header graphics (beware: the one about “Youth and the Church” telegraphs support for unnatural relations), one finds this:
Among other things, the joint statement declares:
Boy, that’s a far cry from the Saints:
This vision [of Hell], too, was the cause of the very deep distress which I experience because of the great number of souls who are bringing damnation upon themselves – especially of those Lutherans, for they were made members of the Church through baptism. … I do not know how we can look on so calmly and see the devil carrying off as many souls as he does daily.-Teresa of Avila
The Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church. Hence they who are out of our Church, or separated from it, cannot be saved… How great is the number of infidels, heretics, and schismatics!-Alphonsus de Liguori
There is no other communion or so-called Church, but the Catholic, in which are stored the promises, the sacraments, and other means of salvation… no one can be saved who is not in that one and only Church.-John Henry Newman
Anyhow, the Kiwis continue:
Campion and countless others died rather than attend Lutheran “services.” What would they say?
Cut off from the Body into which alone the graces of Christ flow, you [Protestants] are deprived of the benefit of all prayers, sacrifices, and sacraments. … In vain do you defend the religion of Catholics, if you hug only that which you like, and cut off all that seems not right in your eyes. … You must be altogether within the house of God, within the walls of salvation, to be sound and safe from all injury; if you wander and walk abroad ever so little, if you carelessly thrust hand or foot out of the ship, if you stir up ever so small a mutiny in the crew, you shall be thrust forth – the door is shut, the ocean roars, you are undone.-Edmund Campion
The Kiwis again:
The “Church of their choice,” and with ministers of whatever religion – because, you know, whatever.
Contrast that with a few Canons and Councils of centuries past…
If any one of the bishops, priests, deacons, or anyone in the canon shall be found communicating with excommunicated persons, let him also be excommunicated, as one who brings confusion on the order of the Church.-Synod of Antioch
It is not permitted to heretics to enter the house of God while they continue in heresy. Members of the Church are not allowed to meet in the cemeteries, nor attend the so-called martyries of any heretics, for prayer or service. … No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics.-Synod of Laodicea
No one must either pray or sing psalms with heretics; and whosoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergyman or laic, let him be excommunicated.-Council of Carthage
Let a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, who has only prayed with heretics, be excommunicated: but if he has permitted them to perform any clerical office, let him be deposed. … If any clergyman or layman shall enter into a synagogue of Jews or heretics to pray, let the former be deposed and the latter be excommunicated.-Apostolic Canons
…and those are just from the first four centuries! (For these citations and more, see the handout here.)
The Kiwis again:
This last provision is in direct violation of the current Code of Canon Law (n. 874ff), which states (at least for now) that godparents must be Catholics in good standing.
So, the Kiwi bishops deny the ecclesiological dogmas and flout universal Church law, right there in black and white. Will they get a reprimand?
Nah. They’ll get a promotion. They may even get royalties, after this model is adopted elsewhere.
Brand War: It’s A Different Religion
Not long ago, a diocesan priest was struggling to face the reality that the vast majority of the once-Catholic ecclesiastical infrastructure has found its way into the hands of men who no longer hold or teach the Catholic faith. And yet, unlike heretics of centuries past, these same men insist on keeping the nametags and the institutions (or at least some of them, while they manage their asset liquidation), using force to instead label and exclude true Catholics from those same auspices: to steal the brand, and apply it to their own fundamentally different religious system.
It was a hard pill for the priest to swallow, but, as then, it is worth carefully considering: what exactly makes for a “different religious system”?
We may attempt a small outline:
- CREED. This pertains to one’s conformity to reality. God has only made one revelation in history, which is retained whole and entire in the Catholic religious system. As such, the informed assertion of any one tenet that manifestly contradicts a defined doctrine is sufficient to destroy the virtue of faith and supernatural life in the individual soul. Such a variance already betokens a different religious system. There is no “partially Catholic doctrine” or “fullness of truth” – there is Catholicism, 100% truth, and there is heresy, which is anything other than.
- CODE. This pertains to one’s moral action, which flows directly from reality. God has revealed His objective commands for human conduct, the violation of which we call “sin,” and the right categorization of which has been retained in the Catholic religious system alone. The assertion of evil acts as good, or good acts as evil, betokens a different religious system. There is no “semi-Catholic conduct” or “graduality” in the objective moral law itself – there is holiness, which comes from conformity to the norm, and there is sin, which is its opposite.
- CULT. This is really a subset of morality, but pertains to the highest moral acts possible for a creature and is therefore in a class of its own. God has revealed how He is to be worshipped – this ritual precision both enacts truth (it is the ritual expression of faith, of reality, of dogma) thereby glorifying God, and rectifies man in relation to God (it is the ritual expression of man’s creaturely submission and love) thereby sanctifying the worshipper. Anything other than the “received and approved rites in the Church” signifies a different religious system. There is true worship in traditional Catholic forms, and false worship everywhere else.
So! With the above in mind, perhaps we can assess the Kiwi events a bit more clearly. Let’s recap:
The joint statement denies the dogmatically defined marks of the Church (CREED), affirms as virtuous a series of acts considered by the entire Catholic tradition to be intrinsically evil (CODE), and specifically advocates for the practice and adoption of non-Catholic ritual elements (CULT). What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a different religion.
Historically speaking, the emergence of a different religion operating under Catholic auspices was not entirely clear to English Catholics in the 16th century, either. “Lutheranism” was not named as such until many years later. Calvin and Melancthon both went to their graves calling themselves “Catholics.”
Unfortunately, the Kiwis’ espoused religion is still without a precise name in our own time – largely because this religion has become ubiquitous since the 1960s, and its standard-bearers (even the innocently ignorant) refuse to acknowledge it as such. Furthermore, this system lacks a clear progenitor or heresiarch at its debut, making the naming of it rather difficult. Modernism certainly fits. Bergoglianism isn’t bad. Novus Ordoism perhaps. Roman Protestantism?
But whatever the case, the thing really needs a name… because it’s not Catholic.
“Reeling but Erect”
But take heart! Things can’t go on long like this.
Like every heresy prior, this AntiChurch religion must soon self-identify by clearly distinguishing itself from Roman Catholicism. Satan can’t hide his tail. This is why things like the new motu proprio are actually more helpful than not – for, all false systems must separate, like oil and water. They always do. They always will.
Remember the observation of Chesterton…
It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads, from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.
…and Bravo the Restoration!