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Why Tradition?

Sum up the Council for me, if you can!
Why, yes – the true God must give way to man.

If it is true that a generation of Traditional Catholics is growing up who do not know why they are Traditional, that is definitely one reason why the Society of St Pius X is “losing its savour” – see Mt. V, 13. To keep the Faith, every Catholic needs to know why he must follow Tradition. Now the Second Vatican Council was arguably the greatest single assault on Catholic Tradition in all the history of the Church. So let us look at a modernist encyclopedia’s useful ten-point summary of the new teaching of Vatican II, together with the briefest of pointers to the error in each point. The ten points are in italics, their skeletal refutation follows immediately each point:—

1 The Church is, first and foremost, a mystery, or sacrament, and not primarily an organisation or institution. “Mystery” and “sacrament” are deliberately vague words to get away from the Church’s structure, but Our Lord clearly instituted Peter to lead His Apostles and disciples in the saving of souls. Peter is Pope, and in St Paul’s Epistles clearly Apostles become bishops and disciples become priests.

2 The Church is the whole people of God, not just the hierarchy, clergy and religious. Of course the Catholic Church includes all Catholics as well as priests, but the priests are its backbone, or structure.

3 The Church’s mission includes action on behalf of justice and peace and is not limited to the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments. Doctrine and sacraments are the basic means by which the Catholic Church has contributed more than anybody or anything to justice and peace in the world.

4 The Church includes all Christians and is not limited to the Catholic Church. Non-catholic “Christians” can never be truly Christian, because they reject more or less of what Our Lord instituted.

5 The Church is a communion, or college, of local churches, which are not simply administrative subdivisions of the Church Universal. Today’s chaos in “local churches” all over the world proves how they absolutely need to be united and administered by a sane Universal Pope in Rome.

6 The Church is an eschatological community; it is not yet the Kingdom of God. Wherever souls are in the state of grace, there God is King, not only in Heaven but also already here below on earth.

7 The lay apostolate is a direct participation in the apostolate of the Church and not simply a sharing in the mission of the hierarchy. As a human body needs both skeleton and flesh, so the Mystical Body of the Church needs both clergy and laity (cf. I Cor. XII). Opposite errors (clericalism and laicism) are generated by exaggerating the role of either. The Church needs both.

8 There is a hierarchy of truths; not all teachings of the Church are equally binding or essential to the integrity of Catholic faith. Only non-dogmatic truths can be ranked in order of importance. All Catholic dogmas rank equally, because to deny just one is to deny God’s authority which is behind them all.

9 God uses other Christian churches and non-Christian religions in offering salvation to all mankind; the Catholic Church is not the only means of salvation. To all men alive God offers graces sufficient for salvation. These may come to men IN non-Christian religions or non-Catholic “churches,” but they can never come THROUGH anybody or anything except through Jesus Christ and His one Catholic Church.

10 The dignity of the human person and the freedom of the act of faith are the foundation of religious liberty for all, over against the view that “error has no rights.” Catholicism being the only true religion, then the only true religious liberty is the liberty to be Catholic. Error indeed has no rights.

Kyrie eleison.

P.S. On Sunday September 10, after Mass at 10h00, Dr David White will give three lectures in Broadstairs on Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889), Jesuit priest and important English poet.

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