Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Don’t Be Confused

January 8th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”

So said Edward R. Murrow about the role and duty of the citizen. The same is absolutely true for us here. We have been accused of many things, you and I, among them “subversion,” “cruelty,” “lacking for charity,” “unfair,” “mean,” “hateful,” “vengeful,” and some which I don’t care to recall. Our defense of Truth and Tradition, and our utilization of humor and light-heartedness within it, is just that: defense. Remember, we are the party against whom many grievances have been declared. Many blame us for our stiffness, our unyielding attitudes regarding women priests, lay preaching, improvised prayers, blessings conferred by the laity. However, we are not unyielding through our will alone. No, we are steadfast in our beliefs because the Church was founded by God, given to wise men and women to care for, and has come to us, blemished at times, through the centuries.

Our dissent is not sedition. No, our dissent is akin to that of the persecuted English Catholics under the reign of the Protestant monarchs of the Tudor dynasty. We cling to our faith, our Catholic heritage, and in so doing, cling to the keys to heaven. For they were not given to anyone save St. Peter, and as is said, “ubi petrus, ibi ecclesia.” “Where Peter, there the Church.” We are compelled by a love of the sacred – not a love for the profane. We place our hope in God, not in man. We follow the pope, the bishop of bishops, the servant of servants, for he alone is the successor to St. Peter. If one denies what he says, and does so with purposeful and wrathful intent, he cuts onself of from the Blessed Sacrament and the Communion of Saints. For how can one acknowledge “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” when one denies the will of Her supreme head?

One cannot.

For this reason we follow the pope. Yes, we do answer to our bishop, but not when he enters into open schism (or private schism, for that matter) with Rome. The norms of this diocese do not, have not, and never will trump the norms from Rome. For though the Church is catholic, universal, it is also One and Apostolic. To err is to create a church separate from that of Our Lord. To defy the teachings of the Holy Mother Church, as promulgated by the Supreme Pontiff is to turn one’s back on the Apostolic Tradition of Her existence.

All Tradition exists for a reason. It is not arbitrary, nor is it outdated. There are those who boldly declare, “the Church changes – it’s part of reality.” Yes, the Church does change. However, it does so only because of man’s infidelity to Truth and to a love of the sacred. Anything tinged with man’s involvement is tinged, inescapably, with man’s imperfection. There is no escaping it. But as Catholics, as Christians, we profess that God is God. That is the end of the matter – He does not change. He is, and will be forever, world without end. God does not change, only the sinful nature of human kind does. Why do we continue to fight amongst each other regarding the liturgy, prayer, inclusivity, and the nature of the sacraments when we have the most absolute of answers? God does not change, and through a simple progression of logic, one can easily and confidently state that the substance, the “stuff” of the sacraments, does not change, for they are extensions of the Divine. The manifestations, the physical presentations of the sacraments may change, but must always change for the better.

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.” We are dissenting, yes, but just as the Catholics dissented when Martin Luther gave birth to his heretical sedition. Our dissent is conceived, not out of a carnal lust for self-promotion as is that of the liberals, but out of a love for Our Lord and His Church. We are loyal sons and daughters of God – remember that the next time you see a lay preacher spreading his or her deceitful venom of heterodoxy. Remember that the next time you encounter a woman or a married man masquerading as a valid and licit Catholic priest. We have a duty, as Catholics, as Christians, as believers in the One True God, to oppose infidelity to the Lord and to defend His honor as we would our own. For what honor have we when we forget to render honor to Him who is the source of all honor, of all glory, and of all majesty?

None.

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