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Fr. Sainte Trinité & Judging the Pope

Fatima & Tradition
People Commenting
Dear TIA,

I have started to read the first volume of a four-volume work on the Fatima apparitions called The Whole Truth about Fatima by Brother Michel de la Sainte Trinité of the Little Brothers of the Sacred Heart. In the second chapter, he gives us a view into the lives of the three seers. Under the heading, "The Religion of Fatima," he relates the following:

"High Mass on Sunday, the catechism learned by heart and explained to children, the practice of daily family prayer, devotions to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady, the angels and saints, prayer for the dead, moral education on the virtues and vices, all this in the great light of the last ends, Judgment, Heaven and Hell, such was the religion which these poor people lived with humility, and heroism...

"What is striking is that Our Lady, when She came to the Cova da Iria, did not propose any other ideal. This is what Fatima is first of all: the most urgent reminder ever that the true religion that pleases God and saves souls, is indeed this traditional religion, still faithfully lived in the beginning of the century in many regions, where Christendom remained very much alive. And when tomorrow, a new Christendom will rise up over the rubble, by the grace of Our Lady of Fatima and according to Her promise, the same dogmas, the same devotions, the same moral doctrine will still be its soul and very essence. Everything else is a deadly illusion." (Italics mine.)

I find the above text and the rest of his narration inspiring and comforting. If your readers want to read this book, all four volumes can be found online: Volume I, Volume II, and Volume III.

Let us pray for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart and for the reign of Mary.

     In corde Mariae,

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How Can You Judge the Pope?
People Commenting
Dear TIA,

While visiting the TIA website I came across some near-full-frontal nudity. Also Winston Churchill was praised as someone rightly knighted, when he entered into an alliance with Joseph Stalin.

There is also this principle which no one has ever explained, to my knowledge. One may not sin even to gain true and important knowledge. So, as a special case, even if I knew with absolute certainty that reading such-an-such a book would completely cleanse my soul of all modernist heresy, if there were no visible means, no known means, of obtaining or reading that book licitly even if venial sin were 'all' that would be 'required,' still I would have to avoid that book until some licit means became available. But, what then of a potentially bad book?

Also, it seems to me that Pope Benedict XVI must be under some kind of threat or secret coercion. Don't some claim Pope John Paul I was murdered because he was ready to defend Catholicism? Might Pope John Paul II have reasoned that if he were to move any further to the right, he too would be killed and someone more liberal would be elected Pope, to even greater damage to the Church?

Why isn't modernist fog analogous to the 'code' in which the Apocalypse is said to be written? Who are the bad Pope who spoke ambiguously, appearing to give assent to error, who were later condemned? Can you make a list of them and their associated subsequent condemnations? Which such Popes did what was most analogous to what the post-Vatican II Popes have done? Why isn't a Pope allowed to use mental reservation even in public speech and action? Or do what he knows will be scandalous, not intending the scandal, to obtain a greater good?

The elementary acts of a pope during his papacy form one complex act. Why could it not be the case that the Pope shapes his entire Papacy to obtain some good such as avoiding WWIII?

You must believe in baptism of desire to argue that a chastisement which would come upon mankind as quickly as all-our nuclear war would convert souls like the flood in Noah's time.

How can we be expected to just launch into agreement with someone's criticism of the Pope when no one on earth knows the interior moral state of the Pope and we're not supposed to judge interior moral states? To claim to know that the Pope believes that the Jews can really be waiting licitly for the first coming of their messiah is to judge his interior moral state.


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TIA responds:

Dear D.O.,

We believe there is confusion in your criteria regarding the internal conscience of a person, which should be respected, and his external actions, which can be criticized. Here are some considerations that may help you put them in order.

1. When a man lives in society, he must be responsible for his external actions. This is the basic presupposition of every judicial system established in civilized nations in order to defend the common good and public morality. Hence, when a judge establishes that a man is guilty of this or that crime, he is not necessarily intruding on the interior motives of that person. He is giving a verdict on his external behavior as harmful to society.

2. When a Catholic Prelate acts publicly, he is subject to the same rule. Specific cases can be discussed to determine whether he is subject to the civil law or only to the ecclesiastical law, but the authority that judges him also does not intrude on his interior conscience. For instance, an ecclesiastic is subject to the civil law in these cases:

   * When a Bishop runs the red light, he can receive a ticket like anyone else;
   * When he commits a fraud against the IRS, he is liable for due punishment;
   * When he covers up for pedophile priests or is a pedophile himself, he may go to jail.

No one imagines that when a judge gives a ticket to an ecclesiastic, he is intruding upon his interior liberty.

Analogously, if someone who is not a judge sees a Prelate doing one of these wrong actions, he has full liberty to criticize him. As long as he maintains due respect for the Prelate's religious dignity, any Catholic can say: "I saw Bishop X crossing the red light; he should not do that." Or if credible evidence exists, he may say: "Bishop Y seems to be protecting pedophile priests." A Catholic can freely say one of these things against a Prelate. He is in no way pretending to place himself above the Prelate. It is the Prelate who is putting the Church in bad situation, not the one who criticizes him.

3. When a Catholic sees a Prelate going astray from the right path of the Faith or Morals, he should take one of these positions:

A. If the fault happens only once, he should act like the good sons of Noah, who did not want to see the weakness of their father.

B. If that fault starts to be frequent, he should warn the Prelate and his superiors, reporting to them the Prelate's wrong doctrine or behavior that harms the Faith or gives scandal to the people.

C. If no correction comes from the superiors or repentance from the Prelate, after the third warning, the Catholic should publicly resist the Prelate, setting out his reasons for taking this position.

D. None of these actions intrudes upon the interior privacy of the Prelate; they are all in the realm of his external actions.

4. Similarly, when a Pope such as Alexander VI is leading a scandalous moral life, or a Pope like Honorius signs heretical formulas, or a Pope like St. Marcelinus burns incense to the idols, then the Catholic should follow the steps set out in item 3. Likewise, when the Pope writes a book or affirms that the Jews have the right to wait for a false messiah, these are actions that are in the external domain. [For more instances of Popes who took wrong doctrinal positions, see We Resist You to the Face.)

5. A Catholic should never try to depose a Pope or support any authority - religious or civil - that pretends to do so. It is only this last action of trying to depose a Pope that is considered "judging a Pope." It is only this action that is forbidden by the Church. The other actions of vigilance and warning against a Pope who goes astray are not forbidden. For more on this topic, please read here and here.

6. When TIA points out the scandals of the post-conciliar Popes - e.g. their approving nude women at Masses, or their clear denial of the Tradition of the Church - e.g. by going to synagogues, or their defense of doctrines that are against the Catholic Faith - e.g. by defending the doctrine of universal salvation, we are not pretending to judge the Pope. We are following step C (3) - resisting his bad actions and warning others not to follow the Pope's wrong path.

We hope that these distinctions may help you to see more clearly and, consequently, be more certain of your Catholic duties.


     TIA correspondence desk

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted July 5, 2011

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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA

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