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    To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church "was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit." Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain "restoration and regeneration" for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a "foundation may be laid of a new human institution," and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing "may become a human church." Let those who devise such plans be aware that, according to the testimony of St. Leo, "the right to grant dispensation from the canons is given" only to the Roman Pontiff. He alone, and no private person, can decide anything "about the rules of the Church Fathers." As St. Gelasius writes: "It is the papal responsibility to keep the canonical decrees in their place and to evaluate the precepts of previous popes so that when the times demand relaxation in order to rejuvenate the churches, they may be adjusted after diligent consideration."
[Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.]

  A   B r i e f   H i s t o r i c a l   S u r v e y   of  
Church teaching 100 years prior to the Second Vatican Council

Pope Pius IX   (1846-1878)

   On Promotion of False Doctrines

    "7. Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments."
    "8. Also well known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church. Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, to whom 'the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior.'(Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in its letter to Pope Leo.) The words of Christ are clear enough: 'If he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you a Gentile and a tax collector;'(Mt 15.17.) 'He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me;'(Lk 10.16.) 'He who does not believe will be condemned;'(Mk 16.16.) 'He who does not believe is already condemned;'(Jn 3.18.) 'He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.'(Lk 11.23.) The Apostle Paul says that such persons are 'perverted and self-condemned;'(Ti 3.11.) the Prince of the Apostles calls them 'false teachers . . . who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master. . . bringing upon themselves swift destruction.'(2 Pt 2.1.) "
[Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, August 10, 1863.]

   Condemning Current Errors

    "For you well know, ...that at this time men are found ...who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of 'naturalism,' ...dare to teach ...'that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones.'"

   Syllabus of Errors

The following erroneous propositions are specifically condemned:
"III. Indifferentism, Latitudinarianism
    15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. -Allocution Maxima quidem, June 9, 1862; Damnatio Multiplices inter, June 10, 1851.
    16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -Encyclical Qui pluribus, Nov. 9, 1846.
    17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -Encyclical Quanto conficiamur, Aug. 10, 1863.
    18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. -Encyclical Noscitis, Dec. 8, 1849."

"IV. Socialism, Communism, Secret Societies
    Pests of this kind are frequently reprobated in the severest terms in the Encyclical Qui pluribus, Nov. 9, 1846, Allocution Quibus quantisque, April 20, 1849, Encyclical Noscitis et nobiscum, Dec. 8, 1849, Allocution Singulari quadam, Dec. 9, 1854, Encyclical Quanto conficiamur, Aug. 10, 1863."

"V. Errors Concerning the Church and Her Rights
    21. The Church has not the power of defining dogmatically that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion. -Damnatio Multiplices inter, June 10, 1851."

"VI. Errors About Civil Society
    55. The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church. -Allocution Acerbissimum, Sept. 27, 1852."

"X. Errors Having Reference to Modern Liberalism
    77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. -Allocution Nemo vestrum, July 26, 1855.
    78. Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. -Allocution Acerbissimum, Sept. 27, 1852.
    79. Moreover, it is false that the civil liberty of every form of worship, and the full power, given to all, of overtly and publicly manifesting any opinions whatsoever and thoughts, conduce more easily to corrupt the morals and minds of the people, and to propagate the pest of indifferentism. -Allocution Nunquam fore, Dec. 15, 1856.
    80. The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization. -Allocution Jamdudum cernimus, March 18, 1861."
[Syllabus of Errors, 1864.]

    In the bull Aeterni Patris, 29 June 1868, Pope Pius IX summoned the Holy Ecumenical Vatican council.

   The Vatican Council (1869-1870)

    "For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.
    Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding."
[Chapter Four of the Third Session]

    "For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles."
[Chapter Four of the Fourth Session]


Pope Leo XIII   (1878-1903)

   On Socialism

    "At the very beginning of Our pontificate, as the nature of Our apostolic office demanded, we hastened to point out in an encyclical letter addressed to you, venerable brethren, the deadly plague that is creeping into the very fibers of human society and leading it on to the verge of destruction; at the same time We pointed out also the most effectual remedies by which society might be restored and might escape from the very serious dangers which threaten it. But the evils which We then deplored have so rapidly increased that We are again compelled to address you, as though we heard the voice of the prophet ringing in Our ears: 'Cry, cease not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet.'"[Isa. 58:1.] You understand, venerable brethren, that We speak of that sect of men who, under various and almost barbarous names, are called socialists, communists, or nihilists, and who, spread over all the world, and bound together by the closest ties in a wicked confederacy, no longer seek the shelter of secret meetings, but, openly and boldly marching forth in the light of day, strive to bring to a head what they have long been planning - the overthrow of all civil society whatsoever.
    Surely these are they who, as the sacred Scriptures testify, 'Defile the flesh, despise dominion and blaspheme majesty.'[Jude 8.] They leave nothing untouched or whole which by both human and divine laws has been wisely decreed for the health and beauty of life. They refuse obedience to the higher powers, to whom, according to the admonition of the Apostle, every soul ought to be subject, and who derive the right of governing from God; and they proclaim the absolute equality of all men in rights and duties. They debase the natural union of man and woman, which is held sacred even among barbarous peoples; and its bond, by which the family is chiefly held together, they weaken, or even deliver up to lust. Lured, in fine, by the greed of present goods, which is 'the root of all evils which some coveting have erred from the faith,'[I Tim. 6:10.] they assail the right of property sanctioned by natural law; and by a scheme of horrible wickedness, while they seem desirous of caring for the needs and satisfying the desires of all men, they strive to seize and hold in common whatever has been acquired either by title of lawful inheritance, or by labor of brain and hands, or by thrift in one's mode of life. These are the startling theories they utter in their meetings, set forth in their pamphlets, and scatter abroad in a cloud of journals and tracts. Wherefore, the revered majesty and power of kings has won such fierce hatred from their seditious people that disloyal traitors, impatient of all restraint, have more than once within a short period raised their arms in impious attempt against the lives of their own sovereigns.
    But the boldness of these bad men, which day by day more and more threatens civil society with destruction, and strikes the souls of all with anxiety and fear, finds its cause and origin in those poisonous doctrines which, spread abroad in former times among the people, like evil seed bore in due time such fatal fruit. For you know, venerable brethren, that that most deadly war which from the sixteenth century down has been waged by innovators against the Catholic faith, and which has grown in intensity up to today, had for its object to subvert all revelation, and overthrow the supernatural order, that thus the way might be opened for the discoveries, or rather the hallucinations, of reason alone. This kind of error, which falsely usurps to itself the name of reason, as it lures and whets the natural appetite that is in man of excelling, and gives loose rein to unlawful desires of every kind, has easily penetrated not only the minds of a great multitude of men but to a wide extent civil society, also. Hence, by a new species of impiety, unheard of even among the heathen nations, states have been constituted without any count at all of God or of the order established by him; it has been given out that public authority neither derives its principles, nor its majesty, nor its power of governing from God, but rather from the multitude, which, thinking itself absolved from all divine sanction, bows only to such laws as it shall have made at its own will. The supernatural truths of faith having been assailed and cast out as though hostile to reason, the very Author and Redeemer of the human race has been slowly and little by little banished from the universities, the Iyceums and gymnasia - in a word, from every public institution. In fine, the rewards and punishments of a future and eternal life having been handed over to oblivion, the ardent desire of happiness has been limited to the bounds of the present. Such doctrines as these having been scattered far and wide, so great a license of thought and action having sprung up on all sides, it is no matter for surprise that men of the lowest class, weary of their wretched home or workshop, are eager to attack the homes and fortunes of the rich; it is no matter for surprise that already there exists no sense of security either in public or private life, and that the human race should have advanced to the very verge of final dissolution."
[Quod Apostolici Muneris, December 28, 1878.]

   On Freemasonry

    "3. At so urgent a crisis, when so fierce and so pressing an onslaught is made upon the Christian name, it is Our office to point out the danger, to mark who are the adversaries, and to the best of Our power to make head against their plans and devices..."

    "12. Now, the fundamental doctrine of the naturalists that human nature and human reason ought in all things to be mistress and guide. Laying this down, they care little for duties to God, or pervert them by erroneous and vague opinions. For they deny that anything has been taught by God; they allow no dogma of religion or truth which cannot be understood by the human intelligence, nor any teacher who ought to be believed by reason of his authority."

    "17. But the naturalists go much further; for, having, in the highest things, entered upon a wholly erroneous course, they are carried headlong to extremes, either by reason of the weakness of human nature, or because God inflicts upon them the just punishment of their pride. Hence it happens that they no longer consider as certain and permanent those things which are fully understood by the natural light of reason, such as certainly are - the existence of God, the immaterial nature of the human soul, and its immortality."

    "22. Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place."
[Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884.]

   On The Nature of Human Liberty

    "15. What naturalists or rationalists aim at in philosophy, that the supporters of liberalism, carrying out the principles laid down by naturalism, are attempting in the domain of morality and politics. The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the supreme principle and source and judge of truth. Hence, these followers of liberalism deny the existence of any divine authority to which obedience is due, and proclaim that every man is the law to himself; from which arises that ethical system which they style independent morality, and which, under the guise of liberty, exonerates man from any obedience to the commands of God, and substitutes a boundless license."
[Libertas, June 20, 1888.]

   Concerning New Opinions

    "The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The Vatican Council says concerning this point: 'For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them.' - Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv.
    Let it be far from anyone's mind to suppress for any reason any doctrine that has been handed down. Such a policy would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than to bring in those who differ. There is nothing closer to our heart than to have those who are separated from the fold of Christ return to it, but in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ."
[Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, January 22, 1899.]


Pope Saint Pius X   (1903-1914)

   The Restoration of All Things in Christ

    "For who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is - apostasy from God, than which in truth nothing is more allied with ruin,"
[E Supremi, October 4, 1903.]

    In his motu proprio, Arduum sane munus, 19 March 1904, Pope Saint Pius X, announced plans to codify the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church.

   Syllabus Condemning Errors

    "With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research, (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas."
[Lamentabili Sane, July 3, 1907]

   On The Doctrine of the Modernists

    "Undoubtedly, were anyone to attempt the task of collecting together all the errors that have been broached against the faith and to concentrate into one the sap and substance of them all, he could not succeed in doing better than the Modernists have done. Nay, they have gone farther than this for ... their system means the destruction not of the Catholic religion alone, but of all religion."
    "They lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt."
[Pascendi, September 8, 1907.]

   On the Bible and Against the Modernists

    "Moreover, in order to check the daily increasing audacity of many modernists who are endeavoring by all kinds of sophistry and devices to detract from the force and efficacy not only of the decree "Lamentabili sane exitu" (the so-called Syllabus), issued by our order by the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition on July 3 of the present year, but also of our encyclical letters "Pascendi dominici gregis" given on September 8 of this same year, we do by our apostolic authority repeat and confirm both that decree of the Supreme Sacred Congregation and those encyclical letters of ours, adding the penalty of excommunication against their contradictors, and this we declare and decree that should anybody, which may God forbid, be so rash as to defend any one of the propositions, opinions or teachings condemned in these documents he falls, ipso facto, under the censure contained under the chapter "Docentes" of the constitution "Apostolicae Sedis," which is the first among the excommunications latae sententiae, simply reserved to the Roman Pontiff. This excommunication is to be understood as salvis poenis, which may be incurred by those who have violated in any way the said documents, as propagators and defenders of heresies, when their propositions, opinions and teachings are heretical, as has happened more than once in the case of the adversaries of both these documents, especially when they advocate the errors of the modernists that is, the synthesis of all heresies."
[Praestantia Scripturae, November 18, 1907.]

    Further identifing the modernists and their efforts, Pope St. Pius X a few years later stated,

    "This impious and foolish war is waged and sometimes supported by those who should be the first to come to Our aid. The errors appear in many forms and the enticements of vice wear different dresses. Both cause many even among our own ranks to be ensnared, seducing them by the appearance of novelty and doctrine, or the illusion that the Church will accept the maxims of the age. Venerable Brethren, you are well aware that we must vigorously resist and repel the enemy's attacks with the very weapons Borromeo used in his day. Since they attack the very root of faith either by openly denying, hypocritically undermining, or misrepresenting revealed doctrine, we should above all recall the truth Charles often taught. 'The primary and most important duty of pastors is to guard everything pertaining to the integral and inviolate maintenance of the Catholic Faith, the faith which the Holy Roman Church professes and teaches, without which it is impossible to please God.' Again: 'In this matter no diligence can be too great to fulfill the certain demands of our office.' We must therefore use sound doctrine to withstand 'the leaven of heretical depravity,' which if not repressed, will corrupt the whole. That is to say, we must oppose these erroneous opinions now deceitfully being scattered abroad, which, when taken all together, are called Modernism."
[Editae Saepe Dei, May 26, 1910.]

   The Oath Against Modernism

    "The doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the Apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously."
[Sacrorum Antistitum, September 1, 1910.]


Pope Benedict XV   (1914-1922)

   Codex Iuris Canonici (1917)

    The power of jurisdiction or government which is in the Church by divine institution, is divided into that of the external forum and that of the internal forum, or the forum of conscience; and the latter is either sacramental or extra-sacramental (c. 196).

    In common error or in positive and probable doubt of law or fact, the Church supplies jurisdiction for both the external and internal forum (c. 209).

    As successor of St. Peter, the Roman Pontiff has the primacy not merely of honor but of jurisdiction over the universal Church (c. 218).

    Subject to an essential dependence on the Pope, the council has supreme power over the entire Church; but there is no appeal from the Pope to the council (c. 228).

    The commission of certain very grave crimes has the effect of expelling the culpable religious ipso facto, that is, the religious is dismissed by the law itself. The terms of this canon are to be interpreted strictly, that is, all the conditions laid down must be actually present before such a grave penalty can be said to be incurred. A crime of this type would be A religious who has publicly apostized from the Catholic faith (c. 646, §1, 1°): Apostasy is defined in canon 1325, §2, as the complete abandonment of the Christian faith. The apostasy from the Catholic faith must be public, which means according to canon 2197, 1°, that either the fact is already known by a large number of people, or that the circumstances of the apostasy are such that one must prudently judge that it will easily become known.

    Regarding Holy Orders, an irregularity by delict is one which is incurred by reason of certain specified personal, grievous, external consummated sins committed after baptism, which sins render the person unworthy of the clerical state or of exercising orders already received. The first two of seven such delicts are 1. Apostates from the faith, heretics, and schismatics (c. 985, 1°), and 2. Those who, except in case of extreme necessity, have allowed themselves to be baptized by non-Catholics (meaning here heretics or schismatics, not infidels) in any manner whatsoever (c. 985, 2°)
    Irregularities by delict, however, are not incurred unless the delict is a grave external sin, public or occult, committed after baptism except in the case of c. 985, 2° (c. 986).

    It is illicit for Catholics in any way to assist actively or take part in sacred worship of non-Catholics (c. 1258, §1). Passive or merely material presence, for the sake of civil courtesy, duty, or respect, for a grave reason which in case of doubt should have the approval of the Bishop may be tolerated, at the funerals, weddings, and other such celebrations of non-Catholics, provided there is no danger of perversion or of scandal (c. 1258, §2).

    Our Lord Jesus Christ entrusted the deposit of faith to the Church, that under the constant guidance and assistance of the Holy Spirit, she might sacredly guard and faithfully explain this divine revelation. The Church has therefore the right and the duty, independently of any civil power, to teach all nations the full evangelical doctrine; and all men are bound by the law of God to learn this doctrine properly and to embrace the true Church of God (c. 1322).
    The Church guards and explains this deposit of faith. She does not add to it, for it was completed and closed with the death of the last Apostle, Saint John. To guard means to keep and defend; in doing this the Church must sometimes declare truths which are not contained in revelation but which are necessary to keep revealed truth. To explain means to make clear what is obscure. The so-called developments of doctrine through dogmatic definitions may be compared to the sharpening of the focus on a film which is projected on a screen. The details which become discernible with clear focus are not new; they were all in the original picture, but they are now brought out more clearly.
    All those truths must be believed fide divina et catholica, which are contained in the written word of God or in tradition and which the Church proposes for acceptance as revealed by God, either by solemn definition or through her ordinary and universal teaching. To pronounce a solemn definition is the part of an Ecumenical Council or of the Roman Pontiff speaking ex cathedra. No doctrine is to be considered as dogmatically defined unless this is evidently proved (c. 1323).
    It is not enough to avoid heresy, but one must also carefully shun all errors which more or less approach it; hence all must observe the constitutions and decrees by which the Holy See has proscribed and forbidden opinions of that sort (c. 1324).
    The faithful are bound to profess their faith openly whenever under the circumstances silence, evasion, or their manner of acting would otherwise implicitly amount to a denial of the faith, or would involve contempt of religion, an offense to God, or scandal to the neighbor (c. 1325, §1).
    One who after baptism, while remaining nominally a Christian, pertinaciously (that is, with conscious and intentional resistance to the authority of God and the Church) denies or doubts any one of the truths which must be believed de fide divina et catholica, is a heretic; if he falls away entirely from the Christian faith, he is an apostate; finally if he rejects the authority of the Supreme Pontiff or refuses communion with the members of the Church who are subject to him, he is a schismatic (c. 1325, §2).
    Catholics are to avoid disputations or conferences about matters of faith with non-Catholics, especially in public, unless the Holy See, or in case of emergency the Ordinary of the place, has given permission (c. 1325, §3).

    The character of a moral act which makes it attributable to a certain person is called imputability. The imputability of a crime depends on the malice (dolus) of the culprit or on his culpability (culpa) in being ignorant of the law or in failing to use due diligence; hence all causes which increase, diminish, or excuse from malice or culpability, automatically increase, diminish, or excuse from the imputability of a crime (c. 2199).
    Malice here means the deliberate will to violate the law; opposed to it on the part of the mind is want of knowledge, on the part of the will, want of freedom (c. 2200, §1). When an external violation of the law has been committed, malice is presumed in the external forum until the contrary is proved (c. 2200, §2).

    Persons who conspire to commit a crime and physically concur in it are all held equally guilty, unless circumstances increase or diminish the guilt of some or one of them (c. 2209, §1). In a crime which by its nature requires an accomplice, each party has the same guilt unless the contrary is clear from the circumstances (c. 2209, §2). Not only the one who commands a crime and who is thus the principal culprit, but also those who induce the commission of the crime or concur in it in any way, incur no less guilt, other things being equal, than the one who perpetrated it, if without their help the crime would not have been committed (c. 2209, §3). But if their co-operation only made easier a crime which would have been committed even without their concurrence, it is less guilty (c. 2209, §4). One who by timely retraction completely withdrew his influence toward the commission of the crime is freed from all imputability, even though the perpetrator neverless completed the crime for reasons of his own; if he did not completely withdraw his influence, the retraction diminishes but does not entirely remove culpability (c. 2209, §5). One who concurs in a crime only by neglecting his duty incurs imputability proportionate to the obligation which he had to prevent the crime by doing his duty (c. 2209, §6). Praise of the crime after its commission, sharing in its fruits, concealing and harboring the culprit, or other acts subsequent to the completion of the crime, may constitute new crimes, namely, if they are punished by a penalty in the law; but, unless before the crime there was an agreement with the criminal to perform those acts, they do not entail imputability for the crime (c. 2209, §7).

    Excommunication is a censure by which one is excluded from the communion of the faithful, with the consequences which are enumerated in the following canons, and which cannot be separated (c. 2257, §1). It is also called anathema, especially if it is inflicted with the solemnities described in the Roman Pontifical (c. 2257, §2).
    Some excommunicated persons are vitandi, others tolerati (c. 2258, §1). No one is vitandus unless he has been excommunicated by name by the Holy See, and the excommunication has been publicly announced, and it is expressly stated in the decree or sentence that he is to be avoided, without prejudice to canon 2343, §1, 1° (c. 2258, §2). The canon cited declares anyone who lays violent hands on the Supreme Pontiff ipso facto vitandus.

    An excommunicated person is forbidden licitly to consecrate or administer sacraments and sacramentals, except as follows (c. 2261, §1). Except as provided in §3, the faithful can for any just cause ask for sacraments or sacramentals of one who is excommunicated, especially if there is no one else to give them; and in such cases the excommunicated person so asked may administer them, and is not obliged to ask the reason for the request (c. 2261, §2). But from an excommunicated vitandus or one against whom there is a declaratory or condemnatory sentence, the faithful may only in danger of death ask for sacramental absolution according to canons 882, 2252, and also for other sacraments and sacramentals in case there is no one else to administer them (c. 2261, §3).

    An excommunicated person who still holds an office to which ordinary jurisdiction is attached, acts illicitly but validly until a condemnatory or declaratory judgment has been passed upon him; thereafter he acts invalidly (c. 2264).
    A person who is suspended from jurisdiction similarly, acts illicitly but validly before, and invalidly after a condemnatory or declaratory judgment. (c. 2284).

    All apostates from the Christian faith, and all heretics and schismatics: (1) are ipso facto excommunicated; (2) if after due warning they fail to amend, they are to be deprived of any benefice, dignity, pension, office, or other position which they may have in the Church, they are to be declared infamous, and clerics after a reception of the warning are to be deposed; (3) if they have joined a non-Catholic sect or publicly adhered to it, they are ipso facto infamous, and clerics, in addition to being considered to have tacitly renounced any office they may hold, according to canon 188, 4°, are, if previous warning proves fruitless, to be degraded (c. 2314, §1). The abjuration [from crimes] is regarded as legally made when it is made before the Ordinary of the place or his delegate and at least two witnesses (c. 2314, §2).
    One who is suspected of heresy, and who after warning fails to remove the cause of suspicion, shall be barred from legitimate acts, and if he is a cleric he shall moreover, after a repetition of the warning has proved fruitless, be suspended a divinis; if one who is suspected of heresy does not amend his life within six full months from the time when the penalty was incurred, he shall be considered a heretic and be subject to the penalties for heresy (c. 2315).
    One who spontaneously and with full knowledge helps in any way in the propagation of heresy, or who co-operates in divinis with heretics contrary to the provision of canon 1258, is suspected of heresy (c. 2316).
    Those who obstinately teach or defend, either publicly or privately, a doctrine which has been condemned, though not as formally heretical, by the Holy See or by a General Council, are to be excluded from the ministry of preaching the word of God or of hearing sacramental confessions, and from teaching in any capacity, in addition to any other penalties which the condemnatory sentence may inflict or which the Ordinary, after due warning, may deem necessary to repair the scandal (c. 2317).

    Those who join a Masonic sect or other societies of the same sort, which plot against the Church or legitimate civil authority, incur ipso facto an excommunication simply reserved to the Holy See (c. 2335).


Pope Pius XI   (1922-1939)

   On The Promotion of True Religious Unity

    "When the question of promoting unity among Christians is under consideration many are easily deceived by the semblance of good. ... Yet beneath the coaxing words there is concealed an error so great that it would destroy utterly the foundations of the Catholic Faith."

    "They, therefore, who profess themselves Christians cannot, We think, but believe in Christ's establishment of one Church and only one. Yet when one asks what that Church by the will of its Founder ought to be, then not all agree. Indeed a great many deny, for example, that Christ's Church ought to be visible - at least in the sense that it should stand forth as one body of faithful united in one identical doctrine and under one authority and rule. On the contrary, by a visible Church they understand nothing but a society formed by various Christian communities, even though these adhere to different and even mutually contradictory doctrines."

    "And here there is presented the opportunity to set forth and remove a falsity upon which, it seems, this whole question hinges, and from which is drawn the multiple effort of the non-Christians who strive, as We have said, for the confederation of the Christian churches.
    The authors of this plan are in the habit of quoting the words of Christ: That ye all may be one. . . . There shall be one fold and one shepherd, (John 17, 21; 10, 16), yet in the sense that these words express a desire and a prayer of Jesus Christ which thus far has lacked all effect. They contend that the unity of faith and governance which is the sign of the true and one Church of Christ, has almost never existed up to this time, and does not exist today; that it can be wished for and perhaps sometime be obtained through common submission of the will, but meanwhile it must be considered a fiction.
    They say, moreover, that the Church by its very nature is divided into parts; that it consists of many churches or particular communities which are separated among themselves and, although they have certain points of doctrine in common, differ in others; and that at most the Church was the one Church and only Church between the Apostolic Era and the first Ecumenical Councils.
    Therefore, they say, the controversies and old differences of opinion, which to this day divide the Christian name, should be put aside, and with the remaining doctrines there should be formulated and proposed a common rule of faith, in the profession of which all can know and feel themselves brothers. United by some sort of universal covenant, the multitude of churches or communities will then be in a position to oppose fruitfully and effectively the progress of unbelief. This, Venerable Brethren, is the more general opinion.
    There are, however, some among them who assume and grant that Protestantism, as they call it, has rejected very inadvisedly certain articles of faith and certain rites of external worship that are fully acceptable and useful, which the Roman Church still preserves. But they add immediately that the Church has corrupted the early religion by adding to it and proposing for belief certain doctrines that are not only foreign to, but are opposed to, the Gospel - among which they bring forth chiefly that of the primacy of jurisdiction assigned to Peter and his successors of the Roman See."
[Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.]

   On Atheistic Communism

    "2. Nevertheless, the struggle between good and evil remained in the world as a sad legacy of the original fall. Nor has the ancient tempter ever ceased to deceive mankind with false promises. It is on this account that one convulsion following upon another has marked the passage of the centuries, down to the revolution of our own days. This modern revolution, it may be said, has actually broken out or threatens everywhere, and it exceeds in amplitude and violence anything yet experienced in the preceding persecutions launched against the Church. Entire peoples find themselves in danger of falling back into a barbarism worse than that which oppressed the greater part of the world at the coming of the Redeemer.
    3. This all too imminent danger, Venerable Brethren, as you have already surmised, is bolshevistic and atheistic Communism, which aims at upsetting the social order and at undermining the very foundations of Christian civilization.
    4. In the face of such a threat, the Catholic Church could not and does not remain silent. This Apostolic See, above all, has not refrained from raising its voice, for it knows that its proper and social mission is to defend truth, justice and all those eternal values which Communism ignores or attacks. Ever since the days when groups of 'intellectuals' were formed in an arrogant attempt to free civilization from the bonds of morality and religion, Our Predecessors overtly and explicitly drew the attention of the world to the consequences of the dechristianization of human society. With reference to Communism, Our Venerable Predecessor, Pius IX, of holy memory, as early as 1846 pronounced a solemn condemnation, which he confirmed in the words of the Syllabus directed against 'that infamous doctrine of so-called Communism which is absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and if once adopted would utterly destroy the rights, property and possessions of all men, and even society itself.'(Qui Pluribus, Nov. 9, 1864)

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Later on, another of Our predecessors, the immortal Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, defined Communism as 'the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin.'(Quod Apostolici Muneris, Dec. 28, 1928) With clear intuition he pointed out that the atheistic movements existing among the masses of the Machine Age had their origin in that school of philosophy which for centuries had sought to divorce science from the life of the Faith and of the Church."
[Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937.]


Pope Pius XII   (1939-1958)

   On The Mystical Body of Christ

    "22. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed."

    "41. They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. They have taken away the visible head, broken the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it."

    "65. For this reason We deplore and condemn the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, a kind of society that finds its origin and growth in charity, to which, somewhat contemptuously, they oppose another, which they call juridical."
[Mystici Corporis Christi, June 29, 1943.]

   On The Sacred Liturgy

    "11. ...We treat chiefly of the Latin liturgy ... in a special situation prevailing in the Western Church, of sufficient importance, it would seem, to require this exercise of Our authority."

    "59. The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve severe reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, Venerable Brethren, that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august eucharistic sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast-days - which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation - to other dates; "

    "62. Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings;"

    "187. First of all, you must strive that with due reverence and faith all obey the decrees of the Council of Trent, of the Roman Pontiffs, and the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and what the liturgical books ordain concerning external public worship.
    188. Three characteristics of which Our predecessor Pius X spoke should adorn all liturgical services: sacredness, which abhors any profane influence; nobility, which true and genuine arts should serve and foster; and universality, which, while safeguarding local and legitimate custom, reveals the catholic unity of the Church.- Pope Pius X, Tra le sollecitudini, November 22, 1903.
    189. We desire to commend and urge the adornment of churches and altars. Let each one feel moved by the inspired word, 'the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up';[Ps. 68:9; John, 2:17.] and strive as much as in him lies that everything in the church, including vestments and liturgical furnishings, even though not rich nor lavish, be perfectly clean and appropriate, since all is consecrated to the Divine Majesty. If we have previously disapproved of the error of those who would wish to outlaw images from churches on the plea of reviving an ancient tradition, We now deem it Our duty to censure the inconsiderate zeal of those who propose for veneration in the Churches and on the altars, without any just reason, a multitude of sacred images and statues, and also those who display unauthorized relics, those who emphasize special and insignificant practices, neglecting essential and necessary things. They thus bring religion into derision and lessen the dignity of worship.
    190. Let us recall, as well, the decree about 'not introducing new forms of worship and devotion.' - Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, Decree of May 26, 1937."
[Mediator Dei, November 20, 1947.]

   Concerning Some False Opinions

    "11. Another danger is perceived which is all the more serious because it is more concealed beneath the mask of virtue. There are many who, deploring disagreement among men and intellectual confusion, through an imprudent zeal for souls, are urged by a great and ardent desire to do away with the barrier that divides good and honest men; these advocate an 'eirenism' according to which, by setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attacks of atheism, but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma."

    "13. These new opinions, whether they originate from a reprehensible desire of novelty or from a laudable motive, are not always advanced in the same degree, with equal clarity nor in the same terms, nor always with unanimous agreement of their authors. Theories that today are put forward rather covertly by some, not without cautions and distinctions, tomorrow are openly and without moderation proclaimed by others more audacious, causing scandal to many, especially among the young clergy and to the detriment of ecclesiastical authority."

    "14. In theology some want to reduce to a minimum the meaning of dogmas; and to free dogma itself from terminology long established in the Church and from philosophical concepts held by Catholic teachers, to bring about a return in the explanation of Catholic doctrine to the way of speaking used in Holy Scripture and by the Fathers of the Church. They cherish the hope that when dogma is stripped of the elements which they hold to be extrinsic to divine revelation, it will compare advantageously with the dogmatic opinions of those who are separated from the unity of the Church and that in this way they will gradually arrive at a mutual assimilation of Catholic dogma with the tenets of the dissidents."

    "15. Moreover, they assert that when Catholic doctrine has been reduced to this condition, a way will be found to satisfy modern needs, that will permit of dogma being expressed also by the concepts of modern philosophy, whether of immanentism or idealism or existentialism or any other system. ... Wherefore they do not consider it absurd, but altogether necessary, that theology should substitute new concepts in place of the old ones in keeping with the various philosophies which in the course of time it uses as its instruments, so that it should give human expression to divine truths in various ways which are even somewhat opposed, but still equivalent, as they say."

    "18. Unfortunately these advocates of novelty easily pass from despising scholastic theology to the neglect of and even contempt for the Teaching Authority of the Church itself, which gives such authoritative approval to scholastic theology. This Teaching Authority is represented by them as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle in the way of science. Some non-Catholics consider it as an unjust restraint preventing some more qualified theologians from reforming their subject."

    "23. Further, according to their fictitious opinions, the literal sense of Holy Scripture and its explanation, carefully worked out under the Church's vigilance by so many great exegetes, should yield now to a new exegesis, which they are pleased to call symbolic or spiritual. By means of this new exegesis of the Old Testament, which today in the Church is a sealed book, would finally be thrown open to all the faithful. By this method, they say, all difficulties vanish, difficulties which hinder only those who adhere to the literal meaning of the Scriptures.
    24. Everyone sees how foreign all this is to the principles and norms of interpretation rightly fixed by our predecessors of happy memory, Leo XIII in his Encyclical 'Providentissimus Deus,' and Benedict XV in the Encyclical 'Spiritus Paraclitus,' as also by Ourselves in the Encyclical 'Divino Afflante Spiritu.'
    25. It is not surprising that novelties of this kind have already borne their deadly fruit in almost all branches of theology."

    "27. Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the Sources of Revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. - Mystici Corporis Christi, June 29, 1943."

    "41. For this reason, after mature reflexion and consideration before God, that We may not be wanting in Our sacred duty, We charge the Bishops and the Superiors General of Religious Orders, binding them most seriously in conscience, to take most diligent care that such opinions be not advanced in schools, in conferences or in writings of any kind, and that they be not taught in any manner whatsoever to the clergy or the faithful."
[Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.]


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