Daily Archives: January 11, 2018
I have recently read, in a book supposedly friendly to traditional Catholicism, suspiciously conciliatory remarks about the situation of Jews. It is probably fitting to remind the reader of a thing or two.
There are no two Covenants in place. The call to conversion that Jesus made was directed to the Jews just as well as to everyone else. In fact, in the very first years after Our Lord's Resurrection it was considered normal for the first Christians to consider themselves Jews who – in contrast to the others – had recognised the advent of the Messiah promised to them. This feeling was so strong, that St. Peter himself – erroneously – thought that a Gentile would have to convert to Judaism in order to become a Christian (error which, as we know, was opposed and defeated by St Paul at the First Council of Jerusalem).
There is no mistaking the fact that Peter and all his contemporary taught it a grave danger to his Salvation that any Jew would not recognise Christ as Lord and Saviour. Things haven't changed just because we have a Jewish friend who is awfully nice.
The other way of seeing it is this: whilst Judaism is the matrix out of which Christianity arose, a Jew is simply one who denies the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Ghost. If you don't see in this a very grave offence to the Holy Trinity, I must question your Christian credentials.
It is, obviously, reasonable to hope that, among these Infidels – make no mistake: a Jew is not a Christian and is, therefore, an Infidel – more will be saved than among Infidels of any other religion, because of the special bond that once existed between the chosen people and God. However, we must not think that a Jew can ever be saved qua Jew, that is: in his religion, and we must make every prudent effort to convert those around us who follow this now outdated, surpassed persuasion.
This does not mean aggressive Proselitysm, nor does it mean harassing people who do not want to listen to us. It means that we clearly formulate the tenets of our faith and, when the time is right – say: when we have an interlocutor willing to listen – make clear to the Jewish friend or colleague the risks of his position.
Whilst we recognise the Davidic persuasion as the nearest to Christianity, we must also profess that this persuasion is deeply wrong and offensive to God, and clearly outside of the Christian world.
This might seem superfluous, but I thought that it had to be said, as I have the impression that here and there there might be Catholics who even consider themselves conservative but think that it is, in a way, “OK to be a Jew”.
Everyone who is not a Christian is conversion material.
There are no exceptions.
As we are living in unspeakably evil times, let us imagine that the unspeakably evil happens:
Saturday, 13 January 2017, Pope Francis solemnly proclaims ex cathedra the truth of the Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide Protestants tenets. He orders all Catholics to adhere to the new proclamation, which he very formally declares infallible in exercise of the Pope's Extraordinary Magisterium.
Can you say, then, that the Church is a fraud? Certainly not. The Church cannot be a fraud, because it is de fide that the Church is the Bride of Christ and if we declare that false we must declare the whole of Christianity false, which is an absurdity considering that the Church, sound theology and sound reasoning tell us the contrary.
Are works, in this case, not necessary anymore for salvation? Certainly not, as what was true yesterday must be true today and if I do not believe today what I believed yesterday it means that I have lost the faith, and that's that.
If, therefore, the Unspeakably Evil happens, what conclusion shall we draw?
That the Church still exists. With all her rules, traditions and institution.
And that the Sea is vacant.
This is the correct understanding of the situation. Any other interpretation leads ad absurdum, because it contradicts Catholic teaching either in one way (the Pope has the authority to change doctrine) or in the other (a pope who officially, solemnly proclaim heresy has not, ipso facto, made the sea vacant).
Obviously, such a Pope would still be, factually, sitting on the throne of Peter. But it would be only this: a de facto situation which is the fruit of abuse and usurpation, as if Napoleon had proclaimed himself Pope. We would have the duty to refuse obedience to both the usurper and everyone asking us to help him in any way, shape or form.
If the worst happens, there is still a simple, logical, coherent explanation fully in line with Catholic doctrine.
Do not lose your sleep, therefore, thinking what would happen if the Unspeakably Evil came to pass. The Church that has protected sixty generations before you will protect you, too. But she will demand that you believe in Her and in Her Truth, and in Her Bridegroom and His Promise, too. To abandon the Church when you have most need of Her (and She has most need, in a sense, to be defended by you) would be the height of pride and arrogance. But you will stand on the side of Christ and His Bridegroom, no matter what.