A friendly call to Catholic perseverance by true traditional Catholics
Dear Fellow Traditional Catholic,
In the 4th Century A.D., the Catholic Church was severely persecuted by the Arian heretics. St. Athanasius clearly identified and combated these enemies of Truth (The Arians) who had iniquitously usurped Holy Mother Churches buildings, and “set up shop” to exact tribute. Church Historians estimate that 97% to 99% of the “Bishops” at that time, were Arian heretics.
A sin against Faith is the most grievous of all sins. St. Thomas Aquinas, teaches in regards to evil heretics:
“In a heretic who disbelieves one article of faith, no faith remains, either informed or uninformed.” (II-II, q. 5, a. 3.)
Hence, so although these reprobate/heretical Arian “Bishops” dressed like and pretended to be “Bishops”, they infallibly could not be [Bishops], as they did not possess de fide [The Catholic Faith].
They were really- impotent, impious, imposters who had, through their own prideful error, severed themselves from Christ’s Mystical Body [the] Catholic Church by their sin against The Faith. Logically, since they could not be Catholic, they could not hold *ecclesiastical office [i.e. be lawful Bishops] and of course they could not retain any authority from Christ to govern His Catholic Church as they were not members of it.
[*1917 Code of Canon Law (C. 188. 4.): “There are certain causes which effect the tacit resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are: … (4) if he has publicly defected (fallen away) from the Catholic faith.”]
St. Athanasius, a Holy Catholic Bishop and True Sacrificing Shepherd, in order to encourage his small flock of True Catholics still remaining to persevere in The Faith during that terrible Arian persecution, wrote the following letter, which sadly is even more applicable today (2020 A.D.) i.e. during this dreadful time of [The] Apostasy:
Letter of Saint Athanasius to His Flock (4th Century A.D.)
May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises — but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle — the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith?
True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …
You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis.
No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.
Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.
Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ. (Coll. selecta SS. Eccl. Patrum, Caillau and Guillou, Vol. 32, pp. 411-412)
Fellow Traditional Catholic, thus, against all odds, yet still thoroughly animated by the Virtue of Hope, St. Athanasius “rallied the troops” (The Church Militant) in his day and defeated the enemies of The Faith. Today’s dire situation, where people either do not want to think anymore, or are not able to think (reason) and draw the necessary conclusions, is truly the darkest time in Church History.
Nonetheless, to give in to despair is to not be without sin. The pius Fr. Titus Joslin wrote,
“The days are evil;”*… but opportunities of exercising charity are always at hand, and “charity covers a multitude of sins.” As others are less fervent, it is our part to be more fervent; and the more of evil we see around us, the more to be stimulated to do good works ourselves. “God is charity, and he who remains in charity abides in God, and God in him.” -1 John, iv
Therfeore, please pray fervently for the restoration of the True Faith to it’s ancient luster and for all True Catholics to do good and defeat evil.
Blessed be Our Lady Conqueror of all Heresies!