Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Our Lady of Fatima and the Dogma Most Denied, Part 2

Our Lady of Fatima and the Dogma Most Denied
-Part II-

“Truly, it is the greatest of errors
to neglect the business of eternal salvation.”
St. Eucherius

by Marianna Bartold

Part I of this essay began with the opening sentence of the Third Secret of Fatima: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” Explaining that to this day never have the words of Our Lady been completely released, we know that Lucia and others who knew it (or who thoroughly studied it) collectively gave enough information to put the matter in context. We also know that this incomplete sentence, with its telling phrase of “the dogma of the Faith” refers to the Church’s primary dogma, infallibly thrice defined: “Outside the Church, there is no salvation.”[1]

As observed in Part I: “Today, this singular dogma about the Church is either unknown or rejected within the Church, which is another sign of Fatima’s veracity, lending further credence that the Third Secret’s smothered Message centers on ‘an apocalyptic crisis of the faith in the Church starting from the top’ [2] −namely, the revolt which St. Paul said must come first [3] …The dogma of the Faith is, in our time, also the dogma most denied. Known by the acronym of EENS (‘Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus,’ or ‘Outside the Church, there is No Salvation’), it is truly the foremost dogma of the Church about herself.” 

Regarding this dogma, Part I shared about it the Church’s three infallible definitions. The essay then proceeded to prove that, due to Tradition and Scripture (the only two sources of Divine Revelation), the Church has always held this dogma. Providing quotes ranging from the early Church to recent times (from St. Augustine to John Paul II [4] ), it was then stated:

“Whether or not they realize it, Catholics regularly declare their belief in the EENS dogma. In the Nicene Creed, prayed within the Church since 325 A.D. and which we pray today at every Mass, we declare our belief in ‘one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.’  With the Apostles’ Creed, we pray, ‘I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church…’ The Athanasian Creed, although not commonly prayed in the west today, begins with these words: ‘Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly’ and ends with this declaration: ‘This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.’”

Holy Scripture Proves the EENS Dogma
In addition to Tradition, as stated in Part I, the Church possesses for the EENS dogma many proofs from the Sacred Scriptures. For our sincere consideration and meditation, the essay began with excerpts [5] from The Sincere Christian, the work of the 19th century Bishop George Hay (1729-1811), which will now continue.

“The Church is the Body of Christ, and all who belong to the Church are members of His body, and united with Jesus Christ the head; but those who are out of the Church are not members of His body, nor are they united with Christ the head. Now, speaking of His Church and her members under the figure of a vine with its branches, He says, ‘I am the vine, you the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me, ye can do nothing. If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth’ [John 15: 5, 6]. What Christ here says under the figure of a vine is equally true as to the members and the body, for no member separated from the body can do anything. It has neither life nor feeling but falls into corruption, which expressly shows that if we be not united to the Church of Christ, whether we consider this Church as a body consisting of the head and members, or as a vine with its branches, we are not united with Christ, but on the way to perdition.”

“Jesus Christ, addressing Himself to His eternal Father, says, ‘Now this is eternal life: that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent’ [John 17: 3]. Hence it necessarily follows that all those who do not know Jesus Christ cannot have eternal life. Now, this knowledge of Jesus Christ is not the mere knowledge that such a person existed, but believing Him to be what He is, the eternal Son of God, made man for the salvation of mankind, and therefore He says again, ‘For God so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting’ [John 3:16].

“Hence, the believing in Jesus Christ is one condition positively required by God in order for salvation, so that without this belief there can be no salvation. For as He Himself again declares, ‘…he that doth not believe is already judged; because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God’ [John 3:18] and ‘…he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him’ [John 3:36]. And the beloved disciple [St. John the Evangelist] adds, ‘For many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; this is a seducer and an anti-Christ’ [2 John 1:7]. By which it is manifest that those who do not know Jesus Christ, and consequently do not believe in Him, and also those who do know that there was such a Person but refuse to believe, and confess that He is the Son of God come in the flesh, cannot be saved; and therefore, that the knowing and believing in Jesus Christ is appointed by Almighty God, as an absolute condition of salvation.”

∙ “But it is not enough to believe in the Person of Jesus Christ. It is also required to believe His doctrine, His words, those Divine truths which He has revealed; and, indeed, how can we believe Him to be God if we refuse to believe what He says? Hence, when He gave the pastors of His Church, in the persons of His Apostles, their commission to preach the Gospel, He ordered them to teach the world ‘to observe all those things whatsoever I have commanded you…’ [Matt. 28: 20]. And He immediately adds, ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned’ [Mark 16:16]. Thus, it is manifest that the belief of His doctrine, the observance, and consequently the belief of all those things which He commanded His Apostles to teach is a necessary condition of salvation. Nay, He adds in another part, ‘For he that, shall be ashamed of Me, and of My words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when He shall come in the glory of His Father, with His holy Angels’ [Mark 8:38]. Now, if being ashamed of His words brings such a condemnation, what will the denying of them do? It is evident, therefore, that the true Faith of Jesus Christ comprehends the belief both of His Person and His words—that is, of His doctrine; and that this Faith is laid down by Almighty God as a necessary condition of salvation.”

∙ “As it is impossible that Jesus Christ could reveal contradictions, or say to one that anything is true, and to another that it is false, the true Faith of Jesus Christ cannot contain contradictions; it must be the same everywhere, and in no point contrary to itself. This the Scripture expressly affirms, ‘One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism’ [Eph. 4:5]. Now, St. Paul positively declares that ‘…without Faith it is impossible to please God…’ [Heb. 11:6]; consequently, this one true Faith of Jesus Christ is so absolutely required as a condition of salvation that without it, let a man do what he will, it is impossible to please God, or be saved.

Bishop Hayes further explained the EENS dogma by referencing and explaining Acts 13:48 (“…as many as were ordained to everlasting life believed”), stating that “consequently, those who did not believe were not ordained to eternal life; whence it evidently follows that Faith is a condition absolutely required by God for obtaining  eternal life. For St. Paul affirms, ‘But the sure foundation of God standeth firm, having this seal: The Lord knoweth who are His…’ [2 Tim. 2:19]. 

St. Paul was alluding to “Our Blessed Savior, speaking of those who belong to Him, says, ‘…I know mine, and mine know Me…My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall not perish for ever’ [John 10: 14, 27, 28]. As Bishop Hayes wrote: “Can any words express more clearly that to know Jesus Christ, and to hear His voice, and follow Him—that is, to believe and obey Him—are the distinguishing marks of His sheep, to whom He gives eternal life? Consequently, those who do not believe Him are none of His, and therefore will not be saved, as He expressly says to the Jews, ‘But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep’ [John 10: 26]; ‘…For if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sin’ [John 8: 24]; which shows, too, a demonstration that Faith in Jesus Christ is expressly appointed by Almighty God as a condition of salvation. ‘Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ [Acts 4: 12].

Christ and His Church
After offering more Scriptural proofs, the eminent author concluded one section of his working by writing, “Now, seeing that the true Faith, or the firm belief of those truths which Jesus Christ revealed, is thus absolutely required as a condition of salvation, it follows as a natural consequence that out of the true Church of Christ there is no salvation, because this true Faith can be found only in the true Church of Christ; to her the sacred charge of the truths of eternity was committed; the words of Jesus Christ were first put into her mouth, and an express covenant made by God, That they should never depart from her mouth. It is therefore from the pastors of the Church alone we can learn
the true Faith, since they alone are authorized to preach it, and in hearing them we hear Christ Himself. Hence St. Paul says, ‘How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? …And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent… [Rom. 10: 14, 15]. Now, the pastors of the Church were ordained and sent by Jesus Christ to ‘teach all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature;’ consequently, it is only from them that the truths of the Gospel can be learned.”

…“Now, if we search the Holy Scriptures, we find two conditions absolutely required to make our good works agreeable to God and conducive to our salvation.

First, that we be united to Jesus Christ by True Faith, which is the root and foundation of all Christian virtues; for St. Paul expressly says, ‘Without Faith it is impossible to please God’ [Heb. 11: 6]. Observe the word impossible; He does not say it is difficult, but that it is impossible. Let, therefore, a man have ever so many good natural dispositions, and be as charitable, devout, and mortified as the Pharisees were, yet if he have not True Faith in Jesus Christ, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven. They refused to believe in Him, and therefore all their works were good for nothing as to their salvation; and unless our righteousness exceed theirs in this point, as Christ Himself assures us, we shall never enter into His heavenly kingdom. But even True Faith itself, however necessary, is not sufficient alone to make our good works available to salvation; for it is necessary.

Second, we must be in charity with God, in His friendship and grace, without which even True Faith itself will never save us. To be convinced of this, let us only give ear to St. Paul, who says, ‘Though I should have all Faith, so as to remove mountains, though I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, though I should give my body to be burnt, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing’ [1 Cor. 13: 2]” …for nothing can avail us in Christ but “Faith that works by charity” [Gal. 5: 6].

As Bishop Hayes reminded members of the true Church, “Nothing can contribute more effectually to produce the most necessary and salutary dispositions in their hearts, both towards God, towards one another, and towards those who are separated from their Communion, than the frequent and serious consideration of their vocation to the Faith of Christ, and to the Communion of that Church out of which there is no salvation.”

Our Lady of Fatima Points to Divine Revelation
This essay could easily become a book by adding more proofs and responding to all of the usual objections to the EENS dogma, but its true purpose is two-fold: 1) to briefly show that the EENS doctrine, from the Church’s infancy solemnly held, is an infallible dogma, a divinely revealed truth (meaning from Tradition and/or Scripture) defined by the Church and to which the Catholic faithful must adhere, and 2) to display that Our Lady of Fatima, who touched upon all of the truths of Faith which have long been undermined, also addressed in the Great Secret this dogma.

We know the latter because (as previously mentioned in Part I), when asked in 1943 about the contents of the Third Secret, Lucia replied, “In a certain way, I have already revealed it.” [6]  In her Fourth Memoir, she implicitly disclosed it in a sentence of substantial importance: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” In this age of false universalism, it is imperative to the salvation of souls that Catholics know and understand that which was infallibly stated by St. Paul: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle” (2 Thess. 2:14).

As I explained in Fatima: The Signs and Secrets, due to the Virgin’s first words of the Third Secret, for decades the faithful interpreted Our Lady’s opening phrase, “In Portugal” to mean “Throughout Portugal.” Previously understanding that the sentence indicated apostasy throughout the rest of the world while Portugal remained faithful, we now begin to more deeply grasp its meaning: Only parts of Portugal will preserve the dogma of the faith, while many other formerly Catholic countries will abandon this foremost dogma−a terrible indictment to how widespread the apostasy has become.

Why is this so? Our Lord revealed to Sr. Lucia certain chastisements of Portugal, previously protected from the ravages of WWII because the country’s bishops collegially consecrated it to the Immaculate Heart in 1931, renewing the act in 1938 and 1940. Even so, as Lucia wrote:

“But in spite of this, the Hearts of Our Good Lord and Our Good Mother are sad and grieved. Portugal in its majority does not correspond either to Their graces or love. They [the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary] frequently complain about the sinful life of the majority of the people, even of those who call themselves practical Catholics. But above all, They complain very much about the lukewarm, indifferent and extremely comfortable life of the majority of the priests and members of religious congregations.”

The number of souls He meets through sacrifice and intimate life of love is extremely small and limited. These confidences lacerate my heart, mainly because I am one of those unfaithful souls. Our Lord doesn’t restrain Himself in setting me there, showing me the mountain of my imperfections that I recognize with huge confusion…”

“Nevertheless, Our Lord goes on communicating with my soul. He seems concerned about the destiny of some countries and wishes to save Portugal, but she is guilty, too.” [7]

This revelation is a startling testimony to the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. It reminds us of a previous declaration of the universal Church, “The times in which we live demand action−but action which consists entirely in observing with fidelity and zeal the divine laws and the precepts of the Church, in the frank and open profession of religion, in the exercise of every kind of charitable works, without regard to self−interest or worldly advantage.” [8] 

The entire Church Militant must follow Our Lady’s five requests. The Holy Father and the bishops must effect the solemn, public consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, and all must respond to the other four requests—daily Rosary, making all we do a sacrifice for the conversion of sinners, the chaste wearing of the Brown Scapular, the Five First Saturdays of Reparation—whilst always recalling that “the Church is built of living stones. It is built of saints. And saints are made only by the grace of God and the infused virtues and gifts of the Holy Ghost, not by speeches and publicity and campaigns, which are all doomed to sterility without the essentials of prayer and sacrifice.” [9]
***

Marianna Bartold is the author of Fatima: The Signs and Secrets and Guadalupe: Secrets of the Image. The founding publisher of The Catholic Family’s Magnificat and editor of Sursum Corda (now Latin Mass) magazines, she also digitally publishes traditional Catholic classics on Kindle. Join Marianna on Facebook (Fatima and the Apocalypse) or her main Facebook main page (Keeping It Catholic).

Copyright Marianna Bartold 2019. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. This article (Part II) was first published in the August 2019 issue of Catholic Family News.

Notes
1) Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215; Pope Boniface VIII, the bull Unam Sanctam, 1302; Pope Eugene IV, the bull Cantate Domino, 1442.
2) Miguel, Aura. Totus Tuus: Il Segreto di Fatima nel Pontificato de Giovanni Paolo II [Itaca: Castel Bolognese, 2003]: p. 137.
3) 2 Thess 2:3.
4) Quotes on the EENS dogma came from St. Augustine, Pope Pelagius II, Pope Innocent III, Pope Clement VI, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, Pope St. Pius V, Pope Leo XII, Pope Gregory XVI, Pope Pius IX, the First Vatican Council, Pope Leo XIII, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII, and John Paul II.
5) “Our Savior declares…when He says to the pastors of His Church, in the persons of His Apostles, when He sent them to preach the Gospel, ‘And whosoever shall not receive you, NOR HEAR YOUR WORDS, going forth out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city” [Matt. 10: 14, 15].

 “Our Savior, speaking of His Church under the figure of a flock, of which He Himself is the good shepherd, says: ‘And other sheep I have that are not of this fold; them also I must bring. And they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd’ [John 10: 16]. He is here speaking of those who were not then joined in communion with His Apostles and other disciples, and He calls them at that time ‘His sheep;’ but to show there was no salvation for them in the state in which they then were, and unless they were united to the fold, He says, ‘them also I must bring,’ which shows that, according to the disposition of the Divine decrees, it was absolutely necessary that all who belong to Jesus Christ, all whom He acknowledges for His sheep, should be brought to, and united in communion with, that one fold, which is His Church.”

“In consequence of this, we are assured that, when the Apostles began to publish the Gospel, ‘The Lord increased daily together such as should be saved.’ Or, as the Protestant translation has it, ‘The Lord daily added to the Church such as should be saved’ [Acts 2: 47]; which points out in the strongest manner, by what God actually did, that being added to the Church is a condition absolutely required by Him in order to be saved; and if that were so then, it must be so now, and to the end of the world; for the conditions of salvation, ordained at the beginning and revealed by Jesus Christ, cannot be altered by any other…”

6) Alonso, Fr. Joaquin. La verdad sobre el Secreto de Fátima, p. 61; see also Frère Michel, The Whole Truth about Fatima: The Third Secret, Vol. III, p. 684.
7) Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth about Fatima: The Secret and the Church, Vol. II. [Buffalo, NY: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1989]: pp. 749-750.
8) Pope St. Pius X, E Supremi (On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, October 4, 1903): para. 14.
9) Chautard, O.C.S.O., Dom Jean-Baptiste. The Soul of the Apostolate. [Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1961]: p. 17. [Emphasis added.]


Our Lady of Fatima and the Dogma Most Denied, Part I


Our Lady of Fatima and the Dogma Most Denied
-Part I-

“The Most Holy Virgin has made me understand that we are in the last times of the world.”
Sister Lucia of Fatima

by Marianna Bartold

“In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” Those who are knowledgeable about the Fatima, Portugal apparitions recognize that sentence as the opening of the Third Secret, which the Virgin wished to be publicly revealed by 1960 or upon Lucia’s death, whichever came first. Although to this day never have the words of Our Lady been completely released, we know that Lucia and others who knew it (or who thoroughly studied it) collectively gave enough information to put the matter in context.

In my book, Fatima: The Signs and Secrets, I addressed Our Lady’s words regarding the dogma of the faith, writing as follows:


In 1943, when asked about the contents of the Third Secret, Sr. Lucia said, “In a certain way, I have already revealed it.” [1]   How so? In her Fourth Memoir, she implicitly disclosed it in a sentence of substantial importance: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.”  This sentence, which ends with the intriguing “et cetera,” is the prelude to the Third Secret Message−the part of the secret still hidden. 
“The dogma of the Faith” is a telling phrase, one which addresses the Church’s primary dogma, infallibly thrice-defined: “Outside the Church, there is no salvation.” [2]  Today, this singular dogma about the Church is either unknown or rejected within the Church, which is another sign of Fatima’s veracity, lending further credence that the Third Secret’s smothered Message centers on “an apocalyptic crisis of the faith in the Church starting from the top”  [3]−namely, the revolt which St. Paul said must come first.[4]

Due to the rampant apostasy and the unrelenting crisis within the Church and in the world, Catholics wonder if mankind is living in the time of “the revolt” preceding “the son of perdition,” [5]  aka the Antichrist. It is a serious question.

Only this past June, on Pentecost Monday, a small group of bishops and cardinals—including Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Cardinal Janis Pujats, archbishop emeritus of Riga, Latvia, Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, and Kazakh Archbishops Tomash Peta of Astana and Jan Pawel Lenga, emeritus of Karaganda, Kazakhstan—released a “declaration of truths,” reaffirming key Church teachings at a time they describe as “almost universal doctrinal confusion and disorientation.” [6]  (Coincidentally or not, the latter word brought to mind Sister Lucia of Fatima who, almost 50 years ago, wrote of “diabolical disorientation” and a “diabolical wave.” [7])

As the National Catholic Register reported, “The signatories remind each bishop, priest and layperson that they have ‘the moral duty to give witness unambiguously to those truths that in our days are obfuscated, undermined, and denied.’

“They also believe that if such a witness occurs, these truths could ‘initiate a movement of a confession of the truth’ that would act as ‘reparation’ for the ‘widespread sins against the faith’ and the ‘hidden and open apostasy from Catholic Faith’ of a ‘not small number’ of clergy and laypeople.” [8]

That these few, brave cardinals and bishops publicly spoke of apostasy (hidden and open) amongst both laity and the clergy again reminds us of 2 Thess. 2:3 and Our Lady’s words at Fatima about “the dogma of the Faith.”

Outside of the Church, There is No Salvation
The dogma of the Faith is, in our time, also the dogma most denied. Known by the acronym of EENS (“Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus,” or “Outside the Church, there is No Salvation”), it is truly the foremost dogma of the Church about herself. As previously stated, three times in our sacred history has the dogma been infallibly defined. A defined dogma is binding on all the faithful. Should we not understand a dogma, then it is our obligation to pray and to study it. To assist in such a worthy endeavor, I will list the following proofs that the Church, entrusted by God with Divine Revelation, has from her infancy taught this doctrine, later defined as a dogma, as follows:

∙ Fourth Lateran Council, Pope Innocent III (1215): “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.”

∙ Unam sanctam, the papal bull of Pope Boniface VIII (1302): “Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Canticle of Canticles 6:8] proclaims: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,’ and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.”

∙ Council of Florence, Cantate Domino, papal bull of Eugene IV (1441): “…It [the Church] firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the ‘eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

Other Proofs of the Dogma
∙ St. Augustine of Hippo (354 A.D.—430 A.D.): “A man cannot have salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. He can have honor, he can have the sacraments, he can sing alleluia, and he can answer amen, he can possess the Gospel, he can have and preach faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, but never except in the Catholic Church will he be able to find salvation.” (Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesia plebe, 418 A.D.)

∙ Pope Pelagius II (birth year unknown—590): “Consider the fact that whoever has not been in the peace and unity of the Church cannot have the Lord…Although given over to flames and fires, they burn, or, thrown to wild beasts, they lay down their lives, there will not be (for them) that crown of faith but the punishment of faithlessness…Such a one can be slain, he cannot be crowned. …[If] slain outside the Church, he cannot attain the rewards of the Church.” (Denzinger, #246-247)

∙ Pope Innocent III (1160—1216): “With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved.” (Denzinger, #423)

∙ Pope Clement VI (1291—1352): “…No man of the wayfarers outside the faith of this Church, and outside the obedience to the Pope of Rome, can finally be saved.” (Super Quibusdam, 1351)

∙ Catechism of the Council of Trent: “Hence there are but three classes of persons excluded from the Church's pale: infidels, heretics and schismatics, and excommunicated persons. Infidels are outside the Church because they never belonged to, and never knew the Church, and were never made partakers of any of her Sacraments. Heretics and schismatics are excluded from the Church, because they have separated from her and belong to her only as deserters belong to the army from which they have deserted. It is not, however, to be denied that they are still subject to the jurisdiction of the Church, inasmuch as they may be called before her tribunals, punished and anathematized. Finally, excommunicated persons are not members of the Church, because they have been cut off by her sentence from the number of her children and belong not to her communion until they repent.

“But with regard to the rest, however wicked and evil they may be, it is certain that they still belong to the Church. Of this the faithful are frequently to be reminded, in order to be convinced that, were even the lives of her ministers debased by crime, they are still within the Church, and therefore lose nothing of their power.” (The Creed, Article IX, 1566)

∙ Pope St. Pius V (1504—1572): “The sovereign jurisdiction of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation…” (Regnans in Excelsis, papal bull excommunicating the heretic, Queen Elizabeth of England, and all those who obeyed her orders, 1570)

∙ Pope Leo XII (1760—1829): “We profess that there is no salvation outside the Church…For the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. With reference to those words Augustine says: ‘If any man be outside the Church he will be excluded from the number of sons, and will not have God for Father since he has not the Church for mother.’” (Ubi Primum, 1824)

∙ Pope Gregory XVI (1765—1846): “It is not possible to worship God truly except in Her; all who are outside Her will not be saved.” (Summo Iugiter, 1832)

The same pope declared: “Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that ‘there is one God, one faith, one baptism,’ may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate.’” (Mirari Vos, 1832)

∙ Pope Pius IX (1792—1878): “In particular, ensure that the faithful are deeply and thoroughly convinced of the truth of the doctrine that the Catholic faith is necessary for attaining salvation.” (Nostis et Nobiscum, 1849)

He likewise stated: “It must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood.” (Denzinger, #1647)

∙ First Vatican Council: The rule of what we must believe as Catholics was defined by the First Vatican Council, thusly: “Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal teaching [magisterium], proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed.” (Dogmatic Constitution, De Fide, chap. 3; 1870)

∙ Pope Leo XIII (1810—1903): “He scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with Him and with the Church are in very truth contending against God.” (Sapientiae Christianae, 1890)

Pope Leo XIII also taught: “Christ is man’s ‘Way’; the Church also is his ‘Way’…Hence, all who would find salvation apart from the Church are led astray and strive in vain.” (Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, 1900)  

Again, he wrote: “This is our last lesson to you; receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God’s commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church.” (Annum Ingressi Sumus, 1902)

∙ Pope Saint Pius X (1835—1914): “It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation” (Iucunda Sane, 1904)

∙ Pope Benedict XV (1854—1922): “Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” (Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, 1914)

∙ Pope Pius XI (1857—1939): “The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation…Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.” (Mortalium Animos, 1928)

∙ Pope Pius XII (1876—1958): “By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth.” (“Allocution to the Gregorian,” October 17, 1953)

∙ Pope John Paul II (1920—2005): “The mystery of salvation is revealed to us and is continued and accomplished in the Church…Like Brother Francis we have to be conscious and absorb this fundamental and revealed truth, consecrated by tradition: ‘There is no salvation outside the Church.’ From her alone there flows surely and fully the life-giving force destined in Christ and in His Spirit, to renew the whole of humanity, and therefore directing every human being to become a part of the Mystical Body of Christ.” (Radio Message, October 3, 1981)

The Credo and the Scriptures
Whether or not they realize it, Catholics regularly declare their belief in the EENS dogma. In the Nicene Creed, prayed within the Church since 325 A.D. and which we pray today at every Mass, we declare our belief in “one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.”  With the Apostles’ Creed, we pray, “I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church…” The Athanasian Creed, although not commonly prayed in the west today, begins with these words: “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly” and ends with this declaration: “This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

In addition to Tradition, the Church possesses for the EENS dogma many proofs from the Sacred Scriptures. For our sincere consideration and meditation, following are excerpts from The Sincere Christian, the work of the 19th century Bishop George Hay:


“Our Savior declares…when He says to the pastors of His Church, in the persons of His Apostles, when He sent them to preach the Gospel, ‘And whosoever shall not receive you, NOR HEAR YOUR WORDS, going forth out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city” [Matt. 10: 14, 15].

“Our Savior, speaking of His Church under the figure of a flock, of which He Himself is the good shepherd, says: ‘And other sheep I have that are not of this fold; them also I must bring. And they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd’ [John 10: 16]. He is here speaking of those who were not then joined in communion with His Apostles and other disciples, and He calls them at that time ‘His sheep;’ but to show there was no salvation for them in the state in which they then were, and unless they were united to the fold, He says, ‘them also I must bring,’ which shows that, according to the disposition of the Divine decrees, it was absolutely necessary that all who belong to Jesus Christ, all whom He acknowledges for His sheep, should be brought to, and united in communion with, that one fold, which is His Church.”

“In consequence of this, we are assured that, when the Apostles began to publish the Gospel, ‘The Lord increased daily together such as should be saved.’ Or, as the Protestant translation has it, ‘The Lord daily added to the Church such as should be saved’ [Acts 2: 47]; which points out in the strongest manner, by what God actually did, that being added to the Church is a condition absolutely required by Him in order to be saved; and if that were so then, it must be so now, and to the end of the world; for the conditions of salvation, ordained at the beginning and revealed by Jesus Christ, cannot be altered by any other…”

— Continue with Part II of Our Lady of Fatima and the Dogma Most Denied

Marianna Bartold is the author of Fatima: The Signs and Secrets and Guadalupe: Secrets of the Image. The founding publisher of The Catholic Family’s Magnificat and editor of Sursum Corda (now Latin Mass) magazines, she also digitally publishes traditional Catholic classics on Kindle. Join Marianna on Facebook (Fatima and the Apocalypse) or main page (Keeping It Catholic).

Copyright Marianna Bartold 2019. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. This article was first published in the July 2019 issue of Catholic Family News.

Notes

  1) Alonso, Fr. Joaquin. La verdad sobre el Secreto de Fátima, p. 61; see also Frère Michel, The Whole Truth about Fatima, Vol. III, p. 684.
  2) Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215; Pope Boniface VIII, the bull Unam Sanctam, 1302; Pope Eugene IV, the bull Cantate Domino, 1442.
  3) Miguel, Aura. Totus Tuus: Il Segreto di Fatima nel Pontificato de Giovanni Paolo II [Itaca: Castel Bolognese, 2003]: p. 137.
  4) 2 Thess 2:3.
  5) Ibid. "Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…"
  6) Pentin, Edward. “New ‘Declaration of Truths’ Affirms Key Church Teachings.” National Catholic Register. June 10, 2019
  7) Phrases from Sr. Lucia of Fatima come from A Little Treatise by the Seer on the Nature and Recitation of the Rosary, a collection of excerpts from Sr. Lucia’s letters written between 1969-1971. It was originally published in Uma vida ao service de Fatima with an Imprimatur from the Bishop of Leira, Fatima – Dom Joae Venancio, May 13, 1971.
  8) Ibid.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Reparation: What Is It? Why Does Our Lady of Fatima Ask for It?

Reparation in Salvation History, #1 in a series.


by Robert Beaurivage

This is the first installment of a regular feature called Reparation in Salvation History. Anyone familiar with the drama of Fatima knows that the concept of reparation is central to Our Ladys message. Why? The answer can be summed up in two reasons:

[1]
Because the need for reparation is central to our salvation; and
[2] Because the Fatima message is prophetic. Our Lady at Fatima could, by the will of God, foresee our time and the need for greater reparation that would arise from a world that has forsaken Him. Surely, the Lord revealed to the Virgin that, if her message was not heeded by enough people, the violation of God’s law would escalate on a massive scale in society and even within the Church, the “smoke of Satan” invading its very sanctuary.

Since Reparation is central to Fatima, if we are to faithfully spread Our Ladys message, we also must put a focus on Reparation by fostering a greater understanding of it, presenting the wisdom of Scripture and Tradition, examples and practices whereby we will enlighten ourselves and encourage ourselves to understand and practice Reparation, thus giving glory to God and participating with Him in the work of saving souls. By ourselves, we can do nothing (“For without Me you can do nothing”---John 5:1) but, by practicing Reparation, we have the power to touch the very Heart of God and truly effect change.

Reparation is integral to the Catholic Faith, and it is intimately connected with the atonement and satisfaction of sin. Reparation implies repair, a restoration of that which was damaged or lost. The Church teaches that man has fallen from his original state of justice but the Birth, Sufferings and Death of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, restored again to God’s friendship.

Almighty God might have condoned man’s offenses and required nothing from man in return for this restoration to grace, but this is not the case. Will a loving father, in the face of a defiant child, require nothing in return for his forgiveness? God likewise judged it better for our correction, holiness, and ultimately for our salvation (as well as a matter of justice) to require us to make satisfaction, or reparation, for our sins. The Way of the Cross is the path to Heaven, as Our Lord tells us. He is merciful, but He will not force us into Heaven. He requires us to bear good fruit---by obedience to His Father and repairing the damage done by sin:

“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire… Not every one that saith to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 7:19, 21).

Furthermore, in the mysterious economy of salvation, not only do we participate in our own salvation by making reparation to the offended majesty of God for our own sins but also, by virtue of the Communion of Saints in the Mystical Body of Christ, we can make satisfaction and reparation for the sins of others. The Holy Ghost gives Sanctifying Grace to our souls through Baptism, by the merits of the Suffering and Death of Christ, and restores it to us by a good Confession should we lose the grace by sin. We, who were by fallen nature the “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:5) become the children of God, participating in His Divine life. Our prayers, works and trials united to the merits of Christ’s death, enable us to make further reparation for our sins and the sins of others.


I, Paul, am made a minister. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church (Colossians 1:24).

Of course, nothing is lacking in the suffering of Christ---it is of infinite value. Yet, we know that our prayers, sacrifice and sufferings are meritorious when, and only when, they are united with those of Jesus Christ; it is then that they have any supernatural value whatsoever. Since His glorified Body no longer suffers, He desires to suffer in His members---we who are members of His Mystical Body, the Catholic Church.

The wisdom, the will, the justice of Jesus Christ, requireth and ordaineth that his body and members should be companions of His sufferings, as they expect to be companions of His glory. ~ St. John Chrysostom


Why is this so? One cannot attain Heaven without the love of God. After all, God made us rational creatures, and love is a decision. Love without a willingness to sacrifice for the beloved is only a sentiment, a feeling, and not truly love. Who among us, having a sick child, would not comfort her? If our best friend lost a spouse or a child, would we not spend time with him?

Heaven Waits for Our Acts of Reparation


Our Blessed Mother appears in art as our Sorrowful Mother with a sword through her heart. At Fatima, she showed her Heart crowned with thorns, and her Divine Son instructs Lucia: Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them. 

Our Lord complains to St. Margaret Mary concerning His Most Sacred Heart, bleeding and also crowned with thorns: “Behold this Heart that has so loved men, and there is no one to comfort Me!

Why on earth would we not spend time with Our Lady saying her Rosary and fulfilling her First Saturday requests? Why on earth would we not spend time with Our Blessed Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, after all the appeals they have made to us to spend time with them? If we truly love them, we will do so!

When one has offended God, and truly turns back to Him, we show our love by making what amends we can for the offense to God's glory. Of course, we are not capable of making complete satisfaction for an offense against an infinitely good God, but the Lord always asks something of us which, when added to His great power, becomes something beautiful and grand for Him. This, our own feeble prayer and offering, is represented in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when to the chalice the priest adds a few drops of water (representing our humanity) to the wine (which represents the Divinity of Christ) and prays: 

O God, who, in creating human nature, didst wonderfully dignify it, and still more wonderfully restore it, grant that, by the Mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His divine nature, who vouchsafed to be made partaker of our human nature, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Of ourselves, making complete satisfaction to an Infinitely good God on our own is utterly impossible, but God is pleased to grant us His mercy in exchange for what little we can give.

It is a great mystery that such a good and infinite God desires our company, we who are but dust! Yet we know that He does. In His Agony in the Garden, Jesus turns to His Apostles and says: “Can you not watch one hour with Me?”...“And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them: ‘My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me’” (Matt. 26:37-38).

As Christ asked His disciples to watch one hourwith Him, so He asks us to do the same today. Let us not think we would have done better! The Apostles here represent all of humanity. We have all, at one time or another, slept spiritually instead of “watching one hour” with Our Lord. Let us resolve to change! From now on, let us with great resolve be faithful! Let us pray we will not grow weary and sleep as did His Apostles on the eve of that first Good Friday!

One evening, St. Margaret Mary was praying before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament when He appeared visibly, showing her His Sacred Heart:

“My daughter, it is true that My Heart has sacrificed everything for men, without receiving from them anything in return. I feel this more acutely than the torments of My Passion. In spite of all My eagerness to do them good, they treat me with coldness and contempt. Give Me the pleasure of making up for their ingratitude.”

Indeed, Our Lord has denied us nothing. Our Lady, ever faithful to God’s will and her calling to be the Merciful Mother of all men, calls out to us constantly. Let us be ever loving and generous in our response!

A young man who has been wounded by the neglect or abuse of a father can react in one or two ways. He can learn the evil ways of the father. Of such a son we often hear: “He is just like his father!” Or, a son can react in another way: “I am not going to be like him: I am going to be a good father!” So the son grows up and is attentive and loving toward his children. This is reparation. Likewise, when we hear of coldness, indifference and abuse toward the Blessed Sacrament, we can follow the crowd, follow the example of the abusers. Or, we can react as the second young man did in our example: “They won’t make reparation? Then I will.

It is for this very reason, to instill in us by example the desire to make reparation for all the coldness and outrage toward Jesus in His Sacrament of Love, that the Angel appeared to the children at Fatima and taught them this prayer:

“MOST HOLY TRINITY, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer unto Thee the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrage, sacrilege and indifference by which He is constantly offended. I offer unto Thee the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of poor sinners.”

This great Angel, majestic in bearing, with a such a stunning and overwhelming presence, as Sister Lucia relates, prostrated himself to the ground in the Divine Presence in this great Sacrament of Love. ‘Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’ “Crimes,” the angel calls them! We must not take them lightly!

On this occasion, the children continued for hours to adore the Blessed Sacrament, quitting only when the sun set. What shall we do? Can we do any different but to follow the example of the Angel and that of Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco? Can we do otherwise than love the Eucharistic Jesus before, during and after Mass? Making fervent Communions of Reparation and spending time just adoring and loving Him in this Sacrament?

This brings to mind many of the irreverent practices that have become commonplace today in Catholic churches. What ought we to do about it? We cannot control other people, but we can make reparation ourselves. We can make visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and we can make the Communion of Reparation as Our Lady asked us to do when she appeared again to Sr. Lucia at Pontevedra on December 10, 1925:

Our Lady rested her hand on Lucia's shoulder and as She did so, She showed her a heart encircled by thorns, which She was holding in Her other hand. At the same time, the Child said: Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.

Look My daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.


Here we learn that Communions of Reparation are needed. By doing so, we console the Heart of Mary and we gain great graces---among them the assurance of the power help of the Mother of God at the hour of death. We will usurp blasphemies with our charity to God. We will more than match ingratitude with thanksgiving to Him. We will thereby comfort the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, save souls, and gain the powerful help of the Virgin Mary! Years earlier, in 1916, the Angel had told the children at Fatima, “Make of everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. Then, in July 1917, Our Lady told the children, Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially whenever you do penance, O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On this same occasion, the Virgin also told the children, You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do as I shall ask, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace...If not...another and more terrible war will begin...


So we see that Reparation for sin is a necessary reality, that Our Lord Jesus Christ demands it, and that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are consoled when we pray and sacrifice. We have seen that as a result of our prayers of reparation, we can obtain peace in the world, sanctity and order in the Church and in our lives, and the salvation of souls. It is a serious affair. Our Lady tells us that “many souls go to Hell because there is no one to pray and make sacrifices for them (i.e. reparation.) So, destruction or world peace; misery or happiness in our families; the torments of Hell or the eternal delights of Heaven---all this hangs in the balance and depends on our response to Our Lady of Fatima.

What shall we do?

Today, we can start offering our day, doing our daily duty, and praying our Rosary. We can do small sacrifices praying as Our Lady asked: “Jesus, it is for love of Thee, the conversion of sinners, and in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”  As the Angel told us in 1916: “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplication. We can learn the Angel’s prayer of reparation cited above and pray it often. We can learn the message of Fatima and tell others. There is much we can do. These need not be great, heroic actions. We can do the little things well, as did St. Therese of Lisieux.

We need to adopt a sacrificial spirit---a generosity in doing something for the love of God. Giving up a small pleasure. Drinking one’s coffee without sugar occasionally, controlling vain curiosity, practicing custody of the eyes. Skipping dessert. Getting up to do the dishes instead of delay. Doing a small favor to please a spouse, parent, or coworker. Getting in the habit of mentally praying every time something disagreeable or uncomfortable happens: “Jesus, it is for the love of Thee, the conversion of sinners and in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

We will never know until Judgment Day how valuable are these small acts of love. This is the way of the saints. If we want to be truly friends of Jesus Christ, we will do this. We ask Our Lady to help us. We can do it. One thing we will learn, as time goes on, is that we will be increasingly happy in this life by the acceptance of these crosses, big and small, and eternally blissful in the next.

The world is in a sad state. This should not discourage us. We know that Our Lady said: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.” St Paul says: “And where sin abounded, grace did more abound” (Romans 5:20). It seems an odd saying. Sin is a catastrophe, is it not? Of course. But at all times, God’s grace is sufficient.

In our time, Sr. Lucia tells us, the Rosary carries with it a greater efficacy. Our Lord Jesus Christ tells Lucia that the penance He now requires is merely obeying the Commandments and doing our daily duty well (as Catholics and in our states in life). The small things are we need to do. The world is in dire shape and so is the Church. The consideration of these facts should not discourage us but rather animate us and motivate us. This is a GREAT opportunity to touch the Heart of God and become saints.

The message of Fatima commands us to pray the Rosary and make the Five First Saturdays of Reparation. We know that Our Lady of Fatima was speaking directly to these times. There is much for which to make reparation in our own lives and in our Church. What will we do today to comfort the Hearts of Jesus and Mary? What will we do to contribute to the restoration of the Church and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart? It all begins with taking up a broom, comforting a sick child, doing our jobs well, visiting Jesus in the great Sacrament of Love, and praying each Rosary, every day, as if it were to be our last.