Whoever scorns small things…

[O]f all these obnoxious trangressions which we reprimand singly, all the criminal guilt falls on those priests who either commit them personally, or who by not making the culprits known show that they agree with these wicked excesses–if we may even call by the name ‘priests’ those men who are prepared to so degrade the religious office entrusted to them that, sinking down to perverse and profane pursuits without any respect for Christian regulations, they run headlong into a deadly abyss.

And when it is written that ‘Whoever scorns small things will gradually come to a fall’ (Ecclesiasticus 19,1), what should we think about those people who borne down by the immense and multiplicitous burden of their depravities, have caused an enormous downfall by their various impulsive actions which can be seen not only to lead themselves to perdition, but inflict a mortal plague on all churches if they are not healed?

And let those people have no doubt, not only whoever has dared to do these things but also those who, in spite of knowing about it, kept silence, that they lie under the loss of their own honour if they do not hasten, as fast as they can, to heal the lethal wounds with adequate medication.

— Pope Gelasius, Epistle 9, chapter 26 (PL 59, c. 55; cf. PL 67, c. 309; Mansi VIII 44.)

The following presents numerous excerpts from an encyclical I recently read: Allatae Sunt (“On the observance of Oriental Rites”), promulgated by Pope Benedict XIV on July 26, 1755 (andwhichmytheevilpartofmybrainwantedtocall “Ut Unum Sint, Without All the Estrogen” butcouldonlyinsertbywayofthis s u b l i m i n a l  m e s s a g e whileElliotwassleeping). He wrote this encyclical in response to inquiries he received from a missionary to Eastern schismatics and Uniates about how to integrate or alter their customs if they ceased to be schismatic.

(The opening quotation comes from a a document which Benedict XIV mentions in his encyclical, and, in our age of Outback Steakhouse Catholicism–“No rules, just joy.”–it is just too scrumptious not to share.)

I realize this post is basically just one very long quotation, but the contents of Allatae Sunt struck numerous chords within me, not only in light the recent discussion I’ve been having (and continue to explore) about the elevation of the Armenian saint, Gregory of Narek, as the latest Doctor of the Church, but also in light of my ongoing struggle to understand the “synthetic” changes wrought by Vatican II and where the bounds of schism vs. communion fall, as well as in light of my long-standing (and recently rekindled) interest in East-West relations in the Church.

I will add emphases to phrases that struck me with particular force, but shall otherwise abstain from any glosses or editorializing. I’m more curious what you think.

Happy reading…

Certainly, that man would have to be declared utterly inexperienced in ecclesiastical history who did not know of the mighty efforts of the Roman Pontiffs to bring the Orientals into unity since the fatal schism of Photius [a.D. 810-893]; he laid hold of the See of Constantinople when the lawful Patriarch St. Ignatius [a.D. 798-977] was forcefully ejected in the time of Pope St. Nicholas I [ca. a.D. 800-867]. Our Predecessor St. Leo IX [1002-1054] sent his legates to Constantinople to put an end to this schism, which, after almost two centuries’ respite, had been renewed by Michael Cerularius; but their efforts came to nothing.  …

At the [Council of Florence (ca. a.D. 1438-1445)] the churches of the Armenians and the Jacobites returned to obedience to the Apostolic See [in session 8 (22 November 1439) and session 11 (4 February 1442), respectively]. When Pope Eugenius left Florence for Rome, he received an embassy from the king of the Ethiopians and restored the Syrians, Chaldaeans, and Maronites to obedience to the Roman See. But as it is written in St. Matthew’s Gospel, chap. 13, the seed which fell on a rock produced no fruit since it had no place to put down roots: “These are those who at once receive the word of God with joy but do not have roots in themselves; when tribulation and persecution come on account of the word, they stumble at once.” Thus, scarcely had Mark, Archbishop of Ephesus, like a new Photius, tried to destroy the union by raising his voice against it, than all the desired fruit immediately vanished. …

[By seeking the return of schismatic churches,] there was never any question of causing harm to the venerable Oriental rite. That man would be utterly ignorant also of the present discipline of the Church who had not discovered that the Roman Pontiffs, undeterred by past fruitless attempts, have always intended to restore the Greeks to union and have always followed and still follow the path We have explained just above. …

[For example, at] the start of the thirteenth century the Latins gained control of Constantinople. Innocent III [ca. a.D. 1160-1216] then decided to establish a Latin Patriarch in that city with jurisdiction over Greeks as well as Latins; but he still was careful to state openly that he did not want any harm done to the Greek rites, excepting only those traditional customs which endangered souls or were at variance with the honor of the Church. … “Although the Greeks have returned to obedience to the Apostolic See in Our day, We desire them as greatly as We can in the Lord to cherish and hold in honor their custom and rites, except for those customs which give rise to danger for souls and detract from the honor of the Church, for in these cases We neither should nor do We want to respect them.” …

Such is the tenor, too, of the same Pope’s letter to Cardinal Otho of Tusculum, Legate of the Holy See on the Island of Cyprus, whom he had entrusted with the authority to settle some disputes which had arisen between Greeks and Latins: “But since some of the Greeks are at last returning to their devotion to the Apostolic See, and obey it with reverence and respect, We may and should tolerate and preserve their customs and rites as far as God and their obedience to the Roman Church permits. However, We ought not – nor do We wish to – yield to them in the slightest matter which could produce danger for souls or lessen the honor of the Church” (in veteri Bullario, vol. 1, no. 14, constitution Sub Catholicae). …

The end of the thirteenth century is marked by the Union of Greeks and Latins decreed at the General Council of Lyons in the pontificate of Blessed Gregory X [ca. a.D. 1210-1276]. Gregory sent to Michael Palaeologus the confession of faith and the decree of union confirmed by the Council which the eastern legates had sworn to, in order that the emperor himself and the other Greek bishops should accept them. The emperor and the Orientals performed all that was required, but they added the condition: “But we ask of Your Greatness etc. to be allowed to preserve the rites which we used before the schism [che usavamo prima dello scisma] since these rites are not opposed to the Faith or to the divine commandments” (Harduin, Collectionis, vol. 8, p. 698). Although the reply of Pope Gregory to this letter of the Orientals has not survived, it may rightly be taken that he approved this condition since he believed that they had firmly accepted the union. And of course Nicholas III, the successor of Gregory, through the legates he sent to Constantinople, revealed his mind in the following words: “As to the other Greek rites, however, the Roman Church gladly proposes that the Greeks observe them to the full extent that God allows and permits them to continue in those rites which in the decision of the Apostolic See do not injure the integrity of the Catholic faith or detract from the holy decrees of the Canons” (Raynaldus, 1278). …

[So,] while [missionaries] tried zealously to correct the misconceptions of the Orientals, at the same time they indicated that they desired to preserve entire those rites used before the schism with the approval of the Apostolic See. …

The annals of Gregory XIII [a.D. 1502-1585], written by Fr. Maffei and printed at Rome in 1742, relate several deeds of this pope which aimed at restoring the Copts and Armenians to the Catholic faith, though quite unsuccessfully. But of especial interest are his words concerning the foundation of three colleges in Rome which he had established for the education of Greek, Maronite, and Armenian students, in which he provided that they should continue in their oriental rites (in novo Bullario, vol. 4, pt. 3, const. 63, and pt. 4, const. 157 and 173). …

A solemn union of the Ruthenians with the Apostolic See was enacted in the time of Pope Clement VIII [a.D. 1536-1605] … [which stipulated that] “everything shall be done in the ancient manner as they were long ago when the union was in existence.” …

In [Pope Benedict XIV’s] earlier constitution 57, Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 9, no. 1, the following measures are taken in regard to Italo-Greeks: “Since the rites of the Oriental Church, which derive mainly from the holy Fathers and tradition, have so impressed themselves on the minds of the Greeks and of other men, the Roman pontiffs, Our predecessors, have wisely preferred to approve and allow these rites, in so far as they are not at variance with the Catholic faith, dangerous to souls, or disreputable for the Church, rather than to reduce them to the form of the Roman ceremonies etc.” …

Passing by these questions, We will declare freely that the Roman pontiffs have carefully and tirelessly attempted to overcome the heresies which gave rise to the schism between the western and the eastern church, and that consequently they have commanded orientals who want to return to the unity of the Church to reject these errors, to find out if they really belong in union with the Apostolic See. …

[T]he chief concern of the popes in securing the return of Greeks and Oriental schismatics to the Catholic religion has ever been to pluck completely from their minds the errors of Arius, Macedonius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscuros, the Monothelites, and others, into which they had wretchedly fallen. But the rites which they observed and professed before the schism and the practice which depends on these ancient liturgies and rituals have always been left unchanged. Indeed the popes have never asked those returning to the Catholic faith to give up their own rite and assume the Latin rite. For this would involve the complete extermination of the eastern church and of the Greek and other Eastern rites, an objective which this Holy See has certainly never planned or striven for. …

[It follows that] the missionary who is attempting with God’s help to bring back Greek and eastern schismatics to unity should devote all his effort to the single objective of delivering them from doctrines at variance with the Catholic faith. Their forefathers accepted these errors as some sort of pretext for leaving the unity of the Church and for refusing the pope the respect and obedience which is his due as head of the Church.

A missionary should make use of the following proofs. Since the Orientals are greatly devoted to their own Church Fathers, Leo Allatius and other notable theologians have studied the question carefully and have shown clearly that the more notable Fathers of the Greek and Latin Church fully agree on all points of doctrine; they specifically reject the errors which fetter the east now. Consequently the study of those books will be beneficial. …

[Indeed, the Orthodox and Oriental rejection of Reformed innovations] gives substantial hope that when they are confronted with the teaching of the Fathers, which strongly supports our Catholic doctrine and attacks their own more recent errors, they will be inspired to a genuine conversion and find it very easy to return. Secondly, it can be seen that there is no need to harm or destroy their rites in recalling them to the way of unity since the Apostolic See has always opposed this procedure. This See has been able to separate the weeds from the wheat in these holy rites as often as the need arose. Moreover the attempt to destroy their rites will only jeopardize the desired union, as Thomas of Jesus rightly reflects: “It must also be shown that the Roman church approves and favors each Church maintaining its own rites and ceremonies, since of course the schismatics are very attached to their own rites. A timely effort must be made to persuade them that they will be confirmed in the observance of their own ceremonies in order to prevent any false suspicion developing that these rites would be abolished and any consequent turning away from the Roman church, which has no such objective” (De conversione omnium gentium procuranda, bk. 7, chap. 2). …

[Again,] a missionary who wants to convert an eastern schismatic should not attempt to make him accept the Latin rite. For the only work entrusted to the missionary is that of recalling the Oriental to the Catholic faith, not that of making him accept the Latin rite. …

When Union was effected at the Council of Florence, some Latin Catholics living in Greece thought that it was lawful for them to go over to the Greek rite. They may have been attracted by the freedom retained by the Greeks for priests to keep wives after Ordination if they were married before being ordained. But Pope Nicholas V carefully applied a timely remedy to this abuse: “It has come to Our attention that many Catholics in districts with a Greek Catholic bishop are shamelessly going over to the Greek rites under pretext of the Union. We are greatly astonished, since We do not know what inspired them to leave the practice and rites in which they were born and reared for foreign rites. Even though the rites of the oriental church are praiseworthy, it is not permitted to confuse the rites of the churches. The holy council of Florence never allowed this” (constitution in Bullarii recenter Romae editi, vol. 3, part 3, p. 64).

Since the Latin rite is the rite of the holy Roman church and this church is mother and teacher of the other churches, the Latin rite should be preferred to all other rites. It follows that it is not lawful to transfer from the Latin to the Greek rite. Nor may those who have come over to the Latin rite from the Greek or Oriental rite return again to the Greek Rite, unless particular circumstances occasion the giving of a dispensation (constitution Etsi Pastoralis 57, sect. 2, no. 13, in Our Bullarii, vol. 1). …

We have dealt with transferring from the Latin to the Greek rite. Transferrals in the opposite direction are not forbidden as strictly as the former. Still, a missionary who hopes for the return of a Greek or Oriental to the unity of the Catholic Church may not make him give up his own rite. This can cause great harm. …

There are two classes, as it were, of Greeks and Orientals. The first class consists of men who are not satisfied with the concessions made to them by the Apostolic See in order to preserve the Union. They are carried shamelessly beyond the bounds of decency; they claim that all their own practices are correct and that the Latins are mistaken not to follow the same practices [such as by using azymes for the Eucharist, not pouring zeon into the consecrated chalice, offering the Eucharist under one species only, enforcing clerical celibacy, or postponing Confirmation and/or Holy Communion for years after infant Baptism]. … In the second category are those Orientals and Greeks who in the main observe their own rites, but out of respect follow some of the rites of the Latins and the Western Churches. …

[The point is that] the Apostolic See possesses the preeminent right to decide what rituals are to be taken over from the Oriental church by the Latin church. As often as this Apostolic See has noticed that a dangerous or unfitting rite has made its way into the Oriental Church, it has condemned, criticized, and forbidden its use in the Latin Church. …

[For instance,] Pope Gelasius [d. 19 November 496] in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: “Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.” We too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 6, no. 21. [You might want to read the opening quotation of this post again. O tempora! O mores!] …

The Canons and Apostolic Constitutions prohibit those who convert Orientals from attempting to destroy the Oriental and Greek rite in matters which the Apostolic See allows and prohibits trying to make converts abandon the rite they previously observed and embrace the Latin rite. … Canon Law decrees that the Oriental and Greek rite should not be mixed with the Latin rite. …

[Now, while] the mixing of rite[s] … is forbidden by the Church’s laws[, …] there is no forbidden mixing of rites involved if, for a lawful cause, priests of the Oriental rite are allowed to celebrate Mass and other services in a Latin church and administer the sacraments to their own people. We see this happening openly in Rome where our churches are available to Armenian, Coptic, Melchite, and Greek priests for the celebration of Mass to satisfy their piety, even though they have their own churches where they could offer the sacrifice of the Mass. …

Important for this topic is the following event: about the middle of the fifteenth century, as is well known, Mahomet II began to attack Constantinople. Some of the Greeks who had rejected the errors of the Schismatics and preserved union with the Latin Church retreated to Venice and remained there. When the Greek Cardinal Isidore came there, he informed the Senate of the Pope’s wishes to have a church assigned to these people of the Greek rite for their services. The piety of the Senate was aroused, and they gave the refugees the Church of St. Blasius. In one chapel of this church for many years the Greeks performed the divine services in the Greek rite, while in the other chapels, the Latins worshipped in the Latin rite. … [This example of the general principle of accommodation] will help much to show the necessity of unanimity and benevolence among Catholics of different rites. …

It remains to discuss the [missionary’s] final enquiry about fasting. Syrian and Armenian Catholics abstain from fish on fast days in accordance with their rite. But when they see the Latins eating fish, it is claimed that it is impossible or at least very hard for them to refrain from fish. So the seemingly reasonable suggestion is made that missionaries should be empowered to give them a dispensation with circumspection and without risk of scandal, and to substitute another pious work for abstinence from fish. [Sound familiar?]

This would be an ideal place to deal with the antiquity of fasting in the east and of how its obligations have always been strictly observed despite their severity. To avoid excessive length, however, We confine Ourselves to saying that the Apostolic See has always opposed the Patriarchs whenever they wanted to relax the ancient harshness of the fast imposed on their subjects. …

During Our own pontificate the excessive good-natured laxity of Euthymius, Archbishop of Tyre and Sidon, and of Cyril Patriarch of Antioch, towards the Greek Melchites was investigated and condemned (constitution 87, Demandatam, sect. 6). “Judging that this innovation and relaxation of rigorous abstinence tends to the excessive harm of the ancient practice of the Greek churches, even though these measures have no force without the authority of the Apostolic See, We expressly revoke them by Our authority. We command that they should have no effect for the future nor be implemented in any way, but that everything should be restored to its former condition. Moreover, We order that the praiseworthy custom of your fathers of abstaining from fish every Wednesday and Friday throughout the year be observed in all the Patriarchate of Antioch, just as it is practiced among the neighboring peoples of the Greek rite.”

I will pause here to point out that this was not a mere passing concern for Benedict XIV, who especially emphasized the need to preserve the Church’s rigor in fasting in the constitution, the Non Ambigimus (30 May 1741), the full text of which you can read here, wherein ye shall encounter humdingers like this:

With the fast, almost a mark of our militia, we are distinguished from the enemies of the Church, we turn away the lightning of divine vengeance, and, with the help of God, we are protected in the course of the days from the Princes of darkness.

 … [We] … lament that the most sacred observance of the fast of Lent has been almost completely eliminated due to the excessive ease of dispensing, everywhere, indiscriminately, for trivial and non-urgent reasons, so as to cause the just grievances of those who follow the orthodox Religion, while the followers of this heresy scoff and exult.”

But back to Allatae Sunt.

It is nonsensical to affirm that a dispensation, or rather a general faculty of dispensing, should be granted on the grounds that Orientals are easily tempted to eat fish themselves by the sight of Latins eating fish on a fast day, yielding to the weakness of their nature and not from contempt. For if this argument were at all persuasive it would lead to an absolute mixture of rites. A further result would be that Latins at the sight of Greeks living in ways which are forbidden to Latins could seek a dispensation to allow them to do what they see the Greeks doing. They would claim that they accepted the Latin rite, but that from the weakness of their nature they could no longer observe it. …

We also wanted to make clear to all the good will which the Apostolic See feels for Oriental Catholics in commanding them to observe fully their ancient rites which are not at variance with the Catholic religion or with propriety. The Church does not require schismatics to abandon their rites when they return to Catholic unity, but only that they forswear and detest heresy. Its great desire is for the preservation, not the destruction, of different peoples–in short, that all may be Catholic rather than all become Latin.

Have at ye!

outback-steakhouse-free-blooming-onion-dish

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About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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7 Responses to Whoever scorns small things…

  1. Tony Jokin says:

    “..the Latin rite should be preferred to all other rites.”

    Now that is a bold and clear comment you will rarely hear today.

    I feel that this document does not however shed any direct light on the Gregory of Narek issue. If anything, the permissions and desire of the Holy See at the time were clearly to see a restoration of the oriental rite to a state pre-schism. The key emphasis for the Oritentals is that they refrain from falling into heresy.

    So I think the saints of any particular rite (whether it be Armenian or Byzantine) were never closely studied before approving. I think the Holy See simply thought it unnecessary since the Orientals had agreed to refrain from heresy. It probably seemed like something that would do unnecessary harm by disrupting the sensibilities of the folks wanting to come back into union.

    Fast forward centuries and now we are faced with the problem where the Church suddenly decided that it was a great idea to hold one of those saints up as a Doctor.

    I still find it mind boggling that a person who did not know which one was the true Church (and that he was in a schismatic Church) has somehow become considered as someone who we should all learn from. He might have certainly lead a holy life, but giving the title of Doctor, seems like missing Catholic 101 (which is the right church) but getting recommended to teach college level.

  2. Dear Tony. But this sort of thing now happens at all levels of the Church and one such frequency of such a thing happening is the irksome use of protestant’s exegesis (actually, it is not infrequently eisegesis) in Catholic publications – such as then Pope Benedict’s recent trilogy.

    Read who it is he uses as his sources.

    It can not be sensibly said that the exegesis of protestants is worthless but the reality that they remain protestant is an unacknowledged confession that they misapprehend the meaning of Scripture. Why such a reliance on material heretics when the Catholic Church OWNS Holy Scripture, Old and New, Lock, Stock, and Barrel?

    Well, we do know why the Early Church Fathers and such texts as Catena Aurea and the great commentary by Cornelius a Lapide are shunned, don’t we? What they teach draws bright and bold distinctions twixt truth and heresy and that is thought mean in these days of ecumenism

    To BAC the ecclesiastical praxis of ecumenism makes as much sense as it would be for the Oakland Raiders to feature photos of Len Dawson and Willie Lanier in their Hall of Fame; but the Raiders wouldn’t do that because they have such pride in their own organisation and such love of their team. Can anyone imagine the Raiders suddenly declaring that Otis Taylor was a model receiver of the Raiders?

    No, one can because, although he was a great receiver, such an act would make no sense AND it would anger its fan base; but the Church, Pffft..no biggie when it comes to declaring a new Doctor (O, and there would not be one Raider Fan thought insensitive if he objected to the inclusion of Otis Taylor)

    Yeah, all of these items are an aside but it does tie-in with the general indifference that has infected the Body of Christ.

    O, they aren”t Catholic ? No mater, they are still good people who believe in the essentials…

    Basta…

    Thanks B.C. for your research about this problem. Reading old Catholic documents makes one realise just how flummoxed we Catholics are now with our forlorn Hierarchy. The old Encyclicals are quite clear and take strong masculine decisions.

    But yes, our Hierarchy is forlorn even though they may smile a lot because it irks them that they are part of a Church that is exclusive of all other communions and assemblies and they never learned how to understand and appreciate that with a humble gratitude that renders nugatory any charges of arrogance and this problem was well revealed by Dr Mattei’s study of Vatican Two.

    After Communion BAC prays the old Invocatio Post Communionem which has as part of its prayer these words:

    O thou who has separated us from communion with the ungodly…

    Now, of course that is perfectly proper but one would not catch even one Prelate – including, prolly, Burke or Schneider – using such truthful and humble prayers because it is aught but the truth of God and not the anthropocentric approach thought so necessary today.

  3. Since Eastern Catholicism is a special interest of mine, I’d read it a few times before; but it was good to read it again — Benedict XIV is one of my favorite popes. Armenian Catholics have been Catholics in good standing and full union for 250 years, so there’s only so much light that can be shed on this issue by a letter that is primarily on how to handle Armenian and other Eastern Catholics in situations in which they lack resources and so must attend Latin churches, written at a time when the Armenian Catholic Church was only a little more than a decade old. But it is perhaps worth noting that authoritatively raising and venerating saints, including raising churches dedicated to saints, is an integral part of every major liturgical rite, and always has been.

  4. Tony Jokin says:

    Brandon,

    “But it is perhaps worth noting that authoritatively raising and venerating saints, including raising churches dedicated to saints, is an integral part of every major liturgical rite, and always has been.”

    Since you mentioned this, can you cite an authoritative source for your claim (not doubting you, just asking)? What does it mean in this case to authoritatively raise a saint into the calendar when we are speaking in this particular case? Did a local Bishop or Patriarch have such authority in those rites before the schism?

    Also, couldn’t a case be made then that Pope Benedict XIV’s desire that the rites to return back to a state pre-schism, would required that one abandon added new saints (which should be considered as additions to the rite since schism)?

  5. Tony Jokin says:

    BAC,

    Very true. I too have always thought it odd that Catholics all of a sudden think that there is great wisdom to be found outside the Church than in the countless amount of solidly Catholic writing available. Perhaps some think it is a way of ecumenism i.e. making the non-Catholics happy that Catholics are using their sources.

    For some though, I feel it is perhaps seen as an opportunity to come up with a new theology to arrive at new conclusions since they hate the things the Church has been teaching on various subjects through the centuries. If they were to use solid Catholic writing, they know they will arrive at same conclusions. So the easiest way to arrive at radical ideas and conclusions then would be to use non-Catholic writings, which they are happy to do!

  6. Tony. There is no doubt. The great Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide is now thought to be the smelly drunk uncle at a fashionable soiree;

    O, don’t listen to him; he is out of his mind and he says things that ruin our fabulous meetings.

    I wonder just how many Catholics know that it was not so long ago, 1953, that A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture commonly referred to as the Dom Orchard collection, on page 8 simply states the truth of the matter: It is the teaching of the Church that the Old Testament Scriptures were transferred to her ownership by Christ himself in view of her position as the new Israel and the heir of the Old Testament promises, and that the New Testament Scriptures being written with the Church by some of its members for the benefit of all (or more precisely, within the society of the Catholic Church by Catholics and for Catholics) are likewise her exclusive property, of which she is the absolute Owner, Guardian, Trustee, and Interpreter….

    There is no way in Hell one would ever hear any Pope or Prelate say those clear and simple words for they fear being labeled arrogant by the very self-same heretics and schismatics who took power unto themselves (which is the root idea of arrogant) whereas the authority of the Catholic Church is Divinely Constituted and there is no more humble act than to perpetually reiterate that truthful reality.

    But our modern ecclesiastics are loathe to speak this plain and simple truth and in their refusal to speak the plain and simple truth they have abandoned the Catholic sheep to the heretical wolves.

  7. Pardon me, but as a smelly, drunk uncle myself, I find that comment highly offensive!

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