Catholic Family News

This Month’s Edition

This month’s edition of Catholic Family News contains the articles listed below. Only a few of these are reprinted on this website. To read all of the articles contained in this month’s edition, choose one of our subscription options, each of which comes with access to the E-Edition of the paper so you can start reading these articles now.

June 2023 Contents

The Consecration of the Immaculata: Historic Event in America’s Heartland (Kennedy Hall)

On May 3, 2023, Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) consecrated the Immaculata church in St. Mary’s, Kansas. To say that the church is magnificent or exceptional is an understatement, as it truly is an impressive piece of Christendom that has been erected in America’s heartland.

The arrival of this occasion has been long anticipated by the traditional Catholics in St Mary’s, as the original church building was destroyed in a fire in 1978. It was an electrical fire that conflagrated the building at the outset of the restoration of the building, which Archbishop Lefebvre called “a stroke of the devil.”

Since that time, the faithful in St. Mary’s, which number in the thousands, have been attending Masses at the academy campus chapel and a reworked auditorium. For the unaware, St. Mary’s is a town of a few thousand residents, with the majority being parishioners of the SSPX. For this reason, as many as six Masses have been celebrated every Sunday for decades to keep up with the demand.

The History of the Immaculata

In 1848, the St. Mary’s Mission was founded by the Jesuits. The first cathedral was erected west of the Missouri River and east of the Rockies, and named the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The original parish church still stands and is still in use, albeit as a diocesan Novus Ordo parish. Shortly after, the town of St. Mary’s was established in 1869, more than 150 years ago. To the put that in perspective, that makes the original Jesuit mission in that region older than my native Canada, which was officially made a Dominion in 1867.

Then on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Jesuit Father Shyne introduced a plan to build the Immaculata, which was to be a chapel dedicated to the new Jesuit seminary, separate from the parish in St. Mary’s. Some 300 alumni of the College were invited to pledge $100 and the cornerstone was laid in 1907. Shortly thereafter, in 1909, the Immaculata was dedicated and revered as a piece of exquisite Gothic architecture.

In 1967, the Jesuits departed from St. Mary’s and the school and chapel were left unused. By that time, hundreds of priests had been ordained in that chapel. In essence, the Jesuits built the town, and even ran the golf course (which is no longer in use), so their departure was felt not only as a spiritual blow to the community but also a financial one.

Ten years later in 1977, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre visited St. Mary’s and recognized the Immaculata’s beauty and its symbolism. Due to its location in the literal geographical heart of America, he saw it as an opportunity for a Catholic renaissance. Soon after his visit, the SSPX purchased the property. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Crowning of the New World Monarchy: Coronation of King Charles III (Brian M. McCall)

On May 6, 2023, the world witnessed the coronation of King Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and his other realms. The ceremony was the epitome of modern England and her official heretical state church. It was a bizarre blend of ancient Catholic ceremony interspersed with New World Order globalist ecumenism. Charles Windsor, the longtime member of the World Economic Forum and promoter of their globalist agenda, clothed the ecumenical globalism in brilliantly executed pageantry.

To understand the nature of what the world witnessed on May 6, we need to sketch out the history of England that led to its role in the modern world as the great promoter of Freemasonry and globalism.

England: The Dowry of Mary

In the late sixth century, Pope St. Gregory the Great (r. 590-604) is reported to have seen in Rome a group of Anglo -Saxon captives from various military skirmishes. He remarked on the noble beauty of the fair and tall Anglo-Saxons and said that such beautiful people should have the Gospel preached to them. Not being able to leave Rome himself, he gave a commission to St. Augustine (not the bishop of Hippo from the fourth century) to travel to the island that had been conquered by Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. to convert the peoples there. The Britton kingdom was displaced eventually in the fifth century by invading armies of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. The legends of King Arthur take place in this time of transition from the Brittons to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. St. Augustine landed in the southeast coast of the island in the Kingdom of Kent. He found fertile soil and won large-scale conversions. He became the first Archbishop of Canterbury which is the origin of this ecclesiastical see being the primal see of the island nations.

A Long-Standing Tension Between Throne and Altar

The English people embraced Christianity and exhibited great devotion to the Faith.  Monastic communities sprung up all over and around the ancient isle. Hugh Ross Williamson describes the religious state of the English people in the early 16th century on the eve of the great Henrician revolt thus: “A visitor to England in the early sixteenth century noted, ‘They all attend Mass every day and say many Paternosters in public. The women carry long rosaries in their hands and any who can read take the Office of Our Lady with them and with some companion recite it in church verse by verse in a low voice after the manner of churchmen. On Sunday they always hear Mass in their parish church and give liberal alms.’” Such devotion earned England the title the Dowry of Mary as she was believed to be set apart (geographically) from Europe as a sign that she was entrusted to the special care of the Blessed Mother. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

*The Popes Speak* Pius XI’s Encyclical Haurietis Aquas on Devotion to the Sacred Heart

An Inestimable Gift

1. “You shall draw waters with joy out of the Savior’s fountain” [Is. 12:3]. These words by which the prophet Isaias, using highly significant imagery, foretold the manifold and abundant gifts of God which the Christian era was to bring forth, come naturally to Our mind when We reflect on the centenary of that year when Our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, gladly yielding to the prayers from the whole Catholic world, ordered the celebration of the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Universal Church.

2. It is altogether impossible to enumerate the heavenly gifts which devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has poured out on the souls of the faithful, purifying them, offering them heavenly strength, rousing them to the attainment of all virtues. Therefore, recalling those wise words of the Apostle St. James, “Every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights” [Jam. 1:17], We are perfectly justified in seeing in this same devotion, which flourishes with increasing fervor throughout the world, a gift without price which our Divine Savior, the Incarnate Word, as the one Mediator of grace and truth between the heavenly Father and the human race, imparted to the Church, His Mystical Spouse, in recent centuries when she had to endure such trials and surmount so many difficulties.

False Pretenses Against the Devotion

8. The Church has always valued, and still does, the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus so highly that she provides for the spread of it among Christian peoples everywhere and by every means. At the same time, she uses every effort to protect it against the charges of so-called “naturalism” and “sentimentalism.” In spite of this, it is much to be regretted that, both in the past and in our own times, this most noble devotion does not find a place of honor and esteem among certain Christians and even occasionally not among those who profess themselves moved by zeal for the Catholic religion and the attainment of holiness.

9. “If you but knew the gift of God” (John 4:10). With these words, Venerable Brethren, We who in the secret designs of God have been elected as the guardians and stewards of the sacred treasures of faith and piety which the Divine Redeemer has entrusted to His Church, prompted by Our sense of duty, admonish them all. Click here to continue reading

Obedience and the Common Good, Part I (Peter A. Kwasniewski, Ph.D.)

Editor’s Note: The following is the first half of a lecture given by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski in Columbia, South Carolina earlier this year (Apr. 21, 2023). The second half of the lecture will appear next month.


I’ve noticed that most conversations among Catholics about Church affairs come around, sooner or later, to the question of “who’s in charge” and “who must obey.” In my opinion, we have inherited an impoverished framework of discussion, where the only poles are power and submission. This is rather like trying to evaluate great paintings with only black and white photos, or trying to understand the art of sculpture on the basis of two-dimensional images. In fact, it’s worse: it is a totally inadequate approach that makes a caricature of both godly power and righteous submission.

We cannot understand a hierarchical structure unless we apprehend clearly the relationship between authority and the common good, and this relationship, in turn, illuminates the virtue of obedience. Although I have written about these matters in my book True Obedience in the Church: A Guide to Discernment in Challenging Times (Sophia Institute Press, 2021), I would like to develop the ideas further this evening. A note on terminology: the word “authority” is typically used to mean two related things: (1) someone who exercises authority, as in “this law was issued by the authority in charge of the territory,” as well as the basis on which, or the title by which, he exercises it: “by what authority do you issue that law?”

What is a Common Good — and Why Does it Take Precedence?

Authority exists whenever there is a society of persons who together share goods that need to be fostered and protected. We call such shared goods “common.” This requires a bit of explanation.

When we think of good things, we tend first to think about good stuff, like food and drink, that are obviously good for us (as long as it’s at the right time, in the right manner, and the right amount, etc.). Material or sensible things that suit us as animals are truly good things. But they are not the best kind of good things. Far better are goods that relate people to one another, being good for many people at the same time without being diminished or divided. That’s what we call a common good. Private goods — all material goods can be called by this name — get used up or removed from circulation when they are possessed. When a cake is divided up into pieces, each of us may get a piece (if we’re lucky), but only I can eat my piece and you yours. When I am wearing a certain piece of clothing, no one else can wear it simultaneously. Private property, though it can be put to a hospitable and charitable use, is also limited in this way: by right and in practice, it is not equally everybody’s to use, and it is diminished or worn out by use. Anything private, in other words, is limited in its reach, and suffers loss from use. A truly common good, on the other hand, can be shared simultaneously by many, perfecting them all. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Signs of the Times: Immaculata Stands in Stark Contrast to Other Recent News (Brian Mershon)

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), held and completed in the midst of a cultural revolution in the Western world, provided what it claimed to be a compass for the Church in the modern world, with an emphasis on reading “the signs of the times.”

“To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics.” (Gaudium et Spes, art. 4)

The snapshot of human history provided by Vatican II in the 1960s seems to be markedly out of touch with what might be labeled “the signs of the times” 60 years later. In fact, even though the cultural and religious revolution, including within the Catholic Church, which became manifest in the 1960s, seems to be written for only those times and not for today with the usual historic truths provided by recent General Council documents such as the previous two Councils—the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council.

In fact, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger provided the following commentary on specific theological aspects of Gaudium et Spes: He said that the document’s main theme was on Christ’s redemption that has already taken place, and that the final text could “easily tend to give a slightly semi-Pelagian impression.”

Fast forward nearly 60 years later to June 2023. What are the accurate readings of today’s “signs of the times” in accord with the Gospel? Could it be the consecration of the Immaculata Church in St. Mary’s, Kansas? A burgeoning return to Tradition, while small in actual Catholic numbers but increasingly accelerating, just as a small plant bursts to life when watered and fed with the pure truths of doctrine and liturgy?

Bishop Bernard Fellay consecrated a beautiful new church on May 3, 2023, home to the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) priory of St. Mary’s Academy and College, that seats 1,500 in St. Mary’s, Kansas. About 3,000 Catholics from around the world, including from Australia and England and a relatively recent convert from Spartanburg, S.C, attended the God-inspired ceremony.

Pope Criticizes Catholics attached to Tradition as Nostalgics with a Disease

Just days before the consecration ceremony, Pope Francis was in Hungary speaking in a private audience to fellow Jesuits in which he seemingly leveled charges against Catholics who deeply appreciate Tradition and the Mass of All Ages. During the question-and-answer period, the Pope cited “unbelievable restorationism,” which he called “a nostalgic disease,” and emphasized the danger of “going backwards.”

“It takes a century for a Council to be assimilated, they say. And I know the resistance to its decrees is terrible. There is unbelievable restorationism, what I call ‘indietrismo’ (backwardness), as the Letter to the Hebrews (10:39) says: ‘But we do not belong to those who shrink back.’ The flow of history and grace goes from the roots upward like the sap of a tree that bears fruit. But without this flow you remain a mummy. Going backwards does not preserve life, ever. You must change, as St. Vincent of Lérins wrote in his Commonitory when he remarked that even the dogma of the Christian religion progresses, consolidating over the years, developing with time, deepening with age. But this is a change from the bottom up. The danger today is indietrismo, the reaction against the modern. It is a nostalgic disease. This is why I decided that now the permission to celebrate according to the Roman Missal of 1962 is mandatory for all newly consecrated priests. After all the necessary consultations, I decided this because I saw that the good pastoral measures put in place by John Paul II and Benedict XVI were being used in an ideological way, to go backward. It was necessary to stop this indietrismo, which was not in the pastoral vision of my predecessors.”

Meanwhile the Church continues to crumble, as shown by all measurable statistics in the United States since 1965, and yet Modernist prelates continue on their path towards spiritual suicide. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Answering the Professor’s Call: “Next Pope Must Condemn” the Errors of Francis (Anthony P. Stine, Ph.D.)

The Francis pontificate has been characterized by ambiguous statements from the Pope himself and those who directly serve him, combined with declarations that are unambiguously heterodox. Accusations of Francis being a heretic are almost commonplace in the discourse about the crisis in the Church today, and yet few prelates or even high-profile theologians are willing to discuss the matter. A climate of fear grips the episcopate. It seems that many bishops are simply hoping to outlast the current Pope and are putting their hopes in a more orthodox successor to Francis, one who will correct his manifold errors and put an end to ambiguity.

Amoris Laetitia 2.0 Reportedly Coming Soon

In late April, Catholic news outlets across the globe reported that some of Francis’ closest allies in the Roman Curia were preparing a follow-up document to Amoris Laetitia. The latter document’s effect on the Church can only be described as disjunctive: whereas prior to its release, many public figures now associated in some way with the “Recognize and Resist” position would try to explain away the various heterodox statements Francis would make, after its release most of those efforts came to an end due to the clear errors contained in the document that have been enumerated elsewhere, perhaps most clearly in the famous Dubia submitted by Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra (RIP), and Joachim Meisner (RIP).

Contrary to the Church’s constant teaching, Amoris Laetitia says (albeit it a roundabout way) that those who civilly divorce and “remarry” may receive the sacraments while continuing to sin against the Sixth Commandment, a novelty that was affirmed when the Argentinian bishops issued guidelines for the implementation of the document that instituted this practice and was later confirmed by Francis himself as the correct interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Francis has never responded to the Dubia, and the issue has yet to be pursued further by the surviving signatories.

The announcement of a follow-up to Amoris Laetitia was made by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the former roommate of Ted McCarrick. The document is being characterized as providing help and guidance to those experiencing marital crises of all kinds. Cardinal Farrell announced the document on April 22 during a meeting of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life, stating that “on this front, the dicastery is also working on the preparation of a text that will refer specifically, as you wished, Your Holiness, to men and women who, having a failed marriage behind them, live in new unions.” …

Professor Seifert’s Open Letter

Amoris Laetitia opened the door for a few bishops and countless laity to question not only the orthodoxy of Pope Francis but the legitimacy of his pontificate itself. And concerns in this regard continue to mount. In an open letter to all the Cardinals and Bishops of the Church (dated April 30), Professor Josef Seifert of the University of Munich declared that Francis is “increasingly destroying the foundations of faith and morals” by his many grave errors. The purpose of the letter was to remind the Cardinals, in particular, that they have a serious task ahead of them in preparation for the next conclave. The College of Cardinals must elect a successor to Francis who will uphold the teachings of the Church and correct the errors of this pontificate, which are Seifert says are tantamount to “apostasy.”

Professor Seifert’s letter was initially written to an unnamed cardinal in 2019 who vehemently disagreed with Seifert’s previous criticisms of Francis. Seifert decided to make his letter public “in view of a conclave that may soon be convened,” since “the contents of this letter concern all cardinals and also archbishops and bishops.” To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

The First Generation of the New Christendom (Marie Elaina McCall)

The goal of the Traditionalist movement, in the temporal sphere, is the restoration of Christendom. Much more than the institutions of Christendom (Christian States, the temporal power of the Church, etc.), Christendom consisted in an integrated worldview. C.S. Lewis referred to this worldview as “the discarded image.” It was a unified worldview that saw every aspect of creation (and beyond) as meaningfully connected. Having been “discarded” by the post-Renaissance world, the post-modern worldview can be summarized most aptly as the absence of any worldview, any unifying meaning.

The Discarded Image

The institutions of Christendom cannot be rebuilt until this worldview is once again inculcated in people’s minds and hearts.  Inculcated is the correct word because it cannot simply be “taught” as Lewis does in his little book.  It has to transcend the intellect and permeate every aspect of the soul and body.  That is why Catholic education, or more properly, formation is the key to the new Christendom.  The first generation of the Restored Christendom has to go beyond studying the worldview of Christendom as a relic in a museum and be permeated by it.

One key example of the differences in worldview between the Christian and the post-modern lies in the realm of art. According to the contemporary view, art is spontaneous and unstructured. For the Christian, art is epitomized by imitation. True artistic originality can only flourish within the framework of imitation of the great artists of the past. Each generation of artist must build upon and add his mark to all that has come before. …

A Brief History of the Educational Project in Florida

This goal to rebuild this discarded image in the hearts of the young is the organizing principle of a small (from the world’s point of view) school in the state of Florida. In the state in which the first Mass was offered on the North American continent, a project began in 2010 to form new souls for a restored Christendom. St. Thomas More Academy was founded starting with a grade school. After 10 years, the daunting task of expanding from K-8 to K-12 began. In the 2021-2022 academic year, a ninth-grade class was admitted and the following year they entered the new 10th grade. By the 2024-2025 year, all four years of high school will be established. The enrollment of the entire school has exploded in the past several years, doubling in size after the bishops shut schools and churches in obeisance to the new worldview. As a building project was launched to house the grade school and the girls high school, a search began for a separate location for the boys high school, as the Church has always known that the education of boys and girls at this delicate age should be separated.

The Miracle of St. Joseph

The true Catholic story of La Florida is not well known by most Americans. The captivating history of Catholicism in this beautiful part of our country has been uncovered in an unexpected way. We recently learned that a group of German Catholics were given a plot of land in the Sanford area on which they were building a Catholic community. Originally, it was to be called the Saint Joseph Colony. Unfortunately, these settlers died of yellow fever in late 1887, before their community was able to be fully established.

On this hallowed but now deserted land, a public school building was erected in 1918. The public school (at the corner of Church and School Street, names that harken back to the original Catholic plan) eventually closed its doors and the property passed into private hands. However, on March 20, 2023, this property was miraculously obtained by the Society of St. Pius X in Florida to be used as our boys high school. Located only a few minutes’ drive from the priory and church, it is an ideal location to form boys into young men. Following a formal petition to the great St. Joseph, signed first by Bishop Bernard Fellay, this 12,000-square-foot school building on five acres of property was offered for sale at a reasonable price. Through no attempt of the prior, the seller insisted on closing the sale on March 20, which in 2023 was the transferred Solemnity of St. Joseph, due to March 19 being a Sunday in Lent. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Building a False Church: Diabolical Disorientation Dominates Catholic Tithing (Michael Hichborn)

Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of a lecture presented by Michael Hichborn, founder and president of the Lepanto Institute, on Feb. 8, 2023. The lecture was given at a conference hosted by The Fatima Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia.


The Arian Crisis of the Fourth Century

In the fourth century, when Arius began preaching that God the Father created God the Son — and therefore, Our Blessed Lord is not co-eternal with God — he found that very few people bought into his message. But Arius was a very clever man and devised a series of very simple and catchy songs that he began singing in port cities. Very soon, passers-by hearing the songs, but not paying careful attention to the lyrics, began to sing the songs to themselves as they worked or walked through the streets. And before long, many people were singing Arius’ simple yet heretical tunes.

So, when Arius came back to preach, he found that he had a much more attentive audience. Without really thinking about what they were singing, the people who kept those catchy tunes in their minds unwittingly weakened themselves to Arius’ messages.  Now, the heresy was defeated at the Council of Nicaea in 325, and Arius himself died in 336, but the match had already been lit and, like a brush fire, the Arian heresy swept over all of Christendom. In the words of St. Jerome, the world “awoke with a groan to find itself Arian.”

For nearly 1,700 years, despite the multitude of heresies, wars, schisms, scandals and controversies that would erupt throughout the history of the Church, we have never seen the devastating and overwhelming impact of the Arian crisis … that is, until now.

The Modernist Crisis of Our Times

Today, our beloved Church is in a deep crisis of faith.  Modernism, what Pope St. Pius X dubbed the “synthesis of all heresies,” has perverted and twisted nearly every facet of the Catholic Church. The priesthood is attacked, the sacraments are attacked, the liturgy is attacked, good morals are attacked, and even the very nature of what it means to be a man or a woman is under attack.

Nothing is safe from the perverse doctrines of the Modernists, as everything they touch is reduced to ash.

Because of this, faithful Catholics are bewildered. They find themselves questioning if the Modernists are actually right and if they are wrong. How often do we hear people we believed were solid in their faith suddenly reverse course on homosexuality? Even formerly traditional Catholics are now saying that Pope Francis was right to suppress the Ancient Rite of the Mass.

Like a raging fire in a tall building, everything is thrown into chaos, and between the heat and the smoke, the blaring fire alarms, and the shouts and screams from within, it can be very difficult to know which way to go to find safety. And that is precisely where we find ourselves now. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

The Fatima Apparitions and the Signs of God’s Presence, Part I (Marianna Bartold)

During His public life, Jesus spoke to great crowds of people in the form of parables, telling “plain, simple stories easily remembered by plain, simple people, even without learning or talent. In these He clothed His divine doctrines … taking His illustrations from those common and obvious objects with which they were most familiar, screening the Divine Mysteries at the same time from the ill-disposed and bigoted who listened to the parables but would not understand their meaning.” In a fashion like Our Lord’s divine parables, the “sensible signs” (i.e., discernable by one of the five senses) witnessed by pilgrims present at the 1917 Fatima apparitions strengthened and consoled the faithful, converted souls, counteracted the doubters, and gently emphasized the divine doctrines revealed by God to His Church.

The Symbolic Signs

In this essay, I will extensively quote from my book, Fatima: The Signs and Secrets, because ― with references to Tradition and Scripture ― it examines many of the “sensible signs” at Fatima.

When people think about the Fatima apparitions, most recall in their minds a particular image of Our Lady, dressed all in white, standing with her bare feet upon a white puff of cloud. Rarely, one may see a holy card or picture of Our Lady of Fatima, with a backdrop of a twilight sky scattered with stars. What is not generally known is that the delicate white mist of cloud under the Virgin’s feet, the changed sky, and the stars are not artistic embellishments. People who came to the Fatima apparitions witnessed the unusual white cloud and other phenomena, all which hold a highly symbolic and mystical significance.

Throughout salvation history, the signs of God indicate various purposes. A true sign can possess any one or more of the following seven functions: It confirms God’s word, confirms His goodness, authenticates prophecy, verifies God’s blessings and His intervention for the sake of the elect, strengthens the faithful with hope, insures or testifies God’s Presence, or declares His judgment upon sin. Not only do the 1917 apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima fulfill all seven functions of Scriptural signs, they also serve as a “Mariophany” (explained later in this essay).

Excluding the great Miracle of the Sun, a careful study of the Fatima apparitions includes witness testimonies which revealed the following “sensible signs” which at Fatima, over the course of five months (June through October 1917) were seen or heard… To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

*Apologetics Series* Msgr. Fenton’s Handbook on Catholic Apologetics: The Doctrinal Content in the Message of Jesus, Part II: The Trinity and the Incarnation (Matthew Plese)

Apologetics and Theology are Complementary but Distinct

Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton continues to teach us the science of apologetics so that we may be armed for the battle for souls in our world. Building upon principles established in the preceding chapter, he devotes the 11th chapter of his handbook on apologetics to the doctrinal content in the message of Our Lord as it concerns the Trinity and the Incarnation. The importance of the Incarnation of the Second Person on the Blessed Trinity cannot be overstated, as our instructor immediately underscores:

“The central contention in all of that teaching for which Jesus of Nazareth demanded the assent of divine faith was His assertion that He was actually a divine person, distinct from the Father and yet perfectly equal to Him in all things, while still a third divine Person, designated as the Holy Ghost, proceeded both from the Father and from the Son and thus was perfectly distinct from both of them, while He was coequal to Them in the perfection of His divinity. This teaching was to form the distinctive doctrine of that kingdom of which He, Jesus of Nazareth, was the founder and the head.”

Msgr. Fenton notes that the role of the apologist in this context is not “to demonstrate that Jesus was really God,” but rather to demonstrate the credibility of the claims which Jesus Christ made about Himself, as recorded in the four canonical Gospels. Establishing the rational credibility of Catholic doctrine — in this case, concerning the Incarnation and the Trinity — is the proper pursuit of apologetics, as Msgr. Fenton explains:

“In dealing with the divinity of Jesus in the science of apologetics, we must realize exactly what we seek to know about it for the purposes of this study. In the first place, it is not within the competence of apologetics to demonstrate that Jesus was really God. The truth of the Incarnation remains one of the great central Christian mysteries. It is one of those facts which men could never know independently or divine revelation, and which must remain obscure even to those who accept it with the certain assent of divine faith….

Since it is such a truth, it certainly does not lie within the province of apologetics nor for that matter of any science attainable by man in this life to show clearly, merely from naturally ascertainable evidence, that Christ is God. There is a strict theological demonstration of the divinity of Jesus, but it is of the same sort as all of those other demonstrations which belong to the body of the science of sacred theology. This science is competent to show, from the documents of the deposit of faith itself, that the thesis, Jesus Christ is God, expresses a truth actually contained in this same deposit of faith. It can show, likewise, that the denial of this statement would imply a rejection of the other truths which enter into the content of that revelation which we accept on the authority of God Himself. Or, to put the matter in another way, the science of sacred theology, in its special dogmatic treatise on the Incarnation, can derive the conclusion, Jesus Christ is God, by a proper syllogistic process, utilizing as a principle of scientific knowledge one or more statements contained in the complex of Catholic dogma. Such a proof, however, does not fall within the province of apologetics. Rather, the dogma of the divinity of Jesus is one of those truths, the rational credibility of which is meant to be demonstrated in the process of apologetics.”

The role of the apologist, as it concerns demonstrating the credibility of the Incarnation and the Trinity, consists of two key strategies… To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

How Are We Saved by Christ’s Sacrifice? Interview with Dr. John Joy (Phillip Campbell)

Dr. John Joy has recently published a book entitled The Atoning Death of Christ: St. Thomas’s Doctrine of Vicarious Satisfaction (Cruachan Hill Press, 2023). It is a concise criticism of Protestant views of justification, contrasting them with the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas on the important question of how we are saved. I recently caught up with Dr. Joy to talk to him about this important subject.

This book deals with soteriology. For those who might not be familiar with the term, what is soteriology?

Dr. Joy: Soteriology is the branch of theology that studies the doctrine of salvation. The word “soteriology” comes from the Greek roots soteria (salvation) and soter (savior). So it basically considers how Christ brings about our salvation? We all know that Christ died on the Cross to save us from our sins, but how does that work? Why did He have to die? What is Christ doing on the Cross? He looks passive; terrible things are being done to Him, but it does not look like He is doing anything. But He is doing something. In fact, He is doing several things: He is offering His life as an atoning sacrifice to the Father; He is triumphing over all the powers of darkness; He is showing us His immeasurable love; and He is providing an example of heroic self-sacrifice for us to follow.

How did the Church Fathers explain the means by which we are saved?

Dr. Joy: Generally speaking, the Fathers emphasized Christ’s death primarily in terms of a triumphant conquest over sin, death, and the devil, thereby rescuing the human race from bondage to the powers of darkness. This is still reflected in the magnificent Paschal Troparion in the Greek and Byzantine Easter liturgies, which sings: “Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling death, and to those in the tombs granting life!” What is Christ doing on the Cross? By His death, He is trampling down death and thereby granting us life.

The basic idea is found in the parable of the strong man. Jesus says, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards His own palace, His goods are in peace; but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil” (Luke 11:21–22). Who is the strong man in this parable? Satan. What is his palace? Christ calls him the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31). What are his goods? We are; by their disobedience, our first parents sold us into slavery, so that we are born in bondage to sin, death, and the devil. But there comes a stronger one (Christ) who overcomes the strong man, taking away his armor of deceit, and plundering his house by rescuing those held captive there. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Ecumania on Display in Rome: Anglican “Mass” in the Lateran, Synodality, and Ecumenism (Michael Haynes)

The recent Anglican liturgy conducted in the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran led to an outcry among Catholics, who were aghast to see the Pope’s own church used for a heretical and schismatic service, but the event has inadvertently highlighted the primacy which modern, dangerous ecumenism holds in the current Vatican in place of the Catholic Faith.

Ecumenical gestures from the Pope to representatives of other creeds have been a consistent and increasingly regular trademark of Francis’ decade-long pontificate. Vatican watchers have grown accustomed to observing the latest scandalous meeting between Pope Francis and leaders from Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Anglicanism, and others. But it was a surprise event in mid-April that sent shockwaves around the Catholic world and created such a media firestorm that the Roman clerical authorities were forced to issue a rare apology.

Anglican “Mass” in the Lateran

On April 18, a group of Anglican clergy from the Anglican Diocese of Fulham, England (a suffragan of London), were granted permission to celebrate their Protestant liturgy in the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. The event was held at the main altar, that is, the altar of the Pope’s own cathedral, since St. John Lateran is the seat of the Pope and the “Mother of all the churches of Rome and of the world.”

Over 30 clergymen took part, being led by their bishop, Jonathan Baker of Fulham, an Anglican diocese which bills itself as being somewhat more traditional than the mainstream Anglican Communion, at least in appearances.

It was thanks to the Anglican clergymen themselves that news of the event was spread, as they posted numerous pictures and video clips on social media, some of which were then removed as members of the Catholic media began issuing their various reports. The Anglicans called the event a “Mass.” However, digging further, the event becomes even more peculiar.

The Anglicans do in fact have their own base in the Eternal City, namely, the Anglican Center, and thus have access to a venue to gather and a church in which to conduct their services. There was no need for any larger building, since the group of clergymen were the entirety of the ensemble. Yet in the face of this, they obviously either sought permission to offer their “Mass” in the Lateran or were offered the opportunity to do so. As bizarre as the second option might seem at first, it becomes more believable when more facts about their time in Rome are examined.

Their social media posts revealed that they enjoyed a warm welcome from a number of Catholic authorities in Rome. The group based themselves in the Villa Palazzola, situated around 30 minutes southeast of Rome, which is owned by Rome’s Catholic seminary for English speakers known as the Venerable English College (VEC). They were given an evening address by the former prefect of the Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller. His talk was warmly received, by the Anglicans’ own accounts. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News