24 May 2014

Freedom of religion and worship

Sub Tuum.

We all have free will. People have a right to choose their own religious beliefs and worship practices - but that does not make all such choices equal or equally valid. Freedom of personal choice in religion and worship must never be perverted into a proclamation of relativism, i.e., "Whatever you choose to believe is right for you and therefore valid and equally beneficial."  Christians must never do this. It is even more vital that the clergy be extremely clear on this point.

While I accept that a person, possessing free will, may choose to reject Christ and be a Buddhist, I do not accept or proclaim that Buddhism is equal in any way to Christianity. Neither will I ever proclaim that Islam or Judaism are correct, even though people may exercise their free will to choose those paths. Furthermore, while I may accept that people are free to choose any flavor of Protestantism, I will never accept that the one true Church of Christ is anything other than the eternal and traditional One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church through a spiritual union and bond that knows not time, space, or the political machinations of mankind. Additionally, while Catholics are free to choose the Novus Ordo liturgy, I will not consider it equal to that liturgy which is consistent with the Mass of Pius V, for Pope Saint Pius V granted a universal and perpetual indult for its use. While the Church Fathers at the time of the Novus Ordo's creation presented cause for grave doubts as the to benefits or even validity of the Novus Ordo, numerous Popes, Saints, and Church Fathers have proclaimed the benefits of the Mass of the Pius V. To do otherwise to what I have stated would be an abrogation of my responsibilities as a cleric, a pastor, and especially a successor to the Apostles.

Neither, it must be pointed out, is validity or correctness a matter of numbers or popularity. As the Venerable Fulton Sheen stated, right is right, even if no one is right, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong. If numbers and popularity were more important than truth, Saint Athanasius ought to be branded a non-Catholic! This holy Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church spent a lot of his life as Patriarch in exile for daring to hold to the truths of the Catholic Faith despite opposition and persecution by the Emperor, the Arian heretics, and even many of the Bishops of the Catholic Church!

How much it seems today that we are in a time similar to that experienced by Athanasius. We must remember his words and proceed forward, knowing that those who keep the traditions of the Catholic Church are part of the true Catholic Church. Those who accept modernist and liberal innovations, no matter their numbers, are not practicing the Catholic Faith. Rather than condemn them, though, let us pray for them and set an example so that, through the grace of God, all may return to the traditions of the Catholic Church and fully embrace the Cross of Christ!