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Pastoral writings from the perspective of Traditional Old Roman Catholicism in the Anglican Tradition by Rutherford Cardinal Johnson Count of Sainte Animie

25 October 2015

Christ the King

Sub Tuum.

Today we celebrate the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as we do on the last Sunday of October each year. It is right that this feast is celebrated on the Sunday preceding the Feast of All Saints, for Christ is Lord over all the Saints and Angels in Heaven. The Kingdom of God is not of this world, as Our Lord told to Pilate during His Passion. Yet God created the heavens and the earth. All the earth, all people, and all nations are inherently of God and therefore under God. Christ's Kingship extends over all earth. All kings of the earth are subject to Him. All nations of the earth are His subordinates, for that which is created is not greater than the Creator. 

Our Lord is the supreme and eternal King, the final arbiter and judge, and the ultimate law-giver. There are no laws of man that are superior to the laws of Christ and His Holy Church. Those laws of man that are good and just are only good and just insofar as they are consistent with the laws of Christ. Those laws that are not consistent with the supreme laws of Christ need not be obeyed, and the Christian people are right in opposing them. Those who force and compel obedience to such unrighteous laws violate the supreme law of Christ. 

Christ on his Cross has redeemed mankind. It is in the Cross that all mankind is united, despite differences of politics, culture, race, ethnicity, and language. It is up to each of us, however, to accept or reject this gift. It is up to each of us to accept or reject unity of all people in the corporate Body of Christ. Man's inhumanity to his fellows, whether through physical violence, through words, or through other means, is an offense against this unity to which we are called and which is a reflection of the reward of eternal life in Heaven. 

The leaders of the nations must seek to govern in accordance with the supreme law of Christ and with a mind towards building unity in Christ. Indeed, all people must seek to live according to Christ's law and approach others with the intent of furthering unity. In dealing with all people, even when dealing with those who do not believe, we must strive to follow the example of Christ, both in love for all mankind and in just defense of truth. 

05 July 2015

The United States and the Enlightenment

Sub Tuum.

Pray for the faith
in America
Over 200 years ago, the groundwork was laid for the eventual destruction of the United States with the influx of the ideas of the Enlightenment into the founding of what was otherwise a Christian-oriented (albeit Protestant), independent republic. Rather than absolute truth, the precedent of truth and justice according to popular vote was established. As we are seeing now, even the definition of words is subject to judicial rule. What is and is not true, what is and is not actual history, what speech is protected and what is not. All these things in the United States are subject to popular vote, usually spurred by a determined minority (something some of the Founders rightly feared). Popular vote at the hands of activists has resulted in Christians and particularly Catholics being bullied out of the mainstream, for we do espouse the right idea that truth is NOT subject to popular vote. We do not espouse relativism. We are the antithesis of the Enlightenment, and the Enlightenment is the antithesis of faith in God. This Independence Day, pray for the United States to return to what Christian roots it had and to strengthen them. Resolve to declare yourselves independent of the politically correct establishment and the bigoted progressives and stand always for the faith.

21 April 2015

Sant'Anselmo

Sub Tuum.

Years ago, when I entered the Catholic Church, it was on 21 April, the Feast of Saint Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was the closest Sunday to the feast of my patron whose name I took, St. George. I have long considered that I entered the Church on Anselm's feast day to be very special. Like me, he was a Franco-Italian, born in Aosta, which is an Italian region now in northwest Italy, but at the time was in the Kingdom of Arles. His father was a Lombard from a noble lineage, and his mother was a Burgundian related to Otto I, Count of Savoy. So, in part as a descendant of the House of Arles, St. Anselm and I share common ancestors. He also would later lead an English church as I was elected to lead a church of the English rite (which itself has strong cultural and historic ties to Italy).

In 1059, Anselm went to Normandy. He visited England from time to time. He was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury (and hence the head of the Catholic Church of England) and consecrated bishop in 1093. He wrote extensively on spiritual and theological matters and was canonized in 1494 by Pope Alexander VI. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1909 by Pope Pius X.

For me, as a Franco-Italian bishop leading a Old Roman Catholic church of the Anglican rite, being received all those years ago into the Catholic Church on St. Anselm's day is indeed particularly special.

22 March 2015

The "Made Up" Church

Sub Tuum.

On this Passion Sunday, here is a thought to contemplate and share. From time to time I hear those in one ecclesiastical group accusing another ecclesiastical group of being "made up." Whenever I hear that being said between groups, two things come to mind. The first is parts of the Gospel from today's mass. The second is that they are actually right. Every single ecclesiastical jurisdiction is "made up," even the See of Peter. Christ founded the Church, but Peter founded the Diocese of Rome. We traditional Old Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, the See of Utrecht, the Church of England, the Episcopal Church, every Orthodox church, the Anglican Ordinariate, and every last diocese within the Roman Communion are in fact "made up," for each and every last one of them has a human founder. What a better world we would have if people would worry about their own condition more and criticize what faults they believe others have less. How much time has been wasted by busybodies discussing minutia rather than focusing on their mission as Christians. How many Church leaders preach hate and intolerance towards their brethren rather than reaching out in love to find common ground. Consider this as we enter this time in the liturgical year in which we commemorate and live the time that Christ hid himself from public view. Let us each resolve to make ourselves better and be as new men when Easter comes!