Friday, November 29, 2013

In A Post-Vatican II World Of Opinion: Learn To Discern

 Recently, someone hinted that I should not have this blog, because my opinion is but one of many in the "Traditionalist blogosphere" and essentially worthless. I was also told that, as a layman, I have no right to delve into theological matters and "confuse the faithful." While undoubtedly true that there is an incredible amount of theological speculation on the web, my critic is simply off-base. As a matter of fact, his views can be outright dangerous to the Faith, for reasons I now wish to elucidate in this post. The following principles should be employed by anyone trying to save his soul in this time of near universal apostasy.

  1. A True Opinion Is Not A Matter Of Taste; It's A Well-Reasoned Conclusion Based On Facts And Logic
   To many people, an opinion is a matter of preference, as in "I like the color red best, and you like the color blue." No truth or falsity, just likes and dislikes. Think of going to your doctor and getting a medical opinion. Does this imply he will tell you what he feels is wrong with you based on what sicknesses he likes to treat? On the contrary, it is his well-reasoned conclusion based on the facts of your symptoms (test results) and his training, that tells him what likely ails you. Similarly, we must learn to detect opinions that are mere emotion from those based on sound logical principles. These principles must be either axiomatic (e.g. I exist) or based on theological truths proposed by the Magisterium of the Church, and expounded by Her approved pre-Vatican II theologians. I encourage Traditionalists to get books on formal and informal logic (readily available on and intellectually arm themselves.

     2. Just Because There Are Many Opinions On A Subject, It Does Not Follow That They Have The Same Epistemic Value

   The proper object of the intellect is truth. "Seek and ye shall find," Our Lord said. People hold many different religious views; however, does that mean that the claims of Mohammad or the Buddha have the same claim to truth as Jesus Christ? Obviously not, or God could not hold us responsible for choosing to worship the gods on Mount Olympus, instead of being Traditionalist Catholics. Just in the news, "Fr" Paul Kramer (a conservative Vatican II sect "priest") came to the correct conclusion that "Pope" Francis can not be pope and we are in a time of sedevacante! (Deo gratias!) Unfortunately, he holds that Ratzinger was the last true pope and considers Vatican II a legitimate Ecumenical Council. Mr. Kramer is being led to the truth by God's grace and using his intellect. He saw manifest heresy in Frankie's latest "encyclical" and drew the right conclusion. May he draw the other right conclusions and join the True Church, getting himself validly ordained! I encourage Traditionalists to learn their Faith by reading good books on apologetics to prove the truth claims of Christianity as a world view, and then books and articles that show the Traditionalist Catholic Faith as the One True Religion, exposing the falsity of the Vatican II sect. 

      3. Defending The Faith Is Not The Exclusive Domain Of Clerics In A World With No Magisterium

   In the days of Pope Pius XII and prior, once the Truth of the Catholic Faith was established, we must give intellectual assent to the decrees of the pope based on the authority of God. Since the defection of the hierarchy, there is no Ordinary jurisdiction. Traditionalist Bishops must preserve the Faith and sacraments to be passed down, but have no authority to issue an "imprimatur" (declaration that a writing is free from all errors in Faith and Morals). When we had a pope, layman should indeed leave theology to the clergy. Now, layman have a duty to be more knowledgeable and vigilant than ever before. There is no one to decide with dogmatic certitude many vexing topics, including (but not limited to), whether or not to attend an "una cum" Mass, is sedeprivationism preferable to "garden variety" sedevacantism," etc.

  We must be careful not to be led astray by (sometimes well-intentioned) clergyman who insist otherwise. They adopt a "follow me or face eternal damnation" attitude on issues they have no right to decide. If the "grace of Holy Orders" was sufficient for them to lead us to all the correct conclusions, there would be no disagreement on these issues amongst Traditionalists, and we know this is simply not the case.

           4. Erudition, And Even Sanctity, Is Not Enough To Avoid Error
 In this post-Vatican II mess, we must pray constantly for God's grace and use the intellect He gave us to sift the wheat from the chaff. Do not let anyone (that includes me) do your thinking for you. The most learned men were often heretics. Intelligence alone is no assurance of being error free, nor is the (real or alleged) sanctity of a person make their conclusions veridical. Don't "think with Archbishop Lefebvre" as the SSPX urges their parishioners to do--he's not God, the pope, or some kind of prophet. You must think for yourself and learn to discern what's right in matters where the Magisterium has not (and now can not at this time) decide. 

So, the next time you surf the web, do so with eyes wide open. Endeavor to learn the Faith, and detect fallacious arguments. I proudly recommend the following websites without reservation, with the proviso that in matters that have not been decided by Holy Mother Church, there is no guarantee that they will agree with me or I with them. I do find them to be strong in the True Faith and solid guides:

Novus Ordo Watch:
Fax Legis Dei:
Traditional Mass:

 The above sites are well-written and well-reasoned. When you think well and pray well, you will (with God's grace), avoid the pitfall of those who scream "follow me or die" and offer you a poisoned cup of theological Kool Aid. 

1 comment:

  1. I have read enough to realize priest ordained and bishop's concecrated after March 1969 are invalid and are glorified laymen.That is why I attend an Independent catholic church.Our priests are ordained by valid bishop's in the pre 1969 rite.