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Friday, 24 April 2015

Heretical Sermon and The Feast of St. Mark

"Leone marciano andante - Vittore Carpaccio - Google Cultural Institute" by Vittore Carpaccio - Google Art Project. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
St. Jerome writes, "To be ignorant of the Scripture is not to know Christ."

A few weeks ago, I heard a heretical sermon, and since I was not a member of that parish, only a visitor, unknown to the pastor, I felt I had no right to speak to him about his error. I am more bold with those I know, as I feel as a visitor I have no right to say anything about a priest or a parish.

Remember, the Catholic Church has stated irrevocably that the authors which are named as the Gospel writers are indeed the writers, and not others unknown, and not groups of people. Those are Protestant interpretations. For clarity see this Vatican document on this fact. 


NOVEMBER 18, 1893

To Our Venerable Brethren, All Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops of the Catholic World, in Grace and Communion with the Apostolic See.
Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.
The God of all Providence, Who in the adorable designs of His love at first elevated the human race to the participation of the Divine nature, and afterwards delivered it from universal guilt and ruin, restoring it to its primitive dignity, has in consequence bestowed upon man a splendid gift and safeguard -- making known to him, by supernatural means, the hidden mysteries of His Divinity, His wisdom and His mercy. For although in Divine revelation there are contained some things which are not beyond the reach of unassisted reason, and which are made the objects of such revelation in order "that all may come to know them with facility, certainty, and safety from error, yet not on this account can supernatural Revelation be said to be absolutely necessary; it is only necessary because God has ordinated man to a supernatural end."1 This supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal Church, is contained both in unwritten Tradition, and in written Books, which are therefore called sacred and canonical because, "being written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author and as such have been delivered to the Church."2 This belief has been perpetually held and professed by the Church in regard to the Books of both Testaments; and there are well-known documents of the gravest kind, coming down to us from the earliest times, which proclaim that God, Who spoke first by the Prophets, then by His own mouth, and lastly by the Apostles, composed also the Canonical Scriptures,3 and that these are His own oracles and words4 -- a Letter, written by our heavenly Father, and transmitted by the sacred writers to the human race in its pilgrimage so far from its heavenly country.5 If, then, such and so great is the excellence and the dignity of the Scriptures, that God Himself has composed them, and that they treat of God's marvelous mysteries, counsels and works, it follows that the branch of sacred Theology which is concerned with the defense and elucidation of these divine Books must be excellent and useful in the highest degree.

and later in the encyclical:

But first it must be clearly understood whom we have to oppose and contend against, and what are their tactics and their arms. In earlier times the contest was chiefly with those who, relying on private judgment and repudiating the divine traditions and teaching office of the Church, held the Scriptures to be the one source of revelation and the final appeal in matters of Faith. Now, we have to meet the Rationalists, true children and inheritors of the older heretics, who, trusting in their turn to their own way of thinking, have rejected even the scraps and remnants of Christian belief which had been handed down to them. They deny that there is any such thing as revelation or inspiration, or Holy Scripture at all; they see, instead, only the forgeries and the falsehoods of men; they set down the Scripture narratives as stupid fables and Iying stories: the prophecies and the oracles of God are to them either predictions made up after the event or forecasts formed by the light of nature; the miracles and the wonders of God's power are not what they are said to be, but the startling effects of natural law, or else mere tricks and myths; and the Apostolic Gospels and writings are not the work of the Apostles at all. These detestable errors, whereby they think they destroy the truth of the divine Books, are obtruded on the world as the peremptory pronouncements of a certain newly-invented "free science;" a science, however, which is so far from final that they are perpetually modifying and supplementing it. And there are some of them who, notwithstanding their impious opinions and utterances about God, and Christ, the Gospels and the rest of Holy Scripture, would fain be considered both theologians and Christians and men of the Gospel, and who attempt to disguise by such honorable names their rashness and their pride. To them we must add not a few professors of other sciences who approve their views and give them assistance, and are urged to attack the Bible by a similar intolerance of revelation. And it is deplorable to see these attacks growing every day more numerous and more severe. It is sometimes men of learning and judgment who are assailed; but these have little difficulty in defending themselves from evil consequences. The efforts and the arts of the enemy are chiefly directed against the more ignorant masses of the people. They diffuse their deadly poison by means of books, pamphlets, and newspapers; they spread it by addresses and by conversation; they are found everywhere; and they are in possession of numerous schools, taken by violence from the Church, in which, by ridicule and scurrilous jesting, they pervert the credulous and unformed minds of the young to the contempt of Holy Scripture. Should not these things, Venerable Brethren, stir up and set on fire the heart of every Pastor, so that to this "knowledge, falsely so called,"28 may be opposed the ancient and true science which the Church, through the Apostles, has received from Christ, and that Holy Scripture may find the champions that are needed in so momentous a battle?

St. Mark writes his Evangelium at the dictation of St. Peter "Pasquale Ottino San Marcos escribe sus Evangelios al dictado de San Pedro Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux" by Attributed to Pasquale Ottino - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 

And in Dei Verbum we read this:

The Church has always and everywhere held and continues to hold that the four Gospels are of apostolic origin. For what the Apostles preached in fulfillment of the commission of Christ, afterwards they themselves and apostolic men, under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, handed on to us in writing: the foundation of faith, namely, the fourfold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

19. Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (see Acts 1:1). Indeed, after the Ascension of the Lord the Apostles handed on to their hearers what He had said and done. This they did with that clearer understanding which they enjoyed (3) after they had been instructed by the glorious events of Christ's life and taught by the light of the Spirit of truth. (2) The sacred authors wrote the four Gospels, selecting some things from the many which had been handed on by word of mouth or in writing, reducing some of them to a synthesis, explaining some things in view of the situation of their churches and preserving the form of proclamation but always in such fashion that they told us the honest truth about Jesus.(4) For their intention in writing was that either from their own memory and recollections, or from the witness of those who "themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word" we might know "the truth" concerning those matters about which we have been instructed (see Luke 1:2-4).

This priest I heard is steeped in Protestant liberal interpretations of Scripture and shares these false ideas with his congregation.

He referred to the Gospel of Mark as ending without today's Gospel, a 19th century interpretation of Mark which is not held by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church determines and has always determined the Canon of Scriputre. The following pericopes are accepted as the true ending of Mark.

Mark 16:15-20

15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news[a] to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes in their hands,[b] and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

The Ascension of Jesus

19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.[c]]]
It is convenient for modernist priests to omit this last section of Mark as merely "an addition" when it is part of the Canon of Scripture as defined by the Church. Why it is convenient to omit this becomes obvious in an age when the command to preach Christ in the entire world has become unpopular. The heresies of false ecumenism and universal salvation erase this command of Christ to preach and baptize. Those who do not believe the Gospel are not saved. There are Christ's own words. Mark writes that the apostles took Christ seriously and "proclaimed the good news everywhere."

The call to evangelize comes with baptism. No Catholic is exempt from evangelizing. We do it all in the way to which God has called us. 

April 25th is the feast day of St. Mark, who gave us this Gospel passage. He was the follower and scribe of St. Peter. Much of his gospel would be from the eyes of Peter, the first pope. Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis wrote: "When Mark became Peter's interpreter, he wrote down accurately, although not in order, all that he remembered of what the Lord had said or done."

Mark gave his life for the Gospel, as we must.  The Coptic Orthodox Church, which has seen many martyrs lately, claim Mark as a founder. St. Mark was martyred in 68, most likely in Alexandria, where he established a church.

"Folio 19v - The Martyrdom of Saint Mark". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 

He is represent in Scripture, in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4, as the Winged Lion.