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Friday 14 June 2013

Thomas on Apostasy 4

Because we have to many examples today of apostate clergy, here is Thomas on apostasy


Article 1. Whether apostasy pertains to unbelief?

Objection 1. It would seem that apostasy does not pertain to unbelief. For that which is the origin of all sins, does not, seemingly, pertain to unbelief, since many sins there are without unbelief. Now apostasy seems to be the origin of every sin, for it is written (Sirach 10:14): "The beginning of the pride of man is apostasy [Douay: 'to fall off'] from God," and further on, (Sirach 10:15): "Pride is the beginning of all sin." Therefore apostasy does not pertain to unbelief.
Objection 2. Further, unbelief is an act of the understanding: whereas apostasy seems rather to consist in some outward deedor utterance, or even in some inward act of the will, for it is written (Proverbs 6:12-14): "A man that is an apostate, an unprofitable man walketh with a perverse mouth. He winketh with the eyes, presseth with the foot, speaketh with the finger. With a wicked heart he deviseth evil, and at all times he soweth discord." Moreover if anyone were to have himself circumcised, or to worship at the tomb of Mahomet, he would be deemed an apostate. Therefore apostasy does not pertain to unbelief.
Objection 3. Further, heresy, since it pertains to unbelief, is a determinate species of unbelief. If then, apostasy pertained to unbelief, it would follow that it is a determinate species of unbelief, which does not seem to agree with what has been said (10, 5). Therefore apostasy does not pertain to unbelief.
On the contrary, It is written (John 6:67): "Many of his disciples went back," i.e. apostatized, of whom Our Lord had said previously (John 6:65): "There are some of you that believe not." Therefore apostasy pertains to unbelief.
I answer that, Apostasy denotes a backsliding from God. This may happen in various ways according to the different kinds of union between man and God. For, in the first place, man is united to God by faith; secondly, by having his will duly submissive inobeying His commandments; thirdly, by certain special things pertaining to supererogation such as the religious life, the clericalstate, or Holy Orders. Now if that which follows be removed, that which precedes, remains, but the converse does not hold. Accordingly a man may apostatize from God, by withdrawing from the religious life to which he was bound by profession, or from the Holy Order which he had received: and this is called "apostasy from religious life" or "Orders." A man may also apostatize fromGod, by rebelling in his mind against the Divine commandments: and though man may apostatize in both the above ways, he may still remain united to God by faith.
But if he give up the faith, then he seems to turn away from God altogether: and consequently, apostasy simply and absolutely is that whereby a man withdraws from the faith, and is called "apostasy of perfidy." On this way apostasy, simply so called, pertains to unbelief.
Reply to Objection 1. This objection refers to the second kind of apostasy, which denotes an act of the will in rebellion againstGod's commandments, an act that is to be found in every mortal sin.
Reply to Objection 2. It belongs to faith not only that the heart should believe, but also that external words and deeds should bear witness to the inward faith, for confession is an act of faith. On this way too, certain external words or deeds pertain to unbelief, in so far as they are signs of unbelief, even as a sign of health is said itself to be healthy. Now although the authority quoted may be understood as referring to every kind of apostate, yet it applies most truly to an apostate from the faith. For since faith is the first foundation of things to be hoped for, and since, without faith it is "impossible to please God"; when oncefaith is removed, man retains nothing that may be useful for the obtaining of eternal salvation, for which reason it is written (Proverbs 6:12): "A man that is an apostate, an unprofitable man": because faith is the life of the soul, according to Romans 1:17: "The just man liveth by faith." Therefore, just as when the life of the body is taken away, man's every member and part loses its due disposition, so when the life of justice, which is by faith, is done away, disorder appears in all his members. First, in his mouth, whereby chiefly his mind stands revealed; secondly, in his eyes; thirdly, in the instrument of movement; fourthly, in his will, which tends to evil. The result is that "he sows discord," endeavoring to sever others from the faith even as he severed himself.
Reply to Objection 3. The species of a quality or form are not diversified by the fact of its being the term "wherefrom" or "whereto" of movement: on the contrary, it is the movement that takes its species from the terms. Now apostasy regards unbelief as the term "whereto" of the movement of withdrawal from the faith; wherefore apostasy does not imply a special kind of unbelief, but an aggravating circumstance thereof, according to 2 Peter 2:21: "It had been better for them not to know thetruth [Vulgate: 'the way of justice'], than after they had known it, to turn back."

More barbarians in the gates--retired bishops for abortion

This is horrible-the barbarians inside the gate,15187246,23143524.html

On my own computer

After six weeks, I am on my own computer again. Thanks be to God. I have so much work to do, like writing a another play and I felt hindered by not having my own tools-laptop, wifi, etc.


But, I am adaptable. See you all later.

Be Angry But Sin Not

Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger.
Ephesians 4:26 DR

There are many types of anger. Righteous anger should be a response against abortion and other great evils. Righteous anger is causing the 20% of Frenchmen and women to take to the streets to protest against SSM. 

This type of anger motivates us. We should feel motivated enough in righteous anger to fight against legislation for abortion, such as Obamacare. 

There are many other types of anger which are sinful. One type of anger comes from pride. If someone speaks against us, for example, we might feel angry. This is the opposite of humility and reveals too much self-love.

Another type of anger comes from the avoidance of suffering. I was angry for years, because of self-will and a lack of humility and as a woman forced into being a very poor single mom.  I did not know for a very long time or learn that humility brings a meekness of heart. I deserved every bit of suffering because of my many sins. And, God was trying to get my attention in order to purify me.

Vain-glory and pride had to go, and God has used extreme measures to help me, as He is merciful.

Suffering is a necessity for us to see ourselves as we really are. The Prodigal Son woke up in the pigsty. 

If we do not have self-knowledge, we cannot see God.

If you find yourself getting angry, (like I did with the phone people and I have to go to Confession for impatient and the non-acceptance of suffering), ask God to show you the root cause. Of course, several men were wrong, but I was impatient. Even though they were wrong and I was right, and the company has sent me an apology but no compensation, I could have handled the situation with more grace. Grace is there, if I want it and I do. Long-suffering. The glasses company made a mistake as well. Long-suffering, and this time, I was patient and they corrected the lenses-a huge difference as the first eye test was either done incorrectly, or written down wrong, or confused with another person's prescription. One can learn not to be upset, but firm. The optometrist told me he spoke with the other one, which indicates it was her mistake.  Still, no apology there, but I was peaceful and full of meekness. 

Be angry but sin not about big things. Be firm and sin not about small things. 

Too many priests merely told me I was impatient, but did not help me see that impatience was the tip of the iceberg. What is beneath the surface is too much self-love, pride, the avoidance of suffering. God is showing me directly these sins and imperfections.

I have a long way to go. I hope I live long enough to become what God as intended from all of His loving brides. St. Bernard states in one of his sermons that the Bridegroom in the Song of Songs removes Himself in order for the Bride to come to know herself, as she blind to who she is.

Christ removes Himself so that we run after Him in humility and lowliness. Love is awakened.  In Chapter 3 of the Song of Songs, we see that the Bride must seek humility before she can experience Love.

Upon my bed at night
    I sought him whom my soul loves;
I sought him, but found him not;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.[a]
“I will rise now and go about the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.”
    I sought him, but found him not.
The sentinels found me,
    as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them,
    when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go
    until I brought him into my mother’s house,
    and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the wild does:
do not stir up or awaken love
    until it is ready!

It is all about Love. When one has quieted one's soul with suffering Love comes. At first, these are intermittent meetings, but slowly God leads one to Himself totally, and I aspire to that union.

This is the call of every baptized person. 

Peace, humility, love............

If you want to be a saint...listen to all of these

I started listening to Fr. Ripperger years. Home schooling parents, teens and those coming up to Confirmation can benefit from these talks.

Do not pass up an opportunity.

Why we MUST evangelize three.

From the CCC:

"Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation" (CCC 847)

"If...the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience" (CCC 1793).

"However, no one is presumed to be ignorant of the principles of moral law since these are written on the heart of every man" (CCC 1860).

Syllabus of errors(1864) of Pope Pius IX 

Condemned Proposition #17: "Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical ‘Quanto Conficiamur,’ Aug. 10, 1863, etc.”
Pope Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, 1863, #7: "Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching.

Why we MUST evangelize part two

The heresy of indifferentism claims there is no difference in religions. Not so...all religions are not the same.


MARCH 17, 1856
To Our Beloved Sons the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church and to Our Venerable Brothers the Archbishops and Bishops of the Austrian Empire.
Beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, Greetings and Apostolic Blessing.
It is with a special joy that We learn of your willing response to Our wishes and those of Our dear son in Jesus Christ, Franz Josef, emperor of Austria and apostolic king. These wishes were communicated to each of you at almost the same time. In your eminent devotion and pastoral concern, you met in the imperial city of Vienna to discuss the most suitable means of executing the provisions of the concordat which We agreed upon with the Emperor. This illustrious and prince to conclude the concordat with Us to protect the Church in its rights -- to Our great consolation, to the immortal glory of his name, and to the joy of all good people. That is why We cannot now refrain from showing you Our intimate and affectionate feelings. At the same time, We thank you for showing such remarkable love for the Church by gathering in these conferences. You will thus better understand the goodwill We feel for you and for all the faithful of this empire who are entrusted to your care. First of all, let us consider the execution of that concordat which contains, as you know, many articles whose implementation depends especially on you. We ardently desire that you all agree and follow the same method of putting them into practice, while keeping in mind the diverse demands of the various provinces in that vast empire of Austria. If any doubt or difficulty arises concerning the meaning of some article-which We do not believe will happen -- you should submit these difficulties to Us. After having come to an understanding with his Imperial Majesty (as stipulated in article 35 of the concordat), We shall offer an appropriate solution.
2. We embrace the Lord's entire flock, which was entrusted to Us by Jesus Christ, with ardent love. Furthermore Our apostolic ministry imposes on Us the duty of using all Our powers to obtain the eternal salvation of all peoples and all nations. Our love and Our ministry urge Us to arouse more and more your eminent pity, strength, and pastoral concern. We do this so that you might continue to fulfill all the duties of your episcopal office with an ever greater ardor and so that you spare no care, no and no effort to keep the deposit of our holy faith pure and intact in your dioceses. You should assure the safety of your flock and defend it against all the snares and deceptions of the enemies. You are familiar with the perverse schemes and monstrous errors of opinion which the astute partisans of impious doctrines use to lead people -- especially the imprudent and the uneducated-from the path of truth and justice into error and perdition.
3. Among the many deplorable evils which disturb and afflict both ecclesiastical and civil society, two stand out in our day and are justly considered to be the cause of the others. In effect, you are aware of the innumerable and fatal damages which the hideous error of indifferentism causes to Christian and civil society. It causes us to forget out duties to God in whom we live and act and have our being. It causes us to slacken our concern for holy religion and shakes almost to destruction the very basis of all law, justice, and virtue. There is little difference between this hideous form of indifference and the devilish system of indifference between the different religions. This belief embraces people who have strayed from the truth, who are enemies of the true faith and forget their own salvation, and who teach contradictory beliefs without firm doctrine. They make no distinction between the different creeds, agree with everybody, and maintain that the haven of eternal salvation is open to sectarians of any religion. The diversity of their teachings does not concern them as long as they agree to combat that which alone is the truth.[1]
4. You see, dearly beloved sons and venerable brothers, how much vigilance is needed to keep the disease of this terrible evil from infecting and killing your flocks. Do not cease to diligently defend your people against these pernicious errors. Saturate them with the doctrine of Catholic truth more accurately each day. Teach them that just as there is only one God, one Christ, one Holy Spirit, so there is also only one truth which is divinely revealed. There is only one divine faith which is the beginning of salvation for mankind and the basis of all justification, the faith by which the just person lives and without which it is impossible to please God and to come to the community of His children.[2] There is only one true, holy, Catholic church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church. There is only one See founded in Peter by the word of the Lord,[3] outside of which we cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation. He who does not have the Church for a mother cannot have God for a father, and whoever abandons the See of Peter on which the Church is established trusts falsely that he is in the Church.[4] Thus, there can be no greater crime, no more hideous stain than to stand up against Christ, than to divide the Church engendered and purchased by His blood, than to forget evangelical love and to combat with the furor of hostile discord the harmony of the people of God.[5]
5. Divine worship consists in these two things: pious doctrines and good works, in such a way that doctrines without good works cannot please God, nor does God accept works divorced from religious doctrines. The narrow and difficult path which leads to life can be found not in the practice of the virtues alone or in the observance of precepts, but on the way of faith.[6] Constantly arouse your faithful people so that they will persevere ever more firmly and constantly in the profession of the Catholic religion. Let them likewise endeavor to assure their calling and their election by means of good works. While you work at the salvation of your flock, strive also, in all goodness, patience, and teaching, to recall the unfortunate strays to the one fold of Christ and to Catholic unity. Address to them especially these words of St. Augustine: "Come, brothers, if you wish, so that you may be grafted to the vine. We are saddened to see you thus cut off and lying so. Count the bishops who have occupied the See of Peter; see this uninterrupted succession of popes. See the rock against which the powers of hell will not be able to prevail."[7] "Whoever eats the lamb outside of this house is an impious person. Whoever is not in Noah's ark will perish in the flood."[8]
6. Another disease just as dangerous is spreading, a disease to which the name of rationalism has been given, because of the pride and a certain vanity of reason associated with it. Certainly the Church does not condemn[9] the efforts of those who want to know the truth, since it is God who made it the nature of man to be most eager to grasp truth. Nor does she condemn the efforts of healthy and right reason, for it is through this reason that we cultivate the spirit, study nature, and bring to light its most hidden secrets. This tender mother recognizes and justly maintains that reason is the most notable of the heavenly gifts,[10] since it is through reason that we raise ourselves above the senses and display a certain image of God in ourselves. She knows that we must search until we find and that we must believe what we have believed. But we must also believe, in addition, that there is nothing else to believe and to seek once we have found and believed what was taught by Christ, who does not command us to seek anything other than what He taught.[11] What is it that the Church does not tolerate? What is it that she censures and absolutely condemns in virtue of her mission to preserve what has been entrusted to her? The Church has always condemned and continues to condemn the conduct of those who abuse their reason; those who do not fear to foolishly and criminally prefer reason to the authority of what God Himself says; those who boldly exalt themselves; those who, blinded by their pride and their vanity, lose the light of truth and proudly spurn the faith of which it is written: "Whoever does not believe will be condemned."[12] Full of confidence in themselves,[13] they deny that we must believe in God for Himself and accept what He taught us about Himself. The Church does not cease to oppose these people,[14] since whenever something deals with the very knowledge of God, it is God whom we should believe. It is from Him that all we believe about Him comes, because man could not know God if He Himself did not communicate this salutary knowledge.
7. These are the people whom the Church seeks to bring back to sound reasoning with these words: "What is there more contrary to reason than to seek to exalt oneself above reason by means of reason itself? And what is more contrary to faith than to not want to believe that which we cannot attain by reason?"[15] She never ceases to repeat to them that faith bases itself not on reason but on authority[16] because it is not suitable that God, in speaking to mankind, should use arguments, as if we could refuse to believe. Rather, He spoke as was appropriate, as the supreme judge of everything, who does not have to argue but who rather issues His pronouncements.[17] The Church clearly declares that the only hope of salvation for mankind is placed in the Christian faith, which teaches the truth, scatters the darkness of ignorance by the splendor of its light, and works through love. This hope of salvation is placed in the Catholic Church which, in preserving the true worship, is the solid home of this faith and the temple of God. Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control. The Church teaches and proclaims that if sometimes we can use human wisdom to study the divine word, our wisdom should not for that reason proudly usurp to itself the right of master. Rather, it should act as an obedient and submissive servant, afraid of erring if it goes first and afraid of losing the light of interior virtue and the straight path of truth by following the consequences of exterior words.[18]
8. We should not conclude that religion does not progress in the Church of Christ. There is great progress! But it is truly the progress of faith, which is not change. The intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge of everybody should grow and progress, like that of the whole Church of the ages. In this way we might understand more clearly what we used to believe obscurely; in this way posterity might have joy of understanding what used to be revered without understanding. In this way the precious stones of divine dogma might be worked, adapted exactly and wisely decorated, so that they increase in grace, splendor, and beauty -- but always in the same fashion and doctrine, in the same meaning and judgment, so that we can speak of a new manner rather than new substance.[19]
9. We do not think that any one of you will be surprised if We speak again about these sorrowful matters so destructive to religious and civil society. In this way we fulfill the office of Our primacy and sovereignty in the faith.[20] Nor will you be surprised if We presume to arouse your episcopal vigilance. Since the enemy does not cease to sow weeds among the wheat, We have been placed in charge of the cultivation of the Lord's field. We have been placed by divine Providence at the head of God's family as faithful and prudent servants,[21] so We should not neglect for an instant to fulfill these duties which are inseparable from Our apostolic ministry.
10. Now We entreat you by your singular piety and prudence to take with wisdom and foresight the means which you believe at this meeting to be especially suitable for obtaining the greater glory of God and the eternal salvation of mankind in this vast empire. We sincerely rejoice to see the numerous faithful, both clergy and laity, animated by the spirit of faith and Christian love and spreading the good name of Jesus Christ. We are nonetheless deeply afflicted to know that in certain places some members of the clergy forget their dignity and their duty, choosing not to walk in the way of the vocation to which they were called. The Christian people, too little instructed in the holy precepts of our divine religion and exposed to serious dangers, unfortunately abstain from works of piety and from frequenting the sacraments. They stray from good moral practices and from the discipline of a Christian life and hurry to their ruin. Knowing your pastoral concern, We are persuaded that you will use all your cares and all your thoughts to bring about the complete cessation of the evil which We have just described. You know that the canonical decrees wisely prescribed provincial councils and Our holy bishops always celebrated them to the great advantage of the Church. These councils contribute very much to the renewal of ecclesiastical discipline, to correcting the habits of the people, and to the removal of whatever might be harmful to them. We ardently desire that you celebrate provincial councils in conformity with the holy canons, so that suitable and salutary remedies might be applied to the evils which commonly afflict the ecclesiastical provinces of the empire.
11. Many serious matters need to be treated in these provincial councils. We desire that, at your meeting in Vienna, you take united measures by which you are able to agree on the principal points which need to be treated and stablished in the provincial synods. Furthermore you should with one and the same zeal take action so that in all the provinces of this empire, Our divine religion and its salutary doctrine might thrive, flourish, and rule. Then the faithful will walk as sons of light in all goodness, justice, and truth, leaving the bad and doing the good. There is nothing more effective in laying others to virtue, piety, and divine worship than the life and example of those who have consecrated themselves to the holy ministry. Do not neglect to establish as soon as possible whatever can restore ecclesiastical discipline where it has fallen and foster its accurate establishment wherever necessary.
12. Beloved sons and venerable brothers, see to this matter with a common accord. Unite your efforts and your cares so that the clergy never forget their dignity and their duty, avoiding everything which is forbidden to them. Shining with every virtue, they should be an example for the faithful in their words, in love, in faith, and in chastity. They should pray the breviary each day with suitable attention and devotion and should exercise themselves in holy prayer. They should apply themselves to the meditation of heavenly matters and should love the beauty of God's house. Let them exercise the sacred duties and ceremonies according to the Pontifical and the Roman Ritual, and let them fulfill the offices of their ministry with diligence, wisdom, and holiness. They should work continually to obtain the eternal salvation of mankind, never ceasing in their zealous discharge of sacred discipline.
13. Watch with equal care that the canons and the other beneficiaries of the metropolitan, cathedral, and collegiate churches who are bound to chair duty excel in seriousness of conduct, integrity of life, and zeal for piety. They should shine like brilliant lights placed on the lampstand in the Lord's temple, carefully fulfilling all the duties of their charge and observing the law of residence. They should concern themselves with the distinction of divine worship. Full of ardor in the Lord's vigils, let them celebrate the divine lauds with attention, exactness, piety, and religion, and not with a distracted mind, wandering eyes, and unsuitable conduct. They should always remember that they gather in choir not only to render to God the honor and worship which are due Him, but also to implore Him for every good thing for themselves and for others.
14. Each of you knows very well how spiritual exercises contribute to preserving and fostering an ecclesiatical spirit and to retaining a salutary constancy. For that reason the popes of the pasten riched them with countless indulgences, and you should constantly recommend them to the priests placed under your authority.They should retire frequently for a certain number of days to a suitable place where, far fromhuman cares, they can purify themselves from the stains accumulated with the dust of the world.They should also occupy themselves with reviving the grace which the imposition of handsconferred on them, and with putting off the old man and his works and putting on the new mancreated in justice and holiness. They should do this through the careful consideration before God oftheir thoughts, words, and deeds. They should also meditate with care on eternity and rememberthe immense gifts they have received from God.
15. The lips of the priests must protect the wisdom which allows them to respond to those who consult them on the law and to convince those who combat it. It is thus necessary that you apply yourselves with the greatest care to the correct and precise instruction of the clergy. Especially in your seminaries, see that an excellent and entirely Catholic course of studies flourishes, a course by which the young clerics, under the direction of approved teachers, might be formed right from their most tender years to piety, virtue, and a Christian spirit. They should be instructed in the knowledge of Latin, in the humanities, and in philosophy, free from every danger of error. Then apply yourselves to teaching them carefully, for a sufficiently long period, dogmatic and moral theology based on the Holy Scriptures, on the tradition of the holy Fathers, and on the infallible authority of the Church. Give them a solid knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, of the sacred canons, of church history, and of the liturgy. Exercise the greatest precaution in choosing books, lest in the deluge of errors which prevails everywhere the young seminarians might be imprudently led off the path of sound doctrine. You know that there are learned men who dissent from this Holy See in religious matters and who are cut off from the Church. They are publishing the Holy Scriptures and the works of the holy Fathers, undoubtedly with a pleasing elegance but often-We cannot deplore this enough -- in an altered condition, turned away from their true meaning by perverted commentaries.
16. Each of you knows how much the Church needs capable ministers, especially in these times. It needs ministers who valiantly watch over the cause of God and His holy Church. It needs ministers who stand out in holiness of living and reputation for salutary teaching, who are powerful in word and deed and who build a faithful house for the Lord. Do not neglect anything in educating the young clerics in holiness and wisdom even from their tender years, for they will not be able to become useful ministers of the Church unless they are properly taught. Also, to more easily effect that clerical education on which the good of the Church and the salvation of its people greatly depends, seek money from the leading churchmen of your dioceses and the wealthy laymen who are especially zealous for Catholic interests. At your example, they might offer the money for you to establish new seminaries and endow them suitably, so that the young seminarians might receive a good education right from their early years.
17. Be equally zealous that, regardless of sex or status, the youth of your dioceses might be educated in an ever more Catholic manner. Let this youth be full of the spirit of the fear of God and nourished with the milk of piety. Let Catholic youth be carefully instructed in the elements of the faith and brought to a fuller understanding of our holy religion. They should be formed in virtue, moral uprightness, and a Christian way of life. Let them be kept from all the flatteries and dangers of perversion and corruption. Constantly arouse the faithful people entrusted to you to greater religion and piety. Do everything possible so that, ever more nourished by the salutary food of truth and Catholic doctrine, these faithful people might love God with all their heart and zealously observe His commandment. Let them enter His temple frequently and religiously and keep holy the Sabbath, for they should piously attend the celebration of the divine sacrifice and the holy sacraments of Penance and Eucharist. May they honor the holy Mother of God, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, with a special devotion. They should maintain a mutual love among themselves and, persevering in prayer, they should approach God worthily, pleasing Him in everything and bearing fruit in every good deed. Furthermore, the holy missions given by suitable workers arouse the spirit of faith and religion among the people and recall them to the path of virtue and salvation. Thus We ardently desire that you support them as much as possible in your dioceses. We also bestow great and well-deserved praise on those among you who have already introduced such a salutary work in your dioceses. We are happy to see that, with the help of God's grace, they have produced abundant fruit.
18. Keep these points in mind so that your common action might bring suitable remedies to your common ills. Furthermore, nothing is more effective in repairing serious damage and in obtaining prosperity than the frequent visitation of your dioceses and the convocation of diocesan synods. You know that these are two things which the Council of Trent especially recommended. In your concern and your love for the flock entrusted to you, do not neglect the zealous visitation of your dioceses, in conformity with the canonical prescriptions. Do everything necessary to make this visitation produce happy fruits. Above all, eradicate entirely the errors, abuses, and vices which have penetrated into your diocese. Use vigilance, paternal punishments, useful discussions, and whatever means you find suitable to remove them. Spread salutary teaching and preserve intact the clerical discipline. Help and strengthen the faithful with all sorts of assistance, especially with spiritual aids; win everyone to Jesus Christ. Convene the diocesan synods, according to the prescriptions of the holy canons, with equal zeal. Take the measures which you think are the most beneficial to your dioceses. We ardently desire that you hasten to establish conferences in all the regions of your dioceses with suitable regulations. In this way the priests who must apply themselves to reading and study, to teaching the people everything they must know for eternal salvation, and to administering the sacraments,[22] will not see their taste for the sacred disciplines diminish or their zeal languish. These conferences should bear especially on questions of moral theology and liturgy. Each and every priest should be bound to attend and to bring a written treatise on the topic you propose. You should set aside a time in these conferences to discuss moral theology or liturgical discipline after one of these priests has presented his speech on the duties of the priesthood.
19. The priests are your assistants in the government of your flock, and they are called to share your cares and to be your collaborators in the exercise of very important matters. Do not forget to enkindle their zeal so that they will fulfill their own duties with suitable diligence and piety. Encourage them to preach the divine word to the people entrusted to their care. They should administer the sacraments and bestow on the people the grace of God in all its aspects. Let them lovingly and patiently instruct the ignorant -- especially the children -- in the mysteries of the Christian faith and in the teachings of our religion. Exhort them to bring back to the path of salvation those who have strayed, for they should use all their strength to destroy hatreds, rivalries, enmities, discords, and scandals. They should strengthen the weak and visit the infirm, helping them with all kinds of aids, especially spiritual ones. Encourage them to console the afflicted, and the unfortunate. They should exhort everyone in sound doctrine and warn all people to render conscientiously to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. They should teach everybody to be subject to the princes and to the authorities in everything that is not contrary to the laws of God and of the Church, not only because of the threat of punishment but also for the sake of conscience itself. Continue, as you are doing to your great praise, to send reports concerning the situation of your dioceses to Our Congregation for the Council. Carefully inform Us of everything which concerns them, so that We might always take the necessary measures for your greater good and the greater good of your diocese. We have learned that in a few dioceses of Germany some customs have arisen concerning the union of parishes -- customs which some of you wish to preserve. We are disposed to look with favor on this; but first of all We wish to carefully examine each one of these customs, in order to allow them only within the limits of necessity and of particular circumstances. It is a duty of Our apostolic ministry to watch with the greatest care that in general, the canonical prescriptions are strictly observed.
20. Before terminating this letter, We address Ourselves particularly to those Austrian archbishops and bishops who are united to us in the true faith and in Catholic unity, adhere to the See of Peter, and follow the rites and praiseworthy customs of the Eastern Church, customs approved or permitted by the Holy See. You know how this Apostolic See has always esteemed your rites. It has tried to bring about their observance in many ways, as shown by the decrees and constitutions of the popes who have preceded Us. Among these, let it suffice to recall the letter of Benedict XIV which begins Allatae and is dated July 26, 1755, and Our own letter of January 6, 1848, which begins with the words, In Suprema Petri Aposotoli Sede. We exhort you then to fulfill your ministry in conformity with your devotion and pastoral concern. Keep in mind everything about which We have spoken. Use your cares, efforts, and vigilance so that your clergy might be adorned with every virtue and educated in the best teachings, especially in the ecclesiastical disciplines. May they apply themselves diligently to obtaining the eternal salvation of the faithful in such a way that these people persevere in the way which leads to life, so that the holy unity of the Catholic religion may increase and spread. May the sacraments be administered and the divine office celebrated according to your own teachings, using the books approved by this Holy See. As We ardently desire to meet your needs and those of your people promptly, do not hesitate to turn to Us and report on the situation in your dioceses by sending a report every four years on this matter to Our Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.
21. Finally, We solemnly entreat you to preserve, strengthen, and increase peace and harmony among the clergy of each diocese, both of the Latin rite and of the Greek Catholic rite. Thus, all who fight in the army of the Lord should overtake each other in mutual affection and fraternal charity, serving in unanimity and zeal the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
22. Dearly beloved sons and venerable brothers, these are the things which We especially wanted to communicate to you, in Our ardent love for you and for the faithful people of this vast Empire. In considering your excellent virtue, your religious piety, and your proven fidelity to Us and to the See of Peter, We are confident that you will willingly support these wishes and paternal counsels. We do not doubt that you will con template unceasingly your model, Jesus Christ the Chief Shepherd. We expect you to follow in the footsteps of Him who showed Himself meek and humble of heart and who gave His life for His sheep in order to leave us His example to follow. Put all your efforts into following His examples and practicing His teachings. Watch over your flock and fulfill your ministry; seek not that which comes from you but that which comes from Jesus Christ. Consider yourselves not as exercising a power of domination over the clergy but as shepherds -- rather as loving fathers who desire to become models for the flock. May nothing ever seem to you to be too burdensome, too difficult, too trying. Always be ready to suffer everything in all patience, gentleness, meekness, and prudence to try everything for the salvation of your sheep. As for Us, in the humility of Our heart, We do not cease to raise continuous and fervent prayers to the all-loving father of lights and mercies, the God of all consolation. We pray that He will see fit to bestow on you the most abundant gifts of his goodness and to bestow them with the same abundance on the dear sheep entrusted to you. As a pledge of this divine help and as a sign of Our affection for you, We lovingly impart the apostolic blessing to you, dearly beloved and venerable brothers, and to all the faithful of your dioceses, both clergy and laity.
Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, on the 17th day of March in the year 1856, in the tenth year of Our pontificate.

Why we MUST evangelize part one

The merits of the Catholic Church save our Protestant brethren. And, if the Church is weak and not gaining merit, we are not gaining merit for our brothers and sister whom we love.

QUANTO CONFICIAMUR MOERORE (On Promotion Of False Doctrines)
Pope Pius IX

Encyclical Promulgated on 10 August 1863To Our Beloved Sons, S. R. E. Cardinals and to Our Venerable Brothers, the Archbishops and Bishops of Italy.
Our Beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, Greetings and Apostolic Benediction.
How much cause we have to grieve over the most cruel and sacrilegious war brought upon the Catholic Church in almost all regions of the world during these turbulent times, and especially declared upon unhappy Italy before our very eyes many years ago by the Piedmontese Government and stirred up more violently day by day, each of you, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, easily understands. In the midst of our great distress, however, as long as you keep watch with us, we are deeply comforted and consoled. Although you are, indeed, most deplorably harassed by every grave injustice possible, torn away from your own flock, exiled and even cast into prison, nevertheless, with your profound virtue you have never neglected to speak and to write in ardent defense of the teachings of God, his Church, and this Apostolic See.
2. Consequently, we give thanks because you fervently rejoice to suffer insult in the name of Jesus. We extend to you merited praise in the words of our most saintly predecessor, Leo: "May you endure with all your heart the trials of your love, which you have undergone in reverence for the Catholic faith; may I accept the sufferings inflicted upon you as if I were bearing them myself. I know, however, that it is a cause of joy rather than of sorrow that with the strength of our Lord, Jesus Christ, you have persevered invincible in your evangelical and apostolic teaching . . . And when the enemies of the Christian faith were tearing you away from your respective churches, rather than being contaminated by their impiety, you preferred to endure the injustice of undergoing exile."[1]
3. Would that we could announce the end of such terrible calamities besetting the Church! Never will there be grief enough over the corruption of morals so extensively increasing and promoted by irreligious and obscene writings, theatrical spectacles and meretricious houses established almost everywhere; by other depraved arts and monstrous portents of every error disseminated in all directions; by the abominable impurities of all vices and crimes growing constantly and the deadly virus of unbelief and indifferentism spread far and wide; by contempt for ecclesiastical authority, sacred things, and laws and by the outrageous plundering of Church possessions; by the bitter and constant abuse of consecrated Church officials, of the students of religious communities, of virgins dedicated to God; by the diabolical hatred of Christ, his Church, teaching, and of this Apostolic See. These and almost innumerable other evils perpetrated by the embittered enemies of the Catholic Church and faith, we are daily compelled to lament.
4. All these agonies seem to prolong and delay that most yearned for time when we shall see the full triumph of our most holy religion, of justice, and of truth. This triumph cannot fail us, however, even if it is not given us to know the time destined for it by almighty God. Even though our heavenly Father permits his holy Church to be afflicted and plagued by various tribulations and distresses while serving during this most miserable and earthly pilgrimage, nevertheless, because it has been founded
by Christ, the Lord, upon an immovable and most firm rock, it cannot be shaken or overthrown by any force or violence. Rather, "it is strengthened, not weakened by persecutions. The Lord's vineyard is always clothed with a richer harvest, for while each grain dies singly, it is born again many-fold."[2]
5. That is what we see happening, beloved sons and venerable brothers, even in these most sorrowful times as a special blessing from God. For although the immaculate Spouse of Christ may be vehemently troubled at the present time by the work of the wicked, yet she is triumphing over her enemies. Yes, indeed, she is conquering her enemies and shines wonderfully bright with your unparalleled faithfulness, love, and respect towards us and this Chair of Peter, and with your outstanding constancy and that of the other venerable brothers, the bishops of the whole Catholic world. She shines with many pious works of Christian charity multiplying rapidly each day; with the light of blessed faith illuminating many regions evermore each day; with the exceptional love and devotion shown by Catholics towards the Church itself, towards us, and this Holy See; with the eminent and immortal glory of martyrdom. You know, in fact, how in Tonkin and especially in the regions of Cochin China, bishops, priests, laymen and even peaceful women themselves, and young boys and girls, emulating the martyrs with their unconquerable spirit and heroic virtue, disdained the most inhuman torture, and greatly rejoiced to pour out their lives for Christ. All these joys should be no slight consolation to us and to you in the midst of the overwhelming anguish that torments us.
6. Now, since our Apostolic Office demands we carefully and zealously
defend the cause of the Church committed to us by Christ, we condemn those who attack and despise the Church itself, its sacred laws, ministers, and this Apostolic See. Hence, with this letter, once more we confirm, proclaim and condemn totally and singly that which in many consistorial allocutions and in our other Letters we have been forced to deplore, declare and condemn.[3]
7. Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.
8. Also well known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church. Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, to whom "the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior."[4] The words of Christ are clear enough: "If he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you a Gentile and a tax collector;"[5] "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me;"[6] "He who does not believe will be condemned;"[7] "He who does not believe is already condemned;"[8] "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters."[9] The Apostle Paul says that such persons are "perverted and self-condemned;"[10] the Prince of the Apostles calls them "false teachers . . . who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master. . . bringing upon themselves swift destruction."[11]
9. God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold. Thus, firmly founded in faith, hope, and charity and fruitful in every good work, they will gain eternal salvation.
10. Furthermore, beloved sons and venerable brothers, we cannot be silent about another most pernicious error, an evil that is pitifully tearing apart and deeply disturbing minds, hearts, and souls. We are referring to that unbridled and damnable self-love and self-interest that drive many to seek their own advantage and profit with clearly no regard for their neighbor. We mean that thoroughly insatiable passion for power and possessions that overrides all the rules of justice and honesty and never ceases by every means possible to amass and greedily heap up wealth. Completely absorbed in the things of earth, forgetful of God, religion and their souls, they wrongly place all their happiness in procuring riches and money. Let such people recollect and meditate seriously upon the very sobering words of Christ, the Lord: "What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?"[12] Let them also reflect upon the teaching of Paul: "Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that drag men down to ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil; it is through this craving that some have wandered away and pierced their hearts with many pangs."[13]
11. Now, truly, we cannot conceal the fact that we are in great anguish since there are some clergy in Italy who, forgetful of their vocation, do not blush in the least to spread abroad false doctrine, even in subversive writings. They arouse the people against us and this Apostolic See; they oppose our civil rule and that of the Chair itself; they shamelessly and zealously support the wicked enemies of the Catholic Church and this same See. Deserting their bishops and us, emboldened by the approval of the Piedmontese government and its Parliament, these ecclesiastics in open contempt of ecclesiastical censure and penalty have become impudently fearless in organizing certain condemnable societies commonly known as Liberal Clerical, of Mutual Assistance, For the Emancipation of the Italian Clergy, and other associations animated by the same depraved spirit. Although deservedly forbidden to perform their holy ministry, nevertheless, like brazen intruders, they sinfully and illicitly exercise it in many churches. We, therefore, disapprove and condemn the behavior of the same ecclesiastics. At the same time, we admonish and exhort, again and again, these unfortunate men to return to their right mind and heart and take thought for their own salvation, seriously considering "that God tolerates no example of conduct more from others than from priests when He sees those, whom He ordains for the improvement of others, give example of their own depravity."[14] Let them fervently reflect that their confused state must be repaired before the tribunal of Christ. May these pitiful churchmen heed our paternal advice and willingly render us the consolation of a repentant clergy. May they seek refuge in us day by day, begging pardon for their defection with suppliant prayer and humbly imploring absolution from ecclesiastical censure.
12. You are certainly aware, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, that every kind of impious and deceitful writing, lies, calumny, and blasphemy has been let loose from hell. No pain has been spared to transfer schools
to non-Catholic teachers and to appropriate churches for non-Catholic worship. With a multiple of other, surely diabolical treacheries, arts, and undertakings, the enemies of God employ every effort to destroy completely—if that were possible—the Catholic Church, seduce and corrupt the people, especially guileless youth, and uproot our holy faith and religion from the souls of all.
13. We are fully confident that you, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, strengthened by the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, will continue steadfast in your outstanding episcopal zeal. With one mind and heart and with redoubled dedication, may you persist in defending the House of Israel, may you fight the good fight for the faith and defend from the snares of the enemy the faithful entrusted to your care. Admonish and exhort them to be strong in our sacred faith, without which it is impossible to please God. Urge them to persevere firmly established in our divine religion, which alone is true and eternal and prepares for salvation and even, to a very great extent, preserves and prospers civil society.
14. Through the parish priests chiefly and other ecclesiastics known for integrity of life, gravity of morals, and constant adherence to sound doctrine, may you teach unremittingly and accurately: at one time preaching the divine word, at another instructing the people in the mysteries of our august religion, its doctrine, precepts, and discipline. You, above all, know that many evils generally arise from ignorance of divine matters essential for salvation. Hence, you will understand that it behooves you to use every care and diligence that so detrimental a condition be prevented.
15. Before we bring our letter to its close, however, we cannot restrain from bestowing due praise upon the Italian clergy, who with the highest degree of devotion to us and this Chair of Peter and to their bishops, have certainly not strayed. Following the noble example of their bishops and bearing all hardships with utmost patience, they fulfill their duty most laudably. We put our trust in the hope, moreover, that this same clergy, with the help of divine grace and walking worthily in their vocation, will always strive to be shining examples of piety and virtue.
16. We continue, too, with fitting and public praise for the many consecrated virgins who violently driven from their monastaries, despoiled of their recompense, and reduced to beggary, have not broken faith with their Spouse. Enduring the most deplorable conditions, they pray day and night in the holy house of God where they patiently await His mercy and beseech Him for the salvation of all, even that of their enemies.
17. We rejoice, also, in praising the people of Italy who, with deep Catholic sensibilities, abhor the many impious and destructive efforts taken against the Church. With filial piety, respect and obedience, they take great pride in honoring us, this Holy See, and their bishops. Amid very serious difficulties and impeded by dangers, each day and in many ways they faithfully offer us tokens of their love and devotion, alleviating the wants of this Apostolic See, at times with money, at other times with other gifts.
18. In the midst of so many calamities and confronted with such fury against the Church, we are not despondent for "Christ is our counsel and our strength; without him we can do nothing, through him we can do all things. While confirming the preachers of the Gospel and the ministers of the sacraments, he said: 'Lo, I am with you always, to the end of time.'"[15] We know for certain, moreover, that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church which stands and will stand immovable with Christ Jesus, our Lord, as guardian and protector, who has built the Church and who has been "yesterday and today and forever."[16]
19. With ever more ardent zeal and humility of heart, let us, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, never stop offering our prayers and petitions to God through Jesus Christ that His Church, driven by this most turbulent tempest, may recover from such great disasters, enjoy the most blessed peace and freedom throughout the world, and gain new and more splendid triumphs over her enemies. Let us pray that the errant be flooded with the light of his divine grace, may turn back from the path of error into the way of truth and justice and, experiencing the worthy fruit of repentance, may possess perpetual love and fear of his holy name.
20. That the merciful God may more readily grant our most fervent prayers, let us invoke patronage of the immaculate and most holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Let us seek likewise the intercession of the most holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, and of all the blessed in heaven, that with their efficacious prayers before God, they may implore mercy and graces for all and powerfully avert all adversities and dangers afflicting the Church everywhere and especially in Italy.
21. Finally, as a most certain pledge of our singular benevolence toward you, we lovingly impart our heartfelt Apostolic Blessing upon you, beloved sons and venerable brothers, and upon the flock committed to your care.
Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, 10 August, 1863, in the eighteenth year of Our Pontificate.