Friday, 29 October 2010

The Voice of... St. Pius X (Part XIII)

On 24th September, 1912, Pope St. Pius X issued his Encyclical Letter Singulari Quadam to the Bishop of Breslau and the other Archbishops and Bishops of Germany on Labor Organizations:

"6. ...The following are the most important of these precautions: In the first place, provision should be made that Catholic workers who are members of the trade unions must also belong to those Catholic associations which are known as "Arbeitervereine." In the event that they must make some sacrifice for this cause, even in a monetary way, We are convinced that they will readily do so for the sake of safeguarding the integrity of their Faith. As has been happily demonstrated, the Catholic workingmen's associations, aided by the clergy and by its leadership and alert direction, are able to achieve very much toward preserving the truths of religion and the purity of morals among their members, and nourish the religious spirit through frequent practices of piety. Therefore, the leaders of such associations, clearly recognizing the needs of the age, are undoubtedly prepared to instruct the workers about their duties in justice and charity, especially regarding all those commandments and precepts in which an accurate knowledge is needed or useful in order to enable them to take an active part in their trade unions according to the principles of Catholic doctrine.

"7. Furthermore, if Catholics are to be permitted to join the trade unions, these associations must avoid everything that is not in accord, either in principle or practice, with the teachings and commandments of the Church or the proper ecclesiastical authorities. Similarly, everything is to be avoided in their literature or public utterances or actions which in the above view would incur censure.

"The Bishops, therefore, should consider it their sacred duty to observe carefully the conduct of all these associations and to watch diligently that the Catholic members do not suffer any harm as a result of their participation. The Catholic members themselves, however, should never permit the unions, whether for the sake of material interests of their members or the union cause as such, to proclaim or support teachings or to engage in activities which would conflict in any way with the directives proclaimed by the supreme teaching authority of the Church, especially those mentioned above. Therefore, as often as problems arise concerning matters of justice or charity, the Bishops should take the greatest care to see that the faithful do not overlook Catholic moral teaching and do not depart from it even a finger's breadth."

Monday, 25 October 2010

Tonsures in Lindau

The excellent blog Fides et Forma features a slideshow of images from the recent conferral of Tonsure to Seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter International Seminary at Wigratzbad.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Voice of... St. Pius X (Part XII)

On 7th June, 1912, Pope St. Pius X issued his Encyclical Letter Lacrimabili Statu to the Archbishops and Bishops of Latin America:

"6. As for our part, having good reason to hope for the consent and support of the public authorities, we have more especially taken care to extend the field of Apostolic labor in these broad regions, appointing further missionary stations, where the Indians can find safety and succor. For the Catholic Church has ever been a fertile mother of Apostolic men, who, pressed by the charity of Christ, are brought to give their lives for their brethren. And to-day, when so many abhor the faith or fall away from it, the zeal for spreading the Gospel among the barbarous nations is still strong in the clergy and in religious men and holy virgins; and this zeal grows greater and is spread abroad more widely by the power of the Holy Ghost, who helps the Church, His spouse, according to the needs of the time. Wherefore, we think it well to make greater use of those aids which by God's goodness are ready to our hand, in order to deliver the Indians, where their need is greatest. from the slavery of Satan and of wicked men. For the rest, since the preachers of the Gospel had watered these regions, not only with their sweat, but sometimes with their blood, we trust that at length a fair harvest of Christian kindness shall spring forth from their great labors and bear abundant fruit. And now, in order that what you shall do for the benefit of the Indians, whether of your own accord or at our exhortation, may be the more efficacious by the help of our Apostolic authority, we, mindful of the example of our aforesaid predecessor, condemn and declare guilty of grave crime whosoever, as he says, "shall dare or presume to reduce the said Indians to slavery, to sell them, to buy them, to exchange or give them, to separate them from their wives and children, to deprive them of goods and chattels, to transport or send them to other places, or in any way whatsoever to rob them of freedom and hold them in slavery; or to give counsel, help, favor, and work on any pretext of color to them that do these things, or to preach or teach that it is lawful, or to co-operate therewith in any way whatever." Accordingly, we will that the power of absolving penitents in the sacramental tribunal from these crimes shall be reserved to ordinaries of the localities.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Voice of... St. Pius X (Part XI)

After a gap of two years since his Apostolic Exhortation Haerent Animo on Priestly Sanctity, on 24th May, 1911, Pope St. Pius X issued his Encyclical Letter Iamdudum on the Law of Separation in Portugal:

"6. First of all the Hierarchy is set aside as if its existence were unknown. And if men in holy orders are mentioned, it is only that they may be prohibited from having anything to do with the ordering of public worship. This work is entirely handed over to associations of laymen already established or to be established as societies of public assistance according to the regulations of the administrative under the power of the Republic and in no way depending on the authority of the Church. And if from the actions of the associations to which this duty is entrusted disputes arise between clerics and lay people or between lay people alone, the decision is to lie not with the Church but with the Republic, which claims all power over these bodies. Indeed, so completely do the rulers of the Portuguese Republic deny any place to the clergy in the organization of divine worship that they have definitely laid it down and provided that those who exercise the ministry of religion may not be co-opted as members of the aforesaid parish associations or be allotted any part in their administration or direction. Than such a provision nothing can be imagined more unjust or more intolerable, for it puts the clergy at the beck of other citizens in the very matters upon which they are the rightful directors."

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Why Women Can't Be Priests

Bro. Tom Forde, OFM Cap, an Irish Capuchin, has an illuminating article entitled Why Women Can't Be Priests on his highly recommendable blog Breathing With Both Lungs.

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Voice of... St. Pius X (Part XI)

On 4th August, 1908, Pope St. Pius X gave his Apostolic Exhortation Haerent Animo on Priestly Sanctity:

"Anyone who exercises the priestly ministry exercises it not for himself alone, but for others. For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in the things that pertain to God. [Hebr. v:1.] Christ himself taught that lesson when he compared the priest to salt and to light, in order to show the nature of the priestly ministry. The priest then is the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Everyone knows that he fulfills this function chiefly by the teaching of christian truth; and who can be unaware that this ministry of teaching is practically useless if the priest fails to confirm by the example of his life the truths which he teaches? Those who hear him might say, insultingly it is true, but not without justification: They profess that they know God but in their works they deny him; [Tit. i:16.] they will refuse to accept his teaching and will derive no benefit from the light of the priest.

Christ himself, the model of priests, taught first by the example of his deeds and then by his words: Jesus began to do and then to teach. [Acts i:1.]

Likewise, a priest who neglects his own sanctification can never be the salt of the earth; what is corrupt and contaminated is utterly incapable of preserving from corruption; where sanctity is lacking, there corruption will inevitably find its way. Hence Christ, continuing this comparison, calls such priests salt that has lost its savor, which is good for nothing any more, but to be cast out and to be trodden on by men. [Mt. v:13.]

These truths are all the more evident inasmuch as we exercise the priestly ministry not in our own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ. The Apostle said: Let man so consider us as the ministers of Christ and the dispensers of the mysteries of God; [I Cor. iv:1.] for Christ, therefore, we are ambassadors. [I. Cor. v:20.] This is the reason that Christ has numbered us not among his servants but as his friends. I will not now call you servants; . . . but I have called you friends, because all things whatsoever I have heard from my Father I have made known to you; . . . I have chosen you and appointed you that you should go and bring forth fruit. [Jn. xv:15-16.]

We have, therefore, to take the place of Christ: the mission which he has given to us we must fulfill with that same purpose that he intended. True friendship consists in unity of mind and will, identity of likes and dislikes; therefore, as friends of Jesus Christ, we are bound to have that mind in us which was in Jesus Christ who is holy, innocent, undefiled. [Hebr. vii:26.] As his envoys, we must win the minds of men for his doctrine and his law by first observing them ourselves; sharing as we do in his power to deliver souls from the bondage of sin, we must strive by every means to avoid becoming entangled in these toils of sin."

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Voice of... St. Pius X (Part X)

On 8th September, 1907, Pope St. Pius X issued his Encyclical Letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis on the doctrine of the Modernists:

"When a Catholic layman or a priest forgets the precept of the Christian life which obliges us to renounce ourselves if we would follow Christ and neglects to tear pride from his heart, then it is he who most of all is a fully ripe subject for the errors of Modernism. For this reason, Venerable Brethren, it will be your first duty to resist such victims of pride, to employ them only in the lowest and obscurest offices. The higher they try to rise, the lower let them be placed, so that the lowliness of their position may limit their power of causing damage. Examine most carefully your young clerics by yourselves and by the directors of your seminaries, and when you find the spirit of pride among them reject them without compunction from the priesthood. Would to God that this had always been done with the vigilance and constancy which were required!"