Harping on the Same Old Tune
For those who have been reading this blog for any period of time, you will no doubt be aware that I have relied heavily upon the catechism as the chief foundation and formation of the faith. And where else should I look for instruction?
Q. 159. If we shall find only the “chief truths” in the Apostles’ Creed, where shall we find the remaining truths?
A. We shall find the remaining truths of our Faith in the religious writings and preachings that have been sanctioned by the authority of the Church.
The Baltimore Catechism is one such document that has been sanctioned by the authority of the Church. It is true that there are many good and holy things to read out there, and I am not one to say we should only read the catechism. But I have encountered far too much error, far too much deviation from the teachings of the Church, from far too many “learned” people, even those with a website and hundreds of web articles to their names, not to insist upon a return to fundamental and simple truths found in a catechism.
I harp on the same old tune of the catechism for the same reason that I recite the rosary over and over or sing the Salve Regina over and over or do anything else of our holy religion repetitively. I do so because that is what Mother Church would have me do. I can honestly say I do not have the catechism memorized. Not even close, and I probably never will. That is difficult to do as an adult. But it was the expectation of the Church for children to learn their catechism by heart, and to be able to recite verbatim their lessons, say, on the Trinity.
So I will not say that those reading this–presumably adults, probably even middle-aged or older–must learn their catechism by rote. But I do insist that one should become intimately familiar with all the lessons of their catechism, to take time throughout the weeks of one’s life, suitably on Sunday, to read a lesson, meditate on it, and think on it often throughout the work-week.
To help facilitate that end, I have taken the time to do what I should have done a long time ago. I have put the complete Baltimore Catechism on this website as its own page, which you can access through the main menu.
Knowing our catechism has always been the duty of Catholics, but today when the crisis of faith has reached a pitch of intensity rivaling the shrieks from Hell, it is infinitely more incumbent upon us as Home Alone Catholics to study and even memorize what we can of our catechism. How shall we combat the error, for instance, of those who say that Sedevacantist chapels are licit in the time of necessity? The BC answers:
Q. 1004. Can bishops, priests and other ministers of the Church always exercise the power they have received in Holy Orders?
A. Bishops, priests and other ministers of the Church cannot exercise the power they have received in Holy Orders unless authorized and sent to do so by their lawful superiors. The power can never be taken from them, but the right to use it may be withdrawn for causes laid down in the laws of the Church, or for reasons that seem good to those in authority over them. Any use of sacred power without authority is sinful, and all who take part in such ceremonies are guilty of sin.
No Sedevacantist clergy were ever authorized and sent by their lawful superiors to administer the sacraments. That is the death knell for all the independent chapels and missions operating outside of Rome. Further, the BC states “Any use of the sacred power without authority is sinful,” which covers even those times of necessity.
What about the Recognize and Resist (R&R), the Remnant, OnePeterFive, LifeSiteNews, and such like? How does the BC respond to those who say authority must be recognized but resisted if that authority errs or legislates what is unlawful or harmful?
Well, actually, there are two glaring errors here, both of which are about as un-Catholic as Martin Luther. The first is that the Catholic Church could possibly legislate anything harmful or erroneous. The BC states:
Q. 528. How do you know that the Church can not err?
A. I know that the Church can not err because Christ promised that the Holy Ghost would remain with it forever and save it from error. If, therefore, the Church has erred, the Holy Ghost must have abandoned it and Christ has failed to keep His promise, which is a thing impossible.
The Church can no more err in faith or morals as a lead balloon could fly. It defies the laws of spiritual physics. Because the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, it is blasphemy to say, as the R&R crowd do say, that the Roman Pontiff and the Second Vatican Council taught error.
Q. 572. From whom does the Church derive its undying life and infallible authority?
A. The Church derives its undying life and infallible authority from the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, who abides with it forever.
The second error of R&R is the idea that one can resist a legitimate authority. The BC defines authority as follows:
Q. 523. What is authority?
A. Authority is the power which one person has over another so as to be able to justly exact obedience. Rulers have authority over their subjects, parents over their children, and teachers over their scholars.
Q. 524. From whom must all persons derive whatever lawful authority they possess?
A. All persons must derive whatever lawful authority they possess from God Himself, from whom they receive it directly or indirectly. Therefore, to disobey our lawful superiors is to disobey God Himself, and hence such disobedience is always sinful.
Q. 525. What do you mean by the authority of the Church?
A. By the authority of the Church I mean the right and power which the Pope and the Bishops, as the successors of the Apostles, have to teach and to govern the faithful.
Anyone who knows their catechism couldn’t fall for R&R because it is intrinsically non-Catholic. It is Catholic to submit to legitimate authority like a pope, bishop or priest, because these are lawful superiors, and to disobey them would mean disobeying God.
The only reasonable conclusion to make is that the Second Vatican Council was not Catholic, because we know the council taught error which is a thing impossible for the Catholic Church but quite within the realm of possibility for a non-Catholic sect headed up by a non-Catholic heretic.
Q. 547. In whom are these attributes found in their fullness?
A. These attributes are found in their fullness in the Pope, the visible Head of the Church, whose infallible authority to teach bishops, priests, and people in matters of faith or morals will last to the end of the world.
It defies Catholic Sense to say John 23, Paul 6, JP2, B16 or Francis 1 are possessed with the infallible authority to teach the Church in faith and morals when these men have done all they can to spread error in the faith and promote false worship.
I could go on and on refuting the errors of the day from the BC, and no doubt I shall continue to do so in future posts as long as my fingers are able to type. But my point here is that we have to have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of the faith before we can profess to know or to teach or to dispute with the heretic, apostate, or infidel.
May God reward a prayerful study of the catechism with grace and wisdom enough to fight the good fight and keep the faith till the end.