Recently a trip to the Holy Land and it’s wretchedness brought me these sentiments.
Where only 1% of the population is christian and even less are faithful Catholics! Who are left in this region to bring light to that corner of the world; proclaiming the Gospel news of Christ’s redemption. Yet nearly all of these residents owe their livelihood to the true faith, due to our desire to be, or touch or walk where God revealed Himself to His Apostles. How can these residents be innocent of the true faith? Very difficult for me to believe! [ see CCC #846]
Of course, what is written below by St Athanasius could be written in the 16th century, when protesters stormed, our churches in Europe and England; defiled the altars and burning holy relics, of the in-corruptibles. Or as Muslims have done in centuries past and present. It might even be said today, in the 21st Century. In the wake of Vatican II and the Age of Modernism promoting; “Masonic ecumenical experimental-ism”; our buildings have been co-opted. But the response from this Bishop is as true as ever.
Letter of Saint Athanasius to his flock:
Saint Athanasius Lived AD 296 to 393, Doctor- Defender of the Faith.
May God console you! …What saddens you …is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises-but you have the apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: What is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in this struggle-the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith?
True, the premises are good when the apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …You are the ones who are happy: you who remain within the church by your faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis.
No one, ever, will prevail against your faith, beloved brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.
Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.
Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ. End Bishop’s QUOTE:
“Without a visible, infallible Head of the Church,” says St. Alphonsus,
“it would be impossible to have an infallible rule of faith, whereby to know with certainty what to believe and what to do. Hence he who is separated from the Church and is not obedient to her has no infallible rule of faith; he has no longer any criterion whereby he can know what he has to believe and to do. Without this divine authority of the Church, neither the principles of divine revelation nor even those of human reason have any support, because the utterances of the one as well as those of the other will then be interpreted by every one as he pleases; and then every one can deny all the truths of faith—The Most Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of Christ, heaven and hell, and whatever else he chooses to deny.
I, therefore, repeat: If the divine authority of the Church and the obedience due to her are renounced, every error will be endorsed and must be tolerated in others. This undeniable argument made a Calvinist preacher renounce his errors.” (Appendix to his work, Council of Trent.)
But not the stiff necked disunion Orthodox, after 1000 years, still cannot come to this realization. Or give up their titular powers.
Hence those who are separated from the Church cannot be innocent. (St. Augustine, lib. i. contr. Epist. Parm., c. 3.) “Where there is no unity in faith, there can be no divine charity. Therefore divine charity can be kept only in the unity of the Church.” (St. Augustine, contr. lit. Petil. lib. ii. C. 77.)
The Word of God, some food for the Soul:
“Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us.” [Ecclesiastes 1:10] “I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold all is vanity, and vexation of spirit.“ [Ecclesiastes 1:14]
“Your children shall wander in the desert forty years, and shall bear your fornication, until the carcasses of their fathers be consumed in the desert,” [Numbers 14:33] WHY? Do you suppose? And yet you think you deserve less? But someone built a golden dome, Why? Mohamet went to heaven! Absurd!