Rorate Caeli

The Church has not the power to reform her own Constitution


Subiecti igitur estote omni humanæ creaturæ propter Deum: sive regi quasi præcellenti: sive ducibus tamquam ab eo missis ad vindictam malefactorum, laudem vero bonorum: quia sic est voluntas Dei, ut benefacientes obmutescere faciatis imprudentium hominum ignorantiam: quasi liberi, et non quasi velamen habentes malitiæ libertatem, sed sicut servi Dei. Omnes honorate: fraternitatem diligite: Deum timete: regem honorificate. (From the Epistle for the Third Sunday after Easter, I Peter, ii, 13-17: Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good: for so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honor all men: love the brotherhood: fear God: honor the king.)

...if every political form is good by itself and may be applied to the government of nations, the fact still remains that political power is not found in all nations under the same form; each has its own. This form springs from a combination of historical or national, though always human, circumstances which, in a nation, give rise to its traditional and even fundamental laws, and by these is determined the particular form of government, the basis of transmission of supreme power.

It were useless to recall that all individuals are bound to accept these governments and not to attempt their overthrow or a change in their form. Hence it is that the Church, the guardian of the truest and highest idea of political sovereignty, since she has derived it from God, has always condemned men who rebelled against legitimate authority and disapproved their doctrines. And that too at the very time when the custodians of power used it against her, thereby depriving themselves of the strongest support given their authority and of efficacious means of obtaining from the people obedience to their laws. And apropos of this subject, We cannot lay too great stress upon the precepts given to the first Christians by the Prince of the apostles in the midst of persecutions: "Honor all men: love the brotherhood: fear God: honor the king"; and those of St. Paul: "I desire, therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings and for all who are in high station, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all piety and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Savior."

However, here it must be carefully observed that whatever be the form of civil power in a nation, it cannot be considered so definitive as to have the right to remain immutable, even though such were the intention of those who, in the beginning, determined it. Only the Church of Jesus Christ has been able to preserve, and surely will preserve unto the consummation of time, her form of government. Founded by Him who was, who is, and who will be forever, she has received from Him, since her very origin, all that she requires for the pursuing of her divine mission across the changeable ocean of human affairs. And, far from wishing to transform her essential constitution, she has not the power even to relinquish the conditions of true liberty and sovereign independence with which Providence has endowed her in the general interest of souls.


The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the [Second Vatican] Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. However, the true spirit of the Council is not to be found in these compromises but instead in the impulses toward the new that are contained in the texts.
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The nature of a Council as such is therefore basically misunderstood. In this way, it is considered as a sort of constituent that eliminates an old constitution and creates a new one. However, the Constituent Assembly needs a mandator and then confirmation by the mandator, in other words, the people the constitution must serve. The Fathers had no such mandate and no one had ever given them one; nor could anyone have given them one because the essential constitution of the Church comes from the Lord and was given to us so that we might attain eternal life and, starting from this perspective, be able to illuminate life in time and time itself.

6 comments:

Chris said...

The church cannot claim a discontinuity with the past otherwise the church becomes a fad: a relativistic entity of one age.

No, the church is universal, and so it is as much a part of the past as it is with the present. When Benedict XVI spoke of elements of VII as being a countrer to the syllabus of errors of Pope Pius ix, he really spoke of a misnomer: truth cannot cease to be truth just because of a certain relativistic understanding in one epoch, or one generation.

we are currently living through a heresy the likes of which we have not seen since Arianism, when 80% of the Bishops subscribed to that heresy. "They own the Churches, but we own the faith" as one saint said at the time.

The same is true today: the modernists hold our churches but traditionalists hold the faith. Benedict sees this in his heart. We can only attend so many "Johnny Carson" masses before we must realize in our hearts that something is terribly askew with our Church.

Lets pray and continue to pray that these arianists among us will wither die off our revert to the truth of Catholicism!

Anonymous said...

It will take another generation for the Church to correct its course and return completely to the traditions of the Faith. UNfortunatly, many faithful who have suffered and despised the reforms of Vatican II, and what the Catholic Church has seemed to warp into since the Vatican Council II may not survive to see the Church return to tradition. This is terribly sad.
Benedict XVI seems to be another "Paul VI" (God forbid!!!) Vacillating, uncertain, timid, wandering, lacking confidence, self-esteem, trust in the Truth rather than in advisors. This was Paul VI. And unfortunatly, Benedict XVI looks the same. If He has the courage to promulgate a strong Motu Proprio allowing complete freedom of the Tridentine Latin Mass without interferrence of any kind from Bishops , and if He has the strength to reform and demote, expell the corrupt liberal officials in the Vatican Roman Curia, then of course He will go down in History as one of our greatest Popes rather than a mirror image of Paul VI.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

Just wait for the next round of collegiality...

New Catholic said...

Humboldt: these Protestant, anti-Petrine, comments are unacceptable here.

humboldt said...

New Catholic, you erased my post. ¡Hum! Can you answer my erased question? If I am wrong teach me right, or would I have to wait until the next synod of bishops to cofirm my post? ¡Hum!

In addition those who not know Joseph Ratzinger may arrive at the conclusion that this is just him as pope. NOT TRUE. Since the days of Vatican II, Jospeh Ratzinger has been acting like this. One could easily call him a hypocrate because he seems to go where the wind blows, one day is a traditionalist and the next is a modernist, at least Paul VI was more coherent with himself: a staunch liberal and pro-marxist. In view of this pervaisive culture in the Church today, could we be surprised by the attacks of the criminal pederasts clerics and their accomplises in the hierarchy? Certainly not.

humboldt said...

Could any one please explain me what does the term "pastoral" mean in today's church? This word is the most abused word in the conciliar church, and I do not know what it means.

Thank you.