The Unforeseen Consequence of Apostolicæ curæ?

Hensley Henson, Bishop of Durham, in his “Retrospect” writes of the 1930 Lambeth Conference: “The truth is that, under the description of the “Anglican Communion” there are gathered two mutually contradictory conceptions of Christianity. How long the divergence of first principles can be concealed remains to be seen.”

Sadly, it must be admitted that the same has for some time been true of the Roman Communion. In fact within her, the overwhelmingly dominant conception, triumphally instituted and blithely overseen by the post-Conciliar pontiffs (saints to a man, but for Benedict XVI, we are told!), represents a virtually absolute rupture with the Catholic past. Its doctrine and praxis is profoundly un-Catholic (not merely indifferent towards the True Faith, but often overtly hostile) and, in many ways, hardly recognisable as Christian at all.

The New Order is nothing less than a new religion.

This novel Man-centred cult represents, by orders of magnitude, a more profound theological and ecclesiological break with Catholic continuity than the comparatively mild disruption of the English Reformation. For the Conciliar Church, there is no honest, no tenable hermeneutic of continuity possible. All efforts to devise one have been in vain. There is only rupture, and only now are men of goodwill beginning to recognise the disaster.

The worst excesses of the English deviation were attenuated in time, and while Catholic truth was certainly long obscured, it was never totally extinguished. Moreover, the perversions were imposed from without, by the ungodly intrusion of an avaricious and overreaching State, in a time of profound political transformation and turmoil. In stark contrast, the suicide of the Catholic Church has arisen from within, from the obstinate “Non serviam” of the Bishops of Rome themselves, in a time of unprecedented peace and security, at the onset of what ought to have been a new golden age.

Roman controversialists have told us for centuries, culminating in a.D. 1896, that the English church was irretrievably damaged by the events of the Reformation, their highly-technical arguments being wholly dismissive of the (admittedly impaired) Catholic reality of the Church of England. “Anglican orders” were declared to be utterly null and void, the sacramental life of the church determined essentially dead. To Rome alone could we turn for that Life which had long since become extinct.

What is good for the goose, must now certainly be so for the gander, if intellectual honesty is to be maintained.

Either the churlish arguments of Apostolicæ curæ (which in view of the present crisis now seem as precious hair-splitting) should be re-evaluated and repudiated, or they and their consequences should be brought to bear — in all of their certainty and violence — against this New Church, gravely and thoroughly defective in both form and intent.

Either way, the realities of the disaster which has befallen the Holy Roman Church, Mother and Mistress, require us to find new paradigms and methodologies to understand the the nature of Christ’s Church Militant here in earth.

Their Only Lady in Matters Temporal and Spiritual

Pope St. Pius V.

Prohibiting with a strong hand the use of the true religion, which after its earlier overthrow by Henry VIII (a deserter therefrom) Mary, the lawful queen of famous memory, had with the help of this See restored, she [ELIZABETH] has followed and embraced the errors of the heretics. She has removed the royal Council, composed of the nobility of England, and has filled it with obscure men, being heretics; oppressed the followers of the Catholic faith; instituted false preachers and ministers of impiety; abolished the Sacrifice of the Mass, prayers, fasts, choice of meats, celibacy, and Catholic ceremonies; and has ordered that books of manifestly heretical content be propounded to the whole realm and that impious rites and institutions after the rule of Calvin, entertained and observed by herself, be also observed by her subjects. She has dared to eject bishops, rectors of churches and other Catholic priests from their churches and benefices, to bestow these and other things ecclesiastical upon heretics, and to determine spiritual causes; has forbidden the prelates, clergy and people to acknowledge the Church of Rome or obey its precepts and canonical sanctions; has forced most of them to come to terms with her wicked laws, to abjure the authority and obedience of the pope of Rome, and to accept her, on oath, as their only lady in matters temporal and spiritual; has imposed penalties and punishments on those who would not agree to this and has exacted then of those who persevered in the unity of the faith and the aforesaid obedience; has thrown the Catholic prelates and parsons into prison where many, worn out by long languishing and sorrow, have miserably ended their lives. All these matter and manifest and notorious among all the nations; they are so well proven by the weighty witness of many men that there remains no place for excuse, defense or evasion.

— Pope St. Pius V, Regnans in Excelsis, no. 2.