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Francis: Lutherans are “Members of one and the same Mystical Body of Christ” as Catholics
While everyone is busy with the ongoing fallout from the Ratzinger/Sarah book — the latest is that “Card.” Sarah met with Benedict XVI today — Chaos Frank received an ecumenical delegation of the Lutheran Church of Finland today, Jan. 17, on their annual trip to Rome for the feast of St. Henrik.
In his address to his fellow-non-Catholics, the false pope declared:
Together you are journeying – as all of us are – in communion of faith, so as to encourage one another and to strengthen one another in Christian discipleship.
This past Sunday, we celebrated the Baptism of Jesus and we recalled our own baptism. A Christian is someone who can give thanks for his or her baptism; and this gratitude unites us within the community of all the baptized. The “baptism for the forgiveness of sins” that we profess in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is also a clear summons to holiness.
The Report of the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue group for Sweden and Finland, entitled Justification in the Life of the Church, rightly observes that “those who are already baptized can, together with their brothers and sisters, develop their opportunities for holiness, which come from their common justification in Christ. As members of one and the same mystical body of Christ, Christians are bound to one another and must bear one another’s burdens. Since Christ came to redeem the whole world, it is also a mission for the church and for individual Christians, both lay and ordained, to witness to the good news in the midst of their daily life” (No. 203).
(Antipope Francis, Address to the Ecumenical Delegation of the Lutheran Church of Finland, Vatican.va, Jan. 17, 2020; underlining added.)
This is loaded with heresy and errors that more or less approach heresy. Not that what he says here is anything new for “Pope” Francis, but it is important to point out again and again the manifest contradiction with real (i.e. pre-Vatican II) Catholicism, especially considering that many new readers of this blog may not be aware of all the evidence that exists testifying to the essential rupture between the pre- and the post-conciliar church, that is, the Catholic Church until 1958 and the Modernist sect that emerged afterwards. This false new church, although still using the label of “Catholic Church”, has been systematically subverting Roman Catholicism throughout the world for decades — with devastating results, as our frequent NEWS DIGESTS testify abundantly.
Regardless of anyone’s personal sincerity or culpability in the matter, the objective fact is that Lutherans are heretics, that is, they publicly profess a religion other than Roman Catholicism while retaining the name of Christian. Furthermore, they refuse to be subject to the Roman Pontiff, who is the “head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christians” (Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 16) and the Church’s principle of unity. For these two reasons alone, Lutherans are not and cannot be members of Christ’s Mystical Body. They have left the unity of Faith and abandoned the Universal Shepherd.
In 1943, Pope Pius XII had clearly defined the criteria for membership in Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church:
Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, n. 22)
Here the Pope — a true one — makes absolutely clear that a valid baptism does not suffice to make one a member of Christ’s Mystical Body, if to it not also be joined profession of the true Faith and communion with the Roman Pontiff and the other members of the Church.
Later in the same encyclical letter, Pius XII explains how the external profession of the true Faith and submission to the Roman Pontiff relate to the Church as a visible society:
Now since its Founder willed this social body of Christ to be visible, the cooperation of all its members must also be externally manifest through their profession of the same faith and their sharing the same sacred rites, through participation in the same Sacrifice, and the practical observance of the same laws. Above all, it is absolutely necessary that the Supreme Head, that is, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, be visible to the eyes of all, since it is He who gives effective direction to the work which all do in common in a mutually helpful way towards the attainment of the proposed end. As the Divine Redeemer sent the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, who in His name should govern the Church in an invisible way, so, in the same manner, He commissioned Peter and his successors to be His personal representatives on earth and to assume the visible government of the Christian community.
(Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi, n. 69; underlining added.)
Francis’ reference to a “communion of faith” between Catholics and Lutherans is thus a lie. That Lutherans may share a common faith with him may very well be true, but the problem is that he claims to be a Catholic.
Naturally, Lutherans and Catholics also do not share a “common justification in Christ”, since Lutherans, objectively speaking, lack Faith, and “without Faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6). Where there is no Faith, there is no sanctifying grace — and thus no justification, and hence no salvation. (By the way: The Finnish Lutherans are not merely followers of Martin Luther, they also have female pseudo-clergy and support such perverted ideas as “LGBT rights” and “gender-neutral marriage”, as this news report demonstrates. So much for their “common justification in Christ”.)
Since Protestants and other heretics are not members of Christ’s Church, Pope Pius IX urged Catholics to
endeavor to snatch them from the darkness of error in which they unhappily lie, and lead them back to Catholic truth and to the most loving Mother the Church, who never ceases to stretch out her maternal hands lovingly to them, and to call them back to her bosom so that, established and firm in faith, hope, and charity, and “being fruitful in every good work” [Col 1:10], they may attain eternal salvation
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, n. 9)
Similarly, Pope St. Pius X wrote:
…We have no more ardent desire than that all men of good-will may unweariedly exert all their strength that the unity longed for may be more speedily obtained, so that those sheep whom division holds apart may be united in one profession of Catholic faith under one supreme pastor….
Let, then, all those who strive to defend the cause of unity go forth; let them go forth wearing the helmet of faith, holding to the anchor of hope, and inflamed with the fire of charity, to work unceasingly in this most heavenly enterprise; and God, the author and lover of peace, in whose power are the times and the moments [Acts 1:7], will hasten the day when the nations of the East shall return rejoicing to Catholic unity, and united to the Apostolic See, after casting away their errors, shall enter the port of everlasting salvation.
(Pope Pius X, Apostolic Letter Ex Quo Nono; underlining added.)
Here we see that it is not until they cast away their errors and return to the Catholic Church that they “enter the port of everlasting salvation”. That doesn’t quite sound like Francis, does it?
Although it is fairly easy to understand, the traditional Catholic doctrine on religious unity is not at all conducive to Ecumenism, which is one of the Second Vatican Council’s golden calves. For this reason, in 1964 the council invented the idea that the Church of Jesus Christ exists in elements in other religions while fully subsisting in the Catholic Church:
This Church [founded by Jesus Christ] constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.
(Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 8)
Although this primary source text alone may perhaps leave some wiggle room for precisely how this teaching is to be understood, the post-conciliar Novus Ordo magisterium has resolved all doubt in favor of a heretical understanding:
The elements of this already-given Church exist, found in their fullness in the Catholic Church and, without this fullness, in the other Communities, where certain features of the Christian mystery have at times been more effectively emphasized. Ecumenism is directed precisely to making the partial communion existing between Christians grow towards full communion in truth and charity.
(Antipope John Paul II, Encyclical Ut Unum Sint, n. 14)
With this last sentence, “St.” John Paul II confirms why this doctrine of ecclesial elements — sometimes called Frankenchurch or patchwork ecclesiology — was of fundamental importance at Vatican II: in order to enable and give a doctrinal foundation to Ecumenism. Without this doctrinal change from Pius XII’s clear and exclusive identification of the Church of Jesus Christ with the Catholic Church (see Mystici Corporis, n. 13; Humani Generis, n. 27) to Vatican II’s “subsists in” heresy, the ecumenical program would have been impossible.
Interestingly enough, it was none other than Fr. Joseph Ratzinger (now known as “Pope Emeritus” Benedict XVI), one of the Modernist periti at the council, who admitted in 1969 that the “subsists in” doctrine of Lumen Gentium constitutes a “reduction in the claim of exclusivity” on the part of the Church (“Reduktion des Absolutheitsanspruchs” — see Ratzinger, Das neue Volk Gottes [Düsseldorf, 1969], p. 236). In other words, Vatican II deliberately relativized and thereby reduced the Catholic Church’s exclusive claim to being the sole true Church of Jesus Christ in order to enable and facilitate Ecumenism.
Sometimes the objection is advanced that since baptism imprints an indelible character on the soul, all the baptized are forever members of the Church. But this does not follow, as explained by Fr. Sylvester Berry, a pre-Vatican II seminary professor:
The spiritual character imprinted upon the soul in Baptism [alone] does not make one a member of the Church; it is rather a sign or badge showing that he has received the rites of initiation, but it does not prove that he retains membership. This may be illustrated by the case of a person receiving a tattoo mark as a sign of initiation into a society that uses such marking. If the person afterward leave the society, he would cease to be a member, though he still bore the indelible sign of his initiation.
(Fr. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ [Baltimore, MD: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, 1955], p. 129)
Thus it is entirely false to claim, as Novus Ordos incessantly do, that there is at least an “imperfect communion” among all the baptized, regardless of what they believe or do. In fact, Pope Pius IX contradicted this diametrically when he wrote in his Apostolic Letter convoking the First Vatican Council:
Now, whoever will carefully examine and reflect upon the condition of the various religious societies, divided among themselves, and separated from the Catholic Church, which, from the days of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles has never ceased to exercise, by its lawful pastors, and still continues to exercise, the divine power committed to it by this same Lord; cannot fail to satisfy himself that neither any one of these societies by itself, nor all of them together, can in any manner constitute and be that One Catholic Church which Christ our Lord built, and established, and willed should continue; and that they cannot in any way be said to be branches or parts of that Church, since they are visibly cut off from Catholic unity.
(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes; underlining added.)
Christ constituted His Church such that “all the faithful might be contained by the bond of one faith and charity” (Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus; Denz. 1821), and thus Pope Leo XIII described “the constitution of the Christian commonwealth” as being “one in faith, in government, and in communion” (Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 15).
It is clear, then, that the one or the other has to go: either the Catholic Church and her teaching until Vatican II; or Vatican II and the post-conciliar sect. Few things are easier to decide on.
From all the foregoing it appears that if the Vatican II Church is any kind of mystical body, it is the “mystical body of the Antichrist”, as Mgr. Fulton Sheen in 1948 called the counter-church that would eventually emerge.
And that “mystical body” is indeed one the Lutherans are a part of.
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