Men and nations through the ages glorify Christ by seeking His rule

From Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quas Primas (1925):

The many notable and memorable events which have occurred during this Holy Year have given great honor and glory to Our Lord and King, the Founder of the Church.

At the Missionary Exhibition men have been deeply impressed in seeing the increasing zeal of the Church for the spread of the kingdom of her Spouse to the most far distant regions of the earth. They have seen how many countries have been won to the Catholic name through the unremitting labor and self-sacrifice of missionaries, and the vastness of the regions which have yet to be subjected to the sweet and saving yoke of our King. All those who in the course of the Holy Year have thronged to this city under the leadership of their Bishops or priests had but one aim—namely, to expiate their sins—and at the tombs of the Apostles and in Our Presence to promise loyalty to the rule of Christ.

A still further light of glory was shed upon his kingdom, when after due proof of their heroic virtue, We raised to the honors of the altar six confessors and virgins.* It was a great joy, a great consolation, that filled Our heart when in the majestic basilica of St. Peter Our decree was acclaimed by an immense multitude with the hymn of thanksgiving, Tu Rex gloriæ Christe. We saw men and nations cut off from God, stirring up strife and discord and hurrying along the road to ruin and death, while the Church of God carries on her work of providing food for the spiritual life of men, nurturing and fostering generation after generation of men and women dedicated to Christ, faithful and subject to him in his earthly kingdom, called by him to eternal bliss in the kingdom of heaven.

Moreover, since this jubilee Year marks the sixteenth centenary of the Council of Nicæa, We commanded that event to be celebrated, and We have done so in the Vatican basilica. There is a special reason for this in that the Nicene Synod defined and proposed for Catholic belief the dogma of the Consubstantiality of the Only-begotten with the Father, and added to the Creed the words “of whose kingdom there shall be no end,” thereby affirming the kingly dignity of Christ.

Quas Primas 2-5

* These were the saints canonized by Pius XI in 1925:

  • St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
  • St. Peter Canisius, Confessor and Doctor of the Church
  • St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, Virgin
  • St. Marie-Madeleine Postel, Virgin
  • St. Jean Marie Vianney, Confessor
  • St. Jean Eudes, Confessor

Fr. Rigdon to offer TLM at Silver Spring for Feast of All Saints

A Missa Cantata with choir will be offered Tuesday morning, November 1, at the Traditional Latin Mass Congregation of Silver Spring, Maryland. Father Vincent Rigdon, pastor of Our Lady of the Presentation parish in Poolesville, will be the celebrant of the Mass of the Feast of All Saints.

Holy Mass will begin at 11:00 am.  Confessions will be heard from 10:30 to 10:55 am.

Silver Spring TLM Congregation meets at the Historic Church of St. John the Evangelist, 9700 Rosensteel Avenue, Forest Glen.

True, lasting peace can only be found in the Kingdom of Christ

Following a trend of many decades, increasing numbers of the young are being desensitized to the presence of humankind’s Creator and Redeemer. Heedless of man’s final end, many today (we do not speak here of those who, as in every generation, are possessed by hunger for power and control) react with an outward shrug toward both totalitarianism and anarchy, even as they inwardly seethe with anxiety at either of these prospects.

Almost a century ago, Pope Pius XI recognized the need to proclaim boldly that only in obedience to the rule of Christ can be found the peace that calms individual unease, bonds men in society, and directs us infallibly toward the eternal beatitude for which we were made. We are pleased to celebrate today’s Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King by publishing the first of a series of excerpts from Pius XI’s encyclical Quas Primas, promulgated at the end of the Holy Year 1925, which established the feast in the universal Church.

In the first Encyclical Letter* which We addressed at the beginning of Our Pontificate to the Bishops of the universal Church, We referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord. We were led in the meantime to indulge the hope of a brighter future at the sight of a more widespread and keener interest evinced in Christ and his Church, the one Source of Salvation, a sign that men who had formerly spurned the rule of our Redeemer and had exiled themselves from his kingdom were preparing, and even hastening, to return to the duty of obedience.

Quas Primas 1

* Ubi arcano Dei consilio, published in December 1922.

Fr. Langevin to offer Dominican Rite Missa Cantata on Sunday at Silver Spring

A Missa Cantata with schola in the Traditional Dominican Rite will be offered Sunday, October 30, at the Traditional Latin Mass Congregation of Silver Spring, Maryland. The celebrant of the Mass of the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King will be Reverend Father Dominic Langevin op, Instructor in Systematic Theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington.

Holy Mass will begin at 8:00 am. Confessions will be heard from 7:10 to 7:50 am. A second collection will be taken up for the victims of Hurricane Matthew. All are invited to share coffee and pastry after Mass in the downstairs community room of the rectory.

Silver Spring TLM Congregation meets at the Historic Church of St. John the Evangelist, 9700 Rosensteel Avenue, Forest Glen.

The family carries forward the Church and the future of humankind

The conclusion of Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (1981):

At the end of this Apostolic Exhortation my thoughts turn with earnest solicitude:

to you, married couples, to you, fathers and mothers of families;

to you, young men and women, the future and the hope of the Church and the world, destined to be the dynamic central nucleus of the family in the approaching third millennium;

to you, venerable and dear Brothers in the Episcopate and in the priesthood, beloved sons and daughters in the religious life, souls consecrated to the Lord, who bear witness before married couples to the ultimate reality of the love of God;

to you, upright men and women, who for any reason whatever give thought to the fate of the family.

The future of humanity passes by way of the family.

It is therefore indispensable and urgent that every person of good will should endeavor to save and foster the values and requirements of the family.

I feel that I must ask for a particular effort in this field from the sons and daughters of the Church. Faith gives them full knowledge of God’s wonderful plan: they therefore have an extra reason for caring for the reality that is the family in this time of trial and of grace.

They must show the family special love. This is an injunction that calls for concrete action.

Loving the family means being able to appreciate its values and capabilities, fostering them always. Loving the family means identifying the dangers and the evils that menace it, in order to overcome them. Loving the family means endeavoring to create for it an environment favorable for its development. The modern Christian family is often tempted to be discouraged and is distressed at the growth of its difficulties; it is an eminent form of love to give it back its reasons for confidence in itself, in the riches that it possesses by nature and grace, and in the mission that God has entrusted to it. “Yes indeed, the families of today must be called back to their original position. They must follow Christ.”182

Christians also have the mission of proclaiming with joy and conviction the Good News about the family, for the family absolutely needs to hear ever anew and to understand ever more deeply the authentic words that reveal its identity, its inner resources and the importance of its mission in the City of God and in that of man.

The Church knows the path by which the family can reach the heart of the deepest truth about itself. The Church has learned this path at the school of Christ and the school of history interpreted in the light of the Spirit. She does not impose it but she feels an urgent need to propose it to everyone without fear and indeed with great confidence and hope, although she knows that the Good News includes the subject of the Cross. But it is through the Cross that the family can attain the fullness of its being and the perfection of its love.

Finally, I wish to call on all Christians to collaborate cordially and courageously with all people of good will who are serving the family in accordance with their responsibilities. The individuals and groups, movements and associations in the Church which devote themselves to the family’s welfare, acting in the Church’s name and under her inspiration, often find themselves side by side with other individuals and institutions working for the same ideal. With faithfulness to the values of the Gospel and of the human person and with respect for lawful pluralism in initiatives this collaboration can favor a more rapid and integral advancement of the family.

And now, at the end of my pastoral message, which is intended to draw everyone’s attention to the demanding yet fascinating roles of the Christian family, I wish to invoke the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Through God’s mysterious design, it was in that family that the Son of God spent long years of a hidden life. It is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families. It was unique in the world. Its life was passed in anonymity and silence in a little town in Palestine. It underwent trials of poverty, persecution and exile. It glorified God in an incomparably exalted and pure way. And it will not fail to help Christian families-indeed, all the families in the world-to be faithful to their day-to-day duties, to bear the cares and tribulations of life, to be open and generous to the needs of others, and to fulfill with joy the plan of God in their regard.

St. Joseph was “a just man,” a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families.

May the Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of the Church, also be the Mother of “the Church of the home.” Thanks to her motherly aid, may each Christian family really become a “little Church” in which the mystery of the Church of Christ is mirrored and given new life. May she, the Handmaid of the Lord, be an example of humble and generous acceptance of the will of God. May she, the Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross, comfort the sufferings and dry the tears of those in distress because of the difficulties of their families.

May Christ the Lord, the Universal King, the King of Families, be present in every Christian home as He was at Cana, bestowing light, joy, serenity and strength. On the solemn day dedicated to His Kingship I beg of Him that every family may generously make its own contribution to the coming of His Kingdom in the world—”a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love, and peace,”183 towards which history is journeying.

I entrust each family to Him, to Mary, and to Joseph. To their hands and their hearts I offer this Exhortation: may it be they who present it to you, venerable Brothers and beloved sons and daughters, and may it be they who open your hearts to the light that the Gospel sheds on every family.

I assure you all of my constant prayers and I cordially impart the apostolic blessing to each and every one of you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, on the twenty-second day of November, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, in the year 1981, the fourth of the Pontificate.

JOHN PAUL II

182 John Paul II, Letter Appropinquat Iam (Aug. 15, 1980), 1: Acta Apostolicæ Sedis 72 (1980), 791.
183 The Roman Missal, Preface of Christ the King.

Familiaris Consortio 86

The Church’s doors must always remain open to those without families

From Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (1981):

I  wish to add a further word for a category of people whom, as a result of the actual circumstances in which they are living, and this often not through their own deliberate wish, I consider particularly close to the Heart of Christ and deserving of the affection and active solicitude of the Church and of pastors.

There exist in the world countless people who unfortunately cannot in any sense claim membership of what could be called in the proper sense a family. Large sections of humanity live in conditions of extreme poverty, in which promiscuity, lack of housing, the irregular nature and instability of relationships and the extreme lack of education make it impossible in practice to speak of a true family. There are others who, for various reasons, have been left alone in the world. And yet for all of these people there exists a “good news of the family.”

On behalf of those living in extreme poverty, I have already spoken of the urgent need to work courageously in order to find solutions, also at the political level, which will make it possible to help them and to overcome this inhuman condition of degradation.

It is a task that faces the whole of society but in a special way the authorities, by reason of their position and the responsibilities flowing therefrom, and also families, which must show great understanding and willingness to help.

For those who have no natural family the doors of the great family which is the Church—the Church which finds concrete expression in the diocesan and the parish family, in ecclesial basic communities and in movements of the apostolate—must be opened even wider. No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who “labor and are heavy laden.”181

181 Cf. Mt 11:28.

Familiaris Consortio 85

Pastoral care after divorce cannot contradict the indissoluble nature of marriage

From Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (1981):

Daily experience unfortunately shows that people who have obtained a divorce usually intend to enter into a new union, obviously not with a Catholic religious ceremony. Since this is an evil that, like the others, is affecting more and more Catholics as well, the problem must be faced with resolution and without delay. The [1980] Synod Fathers studied it expressly. The Church, which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage. The Church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation.

Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.

Together with the Synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can, and indeed must, share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope.

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.*

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”180

Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of Matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful, forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new sacramentally valid marriage, and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.

By acting in this way, the Church professes her own fidelity to Christ and to His truth. At the same time she shows motherly concern for these children of hers, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate partner.

With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord’s command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity.

180 John Paul II, Homily at the Close of the Sixth Synod of Bishops, 7 (Oct. 25, 1980): Acta Apostolicæ Sedis 72 (1980), 1082.

Familiaris Consortio 84

* We note with sorrow that such error and confusion are exactly what have resulted from the XIV Ordinary Synod of Bishops and from the contradictions in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia of St. John Paul’s teaching of the perennial Magisterium. We encourage our readers to join us in fasting and prayer that our Bishops may soon see fit to renounce their departures from the teachings of the Faith, in order that the grace of the Holy Ghost may rescue Christ’s Church from its present turmoil and forestall the looming chastisement. — Ed.

Fr. Carr to offer Traditional Mass on Friday morning

A Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be offered at 6:45 am on Friday morning, October 28, by Reverend Father Richard Carr at St. Michael Church, 7401 St. Michael’s Lane, Annandale. Friday morning’s Mass will be in celebration of the feast of Ss. Simon and Jude, Apostles.

Please note that this Mass is scheduled at the discretion of the celebrant, and is not part of the parish’s published Mass calendar. This Mass has been added to our seven-day schedule.

Separated and divorced spouses need the Church’s spiritual and practical help

From Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (1981):

Various reasons can unfortunately lead to the often irreparable breakdown of valid marriages. These include mutual lack of understanding and the inability to enter into interpersonal relationships. Obviously, separation must be considered as a last resort, after all other reasonable attempts at reconciliation have proved vain.

Loneliness and other difficulties are often the lot of separated spouses, especially when they are the innocent parties. The ecclesial community must support such people more than ever. It must give them much respect, solidarity, understanding and practical help, so that they can preserve their fidelity even in their difficult situation; and it must help them to cultivate the need to forgive which is inherent in Christian love, and to be ready perhaps to return to their former married life.

The situation is similar for people who have undergone divorce, but, being well aware that the valid marriage bond is indissoluble, refrain from becoming involved in a new union and devote themselves solely to carrying out their family duties and the responsibilities of Christian life. In such cases their example of fidelity and Christian consistency takes on particular value as a witness before the world and the Church. Here it is even more necessary for the Church to offer continual love and assistance, without there being any obstacle to admission to the sacraments.

Familiaris Consortio 83

Civil marriage alone cannot reconcile social and Christian obligations

From Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (1981):

There are increasing cases of Catholics who for ideological or practical reasons, prefer to contract a merely civil marriage, and who reject or at least defer religious marriage. Their situation cannot of course be likened to that of people simply living together without any bond at all, because in the present case there is at least a certain commitment to a properly-defined and probably stable state of life, even though the possibility of a future divorce is often present in the minds of those entering a civil marriage. By seeking public recognition of their bond on the part of the State, such couples show that they are ready to accept not only its advantages but also its obligations. Nevertheless, not even this situation is acceptable to the Church.

The aim of pastoral action will be to make these people understand the need for consistency between their choice of life and the faith that they profess, and to try to do everything possible to induce them to regularize their situation in the light of Christian principle. While treating them with great charity and bringing them into the life of the respective communities, the pastors of the Church will regrettably not be able to admit them to the sacraments.

Familiaris Consortio 82