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A Contrast: St. Patrick’s Missionary Zeal
and the Spirit of Vatican II

By Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Feast of St. Patrick
March 17, 2000

Dearly beloved in Christ,

Among the greatest missionaries ever raised up in the one true religion revealed by almighty God is the saintly and zealous St. Patrick, patron of Ireland. Commisioned by Pope St. Celestine I in the year 432 A.D., St. Patrick traveled to Ireland with the two-edged sword of the Word of God, not only to strike down the false religion of Druidism which had enslaved and blinded the people of that island, but also to build up the one true Faith of the Triune God. It is very well known that St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to beautifully illustrate the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity.

So great was his lively faith, so active and powerful was the grace of God in him by his life of fervent prayer and austere penance, that St. Patrick firmly implanted the true Faith in Ireland and converted the entire population to Catholicism.

And why is this so important for us to consider in these times? It is because the Conciliar Church (the post-Vatican II, so-called modern Catholic Church) has redefined what has always been the mission of the Church. No longer is it necessary to work actively for the conversion of the people of other religions to the one true religion revealed by God.

Now, in the spirit of Vatican II, the new “mission” of the Conciliar Church is limited only to the promotion of the “good” supposedly found in these false religions. How often in the past 35 years have we read how the modern hierarchy has reiterated the heretical principles of Vatican ll’s Declaration, Aetate Nostra, and its Decree, Dignitatis Humanae.

How contradictory and absurd are these false teachings of Vatican II in light of the true, Catholic, missionary spirit of St. Patrick, who worked actively to convert the people of Ireland from Druidism to Catholicism.

Would St. Patrick have gone to Ireland and lavished praise on the false religion of Druidism? No, he went to abolish their false beliefs and practices and to combat directly the diabolical incantations of the Druid priests.

This missionary spirit of St. Patrick does not reflect the spirit of Vatican II in its relation to the non-Christian religions of today.

In the Vatican II Declaration Aetate Nostra, we read nothing but praise for these false religions which neither recognize nor worship the one true God:

“Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible fruitfulness of myths and a searching philosophical inquiry. They seek release from the anguish of our condition through ascetical practices or deep meditation or a loving, trusting flight toward God.”

How can the Hindus be making a “loving, trusting flight toward God” when they recognize various gods represented in the different forms of creation? According to Hinduism, the world and everything in it, including man, is god. Among the various Hindu divinities, there are three of great importance — Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. Hindus worship many animals as gods. Cows are the most sacred, but they also worship monkeys, snakes and other animals.

Are these Hindus really making “a loving, trusting flight toward God”?

Let us continue Aetate Nostra:

“Buddhism in its multiple forms acknowledges the radical insufficiency of this shifting world. It teaches a path by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance.”

What is this state of “absolute freedom” and “supreme enlightenment”? Buddhism is a religion of self-effort without reference to any gods whatsoever.

After its recognition of Hinduism and Buddhism, the Vatican II Declaration summarily acknowledges all the other religions of the world:

“Likewise, other religions to be found everywhere strive variously to answer the restless searchings of the human heart by proposing ‘ways,’ which consist of teachings, rules of life, and sacred ceremonies.”

Having thus lavished praise on the false religions of the East (who unfortunately worship false gods against the first Commandment of the true God), the most contradictory principle is then laid down by the modern Church:

“The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is good and holy in these religions.”

“The Church therefore has this exhortation for her sons: prudently and lovingly, through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, and in witness of Christian faith and life, acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods found among these men, as well as the values in their society and culture.”

How can Catholics, in witness to the one true faith, acknowledge, preserve and promote the supposed spiritual and moral goods in the religions of the world, which worship false gods and often practice degrading and immoral rituals?

Did St Patrick go to Ireland with the sole purpose to acknowledge, preserve and promote the “spiritual and moral goods” found among the Druids? Would Ireland have ever been converted to Catholicism if the great St. Patrick had come to that country in the spirit of Vatican II?

The theme to “acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods” of these false religions was recently reiterated by John Paul II in his Catechesis Seeds of Truth in the World Religions (Sept. 1998):

“The Holy Spirit is not only present in other religions through authentic expressions of prayer, ‘The Spirit’s presence and activity,’ as I wrote in the encyclical letter Redemptoris Missio, ‘affect not only individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions.’”

How diametrically opposed to this theme is the teaching of Pope Pius Xl in his encyclical Mortalium Animos:

“Evidently, therefore, no religion can be true save that which rests upon the revelation of God, a revelation begun from the very first, continued under the Old Law, and brought to completion by Jesus Christ Himself under the New.

“Shall we commit the iniquity of suffering the truth, the truth revealed by God, to be made a subject for compromise? For it is indeed a question of defending revealed truth. Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world to declare the Faith of the Gospel to every nation and to save them from error. He willed that the Holy Ghost should first teach them all truth. Has this become obscured in the Church of which God Himself is the Ruler and Guardian?

“Our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was intended not only for the apostolic age but for all time. Can the object of faith, then, have become in the process of time so dim and uncertain that today we must tolerate contradictory opinions? If this were so, then we should have to admit that the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, nay, the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have centuries ago lost their efficacy and value. To affirm this would be blasphemy.”

Ever convinced of the true mission of the Catholic Church to “teach all nations, all things whatsoever Christ commanded” (Matt. 28:19) and that “he who believes and is baptized shall be saved and he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16), St. Patrick spent himself by prayer, sacrifice and preaching in the work of converting Ireland.

In our contrast of St. Patrick’s missionary spirit and the spirit of Vatican II, we can further consider the Vatican II Decree Dignitatis Humanae.

According to Dignitatis Humanae, all men have the right to religious freedom. And this continues to exist

“...even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it.”

Furthermore, this Decree states:

“Religious bodies also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word.”

“In addition, it comes within the meaning of religious freedom that religious bodies should not be prohibited from freely undertaking to show the special value of their doctrine in what concerns the organization of society and the inspiration of the whole of human activity.

After the conversion of Ireland to Catholicism, would St. Patrick have, in the spirit of Vatican II, allowed religious liberty to the Druid priests? Would St. Patrick have exhorted the leaders of this Catholic country to grant freedom to the Druid priests “not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith”?

No, St. Patrick would never have inculcated the religious indifferentism of Dignitatis Humanae in a false spirit of charity towards those who practiced Druidism.

And the reason for this is that the religious indifferentism which permeates the Vatican II Decree Dignitatis Humanae has always been condemned by the Church down through the centuries.

Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus of Errors condemned the following propositions:

15. “Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.”

77. “In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the state to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.

78. “Hence, it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship.”

When Dignitatis Humanae was integrated after Vatican II into the civil laws of Catholic countries, the errors of false religions spread like cockle weed and as a direct result brought about a tremendous loss of faith.

But the spiritual havoc of Vatican Il and the Conciliar Church does not end here As a practical application and actual culmination of its religious indifferentism and false ecumenism, the Conciliar Church has repeatedly organized inter-religious assemblies in which the various religions of the world are encouraged to pray to their false gods for world peace. The most infamous and blasphemous of these inter-religious meetings was held in 1986 in the once-Catholic churches of Assisi.

Once again in contrast, would St. Patrick have invited the Druid priests into the Catholic churches of Ireland, and in a spirit of false ecumenism, encouraged them to practice their false worship? Certainly not! St. Patrick was firmly rooted in the true faith and in his belief in the First Commandment of God — “I am the Lord, thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.”

The fruit of false ecumenism is nothing less than religious indifferentism. the erroneous belief that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy. This constitutes a denial that there is but one true religion revealed by God.

The greatest tragedy of our times is that the Conciliar Church continues the spiritual devastation of the flock of Christ and it does so, unfortunately, in the name of the Catholic Church.

In addition to all that we have considered about this Conciliar Church, it would be important for us to briefly address the issue of the real Martin Luther and his heretical teachings in light of the recent “Lutheran-Catholic Accord.”

Lest perhaps there be any confusion on the reasons why the Catholic Church excommunicated Luther and condemned his heretical teachings, let us consider some of his writings.

Martin Luther taught:

“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin . . . It is enough that by the riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day” (WA vol. 2, p. 372; Letters I, Luther’s Works, American ed., vol. 48, p. 282).

Further, Luther blasphemously claimed that even our Divine Saviour was guilty of sin:

“Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well about whom St. John tells us. Was not everybody about Him saying: ‘Whatever has he been doing with her?’ Secondly, with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even Christ, who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died” (Table Talk, WA, vol. 2, no. 1472, April 7 - May 1 1532)

Should anyone wonder why Martin Luther was condemned as a heretic and excommunicated from the one true Church established by Jesus Christ some fifteen hundred years before him?

In contrast to Martin Luther, Our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, teaches us:

“If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:17)

“Enter by the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who enter that way. How narrow the gate and close the way that leads to life! And few there are who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).

“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree hear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 7:18-19).

“Not everyone who says to me. ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name, cast out devils in thy name, and work many miracles in thy name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity!’” (Matt. 7: 21-23).

St. James tells us in his Epistle:

“Faith without works is dead” (James 2:17-20).

The Council of Trent was not ambiguous when it infallibly declared:

Canon XVIII. If anyone saith that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to keep: let him be anathema.

Canon XIX. If anyone saith that nothing besides faith is commanded in the Gospel; that other things are indifferent, neither commanded nor prohibited, but free; or that the Ten Commandments in no wise appertain to Christians; let him be anathema.

Canon XX. If anyone saith that the man who is justified and how perfect soever is not bound to observe the Commandments of God and of the Church, hut only to believe; as if indeed the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life, without the condition of observing the commandments: let him be anathema.

Let us have recourse to the intercession of the glorious patron of Ireland, St. Patrick. May he inspire us with a true love and zeal for our precious Catholic Faith!

In Christo Jesu et Maria Immaculata,
Most Rev. Mark A Pivarunas, CMRI

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