Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Communion with Schismatics, Antipope Pius XI (11) and St. Josaphat

The following portion of the encyclical from Pope Pius IX (9) shows both Most Holy Family Monastery and Antipope Pius XI (11) to be schismatic for rejecting the regulations and decrees of the Church which prohibit communicatio in divinis.

Pope Pius IX (9), Neminem Vestrum, On the Persecution of Armenians, 1854, #5: "In order that the religious communities might enjoy better order, We instructed Our Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith to issue an appropriate decree, which We order all parties to observe diligently. In order to remove entirely every controversy and suspicion concerning the doctrine of the Mechitharist monks of Venice, We want you to know that those same monks sent Us a splendid profession of Catholic faith and doctrine, using all the necessary signatures.

"This declaration brought Us great consolation and totally satisfied Our wishes. They eloquently acknowledged and freely received the regulations and decrees which the popes and the sacred congregations published or would publish -- especially those which prohibit communicatio in divinis (communion in holy matters) with schismatics.

"They declare clearly and openly: "Part of their nation whose good and welfare the institute looks after principally and solely is unfortunately found apart from communion with the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church. For that reason, they declare that they recognize and embrace as their brothers those whom the Holy Roman Apostolic Church recognizes as its sons. They acknowledge that they condemn the error of the schismatic Armenians and recognize that they are outside of the Church of Jesus Christ. They profess that they will never cease to pray, to preach, and to care either in words or deeds or writings that those who stray might return to the one and only fold of Jesus Christ, who is alone the highest shepherd and head and whose center is the pope, the successor of Peter, prince of the apostles.""

The following two paragraphs are from the Dimonds' article entitled "Quotes to Refute Radical “Traditionalist” Schismatics"; the first is a quote from Antipoe Pius XI (11) and the second is the Dimonds' conclusion based upon it (all bold, underline, etc. is as it appears in Dimond's article):

Pope Pius XI, Ecclesiam Dei, Encyclical on St. Josaphat, Nov. 12, 1923: “Our Saint [Josaphat] was born of schismatic parents but was validly baptized and received the name of John.  From his earliest years he lived a saintly life.  Although he was much impressed by the splendors of the Slavic liturgy, he always sought therein first and foremost the truth and glory of God.  Because of this, and not because he was impressed by arguments, even as a child he turned towards communion with the Ecumenical, that is, the Catholic Church.  Of this Church he always considered himself a member because of the valid baptism which he had received.  What is more, he felt himself called by a special Providence to re-establish everywhere the holy unity of the Church.”

Pope Pius XI says here in Ecclesiam Dei that St. Josaphat was born of Eastern Schismatic parents in an area which was separated from the Chair of Peter and acceptance of the Papacy.  St. Josaphat was validly baptized as an infant (and thus became a Catholic).  As he grew up, he attended the Eastern Schismatic Slavic liturgy with his parents, but was still a Catholic and even “saintly” according to Pope Pius XI.  He was a Catholic, even though he was attending a schismatic church building, because he had not obstinately embraced the Eastern Schism by rejecting the Papacy.  Thus, his baptism as an infant made him a member of the Church (and subject to the Roman Pontiff) and he did not cease to be a member until he obstinately embraced schism or heresy, which he did not, even though he was attending a schismatic church with his parents.  This is a precise articulation of our position on when the baptized children of heretics become schismatics and/or heretics: it is not at the age of reason, but when they obstinately embrace schism or heresy.

In this "encyclical" the antipope is evidently trying (and succeeding) to convince his followers that a Roman Catholic Saint started off his saintly life by entering a monastery of schismatics.  But here we have a blatant contradiction.  If he had indeed entered a convent of schismatics, then why would Pope Pius IX (9), the very pope whose quote above clearly condemns and forbids communioon in divinis with schismatics, be the very same pope to canonize him!?

But we will see, from an article written before antipope Pius XI (11) took "office", that St. Josaphat was in fact NOT united to schismatics at all.

Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Josaphat Kuncevyc: "The saint's birth occurred in a gloomy period for the Ruthenian Church. Even as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century the Florentine Union had become a dead-letter; in the case of the Ruthenian Church, complete demoralization followed in the wake of its severance from Rome, and the whole body of its clergy became notorious alike for their gross ignorance and the viciousness of their lives. After the Union of Berest’ in 1596 the Ruthenian Church was divided into two contending parties — the Uniates and those who persevered in schism — each with its own hierarchy. Among the leaders of the schismatic party, who laboured to enkindle popular hatred against the Uniates, Meletius Smotryckyj was conspicuous, and the most celebrated of his victims was Josaphat."

Next, we have "The One Year Book of Saints", which tells us explicitly that Josaphat was born to a Catholic family, not a schismatic one as Antipope Pius XI would like us to believe:

While St. Josaphat was a true martyr, the part above that says "a true martyr for unity on the Orthodox side", if it implies that some "Orthodox" schismatic was a martyr, is heresy in opposition to the Council of Florence.

This is even further corroborated, and even more explicitly, by posters at an "Orthodox Christianity" discussion forum (which is, admittedly, only anecdotal evidence, but powerful nonetheless, as it presents the issue from the perspective of the very schismatics, whom Pius XI and Peter Dimond say that Josaphat was worshipping alongside):

Orthodoxchristianity.net: "Josaphat Kuntsevich was born as John Kuntsevich around 1580 (various sources give 1580, 1582 or 1584 as the year of his birth) in present-day Volodymyr-Volyns'kyy, Ukraine, then the capital of Volhynia (northwestern Ukraine), which at the time was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (a multi-ethnic state whose territory included present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Poland and part of Ukraine).  When John Kuntsevich came of age, he followed in the footsteps of his family's business in mercantile trade and went to work as a merchant's apprentice in the city of Vil'nya (present-day Vilnius, Lithuania) until 1604, when he became a monk under the name of Josaphat in the Uniate "Basilian" monastic order.  In 1609, he was ordained a Uniate presbyter, and in 1617 he was consecrated Uniate bishop of Polatsk (present-day northern Belarus).  While some historical sources indicate that he drew criticism from his Roman Catholic contemporaries for what they considered undue devotion to the Byzantine liturgical, devotional and ecclesiastical heritage of his roots, others indicate that he was quite aggressive and polemical in the cause of Uniatism, refusing to consider the mere possibility of equal rights for Orthodox Christians in the Commonwealth, hindering the consecration of Orthodox Christian bishops and the assignment of Orthodox Christian clergy within its borders, and resorting to police force to confiscate Orthodox Christian properties and break up gatherings of Orthodox Christians in the region.  It is said that he even ordered the exhumation of dead Orthodox Christians and had their corpses thrown to dogs..."

Note that Josaphat was in both instances referred to as having been a Uniate.  What is a Uniate, you might ask?

Here is the online definition of Uniate:  Of or relating to any of several Eastern Christian churches that are in communion with the Roman Catholic Church but retain their own languages, rites, and codes of canon law.

Hence Antipope Pius XI (11) was colouring the facts and leaving the door open for people to break the commandments of the Church on communicatio in divinis with schismatics, and the Dimonds eat it right up.

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