The birth of the Precursor, (St. John The Baptist), was announced in a most striking manner. Zachary and Elizabeth, as we learn from St. Luke, “were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame; and they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren” (i, 6-7). Long they had prayed that their union might be blessed with offspring; but, now that “they were both advanced in years”, the reproach of barrenness bore heavily upon them. “And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, according to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and they wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: and thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people” (i, 8-17). As Zachary was slow in believing this startling prediction, the angel, making himself known to him, announced that, in punishment of his incredulity, he should be stricken with dumbness until the promise was fulfilled. “And it came to pass, after the days of his office were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself five months” (i, 23-24).
Now during the sixth month, the Annunciation had taken place, and, as Mary had heard from the angel the fact of her cousin’s conceiving, she went “with haste” to congratulate her. “And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant” — filled, like the mother, with the Holy Ghost — “leaped for joy in her womb”, as if to acknowledge the presence of his Lord. Then was accomplished the prophetic utterance of the angel that the child should “be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb”. Now as the presence of any sin whatever is incompatible with the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the soul, it follows that at this moment John was cleansed from the stain of original sin. When “Elizabeth’s full time of being delivered was come,. . .she brought forth a son” (i, 57); and “on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father’s name Zachary. And his mother answering, said: Not so, but he shall be called John. And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made sign to his father, how he would have him called. And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered” (i, 59-63). They were not aware that no better name could be applied (John, Hebr.; Jehohanan, i.e. “Jahweh hath mercy”) to him who, as his father prophesied, was to “go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto remission of their sins: through the bowels of the mercy of our God” (i, 76- 78). Moreover, all these events, to wit, a child born to an aged couple, Zachary’s sudden dumbness, his equally sudden recovery of speech, his astounding utterance, might justly strike with wonderment the assembled neighbours; these could hardly help asking: “What an one, think ye, shall this child be?” (i, 66). 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia.
The Old Catholic Church sprung from persecuted Catholics under the protestant governments in Holland in the 16th century. Even before this time, there had been, as usual, some confusion over who could elect the bishop of the Cathedral of Utrecht and who was in charge of internal affairs.
When in 1688 Pope Clement XI appointed the apostolic vicar, there was a division between those supporting communion with the pope and those for independence. Two thirds of the priests and people were for union with Rome. One third kept with the independent diocese of Utrecht.
When King Willem II gave religious freedom to Catholics in Holland in 1853, Pope Pius IX officially established a hierarchy loyal to him. The Old Catholic Church continued along side the Catholic Church. At that time they were only schismatics, not heretics.
Vatican Council I, (1869-70), declared papal infallibility in matters of faith and morals. This dogma says that when the pope sits in the seat of St. Peter, (Ex-Cathedra) and pronounces a dogma pertaining to matters of faith and morals, he is preserved from the possibility of error. This is possible because the pope is exercising his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority. When a pope thus declares a dogma, it is obligatory for all Catholics to believe in this dogma in matters of faith or morals.
- Pope Pius IX in 1854; the Immaculate Conception of Mary, (Mary was conceived in her mother, St. Ann’s womb, without the effects of Original Sin, (like Adam and Eve before their rebellion). God did this miracle so that the Mother of God/Jesus would not be under the power of the devil while carrying Him in her womb for 9 months. Mary is the new Eve, the first of the new creation brought about by Jesus’ death on the cross. Since God is outside of time, Mary received these special graces beforehand.
- Pope Pius XII in 1950; stating that Mary was assumed into Heaven body and soul, after her death or dormition. No where, in any of the Church history or Church Father’s writings, is there any evidence about the body of Mary. There are no relics of her body either, like there are of other saints.
- These dogmas had already been believed in by the majority of the Catholics from the beginning and all over the world. These true Catholic beliefs are found or inferred to in the Bible, the Father’s writings and in many other sources. These two popes did not come up with something new on their own.
The Old Catholic Church, united with other catholics from Austria, Germany and Switzerland to reject the teaching of Papal infallibility. This group of churches was called the Utrecht Union of Churches. These ‘catholics’ also worked together with the Church of England.
They actually tried to reunite all the split christian groups by having a conference where they invited the Orthodox, Anglicans and Lutherans. They worked for Ecumenism in the Nation Council of Churches.
At this ecumenical conference they worked for unity by these beliefs;
- The teaching from the councils of Nicea and Chalcedon.
- Christ was the founder of the Church.
- The Bible.
- The writings of the Church Fathers for the first ten centuries.
- And on St. Vincentius of Lerins saying; ‘Let us hold fast that which everywhere; always; and by everybody, has been believed.’
- There was an increase in the use of the vernacular, (rather than Latin).
- And the requirement of clerical celibacy was removed in 1874.
A former Catholic priest, Mathew, was ordained Archbishop of Utrecht. Because this Union had become too protestant, Mathew left the Union of Utrecht. In 1910, in England, he re-organized the group and called it the Old Roman Catholic Church.
During World War I, Bishop Berghes brought this church to the United States. He ordained to bishop an ex-Capuchin Franciscan priest, Carfora, in 1925. (Fr. Carfaro had left his order because his superiors were to restrictive of his work with the poor.) On December 8th, Resch was ordained Archbishop for the now called Old Catholic Church of America.
The Old Catholic Church, under the Utrecht Union of Churches now;
- Do not believe in the two dogmatic declarations of the popes on the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption of Mary.
- Believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, but do not emphasize transubstantiation. (Transubstantiation means that the words of the priest; ‘This is My Body, This is My Blood’, change the bread and wine into the real Body and Blood of Jesus, even though they still appear to be bread and wine).
- Do not say the Filioque, (the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son), in the Nicene Creed.
- Reject the dogma of Purgatory, but do believe in a purification of the dead and prayers offered for the dead.
- Ordain women to the priesthood.
- Bless same sex unions in Holland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
- Leave birth control and abortion up to the individual.
- Can divorce and remarry.
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be in union with the pope and Rome. Many christians groups have began with great intentions of reforming the Church, but when they break with Rome, before they know it, they are no longer Catholic. For the sake of unity with heretics, they actually compromise with the world and adopt sinful values.
Queen of Northumbria; born (probably) about 630; died at Ely, 23 June, 679. While still very young she was given in marriage by her father, Anna, King of East Anglia, to a certain Tonbert, a subordinate prince, from whom she received as morning gift a tract of land locally known as the Isle of Ely. She never lived in wedlock with Tonbert, however, and for five years after his early death was left to foster her vocation to religion. Her father then arranged for her a marriage of political convenience with Egfrid, son and heir to Oswy, King of Northumbria. From this second bridegroom, who is said to have been only fourteen years of age, she received certain lands at Hexham; through St. Wilfrid of York she gave these lands to found the minster of St. Andrew. St. Wilfrid was her friend and spiritual guide, but it was to him that Egfrid, on succeeding his father, appealed for the enforcement of his marital rights as against Etheldreda’s religious vocation. The bishop succeeded at first in persuading Egfrid to consent that Etheldreda should live for some time in peace as a sister of the Coldingham nunnery, founded by her aunt, St. Ebba, in what is now Berwickshire. But at last the imminent danger of being forcibly carried off by the king drove her to wander southwards, with only two women in attendance. They made their way to Etheldreda’s own estate of Ely, not, tradition said, without the interposition of miracles, and, on a spot hemmed in by morasses and the waters of the Ouse, the foundation of Ely Minster was begun. This region was Etheldreda’s native home, and her royal East Anglian relatives gave her the material means necessary for the execution of her holy design. St. Wilfrid had not yet returned from Rome, where he had obtained extraordinary privileges for her foundation from Benedict II, when she died of a plague which she herself, it is said, had circumstantially foretold. Her body was, throughout many succeeding centuries, an object of devout veneration in the famous church which grew up on her foundation. (See ELY, ANCIENT DIOCESE OF.) One hand of the saint is now venerated in the church of St. Etheldreda, Ely Place, London, which enjoys the distinction of being the first-and at present (1909) the only-pre-Reformation church in Great Britain restored to Catholic worship. Built in the thirteenth century as a private chapel attached to the town residence of the Bishop of Ely, the structure of St. Etheldreda’s passed through many vicissitudes during the centuries following its desecration, until, in 1873-74, it was purchased by Father William Lockhart and occupied by the Institute of Charity, of whose English mission Father Lockhart was then superior. From the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia
On Saturday June 20th, a million people gathered in front of St. John Lateran Basilica (Mother church of all Catholic churches), to protest schools imposing gender confusion on their children. They also rallied for the protection of marriage between one man and one woman, and against calling homosexual unions ‘marriage’. Photo from National Catholic RegisterPhoto from National Catholic Register
We traditional Catholics need to learn a serious lesson from the ‘Old Catholic Church’ who are no longer in union with Rome, as well as having become heretics. These Catholics started out well, during the terrible protestant persecution in the 1500’s when the protestants ran the Governments in norther Europe.
At this time, these governments confiscated Church property, expelled monks and nuns from convents, made receiving Catholic sacraments illegal and arrested Catholics. So these faithful Catholics had to go underground to avoid being tortured, imprisoned and killed.
But the problem began even earlier that this, as you will see. In the beginning the Old Catholic Church were just schismatics, (separation from the pope’s authority, but not over false teachings, called heresies. This division, along with other serious schisms, is not as simple to understand as it may first appear to be, (This also is true of the great schism of the Orthodoxes with Rome in 1054).
Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, there has always been a struggle over power and rights between the popes, bishops and governments. This is very clear to see in the time of Constantine and other Emperors and Empresses, kings and queens, meddling with Church politics and attempting to impose schisms and heresies on Church leaders. (We especially see this in the historical period of the Arian and Iconoclast heresies.)
The Byzantine Empire tended to let the Government rule over the Church. In the Roman Empire, the Church tended to ruled over the government. But there has always been a struggle for the Church to maintain Her rights against Emperors, kings and queens. There has also been a lot of give and take, for good and for bad.
But in general, when the governments ruled, BAD, and when HOLY popes and bishops ruled over governments, GOOD. God’s plan is Christendom where holy popes and bishops rule over emperors, kings and queens and they rule over the people by enforcing God’s laws, not man’s laws. Parents rule over children.
The problem began in 1123 where at Lateran Council I it was decided that Cathedral Chapters could elect the bishop for that diocese. It was also confirmed at Lateran Council IV. In 1520, Pope Leo X gave Bishop Phillip of Burgundy internal autonomy over the diocese of Utrecht Holland.
When the protestants took over power and churches of Holland, the church of Holland went underground as I stated above. At this time when the bishop of the Cathedral of Utrecht died, the see was vacant and the Spanish crown refused to approve the heretical appointment. So Holland, became like much of the world, mission territory.
In 1688, Pope Innocent XII appointed Petrus Codde as Apostolic Vicar of the Dutch mission. Because he was accused of teaching the Jansenian heresy, in 1701, Pope Clement XI suspended him and appointed a new Vicar. But Utrecht refused this new appointment and elected Van Steenoven as bishop. Pope Clement XI excommunicated him and thus started the ‘Independent Catholic Church of Utrecht’.
I will continue in part 2 how this schism then became heretical when they, along with other catholics and protestants rejected Vatican Council I’s teaching on the infallibility of the pope when it came to teaching on faith and morals. They then went on from there to remove clerical celibacy and Latin from the Sacraments. Then from influence from the Church of England, some of these churches have ‘women priests’ and accept ‘homosexual unions’. The started out as persecuted Catholics for being in union with the pope and believing in Catholic truth to having become schismatics and heretics.
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics who are willing to be persecuted by Catholics for standing up for the 2000 year old Catholic truth, yet still staying in union with the pope. This is not easy.
It starts Monday June 29th (Sts. Peter and Paul’s Feastday), Monday thru Friday. to Friday July 10th. (I know that Friday July 3rd is a Holiday, but we will see how many want to come that day and play it by ear.) We ask donations from parents for food for the children.
St Paulinus Of NolaSt. Paulinus, born in the year of restored salvation 353 of a very famous Roman family of Bordeaux, acquired the dignity of senator. He was made consul of Nola, but a divine light prompted him to renouce the consulship and return to Bordeaux, where he was baptized by St. Delphinus. Then, giving to the poor the large sum obtained by the sale of his goods, he went to Spain, where he was ordained priest. When he returned to Nola, he built a monastery near the grave of St. Felix and, with the companions who joined him, undertook a most austere cenobitical life. As the fame of his holiness grew, he was elevated to the bishoprick of Nola, in which office he left an example of wonderful devotion, patience, and especially charity. He wrote many works on sacred doctrine and also gained a reputation for eloquence and poetry. When Campánia was devastated by the Goths, he used all his goods to feed the poor and redeem captives. And later, when the Vandals infested the same region and he had nothing more to give, he gave himself into slavery for the son of a widow, and was taken to Africa. At length, restored to liberty, by the hand of God, he died a peaceful death in the Lord at Nola. 1960 Roman Breviary
Prayer For Fathers
You have entrusted Your precious life giving faculties to fathers, may they never abuse this great power.
May they, with their wives, accepted all the children that Your love wishes to bestow on them.
May they love their wives and children so that they can live many happy years together with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
May they be the best of examples to their family in what they say and do.
Please help them to be the holiest spiritual leaders of their families, bring them to Jesus through Mary. May their children learn from them to go to Holy Mass and pray.
May they shield their wives and children from the devil’s attacks and the evil influence of the world around them.
May they protect their families from bad friends and show them how to live holy lives and obtain holy friends.
May they be firm, yet gentlemen, at the same time.
May they be strict and loving.
May they always encourage praying the Holy Rosary and studying the Bible in their homes and never ever discourage it or be absent from it.
Blessed them with good work, so that they may be good providers and self-sacrificing when it comes to work, yet never over work so that they have time for their families. May they have all the money they need to take care of their family, but not enough for what ever they and their families want.
Never allow them to spoil their children with too many material things.
Give them the grace to be strong leaders, but humble enough to be able to ask for forgiveness when they have errored.
Above all, let them keep a clear understanding of what is the final destination, for them and their family, the glory and happiness waiting for them in heaven.
God the Father, Have mercy on all fathers.
St. Joseph, pray for all fathers.
In order to understand how a father should be, we need to first go to the Bible to understand where the concept of ‘father’ comes from. In the Old Testament we can understand God as being Father in the sense that He created us and everything that we need. We come from Him and owe Him our obedience.
Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh. Genesis 2:24
In Exodus, (and echoed in Matthew), we hear about how to treat our human fathers.
Honour thy father and thy mother, that thou mayest be longlived upon the land which the Lord thy God will give thee. Exodus 20:12
And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition. Matthew 15:6
Honour thy father and thy mother: Matthew 19:19
But it is not until the New Testament of the Bible, that we hear Jesus call God, Father or Abba. It is contained in the well know prayer Jesus taught us; ‘The Our Father’.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:8.
Jesus is continuously praying to and teaching us about His Father and our Father, God.
If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Fatherwho is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11
And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters; for one is your master, Christ. Matthew 23:9
(Comment from Douay Rheims Bible: Call none your father upon earth: Neither be ye called masters. The meaning is that our Father in heaven is incomparably more to be regarded, than any father upon earth: and no master to be followed, who would lead us away from Christ. But this does not hinder but that we are by the law of God to have a due respect both for our parents and spiritual fathers, (1 Cor. 4. 15) and for our masters and teachers.)
And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.  And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:  Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. Luke 15:18
And he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt. Mark 14:36
Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34
Father into thy hands I commend my spirit. Luke 23:46
Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God. John 20:17
We learn from this that the word FATHER, in the context of God, is the author of all life, creation and all that is good. We the pope, (papa), bishops, priests, fathers and godfathers need to remember that all our authority comes from Father God. And in order to keep this true authority we have been given by God, (to give life and rule), we have to obey God and act like Him.
The pope, bishops and priests are to engender the life of God’s divine grace into souls. Once it has been engendered, we need to protect it from the wolves and lions ready to devour these souls.
Fathers are to engender human life, (that ultimately comes from God), and protect it and provide for it in a holy manner. They are to be good examples and good husbands to the mothers of their children.
We are to obey legitimate authority, God, the pope, bishops, priests and our fathers, (of course mothers too). But we, who have been given any authority from God, will be accountable to God the Father for everything we have said, done, commanded or punished, when we die. If we command someone to sin, we have absolutely no authority.
How great it is to be a ‘papa’, bishop, priest, father and godfather. But, woe to us, if in any way we have been a bad example or abused our authority by persecuting good people who have been place under our authority by God.
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know where life, love, creation and authority comes from; Our Loving, Merciful, Giving, Forgiving, and yet Strict Father in Heaven. May we also be loving, merciful, generous, forgiving and strict in any role we have as FATHER.