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Caritas - Papal Office
by His Holiness Pope Pius XIII
January 20, 2005
Issue 048 


On June 29, 1943 Our predecessor of happy memory, Pope Pius XII, issued the papal encyclical entitled (in Latin) MYSTICI CORPORIS which translated into English means “The Mystical Body of Christ.” The source is THE PAPAL ENCYCICALS IN THEIR HISTORICAL CONTEXT, edited by Anne Fremantle. Pope Pius XII wrote this encyclical for many reasons. He wanted to condemn many misconceptions concerning the very nature of the Church, misconceptions which had surfaced and were making troubles not only for the world at large but also for the Catholics themselves. We might say, that liberalism which tends to deny all truth, is like a disease that can take over slowly. Men no longer have the straight path of truth to guide them. They depart from Christ Who said that He was the way, the truth and the life.

We quote Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical letter entitled “Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943. He says (quoting the above source from pp. 270 on):

“…We must confess that grave errors with regard to this doctrine are being spread among those outside the true Church, and that among the faithful, also, inaccurate or thoroughly false ideas are being disseminated which turn minds aside from the straight path of truth.”

He continues:

“For while there still survives a false rationalism, which ridicules anything that transcends and defies the power of human genius, and which is accompanied by a cognate error, the so called popular rationalism, which sees and wills to see in the Church nothing but a judicial and social union, there is on the other hand a false mysticism creeping in, which, in its attempt to eliminate the immovable frontier that separates creatures from their Creator, falsifies the Sacred Scriptures.”

Pope Pius XII continues to set the records straight on the nature of the Church:

“That the Church is a body is frequently asserted in the Sacred Scriptures…. But it is not enough that the Body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Congnitum asserts: ‘The Church is visible because she is a body.’ Hence, they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something ‘pneumatological’ as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond.”

When speaking of sins of those in the Church Pope Pius XII continues:

“For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins….”

Let us consider the aberrations of the present time:

In our day and age the very concept of Mystical Body is blurred because of the tragedy of the bogus Council Vatican II (1962 – 1965). When the Novus Ordo “pope,” John Paul II, and his Cardinals worship with pagans in Catholic Churches, one knows that something is awry. Likewise, when heads of Protestant Churches visit John Paul II he acts as if they and he are all one religion. He is developing as fast as he can a one-world religion where people of all religions are to feel as one and at home in his religion.

We shall turn to the publication of the diehard Protestant writer (now a deceased icon), Herbert W. Armstrong. We quote from an undated (sample issue) of the Special Report entitled The Philadelphia Trumpet. The address is Philadelphia Church of God, Post Office Box 3700, Edmond, Oklahoma 73083. We believe that some readers may question Our editorial ethics by adding or subtracting from the contents of that Protestant publication, just in order to prove Our thesis that those Protestants see that the Novus Ordo religion under John Paul II is just exactly like they are.

We quote the most telling paragraph on page 21. We put it in bold print exactly as it is.

“Again as reported in the February 1967 Plain Truth, leading Protestant theologians began to seriously question any need for a future Protestant movement. Lutheran Bishop of Berlin Otto Dibelius said, “If the Catholic Church of 450 years ago had looked as it does today, there never would have been a Reformation.” Dr. Carl E. Braaten of Chicago’s Lutheran Theological Seminary concluded that it was becoming increasingly difficult to justify “a need for Protestantism as an independent movement.” Dr. Robert Brown of Stanford University, a Presbyterian, said that “the Roman Catholic Reformation” was now a fact, and Protestants cannot indefinitely justify a situation of continued separation.”

Before We continue chopping away at the Novus Ordo Church We shall give you a most telling quotation centered as it appears in the page that We are quoting: Here it is as printed, in centered format:

The Pope, will step in as the supreme unifying authority –
the only one that can finally unite the differing nations of Europe…. Europe will go Roman Catholic!”

Over the years this leveling down into raw Protestantism of the Novus Ordo Church went on the march immediately after the death of Pope Pius XII (October 9, 1958); and even to this day it continues its rapid diabolical descent without a single pause.

The editors of PLAIN TRUTH keep on proving that the Portestantizing of the Novus Ordo was spirited by every Novus Ordo “pope,” that is, all those who seemed to sit in the Chair of Peter after the death of Pope Pius XII.

The article continues with A Traveling Pope: …

“The pope made an historic three day visit to Turkey in November 1979. There he held a religious summit with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Demetrios I, stating a determination to bring to a close what he has called the ‘intolerable scandal’ of the divisions within the Christian-professing world.”

The article further states, concerning a visit to England:

“On his second day there, the pope visited Canterbury Cathedral, headquarters of the Church of England, which had rejected Rome four and a half centuries earlier. Joining the pope was his host, Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Rancie, and leaders of a dozen Orthodox and Protestant churches. The Archbishop, in his opening remarks, vocalized the hope of a ‘celebration of a common vision.’ Then followed what was another first for an Anglican church – a SERMON BY A POPE.”

With the above information in mind it is not surprising to find that a large number of Protestant Ministers are leaving their posts as Protestant pastors and going over to the Novus Ordo Church of John Paul II. They see no future in their dwindling sects, and they seek peace and consolation in what they see as the one (over all) popular Christian religion where many Protestants are now flocking.

The burden of statement by Protestant Ministers is that those convert Ministers, together with their families, are in great need financial assistance.

Since the Novus Ordo Church of John Paul II is exactly as Protestant as they are, there is no reason for them to continue to exist as independent religions. Hence, they see themselves, independent of their various sects, as one glorious Christian religion, and they for some reason see that John Paul II has automatically become the head of the whole of their Christianity.

Since it is necessary for true Catholics to have a mature knowledge of the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, We quote again from the Encyclical as follows (pp. 273-4):

“In a natural body the principle of unity unites the parts in such a manner that each lacks its own individual subsistence; on the contrary, in the Mystical Body the mutual union, though intrinsic, links the members by a bond which leaves to each the complete enjoyment of his won personality. Moreover, if we examine the relations existing between the several members and the whole body, in every physical, living body, all the different members are ultimately destined to the good of the whole alone; while if we look to its ultimate usefulness, every moral association of men is in the end directed to the advancement of all in general and of each single member in particular; for they are persons.”

And thus – to return to Our theme – as the Son of the Eternal Father came down from heaven for the salvation of us all, He likewise established the body of the Church and enriched it with the divine Spirit to ensure that immortal souls should attain eternal happiness according to the words of the Apostle:

“All things are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” For the Church exists both for the good of the faithful and for the glory of God and of Jesus Christ whom He sent.

“But if we compare a mystical body with a moral body, it is to be noted that the difference between them is not slight; rather it is very considerable and very important. In the moral body the principle of union is nothing else than the common end, and the common cooperation of all under the authority of Society for the attainment of that end; whereas in the Mystical Body of which We are speaking this collaboration is supplemented by another internal principle, which exists effectively in the whole and in each of its parts and whose excellence is such that of itself it is vastly superior to whatever bounds of union may be found in a physical or moral body. As We said above, this is something not of the natural but of supernatural order; rather it is something in itself infinite, uncreated; the Spirit of God, Who, as the Angelic Doctor says, ‘numerically one and the same, fills and unities the whole Church.’” [End of quotations]

A person who is unbaptised enters the Church by receiving the valid sacrament of baptism. An infant, of course, gets no preparation, but he is not to be baptized unless there is good reason to believe he will be brought up as a Catholic. However, an adult who has the use of reason must have certain qualifications of faith. He must know and believe in God, the creator of all things created. He must also believe that God rewards and punishes in all justice: hell (includes the Limbo of the infants) for those dying without sanctifying grace, and heaven for those dying in the sanctifying grace.

The convert also must know and believe the Blessed Trinity with three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. He must also believe the Incarnation, that is, where the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man, suffered and died for the salvation of all men. As a climax Christ founded His Church on St. Peter as the head of the Church together with the other Apostles, and that Church always exists in the true Catholic Church and only in the true Catholic Church, on to the end of the world. Finally, in order to be in obedience to God’s command every human being must from birth until death live and die in that Church. It is a dogma of faith that outside the Church there is no salvation, that is, rightly understood, outside the Church there is no possibility of going to heaven.

At this juncture We shall give you a paragraph on justification taken from the Council of Trent. The book with these decrees is still available at TAN Books. It is called Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. We take this paragraph from the Sixth Session, chapter four.

“A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER AND ITS MODE IN THE STATE OF GRACE in which words is given a brief description of the justification of the sinner, as being a translation from the state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior. This translation however cannot, since the promulgation of the Gospel, be effected except through the laver of regeneration or its desire, as it is written: Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (Col. 1:12-14)”

For those who do not know the obvious meaning of the above quotation We shall add the following. All men lost sanctifying grace through the sin of Adam, and without it no one can go to heaven. To go from that state of ‘no sanctifying grace’ to the state of ‘sanctifying grace’ one must receive the sacrament of baptism, called by the Council of Trent, “the laver of regeneration.” There is one other aspect to regeneration namely, “or its desire.” To explain this point We go to the classical example where an Emperor who while he was on his way to be baptized, was murdered, while he was still not baptized. The doctrine expressed by a Father of the Church, (presuming the Emperor had all the other qualifications – too long to repeat here) was: since he desired the baptism of water in that circumstance he received the graces of baptism. In other words by his desire for baptism (presuming also that he had the act of perfect love) he had already received sanctifying grace, and that is all he needed in order to enter heaven. There are some heretics who, sad to say, deny this last part of the decree of the Council of Trent.

The classical response from Rome to the heretics mentioned above and found in the book (yet available from TAN Books) is called The Church Teaches. Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary’s College, St. Mary’s Kansas in 1955, produced it. We shall give the paragraph numbers of Our quotations.

266 We are bound to believe by divine and Catholic faith what is contained in the written word of God or in tradition, and is proposed by the Church as a divinely revealed object of belief either in a solemn decree, or in her ordinary, universal teaching (66).

267 The infallible dictum which teaches us that outside the Church there is no salvation, is among the truths that the Church has always taught and will always teach.

268 This dogma is to be understood as the Church itself understands it. For our Savior did not leave it to private judgment to explain what is contained in the deposit of faith, but to the doctrinal authority of the Church.

269 The Church teaches, first of all, that there is question here of a very strict command of Jesus Christ. In unmistakable words he gave his apostles the command to teach all nations to keep whatever he had commanded (see Matt. 28:19).

270 Not least among Christ’s commands is the one which orders us to be incorporated by baptism into the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church, and to be united to Christ and to his vicar, through whom he himself governs the Church on earth in a visible way.

271 Therefore, no one who knows that the Church has been divinely established by Christ and, nevertheless, refuses to be a subject of the Church or refuses to obey the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, will be saved.

272 The Savior did not make it necessary merely as by precept for all nations to enter the Church. He also established the Church as a means of salvation without which no one can enter the kingdom of heavenly glory.

273 Of those helps to salvation that are ordered to the last end only by divine decree, not by intrinsic necessity, God, in his infinite mercy, willed that such effect of those helps as are necessary to salvation can, in certain circumstances, be obtained when the helps are used only in desire or longing. We see this clearly stated in the Council of Trent about the sacrament of regeneration and about the sacrament of penance (see 560, 571).

274 The same, in due proportion, should be said of the Church insofar as it is a general help to salvation. To gain eternal salvation it is not always required that a person be incorporated in fact as a member of the Church, but it is required that he belong to it at least in desire and longing.

275 It is not always necessary that this desire be explicit as it is with catechumens. When a man is invincibly ignorant, God also accepts an implicit desire, so called because it is contained in the good disposition of soul by which a man wants his will to be conformed to God’s will.

276 This is clearly taught by the Sovereign Pontiff Pope Pius XII in his dogmatic letter on the mystical body of Christ, dated June 29, 1943. In this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members and those who belong to the Church only in desire.

277 In treating of the members who make up the mystical body here on earth, the Sovereign Pontiff says: “Only those are really to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not had the misfortune to withdrawing from the body or for grave faults been cut off by legitimate authority.”

279 With these prudent words the pope censures those who exclude from eternal salvation all men who belong to the Church only with implicit desire; and he also censures those who falsely maintain that men can be saved equally as well in any religion (see 173ff.; 178).

It should be clear to concerned individuals that We provide you with as many sources of the truth, that are available to Us, in a document of this size.

As a practical point, the Church is referred to by Christ as a sheepfold where, of course, there is a shepherd and sheep. To be in the Church, the shepherd (the Pope) must know his sheep (the faithful), and the sheep must know their shepherd. Just feeling well towards the Pope and living a morally good life does not make one a Catholic. The people who saw Noe build the ark but did not enter it, every single one was lost in the great deluge. Keep in mind the qualifications given above concerning invincible ignorance and implicit desire. Those who are given the truth, as found explained again in this letter, very likely will not be able to plead invincible ignorance and implicit desire before the just and final judgment seat of God.

Pius, pp. XIII
January 20, 2005

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