Is the Novus Ordo Even Valid?

There is a certain segment of the Catholic population that has nothing but negative things to say about Vatican II. Personally, I think that this group is extremely small and isolated, their voices amplified by the internet far beyond their actual relevance, but that’s me. The internet definitely has a way of building silos and organizing fringe ideas, so maybe that’s the case. In any event, regardless of its actual size, opposition to Vatican II is a prevalent topic online that needs addressing.

On Monday, I did a general video defending the very idea of Vatican II, calling for people to stop with their logical fallacies and to see that the problems of our world have complex causes beyond our control. Today, I’d like to look at a specific issue that needs addressing: the reform of the liturgy. While I’ve addressed the specifics of the reform before, there are some that believe in the idea of a reform is flawed because of a strict interpretation of Pope Pius V’s words back in 1570.

If this video seems oddly specific and completely unnecessary, it’s because it is. The very fact that I made a video addressing this topic is absurd. And yet, such is the world we live in. If we don’t want fringe groups to take over, we must speak the truth and respond to their ridiculous claims so that, as a well-informed Church, no one will be left confused or led astray.

 

When you think someone who is a saint and doctor of the Church, you probably think of someone who lived a long, holy life, who was groomed from a young age in the teachings of the Church, who never held heretical beliefs or committed terrible sins.

You probably don’t think of someone who spent 33 years as a heretic, had a child out of wedlock, and who’s most famous prayer is “Lord, make me chaste—just not yet.”

And yet, that is our St. Augustine, one of the most important theologians and leaders in Church history. He lived a tumultuous early life, but ended up saving the Church from two major controversies, and is certainly a saint you should know.

Did Catholics Make Up Purgatory?

Purgatory is one of those things that everyone is familiar with but few people actually know what it means. The word purgatory has entered into the popular parlance of western english as a way to describe a painful period of waiting, of a holding cell with no end in sight.

This is not what the word means for Catholics.

Not only is it completely untrue that those in purgatory are unaware of their fate (all people in purgatory are saved), it is entirely untrue that it is a boring or passive place. Purgatory is about purification, not waiting.

In this week’s Catholicism In Focus, I look at the teaching as described by the Catholic Church and see where the theology comes from in the Bible.

Do I Have to Obey?

One of the biggest problems with theological debates online is that many people fail to understand the concept of the “hierarchy of truths.”

Sometimes it’s a matter of treating everything the Church teaches as equally important. When this is the case, well-meaning Christians will call other Christians heretics because they don’t fast on Fridays or because they have a problem with the Church’s teaching on contraception. While both of these teachings are important, neither of them are dogmatic in nature, meaning that disobedience of either does not result in excommunication or heresy.

Far more commonly seen, unfortunately, is the confusion of the hierarchy, elevating a non-authoritative teaching over dogmatic principles. This is seen when people quote the theological writings of a pope, saint, or prominent theologian as proof of something, forcing people to obey. Maybe it’s even a line from an ecumenical council many years ago. Just because a pope, saint, or theologian writes something, doesn’t mean that it is a binding teaching for all the faithful. We must have an understanding of the difference between private opinions and the ordinary magisterial teaching of the Church, and then within that ordinary teaching, where it all fits together.

Hence, this week’s video. It is by no means a comprehensive work and will need a few more followup videos to even cover all of the basics, but it’s a start: what is the hierarchy of truths? What must a Catholic obey?