Christmas Letter 2009
Father Courtney Edward Krier
Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us. (Luke 2:15)
Dearly beloved in Christ:
What was the word that is come to pass? The Word made flesh (John 1:13): This day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11). The shepherds came to see the truth of the Word the Angels announced. Holy Mother Church holds Christ as Mary did on Christmas and the ministers of the Lord proclaim His coming, His presence, Emmanuel—God with us (Isaias 7:14)—as the angels proclaimed. This aspect, that the ministers of the Lord, the messengers of the gospel, should proclaim Christ’s coming, His dwelling amongst us, has been lost upon a world of spectators. It is because the world seeks entertainment that it misses Who is amongst them. Christ is hidden sacramentally, like He was in the womb of Mary, as she passed through Bethlehem. No one goes now to worship Christ, as then. They remain in Bethlehem, the world, paying tribute to Caesar, the government.
In the Gospels there is constant reference of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians claiming Abraham as their father. It was sufficient for them that they were united by the temple and high priest, even though many did not accept the resurrection of the body (Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27) or were secular in faith (Matthew 22:16). What united them was a material object and office, not faith. And when it came to a choice between God (Christ) and man (Barabbas), between Christ and Caiphas, they chose man not God, they chose the high priest, not the High Priest.
This is significant, because today post Vatican II Catholicism has literally followed the same path as Judaism in the time of Christ. According to pre-Vatican II Church teaching, the unity of the Church is reflected in its faith. St. Paul informs the Ephesians they are to be one body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. (4:4-6). Rev. W. Devivier, an eminent Catholic apologist, elucidates the Unity of the Church:
Throughout the whole world we find the children of the Church chanting and professing the same creed, accepting the same precepts, the same sacrifice, the same sacraments. And if we go back to apostolic times we find the same identity of doctrine.
The Church, moreover, possesses a principle which necessarily sustains unity of belief: she professes as an essential dogma that all must accept every doctrine which she proclaims to be of faith, under pain, if they persist in error, of being ejected from her bosom.
…. Unity of faith, which we have just demonstrated, is maintained in the Church by a unique, invariable, and perfectly known ministry. The gentle but firm action of this ministry has its source at Rome, the centre of government, whence it is conveyed by means of bishops and subordinate pastors to all parts of the world until it reaches the humblest members of the Church. The simple faithful are united to their immediate pastors, the latter are united to their bishops, the bishops are united with the Pope, from which they hold their faculties. Thus is the most complicated multiplicity reduced to the most marvellous unity. Here again is a principle which sustains this unity: he who refuses to submit to the authority of the lawful pastors of the Church is excluded from her bosom. (Christian Apologetics: A defense of the Catholic Faith. Rev. W. Devivier, S.J. Benziger Brothers, New York, 1903, p. 331, 333)
What is the first duty of the Church is the unity of the faith and it is the sole reason for unity within the Church. The Pope is the guardian of that unity of faith: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. (Luke 22:32). The Shepherds were united in that one faith with the Wise Men that this Child was the Messias. We, the followers of the Shepherds and Wise Men, come also to adore in that oneness of faith, the Messias, the Christ Child, on Christmas day.
Today, the unity of faith has been completely set aside for a unity under leadership. Benedict XVI, as has his predecessors since Vatican II, sought a unity that recognizes only the role of the “Bishop” of Rome as “the successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the universal communion of all the Churches” [Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 23; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Communionis notio, 12; 13.]. And Benedict XVI assures that he “could not fail to make available the means necessary to bring this holy desire to realization.” (Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, November 4, 2009)
And if you didn’t get grasp that the goal of the Church is merely to unite all mankind, Benedict XVI re-iterates it again:
The Church, … was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, as “a sacrament – a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all people.” (Lumen Gentium,1; Anglicanorum Coetibus)
The foundation of his sources to support such a unity rested not on the universal teaching that expresses the oneness of faith, but upon the teachings of his colleagues (Karl Rahner, Hans Kung, Yves Congar) and Vatican II; that the Church is not one, but many Churches united under one leadership; faith was not unchangeable, but the consensus of the people of the Churches. Karl Rahner had a heavy influence on Joseph Ratzinger during the Council.
To Rahner, the primary objective of all theology after Vatican II was to seek ways of conveying Christianity as meaningful to those who grew up in a world dominated by empirical knowledge. Forever the pastoral theologian and teacher, he pursued his goal in the dialogue with those outside the Church and by reformulating Christian doctrine in his theological writings. (Oliver Putz, “I Did Not Change, They Did!” Joseph Ratzinger, Karl Rahner, and the Second Vatican Council. New Wineskins, Vol. II, 1, 2007, p. 11f., emphasis by editor)
Today we see the many Churches within the one Vatican II Church: Society of Pius X and the Anglican Church, the Nestorian Church and the Polish National Church, the Kennedy Catholic Churches and the EWTN Catholic Churches, with no one agreeing on the deposit of faith but everyone agreeing on wanting union with Rome. It is the same reflection on Christmas celebrated today: Everyone celebrates Christmas, but nobody celebrates Christmas because Christmas has become merely an agreement to celebrate however one wishes to celebrate, to believe however one wants to believe.
In such circumstances the Christ is taken to Egypt (Matthew 2:13ff), to the desert, by the woman—Mary, type of the Church (Apocalypse 12:6). The faithful clergy and laity have had to leave the churches of these Modernists and find refuge in rebuilding churches elsewhere. But, the faithful clergy and laity who have remained faithful to the one true faith possess Christ.
This Christmas we will go once more to Bethlehem, to the stable, to the manger (the altar) where Christ will be shown to us as Emmanuel. We will see the Word made flesh and adore as the priest raises Christ in the Host and offers Him to us in holy Communion. This one faith is what unites us as Catholics.
For the faithful who will not be able to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Christmas day due to the terrible destruction of the Roman Catholic Church by the Second Vatican Council, and the introduction of a Protestantized service and presiders, or because of illness and age cannot make the journey necessary to be where a true Roman Catholic Priest will offer this august Sacrifice, I want to assure that I will also be remembering all of you during the three Masses celebrated this day of Christ’s birth.
I wish also to thank all who have continued to support St. Joseph’s Catholic Church here in Las Vegas. Wishing all a blessed Christmas and asking Our Divine Saviour to bestow His blessings upon all during the coming New Year.
In His Service,
Father Courtney Edward Krier