The Synod on the Family is in the gestational period right now, being nine months off and dealing with the lives of human beings. Based upon the “debates” at the last meeting of the princes of the Church that adjourned last October, many of these Cardinals have revealed that they haven’t cracked open the Catechism of the Catholic Church in many years, if not decades. I speculate that some may never have read or understood it if they have, and certainly are in no position to teach the Faith, let alone attempt to force changes of the Faith past those who actually know it.
One of the corporal works of mercy we are obligated to perform as Catholics is to instruct the ignorant. Seeking my eternal salvation, I write today to do so, to instruct the ignorant among the Cardinals. The first lesson is where to find information about the Faith, so that it can be understood not only for what it is, but also for what it is not.
One of the good things among many of being Catholic is that we have the Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium. We are not left to wonder about aspects of the Faith to determine ourselves what is or is not, we are not left alone to be buffeted by the winds of the age and left confounded by what we hold in our little minds and the confusion introduced by others, we do not read the Scriptures with our mind as the sole determiner of what they mean, how they should be read, what they teach, or what they do not, and we do not ignore what has been passed down and transmitted from the Apostles. We have 2000 years of the teachings of Jesus Himself, the teachings of the Apostles, the teachings of those who learned the Faith from the Apostles and the teachings of those to whom the Faith has been transmitted to us today, many of whom are Saints. We can be and ought to be fully confident that the Faith we hold today is the same Faith held by those who walked with Jesus, the citizens of Rome in 50 A.D., of Gaul in 200 A.D., of Ephesus in 300 A.D., of Carthage in 400 A.D, in England in 1200, in the Philippines in 1700 and so on through the centuries. As Saint Paul wrote, should anyone proclaim a new Gospel different from what he taught, even himself, he should be damned. The Creed we hold and believe we trace back to the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. The canon of the books of the Bible was set by the Church around 400 A.D., by which we know what books are divinely inspired as Scripture, declared by Pope Damasus in the late 300s and then again by Pope Innocent I in 405 A.D. Dozens of innocently contrived and evil-inspired heresies have been brought forth over the ages, and the Church has corrected and battled them, condemned them and defeated them over and over.
To assist Catholics in learning and understanding the Faith, Another resource the Church has produced is the Catechism, wherein we find a full, complete compendium of the Catholic Faith and morals, itself based upon not only Scripture but the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles, known as Sacred Tradition, as well as that of the doctors and saints of the Church as well as the popes and Church councils through the ages, which we know as the Magisterium. Several versions of the Catechism have been produced, each an effort to provide more clarity and explanation of the Faith, but which sets forth the same Faith. The latest edition of the Catechism was completed and published in 1992 under Saint Pope John Paul II. He wrote that it
“is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion . . . Therefore, I ask all the Church’s pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine . . .”
Thus, bewildered and confused cardinals should be and ought to be learned in the Catechism and should be the guide to what they ought to be doing in “fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to Gospel life.” I think it is safe to presume that copies are readily available at the Vatican; if not, their local bookstore has copies for sale for a few dollars. Moreover, one does not have to have doctorate degrees to read it and understand what is written, and it is accessible to all but the dimmest intellect. Of course, obstinate pride and grave sin might cloud one’s mind, but that can be remedied.
Thus, all cardinals are directed to the Catechism for the grand overview and explanation of the Faith, to clarify their understanding of what the Church teaches, why She teaches what she does, and how that Faith is to be applied in their own important mission to teach and transmit the Faith and in their pastoral application.
Hereafter, since many cardinals are confused about what marriage is, what family is, what homosexuality is, what adultery is, and what the Eucharist is and how Catholics are to receive this Most Blessed Sacraments, further lessons will explore what the Church holds and teaches on these matters. I trust that these brief explanations will assist those cardinals unsure of what the situations they are now debating actually require in order to lead Catholics to their eternal salvation. This is very important, cardinals.