Following is a letter from the editorial staff of "The Wanderer" a Catholic Newspaper, defending James Likoudis' book on the Primacy of the Pope, in their editorial column FTM (From The Mail).
One of the ironies of the ecumenical initiatives between Rome and the Orthodox is that Rome's efforts to facilitate the reunion of the Churches are often met with increasingly strident polemics reviving old fears and suspicions. Indeed, some of the strongest polemics against the Holy See and the doctrine of the papal infallibility and papal jurisdiction are coming from ex-Catholics going over to Eastern Orthodoxy, not only because they reject Vatican II but, more especially, because they reject Vatican I.
Among those ex-Catholics trying to lure other Catholics into Orthodoxy and out of the Catholic Church is Michael Whelton, whose book "Two Paths..." is considered one of the best "refutations" of the doctrine of papal infallibility and advertises itself as "the perfect gift for Roman Catholic family and friends...excellent for group study."
Whelton has been answered by James Likoudis, President Emeritus of Catholics United for the Faith, with "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy" ($27.95; order from the author, P.O. Box 852, Montour Falls, NY 14865). [See box at end of article]
This book is not just for those interested in the content and quality of the current anti-Rome polemics coming from various Orthodox fronts, but for all Catholics interested in learning the Church's evidence for papal jurisdiction and infallibility, going back to the New Testament, Ignatius of Antioch and Irenaeus, Cyprian and Chrysostom, and on, up through the ages. This book is especially important, however, for its discussion on Vatican I and the importance of that Council for our times. For that reason alone, FTM recommends the Likoudis book highly.
It seems to FTM that the problems the Church faces today have a lot less to do with Vatican II than with Vatican I: it is the First Vatican Council the one that the liberals hate. The First Vatican Council is the one that anathematized all those Catholics who preach, teach, or profess any doctrines contrary to what the Church has traditionally held.
The late great Dominican Vincent McNabb proclaimed the decrees of Vatican I the "best book and most valuable religious relic left to the 20th century by the 19th." We've forgotten how the Church used to speak, so here's a timely reminder, from those decrees, on the relationship between faith and reason, which Pope John Paul II is still trying to explain to the world:
"...But although faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason; since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, and God cannot deny Himself; nor can truth ever contradict truth. The false appearance of such a contradiction is mainly due, either to the dogmas not having been understood and expounded according to the mind of the Church, or to the inventions of opinion having been taken for the verdicts of reason.
"We define, therefore, that every assertion contrary to a truth of enlightened faith is utterly false. Further, the Church, which, together with the apostolic office of teaching, has received a charge to guard the Deposit of Faith, derives from God the right and the duty of proscribing false science, lest any should be deceived by philosophy and vain fallacy. Therefore all faithful Christians are not only forbidden to defend as legitimate conclusions of science such opinions as are known to be contrary to the doctrines of faith, especially if they have been condemned by the Church, but are altogether bound to account them as errors which put on the fallacious appearance of truth."
FTM would like to quote in full all the anathemas, but will settle for one, section II, n.4, Of Faith, which has great relevance:
"If anyone shall say that miracles are impossible, and therefore that all the accounts regarding them, even those contained in Holy Scripture, are to be dismissed as fabulous or mythical; or that miracles can never be known with certainty, and that the divine origin of Christianity is not rightly proved by them; let him be anathema."
Nearly 130 years after Vatican I, that Council's decrees are not at all as well-known as they should be. Likoudis' volume is a necessary reminder that those decrees, like the Petrine ministry itself, must be known, understood, loved, and defended by all Catholics worthy of the name.
|Available Work of Apologetics Now in Print|
Copies of CUF President Emeritus James Likoudis' new and expanded edition of the book "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy:.." are now available directly from the author.
This recent work from Mr. Likoudis is a powerful defense of the perpetuity of Peter's primacy of universal jurisdiction in the Church and a brilliant refutation of Eastern Orthodox claims to constitute the Church of the ancient Fathers and Councils. Examining the historical evidence found in the first Millennium of the Church's history, he shows unequivocally the ancient Church's belief in papal supremacy and infallibility as taught in the documents of Vatican I and Vatican II.
Also, to obtain an autographed copy ($17.00 each) of "Ending the Byzantine Greek Schism" please contact the author, Mr.
James Likoudis at: P.O. Box 852, Montour Falls, N.Y. 14865;