WHY CREDO OF BUFFALO WAS BORN

By JAMES LIKOUDIS


In a remarkable address given on October 6, 1973, to a Catholics United for the Faith Forum, at St. Louis, Mo., and later published in L'Osservatore Romano (June 26, 1975), America's leading authority on Catechetics, Msgr. Eugene Kevane noted:

Concern for the truth of the Catholic Faith has been the hallmark of each Vicar of Christ, each Successor of Peter, throughout the historic life of the Church. None of these Successors in the highest and most important office on earth has fulfilled this supreme obligation more comprehensively and more perseveringly than...Pope Paul VI. All of us know what vigilant care Pope Paul exercised over the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, detecting and removing from the drafts any taint or sign of the characteristic doctrinal aberrations of the twentieth century. We recall that note of thanksgiving to God with which he concluded the Council in the fall of 1965, speaking as one who had come victoriously through a struggle. The Documents of Vatican II are faithful to the Catholic Faith, he said, and have not given way to relativisimi pacitat, 'the opinions of Relativism'.

[However]... to the surprise of nearly everyone in the Church, hardly had Vatican II closed when a 'crisis of faith' began to manifest itself. Vatican II did not win the intellectual assent and obedience of the 'relativists', any more than did their predecessors, Loisy, Tyrell and other famous names in the Pontificates of Leo XIII and Pius X obey the First Vatican Council. This time, they did not only disobey the lucid reaffirmation of the Catholic Faith in the Documents of Vatican II, what they have done is actually worse than disobedience. Deceptively, with an easily recognizable intellectual dishonesty, they have been twisting Vatican II, appealing to what they call its 'spirit', a fiction invented by themselves, to justify the introduction of a new religious ideology cleverly designed to replace the Catholic Faith within the structural framework of the Catholic Church. It is a new religious ideology, although it uses much traditional Catholic terminology and hence has a superficial resemblance to the Catholic Faith. But it uses these terms in a new interpretation and hence empties the Faith of its authentic substance and meaning.

In shocked surprise, the Catholic Church has been faced suddenly with the rise and rapid spread and somewhat mysterious simultaneity across the world of this new religious movement. Professing to be adapted to modern man, it has been exercising a strange attractiveness and even fascination upon many Catholics. One of the first manifestations of this sudden new development, although far from the only one, was the famous 'Dutch Catechism'... Pope Paul VI acted quickly, firmly, lucidly. He appointed a commission of Cardinals to analyze the Dutch Catechism and bring its errors into the open. He called for a new edition re-written so as to eliminate these errors completely from its text. [Ed. Note - This was never done by the publishers; they only printed the Commission's corrections in an Appendix, thereby assuring few would read them!]. Then he announced a Year of Faith on the Feast of St. Peter, February 22, 1967, to coincide with the 19th centenary of the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul... He himself closed this Year of Faith with an immense gathering of the faithful in the Square of St. Peter in Rome. He did so by making his own 'profession of faith' as the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus Christ. This profession is what we have come to know as the CREDO (Creed) of the People of God. Such is the immediate background of this remarkable document of the Magisterium, which counters the specific errors of the Dutch Catechism and meets in general the aberrations and perversions of religious education in our time."

Msgr. Kevane noted further:

"There is a certain kind of philosophical thinking and a certain kind of scriptural exegesis abroad today which handles the truths of the Faith in such a manner that their objectivity is in practice denied. It reads meanings or mere subjective personal interpretations into them which replaces the plain and objective meaning which the Church has taught since the Apostles. Pope Paul VI in professing the Catholic Faith will have nothing to do with this contemporary subjective redefinition of the concept of truth. The Catholic Creed contains judgments which state absolute truth. It tells us in a simple and humble way, but with divine Authority, that the things it says are the truth of God. They reach that which is. They state what is the case in objective reality.
Putting it as plainly and frankly as possible, the Credo of the People of God is the [Church's] official rejection of that re-born Modernism which is the influence behind the current crisis of faith.. Practically every aberration in religious education today, every defect in textbook or oral teaching, whether of omission or of commission, is covered by this Creed of the People of God, briefly and accurately, in black and white before our eyes."

IN BUT A FEW PAGES (divided into 30 paragraphs) Pope Paul VI gave the Catholic World an outstanding summary of the Catholic Faith to give the lie to those theologians, catechists, journalists, and others spreading confusion among the faithful as to what the Catholic Church believes and teaches:

"As once at Caesarea Phillippi the Apostle Peter spoke on behalf of the Twelve to make a true confession, beyond human opinions, of Christ, as Son of the Living God, so today his humble Successor, Pastor of the Universal Church, raises his voice to give, on behalf of all the People of God, a firm witness to the divine Truth entrusted to the Church to be announced to all nations. We have wished our profession of faith to be to a high degree complete and explicit, in order that it may respond in a fitting way to the need of light felt by so many faithful souls, and by all those in the world, to whatever spiritual family they belong, who are in search of the truth." (Pope Paul VI, June 30 1968)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has the following commentary with regards to the various Creeds that the Magisterium of the Church has approved:

"Through the centuries many professions or symbols of faith have been articulated in response to the needs of the different eras: the Creeds of the different Apostolic and ancient Churches, e.g., the Quicumque, also called the Athanasian Creed; the professions of faith of certain Councils, such as Toledo, Lateran, Lyons, Trent; or the symbols of certain popes, e.g., the Fides Damasi, or the Credo of the People of God of Paul VI." (#192)

"None of the Creeds from the different stages in the Church's life can be considered superseded or irrelevant. They help us today to attain and deepen the faith of all times by means of the different summaries made of it." (#193)

It may be added here that the Credo of the People of God remains the perfect antidote to the heresies and errors which continue to circulate in the Church of the Living God and which impede the evangelizing and catechetical mission of the Church (as has been noted by Pope John Paul II in his many addresses encouraging Bishops to eliminate Dissent and Disobedience in the Church).

When the "Crisis of Faith" was early seen to afflict Catholics in the Diocese of Buffalo after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), it was understandable that faithful Catholics would come to the defense of Catholic doctrine by forming a lay group that took both its name and inspiration from the "Credo of the People of God" of Paul VI.
This was the origin of the Credo of Buffalo organization in 1969 and subsequently in October 1975 became the "Credo of Buffalo - Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith".


Dissent from the Magisterium....is not compatible with being a "good Catholic".
- Pope John Paul II -