Pope Pius XII Consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Pope Pius XII, Sacro Vergente Anno:9. Consecration of the peoples of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

We, therefore, to make Our prayers and prayers more readily granted, and to give you a singular attestation of Our special benevolence, as we a few years ago have consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mother of God, so now, so very special, we consecrate all the peoples of Russia to the same Immaculate Heart, in the sure trust that with the most powerful patronage of the Virgin Mary the vows may be fulfilled as soon as possible, that we, that all the good ones form for true peace, for a fraternal concord and for the due freedom to all and first of all to the church; so that, through the prayer that we raise together with you and with all Christians, the saving kingdom of Christ, which is “the kingdom of truth and life, the kingdom of holiness and grace, the kingdom of justice, love and peace “, ( 8 ) in all parts of the earth triumphs and steadily consolidates.

And with suppliant invocation let us pray to the same clementissima Mother, so that she may assist each of you in the present calamities and obtain for her divine Son for your minds that light that comes from Heaven, and impregnate for your souls that virtue and that fortitude, supported by divine grace, you can victoriously overcome all impiety and error.

Rome, at San Pietro, 7 July 1952, the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, year XIV of Our Pontificate.

Original Italian: Noi, pertanto, affinché più facilmente le Nostre e le vostre preghiere siano esaudite, e per darvi un singolare attestato della Nostra particolare benevolenza, come pochi anni fa abbiamo consacrato tutto il mondo al Cuore immacolato della vergine Madre di Dio, così ora, in modo specialissimo, consacriamo tutti i popoli della Russia al medesimo Cuore immacolato, nella sicura fiducia che col potentissimo patrocinio di Maria vergine quanto prima si avverino felicemente i voti, che Noi, che voi, che tutti i buoni formano per una vera pace, per una fraterna concordia e per la dovuta libertà a tutti e in primo luogo alla Chiesa; in maniera che, mediante la preghiera che Noi innalziamo insieme con voi e con tutti i cristiani, il regno salvifico di Cristo, che è «regno di verità e di vita, regno di santità e di grazia, regno di giustizia, di amore e di pace», ( 8 ) in ogni parte della terra trionfi e si consolidi stabilmente.

E con supplice invocazione preghiamo la medesima Madre clementissima, perché assista ciascuno di voi nelle presenti calamità e ottenga al suo divin Figlio per le vostre menti quella luce che proviene dal Cielo, e impetri per le anime vostre quella virtù e quella fortezza, per cui, sorretti dalla divina grazia, possiate vittoriosamente superare ogni empietà ed errore.

Roma, presso San Pietro, 7 luglio 1952, festa dei santi Cirillo e Metodio, anno XIV del Nostro pontificato.

 

MY COMMENT: There are those out there who believe, for one reason or another, that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, foretold by Our Lady herself, never happened. Here is undeniable proof that it did happen and happened in the 1952.

Catholics CANNOT be Racist.

Pope Paul III, Encyclical Sublimus Dei, “The enemy of the human race, who opposes all good deeds in order to bring men to destruction, beholding and envying this, invented a means never before heard of, by which he might hinder the preaching of God’s word of Salvation to the people: he inspired his satellites who, to please him, have not hesitated to publish abroad that the Indians of the West and the South, and other people of whom We have recent knowledge should be treated as dumb brutes created for our service, pretending that they are incapable of receiving the Catholic Faith.

We define and declare by these Our letters…the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.

Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical In Supremo Apostolatus: “We warn and adjure earnestly in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare to vex anyone, despoil him of his possessions, reduce to servitude, or lend aid and favour to those who give themselves up to these practices, or exercise that inhuman traffic by which the Blacks, as if they were not men but rather animals, having been brought into servitude, in no matter what way, are, without any distinction, in contempt of the rights of justice and humanity, bought, sold, and devoted sometimes to the hardest labour. Further, in the hope of gain, propositions of purchase being made to the first owners of the Blacks, dissensions and almost perpetual conflicts are aroused in these regions.

We reprove, then, by virtue of Our Apostolic Authority, all the practices abovementioned as absolutely unworthy of the Christian name. By the same Authority We prohibit and strictly forbid any Ecclesiastic or lay person from presuming to defend as permissible this traffic in Blacks under no matter what pretext or excuse, or from publishing or teaching in any manner whatsoever, in public or privately, opinions contrary to what We have set forth in this Apostolic Letter.”

Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge: “8.Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community — however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things — whoever raises these notions above thheir standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.

10. This God, this Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race…

11. None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race…

17. The peak of the revelation as reached in the Gospel of Christ is final and permanent. It knows no retouches by human hand; it admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternatives such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of race and blood…

18. …His command to hear the Church (Matt. xviii. 15), to welcome in the words and commands of the Church His own words and His own commands (Luke x. 16), is addressed to all men, of all times and of all countries. The Church founded by the Redeemer is one, the same for all races and all nations.

My Comment: This is for those who call themselves Catholic and harbor racist thoughts. It is also for those who believe that the Church condoned slavery and racism. These are quotes from the Vicars of Christ themselves. There are other quotes from Popes that reiterate the very teachings. The Catholic Church condemns racism and slavery.

Who is and is NOT Catholic!

Pope Eugenius IV, Bull “Cantata Domino”, Council of Florence: “It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”(DENZ.714)

Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum: “9. The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore :, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. “No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic” (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88).”

Pope Eugenius IV, Bull Exultate Deo, Council of Florence: “Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church. And since death entered into the universe through the first man, “unless we are born of water and the Spirit, we cannot,” as the Truth says, “enter into the kingdom of heaven” (cf.John 3:5).”(DENZ.696)

Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis: “22. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. “For in one spirit” says the Apostle, “were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free.” As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered — so the Lord commands — as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.

23. Nor must one imagine that the Body of the Church, just because it bears the name of Christ, is made up during the days of its earthly pilgrimage only of members conspicuous for their holiness, or that it consists only of those whom God has predestined to eternal happiness. it is owing to the Savior’s infinite mercy that place is allowed in His Mystical Body here below for those whom, of old, He did not exclude from the banquet. For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.

My Comment: These quotes should be adequate to prove that one must believe in everything the Church teaches, right down to the least doctrine. One must be Baptized and profess the Catholic faith to be a member of the Church and have the title of Catholic.

 

Teaching Authority: Magisterium vs. Theologians/Saints/Doctors

Pope Benedict XIV, Apostolica Constitutio, (About St. Gregory On Pilgramages to Jerusalem): “The Church’s judgment is preferable even to that of a Doctor renowned for his holiness and teaching.”

Pope Alexander VIII, Errors of the Jansenists, #30: “When anyone finds a doctrine clearly established in Augustine, he can absolutely hold and teach it, disregarding any bull of the pope.”

Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, #21: ” It is also true that theologians must always return to the sources of divine revelation: for it belongs to them to point out how the doctrine of the living Teaching Authority is to be found either explicitly or implicitly in the Scriptures and in Tradition…This deposit of faith our Divine Redeemer has given for authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the Teaching Authority of the Church.”

Pope Pius XI, Ad Salutem: “(6) “and not-as some, who do not share the Catholic sense, have thought-as though the weight of Augustine’s word were to be set ahead of the very authority of the teaching Church… (20)We see how our Saint, for all his exalted genius, humbly submitted his judgment to the authority of the Church teaching. He knew that, as long as he did so, he would not swerve a finger’s breadth from Catholic doctrine.”

My Comment: The purpose of these quotes to show that those who attempt to overrule a Teaching of the Magisterium with an opinion of a certain group of Theologians or certain Doctor  etc., are mistaken. As one can see from the Pope Pius XII quote, the job of theologians is to explain how the teachings of the Magisterium are found in Scripture and Tradition. –For those who don’t already know, the Magisterium is the Teaching Office of the Church. It cannot err because it teaches with the very Authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is exercised by the Pope when teaching or explaining a Doctrine revealed by our Lord to the Church’s faithful.

Dogma and Its Unchangeableness

Vatican Council, Session III, Chapter IV (1870):

#6. God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth. The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either the dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the mind of the church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions of reason.

#13. For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.

#14. Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.”

Pope St. Simplicius, Cuperem quidem, (476):

“Let whoever, as the Apostle proclaimed, attempts to disseminate something other, than what we have received, be anathema[ Gal. 1:8 f.]. Let no approach to your ears be thrown open to the pernicious plans of undermining, let no pledge of revising any of the old definitions be granted, because, as it must be repeated very often, what has deserved to be cut away with the sharp edge of the evangelical pruning hook by apostolic hands with the approval of the universal Church, cannot acquire the strength for a rebirth nor is it able to return to the fruitful shoot of the master’s vine, because it is evident that it has been destined to eternal fire. Thus, finally, the machinations of all heresies laid down by decrees of the Church are never allowed to renew the struggles of their crushed attack.”

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, #7:

“Indeed you will accomplish this perfectly if, as the duty of your office demands, you attend to yourselves and to doctrine and meditate on these words: ‘the universal Church is affected by any and every novelty’ and the admonition of Pope Agatho: ‘nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning.'”

Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane, Condemned Errors of Modernists(1907):

“With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas.

Condemned Error #22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.

Condemned Error #54. Dogmas, Sacraments and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.”

The Magisterium is Infallible

First Vatican Council, Session 3, Chapter 3: “Wherefore, by divine and catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium.”

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum: “#9 The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium…Christ instituted in the Church a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under the gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own. As often, therefore, as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by every one as true. If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man. 

Pope St. Pius X, The Oath against the Errors of Modernism: “I . . . firmly embrace and accept all and everything that has been defined, affirmed, and declared by the unerring magisterium of the Church, especially those chief doctrines which are directly opposed to the errors of this time.

Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri: “(16) Upon this magisterial office Christ conferred infallibility, together with the command to teach His doctrine…(18)Hence it is that in this proper object of her mission, that is, “in faith and morals, God Himself has made the Church sharer in the divine magisterium and, by a special privilege, granted her immunity from error“.

My Comment: There are those who believe that the Magisterium of the Church can err in certain situations. There are others that believe that there is a “type” or “mode” etc… of the Magisterium that is not protected from Infallibility. Neither of these opinions are true. It is true that Theologians have dubbed certain teachings by the Popes as non-Infallible but this is just a poor choice of words to use “magisterium”. Everyone should know that not everything the Pope says is infallible, it just means that those teachings are not part of the Magisterium.

What is clear though, is that whenever the Church Magisterium speaks of itself and its authority, it always describes itself as unable to err and attributes this to the promises of our Lord. One could never find a quote by the Church teaching that there’s a mode of the Magisterium which is not Infallible.

 

 

 

Authority of Councils

Pope St. Martin, Lateran Council, Can. 17:  “If anyone in word and mind does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers all even to the last portion that has been handed down and preached in the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church of God, and likewise by the holy Fathers and the five venerable universal Councils, let him be condemned.”(DENZ. 270)

Pope St. Leo IX, Congratulamur Vehementer: “Furthermore, I declare anathema every heresy raising itself against the holy Catholic Church, and likewise him whosoever has honored or believes that any writings beyond those which the Catholic Church accepts ought to be held in authority or has venerated them. I accept entirely the four Councils and I venerate them as the four Gospels, because through four parts of the world the universal Church, upon these as on square stone, has been founded *. . . . Equally I accept and venerate the three remaining Councils. . . . Whatever the above mentioned seven holy and universal Councils believe and praise I also believe and praise, and whomever they declare anathema, I declare anathema.”(DENZ. 349)

Pope Leo X, Encyclical Exsurge Domine: “29. A way has been made for us for weakening the authority of Councils, and for freely contradicting their actions, and judging their decrees, and boldly confessing whatever seems true, whether it has been approved, or disapproved by any Council whatsoever.-Condemned (Errors of Martin Luther)”

Pope Pius IV, Iniunctum Nobis: “I acknowledge the holy Catholic and apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches; and to the Roman Pontiff, the successor of the blessed Peter, chief of the Apostles and vicar of Jesus Christ, I promise and swear true obedience.

Also all other things taught, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and ecumenical Councils (Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent)…”(DENZ. 999, 1000)

Pope Alexander VIII, Inter Multiplices: “So there is in the Apostolic See and in the successors of Peter, the vicars of Christ, such full power over spiritual things that the decree concerning the authority of the General Councils which are contained* in the fourth and fifth sessions of the sacred ecumenical Council of Constance are valid, and at the same time always remain unchanged, since these decrees have been approved by the Apostolic See and confirmed by the use of the Roman Pontiffs themselves…”(DENZ.1323 2)

My Comment: Many false “traditionalists” now days like to claim that Vatican II was not infallible and that we may disregard anything we judge to be unorthodox. This is erroneous because if one is going to say that Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, one may not disagree with any information contained in it. According to the quotes above, one must obey and accept not only things defined in a council, but anything merely taught or declared. So whether one wants to say Vatican II did or did not define anything, doesn’t matter, one must obey everything because a Council is an act of the Infallible Magisterium of the Church.

Obedience to the Church

Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quanta Cura: “5… Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that “without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals.” But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church… Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.”

Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Tribus Circiter: “9. But their profession of fidelity to the Vicar of Christ is vain in those who, in fact, do not cease to violate the authority of their Bishops. For ‘by far the most august part of the Church consists of the Bishops, (as Our Predecessor Leo XIII of holy memory wrote in his letter of December 17, 1888, to the Archbishop), inasmuch as this part by divine right teaches and rules men; hence, whoever resists them or pertinaciously refuses obedience to them puts himself apart from the Church.”

Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quartas Supra: “12. But the neo-schismatics say that it was not a case of doctrine but of discipline, so the name and prerogatives of Catholics cannot be denied to those who object. Our Constitution Reversurus, published on July 12, 1867, answers this objection. We do not doubt that you know well how vain and worthless this evasion is. For the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all. Schismatics avoid carrying out their orders and even deny their very rank. Since the faction from Armenia is like this, they are schismatics even if they had not yet been condemned as such by Apostolic authority. For the Church consists of the people in union with the priest, and the flock following its shepherd. Consequently the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and whoever is not with the bishop is not in the Church. Further more, as Our predecessor Pius VI warned in his Apostolic letter condemning the civil constitution of the clergy in France, discipline is often closely related to doctrine and has a great influence in preserving its purity. In fact, in many instances, the holy Councils have unhesitatingly cut off from the Church by their anathema those who have infringed its discipline.”

“13. But the neo-schismatics have gone further, since “every schism fabricates a heresy for itself to justify its withdrawal from the Church.” Indeed they have even accused this Apostolic See as well, as if We had exceeded the limits of Our power in commanding that certain points of discipline were to be observed in the Patriarchate of Armenia. Nor can the Eastern Churches preserve communion and unity of faith with Us without being subject to the Apostolic power in matters of discipline. Teaching of this kind is heretical, and not just since the definition of the power and nature of the papal primacy was determined by the ecumenical Vatican Council: the Catholic Church has always considered it such and abhorred it.”

Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Inter Multiplices: “1…This chair is the center of Catholic truth and unity, that is, the head, mother, and teacher of all the Churches to which all honor and obedience must be offered. Every church must agree with it because of its greater preeminence — that is, those people who are in all respects faithful.”

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book IV, Chapter 3 p. 479: “The Pope is the Teacher and Shepherd of the whole Church, thus, the whole Church is so bound to hear and follow him that if he would err, the whole Church would err.

Now our adversaries respond that the Church ought to hear him so long as he teaches correctly, for God must be heard more than men.

On the other hand, who will judge whether the Pope has taught rightly or not? For it is not for the sheep to judge whether the shepherd wanders off, not even and especially in those matters which are truly doubtful. Nor do Christian sheep have any greater judge or teacher to whom they might have recourse. As we showed above, from the whole Church one can appeal to the Pope yet, from him no one is able to appeal; therefore necessarily the whole Church will err if the Pontiff would err.”

My Comment: The above quotes condemn the opinion that a Catholic may withhold obedience to the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops in certain circumstances. This erroneous teaching has been resurrected in our day by a group known as the Recognize and Resist (R&R). They say that a Catholic must recognize Francis as Pope, but resist him in everything which they consider erroneous. One can see, from the quotes above, that a Catholic cannot withhold obedience, in any manner, pertaining to the Faith or the Discipline of the Church. More on this false position (R&R) to come.

 

 

The Gates of Hell

And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”[Matthew 16:18]

The Second Council of Constantinople, Sentence against the “Three Chapters”: “These matters having been treated with thorough-going exactness, we bear in mind what was promised about the holy church and him who said that the gates of hell will not prevail against it (by these we understand the death-dealing tongues of heretics); we also bear in mind what was prophesied about the church by Hosea when he said, I shall betroth you to me in faithfulness and you shall know the Lord; and we count along with the devil, the father of lies, the uncontrolled tongues of heretics and their heretical writings, together with the heretics themselves who have persisted in their heresy even to death.”

Pope St. Leo IX, Encyclical “In terra pax hominibus”: “The holy Church built upon a rock, that is Christ, and upon Peter or Cephas, the son of John who first was called Simon, because by the gates of Hell, that is, by the disputations of heretics which lead the vain to destruction, it would never be overcome; thus Truth itself promises, through whom are true, whatsoever things are true: “The gates of hell will not prevail against it” [Matt. 16:18]. The same Son declares that He obtained the effect of this promise from the Father by prayers, by saying to Peter: “Simon, behold Satan etc.” [ Luke 23:31]. Therefore, will there be anyone so foolish as to dare to regard His prayer as in anyway vain whose being willing is being able? By the See of the chief of the Apostles, namely by the Roman Church, through the same Peter, as well as through his successors, have not the comments of all the heretics been disapproved, rejected, and overcome, and the hearts of the brethren in the faith of Peter which so far neither has failed, nor up to the end will fail, been strengthened?”[DENZ 351]

St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea,Gospel of Matthew, Introduction: “You, the rightful heir to this faith and testimony, most holy Father, and your mind is religiously watchful, to let the light of such great wisdom pervade the hearts of the faithful, and refute the madness of heretics, which are rightly called the ‘gates of hell.'”

St. Augustine, A Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed, #14: “It follows after commendation of the Trinity, The Holy Church. God is pointed out, and His temple. For the temple of God is holy, says the Apostle, which (temple) are you. This same is the holy Church, the one Church, the true Church, the Catholic Church, fighting against all heresies: fight, it can: be fought down, it cannot. As for heresies, they went all out of it, like as unprofitable branches pruned from the vine: but itself abides in its root, in its Vine, in its charity. ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’”

St. John Cassian, On the Incarnation Bk. 3, Ch. 14: “But what are the other words which follow that saying of the Lord’s, with which He commends Peter? And I, said He, say unto you, that you are Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church. Do you see how the saying of Peter is the faith of the Church? He then must of course be outside the Church, who does not hold the faith of the Church. And to you, says the Lord, I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. This faith deserved heaven: this faith received the keys of the heavenly kingdom. See what awaits you. You cannot enter the gate to which this key belongs, if you have denied the faith of this key. And the gate, He adds, of hell shall not prevail against you. The gates of hell are the belief or rather the misbelief of heretics.”

St. Francis de Sales, The Catholic Controversy, Part II, Art. VI, Ch. 13: “So when S. Peter was placed as foundation of the Church, and the Church was certified that the gates of hell should not prevail against it, — was it not enough to say that S. Peter, as foundation-stone of the ecclesiastical government and administration, could not be crushed and broken by infidelity or error, which is the principal gate of hell? For who knows not that if the foundation be overthrown, if that can be sapped, the whole building falls. In the same way, if the supreme acting shepherd can conduct his sheep into venomous pastures, it is clearly visible that the flock is soon to be lost. For if the supreme acting shepherd leads out of the path, who will put him right? if he stray, who will bring him back ?

In truth, it is necessary that we should follow him simply, not guide him; otherwise the sheep would be shepherds. And indeed the Church cannot always be united in General Council, and during the first three centuries none were held. In the difficulties then which daily arise, to whom could one better address oneself, from whom could one take a safer law, a surer rule, than from the general head, and from the vicar of Our Lord? Now all this has not only been true of S. Peter, but also of his successors; for the cause remaining the effect remains likewise. The Church has always need of an infallible confirmer, to whom she can appeal; of a foundation which the gates of hell, and principally error, cannot overthrow; and has always need that her pastor should be unable to lead her children into error. The successors, then, of S. Peter all have these same privileges, which do not follow the person but the dignity and public charge.”

My Comment: To some people, “the gates of hell” is an uncertain term that may have different meanings. The purpose of this is to show that heretics and their heresies are actually the Gates of Hell. This is taught in Councils, by Popes, by Church Fathers and Doctors. This is significant because is proves that a heretic cannot occupy the Papal Throne. Our Lord’s Words to St. Peter show that the Gates of Hell (heretics/heresies) and the Rock (St. Peter/the Popes) are distinct from each other. Therefore, the Pope cannot be a heretic according to Our Lord.