Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Church the Guardian of Morals

From "The Invitation Heeded" by James Kent Stone (Fr. Fidelis of the Cross)

No Catholic ever turned Protestant in order to reform his morals and lead a better life. So undeniable is this fact that the Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg numbered it among the Fifty Reasons which induced him to abjure Lutheranism and return to the Church of his forefathers. Let us put the matter in such a shape that no one will have the hardihood to demur. No Protestant ever because Catholic in order to throw off restriction and indulge his passions. The system of the Catholic Church is a system of restraints; the sinner is hedged about by her on ever side, and, if his heart be not right, her yoke is galling.* I have been asking for an explanation of the fact that the Church has so long withstood the assaults upon her; if I am requested in turn to furnish an intelligible reason why mankind should cherish against her such undying animosity, here is a sufficient answer: the Catholic Church wages ceaseless warfare against the lusts of the flesh.

*Erasums wrote, while the Reformation was yet in progress: "It seems as if the Reformation aimed at nothing more than to strip a few monks of their habits, and to marry a parcel of priests; and this great tragedy terminates at last in a conclusion that is entirely comical, since, just like comedies, all ends in marriage." "What an evangelical generation this is!" "Nothing was ever seen more licentious, and, withal, more seditious; nothing, in a word, less evangelical than these pretended evangelists." "They set fire to the house in order to cleanse it. Morals are neglected; luxury, debauchery, increase more than ever; there is no order, no discipline among them. The people indocile, after having shaken off the yoke of their superiors, will believe no person; and in so disordered a licentiousness, Luther will soon have reason to regret what he calls the tyranny of bishops." "I find more piety in one good Catholic bishop than in all these new evangelists." Epist., Bossut.

James Kent Stone converted to the Catholic Church after Pius IX, on convoking the Vatican Council, invited Protestants to return to the Church which Christ established. His unprejudiced response, after long and careful examination of conscience, was to leave the priesthood of the Protestant Episcopal Church (USA) and enter the priesthood of the Catholic Church and entered the Passionists, where, known as Fr. Fidelis of the Cross, he late in life, served in their highest office.

No comments:

Post a Comment