BOOK OF ACCUSATION AGAINST THE CCC
Error concerning the Holy Spirit, the animator of the new world
WE have been shown the “ Sole ” God in His unconditional and eternal love for man, predestining him for the divinisation of his personal being, both individually and collectively. The CCC then turned all its attention to His Son, who came amongst us to obey the Father’s Will, accomplishing His mission of grace in conformity with the predestination of all to eternal salvation. Thus, by His Incarnation He is united to every man ; by His Redemption He saved everyone ; and in His Resurrection He associated them with His glory, in God, His mission thus being completed…
This departure without return ( !), this leaving of space and time – so like a disintegration or a dehumanising dematerialisation – makes us fear a gnostic drift in the CCC, which will give those saved by Christ their complete freedom and which will give the Church, born of the Blood and water of His Heart, an autonomy, spontaneity and receptiveness quite distinct from than the intentions expressed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. Fears which are, alas, fully justified, if only by this astonishing “ In Brief ” :
743. From the beginning to the consummation of time, when God sends His Son, He always sends His Spirit. Their mission is conjoined and inseparable.
The quarrelover the “ filioque ”
246. The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit “ proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque) ”. The Council of Florence in 1438 explains : “ … as from one single Principle and through one single spiration ”…
247. … The introduction of the filioque into the Nicaean-Constantinople Creed by the Latin liturgy constitutes moreover, even today, a point of disagreement with the Orthodox Churches.
248. At the outset the Eastern tradition [schismatic !] expresses the Father’s character as the primary origin of the Spirit. In confessing that the Spirit “ proceeds from the Father ” (Jn 15.26), it affirms that He proceeds from the Father through the Son. The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion between the Father and the Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque). It states this “ in a legitimate and reasonable manner ”, for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as “ the principle without principle ”, is the primary origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, He is, with the Son, “ the single principle whence proceeds the Holy Spirit ”. This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed.
One smells ecumaniac sycophancy beneath this dogmatic relativism. It pleads for “ the right to differ ” whilst ignoring the price that must be paid for the schismatic rebellion against the introduction of the “ filioque ”. St. Thomas, whose death prevented him from attending the Council of Lyons in 1274, had nevertheless established the necessity of this “ filioque ” on an irrefutable basis, for, without it, the two processions of the Son and of the Spirit from one and the same Father would be mutually exclusive, God having but one Word, who is perfect and therefore without any possible double. Whereas the first procession is a generation in the mode of the intellectual expression of the Truth, the second, having the Father and the Son as a single principle, had to be of another mode, that of the union whence Love springs. Consequently the Holy Spirit is not like the Word either in His procession or in His mission within the world.
Our CCC fails to appreciate this all-important Trinitarian theology which makes it clear that the missions of the Word and of the Holy Spirit are not conjoined or identical, but are complementary in their succession and subordination. According to our pure Catholic faith and its explicit Latin expression, the Holy Spirit acts by following Jesus Christ in all things, in accordance with the laws and progress of evangelisation always directed and realised by Him through the Apostles and Leaders of the Church, who are invested with His Power.
Orthodox (schismatic) theology, on the other hand, allows for much more freedom in conceiving the works of the Spirit which, while they are doubtless entirely dependent on the invisible Father, are freed from the strict visible and historical limitations of Jesus Christ’s work and mission and from “ Jesus Christ spread and communicated ” (Bossuet), namely His Church. The Greek outlook favours “ spontaneism ”.
The Holy Spirit is primary. He comes first.
This priority and superiority comes as a shock :
683. “ No one can call Jesus Lord except in the Holy Spirit ” (1 Cor 12.3). “ God has sent the Spirit into our hearts, crying ‘ Abba, Father ! ’ ” (Gal 4.6). This knowledge of faith is only possible in the Holy Spirit. To be in contact with Christ, one must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. For it is He who comes to arouse the faith in us. Through our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us intimately the life that has its source in the Father and that is offered to us in the Son…
No contacts, therefore, with Christ before the touch of the Spirit ? That is to reverse the order of the divine missions !
684. By His grace, the Holy Spirit is the first to awaken faith in us and to communicate the new life, which is to “ know the Father and the one whom He has sent, Jesus Christ ” (Jn 17.3). However, He is the last of the Persons of the Holy Trinity to be revealed…
It is quite astounding to make the Holy Spirit, who comes last, the revealer of the Revealer of the Father ! Does it not also amount to saying that the two Paracletes are found to be similar and in competition ? Exactly ! And which one will prevail over the other ? Guess… Section 687 gives the answer : it is the Spirit that reveals the Son ! And with that, the dimensions of Evangelisation extend to infinity : from the preaching of Jesus of Nazareth, the craftsman, to world animation by the Paraclete ! How the barriers have been overthrown ! Read on :
715. The prophetic texts that directly concern the sending of the Holy Spirit are oracles in which God speaks to the hearts of His People in the language of the promise, in a tone of “ love and fidelity ”. St. Peter will proclaim the fulfilment of these oracles on the morning of Pentecost. According to these promises, in the “ last times ” the Spirit of the Lord will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them ; He will gather together and reconcile the scattered and divided peoples ; He will transform the first creation, and God will dwell there with men in peace.
After the stage of the Son’s humiliation, we now have the harvest of the Spirit : the renewal of hearts, the gathering together and reconciliation of the peoples, and finally the transformation of the world and its full communion with God.
This then is how He began to act at the beginning of time and how He continues His charismatic work until the last day :
761. The gathering together of God’s people began from the moment that sin destroyed the communion between God and man and between man and man. The gathering together of the Church is, so to speak, God’s reaction to the chaos provoked by sin. This reunification is secretly effected in the heart of all peoples : “ In every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to God ” (Acts 10.35).
This constitutes a further head start and pre-eminence for the Holy Spirit over Jesus of Nazareth : it is through Him that all men receive Mercy and Life, grace and final salvation, which are admittedly obtained by the Son, but which are always and everywhere “ secretly ” distributed by His Paraclete !
In Mary, it is the Spirit who accomplished everything
721. Mary, the All-Holy ever-Virgin Mother of God, is the master-work of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because His Spirit had prepared her, the Father finds the Abode where his Son and His Spirit can dwell among men. It is in this sense that the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts about Wisdom in relation to Mary : Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “ Seat of Wisdom ”…
It is the Spirit again who inaugurates the marvels of the Father, and it falls to Him to accomplish them in Christ and in the Church.
721. (continued) In Her, we see the beginning of the “ marvels of God ”, which the Spirit will bring to completion in Christ and in the Church.
The anointing by the Spirit initiates the Son’s mission :
727. The entire mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the fullness of time, is contained in the fact that the Son is the One anointed with the Father’s Spirit since His Incarnation : Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah…
The Church becomes the Spirit’s own privileged instrument and straightaway transcends all frontiers :
775. “ The Church, in Christ, is in some way a sacrament, that is, both the sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the whole human race ”. To be the sacrament of God’s intimate union with men is the Church’s primary purpose. Because men’s communion with one another is rooted in their union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. In her, this unity is already begun, since she gathers men “ from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues ” (Rev 7. 9); at the same time, the Church is the “ sign and instrument ” of the full realisation of the unity yet to come.
This same anointing with the Holy Spirit, whereby Jesus was consecrated, now consecrates for Him a people in His likeness, filled with the same powers and virtues. It is important to notice how this Catechism stresses the omnipotence and pre-potency of the Holy Spirit to the point of disqualifying Jesus – who is removed from the picture and does nothing – and of raising the Church to a truly incredible triple degree of excellence :
783. Jesus Christ is the One whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as “ Priest, Prophet and King ”. The People of God as a whole share in these three offices of Christ and bear the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them.
784. By entering into the People of God through faith and Baptism, one receives a share in the unique vocation of this People, their priestly vocation : “ Christ the Lord, a high priest taken from among men, has made this new People ‘ a kingdom and priests to God His Father ’. The baptised, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood (Lumen Gentium 10). ”
785. “ The holy People of God share also in Christ’s prophetic office ”, especially through the supernatural sense of faith that belongs to the People as a whole, laity and hierarchy, when they “ unfailingly adhere to the faith delivered to the saints once and for all ” and when they deepens their understanding and become Christ’s witnesses in the midst of this world.
786. Finally, the People of God share in Christ’s royal office. Christ exercises His kingship by drawing all men to Himself through His death and Resurrection. Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made Himself the servant of all, for He came “ not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many ” (Mt 20.28). For the Christian, “ to reign is to serve Him ”, particularly when serving “ the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognises the image of her poor and suffering Founder ”. The People of God realise their “ royal dignity ” by living in keeping with their vocation to serve along with Christ…
And how can one oppose or even slightly moderate this exaltation of the Church and of the Spirit, when St. Leo the Great extolled it fifteen centuries ago in the same terms, but in an entirely different “ spirit ” !
786. (continued) The sign of the Cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests, so that, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual Christians using their reason recognise themselves as members of this royal race and sharers in its priestly office. In fact, what can be more royal for a soul than to govern his body in submission to God ? And what can be more priestly than to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer on the altar of His heart the spotless offerings of devotion ? ” (St. Leo the Great, Sermo 4, 1)
One now understands why every gnosis has looked forward to the age of the Spirit, which will supplant Christ and extend to the world the riches of grace and glory previously confined to the Church !
The Holy Spirit, animator of the liturgy
The omnipresence and total control of the Holy Spirit seem indisputable to our authors in that which is, as it were, the mystical breath of the universe : the liturgy of the blessing of God, the Almighty Father, the One and the Merciful, according to the formulas in use among the three monotheistic religions – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – and for that reason very much present in our Catechism. His immanent, invisible, subjective and secret action would seem to be decisive for the CCC in the operations of any community assembled for the sake of God. It is the Spirit, apparently, who does everything in these assemblies.
1091. In the liturgy the Holy Spirit is the teacher of the People of God and the artisan of “ God’s masterpieces ”, the sacraments of the New Covenant. The desire and the work of the Spirit in the heart of the Church is that we may live by the life of the Risen Christ. When He meets in us the response of the faith that He has roused, a genuine co-operation is brought about. And through this co-operation the liturgy becomes the common work of the Holy Spirit and of the Church.
1092. In this sacramental dispensation of Christ’s mystery, the Holy Spirit acts in the same way as at other times in the economy of salvation : He prepares the Church to meet her Lord ; He recalls and manifests Christ to the faith of the assembly ; He makes present and actualises the mystery of Christ by His transforming power ; finally, the Spirit of communion unites the Church to Christ’s life and mission.
Truly He occupies every place. In us and with us, He dialogues with Himself, making us remember Jesus – who is absent ! – and communicating His grace to us.
It is the Spirit who is the minister of our Eucharists
We are thus won over by a novelty – which appeared revolutionary in the Germany of the 1930s, but now surprises no one – according to which the Person present and active in our Eucharists is the Holy Spirit… rather than Jesus.
Formerly, the Sovereign Priest – visibly present in His priest – used to be Jesus, and Jesus renewed His Sacrifice during the Mass as both priest and victim, just as He was on the Cross.
The Anamnesis or “ Memorial ” corresponding to our “ consecration ” was the essential act of the Holy Sacrifice.
But today, by an imperceptible shift, it is the Holy Spirit, the principal minister, who – through an outpouring of His miraculous power of which the assembly is the primary and collective beneficiary – confects the sacrament. With that, the Mass is no longer so much – or rather, not at all – an immediate and personal action of Jesus Christ renewing His Sacrifice, but an evocation in the Spirit of His unique Sacrifice of the Cross. It is the Epiclesis, therefore, or prayer to the Holy Spirit that takes centre stage. This is all made abundantly clear in the following sections :
1104. The Christian liturgy not only recalls the events that saved us, but actualises them and makes them present. Christ’s Paschal mystery is celebrated, but is not repeated. It is the celebrations that are repeated, and in each celebration there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that makes the unique mystery present.
1105. The Epiclesis (‘ invocation upon ’) is the intercession in which the priest begs the Father to send the Sanctifying Spirit, so that the offerings may become the body and blood of Christ and that the faithful, by receiving them, may themselves become a living offering to God.
And that is true of every sacrament :
1106. Together with the Anamnesis, the Epiclesis is at the heart of every sacramental celebration, most especially of the Eucharist :
“ You ask how the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the wine … the Blood of Christ ? I shall tell you : the Holy Spirit comes upon them and accomplishes that which surpasses every word and thought… Let it be enough for you to understand that it is by the Holy Spirit, just as it was of the Blessed Virgin and by the Holy Spirit that the Lord, through and in Himself, took flesh. ” (St. John Damascene)
No doubt the quotation from St. John Damascene is grist to the CCC mill, but it is not sufficient to authorise the alarming slide into the modem liturgical idea whereby Christ, the Sovereign Priest, is firmly supplanted by His conquering rival. One cannot therefore believe that this Spirit is the Spirit of the Father Most Holy, in so far as He turns out to be the supplanter of His own Beloved Son !
Let us quote one text from among ten others, to convince ourselves that we are not seeing things :
1109. The Epiclesis is also the prayer for the full effect of the assembly’s communion with the mystery of Christ. “ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. ” (2 Cor 13.13) must remain always with us and bear fruit beyond the Eucharistic celebration. The Church therefore prays to the Father to send the Holy Spirit to make the lives of the faithful a living offering to God by their spiritual transformation into the image of Christ, by their concern for the Church’s unity, and by their participation in her mission through the witness and service of charity.
It is no longer the Mass. It is a charismatic assembly expecting the gifts of the Spirit. It currently takes place in the presence of an icon of Christ… but soon before the seven-branched candlestick on the day of the Jewish Sabbath ?
The Spirit of openness to every human liturgy
Here, a new observation finds its place. Obviously any allusion to Our Lord Jesus Christ is embarrassing for dialogue and for common prayer or philanthropic work between Catholics and dissident Christians, and still more with the Jews. Substituting the Spirit for Christ Jesus would help union… But we must not look at it like this. That is too polemical and too pragmatic.
The nobler and more religious vision that runs through the various parts of the CCC is the primary intuition of the joint mission of the Spirit – the envoy of the Father – and of the Son. The latter is to accomplish His work as an incarnate, crucified and resurrected human individual, limited consequently to space and time. The work of the Paraclete, however, is to bear the grace thus won – in accordance with all men’s predestination to divine Life – to every nation without exception, with all their different cultures, ways of seeking after God, and religions.
The role of the Holy Spirit overflows in every way the frontiers of Christ’s Church. It was essential that Christ should take Himself off beyond space and time, in order that His Spirit might be infinitely free ! Thus influenced, our liturgists regard the successive covenants and their liturgies as one single charismatic flow from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, to Moses, and to Jesus Christ !
Signs of this continuity in the grace of the Spirit are noticeable in the CCC, proving the validity of such an interpretation :
- The deliverance from the Babylonian captivity, the work of the Spirit (710).
- The salvation announced by Caiaphas’ prophecy about the death of the Just One, the work of the Spirit (596).
- The destruction of Jerusalem (586, 593).
The return to the Judaic matrix
The biblical, liturgical, and charismatic movement of these last fifty years has “ freed the Spirit ”, from what ? From Jesus Christ, the Son of God. By going back up the layers of heretical strata – from Modernism to Lutheranism, from Lutheranism to the Talmudic religion or to its incidental Islamic version, and thence back to the Judaeo-Christian heresy, of Pharisaic origin (Acts 15.5) – in order to reintegrate the Synagogue, our Church of the Spirit had only to obliterate Jesus Christ to find herself perfectly at ease in the family cradle of original Judaism. She could then grant Judaism the glory of having the “ Spirit of the Lord ”, and that before all others and indeed more than all the others :
1096. Jewish liturgy and Christian liturgy. A better knowledge of the Jewish people’s faith and religious life as professed and lived even now, can help us to a better understanding of certain aspects of the Christian liturgy. For both Jews and Christians Sacred Scripture is an essential part of their liturgies : in the proclamation of the Word of God, the response to this Word, the prayer of praise and intercession for the living and the dead, and the recourse to divine mercy. In its characteristic structure, the liturgy of the Word finds its origin in Jewish prayer. The prayer of the Hours and other liturgical texts and formularies, including those of our most venerable prayers such as the Pater, have parallels in Jewish prayer. The Eucharistic prayers also draw their inspiration from models of the Jewish tradition. The relationship between Jewish liturgy and Christian liturgy, but also the differences in their content, are particularly evident in the great feasts of the liturgical year, such as Passover. Christians and Jews both celebrate the Passover : for Jews, it is the Passover of history, looking towards the future ; for Christians, it is the Passover that was fulfilled in the death and Resurrection of Christ, although its definitive consummation is still awaited.
Under the impulse of the Spirit, the Church is returning to the Synagogue…
I. If anyone says that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father without admitting that He proceeds equally from the Son, or says that His mission is wholly determined and visibly conducted by “ Jesus Christ spread and communicated ”, that is to say, by His hierarchical Church, let him be anathema !
II. If anyone says that the Holy Spirit has secretly revealed Christ to souls in every age and place, just as He has in the Church, let him be anathema !
III. If anyone denies the presence of Jesus Christ in His Church or His corporate and active presence in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, preferring the presence of the Holy Spirit, let him be anathema !