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Friday, August 26, 2016

To Deny any Point of the Catholic Faith Is to Deny it Completely

To Deny any Point of the Catholic Faith
Is to Deny it Completely
In times like ours, when the nefarious inter-religious dialogue is widespread, it yields the worse possible fruit for Catholics, who instinctively begin to consider their Faith as disputable in this or that point. This is not correct. The Catholic Faith is an ensemble in which no single point can be denied or placed in doubt. This is what the Oratorian Fr. Manoel Bernardes, one of the great Portuguese preachers of the 17th century, demonstrates below. We advise our readers to take advantage of this lucid teaching. 

Fr. Manoel Bernardes

If a person does not believe an article of our Holy Catholic Faith, or consciously entertains doubts whether it could or could not be as it is stated, in such case, the faith with which he believes in the other articles is not true and supernatural, but only a shadow and appearance of faith. The entire Divine Faith was destroyed by that infidelity.

For if he believes in the other articles for the proper motives – the veracity of God and of His Revelation as declared by the authority of the Church – then these same motives should oblige him to fully believe in all the articles. For God, who revealed some [the ones he believes] also revealed the others, and the Church who teaches the former also teaches the latter.

The heretic who confesses the Triune God, but denies the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, does not have a true faith in either of these points. For, as St. Jerome affirms in a similar case, in the first point he transforms the Gospel of Christ into the gospel of man, and in the second, he transforms the Gospel of Christ into the gospel of the Devil (Gal 1:11).

This is, affirms Arnobius of Sicca [an apologist in the 3rd century], the nobility and excellence of the Catholic Faith, whose light is similar to the light of our eyes: If we stab them anywhere, even if just with the tip of a needle, all the light goes out and we remain in darkness. If we offend the Faith, even if it is only in one point and with only one conscious doubt, we remain in the darkness of infidelity.

(Manoel Bernardes, Luz e Calor,
Porto: Tipografiia Porto Médico, 1927, pp. 73-74)
  James 2:10 
And whosoever shall keep the whole law, but offend in one point, is become guilty of all.
[10] Guilty of all;: That is, he becomes a transgressor of the law in such a manner, that the observing of all other points will not avail him to salvation; for he despises the lawgiver, and breaks through the great and general commandment of charity, even by one mortal sin. For all the precepts of the law are to be considered as one total and entire law, and as it were a chain of precepts, where, by breaking one link of this chain, the whole chain is broken, or the integrity of the law consisting of a collection of precepts. A sinner, therefore, by a grievous offence against any one precept, incurs eternal punishment; yet the punishment in hell shall be greater for those who have been greater sinners, as a greater reward shall be for those in heaven who have lived with greater sanctity and perfection.