Mr. Patrick Henry,
It is with great sorrow that I write to you, and perhaps against my better judgment. I have every desire of helping those who are truly searching for the truth, but your “letter” indicates to me a very different spirit. Your two-hundred plus baited questions show forth a pride and arrogance that seems beyond help. You seem to have even surpassed Martin Luther who limited his “theses” to only ninety-five. Instead of attacking indulgences your attack is against jurisdiction.
I detect that you have read and studied very much, but what seems to be lacking is grace. I am reminded of how St. Augustine speaks of his studies of the Scripture before his conversion. Without grace the meaning was hidden from him. The words were clear enough but the deeper and true meaning escaped his trained and astute mind. It was not until after the grace of God touched his soul that the true meaning began to unfold itself before him. Hence it appears to me that you have a great gift of intelligence but that it is being misdirected and misguided due to a lack of grace. You have become the blind leading the blind. Your studies without grace will only prepare a deeper and deeper residence for you in the depths of Hell.
As you have cut yourself off from the Catholic Church I have little obligation or duty towards you. Yet, as I consider the woman’s reply to our Lord: “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” I am moved by compassion and charity to perhaps give you the opportunity to cooperate with God’s grace.
Your monetary bribes and demands for me to publish and promote your insulting and erroneous observations only confirms and reinforces my observation of your megalomaniacal pride and arrogance and hence your greater need of God’s grace.
You have never met me nor Bishop Louis and I dare say that you have not met a great many of the people in your “letter” that you insult and denigrate. And yet you attempt to label me as a “traditionalist”. We are not “traditionalists” nor are we modernists or of the Novus Ordo. We are Roman Catholics.
Your attack is against my having jurisdiction. And you demand proof of my having it. And I am fully aware that any proof will be insufficient to one who is blinded with his own self-righteousness and his arrogantly preconceived ideas. Therefore, I would rather first draw your attention to the fact that you deny jurisdiction to true bishops but you yourself act as if you have universal jurisdiction. You deny to bishops what you yourself act as if you have. You are therefore higher than the successors of the apostles, then you must be yourself a pope practicing universal jurisdiction. The Church law is clear that one needs jurisdiction to teach, publish, etc. You act as if you have universal jurisdiction and answer to no one. You do this in promoting your teachings online in print, audio, etc. for the whole world. If this is your wish that people see in you a pope then why do you not come out and say it? If this is not your desire, why do you act this way?
Your principle argument against Bishop Louis and therefore myself is our understanding of Pope Pious XII. You yourself without any mission or jurisdiction claim to have a truer and clearer interpretation of this pope, therefore let me use your translation to point out what is obvious to those who are not blinded as you are. Here follows the quote copied and pasted directly from your “letter”. Any typos are yours.
“What we have thus far said of the Universal Church must be understood also of the individual Christian communities, whether Oriental or Latin, which go to make up the one Catholic Church. For they, too, are ruled by Jesus Christ through the voice of their respective Bishops. Consequently, Bishops must be considered as the more illustrious members of the Universal Church, for they are united by a very special bond to the divine Head of the whole Body and so are rightly called ‘principal parts of the members of the Lord;’ moreover, as far as his own diocese is concerned, each one as a true Shepherd feeds the flock entrusted to him and rules it in the name of Christ. Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying the ordinary power of jurisdiction which they receive directly from the same Supreme Pontiff. Therefore, Bishops should be revered by the faithful as divinely appointed successors of the Apostles, and to them, even more than to the highest civil authorities should be applied the words: ‘Touch not my anointed one!’ For Bishops have been anointed with the chrism of the Holy Spirit.”
Now consider the first sentence of the above quote. “What we have thus far said of the Universal Church must be understood also of the individual Christian communities, whether Oriental or Latin, which go to make up the one Catholic Church.” Everything that the Pope has just said of the Universal Church must be understood also of the individual Christian communities which go to make up the one Catholic Church. What he said of the whole must also be said of the part as the part is one with the whole. Obviously and logically not everything of a whole belongs to a part, but the Pope is clearly stating that everything he has previously stated concerning the whole does apply to the individual parts.
Now in the second sentence, “For they, too, are ruled by Jesus Christ through the voice of their respective Bishops.” he tells us that they (the individual Christian communities) are ruled by Jesus Christ through the voice of their respective Bishops. According to the Pope the bishops speak in the name of Jesus Christ. Bishops govern in the name of Jesus Christ. He is very clear here. There is no indication that bishops rule or govern in the name of the Pope. On the contrary their power to rule and govern come from the same source as does the pope – Jesus Christ. Remember the first sentence? What he said of the Universal Church applies to the parts. Here he is clarifying this further. Just as the pope universally rules in the name of Jesus Christ, so does the Bishop in his part rule in the name of Jesus Christ. Just as the universal power of the pope came from Jesus Christ so does the individual power of the bishops.
Now the third sentence: “Consequently, Bishops must be considered as the more illustrious members of the Universal Church, for they are united by a very special bond to the divine Head of the whole Body and so are rightly called ‘principal parts of the members of the Lord;’ moreover, as far as his own diocese is concerned, each one as a true Shepherd feeds the flock entrusted to him and rules it in the name of Christ.” This seems very clear to me, but apparently you do not read and understand the same way that I do. Bishops are the more illustrious members of the Universal Church. They are united by a very special bond to the divine Head of the whole Body. They are united to Christ (the divine Head). This “Head” is not a pope and can in no way be attributed to a pope. The bishops are united to the divine Head, the Head of the whole Body. Notice Head is capitalized as referring to Christ (God) not as in pope vicar of the Head. And notice the word “divine” so that there will be no doubt. And to clarify more he continues: “each one as a true Shepherd feeds the flock entrusted to him and rules it in the name of Christ.” Each bishop is a true Shepherd – not a hireling. Each bishop rules in the name of Christ – not in the name of a pope. The pope does not need a bishop to rule in his name because he is physically present and can rule in his own name because he has universal jurisdiction. Christ has chosen popes to rule in His name universally and bishops to rule in His name in dioceses. Though subject to the universal jurisdiction of the pope, bishops have ordinary jurisdiction in their own right from Christ.
Now the fourth sentence to which you take exception. “Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying the ordinary power of jurisdiction which they receive directly from the same Supreme Pontiff.” Bishops are not independent of the vicar of Christ but are subordinate to “the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff”. Therefore they are not subordinate to impostors (anti-popes) which are unlawful and therefore have no authority. And yes, even here the Pope reiterates that bishops have “ordinary power of jurisdiction”. Notice that it is “ordinary” not delegated. Which they receive from the same Supreme Pontiff or Sovereign Pontiff. (I care not which one you use. They refer to the same Person – Jesus Christ.)
If you need a reference where “Supreme” is used to refer to Jesus Christ rather than a pope just look further in your letter to the quote from Pope Pius VI bottom of page 6. Pope Pius VI wrote in the decree Super soliditate, November 28, 1786: “The Church is certainly the one flock of Jesus Christ, Who is reigning in heaven, its one Supreme Pastor. He has left it a visible Pastor here on earth, a man who alone is his supreme Vicar, so that in hearing him, the sheep hear in his voice the voice of Jesus Christ Himself, lest seduced by the voice of strangers they be led astray into noxious and deadly pastures.” Supreme as here used obviously refers to Jesus Christ.
And the word “same” only helps my position; it in no way takes any thing away from it. The “same” refers to the same Jesus Christ that is mentioned in preceding two sentences: sentence two of this paragraph “Jesus Christ”, and to the “divine Head” mentioned in sentence three. Your rendering of this sentence has to be forced even to conceive of what you mean. You would have to change the word “ordinary” to “delegated” for your rendering to be consistent. “Ordinary” means not delegated. And the “ordinary” power comes from Jesus Christ. It is the same ordinary power that the pope has received universally that the bishops receive for their dioceses. Again the pope is reinforcing the first sentence of the paragraph: what he has said of the universal is true of the individual.
Now sentence five: “Therefore, Bishops should be revered by the faithful as divinely appointed successors of the Apostles, and to them, even more than to the highest civil authorities should be applied the words: ‘Touch not my anointed one!’” Bishops are revered as “divinely appointed successors of the Apostles”. Note: not appointed by a pope but by someone divine i.e. God. This is how the pope would have everyone revere the Bishops. Are you accusing the pope of desiring that the whole world live a lie? If the pope intended to have just taught us that bishops have authority only through and from a pope why would he have us then revere them as “divinely appointed”? Are you suggesting that the pope would have us believe that he (the pope) is divine?
And last but not least the final sentence of your quote: “For Bishops have been anointed with the chrism of the Holy Spirit.” It is the chrism of God the Holy Spirit not the chrism of a pope that has anointed the bishops.
Please note that when you called me on the phone I had no idea of who you were, nor was I expecting such pride, arrogance and haughtiness in your “letter”. This was not conveyed in your phone conversation as it is so blatant in your writing. Your email was filtered out of my inbox because I receive too many of your unsolicited emails that I chose long ago not to have them delivered to my inbox. So it was many days before I discovered your “letter”. Your approach on the phone was vastly different than your tone in your “letter”. This I attribute to a pharisaical attempt to deceive and entrap me. I am not bitter or angry but have great pity for your troubled soul, and am grateful to you as I have been found worthy to suffer such attacks from you as Our Lord suffered from the Pharisees of His day.
If ever the grace of God touches your soul and you are ready to abjure your heresies and profess your faith in the Roman Catholic Church please call upon me, as I would be most pleased to take one of the devils’ agents and turn them to God.
+Bishop Giles OFM
Response to Mr. Patrick Henry's "My Petition for Spiritual Help" July 8, 2010