25 Aug 2016

A Reply to John Salza and Robert Siscoe – Conclusion of Part III

By Father Paul Kramer

John Salza
Salza and Siscoe take issue with my entirely orthodox comment that, "The visible entity will be APOSTATE. The true Church will be a remnant in hiding. The Church will be briefly INVISIBLE, as the Fathers teach. "According to their grotesquely distorted and fundamentalistic notion of the Church, that which has been clearly foretold in scripture and expounded by the Fathers and by ecclesiastical writers through the ages of Catholicism, constitutes a denial of the indefectibility visibility of the Church. However, as we have seen in the preceding segment of this article, it is Salza and Siscoe who deny Catholic doctrine by maintaining that the Church will not be reduced to a small number during the reign of Antichrist; and similarly, the diminution of the Church's visibility correlative to its reduction in numbers as a logical corollary of that reduction of numbers.

Cardinal Manning expounds meticulously and at some length, citing the writings of the Fathers and other eminent authorities, that Rome will apostatize, and a counterfeit entity will rise in Rome, where the Vicar of Christ formerly reigned – a pagan counterfeit entity will rise in its place. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will cease, and counterfeit pagan worship will take its place.

Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, D.D., in The Church of Christ, An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise, explains, “The prophecies of the Apocalypse show that Satan will imitate the Church of Christ to deceive mankind; he will set up a church of Satan in opposition to the Church of Christ. Antichrist will assume the role of Messias; his prophet will act the part of Pope, and there will be imitations of the Sacraments of the Church.” (p. 119). Since the scriptures themselves foretell that the reign of Antichrist will be universal, the false worship of the apostate entity will be globally imposed. (Apoc. 13:7-8) Thus, Fr. Berry says, “there seems to be no reason why a false Church might not become universal, even more universal than the true one, at least for a time.” (p.155).

Even after the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice, when the Church, reduced to a small number and nearly everywhere in hiding, will appear to have been swept from the face of the earth; even then, the essential marks of catholicity, and the essential attribute of indefectibility and its corresponding visibility will remain intact, although diminished for a time. In The Divine Plan of The Church, by the Rev. John MacLaughlin, (Burns & Oates, London, 1901. Chapter VI, on indefectibility. Pp. 93-94.), we read:

“We concede, moreover, that there may have been occasions in the past (and such intervals may occur in the future) when, through the opposition of anti-popes and a variety of untoward circumstances, it was difficult for individuals for the moment to tell where the right source of authoritative teaching was to be found.

“This, however, does not change the state of the case in the least; the one true Church was in the world somewhere all the same, and in full possession of all her essential prerogatives, although, for the passing hour – from transient causes – she may not have been easily discernible to the less observant.

“Just as there have been times when some dense fog or mist made it impossible for the ordinary observer to tell the exact spot the sun occupied in the sky, although everybody knew that he was there somewhere; knew, too, that he would in due course make the exact location of his presence visible to all, and that, as soon as the mist lifted, his rays would come straight to the earth again, and every one would see that he was identically the same luminous orb that had shone before.”

Thus the accusation made by Salza and Siscoe, that "By claiming that the “visible entity” will become “apostate,” Fr. Kramer, in a single sentence, has just publicly denied the indefectibility of the Church", is plainly seen not only to be false, but contrary to the plain teaching of scripture as understood according to the mind of the Church.

"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. And power was given him over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation.

And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, which was slain from the beginning of the world."

(To be continued).

See also: A Reply to John Salza and Robert Siscoe (Part I)

A Reply to John Salza and Robert Siscoe (Part II)       
A Reply to John Salza and Robert Siscoe III (continued)
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