Lessons from Pius XI

Pius XI thunders the truth – faithful pope defending the true faith and thus earning the love of the People of God by his acts and not merely his office. That truth is that God always gives grace sufficient for anyone to obey the law.

Therefore, there can be no such thing as a situation in which it is impossible for true conversion. There can be no such thing as a situation in which a person cannot be faithful to his marital vows. Perish the thought of the total dilemma:

No difficulty can arise that justifies the putting aside of the law of God which forbids all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted. This truth of Christian Faith is expressed by the teaching of the Council of Trent. “Let no one be so rash as to assert that which the Fathers of the Council have placed under anathema, namely, that there are precepts of God impossible for the just to observe. God does not ask the impossible, but by His commands, instructs you to do what you are able, to pray for what you are not able that He may help you.” (Casti connubii, art. 61)

In particular, everyone can remain sexually chaste, having an integrated sexuality that involves no mortal sin. This is truly possible. To say it is impossible is heresy.

Pius XI thunders again:

Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin (art. 56).

Would that the Church would “stand erect” in the midst of the moral ruin of our day. If the ruin was terrible in Pius’s day, it is far worse in ours.

O Pastors of the Church: Be faithful stewards and defenders and preachers of Truth, in season and out. If you are not, will not God smite you with a great and severe – and everlasting – judgment, for your failure to love the flock?

He loves not the sinner who does not will his conversion. He does not will the conversion of the sinner who does not take all the necessary measures by which to promote it in accordance with his office. It is the office of every preacher to preach the full truth and to encourage trust not in man – who cannot negate the law of God, even if he be Bishop or Pope – but in God only. Sinners have freedom and strength only in Truth and God, not in vacuous declarations against the law of God (or what is in the end the same, practical guidelines that futilely attempt to nullify God’s law), each and every one of which is null and void.