"It is a grave offense not to work for the extermination of heresy when this monstrous infection requires action"
(Council of Vienne)

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Learn the beauty of our Catholic faith

New Website "Whispers of Restoration" Provides 20 Traditional Catechisms


I would like to alert readers of Rorate to a new website called Whispers of Restoration. The purpose of this site is captured in its subheading: "A resource clearinghouse for fostering the Faith." The basic premise is to provide the kind of reliable materials that seriously searching people (whether Catholic or not yet Catholic) need in order to make sense of the ecclesiastical crisis. His resources are cleverly grouped into five audience categories:

1. Crisis? What crisis?
2. Is This Normal?
3. How Bad Is It?
4. What Must I Do?
5. Ah, Tradition!

Recently, the site uploaded twenty (20!) traditional Catholic catechisms published between 1555 and 1949, all of which agree in doctrine. They are briefly described and rated with 1 to 3 stars, and the full text of each is available. An explanatory essay was published which is in itself well worth reading. Here are some excerpts:

Remarkable continuity in religious instruction will always be the unique purview of the true religion. Such is the “echo” running out from the one Word, spoken forever, whereby God’s immutable Truth is expressed and preserved through the ages by those with divine authority to articulate it.[1] For this reason, tracts and books containing systematic instruction in the Faith have long been referred to as “catechisms,” and (to the surprise of many born after 1980) there are many such works in the Catholic tradition, especially following the Council of Trent (1545-63).

[...]

If you are reading this, then you find yourself in possession of a tremendous gift for facing the crisis of our day: one that the vast majority of Catholic faithful never had. You can read.

Curious Countermeasures

Perhaps the wisdom of Our Lady’s 1917 directive to the Fatima visionaries now stands out a bit more clearly: she told them to learn how to read.

Amid rising socialist power and the swelling of modernism among the clergy, it seems the Virgin had a very precise countermeasure in mind for the coming darkness; and although vast clerical lapses into heresy are contrary to God’s will and lead many souls astray, Church history shows that such times have never been without unique divine provision. One such provision for our own time must be seen in widespread literacy, combined with unprecedented access to traditional catechism.

In her Champion apparition, the Blessed Virgin’s instructions were likewise telling:

“Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation. Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross, and how to approach the Sacraments; that is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you.”

Here we are today, “children of a wild country” in more ways than one, and there remain truths necessary for salvation – too often omitted or undermined by the very shepherds commissioned to proclaim them. Yet we find ourselves uniquely positioned in history: able to read, and able to access the works of the Church Fathers, Doctors, Saints, Popes, and Councils (translated into our own language, no less) – sometimes at the mere touch of a button. Even in an age of widespread heresy and apostasy, have we any excuse not to know the Faith?

[...]

That every articulation of the Faith must exhibit discernible continuity in all its propositions with those preceding is the logical conclusion of the Divine Fact of God’s Self-Revelation in history: for God is Truth, and cannot contradict Himself. As such, while faithful expressions of His Truth grow in profundity and precision from age to age, they can never contradict one another. This is the heartbeat of the “Vincentian Canon,” recognizing that the truths of the Faith are held and taught everywhere, always, and by all, abiding forever.

For the average Catholic seeking to learn this Faith and hand it on to others in an error-plagued age, few things will bear this out like the reading of traditional catechisms. The continuity found in such study is both clear and compelling.

Explaining Our List

Our team has collated a list of twenty traditional Catholic catechisms (and three additional reference works) that represent some of the best texts available in English from 1550 to 1950. Our downloadable list gives them in chronological order by original publication date, and since most are in the public domain, internet archive links are included wherever possible to facilitate free reading online.

Do go and have a look

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