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The Good Shepherd (VI)

When Jesus Christ describes the characteristics of the Good Shepherd He says that the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he hath let out his own sheep, he goeth before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But –Jesus Christ goes on—a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.[1]

Traditionally, these words were never difficult to interpret, but they present the current Pastoral activity and the faithful of the modern Church with a difficult and very serious problem as regards their interpretation. This complex and sensitive topic needs a thorough step-by-step analysis as the sole means of reaching a satisfactory explanation.

First we must consider the very words of the text. Accordingly, the sheep follow the Shepherd because they know his voice; whereas they do not follow the voice of strangers because they know not the voice of strangers.

The conclusion is self-evident: when the voice of the Shepherd is known by the sheep (which obviously implies that the sheep have heard His voice before and are used to it), then they follow the Shepherd. On the contrary, when the voice of the Shepherd sounds sort of strange to the sheep, then they know it not (which means that this voice is different from and at variance with the voice known to them ) and, therefore, they follow it not.

Next to determine is what must be understood by known voice and strange voice. Following elemental logic, those expressions can only refer to a voice which has always been heard and is already recognized as legitimate, or, contrariwise, to a voice which is heard as something new and different, and which, consequently, lacks legitimacy.

That done, facts must be now analyzed.

First, it should be noted, according to the text and as a necessary corollary, that the sheep fall in behind the Shepherd when they know his voice. Therefore, any sheep who know not the Shepherd’s voice and yet still follow him, these sheep do not belong to the fold.

Secondly, it is a fact that in the modern Church the majority of Shepherds have abandoned the Teaching of Tradition and have accepted instead the ideas of the modernist heresy. Logically, their voice is unfamiliar to the voice of Jesus Christ the Prince of Shepherds, according to Saint Peter[2] and as contained in the Gospels and Tradition.

Thirdly, there is another no less important undeniable fact: most Catholics today unquestionably follow those Shepherds.

And the corollary of this reality is that almost the entirety of the Catholic faithful have ceased to belong to the Flock of Christ. Nevertheless, this conclusion, despite being well supported by the teachings of the Gospels with compelling logic, will not be accepted and will be unanimously rejected. Why? Because, once again, truth is opposed by several powerful arguments.

Foremost, bad Shepherds are still the legitimate Hierarchy. In fact, even though they are bad Shepherds they are still legitimate Shepherds. And a Christian faithful to his Faith cannot openly rebel against the legitimate Hierarchy to whom he owes submission and respect.

On the other hand, any member of the Church, regardless of his place within the ecclesiastical community, can – and even must – show his disagreement with error, no matter where it is found, and combat it. This can undoubtedly lead to the plight of maintaining a serene and delicate balance between respect for the Hierarchy and the obligation to denounce error.

In extremely complicated situations, such as the one the Church is going through nowadays, keeping a healthy balance within the Faith is extremely difficult and requires the special assistance of Grace, along with great fidelity to the lights of the Spirit under the guidance of the authentic Magisterium of old. We say the Magisterium of old because modern papolaters falsely maintain that the Magisterium of the Church is to be defined by the reigning Pontiff. For example, the difficulty that someone can encounter at present in keeping the Faith between two opposite errors greatly relevant today which affect, in one way or another, the vast majority of Catholics: we are referring to conciliarism, on the one hand, and papolatry, on the other.

The progressive Church unfairly takes advantage of this situation by demanding obedience to the Hierarchy and to an alleged spirit of the Council which no one really knows what it is. In the same way, Progressivism has used this pretext to persecute the few faithful who still keep their fidelity to the Church that follows the Teachings of Tradition; which constitutes an abuse of authority that, ultimately, becomes a manifestation of true papolatry if not tyranny.

Another powerful reason that explains why the findings presented here will not be accepted is the fact that for over fifty years Catholicism has been pounded to a pulp by the heresy of Modernism with almost no opposition; consequently, the vast majority of the faithful have determined to surrender to the spirit of the lie and are not willing to offer any resistance.

Modernism offers a sort of Christianity conformed to the world and only for this world which does not know the mystery of the Cross and has thrown out any sense of sin. From a merely naturalistic point of view which has disowned God, it is not surprising that Catholicity has capitulated and surrendered the fort. In such a quandary of opportunistic and cowardly feelings, hardly anyone can be found who is willing to defend the truth.

As a proof of what we have just said, we can consider what happened with the New Mass, the Novus Ordo. It was obligatorily imposed by Pope Paul VI to substitute for the Traditional Mass by an illegal disposition which ignored the fact that the Traditional Mass could never be abolished, as Benedict XVI finally acknowledged. The New Mass, despite the fact that it tremendously minimized the essential Sacrificial meaning of the true Mass, was welcomed without resistance by the entire Catholic World.

The New Mass was, indeed, received without resistance, but also without acceptance, as facts are demonstrating. In this regard, somebody has recently said that it is not worth the while to emphasize the values of the Traditional Mass in order to show the damage caused by the imposition of the New Mass since, given its lack of content, it will inevitably end up disappearing, swallowed by the tide of progressivism. Should anyone doubt the stance of this reasoning, just let him pay attention to the fact that almost all of the Catholic churches in the world that champion the Rite of the New Mass have seen a decline in Mass attendance to the point of becoming steadily deserted, as statistics can show.

The Shepherd whom Jesus Christ Himself calls a mercenary does not care about the sheep; he comes not but forto steal, and to kill, and to destroy. The result has been a desolate Catholicity of which only a small remnant is left, scattered and persecuted. According to the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Jesus Christ Himself, seeing the multitudes, had compassion on them: because they were distressed, and lying like sheep that have no shepherd.[3]

But this small remnant, nevertheless, makes true the Promise which will always be fulfilled: And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.[4] Hence, those who believe in Jesus Christ and love Him continue to comfort their hearts with the virtue of hope, always treasuring those consoling words whose echo is never quenched: But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.[5]

Fr. Alfonso Gálvez

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[1] Jn 10: 3-5.

[2] 1 Pet 5:4.

[3] Mt 9:36.

[4] Mt 16:18.

[5] Lk 21:28.




Padre Alfonso Gálvez
Padre Alfonso Gálvezhttp://www.alfonsogalvez.org/
Nació en 1932. Licenciado en Derecho. Se ordenó de sacerdote en Murcia en 1956. Entre otros destinos ha estado en Cuenca (Ecuador), Barquisimeto (Venezuela) y Murcia. Es Fundador de la Sociedad de Jesucristo Sacerdote, aprobada en 1980. Desde 1982 reside en El Pedregal (Mazarrón-Murcia). A lo largo de su vida ha alternado las labores pastorales con un importante trabajo redaccional. Ha publicado Comentarios al Cantar de los Cantares (dos volúmenes), La Fiesta del hombre y la Fiesta de Dios, La oración, El Amigo Inoportuno, Apuntes sobre la espiritualidad de la Sociedad de Jesucristo Sacerdote, Esperando a Don Quijote, Homilías, Siete Cartas a Siete Obispos, El Invierno Eclesial, Los Cantos Perdidos y El Misterio de la Oración. Para información adicional visite su web http://www.alfonsogalvez.com

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