Friday, August 14, 2020

Statement of Archfather Rutherford I on the Eve of the Assumption 2020


Statement of H.H.E. Archfather Don Rutherford I
on the Eve of the Feast of the Assumption 2020

Tomorrow, 15 August, we celebrate each year the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven. Although believed from the time of the early Church, this was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus

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The Assumption of Mary

The Assumption follows the dogma of the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception by which she was preserved free from original sin. It was that state that prepared her to be, if she so decided to be, the Mother of God. Our Lady, of course, did so consent upon the message of the Angel and accepted the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. It was through her free choice and obedience to the will of God that Our Lord and Saviour was able to come into this world, and thus the Word became Incarnate.

Tradition holds that Our Lady was assumed into Heaven from what is now known as the Holy House of Mary in Ephesus, Roman Empire, in modern-day Turkey. We had the privilege of making a pilgrimage last summer to the Holy House. 
Relic of the Holy Belt of Mary in the
care of the Anglican Patriarchate

Also, tradition holds, as depicted in many paintings, that Our Lady dropped her girdle down to one of the Apostles. This is called the Holy Belt of Mary. The Anglican Patriarchate counts among the most sacred objects entrusted to its care a piece of the Holy Belt, which came to us via the Byzantine Roman Empire. 
Archfather Rutherford during a 
pilgrimage to the Holy House
of Mary in Ephesus.

Indeed, long before the formal dogmatic definition by Pius XII in 1950, the glorious Assumption of Mary was a part of the Christian Faith. It was an official feast by the mid-ninth century when it was set by Pope Leo IV. St. Gregory of Tours is among the earliest church official to speak officially of the bodily Assumption of Mary. Scriptural evidence also exists. In the 8th century, Pope Sergius I also celebrated the feast. It was during that time that our Diaconal Church in Rome, Santa Maria Antiqua, was prominent and later used as the seat of the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua, located in the Roman Forum, contains the earliest-known still-intact depiction of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven. 

May our Lady on the Feast of the Assumption bestow her blessing upon each of you, that you may each be brought thereby closer to Our Lord and Saviour. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Statement of H.H.E. Archfather Rutherford I on the Upcoming United States Presidential Election


Statement of H.H.E. Archfather Don Rutherford I
on the Upcoming United States Presidential Election

The people of the United States are again at the time to elect a new President. Such decisions necessarily have a moral component, and faithful Christians must be guided first and foremost by their faith as they cast their ballot. This election in the United States raises many significant moral questions on indeed a global scale. Although the choice of president and other government officials of a particular country necessarily impacts that country and the people of that country, the size and wealth of the United States at present is such that its decisions and its actions influence much of the world. That is also true about a presidential election. Faithful Christians must bear in mind the influence of their vote for President on the people who live within the United States, and also all the people who live around the world, for we are indeed all united in Christ, no matter where we live.

This particular presidential election contains a significant number of grave moral issues. Those issues cannot be laid aside, and Christians place their very souls in peril for all eternity if they lay aside their Christian faith when casting a vote for president.

The Christian faithful may not under any circumstances vote for a candidate who supports, particularly openly and unapologetically, the grave mortal sin of abortion. The right to life is the most essential of all rights, for all other rights have is a necessary precondition to exercise them that one is alive. Furthermore, the Christian faithful may not under any circumstances vote for a candidate who does not respect the sovereignty of Our Holy Mother the Church, for that right comes not from the state, but from Almighty God. Additionally, the Christian faithful may not under any circumstances vote for candidate who espouses the principles of Marxism, whether in the form of communism or socialism, or who embraces and promotes secularism. Indeed, no Christian may vote for a candidate who espouses or promotes the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. 

It has often been asked what one should do if both major candidates are flawed on those and other major issues. Given that the American system is such that it is almost inevitable that one or the other of the major candidates will win, under the principle of proportionate reason, one should vote for the candidate who will do the least harm. Ultimately this becomes a matter of one’s personal conscience. It is always advisable to seek guidance from one’s personal spiritual advisor.

You will be held accountable for your actions, and that is certainly true regarding the upcoming United States presidential election. Those who shirk the duty entrusted to them remove themselves from the saving graces of the sacraments of Our Holy Mother the Church until such time as they are duly contrite and properly reconciled.

The responsibility is yours, and your actions have consequences, not only for yourself, but for other people. Elections must be used to help establish the peace and justice of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the land. That is the responsibility of the Christian faithful on the American election day, as well as each and every other day.