The lay state has a sacrament which is peculiar to it: that of marriage. The generalisation of the bachelorhood phenomenon among young converts is the symptom of a growing asocial behaviour resulting from the very kind of conversion : one is converted to defend the Church ; now, in order to do that, the clerical function of teaching is usurped, which leads to structuring one’s life in a wrong way, which causes lots of psychic dysfunction and perturbation.
Our Lord Jesus Christ states: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.” (S. Luke X, 16), meaning that the words of the Priest must not only be listened to, but also that the – modern –layman must overcome the temptation to despise and reject them. And why is that? Because it is the only teaching allowed; a layman’s word, who is usurping the task of teaching sacred subjects, is not that of Christ and even less that of his Father: it belongs to a man whom God did not send.
Only the words of the Church, conveyed, transmitted, and communicated by the Priest are edifying for the soul as well as for society.
Fides ex auditu. To despise the word of a Priest teaching the Law, is to reject the very word of the Son of God. Now, whosoever “heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof.” (S. Matt. VII, 26, 27)
If laity has no vocation in the strict sense of the word, the layman has, because of his baptism, a vocation to eternal life which is fundamental. “Wherefore, brethren, says S. Peter, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your vocation and election : for doing these things, you shall not sin at any time” (II Pet. I, 10). The layman can only sanctify himself as long as he remains in his state. Any encouragement made to come out of it, so to become an ex professo defender of the Church thus becoming a “cause”, is not traditional and does not come from the Spirit of God. That is not our Fathers’ teaching.
All Christians are called to love God: laymen as well. Now, no one can love God if he comes out from the boundaries of the state in which Providence has placed him.
The Augustinian and sacerdotal Concord intends to encourage lay people to remain in their own rank. Thus, the Pastors will be able to accomplish their duty which is to devote themselves entirely for the Lord’s sheep. If, unfortunately, there happens to be some unworthy pastors “who kill the sheep” (Ez. XXXIV, 3), there are also a great many of those sheep scattered upon the hills of their pride, having “turned aside into [their] own way” (Is. LIII, 6) or, in other words, its own way of being an activist… That is why the Augustinian and sacerdotal Concord integrates the reprobation of militancy as it was formulated by the provincial Council of Paris (1849, tit. III, cap. XI) and of Rennes (1849, decr. XXIII) and many other authorities.
The lay’s distress, the inner sorrows which eat up individuals; the serious problems which tear families up, which divide spouses; the constant powerlessness which make it impossible for parents to hand down their faith, in spite of the efforts they make; all that is not the work of the Church’s enemies: it is the result of a pathological interest for a so call “cause”, a permanent alibi (and, unfortunately, an ancient one, too) of passion, self-will and disorder. Those who have urged the sheep to assume the Pastors’ mission have “scattered [them], and driven them away, and have not visited them.” (Jer. XXIII, 2). Only those who have received the mission to do so, i.e. the Clerics, can gather; acting differently is to scatter (S. Matt. XII, 30).
If the Religious and the Clerical states are slightly different than the laymen, it nevertheless remain that they are all part of the mystical Body of Christ: there is “one body and one spirit: as you are called in one hope of your vocation. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in us all.” (Eph. IV, 4)
The general framework in which fit all the states of the Christian life is that of God’s new Covenant with the people Christ has bought by his precious blood (S. Luke XXII, 20), renewing the first Covenant made with Abraham, before the coming of the Messiah. Therefore, talking to our Fathers, God declared to Moses: “I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Lev. XXVI, 12) and through S. Paul: “He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people acceptable, pursuing good works.” (Tit. II, 4)
He who is not baptised is “without Christ, alienated from the society of Israel and strangers to the covenants, having no hope of the promise and without God in this world. But now in Christ Jesus, you, who some time were afar off, are made near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one” (Eph. II,12-14). The Christians, who are partakers of the dignity of the people of Israel (Prayer of the 4th Prophecy of Holy Saturday) form the “Israel of God” on whom dwells the peace and mercy of God (Gal. VI, 16): they are, in no way, still Gentiles, pagans. The first pope and model of all the others, S. Peter, exhorts the Christians to live a holy life among the Gentiles, so that, “considering you by your good works, they may glorify God in the day of visitation” (I Pet. II, 12).
With God’s help who called them to their mission, and in union with all the clerics who are orthodox and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith (Canon of the Holy Mass), the Bishop and the Priests of the Augustinian and sacerdotal Concord intend to continue working on “the edification of the body of Christ : till we all meet in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ : that we may no more be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, in the wickedness of men, in craftiness, to the machination of error. But performing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him, who is the head, Christ.” (Eph. IV, 12-15)
Talking to the laity, the Augustinian and sacerdotal Concord exhorts them to come out of Babylon: “Go out of the midst of her, my people; that every man may save his life from the fierce wrath of the Lord” (Jer. LI, 45), to live an orderly, simple and pious life – the very same one our Fathers were teaching about, before the surge of innovations. According to Our Holy Father Augustine, since man has a sociable nature, the more we love our brethren and work at helping them in their needs, the more we show God that we love him, and the more we unite closely to him (De doctr. christ., I, 22).
The restoration of discipline in the lay state is absolutely necessary. The Augustinian and sacerdotal Concord stresses that this is in no way an utopian idea, but on the contrary, it is the only way to end the disintegration of the Catholic people, whose only characteristic seems to be to have abandoned charity as a typically liberal notion – thus losing its right to the name of Christian.
The Laypeople who want to sanctify their lives according to the Church’s doctrine, without getting off the path of our Fathers, may be aggregated to the ASQC. As members of the Guild, they will find the pastoral care and the appropriate teachings, far away from the sterile and presumptuous agitation of militancy.