1000 years. Royal Priesthood. Father Nicholas Gruner
Faithful are Obliged to Defend the Faith
Like the Pope and the Clergy
Most lay people do not understand that they too have an obligation to the common good of the Catholic Church. The Church is hierarchical — yes, there’s a Pope, and yes, there are bishops, and yes, there are priests. But we have to realize that the faithful, by their baptism, are a royal priesthood. This is not to be confused with the ministerial priesthood, but by their baptism, lay people have been elevated; they have taken on a supernatural life of grace. And through that grace, they undertook the obligation to defend their Faith. Now that baptismal obligation of defending their Faith, at least to themselves, is primordial. It’s more important than their respect for the priest. It’s more important than their respect for the bishop. It’s more important than their respect for the Pope, in that if a priest, bishop or Pope does anything contrary to the Faith, the Catholic is bound to resist them.
The Catholic must understand his primary obligations, and by his Confirmation he or she also takes on the obligation to defend the Faith: not only for themselves, but to the extent they can, for those around them. That obligation is sacred. The obligation to defend the Faith takes precedence over a priest’s obedience to a bishop who would ask him to go against the Faith in any way. The obligation to the Faith takes precedence over a religious’ obligation to his superior who would ask him to go against the Faith in any way. The obligation to defend the Faith that a Catholic receives at his Baptism and Confirmation is higher than any obedience he owes to any ecclesiastical superior.
Now, St. Thomas will say that if you are not intellectually prepared to defend the Faith in public, then leave that to more capable people to do, lest your weak defense makes it look like the truth is defeated. But those who have the ability and those who have the station in life, must defend the faith and cannot and must not hide behind silence.
He is not saying, however, that you, yourself don’t have an obligation to defend the Faith. Even if you are not a learned speaker there are many, many ways you can stand up for the truth, according to your own talents which God has given you. All of us are called to know and live the Fatima Message in our daily lives. All of us are called upon, to the extent that we can, to make the full Fatima Message known to those around us. Doing this will greatly help overcome the apostasy that envelops our world. In this defense of Fatima and the defense of the Catholic Faith, we must never give up.
God sends prophets to help us because we need a correction to our vision, especially when we’re being misled. St. Thomas tells us that God sends prophets to every generation. We need the prophecy of Fatima. We must not despise it. If we despise it, it’s at the peril of our own eternal salvation.