Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pope Francis: Doctrine is cold and leads to an abstract world without faith, hope and love

The assault on doctrine continues as Rome disintegrates.

Vatican Radio:

"It is not 'cold doctrine' that brings joy, but faith, and the hope of meeting Jesus. He who cannot rejoice is an unhappy believer: that’s what Pope Francis said in his homily at Thursday morning’s Mass in Santa Marta in the Vatican:
Abraham’s joy upon hearing that as God promised, he may become a father inspired Pope Francis’ reflection Thursday.  Commenting on the day’s readings, Pope Francis remarked that Abraham is old, as well as his wife Sara, but he believes and opens 'his heart to hope' and is 'full of consolation.' Jesus reminds the doctors of the law that Abraham 'rejoiced' to see his day 'and was full of joy':

"And that's what these doctors of the law did not understand. They did not understand the joy of promise; they did not understand the joy of hope; they did not understand the joy of the alliance. They did not understand! They did not know how to rejoice, because they had lost the sense of joy that only comes from faith. Our father Abraham was able to rejoice because he had faith; he was justified in the faith. These others had lost faith. They were doctors of the law, but without faith! But what’s more: they had lost the law! Because the center of the law is love, love for God and neighbor. "

The Pope then continued:

"It’s only that they had a system of precise doctrines and that they clarified each and every day that no one touch them. Men without faith, without law, attached to doctrines that also become an attitude of casuistry: you can pay the tax to Caesar, can you not? This woman, who has been married seven times: when she goes to Heaven will she be the bride of those seven men? This casuistry… This was their world, an abstract world, a world without love, a world without faith, a world without hope, a world without trust, a world without God. And for this, they could not rejoice!"

Perhaps, the doctors of the law - the Pope observes ironically - could also have fun, "but without joy," indeed "with fear." "This is life without faith in God, without trust in God, without hope in God." And "their heart was petrified." It's sad, the Pope stressed, to be a believer without joy - and  joy is not there when there is no faith, when there is no hope, when there is no law - but only the regulations, cold doctrine":
"The joy of faith, the joy of the Gospel is the touchstone of the faith of a person. Without joy that person is not a true believer. Let's go home, but before that, we celebrate here with these words of Jesus: 'Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.' And ask the Lord for the grace to be rejoicing in hope, for the grace to see the day of Jesus when we will be with Him and for the grace of joy."

So, according to Pope Francis, the believer is hindered by dogma.  Dogma is portrayed by the Pontiff as a danger to faith, as something which leads to coldness and the death of faith, hope and love-  the Theological Virtues.

Where is Francis going with this? Is there really any doubt? Where does a religion without dogma lead? Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, in an Essay which may be found in his book The Electronic Christian, tells us:


"The modern man must decide for himself whether he is going to have a religion with thought or a religion without it. He already knows that thoughtless policies lead to the ruin of society, and he may begin to suspect that thoughtless religion ends in confusion worse confounded. 

The problem is simple. The modern man has two maps before him: one the map of sentimental religion, the other the map of dogmatic religion. The first is very simple. It has been constructed only in the last few years by a topographer who has just gone into the business of map making and is extremely adverse to explicit directions. He believes that each man should find his own way and not have his liberty taken away by dogmatic directions. The other map is much more complicated and full of dogmatic detail. It has been made by topographers who have been over every inch of the road for centuries and know each detour and each pitfall. It has explicit directions and dogmas such as, 'Do not take this road - it is swampy,' or 'Follow this road; although rough and rocky at first, it leads to a smooth road on a mountaintop.'

The simple map is very easy to read, but those who are guided by it are generally lost in a swamp of mushy sentimentalism. The other map takes a little more scrutiny, but it is simpler in the end, for it takes you up through the rocky road of the world's scorn to the everlasting hills where is seated the original Map Maker, the only One who ever has associated rest with learning: 'Learn of Me...and you shall find rest for your souls.'

Every new coherent doctrine and dogma add to the pabulum for thought; it is an extra bit of garden upon which we can intellectually browse; it is new food into which we can put our teeth and thence absorb nourishment; it is the discovery of a new intellectual planet that adds fullness and spaciousness to our mental world. And simply because it is solid and weighty, because it is dogmatic and not gaseous and foggy like a sentiment, it is intellectually invigorating, for it is with weights that the best drill is done, and not with feathers.

It is the very nature of a man to generate children of his brain in the shape of thoughts, and as he piles up thought on thought, truth on truth, doctrine on doctrine, conviction on conviction, and dogma on dogma, a very coherent and orderly fashion, so as to produce a system complex as a body and yet one and harmonious, the more and more human he becomes. When, however, in response to false cries for progress, he lops off dogmas, breaks with the memory of his forefathers, denies intellectual parentage, pleads for a religion without dogmas, substitutes mistiness for mystery, mistakes sentiment for sediment, he is sinking back slowly, surely, and inevitably into the senselessness of stones and into the irresponsible unconsciousness of weeds. Grass is broad-minded. Cabbages have heads - but no dogmas. (pp. 74-74).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that, "The Church's Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these." (CCC, 88).

How critical is dogma to one's faith life?  Again the Catechism explains, "There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas.  Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure.  Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith." (CCC, 89).

Pope Francis would have us believe that dogma leads us away from compassion and to a cold Pharisaism. But as far as compassion is concerned, we must define our terms.

Because of human frailty, every sinner deserves both pity and compassion. However, vice and sin must be excluded from this compassion. This because sin can never be the proper object of compassion. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 1).

It is a false compassion which supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin. Such "compassion" provides an assistance (whether material or moral) which actually enables the sinner to remain firmly attached to his evil ways. By contrast, true compassion leads the sinner away from vice and back to virtue. As Thomas Aquinas explains:

"We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written: 'They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not be turned to them.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.6, ad 4, citing Jeremiah 15:19).

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the sentiment of compassion only becomes a virtue when it is guided by reason, since "it is essential to human virtue that the movements of the soul should be regulated by reason." (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, c.3). Without such regulation, compassion is merely a passion. A false compassion is a compassion not regulated and tempered by reason and is, therefore, a potentially dangerous inclination. This because it is subject to favoring not only that which is good but also that which is evil (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 3).

An authentic compassion always stems from charity. True compassion is an effect of charity (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.3, ad 3). But it must be remembered that the object of this virtue is God, whose love extends to His creatures. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.3). Therefore, the virtue of compassion seeks to bring God to the one who suffers so that he may thereby participate in the infinite love of God. As St. Augustine explains:

"'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Now, you love yourself suitably when you love God better than yourself. What, then, you aim at in yourself you must aim at in your neighbor, namely, that he may love God with a perfect affection." (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49).

Related reading here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Diocese of Worcester and vocations: Are orthodox candidates to the priesthood welcome?

Once again, the Diocese of Worcester is putting out the word that it is looking for men who have "thought of a vocation to the priesthood"

But is this call open to everyone?

Apparently not. See here.

As Archbishop Elden Curtis explained in an article entitled "Crisis in Vocations? What Crisis?": "There is much media hype these days about the present and projected shortage of priests and its effect on the sacramental life of the Church. It is time to pay close attention to the dioceses and religious communities reporting increasing numbers of candidates. There have to be reasons for these increases that bear objective analysis from which some conclusions can be drawn.
I personally think the vocation "crisis" in this country is more artificial and contrived than many people realize. When dioceses and religious communities are unambiguous about ordained priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines these calls; when there is strong support for vocations, and a minimum of dissent about the male celibate priesthood and religious life loyal to the magisterium; when bishop, priests, Religious and lay people are united in vocation ministry—then there are documented increases in the numbers of candidates who respond to the call.

It seems to me that the vocation "crisis" is precipitated and continued by people who want to change the Church's agenda, by people who do not support orthodox candidates loyal to the magisterial teaching of the Pope and bishops, and by people who actually discourage viable candidates from seeking priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines the ministries.

I am personally aware of certain vocation directors, vocation teams and evaluation boards who turn away candidates who do not support the possibility of ordaining women or who defend the Church's teaching about artificial birth control, or who exhibit a strong piety toward certain devotions, such as the Rosary.

When there is a determined effort to discourage orthodox candidates from priesthood and religious life, then the vocation shortage which results is caused not by a lack of vocations but by deliberate attitudes and policies that deter certain viable candidates.

And the same people who precipitate a decline in vocations by their negative actions call for the ordination of married men and women to replace the vocations they have discouraged. They have a death wish for ordained priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines them. They undermine the vocation ministry they are supposed to champion." (Full article here).

Although I have had extensive psychological testing and screening for the United States military (as part of my security clearance for military intelligence) and have received glowing reports which indicate that I am free of any pathologies - including a homosexual inclination, when I contacted the Worcester Diocese (twice) to express my interest in discerning a priestly vocation, I received no response whatsoever.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Worcester has ordained homosexual men to the priesthood.  For example, a psychological evaluation in 1977 prior to the ordination of Fr. Jean Paul Gagnon  indicated that the candidate had possible "sex role identification" problems. See here.

Related reading: Expert on Islam prevented from speaking at the Diocese of Worcester's "Catholic" Men's Conference.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Another childish temper tantrum from Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh over the Saint Patrick's Day Parade

In his classic work entitled "Trojan Horse in the City of God," Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote that, "Incessantly we hear today the self-satisfied slogan, 'Man has finally come of age.' Yet there are so many features of the present epoch - the dethronement of truth by historical relativism, the fetishization of science, the devastation of our lives as a result of the laboratory view, and many others - that make it more than doubtful that modern man has really and truly come of age. There is, moreover, something inherently self-deceptive in the very idea. It is a characteristic symptom of immaturity to feel oneself more mature and independent than men of previous times, to forget what one owes the past, and, in a kind of adolescent self-assertion, to refuse any assistance. One need only recall Dostoyevsky's masterly description of the puberty crisis - Kolya Krassotkin in The Brothers Karamazov, Hypolit in The Idiot, the hero of The Adolescent - to grasp the special immaturity of the man who is convinced of his superior maturity, who thinks that in him humanity has in a unique way come of age, who is dominated by one preoccupation - to show his independence. His ludicrous smallness is manifest as he looks down on everything passed on through tradition, even the most timeless values. The illusion of an historic coming of age is not the exclusive possession of our epoch. In the period of the so-called Enlightenment, man also felt themselves to have come of age and looked down on former times as periods of darkness and immaturity. This illusion is a recurring phenomenon in social history and it bears a striking resemblance to the puberty crisis in the life of the individual person. But the contemporary assertion that whereas this perennial boast was never before justified, it is now really true makes its self-serving character all the more clear.One of the many indications of the intellectual and moral immaturity of the present age is the fact that the percentage of worthless books and articles that captivate the minds of intellectuals seems greater today than in any other time in history." (pp.143-144).


This illusion of man having "come of age" is a characteristic of psychological, spiritual and intellectual immaturity. It is also at the core of atheistic humanism. For atheistic humanism advances the notion, rooted in adolescent pride and rebellion, that the human race has reached a leap of advancement, a new stage of development and enlightenment in which man must abandon any notion of divine authority and rely only upon himself to build a utopia here on earth. A utopia where there are no dogmas, no permanent truths, no objective principles or fixed concepts. In the words of Harvey Cox, "Religion is in a sense the neurosis of culture; secularization corresponds to maturation, for it signifies the emancipation of man first from religion and then from metaphysical control." (The Secular City).


This is America's brand of atheism. It is represented in mythology by Prometheus challenging the old gods and stealing fiery power from them to bring man on earth a freedom from divine authority, liberation from childish beliefs and sexual taboos so that man come of age may create for himself a temporal utopia of plenty and a society of peace. This atheism was advanced in 1933 in The New Humanist magazine in a document entitled the "Humanist Manifesto I," by a group of 34 "liberal humanists." However, forty years later The Humanist magazine published "Humanist Manifesto II." This was necessary because the foolish optimism of the "liberal humanists" regarding the natural goodness of man was utterly demolished by the sheer brutality and horror of the Second World War. Not to mention the savage and evil systems of Nazism, Fascism and Communism.


The adolescent rebellion from God which is atheistic humanism continues. It has not learned anything from the harsh realities of history. It refuses to. And this refusal will only lead to more such disasters in the future for mankind. For as George Santayana reminded us, "Those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it." Already we are witnessing the brutality of an atheistic humanism which declares its "love for humankind" even as it approves of the worst form of child abuse - abortion - as well as euthanasia and all varieties of sexual experimentation and immoral "lifestyles" such as fornication and homosexuality. And when those who believe in objective truth and morality object, as did those who opposed same-sex "marriage" in California, Churches were attacked and Christians and Mormons were subjected to violence and intimidation - all in the name of "love" and "freedom."

Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh exhibits this smallness, this characteristic immaturity of the intellectual adolescent.  Like the child who takes his ball home because the other kids don't care to play his game, little Marty refused to March in Boston's Saint Patrick's Day Parade when organizers wouldn't cave into his demands to allow homosexuals to hijack the parade to advance their ideology and political agenda.

Now that perversity is included in the parade, Marty will march.  But the sniveling adolescent is still not happy.  This because some veterans and others object to rainbow-colored umbrellas being used during the parade to politicize it in support of the homsexualist agenda.  Marty says that such people are "childish" and "foolish."

Look who's calling the kettle black.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pope Francis: Contradicting God's Holy Word

(Vatican Radio) "Capital punishment is cruel, inhuman and an offense to the dignity of human life. In today's world, the death penalty is "inadmissible, however serious the crime" that has been committed. That was Pope Francis’ unequivocal message to members of the International Commission against the death penalty who met with him on Friday morning in the Vatican." See here.

God's Holy Word tells us: "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience." Romans 13: 1-5.

Does Pope Francis really mean to contradict God's Holy Word?

The thought of St. Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church:

"The same divine authority that forbids the killing of a human being establishes certain exceptions, as when God authorizes killing by a general law or when He gives an explicit commission to an individual for a limited time.

The agent who executes the killing does not commit homicide; he is an instrument as is the sword with which he cuts. Therefore, it is in no way contrary to the commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill' to wage war at God's bidding, or for the representatives of public authority to put criminals to death, according to the law, that is, the will of the most just reason.

(The City of God, Book 1, chapter 21)


The thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church:

"It is written: 'Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live' (Ex. 22:18); and: 'In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land' (Ps. 100:8). …

Every part is directed to the whole, as imperfect to perfect, wherefore every part exists naturally for the sake of the whole. For this reason we see that if the health of the whole human body demands the excision of a member, because it became putrid or infectious to the other members, it would be both praiseworthy and healthful to have it cut away. Now every individual person is related to the entire society as a part to the whole. Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and healthful that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good, since 'a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump' (1 Cor. 5:6).
(Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2)


The fact that the evil ones, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement.

They also have at that critical point of death the opportunity to be converted to God through repentance. And if they are so obstinate that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from malice, it is possible to make a quite probable judgment that they would never come away from evil.”

(Summa contra gentiles, Book III, chapter 146

Pope Francis has been held up as a model of humility by liberals and so-called "progressives" in the Church. Perhaps then he should respect Sacred Scripture and Tradition (the Depositum Fidei) on this subject?

Pope Francis asserts that the death penalty is ALWAYS inadmissible.  He has, therefore, set himself against the Magisterial teaching of the Church as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor..." (CCC, 2267).

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Democratic Party has become the enemy of religion

As noted here, Catholics are abandoning a Democratic Party which is increasingly hostile toward religion and religious values.

According to the article, "Steve Krueger, head of the group Catholic Democrats, notes that conservative bishops have been beating the war drums since the George W. Bush administration, even going so far in some cases as to argue that 'good' Catholics can’t vote for Democrats because of their support for abortion rights and, more recently, same-sex marriage — which has resulted in an increased politicization of the church.

Stephen Schneck of Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies has noted that there’s been a certain 'distillation' of the Catholic vote as a record number of presumably more liberal-leaning Catholics — some one-third of those raised Catholic — have left the faith altogether. 'More and more of those who remain are those who actively choose to embrace the church and its teachings,' he wrote.

But neither of these trends explains why white Catholics have abandoned the Democratic Party so suddenly and so dramatically. After all, in 2008 Barack Obama managed to keep his margin of loss of white Catholic voters to John McCain to just 5 points. But four years later, he lost the white Catholic vote to Mitt Romney by a stunning 19 points.

Krueger points to the Catholic bishop’s demonization in 2011 of the 'contraceptive mandate' in the Affordable Care Act, and their subsequent ginning up of the war on 'religious liberty' — which was joined by elements of the religious right and fused with its war on Obamacare — as another factor helping to drive Catholics toward the GOP. And the numbers bear Krueger out. According to Pew, between 2009 and 2014, the number of white Catholics who said the Obama administration — and by inference the Democratic Party — was 'unfriendly to religion' more than doubled from 17 percent to 36 percent.

'The shift in the Catholic vote should really be a wakeup call to the Democrats, says Krueger. 'White Catholics are 18 percent of the electorate and Catholics vote 1 to 2 percentage points above their representation in the overall population. This is a significant voting bloc that now perceives Republicans as being more welcoming to people of faith.'"

David Carlin is a lifelong Democrat. From 1981 to 1992, he served as a Rhode Island state senator, serving as senate majority leader in 1989 and 1990. In 1992 he was his district's Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. For more than twenty years, Mr. Carlin has been a professor of philosophy and sociology at the Community College of Rhode Island.

In his book entitled "Can a Catholic Be a Democrat: How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion," he writes:

"..an excuse that appeals to the 'separation of church and state' seems to be among the silliest rationales for a Catholic's support of the secularized Democratic Party. This separation, so we're told, is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, and it prohibits the intrusion of religion into the affairs of government. Yet the First Amendment says nothing about keeping religion out of government; it's concerned instead with keeping government out of religion. Its two religion 'clauses' say (1) that there will be no 'establishment of religion' and (2) that there will be no interference with the 'free exercise' of religion. That's it: government must keep its hands off religion; nothing about religion keeping its hands off government.

However, it should be considered that in writing the religion section of the First Amendment, the framers were no doubt remembering the history of England and how the government of that nation, from the time of Henry VIII until what was then the present day (the 1780's), established a national religion and interfered with the free exercise of dissenting religions. This was a case of government controlling religion, but at the same time it was a case of religion controlling government. That is to say, government persecuted, or at least discriminated against, all religions other than the Church of England, but one of the main reasons it did so was because the Church of England, both through its bishops and its lay members, had tremendous influence over government (only members of the Church of England could serve in Parliament or government). In other words, in its competition with other churches, not to mention its competition with outright infidelity, the Church of England used government to put down the church's rivals.

This is the kind of thing people, many of them Catholics, have in mind when they say that advocating laws against abortion or same-sex marriage violates the principle of separation of church and state. They fear that an alliance of conservative churches might someday gain enough governmental power to impose religious values on everybody else, non-believers included. This is what they mean when they speak, as they often do, of the looming danger of 'theocracy.' Behind the moral-conservative political activism of Christian churches they see would-be theocrats, or 'dominionists,' who want to take over America, stamp out abortion, subjugate women, drive homosexuals back into the closet, and enact other items allegedly on the agenda of the Religious Right. Yet this would be clearly un-American, violating the philosophical, religious, and moral pluralism that has long been, and should be, characteristic of the United States.

One obvious and oft-given answer is this: few liberals have made similar objections to the modern civil-rights movement, which was in large measure inspired by religion and based on churches. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Protestant minister - even, it might be said, a Christian martyr. Are the objectors ready to say that the great legislative fruits of this religio-political movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, are illegitimate, that they're instances of the imposition of theocratic values? Will they say that the spirit of American 'pluralism' demanded that the pro-segregation values of the KKK and other racists should have been respected? Of course not. And so it appears that what's at stake for these people isn't a matter of principle (separation of church and state) but a matter of policy. Some policies they like )e.g., civil rights legislation), and some they dislike (e.g., laws restricting abortion). A religion-driven politics is okay when it produces laws they like, but it's very naughty when it produces laws they don't like. And so we may conclude (may we not?) that all this talk about the separation of church and state is nothing but dust they throw in people's eyes." (Can a Catholic Be a Democrat: How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion, pp. 129-131, Sophia Institute Press, 2006).

Pope Benedict XVI has spoken clearly enough. And he has condemned "gay marriage" and abortion as "among the most insidious and dangerous challenges" to society. The Democratic Party advances both.

And this is leading to a major crisis for the Party.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When mercy is viewed as a license to sin

In a post which may be found here, Father Robert McTeigue, SJ writes: "Very often, I hear folks speak of mercy as if it were a cancellation of justice. On this view, “justice” means, “you have to pay off your debt—or else.” “Mercy”, then, says, “About that debt—never mind!” And who wouldn’t breathe a sigh of relief when told that one’s debt has been dismissed, made irrelevant? That’s an appealing, even tempting image of justice and mercy, especially if you’ve ever been deeply in debt. Unfortunately, such a view tragically distorts justice and mercy. If left uncorrected, such a view runs the risk of making us unable to see or feel what is, to borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, “the weight of glory.” In other words, the roots of human dignity and the very character of God may be obscured by such a facile, beguiling, and impoverished view of mercy and justice."

While there are so many good and faithful priests who do preach on the reality of sin and the need for reconciliation, there are also many who have no love for the souls under their care. As a consequence, these priests neglect the souls entrusted to them and make no attempt to stress the reality of sin and the need for ongoing conversion.

For such priests and their deluded followers, Jesus was little more than a moronic hippy who traveled the countryside preaching non-judgmentalism (who am I to judge*) and a "peace and joy" which includes putting out the welcome mat for any sort of evil or perversion.

When Jesus began His public ministry, He did so with the word "repent" (Matthew 4:17). And He advised the woman caught in adultery to "sin no more" (John 8:11). Likewise, in the case of the man cured at the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus advised him to "sin no more lest something worse befall thee" (John 5:14).When queried on the subject of how many would be saved, Jesus replied "few" because the "gate" to Heaven is "narrow" (Matthew 7:13-14). And while no one can pinpoint the precise meaning of the word "few," still, it is sobering that Jesus chose the image of a narrow gate.

Jesus is likened in the gospel to a stern master who has lazy servants flogged and murderous ones put to death (Matthew 21:41; Luke 12:47). And while it is true that Jesus is Mercy, He is also Justice. And for every parable illustrative of His mercy, there are three or four threatening divine retribution.

The Judgment Day is always described as a day of wrath and never as a day of rejoicing (Proverbs 11:4; Zephaniah 1:15; Sirach 5:10; Romans 2:5; Revelation 6:17). Why is this? If everyone (or even a large segment of mankind) is headed for Heaven, why does Sacred Scripture refer to the Judgment Day as a day of wrath?

The smug, self-satisfied "we-are-all-saved-already" attitude found in so many Catholic parishes is the result of the sin of presumption. Because there are priests who are betraying Jesus by refusing to preach on the reality of sin and the reality of Hell, a spiritual dry-rot has infected much of the Church. This is why nearly everyone receives Holy Communion at Mass but nearly no one goes to Confession.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about presumption: "There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit)." (CCC, 2092).

The words of Sacred Scripture remind us that such an attitude is very, very wrong: "Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin. Say not:' Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive.' For mercy and anger alike are with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath." (Sirach 5:5-7).


If we are living a sacramental life, confessing our sins and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist as often as possible (at the very least on Sundays and Holy Days, which is our obligation) while praying each day for His grace and mercy, we have nothing to worry about. This isn't presumption. This is confidence in God's mercy as we strive every day to conform our will to His divine will. But God will not be mocked. He can neither deceive nor be deceived.

* "Who am I to judge."  This unfortunate phrase used by Pope Francis has sown much confusion.  Especially amongst liberal Catholics whose ignorance of Sacred Scripture is nothing short of appalling.

Does Pope Francis really want the Catholic world to believe that all judging should be left to God? If so, he is gravely ignorant of the teaching of God's Holy Word.

Judging isn't always sinful. It is only sinful when we judge another's interior dispositions, when we judge their soul. But we are entirely free to judge words, ideas and actions which fail to hold up when placed in the Lumen Christi (Light of Christ).

Sacred Scripture makes this abundantly clear: "should you not judge those inside the Church"? (1 Corinthians 5:12), and again: "the saints will judge the world and angels" (1 Corinthians 6:2-3), and again: "the spiritual man judges all things" (1 Corinthians 2:15), and again: "Let prophets speak and the others judge" (1 Corinthians 14:29).

Not all judging is sinful. This is just common sense. Our legal system is structured in such a way that when a person commits a crime, he or she is tried before a judge and sentenced (judged) if found guilty. Likewise, it is our right (and duty) to judge words, ideas and actions which are not in conformity with the Gospels or which fail to conform to the Magisterial teaching of Christ's Church and to expose these as fallacious and/or sinful. In so doing, we are not rendering a judgment against a person. We are following the teaching of the great Saint Augustine (Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church), who said: "Interficere errorem, diligere errantem" - kill the error, love the one who errs. This killing of what is sinful or erroneous is necessary if our charity - our love of neighbor - is to be genuine. Otherwise, our love is counterfeit. It is a fraud.

Thank you Father McTeigue for providing your readers with wheat rather than chaff.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Wild Bill on the Cult of Softness...


On April 6, 1941, Bishop Fulton John Sheen gave a sermon on his radio show "The Catholic Hour" in which he reminded listeners that, "The basic spirit of the modern world for the last century has been a determination to escape the Cross." He told his audience as well that, "There is no such thing as living without a cross. We are free only to choose between crosses." And then he asked them: "Will it be the Cross of Christ which redeems us from our sins, or will it be the double cross, the swastika, the hammer and sickle, the fasces"?

Bishop Sheen believed, as I do, that America is at a crossroads. In his own words, "We in America are now faced with the threat of that double cross...Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it? Will we get it from without, or from within, Will it be inspired by Sparta or Calvary? By Valhalla or Gethsemane? By militarism or religion? By the double cross or the Cross? By Caesar or by God? That is the choice facing America today. The hour of false freedom is past. No longer can we have education without discipline, family life without sacrifice, individual existence without moral responsibility, economics and politics without subservience to the common good. We are now only free to say whence it shall come. We will have a sword. Shall it be only the sword that thrusts outward to cut off the ears of our enemies, or the sword that pierces inward to cut out our own selfish pride"?

Thus far, America has chosen the double cross. Fleeing from the Cross of Christ and the supernatural kingdom established by the Son of God; one of sacrifice and sanctity, America has chosen to pursue a terrestrial kingdom of pleasure and power founded upon a distorted idea of what constitutes liberty or freedom. But this city of man, which has certainly achieved astounding advancements in various spheres while increasing the affluence of some, has also contributed to a climate where men are regarded as mere machines whose only value is to be found in what they produce or consume. This in turn destroys the individual’s sense of personal dignity and responsibility.

Americans, in their tragic desire to flee from the Cross of Christ, have rushed to embrace this distorted notion of "freedom" and have forgotten that, as created beings, they only possess contingent rights. That is to say, rights which are accorded by Almighty God. Consequently, in their zeal to promote the fallacious idea that the basis of public morality should be whatever the majority of citizens are prepared to accept, they have also forgotten that man does not possess, and never will possess, the right to perform or engage in any act which is displeasing to God.

And where has this flight from the Cross of Christ led us up to this point? Was Bishop Sheen being an alarmist? In the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, taken from his Commencement Address at Harvard University entitled "A World Split Apart": "Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. This is considered to be part of freedom, and theoretically counterbalanced by the young peoples’ right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil."

Getting back to Bishop Sheen. What did he mean when he said that, "Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it"? I believe Pope Benedict XVI was providing us with a hint toward an answer when he spoke of the "dictatorship of relativism." Americans who have gleefully embraced the tenets of liberalism have not learned the lesson the concentration camp and the gulag. These unfortunate souls refuse to acknowledge that atheistic ideology (and make no mistake, the current idea of "freedom" which has taken root in America is itself rooted in atheistic ideology) always, and without exception, gives birth to sheer violence. This is the lesson of atheistic humanism. A lesson which the majority of Americans would rather not think about.

Who would deny that Bishop Sheen’s warning, issued some 64 years ago, was highly prophetic? America, and the West in general, is at a crossroads. We have before us two crosses: The Cross of Christ and the double cross (which may also be referred to today as the "dictatorship of relativism"). Which will we choose in the end? Will we continue on our present course or change direction and finally come to embrace the Cross of Christ? Will we embrace Christ and His kingdom of sacrifice and sanctity or continue to rush headlong into the idolatry of unbridled hedonism while declaring ourselves, albeit tacitly, to be God?

If we continue to choose the latter, then we should remember the words of Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J., "When man becomes God, history testifies that then millions of men become imprisoned slaves, terrified automatons and murdered corpses. Society, in the words of Gabriel Marcel, becomes a ‘termite colony.’" (The Gods of Atheism, p. 463).
Site Meter