Thursday, July 31, 2008

Does Philip Lawler accept the Church's understanding of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus?

In the introductory chapter to his book entitled "The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture," Mr. Philip Lawler asserts that, "In the 1950s, an Archbishop of Boston discouraged a priest from his energetic public preaching of a defined Catholic dogma, because some people found that dogma offensive."

What Mr. Lawler fails to mention is that the Archbishop in question, Richard James Cushing, who was later made a Cardinal by Pope John XXIII, had more than ample reason to "discourage" the priest in question [Fr. Leonard Feeney] from his "energetic public preaching" of the defined Catholic dogma in question. This because the priest's interpretation of that dogma was not that of the Church.

In a Letter of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office to Archbishop Cushing given on August 8, 1949 we read:

"Your Excellency:

This Supreme Sacred Congregation has followed very attentively the rise and the course of the grave controversy stirred up by certain associates of "St. Benedict Center" and "Boston College" in regard to the interpretation of that axiom: "Outside the Church there is no salvation."

After having examined all the documents that are necessary or useful in this matter, among them information from your Chancery, as well as appeals and reports in which the associates of "St. Benedict Center" explain their opinions and complaints, and also many other documents pertinent to the controversy, officially collected, the same Sacred Congregation is convinced that the unfortunate controversy arose from the fact that the axiom, "outside the Church there is no salvation," was not correctly understood and weighed, and that the same controversy was rendered more bitter by serious disturbance of discipline arising from the fact that some of the associates of the institutions mentioned above refused reverence and obedience to legitimate authorities.

Accordingly, the Most Eminent and Most Reverend Cardinals of this Supreme Congregation, in a plenary session held on Wednesday, July 27, 1949, decreed, and the august Pontiff in an audience on the following Thursday, July 28, 1949, deigned to give his approval, that the following explanations pertinent to the doctrine, and also that invitations and exhortations relevant to discipline be given:

We are bound by divine and Catholic faith to believe all those things which are contained in the word of God, whether it be Scripture or Tradition, and are proposed by the Church to be believed as divinely revealed, not only through solemn judgment but also through the ordinary and universal teaching office (Denzinger, n. 1792).

Now, among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach is contained also that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church.

However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church.
Now, in the first place, the Church teaches that in this matter there is question of a most strict command of Jesus Christ. For He explicitly enjoined on His apostles to teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever He Himself had commanded (Matt. 28: 19-20).

Now, among the commandments of Christ, that one holds not the least place by which we are commanded to be incorporated by baptism into the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, and to remain united to Christ and to His Vicar, through whom He Himself in a visible manner governs the Church on earth.

Therefore, no one will be saved who, knowing the Church to have been divinely established by Christ, nevertheless refuses to submit to the Church or withholds obedience from the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth.

Not only did the Savior command that all nations should enter the Church, but He also decreed the Church to be a means of salvation without which no one can enter the kingdom of eternal glory.

In His infinite mercy God has willed that the effects, necessary for one to be saved, of those helps to salvation which are directed toward man's final end, not by intrinsic necessity, but only by divine institution, can also be obtained in certain circumstances when those helps are used only in desire and longing. This we see clearly stated in the Sacred Council of Trent, both in reference to the sacrament of regeneration and in reference to the sacrament of penance (Denzinger, nn. 797, 807).

The same in its own degree must be asserted of the Church, in as far as she is the general help to salvation. Therefore, that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is necessary that at least he be united to her by desire and longing.

However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God.

These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, On the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ (AAS, Vol. 35, an. 1943, p. 193 ff.). For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members, and those who are united to the Church only by desire.

Discussing the members of which the Mystical Body is-composed here on earth, the same august Pontiff says: "Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed."

Toward the end of this same encyclical letter, when most affectionately inviting to unity those who do not belong to the body of the Catholic Church, he mentions those who "are related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer by a certain unconscious yearning and desire," and these he by no means excludes from eternal salvation, but on the other hand states that they are in a condition "in which they cannot be sure of their salvation" since "they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church" (AAS, 1. c., p. 243). With these wise words he reproves both those who exclude from eternal salvation all united to the Church only by implicit desire, and those who falsely assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion (cf. Pope Pius IX, Allocution, Singulari quadam, in Denzinger, n. 1641 ff.; also Pope Pius IX in the encyclical letter, Quanto conficiamur moerore, in Denzinger, n. 1677).

But it must not be thought that any kind of desire of entering the Church suffices that one may be saved. It is necessary that the desire by which one is related to the Church be animated by perfect charity. Nor can an implicit desire produce its effect, unless a person has supernatural faith: "For he who comes to God must believe that God exists and is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). The Council of Trent declares (Session VI, chap. 8): "Faith is the beginning of man's salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God and attain to the fellowship of His children" (Denzinger, n. 801).

From what has been said it is evident that those things which are proposed in the periodical From the Housetops, fascicle 3, as the genuine teaching of the Catholic Church are far from being such and are very harmful both to those within the Church and those without.

From these declarations which pertain to doctrine, certain conclusions follow which regard discipline and conduct, and which cannot be unknown to those who vigorously defend the necessity by which all are bound' of belonging to the true Church and of submitting to the authority of the Roman Pontiff and of the Bishops "whom the Holy Ghost has placed . . . to rule the Church" (Acts 20:28).

Hence, one cannot understand how the St. Benedict Center can consistently claim to be a Catholic school and wish to be accounted such, and yet not conform to the prescriptions of canons 1381 and 1382 of the Code of Canon Law, and continue to exist as a source of discord and rebellion against ecclesiastical authority and as a source of the disturbance of many consciences.

Furthermore, it is beyond understanding how a member of a religious Institute, namely Father Feeney, presents himself as a "Defender of the Faith," and at the same time does not hesitate to attack the catechetical instruction proposed by lawful authorities, and has not even feared to incur grave sanctions threatened by the sacred canons because of his serious violations of his duties as a religious, a priest, and an ordinary member of the Church.

Finally, it is in no wise to be tolerated that certain Catholics shall claim for themselves the right to publish a periodical, for the purpose of spreading theological doctrines, without the permission of competent Church authority, called the "imprimatur," which is prescribed by the sacred canons.

Therefore, let them who in grave peril are ranged against the Church seriously bear in mind that after "Rome has spoken" they cannot be excused even by reasons of good faith. Certainly, their bond and duty of obedience toward the Church is much graver than that of those who as yet are related to the Church "only by an unconscious desire." Let them realize that they are children of the Church, lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments, and hence, having heard the clear voice of their Mother, they cannot be excused from culpable ignorance, and therefore to them apply without any restriction that principle: submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation.

In sending this letter, I declare my profound esteem, and remain,
Your Excellency's most devoted,
F. Cardinal Marchetti-Selvaggiani.
A. Ottaviani, Assessor.
(Private); Holy Office, 8 Aug., 1949."

Does Mr. Lawler accept this teaching of Holy Mother Church? If so, why does he present a Prince of the Church (Richard Cardinal Cushing) as some sort of villain who was attempting to "discourage" a Roman Catholic priest from publically defending a Catholic dogma? Talk about revisionist history.

And why did he appear as a guest speaker at the 2008 Saint Benedict Center Conference which was held in Nashua, New Hampshire? This even though the local Ordinary, The Most Reverend John B. McCormack, specifically asked the faithful not to participate in any of the Saint Benedict Center's spiritual activities [the group has no permission to do ministry in the Manchester Diocese]. The Saint Benedict Center which held the conference is not in communion with the Church, proposes Fr. Feeney's distorted view of the dogma, and has been listed as an anti-Semitic hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the words of a truly remarkable priest, Fr. James Alberione, S.S.P., S.T.D., "Whoever desires to lead men to ideals of holiness and eternal life must himself be poor in spirit. Whoever desires to lead men to purity of morals must himself be chaste, virginal. Whoever desires to lead men to good order in family living, in society, in the unity of the Church must himself be submissive. Many have wanted to reform the Church, but not to reform themselves first of all. They had no mission, virtue, or true piety. Jesus Christ led by example, taught by oral preaching, and died to win grace for us. Everyone is tempted by a threefold concupiscence: of the flesh, of the eyes, and of the pride of life. The first is checked by chastity, the second by poverty, and the third by obedience."

Mr. Lawler has not hesitated to point out the failures of certain Bishops with regard to the sexual abuse crisis. Hopefully then he will accept this fraternal correction in the spirit in which it is offered. And hopefully he will provide us all with some clarification as to whether or not he accepts the Church's understanding of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus and why he appeared as a guest speaker at the 2008 Saint Benedict Center Conference.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Philip Lawler and Canon Law

"There's a lot of controversy among people who study the so-called Holocaust..There's a misperception that Hitler had a position to kill all the Jews. It's all a fraud. Six million didn't occur." - Douglas Bersaw of the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire, quoted in The Boston Globe article "Cherishing an Older Catholicism."

Fr. Edward Arsenault, Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Manchester, wrote a letter to Mrs. Terri O'Rorke in which he stated that Bishop John McCormack has asked the faithful "to refrain from participating in any of the spiritual exercises at the Saint Benedict Center [in Richmond, NH]." To which he added, "For my part, I will continue to make it clear that Saint Benedict Center has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church in any way.."

Now canon 212 of the Code of Canon Law makes it clear that, "The Christian faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound by Christian obedience to follow what the sacred pastors, as representatives of Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or determine as leaders of the Church."

And canon 223 of the Code of Canon Law states that, "In exercising their rights the Christian faithful, both as individuals and when gathered in associations, must take account of the common good of the Church and of the rights of others as well as their own duties toward others."

As part of a recent Blog post, "I wrote: "It is very troubling that Mr. Philip Lawler will be attending the 2008 Saint Benedict Center Conference which is to be held in Nashua, New Hampshire next month. This because the Center has no relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and has been listed as an anti-Semitic hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center."

I stand by this statement. And I would still like to know why Mr. Lawler attended the 2008 Saint Benedict Center Conference as a guest speaker. Especially since The Most Reverend John McCormack had previously asked the faithful "to refrain from participating in any of the spiritual exercises at the Saint Benedict Center."

Was Mr. Lawler aware of Bishop McCormack's stance relative to the faithful participating in the spiritual exercises and activities of the Saint Benedict Center? If so, why did he ignore the Bishop on this matter? Would such an attitude constitute compliance with canon 212? Isn't it true that Bishop McCormack, as both a representative of Christ and a leader of the Church, should have been obeyed in this matter?

And what of canon 223? Again, the canon states that: "In exercising their rights the Christian faithful, both as individuals and when gathered in associations, must take account of the common good of the Church and of the rights of others as well as their own duties toward others."

If Mr. Lawler was aware of the Bishop's stance regarding participation of the faithful in the spiritual exercises and activities of the Saint Benedict Center and chose to ignore His Excellency, can we honestly say that he was he taking into account "the common good of the Church" and his own "duties toward others"?

In a comment left at this Blog, Mr. Lawler wrote (in part): "I do not endorse or support anti-semitism or Holocaust denial. Anyone who knows me realizes that those charges are outrageous." To which I responded (in part): "Mr. Lawler, it is good to know that you are not supportive of anti-Semitism. And no one here has accused you of such. Therefore, kindly refrain from suggesting otherwise...

You write, 'If I had been aware of the statements attributed above to the St. Benedict Center, I would have reconsidered my appearance (which has already taken place). And if anyone can demonstrate that those quotes are accurate I will denounce them.' If you had taken the time to familiarize yourself with the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond before agreeing to appear as a guest speaker at their Conference, you would have learned that the local Ordinary, The Most Rev. John B. McCormack, has referred to statements issued by the Center as being offensive to all people of good will. You would have familiarized yourself with the article published by The Boston Globe and entitled 'Cherishing an older Catholicism' which states that, 'The St. Benedict Center has no relationship with the Diocese of Manchester, and Bishop [John B.] McCormack has not given them permission to do ministry in New Hampshire," said Diane Murphy Quinlan, the diocese's vice chancellor. "They are not in union with the church.'

If you had taken the time to familiarize yourself with the Center, you would have learned that the television program Chronicle devoted an episode to the anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial of the Center. Perhaps in the future you should exercise some common sense and good judgment before associating yourself with an organization which is so questionable. The Saint Benedict Center is not in communion or affiliated in any way with the Roman Catholic Church. A simple google search would have revealed this to you. If you're still not satisfied, why not contact the Diocese of Manchester yourself?"

Let's hope that Mr. Lawler will provide us all with some clarification.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

There are many ways to fall...Feeneyism is one of them

In his classic work entitled Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton so eloquently explains that: "This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. The Church in its early days went fierce and fast with any warhorse; yet it is utterly unhistoric to say that she merely went mad along one idea, like a vulgar fanaticism. She swerved to left and right, so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles. She left on one hand the huge bulk of Arianism, buttressed by all the worldly powers to make Christianity too worldly. The next instant she was swerving to avoid an orientalism, which would have made it too unworldly. The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable. It would have been easier to have accepted the earthly power of the Arians. It would have been easy, in the Calvinistic seventeenth century, to fall into the bottomless pit of predestination. It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom -- that would indeed have been simple. It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect."

"It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls." Truer words were never spoken. This is so because men are tempted by pride to prefer their own opinions and preferences to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ through the Magisterium of His Church. Such people forget that, "..the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed." (Dei Verbum, No. 10).

Many of those who adhere to Fr. Leonard Feeney's interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus are in this category. Others are simply confused as to what the Church actually teaches. Dr. Germain Grisez provides us with clarification on this teaching:

"Because the Church is the unique new covenant community, outside her there is no savation, as Lateran IV solemnly teaches: 'There is but one universal Church of the faithful outside which no one at all is saved' (DS 802/430). Vatican II reaffirms this definitive teaching (see LG, 14, AG, 7). But it must be rightly understood. Already in 1863, Pius IX, while absolutely rejecting indifferentism, teaches (as something taken for granted by both himself and the bishops) that those who are ready to submit to God but are separated from the true faith and Catholic unity by invincible ignorance can receive God's grace, live uprightly, and be saved (see Quanto conficiamur moerore, Pii IX Pontificis maximi acta, 3.1 [Rome 1868], 612-614 [DS 2865-67/1677]; PE, 60.6-8). Also, in a 1949 decree approved by Pius XII, the Holy Office rejected a more restrictive interpretation (see DS 3866-73). What is new in Vatican II's teaching is the clarification that, although the one and only Church subsists in the Catholic Church (see LG, 8; UR, 4; DH, 1), she also embraces in various ways all who 'sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience" (LG, 16; GS, 22)...Thus, it remains true that there is no salvation outside the Church, but it is now recognized that those who are in good faith in not wishing to be inside the Catholic Church are not entirely outside her (see UR, 3; CMP, 30.2)."

In the mid-1990's, I tried to explain this to Mother Teresa Benaway of St. Ann House in Still River, Massachusetts. I had written Mother because a local priest had advanced Fr. Leonard Feeney's strict interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus during Holy Mass at St. Ann House. I also contacted The Most Reverend Daniel P. Reilly, then Bishop of the Worcester Diocese, with my concerns. This after Mother Benaway asked me not to return to St. Ann House for Holy Mass. His Excellency explained to Mother why she was in the wrong and that I could return to Mass there if I so desired (for the sake of prudence, I decided not to). He also explained to Mother Benaway that should he receive additional complaints that Fr. Feeney's strict interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus was being advanced, he would take away the indult for celebrating the Latin Mass.

It is always simple to fall. But when we stand with the teaching of the Magisterium, we have Christ's teaching. And we will not fall.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Phil's rant

In my last Blog post, I took a Catholic laywoman named Mary Alexander to task for suggesting that Fr. Richard John Neuhaus is both "simple-minded" and "naive." As an aside, I wrote: "It is very troubling that Mr. Philip Lawler will be attending the 2008 Saint Benedict Center Conference which is to be held in Nashua, New Hampshire next month. This because the Center has no relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and has been listed as an anti-Semitic hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center."

In no way does this paragraph constitute an accusation against Mr. Lawler or a condemnation of his person. However, I have just received a comment left at this Blog by someone calling himself Phil (I'm assuming this is Mr. Lawler's comment as he left a previous comment at this Blog using his full name and blogger profile and accusing me of issuing "charges" and since it is highly unlikely that two separate individuals named Phil would leave a comment at this Blog within hours of each other). Phil wrote (in part): "This thread has the earmarks of a lynching. If Mr. Lawler failed to do his homework, so be it. That's egg on his face, and he has to live with it...But are you absolutely so perfect in everything you do? I make no excuses for him, but who appointed any of you to carp so loudly about his perceived shortcomings?...You could have made the same points in a far less condemnatory tone.."

And, after chastising me for being so "condemnatory" in my tone, Phil (Mr. Lawler?) proceeds to inform me, "I'm glad you're not ordained Paul, I'd refuse to seek you for the Sacrament of Penance" and "I seriously doubt most of you possess the appropriate accreditation to elevate your personal opinions to anything higher than a self-satisfied rant."

I'm glad too that I'm not Phil's (Mr. Lawler's?) priest and that he isn't seeking me out for the Sacrament of Penance. After all, without a firm purpose of amendment, I would have to refuse him absolution. I am thankful for one thing though: that we have Phil (Mr. Lawler?) to provide us all with a shining example of charitable dialogue free of a condemnatory tone.

Obviously charity is a strong suit in this person's brand of Catholicism. I am hoping (really hoping) that this second Phil isn't Mr. Lawler. I would be even more disappointed than I am now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus is "simple-minded" and "naive"?

In a Blog post which may be found here, a Catholic by the name of Mary Alexander writes:

"Fr Neuhaus says (after glowing praise of the book - Philip Lawler's The Faithful Departed):

"I differ with Philip Lawler on a number of points in his telling of the story. For instance, his treatment of the 1940s conflict between Father Leonard Feeney and Cardinal Cushing is, I think, too uncritical of Father Feeney. Feeney was out of line in the way he pressed the claim that only Catholics can be saved."

And what struck me was this. We are talking about priests- a handful of whom have become familiar names- Shanley, Geoghan, who were serial abusers of children. Men who left a wake of human destruction who exploited childhood innocence, who manipulated and cheated and who were able to continue their careers of child abuse for decades and then we have Fr. Feeney. (The man that Fr. Neuhaus can really become exorcised about!)I mean child abuse is bad and all but then we have Fr. Feeney!And what did Fr. Feeney do?- teach the Catholic Faith- adhere to its tenets inspite a loss of human respect, a safe career path, a reputation built on his talents, political considerations and plead for the conversion of souls.- do what he thought was right- remain steadfast- speak alone as a voice crying in the wilderness- accept the abandonment of friends and his religious order (and we know how THAT turned out!) Versus child abusers. Right, wrong or insane, how does Fr. Feeney even merit the ire of Fr. Neuhaus?

Ms. Alexander suggests an answer:

"It's simple. Propaganda. Simplemindedness. Naivete. If you are confused about the events that surround the case of Fr. Feeney I think there is only one thing that you need to know. Fr. Feeney was never asked to retract anything that he taught. If, Fr. Feeney were a heretic he would have to retract what he had erroneously taught."

Really? Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, one of the foremost priest-scholars of our time, the Editor of First Things (which is one of the most highly respected journals in the world of Catholic academe) is "simple-minded" and "naive"? More likely Mary that these qualities should be attributed to you. In his excellent refutation of Fr. Feeney's rigid interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, Fr. William Most, an internationally acclaimed Scripture scholar and theologian writes: "In the late 1940s Leonard Feeney, S. J. began to teach that there is no salvation outside the Church. He was correct in saying that there were official teachings, even definitions, on that score. But his tragic error came when he adopted Protestant method, thinking that in that way he would be one of the only true Catholics! We spoke of his protestant method with good reason. First, he was excommunicated for disobedience, refusing to go to Rome to explain his position. Then the Holy Office, under Pius XII, sent a letter to the Archbishop of Boston, condemning Feeney's error. (It is known that Pius XII personally checked the English text of that letter). In the very first paragraph pointed out what is obvious: we must avoid private interpretation of Scripture -- for that is strictly Protestant. But then the letter said we must also avoid private interpretation of the official texts of the Church. To insist on our own private interpretation, especially when the Church contradicts that, is pure Protestant attitude...

What the disobedient Feeney said amounted to this: he insisted that all who did not formally enter the Church would go to hell. Hence he had to say, and he did say, that unbaptized babies go to hell. Further, all adults who did not formally enter the Church - get their names on a parish register - would also go to hell, even if they never had a chance to hear there was a Church, e.g., those in the western hemisphere during the long centuries before Columbus. Therefore Feeney consigned literally millions upon millions to hell, even though He gave them no chance. Not just the documents of the Church as interpreted by the Church should have kept him from this: merely common sense, and the realization that God is not only not a monster, but is infinitely good - that alone should have stopped him. We have, then, most ample reason for calling his error tragic. Even the sexually immoral do not deny that God is good. Feeney does worse than they."

Why then was Fr. Feeney not required to recant his erroneous interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus? Fr. Most explains:

"When Feeney was old, some church authorities out of sorrow for him, let him be reconciled to the Church. As part of the unfortunate looseness we se so often today, they did not demand that he recant. So he did not. As a result, some former followers of his came back to the Church. Others even today insist that the lack of demanding a recantation meant Feeney had been right all along. Of course not. We have proved that abundantly with official texts above and the texts of the Fathers of the Church." For these proofs, visit this link.

It is very troubling that Mr. Philip Lawler will be attending the 2008 Saint Benedict Center Conference which is to be held in Nashua, New Hampshire next month. This because the Center has no relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and has been listed as an anti-Semitic hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In a letter to Mrs. Terri O'Rorke (which was referenced on the television program Chronicle, Fr. Edward J. Arsenault, Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Manchester (NH) wrote:

"I write to you in reply to your letter dated May 24, 2007. I share your concern about the ongoing controversy and difficulties with the Saint Benedict Center. As you know, the Saint Benedict Center has no permission or authority to exercise any Ministry on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire.Bishop McCormack has and will continue to do all that he can to encourage people to refrain from participating in any of the spiritual exercises at the Saint Benedict Center. For my part, I will continue to make it clear that Saint Benedict Center has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church in any way. Please know that I will continue to pray for you and all those who are affected by difficulties that have been created by the Saint Benedict Center."

Related reading: The real status of Fr. Feeney's doctrinal position.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"...a bearing on the eternal destiny of men."

The first principal of the Christian life is charity, which the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines thusly: "Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God." (CCC, 1822). As Christians, we have a great responsibility to abide in God's love and to love one another with the same love with which Jesus loves us.

Because of Jesus' presence in the Sacrament of marriage, Gaudium et Spes of the Second Vatican Council teaches that: "Authentic married love is caught up into divine love and is governed and enriched by Christ's redeeming power and the saving activity of the Church, so that the spouses may be efficaciously led to God and helped and strengthened in their sublime mission as father and mother." (No. 48).

And what is this sublime mission? Lumen Gentium, No. 34 of the Second Vatican Council explains that: "The supreme and eternal Priest, Christ Jesus, since he wills to continue his witness and service also through the laity, vivifies them in this Spirit and increasingly urges them on to every good and perfect work.

For besides intimately linking them to His life and His mission, He also gives them a sharing in His priestly function of offering spiritual worship for the glory of God and the salvation of men. For this reason the laity, dedicated to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvelously called and wonderfully prepared so that ever more abundant fruits of the Spirit may be produced in them. For all their works, prayers and apostolic endeavors, their ordinary married and family life, their daily occupations, their physical and mental relaxation, if carried out in the Spirit, and even the hardships of life, if patiently borne-all these become "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ". Together with the offering of the Lord's body, they are most fittingly offered in the celebration of the Eucharist. Thus, as those everywhere who adore in holy activity, the laity consecrate the world itself to God."

The Lord Jesus calls men and women to cooperate with Him in completing his work of creation and in preparing for His ultimate act of re-creation, by which His plan for all of creation will be brought to fulfillment. As Gaudium et Spes, No. 50 explains: "Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents. The God Himself Who said, "it is not good for man to be alone" (Gen. 2:18) and "Who made man from the beginning male and female" (Matt. 19:4), wishing to share with man a certain special participation in His own creative work, blessed male and female, saying: "Increase and multiply" (Gen. 1:28). Hence, while not making the other purposes of matrimony of less account, the true practice of conjugal love, and the whole meaning of the family life which results from it, have this aim: that the couple be ready with stout hearts to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Savior. Who through them will enlarge and enrich His own family day by day.

Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that they are thereby cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love. Thus they will fulfil their task with human and Christian responsibility, and, with docile reverence toward God, will make decisions by common counsel and effort. Let them thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring. For this accounting they need to reckon with both the material and the spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society, and of the Church herself. The parents themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgment in the sight of God. But in their manner of acting, spouses should be aware that they cannot proceed arbitrarily, but must always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine law itself, and should be submissive toward the Church's teaching office, which authentically interprets that law in the light of the Gospel. That divine law reveals and protects the integral meaning of conjugal love, and impels it toward a truly human fulfillment. Thus, trusting in divine Providence and refining the spirit of sacrifice, married Christians glorify the Creator and strive toward fulfillment in Christ when with a generous human and Christian sense of responsibility they acquit themselves of the duty to procreate. Among the couples who fulfil their God-given task in this way, those merit special mention who with a gallant heart and with wise and common deliberation, undertake to bring up suitably even a relatively large family."

Marriage is a vocation (see Gaudium et Spes, Nos. 48, 49, 52; Lumen Gentium, No. 35), and the primary task of this vocation is "transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted." And, as Gaudium et Spes, No. 51 reminds us, "All should be persuaded that human life and the task of transmitting it are not realities bound up with this world alone. Hence, they cannot be measured or perceived only in terms of it, but always have a bearing on the eternal destiny of men."

When God creates the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21: 1-4), and the Lord Jesus hands over His Kingdom to His Father, love and all of its good fruits - that material which has been prepared for the Kingdom - will endure in an everlasting heavenly communion:

"We do not know the time for the consummation of the earth and of humanity, nor do we know how all things will be transformed. As deformed by sin, the shape of this world will pass away; but we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide, and whose blessedness will answer and surpass all the longings for peace which spring up in the human heart. Then, with death overcome, the sons of God will be raised up in Christ, and what was sown in weakness and corruption will be invested with incorruptibility. Enduring with charity and its fruits, all that creation which God made on man's account will be unchained from the bondage of vanity.

Therefore, while we are warned that it profits a man nothing if he gain the whole world and lose himself, the expectation of a new earth must not weaken but rather stimulate our concern for cultivating this one. For here grows the body of a new human family, a body which even now is able to give some kind of foreshadowing of the new age.

Hence, while earthly progress must be carefully distinguished from the growth of Christ's kingdom, to the extent that the former can contribute to the better ordering of human society, it is of vital concern to the Kingdom of God.

For after we have obeyed the Lord, and in His Spirit nurtured on earth the values of human dignity, brotherhood and freedom, and indeed all the good fruits of our nature and enterprise, we will find them again, but freed of stain, burnished and transfigured, when Christ hands over to the Father: "a kingdom eternal and universal, a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace." On this earth that Kingdom is already present in mystery. When the Lord returns it will be brought into full flower." (Gaudium et Spes, No. 39).

Parents have a serious and sublime vocation to transmit human life and to educate those to whom it has been transmitted. And their response to this vocation, will have a bearing on their eternal destiny.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Holy Eucharist and Charity

"Indeed, this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day." (John 6:40).

Christ excludes no one. In a special way, the love
that flows from the Eucharistic table encompasses
the poor and the lowly, the very people the world
excludes. As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote:

"Panis angelicus fit panis hominum;
Dat panis caelicus figuris terminum;
O res mirabilis; manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus, et humilis."

"The Bread of angels has become the
Bread of mankind; This heavenly Bread puts
an end to all images; O wonderful reality!
The poor, the slave, and the humble eat the Lord."

Pope John Paul II, in Dominicae Cenae, No. 5 explained that: "Christian life is expressed in the fulfilling of the greatest commandment, that is to say, in the love of God and neighbor, and this love finds its source in the blessed Sacrament, which is commonly called the sacrament of love. The Eucharist signifies this charity, and therefore recalls it, makes it present and at the same time brings it about."

Do we express an authentic Christian life? Do we really love Jesus in the Eucharist? If so, this love for our Eucharistic Jesus will express itself in love of neighbor. We will not arbitrarily exclude others or treat them with contempt. We will not dismiss them as "unimportant," "irrelevant" or "worthless." We will treat all those we come in contact with as we would have them treat us.


"Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness...Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes." (1 John 2: 9,11).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Paul Addresses the Areopagus: Intellectual Pride

Acts 17: 19-33

A meditation on Saint Paul by Father James E. Sullivan, m.s.:

"Some of the philosophers seemed anxious to hear more of Paul's strange teaching so they invited him to address the Areopagus,* the famous council of learned men which decided on all questions religion, culture and education. Paul was happy to consent, although he felt a little uneasy in that setting which was purely pagan. In his speech to the semi-circle of scholars, Paul tried very hard to be 'a Greek to the Greeks.'

He spoke with kindness: 'Men of Athens, I see are extremely religious.' He incited their curiosity about 'the Unknown God' whom he would proclaim to them. He spoke in philosophical terms. All the beautiful things of nature must have been made by Someone. That Someone is the Lord of heaven and earth - not an image in gold or silver; not aloof from us or disinterested in us, whom He made in His own likeness; not in need of anything from us - as the false, childish gods they had been worshipping. - Up to this point they listened attentively. But when Paul implied that their religious ideas were childish, they began to seethe. Who was this funny little Jew to be teaching them, the intellectual lights of the world!

Paul continued. It wasn't exactly their fault and God had certainly forgiven these mistaken ideas. But now they were able to understand the true God because He had sent a messenger to men. And He had given this messenger unmistakable credentials by raising Him from the dead. Paul was about to mention the name of Jesus and tell of His life, but 'some began to sneer' openly. Paul stopped. He couldn't mention that Sacred Name to scoffers. The president of the Council tried to be polite: 'We will hear thee again on this matter.' Paul nodded. Disheartened and sad, he left the Council.

Lord, there is no armor harder to pierce than this shield of intellectual pride. St. Paul would preach in cities that were moral cesspools - like Corinth and Antioch in Syria. He would address men with little education as in Galatia and Beroea - And all these he could reach, influence for good, win for Christ. But not the Athenians! Not the men who thought they knew it all! Their pride was an armor plate which deflected Paul's sincerest points and most brilliant proofs as though they were little toy arrows.

The proud man is basically insecure, Lord. The only way he can have any peace is to imagine that he is self-sufficient, that he knows all that is important to know. The moment someone comes along with fine ideas different from his own, the proud man is threatened! His dream-world of all-sufficiency is about to be torn down. So up go his defenses! He laughs and sneers at the other's ideas. 'That man's a fool,' he cries out. 'He doesn't know what he's talking about. Might as well end the conversation here and now!' His defenses become impenetrable.

What peace humility would bring to the intellectually proud! We are none of us self-sufficient. All of us have things to learn - Once we are honest enough to admit this, new ideas are never a threat! We learn and we grow!

Dear Master, humility is truth. And truth is the key to freedom and peace. Let me listen then without anxiety to each person's ideas. Whatever is good or beautiful or true in what they have to say enriches me - and also them for sharing it with me! Lord, how can that be a threat! Let me love truth - and open my arms wide to it, wherever I find it!"

- My Meditations on St. Paul, pp. 243-246.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Anti-Catholic protesters dressed as devils throw condoms at pilgrims during WYD

In the Seventeenth Century, Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser prophesied about our time: "During this period, many men will abuse of the freedom of conscience conceded to them. It is of such men that Jude the Apostle spoke when he said: 'These men blaspheme whatever they do not understand; and they corrupt whatever they know naturally as irrational animals do... They will ridicule Christian simplicity; they will call it folly and nonsense, but they will have the highest regard for advanced knowledge, and for the skill by which the axioms of law, the precepts of morality, the Holy Canons and religious dogmas are clouded by senseless questions and elaborate arguements."

What would possess people to dress as devils and throw condoms at Catholic pilgrims during World Youth Day festivities in Australia? What motivates such hatred? Is it not easy to see that such hatred is inflamed by the fires of Hell? What happens internally soon manifests itself externally. Hence anti-Catholic extremists dressed up as devils.

By our speech, our conduct and our dress, we reveal to the world who we are. Pray for those angry and confused souls who have embraced hatred of Christ's Mystical Body.

Friday, July 18, 2008

An important reminder from Mr. Michael Brown

And we ignore this at our own peril. Througout the Church, there are many who seem almost embarassed by any reference to the supernatural and who relegate the supernatural to the realm of superstition. These misguided souls, many of whom would classify themselves as Vatican II Catholics, actually ignore what the Council had to say about Satan and the other evil spirits. The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) No. 16, teaches that: '..often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become caught up in futile reasoning and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator (cf. Rom 1:21,25)."

Pope Paul VI, in a general audience on November 15, 1972, stated: "What are the Church's greatest needs at the present time? Don't be surprised at our answer and don't write it off as simplistic or superstitious: one of the Church's greatest needs is to be defended against the evil which we call the Devil....Evil is not merely an absence of something but an active force, a living, spiritual being that is perverted and that perverts others....It is a departure from the picture provided by biblical and Church teaching to refuse to acknowledge the Devil's existence...or to explain the Devil as a pseudoreality, a conceptual, fanciful, personification of the unknown causes of our misfortunes...St. Paul calls him the "god of this world," and warns us of the struggle we Christians must carry on in the dark, not only against one Devil, but against a frightening multiplicity of them..."

Is this truth acknowledged by most Catholics? Hardly. Like my name-sake, I have been fighting the Evil One my whole life. And very often, I come across (even within the Church) the resistance of the Evil One and other evil spirits who will act through others. Recently, I tried to get the local diocesan newspaper - The Catholic Free Press - to list a Marian Movement of Priests Cenacle in its "Diocesan Diary" (a calendar of events held throughout the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts) and was insulted by the Editor of this newspaper. You would think the Diocese would be pleased that someone was taking the initiative to promote a Marian prayer group which is loyal to the Magisterium and where members consecrate themselves to Our Lady while pledging obedience and loyalty to the Magisterium in all things. Our strange times. What could possibly be the objection? After all, most members of this Cenacle belong to a parish which has advertised the Cenacle in its Parish bulletin. If there is something "illicit" about this Cenacle, why has the parish been promoting it in its bulletin?

The Evil One is very much at work today. Even within the Church. Many of us who consecrate ourselves daily to Our Lady while remaining faithful to the Magisterium of the Church are treated with nothing but contempt.

It has always been thus. And this enmity will continue to grow as St. Louis de Montfort explains:

"God has established only one enmity - but it is an irreconcilable one which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer...

The children of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the world - for they are all one and the same - have always persecuted and will persecute more than ever in the future those who belong to the Blessed Virgin, just as Cain of old persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob. These are the types of the wicked and of the just. But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will always unmask his serpent's cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws...

Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God's graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ." (True Devotion to Mary).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

City of San Francisco officially condemns Catholic Church

Those who are promoting the homosexual agenda are using time-proven tactics which have been employed by secular humanists for some time now. In the words of Ralph Martin, "First, a plea is issued for a dominantly Christian society to 'tolerate' what appears to be a deviant behavior. Then pressure is applied to place the deviant behavior on an equal footing with traditional Christian values. Secular humanists argue that a pluralist society cannot do otherwise. They then try to make the deviant behavior seem normal and behavior governed by Christian values seem abnormal - a threat to a pluralist society. The last step is often to use the legal system to protect immorality and to undermine what Christians have always considered righteous behavior." (A Crisis of Truth, pp. 101-102).

Professor James Hitchcock, in his excellent work entitled "Catholicism and Modernity" (New York: Seabury Press, 1979, p. 86), explains the role of the media in this entire process:"The media's alleged commitment to 'pluralism' is at base a kind of hoax. The banner of pluralism is raised in order to win toleration for new ideas as yet unacceptable to the majority. Once toleration has been achieved, public opinion is systematically manipulated first to enforce a status of equality between the old and the new, then to assert the superiority of the new over the old. A final stage is often the total discrediting, even sometimes the banning, of what had previously been orthodox."

In the words of one very astute blogger who spends his time in a dogpatch, "See you in the catacombs."


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Little known facts about the SBC's Blueberry Fiddle Festival

Courtesy of the SBC Watch Blog.


Joseph Cardinal Razinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) on dialogue with Jews:

"The average observer would probably regard the following statement as obvious: the Hebrew Bible, the “Old Testament,” unites Jews and Christians, whereas faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Redeemer divides them. It is not difficult to see, however, that this kind of division between what unites and what divides is superficial. For the primal fact is that through Christ Israel's Bible came to the non-Jews and became their Bible...For through the encounter with Jesus of Nazareth the God of Israel became the God of the Gentiles. Through him, in fact, the promise that the nations would pray to the God of Israel as the one God, that the “mountain of the Lord” would be exalted above all other mountains, has been fulfilled. Even if Israel cannot join Christians in seeing Jesus as the Son of God, it is not altogether impossible for Israel to recognize him as the servant of God who brings the light of his God to the nations. The converse is also true: even if Christians wish that Israel might one day recognize Christ as the Son of God and that the fissure that still divides them might thereby be closed, they ought to acknowledge the decree of God, who has obviously entrusted Israel with a distinctive mission in the “time of the Gentiles.”

....I think we could say that two things are essential to Israel's faith. The first is the Torah, commitment to God's will, and thus the establishment of his dominion, his kingdom, in this world. The second is the prospect of hope, the expectation of the Messiah — the expectation, indeed, the certainty, that God himself will enter into this history and create justice, which we can only approximate very imperfectly.... For Christians, Christ is the present Sinai, the living Torah that lays its obligations on us, that bindingly commands us, but that in so doing draws us into the broad space of love and its inexhaustible possibilities. In this way, Christ guarantees hope in the God who does not let history sink into a meaningless past, but rather sustains it and brings it to its goal. It likewise follows from this that the figure of Christ simultaneously unites and divides Israel and the Church: it is not in our power to overcome this division, but it keeps us together on the way to what is coming and for this reason must not become an enmity."

"...the one who opposes himself to Christ."

Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests that her children should bear within themselves "..the witness of Jesus in these times of the apostasy in order to be strong and courageous witnesses of faith" because "The days foretold by the Gospel and the Apocalypse have arrived. The forces of evil, united by the power of the one who opposes himself to Christ, will perform great prodigies in heaven and on the earth in order to thus seduce a great part of humanity." (June 28, 1989, Spiritual Exercises in the Form of a Cenacle with the Priests of the M.M.P. from America and Europe).

Already, there are those who prepare the way for the arrival of the Man of Sin, he who opposes himself to Christ and who will demand that worship which belongs to Almighty God alone.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More on that Wikipedia controversy....

In a response to Mr. Roger Vaste over an email written to Wikipedia regarding the Fr. Leonard Feeney biography which is heavily biased, a Wikipedia Administrator responded, "If you make legal threats or take legal action over a Wikipedia dispute, you may be blocked from editing so that the matter is not exacerbated through other channels. Uses who make legal threats will typically be blocked from editing indefinitely while legal threats are outstanding."

To which Mr. Vaste responded:

You have made it clear that historical revisionism will rule the day at Wikipedia. I have not threatened anyone with legal action so you are being dishonest when you assert otherwise. I have, however, contacted the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center about this issue."

And this Administrator, who goes by the screen name Garion96 replied:

"I never heard of Father Leonard Feeny until a month or so ago. So please skip the anti-Semitic conspiracy nonsense. It seems impossible that you will ever discuss the article instead of boldly reverting together with conspiracy theories. Therefore consider the week long block changed to an indefinite block.


Mr. Vaste answered:

"Mr. Garion,

I have not engaged in "conspiracy theories" but facts of history which you have chosen to ignore. In an article published in Time Magazine:,9171,817066,00.html, Father Feeney is quoted extensively and admits, "I preach hate."

As documented here:, the Archdiocese of Boston maintains archives which prove the following statements were made by Feeney:

"The Jews have taken over this city..." (Report by Grace Uberti from 14 September 1952, Feeney Collection, Archives, Archdiocese of Boston, Brighton, Mass)."I would rather be a bad Catholic than any Jew in existence." (op. cit, 19 October 1952).

"Every Protestant hates the Jews. Harvard loathes Jews. That is why they got a new President - to keep the Jews away. I don't hate Jews for the reason he hates them. I hate them because they hate Jesus. They hate Jesus because they are Jews!" (op. cit 9 August 1953).

"Those kikes are from Hillel House. I warn you of what the Jews are going to do to the Catholic City of Boston. In every city you see a new synagogue being built in a Christian country...If I sent Catholics over to heckle Rabbi Shubow, Fingold [Attorney General] would send the police in and have them in jail. But over here in front of the picture of the sacred heart of Mary these Jews are yelling every single filthy thing - every blasphemous word, on Sunday in a Catholic city." (op. cit 31 July 1955).

And Fr. Feeney's idea of "dialog" also included attacks on Protestants and Catholics: "Archbishop Cushing is a heretic. I didn't say it behind his back; I said it to his face." (op. cit 28 September 1952).

"Here you have me in a Catholic city being spit at and sneered at. I would like to profess my Catholic faith in a city gone to the dogs, thanks to the Jews, Protestants and Masons, and under a cowardly leader." (op. cit 16 November 1952).

"Harvard boys are filthy. Too many Irish, too many Negroes, and too many Jews." (op. cit 8 March 1953).

Apparently it is your contention that the Archdiocese of Boston and Time Magazine are simply spreading "conspiracy theories" as well.

Other relevant facts which you will no doubt ignore as you pander to anti-Semites:

Holocaust denial:

The Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire is NOT in communion with the Church and "Brother" Andre Marie's followers have falsely presented him as an ordained deacon:

All of this makes me wonder about where you are coming from.


The facts of history are what they are. To say that Fr. Leonard Feeney was known far and wide as "The Hate Priest" or that he and many of his followers engaged in anti-Semitism and that Wikipedia should include this in Fr. Feeney's biography is sound from an historical point of view.

For Wikipedia to suggest that an individual is engaging in "conspiracy theories" for simply inquiring as to why one of their entries is so heavily biased is, in the final analysis, evidence of bias. To ban an editor because he questions this bias only serves to provide additional evidence of bias.

What's going on at Wikipedia?

I received an email from Mr. Roger Vaste this morning which read:

I just wrote this to an Administrator at Wikipedia where I have attempted to contribute to the biography on Father Feeney. Each time I added my editorial comment, it was promptly deleted by a supporter of Father Feeney. Now I have been banned from participation in the editorial process virtually ensuring that historical revisionism will rule the day when it comes to Leonard Feeney and his hate-filled anti-Semitic legacy.

Here is my response to the Administrator who banned me:

I am saddened to see that you have banned me from participation in the Wikipedia editorial process and have decided to cater to the anti-Semitic agenda of the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire which has absolutely no relationship with the Roman Catholic Church.

Father Feeney was popularly known as "The Hate Priest." By removing all reference to this hate-filled legacy within his biography, you do a profound disservice to the wider community and fail to remain objective.

The Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire has engaged in Holocaust denial and has issued extremely virulent and hate-filled attacks against the Jewish People. For example, "Brother" Anthony Mary (aka Douglas Bersaw) has referred to them as the "Synagogue of Satan" and "Brother" Andre Marie (aka Louis Villarrubia) has said that the Jewish People have a "tendency to undermine public morals."

Since you are determined to whitewash the hateful legacy of Father Feeney and many of his followers, I will be reporting you and Wikipedia to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ADL.

Good day,
Roger Vaste

Related reading:



On a related note, is there a growing anti-Semitic movement in the Monadnock area of New Hampshire? Mr. Russell Provost has already documented at his Blog ( the fact that several hate groups (which are known for their anti-Semitism and belief in "white supremacy") are located in Cheshire County. In an article published in The Union Leader, which may be found here, authorities speculate as to whether or not anti-Semitic literature left throughout the town of Rindge, New Hampshire is the work of an organized anti-Semitic organization or movement.

I'll say it again: When is the State of New Hampshire going to treat anti-Semitism within its borders with the seriousness it deserves?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You simply cannot dialogue with some people...

Readers of this Blog are familiar with homosexual activist John Hosty who has repeatedly labelled me a "bigot" because of my moral opposition to homosexual acts and same-sex "marriage." In a recent exchange at JayG's Catholic Blog Defend the Faith (which may be found here), Mr. Hosty alleged:

"The Church has no place making laws that oppress the unwilling, and protection from this sort of action is promised by the Bill of Rights. The bottom line is that I am a caring, loving person. I want us all to get along, and if there was something I was doing that harmed someone else, I would want stop. However, you can't come to me with unfounded charges and expect me to give up my liberties simply because you want me to. Understand that you do not have any control over me, you can elicit my co-operation just like you would any other neighbor. We can have a discussion about what we CAN do to live together in peace, or you can continue the attacks. I'll check back when I can; the choice is yours.Until then I leave you all with blessings and prayers for peace in the name of Christ."

Of course, the Church does not oppress homosexual persons so it's unclear what Mr. Hosty means by this. But I responded:

"Mr. Hosty, we have no desire to limit your liberty. We simply reject your definition of liberty, your erroneous idea of what constitutes liberty. It was Pope Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Letter Libertas Humana, who reminded us that: "It is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man,but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he please, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the state; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law . . . the binding force of the human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law . . . where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man we become disobedient to God."

When you say 'liberty' you actually mean 'license,' or the throwing off of all responsibility. By liberty, you mean a carte blanche to do as you feel. Your concept of 'liberty' is, thereby, incompatible with virtue and destroys community. In the words of John Milton, 'None can love freedom heartily but good men; the rest love not freedom but license.' (Tenure of Kings and Magistrates).

I do not expect you to acknowledge these truths. Indeed, an authentic dialogue with you is impossible since (as JayG has noted) you want to continuously redefine things. In other words, you're not interested in real or meaningful dialogue. You want to define all the terms, set the tone, and provide all the ground rules. To put it simply: you expect us to disregard the perennial wisdom of the ages and to simply kow tow to all of your demands."

And Mr. Hosty replied:

Paul, it is people like you that are the problem. You put words in my mouth when you tell me what I do not want meaningful dialog. I have said from the beginning that we should have dialog about how we can live together as respectful neighbors while maintaining our rights to disagree on matters important to us. I work and live in a very diverse and progressive enviornment, yet all of us give the other the respect afforded by an individual's actions, not who they inherently are.

You seem incapable and unwilling to see that, so you merely twist the truth and blame me, saying I am the one who does not want meaningful dialog. Here is my proof: 'In the words of John Milton, "None can love freedom heartily but good men; the rest love not freedom but license.' This shows what you think of GLBT people as a whole, it gives no lattitude to see us as individuals worthy of individual judgment. To you men who are gay simply cannot be good men. I can't blame you because you are a product of your upbringing and leadership. When you have a Cardinal like O'Maley who can pass out T-shirts that reference the failed drive to end gay marriage whic hsay on them, 'All evil needs in order to be triumphant is for good men to do nothing' I suppose I can't expect much from his flock.

I ask you, are all Catholics the same? Should "Joe Public" have one opinion that encompasses all Catholics and whenever the subject comes up that is the one track mind point of view that people should think?Stop with the ad hominem attacks. Argue my points instead if you are on solid ground and defeat my points with logic instead of emotion and misinformation.

Your religious opinions matter little when setting social policy, and I am protected by the Constitution from the tyranny of laws made in such fashion. We will have our equality, not at your expense, and you are living in a world where you are forced to deal with GLBT people, like it or not. How you conduct yourself tells of your character, not mine.I'm shocked we have a direct dialog Paul, thusfar you have been too homophobic for that. Perhaps you are trying to grow as you need to and I should give credit for the baby steps you now take in trying to understand this problem.

And I responded:

"Mr. Hosty, you just wrote: "Stop with the ad hominem attacks. Argue my points instead if you are on solid ground and defeat my points with logic instead of emotion and misinformation."Please produce some evidence that I have engaged in ad hominem attacks against you. My last comment was a refutation of your definition of liberty. How does this constitute an "ad hominem attack"?

Isn't it more accurate to say that it is YOU who engages in ad hominem attacks. For example, you wrote: " is people like you that are the problem," "you merely twist the truth," "you are a product of your upbringing and leadership," "When you have a Cardinal like O'Maley [O'Malley] who can pass out T-shirts that reference the failed drive to end gay marriage whic[h] say on them, 'All evil needs in order to be triumphant is for good men to do nothing' I suppose I can't expect much from his flock," "Your religious opinions matter little when setting social policy," "you are living in a world where you are forced to deal with GLBT people, like it or not. How you conduct yourself tells of your character, not mine," "I'm shocked we have a direct dialog Paul, thus far you have been too homophobic for that" and "Perhaps you are trying to grow as you need to.."

Mr. Hosty, you wrote: 'Argue my points instead if you are on solid ground and defeat my points with logic instead of emotion and misinformation.' I was under the impression I was doing just that. If you disagree with Pope Leo XIII, rather than attacking my character, please show me where His Holiness is wrong."

Mr. Hosty fails to appreciate the difference between criticism and condemnation. The former being an evaluation of a person's ideas or conduct and the latter being a devaluation of a person. Note how it is Mr. Hosty's ideas which I challenge and how he responds by devaluing my person. This is a pattern with Mr. Hosty. While I have shown him nothing but respect (even while disagreeing with his ideas), he has treated me with nothing but contempt, referring to me continuously as a "bigot" who is "supportive of hate." And not just myself. Any serious orthodox Christian who opposes homosexuality is labelled in the same way. JayG being included.

We need to pray for Mr. Hosty and all of those who angrily reject the Lord's Commandments and His Church. Jesus has come for us to have life and have it abundantly (John 10: 10). Let's all pray that Mr. Hosty will set aside his anger and choose to live the abundant life by keeping the Lord's Commandments. For this is the only way to authentic peace.

Related reading:

Dr. Susan Suchocki Brown and Original Sin

In an article entitled "A Summer Blessing" (Leominster Champion, July 4, 2008 edition, p. 14), Dr. Susan Suchocki Brown, pastor of the First Church Unitarian Universalist in Leominster, wrote: "Unitarian Universalists do not believe that we are flawed sinful persons, nor that we are part of an inherently flawed world." But in the very next sentence admits that, "Yes, we do live in a world that is broken, a world that is unjust, often unmoved and uninvolved and sometimes a world that manifests great evil."

This is precisely the problem (correction, one of the problems) with Unitarianism and New Age belief. Dr. Brown is apparently unaware of the fact that she contradicts herself in the above cited paragraph. After first proclaming that her "church" does not believe we are "flawed sinful persons" or that we are part of "an inherently flawed world," she freely admits that we live in a broken world which sometimes "manifests great evil."

This is one of many reasons why intelligent people are not attracted to Unitarianism or the New Age Movement. But what the Unitarian "church" doesn't understand, the Catholic Church does. Pope John Paul II, while describing Original Sin during a general audience on October 1, 1986, called it, "the absence of sanctifying grace in nature which has been diverted from its supernatural end" (CCC, 37, 215, 388-406, 409, 412, 1250, 1607, 1609, 1707, 2259, 2515).

Pope Benedict XVI emphasizes that Christ founded only one Church

This point is not understood by all. From the La Salette Journey archives:

Another open letter to Bishop Robert J. McManus

False irenicism?

The following is my response to a homily given by Rev. Andre Dargis at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Gardner, Massachusetts. Fr. Dargis' homily was broadcast from WGAW radio.

January 27, 2008
The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester
49 Elm Street
Worcester, Ma 01609

Your Excellency,

The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree on Ecumenism No. 3, teaches us that, "...some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ.The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation.It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church. Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life-that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ's Catholic Church, which is "the all-embracing means of salvation," that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God." (UR, No. 3).

This Magisterial teaching regarding Catholic principles on ecumenism is apparently not understood by Rev. Andre Dargis, the Pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Gardner. Commenting on today’s Second Reading (1 Corinthians 1: 10-13, 17), which reads:"I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters,by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning," Rev. Dargis suggested that no one man or one church has all the answers and that we are no different from the people St. Paul was addressing at Corinth when we say, "I follow the Pope" while still others say, "I follow Martin Luther." What Fr. Dargis failed to mention in his homily is that St. Paul was addressing those who were creating divisions within the Church founded by Jesus Christ. He also failed to address the Magisterial teaching that, "Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time..." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 820) and that, "...we must realize ‘that this holy objective - the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ - transcends human powers and gifts.’" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 822, citing UR, No. 24).

Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, said that: "Taking up an idea expressed by Pope John XXIII at the opening of the Council, the Decree on Ecumenism mentions the way of formulating doctrine as one of the elements of a continuing reform. Here it is not a question of altering the deposit of faith, changing the meaning of dogmas, eliminating essential words from them, accommodating truth to the preferences of a particular age, or suppressing certain articles of the Creed under the false pretext that they are no longer understood today. The unity willed by God can be attained only by the adherence of all to the content of revealed faith in its entirety. In matters of faith, compromise is in contradiction with God, who is Truth. In the Body of Christ, ‘the way, and the truth, and the life’ (Jn 14:6), who could consider legitimate a reconciliation brought about at the expense of the truth? The Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae attributes to human dignity the quest for truth, ‘especially in what concerns God and his Church,’ and adherence to truth’s demands. A ‘being together’ which betrayed the truth would thus be opposed both to the nature of God, who offers his communion, and to the need for truth found in the depths of every human heart." (UUS, No. 18).

Your Excellency, the Council’s Decree on Ecumenism rejects as "foreign to the spirit of ecumenism" anything that would compromise the integrity of Catholic doctrine or obscure its meaning, teaching that: "The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded." (UR, No. 11).

It is my hope that Your Excellency will remind Fr. Dargis of these truths. In the words of Dr. Dietrich Von Hildebrand, "False irenicism is motivated by a misconceived charity at the service of a meaningless unity. It places unity above truth. Having severed the essential link between charity and defense of the truth, irenicism is more concerned with reaching a unity with all men than with leading them to Christ and His eternal truth. It ignores the fact that real unity can be reached only in truth. Our Lord’s prayer ‘that they may be one’ implies being one in Him and must not be separated from His words in John: ‘And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice. And there shall be one fold and one shepherd.’" (Dr. Dietrich Von Hildebrand, citing John 10:16).

Asking Your Excellency’s Blessing,
I am, Yours Respectfully
Paul Anthony Melanson

cc: Rev. Andre Dargis

Friday, July 11, 2008

Canadian Human Rights Commission drops case against Catholic Insight

Actually, they never had a case as I argued here. However, this still leaves Catholic Insight with about $20,000 in legal costs.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Condoms to be distributed at World Youth Day?

"Onan, however, knew that the descendants would not be counted as his; so whenever he had relations with his brother's widow, he wasted his seed on the ground, to avoid contributing offspring for his brother. What he did greatly offended the LORD, and the LORD took his life too." (Genesis 38: 9-10).

Suggested reading:

The time is short.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Living the Gospel of Life in Texas?

According to LifeSite News:

"...the State of Texas makes all hospital inpatient records publicly available. An anonymous group used this data to compile a report on the alleged immoral activities taking place in Catholic hospitals and released it to the website, Wikileaks, which operates in order to house this kind of information.

A spokesperson for the group said they released the information in order to increase awareness of the immoral practices Catholic hospitals were engaging in, but were afraid of retaliation and therefore remained anonymous."

The good people who exposed these immoral practices were afraid of retaliation. That really says it all. In many dioceses throughout the United States, there is still a culture of secrecy. Often an attitude of "my pastor right or wrong" or "my diocese right or wrong" still prevails. This is why when children were being sexually abused within the Catholic Church, so many just looked the other way.

Such an attitude doesn't represent fidelity to Roman Catholicism or to the Mystical Body of Christ. It represents infidelity. And often is accompanied by an arrogance which can only be described as satanic. Children are not objects to be used for sexual gratification and unborn children are not merely "blobs of tissue" which may be expelled for the sake of convenience.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Larry Harmon....Rest in Peace

I grew up in a more innocent time. Kids were allowed to be kids. When we weren't running and jumping outside, playing baseball and football or pretending to be various characters from the adventure films we had seen at the cinema, we watched programs such as Captain Kangaroo, Rex Trailer and Bozo's Big Top.

Bozo was my favorite. And although Larry Harmon wasn't the original Bozo the Clown, he made the role his own. And I couldn't get enough of him. I actually saw him live at Hyannis in 1970 and will never forget the experience. My parents bought me a Bozo the Clown doll when I was four and I took that thing everywhere I went. I hugged the doll so often my mother had to re-attach the head twice after it fell off. When she informed me that she couldn't sew it on a third time, I cried.

A lot of people have different ideas as to what makes a hero. But for me, Larry Harmon was a hero. He brought joy to countless children and even made rainy days more tolerable. In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul tells us that, "..the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5: 22, 23). And Larry Harmon epitomized all of these virtues while bringing joy to others all his life.

I just know you're already with the Lord Jesus Larry. And that he's issued you a pair of oversized red shoes and a nose to match which will never wear out.
God love you Larry.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Don't worry what others think....

By their very nature, human affections are fickle and unpredictable. Others will be attracted to us or dislike us for the most trivial reasons. And when we add a religious element to the equation, this further complicates the picture. This because religion is often a controversial subject and those of us who take our faith seriously are always at risk of being misunderstood.

By way of example, St. Jean Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, was very popular and loved by so many. But not everyone appreciated the Cure of Ars. Some of his brother priests were jealous of his success and even accused him of being overly zealous, ignorant, and even "deranged." In fact, when such accusations were brought before his Bishop, the Bishop replied, "I wish, gentlemen, that all my clergy had a touch of the same madness."

Ironically, it is most often the very same people who disparage us and question our motives who never seem able to find the time to examine their own motives and methods. Motivated by jealousy and envy, these unhappy souls are anxious to tear down everything we say or do while building themselves up artificially.

Instead of becoming discouraged (which can be a sign of pride), we should instead reflect upon the message in a handwritten sign which was found on Mother Teresa's wall when she died:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; be successful anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, other may be jealous; be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow; do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give your best anyway.

For you see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

St. Thomas Aquinas on envy

From New Advent Encyclopedia:

Article 1. Whether envy is a kind of sorrow?

Objection 1. It would seem that envy is not a kind of sorrow. For the object of envy is a good, for Gregory says (Moral. v, 46) of the envious man that "self-inflicted pain wounds the pining spirit, which is racked by the prosperity of another." Therefore envy is not a kind of sorrow.

Objection 2. Further, likeness is a cause, not of sorrow but rather of pleasure. But likeness is a cause of envy: for the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 10): "Men are envious of such as are like them in genus, in knowledge, in stature, in habit, or in reputation." Therefore envy is not a kind of sorrow.

Objection 3. Further, sorrow is caused by a defect, wherefore those who are in great defect are inclined to sorrow, as stated above (I-II, 47, 3) when we were treating of the passions. Now those who lack little, and who love honors, and who are considered wise, are envious, according to the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 10). Therefore envy is not a kind of sorrow.

Objection 4. Further, sorrow is opposed to pleasure. Now opposite effects have not one and the same cause. Therefore, since the recollection of goods once possessed is a cause of pleasure, as stated above (I-II, 32, 3) it will not be a cause of sorrow. But it is a cause of envy; for the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 10) that "we envy those who have or have had things that befitted ourselves, or which we possessed at some time." Therefore sloth is not a kind of sorrow.

On the contrary, Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 14) calls envy a species of sorrow, and says that "envy is sorrow for another's good."

I answer that, The object of a man's sorrow is his own evil. Now it may happen that another's good is apprehended as one's own evil, and in this way sorrow can be about another's good. But this happens in two ways: first, when a man is sorry about another's good, in so far as it threatens to be an occasion of harm to himself, as when a man grieves for his enemy's prosperity, for fear lest he may do him some harm: such like sorrow is not envy, but rather an effect of fear, as the Philosopher states (Rhet. ii, 9).

Secondly, another's good may be reckoned as being one's own evil, in so far as it conduces to the lessening of one's own good name or excellence. It is in this way that envy grieves for another's good: and consequently men are envious of those goods in which a good name consists, and about which men like to be honored and esteemed, as the Philosopher remarks (Rhet. ii, 10).

Reply to Objection 1. Nothing hinders what is good for one from being reckoned as evil for another: and in this way it is possible for sorrow to be about good, as stated above.

Reply to Objection 2. Since envy is about another's good name in so far as it diminishes the good name a man desires to have, it follows that a man is envious of those only whom he wishes to rival or surpass in reputation.

But this does not apply to people who are far removed from one another: for no man, unless he be out of his mind, endeavors to rival or surpass in reputation those who are far above him. Thus a commoner does not envy the king, nor does the king envy a commoner whom he is far above. Wherefore a man envies not those who are far removed from him, whether in place, time, or station, but those who are near him, and whom he strives to rival or surpass. For it is against our will that these should be in better repute than we are, and that gives rise to sorrow. On the other hand, likeness causes pleasure in so far as it is in agreement with the will.

Reply to Objection 3. A man does not strive for mastery in matters where he is very deficient; so that he does not envy one who surpasses him in such matters, unless he surpass him by little, for then it seems to him that this is not beyond him, and so he makes an effort; wherefore, if his effort fails through the other's reputation surpassing his, he grieves. Hence it is that those who love to be honored are more envious; and in like manner the faint-hearted are envious, because all things are great to them, and whatever good may befall another, they reckon that they themselves have been bested in something great. Hence it is written (Job 5:2): "Envy slayeth the little one," and Gregory says (Moral. v, 46) that "we can envy those only whom we think better in some respect than ourselves."

Reply to Objection 4. Recollection of past goods in so far as we have had them, causes pleasure; in so far as we have lost them, causes sorrow; and in so far as others have them, causes envy, because that, above all, seems to belittle our reputation. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii) that the old envy the young, and those who have spent much in order to get something, envy those who have got it by spending little, because they grieve that they have lost their goods, and that others have acquired goods.

Article 2. Whether envy is a sin?

Objection 1. It would seem that envy is not a sin. For Jerome says to Laeta about the education of her daughter (Ep. cvii): "Let her have companions, so that she may learn together with them, envy them, and be nettled when they are praised." But no one should be advised to commit a sin. Therefore envy is not a sin.

Objection 2. Further, "Envy is sorrow for another's good," as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 14). But this is sometimes praiseworthy: for it is written (Proverbs 29:2): "When the wicked shall bear rule, the people shall mourn." Therefore envy is not always a sin.

Objection 3. Further, envy denotes a kind of zeal. But there is a good zeal, according to Psalm 68:10: "The zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up." Therefore envy is not always a sin.

Objection 4. Further, punishment is condivided with fault. But envy is a kind of punishment: for Gregory says (Moral. v, 46): "When the foul sore of envy corrupts the vanquished heart, the very exterior itself shows how forcibly the mind is urged by madness. For paleness seizes the complexion, the eyes are weighed down, the spirit is inflamed, while the limbs are chilled, there is frenzy in the heart, there is gnashing with the teeth." Therefore envy is not a sin.

On the contrary, It is written (Galatians 5:26): "Let us not be made desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another."

I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), envy is sorrow for another's good. Now this sorrow may come about in four ways. First, when a man grieves for another's good, through fear that it may cause harm either to himself, or to some other goods. This sorrow is not envy, as stated above (Article 1), and may be void of sin. Hence Gregory says (Moral. xxii, 11): "It very often happens that without charity being lost, both the destruction of an enemy rejoices us, and again his glory, without any sin of envy, saddens us, since, when he falls, we believe that some are deservedly set up, and when he prospers, we dread lest many suffer unjustly."

Secondly, we may grieve over another's good, not because he has it, but because the good which he has, we have not: and this, properly speaking, is zeal, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 9). And if this zeal be about virtuous goods, it is praiseworthy, according to 1 Corinthians 14:1: "Be zealous for spiritual gifts": while, if it be about temporal goods, it may be either sinful or sinless.

Thirdly, one may grieve over another's good, because he who happens to have that good is unworthy of it. Such sorrow as this cannot be occasioned by virtuous goods, which make a man righteous, but, as the Philosopher states, is about riches, and those things which can accrue to the worthy and the unworthy; and he calls this sorrow nemesis [The nearest equivalent is "indignation." The use of the word "nemesis" to signify "revenge" does not represent the original Greek.], saying that it belongs to good morals. But he says this because he considered temporal goods in themselves, in so far as they may seem great to those who look not to eternal goods: whereas, according to the teaching of faith, temporal goods that accrue to those who are unworthy, are so disposed according to God's just ordinance, either for the correction of those men, or for their condemnation, and such goods are as nothing in comparison with the goods to come, which are prepared for good men. Wherefore sorrow of this kind is forbidden in Holy Writ, according to Psalm 36:1: "Be not emulous of evil doers, nor envy them that work iniquity," and elsewhere (Psalm 72:2-3): "My steps had well nigh slipped, for I was envious of the wicked, when I saw the prosperity of sinners [Douay: 'because I had a zeal on occasion of the wicked, seeing the prosperity of sinners']." Fourthly, we grieve over a man's good, in so far as his good surpasses ours; this is envy properly speaking, and is always sinful, as also the Philosopher states (Rhet. ii, 10), because to do so is to grieve over what should make us rejoice, viz. over our neighbor's good.

Reply to Objection 1. Envy there denotes the zeal with which we ought to strive to progress with those who are better than we are.

Reply to Objection 2. This argument considers sorrow for another's good in the first sense given above.

Reply to Objection 3. Envy differs from zeal, as stated above. Hence a certain zeal may be good, whereas envy is always evil.

Reply to Objection 4. Nothing hinders a sin from being penal accidentally, as stated above (I-II, 87, 2) when we were treating of sins.

Article 3. Whether envy is a mortal sin?

Objection 1. It would seem that envy is not a mortal sin. For since envy is a kind of sorrow, it is a passion of the sensitive appetite. Now there is no mortal sin in the sensuality, but only in the reason, as Augustine declares (De Trin. xii, 12) [Cf. I-II, 74, 4]. Therefore envy is not a mortal sin.

Objection 2. Further, there cannot be mortal sin in infants. But envy can be in them, for Augustine says (Confess. i): "I myself have seen and known even a baby envious, it could not speak, yet it turned pale and looked bitterly on its foster-brother." Therefore envy is not a mortal sin.

Objection 3. Further, every mortal sin is contrary to some virtue. But envy is contrary, not to a virtue but to nemesis, which is a passion, according to the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 9). Therefore envy is not a mortal sin.

On the contrary, It is written (Job 5:2): "Envy slayeth the little one." Now nothing slays spiritually, except mortal sin. Therefore envy is a mortal sin.
I answer that, Envy is a mortal sin, in respect of its genus. For the genus of a sin is taken from its object; and envy according to the aspect of its object is contrary to charity, whence the soul derives its spiritual life, according to 1 John 3:14: "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren." Now the object both of charity and of envy is our neighbor's good, but by contrary movements, since charity rejoices in our neighbor's good, while envy grieves over it, as stated above (Article 1). Therefore it is evident that envy is a mortal sin in respect of its genus.

Nevertheless, as stated above (35, 4; I-II, 72, 5, ad 1), in every kind of mortal sin we find certain imperfect movements in the sensuality, which are venial sins: such are the first movement of concupiscence, in the genus of adultery, and the first movement of anger, in the genus of murder, and so in the genus of envy we find sometimes even in perfect men certain first movements, which are venial sins.

Reply to Objection 1. The movement of envy in so far as it is a passion of the sensuality, is an imperfect thing in the genus of human acts, the principle of which is the reason, so that envy of that kind is not a mortal sin. The same applies to the envy of little children who have not the use of reason: wherefore the Reply to the Second Objection is manifest.

Reply to Objection 3. According to the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 9), envy is contrary both to nemesis and to pity, but for different reasons. For it is directly contrary to pity, their principal objects being contrary to one another, since the envious man grieves over his neighbor's good, whereas the pitiful man grieves over his neighbor's evil, so that the envious have no pity, as he states in the same passage, nor is the pitiful man envious. On the other hand, envy is contrary to nemesis on the part of the man whose good grieves the envious man, for nemesis is sorrow for the good of the undeserving according to Psalm 72:3: "I was envious of the wicked, when I saw the prosperity of sinners" [Douay: 'because I had a zeal on occasion of the wicked, seeing the prosperity of sinners'], whereas the envious grieves over the good of those who are deserving of it. Hence it is clear that the former contrariety is more direct than the latter. Now pity is a virtue, and an effect proper to charity: so that envy is contrary to pity and charity.

Article 4. Whether envy is a capital vice?

Objection 1. It would seem that envy is not a capital vice. For the capital vices are distinct from their daughters. Now envy is the daughter of vainglory; for the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 10) that "those who love honor and glory are more envious." Therefore envy is not a capital vice.

Objection 2. Further, the capital vices seem to be less grave than the other vices which arise from them. For Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45): "The leading vices seem to worm their way into the deceived mind under some kind of pretext, but those which follow them provoke the soul to all kinds of outrage, and confuse the mind with their wild outcry." Now envy is seemingly a most grave sin, for Gregory says (Moral. v, 46): "Though in every evil thing that is done, the venom of our old enemy is infused into the heart of man, yet in this wickedness the serpent stirs his whole bowels and discharges the bane of spite fitted to enter deep into the mind." Therefore envy is not a capital sin.

Objection 3. Further, it seems that its daughters are unfittingly assigned by Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45), who says that from envy arise "hatred, tale-bearing, detraction, joy at our neighbor's misfortunes, and grief for his prosperity." For joy at our neighbor's misfortunes and grief for his prosperity seem to be the same as envy, as appears from what has been said above (Article 3). Therefore these should not be assigned as daughters of envy.

On the contrary stands the authority of Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45) who states that envy is a capital sin and assigns the aforesaid daughters thereto.

I answer that, Just as sloth is grief for a Divine spiritual good, so envy is grief for our neighbor's good. Now it has been stated above (Question 35, Article 4) that sloth is a capital vice for the reason that it incites man to do certain things, with the purpose either of avoiding sorrow or of satisfying its demands. Wherefore envy is accounted a capital vice for the same reason.

Reply to Objection 1. As Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45), "the capital vices are so closely akin to one another that one springs from the other. For the first offspring of pride is vainglory, which by corrupting the mind it occupies begets envy, since while it craves for the power of an empty name, it repines for fear lest another should acquire that power." Consequently the notion of a capital vice does not exclude its originating from another vice, but it demands that it should have some principal reason for being itself the origin of several kinds of sin. However it is perhaps because envy manifestly arises from vainglory, that it is not reckoned a capital sin, either by Isidore (De Summo Bono) or by Cassian (De Instit. Caenob. v, 1).

Reply to Objection 2. It does not follow from the passage quoted that envy is the greatest of sins, but that when the devil tempts us to envy, he is enticing us to that which has its chief place in his heart, for as quoted further on in the same passage, "by the envy of the devil, death came into the world" (Wisdom 2:24).

There is, however, a kind of envy which is accounted among the most grievous sins, viz. envy of another's spiritual good, which envy is a sorrow for the increase of God's grace, and not merely for our neighbor's good. Hence it is accounted a sin against the Holy Ghost, because thereby a man envies, as it were, the Holy Ghost Himself, Who is glorified in His works.

Reply to Objection 3. The number of envy's daughters may be understood for the reason that in the struggle aroused by envy there is something by way of beginning, something by way of middle, and something by way of term. The beginning is that a man strives to lower another's reputation, and this either secretly, and then we have "tale-bearing," or openly, and then we have "detraction." The middle consists in the fact that when a man aims at defaming another, he is either able to do so, and then we have "joy at another's misfortune," or he is unable, and then we have "grief at another's prosperity." The term is hatred itself, because just as good which delights causes love, so does sorrow cause hatred, as stated above (Question 34, Article 6). Grief at another's prosperity is in one way the very same as envy, when, to Wit, a man grieves over another's prosperity, in so far as it gives the latter a good name, but in another way it is a daughter of envy, in so far as the envious man sees his neighbor prosper notwithstanding his efforts to prevent it. On the other hand, "joy at another's misfortune" is not directly the same as envy, but is a result thereof, because grief over our neighbor's good which is envy, gives rise to joy in his evil.
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