Catholic Church

Lies by the laity in the Catholic Church in America

Below are some lies being propagated by a very vocal segment of the Catholic laity in the Church, particularly in America (and elsewhere). More lies will be addressed here as they arise, so that the sheep will not be taken in by the wolves who keep pretending to ‘save the Church’ from Herself:

  1. The entire hierarchy is “infested with demonic possession” – NOT. The Catholic Church is blessed with several priests who are, in fact, priests after the Divine Heart of God the Father. And they are not traditionalist either;
  2. Pope Francis “and his cronies continue to desecrate and annihilate our Christian heritage” – NOT. Just because they may not run the institutional Church according to your liking does not mean you are right;
  3. Pope Francis is visiting Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and discussing things with him about the Church, because the latter is still the one running the show, while the former is “just the legal Pope” – NOT. Pope Francis is not the proverbial puppet on a string, not to mention Benedict’s explicit and public commitment of obedience to Francis (not from Francis);
  4. The sacraments of the Catholic Church are “all being stripped of their supernatural dimension” – NOT. A physical impossibility as that dimension has been guaranteed by God Himself;
  5. The Catholic Church is “being coopted as a political rallying point for the formation of the New World Order” – NOT. If you are obsessed with two-party politics and ‘Armageddon’ scenarios, you will be capable of seeing nothing else outside of that restrictive lens.
  6. “95% of Catholics are not Catholic” – NOT. Apart from the unsubstantiated figure, this is another physical impossibility. If you were baptized into the Catholic Church, you are Catholic whether you or anyone else likes it or not. That does not mean you are necessarily a ‘good Catholic.’ However, you remain Catholic nonetheless.

It never fails to amaze at how many tend to be taken in by the above, given how manifestly blatant such lies and deceptions are.

The Name of the Father is Mercy

I desire mercy, not sacrifice (Mt 9:13).

It is sad that so many people, Catholics included, only know or perceive the Heavenly Father as Justice. They miss out on one very simple fact: the Name of the Father is Mercy. It is His highest attribute and that is because He is both a Father and Infinite Love.

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First icon of God the Father in the Catholic Church

Related to the above is another simple fact: do not judge and you will not be judged by your own yardstick.

A warning

To all those Catholics in North America (and possibly elsewhere) who claim that the Catholic Church is being “destroyed” by the hierarchy and the presbyterate, and that the latter two should not be supported under the rationalization of ‘enablement’:

  1. If you “do not have to attend” Mass on holy days of obligation in protest, because of the personal sins of various priests, bishops and cardinals, not to mention the Pope himself, you will be committing a mortal sin and severing your relationship with God. “We can keep the faith without them” will not cut it in front of God. Do you go to Mass for the hierarchy or for God? Or just to be seen by your peers? Or to boast that “I’m a good Catholic?”
  2. If you “need a Pope” so that you can start attending Mass in your dining room, rather than in church, when the universal Church already has its canonically-elected and validly-reigning Pope, the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, know that you are well on the way out of communion with God;
  3. If you think baptism of desire is going to wipe out your mortal sin of not attending Mass (vide #1), understand the following: baptism of desire, to be valid, is available only to those who have never been formally baptised. If you have already been baptised with the Trinitarian formula (whether Catholic, Christian, Orthodox), baptism of desire is no longer available to you as an option. Any sins, in particular mortal sins, committed after baptism require confession for remission, not another baptism. The only other option is the grace of perfect contrition.

For all those North American armchair-theologian Catholics who think that by publicly writing and speaking in the way you are about the Catholic Faith and the hierarchy, you are being “good Catholics,” pleasing to God and “preventing others from falling into error,” think again! If you think God enjoys your pejorative labeling and name-calling of even his most fallen priests, about whom you have had no compunction turning them into your everyday online and offline sport, think yet again!

God never looks kindly on people who attempt, in one way or another, to persuade others to remain distant from Him and to disobey His laws as handed down through the Church. Jesus Christ gave the keys of the kingdom of Heaven to Peter, not to you. Further, God is a God of Mercy, not solely Justice. This particularly applies:

Judge not, that you may not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why do you see the mote that is in your brother’s eye; and do not see the beam that is in your own eye? Or how do you say to your brother: “Let me cast the mote out of your eye; and behold a beam is in your own eye?” You hypocrite! Cast out first the beam in your own eye and then you shall see to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye (Mt 7:1-5).

Know this, therefore:

The culpability for the potential (and actual) loss of those souls who wish to return to God, but are put off from doing so by your infamous rhetoric to score cheap political points and support your prideful egos, will be on none other but your souls. You will also face judgment from Christ when you die in the exact same way that you had no problem – indeed, relished – doling it out to others while still alive. Unless there is contrition.

You have been warned.

Discerning demagoguery from piety

A couple of points to consider when discerning demagoguery from piety, under the rationalizations of evangelization and the presentation of the One, True Faith:

  1. Is the piety manifest being covertly, or overtly, used to encourage and/or increase support for one or another political party, especially when the leading members of the latter live and act in open contradiction to the Christian Faith?
  2. Does the inherent message set forth address the fullness of the Faith and its doctrines? Or is it being subtly skewed by omission, if not outright commission, in order to proof-text support for a personally-favored party, NGO, or association?

The Devil is the father of lies and he knows both Scripture inside out and the sayings of all the saints.

Discern contexts carefully to not end up being deceived.

More on discerning the true Church from the false church

Ego sum cum Papa semper (Saint George Preca).

Some points:

  1. Those who speak against the Pope – run away from them. It is the Pope who has been appointed by the Son of the Living God, and God Himself, to be His Vicar and the visible head of the Church on earth. Not you or anyone else. See previous post;
  2. Those who would speak against their bishops, especially publicly, in terms of the Faith and its practice – a failure of basic charity, to begin with. The Church is a hierarchy and is run by a hierarchy. It is not a democracy or ‘run by committee’ or even by popular vote. There is a reason for that. The bishops are shepherds, leaders – your leaders – no matter their personal failings and foibles. They are your spiritual fathers; respect them as fathers. Dislike them and/or their various preferences all you want, but you do not have the right to disrespect them (let alone mock them) by virtue of their role/office that is permitted, if not appointed, by God. In mocking them, you are doing nothing less than mocking Christ and perpetuating His Passion;
  3. Those who create, or attempt to create, division, chaos and disorder in the Mystical Body of Christ. This is never from the Holy Spirit, even if done in the name of allegedly defending the Catholic Faith. The Mystical Body is not made up solely of Catholics – has never, in fact, been comprised solely of Catholics, as though it’s one’s favorite political party. The Mystical Body of Jesus Christ is made up of every single individual who has been validly baptized (in terms of form and matter) and of every person who has been baptized by desire (cf. Lumen Gentium). It is not you or your likings that determine who is part of the Church, but God. Those who would claim otherwise are going directly against the Constitution on the Church and against the desires of the very God they so profess to worship above all else;
  4. Those who claim that the Extraordinary (Tridentine) Form of the Mass is “superior” to the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo). Both forms are equal in terms of sacramental grace, validity and liceity, despite the differences in perceived reverence and personal preferences. You do not get “more Jesus” in the former than in the latter. To say otherwise is a lie;
  5. Those who would claim that they are The Remnant Faithful in the Church. No one but God knows the entirety of who is, or is not, part of the remnant. To claim otherwise is to attempt to arrogate for oneself – like Lucifer – the very role, seat and omnipotence of God.

The mind of the Catholic Church on capital punishment – From Blessed Paul VI through Pope Francis

YOU SHALL NOT KILL

Pope Blessed Paul VI

“Go out into the world and make every effort possible in every way to restore the dignity of man, and all that it implies! I stand foursquare with modern theologians who hold that prudentially and historically capital punishment does not fit into the greater contemporary theological awareness of the worth of each individual on earth” (Speech to the Bishops at closing of Vatican Council II, Vatican City, 1965).

Note: Paul VI removed capital punishment from the fundamental law of Vatican City in 1969.


Pope Saint John Paul II

“On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely. The problem must be viewed in the context of a system of penal justice ever more in line with human dignity and thus, in the end, with God’s plan for man and society. The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is “to redress the disorder caused by the offence”.46 Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfils the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people’s safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated.  (more…)

On Islam according to the Catholic Church – From Lumen Gentium to today

Istanbul,_Hagia_Sophia,_AllahIslam is one of the three monotheistic religions in which the worship of the One, Indivisible God prevails, together with Christianity and Judaism. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of Jesus Christ (His only-begotten and divine Son), Mary and Joseph – is also the God of Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael. To claim otherwise is a lie. God the Creator is Allah and Allah is God the Creator. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the culture of the Maltese people where the God of Christianity – the God of Catholicism, to be precise – is referred to as Alla in the Maltese language.

Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews do, even though some, in all three religions, may take intense issue with this fact. Profound misunderstandings and misconceptions abound these days about the religion of Islam. Thus, let us see what the  Catholic Church says about Islam.  (more…)

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church – 3

Papal Infallibility

According to the declaration of Vatican Council II, the issue of infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith, by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals. And, therefore, his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith. The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.

But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself, which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church. The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents; but a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith (Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, §25).

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church – 2

The Magisterium of the Reigning Pope and Papal Indefectibility

The Pope has what is known as his own ordinary magisterium (#4 above), his own teaching authority, and this by divine appointment (Mt 16:18–19). This is separate from, and in addition to, any pronouncements he might make ex cathedra (#1 above).

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church is neither external to the Pope nor separate from him (#1 through #6 above). In fact, for the teaching authority of the bishops throughout the world to be valid and authentic, it necessarily has to be in communion with the Pope.

The Magisterium is neither external to the Pope nor optional with regard to its acceptance and the subjection to it by all the Catholic faithful, because it is the Pope who

  1. by divine appointment, has supreme and full authority over the universal Church, including, but not limited, to the Catholic Church itself; and
  2. is the Supreme Guarantor, the Supreme Witness, of the Faith by virtue of (a) the charism of truth and (b) the charism of a faith that never fails (Lk 22:32) granted to him, and to him alone, by God as an intrinsic part of the privileges of his office as the Vicar of Christ.

Assistance is given by God to the Pope when the latter exercises his ordinary magisterium: Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful are to adhere to it with religious assent which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article IX, paragraph §4:892).

Public statements by the Pope that do not qualify as ordinary and universal magisterium also have an authority that Catholics are not free to dismiss. They are required to give such teachings religious submission in accordance with the declaration of Vatican Council II as follows: Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking (Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, §25).

As evidenced in Sacred Scripture, Christ said, I say to you, “You are Peter and on this  Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. Whatsoever you shall bind upon the earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose upon the earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven” (Mt 16:18-19). Thus, Saint Ambrose said, Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia, ibi Deus [Where there is Peter, there is the Church and there is God], because it is Peter – the Pope – who is the Rock, the Guarantor of the Faith, and this by divine appointment. Christ Himself prays to the Almighty Father for the Pope.

Christ, Who is God, declared the true Church to be indefectible. The Pope is, thus, himself indefectible in terms of the Faith and what is needed to be saved precisely because the Church is indefectible. This is true not just when the Pope teaches ex cathedra under the charism of infallibility, but also when he teaches non-infallibly as part of his ordinary magisterium. The Guarantor of the Faith can never fall into the grave sins of apostasy, heresy or schism, because he is safeguarded from doing so by the prevenient grace of God – operating grace (not cooperating grace). Throughout the entire history of the Catholic Church, in which resides the fullness of the Church that was established by Christ while still on earth, no canonically-elected Pope has ever fallen into any one of these three sins or combination thereof while reigning as Pope, despite repeated and apparent claims to the contrary, precisely because of this ongoing gift of prevenient grace. The above-referenced gift of grace, which has been granted to Peter and each one of his successors until the end of all time, is not provided by God for the personal benefit of the Pope. It is provided for the benefit of humanity so that the ark of salvation which is the Church never fails and the gates of Hell do not prevail.

The true Church, therefore, can easily be discerned as being where the Pope is, in accordance with Saint Ambrose’s declaration, because it is the Pope and no one else who has been granted the divine gifts of the charism of truth and the charism of a faith that never fails.

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church – 1

The Nature of the Magisterium

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church is its authority to establish and teach the genuine and correct tenets of the Catholic Faith. That authority is vested uniquely in the reigning Pope and the bishops in communion with him worldwide. Together with Sacred Scripture and Tradition, the Magisterium is one of the three pillars upon which the Catholic Faith rests and by which it has been and keeps on being transmitted through generations.

Six levels exist to the Magisterium, the teaching authority, of the Catholic Church. The first five of these levels require as a minimum the religious assent of the Catholic faithful. The six levels consist of:

  1. Pronouncements of the Pope that are made ex cathedra (extraordinary magisterium);
  2. The Bishops in communion with the Pope, defining doctrine at a General Council (extraordinary magisterium);
  3. The Bishops in communion with the Pope and together with him, proposing definitely, dispersed, but in agreement (ordinary and universal magisterium);
  4. The Pope himself (ordinary magisterium);
  5. The Bishops in communion with the Pope (ordinary magisterium); and
  6. Theologians (magisterium cathedrae magistralis).

According to the declaration of Vatican Council I, all those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal teaching magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed (Dei Filius, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter III). Not everything contained in the statements of the ordinary magisterium is infallible. However, according to the declaration of Vatican Council II, the Catholic Church holds that infallibility is invested in the statements of its universal ordinary magisterium as follows:

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith (Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, §25). Such teachings of the ordinary and universal magisterium are not given in a single, specific document. They are teachings upheld as authoritative, generally for a long time, by the body of bishops.