What is immortal, the body or the soul? The soul is immortal, not the body, because the body came from dust and to dust it shall return until the end of all time. Therefore, fear not who/what can kill the body, but what can kill the soul through mortal sin, condemning it to eternal death (cf. Mt 10:28).
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’:
- 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?”
- 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;
- 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.
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Mt 7:5).
They seek to rebuild the Catholic Church into their own image – a cult – far, very far, from the Spirit of God. They claim, both in public and in private, to be the sole ones to possess and preach the ‘untainted’ Word of God in this time of worldly confusion, but in reality have neither one nor the other in their minds and mouths as their hearts are very far from God out of pride. Despite the shiny allure of initial appearances to the contrary, fundamentalist Catholics are never able to genuinely nourish other Catholics, other Christians, and seekers at the spiritual level with the Truth, apart from more of those of their own ilk, because they only have poison to give. One can tell by the constant negativity that comes out from them in particular toward those who refuse to agree with them.
God is not like that.
They claim to be humble, but in everyday life and in their public behaviors, they are anything but. They lie – yes, they are liars; children of none other than the father of lies who was a murderer from the beginning, as Christ said, and this despite having been baptized into the Catholic Church, which they so profess with their lips to love and ‘protect.’
They lie without shame or compunction, and attempt to get away with as many lies as possible, to satiate their rage for having been exposed by the truth. In addition, they lie to continue denying, to their own selves, their multiplicity of sinful behaviors toward others; a multiplicity that is as endless as the rage lying impotent and unresolved in their own hearts. Fundamentalist Catholics thus manifest no problem fabricating stories in endless ways about the members comprising the People of God from both the top down and the bottom up, even while knowing these stories to be false and a grievous sin in their own right, since their underlying intent is no more and no less than virtual murder. The desire for revenge of these Catholics knows no limits in this regard, blinded as they are with the lust in their own hearts to be the sole ones in the whole world to ever possess the Truth. And, more close to home, to satisfy that insatiable lust for the ‘power’ to decide who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ of the Church, hence Heaven through the power of binding and loosing – a power they decidedly do not have.
Above all, fundamentalist Catholics speak without cease about carrying out all of the above in the Name of the Lord and in the name of ‘righteousness’ – to all intents and purposes, perversion. Blasphemy and sacrilege, therefore, if ever these were known to exist.
Only eight words of wisdom suffice for such Catholics: Go to confession and repent of your ways.
It seems to have become the fashion these days, particularly in the US, to tell other Catholics who might disagree with one’s particular take on Catholicism that, “You are not Catholic.” The phrase, “You are not Christian,” tends to be hurled in a parallel manner by those of Protestant bent, in particular the evangelicals. Both phrases, however, are theologically incorrect, not to mention that such phrases are often used as weapons toward the ‘undesirable’ other Catholic/Christian by the ever-so-correct under the rationalization of evangelization. An analogous weapon seems to be the phrase, “You are not part of the Body of Christ.”
Leaving aside, for the moment, that the word Catholic means universal, not parochial, thus any parochialism or tribalism under the name of the Faith is to be eschewed, one becomes a Catholic Christian by being baptized with the Trinitarian formula in the Catholic Church. In a similar manner, one becomes a Christian, as the term has been appropriated and is understood by several evangelicals, by being baptized by another Christian using the Trinitarian formula. And let us not even consider here the baptism of desire and the baptism of blood.
So who is a ‘real’ Catholic? Who is a ‘real’ Christian?
Both of the above persons given as example are real Christians and the first is a Catholic Christian. This ontological change occurs no matter whether one of them professes what is either to the liking or the disliking of the other. Both of them form part of the Body of Christ, since both have been validly baptized with the Trinitarian formula – irrespective of whether the self-righteous like it or not, or if they can or cannot prop up their own egos. Whether one is a practicing Christian or a practicing Catholic, or a good/bad Christian or a good/bad Catholic, does not enter into the equation.
For Catholics, therefore, to tell other similarly baptized Catholics, “You are not Catholic,” because the former disagree with the latter, is an oxymoronic, but highly misleading, statement that is unreflective of the truth. The widespread use of these phrases also reveals what seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of the ‘phrase-throwers’ (who would ‘evangelize’ others), in relation to what and who constitutes the Church and the Body of Christ. This leaves one wondering if the situation is not one of the proverbial case of the blind leading the equally blind. The same holds true for those who consider themselves just Christians.
If non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means . . . the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2267).
For those who keep insisting on the moral legitimacy of the death penalty in the United States, here is a question for you to ponder:
Does the most heinous murderer, rapist, perpetrator still bear the image (not the likeness) of God in their soul, despite the evil of their actions?
A tendency has arisen and seems to be increasing these days among some Christians, Catholics included, in the United States to regard human persons and their personalities as evil in themselves. Discourses and language such as, for instance, a “distorted and evil soul” or “becoming evil” is being used more and more often to describe “evil people,” or “evil personalities,” who are regarded as “lost souls.” Apart from the fact – obvious even to children – that no Christian, no Catholic, should ever use such language these days in relation to other persons, to consider an individual or a group of individuals as evil per se does not reflect the teachings of the Church.
To give a succint example that is easily understood by the many, not even in the case of a person who is perfectly possessed by evil spirits does the Church consider that individual 100% “evil,” despite the actions he or she may have carried out while under the influence of personified evil. Let alone in the case of people who are not possessed in such a manner, or even harassed by evil or obsessed.
Hence for some Christians and Catholics to consider and describe their fellow human persons in terms of the language referenced above is to manifest inadequate catechesis in the teachings of the universal Church, including Patristics, at best. And to manifest unexpunged self-righteousness – spiritual pride – at worst. The use of such language, therefore, in relation to fellow man does not bring people closer to God. It just calls down His judgment upon oneself, since the judgment of human persons is arrogated to God alone.