Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Spot the Heresy: Reforming the Church

I’d like to begin a game in which I, your host, provide you with a quote. I will not tell you where the quote originated from, but you will be tasked with finding the heretical undertones of the quote. The purpose of this game is for you to learn to analyze what different individuals within the Catholic Church say, without the peskiness of knowing who said it, and determine if what is said is actually Catholic. Obviously, since the name of the game is “Spot the Heresy”, the statement will not be Catholic, but we can then analyze the reasons why it isn’t.

martin luther

Now that you know the rules, let us begin:

“[reforming the Church] means instead grafting yourself up and rooting yourself in Christ, leaving yourself to be guided by the Spirit – so that all will be possible with genius and creativity.”

So, where is the heresy? By my count, I see three heretical remarks nested within these 31 words. One heresy every ten words, that is quite the feat.

The first heresy is the implication that the Church is in need of reformation. While maybe not a heresy per se, it is most an error as the prelate who spoke these words believes that the Catholic Church as we know it today is in need of reforming everything, from the Liturgy to the priesthood, to the day to day lives of all Catholics. Whenever a prelate of the post-conciliar Church says that reformation is needed, it should never be assumed that they have the best intentions. Ever since the Second Vatican Council, we have heard of a supposed “need” for the Church to be reformed.

After seeing the poor implementation of the Council and the constant misinterpretations of what was actually called for, we can see that all of the reforms that have occurred since then have done nothing but harm to the Catholic Church. There are priest shortages in every diocese, the vast majority of the laity do not go to Mass weekly, over 70% of Catholics do not believe in the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and 85% of Catholics who are confirmed leave the Church within five years.

The reforms of the Church over the last 50 years have been nothing but devastating and the only “reform” that we need is a return to the Truths and the Doctrines and Dogmas of the Catholic Church. Not a moving away from these because the laity and the world find them too hard. Jesus lost all of His followers when He told them that they did not have eternal life if they did not eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. If Our Lord didn’t back down, neither should we.

The second heresy is “rooting yourself in Christ, leaving yourself to be guided by the Spirit”. This implies that if we are to root ourselves in Christ (and ignore the Church because the two go hand in hand) that we are then able to allow the Holy Spirit to take control. The thing is, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are one in the same God. By obeying one you can not disobey the other. Both are God, along with the Father, but neither of them will lead you astray from the other. It is impossible, as it is a contradiction.

Whenever you read or hear anything from anybody, whether they be Catholic or Protestant, clergy or laymen, religious or not, and they imply that any one person of the Trinity is different and can lead you towards a different path than another person of the Trinity, you know that they are dabbling in the heresy of blasphemy. As the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three persons in one God, they will always point to one Truth, not three separate truths.

The third heresy is “so that all will be possible with genius and creativity.” If you are at all familiar with the Gospel of Luke, you will know that “through God, all things are possible”. While genius and creativity are all attributes we can apply to the Lord, it is not these attributes that will help make the Church “better”. It will not be through mere human actions that will make things better, but by the grace of God that all of the problems we are currently facing will go away. This also falls under the heresy of Modernism, as it implies that it is through the experience and the feelings of the individuals to define what the “genius” and “creativity” would be.

Now, did you get all of the heresies? Were there any that I missed? Would you like to take a gander as to who said the above quote?

It was Pope Francis speaking to the Italian Church. If you have agreed with me during the entire post and now find yourself in disagreement, you might need to start rethinking your position as a faithful Catholic. If you have put your Catholic faith in any person other than Christ and the scandal of a Pope saying something so obviously non-Catholic, as we have just walked through, leaves you to now ignore basic Catholic doctrine and thought, then you are not being a faithful Catholic by following the Pope’s every word and defending them, but rather, you are being traitorous to Christ and His Church, as you have abandoned His teachings for that of a mere man.

Jeff November 13, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

8 Sacramentals For You To Use

Sacramentals are very powerful items that can be used to help us with our faith. As the Concise Catholic Dictionary states that sacramentals are:

Certain pious practices or objects blessed by the Church. The blessing is attached that these may serve to increase the devotion of the faithful. Scapulars, holy water, etc, are widely used sacramentals.


As sacramentals are beneficial to all of the faithful, I would like to leave you with a list of various sacramentals that are at your disposal.

Holy Water: Water in which salt has been mixed and which is exorcised or blessed by a priest. The holy water is a means of grace, a sacramental to promote the spiritual welfare of the faithful; it is one of the most frequently used sacramentals in Church and home.

When we bless ourselves with holy water, we are reminded of our baptismal vows. Holy water is also effective at keeping evil away from the home, assuming the family lives a holy life.

Medal: Disk or piece of metal on which has been impressed an emblem or picture representing a particular devotion or object of veneration. Medals are sacramentals of the Church.

As a couple of examples of medals, I will use the Holy Family and Guardian Angel medals as examples. The Holy Family is the image that each Catholic family strives to achieve. They are the role models for each family. Each and every person has a Guardian Angel, and it is important to remember how they watch over us. Additionally, at the moment of marriage, a husband and wife are given an extra Guardian Angel to watch over their marriage and their family.

Rosary: The chain and numerous beads which form a chaplet or endless chain for reciting prayers in a given sequence. The name applied to the prayer consisting of fifteen decades of “Hail Marys,” each decade having an “Our Father” preceding and a “Glory be to the Father” following. This chaplet usually has in addition three small beads for the “Hail Marys” and one bead for the “Our Father” which precede the prayer and to this short chain there is generally attached a crucifix. Mysteries are contemplated during the saying of each decade, which mysteries are the five joyful, the five sorrowful, and the five glorious.

Scapular: (1) A dresslike garment covering the shoulders and descending front and back, usually open at the sides, worn as an external part over the habit of certain monks. (2) The most common scapulars of today are made of two small squares of woolen cloth about two inches wide which are joined by two strings so that one small square may rest upon the back and the other on the breast when placed over one’s head; there are eighteen small scapulars now used among Catholics and they may be of various colors.

Scapular Medal: A small medallion of metal with a representation of our Lord and His Sacred Heart on one side and that of the Blessed Virgin on the other which is permitted to be worn instead of the small cloth scapular.

Blessed Salt: Common salt which is exorcised and blessed and used in administering Baptism and in the blessing of holy water.

Crucifixes: A representation of the cross of crucifixion together with the figure of Christ. The crucifix differs from the cross in that it has affixed to it the body or corpus or a representation of Christ.

Candles: A cylindrical wax stick or taper with a wick in the center used for illumination. Candles used in the church for liturgical purposes are of pure wax for the greater part and white in color except in Masses for the dead when they may be of yellow wax. The rubrics prescribe the usage of a specified number to be lighted during various ceremonies.

Jeff November 11, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

The Rise of Low Expectations Catholicism

Over the course of the last couple of decades, there has been a growing mentality in the Catholic Church that I would like to coin as “Low Expectations Catholicism”. By low expectations, I mean the average Catholic is willing to settle for far less when it comes to different aspects of the Catholic faith.

Low Bar

There are many examples in the Catholic Church today that demonstrates the laity’s acceptance of a crisis that has gone on for far too long.

The Catholic Church, especially the Catholic Church in America, has been witnessing a decline in the faith for the last 50 years or so. Moreover, the laity has become lukewarm to the crisis at hand that they celebrate what would have been red flags to the Church only a handful of decades prior.

As a Church, we have become acclimated to such low expectations that we have forgotten how high the bar is actually set. There are several instances where the faith has succumbed over these last few decades, that it is crucial we examine them and shed light on them. Several examples that come to the top of my head and I will elaborate further in follow-up posts would be specifically the attitude of the clergy, the sharp decline in vocations for both priests and especially nuns, and the removal of reverence in the Liturgy.

As an example to whet your appetite, when it comes to the clergy, we are so used to poor priests, bishops, and Cardinals, that when we find a prelate who is better and more “orthodox” than your average prelate, we rush to their defense and lift them up on a pedestal. Unfortunately, since they are only slightly better than their colleagues, when they err and their error is pointed out, those Catholics who have lifted him upon this pedestal will rush to his defense and accuse those who point out the error as being too traditional.

Likewise, when it comes to vocations, when a diocese has a “50-year record high of five new priests” there are posts of jubilee that everything is looking better. However, it wasn’t too long ago that five new priests were the expectation for every four or five parishes within a diocese of over a hundred.

Finally, the Novus Ordo has been celebrated so illicitly with all types of novelties that when a priest does celebrate the Novus Ordo with some respect to the GIRM and the rubrics, that we consider that a “very traditional” Mass, when in reality, it is still illicit, just not as much as the average Novus Ordo.

I will be going into further detail on each of the above examples in their own respective posts, as there is much to discuss in relation to each. In the meantime, if you can think of an example in which the Church has settled for low expectations in other areas of our Catholic faith, please feel free to drop a comment and I would be happy to comment on it.

Jeff November 9, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

We Need to Be Sorrowful For Our Sins

Some time ago, a reader asked what perfect contrition meant. I discussed in some detail about the differences between perfect and imperfect contrition. I heard a sermon that outlined the differences really well, and additionally a third type of “contrition” if you’d like to call it that.

The first type of “contrition” is related to embarrassment. Embarrassment is the type of contrition you demonstrate when you get caught doing something wrong and are only sorry because you got caught. Had you not been caught, you wouldn’t be sorry for your transgressions, regardless of how large or small they may be. Since this type of contrition is not focused on God, it is not forgivable and can be damning depending on the severity of the sin. We need to avoid this type of contrition and work on contrition that is more pleasing to God. At the very least, we should have imperfect contrition.

Imperfect contrition occurs when you are sorry because you know that your sins will lead you to Hell. The loss of Heaven moves you to be sorrowful for your sins, but it is only out of fear of Hell that you are truly sorry. You are not sorry because you have offended God and He is all-good and deserving of all your love, but because you fear the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. While imperfect contrition is better than embarrassment, it is still disordered. Our sins will be forgiven though we still have the effects of sin and will have to spend more time in Purgatory to be cleansed of this disordered love. As Catholics, we should strive to have perfect contrition.

Perfect contrition is when we are sorry for our sins because we have offended God and He is all-good and deserving of all of our love. When we sin, we offend God. It is desirable to have perfect contrition because we have offended Him, not only because our sins are bad and will prevent us from entering Heaven. This is similar to when you offend a friend or family member and you want to apologize because you offended them, not because your action was wrong and there might be some consequence for that action. This is the type of contrition we should have when it comes to Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Prodigal Son

When we do go to confession we confess all of our mortal sins in kind and number, along with venial sins we are struggling with. It is critical that when we say our Act of Contrition it has been given to us by the Church and has the necessary elements that outline perfect contrition. Sadly, like many of the prayers in the Church today, there are Acts of Contrition that do not meet all the necessary requirements to demonstrate perfect contrition. An example of a good Act of Contrition is as follows:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offending thee, and I detest all of my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all, because I have offended Thee, My God, Who art all good and deserving of all of my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.

This Act of Contrition covers both imperfect and perfect contrition because you acknowledge that you do fear the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell (imperfect contrition), but because you have also offended God, Who is deserving of all of your love (perfect contrition).

How do we achieve perfect contrition? We should align our thoughts and actions and realize that every single time we sin, we both drive the nail into Jesus Christ on the cross and spit in His face. Every single sin we commit is deserving of an eternity in Hell. So we must align our hearts and intellect with God’s. Through daily prayer, daily recitation of the Rosary, and frequent use of confession, we can begin to have a loving relationship with Our Lord. It would also be beneficial to recall the sinner in scripture who said “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!” and beat his chest three times. This practice, along with reciting the act of contrition, with the mindset that we are doing it out of love for God, will benefit us and allow us to begin to experience perfect contrition.

We are blessed as Catholics to be able to confess our sins to a priest, be absolved, and return to a state of grace. If you are in the state of mortal sin, go to confession, and keep near this wonderful sacrament. Live a holy life, and avoid the near occasion of sin.

Jeff November 4, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

Remember the Dead and Pray For Them

Today is the feast of All Souls. It is a day in which we remember those who have died before us and have gone to Purgatory. As the souls in Purgatory need to be cleansed before they can rejoice in the Kingdom of Heaven, it is our job here on Earth, to pray for them to better assist them in their purging.


Remember your deceased relatives and friends. Pray for them frequently. Have Masses said for them. As God has told us that we are not to judge, we must assume that all those who are deceased are in Purgatory. Unless the Church has stated otherwise, we can not assume anybody is in Heaven. We can not assume they are in Hell either. Therefore, we must pray for all the deceased.

Rest assured, if you pray for someone, and they are not in Purgatory for one reason or another, your prayers will be used for other souls in Purgatory. How blessed are we to be able to help and assist our brothers and sisters into getting to Heaven by the incredible power of our prayers.

Jeff November 2, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

God Doesn’t Condemn? 4 Things To Know and Share

Francis Homily

In his Thursday homily at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis made an error when preaching on God’s love. He implied that God “can only love and not condemn”. While this sounds nice on the surface, I’d like to point out the glaring contradiction. God does condemn.

Words have meanings and we should make sure we use them properly, it is important we use the correct definition:

Condemn: (1) express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure. (2) sentence (someone) to a particular punishment, especially death.

Clearly, if we look at the definition of “condemn”, we know that God does indeed condemn. God condemns all sin, including venial sin. He explicitly tells us how in choosing sin, we choose death. God also condemns us at the moment of our death when Jesus Christ judges us and condemns us to Hell if we have lived a sinful life and have rejected Him through our words or deeds.

We ourselves choose to go to Hell by the lives we live here on Earth. But ultimately, Jesus Christ, the Supreme Judge, administers the sentence that we will spend the rest of Eternity in the damning fires of Hell, or with Him in His Glory.

But this isn’t what Pope Francis is saying. Pope Francis simply and plainly states that God doesn’t condemn. Jesus Christ says otherwise.

“For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him. He that believeth in him is not judged*. But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment*: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.
**Footnote[18] Is not judged: He that believeth, viz., by a faith working through charity, is not judged, that is, is not condemned; but the obstinate unbeliever is judged, that is, condemned already, by retrenching himself from the society of Christ and his church.
[19] The judgment: That is, the cause of his condemnation.**
But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God. ” John 3:16-21

Jesus Christ is crystal clear. Those who do not believe in Him are condemned. These are Our Lord’s words. Even more so, we can look at other areas of scripture in which God condemns His people.

“And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’ s power, and he shall have dominion over thee. And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herbs of the earth. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. And Adam called the name of his wife Eve: because she was the mother of all the living. And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife, garments of skins, and clothed them. And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken. And he cast out Adam; and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubims, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3:14-24

Or the time Cain killed his brother, Abel.

And he said to him: What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’ s blood crieth to me from the earth. Now, therefore, cursed shalt thou be upon the earth, which hath opened her mouth and received the blood of thy brother at thy hand. When thou shalt till it, it shall not yield to thee its fruit: a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be upon the earth. And Cain said to the Lord: My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon. Behold thou dost cast me out this day from the face of the earth, and I shall be hidden from thy face, and I shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth: every one, therefore, that findeth me, shall kill me. And the Lord said to him: No, it shall not be so: but whosoever shall kill Cain, shall be punished sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, that whosoever found him should not kill him. Genesis 4:10-15

Not only did God condemn Cain to walk this Earth cursed, but He condemned anyone who would try to kill Cain by putting him out of his misery.

We can also recount the Bread of Life discourse in the Gospel of John in which Our Blessed Lord said “He who does not eat the Flesh and drink the Blood of the Son of Man has no life in him”. If this isn’t a condemnation, then I do not know what is.

But this wasn’t the only error in Pope Francis’ homily. When it comes to God’s “weakness”, he said it is His inability to love us:

“The gift is God’s love, a God who can’t sever himself from us. That is the impotence of God. We say: ‘God is all powerful, He can do everything!” Except for one thing: Sever Himself from us!”

The ability to sever ourselves from God or any relationship by not loving is an imperfection reserved to humans only. In a perfect world, we would all love. But in our fallen and imperfect world thanks to our loving parents Adam and Eve, we are able to sever relationships and become unloving to others, including God. To say that God’s “weakness” is to not be able to do this is a fallacy. Severing oneself is an imperfection. God in His omnipotence is perfect, thus everything He does is a perfection. For him to not be able to do something imperfect isn’t an imperfection but a perfection.

God has zero weaknesses because He is perfect.

Jeff October 30, 2015 8 Comments Permalink

The Major Problem with Laudato Si and Climate Change

While much ink has been spilled over the issues presented in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, there is one point that seems to be glossed over from basic theology. While reading Frank J. Sheed’s “Theology for Beginners”, I came across a very simple piece of theology that explains why the fear that man will destroy the world is completely unfounded.


“The philosophers tell us that angels could, so powerful are they, destroy our material universe if the mightier power of God did not prevent them – as that same power will prevent man from destroying it until God wills that it should end.”

Simply put, angels have such power that they can destroy the world. God, in His infinite justice, has infinite power that He too, can destroy the world in a blink of an eye. But God, in His mercy, prevents this power from destroying the world simply because of His will. Man, no matter how hard he may try, will never be able to destroy the world with his finite power, unless God Himself wills it.

The Creation of Adam

All of these scare tactics by the climate alarmists are unfounded, but because they fail to look upwards towards Heaven and are instead focused on the material life of this world, fear that man can destroy it. Even sillier is how an encyclical now has these same scare tactics claiming that the world will end if we do not adhere to the scientific community’s lies and falsified data.

Our “common home” is not Earth, but Heaven. But of course, if one doesn’t believe in Heaven and believes that there is nothing after this life, then they will cling to this world and will not let it go. We as Catholics are called not to be attached to this world, but the next, where we will be united with Christ. Live a holy life so that we can spend an eternity with God in Heaven, our common home.

Jeff October 28, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

The Synod Is Over and All I Got Was This Lousy Shirt

The Synod on the Family is over. If you recall from my post three weeks ago in which I outlined the three possibilities that I foresaw the Synod  coming to, I was somewhat right:

I see that Option Two is much more likely to happen, simply because those who want to administer Holy Communion to adulterers and actively homosexual, will be able to through a liberal reading of the documents. Meanwhile, those who will actively refuse this reading will accuse the Synod of intentionally allowing this evil to occur. Thus what we will see is those who adhere to the “traditional view” (read: Catholic) will be accused of going the way of the SSPX and causing schism, when the reality simply is that Rome has condoned the practice by not condemning it, all for appearing to be “pastoral”.

Pope Francis leads the Synod of Bishops on the family at Vatican

The final report from the Synod does not come out and say that adulterers can receive Holy Communion. On the other hand, the report also doesn’t come out and condemn it either. From paragraphs 84-86 of the document as translated by Rorate Caeli:

84. The baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried are to be more integrated in the Christian communities in the various possible ways, avoiding every occasion of scandal.
The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral accompaniment, so that they be aware not only that they belong to the Body of Christ, that is the Church, but that they may have a joyful and fruitful experience. They are baptized, they are brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit pours gifts and charisms in them for the good of all. Their participation can be expressed in various ecclesial services: it is therefore necessary to discern which of the different forms of exclusion currently practiced in a liturgical, educational, pastoral, and institutional role that can be overcome. They should not only not feel excommunicated, but they should live and mature as living members of the Church, feeling her as a mother that welcomes them always, takes care of them affectionately, and encourages them on the path of life and Gospel. This integration is necessary for the Christian care and education of their children, who must be considered what is most important. For the Christian community, taking care of these persons is not a weakening of their own faith and testimony regarding matrimonial indissolubility: rather, the Church expresses precisely in this care her charity.

85. Saint John Paul II offered an all-encompassing criterion, that remains the basis for valuation of these situations: “Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.” (FC, 84) It is therefore a duty of the priests to accompany the interested parties on the path of discernment according to the teaching of the Church and the orientations of the Bishop. In this process, it will be useful to make an examination of conscience, by way of moments of reflection and repentance. Remarried divorcees should ask themselves how they behaved themselves when their conjugal union entered in crisis; if there were attempts at reconciliation; what is the situation of the abandoned partner ["partner" in the original Italian]; what consequences the new relationship has on the rest of the family and in the community of the faithful; what example does it offer to young people who are to prepare themselves to matrimony. A sincere reflection may reinforce trust in the mercy of God that is not denied to anyone.

Additionally, it cannot be denied that in some circumstances, “the imputability and the responsibility for an action can be diminished or annulled (CIC, 1735) due to various conditioners. Consequently, the judgment on an objective situation should lead to the judgment on a ‘subjective imputability’” (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration of June 24, 2000, 2a). In determined circumstances, the persons find great difficulty with acting in a different way. Therefore, while holding up a general rule, it is necessary to recognize that the responsibility regarding specific actions or decisions is not the same in every case. Pastoral discernment, while taking into account the rightly formed conscience of persons, should take these situations into account. Also the consequences of the accomplished acts are not necessarily the same in every case.

86. The path of accompaniment and discernment orients these faithful to becoming conscious of their situation before God. The conversation with the priest, in internal forum, concurs to the formation of a correct judgment on what prevents the possibility of fuller participation in the life of the Church and on the steps that may favor it and make it grow. Considering that in the same law there is no graduality (cf. FC, 34), this discernment must never disregard the demands of truth and charity of the Gospel proposed by the Church. In order for this to happen, the necessary conditions of humility, reserve, love for the Church and to her teaching, in the sincere search for the will of God and for the desire to reach a more perfect answer to the latter, are to be guaranteed.

There are a few interesting things to note of these three paragraphs. Each paragraph in this document required a 2/3 majority vote in order for it to be considered in the final text of the document. This means that a total number of 177 yes votes were needed. On paragraph 84, 85, and 86, the vote tallies came up as 187, 178, and 190 respectively. These three paragraphs received the least amount of yes votes in the entire document. Even more interesting is paragraph 85, which is a direct quotation from Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, conveniently leaves out this key paragraph:

Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of Matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful, forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new sacramentally valid marriage, and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.

Because this document does not explicitly condemn the act of administering Holy Communion to adulterers, it easily allows for those who read this document with a non-Catholic lens to misuse and abuse the document. In short, the document is written with ambiguity in order that whoever reads it can obtain the interpretation that they want to use. Church documents require clarity when written. If you look at the pre-conciliar documents of the Church, you see that they are written in such a way that no matter what “lens” you read them through, you always arrive at a traditional and Catholic interpretation. Any other interpretation is clearly taken out of context.

This clarity follows from the example of Jesus in the Scriptures. In the entire Bread of Life Discourse in the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus says six times that unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you do not have life within you. It is clear as day that Our Lord was not speaking of the Eucharist as merely a symbol, but rather, what it actually is. His Flesh and Blood.

But what Jesus has to say in the Gospels does not seem to be taken seriously by Pope Francis. In fact, Pope Francis had some very heavy words to those who uphold the law of Christ and the Church:

It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.

Compare this with what Pope Pius XII said:

Some assert that the mysteries of faith are never expressed by truly adequate concepts but only by ever changeable notions.

Pope Francis glare

Even worse:

It was also about laying closed hearts, which bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.

Is it not odd that Pope Francis, the Pope famous for the words “who am I to judge?” when it comes to homosexuals, is judging the hearts of those that uphold the teachings as ones who want to lord the rules of Christ and His Church in order to judge? Even more ironic, is that Jesus said specifically in the Gospel when it comes to divorce:

And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery. His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry. Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother’ s womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it. Matthew 19:3-12

Jesus Christ makes it crystal clear with complete clarity that divorce is forbidden. There is no such thing as divorce, it is a lie. Yet, Pope Francis would make it sound as though those who adhere to the teachings of Christ are sitting in the throne of Moses (who as you just read allowed divorce) in order to cast judgment. Those who adhere to these “archaic rules” are not casting stones at those who sin, but rather, protecting the souls of those who are in a state of mortal sin from damaging their soul further by making sacrilegious communions.

St. Paul explains in his letter to the Corinthians:

Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Allowing the divorced, remarried, and actively homosexual to receive Holy Communion without amending their lives and repenting will not bring mercy to the sinner, but rather, far more judgment that will only damn the poor soul to an eternity in Hell. But this isn’t my own opinion or my own teaching, but Our Lord’s teaching and the Holy Catholic Church’s. Real mercy would get the sinner away from that which causes their soul harm, not encourage them to live their life in that sin. But tell that to the Pope; after all, we’re in the “new Catholicism” and this is the “Church of Mercy”.

Jeff October 26, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

Stained Glass, High Altars, and Scripture: Why We Should Avoid Simplicity In Our Churches

There is a common misunderstanding that exists today in which many believe that Jesus was simple. Many arguments proceed from this belief, such as how our worship should be simpler, or our churches should be bare to better coincide with how simple Jesus was. But, the reality is, Jesus would not approve of this belief. This belief comes from a misunderstanding of who Jesus is, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, and poor catechesis with a lack of comprehension from the Scriptures.

Jesus in the Scriptures

Stained Glass

When it comes to wanting to have a simpler liturgy when it comes to Mass or just general worship, many people use Jesus’ words to the Pharisees as a defense for their position. The truth of the matter is the Pharisees created their own rules outside of the rules that God had laid out for His people. Jesus was never wanting to remove God’s rules:

“Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18

We need to remember that not all has been fulfilled. But I know what you are thinking. Didn’t Jesus die for our sins, come back from the dead, and ascend into Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father? Yes. But Jesus also told us that He would Come Again. Jesus has yet to come again, thus not all has been fulfilled.

As a Jew, Jesus would have obeyed the laws of the Old Testament. We know that He was a teacher in the temple, and thus He would have known and followed these laws, as those who did not were forbidden to teach. We observe that the laws of God were obeyed, but the laws of the Pharisees were not. The Pharisees laws were created by them, in order that they may be seen as holier than thou, that is, these laws were unattainable by even the most devout of Jews, and the Pharisees gave the outward appearance of being holy while having an inward disposition of being wicked and corrupt. Thus, Jesus rested and prayed on the Sabbath, but did not necessarily wash before meals.

To further show that Jesus was not simple, we know from Scripture that Jesus was not simply dressed, but finely dressed. When Jesus was crucified we must remember these key passages from the Gospels:

“And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots’.” Matthew 27:35

“And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” Mark 15:24

“The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lots. And the soldiers indeed did these things.” John 19:23-24

When the Roman soldiers would crucify their prisoners, they would generally cut apart the clothing of the victim and share it equally among themselves. However, when it came to Jesus’ clothing, they did not cut it, but rather, “rolled the dice” to see who would win it. Most clothing was made of multiple pieces of material, and thus they would rip it apart and just use the scraps for mending or what not. However, with Jesus’ clothing they did not, which means that this was not just “scraps put together” but fine material, expensive material. Why would Jesus, if He was simple, wear expensive clothing? Because He is God and He is our King.

Jesus Christ, Fully God and Fully King

Traditional High Altar

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is a separate person but has the same nature of God. He is fully God, as much so as God the Father and God the Holy Ghost. Three individuals, but one God. Now, a question must be asked: is the Trinity simply explained? The short answer is no. It is a mystery of faith that we can only briefly scrape with our limited intellect. Thus, if we as humans have difficulty understanding who Jesus Christ is in relation to the Trinity, how can we even say that He is simple? Jesus Christ proceeds from the Father, and through His love with the Father, the Holy Spirit proceeds through Them. But they all existed at the same time. We can say sincerely, that God is not simple, but He gives us enough information to allow our intellect to engage in this mystery.

Not only is Jesus Christ our God, but He is also our King. Jesus says so Himself:

“Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.” John 18:37

Our Churches are adorn with beautiful images of our faith, along with gold because our King deserves our best. Before you say that Jesus did not want these nice things, remember, the three kings came to the Nativity with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all lavish and expensive gifts. Before Jesus’ death, the sorrowful woman anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume that is worth 300 days’ wages. When the woman was admonished by Judas, Jesus rebuked him saying that she had done a good thing.

We must also keep in mind the sacrifices and gifts Cain and Abel gave to God in Genesis 4. Abel, being filled with love for God, gave his absolute best to God. Of his crop, he gave his top ten percent and burned it. Cain on the other hand, was not filled with love for God, and figured he only needed to be simple. So Cain gave his bottom ten percent and burned it. God was pleased with Abel and made it known that Abel had found favor with Him. Cain was upset and killed his brother because Abel was favored.

There is also an example of two kings. One king threw a party and invited the entire kingdom. When the guests arrived, the king took them around his castle and showcased all of his beloved art and ornaments. He shared with them his home and shared everything that he had with them. The ballroom was a magnificent spectacle that would give even the Disney castles some jealousy.

But there was a second king who also threw a party and invited the entire kingdom. However, when the guests arrived, he brought them into a ballroom with bare walls, no decorum, no art, no music, no anything. It was rather drab, or simple. However, because there was nothing else, the king said to his people, “I want you to spend the entire ball looking at me. You are not to dance with one another as that would take the focus off of me.” Now, this is rather a selfish attitude and certainly not the attitude one would expect from a king who is inviting people into his home.

The first king is like Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church, who has beautiful churches laced with golden ornaments and beautiful art, not so that you can’t focus on Him, but rather, you can reflect upon the beauty captured in all of this and meditate on the different aspects of Our Lord’s life. This is why most Catholic churches of the pre-conciliar time are beautiful works of art. The second king is like Jesus Christ in Protestantism. A selfish king who wishes to be the only person on display. This is why most protestant and Catholic churches of the post-conciliar time are drab and plain.

Jesus Christ deserves our absolute best when it comes to liturgy, worship, and even our churches. Our King’s kingdom is not of this world, but rather of Heaven. Jesus Christ Our King deserves the cream of the crop, not just the leftovers of the fruits of our labor. We should not be afraid to house our King in a beautiful church where one is left awestruck because it does not take anything away from Our God, but rather, emphasizes that much more how important and great He is.

Jeff October 23, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

Modernists and the Synod: Attacking Tradition and Ecclesiastical Authority

This post is part five in a series of posts on the Synod of the Family and Modernism. Read part four here.

Vatican Pope

As we are in the final week of the Synod on the Family, we look at the last excerpt from Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (on Modernism).

Q. Contrast the conduct of the Modernists toward the Catholic champion with the methods displayed toward their own partisans?

A. While in flagrant contrast with this policy toward Catholics, they load with constant praise the writers who range themselves on their side, hailing their works, exuding novelty in every page, with choruses of applause.

If you have read me regularly leading up to and throughout the Synod on the Family, then you likely know where I will be going with this section. As we know, Walter Cardinal Kasper has been in favor of allowing the divorced, remarried, and actively homosexual to receive Holy Communion for quite some time. This is not new. This has been known for several decades. He is a Modernist through and through and has quite a bit of support from a number of the Cardinals.

What was even more surprising was the support he received from Pope Francis. Pope Francis stated specifically that the theology Cardinal Kasper proposed was “serene” and “an example of doing theology from one’s knees”. The theology that Cardinal Kasper proposed has already been condemned by Our Lord Jesus Christ. This can not be changed or negotiated. Those who are living in mortal sin, regardless of the sin, can not receive The Holy Eucharist. They must repent and remove themselves from the situation that puts them in their state of mortal sin. Until they amend their lives, they can not receive.

Q. How do the Modernists gage the learning of an author?

A. For them the scholarship of a writer is in direct proportion to the recklessness of his attacks on antiquity, and of his efforts to undermine Tradition and the ecclesiastical magisterium.

Q. When a Modernist falls under the condemnations of the Church, are his fellows bold enough to support him?

A. When one of their number falls under the condemnations of the Church the rest of them, to the horror of good Catholics, gather round him, heap public praise upon him, venerate him almost as a martyr to truth.

catechism of modernism

Continuing from above, we see that Pope Francis has indeed praised Cardinal Kasper for his outright attacks on Catholic teaching. What makes it even worse is the other attacks Pope Francis himself has made upon the Holy Catholic Church. This past weekend, Pope Francis called for the decentralization of the Church and allowing local bishops’ conferences the freedom to determine how they will handle the “solutions” for administering the Holy Eucharist to divorced, remarried, and actively homosexuals.

Considering Catholic teaching is crystal clear, I will spell it out for those who don’t understand. You can’t receive the Eucharist if you are in mortal sin. Doing so will compound even more mortal sin on your soul and will lead you to Hell if you die. If a Bishop or priest gives you permission to receive with mortal sin on your soul, he is damning his soul and yours. No priest or bishop has the ability to the authority to change a mortal sin.

By Pope Francis’ actions, we can see that he is no champion of the Catholic faith. Continue to fast and pray. Psalm 108:8.

Jeff October 21, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink