Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Church Control or Birth Control: A Book Review

A friend of mine, Nicholas Kaminsky, just finished writing a book titled “Church Control or Birth Control: Margaret Sanger’s Propaganda Campaign Against the Catholic Church.” He analyzes the history of the birth control movement in the United States as led by Margaret Sanger. For those of you who don’t know, Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood and one of the key players in getting laws that outlawed birth control repealed across the United States. This book is an easy read at just under 100 pages with plenty of documentation, citations, and footnotes which explain in further depth the point that he is making.

church control or birth control

Mr. Kaminsky begins by explaining the history of anti-Catholicism in America. Protestants founded the United States because they were unhappy with England’s staunch Anglican stance. Thus, they fled across the sea and founded America. When Catholics began emigrating to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Protestant majority made sure to keep the Catholic minority at bay by refusing them education and giving them low paying and sub-par jobs.

While the majority of the country and most Protestant churches were against birth control, Margaret Sanger launched a full-fledged assault on the Catholic Church and led the American people to believe that the Catholic Church was behind the ban. She argued that as Americans, it was our right and part of our freedoms to be able to use birth control. While the Catholic Church was the biggest voice in opposition to birth control, she used every blockade the Church made as examples of how the Catholic Church was limiting the freedoms of the American people.

I won’t go into further detail as Mr. Kaminsky does a very good job detailing these events by citing Margaret Sanger herself. You should consider adding this book to your shelf.

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It is intriguing to see how Margaret Sanger used the argument that Americans are American first before their religion. To further illustrate this argument, she argued that freedoms come first. I found this rhetoric to come at an interesting point in history, as many American Catholics who are considered otherwise faithful are so quick to argue that the American freedoms and liberties trump the laws of God and the Catholic Church. The evil tactics that Margaret Sanger employed are now tactfully used by the members of the Church to push for “religious liberty”, allowing the divorced and remarried to receive the Holy Eucharist, and other issues that do not coincide with Catholic theology or doctrine.

If you are looking for a book which details Margaret Sanger’s racism, her work with Planned Parenthood, or abortion, in general, this book does not touch on these topics at all. This book details how Margaret Sanger used the Anti-Catholic rhetoric of the time in which she lived to pit birth control in a power struggle with the Catholic Church. This book is a great read, and I highly recommend it. If you’d like to pick up a copy, you can on Amazon. This book would make a great gift or read for anyone wanting to learn more about how America quickly changed its mind on birth control.

Jeff December 14, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

Jews, Conversion, and Mercy: Getting It All Wrong

After writing my article on the Year of Mercy and how we should all ensure we make good use of Confession, I spent some time reflecting on how many people misuse mercy and confuse it with neglect. Mercy is always freely given, but mercy can only be given if the recipient is contrite and asking for it. Mercy, when given away without the call for conversion is not mercy at all, but rather, leniency.

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At dinner the other night, my son was not cooperating and didn’t eat much. He spent the majority of dinner picking at his food and throwing it on the floor. My wife and I told him he needed to eat his food, but alas, he didn’t want to. After dinner, he walked over to where we kept the desserts and began pointing at them. One part of me wanted to give him some dessert, in an act of “mercy”. However, it was obvious that if I gave him the dessert, he would not learn his lesson that he needs to eat his dinner before getting his dessert. This false mercy would not benefit him in the long run, but rather, it would teach him that if he doesn’t like what is on his plate, he can ignore it and get the rewards.

Now, this false mercy is all too prevalent in both society and the Church today. The call for mercy extends to every sinner imaginable. God’s mercy is available to all, but for Him to give us His mercy, we must first repent of our sins, confess them to a priest, and amend ourselves to live a holy life. Without the intent of the penitent, mercy can not begin to enter into the sinner’s life. And far too often when we hear about the need for mercy, it is not with this intention in mind, but for the sinner to be left alone to their sins because it makes them happy, and after all, isn’t that what Christ wanted, our happiness?

Jesus Christ did, of course, dine with sinners and prostitutes, he was even seen out in public with them, but every time he was with them, it wasn’t about hanging out with friends and accepting people for how they were, but to urge them to repent and amend their lives. We see Our Lord’s urging with the woman at the well, after He tells her everything that she has done in her life, and then proceeds to explain that He is the Messiah, in which she goes into town and tells all the people about Him and becomes a disciple.

There is also the infamously misused quote “he without sin cast the first stone”, which today has been hijacked to silence those who speak out against sin. What they fail to realize, whether it’s through their ignorance or malice, is Jesus told the woman to “go forth and sin no more.”

Jesus makes it very clear throughout the Gospel that 1). We are to follow Him, 2). There is no way to the Father but through Him, 3).He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, 4). Unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood, you do not have life within you, 5). You are to go preaching the Gospel to all the nations, making them disciples by baptizing them in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and 6). There is only one Church, which He founded.

With this in mind, it is heartbreaking to hear that leading theologians within the Vatican have announced that it is unCatholic and antisemitic to proclaim the Gospel to the Jews, implying they are saved and thus do not need Jesus. Sadly, this is not true in the slightest and every single person on this Earth is in need of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died, and rose again, so that we all might have eternal life.

Jesus Crucified

The Jews crucified Jesus by handing Him over to Pilate. The Jews rejected Jesus when He announced that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. Once Jesus was crucified, the covenant with the Jews was broken, and they were no longer the chosen people.

While Catholics have many roots in Judaism, we do not follow the Judaic laws that were made by Moses, but only those which Jesus came to fulfill. At one point the Jews did worship the same God as us, but once God made known that He was not simply Father, but rather Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Jews rejected the Son. And by doing so, rejected the Father, as Jesus said “whoever denies me before men, I will deny before my Father” (c.f. Matthew 10:33).

It is sad to hear how many Catholic prelates and theologians have thrown away the teachings of Our Lord to appeal to this God-forsaken world. These men, who have been entrusted to safeguard the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church, fail God and the laity when they poison the wells.

Continue to pray for conversions, to evangelize, to teach, to preach, and to live a holy life. We must be ready to preach mercy in the way that God teaches us, that those sinners who readily repent and confess their sins will indeed receive that wondrous mercy that only God can give.

Jeff December 11, 2015 2 Comments Permalink

The Year of Mercy and You

The Year of Mercy began yesterday on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. With the multitudes of different definitions for various words, we should look at what the proper definition of mercy is from a Catholic perspective.

Mercy: Compassion for the sufferings, whether bodily or spiritual, of others, arising from charity; an act of charity bestowed through sympathy.

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Mercy can not exist without justice. Justice recognizes that each and every person receives what is due to them, both the good and the bad. When it comes to crime, mercy acknowledges that a transgression has occurred, but alleviates the punishment that is due to the transgressor.

An example would be a thief who steals some money. Depending upon the amount that this thief has stolen, justice demands that he spend time in jail to serve out his punishment. Mercy can allow for a reduced sentence, depending on if the thief is repentant and is sorry for the crime he has committed. However, even if a thief is truly sorry for what he has done, it is merciful and just to those he has offended by allowing him to serve out his term that justice demands.

Mercy has been unfortunately hijacked in the Church today by the very enemies of mercy. The enemies throw justice out the window and use arguments for sinners such as “we need to be merciful and allow them to go free” without the sinners being sorry for their sins. Legitimate mercy requires that the individual receiving mercy is sorry for what they have done. But mercy sounds much more compassionate these days than justice, so we all need to use the incorrect version of “mercy” to appease the Church’s enemies.

When it comes to God’s mercy, it is endless; all we have to do is ask Him to receive it and beg for His forgiveness. One way we can do this is to go to confession whenever we have committed a mortal sin. Justice demands that those who die in the state of mortal sin go immediately to Hell. It is a part of Catholic teaching that at the moment we die; we are judged and sent to either Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell. God, in His mercy, has given us the sacraments to utilize so that we can confess our sins and reenter the state of grace. When we die in the state of grace, we are then deemed either fit to enter into Heaven if there are no attachments from worldly affairs, or Purgatory if we are attached.

Perpetual Confession Chapels

God has also instituted Baptism to wash away the stain of original sin. Many Catholics are fortunate enough to have received baptism as an infant, but there are plenty of non-Catholics who have not received baptism. Baptism is required to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, as Jesus said in the Gospels: “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:16). Likewise, membership in the Church which Jesus founded is also necessary for salvation.

For this year of Mercy, I suggest you make good use of confession as frequently as you need it. Once a month would be a good starting point, if you require going more often, then please do so, as your soul is not something you want to gamble on. Hell is real, and if you die and are judged to receive eternal damnation, there is no getting out of it. If you are not a Catholic or have left the Church, please join or re-join the Church, as again, your salvation is essential.

Jeff December 9, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

What Would Jesus Do? On San Bernardino and the Need to Defend Ourselves

A few days after the San Bernardino, California gun shooting has occurred, it seemed like a good topic to touch on. There has been a huge increase in news stories dealing with the number of terrorist attacks  occurring in just about every single country. It is ever more evident that the time has come that we ourselves take up arms and conceal carry.

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These terrorist attacks are committed by men and women of varying ethnicities and creeds. They occur mostly in “gun-free zones”. Yet we hear the bombardment of squeals from those calling for more “gun control laws” (because that worked out real well in San Bernardino, didn’t it?). Tougher gun laws are being requested, even though the attack occurred in a gun-free zone, and were committed with guns that are banned in the state of California. Even with all of these cries it is critical that we look to the clear teaching from Our Lord Jesus Christ about the need to protect ourselves.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus makes it very clear to his disciples that they should always be armed:

When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you want anything? But they said: Nothing. Then said he unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword. For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me: And with the wicked was he reckoned. For the things concerning me have an end. But they said: Lord, behold here are two swords. And he said to them, It is enough. Luke 22:35-38

Obviously, if we were to apply this Gospel to today’s culture, we could easily replace the sword with a pistol as swords are not commonplace in today’s world. Jesus does later criticize Peter for using the sword when Peter uses it against one of the servants and cuts off his ear (” he who lives by the sword dies by the sword”) but it is important to remember what Jesus meant by this.

Those who live by the sword are referring to those who use violence as their first and primary means. If your first response whenever an issue occurs is using a weapon, you will eventually die by this weapon as eventually you will encounter someone who is better than you are. However, there is nothing at all wrong with defending oneself or those around you, even going as far as using deadly force, if the intention is not to kill the aggressor, but to stop him.

While I am calling for all citizens to begin to carry a gun on them at all times, I am not calling for them to go ahead and murder those around them. I am advocating for them to use the gun to stop the force, if necessary. Obviously, these terrorists would not get very far with their mass shootings if a small army of say ten passersby all pulled out their pistols and began firing back.

A lot of these shootings have also been motivated by groups with ties to ISIS. I have heard the argument from several people that perhaps we are at a point in history in which Catholics are being called to martyrdom. While it is possible that some of us will get to be martyrs for Jesus Christ and the Holy Catholic Church, I would like to point out that one, just because we are called to martyrdom, does not mean we can not defend ourselves and those around us, and two, some of us are not called to martyrdom and are called to defend those weaker than ourselves.

When looking back in history, the Mexican government actively attacked and murdered Catholics due to fear that the Catholic Church would overtake their country. The Christeros rose up against the government and fought back, defending themselves, and even bringing some of the battles to the soldiers. As these battles were just in using the theory of just war, many of the Christeros who died could be considered martyrs. In fact, quite a few of them were canonized by both Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. One can defend oneself, but still die for Christ and become a martyr.

While it is important that we all pray for peace and healing during this time, we must also pray for the unity of the world to join the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Until the world converts and lives a holy life, there will never truly be peace as only communion with Jesus Christ and His Church can give that. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and those who deny Him will be denied by His Father. Jesus founded one Church, the Catholic Church, for all of His followers to belong to. A rejection of this Church is a rejection of Christ, and a rejection of Christ is a rejection of your union with Him in Heaven.

Therefore, as we joyfully await the birth of Our Lord this Advent, I humbly implore you to prayerfully consider accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and coming home into the Catholic Church. And if you haven’t been to confession in a while, please, examine your conscience and go. For just as those who deny Christ can not enter Heaven, those who have offended Our Lord by committing any mortal sin have cut themselves off from His grace, and can not enter into Heaven.

Jeff December 4, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

Common Sense Commentary on Pope Francis and the State of the Church

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from my friend, Wes Hardin. He has a Masters in Theological Studies from Ave Maria University’s Insitute of Pastoral Theology. He originally posted this on his Facebook wall and I was impressed with the quality and precision of his thoughts on the state of the Church in relation to the papacy of Pope Francis. While many of my critics will look at this as “another bash Francis post”, it is important to recognize what Catholicism is and if each and every single Catholic is responsible for living a good and holy life, then that too extends to the Holy Father. The faith is not decided by the Pope, but he is given the keys of the Church, to safeguard her treasures and her teachings, not to drive it around as if it were daddy’s shiny corvette around town, trying to impress all those he passes.

Without further ado, here is the article.

Pope Francis Papal Presser-AP

So, there’s been [yet another – will it ever end?] media kerfuffle involving Pope Francis…surprise, surprise. Those who dismiss the criticism and hide behind so-called “translation errors” and “context/off-the-cuff/subtext” are just kidding themselves. Those who dismiss Pope Francis’ legitimacy as the Vicar of Christ on Earth (God help us!) are kidding themselves as well. The fact of the matter is: We have a bad Pope; that is, we have a Pope who hardly even popes, and when he does, he maliciously calumnies those who have merely been faithful to Catholicism in both the big and small things.

The thing that troubles me so regarding the current and deplorable state of the Catholic Church isn’t so much that we have a bad Pope (if you disagree, I suggest you take a big dose of reality), but that he is simply a realistic representation of the current state of Catholic clergy. Seriously, there are too few priests and bishops whom I have met (and I have met and worked closely with many…as in a lot) in my time with Catholicism (which predates my Confirmation and First Communion in 2011 by quite a bit) who think, speak, act, lead, pray, believe, confess in the same manner as His Holiness, Pope Francis does. In the end, he is a typical *modern* Jesuit, which makes him a typical *modern* cleric, which makes the current situation that Catholicism finds itself in to be nothing more than total and utter shambles. “A city half in ruins, half trembling,” as some might say.

For those of you who would like to debate about how I’ve “abandoned all hope,” and don’t truly believe that “the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church,” I’ll save you the trouble: that’s not what I’m saying here at all…Take a deep breath, and think…just exactly is the Church (non-Catholics need not chime in on this particular note, not interested in that rabbit-hole right now)? What exactly needs to concretely exist for there to be a Church? How many were there at the beginning? How many are there really now. Seriously…think, think, think.

All this being said Pope Francis still remains the Vicar of Christ on Earth, and he has every respect from me that is due him as a brother in the Image of God, the Holy Father, and public figure. I’m just saying that he’s bad at being those things, and I lament that fact. I pray for him daily…for his intentions (though I dare not mention them specifically, because, well…material heresy…), his conversion, and for an end to the madness. I exhort you, in the name of Christian Charity, to do the same.

Wes Hardin December 2, 2015 2 Comments Permalink