What is a Catholic required to believe?

AlHeiitzCommunion

In the chaos that has followed the Second Vatican Council, it is necessary that the faithful have a correct understanding Papal Infallibility, as well as its limitations, lest the understandably confused or scandalized Catholic be led into error in one direction or the other.

The Charism:

Infallibility is a negative charism (gratia gratis data) that prevents the possibility of error.  It is not to be confused withinspiration, which is a positive divine influence that moves and controls a human agent in what he says or writes; nor is it to be confused with Revelation, which is the communication of some truth by God through means which are beyond the ordinary course of nature.  Infallibility pertains to the safeguarding and explanation of truths already revealed by God.  Since infallibility is only a negative charism, it does not inspire a pope to teach what is true or even defend revealed truths, nor does it “make the pope’s will the ultimate standard of truth and goodness” (2), but simply prevents him from teaching error under certain limited conditions.  During an address given at the First Vatican Council, Bishop Grasser, who was referred to as “the most prominent theologian at the Council”, said the following:

“In no sense is pontifical infallibility absolute, because absolute infallibility belongs to God alone, Who is the first and essential truth and Who is never able to deceive or be deceived. All other infallibility, as communicated for a specific purpose, has its limits and its conditions under which it is considered to be present. The same is valid in reference to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. For this infallibility is bound by certain limits and conditions…”

The conditions for Papal Infallibility were subsequently defined by the First Vatican Council as follows:

“We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals”.

Here we see that the divine assistance is present only when a pope, (a) using his supreme apostolic authority (b) defines a doctrine, (c) concerning faith and morals, (d) to be held by the universal Church.  If any of these conditions are lacking, infallibility is not engaged and error is possible.

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Editor’s note: The first Vatican Council was never officially brought to a close, so technically, Vatican II was merely an extension of Vatican I. Yet those who ratified Vatican II never even mentioned the still open and unfinished Vatican I. If that sounds confusing to you, you have plenty of company.

We know that God is not the author of confusion. That leaves only two other choices: Man and/or the devil!

Talk is “cheap”

wolfy2Since the Council we have witnessed, for the first time in the Church’s bimillenial history, the emergence of a strain of Catholic “neo-conservatism”—hence neo-Catholicism—characterized by a staunch defense of unprecedented ecclesial novelties the Popes before the Council would have viewed with utter horror. Among other novelties comprising the liberalized ecclesial status quo of the post-conciliar epoch, the neo-Catholic defends the new vernacular liturgy (including the appalling spectacle of altar girls, approved by “John Paul the Great”), the new “ecumenism,” which has all but de-missionized the Church, and the new “dialogue,” which has reduced the perennial preaching of the Gospel with the authority of Christ Himself to a vacuous  “discussion-ism” that avoids any open proclamation of the imperatives of divine revelation, especially the claims of Christ on nations as well as individuals.

Concerning “dialogue,” as Romano Amerio observed in his masterwork Iota Unum, this “is very new in the Catholic Church…” The word “was completely unknown in the Church’s teaching before the Council. It does not occur once in any previous council, or in papal encyclicals, or in sermons or in pastoral practice.” Yet this novelty suddenly appears 28 times in the Vatican II documents that were drafted in haste after the classically written preparatory schema, years in the making, were tossed into the trash following the famous Rhine group uprising on the Council’s third day. (Cfr. Wiltgen’s The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, pp. 15-60). Amerio notes that dialogue, “through its lightning spread and an enormous broadening of meaning, became the master-word determining post-conciliar thinking, and a catch-all category in the newfangled mentality.”  (Iota Unum, p. 347). The newfangled mentality to which Amerio refers is the mentality fairly described as neo-Catholic.

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Editor’s note: A definition of Sacred and Apostolic Tradition: The means by which the Holy Spirit infallibly guides the Catholic Church, from age to age.

How much did Adam (the first man) know?

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As we know, this magnificent angel – the greatest creature God had created up to that time – disobeyed God and fell into apostasy, and in so doing brought one third of the other angels with him.  The angels who thought to themselves, “we would rather be wrong with Lucifer than right without him”, got their wish and became demons, while those who remained faithful to God, in spite of the apostasy of their divinely appointed leader, were immediately confirmed in grace and now reign with God in heaven.

After the fall of the bad angels, God created man.  He endowed the first man with the preternatural gifts of integrity, bodily immortality, impassibility, and infused knowledge, which perfected him according to nature, as well as the supernatural gift of grace, which elevated his soul to the supernatural level, thereby making him a “partaker of the Divine Nature” (2 Peter 1:4).   By the gift of infused knowledge, Adam knew all that he had a natural aptitude to know (2), including knowledge of the physical universe, both material and spiritual, the moral law, the Divine Attributes of God, and man’s relationship to his creator” (3), as well as the supernatural knowledge necessary to guide him and his descendants to their supernatural end. (4)  All of the gifts Adam received would have been passed down to his posterity, with the exception of infused knowledge.

The reason his descendants would not have received this gift, according to St. Thomas, is because Adam was to be the teacher of all other men. (5) As father of the human race, he was to instruct and govern mankind, just as Lucifer was to govern and enlighten the lower angels. As we know, Adam, the father of the human race and divinely appointed teacher of all men, disobeyed God and fell into sin, thereby causing the Fall of the entire human race.  But unlike the angels who fell, God did not abandon man, but instead promised to send a Redeemer.

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Atheism explained (so even a fool can understand it)

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Submitted by Bob Stanley

What “success” looks like

When my kids are grown, it won’t really matter if they got an A or a B in 7th grade history. It won’t really matter how far they can hit a baseball. It won’t really even matter much if they’ve made a lot of money or been “successful” according to the world. What will matter much more is this:

12 Most Important Metrics for your Child’s (and your) Education

Bullying: What happens when a student refuses to accept his school’s blatant promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.

The message may be unfolded thus. If you do not wear this shirt, or if you do not approve of the life it celebrates, you are evil. You’re a bully. You want people like Tyler Clementi to die. The superintendent, but not the court, notes that Glowacki was held up to opprobrium in the classroom.

Neither the superintendent nor the court expresses any concern about the massive contradiction that McDowell could order a student to remove a belt buckle because it might create a hostile environment for some other students, while not noticing that the entire school bristles with hostility against Catholics, evangelical Protestants, orthodox Jews, and anybody else who holds that sexual intercourse is to be bound within marriage, between a man and a woman.

Which brings me to my second point. If I hire a man to teach my son economics, I’d be shocked to learn that he’d been using his position to run down my faith. Granted that students, because of their age and the special circumstances, do not possess complete freedom of expression in school, it is equally true that teachers and schools must not capitalize upon their strength, their numbers, and their separation from the home, to advocate what is essentially a religion, with its (peculiar and incoherent) set of universal demands and condemnations.

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A meditation from the recent conclave on the Smoke of Satan and the Church

“The evil spirit of the world, the ‘mysterium iniquitatis’ (2 Thes 2:7), constantly strives to infiltrate the Church. Moreover, let us not forget the warning of the prophets of ancient Israel not to seek alliances with Babylon or with Egypt, but to follow a pure policy ‘ex fide’ trusting solely in God (cf. Is 30:1; 31:1-3; Hos 12:2) and in his covenant. Courage! Christ relieves our minds when he exclaims: ‘Have trust, I have overcome the world’ (Jn 16:33).”

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Silent holocaust: 3.8 million embryonic souls destroyed in order for 122,000 babies to be born.

The Daily Telegraph this weekend reports on a new expert study which has raised fears that some clinics may be offering techniques that put the embryo at risk for their own profit.

The review, carried out by Dr Justin McCracken, the former head of the Health Protection Agency, highlighted a new technique, known as Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS), as one which is possibly being offered inappropriately for commercial reasons.

Link

Editor’s note: Unlike the Catholic Church, which condemns all procedures that destroy human embryos, which are in truth, minimally developed, living human beings, the Daily Telegraph sees this only as a consumer fraud issue.

Yoga is an essential part of Hindu philosophy and the two cannot be separated.

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This is from the Hindu American Foundation: “Yoga is a combination of both physical and spiritual exercises, entails mastery over the body, mind and emotional self, and transcendence of desire. The ultimate goal is moksha, the attainment of liberation from worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and rebirth.”

As a Catholic the term “rebirth” in this excerpt should be very disconcerting. Catholics simply do not believe in rebirth. As Catholics we believe you are given one lifetime. You are baptized and will live your life as a believer in Christ as your Savior. You aren’t given multiple lives to work out your final destiny.

Additionally, Catholics “get” suffering. Maybe sometimes too much; but nonetheless, we don’t—as a group—run from suffering. We understand its redemptive value. While we may wish to be liberated from it and can certainly pursue that through Christ, we don’t see it as our “ultimate goal.” Our ultimate goal is to unite our lives with Christ, the Suffering Servant.

Or there is this from the Hindu American Foundation: “There is the concerning trend of disassociating Yoga from its Hindu roots. Yet, even when Yoga is practiced solely in the form of an exercise, it cannot be completely delinked from its Hindu roots.”

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Psalms 96:3-6 Declare his glory among the Gentiles: his wonders among all people. (4) For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. (5) For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens. (6) Praise and beauty are before him: holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.

photo: Wikipedia

So long, Albertus Magnus

If you ever visit the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, make sure you get a glimpse of the campus’ loveliest bit of architecture, the iconic St. Thomas arches. Built in 1947, these arches stand proudly astride the administrative building and the liberal arts center, displaying a statue of the university’s patron.

At one time, the buildings were known as Aquinas Hall and Albertus Magnus Hall. It was a beautiful pairing, which left the university’s signature landmark gracefully bridging the gap between the Angelic Doctor and his inspired teacher. In 1999, however, the university renovated Albertus Magnus Hall, at which time it was renamed “the John Roach Center.”

John Roach was the archbishop in the Twin Cities from 1975 to 1995. I never knew him, so be assured that there is no personal animus behind this one little thought: I do not think he contributed as much to the Church as Albert the Great. And it saddens me to realize that, with the loss of his building, a majority of UST students will surely graduate without so much as hearing the name of St. Thomas’ great mentor.

Imagine a world in which Catholic universities named their landmarks with an eye to the students’ good, and not to university politics…

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Editor’s note: Archbishop Roach reputedly had little regard for either of the above saints, but he was a great friend and close associate of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.  See the linked article – starting about 3/4 of the way down the page.

Catholics are called to love the poor in a fundamentally different way than Americans.

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Christian love is not leveling of differences that results in equality. It is precisely a love of people with all their differences, and is thus an unequal love, proper to unequal people.

So we arrive back at the point. The Church loves the poor with a preferential love. The good we should desire for them is a greater good than that which we desire for others. (This is obviously connected to the lack of due goods those oppressed by poverty may have — we must desire greater and more goods for the poor than we desire for those who are already secure in material and spiritual goods.) So the first difference between the Church and the culture is that what the culture claims is a good “addition” to life, or just another way of loving, the Church claims as a priority and a love above other loves.

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Editor’s note: The big question is … should the Church rely on government money … which has many significant, anti-Catholic “strings” attached … in order to “preferentially” help the poor?

Illinois’ allegedly Catholic governor Quinn makes another queer decision

SPRINGFIELD-Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that would impose a new statewide sex-education standard for sixth- through 12th-graders that goes beyond abstinence-only instruction.

Opposed by Republicans, the bill would encourage school systems to adopt “comprehensive, medically accurate and age-appropriate” sex-education curricula with a specific focus on sexually-transmitted diseases, contraception and unintended pregnancies.

Backed by Planned Parenthood of Illinois and the ACLU of Illinois, the new law would enable parents to withhold their children from any sex-education courses to which they object. Quinn took action without making any public statement on his move.

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Muslim’s frustration with Egyptian government leads to the widespread destruction of Christian churches and institutions

A wave of devastating violence swept through Egypt Wednesday as the government attempted to disband the supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi from their sit-ins.  According to the Associated Press,638 people have now been confirmed killed, and nearly 4,000 are injured.

The fighting is far from limited to the Islamists and the military, however. Since Wednesday’s violence began, there have also been a wave of attacks on churches and Christian institutions.

47 churches and counting…

See the list

5 tips for practical Catholic living

Holy Ghost Fire

Let’s use marriage as an example. With marital love comes certain obligations and responsibilities—some more serious, others maybe not so serious. If we were to compile these individual acts of love into a list, we would end up with a very long list. This list contains obligations that we must follow if we want to preserve our love and want it to grow.

When marital love grows dull, this list seems suffocating.  So, too, in our relationship with Jesus. If our love is allowed to wane, then the Church’s teachings seem too hard. Thus, the problem is not rooted in obeying rules, but in not recognizing that the rules are more than arbitrary. Rather, they are the way to live and grow according to the law of love.

To avoid this apparent restrictive and joyless life for the Catholic, I would like to offer the following points for practical and personal application:

1.) Receive the Eucharist as often as you can. This is the very love of God poured forth into our hearts promised by Jesus. Even more astounding, it is Jesus, body, blood, soul, and Divinity, offered to us mysteriously under the appearance of bread and wine.

2.) Receive Him in a state of grace. That means to practice the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least monthly, or any time we are aware that we have willfully committed a grave sin. After all, one does not give sustenance to a corpse. We must be spiritually able to receive divine sustenance in order to benefit from this grace.

3.) Practice daily mediation. Pick up the Gospels and read a little and then stop when something strikes you. Put the book down, and let that point sink in. When you get overcome with distractions, pick up the Gospels and continue reading until the next thing strikes you. Repeat this process. This approach to prayer was encouraged by St. Theresa of Avila to her community. I have profited much from it myself, so I know that it works.

4.) When you are finished with your 20 minutes or more of spiritual reading,   make a daily resolution. A resolution is a promise we make to God to respond to His grace by seeking to uproot some predominant fault that our spiritual reading has just uncovered. You can keep the same resolution daily, or change it up, depending on how the Holy Spirit moves you.

One note on this: the best way to uproot a fault is to work on the opposite virtue. As we develop the virtue, doing the good becomes easier, more joyful, and we act towards it more promptly. Thus, the life of repressing the evil inclination is replaced by a life of doing the good.

5.) Lastly, examine yourself at the end of the day and see how well you tended to your resolution. Thank the Lord for your days’ blessings, challenges, and benefits. Tell Him that you are sorry for offending Him by not keeping your resolution firmly if that is the case, and promise to put more effort into keeping your resolution tomorrow.

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Everything you probably never wanted to know about the false god of the “New Age”

deGuaita

Throughout the history of Western occultism, the name of the mysterious Baphomet is often invoked. Although it became commonly know name in the twentieth century, mentions of Baphomet can be found in documents dating from as early as the 11th century. Today, the symbol is associated with anything relating to occultism, ritual magic, witchcraft, Satanism and esoterica. Baphomet often pops up in popular culture to identify anything occult.

Text and photos

Sinister Sites: IRS Headquarters, Maryland

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about! – Ed.

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The Battle is Engaged, Choose sides!

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The readings today speak of a great cosmic battle that is taking place all around us. In the Gospel, Jesus speaks vividly of it, and of his own mission to engage our ancient foe and to gather God’s elect back from the enslaving clutches of Satan, who was a murder and a liar from the beginning (cf John 8:44).

Text and video

It’s official: the European Union hates Jesus Christ

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One of its most celebrated artistic works, the Christ Pantocrator of the Romanesque church of Sant Martí de la Cortinada, had been chosen as one of the images of a new coin.

That was too much for the European Union and the European Central Bank, that ordered Christ removed from the coin. It could not even remain as an iconic work of art of an area that was historically poor and treasured its few artistic relics from the past – no, imagery that can be considered offensive to the “principle of neutrality in the matter of religious beliefs” is to be removed. It does not matter, apparently, that the image is in the heart of the self-understanding of a people, and of all peoples of Europe.

Now, just a bell tower will remain; bell towers are probably not religious enough… The tiny nation that has a Bishop as one of its heads of State could not resist the orders, as Slovakia successfully did in defense of the sainthood of Saints Cyril and Methodius in a commemorative coin.

See the proposed coin

Editor’s note: The bell tower motif was probably approved because it resembles a Muslim minaret.

Obama’s “Common Core” educational standards vs traditional Catholic education principles

Across the country, Common Core is causing the same concern among parents, who fear the standards — endorsed by the Obama administration — will dumb down Catholic school education and replace it with secular lessons no different from those at public schools.

The Allentown Diocese and National Catholic Educational Association maintain that the church has full control over its curriculum, intends to go above and beyond Common Core standards and won’t sacrifice Catholic values.

“We want to take the best of the Common Core and in no way would we have looked to compromise our Catholic identity while implementing standards,” said Philip Fromuth, superintendent of schools for the Allentown Diocese. “We’re not looking at watering down our curriculum. We’re only looking to strengthen our curriculum.”

That promise isn’t enough to sway Herman.

“The church is walking into this blindly thinking that they are going to have more freedom than they are,” Herman said. “I think that’s what’s happening. They are walking into this with blinders on.”

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Editor’s note: Those of us who have been monitoring Catholic education over the past twenty years or so will tell you that there’s little difference in mentality – or political proclivities – between Catholic school teachers and those who teach in the public schools.

Catholic school teachers – much as Catholic bishops and their chancellery staff – tend to be overwhelmingly liberal – so regardless of the official party line – they will not only be easy marks for Obama’s “Common Core” curriculum – they will probably qualify as the very earliest adopters.

It doesn’t say “Liberal Arts” on all those fancy college diplomas, for nothin’! 

Academia – and hence, most of today’s college educated Catholic school teachers, have already been thoroughly saturated with the “Common Core” dogma, so it just makes logical sense to them – which means that this is already a done deal.

Chalk up another victory for the commie/lib/modernist establishment – and Barack Obama, their official poster boy.

All the more reason for Catholic parents to finally take personal responsibility for the faith education of their children – without delay.  

Exquisite timing of “Miracle Priest’s” appearance reveals God’s loving providence

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After officials allowed him to approach the accident, Dowling reached his arm well into the car to touch Lentz’s head with oil. “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”

The prayer was the Anointing of the Sick, an ancient ritual with roots in Judaism that is one of Catholicism’s seven sacraments.

As the priest walked away from the Mercedes, Lentz — a member of an Assemblies of God Pentecostal church — asked him to return and pray aloud with her, which he did. He then moved out of the way so rescue efforts could resume.

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Submitted by Bob Stanley

Editor’s note: From an obscure corner of the planet we witness a kind of genuine Ecumenism, as a Catholic priest lives the Gospel, ministering to a person of faith, in her time of greatest need.

This “grand coincidence” serves as a very timely reminder of God’s inestimable love, tender mercies and unbounded providence.

The Heavens and the Earth rejoice, as we give Him thanks and praise!