Today’s Question: What currently available Bible translation is the ONLY one considered to be infallible and inerrant, according to the Council of Trent and the Holy Catholic Church?

Question: What currently available Bible translation is the ONLY one considered to be infallible and inerrant, according to the Council of Trent (and hence, officially, by the Holy Catholic Church)?

Answer: The Church has already stated, extraordinarily at the Council of Trent and ordinarily through constant usage, that the Old Vulgate is “authentic” and “free from error”.

Therefore, the only edition of Sacred Scripture we should be using for anything is either the Old Vulgate itself, or if you can’t functionally understand Latin, a translation of that text. Anything else is simply not guaranteed.

Trent, Session IV “Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod … has decided and declares that the said old Vulgate edition, which has been approved by the Church itself through long usage for so many centuries in public lectures, disputations, sermons, and expositions, be considered authentic, and that no one under any pretext whatsoever dare to presume or reject it.

See the entire article here. Be sure also, to view all the comments, since that’s where the two above passages, are located.

Also note that the Catholic Church of that time was standing up for the truth of the Old Latin Vulgate, as opposed to many of the “new” Protestant translation efforts that were underway, at the time. Of course, none of our current, English language Catholic Bible translations existed back then, either.

This writer agrees with the author of the article that one of the the worst Bible translations of all time (even with most Protestant efforts included) is probably the disgraceful, vapid and totally uninspiring, “Catholic In Name Only” New American Bible.

More Bad Fruit: Confirming our beloved Jewish brethren in a Covenant of Death and Hell, for Passover

passover-eucharist

Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and the New Covenant, in his blood.
Only ONE of these is capable of saving a soul. 

The writer of this piece doesn’t want to offend anyone, but unfortunately, she has embraced the Modernist heresy about the nature of the Old Covenant and the “faith” of the Jewish people – and so, miserably fails.

Read the article

Now, read this:

There is absolutely NOTHING in the Old Covenant which is, or was ever capable of saving a soul. Anyone who clings to the Old Covenant embraces only death and hell.

Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and membership in the Catholic Church, which he founded for that express purpose., for if salvation was available by the Old Covenant, there would have been absolutely no need for our Holy Redeemer Jesus Christ, to become man, suffer and die on the cross. for us!

Anyone who – knowing this – fails to accept the divine truth of the matter – is – at the very least – going to have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, come Judgment Day!

Catholics should understand that confirming our beloved Jewish brethren in their spiritually deadly theological error is not in any way charitable – nor is such a thing appropriate at Passover, or ANY OTHER TIME – even if certain highly place church officials might believe otherwise.

The theological matter was settled, long, long ago. Here are the ERROR-FREE official Catholic Church citations. If the Catholic Church was WRONG then, there is no longer ANY ASSURANCE that it is CORRECT about ANYTHING, today. If the church was RIGHT then, there is no doubt that the Modernists who control today’s church (and teach otherwise) are indeed, WRONG.

The logic is irrefutable.

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Pius XIIMystici Corporis, 29: “And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ…but on the Gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race. “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.”

30: “On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death, in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers”

Council of Trent, ch 1, 793: “but not even the Jews by the very letter of the law of Moses were able to be liberated or to rise therefrom”

Council of Trent, Session 6, ch 2: “that He might both redeem the Jews, who were under the Law”

Council of Trent, Canon 1: “If anyone shall say that man can be justified before God by his own works which are done through his own natural powers, or through the teaching of the Law…let him be anathema.”

Council of Florence, DS 695: “There are seven sacraments of the new Law: namely, baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, which differ a great deal from the sacraments of the Old Law. For those of the Old Law did not effect grace, but only pronounced that it should be given through the passion of Christ; these sacraments of ours contain grace, and confer it upon those who receive them worthily.”

Council of Florence, DS 712: “It firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosiac law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord’s coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally.”

“All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors. Therefore, it commands all who glory in the name of Christian, at whatever time, before or after baptism’ to cease entirely from circumcision, since, whether or not one places hope in it, it cannot be observed at all without the loss of eternal salvation.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum, #59: “However they are not attempting to observe the precepts of the old Law, which as everyone knows have been revoked by the coming of Christ.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum, #61: “The first consideration is that the ceremonies of the Mosaic law were abrogated by the coming of Christ and they can no longer be observed without sin after the promulgation of the Gospel.”

Pius VI, DS 1519-1520 (condemned the following): “Likewise, the doctrine which adds that under the Law man ‘became a prevaricator, since he was powerless to observe it, not indeed by the fault of the Law, which was most sacred, but by the guilt of man, who, under the Law, without grace, became more and more a prevaricator’; and it further adds, ‘that the Law, if it did not heal the heart of man, brought it about that he would recognize his evil, and, being convinced of his weakness, would desire the grace of a mediator’; in this part it generally intimates that man became a prevaricator through the nonobservance of the Law which he was powerless to observe, as if ‘He who is just could command something impossible, or He who is pious would be likely to condemn man for that which he could not avoid’ (from St. Caesarius Serm. 73, in append., St. Augustine, Serm. 273, edit. Maurin; from St. August., De nat, et “rat., e. 43; De “rat. et lib. arb., e. 16, Enarr. in psalm. 56, n. I),– false scandalous, impious, condemned in Baius (see n. 1504).

1520 20. “In that part in which it is to be understood that man, while under the Law and without grace, could conceive a desire for the grace of a Mediator related to the salvation promised through Christ, as if ‘grace itself does not effect that He be invoked by us’ (from Conc. Araus. II, can. 3 [v.n. 176]),– the proposition as it stands, deceitful, suspect, favorable to the Semipelagian heresy.

The Last Supper was the ultimate, eternal fulfillment of the Passover – in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The institution of the Eucharist

1337 The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love.163In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; “thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament.”164

1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St. Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist; St. John, for his part, reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist: Christ calls himself the bread of life, come down from heaven.165

1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood:

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it. . . .” They went . . . and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”. . . . And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.”166

1340 By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom.

“Do this in memory of me”

This year’s Holy Week may be marked by a blood-red moon

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by Doug Lawrence

And going out, he went, according to his custom, to the Mount of Olives. And his disciples also followed him. And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And he was withdrawn away from them a stone’s cast. And kneeling down, he prayed. Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:39-44)

A lunar eclipse has long been a regular feature of Passover and Easter, as Passover has always been marked by a phase of the lunar cycle.

In the passage above, we read of Jesus’ sweat looking like drops of blood, as they trickled down to the ground.

lunar_eclipse

I’m not one to try to rationalize miracles, but I’ve never been convinced there ever was a miracle here, since drops of sweat, illuminated by the subdued light of a blood-red, fully eclipsed moon, would indeed naturally appear as blood, especially if moonlight provided the only available illumination.

Another interesting thing about a lunar eclipse – you can’t have things both ways. It’s impossible to have a (natural) solar eclipse the day after a (natural) lunar eclipse, since everything in the heavens is totally out of phase. Plus – natural solar eclipses don’t last for three hours – and they’re not visible across the whole earth. That would make the darkness that covered the whole earth from noon to 3 on Good Friday, truly supernatural! 

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted: My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34)

This was also a prophetic and very specific fulfillment of Old Testament sacred scripture:

Christ on the Cross by Diego Velazquez, 1632

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that the sun shall go down at midday, and I will make the earth dark in the day of light: And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation: and I will bring up sackcloth upon every back of yours, and baldness upon every head: and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the latter end thereof as a bitter day. (Amos 8:9-10)

More

 

 

Annunciation: The day God waited patiently for Mary’s “yes!”

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And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God.

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38)

Text and video

8 reasons for Catholics to see the upcoming Noah movie

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Goliath and his gigantic brothers
were thought to be surviving Nephilim

Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown. And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, it repented him that he had made man on the earth. And being touched inwardly with sorrow of heart, He said: I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, from man even to beasts, from the creeping thing even to the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them. (Genesis 6:4-7)

Scot Landry offers up his thoughts

Some “deep background” from the old, non-biblical book “First Enoch”

1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms 2 and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they 3 became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed 4 all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against 5 them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and 6 fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones. 

Now back to the Bible:

But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are corrupted. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves and have perished in the contradiction of Core. These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves: clouds without water, which are carried about by winds: trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots: Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion: wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved for ever. Now of these Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying: Behold, the Lord cometh with thousands of his saints: To execute judgment upon all and to reprove all the ungodly for all the works of their ungodliness, whereby they have done ungodly: and for all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against God. These are murmurers, full of complaints, walking according to their own desires: and their mouth speaketh proud things, admiring persons, for gain’s sake. (Jude 1:10-16)

A virtual Neo-Pelagian Film Festival – and it’s yours, free for the viewing!

Catholic Family News 2013 Conference

Here’s a good one to start with:

Saint Francis of Assisi: The Man vs. the Myth

Saint Luke’s Presentation narrative effectively puts the lie to the recently popular “Late Epiphany Theory”

Presentation-in-temple

Today we hear the Gospel of Luke proclaimed, where we are treated to pertinent details of the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple, under the Mosaic Law, 40 days after Christmas:

And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons: And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel. And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. (Luke 2:22-39)

epiphany

As of late, nearly every Christmas, we’re told by highly educated “experts” and “specialists” that the Magi/Wise Men didn’t make it to Bethlehem for a year or two after the birth of Christ, and that the Holy Family was likely living in a rented/borrowed house there when the Magi finally arrived.

Yet here we have Saint Luke, who had earlier testified, in writing, that everything he wrote was true, eye-witness testimony, told in the correct order:

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us, According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.  (Luke 1:1-4)

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The Gospel of Saint Luke clearly states that Jesus was duly presented at the Temple 40 days after birth, according to the Law, and the Holy Family returned to Nazareth immediately afterward.

Catholic Tradition holds that the Magi arrived very shortly after the birth of Jesus – probably a couple of weeks (or less) after the blessed event. Not months or years later!

So, who are we to believe? Late-day progressive Bible critics who generally scoff at the concept of divine inspiration and supernatural inerrancy – or contemporary eye-witnesses to the actual events and circumstances in the life of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and others?

What do you think? 

The little known encyclical on Marriage that predated Humanae Vitae by almost 40 years

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When the Anglican church at the Lambeth Conference of 1930 became the first Christian church or sect to break ranks with the 2000 year belief and practice of the Christian Faith regarding contraception, there was massive scandal in religious circles.  

The breech in doctrine was roundly derided even by most other “mainline” liberal protestant sects.  Of course, Pope Pius XI responded with the seminal Casti Connubii, which just absolutely castigated the Anglican position and still is the most comprehensive Magisterial statement on the evils of contraception and the “sex for pleasure” mentality that has ever been released.

All Catholics should read it – the differences between Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae are stark.

Link to article

Read  Casti Connubii

Read Humanae Vitae

Seen on the web: Core Doctrine and Moral Concepts from The Catechism of the Catholic Church

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A concise summary of key aspects of the Catholic Catechism, offered by Catholic Collar and Tie.

Free Download – PDF File – approx. 384K

Jesus Christ: Prefigured, preexistent, preeminent, powerful, the presence of God (and perfect).

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Click graphic to enlarge

As Ordinary time (tempus per anum) opens up, the lectionary continues to “introduce” Christ to us. Last week he was baptized obtained many gifts for us as he was manifested by the Father.

This week is a continuation of sorts as John the Baptist elaborates on Who Jesus is. John’s words are brief but they are packed with Christological teaching. In this Gospel we learn at least five things about Jesus. He learn that he is prefigured, preexistent, preeminent, powerful and the presence of God. Let’s look at each one.

Read more from Monsignor Charles Pope

Four important things Pope Francis and Phil Robertson have yet to explain about the homosexual culture and other sexual lifestyles that the Bible and the Catholic Church deem to be immoral

jcknows

(Click graphic to enlarge)

by Doug Lawrence

There’s much more to this homosexual union/faux marriage/shacking up thing than meets the eye. So far, neither the Pope (nor the Catholic Bishops) nor Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson have explained the significant personal considerations of such behavior.

1) According to the Bible and the Catholic Church, there is no doubt that virtually all deliberate, willful homosexual acts – as well as sexual intercourse and similar types of activity between men and women, not married to each other – are objectively sinful.

The only question that remains is whether God will choose to judge any particular person to be worthy of eternal punishment, as a result.

As far as we humans can know, anyone who is fully aware of the biblical/Catholic Church teachings on such matters and who still freely chooses to engage in them, will be subject to divine judgment.

There’s absolutely no way to honestly reinterpret the Bible in order to avoid this conclusion. Anything to the contrary is mere “spin” and/or deception. For more on this, see: The 4 sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.

2)  The prohibition against homosexual depravity, adultery, fornication and other related sexual sins is DEFINITELY NOT something that was long ago consigned to the dust bin of history.

While it’s true that Jesus Christ personally fulfilled and then respectfully set aside the entirety of the Old Covenant Laws, Ordinances and Statutes, making them void and of no further effect – the full moral authority described in the Old Law was transferred to the Catholic Church, the sole governing authority of the New, better and everlasting Covenant, which was given to us personally by Jesus Christ, at the Last Supper.

The condemnation of homosexual acts and culture, of abortion, adultery, fornication and related sexual sins was in fact, promptly reinterpreted and readopted by the divinely appointed leaders of the fledgling New Covenant Catholic Church, according to the extraordinarily high moral standards personally established by Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth, which deemed not just the acts themselves – but even deliberately thinking about doing them – to be gravely sinful.

Sensible people would do well to spend some quality time working out in their mind precisely why Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things, would according to his divine wisdom, so strongly caution his creatures (us) against even thinking about such things!

All those living in today’s New Covenant times are expected to live up to this higher standard, defined by none other than Jesus Christ – God himself – who redeemed us from the powers of darkness by his atoning sacrifice on the cross – and who thereby earned the right to judge both the quick and the dead, without exception.

These divine standards apply to all.  Not just Christians. The Catholic Church has been teaching and explaining this to people, all around the world,  for the last 2,000 years. In this age of instant information, there may still be some excuses for lack of faith in God or in his Catholic Church, but the case for invincible ignorance in  matters sexual is getting harder and harder to make, everyday!

3) The act of “shacking up” (living together as man and wife – whether homo or hetero – without benefit of sacramental matrimony) institutionalizes and makes permanent sinful, personal depravity.

Continuing to “live together in sin” – even if a firm purpose of amendment exists – means that genuine repentance is not possible – hence, these and other sins are not likely to be forgiven, unless and until the illicit living arrangement is discontinued. 

This is spiritually, an extremely dangerous condition in which to exist, since death and judgment might occur at any time. God prefers that we all live in peace, unafraid of death, according to his grace. See: A Last Chance for Lost Souls.

4) The necessity of enlightened prudential judgment and high personal moral standards, according to the clearly defined teachings, traditions and practices of the Catholic Church, as well as the absolute certainty of Divine Judgment by Jesus Christ, the Just Judge and Savior of ALL mankind, should as a practical matter, be considered a “given” – since the Bible and the Catholic Church unanimously hold that this sobering prospect applies to all – without compromise or exception.

The Bottom Line:

Legalizing, promoting and celebrating immoral, illicit heterosexual and/or homosexual lifestyles is the surest way of leading untold millions of souls to Hell. There’s absolutely no love in that!

The official Christian opposition to all forms of sexual immorality is based on inerrant, unchanging, divine mandate – plus thousands of years of practical experience in various world civilizations. The fact that many professed Christians fail to correctly practice their faith changes nothing.

The Catholic Church offers a number of practical and effective solutions for these and other major issues of the day – including complete and total absolution for a lifetime of sins, no matter how serious. The fact that corruption has always existed inside the Catholic Church, at one level or another, sadly diminishes but can never totally negate the Church’s divine power and authority, or its’ particular efficacy in the proper care of souls.

Jesus Christ remains the head of the Catholic Church and it his power alone that serves to keep the Catholic Church authentically holy and totally indefectible.

Please give all of this very serious consideration. A number of good links can be found (depending on your particular screen resolution) near the bottom of the page, or along the right hand margin.

Interesting pamphlets from the 1930’s and 1940’s about the Holy Bible and the Angels

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Read it. Save it. Print it. (PDF File)

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The Holy Angels of God (PDF)

There’s more, too! Courtesy of Lux Occulta

Saint Padre Pio’s Christmas Meditation

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Far into the night, at the coldest time of the year, in a chilly grotto, more suitable for a flock of beasts than for humans, the promised Messiah – Jesus – the savior of mankind, comes into the world in the fullness of time.

There are none who clamor around him: only an ox and an ass lending their warmth to the newborn infant; with a humble woman, and a poor and tired man, in adoration beside him.

Nothing can be heard except the sobs and whimpers of the infant God. And by means of his crying and weeping he offers to the Divine justice the first ransom for our redemption.

He had been expected for forty centuries…

Read more

The Amazing Handel Messiah: Praising and Thanking God with all the Heavenly Hosts.

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by Doug Lawrence

This was not turning out to be your average Sunday!

We were at Mass when day turned to night around noon on Sunday, November 17th, as a fast-moving cold front swept through the State of Illinois, spawning a number of powerful tornadoes and (unknown to us, at the time) almost totally devastating the town of Washington, located about one hundred twenty miles southwest of our suburban Chicago area church. (Please pray for the citizens of Washington, Illinois.)

After Mass, the plan was to drive to Indiana, along with a few close friends, to attend the semi-annual Handel Messiah experience at the Ancilla Domini Chapel, near the town of Plymouth. (Admission is free.)

The storm was moving east at a brisk, sixty miles per hour, so it looked like we would be OK – if I didn’t drive too fast! Other than a flood, a traffic accident with detour, numerous power outages and occasionally outpacing the storm and driving right into the tail end of it, we got there relatively quickly and without serious incident.

Despite the strong, biting winds that followed in the wake of the storm (and a pesky, local power outage that for a time, threatened to cancel the event) the place was jammed – with standing room only! Fortunately, we had VIP reserved seats, courtesy of a friendly local priest. In fact, we were seated right up front, a mere twenty feet from the choir and the soloists – and virtually sitting in the orchestra!

ancilla domini chapel

The 500 Seat Neo-Gothic “Chapel” Is Awesome!

From the official website:

The Annunciation scene above the main altar is an imported carved work. The scene is very significant to the Poor Handmaids because it symbolizes the Sisters’ charism and name. The statues represent Mary and the angel in dialogue (Luke 1:26-38). The angel is expressing God’s call to Mary to be the Mother of the Messiah, Jesus. Mary responds humbly of her desire to participate in God’s plan of redemption. She is willing to serve as mother of the Savior. Mary answered the angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word.” The Latin words “Ancilla Domini,” mean “Handmaid of the Lord.” From this title Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ take their name. 

The Messiah was masterfully conducted by Dr. David K. Lamb of Columbus, Indiana. The robust and expansive choir consisted of Poor Handmaid Sisters and volunteers from the surrounding area. Professional soloists from the Chicago Lyric Opera turned in a truly extraordinary performance, while members of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra provided the soul-stirring musical accompaniment.

This was no small effort! Preparations and rehearsals must have taken weeks or months, as “Messiah” is a daunting technical piece, in addition to being awesomely inspirational.

I was able to follow along as the violin section flawlessly performed their parts, reading from a score that was virtually black with tiny musical notes and symbols, trilling constantly up – then down – then up, some more. I didn’t know it was even possible for human fingers to work that fast – or for so long a time. Some of the musicians appeared to have committed the entire work to memory – a truly masterful achievement – and no doubt, a labor of love.

As for me and mine – I doubt we will ever think of Christmas the same way, again – because now we know what it must have been like to experience the Heavenly Hosts singing God’s praises over the rolling plains of Bethlehem, that first Christmas night!

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Hallelujah (Alleluia) to the Lord, God of Hosts!
Alleluia (Praise God) all you people!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.  (Isaiah 9:6-7)

More about The Messiah by George Frideric Handel 

All about Alleluia

A few nice close-ups of the chapel and sanctuary (Flickr)

What Pope Francis never told you: Present-Day Judaism is not Old Testament Judaism

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General Titus’ Siege of Jerusalem – Pentecost Sunday, 70 A.D.

“What The Jews Believe” is the subject to which “Life” magazine devoted eleven pages of its September 11th issue. The writer, Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein of Rochester, N. Y., is the president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, “the largest organization of rabbis in the world.” The article enforces the conviction that the Judaism of today is not Old Testament Judaism.

The two opening sentences alone of the lengthy article warrant the above declaration, viz:—“The Jew has no single organized church. He has no priests.” This is enlarged upon in these words:—“The congregation’s rabbi is a teacher, not a priest.” The rabbi is “without any vested ecclesiastical authority, he is not even necessary to the functioning of the synagogue. Any male Jew with sufficient knowledge of the prayers and the laws can conduct a religious service, officiate at marriages and bury the dead.”

This is not new in Jewry. Ludwig Lewisohn, professor of English literature at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., says in his “Mid-Channel”:—“With the destruction of the Temple the sacrificial cult of the Jews was destroyed. For among the people there was but one altar, hence the Jewish people were suddenly laicized. Priests and sacrifices and tangible mysteries were no more.”

Surely this is not Old Testament Judaism, which was, as the Catholic Church is, an authoritative God-instituted priestly religion; the high priest being the supreme ecclesiastical authority. Aaron was its Peter, who was ordained by God through his brother Moses (Exodus 28), having successors until about the time of the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 A. D.

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Understanding the how’s and why’s of the need for our salvation in Christ is essential to our understanding of the truths of the Catholic faith

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by Doug Lawrence

For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak, according to the time, die for the ungodly? For scarce for a just man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some one would dare to die. But God commendeth his charity (love) towards us: because when as yet we were sinners according to the time. Christ died for us.

Much more therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son: much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:6-10)

Life is a winner-take-all contest,
with one of only two possible outcomes:
Heaven or Hell.

Thanks to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, we get to freely choose sides. But it is also one of those “negative default” situations. Do nothing and you lose big –
and you may lose, forever!

That’s because – very early in man’s history – due to the deliberate, grave sin of our first parents, who pridefully teamed up with Satan the Devil, against God – the first man traded away his birthright and freedom for a lie – and all of mankind (even children and little babies) became hopelessly and permanently enslaved to Satan, sin and death.

Adam and Eve in the Garden by Michelangelo

How can that be? Children of slaves are born into slavery and so are themselves slaves, with only their slavery and Adam’s Original Sin for their inheritance. The Evil One had long ago, successfully usurped virtually everything else!

Hence, every child born of Adam, the first man – and all the children of his descendants – are born tainted by sin, and already, in a very real way, “pledged” to Satan the Devil and subject to his evil dominion of sin, death and Hell.

Without God’s powerful, awesomely creative, loving, merciful, and very timely intervention, things would have remained that way forever – dooming every human being – body and soul – to a decrepit, temporal earthly existence, followed by death – and then an eternity of supernatural bondage and unimaginable suffering, in Hell.

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In the fullness of time, God sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, into the world, to redeem us. Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus is a perfect and sinless man, in no way subject
to Satan, sin or death.

Having taken on human flesh, as well as a human soul,
Jesus Christ is true man. Yet Jesus never ceased to be God. 

Satan has power only over sinners.
so he had no power or authority at all
over Our Holy Lord, Jesus Christ.
(John 14:27-30)

Even though he had been warned (see Genesis 3:15) Satan plotted to do his worst, enlisting his minions to put Jesus on trial and wrongfully convict him of blasphemy and sedition, leading shortly to Jesus’ crucifixion and death, which was followed three days hence by his glorious and totally unprecedented resurrection from the dead – proving that Jesus is God, just as he claimed – and that he does indeed have power over Satan, death and Hell.

God permitted all of this, as part of his plan for our salvation:

Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you, as you also know: This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that he should be holden by it. (Acts 2:22-24)

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As Satan had absolutely no right to disturb so much as a hair on Jesus’ head, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ became Satan’s ultimate undoing. Satan’s earthly power and dominion was destroyed and virtually all that Satan had earlier gained by Adam’s Fall was forfeit.

Today, Satan is still permitted to wander the earth, but is allowed to recruit “fresh” minions only by default (Original Sin and concupiscence, along with the deliberate and willful rejection of the Gospel) and through the vain deceits of the world and the flesh (this should be self-explanatory). But thanks to the saving work of Jesus Christ, Satan’s time of virtually unrestrained power and near total dominion has long been officially over!

For our part, Jesus’ flawless obedience to his Father’s will – as a man – even unto death on the cross – served as the perfect atoning sacrifice for the disobedience, pride and sins of all mankind.

Through Jesus Christ, God the Father supplied what fallen mankind could not (Genesis 22:8) in order to reconcile Heaven and Earth and declare the Divine Peace.

The risen Christ also became the official new and sinless head of all mankind – offering grace, peace, reconciliation and eternal life to all who would reject Satan and his works – and swear faithful allegiance to the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

This would typically be accomplished through the Sacrament of Baptism, which would also entail, among many other good things, full and faithful membership in the universal (Catholic) Church, which Jesus personally founded, for the purpose of our salvation –  and for the salvation of future generations, yet to come.

A word about sacraments:

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Sacraments are defined as Christ-instituted, outward signs of a certain spiritual reality: divine grace being infused directly into a human soul. Since each of the sacraments was personally instituted by Jesus Christ, each sacrament constitutes nothing less than an intimate, personal encounter with Almighty God.

For those seeking a “relationship” with God – this is the ultimate and absolute best way to do it – personally recommended by none other than our Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

There are seven sacraments – each intended to provide whatever is spiritually necessary for every faithful Catholic, at various stages of human existence. In no particular order, they are: (1) Baptism, (2) Reconciliation, (3) Holy Eucharist, (4) Confirmation, (5) Holy Orders, (6) Matrimony and (7) Anointing of the Sick.

These grace-giving sacraments are administered by the Catholic Church, which is the God-designated, primary earthly ministry of his divine grace – primarily through the work of duly ordained bishops and priests – the men who constitute the ranks of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood.

The only exception to this is the sacrament of baptism, which can be administered by just about anyone, with due concern for proper form, matter and intention, of course.

A word about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

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The Holy Mass makes present for us, in this time and this age, the one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, at Calvary.

When Jesus Christ – body, blood, soul and divinity – under the appearance of ordinary bread and wine – becomes truly present for us on the altar – we are wonderfully empowered to collectively and personally offer Jesus up to God the Father – for our sins and the sins of the whole world.

Presented with this totally acceptable, holy and spotless sacrifice, Our Father in Heaven is always pleased, so he responds in love, and all graces flow.

Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of all Catholic worship – and the Holy Mass – centered on Jesus Christ – acts to constantly replenish the “well” of supernatural grace – obtained for us by the sufferings of Christ –  which is regularly poured out on behalf of sinners – much as Jesus’ precious blood was poured out for many, some twenty centuries ago, so that sins could be forgiven and the world might be redeemed and reconciled.

The next time you’re at Mass, pay particular attention the words leading up to the “Great Amen”. That’s the “sweet spot”. Of course, personally receiving Jesus Christ, in the Holy Eucharist, is also pretty sweet!

Fulfilling an ancient Bible prophecy:

For most of the last two thousand years, a Holy Mass has been celebrated for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls, in many nations, all around the world – every hour of every day – every day of every year – 24/7 & 365.

For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a perfect offering: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)

Jesus IS the perfect and eternal sacrifice for the sins of the world. Wherever Jesus is, his atoning sacrifice is also truly present. That’s why we can truly say that the Holy Mass IS a genuine sacrifice – with Jesus Christ presiding as  perfect victim, High Priest, Savior, God and King.

If we Catholics attempted to worship God in any other way, offering a sacrifice other than Jesus Christ, our Holy Redeemer – we would probably be wasting our time – and his!  That’s why Catholics remain obligated to attend Holy Mass every Sunday – and on designated Holy Days. 

Saint Paul reminds us, in the words of Jesus Christ, that God’s grace is sufficient:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Saint Paul also reminds us:

Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:18-21)

Forty Days after his glorious resurrection from the dead, Jesus ascended back to Heaven, where he was enthroned – body and spirit – at the right hand of God the Father – as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (1 Tim 6:15, Rev 17:14, Rev 19:16)

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Doing so, Jesus made permanent and eternal all that he had accomplished for us during his earthly existence. There was no going back, nor could there ever be any chance of another human Fall From Grace! The battle between good and evil had been definitively won by Jesus Christ – and it was all over, except for the fighting!

O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)

By divine mandate and through his supernatural protection, Jesus empowered his Holy Church to remain behind on earth – supernaturally preserved from destruction – serving as his primary channel of divine grace – for us – and for all the souls yet to be born.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  (Matthew 16:18-19)

Grace is a totally gratuitous (absolutely free) gift from Almighty God – a share in his own divine life – obtained for us by Jesus Christ, on the cross at Calvary, at great personal cost – yet offered to us freely, in the spirit of love and eternal friendship, so that we might choose to cast off the shackles of eternal death and claim our rightful inheritance with God in Heaven, as adopted sons and daughters.

As a result of all this, Christians are justified before God (credited with righteousness – see Genesis 15:3-6) through faith in Jesus Christ.

Faith itself is a positive response to God’s grace and his call. (John 6:44)

Sanctification (becoming holy) is also a critical function of God’s grace – since God is holy and no one/nothing less than holy can live up to Heavenly standards. (Leviticus 11:45)

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The primary manifestation of our willing acceptance of God’s grace and our voluntary cooperation with his will is the Cardinal Virtue known as Faith, which is typically accompanied by two other Cardinal Virtues: Hope And Charity (Love).

Once a Christian is initially justified and sanctified before God through grace and Faith, the order of priority typically reverses – with Charity moving to the front – leaving  Hope solidly in the middle, and Faith acting as a  bulwark, keeping everything rightly ordered, balanced and in its’ proper place.

For baptized, faithful Christians, it works pretty much like this:

Love God. Love your neighbor. This is Practical Charity.

Love works no ill to his neighbor:
therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:10)

Responding to God’s grace, through Love
we keep all God’s Commandments.

Giving freely of ourselves in Faith,
while constantly striving to cooperate with his grace,
we Hope to merit eternal life. 

All should take note

… without faith [it is] impossible to please God: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

Hebrews 11:1-40 is probably the greatest litany of faith ever written. Look it up and read it for yourself.

A constant teaching of the Catholic Church, from the earliest days, is: Outside the Church There Is No Salvation. That’s because full, faithful and active membership in the Catholic Church is the divinely-designated, Christ-instituted, “ordinary” means of obtaining  the necessary measure of God’s saving grace, for all those alive here on earth.

When God gives us a gift, he expects us to use it, in the spirit in which it was given. Jesus Christ instituted the Catholic Church for the purpose of our salvation – for the care of souls – for the common good of all mankind – for teaching, sanctifying and rightly governing –
with power and authority – in his holy name.

Jesus never founded or authorized any other church! To the contrary:

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gave to me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
(John 17:21-23)

A synthesis of all damnable heresies:

According to the personal opinions of many of today’s highly placed religious leaders and politicians, as well as a fair number of “regular” Catholics and even some Catholic clerics  – God is love and love conquers all – so there’s no need to worry about Jesus, church, grace, truth, commandments, life, death, Heaven or Hell, one’s personal religious beliefs/affiliation – or much of anything else.

“Just BE nice,” they say!

To the contrary,
in accordance with settled Catholic dogma (and common sense)
salvation by any other means,
other than a lifetime of full, faithful, active membership
in the Catholic Church – the only Church that Jesus Christ
ever personally founded, authorized,
supernaturally empowered and eternally guaranteed –
is likely to require a great miracle.

And miracles continue to be very, very rare!

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The sacred scriptures rightly remind us:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3:16-18)

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  (Acts 4:10-12)

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Of course, God is sovereign, merciful,
loving, all-knowing  and all-powerful,
so he might decide to save anyone – of any faith – or no faith at all –
for any reason – or for no reason at all!

In such an event, salvation would still be obtained
only by the divine application of that saving grace
which was obtained for us by Jesus Christ,
on the cross, at Calvary.

So it is possible that non-Catholics, non-Christians, and virtually anyone might be saved – but is that likely?

  Let’s focus on the definition of the word “might”:

might 2  (mt)

aux.v. Past tense of may

1.

a. Used to indicate a condition or state contrary to fact: She might help if she knew the truth.
b. Used to indicate a possibility or probability that is weaker than may: We might discover a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
2. Used to express possibility or probability or permission in the past: She told him yesterday he might not go on the trip.
3. Used to express a higher degree of deference or politeness than may, ought, or should: Might I express my opinion?

The Bottom Line

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There is no substitute for a lifetime
of fervent prayer and practical religious study
combined with full, faithful and regular participation
in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions
of the Catholic Church. 

Please share this Thanksgiving message of grace and salvation
with your friends and family.

A short but comprehensive review of the Catholic Faith (PDF)

Further study

A handy alphabetical index to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

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Check it out

The first Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis was published today: Evangelii Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel.

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The first Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis was published today, Tuesday 26 November 2013. To read the full text please click here 

“THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.” – Pope Francis (Evangelii Gaudium)

Editor’s note: The biggest question relating to the Pope’s latest exhortation: Is divine mercy the exclusive province of Jesus Christ, our Just Judge – or of the Catholic Church, which is run by men who are often neither Christ-like nor just – and certainly not judges?  (Pope Francis: “A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?”)

The Church is charged and empowered with the absolution of sins in the confessional, under certain, very clearly defined circumstances. As such, the Church is certainly an agent of God’s mercy, but the Church has no right to decide who goes to Heaven or Hell or to redefine what actually constitutes sin. Those rights are reserved to God, alone.

The Pope has no right to selectively enforce or deliberately de-emphasize the seriousness of certain sins, with which he might not be particularly concerned. Such was the failed “Seamless Garment” policy of the late Cardinal Bernadin. We’re still suffering from the ill effects,years after his death. Come to think of it – that’s also a primary characteristic of the failed, tyrannical, Barack Obama Regime, which is currently oppressing the citizen’s of the United States.

That type of behavior and/or ideology in the leadership of the Catholic Church would seem indeed, to be a great sin. Perhaps, God is deliberately permitting such things to occur as a chastisement for our collective sins, much as he did in first century Roman occupied Palestine, just before and during the time of Jesus Christ’s initial visitation.

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:1-7)

Using the index below, I suggest you research the matter for yourself. 

From the Index of the Catholic Catechism:

Mercy
acceptance of God's, 1847, 2840
Christ wills, 2100
the Church bestows God's mercy to man, 2040
the Church implores God's, 1037
as the fruit of charity, 1829
God's, 210-11, 270
Jesus shows the Father's, 545, 589, 1439, 1846
justification as the highest sign of God's, 1994
Mary, "Mother of mercy," 2677
significance and kinds of works of, 2447
sinners refusing God's, 1864, 2091
works of mercy are necessary, 1473

Relics of The Fisherman unveiled: Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

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The nine pieces of bone sat nestled like rings in a jewel box inside a bronze display case on the side of the altar during a Mass commemorating the end of the Vatican’s yearlong celebration of the Christian faith. It was the first time they had ever been exhibited in public.

Pope Francis prayed before the fragments at the start of Sunday’s service and then clutched the case in his arms for several minutes after his homily. (AP)

Text and Photos

Editor’s note: For people of true faith, such evidence isn’t really necessary. For all the others, no amount of evidence is sufficient.

Suggested reading (FREE on-line): 

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The Bones of St. Peter
The First Full Account of the Search for the Apostle’s Body
by John Evangelist Walsh 

When the man named Simon Peter was brutally executed, some 1,915 years ago in Rome, there passed away one of that small band of historical personalities who deserve to rank as monumental. In history’s roll of the great in all fields – religionists, statesmen, philosophers, conquerors, educators, scientists – few others can have lived a life similarly fraught, for so long, with such constant, portentous drama. Beginning so obscurely, so humbly, was anyone before or since ever burdened with so weighty and improbable a task? Assuredly, no other has continued, ages after the earth closed over him, to command such deep regard among living multitudes, generation after endless generation.

In the minds – and hearts – of many people it is no small thing that some part of the mortal remains of this man, through whose living body there flowed the power from Jesus to heal the sick and raise the dead, may still be in existence. Even if he is viewed, as in this case he should be, not in a religious context but simply as the first leader of a movement which was to become a world-altering revolution, the question of the survival of his remains still exerts a powerful fascination. And for just over a decade now, precisely that claim has confronted the world.

In the summer of 1968 it was announced by Pope Paul VI that the skeletal remains of St. Peter had at last been found and satisfactorily identified. The revered bones had been unearthed some time before, he said, from the tangle of ancient structures that lay deep beneath the magnificent high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Paul was careful to explain that his statement rested on long and intensive study by experts, but then he deliberately went further, adding the weight of his own prestige. In light of the archaeological and scientific conclusions, he said, “the relics of St. Peter have been identified in a manner which we believe convincing … very patient and accurate investigations were made with a result which we believe positive.” Firmly persuaded as he was, he had felt it nothing less than a duty to make “this happy announcement” at the earliest possible moment.

The circumstance hat the bones were found under the basilica occasioned no great surprise, since the age-old tradition of the church had always located the original grave of the apostle just here. Yet to find that after so achingly long a time, and against all reasonable expectation, some part of this precious body should still be preserved, seemed incredible, a fit occasion for rejoicing. The day following the Pope’s announcement, in solemn ceremony led by Paul himself, the bones were restored to their ancient resting place. Since then, privileged visitors have regularly been allowed to enter the small, silent chamber beneath the high altar to pay homage to the Prince of the Apostles. Through a narrow opening in the repository, the bones themselves encased in several transparent receptacles, are just visible.

In releasing his statement, Paul had purposely kept to the essentials of the matter, leaving the details to be supplied to journalists and others by Vatican officials and those directly concerned in the discovery. When the full story reached print, however, in newspapers around the world, there was immediate and widespread puzzlement. In place of clarification there arose annoying clouds of confusion. At fault, to a large degree, was the intricate mass of archaeological data to be absorbed. But far more significant was a single hugely surprising fact: the bones had not been recently discovered, as the Pope had seemed to imply. On the contrary, they had first been found nearly thirty years before.

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The Last Things – A Traditional Catholic Study

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I          PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS — DEATH —PSYCHOLOGY OF THE DISEMBODIED SOUL —DURATION OF THE NEXT LIFE


II        DEATH AND THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT

III       HELL—DOCTRINAL TRUTHS—TWOFOLD PAIN OF HELL—MITIGATION OF THE PAINS OF HELL—THE FIRE OF HELL

IV       HELL — THEOLOGICAL SPECULATIONS — PAIN OF LOSS, PAIN OF SENSE—ACTION OF FIRE OF HELL

V        HELL—APOLOGETIC FALSE AND TRUE—OB­JECTIONS ANSWERED

VI       PURGATORY ERRORS—CATHOLIC DOGMA— PAINS AND JOYS OF PURGATORY

VII     HEAVEN—HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN—ESSENTIAL AND ACCIDENTAL GLORY OF THE BLESSED

VIII   THE RESURRECTION AND THE GENERAL JUDGMENT—QUALITIES OF RISEN BODIES

IX       LIMBO—SUFFERINGS OF LIMBO—WHO GO TO LIMBO

APPENDIX—MIRACULOUS RESURRECTIONS OF THE DEAD      

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