Father Z opines over today’s apparent lack of belief in God and the Church – and the reality of Hell

fourlastthings

Christ, God, gave us the Catholic Church.  It is the Church He founded.  He gave us the sacraments as the ordinary means of salvation.  He gave His own authority to the Church to teach about faith and morals.  He gave us a visible point of reference for unity and security of knowledge for our membership in His Church: Peter and his successors and the apostles and their successors with Peter.

Knowingly reject the Church – and Peter – and the Church’s teaching and her discipline of Christ’s sacraments, and you place yourself on a path that might just land you in hell for eternity.

If nothing else from this rant gets through to readers, and this is especially my plea to priests and bishops, I beg you on my knees, I implore you: make it a habit to think about the Four Last Things at least once a day.  We are all going to die.

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Submitted by Jola S.

On Papalotry

Belief and Obedience

My great teacher, Dietrich von Hildebrande wrote four outstanding books on the present crisis in the Church. Recently, his latest book, The Charitable Anathema was published. I wish we could mail a copy to Rome. A chapter in this book contains one of the most important lectures he ever gave to the Roman Forum. It concerns the difference between belief and obedience. He called it the critical difference. It was masterful.
The point is this: if there is a problem on a question of truth, and there’s a big dispute, and finally Rome speaks (invoking its infallible authority) and says, “This statement must be believed de fide”. Then this is the end of the dispute. Roma locuta causa finita. Rome has spoken, the case is finished. That is the end of it. Therefore, we owe assent of belief to statements of truth.

However, practical decisions of Churchmen, even the highest authorities; the Pope, bishops, priests are something quite different. We do not say, for example, that a command of a Pope or decision of a Pope to call a council is true or not. We can say that it is wise or not … it is opportune or not. Such a decision in no way asks us to assent to its truth. It asks us to obey the command or commands that pertain to us. This is what von Hildebrande meant by difference between belief and obedience. And we Catholics are never obliged to believe that a given command, or given decision of anyone, including the Pope, is necessarily that of the Holy Ghost.

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Submitted by Mark H.

Father Dwight Longenecker: Why I Am a Catholic.

I am a Catholic because the Catholic faith stands the world on it’s head. It turns over the tables. It makes you expect the unexpected. Just when you thought you had it figured it out, the Catholic Church, like a mischievous and shrewd old woman, pulls a trick on you, calls you to step out of the comfort zone and be radical once again. In every age and in every place Catholicism has been subversive, and the message of Jesus Christ is only good news when it is subversive.

I’m also Catholic because Catholicism provides a time tested and true method for ascertaining religious truth. It avoids supernatural explanations while not being so dogmatic as to rule them out altogether. It demands that we use our human reason, but then says human reason is not enough. It requires obedience to an authority, but says that this obedience is to true religion as a map is for the journey. Catholicism is inclusive where it should be and exclusive where it should be. I’m Catholic because I wish to affirm all, for a man is most often right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies.

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Another testimony

Vatican City is evidently, bigger on the inside.

VaticanCity

“Another interesting feature of the Vatican State is the number and extension of areas beyond its boundaries, in Italian territory, on which it enjoys extraterritorial rights, and therefore a very large and almost supreme authority. Italy has agreed to exempt these areas from taxes and from obedience to the law of expropriation for public utilities: papal authorities are entrusted with internal police service. As respects postal and telegraphic service they are considered to belong to the Vatican.”

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How can anyone be so foolish as to refuse religious authority on principle?

A close examination of modern culture reveals a startling emphasis on autonomy. The most important modern value is the ability to be whatever you want to be, to act however you want to act. The result is that complete personal independence is seen as the ultimate good, and modern men and women are exceedingly reluctant to accept constraints on their own self-directed self-realization. We might call this the theology of desire. My goal, my good, and my god are, in the end, whatever I myself want them to be.

But serious Catholics do not think that way at all. For the Catholic, the most important value is to live according to what is objectively good, that is, according to truth. This alone can lead to personal fulfillment and happiness.

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People who fly on the airlines generally welcome FAA authority and regulation, so why do so many people have so much trouble accepting the divine authority and guidance of the Catholic Church?

by Doug Lawrence

The Federal Air Regulations, published by the U.S. Department of Transportation/FAA currently fill 1399 pages, and those regulations typically demand painstaking and detailed attention to virtually every part of the aviation experience.

Except perhaps for the regulations restricting the use of cell phones and electronic devices, which are essentially misunderstood and ridiculed by the general public, and some of the current TSA security procedures, which are often simply offensive … most people who fly on airliners actually welcome this very strict form of government regulation.

Why? Because widespread government regulation of aviation has resulted in a 99.999% safe commercial airline transportation environment … and that level of safety is a very good thing for government, industry, the airlines, and the flying public. After all … who, except for the very, very highly motivated … the desperate … or the suicidal … would buy an airline ticket if they had even a 5% chance of ending up dead?

Do some people still break the rules? Of course! Do some people still lobby for variations, and exemptions from those rules? Of course! Do some people still decry any form of government regulation, in spite of the aviation industry’s extraordinary safety record? Of course!

But one simple fact remains: The laws of gravity and inertia are consistent and inviolable, and no one can attempt to get around them, by any means, without eventually paying a terrible, and usually fatal price … especially if that particular  “rebel” happens to be an airline pilot, responsible for the care and safety of hundreds of “souls”. (Curiously, FAA flight plans typically inquire about not how many “people” are on board the aircraft … but how many “souls”.)

As a veteran pilot and a survivor of more than one crash, I can personally testify to all of the above. There’s also little doubt that people demand these regulations … and the government duly responds … out of fear.

Fear of death and injury. Fear of financial loss. Fear of political repercussions. Fear of the unknown.

So … why is it that people seem to have so much trouble accepting the authority and guidance of the Catholic Church … which receives its’ authority and wisdom from God, himself … and which routinely preaches and teaches divine precepts, for the common good of all … many of which are every bit as inviolable and absolute as the laws of physics?

For the record: The Catechism of the Catholic Church has only 823 pages, compared to FAA’s 1399.

Excommunication is the perfect solution for the Catholic confusion being promoted and shamelessly exploited by the Obama regime.

by Doug Lawrence

“Sorry … he/she cannot possibly speak for the Catholic Church, because he/she has been officially excommunicated.”

Excommunicate Kathleen Sebelius, Sister Carol Keehan, Nancy Pelosi, Andrew Cuomo, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Dick Durbin, Timothy Leahy, and every other high profile Catholic leader and/or politician who publicly stands against the Catholic Church on grave moral issues of the day.

That way, the Obama regime (and everyone else) will know for certain, precisely who they must deal with, and who actually has the authority to officially speak and act on behalf of the Catholic Church … since the others, now publicly excommunicated, will no longer be “in communion” with the Catholic Church … and will have absolutely no say in church matters … unless and until … they publicly repent.

Bishops … this ain’t rocket science!

Catholic Entities Undermine U.S. Bishops’ Authority

Jimmy Akin on the practical effects of excommunication