The Pope should know better! The Catholic Church, Francis wrote, holds “the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked.”

covenant

In his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis cited the erroneous passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (shown below, in its’ entirety) which incorrectly and improperly conflates the Old Testament of the Holy Bible with the now undoubtedly revoked and no longer valid Old (Mosaic) Covenant of the Jews.

Here’s the erroneous and problematic segment from the Catholic Catechism:

The Old Testament

121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value,92 for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

ERROR: Here, the term “COVENANT” is used interchangeably with the term “TESTAMENT” – BUT in this particular context, the meaning of the two is entirely different.

The term “Testament” refers to the Old Testament of the written Word of God – the Holy Bible – while the term “Covenant” refers to the Mosaic Law of the Jews and the TEMPORARY/NON SALVIFIC covenant God made with Moses on Mount Sinai.

The two are not the same!

Now we are treated to a bit of Catholic truth –

122 Indeed, “the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men.”93 “Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional,”94 the books of the Old Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God’s saving love: these writings “are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way.”95

And now – more ERROR – as once again,the post-Vatican II style of imprecise (intentionally misleading?) language erroneously conflates the Old Testament of the Holy Bible with the now undoubtedly revoked and replaced Old (Mosaic) Covenant of the Jews: 

123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. “The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).”

This above statement is absolutely true in terms of the Old Testament of the Holy Bible – yet it proves to be absolutely false when applied to the Old Mosaic Covenant of the Jews.

The Holy Spirit inspired, totally inerrant,
written Word of God –
The OLD Testament of the Bible –
along with the NEW Testament
has never been revoked!

The status of the Jew’s OLD Mosaic COVENANT however,
is a totally different matter.

There is no doubt that Jesus gave us ALL
a NEW and better COVENANT.

Jesus perfectly fulfilled and respectfully set aside
the OLD COVENANT,
which IS NO LONGER VALID for ANYONE
when he have us the New Covenant in his blood,
at The Last Supper.

The reason for this is simple:
The Old Covenant was never able to save a soul.
Absent Christ’s saving work on the cross,
everyone who ever attempted to live by the Old Covenant alone
would likely have suffered eternal death, as a result.

Only by the merciful and timely application
of the grace of Jesus Christ is salvation possible.
NOT by the “keeping” of ANY LAW.

Several popes (including Pope Francis) seem to be comfortable repeating the scandalous, vaguely written and erroneous passage from the Catholic Catechism, which mistakenly gives the impression that the Old Covenant might still somehow be valid for the Jews, when it most certainly is not.

To make this state of affairs even more scandalous, even the Muslims seem to know the truth, and they are able to prove it, by correctly citing both chapter and verse from the Holy Bible.

From the reader comments on the linked article – apparently written by a Muslim:

Jesus (PBUH) accused the Pharisees and Scribes of being “blind leaders of the blind”. The Pope (at the very least, this one) and other leaders in the Roman Catholic Church are the “Christian” version of those Jewish blind leaders whose followers are also blind.

From a Christian point of view, what is the “new covenant” all about if the “old covenant” still abides? Practically the whole of the “New Testament” writings declare that the “Old Testament/Covenant” has PASSED AWAY with the bringing in of the New Testament/Covenant in which there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. Particularly the whole letter called “Hebrews” deals with the contrast between the two covenants, the new REPLACING the old. Consider a few verses from this letter to the Hebrews (New King James Version):

7:18 and 19 – “For on the one hand there is an ANNULLING of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”

8:13 – “In that He says, ‘A new covenant’, He has made the first OBSOLETE. Now what is obsolete and growing old IS READY TO VANISH AWAY.” [This was written shortly before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple, thus actually causing the old to “vanish away”.]

9:8 – “the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All WAS NOT YET MADE MANIFEST WHILE THE FIRST TABERNACLE WAS STILL STANDING.” [The “first tabernacle” no longer stands though, nor does the ‘covenant’ associated with that “first tabernacle”.]

Jesus Christ himself (peace to him) could not have been clearer than in the parable he told about a landowner “…who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he lease it to vinedressers and went into a far country” (Matthew 21:33) When the landowner sent servants to collect the fruit of the vineyard, the vinedressers/tenants beat up and killed the servants, finally killing the son of the landowner. ” ‘Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?’ They said to him, ‘HE will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”? Therefore I say to you,

” ‘Therefore I say to you, THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE TAKEN FROM YOU AND GIVEN TO A NATION BEARING THE FRUITS OF IT’ “.

It doesn’t matter whether the new nation to whom the kingdom is given is ‘the Church’ or the Arab “Ishmaelite” nation. The point here is that the the Jewish nation is REJECTED from the kingdom while another nation takes their place. Certainly there are “Jews according to the flesh” who enter into the kingdom of God; but it is not through that “old covenant” which has been annulled. They enter on the same footing as everyone else who enters it.

That at least is the teaching of Jesus Christ and his apostles (peace to them all). The Pope claims to be the earthly representative of Jesus Christ, yet he repudiates the teaching of Jesus and his apostles. Surely he is among those who will be shocked to hear Jesus Christ say to him: “Depart from me, you wicked ones; because I never knew you”.

Link

Editor’s note: We have apparently come to a point in history where we have Catholic popes preaching fallacy – and we have Muslims correcting them on significant matters of Catholic doctrine. What a sad state of affairs! – Ed.)

A handy alphabetical index to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

catindex

Check it out

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

joygospel

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

Following the User’s Manual: The Catechism of the Catholic Church

catechismbook

Seen on Bishop Robert Vasa’s blog

The global Church is the primary instrument for the promotion of the message and teachings of Christ.  As such, Catholics are called to believe that the message of Jesus is truly “good news” in every sense – good for humankind, both spiritually and temporally.   As bishop, I can speak from confidence and strength in ensuring that those Catholic teachings are taught and consistently presented throughout the entire diocese.

To that end, I seek to employ a strong catechetical model — one that starts with getting to know the faith.  One of my favorite books is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Through the years I have gone through it several times, and each time I highlight different aspects,  different quotes.   Sometimes I scribble in the margins, as different things strike me at different times.  In my view, it is critical for our Catholic faith to remain in tune and in touch with this particular book which is fully consistent with the Scriptures, fully consistent with the Church traditions, fully consistent with Church practice with respect to the liturgy.

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The divine institution of the natural law

earthcropenh

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

II. THE VISIBLE WORLD

337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine “work”, concluded by the “rest” of the seventh day.204 On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation,205permitting us to “recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God.”206

338 Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. The world began when God’s word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun.207

339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the “six days” it is said: “And God saw that it was good.” “By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws.”208 Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.

353     God willed the diversity of his creatures and their own particular goodness, their interdependence and their order. He destined all material creatures for the good of the human race. Man, and through him all creation, is destined for the glory of God.

354     Respect for laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality.

V. THE PROLIFERATION OF SIN

1865 Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root.

1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called “capital” because they engender other sins, other vices.138 They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel,139 the sin of the Sodomites,140 the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt,141 the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan,142 injustice to the wage earner.143

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

– by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

– by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

– by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

– by protecting evil-doers.

1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. “Structures of sin” are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a “social sin.”144

Link

Monsignor Charles Pope provides us with a comprehensive list of various types of sin.

adamevecrpred

Sometimes it helps to see sin in categories and to be able to “name the demons,” as a help to combat them. These are just a few helpful lists. There are others and I invite you to add to them. For the sake of brevity, I do not fully develop them all.

The sins that cry to heaven for vengeance: (CCC 1867)

  1. Murder (Gn 4:10),
  2. Sodomy (Gn 17:20-21),
  3. Oppression of the poor (Ex 2:23),
  4. Defrauding workers of their just wages (Jas 5:4).

Seven Deadly Sins

  1. Pride
  2. Greed
  3. Lust
  4. Anger
  5. Gluttony
  6. Envy
  7. Sloth

Sins against the Holy Spirit:

  1. Despair,
  2. Presumption,
  3. Envy,
  4. Obstinacy in sin,
  5. Final impenitence,
  6. Deliberate resistance to the known truth.

Sins against faith: (CCC 2088-2089)

  1. Hesitating doubt – delaying the overcoming of doubts, difficulties, or objections due to indifference or laziness
  2. Voluntary doubt – disregarding of the truth or on-going resistance to overcoming doubt.
  3. Incredulity – willful refusal to assent to revealed truths of the faith.
  4. Heresy – the choosing and over-emphasizing of certain truths of the faith to the exclusion of others.
  5. Schism – Refusal of submission to the Pope or Catholic communion.
  6. Apostasy – Total repudiation of the Christian faith.

Sins against God’s love: (CCC 2094)

  1. Indifference
  2. Ingratitude
  3. Lukewarmness
  4. Sloth – sorrow or aversion at the good things offers to the soul
  5. Hatred of God – usually rooted in prideful notion that refuses to be second to God.

Sins against the Honor that is Due to God – (CCC 2111-2117)

  1. Superstition – the elevation of certain practices such that they are regarded as more important or powerful than prayer or trust in God.
  2. Idolatry – divinizing what is not God, false worship, holding creatures more precious than the one Creator who is God.
  3. Divination – undertaking practices meant to disclose the future, e.g. horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, recourse to mediums etc.
  4. Magic and spiritism – attempts to tame occult powers and place them at our service, or to have power over others in this way.

Sins of Irreligion: (CCC 2118-2128)

  1. Tempting God – Putting God to the test
  2. Sacrilege – stealing sacred things, profaning sacraments or liturgical actions, desecration or speaking irreverently of sacred persons, places or things that are blessed or consecrated to God.
  3. Simony – Buying or selling spiritual things, seeking to profit on them merely because they are blessed.
  4. Atheism – Denying the existence of God, to include the practical atheism of materialism and utopian notions that man can save himself.
  5. Agnosticism – an indifference toward God that refrains form formally denying his existence.

Sins against the name of God: (CCC 2142-2155)

  1. Promises – infidelity to promises or oaths made with God’s name
  2. Profanity – using God’s name in vain ways that do not respect its sacred character, (e.g. empty expressions like “Oh my God!”
  3. Blasphemy – to speak ill of God, trivialize, curse or ridicule him. By extension, to ridicule sacred things or the Saints.
  4. Swearing – calling God to witness in matters that are trivial. Also swearing a false oath, committing perjury when under oath.
  5. Cursing – using God’s name to curse or call down evil on others.

Sins against the Lord’s Day: (CCC 2185)

  1. Refusing the worship owed God
  2. Refusing the joy proper to the Lord’s day
  3. Refusing the relaxation of mind and body commanded on the Lord’s day.
  4. Refusing reasonable works of mercy proper to the Lord’s day.

Sins Against life: (CCC 2268-2283)

  1. Intentional homicide – all unjust killing
  2. Abortion
  3. Euthanasia
  4. Suicide
  5. Acting with reckless disregard for the safety and life of our self or others

Sins against Chastity: (CCC 2351-2357)

  1. Lust – willfully entertaining inordinate or disordered desires for sexual pleasure
  2. Masturbation
  3. Fornication
  4. Adultery
  5. Pornography
  6. Prostitution
  7. Rape
  8. Homosexual Activity

Sins of Injustice and theft: (CCC 2409ff)

  1. Theft
  2. Deliberately keeping lent things
  3. Damaging the goods of others without restitution
  4. Fraud
  5. Paying unjust wages
  6. Forcing up prices
  7. Refusing to pay debts
  8. Work poorly done
  9. Tax evasion
  10. Forgery
  11. Excessive and wasteful practices
  12. Hoarding
  13. Excessive and unnecessary exploitation of natural resources
  14. Refusing our legitimate obligations to the community
  15. Refusing our legitimate obligations to the poor

Link

Editor’s note: The simple alternative to all of the above: Love God. Love your neighbor. 

For the Year of Faith, ‘Five Things Catholics Should Know About the Catechism’

The pope has encouraged Catholics to study the Catechism as part of the Year of Faith. Alissa Thorell, catechism specialist for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis, offers “Five Things Catholics Should Know About the Catechism” to help Catholics better understand this book and its significance in their faith.

Read all five

A number of problematic erroneous concepts discovered in the official U.S. Catechism

For those who have followed the saga of the US Catechism since the exposure of its unorthodox treatment regarding the Jewish Mosaic covenant, there is more to reveal. In over two dozen places the US Catechism makes unorthodox or highly suspect statements. It thus becomes a spiritual minefield for the unsuspecting reader who does not know Catholic dogmatic theology and is not able to judge the veracity of the catechism’s assertions.

Read more

Explore the Catechism on-line

Editor’s note: I’ve had at least one bishop explain to me that the Catechism should be considered an infallible work, much like the Bible. I knew that could not be true … for a number of very good reasons. While this article deals with specific problems with the text, more extensive problems regarding various omissions also need to be addressed.

The fine line between church dogma and church geopolitics concerning Muslims and their particular beliefs

In declaring that both Muslims and Catholics adore the one and merciful God, the Council obviously did not mean that Muslims and Catholics regard that God in exactly the same way, or that the differences were insignificant. The Council is silent on the question of whether or not the Muslims’ adoration is blind or informed. So what, then, is the Council actually saying?

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Editor’s note: The Council was deliberately leaving plenty of room for liberal clerics and politicians to demagogue the issue.

Teaching adolescents to understand and observe the 6th commandment (regarding, chastity, pornography, fornication, etc.)


by Ed Smetana, a Catholic Catechist, for over 15 years

Having taught CCD for for 15 years, I found that the best way to teach the fundamentals of understanding and observing the 6th Commandment is to let the Catechism of the Catholic Church do it for you.

Just hand the students copies of the Catechism, paragraphs #2346 to #2386. Have them read it to themselves. Then, collect the copies. No verbal explanation is typically necessary. If a student has a question, direct him/her to ask their priest. I never had any questions. Neither has father, as far as I know.

The Catechism does a concise job of outlining various sexual terms that today’s young people will probably never otherwise have explained to them, except perhaps in the locker room, from their friends, or on-line (from stranger-danger).

Reading this material is necessary to help counteract the rampant perversion of sex education in the school’s health classes and textbooks, where masturbation, along with many other types of illicit sexual behavior, is often referred to as “normal” and/or “healthy”.

What led me to see the need for this type of Catechetical guidance, generally beginning with 7th graders, was when I was informed that, in the “truth or dare” games that today’s young people ‘play’, every time you lose, you are required to do something that is sexually sinful.

When a girl observed that doing such a thing was wrong, she was told, “If it’s wrong, the teachers would not have encouraged it, and the pastors and CCD teachers would have said it was a sin. Therefore, how could it be a sin?”

Catechists should help young people form their consciences by reading appropriate portions of the Catechism with them, in class. How else are they to know? Not from their parents, because they were never taught or encouraged to read the Catechism.

I believe that on ‘Judgment Day’ good catechism teachers will be recognized, along with the rest of the sheep, and thanked by their students and their parents.

Link to the relevant section of the Catechism

Editor’s note: “CCD” means “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” which is the name of the association that used to be responsible for providing religious education in the Catholic Church. Like many other useful things of old, the association is basically out of business, and the term “CCD” is no longer in widespread use.

Many CCD teachers resort to arts and crafts because of a genuine fear and ignorance in teaching the Catholic faith to students.

St. Augustine-the Father of Catechetics describes catechizing the ignorant in this way:

The best method for instructing ignorant men in Christian doctrine, one that will bear much fruit is to ask questions in a friendly fashion after the explanation; from this questioning one can learn whether each one understood what he heard or whether the explanation needs repeating.

In order that the learner grasp the matter, we must ascertain by questioning whether the one being catechized has understood, and in accordance with his response, we must either explain more clearly and fully or not dwell further on what is known to them etc.

But if a man is very slow, he must be mercifully helped and the most necessary doctrines especially should be briefly imparted to him.

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Editor’s note: St. Augustine figured this out way back around the 4th century. What a shame the Catholic Church threw out all the old, thoroughly proven ways when, for reasons known only to God, it decided to liberalize the church.

Islam’s “double predestination” and Osama bin Laden’s death: Was it “written?”

All of Islam believes in something very close to John Calvin’s (errant) concept of “double predestination” – where a person’s life is predestined to a particular path, and that person is totally unable to do anything to change their fate. Hence, whatever happens is the will of Allah … something not only permitted but (by implication) actually intended … by God.

Catholics believe in in a form of divine predestination that does not prevent our free will choices, that let’s man be man, and God be God … all at the same time. This section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains how that typically works. Read it carefully:

“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”393 This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.394

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

Catholics would rightly tell you that God gives each of us free will, and once our earthly existence is complete, God fully intends to judge us for our free will actions (or lack thereof) in response to the grace he also gives to us.

In spite of our most grievous sins and screw-ups, we can still be assured that God’s plan will indeed prevail, since it’s not all that difficult for the creator of the heavens and the earth to work around our little messes, in order to ultimately bring about his will and his plan. (Thank God!)

In this, there is a subtle but clear distinction between ordinary (Catholic) predestination … and Islam/Calvin’s (totally erroneous) double predestination.

Without a human will that is truly free, there could be no fair and impartial divine judgment for sin. Furthermore, the erroneous concept of double predestination makes God (not man … not even the devil) guilty of all the world’s evils. From this, it should be fairly easy to surmise precisely why both Satan and Osama bin Laden endorse and and promote it.

As for the intentions of John Calvin, the 15th century protestant reformer … I’ll leave that one up to you.

Two terms you won’t find mentioned in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Church Militant

The Church Triumphant

From the Catechism of Trent (Circa 1902-1907):

The Church consists principally of two parts, the one called the Church triumphant; the other, the Church
militant.

The Church triumphant is that most glorious and happy assemblage of blessed spirits, and of those who have triumphed over the world, the flesh, and the iniquity of Satan, and are now exempt and safe from the troubles of this life and enjoy everlasting bliss.

The Church militant is the society of all the faithful still dwelling on earth. It is called militant, because it wages eternal war with those implacable enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil.

We are not, however, to infer that there are two Churches. The Church triumphant and the Church militant are
two constituent parts of one Church; one part going before, and now in the possession of its heavenly country;
the other, following every day, until at length, united with our Saviour, it shall repose in endless felicity.

Why were these terms “cast off”? Was it an oversight? An intentional deletion? Politics? Something else?

How are Catholics expected to act, when they cannot even define themselves (or the church) according to traditional and (at least, previously) well recognized and universally accepted criterion?

I suggest you ask your local bishop to explain it for you.

In the mean time, it’s important to realize that while the Catechism of the Catholic Church is an excellent, well written document, it has already been subject to substantial revisions … so it’s not inherently without error.

Now that the most glaring errors in content have been corrected, it’s high time someone started correcting the ERRORS of OMISSION … which still remain … and are far more numerous.

*** More on this in future posts ***

Father Corapi: Angels and Demons Are Fact. Not Fiction.

The existence and activity of the angels is more than obvious in both the Old and New Testaments. To say, by the way, that they are mere “literary figures” in Scripture in the name of so-called biblical scholarship is an affront to and an attack upon true scholarship. All Scripture has to be read as a totality, in the light of tradition, and applying the analogy of faith. When this is done it is clear that the Church’s teaching s constant in that angels are really beings, not mere literary devices. They have played a key role in salvation history.

…[E]ach and every person benefits from the ministry of the angels. The Church has long taught that we have a “guardian angel” to guide and protect us through life. “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels’) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

Read more

Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The latest edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, revised by a committee headed by His Holiness Benedict XVI, contains the teachings of the Roman Catholic faith between its two covers. Though this nearly 800 page work may appear daunting, its rich history, essential information, and easy reference guide make it a must for anyone curious about the Roman Catholic Church.

What is a Catechism?

“Catechism” originates from the Latin meaning “to teach by word of mouth.” The term “catechumen”, also a derivative, means “one entering the Church.” Though the term “catechumen” has been a part of the Church’s tradition for over two millennia, the term “catechism” is much more recent in the life of the Roman Catholic Church.

The term “catechism” came into common usage in Europe during the Protestant Reformation, when many considered heretics by the Church began to teach and preach their own Christian creeds, known as catechisms, in question and answer format.

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View the Catechism

Writer effectively sums up authentic Catholic beliefs about end times, refutes others.


Christ did not offer an earthly kingdom, nor did He fail, nor was He rejected by all of the Jews; His mother, the apostles, and the disciples were all Jews who accepted Him as the Messiah. The Church is not a sort of “Plan B,” but is, according to the Catechism, the “goal of all things,” reflecting the Catholic recognition of how intimately Christ has joined Himself to the Church (cf. Ephesians 5). The Old Covenant is fulfilled in the New, and there is only “one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes: ‘For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body’” (CCC 1267).

Flowing from incorrect, flawed premises, the idea of a pretribulation Rapture is foreign to Catholic theology. Based largely on St. Augustine’s City of God, the millennium has long been understood (if not formally defined) to be the Church age — a time when the King rules, even though the Kingdom has not been fully revealed (cf. CCC 567, 669).

…It’s no surprise that many people want to hear that they won’t have to die. Such promises of escape from suffering, illness, pain, and potential martyrdom are tempting, but they aren’t an option for Catholics. Each of us will endure suffering, and the Church will, one day, have to endure a final, great trial: “The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” (CCC 677). The pretribulation Rapture, dispensationalism, and the Left Behind books, in the end, are long on promises and short on biblical, historical, and theological evidence.

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Another interesting article on the Apocalypse (PDF file)

Sin: Public Enemy Number One


1865 Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root.

1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called “capital” because they engender other sins, other vices.138 They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel,139 the sin of the Sodomites,140 the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt,141 the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan,142 injustice to the wage earner.143

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

– by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

– by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

– by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

– by protecting evil-doers.

1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. “Structures of sin” are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a “social sin.”144

Definition:

1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”121

1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.”122 Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125

1851 It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world,126 the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.

Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church

Muslims, much like Calvinist Protestants, believe in “double predestination”


Q: I’ve heard that Muslims typically believe in predestination … that men are only powerless “pawns” in God’s overall plan … and that everything  happens “because God wills it”. How do Catholics balance their concept of personal free will, with the concept of God’s all powerful, sovereign will/plan?

A: It all depends on whether you believe in mere predestination … or in “double” predestination. Muslims and Calvinists typically believe in “double predestination” … where some people are irrevocably destined (by God) to Heaven and some are irrevocably predestined to Hell … and neither group has the ability to do anything at all to change that divinely predetermined destiny.

You’ve probably heard the old excuse, “The devil made me do it!” In this case, it’s “God made me do it!”

Of course, if free will does not exist, then it would be virtually impossible for God to hold anyone responsible for committing sin. From there, the matter of personal responsibility, merit, divine judgment, and the necessity (even the practicality) of our redemption in Jesus Christ, becomes a very slippery slope, indeed!

Catholics believe in in a form of divine predestination that does not prevent our free will choices, that let’s man be man, and God be God … all at the same time. This section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains how that typically works. Read it carefully:

“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”393 This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.394

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

Friends, we may all be in big, big trouble!

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1549 Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.

“Dear Congressman Kennedy:”

Tobin

Dear Congressman Kennedy:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy) Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.

For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. Although I wouldn’t choose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents.

For example, the “Code of Canon Law” says, “Lay persons are bound by an obligation and possess the right to acquire a knowledge of Christian doctrine adapted to their capacity and condition so that they can live in accord with that doctrine.” (Canon 229, #1)

kennedypat

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” says this: “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, ‘He who hears you, hears me,’ the faithful receive with docility the teaching and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.” (#87)

Or consider this statement of the Church: “It would be a mistake to confuse the proper autonomy exercised by Catholics in political life with the claim of a principle that prescinds from the moral and social teaching of the Church.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2002)

There’s lots of canonical and theological verbiage there, Congressman, but what it means is that if you don’t accept the teachings of the Church your communion with the Church is flawed, or in your own words, makes you “less of a Catholic.”

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Read all of BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN’S letter to Rep. Kennedy here