A primer on Church teaching regarding ‘same-sex marriage’

No matter which way the US Supreme Court rules in the “gay marriage” cases before it the international debate over the definition of marriage will continue because that debate is, at root, about matters beyond a civil court’s competence, things like the nature of human beings and the fundamental good of society. Because we Catholics are and will surely remain major participants in such a debate we should be clear among ourselves as to what our Church teaches in this area. I offer as a primer (I stress, primer) toward such better understanding my position on the following points.

1. The Catholic Church teaches, through its ordinary magisterium and with infallible certainty, that marriage exists only between one man and one woman.

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The written decrees of the various Church Councils provide us with some of the most reliable Magisterial guidance.

waytruthlife

by Doug Lawrence

Pope’s sometimes act or teach in error.

Bishops sometimes act or teach in error.

Priests and Deacons sometimes act or teach in error.

Lay persons sometimes act or teach in error.

But duly called and properly constituted Church Councils rarely act or teach in error … even the Council infamously known as Vatican II.

Beginning with the 1st century Council of Jerusalem, with the original Apostles in attendance and St. Peter officiating … a pattern (probably borrowed from the practices of the old Levitical Priesthood/Temple Worship System) emerged that would serve the Church well for (at least) the next 21 Councils, and 2000 years.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, get together.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, deliberate on the question(s) of the day.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, agree.
(Unanimous agreement among the Bishops is desired,
but not absolutely necessary.)

The official decree/constitution is set down in writing.

The Pope “signs off” on everything.

Everybody goes home to properly disseminate information on all the latest development(s).

The Church preserves the document(s) in perpetuity.

Because the sacred deposit of faith is “built” much like a brick wall … with interlocking divine truths stacked one on top of another, from the ground, up … with Tradition acting as the mortar … it’s no easy matter for anyone to “slip in” any abject heresy. (Tradition may be defined as the method by which the Holy Spirit infallibly guides the Church, from age to age.)

Heresy and the adoption of illicit practices usually result from later, false interpretations and other types of unfortunate human biases and sin … but because such things fail to fit the established pattern of Catholic truth … they usually stick out like the proverbial “sore thumb” … at least, to those “in the know”.

That’s why it’s important for every Catholic to know the authentic teachings of the Church, along with the genuine Catholic philosophy of life that springs from them.

The Pope, along with the Bishops, received the teaching authority (Magisterium) of their holy offices directly from Jesus Christ:

And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)

You’ll notice that Jesus never specified any particular list of written documents, and he never mentioned the Bible or the Catechism, probably because neither existed at the time. But today, we have the written decrees of 21 Church Councils, the infallible (Ex Cathedra) declarations of at least two Popes, and scores of Papal Bulls, Encyclicals, Catechisms, and other official written works … along with the Bible.

Surprisingly, not all of the Bishops (or even the Pope) agree with all that is contained in the above sources, so many of them seem to think they have the authority to preach a slightly altered Gospel, and practice a slightly altered Divine Liturgy.  And that’s typically where all the trouble begins!

Since the members of the Church’s Magisterium (the Pope and the Bishops) have a sacred duty to practice, preach and teach the authentic Catholic faith, just as they received it from Jesus, the Apostles, the Holy Spirit and the Church, introducing personal novelties and abuses is no small matter. It’s also worth mentioning that priests, deacons, consecrated religious and catechists operate under the authority of the Pope and the Bishops, so they all have similar obligations and responsibilities.

So what is a faithful Catholic to do when something begins to smell “fishy”?

You could ask your diocesan priest or bishop, but if corruption truly exists there (and when it does, it usually exists on a wide scale) the chances of receiving a proper answer … or any answer at all … may be slim to none. Instead, you simply go back and study/research the applicable Magisterial/Conciliar documents, along with earlier versions of the Catholic Catechism, etc. Once you find what you need, seek out a trustworthy source to help verify what you think you have.

What was true way back then is still true today, and if what is currently being promoted and taught in your diocese fails to match up, there is a problem, indeed!  (Do I have your attention, Rochester, NY and Los Angeles, CA?)

Here’s some links to dependable Catholic source documents and teachings:

All 21 Church Councils

Catholic Catechisms

Major Papal Encyclicals

The Holy Bible

Other excellent source documents

The Catholic Treasure Chest

Time to properly inform your conscience – The Catholic Church and Homosexuality.

A summary of Catholic teaching on this very timely matter – with citations – from the earliest days of the church – right up until today.

Read it 

Thanks to Ann Barnhardt for the tip – and an excellent, related article on her own site.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted has issued new advance medical directives to help Catholics better understand the Church’s teaching on end-of-life issues and to provide guidance to caregivers.

Dr. Frank Agnone, a Catholic internal medicine physician, has stood many times at the bedside of patients facing the end of their lives. He said the advance directives issued by the Phoenix Diocese are based on the magisterial teaching of the Church and will be a big help to the faithful.

“None of us is equipped to put something this profound and this insightful together about human nature and natural law as God would have us live it out in His plan for creation, redemption and our salvation,” Dr. Agnone said, “but the Magisterium of our Church has and it makes so much sense.”

Dr. Agnone said the time during which patients and their families face the end of life is sacred and shouldn’t be rushed.

“We want to create the most sacred environment in which to finish the journey,” Dr. Agnone said. “We don’t prolong death but we respect that there are still some final chapters, some final moments of this life that can be carefully observed.”

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“How can you join a church that tells you how to think?”

But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.

And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayers. (Acts 2:38-42)

Question: “How can you join a church that tells you how to think?”

Answer: “With extreme gratitude and humility,
while constantly praising and giving thanks to God!”

Read one author’s “take” on it

Editor’s note: This is like asking someone who wants to learn how to safely pilot airplanes, “Why would you go to a flight school that tells you how to fly?”

The short answer is of course, “Because my life (or in the case of the Catholic Church, my eternal salvation) depends upon it … dummy!”

Lionel Andrades: EWTN position paper at odds with authentic Catholic teaching.

Friday, February 17, 2012

EWTN’S NEW REPORT ON OUTSIDE THE CHURCH NO SALVATION ASSUMES THOSE SAVED WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE ETC ARE EXPLICITLY KNOWN TO US AND SO CONTRADICTS THE DOGMA

EWTN has placed a report on the internet titled Outside the Church No Salvation which criticizes ‘ the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved)’ and claims it has ‘been condemned by the Magisterium.’

In other words EWTN says every one does not have to convert into the Church for salvation (Pope Pius IX, Allocution), the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are defacto, explicitly known cases which contradict ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible teaching’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).Also EWTN suggests that there are is a Magiseterial document which says specifically that Fr.Leonard Feeney was condemned for heresy and which EWTN has not specified.

Outside The Church There Is No Salvation

The doctrine that “Outside the Church there is no salvation” is one that is constantly misinterpreted by those who won’t submit to the Magisterium of the Church.

Lionel: The Magisterium of the Church says all need to enter the Church for salvation. (Dominus Iesus 20, Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14, Catechism of the Catholic Church 845,845, Cantate Domino, Council of Florence 1441 etc).

Lumen Gentium 16 and LG 8 are not exceptions to the dogma since we do not know any explicit case of a non Catholic saved in invincible ignorance, good conscience or with ‘elements of sanctification’.

EWTN:

Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition – including “outside the Church no salvation.”

Lionel:

EWTN is contradicting the Magisterial documents cited above.

EWTN:

Concerning this doctrine the Pope of Vatican I, Pius IX, spoke on two different occasions. In an allocution (address to an audience) on December 9th, 1854 he said:

We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?

Lionel:

EWTN assumes that ‘those who are in invincible ignorance of the true religion’ are an exception to the ‘rigorist interpretation’ which is that the Apostolic Roman Church ‘is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge.’

The Church Fathers and the popes knew there was no contradiction.This was the error of the Archbishop of Boston Ruchard Cushing and the Jesuits there. Cushingism says every one needs to enter the Church, except, for those in invincible ignorance etc.Since Cushingism assumes that these ‘exceptions’ are defacto known to us in the present times.

 

EWTN:Again, in his encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore of 10 August, 1863 addressed to the Italian bishops, he said:

It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.

Lionel:

Invincible ignorance is not an exception to the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

When CCC 846 says all who are saved are saved through Jesus and the Church this is not a contradiction to CCC 846 also saying that all need to enter the Church as ‘through a door’ and that all need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation. (AG 7).

EWTN:

These statements are consistent with the understanding of the Church contained in the documents of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as explaining why the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved) has been condemned by the Magisterium.

Lionel:

It depends on the interpretation. Do we interpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Vatican Council II according to Cushingism or Feeneyism?

 

EWTN:

It is ironic that precisely those who know their obligation to remain united to the Magisterium, and thus on whom this doctrine is morally binding, keep themselves from union with the Roman See on this point.

Lionel:

EWTN is still denying the centuries old interpretation of the dogma and assuming that there are defacto exceptions in Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

EWTN also implies that the popes and Church Councils ex cathedra were wrong. Since it is assumed that they were contradicted by magisterial teachings of popes and Vatican Council II.

EWTN slanders a priest in good standing with the Catholic Church. -Lionel Andrades

1.

Outside The Church There Is No Salvation

——————————————————————————–

The doctrine that “Outside the Church there is no salvation” is one that is constantly misinterpreted by those who won’t submit to the Magisterium of the Church. Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition – including “outside the Church no salvation.”

Concerning this doctrine the Pope of Vatican I, Pius IX, spoke on two different occasions. In an allocution (address to an audience) on December 9th, 1854 he said:

We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?

Again, in his encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore of 10 August, 1863 addressed to the Italian bishops, he said:

It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.

These statements are consistent with the understanding of the Church contained in the documents of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as explaining why the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved) has been condemned by the Magisterium. It is ironic that precisely those who know their obligation to remain united to the Magisterium, and thus on whom this doctrine is morally binding, keep themselves from union with the Roman See on this point.

Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL

Link

Reasons to believe: The Catholic Church remains the only truly “non-denominational” Christian church.

by Doug Lawrence

In today’s increasingly confused, scandalized and secular culture, more and more people seem to be describing their religious inclinations as “non-denominational”.

Most seem to believe that “non-denominational” means to be associated with no particular Christian group, or to ascribe to no particular Christian creed.

As in most things however, the Catholic Church long ago correctly defined the meaning of the word “non-denominational”. It happened on Pentecost Sunday, the day the one, holy, apostolic, universal Christian church officially came into being.

Known then as simply “the Church” … Catholicism is most definitely not a mere denomination. It is the one and only true church, founded personally by Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth, in the divine hope that all should be one, in him.

Thanks to the promised, continuing advocacy of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church continues to enjoy the fullness of all God’s truth, and the complete range of all God’s spiritual gifts, to this day.

One has to wonder, what could there possibly be to gain from membership in a “non-denominational” denomination? Wouldn’t that be a lot like intentionally patronizing a restaurant that regularly serves food of questionable purity and/or quality? The prospect boggles the mind!

Members of other Christian denominations also have to deal with certain fundamental  irrationalities. Various Protestant groups prefer to be called Evangelical, Pentecostal, Apostolic, Charismatic, Baptist, Full Gospel, Bible Church, and many other things, but in the end (or rather, the beginning) the Catholic Church was already all of that, and much, much more … which further points to the fullness of Catholic truth, as clearly manifest in the Bible, Sacred and Apostolic Tradition, the Sacraments, the Priesthood, the Papacy, the Magisterium, and so many other things.

From this we can determine beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Catholic Church is not merely the first and only truly “non-denominational” Christian church, it also remains the only authentic and original Bible Believing, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, Apostolic, Full Gospel, Water Baptizing, Universal Church of Jesus Christ.

And that, my friends, despite the Catholic Church’s many and continuing difficulties and scandals, should provide more than sufficient reason to believe!

A true Catholic story: I was robbed (of my Catholic faith.)

I am a “Generation X” Catholic, raised and catechized in the tumultuous aftermath of Vatican II. I was a victim of “renewal” and experimentation gone awry, and so were my peers. With great regret and without exaggeration, I contend that the results have been catastrophic for my generation. It is my firm belief that the overwhelming majority of young Catholics don’t have even an elemental understanding of their Faith. As a direct result of that ignorance, young Catholics are leaving the Church in a steady stream (or, dare I say, tidal wave?).

It’s not entirely accurate to say that I left the Catholic Church (though I considered it), but it’s clear to me now that for most of my young adulthood, I was not in the Catholic Church. Let me give you an overview of my upbringing, which will sound familiar to countless young Catholics. I was born in the late 1960s into a believing and practicing Catholic family, and my sister and I were taught by our parents to love our Faith. Barring illness, we attended Sunday Mass and holy days of obligation without exception. We attended public schools, but we were enrolled in weekly CCD classes at our parish every year.

By the time I began religious education, memorizing the Baltimore Catechism was out, and feeling the “experience of Christ” was in. My parish priest, I believe, could not have known how the new, more “enlightened” philosophy of catechism would affect the moral development of those in his charge; at the time, he was simply caught up in the so-called “spirit of Vatican II,” and was being obedient to what were considered Vatican II “mandates.” Meanwhile, my parents, like the other parents, trusted that religious education classes would teach us the Faith. Sadly, that never happened.

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This Week’s Ask Alice: Catholic Church Critics, Michael Voris and Real Catholic TV.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Andy Asks: I liked the recent Ask Alice answer about websites critical of the Catholic Church and I was wondering what you both thought of the Michael Voris Real Catholic TV site. His videos are tough on the Bishops but he sure loves our Holy Father.

Alice Responds: Michael Voris’ Real Catholic TV reaches the minds and hearts of an enormous online audience. You refer to his videos as “tough” while I call them “truthful.” And sometimes, the truth does hurt.

Although he is tough on errant bishops, Voris is equally outspoken about any bishop, priest, religious, or lay person who does not teach, practice, uphold and defend the Catholic faith. Michael is a man who loves God and speaks the truth.

“God is Spirit, and those who worship
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
(John 4:24)

The main reason I respect Michael is because as you said, “he sure loves our Holy Father.” Michael is faithful to the Pope, i.e., the Magisterium of our Church. His Real Catholic TV programs teach about Heaven and hell, Jesus and Mary, saints and sinners, angels and demons, good and evil.

Voris urges Catholics to receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist frequently. Voris’ criticisms are not leveled against the Catholic Church, but chastise individuals whose bad behavior provides a disservice to the Body of Christ.

Sometimes, there is a razor fine line between constructive and destructive criticism of human beings who serve in church ministry.

Although Voris is often critical of misdeeds done by members of the clergy, he does not engage in calumny or character defamation. He doesn’t spread rumors or half-truths. Also, Voris speaks messages of support and encouragement to bishops, priests, religious, and laity who are faithful to the Church.

Here is my personal set of rubrics
for determining the efficacy of a Catholic commentator:

1) Does the Catholic commentator acknowledge the Pope as the head of the Church, the Vicar of Christ on Earth and believe in Papal infallibility? Does the commentator respect or malign our Holy Father?

2) Does the commentator uphold the teachings of the Catholic faith?

3) Is the criticism presented by the commentator aligned with the Mind of Christ?

“You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

4) Does the commentator exhibit a spirit of love and forgiveness? Or is he/she judgmental?

“If you want to avoid judgment,
stop passing judgment. Your verdict on others
will be the verdict passed on you.”
(Matthew 7:1-2)

5) Do the words of the commentator unite or divide the Body of Christ? Commentators who are negative and judgmental fail to nurture the Body of Christ. They spread paranoia and mistrust rather than the “be not afraid” attitude Jesus promoted.

A faithful Catholic commentator leads his/her listeners to Christ.

“You will know them by their deeds….you can tell a tree by its fruit.” (Matthew 7:16, 20)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: It’s interesting that you mention Michael Voris, since neither Alice or I rate Real Catholic TV as a “dangerous” site. Respectfully critical perhaps … but certainly not outside the bounds of Canon 212 … and always faithful to the Magisterium.

We also have a link to Real Catholic TV on our site. (Depending on your screen resolution, links appear alphabetically, either to the right of, or just below the main content window.)

As you probably know, during the last six months we’ve sponsored and promoted two different personal appearances by Michael Voris, in the Chicago area. The last one was an all-day “Majesty of the Faith” program, and it was great!

You really ought to see/hear him in person, if you get the chance.

Of course, certain Catholic bishops and/or their diocesan staff members have been known to have opinions to the contrary … but there’s not too much we can do about that.

More about Michael Voris and Real Catholic TV

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

This Week’s Ask Alice: Evaluating Catholic sites that are critical of the Vatican, the Pope, and the Church.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Andy Asks: I’m not sure what to make of sites like this. Particularly this article. What’s your opinion?

Alice Answers: The article entitled, “The Apotheosis of Antichrist,” attacked Pope John Paul II as the Vatican was preparing for his recent beatification. Written by Br. Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, editor of “The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st Century,” Br. Bruno is a member of Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart, a small religious community founded by the late Fr. Georges de Nantes, a French priest, who was suspended a divinis by Apostolic Signature in 1966.

Rather than debate his diatribe against Pope John Paul’s character and sanctity, please consider the source (de Nantes) of these comments, many of which are scurrilous.

Fr. De Nantes hurled harsh criticisms against Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II when he accused them of heresy in his “Books of Accusation.” It was his “disrespect for the popes” that earned his suspension. The Catholic Counter Reformation, CRC, which Fr. de Nantes founded is deemed “outside the Catholic Church.” His fringe faction, “The Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart” which belongs to the CRC, was labeled as a cult by the French Commission on Cults in its 1995 report. In 2001, Fr. De Nantes was forbidden to celebrate, give and receive the sacraments anywhere, which is the highest penalty before excommunication.

It seems ironic that Fr. de Nantes, who wrote “Pope John Paul II had faith in man,” expects his followers to have blind faith in his own opinions against two Catholic pontiffs. Faithful Catholics are called to respect the Magisterium of the Church, a stance which seemed to have eluded Fr. de Nantes and his successor, Br. Bonnet-Eymard. The writings of both men seem reminiscent of Martin Luther’s Reformation ramblings.

As Catholics we are called to support the Body of Christ. Not divide it. Sadly, Fr. de Nantes’ legacy bequeathed his egotistical agenda to Br. Bonnet Eymard.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence Adds: Many of these sites are well intentioned, and may even be at least partially correct in some instances, regarding some issues … while others are totally outrageous and impossible to reconcile with either common sense or the one, true faith. Still, it’s often hard to tell one from another.

An alert, thoroughly educated and well-read Catholic can usually spot problem areas in a New York minute, while others may be easily led astray, and may even have their faith unnecessarily attacked and/or improperly tested.

Issues are often addressed in a way that combines the worst of two worlds: religion and politics. For most people, that spells nothing but trouble!

Best to avoid such sites unless you really need to go there … and you really know your faith, your politics, and your history. If in doubt, evaluate the content and demeanor of the website in light of common sense, common courtesy, and relevant Catholic Canon Law:

Canon 212.3 states: “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess,
[the faithful] have the right and even the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of the faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Writer explains how to understand post-Vatican II’s incredibly vague magisterial teachings

We are being told that the black in front of us was black and is now white, but hasn’t ceased being black, and you would know this if you would only juxtapose the former notion of black with what we are now saying is white, and then draw a correct interpretation according to the principles of non-contradiction and non-irrationality. When you do all that, then you will understand what we are saying. Easy as pie, no?

Read the article

A Collection of Authentic Catholic Magisterial Documents on Scripture and Related Topics

Understanding the written decrees of various Church Councils and Synods, which date all the way back to the original Council of Jerusalem, in the 1st century, along with the many succeeding generations of papal documents and decrees, is the key to knowing and practicing the authentic Catholic faith.

Without this key understanding, Catholics are easily led astray by liberal modernists (including many of today’s priests, theologians, catechists, college professors … and even … some bishops.)

Fact is … ONCE the Catholic Church officially declares something to be true … particularly when that truth has been declared through authentic conciliar documents and/or decrees, or by Ex Cathedra dogmatic papal statements … such truth cannot EVER be denied … even by latter-day popes or councils.

These days, there’s precious little truth being proclaimed … and even that is often deliberately obscured/twisted, or intentionally misappropriated by those spouting lies and evil nonsense.

Barack Obama, gay rights promoters, pro-aborts, women-priesters, Oprah, and many Catholic politicians immediately come to mind!

So, in order to avoid being led astray … it remains essential for every Catholic to know and to be able to identify the authentic Catholic truth … and then, act accordingly.

Why not spend some time studying, and then reflecting, upon some of the documents in this comprehensive list?

Pius IX. Quanta Cura (Condemning Current Errors) — December 8, 1864.

_____. Syllabus Errorum (The Syllabus of Errors) — December 8, 1864.

_____. Dei Filius (Vatican I’s Dogmatic Constitution On the Catholic Faith) — April 24, 1870.

_____. Pastor Aeternus (Vatican I’s First Dogmatic Constitution On the Church of Christ) — July 18, 1870.

Leo XIII. Aeterni Patris (On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy) — August 4, 1879.

_____. Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae (On Christian Marriage) — February 10, 1880.

_____. Providentissimus Deus (On the Study of Holy Scripture) — November 18, 1893.

_____. Apostolicae Curae (On the Nullity of Anglican Orders) — September 13, 1896.

More …

Before there ever was a canon of the New Testament, there was a Church. And its paper trail is Catholic.


Read “Remembering the Early Church”

Bishops Very Troubled by Some Catholic Blogs

Bishop Gabino Zavala, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Communications Committee, recently spoke at the annual Catholic Media Association convention. He had a lot of really good things to say, particularly about what it means to be faithful Catholics in the media and what we can teach the secular media in the process. But he also had a message for Catholic blogs:

“There was consistent agreement [among brother bishops] that one aspect that is most alarming to us about media is when it becomes unchristian and hurtful to individuals. For example, we are particularly concerned about blogs that engage in attacks and hurtful, judgmental language. We are very troubled by blogs and other elements of media that assume the role of Magisterium and judge others in the Church. Such actions shatter the communion of the Church that we hold so precious.”

Link

Editor’s note: Bishops who engage in politics, who mismanage their dioceses, and/or who become enmeshed in scandals, rightfully open themselves up to criticism, as well as other types of legitimate sanctions.

Magisterium deals with authoritative Catholic teaching, evangelizing and sanctification … and in many dioceses, especially these days, there’s precious little of that going on.

It is also worth mentioning that bishops properly act in their official Magisterial capacity only when they faithfully, truthfully and accurately teach and guide others in the practice of the authentic Catholic faith. Heretical bishops typically fail on this point, and we have plenty of those around today.

How’s that for endangering the communion of the Church that we hold so precious.”

Bishop Zavala is from Los Angeles, so he is in a position to take a lot of “flak” (and rightly so) for all the heretical nonsense and other corruption that has been going on there, for so long.

I’m not surprised he’s so sensitive. And it’s no wonder he’s worried about judgment. If I was so closely involved with that left-coast crew, I would be too! (Gee, I hope I’m not being too critical.)

The bishops better start getting used to the laity being more involved in all things Catholic. After all, a more active, fully participating laity was one of the primary objectives of the 2nd Vatican Council. The bishops had over 40 years to implement those Vatican II reforms, and they nearly wrecked the Catholic Church, in the process.

Perhaps it’s also time the Catholic Church went on a serious financial fast … something like: “A dollar a week, until they squeak!”

Freedom from the pressures of high finance would give the bishops (plus the USCCB and CCHD) the flexibility they need to get back to doing their basic and most essential Magisterial duties … which never included managing hundreds of millions of dollars in assets.

After all, no man …  not even a bishop … can serve two masters.

See the earlier posts on Subsidiarity

I seem to remember Bishop Zavala, (but maybe one of the other auxiliaries) recently out there in L.A., presiding over what appeared to be a Catholic Mass, complete with dancing girls swooping around the altar, holding big bowls of flaming incense as they went.

Funny how, ever since the establishment of the Old Testament priesthood, the burning of incense in the sanctuary has always been reserved exclusively to priests (except apparently, for now).

Dancing girls performing priestly functions in a Catholic liturgy (in the presence of a bishop)?!  Who would have believed such a thing could ever happen? Is that worthy of criticism? HeXX yes, it is! Five hundred years ago it could have gotten somebody burned at the stake!

People who don’t like being criticized ought to first consider whether, under normal circumstances, such criticism is warranted. Then they ought to consider the much higher standards that apply to those in authority (especially priests and bishops). And then they ought to straighten up, “fly right” … and just do their jobs.

Heck, they used to feed bishops to the lions! What’s a little criticism, compared to that?

I’m done.

Your comments (and criticisms) are very welcome.

Another “take” on Matthew 13:28 – A parable for the modern church

Matthew 13:24-30 Another parable he (Jesus) proposed to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle weeds among the wheat and went his way.

(The 2nd Vatican Council was a legitimate, duly called and properly conducted church council. But enemies of the church took advantage of the council’s aftermath, introducing dissent, heresy, and confusion, into even the highest offices of the church.)

And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle weeds.

(As the various authentic reforms of the 2nd Vatican council were implemented, the results were oddly, not very good. In fact, the most substantial results were great apostasy, falling away, scandal, and widespread spiritual anarchy.)

And the servants of the good man of the house coming said to him. Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? Whence then hath it cockle weeds?

(Faithful Catholics remarked, “How can this be? Was not the 2nd Vatican Council an authentic church council? Did not all the bishops, in union with the pope, agree with and sign all the various documents and decrees? Did not the fathers desire only what is good for the church? Was not the Holy Spirit truly present there, as faithful guide and advocate?”)

And he said to them: An enemy hath done this.

(An enemy HAS done this!)

And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?

(Something has obviously gone dramatically wrong! What shall we do now … start over?)

And he said: No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it.

(The Catholic Church has been in existence for 2000 years and it is built on Rock. It has withstood many similar attacks. Scripture, Tradition, authentic Magisterial Teachings and the Holy Spirit, will most certainly see it through.)

Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather into my barn.

(My grace shall be sufficient for the truly faithful, who love me, and whom I also love. To Hell with the rest of them!)

Professor Warren H. Carroll comments on issues of papal fidelity in the Catholic Church

… Popes are not infallible when making excommunications, or any disciplinary judgment, for they are limited by the information they have on the individual or situation in question. They are only infallible in making doctrinal pronouncements ex cathedra.

It is vitally important always to remember that the Pope has two kinds of authority, magisterial (when he is speaking ex cathedra, that is, in a way intended to be binding on the faithful), in which he is infallible; and administrative, as head of the Church appointed by Christ to govern it (which would include excommunications).

The Pope is not infallible when exercising his governing authority, but still must be obeyed when he does so, as long as his orders apply clearly to the Church rather than to temporal affairs … for the Pope’s authority over the Church is God-given and there is no appeal from it on earth.

Read more on this wide-ranging topic

On the indefectibility and infallibility of the Catholic Church

In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility…It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error.

Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates.

To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.

The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium, above all in an Ecumenical Council. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 889-891)

Read more

Divine Truth or Cleverly Contrived Myth? How Catholics can tell the difference.

During the holy seasons of Easter and Christmas, Catholics are told that the pertinent events discussed in Sacred Scripture consist of “myth,” “mythological elements,” or “mythic roots.”

Never mind that many scholarly sources concede that it is difficult to define myth (cf. G. Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament IV, 762-795). Further, critics say this “mythic” Scripture is not limited to the empty tomb and Incarnation but to all of Holy Writ.

This alleged relationship between Scripture and “myth” requires an analysis via the Holy Bible, Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Read the article

A Catholic Catechism on the Bible – Definitely worth a look!

Visit the site

If the bible didn’t exist, would Christians have a hard time finding an answer every time we asked why?

stpeterbacrop

Q: If the bible didn’t exist, would Christians have a hard time finding an answer every time we asked why?

A: The Catholic Church existed and thrived for some 400 years before the Bible was first published, existing solely on what was faithfully handed down by the apostles and their duly ordained successors, according to the Great Commission that was received personally, from Jesus Christ, and according to the continuing inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

There would be no Bible if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church.

Today, we have three witnesses that serve to determine the divine truths of the authentic Christian faith:

1) The teachings of the Catholic Church, which have been faithfully handed down, illuminated by the bishops, who are the successors of the original apostles, and who constitute the authentic teaching office of the Church, known as the Magisterium.

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

2) The Bible

http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/index.shtml

3) Tradition … the means by which the Holy Spirit guides the authentic Church, from age to age.

http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm

All three of the above must agree. One or two are simply not enough. And once an article of faith has been clearly defined in this way, it can never be denied or set aside.