A must read: Father Leonardo makes an impassioned plea.


….Look brothers. God wants nothing more to do with this “Church”.  He is vomiting it from His mouth, this “beautiful church of the Council,” as someone called it. The beautiful church of the Council. God wants nothing more to do with it.

And is destroying it covering it with ridicule. A church that no longer preaches the truth, does not put God in first place. A church that gives communion to remarried divorcees, which admits homosexuality and all the vices.

What will God do with such a church?

With a church which tells you, “You can do whatever you want.”

What will God do with such a church?

It is as if a cop tell the thief, “You can steal is not a crime.” To the drug dealer: “You can do it is not a crime.” To the mafioso: “You can do anything you want is not a crime.”

But a cop like that: what’s the use of him if a cop doesn’t pull out his gun to defend the innocent and fight the wicked. What’s the use of this cop?

But think brothers, really think. Will everything go back to the way it was?

No, no, we are in the midst of the end times. We are in the midst of an great sign.

God is destroying this beautiful church of the council to rebuild the true church the church of tradition, the church of Latin, the church of true spirituality, the church of holy doctrine, the church of the true magisterium and not all the nonsense that we have to listen to every morning.

The Church of Padre Pio, and of all the Saints.

Padre Pio! Padre Pio!  If Padre Pio returned to life, what would he say?

He would immediately die of heat attack again. But first he would have the time to say the two words, that he repeats in his life in the moments of his holy wrath. He was want to use these words. He would say two words. Get out of here! You butchers of the body of Christ! Get out of here! This would Padre Pio say.

So, brothers we must start again, As the spider does day after day with aristocratic detachment and perseverance. We must we must convert to tradition, to Latin, to the true spirituality to the holy doctrine, to the true magisterium, to the Saints.

This is direction of our conversion, pushing ourselves towards the divine things, throwing upwards the anchor of our salvation and of our hope and the tenacious threads of faith, and of a love that does not surrender.

Upwards towards heavenly things! not towards the earth.

See the full text and video

Some practical reasons why many (even some non-Catholics) believe that the Holy Catholic Church is the one, true Church of Jesus Christ

 

Personally Founded By Jesus Christ
Catholicism is a dynamic and enduring faith, personally instituted by Jesus Christ, for the purpose of our salvation; divinely and appropriately structured, in order to effectively to deal with the various challenges presented by all the “ages” of man.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 766 The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross.
“The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus.”

“For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the ‘wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.'” As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.

“Born” on Pentecost, of the Holy Spirit
The one Church of Jesus Christ was “born” on Pentecost, about 34 A.D. and according to Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who lived during the early 2nd century, has been known as “Catholic” – since at least, 107 A.D.

The Holy Catholic Church has always been said to possess four identifying “marks”:

The Church is ONE
Jesus personally founded, authorized, empowered and perpetually guaranteed only ONE Church – The Holy Catholic Church – for the purpose of our salvation.

The Church is HOLY
Thanks to Jesus Christ, its’ founder and head, who embodies holiness, in every possible way. Jesus remains the head of his “Mystical Body”, which is the Church. That which God takes to himself is holy, indeed, for he himself makes it so, by his own, awesome power and grace.

The Church is CATHOLIC
Catholic means “universal”. One bread, one body, one Spirit of God, for all true believers in Jesus Christ.

The Church is APOSTOLIC
The same Apostles who accompanied Jesus Christ on his salvific mission, who were present at the Last Supper, at the foot of the cross, who experienced the risen Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (minus Judas, plus Saint Matthias and Saint Paul) who went out and established all the original Christian congregations, preserving and transmitting all the original, divinely revealed truths, as well as selecting their own duly ordained successors, whose continuing mission was to propagate the true faith of Jesus Christ, until he returns for “The People of God”, at the end of the age.

The (present day) Bishops and the Pope govern the Church and minister to its various needs according to the power and authority personally given to the first Bishops (and priests) of the Church – known as “the Apostles” – by our Holy Lord, Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth.

The Great Commission
According to that same Christ, the primary purpose of the Bishops – suitably assisted by Priests, Deacons and other, qualified Catholics – is to Evangelize: effectively reach out to share the authentic, Holy Gospel/Christian faith; Teach: faithfully preserve and accurately disseminate/interpret/strive to correctly, charitably and authoritatively apply all the divinely revealed truths; Baptize (and sanctify, in various, other appropriate ways) in the name of God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in accordance with his awesome power, grace and express will.

Sacred and Apostolic Tradition
Catholics believe that Jesus Christ remains the head of the Catholic Church, with the Holy Spirit as its perpetual advocate; infallibly guiding the Church from generation to generation, to all truth.

The continuous and somewhat mysterious process by which that divine leadership actually occurs is known as “Tradition”.

The Holy Bible
Catholics believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, Holy Spirit inspired, written Word of God. The Catholic Church originally compiled and certified all the authentic, Old Testament sacred texts, wrote and certified all the New Testament sacred texts, and with the extraordinary assistance of Saint Jerome, translated all the original languages into Latin – the common language of the people of that time – by the 4th century. In the year 1455, The Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible became the first mass-produced publication of Johann Gutenberg, the acknowledged inventor of the movable type, printing press. The Latin Vulgate was later translated into the English language, Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible, with the English language New Testament published in 1582, followed by the English Old Testament, in 1609-1610.

The Holy Bible continues to be a perennial, “best seller”

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Catholics believe that The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a real-time, divinely empowered, re-presentation of the Last Supper, as well as Jesus Christ’s one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, on the cross, at Calvary.

The Catholic Ministerial Priesthood
Through the power of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood and the Holy Spirit, the crucified and risen Christ becomes present on the altar for us at Mass, under the auspices of bread and wine – body, blood, soul and divinity – so we Catholics might have the opportunity to personally participate in his propitiatory sacrifice – joining in with him to offer his divine perfection to God the Father, for our needs, for the needs of the Holy Catholic Church and for the whole world.

The Seven Sacraments
Catholics believe that each of the Seven Sacraments, which were instituted by Jesus Christ, to give grace, constitutes a unique, personal encounter with the risen Christ that is divinely ordered to the salvation of souls and exquisitely suited to the diverse needs of the People of God, throughout every phase of their earthly existence.

Rooted In the Judeo-Christian Tradition
This basic Catholic theological system has many similarities to that which had previously been employed by the Old Testament Hebrews: A reliance on a combination of Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and Divine Teaching Authority; the three biblical “witnesses” by which the truth might always be properly discerned.

But now, thanks to our Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church also possesses the truly salvific power and grace that was not yet available in times of old.

A Mere COINCIDENCE of Human History?
The fact that the Holy Catholic Church (inexplicably) remains the world’s longest reigning, continuous government (of any kind) and the fact that the Catholic Church still manages to exist at all, in spite of a 2,000 year history of some of the worst internal scandals and leadership failures imaginable (as well as some of mankind’s greatest triumphs) serves to lend serious credibility to the Church’s original and exclusive claim of its’ divine origin in Jesus Christ and of God’s unwavering, perpetual solicitude.

A question about the Holy Eucharist

Question: To any normal person, this sounds very much like the script of a gruesome horror film. The whole idea of “eating Jesus’ body” and “drinking his blood” is grotesque in the extreme. What do you believers have to say about this?

Answer: The Jews were required to eat the flesh of the Passover Lamb, ever since God liberated them from slavery, in Egypt.

Christians have been required to eat the risen and glorified flesh and blood of Jesus Christ – the true, Lamb of Godever since he liberated all of mankind from perpetual slavery to Satan, sin and death by his atoning sacrifice on the cross, at Calvary and his subsequent, glorious resurrection from the dead.

This is an essential part of a uniquely powerful Eucharistic Celebration/Commemoration (known as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) where we Christians joyfully, thankfully and powerfully receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ (known as “The Real Presence”) under the more palatable and aesthetically pleasing auspices of ordinary bread and wine.

To put it even more simply:
This is merely one more extraordinary and awesome example

of God’s total self-giving for our salvation.

For those in the know, who possess at least a modicum of true faith, this is historically and traditionally consistent, logical, rational and supernaturally nourishing.

For others, it remains a total mystery and a scandal.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

A question about the possibility of divine justification, prior to Jesus’ perfect and atoning sacrifice, on the cross.


Question: In the Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 18, verse 9, we read the story of The Pharisee and the Tax Collector. In verse 14, it goes on to say that the Tax Collector went home justified, by God. I thought that prior to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross, nobody was ever justified, by God. What am I missing?

Answer: Prior to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind, God provided many types of opportunities for man to give God thanks and praise and to offer up imperfect forms of animal (and other) sacrifices to God, for various good purposes and intentions.

While none of those “forms” of worship (or even our best attempts at perfectly keeping the Old Law) had the power to destroy Satan’s power over man, or reopen the Gates of Heaven, they did serve to (imperfectly) please/appease God and impute a certain level of righteousness/justification to those who faithfully and correctly practiced them.

The souls of those who God considered to be “justified” in that manner, were supernaturally “marked” for eventual salvation, in Jesus Christ and subsequently detained in a special “place” in the afterlife – known (alternatively) as Hell, or “The Bosom of Abraham” – while they awaited the perfect and atoning sacrifice of our Holy Redeemer, on the cross, at Calvary.

Catholic Tradition informs us that Jesus escorted all those faithful souls to Heaven, while his dead body lay in the tomb, for three days and nights, awaiting his glorious Resurrection.

It is noteworthy that, in the half-century since the Council, the post-Conciliar liturgical texts have not themselves had any apparent power to inculturate themselves into our society and to generate anything similar to what the classical texts had produced.

Read more at Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment Site

In times of great confusion, such as our own day, many Catholics are baffled on how to react.

questionSome claim that we must obey our leaders no matter what, and that to voice the slightest disagreement with them is a manifestation of disrespect and disobedience. Not only is this way of thinking incorrect, it also paralyzes Catholics into inaction and heightens their confusion. What we hope to demonstrate is that, according to the Saints, and according to the consistent teaching of the Church, Catholics are bound to resist even prelates if they deviate from the unchanging doctrine and Tradition of the Catholic Church.

Many also believe that it is impossible for a Supreme Pontiff to deviate in any way from the straight and narrow. This is partially correct. The Holy Ghost will always protect a Pope from defining error as truth, for example, from teaching error in an ex cathedra pronouncement. (1) That is certain. But it is demonstrable from the teachings and writings of the Saints that even the highest authority in the Church may fail in his duty and may drift into deviations from Church Teaching.

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

Presentation-in-temple

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

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

epiphany

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

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

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

saintlukegospel

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

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

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

What do you think? 

Is modernist Catholic doctrine based on settled misunderstandings of the truth of things?

2plus2

Although it is very difficult for those who see Catholicism through political lenses to grasp this, popes are not like presidents or state governors, and doctrine is not like public policy. Which means that a change of papal “administration” does not—indeed cannot—mean a change of Catholic “views.” Doctrine, as the Church understands it, is not a matter of anyone’s “views,” but of settled understandings of the truth of things.

Nor are popes free agents who govern by the seat of their pants, if you‘ll permit the phrase. Prior to the completion of Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Pope Paul VI proposed adding to that seminal document a sentence stating that the pope is “accountable to the Lord alone”—an effort, I suspect, to protect papal authority and freedom of action from potential civil or ecclesiastical encroachments. But the council’s Theological Commission rejected Pope Paul’s proposed amendment, noting that “the Roman Pontiff is . . . bound to revelation itself, to the fundamental structure of the Church, to the sacraments, to the definitions of earlier Councils, and (to) other obligations too numerous to mention.”

Those “other obligations” include honoring the truth of things built into the world and into us. At an academic conference years ago, a distinguished Catholic philosopher remarked (perhaps hyperbolically) that “If the pope said that ‘2+2 = 5,’ I’d believe him.” An even more distinguished Catholic philosopher gave the correct, and far more Catholic, response: “If the Holy Father said that ‘2+2 = 5,’ I would say publicly, ‘Perhaps I have misunderstood His Holiness’s meaning.’ Privately, I would pray for his sanity.”

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Blast from the past: The late Paul Harvey – a Protestant – makes a few observations about the Catholic Church and Vatican II

This is none of my business, yet I am unexplainably compelled to address myself to a most sensitive subject however many or few read it, heed it, or resent it.

The Roman Catholic Church, from the outside, has symbolized authority since my earliest recollections.

Great institutions might erode away, towering individuals reveal feet of clay, nations be reduced to ashes or decay—yet the steeple with the cross on top remained, timeless and unchanging.

Why I did not abandon the faith of my fathers and ask adoption into the Catholic family which I so much admired, I cannon explain. Momentum, perhaps. Most often we keep going in the direction we are pushed.

The strict discipline implied by Catholicism certainly was not a deterrent, for I had been much disturbed and distracted by the almost constant intramural harangue among undisciplined Christians. Indeed, the rigidity of Catholic doctrine and tradition were comforting, reassuring evidences of a hierarchy which affirmed, ‘This is right…’ in an hour where so few seem to know what is.

Then came the recent sessions of the Ecumenical Council …

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Pope Francis and the Post-Vatican II “New Church”: Solid proof that casting pearls before swine is perilous folly.

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by Doug Lawrence

Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you.  (Matthew 7:6)

The violent deconstruction of the Catholic Church during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s was the literal fulfillment of the above scripture, as the post-Vatican II revolutionaries were allowed to rage virtually unrestrained – tearing down, trampling and desecrating all that was holy, within the Catholic Church.

For the most part, obedient and faithful Catholics were taken aback, not knowing what to make of it all. And by the time things became clearer, it was already too late. In hindsight, it’s evident that the majority of Catholics chose to quit, rather than fight. That’s a real shame, since there’s no medals for deserters – in either the military services – or the Church Militant!

Now, after a short, moderate respite, we have a very popular pope, “cut” from Post-Vatican II revolutionary cloth – who eschews tradition, has little regard for dogma, and claims to be a humble man of peace – all the while shamelessly plotting a final and definitive coup de grâce to what is still barely recognizable as the venerable Roman Catholic Church. Should he and his minions actually succeed in this pernicious work, the result will be a spiritual and physical holocaust of epic proportions, possibly culminating in nothing less than the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to start paying very close attention – since you don’t want to be on the wrong side of things when the Master finally returns!

And this is charity: That we walk according to his commandments.

For this is the commandment that, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in the same: For many seducers are gone out into the world who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a seducer and an antichrist.

Look to yourselves, that you lose not the things which you have wrought: but that you may receive a full reward.

Whosoever revolts and continues not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. He that continues in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son.

If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you. For he that saith unto him: God speed you, communicates with his wicked works.
(2 John 1:6-11)

In every dictatorship, the past must be censored. Hence, religious freedom for all – except traditional Catholics!

masstrad

No one must know how it once was before the dictatorship, which always claims to give new life to the world. And the dictatorships of the “liberals” are the worst and have always been the worst.

When the schema of a dictatorship enters the Church, the censorship of the past is almost a dogma: “Today the Church has a new consciousness, you can not go back to the things of the past, even if they were sacred, but today they are no longer there, because the Church’s consciousness determines the truth in today.”

Something like that is thought by almost all today, and that is terrible. It is the fastest way to destroy the Church, as we see. The representatives of this thinking have access to almost all means of communication, because they are useful to “entertain” the people, they do not argue with the New Paganism, they do not startle, do not challenge them when they criticize, then only the Church, most of the time, but they just talk, they palaver and palaver and say this mostly nothing.

But it is enough that a child says in his innocence, see, the king is naked, and already breaks the spell of censorship that the past is hidden, it falls into place in a single moment. That’s why it will take more work from the traditional side and less “whining”, to help build the kingdom of God, according to the responsibility that God has entrusted to each of us objectively.

There is no time to lose: Do all that stands in your way, so that the Catholic Church and the world is Christian.

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The current lack of Catholic evangelization is due to the widespread post-Vatican II notion that almost everybody will be saved.

Far from a human race that is presumed innocent or essentially saved, the Council Fathers see a world in which salvation is neither assured nor easy.  It is a world in which, “very often,” rejection of Christ has been a reality, is still possible, and is a main reason for Christian missions.  Indeed, the Council also warned about the severe judgment falling on Catholics who do not persist in charity and faithfulness.

The Council’s “optimism,” Martin rightly notes, is about the possibility of salvation outside of the Church, not the probability that everybody inside or outside it will be saved. 

The Council doesn’t give odds on this question or tell us whether Hell is densely populated or not, nor does Martin attempt to do so.  But he notes that the “very often” is attached to the negative possibility. In a chapter examining the scriptural references in LG 16 he demonstrates that this bad news is indeed biblical.

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Editor’s note: It’s also due to the fact that since the end of Vatican II – priests, bishops – and even popes – have no longer been at all certain about the validity or applicability of the settled teachings of the Catholic Church – nor have they been unified and consistent in their efforts to pass along the full, complete and traditional Catholic faith to others. In fact, just the opposite has been true!

So long, Albertus Magnus

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

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

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

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

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

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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It’s fair to ask what esteem Pope Francis holds the centuries long Tradition of the Church.

Pelagianism has been a much used word in Catholic circles of late.  Which is a surprising, because as a formal heresy, it was fairly well stamped out  1500 years ago or so. Arianism actually persisted longer than Pelagianism.

Certainly, the Holy Father seems much enamored of the word.  He used it a couple of weeks ago to describe traditionalists to some visitors from S. America. He just used it again yesterday, when he went a bit further:

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Old Fashioned, Authoritative Catholic Teaching About Purgatory

purgatory

The Sources of Catholic Dogma, Henry Denzinger, (13th Edition) 2004.

(XIVa) The souls of those who die in the state of grace, but with venial faults or temporal penalties not yet satisfied are detained in Purgatory, concerning the existence of which it is certain from scripture; which does not consist in only the fears of one about to die; but in satisfactory penalties which the souls suffer while they are tormented by fire, secure nevertheless, concerning their state of salvation, but are outside the state of merit, they do not sin by seeking rest or by abhorring the penalties; they are helped by the prayers, satisfactory acts, and almsgiving of the living, by indulgences, especially by the sacrifice of the Mass.

References – Denzinger numbers:

(456) Council of Lyons I, 1245, (Reaffirmed the name Purgatory, the nature of the punishment, and that suffrage by the living may be beneficially applied to the souls there.)

(570s) Re: Purgatory – “Tortured by fire for a time” Pope Clement VI, Letter, Sept. 20, 1351.

Re: Purgatorial fire

At the Council of Florence, Bessarion argued against the existence of real purgatorial fire, and the Greeks were assured that the Roman Church had never issued any dogmatic decree on this subject. In the West the belief in the existence of real fire is common. Augustine (Enarration on Psalm 37, no. 3) speaks of the pain which purgatorial fire causes as more severe than anything a man can suffer in this life, “gravior erit ignis

quam quidquid potest homo pati in hac vita” (P.L., col. 397). Gregory the Great speaks of those who after this life “will expiate their faults by purgatorial flames,” and he adds “that the pain be more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life” (Ps. 3 poenit., n. 1). Following in the footsteps of Gregory, St. Thomas teaches (IV, dist. xxi, q. i, a.1) that besides the separation of the soul from the sight of God, there is the other punishment

from fire. “Una poena damni, in quantum scilicet retardantur a divina visione; alia sensus secundum quod ab igne punientur”, and St. Bonaventure not only agrees with St. Thomas but adds (IV, dist. xx, p.1, a.1, q. ii) that this punishment by fire is more severe than any punishment which comes to men in this life; “Gravior est omni temporali poena. quam modo sustinet anima carni conjuncta”. How this fire affects the souls of the departed the Doctors do not know, and in such matters it is well to heed the warning of the Council of Trent when it commands the bishops “to exclude from their preaching difficult and subtle questions which tend not to edification’, and from the discussion of which there is no increase either in piety or devotion” (Sess. XXV, “De Purgatorio”).

(693) Council of Florence, 1438, (The truly penitent who have departed in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction are cleansed after death in purgatorial punishment, etc., etc.)

(778) Lateran Council V, 1512 – Refuting the errors of Martin Luther: Souls in Purgatory are indeed assured of salvation, and are indeed beyond the state of meriting and/or increasing in charity. Here is no sin in their abhorring punishment or seeking rest.

Adendum Re: Merit

In the Bull “Exurge Domine” Leo X condemns the proposition (n. 38) “Nec probatum est ullis aut rationibus aut scripturis ipsas esse extra statum merendi aut augendae caritatis” (There is no proof from reason or Scripture that they [the souls in purgatory] cannot merit or increase in charity). For them “the night has come in which no man can labour”, and Christian tradition has always considered that only in this life can man work unto the profit of his own soul. The Doctors of the Middle Ages while agreeing that this life is the time for merit and increase of grace, still some with St. Thomas seemed to question whether or not there might be some non-essential reward which the souls in purgatory might merit (IV, dist. xxi, q. i, a. 3). Bellarmine believes that in this matter St. Thomas changed his opinion and refers to a statement of St. Thomas (“De Malo”, q. vii, a. 11). Whatever may be the mind of the Angelic Doctor, theologians agree that no merit is possible in purgatory, and if objection be urged that the souls there merit by their prayers, Bellarmine says that such prayers avail with God because of merit already acquired “Solum impetrant ex meritis praeteritis quomodo nunc sancti orando) pro nobis impetrant licet non merendo” (They avail only in virtue of past merits as those who are now saints intercede for us not by merit but by prayer). (loc. cit. II, cap. iii).

(840) Council of Trent, 1545, Canon 30 (Temporal punishment for sin may remain, even after justification by grace.) See also the Decree Concerning Purgatory, Session XXV, December 3, and 4, 1563.

(983) Decree Concerning Purgatory

Since the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has, following the sacred writings and the ancient tradition of the Fathers, taught in sacred councils and very recently in this ecumenical council that there is a purgatory,[1] and that the souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the faithful and chiefly by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar, the holy council commands the bishops that they strive diligently to the end that the sound doctrine of purgatory, transmitted by the Fathers and sacred councils,[2] be believed and maintained by the faithful of Christ, and be everywhere taught and preached. The more difficult and subtle questions, however, and those that do not make for edification and from which there is for the most part no increase in piety, are to be excluded from popular instructions to uneducated people.[3] Likewise, things that are uncertain or that have the appearance of falsehood they shall not permit to be made known publicly and discussed.

But those things that tend to a certain kind of curiosity or superstition, or that savor of filthy lucre, they shall prohibit as scandals and stumbling-blocks to the faithful. The bishops shall see to it that the suffrages of the living, that is, the sacrifice of the mass,[4] prayers, alms and other works of piety which they have been accustomed to perform for the faithful departed, be piously and devoutly discharged in accordance with the laws of the Church, and that whatever is due on their behalf from testamentary bequests or other ways, be discharged by the priests and ministers of the Church and others who are bound to render this service not in a perfunctory manner, but diligently and accurately.

(998) Council of Trent – Reaffirms the existence of Purgatory and that souls detained there are aided by the prayers of the faithful. The use of indulgences is affirmed and especially salutary.

(2147a) Pope Pius X, Letter: “Ex Quo” December 26, 1910 – No doubt that the sacred dogmas on Purgatory and the Blessed Virgin Mary were acknowledged by the holy men of earlier years.

See also, Denzinger 427, 464, 530, 535, 723a, 729, 780, 998, 1542

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott, 4th Edition, May 1960

Supporting texts: 314, 321, 443, 482-85

From the Roman Catechism, published following the Council of Trent

the fire of purgatory, in which the souls of just men are cleansed by a temporary punishment, in order to be admitted into their eternal country, into which nothing defiled entereth (cf. Rev. 21:27). The truth of this doctrine, founded, as holy Councils declare, on Scripture, and confirmed by Apostolic tradition, demands exposition from the pastor, all the more diligent and frequent, because we live in times when men endure not sound doctrine. Prayers for the dead, that they may be liberated from the fire of purgatoryare derived from Apostolic teaching. We also beg of God … that we be not sentenced to endure the fire of purgatory, from which we piously and devoutly implore that others may be liberated.

Catechism of Council of Trent, The Lord’s Prayer, Seventh Petition

“We also beg of God that we be not cut off by a sudden death; that we provoke not His anger against us; that we be not condemned to suffer the punishments reserved for the wicked; that we be not sentenced to endure the fire of purgatory, from which we piously and devoutly implore that others may be liberated.”

Encyclical of Pope Benedict XIV in Preparation for the Holy Year, 1749

“The faithful must be fully aware that sin and its eternal punishment are remitted by the Sacrament of Penance if one makes proper use of it; however the entire temporal punishment is very seldom taken away. This must be removed either by satisfactory works in this life or by the fire of Purgatory after death.”

Encyclical On Proclaiming a Universal Jubilee by Pope Leo XII, 1824

“You must also discuss carefully how much efficacy there is in indulgences; how great is the fruit of remission, not only of the canonical but also of the temporal punishment due for sins; and finally, how much aid from the treasure of merits from Christ and the saints may be applied to those who died truly penitent before they had made adequate satisfaction for their sins. Their souls must be purified in the fires of purgatory so that entry into the eternal fatherland may open to them.”

Baltimore Catechism No. 3

LESSON 37 – ON THE LAST JUDGMENT & RESURRECTION, HELL

PURGATORY & HEAVEN

Q. 1381. What is Purgatory?

A. Purgatory is the state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins, or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins.

Q. 1382. Why is this state called Purgatory?

A. This state is called Purgatory because in it the souls are purged or purified from all their stains; and it is not, therefore, a permanent or lasting state for the soul.

Q. 1383. Are the souls in Purgatory sure of their salvation?

A. The souls in Purgatory are sure of their salvation, and they will enter heaven as soon as they are completely purified and made worthy to enjoy that presence of God which is called the Beatific Vision.

Q. 1384. Do we know what souls are in Purgatory, and how long they have to remain there?

A. We do not know what souls are in Purgatory nor how long they have to remain there; hence we continue to pray for all persons who have died apparently in the true faith and free from mortal sin. They are called the faithful departed.

Q. 1385. Can the faithful on earth help the souls in Purgatory?

A. The faithful on earth can help the souls in Purgatory by their prayers, fasts, alms, deeds; by indulgences, and by having Masses said for them.

Q. 1386. Since God loves the souls in Purgatory, why does He punish them?

A. Though God loves the souls in Purgatory, He punishes them because His holiness requires that nothing defiled may enter heaven and His justice requires that everyone be punished or rewarded according to what he deserves.

Most recently, the Second Vatican Council in its Constitution on the Church renewed the teaching of previous councils on eschatology, including the doctrine of purgatory. “This sacred Council,” it declared, “accepts with great devotion this venerable faith of our ancestors regarding this vital fellowship with our brethren who are in heavenly glory or who, having died, are still being purified….At the same time, in conformity with our own pastoral interests, we urge all concerned, if any abuses, excesses or defects have crept in here or there, to do what is in their power to remove or correct them, and to restore all things to a fuller praise of Christ and of God” (Chapter VII, No. 51).

Pope Paul VI – From the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul VI INDULGENTIARUM DOCTRINA whereby the revision of Sacred Indulgences is promulgated. January 1, 1967:

“It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God’s sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or “purifying” punishments.

Therefore it has always been the conviction of the faithful that the paths of evil are fraught with many stumbling blocks and bring adversities, bitterness and harm to those who follow them.”

Current Edition: The Catechism of the Catholic Church

III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611

1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.[83]

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.”[84]

1475 In the communion of saints, “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.”[86] In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.

Editor’s note: It will be interesting to see what Pope Francis has to say about all this.

Sally Quinn, Gary Wills and the Washington Post: Looking for God’s truth in all the wrong places.

BSMeter2

Garry Wills, a devout Catholic and religion scholar, in his new book, “Why Priests? A Failed Tradition” argues that as we have seen in Vatican II, the church can and does change. And it should if it wants to stay relevant.

Wills’s book takes the reader back to Christ’s time and walks through the creation of the church.

Priests, he points out, were man-made, not prescribed by God. There were no priests in the New Testament and certainly no one held the title “pope.” (Many Christians agree, see: the Protestant Reformation.) The idea of priestly celibacy is relatively new, too, as is the sacrament of confession. Wills points out that even the central facet of the Mass, a belief that an ordained priest can literally turn bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood, is not universally held.

Link

Editor’s note: “Devout” Catholics don’t deny historically proven, fundamental truths of the Catholic faith, based merely on semantics.

As for priests: God had long ago instituted the Old Testament priesthood through Moses’ brother Aaron, which  served as a prophetic “type” of the coming New Testament priesthood, in virtually every respect.

The key differences between the new and the old was emphasis on grace, rather than law … and on the perfect, divinely acceptable, salvific sacrifice of Jesus Christ … rather than the purely ceremonial sacrifices of dumb animals, which never saved a soul.

As for the Catholic ministerial priesthood, we have Christ, our Heavenly High Priest, at the Last Supper, in anticipation of his saving death on the cross, giving us his body and blood as the definitive sacrifice of the New Covenant, personally instructing the men he had earlier hand-picked and personally trained, to “Do this in remembrance of me.”

As both the High Priest and the Perfect Sacrifice of the New Covenant, Jesus succintly fulfilled the Old Law, superseding and transcending the old Temple Worship System through the institution of an all new, grace empowered, divinely salvific system that would endure until the end of time.

That new “system” shortly became known as the Catholic Church, the supreme arbiter of the New Covenant, which came into existence on the first Christian Pentecost, powerfully and divinely constituted, courtesy of the Holy Spirit.

The primary definition of the Catholic ministerial priesthood is to offer sacrifice to God, for the people, so that they might receive and retain the divine grace that is essential for their salvation.

From the earliest days of the Church, the Mass and the sacraments have always been known as the primary channels of God’s saving grace, while popes, bishops and priests (perhaps not then described in those particular terms) had already been charged by Jesus Christ to be, according to his grace, the primary teachers, governors and sanctifiers of the faithful.

The factual existence of a “High Priest” in Christ Jesus would in itself indicate the presence of a priesthood of a lower stature. And that is true, indeed. We have both the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood and the Royal Priesthood of all believers. Complementary yet different, in their particular missions … but all led by Jesus Christ and all nourished by his body, blood, soul and divinity … in the Holy Eucharist.

Since the word “catholic” means “universal” … Mr. Will’s comment about the true nature of the Catholic priesthood and the Eucharistic sacrifice is imprecise,  at best. But according to the definitive and holy words of Jesus Christ, the divine founder and head of the Catholic Church … Wills is totally wrong.

This is what happens when someone shows up thousands of years after the fact and then tries to reinterpret multiple generations of divine providence, in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. 

In their Bibles, Protestants like to mistranslate the word “priest” as “elder”. But that … other than being dishonest … is just more semantics. 

As for the sacrament of penance … the very first act of the risen Christ was to personally empower the apostles to forgive sins, in his name. While the specific form and rubrics have evolved somewhat through the years, the essential process, purpose and spiritual benefits of the sacrament of reconciliation have never changed.

Ms. Quinn and Mr. Wills … this is all in the Bible, clearly understandable in the light of Christ, according to authentic Catholic Tradition, as well as history. I suggest you look it up!

12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit, in the Catholic Tradition

hspiritenhbig

…altogether we have 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit in Catholic Tradition. As we can see many  of them speak to zeal, while others in a way that seeks to set forth a virtue rooted in moderateness.

One of the great gifts the Spirit seeks to give us is not a rejection of passion or other human gifts, but a moderation and proper appropriation of them. For God the Holy Spirit has given all the gifts of the World, including beauty, and human passions for a reason and for a good end. But the Fruits of the Spirit are gifts to both to inspire zeal and to regulate and appreciate what God has given for a reason and a purpose. By these gifts we steer a middle ground between rejection and indulgence, excess and defect, enjoyment and hedonism. Modus omnibus in rebus (All things in moderation (including moderation)). The Sequence Hymn for Pentecost says of the Holy Spirit:

Flecte quod est rigidum (Bend what is rigid),
fove quod est frigidum (warm what is cold),
rege quod est devium. (rule what deviates).

And thus we see both zeal and moderation in these gifts and in all things a ruling over anything that deviates. Come Holy Holy Spirit, rule our hearts and inflame them with your love.

See all 12

Book provides good insights into the true role of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Below are excerpts from the first chapter of the book Meet Mary: Getting to Know the Mother of God, by Dr. Mark Miravalle, professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Thanks to Sophia Institute Press for permitting me to reprint the excerpts in this column. Click here to order a copy of the book in paperback or in electronic format.

Mary in the New Testament

In the pages of the New Testament, we have the oldest historical record of Mary’s life. Almost all that we know of her earthly existence we know from the four Gospels, which were written sometime between 50 and 100 AD, along with the oral tradition passed on by the first Christians.

We know she was raised in Galilee, one of the most remote corners of one of the most remote provinces of the ancient Roman Empire. We know that when she came along in approximately 14 BC, Israel was governed by Herod, a sadistic and power-hungry king who ruled at the pleasure of the emperor in Rome. A representative of that emperor, the governor, also sat in Jerusalem, supervising the soldiers, keeping an eye on Herod, and putting down the periodic rebellions that sprang up among the Jewish people.

We also know that Mary was Jewish, a member of a people that had been persecuted, enslaved, exiled, and oppressed for thousands of years, yet who continued to worship the God of its ancestors and to reject the polytheism of its oppressors. We know that she married a carpenter named Joseph, gave birth to a son named Jesus, watched her son become a man, and later watched him die on a cross.

The most detailed written information we have on Mary’s early life and relationship with her son comes from the Gospel of Luke.

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Michael J. Matt writes about “Reclaiming the Catholic Feast of Christmas”. Hint: It’s all about the Christ Child!

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Over the years many Catholic families have adopted the old Christ Child tradition, believing it to be a beautiful means of restoring the true meaning of Christmas while strengthening Catholic identity in children. And it can be gradually implemented, of course.

Santa Claus (St. Nicholas), for example, can still be invited to visit the Catholic home on Christmas morning but in a dramatically reduced capacity, perhaps leaving a few stocking stuffers above the mantle and moving on.

As it was in Catholic homes throughout Christendom, Christmas must become all about the Christ Child once again. And a truly merry Christmas remains forever predicated on careful observance of Advent. No Christmas trees, no lights, no good things to eat until December 25, when the time of waiting comes to an end and all of Christendom rejoices at an event so magnificent even a two-year-old gets it. Christ is to be born—and the world, the flesh and the Devil will never change that reality, no matter how hard they try. 

Read the article